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R. E. (R. Edward) Gosnell.

A history; British Columbia online

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There are certain matters connected witn me
history of this province in relation to which the
name of the late Mr. R. E. Gosnell will always be
"emembered with gratitude. ^^ was he who i^s^
nrenared in an exhaustive way the case of British
Smbia for Better Terms from the Federa
Government, a case which included a claim for
The return o the railway lands and that portion
of the Peace River Block lying within the prov-
?nce He founded the Provincial Archives and
was "the first archivist. His writings preserve a
good dea of political history which otherwise
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British Columbia








Writing history is a serious undertaking, and not to be thought of with-
out long preparation and minute and scrupulous investigation. If a person
qualified for the task should devote ten or fifteen years exclusively to it he
might produce a work that would deserve to stand for the West as Parkman
stands for the East. What follows, therefore, does not partake of the dignity
of history. It is merely an outline of events and conditions prominent in
the past of British Columbia from the very outset. Lack of time, if there
were no other considerations, would have prevented me from going so deeply,
and in detail, into the circumstances connected with the history of the
province as would have been desirable for the purpose and otherwise have
been possible. As it is, with the assistance of friends, I have been enabled to
present to the reader a certain chain of facts which have never before been
presented in the same connected form. These have been grouped so as to
leave a more distinct impression of their order .and importance.

There is not much that is new to the student, except, perliaps, the arrange-
ment. Regarding a country about which so much has been written in a
desultor}^ way, it is difficult to more than collate and summarize, