Open Collections

The Chung Collection

Chung Logo

The Chung Collection

Travels in British Columbia : with the narrative of a yacht voyage round Vancouver's Island Barrett-Lennard, Charles Edward 1862

Item Metadata


JSON: chungpub-1.0114657.json
JSON-LD: chungpub-1.0114657-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): chungpub-1.0114657-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: chungpub-1.0114657-rdf.json
Turtle: chungpub-1.0114657-turtle.txt
N-Triples: chungpub-1.0114657-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: chungpub-1.0114657-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array     ¥
t a
The right of Translation is reserved.  PREFACE.
The interest which at the present moment
attaches to everything connected with. British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island, has induced
me to believe that a narrative of personal
adventure and experience in these still comparatively unknown but highly important colonies
might prove not only acceptable to the general
reader,   but  of   practical   utility to  the   intend
ing emigrant.
Having spent two years on the Pacific
coast of the North American continent, and
having, in addition to numerous land excursions, passed a considerable time cruising in a
yacht round the Island of Vancouver, I have
enjoyed unusual opportunities of becoming acquainted not only with the general physical
character and geographical features of the
country,  but  also  with  the  habits and customs VI
of the different Indian tribes here located. I
can, moreover, assure my readers that such
information as I have to offer is of the most
recent date; a fact of no small ■ importance in
connection with colonies where everything is
undergoing a most rapid transformation, where
flourishing townships and settlements are daily
springing up in districts which a few years
back were covered with forests of primeval
Royal Thames Yacht Club, London,
Aug., 1862. CONTENTS.
Principal Routes from England to British Columbia and Vancouver's
Island—Panama Route. Cape Horn Route—Voyage out—Difficulty of rounding Cape Horn—Contrary Winds and Heavy Seas
—Inclemency of the Weather—We sight Cape Horn—Valparaiso—Change from Cold to Heat—Fine Run on leaving Valparaiso—Termination of the Voyage—Straits of Juan de Fuca—
Size* of Vancouver's Island—General Description—Pine Woods—
Indian Paths or Trails through the Interior—Appearance of the
Coast—Climate of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia—
Natural Productions—Wild Animals—Fish—Channel between
Vancouver's Island and the Mainland—Varying Depth of
Water—Tides—Floating Timber—Kelp   .       .       .       .       1
British Columbia—Fraser River—First Discoverers—Drake—Captain
Cook—Vancouver—Town of Victoria—When Founded—Governor Douglas—Harbour of Victoria—Esquimalt—Mail Steamers—
Post Office—Wells, Fargo, and Co.—Rapid Improvement of
Victoria — First Impressions — Indian Village and Burial
Ground-—Character of Surrounding Country—Picturesque
Scenery 19
Departure on our Cruise—A Night on the Island of San Juan—
Depth of Water—Point Roberts—Fraser River—New Westminster, Capital of British Columbia—Head-quarters of the Royal
Engineers—| The Brunette "—Enormous Timber—Strong Current—Nanaimo—Coal on Vancouver's Island—A Hunting Expedition—Leave Nanaimo—Uculta Village—Valdez Island—Stiff
Breeze^—Dangerous Reef of Rocks:—Fort Rupert      .       .     27
m Vlll
Indian Tribes inhabiting Vancouver's Island—Northern Indians
visiting the Island periodically—Enmity among the Different
Tribes—Indian Warfare—Weapons—Canoes—Treachery of the
Ucultas—General Appearance of the Indians—Artificial Flattening of the Skull—Use of Paint—Indian Women—Dress—Indian
Village—Huts—Fishing Season—Salmon—Articles of Food—
Whisky—Carving— Construction of Canoe—Indian Burial-
Ground—Mysteries of the Kluquolla—Gambling—Indian Superstitions      39
Indian Servants—Mode of Dealing with Indians—Misconduct of the
Hydahs—They fire on the "Rob Roy"—Prompt Measures taken
by the Authorities to Redress the Outrage—The Hydahs are
brought to Reason—Captain John—His Capture and Death—
Adventure of the Cowichin Indian—.Northern Marauders—
Lieutenant Robson sets out in Pursuit—Insolent Defiance of the
Indians—Effect of the Great Guns—The Ucultas—Fort Rupert—
Excellent Garden—Kindness of the Chief Factor—We leave
Fort Rupert—Round the North-west Point of the Island—
Carried by the Tide past our Destination—Quatsinough Harbour
—Koshkeemo Village—Our Indian Host—The Interior of a Hut
—Domestic Life—Indian Apathy 59
Weather changes for the worse—Heavy Rains—Time consumed by
Indians in striking a Bargain—Religious Chants—Ancient
Carvings—Salmon Weir—We leave our Anchorage—Heavy
Swell at Sea—Dangerous Rocks—Difficult and Hazardous
Navigation—Bay of Klaskeeno—Cogwell Trader—Want of
Fresh Food — Klaskeeno River || Contrary Winds — Critical
Position of our Yacht—Assistance rendered by Indians—Fresh
Ballast on Board—Improvement in the Weather—We again
put to Sea 78 CONTENTS.
Heavy Seas after Recent Gales—Freshsets from the Coast—Mocuina
Point—Escalante Reef—We drift out to Sea—Thick Fog—
Make Friendly Cove—Nootka Sound—Strange Sail on the
Horizon—Indians come alongside—Cooptee, Winter Quarters
of the Mowichats—Noise made over a Kluquolla—Mocoola,
Chief of the Mowichats—Takes a Fancy to our Dog—Indian
Opinion of European Garments—Pe-Sha-Klim, Spouter of the
Mowichats—Indian Presents—Tomahawk and other Arms—
Narrative of an Adventure on our Former Visit—We ascend
Guaquina Arm—Hostility of the Matchelats—Indian War-
whoop—They fire on us—We parley with them—Peace
Restored—We go on Shore with the Chief—Encampment—
Fresh Symptoms of Hostility—Satisfactory Explanations—Fail
to reach the Object of our Expedition—Arrival of Pe-Sha-
Klim 91
The Wreck of the | Florentia "—Sufferings of the Crew—Resolution
Cove—Perilous Adventure in an Open Boat—Bocca del Inferno
—Misunderstanding between the Shipwrecked Crew and the
Indians—Dress of an Indian Woman—The Use of Paint—
Primitive Poste-Restante—Captain Cook ....    Ill
We leave Nootka Sound—Variable Winds—Bajo Reef—We part our
Cable—A Favourable Wind—Our Prospects brighten—We
fail to make Clayoquot Sound—Our Former Visit—Summer
Village of the Clayoquot Indians—Their Warlike Character—
Murder of Esquihat Chief—Narrow Escape of a White Man—
A Battle in Canoes—Midnight Attack—We re-enter Juan de
Fuca Straits—Return to Victoria—Christmas in Vancouver's
Island—General Improvements 123 CONTENTS.
We revisit British Columbia—The Fraser River and Gold-Fields—
New Westminster—The Harrison Lillooett Route described—
Skaholet Indians—Harrison River and Lake—Port Douglas—
Encampment of Royal Engineers—Strong Current—Chinese
Gold-Seekers—Fort Hope—Romantic Scenery—Turn Sioux
Indians—Religious Ceremony—u Tumanas," or " Medicine
Man "—Route from Fort Hope to Lillooett, on the way to
Cariboo 139
General Remarks on British Columbia—Its Soil and Climate—Agricultural Prospects—Its Natural Productions—Mineral, Vegetable,
and Animal—Suitability of its CHmate to rearing English Stock
—Encouragement to Farmers to settle here—The Gold Fields—
Prospects of Miners—Advice to Gold Seekers—A Miner's Narrative—Different Methods of seeking for Gold—Other Branches of
Industry—Packers—Effect of the Discovery of Gold on British
Columbia—Geographical Features of the Country-—Its Mountains, Rivers, and Lakes 153
Idea of an Inter-Oceanic Line of Railway—United States Line—
Importance of such a Line of Railroad on British Territory—
Circumstances favouring its Adoption—Great Advantages
attending it—:The Splendid Future it would open to British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island—The Overland Route from
St. Paul's, Minnesota, to British Columbia, by the Red River
and Saskatchewan—Its Practicability discussed—The Country
through which it passes—Probable Expense of the Journey—
Routes followed by Mr. M'Laurin, in 1858 and 1860—Recent
Accounts of Canadians about to undertake the Journey—
Difficulties of crossing the Rocky Mountains—Letters in the
" Times "—Company recently started for conveying Emigrants
by this Route 178 CONTENTS.
New Routes through the Interior of British Columbia—The Bentinck Arm Route—The Bute Inlet Route—Effect of opening up
New Routes to Cariboo—Gold on the Stickeen River—Gold on
the North and Tranquille Rivers—Gold on the Upper Columbia
River—Importance of opening a Route through British Territory—Captain Venables on the Bill-Whoalla Route—Route
through American Territory—Probable Rush to the Gold Fields
of British Columbia from California— Diggings on the Salmon
River—A Sketch of the Journey across North America, as
formerly accomplished 205
We leave Victoria for San Francisco—Wells Fargo's Agency—
The Mirage—A Modern "Robinson Crusoe "—Yankee Habits—
Columbia River — Portland — We strike on a Rock—
The Water gains on us in spite of all our Efforts—Critical
Situation of the Steamer u Pacific "—We run her ashore—
Portland—Picturesque Scenery on the Columbia River—San
Francisco—Its Harbour—Description of the Town—Mexican
Drovers—The Firemen of San Francisco—Effect of the Gold-
Fever—Japanese Embassy—American Driving — Race-course
—American Opinion of a Fox-Hunt—The | General" Drinking Bars—Theatres—Union Clul)—The " Pony Express "—The
Chinese in San Francisco—The Vigilance Committee        .   224
Departure from San Francisco—Benicia—Sacramento City—Its
Situation—Natural Productions of California—Row in the
House of Assembly—Use of the Revolver and Knife—Opinion
of an American on American Institutions—Probable Effects
of the Present War in the United States—Its Causes—Tariff to
protect the Manufacturing Interests—Hatred between the
North and South—Results to be anticipated at the Close of the "War—Present Evils attending it—Necessity of taking Measures
for the Protection of Canada—Bad Feeling shown by America
towards England—Honourable Conduct of this Country—
Defence of American Shores of the Lakes—The Canadian
Militia—Speech of the Hon. John A. Macdonald at Quebec.  247
General Remarks on the Origin and Present  Condition of
Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island—Influence
of the Gold Discovery—Neglect of many Important Branches
of Industry—Discovery of Copper Mines—Prospects of Immigrants—State of Industry—High Rate of Wages—Inconvenience caused by. a Former Want of a Circulating
Medium—Despatch of Governor Douglas—Establishment of a
Mint and Assay Office—Banks in Victoria—Import Duty and
Tariffs in British Columbia—Protection claimed by the Farmers
of Vancouver's Island—The Charter of the Hudson's Bay
Company—Debate in the House of Lords on the Subject—
Speech of the Duke of Newcastle 268
Principal Routes from England to British Columbia and Vancouver's
Island—Panama Route. Cape Horn Route—Voyage out—Difficulty of Rounding Cape Horn—Contrary Winds and Heavy Seas
—Inclemency of the Weather—We sight Cape Horn—Valparaiso—Change from Cold to Heat—Fine Run on leaving Valparaiso—Termination of the Voyage—Straits of Juan de Fuca—
Size of Vancouver's Island—General Description—Pine Woods—
Indian Paths or Trails through the Interior—Appearance of the
Coast—Climate of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia—
Natural Productions—Wild Animals—Fish—Channel between
Vancouver's Island and the Mainland—Varying Depth of
Water—Tides—Floating Timber—Kelp.
Intending emigrants and visitors to British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island have at present
the choice of two routes, the ordinary one by sea,
via Cape Horn, which involves a sea voyage of
some 20,000 miles, and the so-called overland
route, via Panama, whereby the distance and duration of the voyage are greatly abridged. Of the
true overland route from New York to St. Joseph's,
B -^mr'm-
Missouri, by rail, and thence to California and the
Pacific, by stage coaches, passing the Mormon city
of Utah, I shall have occasion to speak hereafter.
One of the chief objections to the Panama route,
however, consists in the possible delay which may
occur at Panama through waiting for the arrival of
the steamer from San Francisco, which, in a climate so extremely unhealthy, may be attended with
serious consequences. I would impress on any one
whose fate it may be to be thus detained, never to
expose himself to the poisonous exhalations of the
district after nightfall.
The Panama route may be diversified by going
in the first instance direct to New York, whence
steamers sail twice a week to the former place.
The railroad across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Pacific with the Gulf of Mexico and the
Atlantic, is a Yankee speculation which has been
justly characterized as a work resting on a foundation of human bones, having cost the lives of
thousands of the Irish navvies employed in its construction. The transit occupies about three hours
from Aspinwall to the old Spanish port of Panama,
and the line of rail runs through a dense tropical
growth of luxuriant vegetation.
The other route round Cape Horn, the so-called
sea-route, involves a journey of some five or six
months' duration; consequently, every requisite for
a long voyage should be provided by those who CAPE HORN ROUTE.
adopt it; they should, moreover, bear in mind
that the extremes of latitude they will have to
traverse are sufficiently great to cause a double alternation of winter and summer during the voyage.
Ere they reach Cape Horn they will have exchanged the North Star for the Southern Cross, and
long before they arrive at their destination, after
having doubled that Cape of Storms, the Southern
Cross will have disappeared below the horizon, and
their old acquaintance the North Star will again be
high in the heavens. We would therefore advise
every one, intending to take this route, to provide
himself with a wardrobe sufficiently varied to meet
the exigencies of tropical heat and almost Arctic
I see that steamers have recently been advertised to
sail from England by this route to British Columbia.
This will prove a great boon to intending emigrants,
as not only will the duration of the voyage be
abridged by the increased speed of the mode of conveyance, but its actual length will be considerably
diminished by enabling them to make their passage
through the Straits of Magellan, thereby ffalso
avoiding the dangerous storms and icebergs round
Cape Horn. ffl
That the reader may be able to form some idea of
the experiences of a long sea voyage, I will briefly
detain him while I give him a sketch of our own.
We left the Downs in the month of September,
1859, and, after a fine run, found ourselves off the
Island of Madeira—the weather deliciously balmy.
We crossed the line on the 20th October, with the
thermometer, perhaps, 120° on deck, one day, followed by a perfect deluge of rain on the next, when
it was quite a luxury to get thoroughly wet through.
Shortly after crossing the line the monotony of our
voyage was agreeably diversified by speaking a vessel bound for London, thus giving us an opportunity of sending our friends at home some tidings of
our whereabouts in the realms of old Neptune.
We lay-to for a couple of days, off the river Plate,
in something very like a gale of wind—the first
really bad weather we had hitherto experienced.
In a short time, however, the skies were again propitious, and we remember, about this time, running
through the midst of a fleet of whalers, while a few
days later we first smelt the land, as it is technically
termed, some considerable time, however, before it
was actually visible. This singular phenomenon
is well known to seamen, and even animals on
board ship testify to their consciousness of it by
unusual excitement. A favourable breeze springing up from the E. and N.E. sent us on our way
rejoicing, through the Straits of Lemaire, between
the Falkland Islands and the mainland of South
America. Some vessels touch at this group of
islands on their passage out. Indeed, their so doing may happen to be compulsory, through stress ROUNDING CAPE HORN.
of weather, and it is not unfrequently the fate of
the unhappy voyager in these tempestuous seas to
sight these islands periodically, for weeks together,
when detained by adverse winds. One of the chief
objections against the route round Cape Horn lies
in the fact that the winds blow constantly, for nine
months in the year, from the westward, directly in
the teeth therefore of outward-bound vessels, but
rendering it, at the same time, a very desirable route
for the passage home. This is the reason why vessels from Australia to England return round Cape
Horn. As for ourselves, we must confess that we
had no special grounds for dissatisfaction, as we
were not detained more than three weeks on this
part of our passage. It was also our fate to pass
much closer to the actual shore of the island than is
usually the case, so close, indeed, that we were
enabled to obtain a distinct view of Cape Horn
itself, the most southernly point of these wild,
rugged, and inclement regions.
To continue my narrative, however, we found
ourselves, after running through the Straits of
Lemaire, off Statten Island, one Sunday morning,
the weather growing rapidly colder. Steering in
a westernly direction, we doubled Cape St. John,
with its castle-like rocks, the home of innumerable
sea-birds of every description.
After sighting the extreme point of Cape Horn,
in the middle of November, distant at the time w
? ii
about five miles, we were compelled to run down
as far to southward as latitude 60°, to enable
us to beat sufficiently to the westward to clear
the southernmost extremity of the great American
We experienced the usual gales which fall to
the lot of all voyagers outward-bound who
attempt to double this " Cape of Storms," a name
it deserves certainly in a greater degree than even
the Cape of Good Hope itself. As far as our
experience goes, there is no part of the world in
which heavier seas may be expected than in these
latitudes; and the aspect presented on one or
two occasions by the ocean, as we beheld it from
the deck of our vessel, was such as no landsman
who saw it would ever be likely to forget. There
is something exceedingly wild and desolate in the
appearance of both sky and sea during a gale of
wind in these latitudes—a driving rain or sleet
beat unceasingly in our faces, as our vessel plunged
and rolled among the monstrous waves, till she
showed the "whole of her copper sheathing on one
side, or dipped the end of her yard-arm into the
boiling ocean on the other; now buried in the
hollow between two rolling ridges of water, now
rising with a sudden heave to the giant swell as
it swept beneath her, while its bursting crest of
foam deluged our decks with water, and sent the
spray flying in clouds through our rigging. INCLEMENCY OF THE WEATHER. 7
When in latitude 60° south, the region of keen
winds and icebergs, of fur coats, warm wraps, and
red noses, we found the cold sufficiently severe,
although near Midsummer, to be very unpleasant—
what it may be in winter, when innumerable icebergs add to the terrors of the scene, w§ have no
desire to experience. We contrived, however, to
amuse ourselves on one or two occasions by knocking over an albatross or a Cape fowl, both of which
are sufficiently difficult shooting.
After being baffled for some time by contrary
winds and thick foggy weather—with driving rain
and sudden squalls, to which these regions are
very subject—during which time we never caught
sight of the sun, and were, therefore, unable to
form a correct idea of our whereabouts, we at
length got a glimpse of the luminary of day,
which enabled us to verify both our latitude and
longitude, and led us to hope that the worst of our
voyage was over.
At the same time I repeat that we have no
reason to complain of having experienced unusually harsh treatment in these inhospitable seas,
and future travellers may thank their stars if they
escape as well as we did. After having fairly
doubled Cape Horn, favourable winds soon carried
us into warmer latitudes, and our winter clothing
was exchanged for light summer garments ere
we ..reached Valparaiso, the chief port of entry on
m*\\ I
the Coast of Chile. Here we were as pleased as
a parcel of schoolboys turned out for a holiday,
to get a scamper on shore.
The town of Valparaiso stands on the shores of
a bay forming a natural harbour, at the entrance
to which a good light-house has been erected.
The British Government maintains a store-ship
here for the use of the Royal Navy. The appearance of the town is not particularly striking, the
majority of the houses being built of wood or iron;
the warehouses are, however, very handsome buildings. As it was the 26th of December when we
landed—the Midsummer of these latitudes—the
place had a very dry, hot, and dusty look, and
the heat was in reality quite as great as we cared
about, even after the cold winds of Cape
Horn. A further acquaintance with the place
revealed to us several buildings of a more substantial character, as well as some neat suburban
residences on the sides of the hills in its vicinity.
There are a great number of foreign residents
in the place, the trade being chiefly in the hands of
English and French merchants; and as a proof of the
normally unsettled condition of politics in those regions, I may mention that every house has a flagstaff
on its roof, in order that its owner may display the
flag of his nation, and thus claim immunity from
attack, in the event of any sudden popular outburst or revolution.    The town of Valparaiso is TERMINATION OF THE VOYAGE.
enclosed in an amphitheatre of hills, and from the
harbour may be obtained a fine view of the distant
Andes. I cannot take leave of this place without
recording an indignant protest against the inefficiency of its postal arrangements. Notwithstanding
the kindness of the consul, who spared no trouble on
my behalfj I was unable to obtain several letters and
papers, which I knew ought to have been awaiting
me here; nor could I hear anything of them when I
wrote for them months afterwards from Vancouver,
although backed by the influence of two consuls.
A day or two after leaving Valparaiso, the
breeze that took us out carried us well into the
zone of the south-east trade winds, and we had the
good fortune to make a run of some 4,000 miles
on our course, almost without having bccasion to
trim our sails. This was succeeded by contrary
and uncertain winds, which continued for some
time to baffle and delay our course. At length,
to the delight of all on board, we sighted the light
on Cape Classet, which heralded the termination
of our lengthened cruise.
After being some hours balked by an adverse
wind, we at length found ourselves fairly in the
Straits of Juan de Fuca, and next morning, after a
pouring wet night, were within sight of the Race
Rocks, on which a lighthouse has recently been
erected. Two hours after we had passed them we
took our pilot on board.     The narrow entrance
w\ 10
to the Harbour of Victoria itself, however, only
revealed itself at the very last moment.
Before actually setting foot on shore, and introducing my readers to the little wooden town of
Victoria, as it then appeared, I propose giving
them some idea of the general character, natural
features, and climate of the country I have undertaken to describe.
The island of Vancouver itself—in length about
250 miles, with an extreme breadth of 70—is separated from the mainland by the Straits of Juan de
Fuca, the Gulf of Georgia, Johnson's Straits, and
Queen Charlotte's Sound.
As far as my observations up to the present
moment would lead me to conclude, this large
island is one vast rock, in most places but thinly
covered with a virgin soil, the result of vegetable
decay, highly productive wherever it is to be met
with of sufficient depth. The island is traversed,
apparently throughout its entire length, by a ridge
of pine-covered mountains, of varied elevation,
rising, however, in many places to a very considerable
altitude. Having thus alluded to the pine, the
staple natural production of the country, I may
describe Vancouver's Island as one vast forest of
thickly-grown pine. These primeval forests of
sombre green give a somewhat gloomy character to
the scenery of this part of the world. Let not the
European   reader  imagine,   however,   that   these
forests are like anything which he may have seen
in the Old World. With the exception of an
occasional Indian trail, these woods are, owing to
the thick, jungle-like undergrowth, wholly impenetrable. The trees composing them are forced up
to an immense height, and are, as a natural consequence, remarkably straight and upright in their
growth, even when of gigantic girth, furnishing, in
fact, some of the noblest spars in the universe. I
am glad to find that the British public are likely to
have an opportunity of forming some idea of themag-
nitude of these vegetable Goliaths from an actual
specimen proposed to be set up. as I am given to
understand, at Kensington Gore. A section of one
of the stems may also be seen in the part of the
International Exhibition appropriated to the productions of Vancouver's Island.
I may here take occasion to observe, in connection with these forests, that a vast conflagration
will from time to time break out in the midst of
their very densest portions, arising, it has been
conjectured, from the spontaneous combustion of
accumulated masses of decayed vegetation. Whatever be the cause of them, certain it is that these
fires are continually occurring. I have frequently
beheld them myself, and their result is to give a
most desolate and even frightful appearance to the
district in which they occur. I have seen, whilst
sailing near the shore, vast spaces, many square
*p 12
miles in extent, entirely denuded of anything like
vegetation—converted, in fact, into a wilderness of
scorched and blackened ashes, in the midst of
which the gaunt, charred stems of the former
monarchs of the forest stand, at intervals, like sentinel mourners over the graves of their kindred.
In speaking of Vancouver as one vast forest of
pine, I give the result of my own observation—
such, with the occasional patches of cleared and
cultivated land, it has always appeared to me,
from whatever point of view it has been my lot to
behold it. At the same time I feel bound to mention that the Indians persist in stating that extensive open plains exist in the interior, and that there
is a water communication, by means of a chain of
lake and river, from Nittinat, Barclay Sound,
on the south-west coast, to the village of the
Nimkish Indians, at the mouth of the Nimkish
river, flowing into Johnson's Straits, on the northeast side of the island, within thirty miles, by sea,
of Fort Rupert. How far this assertion of the
Indians will be verified by future research, remains
to be proved; that a communication, also chiefly
by water, does actually exist between the village
of the Nimkish Indians and Nootka Sound is a
well-known fact—this runs through the centre of
the island, and has probably been used by the
Hudson's Bay traders. One other means of communication    across    the   island   exists   between CLIMATE.
Nanaimo, the coaling station on the Gulf of
Georgia, and the new settlement on Alberni canal,
Barclay Sound, Pacific.
From the foregoing description of the island, my
readers will, no doubt, be prepared to hear that
the coast of Vancouver is rocky and abrupt; it is,
moreover, on all sides, surrounded by an infinite
number of rocky islets. These, on the Pacific
coast, are mere naked rocks, but in the channel we
meet with habitable islands many square miles in
As the latitude of Vancouver, lying between
48° and 52° N., corresponds with that of a portion
of Canada, on the opposite side of the North
American continent, we might naturally be prepared to meet with something like a corresponding
■jfigour of climate. In this, however, we shall be
agreeably disappointed. The climate of the Pacific
coast of this continent, is infinitely milder and
more genial than that of corresponding districts on
the Atlantic coast. How this fact is to be accounted
for on natural grounds—whether any inter-tropical
ocean current, flowing along this coast, performs
the same good office for it that the Gulf Stream is
supposed to do for us—I leave to savans to determine ; suffice it to say that the extremes of cold
and heat are seldom felt to be at all inconvenient,
and there are, I apprehend, few parts of the world
in which the Englishman will find a climate more •wr
resembling his own, even to the amount of rain
that may be expected to fall in the year. There
is one fact, however, to which I would direct
special attention, as it may be important to the
intending emigrant; it is this—however warm the
day, after nightfall, a cold wind is sure to set in
from the adjacent continent, which, coming as it
does from the snow-covered Alps of that region,
is very keen and penetrating. I may here, indeed,
take occasion to remark that the extremes of heat
and cold will be found to be greater as we advance
into the interior of the continent. As might be
expected in such a climate, most of the vegetable
productions of the British Islands may here be
successfully cultivated. The wild growth of the
island is prolific in berries of every description.
Among these we shall recognize several old acquaintances, and none with more pleasure than
the fragrant strawberry of our native woodlands.
The fauna of this region is varied and important,
at the same time I cannot promise the sportsman
so abundant a field for the exercise of his skill as
might be anticipated, on account of the impenetrable nature of the woods. Birds, however, of
all descriptions, are everywhere to be met with on
the coasts. Among the larger and more formidable
of the wild animals, I may mention the bear, the
panther, and the wolf. The former is the well-
known black bear of the North American conti- WILD ANIMALS. FISH.
nent; both the latter are animals possessing the
usual characteristics of their tribe.    Deer, of larsre
size, and graced with noble antlers,  are common.
The way in which they take the water in their
migrations from the mainland, or from one island
to another, is very noticeable; they think nothing
of crossing an arm of the sea, and we have been
credibly informed that they have been met with
several miles from land.    Their flesh  is  capital
venison.    Many of the more valued furs are the
produce   of   animals   abounding   in   Vancouver^
while, as I before remarked, birds of all descriptions
are very plentiful; among them we may enumerate
the wild goose,  ducks of various species, the blue
grouse, the heron,  and innumerable flocks of sea
birds.    Most of the rivers and streams are full of
fish, among which we shall meet with many old
favourites.    Both trout and salmon are abundant,
and of excellent quality, and I can speak in the
highest terms of the flavour of the native prawn;
the oysters also are said to be good.    Neither the
lobster nor the crab is, however, to be met with;
nor do I consider their absence compensated for
by the  existing  kinds of shell-fish.     The noted
clam, so highly prized in America, is here very
I have already had occasion to speak several
times of the channel separating the island of Vancouver from the mainland.    This possesses natural 16
B !
features of a sufficiently marked and interesting
character to merit a special notice. Its length is
about 340 miles, while its width varies from two
or three to thirty miles; a great portion of it is
filled with islands of all sizes, as I have already
stated, together with sunken rocks. As might be
supposed, in a sea of this description, the results
obtained by sounding are very various, but the
reader will probably hardly be prepared to hear
that the extraordinary depth of seventy or eighty
fathoms is frequently met with, and this, in many
cases, under the very shadow of the rocky coast of
the island itself. I remember on one occasion a
sounding, taken at our bow, gave a depth of eight
fathoms, while that at our stern gave fifteen ; and
on another we obtained eight, and sixty fathoms,
as the result of two successive throws of our line.
Again, no reliable theory has yet been arrived at,
with regard to the ebb and flow of the tides, in
this singular and capricious sea. I do not overstate their fitful character, when I say they are
as little to be depended on as the winds themselves,
seeming, indeed, to be governed by none of the
known and recognized laws of tidal action. It is
no uncommon thing for the tide to ebb for three
hours, and flow for eighteen. These wild and lawless currents, setting in from the ocean, through
the opposite extremities of the channel, meet in
its narrowest portion, called Johnson's Straits, cha- IMPEDIMENTS TO NAVIGATION.
racteristically known as the Rapids. The absolute
point of meeting is, as far as I was able to form an
opinion, opposite Cape Mudge, at the southern extremity of Valdez Island, forming a series of eddies
and whirlpools, locally known as tide-rips, in which
a vessel is carried helplessly along, unless a very
strong breeze is blowing. The navigation of these
narrow seas is, moreover, much impeded by floating timber, of gigantic proportions, and also by
enormous beds of that extraordinary marine plant,
the kelp. I have seen a vessel of forty or fifty
tons, with a fair breeze, brought up dead, as if at
anchor, by coming suddenly on a bed of kelp, and
woe betide the hapless wight whose fate it may be
to get entangled, while bathing, among the treacherous rope-like stems, and long, leathery leaves
of this Brobdignag, submarine growth: he is
caught, like a fly, in the meshes of a spider, and
with as little chance of escape. To this fact I can
testify, from several painful cases of brave fellows
and capital swimmers who thus lost their lives
during my stay in the colony.
One other natural peculiarity is noticeable in the
waters of this channel. I allude to their extreme
coldness. So great indeed did I find this, that in
bathing I seldom had courage to venture beyond
my depth. The description I have given of the
shores of the island applies equally, in its leading
characteristics, to the general appearance of the
c sww.
mainland; here also the shores are covered down
to the water's edge with dense forests of pine ; the
open spaces, whether natural or artificially cleared,
being only met with at rare intervals, during clear
weather, a range of lofty mountains may be distinguished in the distance, many of them rising to the
altitude of snow-covered Alps.
:! 19
British Columbia—Fraser River—First Discoverers—Drake—Captain
Cook—Vancouver—Town of Victoria—When Founded—Governor Douglas—Harbour of Victoria—Esquimalt—Mail Steamers—
Post Office—Wells, Fargo, and Co.—Rapid Improvement of
Victoria — First Impressions — Indian Village and Burial
Ground—Character of Surrounding Country—Picturesque
The town of Victoria, capital of Vancouver's
Island, was originally a station or port of the
Hudson's Bay Company, founded in 1843, and, like
everything else in this part of the world, is of
recent date. It was in pursuit of their arduous
and venturesome calling that the Hudson's Bay
fur traders first visited this " Ultima Thule " of the
West, crossing the channel that separates it from
the mainland. The name British Columbia is
quite a modern term; the original appellation
bestowed  upon it by Captain Cook  being  New
c 2 1
Caledonia. The territory now known as British
Columbia is situated entirely on the mainland or
continent of North America, and is bounded on
the north by Simpson's River, on the south by the
United States Territory, east by the Rocky Mountains, and west by the Pacific; being separated
from the Island of Vancouver by Juan de Fuca
Straits, the Gulf of Georgia, Johnson's Straits, and
Queen Charlotte's Sound. Its length is upwards
of 400 miles, and its average width 300.
The first settlers on the now world-famous
Fraser's River date from the year 1806 only, about
which time that auriferous stream—the modern
Phasis—received its present appellation. It takes
its rise in the Rocky Mountains, the great central
chain of North America, whence it flows, in its
course to the Gulf of Georgia, through the gold-
producing district of Cariboo. It is, we think,
certain that the original discoverers of the American
Continent, the Spaniards, never penetrated thus
far. There is, however, no doubt, that Queen
Elizabeth indignantly protested against the arrogant pretensions of the Spanish King, who, in
virtue of a Papal Bull, laid claim to these and
other territories on the coast of the Pacific. This
protest was followed by an expedition, fitted out
under command of the gallant Drake, to assert
that supremacy on the seas which his country has
ever since maintained, and will maintain in spite of FIRST DISCOVERERS.
all the Papal Bulls that ever issued from the
Vatican. Drake, undoubtedly, reached the
territory;of British Columbia, and gave it the name
of New Albion. The example of Drake was
followed by Cavendish, and shortly afterwards by
Juan de Fuca, whose name is borne by the Straits
to the south of Vancouver. Notwithstanding this
fact, however, doubts have been expressed as to
whether any navigator of this name really existed
or not. Among the more modern explorers of
these regions, I may mention the name of the
unfortunate Behring, who, crossing over to the
American continent from Kamschatka, discovered
Mount Elias, and eventually perished on the island
which still bears his name. We now come to the
period of the voyages of the celebrated Captain
Cook, of whose visit to these shores some of the
Indian tribes still preserve traditions. To him
belongs the credit of having first thoroughly
explored the coast-line of British Columbia and
Vancouver. The number of fur-bearing animals
he discovered in these territories naturally attracted
the attention of the Russians, as great consumers
of fur, and the result was the acquisition by their
Government of the line of coast known as Russian
America. It was the pursuit of similar objects, on
the part of the United States, that led to the long
debated question of disputed boundary, known as
the Oregon question.     The insular character of Vancouver was first demonstrated by the navigator
whose name it bears, and who sailed round it in
1792. |
The town of Victoria may, in its origin, be regarded as the last link in that wonderful chain of
stations or forts extending completely across the
American continent, which owe their existence to
the undaunted energy, enterprise, and perseverance
of the gallant traders of the Hudson's Bay Company,
a body of men of whom any country might be
proud, who, in the teeth of hardships and dangers
of every description have thus been the pioneers of
civilization, through the heart of this mighty continent, f The old Hudson's Bay Fort of Victoria
was situated in the district occupied by the aboriginal tribe of the Songees. They, however, parted
with their claim to the company, and migrated to
the other side of the harbour. The island of Vancouver was granted to the Hudson's Bay Company,
on condition of their colonizing it in 1848. James
Douglas, the present Governor, was the chief factor
of this company at Fort Victoria, and when the
natural resources of the country, developed by increased immigration, entitled it to be erected into
one of the colonies of the British Empire, he was,
on account of his extensive experience and knowledge of the country, as well as the influence he
wielded I in the colony, selected for the post of
Governor. ESQUIMALT.
The harbour of Victoria is of irregular form,
consisting of two basins, of which the inner one constitutes the real harbour. This may be entered at
high water by vessels of considerable tonnage, which
can then lie alongside the wharves of Victoria.
The rocks in the outer harbour form some impediment to navigation, which is nevertheless readily
overcome by a skilful pilot. To state my real convictions, however, I believe that the harbour of
Victoria will not be found to meet the requirements
of a very much increased immigration, but will have
to yield to the superior claims of Esquimalt, situated
about three miles to the south-east. These places
were connected by a road of the very worst description, a defect which I hope may, by this time, have
been remedied. As far as I can remember, no great
difficulties exist in the way of laying down a tram-
road along this route. Esquimalt possesses a
splendid harbour, consisting, properly speaking, of
two harbours, each capable of receiving vessels of
the largest tonnage, even to the "Great Eastern" herself. A whole fleet might here find secure anchorage. The town itself consists of little more than an
assemblage of wooden huts, but is destined, eventually, I think, to become a place of importance.
At the present moment, however, it owes its very
existence to the facts of its being the chosen station
of the men-of-war on this coast, as well as the port
whence the mail steamer sails twice a month to San K
Francisco. The arrival of this steamer creates no
small stir and sensation in the colony, and great is
the rush for letters at the Post Office in Victoria, as
the very brief delay of the mail steamer at Esquimalt, seldom exceeding two or three hours, leaves
but little time for answering correspondence. I
cannot speak of the Postal arrangements of the
colony without alluding to § Wells, Fargo, & Co.,
Express and Forwarding Agents." They are much
in request for sending letters and parcels to San
Francisco, as well as into the interior of British
Columbia, as such missives, confided to their charge,
are not only safer, but likely to reach their destination more speedily than by means of the ordinary mail conveyance.
On entering the inner harbour of which I have
just spoken, the little town of Victoria may be discovered, scattered along its shore. At the time of
my arrival in the colony, it consisted of little more
than an assemblage of wooden houses; at the period
of my departure, however, brick and stone were
fast replacing the original wood, some handsome
public buildings had been erected, and I observed several edifices of fireproof construction.
The first thing that strikes a European on approaching the shores of these distant regions, is the
thoroughly wild and even savage character of the
scenery; nor is this impression lessened as he discovers the huts of the aboriginal inhabitants, who,
m /
in their bizarre, party-coloured garments, may here
and there be seen on the beach. Presently an angle in
the bay reveals to him the burial-ground of these
rude forefathers of the wilderness, with its quaint
carvings and uncouth devices, the growth of a wild,
untutored- fancy, yet harmonizing strangely with
the character of the surrounding scenery.
The country, in the vicinity of Victoria, is less
densely wooded than in many other parts of the
island, and oaks of stunted growth are met with in
addition to the pine.
. The general character of the district is hilly, and
many open spaces exist perfectly sterile and covered
with a debris of rocky fragments. There is, nevertheless, a considerable amount of agricultural and
pastoral land, and numerous flourishing farms in
the neighbourhood of the capital of Vancouver.
Many extensive views, over the surrounding country and channel, may be enjoyed from the different
heights about the town. Among these I would
especially notice the varied and extensive prospect
to be obtained from Cedar Hill. The view over
the land embraces a vast extent of undulating,
richly-wooded country, almost destitute, however,
of any traces of human habitation; whilst over
the sea, on a clear day, the eye embraces a vast extent of the blue surface of the channel, dotted with
innumerable islands gradually losing themselves in
the dim horizon.    The entrance of the Gulf of
P  Li
Departure on our Cruise—A Night on the Island of San Juan—
Depth of Water—Point Roberts—Fraser River—New Westminster, capital of British Columbia—Head-quarters of the Royal
Engineers—u The Brunette "—Enormous Timber—Strong Current—Nanaimo—Coal on Vancouver's Island—A Hunting Expedition—Leave Nanaimo—Uculta Village—Valdez Island—Stiff
Breeze=—Dangerous Reef of Rocks—Fort Rupert.
The yacht in which we performed our cruise round
the Island of Vancouver, is a small vessel of twenty
tons register, cutter rigged, which I took out with
me on the deck of the ship in which we made our
passage to Victoria. On my arrival in the colony
I had her thoroughly fitted" for sea. After various
preparatory trial trips on the channel in the neighbourhood of Victoria, to test her sea-going qualities,
we started in the month of September, 1860, on
our cruise round the island, which we expected
would take us about six weeks to accomplish, but 28
we soon found that we had not made sufficient
allowance for the difficulties we should encounter
in our expedition. We got fairly under weigh one
day about two o'clock in the afternoon, and with a
fair wind and smooth sea made the Island of San
Juan that night, and anchored off the camp of the
Marines on the north coast of the island, in a small
land-locked bay having all the appearance of an
inland lake. Landing, in the evening, we were not
sorry to warm ourselves at the fire at the back of the
camp, and join the social circle of our friends the officers, assembled to enjoy their evening glass and pipe.
The island of San Juan, whose name was brought
so prominently under the public notice some time
since, in consequence of the unfounded claims put
forth to its possession by the United States—claims
so arrogantly backed by General Harney—is one of
the group I have already specified, at the entrance
to the Gulf of Georgia. Its strategic importance
consists in its commanding two of the principal
channels communicating with that gulf. That we
were not involved in a war with the United States
on this question I attribute mainly to the tact,
judgment, and good sense displayed by Admiral,
now Sir Lambert Baines, in his conduct of this
delicate and irritating affair. The size of this
island is about twelves miles in length, by seven or
eight in width. Its general character is hilly, but
not densely wooded. POINT ROBERTS.
The next morning saw us steering with a fair
wind for the mouth of the Fraser River, but the
wind was not sufficiently powerful to enable us to
make way against the tide, which was running out
with tremendous force. At length, after drifting
for some hours, we found we were slowly advancing, a proof that the tide had turned ; our progress
was, however, very gradual, and our patience was
sorely taxed ere we reached Saturna Island. Early
on this day, finding that we had made no way
against the current, we had recourse to our sweeps
and pulled close in shore, hoping to find an anchorage ; our first sounding gave ten fathoms, but immediately afterwards, on letting go the kedge, we
failed to make it hold, though we paid out sixty
fathoms. We anchored that night in comparatively shallow water, but found with all our efforts
we could not get up our anchor next morning, so
we cut our cable, and left a handspike attached to
mark the spot.
The next day was calm, but night coming on
with wind and rain we anchored off Point Roberts.
The wind gradually increasing in violence, we felt
no small anxiety lest our anchor should fail to hold.
Towards morning the weather became less wild,
and during the day we landed at Point Roberts,
on the United States territory, near the mouth of
the Fraser River. This place seems, originally, to
have been destined for an extensive settlement.
m 30
There are some twenty or thirty houses standing,
but not more than two or three are inhabited ; we
were very pleased to receive a supply of fresh vegetables here, consisting of pumpkins, turnips, carrots,
potatoes, and other equally acceptable esculents.
Entering the Fraser River next day, we signalled
for a pilot to the Indian village near the mouth of
the river. After a deal of gesticulating and waving
flags, an old Indian was induced to put off in a
canoe, with whom we struck a bargain to be taken
up to New Westminster. We were compelled to
wait some time for wind and tide to change, and
then it was, only after a long and tedious day's
work that we at length found ourselves abreast
New Westminster, capital of British Columbia.
The town of New Westminster stands on a
rising ground on the ueft )bank of the Fraser.
The site it occupies—a clearing in the midst of a
dense pine-forest—was selected by Colonel Moody,
thus shifting the site originally fixed upon for the
capital at Langley, a Hudson's Bay fort higher up
the river. This was done for strategic reasons, as
Langley is situated on the Southern or American
bank of the river. Early in 1859 a communication was forwarded to the Colonial Secretary of
State from Governor Douglas to the effect that her
subjects in the colony were desirous that Her
Majesty should name the metropolis they were
about to found.    The desire was at once graciously NEW WESTMINSTER.
complied with, Her Majesty deciding that the
capital of British Columbia should be called
New Westminster. The growth of this town
has been very rapid, and it is likely speedily to
become a place of no small importance, in consequence of the recent discovery of gold. Up to
the period of my departure from the colony, most
of the houses were still of wood—nor had the
Governor any official residence here.
New Westminster is well situated for commerce;
the Fraser River is here some 2,000 yards wide,
and vessels of considerable size can anchor off the
town. About a mile higher up the river are the
quarters of the Royal Engineers, situated on a
steep incline, presenting a most picturesque coup
cfosil from whichever side it is approached, both
on account of the graceful, high-pitched roofs of
the buildings themselves, as well as the romantic
character of the site they occupy. The choice of
this situation certainly reflects great credit, at
least, on the taste of Colonel Moody, as, the river
here forming an angle, a most extensive prospect
may, in fine weather, be enjoyed—not only of its
richly-wooded banks,  but of the blue  ranges of
J i o
lofty mountains that shut in the distant horizon.
The Brunette, a most charming little river,
forms a junction with the Fraser a short distance
higher up. We frequently ascended this stream—
a task,   however,   of  no  small  difficulty,   as  its Ill 1
course is much impeded by fallen trees, some
partially submerged, some forming a natural
bridge across its narrower portions, and often so
close to the surface of the water, that we had to
stoop in our little boat to pass under them. We
amused ourselves occasionally with shooting the
bird here called grouse on its banks, and also
succeeded in knocking over a partridge or two;
but the dense nature of the undergrowth renders
the pursuit of game a matter of no small personal
injury and inconvenience, if not of absolute impossibility.
A little below New Westminster an extensive
steam saw-mill has been established, which deals
in a very summary way with the gigantic timber
of these regions. I have already alluded to the
size attained by the fir in this part of the world.
My readers will, however, hardly be prepared to
hear that a novice, having laid a wager to cut
through a selected specimen with an axe, in three
week's time, actually found himself, in spite of his
most strenuous efforts, unable to accomplish his
task. However incredible this may appear, it is
an undoubted fact.
On descending the Fraser River we were again
detained for a short time by a turn of tide, there
being no wind whatever; we therefore availed
ourselves of the opportunity to try and knock over
a few wild-fowl among the swamps and shallows, FORCE OF THE CURRENT.
which, at this time of year, afford shelter to innumerable flocks of ducks and geese. We were
very successful; and, in addition to enjoying a
good day's sport, managed to replenish our larder
for some days to come. At length, the wind
freshening, we were obliged to rejoin our little
craft, and dropped down the stream. On reaching
the mouth of the river at nightfall, we naturally
anchored to await daylight, and, as we lay during
the silent hours of the night with two anchors out,
we could not fail to be struck with the tremendous
force of the current, which, parting with a roaring
sound under our bow, rushed along the sides of
our little vessel with the impetuosity of a mill-
stream. The uneasiness we naturally felt lest she
should part from her anchors under this tremendous strain was not diminished by the very dense
fog, which shrouded all objects in impenetrable
darkness. We had hoped that morning might
have dispelled the fog; instead of this being the
case, however, it continued unabated all day, and
we had to make up our minds to spend another
night of anxiety and discomfort; for not only
were we kept awake by the uneasy feeling that
our cutter might drag her anchors, but the
noise of the water under our bows was sufficiently
great to render comfortable repose very difficult of
attainment. The succeeding day being clear and
fine, we were enabled to cross the bar, and once
; 34
fairly at sea again, a fine breeze carried us across
the Gulf of Georgia to Nanaimo. I may mention
that Vancouver, to whom is due the honour of
having first explored this channel, strangely enough
overlooked the mouth of the Fraser River,
although he did not fail to notice the discoloration of the waters of the Gulf of Georgia caused
by its influx.
Nanaimo is a Hudson's Bay Fort, on the coast of
Vancouver's Island. The small settlement which
has recently sprung up bearing the same name,
probably owes its existence entirely to the fact of
its being a coaling station. It occupies the centre
of the coaling district, that is to say, the only part
of the Island of Vancouver in which coal is actually
worked. This important mineral is, however,
known to exist in various other portions of the
colony. I am bound to confess that the so-called
"Nanaimo coal" is not of the very finest description,
although by no means despicable. It is used by
the steamers of the Royal Navy, as well as by the
vessels of the Pacific Steam Packet Company, and
also finds a market in San Francisco; the line of
steamers plying between the latter place and
Panama prefer using the coal brought from Cardiff,
of which a store exists at Acapulco, in Mexico.
During our stay at Nanaimo we organized a
hunting expedition in the neighbourhood, with the
view of providing ourselves with a little venison. A HUNTING EXPEDITION.
We set off one afternoon in a couple of small boats,
a party of seven—six white men and an Indian,
who enjoyed the reputation of being a crack shot.
After a pull of some two hours we reached our
destination on the shores of a bay, higher up the
coast. Before landing we observed some lights on
shore, it being at that time quite dark; these, we
naturally conjectured, must belong to a party of
Indians on their way from the North to Victoria,
and we were for some time dubious whether it
would be quite prudent to set foot on shore under
the circumstances. Having, at length, overcome
our scruples on this score, we discovered that the
lights were those of a party of white men—
American grasscutters and haymakers—who were
collecting forage in a couple of canoes. After
fraternizing we proceeded to bivouac, lit our fires,
pitched our tents, and prepared our evening meal.
While sitting round our camp-fire, before retiring
to our couch for the night, we could not help
observing the amount of labour bestowed by our
Indian comrade on the weapon he carried, an old-
fashioned flint-lock fowling-piece. He spent
upwards of an hour cleaning most thoroughly its
different parts, appearing especially solicitous that
all in connection with the lock and pari for priming
should be in first-rate order. It must be confessed,
however, that the amount of sport enjoyed by any
of our party next day by no means answered our
• S. I  H        B    I ■    d 2 it
m ••illi
1 iii'
ii >
expectations. The dense nature of the undergrowth of brushwood, and the huge masses of rock
continually cropping out, rendered the pursuit of
game, or indeed progression of any kind a matter
of no small difficulty. As for myself, I only
succeeded in knocking over a few birds. Oil
returning to Nanaimo we had a regular battle
against wind and tide, with the unpleasant
accompaniment of driving rain. I may mention
that on the shores of the bay where we encamped,
we observed the remains of an Indian village, said
to have belonged to a tribe now extinct, probably
exterminated by continued warfare.
On leaving Nanaimo a few days after in company
with the schooner "Langley," a small coasting trader,
we found the navigation of the Gulf of Georgia
very ticklish work, from the number of sunken
rocks, on which we, more than once, were within
an inch of stranding our little craft. After
anchoring for the night, the first appearance of day
revealed to us the dangers of our situation; we had
selected a spot surrounded by sunken rocks, and
we also found that what we had taken for a creek
was, in reality, a passage between two islands not
marked in the chart. Five canoes of Stickeen
Indians came alongside, they told us a long story
of the treachery of the Ucultas, which will be found
in another part of our narrative. We started next
morning with a nice breeze,   and  soon  left  the
1 Langley' behind. The wind was afterwards for
some time shifting and variable; at length, about
ten, it was round to the right quarter once more,
and we found ourselves within a mile of Cape
Mudge, the most southerly point of Valdez
Before we had time to congratulate ourselves on
our progress, we were suddenly involved in a tide-
rip, which, in a very short time, carried us back
some six or seven miles. We were now abreast of
the "Langley" again, but she fared no better than
we did, and after drifting about until the tide became slack, we pulled into soundings, and let go our
anchors. The Uculta village is situated on John-
son's Straits; they are reputed the worst Indians
anywhere to be met with about here, plundering
and killing those of the northern tribes, whenever
they met with them. We did not find the current
as strong as we anticipated next morning. We
made fast, when the tide failed us, in a little bay,
or bight, of Valdez Island; and going on shore to
look for a deer, saw the traces not only of many of
these animals, but also of wolf and bear. We only
succeeded, however, in wounding one deer. Landing on Vancouver next day we were equally unsuccessful, as we did not discover anything to
shoot. We anchored for the night off an island at
the entrance of Knox Bay, and started next morning with a fair breeze, which had a tendency to
*w 38
freshen as the day advanced. The tide with us till
about eleven, running strong, and forming in
places violent eddies—the sea was also much encumbered with floating timber, which rendered navigation difficult and dangerous, as many of the trunks
were of gigantic size. The wind blew very fresh,
after a temporary lull, and put us down so much
by the bows that we took in our gaff-topsail, and
she went more easily in consequence. The tide
ran for some four hours against us, but the breeze
was sufficiently powerful to enable us to hold on
our course, as it was now blowing half a gale of
wind. We had some difficulty in clearing the
rocks in front of the Nimkish village—our vessel
jibed, breaking her guy, and carrying away some
of her running-tackle, but doing little other
damage. Almost before we had time, however, to
ascertain what injury we had sustained, we had
left the rocks, the cause of our late anxiety, far
behind. We reached Fort Rupert about six in the
evening, followed in about an hour afterwards by
the I Langley," thoroughly satisfied with our day's
run, having done some 90 miles in eleven hours. 39
Indian Tribes inhabiting Vancouver's Island—Northern Indians
visiting the Island periodically—Enmity among the Different
Tribes—Indian Warfare—Weapons—Canoes—Treachery of the
Ucultas—General Appearance of the Indians—Artificial Flattening of the Skull—Use of Paint—Indian Women—Dress—Indian
Village—Huts—Fishing Season—Salmon—Articles of Food—
Whisky—Carving—Construction of Canoe—Indian Burial-
Ground—Mysteries of the Kluquolla—Gambling—Indian Superstitions.
So much has been written on the manners,
customs, and natural traits of the aboriginal inhabitants of the great Continent of the West, that
it might at first sight appear superfluous on my
part to devote any considerable portion of my
space to their consideration; but I am convinced
that the general characteristics of this, as of all
other races, are materially modified by the local
circumstances of climate, soil, and the geographical
V XF »
features of the country they inhabit. The Indian
tribes inhabiting the islands and seaboard of the
Pacific differ in many essential particulars from
those of the interior of the continent, and I consider that many of their habits and customs are
sufficiently marked and interesting to merit a
special notice; much of this information will,
moreover, be found - valuable to the intending
emigrant and settler in these colonies.
It must always be a matter of no small difficulty
to fix the number of Indians of different tribes
who dwell permanently in the two colonies of
British Columbia and Vancouver, nor can I regard
any such estimate, at present, as being anything
more than an approximative guess. In addition to
the tribes here located, great numbers visit these
regions- during the summer months, often coming
from a great distance to the north, and performing
voyages by sea. of many hundred miles in their
canoes. Among the more numerous and powerful
of these tribes I would mention the Hydahs, the
Chimseeans, the Stickeens, the Skidegates, and
the Bella-Bellas. They visit these shores for the
purpose of disposing of the produce of their hunting
expeditions, and return to their home in the far
north at the approach of autumn, carrying with them
the proceeds of their trading in the shape of
money, blankets, powder, tobacco, whisky and other
articles in use among them.    I have, as a rule,
remarked that the physical attributes of those
tribes coming from the north are superior to those
of the dwellers in the south.
Here, as elsewhere, we shall find the greatest enmity frequently existing among different tribes, some
of them being constantly at war with one another.
The origin of these quarrels, in many cases, dates
from a very remote period; they are in fact hereditary feuds handed down from generation to generation. The deadly hate existing between hostile tribes
is something almost incredible. Until quite recently
members of different tribes, at war with one another,
would forthwith proceed to extremities on meeting,
even in the streets of Victoria itself, and at the present moment the utmost efforts of the authorities
are ineffectual to prevent the frequent occurrence of
murders in the vicinity of the town. The Chickle-
zats and the Ahazats, inhabiting districts in close
proximity on the west coast of Vancouver, are accustomed to wage so unrelenting a warfare that no
single member of either tribe can ever be induced
for one moment to set foot on the territory of his
hereditary enemy, too well knowing that he could
only do so at the peril of his life. Treachery and
artifice constitute the base of their tactics in war.
They appear insensible to anything like chivalry or
generous feeling, killing and slaying with remorseless cruelty, undeterred by any sentiment of compunction.    Their motto appears to be, § All is fair »I.iH   II
m>:i»iii Mi IW
J ffl
in war." An assault may be expected at any moment from a hostile tribe during a period of open
warfare, midnight attacks taking precedence of all
others, and humanity shudders in recording the
atrocities practised on such occasions. Previous to
encountering the hardships and dangers of a campaign, if we may so term it, the Indian goes through
a course of athletic training. He is rigidly abstemious, and among the methods employed to give
tone to his muscles and strengthen his physical
constitution I may notice the practice of constant bathing, even during very severe weather.
The weapon most in vogue with these savage warriors is the long, smooth-bore, flint-lock musket, in
addition to which they generally carry a long knife,
having now to a great extent discarded the use of
the traditional tomahawk and spear. Many of
these weapons are, however, still preserved as heirlooms among them. Their general mode of fighting on shore is from the ambush of the trunks of
trees, seldom exposing themselves to fire in the
open. Engagements on the sea in their canoes are
by no means of frequent occurrence. All prisoners
taken in war are, if not slaughtered on the spot,
doomed to perpetual slavery. As an instance of
the dastardly treachery so frequently practised
by one tribe towards another, I may mention the
affair of the Ucultas and Stickeen Indians, to which
I before alluded, and which was related to us by a ■h
party of the latter a few hours after it occurred.
The former tribe, one of the most powerful located
in Vancouver, are a band of lawless pirates and
robbers, levying black-mail on all the surrounding
tribes, and are held in universal dread and abhorrence.    On the occasion referred to the Stickeen
Indians, being on their journey from the North to
Victoria in their canoes, put into a bight on the
coast to await nightfall, intending to drop down
silently with the tide, under cover of the darkness,
so as to pass the village of their hereditary foes,
the Ucultas, without their knowledge.    One of the
Uculta canoes happening to meet a couple of the
Stickeen canoes engaged in fishing, the occupants of
the former persuaded those of the latter that they
had been so far won over by the teaching of the
Roman Catholic missionaries as to have entirely
abandoned their old malpractices, and that perfect
confidence might therefore be placed in them, inviting the Stickeens at the same time to land and
share their hospitality on shore.    The latter, though
far from convinced, thought it prudent not to show
any symptoms of fear, as the fact of their being in
the neighbourhood would now be well known.    The
whole party of the Stickeens, therefore, accompanied
the Ucultas to their village.    Laying down their
arms at the request of the latter, who, while professing nothing but friendship and goodwill, were
not disposed to place implicit confidence in the XP 9
alii II i
Stickeens, they accompanied their hosts on shore,
leaving the canoes in the charge of their women
and children. They paid, however, dearly for
their confidence, as they were betrayed into an
ambush and several of them killed on the spot, the
remnant only escaping with their lives by precipitate flight, two of them being badly wounded,
whom we afterwards saw lying at the bottom of a
The general physical characteristics of these
races do not differ very essentially from those of
the interior of the mainland. We meet with the
same high cheek-bones, broad flat faces,* thick but
not prominent lips, strait black hair, sallow complexions verging towards copper colour, and spare
muscular forms, with which former descriptions
have already made us familiar. The eyes and hair
are universally dark, and the latter being ^orn
long, its thick, unkempt masses frequently form
the only covering for the head. An Indian never
cuts his hair, as short hair is a mark of slavery.
Any difference is chiefly one of degree, and, as I
before remarked, some of the finest specimens I
saw came from the far north. I am bound to confess, however, that much of the romance with
which I had in youth been led to invest the wild
denizen of the vast unexplored regions of the
west, from a perusal of Fenimore Cooper's novels,
and others of a similar class, was dispelled by a BARBAROUS AND UNSIGHTLY CUSTOMS.
personal acquaintance. Many of the tribes inhabiting Vancouver and the adjacent coasts, practise the
barbarous custom of flattening the skull by means
of two pieces of wood bound tightly to the fore part
of the head, in infancy and childhood, whereby the
skull is forced into an unnatural and hideous shape,
rising, in fact, to a perfect ridge on the top. Some
tribes distort their skulls into a shape that has been
likened to a sugar-loaf. As far as I could ascertain, this strange interference with the normal
development of the brain is not attended by any
mental deficiency. Most tribes are accustomed to
pierce the £ars and nose, in which rings of moderate
size are worn; to those in the ear, however, many
other pendants are generally attached. I have frequently been amused to see an Indian, on receiving
the always welcome gift of two or three English
needles, carry ,them away with him stuck in the
hole pierced through his nostril. The most unsightly of these customs is that of piercing the
lower lip. This is confined entirely to the Northern
Indians, and among them is only practised by the
women. In the earlier stages, a small silver tube
is worn through the puncture; with the lapse of
years, however, the size of this article is gradually
increased, until at length the lip comes to be distended to a hideous extent by the insertion of a
shell or wooden ornament. Tattooing is also occasionally seen among some of the tribes coming
T 46
from the north.    The custom of occasionally painting the face is universal, and the pigments in use
for this purpose constitute an important article of
barter in Indian trading.    Vermilion is in special
demand, great quantities of this colour being used
during the period of the mysteries or initiation of
the Kluquolla, as it is termed, to which I shall refer
hereafter.    Their black or war paint, they manufacture themselves.    This colour is an invariable
indication of war; at the same time its use is not
confined to the battle-field, as it is also a sign of
mourning, and is frequently employed by the fair
sex to preserve their delicate complexions from the
too ardent rays of the sun !    Having mentioned
the  ladies, I am bound to acknowledge  that  I
have  sometimes seen  faces which might be   described  as pleasing,   as well  as   not ungraceful
figures,  among the younger women,  but a  due
regard for truth obliges me to add that their charms,
if any be discoverable, are very short-lived.    One
of the chief defects in both sexes is their very awkward walk, or rather waddle, caused by their legs and
feet being cramped and deformed, and their toes
turned in, from constantly sitting in their canoes.
The  dress in  use  among many  of the  more
remote tribes, may be described as a simple blanket,
with the addition of a garment of their own manufacture, consisting of strips of bark, fastened round
the waist, and worn by the women.    Others, more INDIAN VILLAGE.
advanced in  civilization, indulge in  the  use of
shirts, in addition to their blankets.    An Indian
village consists of an assemblage of huts, arranged
in a line.    It may not, however, be generally known
to my readers that an Indian village is, to a certain
extent,  a mere  temporary  encampment.    Every
tribe has two or three villages, in various situations—their locality being determined by the facilities it may afford for pursuing the avocations of
hunting and fishing, at  different periods  of the
year.    An Indian hut consists of a framework of
posts and beams, often of gigantic proportions, as
in the case of a chief or head of a tribe.    This
frame is always left standing, but the outer planking is  removed  every  time  the  tribe  shifts   its
quarters.    Of course it is needless to add that all
their  household  goods  and  chattels travel with
them,   on  every occasion.    The cutting out  the
huge planks, with which the huts are covered and
roofed, with the imperfect tools and appliances at
the command of the Indians, is a work at least of
great labour and perseverance.    Indians are skilful
huntsmen, and many of them are very good shots.
They are not very particular as to the kind of
game wherewith to stock their larder—the flesh of
very few animals comes amiss to an Indian palate.
The fishing season is an important period for those
inhabiting  the coast.    Their sea-fish  are  always
taken with a hook, the original article of native ■mm
manufacture being almost superseded by English
fish-hooks.    They are very skilful fishermen, and
I  have   often   admired   the noiseless manner in
which they steer their canoes through the water,
when trolling for salmon.    This fine fish is everywhere met with throughout the waters of Vancouver,   and frequently  attains  a large growth.
Those of the Fraser River are distinguished by the
peculiarity of their  nose being  twisted   on   one
side, which gives them a very comical appearance.
I do not know whether this phenomenon can be
accounted for by the force of the current these
fish have to stem.    In addition to this deformity,
the bodies of the salmon taken out of this river,
are frequently much scored, gashed, and disfigured
by old wounds, the result of accident, and arising
from collision with the rocks and shallows of this
impetuous  stream.     Sturgeon   of   gigantic  size,
weighing at times as much as five or six hundred
pounds, are also taken in the Fraser River.    There
are various Indian modes of curing salmon, the
ordinary "one being to split them open, and hang
them up to dry, distended with pegs, in the smoky
atmosphere of their huts.    This gives them much
the appearance of kippered salmon, to which, however, they are very inferior in flavour.    In their
migrations from one village to another, the Indians
frequently leave  a stock  of this salmon  behind
them,   packed  in  boxes,   and deposited at  some CARVING IN WOOD.
height among the branches of the trees, for their use
on a future occasion. The true Indian method of
cooking a salmon consists in putting it into a
wooden bowl with water, which is made to boil by
dropping in red-hot stones. The only vegetable we
have ever seen in use among the Indians, is the
potatoe, which is readily purchased by those tribes
that are acquainted with it. Many imported
articles of food in use among the colonists are
rapidly being adopted by them, such as flour,
biscuits, rice, sugar, and molasses, the latter being
a special favourite. Spirits of the vilest description are supplied them by the whisky-sellers, a
proscribed class, as a very severe penalty justly
attaches to selling any kind of ardent spirits, the
very bane and curse of his race, to an Indian.
Yet, so great is the passionate longing of the red
man for the fatal fire-water, that he will run all
risks, and part with his most valued possessions to
obtain it, and, to the disgrace of civilization be it
recorded, that white men can be found sufficiently
vile and degraded to pander to the weakness of
the poor savage; by supplying him with an intoxicating alcoholic compound of the most worthless
and unwholesome description.
The custom of executing quaint carvings in wood,
bone, and other substances for which the Indians
have long been noted, seems falling into disuse.
The specimens now produced are nothing like so
E 50
11 ll
curious and elaborate as the older ones. The
Indian canoe has been celebrated ever since the
white man was first brought into contact with the
aboriginal inhabitants of America. The well-known
bark canoe met with among the Indian races of
the interior I have never seen here. The canoe of
this part of the world is fashioned out of the trunk
of a single tree; they are of various sizes, and, I
need hardly assure my readers that, even with the
improved implements obtainable by the Indians in
the present day, they are a work of no small labour.
They are hollowed out by a slow fire, so disposed
under the trunk to be operated upon as to consume the inner portion. In the war canoe the prow
is elevated, being intended to afford shelter to its
occupants; the top part is also furnished withagroove
on which to rest their musket in firing. Rudely
fashioned as they may appear, in the hands of
an Indian crew these vessels are wonderfully
buoyant and sea-worthy; at the same time, the
Indian is by no means fond of exposing himself to
bad weather at sea, and will wait for days before
putting out, if it appears likely to blow. The paddles are, generally speaking, made of deal, and
differ but slightly in form among the various tribes,
some few of them are cut to a point. Friendly
tribes will sometimes challenge each other to trials
of speed in their canoes. It is a common practice
of the Indians to bury their dead in a canoe, which THE KLUQUOLLA.
is dragged-on shore for the purpose, the body being
enveloped in a blanket and laid therein, surrounded
by the weapons and other articles used by the deceased in his lifetime, and thus, that which was
almost his home in life becomes his sepulchre
in death. The burial-grounds are generally situated at some distance from the village, and present
a rude assemblage of the boxes and canoes which
form the last resting-places of their dead. The
Indians never inter their dead. An island is very
frequently selected as a place of burial, and I remember landing on one containing an immense
number of Indian tombs, in fact quite a cemetery,
if I may so term it, and which we named | Dead-
man's Island" in consequence. Among some tribes
the custom is prevalent of placing their dead in
boxes among the branches of trees. I have been
informed that incremation is practised by some tribes,
but I never met with an instance of it myself.
Among the most singular of Indian customs,
must certainly be enumerated the ceremonies attending the initiation of a candidate into the mysteries of the | Kluquolla," as it is termed, which
seems to constitute a species of freemasonry, and is
practised by all the tribes I ever came into contact
with. The aspirant to this privilege and honour
has to submit to a very severe preparatory ordeal.
He is removed from his own dwelling by a party of
those who are already Kluquollas, and led to a hut
e 2 I liti
n iiiiii'i
set apart for his special use. The first ceremony
consists in cutting the arteries under the tongue, and
allowing the blood to flow over his body, the face
being, meanwhile, covered with a mask. After
this an opiate is administered, which induces a state
of unconsciousness, in which he is allowed to remain two days. At the end of this time he is
plunged, or rather thrown headlong into the water
to arouse him. As soon as he is fully awaked, he
rushes on shore, and, as a rule, seizes the first dog
he perceives with his teeth, tears, lacerates, and
even devours a portion of it, at least so I have
been credibly informed. I can only speak from
personal observation as to some portions of the singular ceremonies in practice on these occasions, as
the Indians are very jealous of any interference on
the part of a white man. He also bites any of his
fellows whom he may meet with. It is said that
they who are already Kluquollas esteem it rather an
honour to be thus bitten. He is now seized, bound
with ropes, and led like a captive, by the party in
charge of him, three times a day round the village
during a period of seven days, a rattle producing
a dreadful noise being constantly agitated before
him. At this time he bites and stabs indiscriminately every one he comes across, and as he certainly
would not spare a white man if he happened to
meet him in the camp, I took good care to keep
both my own person and that of a favourite little
dog out of his reach. At night he is bound to a
tree, and is supposed during the whole of this
period to eat nothing whatever. I shrewdly suspect,
however, that he is provided with food by the women during the night. At the end of the eighth day,
being in a thoroughly weak and exhausted state,
food and stimulants are administered, and he is gradually restored to his normal condition, when he
affects great contrition for his former excesses, and
after passing a couple of days in a state of tearful
repentance, he is from that time forward a free
and accepted Kluquolla.
Among the vices of the Indians I must not forget
to enumerate, in addition to drunkenness, a passion
for gambling. An Indian, when excited by play,
will stake everything he possesses, to the blanket on
his shoulders. A game is played among themselves, with a number of small pieces of polished
stick, about five inches in length, and having much
the appearance of short pencils. These are enveloped from time to time, by the players on either
side, in a mass of bark fibre or tow, and then dealt
out like a pack of cards with great rapidity. I do
not profess to offer any explanation of the nature of
the game in question, as I never could arrive at anything like a satisfactory comprehension of it. That
it possesses great attractions for the Indians themselves, however, is evidenced by the fact that they
will sit for hours together engaged in it. mil
Of the religious belief of the Indians, it is very
difficult to speak with anything like confidence. I
have often taken considerable pains to question
them on this subject, but could never elicit any
satisfactory exposition of their particular creed;
whatever this may be, it is of course mixed up with
fables and superstitions of the grossest kind. For
the subjoined list of Indian traditions, I am indebted to a number of the Victoria Daily British Colonist I give them, with certain modifications and
alterations of my own, for what they are
worth, without pledging myself to the authority
of any one of them, except that relating to
the deluge, to which I have myself heard Indians
The belief among the Northern Indians is, first,
that Yale (crow) made everything. That men possess
a never-dying soul. The brave, who fall in battle,
and those who are murdered, enjoy everlasting
happiness in heaven; while those that die a natural
death are condemned to dwell for ages among the
branches of tall trees. The world was originally
dark, shapeless, chaotic, the only living thing being
Yale. For a long time he flew round and round
the watery waste, until at length, growing weary
of the intolerable solitude, he determined to people
the universe. He bade the waters recede, and the
sun shine forth and dry the earth. The effect of
this was to cause a dense mist to arise:  out of this INDIAN TRADITIONS.
mist he created salmon, and put them into the lakes
and rivers. Birds and beasts were afterwards
created on land. After Yale had finished his work
of creation he made a survey of it, and found that
all creatures were satisfied with the universe in
which they had been placed, with the exception of
the lizard, who, having a stock of provisions laid
up for winter use, and being moreover a great
sleeper, preferred a request to be allowed five
months' winter. u Not so," replied Yale, " for the
sake of the other animals there shall be but four
snowy months." The lizard insisted on five, stretching forth at the same time his five digits, for in
those days he had a hand like a man. The crow
seized his hand, and cutting off one finger gave him
to understand that the remaining number should
indicate the months of the seasons, four rainy, four
snowy, and four summer. The crow finding, as
winter came on, that he had no house to shelter
him, or to store the salmon he had prepared for
winter use, made two men to build houses. He
then taught them how to make ropes out of the
bark of trees, and to dry salmon. After a time,
feeling the want of a helpmate, the crow began to
look out for a wife. His first choice fell upon a
salmon, but, having treated his first spouse so
badly that she left him, he began to look out for a
second, and this time married a young lady belonging to the sun, who bore him a son, which 56
youth, evidently the Phaston of the Indian mythology, attempting to guide the course of the sun, the
latter grew unmanageable, and came so near the
earth as to parch and burn up everything. The
old crow, however, came to his assistance, and restored the luminary of day to its proper orbit. One
day Yale went to Nass River and asked the people for
something to eat. They replied they were too
poor to offer him anything; he therefore created
salmon for them and put it into their river.
Another time the all-important crow made a morning call on an old acquaintance named Cannook.
Being tired and thirsty towards nightfall, he asked
for a bed and something to drink. Cannook told
him he might lodge under his roof, but water, he
for some incomprehensible reasons of his own,
positively refused to supply him with. When all
had retired to rest, the crow seized the opportunity
of assuaging his thirst, but Cannook's wife perceiving him, called out to her husband, who jumped
up and threw some wood on the fire. The crow
tried to escape by the hole in the roof for letting
out the smoke, but Cannook kept piling on fresh
wood, and the result was that, before the crow
could extricate himself, he was as thoroughly black
and smoke-dried as a London sparrow. From the
period of this notable adventure the great crow and
all his descendants, from having been wfyite before,
became perfectly black.    A long time after the crea- MISSIONARIES IN VANCOUVER.
tion of all things by Yale, a serious misunderstanding arose between the crow and the inhabitants of
the world he had made. To punish them he therefore sent a deluge. The clouds grew dark and
lowering, rain fell in torrents, the rocks opened and
poured forth streams of water. At length the waters
rose until the face of the earth was hidden, and all
people took refuge in their canoes. Higher still rose
the flood, until all but the summits of three very
lofty mountains were covered. To these numbers,
who had no canoes, fled; many of the latter were
upset, and their occupants drowned. * Finally, the
waters began to subside, and the earth was once
more dry and habitable.
The. missionaries of the Romish Church have long
laboured assiduously among these different Indian
tribes, and with considerable apparent success in
some instances, especially among the Cowichins, a
good many of whom attend mass in the little chapel
of the mission. There is now a very effective staff
of Protestant missionaries in Vancouver, equally
zealous in the task of conversion. A school, exclusively for Indians, has been established at Victoria
on the Indian reserve, which is attended by both
children and adults, who receive secular and religious instruction. They were beginning to learn
the use of written characters when I left, and I
have heard a chapter in the Bible translated and
expounded to them in Chinnook, as well as the
T Decalogue with the very appropriate introduction
of an eleventh commandment—I Wake klosh muck-
a-muck whisky:I | Thou shalt not drink whisky;'
or as it stands in Chinnook, "It is not good to
drink whisky." Much of the success of this institution is due to the tact and energy of the master,
a clergyman of the Church of England, who, to his
other undoubted qualifications for the post he
fills, is adding a knowledge of several Indian
dialects. 59
Indian Servants—Mode of Dealing with Indians—Misconduct of the
Hydahs—They Fire on the "Rob Roy"—Prompt Measures taken
by the Authorities to Redress the Outrage—The Hydahs are
brought to reason—Captain John—His Capture and Death—
Adventure of the Cowichin Indian—Northern Marauders—
Lieutenant Robson sets out in Pursuit—Insolent Defiance of the
Indians—Effect of the Great Guns—The Ucultas—Fort Rupert—
Excellent Garden—-Kindness of the Chief Factor—We leave
Fort Rupert—Round the North-west Point of the Island—
Carried by the Tide past our Destination—Quatsinough Harbour
—Koshkeemo Village—Our Indian Host—The Interior of a Hut
—Domestic Life—Indian Apathy.
My long sojourn among the Indians of different
tribes inhabiting the coasts of Vancouver's Island,
did not tend to impress me with a high opinion of
the morality of the untutored savage. I regard
them as being, generally speaking, treacherous and
deceitful, and cannot help looking on every Indian
as more or less a thief at heart.    In common with
T 1
in i
I  I
all their race,* they possess the savage attributes of
a wonderfully passive endurance of hardship and
suffering, and a stoic indifference to torture and
death when inevitable, which amounts to a kind of
rude heroism. Of their natural courage there can
be no doubt. If they can be preserved from the
curse of drinking, they are frugal and abstemious
in their way of living, and, although not fond of
work, they can be taught to acquit themselves
creditably of any ordinary task that may be
assigned them, and make in many cases very fair
household servants. At the same time, an Indian
does not willingly take service among the white
men, or, at least, only does so with a view of
amassing sufficient money to buy blankets and
other coveted articles wherewith to astonish his
kinsfolk, and increase his own dignity when he
returns to his native woods. To this period of
emancipation he looks constantly forward during
the whole time of his service, and, however settled
and domesticated he may appear, he is sure to
startle his employers some fine morning with the
announcement that he is about to return to savage
life. At the same time, whatever may be my
opinion of the Indian himself, I would strongly
impress on all colonists to observe strict veracity
and perfect good faith in all their dealings with
Indians, who are accustomed to look upon the word
of a white man as a bond.    The  credit of the MISCONDUCT OF THE HYDAHS.
entire community would therefore be imperilled
by anything like dishonest practices. As a proof
of the implicit confidence placed by Indians
inhabiting the more remote districts, in the white
man, we may mention that they are always willing
to accept his promise in writing to pay for any
commodities they may have furnished him with.
By way of giving my readers a few practical
illustrations of the different traits and characteristics
of Indian life and manners, I subjoin the following
anecdotes, for the veracity of which I can vouch.
The Hydah Indians, whose camp was in the
neighbourhood of Victoria, had for some time been
very troublesome to the authorities. Becoming
gradually bolder and more insolent, they at length
brought matters to a climax by firing on the | Rob
Roy," a small trading schooner, as she was leaving
the Harbour of Victoria. A boat was forthwith
sent back, and Mr. Pemberton, Chief of Police,
was informed of the outrage committed. A body
of policemen were soon in readiness, and were at
once despatched to the Hydah camp, to demand of
the chiefs that the offenders should be given up to
justice, and that the entire tribe should surrender
their arms. This was peremptorily and even
insolently refused; the Hydahs seeming to be
possessed with the idea that they were sufficiently
numerous and powerful to measure strength with
the white men.    After a second ineffectual applicar TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
tion, the Governor, acting in concert with the
Admiral of the Fleet, took such measures as he
thought would be effectual in reducing the Hydahs
to reason, without unnecessary bloodshed. A
couple of launches, with their crews, were
despatched from Esquimalt to make a demonstration in front, while a body of marines was sent
overland to take up a position in the rear of the
Indian encampment. On the appearance of the
launches a final application was made, giving the
Hydahs ten minutes to consider their answer.
They held out doggedly until a bugle call
summoned forth the marines from their ambush in
the rear of the camp. At the sight of the red-
jackets they at once changed their tone, and the
delinquents were given up barely a moment before
the time specified; all arms in the camp were at
the same time secured, with the understanding,
however, that they were to be given up again to
the Indians on their quitting the colony. The
offenders were taken to Victoria, tried, and then
publicly flogged in the midst of the Hydah camp,
a great disgrace in the eyes of an Indian. A few
days afterwards another misunderstanding arose
between this tribe and the police, the exact origin
of which we forget; it ended, however, in the arrest
of two of the Hydah chiefs, the so-called Captain
John, whom we had known well in Victoria, and
his brother.    As soon as they reached their destina- Sil
tion—the police station in Victoria—and it was
attempted to incarcerate them, they showed fight,
and Captain John giving a signal to his brother,
both produced their knives, and made a desperate
onslaught on the police. Quick as were the
Hydahs in producing their knives, the police were
equally ready with their revolvers, and, at the
second or third shot, Captain John fell mortally
wounded. The report of this event spread rapidly
among the Hydahs, and it was soon known far to
the northward that an Indian had been killed by
the white men at Victoria. The very rapid manner
in which news of any kind travels through the
island would almost lead to the belief that the
Indians had established something like a chain of
posts for the conveyance of intelligence. The real
fact of the matter is that news is conveyed along
the coast from the crew of one canoe to another, as
they meet on their different fishing grounds; and
on the occasion of our first visit to Nanaimo we
received a strong hint from some friendly Indians,
that it would be prudent for us to leave on account
of the number of Hydahs in the neighbourhood of
that station, who might be disposed to avenge
the death of their kinsman on the white population
As a proof of the coolness and courage an
Indian is capable of displaying, as well as of the
unswerving constancy with which he adheres to the
i     : realization of a design once conceived, I may relate
the following trait as I received it from the master
of the principal actor in the adventure I record.
A boy of the Cowichin tribe, inhabiting the vicinity
of Victoria, was captured by a party of Hydahs
going north. They took him with them to their
home, distant some seven or eight hundred miles
from the place of his birth. The Cowichin youth,
from the very first moment of his capture, conceived
the design of escaping whenever an opportunity
should occur, which did not however present itself
for years, as he was most jealously guarded by his
captors. He was, of course, condemned to
perpetual slavery; but was not apparently badly
treated in other respects. At length, after having
been detained some twelve or fourteen years, as far
as I could understand from his account, the rigour
of the surveillance to which he was subjected having
been to some extent relaxed, the long-desired, long
watched-for opportunity did at length occur, and
he made his escape in a small canoe, taking with
him a few fishing-lines to provide himself with food
on his long and perilous journey. Thus, unbe-
friended and alone, without chart or compass, did
this poor savage paddle forth in his frail bark on a
voyage of many hundred miles, over the rolling
waves of the mighty Pacific. After encountering
innumerable dangers and hardships, and after
many hairbreadth escapes from death or captivity THE   " GREAT  GUNS.
among hostile tribes, he at length reached his destination, and rejoined his kindred in Vancouver's Island.
During the period of my stay in the colony,
a couple of white men arrived in a canoe at
Victoria, bringing with them the intelligence that
a party of Northern Indians, on their way home,
had landed, broken, into their house, and after
plundering it of almost everything, proceeded on
their journey. This occurred at Salt Spring Island,
some fifty or sixty miles from Victoria. An order
was at once issued to get the gunboat " Forward"
ready for sea, and to put forth in pursuit of the
Indians—an-order which its gallant commander, the
late Lieutenant Robson, was not long in carrying
into execution. After calling at Nanaimo for an
interpreter, they came upon the Indians, encamped
at Cape Mudge, Valdez Island. A message was
forthwith sent on shore, summoning the chiefs to
deliver up the offenders. This was insolently
refused, the Indians adding that they cared
nothing about the little " no-good schooner," as
they contemptuously termed the gunboat, declaring that they could take her if they pleased,
and even attempting to stop the boat that brought
the message on shore from putting off. Having
had no experience of the power of artillery, they
affected to treat the | great guns' with disdain,
thinking that it was merely intended to overawe
them by their size, and that they were in reality
m3 M\ rail
made rather for show than use. They were, however, soon undeceived by Lieutenant Robson, who
opened fire on some empty canoes, which were
speedily smashed to atoms. The Indians now retreated to the woods, and shots were exchanged on
both sides. The rifle-plates having been set up on
board the gunboat to protect, his men, Lieutenant
Robson sent a few charges of grape flying and
crashing through the branches of the trees over
the heads of the Indians, with the humane view of
sparing unnecessary slaughter. While this was
going on, the neighbouring tribe of the Ucultas
gathered in their canoes like a swarm of bees
round the gunboat, perfectly delighted at the
turn matters had taken, and offering their services
to the white men, in the event of an assault being
made on shore, eager to seize the opportunity of
avenging themselves, with the aid of such powerful
allies, on their hereditary enemies, the Northern
Indians, an offer which I need not say was refused.
The latter being now convinced that they had
to deal with a much more formidable foe than they
had anticipated, a party of them made their appearance on the beach, displaying a white flag
of truce. A parley ensued, which ended in the
snrrender of the chiefs, who were taken to
Victoria for trial and punishment. Lieutenant
Robson insisting that all arms should be delivered up,
the order was complied with; but on representa- FORT RUPERT.
tion having been made to him that by so doing these
unhappy Indians would be placed entirely at the
mercy of the Ucultas, of whose deadly hatred
towards them the white men had received a proof
during the fight, he consented to restore them.
From that day forth the highest possible respect
was felt for the "great guns" by all the Indian
tribes inhabiting the surrounding districts.
Fort Rupert, called after the princely founder of
the Hudson's Bay Company, is situated on the northeast coast of Vancouver's Island, and presents
the usual characteristics of this class of building,
which I will briefly describe for the benefit of
those who have never seen one of these forts.
It consists of a quadrangle enclosed by a lofty
stockade, made of the tall pine-trees felled in the
immediate vicinity, sunk some considerable distance
into the ground, and kept together by cross-beams
on the inside. There is a gallery running round the
interior of this enclosure, which just allows a man
to walk upright protected from an enemy's fire.
At two opposite corners of the quadrangle are
flanking bastions, mounting, in the case of Fort
Rupert, four 9-pounders each, sweeping the sides
of the fort and the adjacent country. Some of
these forts, however, mount heavier guns. The
garden and outbuildings are protected by smaller
stockades. Inside the fort itself are various houses
for drying and storing furs, for trading with the
V illfiSI
Indians, for stores, for workshops, labourers' cottages, and other purposes, together with the
residence of the chief officer in command.
Fort Rupert is situated on a natural harbour of
a very imperfect kind. Such insecure anchorage
does it afford that, in consequence of the high
wind, which continued during the whole night
after our arrival, no one on board the cutter got a
wink of sleep, but she fortunately held to her anchors
gallantly. The fort itself is situated in the centre
of the village of the Cog well Indians, having, of
course, a clear sea frontage. The country round it
has been partially cleared of timber, as a considerable
quantity has been cut for the use of the | Beaver,"
the "Otter,"and the "Labouchere"steamersengaged
in the Hudson's Bay trade. I believe that steam
navigation was introduced into the North Pacific
by the Hudson's Bay Company,—their steamer,
the I Old Beaver" as she is termed, being the first
ever seen on these coasts. We were much struck
with the high state of cultivation, as well as the
extreme neatness of the garden of the fort. I had
seen nothing to equal it since we left England, and
may even go so far as to say that I have seldom
seen a gentleman's garden in the old country
better kept. We were received on landing by
u Willie Mitchell," as he is familiarly termed
throughout the colony—the chief trader in command of the fort—to whom I was favoured with
a letter of introduction, and from whom we received every kindness during our stay. We
thoroughly inspected the fort, with its rooms for drying and storing furs, its different workshops, forges,
labourers' cottages, and other buildings—a Hudson's Bay fort being a perfect .little community in
itself. The house of the chief trader in command
was really a comfortable and spacious residence,
containing some ten or twelve rooms, with the
additional advantage of having no taxes to pay.
After a couple of days' sojourn here, we again set
sail, taking with us a supply of fresh vegetables
and a fine buck, for which we were indebted to
the kindness of the commander of the fort. Many
of the turnips and carrots out of the garden were
among the finest we had ever seen anywhere. It
was a case of at once welcoming the coming and
speeding the parting guest, as, well knowing, from
long experience, the dangers of the navigation of
the Pacific during the winter months, our friend
Willie Mitchell urged upon us to lose no time in
prosecuting our cruise, it being now the 16th of
October, so as not to be on the outer coast of the
island after the first week in November. We
anchored on the first night after leaving Fort
Rupert in Chucartie Harbour, on the extreme
north of Vancouver's Island. Between this place
and Cape Scott, where we anchored on the ensuing
night, we  were involved in a series of tide-rips.
the currents being very strong off this coast. The
night was clear and calm, with a heavy dew. Starting the next morning, we fully expected, after a run
of an hour or two, to make Sea-Otter Harbour.
Our pilot was thoroughly unacquainted with
this part of the coast, never having been here
before; the consequence was that, although all
on board kept a sharp look-out, w7e managed to
pass the entrance to the bay. The rocky islets
extend out from Cape Scott for a great distance to
sea, and we sought in vain for any of Captain
Richards's surveying marks along this portion of
the coast.
By the time we were fully convinced that we
must have passed our destination, we caught sight
of a canoe, to which we signalled. After considerable hesitation and delay, the Indians, being evidently astonished and alarmed at our unwonted
appearance, came alongside. As these Indians
could not talk Chinnook, the ordinary medium of
communication with all the tribes on the opposite
coasts of the island, we were a long time before we
could understand them. At length we made out
that they were Quatsinoughs, and that their village
lay beyond a point of land which we had determined to explore. We were somewhat startled by
this announcement on the part of the Indians, as
it made us some 24 miles further to the southward than we had intended to go that day, which THE   QUATSINOUGH  INDIANS.
would seem to prove that we had been carried
along by a powerful current from the north. We
pulled round the point indicated by the Indians,
and came to an anchorage under the lee of a small
island at the entrance of Quatsinough and Kosh-
keemo Harbour. There was a good deal of swell
on during the night, and we had to let go a second
anchor. In the early morning the same canoe we
had seen the day before again came alongside,
informing us of the exact locality of their village,
some five or six miles higher up Quatsinough
Harbour—they also pointed out a good anchorage.
Preparing to get under weigh, our smaller
anchor defied our utmost efforts to raise it, and in
the end our vessel, with the assistance of the
rising tide and swell, succeeded in freeing it herself. We then \ gave her her sails and ran up
Quatsinough Harbour; passing the spot where the
I Eagle " was wrecked, some years before, in a gale
of wind, we anchored in a snug little bight. We
were soon surrounded by the canoes of the Quatsi-
noughs, and made several purchases from them of
geese, rock-cod and other necessaries—paying
them in paint, gunpowder, tobacco, and other
approved articles of. barter in Indian traffic; we
also made arrangements for some Indians to
attend next day to pilot us up to the village of the
Koshkeemo Indians at the eastern extremity of the
bay—intending to pass one night there and to put TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
!'i;!ir;!i U iliiilli'^S
to sea in the morning. We also took this opportunity of replenishing our supply of water, an
article universally obtainable, of good quality and
in abundance, on the shores of Vancouver. We
had to beat for some time against the wind in endeavouring to make the Koshkeemo village. The
wind at length failing, we arranged for two of
the largest canoes to tow us in—an operation
which they successfully accomplished, with the
accompaniment of an unceasing chorus of shouting
and singing, if their monotonous chanting can be
dignified by the latter term. Every now and then
they would stop, declaring they were tired, and we
could only induce them to proceed by the threat
of refusing to keep to our part of the agreement if
they failed to perform theirs; we having agreed to
pay them in biscuit and molasses for their trouble.
At length, after a long, but in no sense of the
term either a steady pull or a pull altogether—a
thing, indeed, never attempted by the Indians in
paddling—we found ourselves anchored off the
Koshkeemo village. During all this time we had a
very decent, civil sort of an Indian on board, who
gave directions as to the course we ought to
pursue—together with his wife, who was proud of
displaying the little English she knew, which consisted of three words of undoubted practical utility
—" Good you give."
On approaching the coast we hove our lead, INDIAN  HUT.
which gave first seventeen and a moment afterwards seven fathoms. Being now afraid of going
ashore we dropped our anchor, but it did not hold,
and on sounding again we got fifteen and then
fourteen fathoms, until we at length came-to in a
nice spot in about ten fathoms water. Here we
waited for some time to receive a visit from the
chief of this tribe, but his numerous engagements
having, we presume, prevented him from favouring us with his company, we were fain to content
ourselves with the polite attention of the sub-chief,
who invited us to his hut, taking us on shore in a
canoe paddled by himself, his wife, and his
daughter. His hut was a good specimen of an
Indian hut of the larger size, belonging to a chief.
It was about eight or nine feet in height, by about
fifty in length and twenty in width. The interior
was less encumbered with boxes than is generally
the case in Indian dwellings, as this interesting
family were in the act of moving when we called
upon them, and some portion of their luggage had
been sent on before them up the river, preparatory
to their migration for the winter or hunting (fur-
catching) season. The whole of the movable property of an Indian is packed in boxes, generally of
native manufacture—they are very stout and serviceable, and capable of holding from six to twelve
pair of blankets. These latter articles are the chief
equivalent for wealth in the eyes of an Indian, and
7 his stock of blankets may be looked upon as representing the balance at his bankers. The fire in an
Indian hut is generally made in the centre, the
smoke escaping through the chinks in the roof,
the planking of which is laid on loose, with intervening spaces when the weather is fine, and overlapping each other in bad or wet weather. In
spite, however, of any means of egress it may
chance to find, there is generally a vast deal more
smoke in an Indian hut than is at all agreeable to
the eyes and nose of a white man, and I have frequently been obliged to leave after a few minutes'
stay, my eyes smarting and blinded with tears.
The fire, which is made of wood, serves the double
purpose of cooking and warming the apartment
in winter. In a hut of the size I am describing
there will generally be found several families
located, each with its own fire or domestic hearth.
On the present occasion, cooking of the most
primitive description, and according to the most
approved rules of the Indian cuisine, was going
on, everything being cooked in wooden bowls, in
which the water is made to boil by hot stones
being dropped into it with a wooden pair of tongs.
Having been received with due honour, and
motioned to a seat on a platform raised a few
inches above the soil, and covered with matting,
we proceeded to make ourselves at home. And,
truth   to   say,   our   entertainer   gave   us ample r*
grounds for so doing, for, whether in honour of
our visit, or on the score of personal cleanliness and
comfort, he proceeded to make an impromptu offhand toilet before the assembled company. This
consisted simply in changing his shirt, the only
garment he wore; before investing himself with
the clean one, which he fished out of the depths of
a box, he drew our special attention to it as a
curious and valuable article of attire. It was a
common blue man-of-war's man's shirt, probably
received in barter. Our supper consisted of dried
salmon, boiled, which would have been greatly
improved by the addition of a little salt—as it was
we found it somewhat insipid; at the same time
we felt in duty bound to eat as much as we could,
as the Indians are very sensitive on this point,
imagining that you are displeased with them personally if you do not do justice to their cheer. It
was a relief to us, however, to find that we were
not expected to carry off such portions as we could
not eat, according to the custom universally prevalent among the Indians. Our interpreter having
explained that it was not the manner of the
English to do so, and that the omission of this act
implied no discourtesy on our part, our host consented to waive its observance on the present
occasion, passing down the remains of our meal to
that portion of the household which might be held
to represent the | board below the salt."    We well mM'\
remember, some time previous to this, before we
had had much experience of Indian life and
manners, placing a large bowl of biscuit before a
couple of Indians, leaving them to help themselves, which, having done, they coolly carried off
the remainder to their canoe. We could ill spare
it at the time, but felt that remonstrance would be
useless. Another singular trait in Indian character
is the air of apathetic indifference they think
proper at all times to assume. An Indian conceives it would be infra dig. to display any emotion, or anything in fact amounting to interest or
curiosity, even under the most exciting circumstances. This phlegm is not a little provoking at
times, and I remember feeling considerably nettled,
on a previous occasion, at the indifference displayed by a fellow on receiving the gift of a clasp-
knife, an article of great value really in the eyes of
an Indian. Perceiving that he did not manifest
any great degree of pleasure or gratitude on my
presenting it to him, I asked him if it was not
|| hyas klosh ookook' (very good), to which he
replied, with well-feigned indifference, " wake hyas
klosh—tenas klosh," meaning that it was very
well, but nothing to boast of. I thought this a
rather cool way of receiving what was, in fact, a
valued gift, but soon found that it is part of an
Indian's nature to assume this studied sang-froid.
The  only  occasion   on  which  we  succeeded   in
lieciting anything like a manifestation of interest
and astonishment was when we exhibited the performance of a breech-loading rifle, one of Terry's,
having previously submitted its mechanism to their
inspection. After several shots their long pent-up
wonder and admiration found vent in a deep-
drawn 1 ha! "—at the same time we could understand, from certain remarks that passed among
them, that they felt absolute concern and regret
that a weapon in all respects so valuable and
efficient, should be disfigured by the defect of
loading in so unnatural and strange a fashion.
Before taking leave of our host of Koshkeemo, I
must not forget to mention the vast store of
dried salmon, rock-cod and salmon-roe which he
had laid up for winter use.
j^f i3 CHAPTEE VI.
Weather changes for the worse—Heavy Rains—Time consumed by
Indians in striking a Bargain—Religious Chants—Ancient
Carvings—Salmon Weir—We Leave our Anchorage—Heavy
Swell at Sea—Dangerous Rocks—Difficult and Hazardous
Navigation—Bay of Klaskeeno—Cogwell Trader—Want of
Fresh Food — Klaskeeno River—Contrary Winds—Critical
Position of our Yacht—Assistance rendered by Indians—Fresh
Ballast on Board—Improvement in the Weather—We again
put to Sea.
Several strange canoes came alongside us next
day, attracted by the information, conveyed by a
canoe we had despatched on our arrival, that
there was a ship, with white men on board, lying
off Koshkeemo. We purchased a few skins, and
tried to engage some Indians to tow us down to
the sea on the succeeding morning; before we
required their services, however, the weather had
changed so much for the worse, that we felt it SINGULAR INDIAN CUSTOM.
would be imprudent to leave till it cleared. Instead
of improving, however, as the day wore on, it only
grew worse, the glass rapidly falling. We could
see by the clouds that it was blowing hard, and
the swell rolling into the bay conveyed the unpleasant intelligence that there was a heavy sea
running outside. Canoes full of Indians kept
arriving, on and off, during the day. We were
much amused at the way their occupants would sit,
for hours at a stretch, placidly gazing at us, apparently wholly indifferent to the pouring rain, which
never ceased for one moment. They did not seem
so well provided with clothing and blankets as those
on the opposite shores of the island. Our attention
was here first attracted to that singular Indian
custom, which consists, not in flattening, but in
elongating the skull, and causing the forehead to
recede. This is known as the sugar-loaf-shaped
head. Two girls who had been alongside every
day since our arrival, had skulls of this shape.
This singular deformity is, of course, produced
artificially, and is considered a mark of high distinction.
Finding that we were likely to be detained
some time, we had made up our minds to a trip
up the river that here flows into the Bay, but
the continued heavy rain induced us to abandon
our design for the present. We managed to procure some fresh  salmon—about the last  of the season—but could not purchase any rock-cod, which
rather surprised us,* as we had found plenty at our
last anchorage.    I am sorry we cannot compliment
our Indian friends on their business habits, but
the time they waste in making up their minds to
strike a bargain is amazing.    At first we found this
rather annoying, but at length we got accustomed
to it, and allowed them to sit in their canoes, or
on our deck, while they turned the weighty matter
over in their minds, now exchanging a few remarks
among themselves, now relapsing into silence, and
thus frequently spending whole hours before they
came to a satisfactory conclusion.    They were also
much in the habit of striking up a monotonous
chant as they lay alongside.    This chant somewhat
.resembles those in use  in  the   Roman   Catholic
Church, and is no doubt an imitation of something
they have been taught by the missionaries of that
creed.    I do not know if these latter ever penetrated thus far, and apprehend that, in most cases,
the Indians learn this chant  from one  another,
being given to understand that it is good for them
to make use of it.    It is very monotonous, consisting   of little   more than   the   repetition  of the
syllables   "0 sa say, 0   ma nay!'   though not
wholly unmusical, especially when heard from a
distance, as they accompany themselves in paddling.
On one occasion, after they had been chanting, on
and off, all day, till late in the afternoon, they QUAINT CARVINGS.
were summoned on shore by an old white-haired
Indian, who hailed them from the land. On asking
one of them where they were going, he made the
siom of the cross, but we could not understand
what he said.
We observed that the custom of placing the
dead among the branches of the trees, is generally
practised among these tribes.
The weather cleared up after we had been here
about a week, the wind also falling, but the sea
still continued too high for us to venture out. We
managed to shoot a few duck, and bought some fine
geese of the Indians, for two match-boxes of powder
each. We thoroughly inspected the Koshkeemo
village the same day, especially noticing the quaint
carvings with which they decorate their houses,
many of them being fixed on the end of poles.
They are evidently, in many cases, of great antiquity, being frequently quite discoloured by long
exposure to the elements. Many of the principal
huts belonging to the chiefs and great men of the
tribe, are decorated inside as well as out.
During our stay here we ascended a small river
flowing into the south of Koshkeemo inlet, until
absolutely hindered from proceeding farther by a
cascade, which formed a very picturesque object,
dashing over a mass of broken rock. Long before
reaching this point, however, we found the course
of the stream much impeded by fallen timber.    At
G i Ii*
the entrance or mouth of this little river we always
had to steer clear of a number of stakes; these, being
interlaced with slips of bark, formed a salmon weir,
which, while affording ingress to the salmon at one
particular spot, prevent their finding their way out,
unless they happen to strike that same spot
again. Salmon are also frequently taken by the
Indians, in baskets of their own construction. The
crows, which we everywhere observed feeding on
the offal thrown out by the Indians on the beach,
appear to be held in some reverence by them; at
least they never kill these birds themselves, and do
not like to see a white man shoot them. This regard for the crow may probably be connected with
the superstition of Yale, to which we have already
We had now been detained some ten days
in Quatsinough Harbour, and we had fully made
up our minds to diversify the monotony of our
sojourn by walking across the island along the
Indian trail to Fort Rupert. Just as we were about
to carry this plan into execution, however, the
weather fortunately moderated, and we at once prepared to quit our anchorage, of which we had become heartily weary. We were towed out as far as
the open sea by an Indian canoe, and took one of
its crew on board as a pilot, being ignorant of this
part of the coast, paying the remainder in tobacco
for their services.    We found a very heavy swell A NIGHT OF DANGER.
outside, with but little wind, consequently we rolled
about a good deal. After sometime we were overtaken by a squall, which, though it did not last,
took us along some distance on our course. We
had no more wind till the. afternoon, but the sea
was still very high, and our progress, consequently,
difficult. Towards nightfall we could hear the sea
breaking in thunder on a reef of rocks on our lee,
and dark as it was getting, it being by this time
past five, we could distinguish the white line of
breakers. Our position was evidently a critical
one, as we became gradually convinced that we
had rocks on all sides of us, none of which could
we find marked on the chart we were provided
with; we were, in fact, running through a perfect
archipelago of rocks. Our Indian, though pretty
confident at first, eventually declared he did not
know where he was. The peculiar roll of the sea
soon convinced us we were getting into shallow
water. We sounded, and got, first ten, then seven
and six fathoms, and at length found ourselves in
the midst of a dense bed of kelp, which was by no
means reassuring. Fortunately, however, the moon
now began to show from behind a lofty ridge of hill,
and great as was our danger we could not forbear
admiring the terrible grandeur of the scene her
light revealed. On everv one of the different reefs
of rock by which we were beset, the giant swell of the
Pacific was bursting in cataracts of foam, flinging
G 2 84
1 ||i
up columns of snowy spray into the midnight air.
The hollow thunder of the breakers coming to us.
from some quarter or other, was never out of our
ears the whole of this night of toil and danger. On
emerging from the bed of kelp in which we were
some time involved, we had to steer our course
with the utmost care and vigilance, scarcely ever
being on the same tack for ten minutes together.
The weather had now become very cold, and we
only contrived to keep ourselves warm and fit for
work by supplies of hot coffee at frequent intervals
throughout the night. It was only towards morning that we found ourselves fairly out of danger,
and making for the Bay of Klaskeeno.
Daylight revealed to us some of the dangers we
had just escaped; the entrance to this bay being
approached through the midst of a number of
sunken and other rocks, is very ticklish navigation,
especially at night. I will not weary the reader
further by describing the labyrinth of rocks we had
to thread ere we could find a secure anchorage;
suffice it to say we at length found a likely spot, in
which we dropped our anchor.
On going on shore we observed the first traces
we had seen of frost on the grass-^-it was now the
2nd of November. We received the usual visits
from Indians in their canoes, and among others we
noticed a Cogwell trader from Fort Rupert, who
had travelled overland  bv the  Indian track we
spoke of, to Quatsinough, and from there on to this
place in his canoe. He agreed to take our pilot
back with him on his return ; we also entrusted him
with a letter to our friend Willie Mitchell, the chief
trader at Fort Rupert, informing him that we had
been safely inside Quatsinough Harbour during the
recent gales. We tried to engage an Indian to
pilot us to the next village, but he refused to come,
on account of the unsettled state of the weather—\
promising, however, to do so as soon as it should
moderate. Finding this did not take place for two
or three days, he refused to have anything more to
do with us, no doubt setting us "down as unlucky.
We were greatly, disappointed at finding the Indians
were unable to supply us with anything in the way
of fresh food, of which we stood greatly in need,
they living entirely on dried salmon, or on sea-birds
of an intolerable fishy flavour. We at length succeeded in procuring a few domestic fowl's eggs,
which proved a real luxury.
The weather continued rainy, with heavy squalls,
for several days longer, and we were therefore detained here watching the sea break on the rocks
outside the harbour. Being out of coal, we were
obliged to take wood on board as fuel.
On the third day the weather moderated, but
there was still too much sea for a canoe to venture
out of the harbour. We pulled some distance
up § the   Klaskeeno   River;   it  is   a   fine broad
stream, very deep in places, and flowing between
lofty ridges of pine-covered mountains. I
shot a few herons, and noticed a number
of shag about, a bird well known on the Cornish
coast. We observed Indians using the bow
and arrow in shooting birds. Going ashore on
a point of the bay one morning, we saw the naked
beams of the summer residence of the Indians; we
shot a few stock-duck, the very best eating of any
description of duck, and from time to time procured
a few wild fowl from the Indians; but, truth to say,
our supplies were falling very short, vegetables we
had none left, we were therefore very anxious to
get away.
On the tenth day of our stay here, the
weather having moderated somewhat, we resolved
to make a start, although entirely against the.advice of the Indians, and got fairly away. An hour
saw us clear of the rocks at the entrance. Outside
this we found the wind blowing from the southeast, m a contrary direction to the wind inside the
bay. We tried for some time to make head against
it, but the sea was so heavy that we found it impossible, so wore ship and ran in for the rocks once
more. We now met the wind blowing straight out
of the bay. This singular anomaly was no doubt
due to the peculiar conformation of the coast, the
wind drawing through the mountains and rushing
down as if out of a funnel.    We had therefore to w
beat up for our former anchorage. At one moment we were placed in the most critical position
a vessel can be in. Just as we were going round,
on a fresh tack, close to some rocks, on which a
heavy sea was breaking, the wind entirely died
away, and we were becalmed for a few seconds.
In this hazardous position a sudden gust seized us,
and we had the narrowest escape in the world of
being capsized. At one moment we thought our
fate was sealed, but she righted the moment the
jib-sheet was let go, and the danger passed away as
quickly as it came; everything belowhoweverwassent
to leeward, as we were at one time considerably below our bearings. During this tempestuous weather,
every one on board was accustomed to keep his
boots unlaced, ready to kick off at a moment's
notice, in the event of our vessel capsizing, so as to
have a better chance, if any should exist, of saving
his life by swimming. We had a man at each sheet,
standing by to let go at once, if necessary. Our
hatches were of course battened down, while we
ourselves were, one and all, drenched to the skin,
not merely by the occasional seas that broke over
us, but by the pitiless pelting rain, which never
ceased during the whole period of our struggle
with the elements. Our narrow escape showed us,
among other things, that we were too light in the
water, and we registered a vow that, if ever we
reached an anchorage again, we would put some 88
more ballast on board. After much trouble and
labour in beating up against a succession of wild
squalls, accompanied by a deluge of rain, and keeping with some difficulty clear of rocks where the
bay narrows, we at length made comparatively
smooth waters, thoroughly wet, weary, and dis-
spirited at being thus baffled in our efforts to leave
a place where we had already been detained a fortnight.
We were still some considerable distance from
our anchorage ground, when we were much
pleased to see one of the largest-sized canoes approaching us, its crew keeping time to the beat of
their paddles with their religious chant. On
coming alongside, they all declared that for some
time they had made up their minds that we
must be lost. They reproached us for not having
followed their advice, saying that the red man understood the elements better than the white man, at
the same time offering to take us in tow, for which
purpose, indeed, they had put off on seeing us
return. We were only too glad to avail ourselves
of their services, and taking all sail off our craft, we
threw them a couple of tow-lines, and in due time
brought up at our old anchorage, when we did not
fail to acknowledge the kindness of the chief who
had sent us this timely assistance, or to reward the
crew who had so ably carried out his intentions. GETTING READY FOR SEA.
We were thus compelled to lie here for three days
longer, our provisions being by this time so greatly
reduced, that oatmeal porridge constituted our
breakfast, and Indian dried salmon the staple of
our dinner. Of course, we did not venture to
touch the reserve of salt meat we kept in store as
a provision against the eventuality of being blown
out to sea at any future time. Early the next
morning we acted on the experience for which we
had nearly paid so dear the day before—we got a
ton and a half, or two tons, of stone on board ; it
is one thing, however, to get stone on board, but
quite another to stow ballast, especially under
the present trying circumstances, and it cost us no
small amount of time and labour to get everything snug and ship-shape below. The next day
being fine, we devoted some more time to getting
our little craft in what we considered good sailing
trim, and got our sails up to dry. Towards evening my aneroid barometer, in which I place implicit confidence, stood very high, from 29~° to 30°.
We spent some time endeavouring to get a shot at
something to replenish our larder, but only succeeded in knocking over one duck. The next day
saw us once again at sea, riding the waves of the
Pacific. Getting sight of the sun, I was enabled
to ascertain that we were in latitude 50° 3' north.
This discovery was. highly satisfactory to all  on
B 90
board, as it proved that we were at length some
three  miles  to  the  south  of   the  long talked-of'
"Woody Point," which we   had hoped to reach
nearly a month earlier. 91
Heavy Seas after Recent Gales—Freshsets f ronj the Coast—Mocuina
Point—Escalante Reef—We drift out to Sea—Thick Fog—
Make Friendly Cove—Nootka Sound—Strange Sail on the
Horizon—Indians come alongside—Cooptee, Winter Quarters
of the Mowichats—Noise made over a Kluquolla—Mocoola,
Chief of the Mowichats—Takes a Fancy to our Dog—Indian
Opinion of European Garments—Pe-Sha-Klim, Spouter of the
Mowichats—Indian Presents—Tomahawk and other Arms—
Narrative of an Adventure on our Former Visit—We ascend
Guaquina Arm—Hostility of the Matchelats—Indian War-
whoop—They fire on us—We parley with them—Peace
Restored—We go on Shore with the Chief—Encampment—
Fresh Symptoms of Hostility—Satisfactory Explanations—Fail
to reach the Object of our Expedition—Arrival of Pe-Sha-
The first two days at sea we found the rolling
swell left by the late tempestuous weather very
troublesome, especially on the second, as the wind
entirely failed us. Though by no means anxious
to be too near in shore, as, in the event of a south- ti
east wind springing up, we should have had great
difficulty in standing clear, we did not bargain to
be carried out as far as eighteen or twenty miles,
reducing the appearance of land to a mere blue
ridge in the distance. This was no doubt caused
by the freshsets, issuing from the various arms of
the sea in Nootka Sound, and finding an exit in
Esperanza Inlet. As all things must have an end,
on the third day we got a nice breeze from the
westward, and, as the moon changed, we hoped to
have kept it all day. No such luck, however, was
in store for us, and towards evening we found
ourselves close to Mocuina Point, at the entrance
to Nootka Sound. Could I have foreseen the
weather that was reserved for us, I should have
endeavoured to make the harbour that night. As
it came on very dark, however, and none of us
being very well acquainted with the navigation of
these waters, I deemed it more prudent to lay to
and await daylight. Scarcely had we turned in,
hoping to make ourselves comfortable for the night,
when the gradually increasing motion of the vessel,
and the rattle and clatter of the cordage, told us
unmistakably that the wind was getting up, and
sure enough from about one till four a.m. it blew
half a gale. The proximity of Escalante Reef to
leeward would alone have been sufficient to keep
us awake and watchful, if the violent pitching to
which we were subjected had not produced this MAKE FRIENDLY COVE.
effect.    As the sun rose the wind went down, and
we found we had drifted considerably out to sea.
This must have been caused in a great measure by
the combined action of the sea and tide, after the
wind failed, which was the case about five in the
morning, though a tremendous sea was still running.
About nine, a slight breeze springing up, we had
some hopes of getting round the Point by midday.
The wind, however, proved light and we drifted to
the northward, the tide setting us up in that direction, and about one p.m. we were fast approaching
the Bajo Reef, a very ugly ledge of rock running
out from Nootka Island, to which I shall have
occasion to draw the attention of my readers hereafter.    I will not now, therefore, tax their patience
bv relating the difficulties we had to contend with
on the present occasion.    After taking turns at the
sweeps at intervals,  we  got  a breeze from  the
southward  and  westward,  and  were enabled to
make a fair wind of it about nine at night.    As a
very thick fog came up, we kept her close round
the rocks,   leading into  Friendly Cove,   Nootka
Sound.    We ran her round the point into Friendly
Cove just as the fog was at its thickest, and got our
anchor down about ten p.m.,  all on board being
very glad to exchange a sea-watch for an anchor-
watch.    As we could see neither fire nor light of
any kind on shore when the fog lifted, we felt sure
that the Indians had left their village at Mocuina. TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Early in the morning we fired our swivel gun .to
attract the attention of any Indians who might be
cruising about, as we were desirous of ascertaining
where the Mowichats, inhabiting this shore of
Nootka Sound, were then located.
Proceeding on shore we rambled through the
now deserted Indian village, and making our way
over the rocks above, we at length reached the
shores of the Pacific. Great was our astonishment,
on sighting the ocean again, to behold the unwonted
spectacle of a sail on the horizon. We were lost in
conjecture as to what vessel could be cruising in
these waters at this season of the year, nor did our
glass, which we soon brought to bear upon her, at
all assist us in arriving at anything like a satisfactory conclusion. We made her out indeed to be
a two-masted vessel, but were thoroughly mystified
by the nondescript character of her rig, and were
almost disposed, while laughing at the absurdity of
the idea, to set her down as a Chinese junk of the
largest size.
While employed in gathering a crop of fresh
greens, in the shape of turnip-tops, the wild progeny of some that had been sown years before
by the Spaniards, we were recalled to our vessel by
two shots, fired from the swivel gun, the preconcerted signal of the approach of Indians. Hastening on board, we found that our gun of the morning had been heard, and that the Indians had come ]m
from some distance up the Sound, fully expecting
to find us in our present anchorage of Friendly
Cove. Getting under weigh we managed, by dint
of alternately sailing and being towed, to reach the
winter quarters of the Mowichats, Cooptee. We
were now no longer | en pays de connaissance,"
although still among tribes of whom we had had
some previous acquaintance—this being our second
visit to Nootka Sound. The first night we passed
off the village was disturbed bv the shouts and
uproar of the Indians, who were engaged in the
important ceremony of creating a Kluquolla. I
have already alluded to the various rites practised
on these occasions.
Early the next morning, the chief of the Mowichats and his wife came off to pay us a visit. Of
course it was merely a case of renewing a former
acquaintance between ourselves and Mocoola, as
the chief of the Mowichats is called. Captain
Cook, on the occasion of his visit to Nootka Sound;
speaks of the then chief of this tribe by the same
name. After an interchange of mutual civilities,
Mocoola and his spouse seemed to find great
pleasure in drawing my attention to a couple of
gold rings, of which I had formerly made them a
present, and which they still displayed on their
fingers. The chief of the Mowichats himself also
again condescended to notice my little four-footed
companion,   a  thorough-bred  bull-dog,   of   very I
Ijiil; I
si i i
131 ntmHi
small size, which I had brought with me from
England, and which had greatly taken his fancy
on the occasion of my first visit. So anxious,
indeed, was he to become possessed of it, that he
had proposed to me to exchange it for an animal
of his own breeding, a vile mongrel, of the most
worthless description. I unhesitatingly refused to
do anything of the sort, at the same time, with a
view of consoling him to some extent for the disappointment, I determined to make him a present of
some article of clothing, and, on rummaging my
wardrobe, found I could best spare a pair of trow-
sers, which I accordingly presented to him, with
all due ceremony, hoping he might be induced to
regard them as an article of state attire, to be
worn on high-days and holidays. In this, however, I was grievously disappointed, as my gift
found no favour in his eyes, nor did the fact of their
having been cut by Hill, of Bond Street, constitute
any additional recommendation. He declared them
to be vain and foolish inventions of the white man
for impeding free locomotion, and actually returned
them to me as worthless, after having first cut off
all the buttons, the only thing about them to which
he attached any value !
It is not, however, so much to the chief
of the Mowichats himself, as to his herald, or
spouter, that I would direct the reader's attention,
and whom I forthwith beg to introduce as a friend,
whose acquaintance we all had great pleasure in
renewing, and who, we believe, fully reciprocated
our feelings. Pe Sha Klim, as he called himself,
was a thoroughly good-natured, and, in his savage
fashion, good-hearted fellow. In person he was
stalwart and robust, his expression was good-
tempered and agreeable, his countenance being
lighted up by a frequent smile, displaying a good
:set of teeth. At times, however, I am bound to
confess that I have seen, when engaged in an excited discussion with his fellows, the true fire of
the savage flash into his eye, and give animation
to his gestures. The title of | Scokum tum-tum
Siwash," or, | Strong-hearted Savage," which he
was much given to insist upon as be&ng one of
his special designations, has often seemed to me
not inaptly to describe him. Being the herald, or
spouter, of the chief of the Mowichats, whose office
it is Jx> deliver messages and proclaim orders in
the loudest possible tone of voice, supplying the
want of a speaking trumpet by force of lungs, he
was of course selected for the strength and quality
of those organs. The way in which he would sing
out any announcement from the chief was quite
startling, when heard for the first time, and we
have frequently caught the deep tones of his
voice, floating over the still waters of the bay,
from an almost incredible distance. He was commonly in the habit of shouting his orders to his
Si h
m 98
In bill)
men  on   shore,   from  the   deck   of   our  cutter,
at a distance of at least five to six hundred yards.
We went through the ceremony of receiving
presents from our various Indian acquaintance, a
fine black bear skin being sent us from Mocoola,
which unfortunately was not dry enough for us to
take away. The sub-chief of the Mowichats was
a very cross-grained, churlish sort of a fellow, and
having on a previous occasion had experience of
his disagreeable temper, we kept studiously aloof
from him, hoping he would abstain from making
us any present, as we should not then be called
upon to make any return; for receiving presents
from Indians is merely another name for barter, an
equivalent in return being in every case expected.
There was no help for it, however, as he, in turn,
came off in his canoe, and deposited his gift, a land
otter, on our decks. Some few hours afterwards we
sent him what we deemed a suitable recompense;
being, however, it would appear, of a different
opinion himself, he again came alongside, and,
after bitterly reproaching us with our niggardly
spirit, to our great amusement walked off with the
present he had lately made us, and which was still
lying on the deck, keeping, at the same time,
what we had given him in return. We were, however, glad to get rid of him even at this price.
Going ashore with our friend Pe Sha Klim, who,
be it known to the reader, was the warlike repre-
sentative of a line of ancestors illustrious for deeds
of arms, he invited me to his tent, and displayed a
number of arms and trophies that had descended to
him as heirlooms, and of which he was not a little
proud. Among these, my attention was especially
drawn to a tomahawk of great age, which had
evidently seen no inconsiderable share of service. The handle was a massive club of hard
wood, carved in the usual manner, into which the
hatchet or cutting part, consisting of the point of
an old whale harpoon, was inserted. The head of
the animal it was carved to represent was decorated
with a fringe or mane of human hair, taken from
the heads of the different foemen who had bitten
the dust before it, and in which I could plainly
distinguish hair of different colours. Pe Sha Klim
expressed a confident opinion that the result of his
prowess in battle would be to add very considerably
to the length of the mane. I made various offers
to induce the Mowichat warrior to part with this
trophy of savage life, on this and subsequent occasions, but without success.
His hut was decorated with arms of various descriptions, old bows and arrows, knives made of
files stolen from the Hudson's Bay Company, and
an old blunderbuss; in addition to these he possessed
the usual musket carried by Indians generally.
On the occasion of my former visit to Nootka
Sound during the summer, when the village of the
I    I f    1     18 h2      1
ill 100
Mowichats is at Friendly Cove, I had determined
to extend my trip by a visit to the Matchelat Indians,
whose village is situated at the extremity of one of
the arms communicating with the Sound. We
started on this expedition one fine day in August,
and I will briefly interrupt the course of my narrative while I relate what befell us on the occasion
of this visit. The Matchelats, to whom I am about
to introduce the reader, are a tribe constantly at
war with the Mowichats; the origin of the feud
being, I believe, of recent date, arising as far as I
could understand, out of the treacherous murder of
the late chief of the Mowichats by the Matchelats,
when the former, in company with a few young
warriors, was up the country exploring for gold-
We were much impressed during this cruise by
the natural beauties of Nootka Sound. Every
point we doubled would display a fresh panorama
of pine-covered mountain and rock, with occasional
vistas opening far up into the interior, and revealing distant peaks of greater altitude still; while the
blue, unruffled surface of the bay was dotted with
innumerable islands, sometimes of naked rock,
sometimes feathered down to the water's edge with
mingled foliage of various tints. We are now speaking of the month of August. On entering Gua-
quina arm, steep ridges of mountain, densely
covered with pine, shut in the view on either hand.
1 ought here to mention that we had an Indian on
board, who had accidentally become one of our crew;
the breeze having suddenly freshened so much when
he was on board our vessel some few days before, that
he had cast off his canoe and left his companion to
take it ashore, while he remained to barter, we
having agreed to take him with us and land him
among some friendly tribes further south. Proceeding up Guaquina arm, we had to anchor the
first night amidst a group of small rocky islets.
Next morning we went on shore and ascended an
eminence, commanding an extensive prospect, with
the design of reconnoitring the country. From
this point we perceived a canoe in the distance,
which we eagerly hailed, as we were ignorant of the
locality, and did not know how far it was to the
village of the Matchelats. Finding they did not
perceive us, we fired a gun and sent on one of our
crew with the Indian in the dingy, to board the
canoe. They turned out to be Mowichats, a man
and his wife, who told us that the Matchelats had
mistaken us for a large northern, and consequently
hostile canoe, and had retreated up the sound; we
did not altogether credit this account, and struck a
bargain to be taken up the river in the canoe, leaving orders for the yacht to follow. The tide being
at first against us we kept in shore, and after a
short time, coming on a small island, I landed, and as
the sun was very hot, enjoyed the luxury of a bath.
fetes I
lilHtliffife&WHl!  i
mi mm
Proceeding on our course I frequently made use
of a double-barrelled field-glass I carried with me.
The attention of our Indian being drawn to this
object, I showed him how to use it. He was
undoubtedly much astonished at the result, although
the remarks he made upon it were by no means
flattering. He evidently regarded it as an uncanny,
if not absolutely diabolical contrivance for getting
an unfair advantage over nature, and returned us
our " lying glass," as he expressively termed it,
with unmistakable marks of disapprobation. In a
short time we perceived a canoe in the distance,
the crew of which, on a nearer approach, treated
my ears for the first time to a genuine Indian war-
whoop. Our crew answered them by a friendly
shout, which was at length returned. They wanted
to know who we were and what we were doing
there, and were answered that we were a
party of white men who had come in a vessel of our
own to visit them, with friendly intentions. The
canoe was still too far from us to distinguish the
number on board. They now disappeared for a
short time round a point; on again sighting them,
however, we pulled towards them, on which they
repeated their war-whoop, our party again
answering with a friendly shout. They now
made for the shore, and pulled round a point,
we still continuing to approach them. In a
few moments we saw a number of naked figures ATTACKED BY INDIANS'.
with muskets in their hands, dodging about among
the trees on the point, and on taking a survey of
them with our glass, we could perceive the heads
of .many others just showing over the rocks in
every direction, their faces and hands being painted
black, in token of war. In another moment the
sharp report of a number of muskets awoke the
echoes of the rocky shores around us. Not knowing what it meant, we continued to pull towards
them, when they again opened fire, and this time
the whistle of a number of balls about our ears
afforded unequivocal proof that they meant something more than frightening us. Matters now
looked serious; we were evidently in a very
critical position; at the same time, feeling it was
the best policy to put a bold face on the affair, we
opened a parley with them, our Mowichat being
spokesman. They declared, however, that he had
deceived them before, and they would not now
believe a word he said. The tide, meanwhile,
having turned, was setting us in shore towards
them. They now sent a charge of swan-shot
at us to make us bring up, we still continuing
to parley with them, but at the same time
backing water to keep out of their reach, as the
shot they had just fired ploughed up the water on
all sides of us. We informed them that our interpreter, well known to them by name, he having
been in the habit of visiting these coasts for the ill:
I^Bn iii|{ii>|
last eight years, was on board. They replied
however, that he had been bribed by the Mowichats
to deceive them, adding, at the same time, "You
must not think to steal a march upon us in the
day time; we are fully prepared for you." Meanwhile, keeping a sharp eye on them, I saw one
man stoop down and, resting his musket on a stone,
take deliberate aim at us. Thinking it decidedly
too warm to be pleasant, I ordered the canoe to
turn back. Perceiving this, the Indians said,
" If the interpreter," naming him, " is really on
board, let him come on shore." But our Mowichat replied, "No; you have too many muskets,
and are firing ball—he won't come." We were
not informed of this reply at the time, but he
was afraid that, if we landed, the Matchelats
would be sure to kill our poor Esquihat Indian.
We therefore paddled away from them, telling them to put off to us in a canoe if they
were friendly and wished to hold further parley
with us. Continuing to increase the distance
between us, we at length beheld them push
off in a canoe, and a few minutes after were
much gratified to see our yacht coming down with
the tide in good style.
The Indians, on perceiving our vessel, evidently
felt great doubt and uneasiness as to the course they
ought to pursue. They probably expected us to take
summary vengeance on them for having fired on THE INDIANS OVERAWE^.
us. As we continued, however, to assure them
that our intentions were friendly, they at length
mustered sufficient courage to come alongside,
but were thrown into a state of considerable consternation on learning from our interpreter that
I was I Man-of-war Tyhee," and highly indignant
at being fired on, as we had done nothing to
provoke a misunderstanding, and they could have
had no reason to doubt our good faith. We insisted
on one of their warriors coming on board; at the
same time I gave orders to have the big gun
loaded with grape, with ten or twelve more rounds
ready for her if required, and had all the small
arms ranged on deck, with about thirty rounds to
each. Having thus completed our armament and
prepared for the worst, we ran up the ensign and
steered direct for the point from which we had
been fired on. The Indians on shore, as we could
now perceive, had dropped their muskets, their
companion on board telling them that we were
prepared for them now, and would soon make it
too hot for them if they ventured on any further
hostile demonstration. When we were well round
the point, I informed them that their chief might
come on board, but that they must first give proof
of their friendly intentions by firing off their
muskets; this they showed they had already done
by snapping the locks. The chief shortly afterwards  came on board,  and  our interpreter  de-
yi-sf! HUM
J   I
II ■
manded of him if he wanted peace: he replied
if Yes," on which I ordered the small arms below,
and gave him a present of some biscuit. He
afterwards sent a deer on board, which we found
very acceptable, having had no fresh meat since
we were at the Esquihat village some^ weeks
Peace having been, as we hoped, thus definitively concluded, I went on shore with the chief.
Being desirous of carrying out my original intention of visiting the Matchelat village, I requested
him to lend us his aid in carrying out our design.
This he promised to do, and we agreed to accompany him to the encampment of the Matchelats,
six miles up the river, to sleep there that night,
and to go up to the vUlage the next morning.
By showing that we placed implicit confidence in
the Indians themselves, we hoped to inspire them
with a similar feeling, and taking, therefore,
a stock of provisions with us, we started on
our expedition. On our way up the river, we
landed at a stockade of Indian construction,
in a very dilapidated condition however. Our
chief, nevertheless, seemed very proud of it,
and fully confident in its capacity for resisting a
siege, as he informed us that he intended to retire
into it in case of an attack from any of his enemies.
Proceeding on our journey we at length reached
the  Indian encampment, situated in a very shel- FRESH SYMPTOMS OF HOSTILITY.
tered and secluded spot, evidently chosen with
a view to concealing themselves, as we should never
have dreamt of looking for an encampment in such
a spot. Before bivouacking for the night, I took a
ramble through the woods, or rather, to speak more
accurately, a scramble up the rocky pine-clad slope,
at the foot of which our encampment lay, and from
various points of which I obtained some views of
the surrounding scenery, of an equally wUd
character, together with occasional glimpses of the
distant windings of the river. I ought not to
forget to mention that I was accompanied by a
couple of Indians, and having my revolver with me,
a weapon in which they evidently felt great interest
and curiosity, I fired four barrels in quick succession at a mark on a tree, by way of illustrating its mechanism and mode of action. The
gathering shades of evening warning us to return,
I perceived, on again approaching our encampment, fresh symptoms either of hostility or suspicion on the part of the Indians, several of
whom, with muskets in their hands, were lurking
among the trunks of the trees. Sending one of
our Indian companions forward to inquire if there
was anything the matter, the mystery was soon
cleared up. It appears that, on hearing the
different shots I fired from my revolver, they conceived the idea that I had inveigled their comrades
into the woods and there murdered them.     Find- 108
pii>!%..,   -i!
ing how entirely erroneous all their suspicions had
been, we were soon the best of friends again, and,
to increase their good-will towards us, we distributed
the whole of our stock of biscuit among them, a
piece of generosity of which we repented afterwards,
as we had nothing but dried fish to eat for the rest
of our trip.    During the night we spent with the
Matchelats, it appears that a large tree fell close
alongside the encampment.     The noise it made,
crashing through the underwood, aroused everyone
in the camp except myself, for being very tired I slept
very soundly.    On returning when the danger was
over, the Indians were very much surprised to see
me still asleep, or at most only just aroused, and
still unaware of the cause of the unusual commotion
in the camp.    Inquiring of the interpreter how it
happened that I was so apparently indifferent to
imminent  danger, the former took advantage of
the circumstance, wholly without my cognizance or
sanction however, to impress them with a belief
that I was endowed with supernatural attributes,
saying that I slept in no dread of a tree falling on
me, or  any other  danger threatening  me,  as  I
possessed   the   power of averting all such catastrophes, and no tree could possibly fall on the spot
I had selected for my couch without my express
knowledge  and  permission.     Whatever  may  be
thought of our interpreter's ruse, it certainly had
the effect of wonderfully increasing the deference PROJECTED VISIT ABANDONED.
and respect shown to me by these simple children
of nature during the remainder of my sojourn
among them.
Whether the chief of the Matchelats now began
to fear any possible influence so great a chief, as I
had suddenly grown in their eyes, might acquire
over his followers and dependents if I reached their
head-quarters, or whether he was still suspicious
that we were but enemies in disguise, certain it is
he, from this time, persisted in throwing every
possible obstacle in the way of our projected visit
to the Matchelat village. Excuse followed excuse,
and delay followed delay; there was declared to be
too little water in the Guaquina arm or river for
the canoes to ascend thus far, until at length,
knowing the hopeless obstinacy of Indian character,
and the impossibility of shaking their fixed and
settled resolution, we reluctantly abandoned our
project, and returned on board the "Templar," our
Having spent the night on board, we were
informed the next morning that there was a strange
canoe in the distance. This turned out to contain
a party of Mowichat warriors, under the command
of our friend Pe Sha Klim, whose suspicions were
aroused by the long absence of the Mowichat
Indian, in whose canoe, it will be remembered, we
had originally been fired on, and they had therefore put out in search of their missing kinsman,
,MM Wfliigf
prepared to avenge his death in case of foul play
on the part of the Matchelats. In anticipation of
war, therefore, they had left their women in a place
of safety round a point, it being the universal
custom among Indians to put the women out of
harm's way when they think danger imminent. Ill
The Wreck of the " Florentia "—Sufferings of the Crew—Resolution
Cove—Perilous Adventure in an Open Boat—Bocca del Inferno
—Misunderstanding between the Shipwrecked Crew and the
Indians—Dress of an Indian Woman—The Use of Paint—
Primitive Poste-Restante—Captain Cook.
We will now once more resume the thread of our
present narrative, which, it will be remembered,
we quitted at Cooptee, the winter quarters of the
Mowichats, it being by this time the 25th of November. We got under weigh on the morning of
that day about half-past five. A fair breeze
soon took us out abreast the Escalante Reef, on
passing which, however, the wind failed us. About
midday we again fancied we made out something
like a sail in the distance, and eventually, with the
aid of our glass, we discovered her to be the same
two-masted craft we had already sighted, and our 112
curiosity was once more thoroughly aroused.
About half-past one we perceived something
coming towards us, which we at first supposed to
be a boat, but which turned out to be a canoe.
On coming alongside her Indian crew informed us
that the vessel whose singular appearance had
caused so much interest and speculation on board
our cutter was a large craft, water-logged, and in
other respects a perfect wreck, and having King
George's (English) men on board, who were short of
food and water. The additional stimulus of a desire
to aid our fellow-countrymen in distress being now
added to the curiosity we had from the first felt to
know what vessel she could be, we resolved to try
and board her. ||j
A wind from the south-east springing up, we
beat our vessel in a vain endeavour to approach
her until near eight in the evening, when we found
we could get no nearer. A canoe now put off from
her, and we sent back all the food we could spare,
being unfortunately very short ourselves just now,
together with a good stock of fresh water, and
also a note, saying we would try and make her in
the morning. This we endeavoured for a long time
to do, until, being at length again baffled, we were
obliged to return to Friendly Cove about ten a.m.
Next morning as we were going on shore to try and
get some geese, we saw the ship herself coming up the
Sound.    We fired our gun and displayed a red WRECK OF THE "FLORENTIA."
ensign from a commanding point of rock to attract
tKe attention of those on board her. Failing,
however, to do so, we got under weigh, and after a
troublesome beat, the wind coming down in tremendous puffs, we at length got so near her that
two of our number put off in the small boat to
go on board. She proved to be the " Florentia," of
Callao, bound for that port from Victoria, with a
cargo of timber. The crew turned out to be Americans, not Englishmen, it being a ruse on their part
to describe themselves as "King George's men" to
the Indians, in order to secure their good services,
as had the latter been aware that they were
"Boston men,"—the name by which all Americans of
the United States are indiscriminately known among
Indians—they would have been more likely to meet
with ill-treatment than assistance, such is the hatred
borne by the Indian races to the " Boston man."
The story of their shipwreck was one of those
touching narratives of suffering, toil, and danger
that so often form a terrible yet thrilling episode
in the lives of those whose destiny is cast upon the
mighty waters.
She had capsized at sea in a gale of wind fifty
miles south of Cape Flattery, just that day fortnight, it being now the 26th of November, consequently the very same day as that on which we
were so nearly capsized ourselves on attempting
to leave Klaskeeno.    The captain, supercargo, and
i 114
a Dr. Baillie of Victoria, a passenger, perished by
drowning. The remainder of the crew managed
to cling to the wreck, owing their preservation
from certain destruction solely to the fact of her,
being timber-laden, and therefore incapable of
sinking. After a time she righted, but was, of
course, completely water-logged, and sunk to the
water's edge, every swell sweeping her deck.
The unhappy survivors found themselves, therefore, in possession of existence truly, but under
circumstances which, in the eyes of most men,
would seem to render it hardly endurable.
Drenched to the skin, almost without food,
entirely without fresh water, without warmth,
shelter, or comfort of any kind, in a water-logged
and nigh unmanageable craft, on a part of the
ocean where there was barely the remotest chance
of their attracting the attention of any vessel,
their case did indeed seem desperate. At first it
appeared as if death must inevitably, in a few
days, put an end to their sufferings. That they
survived to tell the story of their adventures is a
signal proof that men should never lose heart, even
when things seem at their worst, but trusting in
Providence, resolutely, and at once, strive to set
them right again. u Nil desperandum* is preeminently the motto of the seaman.
By dint of labour and perseverance, they contrived, when the weather moderated, to knock up a PRESERVATION OF THE CREW.
rude shed of loose planks on the most elevated portion of the wreck, which afforded them a tolerable
shelter. Without being a smoker myself, the narrative of the crew of the " Florentia " has convinced
me that the use of tobacco, under certain circumstances, may be not without its advantages, as they
undoubtedly owed the preservation of their existence
to the fact of one of their number having in his
pocket a tin, and therefore water-proof, box of
lucifer matches, which he used for lighting his
pipe. They were thus enabled to kindle a fire;
and another of the crew, who deserves infinite
credit for his ingenuity and mechanical skill,
managed, with the aid of a few feet of lead pipe,
to construct an apparatus for distilling fresh water
from the salt sea-water. The quantity thus provided was but small it is true, yet, by careful
husbanding, it proved sufficient for their wants;
at all events, it enabled them to preserve life.
The " Florentia " must originally have been a very
handsome craft, a brig of about 400 tons. As we
saw her she was of course a complete wreck, sunk
to|the water's edge; her deck cabin was gone —everything in fact had been swept away; her lower masts
and the mere stump of her bowsprit alone remained
standing. The crew had extemporised a fore-sail
out of a foretop-sail, and this, with a stay-sail, was
all the canvas she carried. Some remnants of other
sails, hanging from the shrouds, were beaten by the
i 2 ■mm
elements into mere rags, resembling wet tow. The
crew were huddled together in the shed they had
erected for themselves, and in which they had contrived constantly to keep their fire burning. Being
very short of food, they were very grateful, poor
fellows, for the trifling assistance we were able to
afford them, especially for a bag of potatoes we had
sent on board the day before. From the account
given of us by the Esquihat Indians, who had been
our messengers on that occasion, they expected to
find our vessel one of the launches of a man-of-war.
Being accustomed to wear the jacket of the
Thames Yacht Club, with its brass buttons, to
which I sometimes added, when it was blowing, on
account of its weight, an old cavalry cap, with its
gold band, I always passed in this nondescript costume for a man-of-war Tyhee, or officer, among the
Indians of these coasts. The blue ensign of the
Thames Yacht Club, which we flew at the peak,
no doubt tended to confirm them in this impression,
as it differed entirely from anything they had seen
in use among trading vessels.
We ran that night into Resolution Cove—thus
named by Captain Cook, after his own ship, if I
remember right—promising to come and see the
crew of the " Florentia" again next day, if they were
unable to follow us During the night it blew hard,
and we felt no small anxiety for the fate of our
friends on the " Florentia." On searching for her the PADDLING FOR LIFE.
next morning we could discover no traces of her in
any direction ; I therefore set out in our little boat,
accompanied by a friend and one other hand to try
and find her. I always used the paddle in preference to the oar in these waters, having by this time
become thoroughly expert in handling it; I could
thus see where we were going, and steer our craft
accordingly. We paddled round the island, between which and the mainland the channel known
as Zuciarte Arm runs. Here we found it very hard
work against the tide. It rained all day. We
could see nothing of the ship, and only sighted one
canoe. On rounding the island opposite Friendly
Cove we met a tremendous sea rolling in from the
Pacific, much more than was agreeable in so small
a boat. She was, happily, very buoyant; but we
more than once began to think we should never see
our yacht again, and it soon became apparent
that we were in truth paddling for very life.
The entrance to Nootka Sound, as I have before
mentioned, is full of rocky islets, on which the sea
was now breaking with terrific violence. We had
hard work to keep her clear of them, every now and
then a gust would come down on us with a fury
that made us bow to the gunwale, lest it should
capsize us; but our little boat rode the waves gallantly, and at length, after working as men work
when their lives are at stake, we succeeded in reaching the "Templar" once more.
1 118
-■'.tJiii.ii?* -  :M
Early the next day Pe Sha IQim, and seven other
Mowichats, came alongside to inquire after the
" Florentia," and shortly after a canoe of Clayoquot
Indians arrived on the same errand. This solicitude
and anxiety respecting the fate of the vessel, displayed by the Indians, arose no doubt from the fact
that the moment a vessel goes on shore they regard
her as their legitimate spoil; as a special gift of
Providence, in fact, to the poor Indian. At the
same time we must do them the justice to say that
they are generally willing to lend all the assistance
in their power to a vessel in distress, so long as she
holds to her anchors. Some years ago a ship of the
Hudson's Bay Company, in charge of our friend
Willie Mitchell, having been, as he himself informed us, driven ashore in Neah Bay, she was, in
spite of his most strenuous efforts to prevent it,
stripped of her copper and other valuables, and
then burnt.
The next morning a canoe brought us a letter
from onboard the "Florentia," informing us that she
was safely at anchor, and telling us where to find
her. We at once set sail, making the Indians come
on board, and taking their canoe in tow. Soon after
we cleared the point round which Resolution Cove
is situated, we sighted the masts of the ship. We
made for her, but the wind failing and the tide
running down, we put into a small cove in which
the Indians reported there was good anchorage. We BOCCA DEL INFERNO.
were about to let go our anchor, when, seeing the
rocks very distinctly under the water, we hesitated,
and ultimately dropped it in another spot; it was
lucky we did so, as these rocks were left quite dry
at low water, the tide having fallen two and a quarter fathoms since we entered the cove.
On going on board the "Florentia" we found her
crew very much more comfortable; they had roofed
inthehouse on deck, and were endeavouring to pump
her dry with the assistance of the Indians. They
informed us that she had drifted during the night
but that her anchors had at length brought her up
in that spot.
The next day we paid a visit to the " Bocca del
Inferno," thus named by the Spaniards in consequence of the violence with which the tide ebbs and
flows through its narrow rocky entrance. When
once inside, we found ourselves in a land-locked
basin of considerable extent.
One morning, while still at anchor, being detained
by the wind, which continued obstinately in the
south-east, Pe Sha Klim came alongside, and we
were not long in remarking from his manner that
there was something amiss. On coming on deck
he gave us a flurried and excited account of the bad
treatment his people were subjected to by the
white men on board the ship—how they had been
struck and even kicked by them, while working at
the pumps, and saying that there would be a dis- HP''
turbance if this was not put a stop to. He requested me to accompany him back to the ship,
and expostulate with the white men, saying, that if
I would explain to them the proper line of conduct
to pursue towards the Indians, he would explain to
his own people the steps that had been taken on
their behalf. This I willingly consented to do, feeling somewhat indignant that the good name of
Englishmen should be brought into disrepute by
these Yankees, who had borrowed it for their own
convenience and security.
On going on board I represented to them the
impropriety and, indeed, the impolicy of their conduct, as by thus recklessly causing ill-blood between
themselves and the Indians, they ran the risk of
drawing down upon themselves the vengeance of the
whole tribe. Pe Sha Klim also used his best endeavours to soothe the irritated feelings of his own
people, and we left, after having received the assurance of the crew of the "Florentia" that the Indians
should be better treated in future. Having thus
restored mutual good understanding between the
white men and the red skins, I made arrangements
for the Indians to supply the former with potatoes,
dried salmon, and rock-cod, for which they were to
receive payment in tobacco, which, although much
damaged by sea-water, was still acceptable.
Having had so much to say about Pe Sha Klim
himself, I feel it would be ungallant to take leave MRS. PE SHA KLIM.
of him without some notice of his spouse, who as
wife of the spouter, was a person of some importance in the tribe. Mrs. Pe Sha Klim was, undoubtedly, after her peculiar style, a showy dresser, and
I should imagine led the fashion among the Mowichat belles. Her wardrobe was extensive and
varied, and the really tasteful manner in which the
gaily-coloured blankets she wore were ornamented
and embroidered, testified to her skill with the
needle. Strips of crimson cloth, not inartistically
disposed on a ground of blue, and ornamented with
an infinite number of small pearl buttons, formed,
as may be supposed, a very gorgeous article of apparel. The manner in which she made use of the
vermilion paint, so extensively patronized by all
Indians, formed a striking contrast to that of other
women. She applied it sparingly, and really made
it produce the effect of rouge; whereas, all the
other women we saw laid it on in a thick bright
dab, and the wife of Mocoola himself had not sufficient taste to lead her to apply it in any other
Before leaving Nootka we notified to Pe Sha Klim
that we wished to leave a letter for any man-of-war
or other vessel that might put into Friendly Cove.
With a view of attracting the attention of any such
visitor, we painted the word "Notice' in large
letters on the tranverse beam of an Indian hut, suspending the letter itself underneath in a waterproof
i I
Kl • »!
ft in'
bag—Pe Sha Klim enjoining on all his followers
not to touch it. Our object in doing this was to
give information to any vessel that might arrive in
search of the "Florentia," where she was to be found.
Such a vessel might, in fact, be expected at any moment, as I forgot to mention that a portion of the
crew of the " Florentia " had left in an Esquihat
canoe for Victoria, the day before we first sighted
her, conveying intelligence of her wreck.
One interesting fact in connection with the
Indians inhabiting the shores of Nootka Sound I
must mention before taking leave of them.
Endeavouring one wet day to elicit all the information we could from them, we found that they preserved a tradition of the visit of white men in a
King George's ship many years ago. From the
description they gave, very little doubt was left
in my mind that it referred to the visit of Captain
Cook. They said the ship was in Resolution
Cove, and that one of the Indians in getting on
board hurt his thigh, the wound being dressed by
the surgeon of the ship. An account of this very
occurrence will be found in the published narrative
of Cook's Voyages.
I liiSas:: 123
We leave Nootka Sound—Variable Winds—Bajo Reef—We part our
Cable—A Favourable Wind—Our Prospects brighten—We
fail to make Clayoquot Sound—Our Former Visit—Summer
Village of the Clayoquot Indians—Their Warlike Character—
Murder of Esquihat Chief—Narrow Escape of a White Man—
A Battle in Canoes—Midnight Attack—We re-enter Juan de
Fuca Straits—Return to Victoria*—Christmas in Vancouver's
Island—General Improvements.
We left Nootka Sound about 3 a.m. The wind
failed us abreast of Escalante, a very dangerous reef,
extending some distance from the land, and which
we had good reason to remember on the occasion
of our former visit, having had great difficulty in
clearing it on making Nootka Sound. The fresh-
sets again carried us some distance out, the wind
being intermittent, but the sea heavy. Being
afraid of missing our anchorage, we therefore put
her round, and ran for Friendly Cove.    The wind, 124
up to this point from the south-east, now chopped
round and blew directly out of Nootka Sound.
We thus beat, all night through, between it and
Escalante Reef, the wind always going round to
the south-east if we ran out to sea to try for a fair
breeze. With daylight we made sure of getting
into Friendly Cove, and were, at one time, within
two miles of it, but the wind proved very variable
and uncertain, never blowing in one quarter long,
and as soon as we put our ship about she broke off.
The breeze would at intervals die away entirely,
until there was not sufficient to keep our sails
The day was foggy at times, and towards
evening we found ourselves drifting to the northward and westward. Late at night it was reported to us that we had been in shoal water for
some time; we ordered the lead to be hove, and
found from seventeen to nineteen fathoms. This
being shallower than we considered we ought to
find it, we kept a sharp look-out ahead, and in a
short time perceived breakers, in spite of the hazy
condition of the atmosphere. We let go our anchor,
and were delighted to find that she held. There
was no wind, but a big swell. My readers will
understand that our night's repose was by no means
uninterrupted or undisturbed. We had at once
conjectured that we must be close on the Bajo Reef,
constant study  of   the   chart   having   made   us A FAVOURABLE WIND.
thoroughly acquainted with the configuration of the
coast, and especially with this most formidable reef.
Daylight found us still, happily, holding to our
anchor. The fog, which was dense, slightly clearing
away at times, we were enabled to catch a distant sight
of the shores of Nootka Sound. These occasional
glimpses, affording us a view of two well-known
points, enabled us to define our exact position by
cross bearings, which verified our original conjecture as| to our proximity to Bajo Reef.
Symptoms of the wind coming from the westward
in light puffs led us to hope that it would eventually
go round to this most favourable quarter.
About three in the afternoon, to our great
surprise, we found we must be drifting, as the
Bajo Reef was evidently receding. We at once
hauled in a few fathoms of rope, which soon
revealed the fact that we had parted our anchor. We
found, when we had hauled it all in, that our cable
had been fairly cut in two by friction on the rocks
After drifting a very short distance, the breeze
sprang up and gradually increased from the westward, and we were devoutly thankful to leave the
dreaded Bajo Reef behind, and also to find that we
had at length got what we had so long wished for,
a fair wind for Victoria. Up to this time we had
been apprehensive of having to spend our Christmas
at sea, with probably no better fare than unsavoury 126
dried salmon and biscuit, and we could not help
smiling when we reflected how differently most of
our brother members of the Thames Yacht Club
would probably be engaged at that festive season.
From this period, however, we plucked up a new
heart of courage; at six we passed the reef at
Estevan Point, sixteen miles distant, showing that
our vessel could travel if she only had a fair chance,
and stand well up to her canvas too. What
eloquent language did she discourse to our ears
as she cleft her way through the bright green
waves, and what pleasure was it to feel her as
obedient withal to her helm as the most sensitive
horse to the slightest motion of the rein, seeming
to delight in her escape from the thraldom of
adverse winds to which she had been subjected so
On first feeling the breeze, we had intended to
make Esquihat Harbour and pay a visit to our old
acquaintances the Indians of that name there located, but by the time we were off the entrance
to the bight, up which their village lies, we found
the night had grown much too dark for us to attempt it, and therefore resolved to run on so as to
make Clayoquot Harbour with morning. To
effect this, finding the wind stand to us, we deemed
it expedient to heave our vessel to about midnight,
letting her have just enough canvas to hold her own.
Although the wind had somewhat increased, and it BEATING UP AGAINST WIND AND TIDE.        127
was now blowing all we could desire, our little
craft behaved like a duck. I kept the first watch
from eight to twelve myself, and when she was
hove to, retired to my bunk, bent on a good night's
rest, and feeling more contented with myself and
with the world in general than I had done for the
last four or five weeks, leaving the vessel in charge
of a friend, who had been my companion throughout the cruise, and who had cheerfully shared with
me the duties and fatigues incident to a life at sea.
He was possessed of that happy temperament that
accommodates itself readily to circumstances, and
wrapped in a pilot jacket, pipe in mouth, could make
himself as happy on deck in a stormy November
night, in the Pacific, as in the comfortable smoking-
room of his London Club.
On going on deck next morning, I found that we
had drifted some seven or eight miles out to sea,
nearly abreast of the Point we had to make for.
We put her round, and did our best to reach it;
the wind and tide, however, proved too much for
us. By 10 a.m. we were close in shore, some few
miles to the southward, and by 12, after beating during the interval, found ourselves still further
to the south. In justice to the sailing qualities of
our craft, we must state that she could easily have
beat up against wind alone; it was the tremendously
powerful tide that proved too much for us.
We spoke a couple of canoes off Clayoquot, and
mm 128
their crews informed us that there were still some
of the white men of the "Florentia" at Esquihat, and
that two of them had gone on to Alberni, Barclay
Sound, where there is a white settlement.
Finding it impossible to reach our harbour
against wind and tide, we at length resolved to
make a fair wind of it, and run straight for Victoria. We did not therefore visit Clayoquot on
this occasion, but, having been there before, I will
for a short time detain my readers, while I, in imagination, take them on shore.
Clayoquot is a very extensive Sound, having
several arms or inlets communicating with the interior. The anchorage is generally good, but the
water is much shallower, and the shores lower than
at Nootka. The growth of timber is less dense, and
there is some good open land in its vicinity. The
summer village of the Clayoquots is situated near
the sea, the entrance to the cove on which it stands
being surrounded with rocks and exposed to the
most dangerous winds from the sea; in fact, offering
no shelter to any vessel seeking refuge there. On
proceeding farther up the Sound, however, plenty
of places may be found in which a vessel can lie
safely at anchor. We were much struck with the
immense size of some of the beams of timber used
in the construction of several of the huts in this
village, those of the chiefs being here, as elsewhere,
the largest. ifidtt
It is indeed astonishing and unaccountable how
these savages ever managed to raise a beam near, or
quite a hundred feet in length, and from three to
four feet in diameter at the larger end, to a height
of ten or twelve feet from the ground. The sight
of these buildings produced much the same effect of
wonder on my mind as did the first visit to Stone-
henge. I may mention that many of these erections are evidently of great antiquity.
The Clayoquots are among some of the most
warlike tribes on the Island, and their government
would appear to differ from that generally met
with among Indians. In most cases, as far as we
could understand, there would seem to be two
chiefs—one hereditary, and another who leads the
warriors to battle, and who is probably chosen for
his valiant deeds of arms. These functions are
united in the chief of the Clayoquots, who is, in
fact, a military despot, and the present chief,
Seta Kanim, rules in virtue of his prowess in the
field. I    |
His reputation as a warrior is very great, and I
have heard his deeds of arms referred to by all the
Indian tribes inhabiting the entire western coast
of Vancouver's Island; at the same time I am
bound to confess that among the white men he is
not generally well-spoken of, being regarded as unscrupulous and overreaching, $s well as insolent
and quarrelsome.    The influence he exercises over
iwlil 130
mmlmii i
K--.A ]{'
i»!iii!t* 'ill
E ;-i«;
I jfii'ii
his own people is considered as being adverse
to friendly commercial relations between them and
the Colonists.
Whatever others may, however, think of this
interesting savage, there can be no doubt that in
his own estimation Seta Kanim unites in his own
dusky, unkempt, and not over savoury individuality
the attributes and dignity of an Indian Alexander,
Charlemagne, and Haroun-al-Raschid.
As regards my own personal intercourse with the
famous chief of the Clayoquots, I remember that
the first time he favoured us with a visit on board
my yacht, he was very eager that I should examine
credentials with which he had been furnished by
white men who had visited this part of the island,
and to which he evidently attached no small importance. Of course I was happy to comply with
his request, but must acknowledge that the result
of my scrutiny was, to say the least of it, perplexing,
as the testimony produced was of a very contradictory character. For instance, some of the testimonials would be worded somewhat after this
fashion:—" This is Seta Kanim, chief of the Clayoquots, he has been on board our vessel, and we have
found him honest and trustworthy;" while others
set forth his merits in the following style:—" This
is Seta Kanim, as great a rascal as is to be met with
among the redskins ; " or, " This is Seta Kanim, a
villain that would murder his own father for a TRAGIC OCCURRENCE.
groat, if we may judge from the lying, deceit, and
treachery he has practised in his dealings with ourselves." However, we know that where ignorance
is bliss the proverb goes on to show the folly of enlightenment, and this certainly was the case with
Seta Kanim, who evidently attached the greatest
value and importance to these precious documents,
and we cannot say that we felt it any business of
ours to undeceive him.
Having thus, as he conceived, enhanced his dig^
nity and greatness in our eyes, he no doubt thought
it right that we should, in turn, submit our credentials to his inspection, and therefore asked to see
my papers. This unexpected demand I at first
felt to be somewhat embarrassing, until a bright
idea flashing across my mind. I dived below and
brought up the diploma of a Royal Arch-Mason,
with its showy emblematic device, and its important
looking, large red seals. This, with the certificate
of a master mason, evidently produced the desired
effect, and impressed Seta Kanim with the idea
that I really must be a Tyhee of no inconsiderable
The ferocity of these lawless and blood-thirsty
savages will be best illustrated by the following
incident, which fell under the observation of our
interpreter during a former sojourn in this dis1-
trict. He was, at the time we refer to, trading
between Victoria and the different Indian villages
1-        f.    m        k2
iilM 132
on this coast, having a small dep6t or store in
Clayoquot Sound, close to the village. Being, on
one occasion, about to start for Victoria, from the
village of the Achazats (a tribe which must not be
confounded, on account of the similarity of their
name, with Achuzats, inhabiting Clayoquot Sound),
the sub-chief asked him if he would, as a favour,
take him with him to Victoria, as he had never
been there, and was very desirous of visiting
that place. Having complied with the wish of the
sub-chief, and given him a berth on board his
schooner, he had occasion, on his way down the
coast, to put into Clayoquot Sound, and well
knowing that the bitterest animosity existed
between the Indians there and the Achazats, he
enjoined on his travelling companion not to show
himself if he valued his life. Some strange instinct
seems however to guide an Indian in tracking
and discovering a foe, wherever he may be concealed. They are very bloodhounds in scenting
their prey. The unfortunate Achazat chief,
although he never showed himself on deck, was
nevertheless discovered, and dragged forth by his
terrible and remorseless foes. And, in spite of all
the efforts made by the white man to prevent it,
in spite of his most urgent remonstrances, and even
threats, the head of this unhappy Indian was
severed from his body before his eyes, the ghastly
trophy being afterwards fixed on a pole, in company \*
with the heads of four others of his tribe, who had
previously suffered the same fate.
After this tragic occurrence our friend dared
not for some time revisit the district inhabited
by the Achazats, as they would infallibly have
visited the murder of their kinsman on his head—
such being the Indian code of justice. After the
space of about two years, however—thinking,
perhaps, that this desire for vengeance had passed
away, or relying on his own tact and talent in
managing Indians—he resolved on trusting himself
once more among them, notwithstanding that the
Clayoquots assured him that it would be
courting certain death for him to do so,
as the law of blood for blood is irrevocable among all Indians. On arriving in the
Sound, on which the village of the Achazats is
situated, as soon as the Indians recognized his
schooner, they put off in shoals, with blackened
faces and arms, and, boarding his little vessel,
carried him off a prisoner. According to all the
precedents of Indian warfare, his fate would now
appear certain, and had he not been a white man,
no doubt his head would have been cut off on the
spot. Meanwhile, he assumed an air. of passive
indifference, which, although we can hardly suppose he felt it, yet served, no doubt, to impress the
Indians in his favour. While he was lying thus
bound in the midst of the village he could hear
. Mi
i :. isai .;„
liilli :
lllll'      ,!1V
the chiefs taking counsel among themselves as to
what should be his fate. The women, from the
first, had pleaded in his favour, and they now
urged, fairly enough, that it was through no fault
of his that their kinsman was murdered; that, as
a white man, he could never have desired the
blood of a red skin, and that they had, therefore,
no right to take his.
Whether the chiefs dreaded the possible vengeance of the white men if they put one of their
number to death, or whether they were induced to
listen to reason by the women, certain it is
their gentler counsels prevailed, and he was restored to liberty; nor was this all—feeling that,
if he were innocent, they must have been guilty
of an act of injustice in detaining him a
prisoner, they made him a present of several hundred gallons of oil as an indemnification.
He also related to us how, at a subsequent
period, he chanced to be spectator of a battle
fought in canoes. The Achazats, coming in
strength, challenged the Clayoquots to fight them in
their harbours. Seta Kanim, nothing loath, forthwith equipped his rude galleys for war, and a
veritable naval engagement was the result.
Shortly after the execution of the Achazat
chief above referred to, a midnight attack on
the Clayoquots was organized by the former tribe
to avenge his death.    The favourite moment for INDIAN VENGEANCE.
these murderous night-attacks is a few minutes
after midnight, when, according to their theory,
sleep is most profound.
Everything being in readiness, they stole
noiselessly on the village of their enemies,
and each warrior having reached the foot
pf the couch of his sleeping foeman, with
drawn knife in hand, at a pre-concerted
signal, and with a deafening war-whoop,
the work of slaughter commenced—all arms
having been previously secured, and every way of
escape cut off. A party of the Clayoquots—scouts—
happening, however, to return just at this juncture,
a fierce hand-to-hand encounter ensued on the
beach, in which many were killed on both sides.
But I daresay my readers are tired of the horrors
of Indian warfare; we will therefore take leave of
the red man and his doings for the present, and
make the best of our way back to Victoria.
About midnight on the 6th of December we
passed Bonilla Point, and about four in the morning, we once more sighted the light on Cape
Classet, the wind still favourable, though hauling
a little more off shore. On entering Juan de
Fuca Straits, the wind failed us altogether, and a
nasty chopping sea delayed our course for some
time. In the afternoon, fearing we were losing
ground, we ran into ten fathoms water and
anchored.    A canoe came off and told us, among
fifli; liiilfiii'^iiii
life I
I  »i<
other things, that there had been two ships wrecked
here during the late gales. The tide turning about
six,   we  once  more  got  under weigh, the  wind
still see Bonilla
made much way
still   troublesome,
springing up later in the
somewhat disheartening next
ever, to find that we could
Point, showing we had not
during the night. The sea
but, a fair wind springing up, we succeeded in
making Port St. Juan this day, to the great
satisfaction of all on board, as it was onlv now that
we could fairly say our chief difficulties and dangers
were over. Up to the moment of making Port
St. Juan, we could not feel sure that we might not
have to run for Barclay Sound, that being the
nearest harbour, in the event of an adverse gale
of wind springing up. We saw several canoes of
Indians gathering mussels—one came off and
offered us some for sale. This was the first time
we had been asked for money by, an Indian since
leaving Nanaimo, October 11.
After being baffled by shifting, uncertain winds
and adverse currents, with occasional nasty seas, for
a couple of days longer, by which time our provisions were almost gone, and we were reduced to
the expedient of boiling our coffee four successive
times, to eke out our scanty allowance, and to live
almost entirely on Indian dried fish, we at length
passed the well-known Race-Rocks, round which the RETURN TO VICTORIA.
tide was running with its usual velocity. We
now caught sight for the first time of the new light
at Esquimalt, and finally reached Victoria on the
morning of the 12th of December, after an absence
of two months and a half.
Our return created quite a sensation in the
colony, as at one time considerable doubt and apprehension was felt concerning our fate. On entering the harbour several boats put off to welcome
us, and to inquire if we could give any information
concerning several wrecks which were supposed to
have occurred during our trip.
We must confess we were not sorry to exchange
the toils and hardships of our late mode of life for
the ease and comforts of civilization. The first few
days on shore we spent in looking up our old friends
and acquaintances, in whose houses we found preparations everywhere going on to celebrate the
forthcoming festivity of Christmas in suitable style.
The rooms were decorated with green, and everything was done so much in the fashion of Old
England, that we could almost fancy ourselves
at home once more, the weather also being sufficiently cold to bear out the illusion.
Christmas in Australia bears no resemblance to an
English Christmas, but Christmas in this colony is
really wonderfully like its original in the old
country, and we can bear ready testimony to
the generally hospitable character of the colonists.
win I*fll
K|:        .fftiP
We found that the Indians, who, at the time of
our arrival in the colony, enjoyed the privilege of
encamping where they pleased, had been banished
to the other side of the harbour, and on the space
formerly occupied by their hovels along the eastern
shore, we saw warehouses and other tenements in
the course of erection; everything, in fact, gave signs
of increasing prosperity. The Indians in the neighbourhood of this town, seem to have learned to respect
the authority of the white man, and conform in
their intercourse with him to many of the customs
of civilization; we have occasionally seen them
dressed like Englishmen. Those, however, who
have only recently arrived, but who have made a
little money by the sale of skins, &c, are very fond
of displaying themselves in public in all the gorgeous array of savage finery. I have often been
much, amused at seeing young Indians of the Hydahs, Bella-Bellas, and other northern tribes—swells
of the first water, in their own estimation—who will
parade the streets of Victoria, two or three abreast,
arrayed in embroidered blankets of various colours,
a feather fastened by a bright silk handkerchief to
their heads, and their faces painted all the colours
of the rainbow. The strangest of all sights, however, is perhaps that of an Indian woman in crinoline, which may also not unfrequently be witnessed
here. 139
We revisit British Columbia—The Fraser River and Gold-Fields—
New Westminster—The Harrison Lilooett Route described—
Skaholet Indians—Harrison River and Lake—Port Douglas—
Encampment of Royal Engineers—Strong Current—Chinese
Gold-Seekers—Fort Hope—Romantic Scenery—Turn Sioux
Indians—Religious Ceremony—I Tumanas," or " Medicine
Man "—Route from Fort Hope to Lilooett, on the way to
I will now once more ask the reader to accompany us to the mainland, while I describe the different routes leading to the world-famous gold regions
of British Columbia. The Fraser River—which
drains the waters of the auriferous districts—has its
source in the Rocky Mountains, and is composed
of two main streams, both of which are gold producing. The southern branch of the Fraser, rising
in these mountains, after a course of near three
hundred miles, receives its northern tributary,
which is fed by a chain of lakes at Fort George, TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
from which point the junction of the two forms the
Fraser River proper. I may here pause to remark
that the whole of the tributaries of the Fraser
flowing from the east, that is to say, those which
have their source in the Rocky Mountains, are
found to be auriferous, while those from the west
are, generally speaking, not so. This would seem
to indicate that these mountains are the true source
of all the gold met with as deposits in the bed and
banks of these streams, a theory which is, moreover,
supported by the fact that gold is also found on the
opposite or eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains
—as, for instance, in the Saskatchewan and other
It must not be supposed, however, that even the
vast extent of territory drained by the Fraser and
its tributaries comprises the whole of the gold producing portion of British Columbia, which probably
extends completely across the country from its
southern to its northern boundary. At the entrance
to the Fraser River we meet with a sand-bank or
bar, which—although not presenting any serious
obstacle to navigation—is, nevertheless, troublesome,
as the channel through it is narrow, and the depth
of water never very great. The country near the
mouth is low and swampy, overgrown with reeds,
and producing a quantity of coarse grass, which
is, however, both here and at Langley converted
The Fraser is not navigable for sea-going vessels
far above New Westminster, the capital, which therefore discharge their cargoes generally into the flat-
bottomed steamers, worked by a single wheel in
the stern, which are employed in the navigation of
the river above this point.
On passing Fort Langley the river narrows and
becomes still shallower, but continues navigable
for the steamers I have spoken of, as far as Fort
Hope and Yale. Here the mountains close in upon
the river, forming a gorge through which it flows
in places with great impetuosity, and further navigation becomes impossible. We have now, however, reached the auriferous portion of its course.
New Westminster, the capital of British Columbia, is situated, as I have already mentioned, in a
-clearing on the right bank of the river. The
growth of timber is here very dense, but the process of clearing the land in its neighbourhood is
rapidly going on, and the sharp ring of the backwoodsman's axe is continually heard; while, ever
and anon, the sound of crashing boughs proclaims
that one of the giants of the forest has yielded to
the vigour and dexterity with which this hardy
race of men ply their toilsome vocation. The
most difficult and troublesome portion of their
work remains, however, to be done, after the tree
is felled, where it is necessary to clear the ground,
and consists in grubbing up the stump and roots of
Sillil felpraj
Best   ^
Ill;   ;t« J:
:j <l
the tree, or more generally destroying them by
fire, or blasting.
Some distance above Langley the Fraser receives
the waters of the Harrison River, whose bright,
clear blue stream contrasts with the muddy waters
of the former. We have now reached the point at
which the two principal routes to the diggings
diverge, the one lying up the Harrison, through
Port Douglas, and by a chain of lakes and road to
On leaving Port Douglas, at the head of Harrison Lake, the route lies through a wild and mountainous district of an eminently picturesque character. This portion of the journey we performed
on mules, but since then stage coaches have been
substituted for these animals. The scenery here is
quite Alpine in its character, the road being frequently at a dizzy height above the Harrison River,
which flows foaming and roaring far beneath. This
road was in process of formation by the Royal
Engineers, at the period of our visit to their encampment near Port Douglas, to which I shall
hereafter allude.
A distance of about twenty-nine miles now brings
us to Lake Lilooett, from which a road, about sixteen miles in length—along which it was proposed to
lay a tramway—brings us to Lake Anderson, closely
followed by Lake Seaton; having traversed which,
a stretch of road once more lies before us, at the SKAHOLET INDIANS.
extremity of which is Cayoshe or Lilooett, whence
to Fort Alexander, in the midst of the gold country
and on the confines of the Cariboo district,   the
route is comparatively easy.     This route to the
gold   regions   of British  Columbia  is   generally
spoken of now as the Harrison Lilooett route.    I
may mention that the whole of these lakes  are
traversed by steamers, with the exception of a very
small one which I have not specified, and which is
crossed in an open boat.    The scenery throughout
4s   romantically  beautiful,   and  the  trip  in  fine
weather is a very pleasant one, barring mosquitoes.
At the mouth of the Harrison River a tribe of
Indians known as the Skaholets are located.    The
huts composing their village are more than usually
distinguished   for  the  amount   of   curious   and
elaborate carving they display, evidently of great
antiquity.    These Indians make a great profession
of their adherence to the Roman Catholic faith.
They have a strong objection to perform any kind
of labour on a Sunday, and many of them exhibited
papers they had received from Roman   Catholic
missionaries,  stating that they were  " temperance
men," and begging that no white man would, by
the offer of any kind of intoxicating drink, tempt
them to depart from their self-imposed abstinence.
I have occasionally seen these Indians fishing in
the Harrison, suspended in a rude sort of cradle
attached to the projecting bough or stem of a tree,
p*^!!'.;«•£... illiil
overhanging the roaring waters of this impetuous
stream as it rushed between its rocky and precipitous
banks—a picturesque, but it appeared to me
dangerous mode of angling, as had the fisherman
been precipitated by any accident into the torrent
beneath, I think his chances of escape would have
been small indeed. He did not appear himself,
however, to be troubled by any apprehensions of
the sort, but pursued his employment as unconcernedly as if in a place of perfect safety.
In ascending the Harrison I found the scenery'
very picturesque. The river was now narrowed to a mountain torrent in some rocky
gorge, now spread into a charming lake in the
open country, the water itself being of the most
beautiful ultramarine blue. The general character
of the scenery on these small lakes is thought by
some travellers greatly to resemble certain districts
in the Highlands of Scotland, and may fairly vie
with the noble scenery in the vicinity of Fort Hope
on the Fraser River. Port Douglas, some eight or
ten miles from the mouth, is situated on the
Harrison Lake, and a very beautiful and romantic
little lake it appeared to me the first time I beheld
it, its intensely blue waters rippled by a fresh breeze
and flecked with the white foam of its mimic
billows, the various little islands scattered over its
surface, and the surrounding panorama of mountain
and rock, on which the mingled foliage of a variety FORT DOUGLAS.
of forest trees relieved the sombre hues of the pine,
combined to form a picture of no ordinary beauty
and freshness. At the same time I must confess
that, beautiful as it is, we must beware how we trust,
ourselves at all times on its treacherous surface, as
the lake is subject to sudden and violent squalls
very dangerous to the smaller kinds of sailing
vessels. Its waters are also much encumbered with
floating timber, which, both here and on the Fraser
River, is a frequent source of injury to the steamers.
These vessels, consequently, always carry with them
the means of repairing any injury that may befall
them on the spot; the snags in the Fraser River
are especially dangerous. These steamers are al
of the type of the American river-boat, and are, as
a matter of necessity, provided with very powerful
engines to enable them to stem the rapid current.
They all work by high pressure. The way in which
any canoes we chanced to meet shot past us as we
were ascending this stream, was quite sufficient to
give us an idea of its force and rapidity.
Fort Douglas, at the head of Harrison Lake,
consists of two or three stores, a church, several
whisky shops, and a Customs office. In summer
it is hardly habitable on account of mosquitoes, the
plague of British Columbia. These troublesome
insects are found to be diminishing in proportion
to the amount of timber felled. The general
appearance of Fort Douglas, situated as it is in a
Kiiii! iiiii j
.,';. "' :  :
wild mountainous district, quite Alpine in its
character, forcibly recalled some of the little Swiss
or Tyrolese villages one meets with among the
I rode out from Douglas to visit some friends,
at the camp of the Royal Engineers, who were
engaged here in making a road to open a communication with the interior. The road, as far as it
was then finished, lay through a wild, rocky
district; on the left hand of it flowed the Harrison,
sometimes broad and shallow, brawling over stones,
sometimes deep and narrow, and rushing through
a gorge. My friends at the camp gave me a hearty
welcome, entertaining me in a style of rough hospitality, such as was alone compatible with surrounding circumstances. Rum or whisky, mingled with
the water of the river, was set before us on & rude
deal table, under a shed of new pine planks, which
was both thatched and carpeted with fresh pine
branches; those above being placed to keep off
the too ardent rays of the sun, while those under
foot both, served as a carpet and filled the air with
a pungent aromatic fragrance when trodden on.
We spent some hours very pleasantly discussing
old scenes, old friends, and old adventures, and I
did not start until after nightfall on my ride back,
which was consequently of a very wild and solitary
We will now retrace our steps, and ascend the ■
Fraser River to Fort Hope. The current in this
part of its course is tremendous, and the difficulty
of stemming it proportionately great. The steamers
seldom succeed in achieving a higher speed than
from one to two knots per hour, and I have known
them not to make an inch for hours together. On
the occasion of the trip I am now describing, our
steamer made fast a rope to the trunk of a tree, to
assist in stemming the current. This broke, however, but some of our party happening to be on
shore, were lucky enough to catch the broken end,
and make it fast to another tree. I, in company
with several others, performed the remainder of
the distance to Fort Hope on foot, leaving the
steamer to battle with the current as best she could.
We passed several parties of Chinamen, washing
the sands of the river for gold, the rockers being
generally worked by parties of from three to four.
The number of Chinese to be met with all over the
world, wherever gold has been discovered, is a
singular and characteristic fact. They are to be
found in Australia, California, and now here, and
in great numbers. Being frugal, persevering, and
abstemious, they generally succeed, not only in
purchasing their enfranchisement of the agent who
has shipped them from their own country and
supplied them with the few necessaries they required
on arriving, but also in taking back with them a
competence  on their return  home.    One whole
■     t-  tM       l2 TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
street in Victoria is filled with them—it is called
Pandora Street; walking through it, one might
almost fancy oneself in Canton. This is also the
head-quarters of the merchants, who have their
stores here, and many of whom do a very considerable trade.
On reaching Fort Hope we got some Indians to
ferry us across in a canoe, we being on the right
bank of the river, while the Fort is situated on the
left bank. Having effected the passage with some
difficulty, the current being still very strong, we
landed in the little town which has recently grown
up around the original Hudson's Bay Fort. The
old fort, which I remembered in its primitive state,
has been done away with, and the town^ as it now
stands, consists of two or three streets, and a few
stores or shops. Soon after landing, the shrill
whistle of the steamer coming up showed she was
not far behind us.
Fort Hope is situated at an angle or bend of
the Fraser River, and at its junction with the Co-
quiklum. The latter is a very picturesque little
mountain stream, the waters of which being fed
by melting snows, are intensely cold, and are said
to abound in excellent trout.
Fort Hope occupies the centre of a panorama of
mountain scenery, of the most grand and beautiful
description, forming a fitting prelude to the wild
and terrible character of that to be met with above VILLAGE OF THE TUM SIOUX INDIANS.
Yale, where the Fraser River flows between two
almost perpendicular walls of naked rocks of dizzy
Adjoining Fort Hope is the village of the Turn
Sioux Indians. It presents the usual characteristics of an Indian village, but we must not omit
to mention that, in addition to these their ordinary
habitations, this tribe have a number of holes dug
in the earth, which, when roofed over, are intended to form their dwelling-places in very severe
On the occasion of one of my visits to this
village, I heard sounds of chanting, in which many
voices were mingled, issuing from one of the
larger huts, and bearing a striking resemblance in
their general character to a Roman Catholic service.-
My curiosity being aroused, I essayed to enter, but
was arrested on the threshold by a functionary in
a blanket, who evidently filled the office of a Turn
Sioux " Bumble." After a time, however, I was
admitted, and before the service was entirely concluded. 1 found a party of Indians, to the number
of thirty or forty, engaged in bowing and crossing
themselves in the intervals of chanting. I did not
observe that they made use of any of the emblems
of the Romish Church, but feel sure that the
atmosphere of the place in which they were
assembled would, at any rate, have been greatly
improved by the introduction of a little incense.
i?s ■B'll
i M
I doubt whether these poor savages attached any
particular meaning or significance to any of the
rites and ceremonies in the performance of which
they were engaged. They had, no doubt, been
told by the Roman Catholic missionaries, who had
been their instructors, that it was klosh (good) for
them to act after this fashion, and therefore did
their best in their rude way to carry out the injunctions of their teachers.
Before taking leave of our Indian friends, of
whom I hope the reader is not yet wearied, I must
say a few words about that important functionary
the "Tumanas," as he is called on the western
shores of Vancouver, or Medicine Man. His post
is, I believe, a lucrative one, but at the same time,
as a set off against its advantages, should a patient
happen to expire under his treatment—a consummation by no means improbable, considering the
nature of the curative process—it is quite within
the limits of possibility that the friends and
relatives of the deceased may take it into their
heads to sacrifice the unfortunate " Tumanas ' to
the manes of their relatives.
The mode of treatment adopted by the 1 Medicine Man" consists generally in creating a frightful
uproar in the chamber of the sick person,, whether
with the design of arousing the drooping faculties
of the patient or of scaring away evil spirits, I
never could rightly ascertain, but know that I have THE TUMANAS, OR MEDICINE MEN.
often felt the greatest commiseration for the unfortunate sick who have to undergo the suffering of
such an ordeal, at a time when quiet and repose are
more than ever desirable. I have seen the unhappy
victims of perhaps a bilious attack, accompanied by
violent headache, or the weakened and debilitated
sufferers from recent fever, tortured by the insensate
method of cure adopted by the Tumanas, who
persists in dancing about the apartment and yelling
at the top of his voice, and, as if this were not noise
enough, accompanying himself meanwhile by the
horrid uproar of a couple of Indian rattles, one in
either hand. When I inform the reader that the
latter instruments consist of two hollow pieces of
wood, bound together by cords, and filled writh loose
stones, he will be able to realize at once the delectable sounds they may be made to produce, and the
very great probability of their being conducive to
the comfort of a sick-room. To crown all, the
Medicine Man will occasionally vary his perform-1
ances by administering smart blows to the patient
in various parts of his body—in plain English,
boxing his ears and thumping his chest.
I remember that on one of the first occasions of
my witnessing the extraordinary performances of
the Tumanas, they appeared to me so extremely
ludicrous that, in spite of my utmost efforts, I
could not forbear laughing outright. One of the
relatives of the sick person, who was looking on in
m if;. ta»ip
m: '
a state of silence and composure, probably not
unmixed with awe, bent on me from time to time
looks of reproving gravity, until at length, finding
that these failed to check my irresistible inclination
to laugh, he abruptly exclaimed, with mingled
indignation and astonishment, " Kopa kha mika
hee hee?"—"What are you laughing at?"
The journey from Fort Hope to Yale is performed
by steamer, at which point we reach the limit of
navigation on the Fraser River. Above this, it is
practicable, occasionally, only for canoes. The remainder of the route from Yale to Lillooett, by way
of Lytton, is performed by means of horses or
mules, or on foot. We have now once more reached
the starting point for the gold fields to which I
had already conducted our readers, by the Harrison
Lillooett route. I may mention that a waggon road
has been completed, which opens a communication
between Fort Hope and the Similkameen country,
a district lying to the east of Fort Hope, and to
the south of Cariboo, and the gold fields of the
Fraser River. 153
General Remarks on British Columbia—Its Soil and Climate—Agricultural Prospects—Its Natural Productions—Mineral, Vegetable,
and Animal—Suitability of its Climate to rearing English Stock
—Encouragement to Farmers to settle here—The Gold Fields—
Prospects of Miners—Advice to Gold Seekers—A Miner's Narrative—Different Methods of seeking for Gold—Other Branches of
Industry—Packers—Effect of the Discovery of Gold on British
Columbia—Geographical Features of the Country—Its Mountains, Rivers, and Lakes.
The rapid growth into important and flourishing
colonies of wild and inhospitable regions on the
distant sea-board of the Pacific, is among those phenomena of our age, which, from time to time, arise
to startle us into'the belief that the world really
does move faster than of yore. Casting our eyes
in whatsoever direction we may, we cannot fail to
realize the fact that events are daily passing around
us which must be fraught with the deepest interest
to the future history of our race.    The recent im-
m .
m }\\>
mm lift
\Wm -111
|  ;:p|;::
■ irj ijf
f J
j-     I ;   !.,]■!-' *;
1 Wm
petus which has been given to those colonies which
it is our province specially to consider, is, no
doubt, due to the artificial stimulus imparted by
the discovery of gold. Now this, though useful as
an adjunct, is not sufficient in itself even to create
a new colony, much less ensure its future prosperity.
Gold cannot effect impossibilities, it cannot clothe
the surface of the naked rock, or the sandy desert
with verdure; nor can it develope a prosperous
commercial community in a region destitute of
natural harbours and rivers.
It behoves us therefore to consider whether, independently of the accident of their mineral wealth,
they possess within themselves the essential elements
of true prosperity. This is a question which we
think can be satisfactorily answered in the affirmative, and we. believe that these colonies will be
found to present as attractive a field for emigration
to the farmer and capitalist, as to the gold-digger,
the artisan, and the labourer.
In the interior of British Columbia are vast
tracts of great fertility, capable of conversion into
the finest agricultural and pastoral lands. The
supply of the mining districts, and the different
towns and settlements in their vicinity, with fresh
meat and vegetables, will, no doubt, fo* the present,
engage the attention of the stock-keepers and agriculturist, and prove a lucrative speculation; we
hope it may ultimately be the means of introduc- SOIL AND CLIMATE.
ing farming on an extensive scale into this country.
I would strongly recommend any who have the
means of doing so, and are inclined to turn their
attention to this branch of industry, to take stock
into the interior, where the rearing of cattle,
sheep, and pigs cannot fail amply to indemnify
them for their trouble and outlay. With regard
to the last-mentioned animals, it may be observed
that the Chinese—of which race there are so many
to be found in the gold districts—scarcely ever eat
any other kind of meat than pork. There are extensive open districts in the interior of the finest
grazing land imaginable, capable * of supporting
innumerable herds of cattle and flocks of sheep,
lying contiguous to the recently constructed high
roads and inland water communication, to which I
have already drawn the reader's attention*. The
mules and pack-horses traversing these districts
find amply sufficient grazing wherever they are
turned out, so as to be entirely independent of any
other kind of provender.
The climate is remarkably healthy and bracing,
and the air pure. As we advance into the interior, we shall find the cold, during winter, increase in intensity; at the same time the climate
is less moisfy and less subject to sudden and
frequent changes than on the coast.*    This being
* Since writing the above, accounts have reached us of the very
severe character of the past winter in British Columbia.    The iiyii
ii»U '
I'll  ;
the case, it will naturally be inferred that, with
a corresponding excellence of soil, any of the
ordinary household vegetables grown in England
may also be raised here. That this is the actual
fact I can testify from personal experience, having
eaten turnips, carrots, potatoes, greens, and other
vegetables in British Columbia of a size and quality
that would entitle them to admiration anywhere. Of
its suitability for the production of our English cereal crops, I cannot speak so positively, as but very
small quantities of grain have as yet been raised
here ; at the same time I think that we are fully
Fraser River was frozen throughout a great portion of its course,
with the exception of a few rapids—the journey from Yale to New
Westminster having been performed on foot on the ice. The quantity of snow that had fallen was everywhere very great, reaching to
the tops of the houses in Yale. A thermometer at the Forks of
Quesnelle, Cariboo country, stood at 18° below zero, and at Beaver
Lake, on the following day, at 25° below zero. A winter of this
degree of severity is, however, quite exceptional. The Victoria
British Colonist, commenting on this fact, draws the following distinction between the past season and the present:—"From the 1st
of February to the 1st of March, 1861, 635 passengers left this port
on steamers for British Columbia. Fraser River was opened from
Alexandria to its mouth, and miners commenced work on the North
Fork of the Quesnelle on the 22nd of February. The trails from
Lytton and Cayoosh were in tolerable travelling order during the
same period, and scores of miners and animals were wending their
way towards the golden land. This year the Fraser, from source to
mouth, is blockaded with ice; hardly fifty miners have left this place
for British Columbia, and from late and reliable accounts received of
the weather and the state of the roads, it would seem to be as much
as a man's life were worth to attempt the journey to Quesnelle from
either Lytton or Cayoosh before the 1st of June." VEGETABLE AND MINERAL PRODUCTIONS.      157
justified, from its known qualities of soil and
climate, in assuming that abundant and excellent
crops of every species of British cereal will eventually be  grown  in  British Columbia.
The vegetable productions indigenous to these
regions are wholly unimportant, with the exception, perhaps, of cranberries and wild hemp. Of
course, this statement does not include the vast
forests of pine and other timber, with which so large
a portion of the surface of the country is covered,
and which must, for ages to come, form an important article of export. The oak here met with
is of stunted growth, and its timber is inferior.
Maple-wood, so valuable in cabinet-making, is
found in some places, together with cypress,
juniper, yew, birch, and poplar.
Of the mineral productions of British Columbia,
it is difficult as yet to speak with perfect confidence,
save as regards the now world-notorious fact of its
auriferous wealth. Both silver and copperare known
to exist in considerable quantities, and mines of
both metals have recently been opened. I have
frequently seen specimens of silver ore brought by
Indians to Victoria, from districts lying adjacent
to the sea coast.
Coal is known to exist in various districts of
British Columbia, but in small quantities only.
Stone, suitable for every purpose of building, only
requires to be quarried.    Limestone and sandstone
Inn In
are everywhere abundant. Marble, of various kinds,
is found in the coast range of mountains. Salt
exists in many localities, and is obtained in great
quantities from the salt springs of Nanaimo, Vancouver's Island. * I have already alluded to the
coal mines at the latter place, the only spot where
coal is at present worked in these colonies, j Those
interested in the matter have now an opportunity
of forming an opinion of the quality of the
Nanaimo coal, as a specimen may be inspected at
the Great Exhibition.
In enumerating the otherprincipal natural sources
of wealth in British Columbia, I must not forget to
mention the different species of fur-bearing animals
which are met with in abundance along these
coasts, as well as those of Vancouver's Island.
Indeed, as I have already mentioned, it was in pursuit of furs that the attention of the white man
first came to be directed to these wild and inhospitable regions, as they were at one time considered,
and the forts of the Hudson's Bay Company have
formed the nuclei of some of the principal towns
in these colonies.
Among the principal fur-bearing animals found
here are the bear, the marten, the mink, the silver
fox, the racoon, the otter, the beaver and the seal.
The ermine is only met with further north. The
sportsman may be interested to know that wild sheep
are found in the mountains, but are very difficult to WILD ANIMALS.
approach. He will, however, have a glorious quarry in
the noble elk. This is an entirely different animal
from the stag we have already alluded to on Vancouver's Island, and which is also found here.
The head of the elk is adorned with noble antlers,
frequently weighing upwards of thirty pounds,
and its flesh is excellent eating. Notwithstanding
the spread of its branching antlers, the elk will make
its way through the thickest woods more swiftly
than a man can follow; in so doing, it will fling
back its stately head till its horns lie level with its
back, and bound through the crashing underwood
with wonderful speed. These animals are frequently tracked on the snow.
There are two kinds of bear in British Columbia
—the black bear, and the grizzly or brown bear.
Among the more destructive and troublesome of
the other wild animals, may be enumerated the
wolf and the puma. The latter is an animal of the
cat kind, of a light brown colour, turning to
whitish grey underneath. It varies in size, some
of the larger among them attaining to the size of
a Newfoundland dog. The puma is a cowardly
animal, but very destructive to sheep. I must not
forget, finally, to mention that in British Columbia we find the dreaded rattlesnake of the American continent. This formidable reptile is much
more plentiful in some districts than in others.
Among the feathered tribes indigenous to this
m, I.
si ypf ill It -
colony, are the white swan—which is very difficult
shooting—several kinds of geese, and a great variety
of ducks. Sea-birds are plentiful on the coast. In
addition to these, the heron, the blue grouse, and
the willow grouse and the snipe are found in the
interior. Vast flocks of wild pigeons are occasionally seen; and, finally, among the birds of
prey, we may enumerate the eagle, the hawk, and
the kite.
I have already alluded to the different kinds of
fish taken in the waters of British Columbia and
Vancouver, both fresh and salt. These comprise
several known varieties of excellent quality, such
as rock cod, herrings, skate, flounders, and river
trout. The most important is, undoubtedly, the
salmon, which—both fresh and preserved—is excellent eating, and is everywhere very abundant.
Every kind of stock that has been introduced
from our own country into British Columbia, has
been found to flourish equally well. Sheep, cattle,
pigs, and poultry, all seem to thrive and increase.
The native horses are small but serviceable. The
American cattle in California are fine animals.
The Spanish breed, which are numerous, are
smaller, but are at the same time valuable stock.
On one very important point we can set at rest
any misgivings that may be felt by the farmer
who settles in British Columbia. Independently
of the protection afforded by the law, we can as-
sure him that he need not feel the least apprehension of successful competition in any other quarter.
In spite of the abundance of agricultural produce,
and its consequent cheapness in the markets of
California and Oregon, the distance it will have to
be brought will effectually protect the farmer in
British Columbia.    If sent from California, it will
have to traverse a distance of from one thousand
to one thousand five hundred miles ; if from Oregon, five hundred to eight hundred ; if from Van-
couver's Island, one hundred and fifty to five hundred.    In every case the expense of transport is
so great that nothing but the entire absence of
agriculture in central and northern British Colum-
bia, allows a single ounce of Californian or Oregon
produce to reach the mines, and is in itself a better protection to agricultural industry than the protective tariff of ten per cent, levied at New Westminster.     The moment that domestic produce is
raised in sufficient quantities to supply the demand,
. the importation   of foreign produce will that moment cease.
It is impossible to estimate the loss that British
Columbia sustained last season, in consequence of
her want of agricultural industry. It has been
computed at upwards of half a million of dollars.
Here is, in itself, a sum that would provide five
hundred farmers with an annual profit of one thousand dollars,  certainly greater than the average
I*; ;i!:pH:i
':!;■. ?J
i «f! 162
gains realized by diggers. Thus, we see we have a
source of wealth capable of yielding higher profits
than the gold fields, lying absolutely fallow. What
a stimulus ought this reflection to impart, to agricultural enterprise and industry! The prospect is
equally encouraging to farmers of every description, small as well as great; all may do equally well.
For the benefit of those who may be curious to
know what prospects the markets at present afford,
I will quote the following current prices of produce
at the mines. Vegetables can be supplied, at a
point distant about eighty miles from the Forks of
Quesnelle, at 8 cents per lb.; hay, at 10 cents;
barley and oats, at 30 cents. If carried to the
mines in the Cariboo country, a distance of from
eighty to one hundred miles, vegetables will realize
25 cents per lb.; barley and oats, 50 cents ; butter,
1 dollar 50 cents; bacon, 75 cents. I think these
are facts that need no comment.
Of course the gold fields must be expected, for
some time to come, to form the real attraction for
the great mass of immigrants to British Columbia.
No doubt a great proportion of these will come from
California and Australia; at the same time, if we
may judge by the advertisements in the papers of
ships to sail for these colonies, thousands must be
flocking thither from this country also. I fully expect to hear that there has been a rush to the diggings this summer, and that provisions of all descrip- ADVICE TO GOLD-SEEKERS.
tions are at very high prices; and am therefore
further prepared to hear that there has been a certain amount of privation and suffering. At the
same time 1 have no doubt that the packers—a
class to which I shall have occasion again to
allude—will do their best to meet the demand,
however great, by an adequate supply of the
necessaries    of   life;   their   vocation   being,
may be supposed, a very lucrative one. With
every desire to see the mineral wealth and
material resources of British Columbia developed
to their fullest extent, I think it right to forewarn
the intending digger of certain difficulties and
disappointments he may possibly meet with, if he
has had no previous experience of this kind of
labour. In the first place the gold fields here, as
elsewhere, are a lottery, in which, however rich the
auriferous deposits, there must, I fear, always be
more blanks than prizes. In the second place
the life of a digger is one of considerable hard-
ship and privation, such as could be scarcely endured by those accustomed to a sedentary and
easy life, and have never known what it is to
rough it, as it is expressively termed. They must
bear in mind that their only shelter will be a hut
of their own construction, or a tent; that beans
and bacon, with the addition of plain water as a
beverage, are a luxury not always to be commanded.    I would recommend all diggers in the
i m 2
fm\m 164
enjoyment of good health, religiously to abstain
from purchasing the spirits retailed at the " Whisky
Stores," as they are termed. These are all of the
very vilest description, partaking more or less of
the character of the stuff called by the Americans
" Tangleleg." Abominable as are these drinks, the
pi ice charged for them is nevertheless exorbitant;
and there can be no doubt that a whisky store at
the diggings generally proves a very lucrative
speculation to those that are unscrupulous enough
to embark in it. The unfortunate digger, therefore, who takes to drinking, not only parts with
a large proportion of the hardly-earned results of
his labour, but is, at the same time, undermining
his constitution, and rendering himself more and
more unfit for future exertions. I have seen and
heard of so many instances of the pernicious—the
ruinous effect of drink at the diggings, that I cannot refrain from insisting thus strongly on the
necessity of total abstinence. Gambling is another
vice the gold-digger should scrupulously avoid. I
have known cases in which diggers, after parting
with the whole of their stock of gold, were mad
enough, in the excitement of the moment, to stake
their claim, and having lost it, and with it the
means of further gain, were reduced to hire themselves out as day-labourers to others.
The intending gold-digger should, in the next
place, bear in mind that genuine digging for gold A MINER S NARRATIVE.
is very hard work; is, in fact, the work of-a navvy,
and requires the exercise of a very considerable
amount of physical strength and endurance.
Gold-finding in British Columbia has hitherto
been confined, in the first instance, to washing for
gold on the rivers, and latterly to surface-digging.
The real hard work of digging, sinking shafts, and
tunnelling, such as we hear of in Australia, has
yet to come. The cradle or rockers I have seen
in use on the rivers consist of a couple of sieves,
of different degrees of fineness, fixed one above
another; the particles of gold, being separated by
degrees from the larger sort of grit and pebbles,
fall through, by reason of their weight, and finally
adhere to the woolly surface of a blanket disposed
to receive them, out of which they are afterwards
For the benefit of those who feel specially interested in the subject of gold digging, we append the
following characteristic account of the adventures
of a miner, as related by himself in a letter to a
friend. The party alluded to started from Yale,
above Fort Hope, on the Fraser River:—
" My first trip up the rapids nearly cost me my
life. Six of us started in company. We had the
usual outfit, a canoe loaded with provisions, mining
tools, and haversacks. Four men travelled on
shore, and pulled the boat up the stream by a rope
attached to its bow; another man and I were in
the boat. Suddenly we ran into an eddy, the boat
was at once upset, all our traps tumbled into the
water, and we were nearly drowned. Luckily we
managed to cling to the boat, and were dragged
ashore. The loss of my haversack, with all my
papers, I regret very much, as I cannot replace
them again. We kindled a fire and dried ourselves, then returned to Fort Yale, bought another
outfit, started again, and reached the Upper Fraser
without any other mishap. Our life on the
journey was rough enough. We slept at night
round a fire kindled on the bank, ate a half-cooked
breakfast before we started in the morning, and
then trudged along our weary road. The land on
either side of the river for almost the whole distance, is rough and rocky. The tops of the hills
are covered with snow all the summer; the wood
growing on the sides is' shrubby and dwarfed. In
some places these hills are bald and peaky, where,
apparently, man never trod. Farming is j out of
the question in these parts. We prospected a short
time on some of the bars on our way up, but with
very poor success. These bars lie like steps or
terraces along the river, the first a few feet above
high water mark, from one to three hundred feet
then a level. Sometimes for four or five steps
high they are covered with soft sand, from two to
ten feet deep, then a layer of gravel from six
inches to three feet deep.    Below these the gold A MINER S NARRATIVE.
is deposited, so you see we have a great deal of
trouble to remove them before we can reach it.
"On reaching the head of the Lower Fraser, we
hired three Indians to assist us in carrying our
provisions, and instructed them to conduct us to
Swift River. On arriving there we sent back the
Indians, and began prospecting up the river. We
were three weeks before we found anything. At
last we hit upon a spot which paid twenty-five
dollars per day each. We were the first white men
on that part of the river. An accident occurred
here, by which one of our party (a Frenchman)
lost his life. When we were moving our camp, he
was lifting his gun from behind a stump, when
the trigger caught some of the branches and exploded, the charge entering his arm and shoulder,
wounding him severely. We doctored him as best
we could, but it was of no avail; he died in a few
days. We buried him in this wild region, and put
a stone over his grave to mark the spot. We
wrought along here till our stores were done, and
did wTell. We came down and got another supply
of provisions, and on returning we found our diggings covered with Chinamen, who, it seems, had
come shortly after we left, and had then nearly
worked oulT We shouldered our burdens and
travelled for eight days further up the river, when
we found another piece of ground, which yielded
from twenty-five dollars to a hundred dollars per day.
I'l.iillilK ;
These diggings lasted till the middle of October; by
this time we had a considerable amount of gold.
The life is hard enough at the diggings.    Our bed
o oo     o
was of hemlock brush, but the weary miner sleeps
sounder on it than many in more comfortable circumstances. With trifling exceptions, such is the
life of the miner in all new gold countries."
We must, in conclusion, remember that gold-
digging is only practicable in British Columbia
during a certain portion of the year, the districts
in which the mines are situated being covered
many feet deep in snow during the winter
That many who leave this country in the
sanguine hope of realizing a rapid fortune in the
new I El-Dorado" of the West will be disappointed,
there can be no doubt; at the same time there are
many other ways besides gold-digging of earning a
livelihood in new and thriving colonies, like British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island, if the emigrant
be only willing to work and prepared to turn his
hand to anything in which he can be useful. Really
skilled artisans may command a very high rate of
wages. I have myself paid a carpenter as much
as five dollars a dav.
The so-called packers are a class employed in
supplying the gold-fields with the different necessaries of life; food, clothing, mining-tools, and other
indispensable articles being packed in the smallest
possible compass on the backs of horses or mules,
.and disposed of in quarters where they are sure to
meet with a ready sale, at prices realizing an
immense per-centage.
It will be seen from the general tenor of my
foregoing remarks, that I look upon British
Columbia as possessing, independently of her gold-
fields, no inconsiderable share of the essential
elements of success and future prosperity. Of
course the discovery of gold is an incalculable
boon to a country already possessing so many
advantages of soil and climate, and will give an
impulse to its material progress in which months
will see the work of years accomplished. In directing a tide of immigration to its shores, it will be
the means of supplying it with the very element
of prosperity of which it stands most in need—
strong hands to till its soil and develop those
material resources which must ever constitute the
true wealth of a country. The prosperity of a new
colony like British Columbia is to be guaged by
its agricultural produce. If it be not self-supporting, its gold, however abundant, must go to
purchase provisions for the hungry mouths of its
population, and thus enrich other lands rather
than itself; nor do I doubt that, in the main,
agricultural pursuits will prove a surer road to
wealth than even gold-digging.    TLere can .be no
o oo    o
doubt, however, that the latter pursuit, in the very
Mil tmf&Wlif
uncertainty of its results, exercises over men's
minds much of the fascination of the gambling-
table, and, of course, the great mass of immigrants,
animated by the accounts of the really fabulous
sums that were in many cases realized by gold-
diggers last season, will rush at once to the gold-
fields. In my opinion the wisest and safest plan
for those who intend to become gold-seekers would
be, where it is practicable, to unite in parties eight or
ten strong, on the principle of mutual benefit. Such
a party could hardly fail to realize something at the
end of the season, as the non-success of some would
be compensated for by the gains of others. They
would be strong to resist aggression, and in the case
of sickness any member would be sure to be carefully
tended. I am happy to say that a much greater
respect for law and order seems to exist among the
gold-diggers of British Columbia than has hitherto
characterized this class in other parts of the world,
even in our own colonies. No doubt by this time
a very considerable sprinkling § of Californian
rowdies will have been attracted hither; but I
hope that the influence of the general good
conduct of the mass will be found sufficient to
enforce m them a respect for the great principles
of order and honesty.
The history o*f British Columbia for the last few
years is a proof of the difficulty of foreseeing the RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY.
future   of   a new  and,   comparatively speaking,
unknown region such as this;   it also shows how
little reliance can be placed in the judgment of
those  who  may  be  supposed to  have the best
opportunity of forming a correct opinion.    After
the  settlement  of the long-disputed question of
boundary between the British Government and the
United States, known as the Oregon Question, it
was  generally supposed that we had been overreached by the " 'cute Yankee," who had taken care
to reserve for himself all that was worth having,
leaving us a barren and useless tract of swamp,
mountain, and forest.    How signally have recent
events proved the  fallacy  of such  conclusions!
Here we find, not only one of the richest—if not
the very richest—auriferous region that has yet
been discovered, but a country possessing a climate
and soil that leave little or nothing to be desired,
and  abounding in natural advantages that only
require to be developed to minister to all the wants
and comforts of mankind.    In a region equalling
France in extent, we shall be prepared to find considerable    difference   of   soil   and  climate,—the
mountain districts being the most barren as well as
the coldest in winter.
The whole of British Columbia lies between the
Rocky Mountains and the Pacific, and, consequently, on the western water-shed of the great
ill mmw
North American Continent. It is traversed
throughout its entire length, from the Simpson's
River to its southern boundary, by several chains
of mountains, running in a direction from the
north-west to the south-east, more or less parallel
to the Rocky Mountains, and following, to some
extent, the coast-line which the range of mountains
known as the " Coast Range" approach more
closely in the southernmost part of their course;
these, together with the Cascade and other ranges,
are prolonged into the Oregon territory.
These mountain ranges form a very picturesque
object in the distance, as seen from the sea in sailing
from Victoria to Fraser River or any other point
on the coast of British Columbia. Several of the
peaks attain to a very considerable altitude, being
covered with snow in summer. Mount Baker in
the,south is upwards of 10,000 feet in height.
It is through a gorge in these mountains, above
Fort Hope, to which I have already alluded, that
the principal river of British Columbia—the Fraser
«—finds its way to the sea. The scenery of these
mountain districts wherever I have traversed them
—whether on the Harrison River or on the Fraser
above Fort Hope—is of the most romantic and
picturesque character, in some parts resembling the
Highlands of Scotland, while in others I could
fancy myself in Switzerland, the lofty and snow- GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES.
covered mountains being quite Alpine in their
character, and the train of mules carrying baggage
through their rugged passes assisting to complete
the illusion. Beyond these, at a considerable
distance, and also nearly parallel to the Rocky
Mountains, is another range of mountains, forming
/ O i o
the water-shed of the Fraser and Thorhpson Rivers
on the west, and of the Columbia River on the
The coast is indented with a number of creeks
or inlets, many of them penetrating far into the
interior. Islands are also thickly scattered along
the coast—many of them lying between British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island—the largest of
which is Queen Charlotte's Island, in the Pacific.
This has recently been discovered to consist of
two larger islands, Graham and Moresby, and one
small one, Prevost. This group of islands is ,the
habitat of the Hydah Indians, to whom we
have so often alluded, and the principal channel
which divides them takes its name of " Skittegat'
from the chief of this Indian tribe.
The gold regions of British Columbia lie between these ranges of mountains and the
great central chain of the North American continent, the Rocky Mountains. In the more level
districts between these various mountain ranges we
meet with vast areas of fertile land, destined here-
;lii 174
after to become important agricultural and pastoral countries.
The whole of this part of British Columbia
abounds in rivers and lakes. Among the latter
the principal are, Lake Kamloops, Lake Shushwap,
and Lake Okanagan. They are all situated in
the midst of a country abounding in gold, and
which may be termed the Lake District. These
lakes, all of which receive a number of tributarv
streams, are fine sheets of water. Shushwap is
about forty-five miles in length, and from five to
ten in width. It is studded with islands, and
situated in the midst of a rich pastoral
country. Lake Okanagan, in an equally fine
district, is a long, narrow sheet of water, running
nearly due north and south ; it is about eighty or
ninety miles in length, by eight to ten in width.
Its waters are deep, and well suited for navigation.
The   greater number   of  the   streams flowing
o o
through this part of British Columbia are tributaries of the Fraser. This celebrated river rises in
the Rocky Mountains, and after flowing in a northwesterly direction for the first part of its course between two ranges of mountains, it gradually finds
its way round to the south after passing Fort George
in latitude 54° North. It now flows in a southerly direction for. many hundred miles, the whole
It !l
of which portion of its course is auriferous, until it
reaches Fort Hope, when it makes a final bend to
the westward, and falls into the Gulf of Georgia,
close to the boundary line of the United States territory, to the north of the forty-ninth parallel of
north latitude. A little below latitude 54° North
it receives its northern branch, sometimes called
Stuart's River, flowing into it from thenorth-e ast,
after drawing its waters from a chain of lakes.
The union of the two forms the Fraser River proper. Just below latitude 53° North it receives the
Quesnelle River from the east.
This river consists of two branches, one of which
drains the Quesnelle Lake, fifty miles in length,
while the more northerly receives the surplus
waters of the Upper and Lower Cariboo Lakes, one
of which receives the Swamp River, and the other
Keithley's Creek. The junction of the two branches
of this river form the Quesnelle Forks, where a de-
p6t for the supply of the Cariboo diggings has
been established.
The Fraser River now flows past Fort Alexandria,
to which I have already alluded; in that part of its
course which lies between this point and its junction
with the Thompson at Lytton, it receives a number
of tributaries, none of which are of sufficient importance to merit a special notice, except the Chilco-
teen and the Bridge River, both of which flow into *•#•■
Hlii 11 if
it from the west. The latter river is rich in gold,
and is therefore an exception to the rule that
those rivers flowing into the Fraser from the east,
are alone auriferous. Nodules of pure copper have
also been found in the bed of this river.
The Thompson River is formed by the junction
of two principal streams. The one flowing from
the north rises in that chain of mountains whose
opposite slopes form the water-shed of the Swamp
River, and flowing in a southerly direction receives the waters of a variety of tributaries, some
fed by chains of lakes, until it forms a junction at
Fort Kamloops with the main branch of the Thompson, which flows out of Lake Shushwap, for whose
surplus waters it forms an outlet. The river now
flows through Lake Kamloops, which lake receives
the Tranquille and Copper River, and finally falls
into the Fraser at Lytton. Near the mouth the
current is deep and rapid, and flowing between
steep rocky banks. Before its junction with the
River Fraser it receives the Nicaomen and the
Nicola from the south, and the Bonaparte from
the north, all of which drain the waters of a number of small lakes.
The Bonaparte is a stream rich in gold, and flowing through a fine arable country. The chief of the
lakes whose waters flow into this river are Lakes
Loon and Vert, both about twelve miles long.
The Columbia River also rises in the British do- TRIBUTARIES OF THE FRASER RIVER.
minions, and, after flowing through a chain of lakes,
crosses the southern boundary and enters the
United States territory. It receives the united
waters of the Okanagan and Similkameen, both
flowing into it from British Columbia. 178
Idea of an Inter-Oceanic Line of Railway—United States Line—
Importance of such a Line of Railroad on British Territory—
Circumstances favouring its Adoption—Great Advantages
attending it—The Splendid Future it would open to British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island—The Overland Route from
. St. Paul's, Minnesota, to British Columbia, by the Red River
and Saskatchewan—Its Practicability discussed—The Country
through which it passes—Probable Expense of the Journey—
Routes followed by Mr. M'Laurin, in 1858 and 1860—Recent
Accounts of Canadians about to undertake the Journey—
Difficulties of crossing the Rocky Mountains—Letters in the
I Times "—Company recently started for conveying Emigrants
by this Route.
The fratricidal war now raging in the United
States, whatever be its issue, as regards the future
political relations of the contending parties, cannot
fail to exercise a most depressing influence on the
commercial energy and enterprise of the country,
and must, I fear, delay the completion of the inter-
oceanic railway beyond the end of the present cen- UNITED STATES LINE OF RAILWAY.
tury. Such, at least, is my own opinion; at the
same time we have seen that the House of Representatives has passed a bill, by a majority
of thirty-two, to extend the railway and telegraph
systems from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
" The bill incorporates a company, with seventy-
five corporations, to construct a railroad from the
one hundred and second degree of west longitude
to the western boundary of Nevada; and grants to
the company every alternate section of land on the
line of the road, and also bonds of the United
States to the amount of 16,000 dollars a mile.
The Federal Government is to be represented in
the company by five commissioners ; public lands
are granted, and the public credit loaned to the
enterprise, the latter taking the shape of six per
cent, bonds, of 1,000 dollars each, running thirty
years. The route chosen is known as the " middle ''
route, namely, from Western Kansas to Western
Nevada, and the Government engages to concede
the railroads, now in course of construction through
' o
Kansas and California, such aid as may be necessary to their completion. And, as a return for
such subsidies and grants, the usual preference is
to be given to the Government in the transmission
of troops and material, and in the use of the telegraph, which the company is also required to construct collateral with its road. Two years are
given for the location of the track,"
n 2 i
I >i<
l¥w. Iii
i k\\
ill   .
I   i
mm i
^TtrtT all
As I before remarked, however, I fear that the
present moment is hardly likely to prove favourable to the execution of such a scheme; nay, I
doubt much whether the present generation will
witness its accomplishment; it is therefore natural
that our thoughts should revert to the possibility
of seeing this grand design carried to a successful
issue on British territory.
The line of rail in the United States is at present
open from New York, as far as St. Joseph's, Missouri. The remainder of the journey is performed in
coaches, passing through the Mormon settlement of
Utah, and so on to Sacramento and thence by water
to San Francisco, on the Pacific. The pony express,
whose arrival I witnessed at San Francisco, travels
through the same tract of country. There is also
a line of electric telegraph, extending the whole of
the distance from one ocean to the other.
If the Americans were in a position to employ
their resources in completing the inter-oceanic line
of railway, the great stream of passengers and
traffic would naturally flow in the channel that
had been prepared for it, and it is doubtful
whether any attempt to compete with it in Canada
would be deemed likely to prove a remunerative
speculation. As matters at present stand, however,
I should like to see our own Government take the
initiative in the matter, and, by completing this
great work on British soil, confer an incalculable IDEA OF A CANADIAN INTER-OCEANIC LINE.   181
benefit on the whole of its colonies in North
The situation of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island, on the Pacific, is admirably
adapted for carrying on a trade with China,
Japan, India, and Australia, and it is not too much
to suppose that these colonies must become the
great highway for traffic between the above-
mentioned countries and England, in the event of
the completion of this line of railroad. The distance between London and Pekin would by this
means be reduced some ten thousand miles, and
the entire journey would probably not occupy
more than a month or five weeks—while Vancouver
itself would be brought some five or six thousand
miles nearer to this country than even by the short
overland route of Panama. Lastly, a considerable
saving of time and distance would be effected, in
the transmission of even the Australian mails, by
this route over that of Panama. May we not
therefore hope that the railway, now in progress
between Halifax and Quebec, may be the first
portion of a Canadian inter-oceanic railway, which
shall, for ages to come, prove the great highway
of communication between the east and the
I have more than once discussed the feasibility
of this grand scheme with Colonel Moody, of the
Royal Engineers—a  question  in  which he   felt
is iM
great interest. His fixed idea always was that
Burrard's Inlet, from its situation, depth of water,
and other natural advantages, was destined to be
the great emporium of commerce on the Pacific, at
the western terminus of the railway. The natural
harbour known as Burrard's Inlet is situated some
few miles to the north of the mouth of Fraser
River. Whether such a destiny be reserved for
it or not, I think there can be little doubt
that Esquimalt, with its noble and capacious
harbour, will attract the attention it deserves, in
the event of any such scheme being carried
What a grand future would the construction of
such a line of railroad open for these remote
dependencies of the British Crown on the Pacific!
What a glorious day would that be for British
Columbia when, vessels sailing from India, China,
and Australia should meet at some point on her
coasts, to land their passengers and discharge their
cargoes, returning again laden with articles of our
own manufacture ! Numbers of those passengers to
India, China, and Australia, who now go by way of
the Cape of Good Hope, or by the present so-called
overland route, via Marseilles and Suez, would in
preference select the inter-oceanic railway of
Canada, as both cheaper and more expeditious.
The saving in the time of transit to China, especially to  the   more   northern   portions  of   that
Sis M
empire, and to Japan, would be very great, and the
mercantile community, both in England and in the
East, would be greatly benefited by the establishment of a constant, speedy, and safe means of communication passing through British territory. Of
the advantages that must accrue to our own
colony of British Columbia from the establishment
of an emporium for the commerce of the West,
wrhich should not only vie with San Francisco,
but eventually develop into the Liverpool of
North America, it is unnecessary to insist on any
Another great advantage to be derived from the
establishment of a line of communication between
the Atlantic and Pacific through British territory,
would be the facilities it would afford for the
transport of troops, stores, and artillery to any
point along the frontier line, or on the coast of the
Pacific, in the event of a war with the United
The great natural difficulty that would oppose
itself to the execution of such a scheme would, no
doubt, have to be overcome in the Rocky Mountains. At the same time I do not apprehend that
this would prove an insuperable barrier to the
engineering genius of our age. The results of the
recent survey of Captain Palliser would seem to
indicate that the difficulty is not so great as has
been imagined, as a tunnel, at a certain spot, would
Fli mm
11 pi tjj$
reduce the extreme height to be crossed to 5,000
feet, which might be approached by gradients by
no means unusual or excessive. This is no inconsiderable height to be traversed by a line of
rail, it is true, but one which ought not, I
think, to present an insuperable barrier to English
skill and enterprise, after the example of the
Soemmering in Austria, and the Alleghanies in
America, U.S.
An able correspondent of the Times comments
in the following terms on the proposed line of inter-
oceanic railway:—
" The advantages that would accrue to Great
Britain from the entire service being performed
through British territory are incalculable. The
construction of the railway would not merely open
to civilization a large territory in British North
America, hitherto almost unexplored, but it would
open up to the cultivators of the soil, in that territory and in Canada, a means of transit to all the
markets of the Pacific, and an open passage to the
China Seas, and to our possessions in the East
Indies; in every aspect, whether viewed politically,
socially, or commercially, the establishment of the
proposed railway would give a progressive impulse
to the affairs of the world, which, in its results,
would eclipse anything that has been witnessed
even amid the extraordinary achievements of the
present century.    That the railway will infallibly GREAT ADVANTAGES ATTENDING IT.
be made is as certain as that now is the time to
undertake it; one does not require to be a prophet
to predict that when the resources of British
Columbia are fully opened up, and a communication established between the Atlantic and the
Pacific, there will be enough traffic for a dozen
steamers as large as the ' Great Eastern' on both
oceans. The British Empire has now an opportunity of securing that position which it has hitherto
occupied without dispute, as the greatest commercial nation in the world."
One other important fact must I point out in
connection with this interesting subject ere we take
leave of it. Assuming that Halifax is to be the
Atlantic station of the line of railway, and some
point on the coast of British Columbia the other
terminus, on the Pacific, the neighbourhood of both
these places abounds in coals—Nova Scotia on the
one coast, and Nanaimo, Vancouver, on the other
being the great coal-producing districts. This highly
significant fact seems in itself to indicate the two
points between which the inter-oceanic line of railway is destined to run.
Whatever be the case as regards the execution of
this great scheme of an unbroken line of railroad
from ocean to ocean, there can be no doubt that
an attempt will be made to carry out the long-
projected idea of an overland communication from
Lake Superior by the Red River, Lake Winnipeg, 186
and the Saskatchewan, to the foot of the Rocky
Mountains, and finally, across them into British
Columbia. The opening up of this route would
not only confer an immense benefit on the last-
mentioned place, but would tend greatly to develop
the natural resources of the country through which
it passes, which are evidently very great. The
climate is by no means so severe as might be
expected from the latitude, herds of buffalo being
found as far north as parallel 60°. Indian corn
ripens on the Saskatchewan. The rivers are free
from ice in the beginning of May; wheat sown
shortly after in the valley of the Red River may be
gathered in the month of August. In addition to
these natural advantages of soil and climate, gold
is known to exist in the valley of the Saskatchewan,
as well as in that of the Athabasca.
The overland routg, via Canada and the Red
River, can, according to the Toronto papers, be
performed in about twenty days from that city, and
at a cost of about 26?. All the necessary arrangements are now being perfected by a committee of
gentlemen in Toronto, so that immigrants to the
Fraser River and British Columbia may avoid the
dangerous Panama route. From Toronto
passengers will proceed to St. Paul and Minnesota
by rail; thence to Red River by stage and steamboat. At that settlement they will be able to procure Indian guides and all other necessaries for
■ -If
making their way across the Rocky Mountains.
This is no doubt the quickest and cheapest, and for
those fond of adventure with a spice of danger, and
who are not afraid to rough it, the pleasantest route
to the diggings, if it be only practicable.
A correspondent writing to the St PauTs Press
in respect to the overland route, says that, with a
propeller on Lake Winnipeg, and a river
steam-boat on the Saskatchewan, the traveller
could reach a point at the eastern base of the
Rocky Mountains, not more than 100 miles distant
from the eastern border of the Cariboo district, British Columbia, with every | probability
that the Saskatchewan gold-fields on the
eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains will
prove a counterpart to the diggings which have
been opened on the other side. This would make
the Fraser River diggings not more than five days'
journey from the navigable waters of the Saskatchewan and Athabaska Rivers.
The St PauTs Pioneer, of the 29 th of April,
announces the arrival there of a party of seventy
Canadians, from Toronto and Hamilton, en route
for British Columbia, by Fort Garry on the Red
River and the Saskatchewan. It says: " We understand it is the intention of the party to go to George
Town by Burbank's stages, then down the Red
River on the steamer 4 Fort Garry,' from thence
to the Saskatchewan, and up that river to its head
: mm
wraters, whence they will continue their journey in
ox-carts. If they find the diggings at the head of
the Saskatchewan profitable, they will remain
during the winter, otherwise they will push forward
across the mountains to Cariboo mines, three
hundred miles west of Fort Edmonton.
" These gold-hunters are a hardy and intelligent
set of men, and go with a determination to succeed.
They represent that other parties, to the number,
probably of 150, will emigrate during the season
to the Cariboo mines, taking the same route that
they have mapped out.
I The emigrants now here had a meeting yesterday at the American House, and divided into
parties of ten persons, the first detachment going
off to-day, the others to follow daily by stage until
they reach Red River."
A correspondent of the Toronto Leader, speaking
of the overland route, and of the outfit and provisions necessary to be taken by travellers across
the Rocky Mountains, writes :—
"The provisions should consist of flour, bacon,
beans, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, soda, hard bread,
and vinegar. As to the quantity of the above,
each person may judge for himself. Cooking
utensils may consist of camp-kettle made of sheet
iron, straight up and down; the size will depend
on the number of the party in one gang. Tea-pot,
frying-pan, tin plates and knives, a tin dish to m.ix OUTFIT OF TRAVELLERS.
dough for baking, and tin cups.    The diseases most
prevalent are the scurvy and prairie itch.    These
may be prevented or cured by the frequent use of
vinegar,   and  also black pepper.     Many parties
going are not aware of this, and in consequence
suffer much from these maladies.    The best kind
of fire-arms are rifles ; shot-guns are perfectly useless.    Revolvers are also of little use, as you must
not make too free in shooting an Indian by the way,
even if you do get a chance; better bear with an
'insult than to stir up the  ire  of these  savages.
-Also provide a tent, made of twilled cotton, and a
.strong shovel to dig a trench round the tent, to
carry off the water in time of rain.    Take one gold
pan for prospecting, size twelve inches across the
.bottom, sixteen across the top, and five inches deep,
made of sheet iron.    Prairie matches, which can be
always purchased in any store in Canada ; they are
•much better than common matches.    Mules are the
best for packing, as they stand the heat much better
and travel further than Indian ponies, and are not so
apt to be stolen by the Indians, but are much more
expensive on account of their having to be purchased from the wThites.     Oxen are the best for
travelling with waggons.    An ox-team can travel
'twenty-five miles per day, and are good to eat at
the end of the journey. Whatever kind of beast you
travel with should be shod before starting out,  or
• else they will get foot-sore, which may cause a good
biis ?M[ii
deal of delay. You will require pack-saddles if you
take mules; take lasso and pins to drive in the
ground, to which the animals are to be tied at
night. If you suspect Indians to be around your
tent, you should keep sentry at night, to keep them
from stealing your animals. If travelling with
canoes, you should take oil-cloth to cover the provisions, to keep off water. As for clothing, common
coarse clothes are most serviceable, strong boots
heavy-soled and well-nailed; light boot£
mocassins are of no use. If you intend to buy
ponies, buy from the Indians; you must take half-
dollar pieces of silver as payment, as they use them
for ornaments. Sugar is also much esteemed by the
Indians ; they will give a buffalo skin for a pint of
sugar, which would be good for the boys to sleep on,
as the nights are very cold on the mountains. High
winds are very prevalent on the mountains,, and if
your tents are not properly secured, you may not
think it strange to get it turned into an umbrella
reversed, or balloon. The game are buffalo and
antelope. Buffalo will be scarce in the spring, as
it is far north, but should you shoot any, and wish
to save the meat and make it light for carriage,
you must jerk it over the coals, which is done in
the following manner—drive four crotchet stakes
in the ground, about eighteen inches high, put
sticks across the crotches and cover over with
green willows, then lay your meat on, and keep PROBABLE EXPENSE OF OVERLAND JOURNEY. 191
turning it over and over until it is pretty well
cooked, and after being so treated it will keep any
reasonable length of time. The antelope is a very
shy animal, and hard to shoot; the only method is
to tie a red handkerchief to the end of your ramrod and lie flat down in the grass yourself; holding up the handkerchief with the end of your ramrod, wave it slowly to and fro, at the same time
not allowing your body to be seen above the grass.
They seem to be attracted by the red handkerchief,
and will come up within range, and by being expert you may chance to get a shot at them.
" The following seems to be a fair and liberal estimate of the expenses of the overland journey:—
From Toronto to St. Paul's (second class), with provisions, at least     -------21
St- PauTs to George Town, Burbank's stage -        -      25
George Town to Fort Garry, steamer -        -        -        -      10
Meals and lodgings, St. Paul's to George Town     -        -        4
Canoe, to hold eight persons, 32 dollars ; for each -        4
H orse, an inferior animal   -        -        -        -        - 40
Pack-saddle and bridle       - -        -        -        1
Provisions, &c. ----,-.      20
Incidental charges     -------5
Total -    130
" In the above I do not include expenses during
detention at Fort Garry, nor payment for a guide,
which would be requisite in ascending the Saskatchewan."
3P Mi
A Mr. M. Laurin, an old Californian miner, left
St. Paul, Minnesota, for Fraser River, in July, 1858,
and, after many adventures, reached his destination.
Starting again thence from the Forks of Quesnelle,
in the Cariboo country, on the 15th of August,
1860, he proposed to ascend the Fraser River
to its source, and thence recross the mountains
to the head waters of the Athabasca and Saskatchewan. His party consisted of four persons besides himself, their conveyance being a,
canoe. Reaching Fort George they ascended the
semi-circular sweep of the Fraser River, which I
have already described, when its course is deflected
from the north-west to the southward, prospecting
as they advanced. They were thus the pioneers in
the discovery of the Cariboo country, bringing
1,600 dollars of its gold with them.
Leaving their canoe, where the river became un-
navigable, they followed one of its branches, and
passed through the "Leather Pass" in the Rocky
Mountains, in lat. 53° N., reaching Jasper House,
a Hudson's Bay fort, on the eastern side of the
mountains, in a few days of easy travel on foot.
From Jasper House to Fort Edmonton on the
Saskatchewan, thence to Fort Garry, on the.Red
River of the North, and finally on to St. Paul on
the Mississippi, was at that time a journey of 120
days in the French wooden carts, drawn by the
oxen of the north-western plains. OVERLAND JOURNEY TO THE CARIBOO MINES. 193
. We would advise no one to undertake the trip by
this route to the diggings, unless he can reach his
starting-point—St. Paul, Minnesota—with suitable
clothing, and at least one hundred dollars in money.
With rigid economy, and in organizations of four
or five, or more, in a party, the overland journey
to the Cariboo mines can be accomplished for
that sum, according to received accounts.
Mr. M'Laurin—since deceased—was always
accustomed to declare that a person landing at the
mouth of the Fraser River would necessarily spend
more money in reaching the gold mines of Cariboo
than if St. Paul's on the Mississippi were his starting-point, and his route thence over the plains of
the Saskatchewan and through the Leather Pass, in
latitude 53°. However surprising this fact may
appear I can credit it, knowing the high price of
provisions and other necessaries of life in the gold
countries. Assuming, therefore, that this is the
case, we are forced to come to the conclusion that
a great part of the expense of the voyage out to
Victoria can be saved by any one who may possess
sufficient energy and resolution to attempt the
overland route to the gold mines of Cariboo
starting from St. Paul in the month of May, and
following the familiar tracks of the Hudson's Bay
From the foregoing accounts I think it may safely
be concluded that no insuperable difficulties lie in
o E**
the way of the accomplishment of the overland
route as far as the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
It was at this point I always felt the real difficulties of the route would present themselves. In
confirmation of the above opinion, I would beg
to append a final extract from quite a recent
number—April of this year—of the Victoria British
Coldnist I hope my readers will not consider I
have detained them too long in the discussion of
the practicability of this route, but it is evidently a
question in which very great interest is felt at the
present moment, and the recent discussion in the
Times, which arose out of the fact of the advertisement of a company having been formed for the
conveyance of passengers to British Columbia by
the overland route, shows the importance that is
generally attached to this subject:—
"From Fort Garry to the Rocky Mountains we regard it only as a pleasure excursion for a company of
young men with a good Ifit-out.' Where the difficulties willbe encountered is in the Rocky Mountains, or
from the passes through them till the settlements of
British Columbia can be reached. If, for instance,
a party of immigrants from Red River strike west-
wardly to Fort Carlton, then up to Fort Edmonton, from thence to Jasper House, then up the
Athabasca to Miett's River, and up that to Tete
Jaune, or Yellow Head Pass,* they could reach
* This is the pass traversed by M'Laurin, and called by him the
the latter point, matters might go along first-rate.
Even down as far as T6te Jaune Cache, at the
head of canoe navigation on the east branch of the
Fraser, a party could get along very well.    But
from the Cache, which is due east from the Cariboo
mines, how are emigrants to proceed on to the settlements  in   the mines,   or even  to reach  Fort
George ?     We don't profess to be very well posted
in the means of getting over that section of the
route; yet we are persuaded that it is the most
difficult to encounter by land of any part of the
overland journey.    We can very well understand
that, if canoes could be had at Tete Jaune Cache,
the journey down the Fraser to Fort George, to the
mouth of Swift, or Quesnelle River, or Alexandria,
might be made the easiest part of the whole route.
But there is no guarantee whatever that canoes can
be had there ; if they canr whether enough can be
had to transport any considerable number of immigrants down the river.     If   canoes cannot be
had, as    a    matter   of   course   a   trail through
a  thickly-wooded  country,   along   the  banks  of
the  river, would  entail  great   hardships  on the
pioneers.     If exhausted by the previous part of
the journey, and withal short of provisions, some
deplorable accident might occur.
If If immigrants, instead of taking the Yellow
Head Pass, were to pass the mouth of Miett's River,
continue up Athabasca River,  and  through  the
f Si   I"        '        o2 TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Rocky Mountains, via   the   Committee's Punch-
Bowl, and so on till they reached Canoe Encampment on Columbia River, how are they to reach
the mines ?    If no canoes can be had, they will be
forced either to follow down the banks of the Columbia to Fort Shepherd or Fort Colville—which
will prove a very difficult journey—or cross from
Canoe Encampment to North River or Lake Shushwap.   The difficulties in reaching either of the latter
places are doubtless very great, whilst that down
the river by land would very probably be superior
for immigrants, owing to the probability that many
miners will find their way high up the Columbia
from Colville this season.    Yet the assistance they
could afford would be very small.    And if the immigrants did find canoes enough at Canoe Encampment—which we think improbable—they   would
have a long journey before them from Colville to
Fort Kamloops on the Thompson, or Hope on the
Fraser, both of which are a long way from the
Cariboo mines.    Both the entrances to British Columbia, whether by the Yellow Head Pass or the
Committee's Punch Bowl, are beset with very serious
difficulties in the way of the overland immigrant. As
both those passes lead more immediately to the Cariboo mines than any of the southern routes, it is
advisable that immediate steps be taken to render
them passable, or at least in the intervening country MEANS FOR FACILITATING THE JOURNEY.      197
between there and Cariboo a trail should be blazed *
with directions that could not be mistaken. Indian guides might be had; yet even they could
not render a land journey from either of those
passes to Cariboo an easy matter, more particularly
if exhausted and short of provisions. We have a
positive interest in promoting overland travel; and
as the primary destination of those who may come
that way is in the mines, it would be very bad
policy not to put ourselves to some trouble to render otir part of the journey as easy and. short as
possible. For if an immigrant can reach Yellow
Head Pass by the first of August, with an easy
trail from there to Cariboo, he might spend six
weeks or two months in the mines before being required to push his way south to winter quarters.
Such an advantage would be a very great boon to
the overland pioneer and the country generally.
" Except the Hudson Bay Company's people, no
immigrant has yet entered British Columbia by the
Yellow Head Pass or Committee's Punch Bowl.
What immigrants have arrived, have struck south
from the Saskatchewan to the boundary line, and
have thence entered the colony either via Fort
Colville and Portland, or via Fort Colville and
* This term signifies to open a new trail or path through a country.
In its original acceptation it means indicating a path through a forest
by cutting notches in trees.
wm 198
[Jlit :     Xffl
W^'-'$ |1fi
bt! 4
" This southern route we believe to be the only
safe one that can be recommended at present to the
overland traveller. Yet it is bad enough, and
brings the immigrant into the country so far from
his destination—the titet mines—it never can commend itself to any one, except as a choice between
ev.ils, the southern route being a lesser evil than
the northern. Even Vermillion Pass, which is between the northern and southern passes, to which
we have alluded, is beset, according to Palliser,
with very great difficulties—too great, in fact, to be
recommended—except it is improved by a trail
connecting it with Shushwap Lake and Fort
" We have expressed some anxiety about the safe
arrival of the overland pioneers this year. We feel
that parties attracted to our mines, overland from
Canada, moving for protection in large companies,
and not inured to the trapper's life, or expert in his
precarious mode of providing food, are very likely
to run short of provisions, and may suffer severely
in consequence. We have no doubt that the
whole-hearted people of Cariboo would push forward supplies and assistance at any cost, should
suffering immigrants require it; yet we think that
something more is required. A catastrophe should
be avoided, and consequently, if reliable guides can
be sent out to intercept the immigrants, and con- A MORE NORTHERLY ROUTE.
duct them by the shortest and safest way into the
best portion of the country, it ought to be done.
We feel persuaded that where we have now one
person in the country who has crossed from Fort
Garry to Fraser River, there will be tens of thousands within the next five years; and, as a matter
of course, we cannot commence too early in opening the route or preventing accidents, and the Executive—who so well understands the merits of the
subject—ought to commence forthwith."
1 sincerely hope that the concluding hint with
regard to sending out guides will receive the attention it deserves from the Colonial Government.
A correspondent of the Montreal Gazette, writing
on the same subject, says :—
| To the strong and bold, and such as can paddle their own canoe, this route is perfectly practicable. Twice I have crossed the Rocky Mountains
at the Old Columbia Pass, between Mounts
Hooker and Brown Peaks, 16,000 feet in height—
a majestic portal! "
This writer goes on to advocate a more northerly route to any to which I have yet drawn
the reader's attention; as he says, the Rocky
Mountains dip to where the Peace River gently
winds its way across, along a break in the ridge,
where few of the heights exceed 2,000 feet, and the
country is comparatively smooth and only rolling. miiM
I It   was   by   this  route  that  Sir Alexander
M'Kenzie, in canoe from Montreal, struck the head
waters of Fraser's River, and thence by water to
the Pacific.    What he, seventy years ago, did, may
surely be done by others.    However, great caution
and  thorough   preparation  would  be  necessary.
Beyond a certain point, say Red River Settlement,
or the mouth of the Saskatchewan, depots of provisions—say pemican and flour, &c.—are out of
the question—impossible.    Of all routes, I would
prefer that of Peace River, as overlapping from the
ivest the broken base of the Rocky Mountains.    It
is, in fact, a canal to the Fraser—to the very head or
heart, it may be, of the gold regions there.    The
route next south, crosses the mountains at a much
higher elevation, and involves a heavy expenditure
in horses—an article now of high price even there.
This route is by a northern branch of the Saskatchewan, and strikes the celebrated j Cariboo diggings.'    Thompson's River—so called from our old
townsman David Thompson—may  also  be  thus
reached.    Many years ago I was there, but went
by the Columbia—now, alas! no British stream !
There was an empire thrown away!    No party
attempting any overland  route should be of less
than twelve nor more than eighteen, or at most
twenty-four—divided into canoe crews of six to
each, with one guide,   an experienced   voyageur,
to each canoe, and at least one in the brigades
should have some skill in surgery. No l passengers' allowable, and every man to be equal to a
three mile I portage,' with a load of one piece—90
lbs.—regular voyageurs carry, yea, run with two
such pieces, and in short portages even more. The
route I would suggest is the north-west one, viz.,
by Pigeon River, Lake Superior. Say, steam to
Pigeon River, thence by said route to the mouth
of the Saskatchewan—there, and also en passant at
the mouth of the Winnipeg, taking provisions—
say pemican, flour, grease, &c.—to the utmost capacity of canoes—said provisions supplied in advance from Red River Settlement. From the
• mouth of Saskatchewan to Fort M'Leod, west of
the Rocky Mountains, and on waters within j 317
yards' of one of the head sources of the tree-like
Fraser, there is continuous canoe navigation.
Before me is Sir George Simpson's itinerary of
the route in 1828. This part of the route took
him—with his I brigade! of two canoes, nine men
to each—from 22nd July to 11th September,
working, on an average, eighteen hours in the
-twenty-four; and that with picked men, not one
of whom in the long, arduous, and at that time
most perilous voyage from Hudson's Bay to the
Pacific, including a blind, headlong dash, in small
canoes and frailest craft, from the head to the TRAVELS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
mouth of the torrent Fraser—a three months'
brush—gave up on the route, or, so far as appears from the very full journal of Chief Factor
Archibald Macdonald, who accompanied the Governor, met with a single accident."
It will be seen from this extract that there are
reat and manifold advantages to be secured by
the adoption of this northern route, as the mighty
barrier presented by the Rocky Mountains ceases
then to be formidable. The fact also of there
being a continuous canoe navigation from the heart
of the American continent to within 317 yards of
one of the sources of the Fraser, is interesting and
suggestive. Let us hope that fresh explorations
may soon throw additional light on the advantages connected with the adoption of this route.*
The scheme of taking out a party from England
to British Columbia by the great overland route is
a bold one. In the present stage of its development, however, it must be regarded as beset with
difficulties, but at the same time as deserving our
best wishes for its ultimate success. The route
selected by this company, as set forth in the advertisement, is by steam from England to Quebec,
thence by the Grand Trunk Line of Canada and
* Those who may be interested in the question of the overland
route generally, I would refer them to a small work on the subject,
published by Professor Henry Youle Hind, of Trinity College, Toronto. PRACTICABILITY OF THE ROUTE.
continuous lines of railway to Chicago and St.
Paul's, and via the Red River Settlements, in covered
waggons, to British Columbia. According to their
programme one party at least must already have
started, and are now following in the footsteps of
those seventy Canadians to whom I have already
referred, and whose arrival at St. Paul's, Minnesota, is chronicled in one of its papers. Any intelligence of their movements that may reach this
country cannot fail to be interesting and important.* No doubt the passage across the Rocky
Mountains will present the most serious difficulties
they will have to contend with. At the same time,
as a proof that I do not consider any obstacles they
may present as insuperable, I can assure my readers
that I had fully made up my mind to return to
England by this route, and should have done so
had not subsequent events compelled me to abandon my intention. In the case of my returning to
these colonies, however, I shall hope to carry out
* An interesting account of the arrival of this party of immigrants
in Canada appears in the Times of July 28. The Canadian papers
express apprehension that due provision has not been made for so
difficult a journey; they go on, however, to state that about 500 of the
party have started on their distant and adventurous pilgrimage.
Let us hope the Canadians will make it a point of honour, as it certainly is one of great interest and importance with them, to afford
the travellers every assistance in their power, and do their utmost to
ensure the successful issue of the enterprise.
my original intention, and I feel perfectly confident that but a very short time will elapse before
this route is fairly opened for travelling. Whether
our Government carry out the grand idea of an
nter-oceanic railway on British soil or not, let us
hope that they will lose no time in establishing a
line of telegraph across this continent. As I entertain no doubt that the engineering talent of the
present age will succeed in triumphing over the
difficulties of the Atlantic Submarine Telegraph,
this would establish an unbroken line of communication more than half round the globe, and a very
few years would probably suffice to complete the
circuit. 205
New Routes through the Interior of British Columbia—The Bentinck Arm Route—The Bute Inlet Route—Effect of opening up
New Routes to Cariboo—Gold on the Stickeen River—Gold on
the North and Tranquille Rivera—Gold on the Upper Columbia
River—Importance of opening a Route through British Territory—Captain Venables on the Bill-Whoalla Route—Route
through American Territory—Probable Rush to the Gold Fields
of British Columbia from California— Diggings on the Salmon
River—A Sketch of the Journey across North America, as
formerly accomplished.
The question of opening up the interior of British
Columbia is one of such paramount importance
at the present moment, in consequence of the
vast influx of immigrants which may be expected,
not only this season, but for years to come, that
I trust my readers will allow me once more to
bring the subject under their notice. I have been
at great pains to collect the latest information in
connection with any new routes that may be pro-
Iftl !
jected, or are actually in the course of construction through British Columbia, being well aware
that all such information cannot fail to be of the
greatest value to the intending immigrant or gold-
seeker. The result of my inquiries has convinced
me that in no country on the Pacific coast is so
great an amount of public enterprise shown at the.
present moment as in British Columbia. I have
already described the two principal routes into the
interior—the Harrison   Lillooett   route,   through
/ o
Douglas, and the route up the Fraser River,
through Fort Hope, Yale, and Lytton, both leading to Fort Alexandria and the Cariboo country.
I have also drawn attention to the line of road in
the course of construction from Fort Hope into the
Similkameen country. In addition to these, two
fresh routes are about to be opened, the northernmost from the Bentinck Arm—an arm of
the sea penetrating the coast from the Pacific,
considerably to the north of Vancouver's Island—
to some point on the Fraser, either at Alexandria
or where the Quesnelle falls into it from the
Cariboo country. The Bentinck Arm Company
have obtained the right to construct a pack-trail
and waggon-road between these points, with the
privilege of collecting tolls for five years, at
li cents per lb., and 50 cents per head for stock.
The Company expects to push a trail through
forthwith, and from   the  numerous parties that NEW ROUTES THROUGH THE INTERIOR.
have crossed by the route, I believe it is entirely
practicable, and will prove an able auxiliary in
opening up to civilization the whole region west
of Alexandria. It promises to become the means
of reducing the price of goods in the northern
mines, and I feel sure it will become an important
route as soon as the interior fills with population. I shall not be surprised to find stages established winter and summer, with inns scattered
along it at frequent intervals.
Another route has been projected, more to the
southward, from Bute Inlet to Alexandria and
Cariboo, by Mr. Waddington. It is said to be
nearly twenty miles shorter than by the Bentinck
route to Alexandria, and it is intended to strike
the Fraser at a point where it is in contemplation
to put on steamers to ply on the upper portion o f
its course.
A flat-bottomed, stern-wheel steam-boat is now
being constructed at Fort Alexandria, for the Upper
Fraser carrying trade. She will be 90 feet long,
17 feet beam, and 3\ feet hold. The engines will have
12-inch cylinders and 3^ feet stroke. It was expected
she would be in running order in July this year.
The name of the new boat will be the " Enterprise."
Mr. Waddington has obtained the exclusive
right to collect tolls on the Bute Inlet pack-trail
for five years, at li cents per lb., and 50 cents
Hi El
■ - m
for animals; and if a waggon-road be constructed,
the right to collect as high as five cents per lb.
The distance to be traversed on the Bute Inlet
route is set down in the prospectuses of the
Company at 241 miles, of which 83 are river and
lake navigation, with only 158 miles of land-
carriage, whilst the Bentinck Arm route is said
to be 232 miles in length, of which 53 only are
by river, wdth 178 miles of land travel. So far as
reaching the Fraser from the coast is concerned,
the Bute Inlet route has the advantage of being
the shorter by twenty miles, while it is much more
accessible from Victoria than Bentinck Arm.
No doubt the practicability of both routes will be
tested this season, and the competition between
them will facilitate the cheap transmission of goods
to the northern mines, for as soon as both routes
are in full operation, no doubt the rate of tolls
will be diminished.
It is intended to open another route via Yale
Lytton, and Bonaparte, to a point where it is intended to intersect the waggon-road from Lillooett
to Alexandria. This route will connect the
Cariboo country with the ^ast area watered by
the Thompson and its tributaries, one of the
richest agricultural and pastoral districts in
British Columbia.
The moment that the interior and coast lines of ANTICIPATED DISCOVERIES.
road are fully opened to stages and waggons an entire revolution will be wrought in British Columbia.
The long distance to Cariboo, short supplies and
high prices, will no more be heard of, and an era of
prosperity and wealth will dawn on British Columbia such as the original trappers of the Hudson's
Bay Company when they first followed an Indian
trail through the dense forests of this unexplored
region would have looked upon as a wild dream,
whose realization could never be hoped for.
It will be seen that all these different lines of
road tend to the great centre of attraction, the
I El Dorado" of Cariboo; at the same time I entertain no doubt but that sooner or later, other
districts will be discovered as rich or richer in their
yield of the precious metal. Bands of prospectors
have this spring started for the north with the
view of exploring the Stickeen River, and from
former accounts we have received, I anticipate rich
discoveries in that region. I am persuaded, moreover, that there are other portions of British Columbia, not so distant as Stickeen, or even Cariboo,
that are worthy the attention of the hardy and adventurous miner. There is a vast district drained
by the North River and its tributaries, falling into
the Thompson, a district, from all we can learn,
that promises to be another Cariboo. This important stream to which I have already alluded, is
the principal tributary of the Thompson, uniting
soffit H mmi
with that river in its course between Lake Shushwap and Lake Kamloops at the Hudson's Bay Fort
of Kamloops. There can be no doubt that this
river and all its tributaries are more or less auriferous, especially those flowing from the east, rising
in the same range of mountains as the Cariboo
streams; gold having already been found on various
portions of the North River.
On Tranquille River, which falls into Lake Kamloops near North River, gold in considerable quantities has been found; consequently, it is quite
natural to infer that the whole country is auriferous.
The accessibility of this section of country at any
season of the year, and the advantage of working
claims at the diggings longer than at the northern
mines, renders the whole of this country one of the
most promising in British Columbia. Supplies can
be sent by boat from Lake Kamloops up the river
for one hundred miles, as far as the district in
which a very fine specimen of coarse gold was
found last summer in the bed of the river. The
country in the immediate neighbourhood, moreover, contains some of the finest grazing and agricultural land in British Columbia, which I have
already pointed out as lying in the immediate
neighbourhood of the Lake district, as I termed it.
The cost of living would not, in consequence, be
anything like so high as it is in Cariboo.
From  the   northern  tributaries  of the North BRITISH ROUTE TO THE GOLD REGIONS.       211
River it is but a short distance to the Columbia
River and Canoe Creek, which falls into the Columbia at the head .of boat navigation. I have
already in the preceding chapter alluded to the
auriferous wealth of that portion of the Columbia
River which flows through British territory. There
can be no doubt it flows through a district rich in
mineral deposits, and, if my information be correct,
companies of prospectors will leave Colville and ascend the Columbia in boats, as the Hudson's Bay
Company's voyageurs have been in the habit of
doing. They will, in all probability, be the pioneers
in the discovery of the rich and extensive gold
fields drained by the north branch of the Columbia.
It is desirable, for every reason, that the route to
this country should lie through British Columbia,
and not via Colville, or via the Dalles and Walla-
Walla in American territory. From the best
sources of information at our command, we learn
that there is a practicable trail to the gold regions
of Columbia via Thompson's River. Parties going
there may either ascend North River and strike up
one of its tributaries to cross the range dividing it
from the Columbia, or may ascend the Thompson
at the east end of Shushwap Lake and cross over
from one of the streams that debouch into the
It is a matter of considerable importance not
only to Victoria and the towns on the Fraser as
fm 212
far as Lytton, that the country should be explored
for a good practicable trail from the Thompson to
the Columbia, as the travel and traffic would be
kept in our colony instead of falling into the hands
of our territorial neighbours.
I understand that Mr. Cox, Gold Commissioner
at Rock Creek, has been instructed to supply the
prospectors with provisions at Government expense
for exploring the Okanagan country as far as
Shushwap Lake, as well as the country west of
Rock Creek. If the Government will not offer
large rewards for the discovery of gold on the
North River, or on the Columbia, the course taken
by Mr. Cox will no doubt have a good effect.
Every inducement ought to be held out to prospectors to open up the regions referred to, as the discovery that they were rich in precious metals,
would tend greatly to advance the material prosperity of the colony, and I think there can be no
doubt, from all the information we have received
respecting them, that these regions will be found
to possess auriferous deposits as rich or richer than
any other, even in the land of gold—British Columbia.
The following communication from a friend of
mine, Captain Venables, with whom I have often
discussed the future prospects of British Columbia,
and addressed by him to the Victoria British
Colonist, I have taken the liberty of quoting, as THE BILL-WHOALLA ROUTE.
it throws additional light on the project, already
adverted to, of opening a route through the colony
from Bentinck Arm:—
" As the time approaches when miners will be
thinking of starting again for Cariboo and the
Upper Fraser, a few remarks and suggestions
on a route to those places which must eventually,
when known, become one of great importance,
may not be considered out of place. Should any
at this time meditate trying the Bill-Whoalla trail
by way of experiment, the little information I have
been able to pick up during four months' residence
there may be of use to them; and if others should
be induced, from motives of economy in either
time or money, to make a similar attempt, a little
information would be to them perhaps equally
"The road becomes open and practicable for
animals in the beginning of April; in fact, some
who propose to reach the Fraser by that route
intend to start in March. The snow, at Bill-
Whoalla itself, fell on the 28th of November, and
has since averaged sixteen inches. The snow on the
main plateau, fifty miles above Bill-Whoalla (by
Narcoontloon and Chilcoten), is from six inches to a
foot in depth, and disappears early. This I learn
from Indians, who are constantly coming down and
returning without snow-shoes. A large party of the
Aunghim Indians, one of whom acted as my guide
Efel life
on every expedition, came down a week  before
Christmas, and returned on the 2nd  or   3rd  of:
January.    The only place where  snow  may be
expected will be near the banks of the Fraser.
"The absence of any houses of entertainment on
the road will at first necessarily be considered a
great drawback; but considering the short time,
comparatively speaking, the journey takes,
together with what might be done to mitigate this
evil at the outstart, I think the advantages would
outweigh the inconvenience. The Bill-Whoalla
Indians are very friendly, and so are the other
tribes round about. They are only too anxious for
white men to come amongst them. They are
mostly fine strong men, and are ready and eager,
to be employed in packing to the mines. I have
been constantly among the Indians of the different
tribes, and they are continually asking if the
Boston and King George men are coming. They
would gladly pack, I imagine, to the mouth of
Quesnelle River or Alexandria for ten or twelve
cents, and be then well paid. At the outside the
journey would be ten days; a man could easily
walk it without a pack in seven days.
" My suggestion would be—let a man take up
sufficient provisions for the road, or if he wishes to
avoid the heavy outlay which a poor miner must
experience before he has struck a claim, let
him   take   sufficient to  last him three or four DIRECTIONS FOR THE JOURNEY.
weeks, and pack one, two, or three Indians as
the case may be. I assure him he will find no
difficulty in procuring Indians. Nootlioch (Indian
ranch) is thirty miles up the river; for fifteen
miles above this goods can be taken in small
canoes. Narcoontloon is thirty miles—a good
road, with the exception of one bad hill (the slide).
Here there is another Indian ranch, from which it
is fifty miles to Chilcoten (Indian rancherie), good
trail, perfectly level. From there it is sixty miles
to Alexandria, or about seventy miles to the
mouth of Quesnelle River. The trail from the top
of the Nootlioch hill is, for foot passengers, as good
the whole way as any part of the Brigade trail,
with the exception of one or two places where
there is a little fallen timber. The trail follows a
chain of lakes, and could, consequently, if taken
straight, be made much shorter, and also
avoid much soft ground. Game and fish are
abundant on the road. I caught several trout
with a string, a small hook, and a grasshopper on
my way down. The Aunghim and Chilcoten
Indians have a good many horses, which might be
turned to use for packing.
" My remarks only refer to this road as it is;
and as I think it may be made useful this year, I
wish to say nothing as to what might be made of
it. If it is of any value, the miners will themselves
discover it to be so, and in that case it must even-
HP mm
tually become of importance. I can only say that
we brought our horses down packed, and that
there are now four horses at Bill-Whoalla. At the
same time numerous animals travelling on the
trail in its present state would soon render it impassable in some places.
11 must say a few words of the Bill-Whoalla
Indians. Since I have been there, they have in
every way been kind and friendly. Although we
often have nothing to give in exchange, they
always supplied us with fish and game when they
found we were really pressed for provisions. The
old chief Pocklass went out purposely to shoot for
us, and brought back twenty deer. When we left
to get provisions he made us promise to return,
and so to the last they were ready in every way to
oblige us. They have seen less of white men than
the other tribes, and it is a great pity that they
should, like the others, be spoiled by the poison
which is continually sold on that coast. About
every fortnight small schooners pass up that
way, calling at most of the Indian villages, and
leave their mark behind. In almost every instance
from 300 to 400 gallons of liquor is part of the
cargo; not even wholesome liquors, but large
five-gallon tins of alcohol—sometimes even mixed
with camphine. In one instance the master of
the craft was going to trade the pure liquor in
the  unbroken   tin  to  the  Bill-Whoalla Indians, PROBABLE NEW GOLD-MINING DISTRICTS.      217
but was prevented. They have very little liquor,
and would have drunk it off pure as it was. I
have been informed at Fort Rupert that the
sale of alcohol is this year carried on to a
greater extent than ever before, and it certainly
is ruining any good qualities the Indians may
possess. You generally find them at the ranches
half-drunk. When I arrived at Fort Rupert some
three weeks ago, I do not believe there were
twenty sober men in the whole camp. This is an evil
that might, I should think, be easily put a stop to."
It will be seen from the tenor of my preceding
remarks on the gold-fields of the North River,
the Lake District, Rock Creek, and the Upper
Columbia, that I regard it as more than probable
that new gold-mining districts are likely to be
discovered in these parts of British Columbia,
that may very probably prove a formidable
rival to the celebrated diggings of Cariboo. All
the accounts we have received from these regions
seem to warrant that conclusion. As I before mentioned, the upper part of the course of the
Columbia River maybe reached through American
territory, via Portland, the Dalles, Fort Vancouver, and Fort Colville, partly by water and
partly by land ; at the same time I hope our own
Government will see the necessity of opening a
route to this fine country through British territory.
While  on the  subject  of routes,   British and
i Iffy
American, I must not omit to mention that the
Puget Sound Herald has an article in favour of the
Puget Sound and Columbia River Railroad. The
cost of constructing the road is estimated at
30,000 dollars a mile, making a capital of 2,400,000
dollars for the estimated distance of eighty miles.
The Vancouver Island Colonist, in remarking upon
this article, says :—
u The Herald favours Fort Vancouver just above
the mouth of the Willamette as the best terminus
on Columbia River, although Monticello, some
distance below, is nearer to Olympia. Whatever
may be the primary object of the projectors of this
line of road, whether to secure a right in advance
of the times on which to realise—whether to help
the town of Vancouver, the ambitious rival of
Portland, or whether to make Olympia the entrepot
for Washington and Oregon—whatever may be
the object of the projectors, there can be no doubt
that a railroad will ultimately be constructed connecting Puget Sound with Columbia River. We
have long regarded its construction as a mere matter
o      o
of time. The difficulties in crossing Columbia
River Bar are such as can never be removed in the
present state of engineering science. The freezing
up of the river in winter is another very serious
objection to its being the sole entrance to the great
country drained by the Columbia. The Straits of
Fuca and Puget Sound, with  a railroad to the PROBABLE RUSH FROM CALIFORNIA.
Columbia, offer the safest and most certain means
of entering the heart of what must ere long become
a very populous country."
A letter from Victoria, Vancouver, in the
Toronto Leader^ after commenting on the severity
of the past winter, and describing the damage done
by the floods in Oregon and California, goes on
to speak in the following terms of the probable
rush to the diggings of British Columbia from the
United States territory:—
I All this is not without its effect on us here,
for last summer it was almost fabulous to see the
amount of gold taken out of the mines by some
men in the space of a few weeks. These men have
been in California this winter, spending their
money, aid have created such an excitement
among those injured by the floods, that an emigration of forty thousand to our mines is already
commencing, and, if the excitement should continue, a much larger number than I have mentioned will come. Every individual arriving on
these shores assists in developing the resources of
the country, and to facilitate immigration, our
Legislature have this year subsidized a steam-boat
company to make one trip a week from San Fran*
cisco to this port. The last three boats have each
brought up about 500 men.
" Now that we have opened mines of copper, coal,
and silver, these men need no longer leave the
country immediately on the termination of the
gold-washing season, but can find profitable
employment in the mines of the baser metals.
" This dreadful American war is not without its
effects on this coast, for many wealthy Americans
are quietly retiring their means from California
and Oregon, and investing in these colonies. Our
trade with China is also becoming daily more
developed, as well as general business, in consequence of the operations of the Morrill tariff, and
the three months' bonded system of the United
States. The recent developments on the Amoor
and Japan are also commencing to show the importance of this point to Great Britain, as an emporium for her manufactures to supply this coast and
the North Pacific countries generally."
At the same time, I think it right to inform my
readers that the Americans say they have found
a rival for Cariboo in the Salmon River, on their
own side the boundary line, in Washington territory, where, according to the accounts they give,
immense gains have been realized. If this really
be the case, as these mines open up earlier in the
season, it is probable that most of the Californians
may be induced to tarry here while they try their
luck. This will, perhaps, be rather beneficial than
not, as, if they crowd up en masse to Cariboo, it is
doubtful whether there will be pack-animals sufficient to supply them with provisions.
I  fear those of my readers who may  not be
specially interested in the question will be somewhat wearied of my description of routes, possible
and impossible, across British Columbia and the
American continent.    Before taking leave of the
subject, however, for  good,   I will give a brief
sketch of the  manner in which this journey was
performed—in  days which  may now  almost  be
regarded as gone by—by the Hudson's Bay traders,
or any occasional traveller whom a love of sport
or adventure may  have   induced   to   brave   the
dangers of  this  then almost   unknown and un-
explored  route.     Having,  in   the first instance,
procured a letter of recommendation to the different factors commanding the forts, on the line of
country he is to traverse, from Sir George Simpson,
the late respected Governor-General of the Company, who was accustomed himself to travel from
the  eastern to  the  western   settlements  of  the
Hudson's Bay traders on his tours of inspection,
we  will suppose  our party  have   reached  their
starting-point of Fort Garry on the  Red River.
The first step to be taken would be to procure a
sufficient number of horses to convey themselves
and their baggage across the wide plains of the
west.    Their horses are purchased of Indians, in
good condition, and are laden with the necessary
stores,   such   as   food,   spirits,   and  ammunition,
either brought with our voyageurs from Halifax,
m •■KM.
or supplied from the forts. Guides, generally
French-Canadians, having been engaged, the party
set out on their three months' trip. At the end
of a week or so they would probably reach one
of the many stations of the Company, where they
would remain to refresh themselves and their
cattle before again setting out. At the termination of another similar period, after having crossed
several streams, been exposed to storm and sunshine, and encountered many of the other vicissitudes of travel in these regions, they would once
more come upon one of the isolated Hudson's
Bay Forts, weary and travel-worn, and right glad
to avail themselves of the generous hospitality
always proffered by the hardy tenants of these
I oases' of the wilderness. After another halt,
and  after   having   exchanged  their  now   some-
o o
what worn and foot-sore horses for others in
better condition and more fit for service—
exchange   which   is   however   always   one
of mutual advantage, as, while it on the one
hand provides the travellers with fresh horses, it
serves on the other to introduce new blood among
the stock of the Hudson's Bay traders, a matter
of absolute necessity in these prairies,—they
would once more pursue their journey. This,
with occasional rencontres with Indians, of whom,
if proper discretion, judgment and forbearance
be displayed in our dealings with them, very little PROJECT OF THE AUTHOR.
danger is, in most cases, to be apprehended,
would constitute the leading features of such a
journey. When our travellers had reached some
point where they could transfer themselves and
their effects in canoes, or any other conveyance by
water to the coast, they were accustomed to dispose of their horses, and the real difficulties and
hardships of the journey were virtually over. In
the event of my returning to British Columbia,
I shall endeavour to carry out a long-cherished
project of crossing the American continent in this
fashion. I should probably make for Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River, and on reaching
Portland, either take the first steamer to Victoria,
or make, my way across to Puget Sound, whence
there is seldom much difficulty in getting conveyed by water to Vancouver.
ill 221
We leave Victoria for San Francisco—Wells Fargo's Agency—
The Mirage—A Modern " Robinson Crusoe "—Yankee Habits—
Columbia River — Portland — We strike on a Rock—
The Water gains on us in spite of all our Efforts—Critical
Situation of the Steamer "Pacific"—We run her ashore—
Portland—Picturesque Scenery on the Columbia River—San
Francisco—Its Harbour—Description of the Town—Mexican
Drovers—The Firemen of San Francisco—Effect of the Gold-
Fever—Japanese Embassy—American Driving — Race-course
—American Opinion of a Fox-Hunt—The "General" Drinking Bars—Theatres—Union Club—The f Pony Express "—The
Chinese in San Francisco—The Vigilance Committee.
On the occasion of my final departure from the
colony of Vancouver's Island, I took passage on
board the mail-steamer that calls twice a month
at Esquimalt for San Francisco. Wells Fargo's
agent, as usual, formed one of the number of passengers, and he might be seen sorting his pile of
letters and parcels, preparatory to his arrival at THE MIRAGE.
San Francisco. The object of Wells Fargo's
Agency is the safe and speedy transmission of
letters and small packages throughout all the
countries lying on the Pacific seaboard of the
North American continent, consequently, they have
their agents travelling along all the principal routes
into the interior, and they have also established
depots or post-offices, as well as banking offices in
all the principal towns. The travelling agent for
British Columbia, Mr. Bellew, is a man of great
courage and resolution. It is his habit, at intervals, so completely to disguise his personal appearance as almost to defy recognition. I have seen
him at one time bearded like a Turk, at another
close-shaven as a Puritan divine, now adorned with
long flowing locks, now close cropped as a roundhead. His object in so doing is to render his
identification as difficult as possible, as, being
frequently entrusted with large quantities of gold,
he thinks it desirable that his person should not
be too well or too generally known.
I remember on the present occasion, in running
through the Straits of Fuca, being struck with the
singular effects produced by a natural phenomenon
we had often observed previously. I mean the
mirage. I have seen perfect and unbroken reflections, in the atmosphere, of such objects as churches,
houses, ships, and trees, which were themselves
distinctly visible as well as their reflected images.
Q iiiiil!
i'iiilli i
18 HJ
The effect of the double picture—the reality and
its simulacrum—the upper one being, of course,
inverted—was exceedingly singular and striking.
We saw the Race rocks and their lighthouse under
this aspect. The image of the reflected lighthouse
seeming to point downwards, and to rest on the
summit or apex of the real one. To one other
atmospheric phenomenon of very frequent occurrence in these regions I will allude before taking
o o
leave of them. I refer to the brilliant meteors so
commonly observed on fine nights, especially during
the summer months.
An old friend of mine in the colony happened to
be a fellow-traveller with us on the present trip,
and we contrived to while away a considerable
portion of time in discussing the details of an
adventure that befell him, on the occasion of a
former voyage in the year 1857, when on his
passage from San Francisco to Australia. The
vessel in which he sailed happened to put into one
of the Navigator Islands, for yams, fresh vegetables,
and fruits; the crew of one of the native canoes
engaged in supplying them offered to take any of
the passengers on shore who might like to see
something of the inland, while the ship lay off.
My friend was the only person on board who
availed himself of the offer; he, however, at once
leaped into the canoe and was paddled ashore—
having, at the same time, nothing on but a shirt
and a pair of cotton trousers. Soon after he landed,
a tropical squall happening to spring up, he was not
surprised to see the ship put about and stand out
to sea. This did not cause him any surprise or
uneasiness, as he felt sure that, as soon as the squall
had subsided, she would return and fetch him.
In this expectation he was however doomed to
be disappointed, as the wind carried the vessel so
far out to sea that she was wholly unable to make
the island again, at least he concludes this must
have been the case, as he certainly never set eyes
on her again. He was thus left like a second
Robinson Crusoe, a solitary man on the island of
Toutouila, one of the Navigator group, in the
midst of the Pacific. Assuming the practical
wisdom of the maxim which sets forth the expediency of doing at Rome as the Romans do, he
proceeded to act upon it by making himself as much
at home and as comfortable as circumstances would
permit, among the fortunately friendly savages with
whom his lot had been so strangely cast, endeavouring, as far as possible, to conform to their habits
and mode of life.
He had no reason to complain, from the very first,
of the treatment he experienced at their hands, and
the very high esteem in which he soon came to be
held, was shown by his being elected a chief.
Fortunately one of the natives had served for some
time on board a whaler, and had managed to pick
■    I §1 Q2
iii mm
up a few words of English; he was therefore enabled
to use him as an interpreter.
He spoke of the climate as being delightful, while
delicious tropical fruits were produced in abundance.
His health, he declared, was never better than during
this compulsory sojourn on the island of Toutouila,
a circumstance he ascribed in great measure to the
regular life he led, and the simple wholesome food
that formed his daily sustenance; not that this consisted solely of a vegetable diet however, the bill
of fare was agreeably diversified by chicken and
pork, both fowls and pigs—the progeny of a stock
left here by Captain Cook—being found in abundance on the island.
After a sojourn of fully nine months another
vessel, also bound for Australia, happened to put
in, and, as may be supposed, he lost no time in
claiming acquaintance with his kindred; the
thoroughly savage guise, however, in which he went
on board would almost seem to render any attempt
at so doing an unwarrantable act of presumption
on his part. Unkempt, unshaven, and clad in garments of primeval simplicity—his original clothes
having long since fallen off in rags—he was, nevertheless, not aware that there was anything, at all
unusual in his appearance, so entirely had his present mode of life become a second nature. Nor
was he impressed with this fact until the precipitate
retreat of the ladies forced upon him the recollec- YANKEE HABITS.
tion that it is unusual for a gentleman to make his
appearance on the quarter-deck in a condition so
nearly approaching what the Latin poet would have
described as " simplex munditiis." In spite of his
savage appearance and ways, he nevertheless ultimately succeeded in making good his claim to
brotherhood with the white men, and was taken
with them to his original destination—Australia.
On the occasion of both my visits to San
Francisco, we had a good many Yankee fellow-
passengers on board our steamer. The greater part
of their time was spent in playing the games known
as Poker and Euker, accompanied by drinking,
smoking, and chewing. Of all the methods of consuming tobacco the latter is surely the most objectionable, on account of the amount of spitting it
necessitates. On more than one occasion they succeeded in fairly spitting me out of the cabin.
Our second trip, the one I am now describing,
on board the mail-steamer "Pacific," was diversi
fied by a visit to Portland, when we unfortunately
came to grief in the Columbia River, in the
manner I shall hereafter relate. There is always
a very heavy, nasty sea on the bar of the river, the
passage over which is, in every case, more or less
difficult and dangerous. Steamers intending to
go up this river always carry a pilot for that
especial purpose. There is a light at the entrance
to  the  Columbia River.    Its current,  especially
Mi 230
It   !
during the spring and summer months, is very
rapid, as its waters are then swollen by the melting
of the snows in the Alpine regions where it takes
its rise. After passing Astoria, the port of entry,
about ten miles from  the mouth,   we at length
7 o
reached Portland, 110 miles further, and situated
on a bend in the river, very nearly at the limit of
steam navigation for sea-going vessels. Portland
is the great emporium of the inland trade of
Oregon, Washington territory, and to a .great
extent British Columbia.
We left Portland on a beautiful starlight night,
perfectly calm, but the current running strong,
and we steaming at a considerable pace through
the water. Nearly all the passengers had turned
in, myself among the number, when I was suddenly
aroused by being precipitated against the lower
bunk board of my bed, everything in the cabin
being at the same time shaken out of its place by
the concussion.
Hastening on deck, I found we had struck on a
rock well known in the Columbia River, and
called the " Coffin Rock." Fortunately we had a
very small freight on board, not having shipped
more than fifty tons at Portland. Had we been
heavily laden, and consequently deeper in the
water, we must inevitably have sunk at once. As
it was, the water gained on us with sufficiently
alarming rapidity, pouring through the bows of
Wit.    -."'«'. ri."v:
ii j
the vessel in a stream as thick as a man's arm.
After great difficulty, we got a sail over her bows,
which stopped the leak to some extent, but very
slightly. The pumps, being in excellent condition,
did their work well, with the assistance of the
donkey engines, and several extempore pumps
rigged for the occasion. In spite of all our efforts,
however, we had the mortification of finding the
water continue to gain upon us, and our position,
in fact, began to assume a most critical aspect,
water-logged as we were on this tremendous current, in the middle of the night. The steamer soon
commenced to lurch and roll in a frightful manner,
and as we had a number of Chinamen on board,
I made it my duty to set them to run en masse
across the deck, from side to side, to bring her to
after each roll; using them, in fact, as so much
shifting ballast.
Soon after came a report that the water had
gained the " engine room;" now it reached the men's
ankles, now their knees, now their waists. Captain Staples, whose idea it had been at first to
make for some spot where she would be pretty
comfortably berthed, felt at this juncture that
matters had become sufficiently serious for him to
put her head straight for the bank, as we must
inevitably have sunk like a piece of lead as soon
as our fires were extinguished. This actually
occurred just as we touched the bank, by which
I Pi
time the men in the engine-room were working up
to their arm-pits in water. Our vessel keeled over
on the bank, until it was inlpossible to keep one's
footing on deck; meanwhile, Wells Fargo's agent
lost no time in landing the letter-bags and other
property in his charge. His example was soon
followed, the boats were got out, and we sent the
women and children on shore, a step which, in
my humble opinion, ought to have been taken
Early in the morning we sent a boat up to Portland, informing them of our position; meanwhile,
we had encamped, after a fashion, on shore, and
tried to make ourselves as comfortable as we
could, under the circumstances, until the arrival of
the steamer from Portland. I forgot to mention
that we lost a number of horses, as we had to
throw them all overboard, and those that did not
succeed in swimming on shore were drowned. On
arriving at Portland, we spent our time, notwithstanding the great heat, chiefly in shooting and
fishing. We contrived to find some very fair
grouse-shooting at some distance from the place,
and this, with some nice trout, provided us with a
capital addition to our hotel fare. Portland
can boast of possessing a very good race-course.
The scenery on the Columbia River, above Fort
Vancouver, is of the most picturesque character.
The celebrated Dalles is a mountain district through
**■* ;
which the river winds its way in many a graceful
bend, while Mount Hood, towering above all, may
be distinguished, from various points of its course,
between Astoria, Portland, and Fort Vancouver.
I have beheld its snow-clad summit floating like a
cloud above the distant horizon, wliile all below
was hidden in a shroud of purple vapour; again
have I seen it stand forth, in all its naked majesty,
a gigantic pyramid of dazzling white, relieved
against the deep blue sky.
The next mail-steamer calling at Portland
proved to be the "Cortes," on which vessel we
took our passage to San Francisco. This place,
the chief city and port of California, we reached,
after three days' passage from Portland.
San Francisco stretches along the shores of a bay
of great size; so large indeed is it that it scarcely
offers a safe anchorage for vessels in a high gale of
wind. It always gave me the idea of a place trying to force its way into the sea, elbowing the
waves, in fact, out of their lawful domain, and disputing for his realms with old Neptune. For
years past San Francisco has been steadily encroach-
ingon the water. The sea once came up to what is now
the centre of the town, and ships used to discharge
their cargoes in the midst of what is at present a
closely built, densely populated neighbourhood. A
great portion of what formerly constituted theharbour
has been filled up and built upon; while in other
IP, If 234
places, edifices of every description are pushed out
on piles. In fact, a great part of San Francisco is
built in this manner, many of its principal wharves
and warehouses resting on piles, the thoroughfares
among which are often very dangerous, on account
of the wooden pavement having rotted into holes.
As San Francisco carries on a trade with almost all
parts of the globe, vessels sailing under every flag
are always to be seen in numbers on the bay, which
presents in fine weather a very cheerful and enlivening coup d'ceil. The town is of considerable
extent, being by far the most important and populous American city on the Pacific.
The streets are all built at right angles to each
other, as is generally the case in America. A great
part of the town is built of wood, and we observed
in some of the parts first built, as, for instance, in
Battery-street, several of the old iron houses still
standing, erected by the first settlers, who were attracted hither by the discovery of gold in 1848-9,
long before the present town had sprung into existence.
Herds of cattle are frequently driven through
the streets of San Francisco, as, in addition to what
is consumed in the city itself, great quantities are
exported. The animals are generally of the somewhat small Spanish breed I have already spoken of,
and are more than half wild. The Mexican drovers
in charge of them are all mounted, as they often THE FIREMEN OF SAN FRANCISCO.
come from great distances, and the cattle are generally too tired to be troublesome, by the time they
reach San Francisco. Should any of them, however, prove restive, it is very curious to witness the
dexterous manner in which these wild-looking,
picturesque drovers, with their large embossed
Mexican saddles and heavy stirrup-irons, will throw
the lasso, and sometimes catching them by the
horns, sometimes by the leg, .will suddenly bring
them to the ground with the most perfect ease and
grace, and soon reduce the most wild and obstinate
beast to a state of passive obedience.
Fires are of very frequent occurrence in San Francisco. During the brief period of our stay, at
least two fires of considerable magnitude, and involving great loss of property, took place. The
organization of the different corps of firemen in
San Francisco is deserving of a few words of special
notice. They constitute a really well-trained, able,
and efficient body of men, and are all volunteers.
There is another class whose office it is to attend
on the fire brigade, following them wherever they
go. These are called Hook and Ladder-men, and
are very useful in protecting life and property.
The city is divided into a number of wards, each of
which contains certainly one if not two engine-
houses ; these are provided with a bell sufficiently
loud-toned to make itself heard over the two or
three surrounding wards; each one takes up the I TH
tocsin, and thus the first alarm of fire is conveyed
almost instantaneously throughout the entire city.
In the event of a large fire, the great alarm-bell
of San Francisco will strike a certain number of
times, indicative of the number of the district in
which the fire is to be sought. The firemen are,
generally speaking, a fine body of young men, and
their working dress is both appropriate and becoming. It consists of a .red shirt and trousers, a belt,
and a helmet—the latter indicating which corps
the men belong to, such as "First or Second Tigers,"
and other fanciful names.
The fire-engines are generally perfect models of
their kind, being beautifully light, and in many
cases handsomely fitted in silver, and the firemen
appear to take no small pride in them. The larger
fire-engines, worked by steam, are capable of hurling an immense body of water against a conflagration, sending forth a stream like a column. A San
Franciscan fireman, however engaged, or in whatever place he may be, is bound the moment he
hears the fire-bell to don his red shirt and helmet
and be off to the scene of action, the object of the
organization being the mutual protection of property.
During the height of the British Columbia gold
fever in 1858, people rushed in such masses from San
Francisco to the diggings, that the town appeared as
if it must be deserted, and land was sold for almost JAPANESE EMBASSY.
anything it would fetch. After the first excitement
had passed away, however, things soon found their
old level, and land that at that time was parted
with for 1,000, is now worth 10,000 dollars.
During the period of my first sojourn at San
Francisco, the different members of the same
Japanese Embassy who have since attracted so
much interest and attention in Europe, were stay-
at the same hotel with me, the " International."
They had recently arrived from Hakadadi, on their
way to Europe via Panama and New York. I
have frequently dined at the same table with them,
and recently recognized the features of more than
one of their number in the streets of London.
A bazaar containing a variety of curious and
often really tasteful specimens of Japanese art and
manufacture was open during my stay here. Some
of the embroidered work was very elaborate and
beautiful. I purchased several of the productions
of this singular country, the fact of whose quaint
yet genuine civilization was unmistakably impressed
on many of the articles here exposed for sale.
I have already alluded to the wooden pavement
of San Francisco. This applies not only to the footpath, or sidewalk as the Americans term it, but to
the carriage road, which consists of planks, often
rotten and loose, and giving a stranger the impression of being highly dangerous.
In spite, however, of the defective state of the
WW Ill
■Ipi!':-  ■
roads, the Americans manage, in their one or two-horse
buggies, to get over the ground with considerable
rapidity; the pace being, indeed, somewhat startling to a novice, who is almost shaken to pieces by
the continual jerking and bumping to which he is
subjected in driving over the uneven and treacherous plank pavement of an American town.
The rules of driving, as regards the side of the
road to be kept, are just the reverse of our own,
being the same as those which hold good in Ger-
o o
many. The system of driving also, one would
imagine, is calculated to destroy the mouth of any
horse in the world. An American Jehu, before
the ostler has let go the horse's head, will prepare
for the coming struggle by twisting each rein three
or four times round his wrist. When once off it
seems to be a regular tussle between man and
horse which shall pull hardest, whether the latter
shall be hauled bodily backwards into the buggy,
or whether the driver shall be pulled off his seat
on to the neck of the quadruped.
Before quitting the subject of driving in America,
I will ask my readers to accompany myself and
some friends while we pay a brief visit to the San
Franciscan race-course, a very respectable specimen
of its kind, being a circular course exactly one
mile round. We went to cee a trotting match, what
we should term a race being known as a running
o o
match.    One of the chief difficulties in  a race of
this description, is to prevent the horse from breaking into a canter, and so making a false start. After
considerable delay, the competitors known respectively by the names of "Pacific' and "Young
America " made a fair start, the light buggies bounding after them at railway speed, their bold charioteers holding on by might and main. Pacific took
the stakes, winning the first three out of five heats,
and doing the first mile in 2 min. 22^ sees., the
second in 2 min.-26 sees., and the third in 2 min.
29 sees.
On our return from the race-course, in company
with an American friend, we got from the subject
of the turf to the sporting field. After listening
for some time to his stories of gunning and hunting, or as we should simply term it shooting, he
requested us in turn to give him a sketch of a day
with the fox-hounds in the old country. Advert-
ing to an English coloured print in an hotel at San
Francisco, representing a "meet' with a good
sprinkling of " pinks," he remarked, " I guess you
chaps in the old country must have looked particular strange in those fixings," evidently believing
that the traditional get-up of an English gentleman
in the hunting field was quite obsolete. On our
assuring him however this was very far from
being the case, and that the pink, the buckskins,
and the top-boots were still as much in vogue as
ever, he was so much overcome with astonishment 240
as tt® require to " liquor up'   on the spot before
continuing the conversation.
After describing the meet, the find, and the pack
in full cry, during a twenty or thirty minutes' run,
we went on to enlighten him as to the incidents
that might possibly occur during a check, when our
fox had run to cover, and how, after some delay,
reynard would perhaps slink out again under the
very noses of our horses.
We now endeavoured to make him understand
the perfect silence that would be kept by the
initiated until "Charley' had got a fair start,
when, with a ringing " gone away! gone away ! \
we should settle ourselves in the saddle preparatory to another start, as soon as the hounds were
again on the scent.
At this point in my narrative, my companion
could contain himself no longer, but demanded,
with mingled indignation and astonishment, to
know how it was, after all our trial and trouble,
that we allowed the fox to get off so easily, adding,
" I wrould have blown his tarnation head off,"
thereby showing, to my great amusement, that up
to that moment he had laboured under the strange
delusion that every fox-hunter was fully armed
with a double-barrelled fowling-piece. On assuring
him that we carried no weapon more formidable
than a hunting-whip, he was again so completely
overcome, that he required to " liquor up'   once AN AMERICAN GENERAL.
more, ere he could sufficiently collect his scattered
senses to appreciate the full extent of our folly.
While the operation of liquoring was going on
before the bar, at a place lying about half-way
between the race-course and the town, and which
stood in the midst of pleasure-grounds, an acquaintance of our American friend happened to drop in,
whom he accosted with " Well, General, how air
you ?' Our subsequent introduction to the
General involved another general liquoring, as is
universally the case on such occasions; and on
our friend, in the course of conversation, giving
the General a sketch of our account of an English
fox-hunt, the latter guessed it must have been a
" tall horse-back ride," but he evidently looked
upon a fox as a very poor quarry. On his subsequently taking his departure, having been struck
with the somewhat unsoldierlike appearance of the
general, I asked our friend where he was quartered.
He did not at first seem to understand the question,
but eventually replied that he guessed he was
located on Montgomery, meaning thereby that he
lived in Montgomery Street. On proceeding to
inquire what troops he was in command of, as we
had not remarked any in or about San Francisco
—this being during the period of our first visit,
latterly we saw plenty of drilling and volunteers—
he informed us that the General was no General at
all, in the sense in which we had understood the
SR! mvm
term, but simply a "notary-general," this title
being bestowed, indifferently, on any who have
the right to affix the word "general' to their
official designation, such as "attorney-general,"
" registrar-general," &c.
O O *
The habit of indulging in frequent drinking at
public bars, or liquoring, as the Americans term it,
is a national vice, which has already been commented on by other writers, and whose castigation
I will leave to abler hands than mine, simply
informing my readers that the bars are spacious
and lofty, and often handsomely got up. They
are of two classes, distinguished as " one bit" and
" two bit' houses, a bit being either the eighth
part of a dollar—a little more than sixpence—or a
dime, the tenth part of the same sum, a less coin
than which is never tendered in payment for anything ordered at a San Franciscan bar, copper
coinage being quite unknown here. Lunch is
always provided gratis to all customers, from about
half-past twelve until half-past two. The bill of
fare is, of course, not very varied, but the dishes
are of good quality, especially in the " two bit'
There are various places of amusement in San
Francisco—the theatres, of which there are several,
appearing to enjoy a special patronage. There is
a good opera-house, at which operas are frequently
very creditably performed. THE " PONY EXPRESS."
A small club exists in San Francisco, called the
1 Union," and we must do the San Franciscans the
justice to acknowledge that they display great
readiness in electing strangers as members, during
the period of their stay in the town, on the proposal of one member being backed by the recommendation of another—an act of courtesy which
is also generally extended to the officers of the
different European men-of-war in the harbour.
Great excitement was created during the period
of our first stay at San Francisco, by the arrival of
the " pony express - from St. Joseph's, or St.
Joey, as it is more generally termed. No inconsiderable amount of interest had long been felt in
the success of this undertaking, which aimed at
establishing a direct communication for the transmission of telegrams* and letters across the
American continent. This important and desirable object is sought to be accomplished by a
chain of posts—at which relays of ponies are kept
j—from St. Joey, the last station on the railroad,
communicating with New York and the Atlantic,
to Sacramento and the Pacific. It will readily be
understood that this service is one of considerable
risk and hardship; the principal danger to which
the messengers are exposed being the attacks of
hostile Indians. The mail-bags are carried across
the saddle, and the strap fastening them together
* A line of telegraph now exists all the way.
R 2
ii I4m
II w
is so arranged under the rider, that the moment
O '
the man's weight is removed, in the event of his
death, they must fall to the ground, and will then
stand a chance of being found and recovered by
the next messenger that follows in his traces.
Additional rejoicings occurred in consequence of
the expeditious mode in which the transit had been
effected, the distance from St. Joseph's to within
fifty miles of Sacramento having been accomplished
by the express in about eight days. Since then
coaches have been established to run between San
.Francisco and St. Joseph's, which perform the
journey in three weeks.
We cannot take leave of San Francisco without
a passing notice of the Celestials, which singular
people form no unimportant element in the floating
population of the place. A considerable portion of
the city is devoted wholly and exclusively to their
use. The greater proportion are probably on their
way to or from the different diggings and gold-
fields, at the same time not a few are employed in
various manual 'occupations in the docks, warehouses, and other waterside premises of this great
emporium of the West. Finally, many among
them have attained the position of wealthy
merchants and traders, to which they have raised
themselves by their own industry and perseverance.
The celebrated "Vigilance Committee," as it was
called, of San Francisco, also deserves a few passing THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE.
words of notice at our hands. Abuses of everv
description had, some years ago, assumed the most
alarming proportions, and the rule of the mob had
acquired an ascendancy such as threatened to be
subversive of all the principles of law, order, and
social life. The ballot boxes were tampered with
to such an extent that men of the most infamous
character were returned as members of the House
of Representatives. Villains of the blackest dye sat
on the magisterial bench, and the functions of
officers of justice were performed by notorious
thieves. Every law of decency and morality was
openly violated, society in California appeared to
be on the eve of dissolution, and the last barriers
to the brutal passions and unbridled licentiousness
of a mob of wretches, whose only law was the rule
of " might is right," appeared about to be broken
Desperate evils require desperate remedies, and,
to the honour of humanity be it said, men' were
found sufficiently brave and true-hearted to step
forward at this frightful juncture, and organize a
determined resistance to the progress of violence
and licentiousness. Such was the origin of the
famous "Vigilance Committee."
Of course I need hardly inform my readers that
all their meetings were convened in the profoundest
secrecy, and their whole plan of operation kept
carefully concealed until all was ripe for execution. 246
So well were their measures taken, that on a particular day, fixed on beforehand, they issued forth
in a body, well armed, and by a coup de main
possessed themselves of the persons of some of the
more notorious among the evil-doers—ringleaders
o o
in acts of iniquity—whose hands were freshly
imbrued with the life-blood of their fellow-citizens.
These wretches were brought to trial before a tribunal established by the committee, and condemned
to punishments more or less severe. I believe
only two of their number were actually hung.
Thus, by the exercise of courage and determination,
was the torrent of lawless violence arrested in its
full course of destruction, and the principles of outraged justice once more openly vindicated. There
can be no doubt that the political and social
existence of California owes its salvation to the
untiring efforts and exertions of the " Vigilance
Finding matters were going against them, many
of the proscribed made their escape from California.
I am much mistaken if I do not recognize the name
of one of their number in an officer now holding a
good position in the ranks of the Federal army. CHAPTER' XV.
Departure from San Francisco—Benicia—Sacramento City—Its
Situation—Natural Productions of California—Row in the
House of Assembly—Use of the Revolver and Knife—Opinion
of an American on American Institutions—Probable Effects
of the Present War in the United States—Its Causes—Tariff to
protect the Manufacturing Interests—Hatred between the
North and South—Results to be anticipated at the Close of the
War—Present Evils attending it—Necessity of taking Measures
for the Protection of Canada—Bad Feeling shown by America
towards ^England—Honourable Conduct of this Country—
Defence of American Shores of the Lakes—The Canadian
Militia—Speech of the Hon. John A. Macdonald at Quebec.
We left San Francisco, or Frisco, as it is familiarly
termed, for Sacramento, on board one of those huge
floating hotels, or almost palaces, with which later
descriptions and drawings have familiarized the
English public. Suffice it therefore to say, the
steamer in which we took our passage up the Sacramento River was a type of its class, having a
cabin running its entire length, with a house for
:   'Kaj;;t|
officers, a pilot   house  on   deck   fo'rard',  and a
drinking bar.
At the mouth of the Sacramento River is situated the foundry and factory of the Pacific Mail
Steam Ship Company—by name Benicia—the place
from which the doughty champion of the ring,
Heenan, takes his well-known sobriquet By what
right the Americans lay claim to this powerfully
built young giant, and boast him as a specimen of
what their country can produce in the shape of
muscular vigour and powers of endurance, we
never could rightly understand. Both the parents
of Heenan were natives of Ireland, and the mere
accident of his having been born on the other side
the Atlantic, cannot possibly be regarded as any
criterion of the physique the American continent
may be capable of producing..
On our way to Sacramento City, about one
hundred miles up the river, we stopped at several
places and took a quantity of fine fresh salmon on
board. The town itself is situated on the left bank
of the river, on very low ground, which is in parts
exceedingly swampy, and liable to be flooded by an
overflow of the waters of the river, a catastrophe
that befell the place as recently as last winter; an
account of which, together with views of the^ partially submerged town, appeared in the columns of
the Illustrated London News.
Sacramento is a much smaller place than San ROW IN THE HOUSE OF   ASSEMBLY.
Francisco, but is the seat of Government and capital of California State. The House of Assembly
and Senate meet in the principal building in the
place called the Capitol, in which are also the law-
courts. There are a great number of Chinese in
this place, as in San Francisco.
The quality of the soil in this part of California
is undoubtedly fine, and well adapted for all the
purposes of agriculture. Great quantities of wheat
are grown in the neighbourhood both of this place
and San Francisco. Fruits and vegetables attain
maturity much earlier in California than in the
more northern latitude of British Columbia, and
great quantities are exported to our colonies on this
coast, as they can be brought up in a few days by
the steamers. California may be regarded therefore
as standing pretty much in the same relation to
Vancouver and British Columbia that Portugal
does to England.
During my stay in Sacramento one of those characteristic rows occurred in the House of Representatives for which America generally, and the
Pacific States especially, have obtained such an unenviable notoriety. It arose out of some person in
the gallery expressing aloud his approbation of the
opinions to which one of the members was giving
utterance. These on the other hand were as emphatically condemned by some one else, also one
of the audience.    This at once provoked an angry
is. H>! ill
1! Tp2t
discussion, until, having applied to each other the
opprobrious epithet of liar, one of the disputants
drew forth his revolver and shot the other, stabbing
him when he was down.
Such acts of lawless violence are unhappily only
too common in America, and have come to be
looked upon with comparative indifference, or at
least as inevitable—men who have been guilty of
what we should call murder in England being frequently acquitted by a jury of their countrymen, on
the score of the provocation they had received. If
the injury or insult be deemed sufficiently grave,
Americans appear to think that a man is justified
in wiping it out with blood whenever an opportunity may occur, even by an act of cold-blooded
murder: for stabbing and shooting a man behind
" o o
his back is unhappily of too frequent occurrence,
and is by no means regarded with the loathing and
execration such an act of dastardly villainy deserves. We have been horrified to hear Americans
speak approvingly of deeds of violence perpetrated
under circumstances that made an Englishman's
blood boil with indignation, nor will they be
brought to see the matter in its proper light. They
will refuse to be convinced of the atrocious cowardice, as well as villainy, of shooting or stabbing a
man behind his back without giving him a chance
for his life, if they consider the original provocation to have been sufficiently great, and will reply, USE OF THE REVOLVER AND KNIFE.
in answer to any remonstrance, " Serve him right,
sir, serve him right, shoot him like a dog! "
The habit of carrying sheath knives, and even
revolvers in the pockets, so common in America,
and especially in these countries of the Far West,
cannot be too strongly reprobated, as the fact of
always having a deadly weapon close at hand often
leads to the fatal termination of what would otherwise end as an ordinary dispute.
Before I left California last year a meeting was
convened by those favourable to Southern interests
to discuss the rights, the justice of the cause, and
the future prospects of the then recently seceded
States. Before opening proceedings it was unanimously agreed that the discussion should be carried on in the most perfectly friendly and impartial manner, and that speakers who might profess
Union sentiments should be allowed to state them
as freely and as fully as those of Southern proclivities. Alas! for these good intentions! The
assembly soon waxed noisy and disputatious, argument degenerated into recrimination, and the opposite parties were on the point of proceeding to
back their opinions by the bullet and the bowie-
knife. Several revolvers had actually been produced, when some one possessing more discretion,
if not more valour, than the rest, bethought himself of the happy expedient of turning off the gas.
By thus putting a sudden stop to the proceedings,
mt 252
and plunging the entire assembly into total darkness, a disgraceful scene of riot and bloodshed was
in all probability prevented.
The notoriously boastful disposition of Americans
generally has already been sufficiently often commented on by all writers on this people; I shall
not therefore trouble the reader by relating how
often I was compelled to listen, ad nauseam, to
windy arguments that were intended to prove that
America was not only the most favoured by nature
of all regions under the sun, but that all her institutions, political and social, were such as might well
excite the envy of every other nation. Recent
events must surely by this time have opened their
eyes to some of their weak points, and convinced
them that perfection is as difficult of attainment on
their own side the Atlantic as on this. The wild
buffeting of wind and wave to which the model
Republic is at present subjected must, by this time,
have discovered many a rotten plank and loose
screw in the vessel of the State. Let us hope that
they will so far profit by their present experience
as to learn at least a lesson of humility. In justice,
however, to the penetration and common sense of
the Americans, I must state that I am fully convinced that many among them, even while professing to participate in a senseless admiration of all their
customs and institutions, hold at heart very different
I will, in conclusion, repeat a few observations let fall by a friend of mine in San
Francisco, who was himself from one of the Eastern
States, and strongly in favour of the Union. " Our
liberty, equality, and fraternity, sir," he would say,
I are all moonshine, our boasted freedom is a snare
and a delusion. My countrymen want to travel
more, to correct their intolerable vanity and self-
sufficiency. I have travelled a great deal, and have
come to see that there are a vast number of shams
and abuses tolerated in this country whose existence
I might perhaps never have suspected if I had not
had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with
the political institutions of other countries. Talk
of universal equality—universal humbug! sir,"
he would say, " no, no ; there is less of the genuine
article to be found in this very State of California
than in any other country under the sun. The
fact is that a man with money, friends, and interest to
back him, may do almost anything, even to committing manslaughter, with impunity. The influence of money is paramount; wealth is but another
name for political power, social position, and even
judicial immunity. Our magisterial bench is not
free from the taint of venality, and our trials are
too often disgraceful mockeries, both judge and jury
having previously made up their minds as to the
verdict to be given. The despotism with which we
are cursed, sir, is the despotism of the dollar, and
y'lj fi
ittaj 254
a grinding, degrading despotism it is. You may
depend upon it," he added, " I shall not remain a
day longer in the place than I can help,"—alluding,
of course, to California. The reader will understand that I do not offer these remarks as the
result of my own observation and experience, but
give them just as I received them from the lips of
a born American.
Lest I should be thought, however, to have
borne rather hardly on American manners and
customs, I am prepared to acknowledge that I
have known many Americans who were not only
men of enlightened and liberal views, but gentlemen in every sense of the term.
The terrible struggle now raging between the
North and South, or, as they call themselves, the
"Federals and Confederates" of the formerly
United States, must exercise so important an influence on the future, not only of this people, but
on that of all other races inhabiting the American
continent, that it may well claim a few passing
observations at our hands.
Into the question of the justice of the present
war I will not pause to inquire. The British
public has already listened to sufficient arguments
in favour of Secession on the one hand, and vindicating the coursetaken by the Federal Government
on the other.
From all I know of America and its inhabitants, CAUSES OF THE PRESENT WAR.
I am convinced that the causes that have led to
the present outbreak are various and of long standing; that their germs have in fact existed from
the moment the great Republic was established,
and have gone on increasing and developing ever
since, and gradually undermining the political cohesion and integrity of the Federal Republic, that
boasted itself the model of such institutions and the
envy of the universe. Ever since the very foundation of the State, after the War of Independence,
elements of discord have existed between the
Northern and Southern portions of the Republic,
such as must, in the opinion of all enlightened
Americans with whom I have discussed the question, have eventually produced the present rup-
The question of slavery is but an accidental circumstance, surrounded by a host of other clashing
interests, complicating the situation indeed, but not
in itself the real cause of difference. I feel assured
that, had the institution of slavery never existed on
the American soil, there are sufficient other causes
for the present war, both political, geographical,
and social. One of the chief elements of weakness
may be traced to the want of cohesion among the
different States of the Union, and the absence of
any powerful centralizing influence. Each State
possesses an independent political organization,
an Executive of its own,  and aims at a separate
ill ii Ibfk
and individual existence. Devoted exclusively to
the pursuit of its own interests, even to the prejudice of those of the community at large, each State
is ambitious of leading, and a spirit of rivalry,
dangerous to the political integrity of the Federal
Republic, is, as a natural consequence, engendered.
Again, the system of taxation, levied exclusively
for the benefit of the North Eastern Spates of the
Union on all foreign produce, has long been a
source of bitter heart-burning and recrimination on
the part of their Southern and Western fellow-citizens, who are forced to pay a high duty on all imported articles, exclusively to fill the pockets of
the Northern manufacturers.
The Southern States, not unreasonably, object to
pay a higher price for every article they receive
from abroad than what they could obtain it for
direct through their own ports.
A great proportion of the electors of the Northern
and Eastern States are either manufacturers themselves, or in the manufacturing interest, and being
unable to compete with European manufacturers,
have established a high protective tariff for their
own especial benefit, to the detriment of the community at large.*
* The Tariff recently presented by Mr. Stevens to the House of
Representatives would seem to indicate that this infatuated people are
prepared to go to even greater lengths in the matter of protection,
and to pursue the suicidal policy of cutting themselves off from the
commerce of the universe for the sake of venting their spleen on
Independently of all causes of political difference,
I am convinced that there has long existed a deep-
rooted natural antipathy between the North and
South. This hatred, bitter and rancorous as one
of race and creed, it would perhaps be difficult to
trace to its origin ; that the events of the last few
years have served to foster and develop it wUl be
readily understood. Whatever be the cause of it,
there can be no doubt that the contempt and execration in which the "Yankee' is held by all
classes 1 down South," is such as no description of
mine would enable any one who has never been in
the country, to realize.
That the Southern planters and landowners,
many of them men of good family and breeding—
scions not unfrequently of an old and honourable
stock in the United Kingdom—should object to bow
their necks to be trampled on by the roughshod
mobocracy of New York, is not to be wondered at.
A democracy may be a very good thing in its way,
if only carried out in the spirit in which such a
form of Government was originally framed; but, of
all Governments under the sun, a mobocracy is the
most odious and intolerable.
From all I saw and heard during my stay in
America, especially in the Eastern States, in the
autumn of last year, I never doubted that the
present dissolution of the Union was final. Whatever be the future political organization  of this
s M. m
i 3
vast region, there can be no doubt that the North
and South will still be sufficiently powerful, sufficiently large, and sufficiently favoured by nature,
in the varied productions of their soil, to maintain
a separate and individual political existence. Each
will still possess, for ages to come, a vast outlet for
its surpms population. What is to be regretted is,
not so much the dissolution of the Union, as the
present frightful fratricidal war, the effect of which
must not only be to throw back the material
progress of the United States some half century, to
burden a young country with the incubus of a
national debt and a greatly increased taxation,
but must, inevitably, leave behind it fatal memories
of deeds of violence and blood, that it will take
ages to efface. Let us hope that, as there is no
evil without its concomitant good, the American
character may, in passing through the present
terrible ordeal, be purged, as by fire, of many of
its faults and imperfections, and that both parties
may awake from their frenzied dream of conquest
and bloodshed, not only wiser but better men.
Whatever be the issue of the present conflict, its
results must be fraught with importance to the
whole North American continent. The preponderating political influence of the United States will
be divided among the other countries and States
forming portions of it. There can be no doubt
that many will be driven by the present war from
the United States, to seek, under British rule, for
that stable and secure government which the latter
country, in its present disorganized state, cannot be
expected to afford. Capitalists settled in New
York and the other great centres of American
commerce, will naturally be disposed, especially if
they be of English origin, to transfer their fortunes
and persons across the Canadian frontier.
At a moment when it appears possible that the
future government of the United States may be a
military despotism, with an immense armed force
at its disposal, it is natural that we should feel, if
not anxiety, at least some solicitude with regard
to the future of Canada. It may be argued that,
on issuing from her present struggle, the United
States will hardly be justified, on financial grounds,
in engaging in another war; nor am I myself disposed to regard the ravings and empty braggadocio of the New York press as the expression of
the opinion and feelings of the better classes in
America towards England, but we must remember
that a mob acts without reflection, and on the
impulse of the moment. In any case, it is right
to be prepared, even while refusing to admit {hat
there is any just cause for alarm. The ill feeling
manifested by the Federals towards England, from
the commencement of the present war, I regard as
wholly irrational and unjustifiable. I consider the
line of conduct pursued by this country towards
m 260
both contending parties, as having been in the
highest degree honourable and impartial. To the
serious injury of our own manufacturing interests,
have we steadily adhered to our avowed policy of
perfect neutrality. Our Government has constantly
refused to become a party to any act of intervention, even in concert with our ally, the Emperor
of the French. I would ask our American friends
whether they think that any other Power, say
France or Russia, would not have availed itself of the present opportunity of asserting its
dominion over the Island of St. Juan, to which the
Americans put forth such an unfounded claim,
and one so arrogantly maintained, and which is
still unsettled. We have not only abstained from
attempting to gain any advantage, but have
generously submitted to great inconvenience and
loss, rather than give them any cause of complaint.
Under these circumstances, I must confess to feeling
somewhat indignant at the equally contemptible
and irrational ill-will that the Federals have constantly displayed towards England. Let us hope that
their eyes may be opened to see matters in their true
light, and to recognize rather the claims that this
• country has on their gratitude than to take up a
party cry of senseless vituperation.
I see that the subject of the defences of the great
chain of lakes separating British America from the
United States, has quite recently been brought be- DEFENCE OF CANADA.
fore the Executive of the latter country, at a meeting of the New York delegation in Congress. The
principal topics discussed were the present undefended condition of the lakes, and the great extent and rapid growth of commerce on their waters.
The principal measures that are likely to arise out
of these discussions, to occupy the attention of Congress, will be the opening of adequate channels of
water communication from the eastern and western extremities of the lakes; the first to be affected
by enlarging the locks on the Erie and Oswego
canals and the other by the enlargement of the canal
from the Chicago and Illinois River: thus permitting the passage of vessels of war, in the shape of
gun-boats, for the defence of these internal waters.*
Taking all these circumstances into consideration,
and bearing in mind that, whatever the issue of the
present internecine war, the United States can never
be without a standing army, I think that the
fact of our having so powerful an armed neighbour on our frontier, must entail on us the necessity of maintaining an armed force also in Canada,
or, at least, such a one as shall serve as the nucleus
of a larger body. This nucleus ought, in my opinion, to be furnished by the active force of Canadian Militia. In connection with this important subject I will take the liberty of making the following
* Since this was written, the Times has drawn public attention to
the same subject.
Ik 262
extracts from the speech of the Honourable John
A. Macdonald, the Attorney-General for Canada,
delivered in the Legislative Assembly, Quebec,
during last May, without subscribing, however, to
all the opinions he expressed:—
" There is one point with regard to which I confess I am exceedingly dissatisfied, and I would implore the honourable gentlemen who compose the
Administration of the day, to pause and reconsider
their resolve to defer anything like a preparation
for the defence of the country for another year.
The very idea makes me stand aghast, Jhat this
country (Canada) is to stand defenceless till midwinter, till—no matter what the exigency or danger may be, no matter what the relations between
England and the United States—though every exposed inch of our frontier may be covered by hostile
American riflemen, we shall have no means of communication with England —when — however
strongly England may be aroused to send assistance to her liege subjects in danger—we shall
have no means of communication, and no means
of defending ourselves—without arms, without
organization, without a militia force.
11 cannot conceal from myself that we are now,
in Canada, in a more dangerous position than we
have ever been before, since the period immediately preceding the surrender of the Southern Ambassadors.    What does every mail now bring us from
1 -vWHi
England ? Do we not receive accounts that many
of the industrial population, both of England and
France, are in a state of starvation; that thousands,
almost millions, are being left without the means
of subsistence, in consequence of this most disastrous war; that in France more than in England
the pressure is great, increasing and imminent, so
that the arrival of every mail gives increasing reason to apprehend a forced intervention ? And if
intervention is forced upon the Emperor of France
by the starving population of that country, do we
not know that England also of necessity will be
dragged into it ?     And then what will be the con-
sequence ? The Americans have declared that the
first sign of intervention by France or England,
will be a signal for war.
11 am happy to find that the present Administration admit the necessity of a militia organization,
and that it forms a portion of their policy. But
if we want a Militia Bill at all, we want it now. We
want arms in our hands and arms in our arm-
We want them now.    Next winter it may
be too late. God forbid that such an event should
happen, but I would ask my honourable friends,
the members of this Administration, to consider
the danger we incur should any hostile feeling unhappily arise between England and the United
States between now and next winter. In such
an event, their names would go down to posterity
.liil nil »i
N as.
;i ■'■>'■
as having betrayed the best interests of their
country for the mere convenience of their own
governmental arrangements; as having, for this,
run the risk of our rights, our liberties, and our
existence as a people being swept away. For
the want of this necessary preparation, we may be
whipped in—as the Northern States are now endeavouring to whip in the South—may be whipped into a position of dependence on the people of
the American Union, as was the fate of that poor
remnant of Mexicans who, by force of arms, were
made the slaves of that Union.
" While I give every member credit for the vote
he gave on the Militia Bill, I know what will be the
feeling in England when the news of the fate of that
measure arrives there. The people of England
will not be able to understand the motives which induced gentlemen to vote against the second reading, and therefore, as will of course be inferred,
against the principle of the bill. They will say,
we were willing to help Canada to carry out the
pledge given by the British nation that the whole
power of the empire would be exerted in our behalf in case of foreign invasion; but what can we
think of men who will not even consider the principle of a measure to enable them to fight for
their own liberties, their own soil, their own
country ? I have no hesitation in expressing my
belief that the moment that news arrives in Eng-
land, our securities will fall in value, and the influence and standing of Canada will be most
seriously shaken.
"Not only will the rejection of the Militia Bill
have the effect I have stated in England, but it
will be taken in the Northern States as an encouragement of the idea that Canada is ripe for annexation. It will encourage the United States to
attack us, and will discourage England from coming to our aid. Yet here iye are, while this continent is in so disturbed a state—while Canada is
in danger—here we are folding our hands, and saying we will be ready to prepare to fight nine
months hence. Now is the time for organization,,
and that man would be a traitor to the best interests
of his country, who would not urge by argument
and-by vote, and by every means in his power, the
necessity of immediate armament to defend our
country and ourselves. That is the first and most
important of the considerations which I would
press upon the gentlemen supporting the Administration why there should only be an adjournment
long enough to enable the members of the Government to be re-elected. I hope the election of none
of them will be opposed.
" There is another subject to which I have no
doubt that during the short period my honourable
friends have been in the Administration their attention has .been called, and that is the great im-
II "■msi
portance that, before this Parliament prorogues,
the question of the International Railroad should
be taken up. I have reason to believe, and I dare
say my honourable friends in the Government,
from their official position, know that the Imperial
Government are now prepared to meet us halfway
for the construction of that road, that they are
ready to borrow on their own credit, and at a low
rate of interest which their credit will secure, the
whole amount of money necessary to construct the
Intercolonial  Railroad, receiving in exchange the
' o o
security of the several colonies. I believe that if
that is carried out Canada will be making a much
better bargain than that originally proposed.
| But we do not know how long that may last.
We know that the able man at the head of the
British Government is old and frail, and the moment the keystone of the arch is swept away by
any accident, his whole Administration will fall
with him, and a new Administration will come in,
altogether unbound by this proposition or anything
like it. We may lose by delay for ever the chance
of an Intercolonial Railroad, and may lose with it
for a long period the chance of having a Pacific
Railroad, which would be the eventual sequence of
an Intercolonial Railroad extending from Halifax
to our Western Lakes. All this may be lost by
our prorogation, because the Government cannot
act without provincial legislation.
11 might point out other reasons, but these may
suffice, and I hope the honourable gentlemen-who
compose the Administration will reconsider the
matter. I feel strongly on these two points—our
railway interests, which will remain involved till
we have railroad legislation and the Intercolonial
Railroad finished, and the necessity, above all else,
of some legislation that will save the province from
being left till next winter bound hand and foot,
unarmed, helpless, and without the means of defence. But I implore them again—I ask them as
Canadians, as men whose reputation may be for
ever lost if a single shot should be fired, or a single
O I o
foreign soldier advanced on our frontier, whether
they will not stand inculpated, if such a thing should
happen, as having in a time of great hazard been
faithless to the best interests of their countrv ? '
The recent debate on the defence of Canada,
in the House of Lords, has again drawn public
attention to this important question. It is gratifying to find that the speech of his Excellency
Governor-General Monck, at Montreal, was received in the best possible spirit, and I think we
may venture to hope that the well-known loyalty of
this important colony may assume the practical
form of a sufficiently numerous and well-armed
militia to render it, comparatively speaking, independent of the assistance of the mother country.
il 1! 268
General Remarks on the Origin and Present Condition of the
Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island—Influence
of the Gold Discovery—Neglect of many Important Branches
of Industry—Discovery of Copper Mines—Prospects of Immigrants—State of Industry—High Rate of Wages—Inconvenience caused by a Former Want of a Circulating
Medium—Despatch of Governor Douglas—Establishment of a
Mint and Assay Office—Banks in Victoria—Import Duty and
Tariffs in British Columbia—Protection claimed by the Farmers
of Vancouver's Island—The Charter of the Hudson's Bay
Company—Debate in the House of Lords on the Subject—
Speech of the Duke of Newcastle.
The rapid growth of the colonies of British
Columbia and Vancouver's Island, the energy displayed in opening up routes into the interior, the
sudden influx of population, the startling way in
which towns have sprung up in the midst of the INFLUENCE OF THE GOLD DISCOVERY.
pine-covered wilderness, and isolated Hudson's Bay
Forts expanded into flourishing settlements, will
ever be remarkable among the achievements of our
age. At the same time, this very rapidity of
growth has developed certain principles of internal
policy and legislation, to the exclusion of others of
perhaps equal or greater importance. The discovery
of gold has imparted a stimulus and energy to certain special branches of industry, to the prejudice
or neglect of others of possibly more vital importance to the real interests of a new colony. Doubtless these are merely temporary evils, inseparable
from a state of things so extraordinary and
abnormal as attended the birth and early growth
of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island. At
the same time I think it right to advert to one or two
points of domestic policy and industry which have
perhaps been overlooked or neglected in the excitement caused by the discovery of gold, and at the
same time partially to indicate what, in my humble
opinion, will be the safest course to be pursued
with a view to the future prosperity and well-being
of these interesting colonies.
British Columbia, at the era of her gold discoveries, differed from both Australia and California.
She was nothing but a pathless wilderness when
the gold excitement commenced in 1858. Round
a few of the scattered forts of the Hudson's Bay
Company there were isolated patches of cultivation,
i (Iran
iii 270
but the amount of labour devoted to the culture of
the soil was wholly unimportant. The white men,
equally with the Indian tribes inhabiting the
country, may virtually be said to have subsisted on
the produce of the chase. With the influx of
immigrants came an increased demand for supplies
of food, and as nothing but fish or game could be
had, of necessity, with these exceptions, every
article of food had to be brought from abroad.
The search for gold occupied industry so exclusively
that but very few persons found time to engage in
agriculture. As a natural consequence, a large
proportion of the gains of the colony went to enrich
the foreign agriculturists who supplied its inhabitants with the necessary articles of food. Thus the
mineral wealth of British Columbia became in the
end beneficial rather to her neighbours than to
herself. I am aware that this is a matter to which
I have already drawn the reader's attention, but I
regard it as one of such paramount importance, in
connection with the future prospects of the colony,
that I venture to extract the following remarks on
the subject from the Victoria British Colonist:—
" The town and country begin j to swarm with
men; most of them are inured to labour. The
majority, perhaps, are better acquainted with agriculture than with any other art. Yet all profess
to be bound for Cariboo. Agriculture seems never
to be taken into account.    Elsewhere the agricul- pil
tural labourer has been so poorly paid that there
seems to be a prevailing idea that agriculture can
never pay as well as gold-digging. We regard this
as a popular error. It is a fallacy—a perfect
fallacy so far as British Columbia is concerned.
We are persuaded that by digging no deeper than
six inches from the surface the farmer may realize
as handsome a return in gold as the miner who
delves in the creeks of Cariboo. We may find it
extremely difficult to persuade those who are most
competent to engage in it that such is really the
case; yet it is none the less true. It is not only
true that a farmer on the route from Lytton and
Lillooett to William's Lake, Alexandria, the mouth
of Quesnelle or Swift River, can be rewarded for
his labour, but there is a positive certainty that he
will be well paid into the bargain. Were there
such a thing as a positive certainty that every miner
who would go to Cariboo would be successful,
make his pile of one, five, ten, or 20,000 dollars, it
might be useless with our present population to
recommend farming. But there is no such thing
as a certainty of making a fortune in gold mines
anywhere, whether in Cariboo, Salmon River,
California, or Australia. In all gold-diggings there
are a great many blanks, and few prizes; and
although we are persuaded that Cariboo is fabulously
rich in gold, yet we have no idea that the majority
who may go there this year can return with  a 272
fortune. We want, then, to impress upon some of
our readers that there is one way in which a fortune can be made in British Columbia without
breasting the snow on the Bald Hills, or packing
beans and bacon on their back from creek to creek
in Cariboo. That way is simply by taking lip
farms on the road to Cariboo. That way is by
raising hay, oats, wheat, barley, potatoes, beans,
pork, beef, and mutton. These are the commodities
that can be most easily exchanged for gold. One
hundred and sixty acres of good land anywhere from
Bonaparte River to the mouth of the Quesnelle will,
on the average, prove a far better claim than the
average of claims in the mines. Such, would be
a claim that can be worked every year for the next
century, and within the next five years make any
■industrious man's fortune. There is not a country
under the fair face of heaven that now offers such
brilliant inducements to the farmer as British
Columbia. The climate is healthy and invigorating,
the soil fertile and yields abundantly, and a market
at starvation prices at every farmer's door.
" Foreign produce can never compete; or only so
long as the domestic supply is inadequate to the
demand. At the present moment the supply of
farm produce consumed, or to be consumed this
year in the mines, has to be brought from Oregon
or California. It has to be carried from 500 to
1,000 miles before it is landed in British Columbia, w
and then it traverses the country from 200 to
400 miles before it reaches the consumer; and,
what is still more worthy of notice, before it can
be brought into competition with those who
may take up a ranch* anywhere on the road to
" If a farmer in any other country could only
save the cost of transportation on produce between
San Francisco, or Portland, and Lillooett, and
Lytton, he would enjoy an unequalled market.
But besides the cost of freight, the farmer in the
sister colony has the protection of ten per cent,
duty. Over all, he can get a high price for whatever he may raise, and sell it at his door. Let any
one who understands farming, make a calculation
of what it will cost to live and grow a crop on the
Cariboo road this year ; then deduct the cost from
the probable value of his crop, and he will be convinced that farming in British Columbia is no
second-class business.
§ Were farms taken up along the new lines of
road from Lillooett and Lytton to Williams' Lake
and Alexandria, every pound of hay and barley
that can be raised this year would find a market.
For next winter we expect to chronicle the transportation of merchandise on sleds to Alexandria,
and other points in the direction of the mines.
The animals engaged on the route will consume
* A settlement, whether white or red.
ill I
§-fi i
all the fodder; and this time next year we anticipate chronicling such a supply of provisions in the
upper country, carried there over the snow, as will
render it unnecessary to move any more in that
direction till the trails become perfectly good.
The quantity of merchandise will, no doubt, be
very great, for whatever the mining population
may need this year, it will certainly be far greater
next spring. Let every farmer then take into
account the quantity of fodder required, and the
amount of agricultural produce necessary for the
mines, and he will discover a veritable Pactolus in
the stream of immigrants running winter and
summer to and from Cariboo. Let farmers also
recollect that those who take up farms early on
the route, will have an excellent chance to add to
their finances by keeping wayside inns, providing
I accommodation for man and beast.'"
I regret to find that since I adverted to the
probability of a scarcity of provisions at the
diggings my prognostications have been fully verified. According to the latest advices from British
Columbia, not a single pack-train had left Lillooett
up to the 2nd of May, owing to the bad state of
the roads, resulting from the late severe winter.
The total want of all the necessaries of life had
compelled many miners to return from the gold
districts. I entertain no doubt, however, that
this has long since been remedied.
Fresh discoveries are daily bringing to light the
fact that the Colonies of British Columbia and
Vancouver's Island, with their dependencies, are
rich not only in gold, but also in silver, copper,
iron, lead, tin, coal, &c. Recent accounts would
seem to indicate that copper mining will, ere long,
become an important branch of industry in both
colonies. Indications of copper are everywhere
found in the extensive Archipelago that commences at the entrance of the Gulf of Georgia,
and stretches northward to the islands that skirt
Russian America. It will no doubt take ages
fully to explore the mineral wealth of the coast
of British Columbia. One especial advantage to
be derived from these mines would be the fact
of their affording winter employment to the gold
miners, the want of which has long been felt to be
a serious drawback to the industry of the colony.
In the absence of winter diggings—tunnel-diggings
—that can be worked longer than those of Cariboo,
that is to say, during five or six months in the year
only, the copper mines of the coast become doubly
important and valuable. They would not only
provide employment to numbers all the year round,
but might, I think, prove a profitable market for
labour after the gold-mining season had closed.
It is no doubt unnecessary to inform my readers
that in the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island, as elsewhere, the Crown owns all
•1 t2
11* i
iii '■m :
the mines, whether of the precious metals—gold
and silver—or of copper, and other base metals,
except where it has conveyed away its right to the
precious metals by a grant or lease, or to the base
metals by pre-emption or purchase. The right of
the Crown to the precious metals is reserved from
pre-emption, but no reservation is made of the base
metals; thus, to become the owner of copper, lead,
iron, tin, or coal mines in either colony, all that is
required is to purchase the land; or if the land be
Crown land, any British subject, or alien who may
take the oath of allegiance, may pre-empt the land
in which these minerals are found, and by complying with the conditions of the " Preemption Consolidation Act" of British Columbia, or the " Preemption Act" of Vancouver's Island, as the case
may be, he can become absolute owner of the land
and the base minerals which it contains.
Without specifying the various branches of
industry in which he might engage, the number
and extent of which must be apparent from the
tenor of my foregoing remarks, I may state in
general terms, that these colonies offer the greatest
possible inducements to the capitalist. As a rule,
the newer the colony the higher the rate of interest,
and the more numerous the openings for investments. Money in Victoria can be lent on good
security, at rates ranging from twenty-five to
thirty per cent.    All skilled artizans may feel sure WANT OF A CIRCULATING MEDIUM.
of commanding a very high rate of wages, and
cannot fail to do well; and, finally, female servants
are at premium. What a pity it is some thousands
of the young needlewomen and others in London,
who find it so hard, with all their toil and drudgery,
to earn a precarious subsistence, cannot be transported to the shores of our El Dorado of the
West. I submit the idea for the consideration of
those whose philanthropy and wealth might induce
them to carry it into execution.
The following remarks of the Governor, Mr.
Douglas, in a despatch to the Colonial Secretary,
dated November, 1861, point out the existence of
a want which has long been felt to be a serious bar
to the commercial prosperity of the colony:—
" Much inconvenience and loss have, ever since
the formation of these colonies, been occasioned
by the want of a circulating medium of fixed and
recognized value, equal to the business demands of
the country. The scarcity of coin has been so
great, gold-dust not being received for duties, that
importers of goods have found it difficult at all
times to make their custom-house payments, and,
as is well known, are frequently compelled to
borrow money for that purpose, at exorbitant
rates of interest, from two per cent, per month,
Tmd upwards. Almost all the business of the
country is transacted in gold:dust of uncertain
value, and it is easy to conceive the difficulty and 278
inconvenience of adjusting payments by such
means, when the holder and receiver are both
alike subject to loss, and fearful of imposition."
"The effects of an over-restricted monetary circu-
lation are now, however, operating so fatally in
both colonies, that it is indespensable to provide a
remedy for an evil that is sapping the very foundations of our prosperity. To illustrate this fact, I
would inform your Grace that at this moment there
is an amount of gold dust in the hands of miners
from Cariboo, residing at Victoria, exceeding one
quarter of a million sterling, and so great is the
present dearth of coin that it brings a premium of
five per cent, and over when procurable, which is
not generally the case, as men may be seen hawking
bars of gold about the streets of Victoria who cannot
raise coin enough, even at the high rates of discount
just mentioned, to defray their current expenses.
" The miners and other holders of gold are naturally incensed, and refuse to submit to this depreciation on the value of their property when they
know it can be converted into coin for the moderate charge of one half of one per cent, at the
United States Branch Mint in San Francisco, making
an important saving to them of four and a half per
cent. They are consequently leaving Victoria by
every opportunity, and it is most painful to witness a state of things which is rapidly driving
population and capital from the country. A CHEAP AND CONVENIENT CURRENCY.   279
"As a safer remedy, and one more suitable to the
actual circumstances of the colonies, I propose to
take immediate steps for the manufacture of gold
pieces equal in value to the ten and twenty dollar
American coins, and to bring them into general
use, as a circulating medium in both -colonies.
"This plan does not contemplate refining the gold,
as the expense would be greatly increased by that
process; it is merely proposed to bring it to a uniform standard of fineness, without separating the
natural alloy of silver, which to some extent exists
in all the gold of British Columbia.
" The pieces will be prepared at the Government
Assay Office, and will bear the stamp of unquestionable character; and I am of opinion that by
making the gold contained in them of the full current value of the piece, without taking the silver
into account, which I propose should go as a bonus
they will not only answer as a cheap and convenient currency within the colonies, but also have
the same exchange value when exported to other
Since this was written, I am aware that steps
have been taken to carry out the idea of Mr.
Douglas. Mr. F. Claudet, of the Assay Office,
New Westminster, spent a portion of the winter in
California, engaged in procuring the necessary
machinery for establishing a Mint in British Columbia.    I entertain therefore little doubt that by
If 280
this time the gold pieces above referred to are in
actual circulation.
I have recently noticed that a new company has
been advertised, and probably by this time organized to carry on banking business in British Columbia and • Vancouver's Island, where branch
offices of the British Columbia and Vancouver's
Island Banking and Gold Trading Company are to
be established. Whether the concern is likely to
prove remunerative to its originators and shareholders, time alone can determine. I might, however, remark that several well-established banking
houses exist in Victoria, Vancouver's Island, doing
trade with the interior of British Columbia, two
of the most important of which are the Victoria
Branch of the Bank of British North America,
whose head office in London is 7, St. Helen's Place,
Bishopsgate Street, and the branch office of the
firm of Wells, Fargo & Co., both situated in Yates
Street, the principal street in Victoria.
The executive of Vancouver consists of a Governor, a Council, and a House of Representatives,
chosen from the different towns and districts into
which the colony is divided. Victoria, its present
capital and seat of Government, enjoys the additional privilege and advantage of being the chief
emporium for the trade, not only of this colony,
but also of British Columbia. This is to be attributed to the fact of its being a free port; whereas,
«  ! Pi
every article of merchandise introduced into British
Columbia is subject to an import duty—the tariff
being decidedly high, in addition to which, every
individual landing in this colony has to pay a poll-
tax of one dollar per head. Now, although I do
not for one moment pretend to question the wisdom of the policy that has led to the imposition of
these tolls, yet I must confess that it does seem to
me that they are levied too indiscriminately, and
without a due regard to the true interests of the
Be this as it may, there can be no doubt that the
proximity of a free port like Victoria operates
prejudicially on New Westminster, the capital of
British Columbia. At the former place, for.
instance, a ship might be built at little more than
the cost price value—exclusive of labour—of every
article employed in its construction, whereas at
New Westminster an import duty would have to
be paid on every sheet of copper on its bottom.
On the other hand, the farmers of Vancouver
cry out for Government protection, as agriculture,
being here still somewhat in its infancy, they find
it impossible to compete with the wealthy and
extensive farmers of Oregon, a territory that has
now been under cultivation for many years. At
the present moment we believe that cereals can be
introduced into the Port of Victoria at as cheap a
rate as they can be produced in the colony of Van-
imiiMH ES.-fi
couver. The cattle also, supplied for the use of
the Royal Navy, come almost entirely from the
United States territory of Oregon. As the
resources of our own colonies are more fully
developed, however, I entertain no doubt that they
will be able to compete successfully with their
Writing on the subject of the prospect for farmers
emigrating to British Columbia, the Victoria Press
says that:—
" The matter of supplying this colony with stock
of all kinds is every day assuming more important
proportions. During the past year our Customs'
returns show that 7,081 head of live stock, to the
value of 313,797 dollars, were imported by us;
and as live stock only is liable to duty, dead carcases being admitted free, a large portion of what
was consumed here was brought in dead, and
consequently does not appear in the above returns;
the value of which might be set down at 25,000
dollars, making the total for the year 338,597
dollars. When we remember, that the greater part
of this stock is brought from Oregon, and that this
colony is at least its equal for purposes of grazing,
it is a matter of surprise that we should be content
to depend upon a foreign neighbour for a supply
of that which we can very well produce at home at
a lower price and with great advantage to the
I cannot take leave of my subject without a
passing allusion to the question of the indemnity
claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company for the vast
possessions lying between Canada and the Rocky
Mountains, which they hold in virtue of a Royal
Charter granted to this company in the reign of
Charles II. The territory conveyed to them, in fee
simple, comprises the whole of the fertile districts of
Central America, on the Red River and the Saskatchewan, as well as the auriferous regions—if any
be found to exist—on the eastern slope of the
Rocky Mountains, a tract of country which, in
point of extent and natural resources, as also on
account of its future prospects, might well excite
the envy of many a potentate.
In connection with this important question,
therefore, I venture to make the following extract
from the able speech made by the Duke of Newcastle in the House of Lords on the evening of the
4th of July last:—
" The claim of the Hudson's Bay Company was
to an entire fee simple in the soil over a district so
vast, that at the rate of only Id. per acre it would cost
700,000Z. The company said that if the Government took the Saskatchewan from them it ought to
buy them out entirely; and they spoke of a million
and a half sterling as the price they would require
for the surrender of their rights.
f Of course it would be impossible to ask the 284
House of Commons for any such sum for any such
purpose. He doubted whether the company's
charter ever was legal, but he was sensible how
dangerous it would be to attempt to set it aside
after it had been in existence 200 years. He did
not deny that a necessity might arise for doing so,
but he did not think that he was at present called
upon to propose so strong a measure. He could
not help hoping that some arrangement might be
come to. At present he did not see his way, but
he assured the noble lord and the house that he
thought it a matter of paramount importance, and
that he should not lose any opportunity of arranging with the company, if it were possible to do so.
He would not undertake to offer either the large
sum he had mentioned, or any other large sum to
the company, as he thought it was out of the question that any large sum should be paid to them.
The company could no more prevent men from
settling in that district than they could prevent
men from sailing on the ocean. He had no objection to lay the correspondence on the table of the
House. He could only hope that by further
negotiation some satisfactory progress would shortly
be made towards coining to an arrangement, and
he thought that the company should give facilities
for a full postal and telegraphic communication
between Halifax on the one hand and New Westminster on the other." OVERLAND ROUTES.
In allusion to the question of overland routes to
British Columbia, the Duke also makes the following interesting remarks:—
o o
" He thought it would be possible also for an expenditure of 100,000Z. to form a communication
through Canada, and he believed that the journey
might be brought within thirty days. He thought
that the colony itself might be properly called upon
to contribute to the expense, and also that Canada
would not only provide the roads within its own
territory, but would likewise assist in extending
the line towards British Columbia."
While fully acknowledging the justice of the
observations made by the noble Duke on the
subject of the monopoly possessed by the Hudson's
Bay Company, and, at the same time, expressing
my hope that the question may meet with a speedy
and satisfactory settlement, I can heartily endorse
the following remarks at the conclusion of a leader
in the Morning Post of the 5th of July, which, in
fact, but embody a similar tribute to the various
good qualities of the Hudson's Bay traders, paid
them by Lord Taunton in his speech on the preceding evening:—
" Although we cannot look with favour on a
company which possesses so gigantic a monopoly,
and are lords of so vast a territory, still we must
do them justice where justice is due. They have
been the sovereign rulers for two centuries over a
■iii IS.,
:!   ii-
•IP 286
territory peopled solely by the red man. They
have exercised their sway with humanity, forbearance, and moderation. To their eternal credit be
it spoken, they have neither brutalized nor exterminated the tribes of Indians which inhabit their
hunting grounds. Without on any single occasion
calling on the aid of the Government, they have
succeeded in maintaining tranquillity, and enforcing
respect for human life, amongst the wilds of the
Far West. For having pursued this policy they
have already earned the gratitude of the aborigines,
and are not less entitled to the favourable consideration of the British nation."
ji  —'
Whereas it is provided by the Gold Fields Act,
1859, that the Governor, for the time being, of
British Columbia, may, by writing under his hand
and the public seal of the colony, make rules and
regulations in the nature of by-laws for all matters
relating to mining.
And whereas, in conformity with the said Act,
certain rules and regulations have already been
issued bearing date the 7th of September, 1859.
1. The mines in the said level benches shall be
known as "bench diggings," and shall, for the
purpose of ascertaining the size of claims therein, be
u p
excepted out of the class of " dry diggings," as defined in the rules and regulations of the 7th of
September last.
2. The ordinary claims on any bench diggings
shall be registered by the gold commissioner according to such one of the two following methods of
o o
measurement as he shall deem most advantageous
on each mine, viz.: One hundred feet square, or else
a strip of land twenty-five feet deep at the edge of
the cliff next the river, and bounded by two
straight lines carried as nearly as possible, in each
case, perpendicular to the general direction of
such cliff across the level bench up to, and not
beyond the foot of the descent in the rear; and in
such last mentioned case, the space included
between such two boundary lines when produced
over the face of the cliff in front as far as the foot
of such cliff and no farther, and all mines in the
space so included shall also form a part of such
3. The gold commissioner shall have authority
in cases where the benches are narrow, to mark
the claims in such manner as he shall think fit, so
as to include an adequate claim.    And shall also
5®£w5 <; APPENDIX.
have power to decide on the cliffs which, in his
opinion, form the natural boundaries of benches.
4. The gold commissioner may, in any mine of
any denomination where the pay dirt is thin or
claims in small demand, or where from any circumstance he shall deem it reasonable, allow any free
miner to register two claims in his own name, and
allow such period as he may think proper for
non-working either one of such claims. But no
person shall be entitled to hold at one time more
than two claims of the legal size. A discoverer's
claim shall for this purpose be reckoned as one
ordinary claim.
5. All claims shall be subject to the public
rights of way and water in such manner, direction,
and extent as the gold commissioner shall from
time to time direct; no mine shall be worked
within ten feet of any road, unless by the previous
sanction of the gold commissioner.
6. In order to ascertain the quantity of water in
any ditch or sluice, the following rules shall be
observed, viz.:—
The water taken into a ditch shall be measured
at the ditch head.    No water shall be taken into a
u2 292
fill y
ditch except in a trough whose top and floor shall
be horizontal planes, and sides parallel vertical
planes; such trough to be continued for six times
its breadth in a horizontal direction from the point
at which the water enters the trough. The top of
the trough to be not more than seven inches, and
the bottom of the trough not more than seventeen
inches, below the surface of the water in the reservoir, all measurements being taken inside the
trough and in the low-water or dry season. The
area of a vertical transverse section of the trough
shall be considered as the measure of the quantity
of water taken by the ditch.
1. That from and after the date hereof (January
4th, 1860), British subjects, and aliens who shall
take the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty and
her successors, may acquire unoccupied and unreserved and unsurveyed Crown land in British
Columbia (not being the  site of an  existent or proposed town, or auriferous land available for
mining purposes, or an Indian Reserve or Settlement), in fee simple, under the following conditions.
2. The person desiring to acquire any particular
plot of land of the character aforesaid, shall enter
into possession thereof and record his claim to any
quantity not exceeding 160 acres thereof, with the
magistrate residing nearest thereto, paying to the
said magistrate the sum of eight shillings for recording such claim. Such piece of land shall be of
a rectangular form, and the shortest side of the
rectangle shall be at least two-thirds of the longest
side. The claimant shall give the best possible
description thereof to the magistrate with whom his
claim is recorded, together with a rough plan thereof, and identify the plot in question by placing at
the corners of the land four posts, and by stating
in his description any other landmarks on the said
160 acres which he may consider of a noticeable
character. H
3. Whenever the Government survey shall extend to the land claimed, the claimant who has
recorded his claim as aforesaid, or his heirs, or in 294
case of the grant of certificate of improvement
hereinafter mentioned, the assigns of such claimant,
shall, if he or they shall have been in continuous
occupation of the same land from the date of the
record aforesaid, be entitled to purchase the land
so pre-empted at such rate as may, for the time
being, be fixed by the Government of British
Columbia, not exceeding the sum of ten shillings
per acre.*
4. No interest in any plot of land acquired as
aforesaid, shall, before payment of the purchase
money, be capable of passing to a purchaser unless
the vendor shall have obtained a certificate from
the nearest magistrate that he has made permanent
improvements on the said plot to the value of ten
shillings per acre.
5. Upon payment of the purchase money, a conveyance of the land purchased shall be executed in
favour of the purchaser, reserving the precious
minerals, with a right to enter and work the same
in favour of the Crown, its assigns and licencees.
6. Priority of title shall be obtained by the per-
* The price of land in these colonies has recently been fixed at
4s. 2d. per acre.
son first in occupation, who shall first record his
claim in manner aforesaid.
7. Any person authorized to acquire land under
the provisions of this Proclamation, may purchase,
in addition to the land pre-empted in manner aforesaid, any number of acres not otherwise appropriated, at such rate as may be fixed by the Government, at the time when such land shall come to be
surveyed, not to exceed ten shillings per acre; five
shillings to be paid down, and the residue at the
time of survey.
8. In the event of the Crown, its assigns or licen-
cees, availing itself, or themselves, of the reservation mentioned in clause 5, a reasonable compensation for the waste and damage done, shall be
paid by the person entering and working, to
the person whose land shall be wasted or damaged
as aforesaid, and in case of dispute, the same shall
be settled by a jury of six men, to be summoned by
the nearest magistrate.
9. Whenever any person shall permanently
cease to occupy land pre-empted as aforesaid, the
magistrate resident nearest to the land in question
may in a summary way, on being satisfied of such 296
permanent cessation, cancel the claim of the person so permanently ceasing to occupy the same,
and record the claim thereto of any other person
satisfying the requisitions aforesaid.
10. The decision of the magistrate may be appealed by either party to the decision of the Judge
of the Supreme Court of Civil Justice of British
11. Any person desirous of appealing in manner
aforesaid, may be required, before such appeal be
heard, to find such security as may be hereafter
pointed out by the rules or orders hereinafter
directed to be published.
12. The procedure before the magistrate and
judge respectively, shall be according to such rules
and orders as shall be published by such judge,
with the approbation of the Governor for the time
of British Columbia.
13. Whenever a person in occupation at the
time of record aforesaid, and he, his heirs, or assigns, shall have continued in permanent occupation of land pre-empted, or of land purchased as
aforesaid, he or they may, save as hereinafter
mentioned, bring ejectment or trespass against any APPENDIX.
intruder upon the land so pre-empted or purchased,
to the same extent as if he or they were seised
of ^ie legal estate in possession in the land so preempted or purchased.
14. Nothing herein contained shall be construed
as giving a right to any claimant to exclude free
miners from searching for any of the precious
minerals, or working the same upon the conditions
aforesaid. |p
15. The Government shall, notwithstanding any
claim, record, or conveyance aforesaid, be entitled
to enter and take such portion of the land preempted or purchased as may be required for roads
or other public purposes.
16. Water privileges and the right of carrying
water for mining purposes, may, notwithstanding
any claim recorded, purchase or conveyance, aforesaid, be claimed and taken upon, under or over the
said land so pre-empted or purchased as aforesaid
by free miners requiring the same, and obtaining
a grant or licence from the gold commissioner, and
paying a compensation for waste or damage to
the person whose land may be wasted or damaged
by such water privilege or  carriage of water, to 298
be ascertained in case of dispute in manner aforesaid.
17. In case any dispute shall arise between persons with regard to any land so acquired as aforesaid, any one of the parties in difference may (before ejectment or action of trespass brought) refer
the question in difference to the nearest magistrate,
who is hereby authorized to proceed in a summary
way to restore the possession of any land in dispute
to the person whom he may deem entitled to the
same, and to abate all intrusions, and award and
levy such costs and damages as he may think fit.
Referring to the quantity, quality, and price of
land, a correspondent of a local paper says:—
"The price of surveyed Crown land is 4s. 2d.
sterling per acre—one half down, and the remainder in two years. Unsurveyed land can
only be obtained by actual settlers. Any British
subject can pre-empt 160 acres, and if he settle
upon it in person or by proxy, he is allowed to
purchase as much more in the same locality as he
desires ; and as soon as he makes improvements
equal to two dollars and a half per acre of the whole
he has located, he can get a certificate of title from APPENDIX.
the resident magistrate, which is equal to a quitclaim deed. Then, so soon as he is prepared to
pa^ for the survey of his land and one dollar per
acre, he gets a regular Crown deed. Improvements that would be valued at 100 dols. in Canada
would be reckoned at about 500 dols. here, and
at 1,000 in the region of our gold fields."
AN  ACT   to  providef for  the Government   of
British Columbia. | [2d August, 1858.]
Whereas divers of Her Majesty's subjects and
others have, by the licence and consent of Her
' Majesty, resorted to and settled on certain wild
and unoccupied territories on the north-west coast
of North America, commonly known by the designation of New Caledonia, and from and after the
passing of this Act to be named British Columbia,
and the islands adjacent for mining and other pur- APPENDIX.
poses; and it is.desirable to make temporary provision for the civil government of such territories,
until permanent settlements shall be thereupon
established, and the number of colonists increased :
Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and
Commons, in this present Parliament assembled,
and by the authority of the sa'me, as follows:—
I. British Columbia shall, for the purposes of
this Act, be held to comprise all such territories
within the dominions of Her Majesty as are bounded
to the south by the frontier of the United States
of America,* to the east by the main chain of the
Rocky Mountains, to the north by Simpson's River
and the Finlay branch of the Peace River, and to
the west by the Pacific Ocean, and shall include
Queen Charlotte's Island, and all other islands
adjacent to the said territories, except as hereinafter excepted.
II. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by any
order or orders to be by her from time to time
made, with the advice of her Privy Council, to
* The 49th Parallel of N. Latitude. APPENDIX.
make,  ordain,   and   establish,   and   (subject   to
such conditions   or  restrictions  as to her   shall
seem meet) to authorize and empower such officer
as she may from time to time appoint as Governor
of British Columbia, to make provision for the
administration of justice therein, and generally to
make,   ordain,   and establish  all such laws, institutions, and ordinances as may be necessary for
the peace,  order, and good government of Her
Majesty's subjects and others   therein;   provided
that all such Orders in Council, and all laws and
ordinances so to be made as aforesaid, shall be laid
before both Houses of Parliament as soon as conveniently may be  after making   and  enactment
thereof respectively.
III. Provided always, That it shall be lawful
for Her Majesty, so soon as she may deem it convenient, by any such Order in Council as aforesaid,
to constitute or to authorize and empower such
officer to constitute a Legislature to make laws for
the peace, order, and good government of British
Columbia, such Legislature to consist of the Governor and a Council, or Council and Assembly,
to be composed of such and so many persons, and 302
to be appointed or elected in such mariner and for
such periods, and subject to such regulations, as
to Her Majesty may seem expedient.
IV. And whereas an Act was passed in the
forty-third year of King George the Third, intituled "An Act for Extending the Jurisdiction of the Courts of Justice in the Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, to the
trial and punishment of persons guilty of crimes
and offences within certain parts of North America adjoining to the said Provinces: And whereas
by an Act passed in the second year of King George
the Fourth, intituled an Act for Regulating the Fur
Trade, and Establishing a Criminal and Civil
Jurisdiction within certain parts of North America,
it was enacted, that from and after the passing of
that Act the Courts of Judicature then existing or
which might be thereafter established in the Province of Upper Canada should have the same civil
jurisdiction, power and authority within the Indian
territories and other parts of America not within
the limits of either of the provinces of Lower or
Upper Canada or of any civil government of the
United States, as the said Courts had or were in- APPENDIX.
vested with within the limits of the said provinces
of Lower or Upper Canada respectively, and that
every contract, agreement, debt, liability and
demand made, entered into, incurred, or arising
within the said Indian territories and other parts
of America, and every wrong and injury to the
person or to property committed or done within
the same, should be and be deemed to be of the
same nature, and be cognizable and be tried in the
same manner, and subject to the same consequences
in all respects, as if the same had been made,
entered into, incurred, arisen, committed or done
within the said province of Upper Canada ; and in
the same Act are contained provisions for giving
force, authority and effect within the said Indian
territories and other parts of America to
the process and acts of the said Courts
of Upper Canada; and it was thereby also
enacted, that it should be lawful for His Majesty, if
he should deem it convenient so to do, to issue
a commission or commissions to any person or
.persons to be and act as Justices of the Peace
within such parts of America as aforesaid, as well
within  any territories theretofore granted to the APPENDIX.
company of adventurers of England trading to
Hudson's Bay as within the Indian territories of
such other parts of America as aforesaid; and it
was further enacted, that it should be lawful for
His Majesty from time to time by any commission
under the Great Seal to authorize and empower any such persons so appointed Justices
of the Peace as aforesaid to sit and hold Courts
of Record for the trial of criminal offences and
misdemeanours, and also of civil causes, and it
should be lawful for His Majesty to order, direct
and authorize the appointment of proper officers to
act in aid of such courts and justices within the
jurisdiction assigned to such courts and justices in
any such commission; provided that such courts
should not try any offender upon any charge or
indictment for any felony made the subject of
capital punishment, or for any offence or passing
sentence affecting the life of any offender, or
adjudge or cause any offender to suffer capital
punishment or transportation, or take cognizance
of or try any civil action or suit in which the cause
of such suit or action should exceed in value the
amount or sum of two hundred pounds, and in APPENDIX.
every case of any offence subjecting the person
committing the same to capital punishment or
transportation, the Court, or any Judge of any such
Court, or any Justice or Justices of the Peace before
whom any such offender should be brought, should
commit such offender to safe custody, and cause
such offender to be sent in such custody for trial
in the Court of the province of Upper Canada.
From and after the proclamation of this Act in
British Columbia the said Act of the forty-third
year of King George the Third, and the said recited
provisions of the said Act. of the second year of
King George the Fourth, and the provisions contained in such Act for giving force, authority and
effect within the Indian territories and other parts
of America to the process and acts of the said
Courts of Upper Canada, shall cease to have force
in and to be applicable to British Columbia.
V. Provided always, That all judgments given in
any civil suit in British Columbia shall be subject
to appeal to Her Majesty in Council, in the manner
and subject to the regulations in and subject to
which appeals are now brought from the Civil
Courts of Canada, and to such further or other 306
' i
regulations as Her Majesty, with the advice of
Her Privy Council, shall from time to time appoint.
VI. No part of the colony of Vancouver Island
as at present established, shall be comprised within
British Columbia for the purpose of this Act; but
it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, her heirs and
successors, on receiving at any time during the continuance of this Act a joint address from the two
Houses of the Legislature of Vancouver Island,
praying for the incorporation of that Island with
British Columbia, by order to be made as aforesaid
with the advice of her Privy Council, to annex
the said island to British Columbia, subject to such
conditions and regulations as to Her Majesty shall
seem expedient; and thereupon and from the date
of the publication of such order in the said Island,
or such other date as maybe fixed in such order,
the provisions of this Act shall be held to apply to
Vancouver Island.
VII. In the construction of this Act the term
" Governor' shall mean the person for the time
being lawfully administering the Government of
British Columbia. APPENDIX.
VIII. This Act shall continue in force until the
thirty-first day of December^ one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-two, and thenceforth to the end
of the then next session of Parliament; provided
always, that the expiration of this Act shall not
affect the boundaries hereby defined, or. | the right
of appeal hereby given, or any act done or right or
title acquired under or by virtue of this Act, nor
shall the expiration of this Act revive the Acts or
parts of Acts hereby repealed.


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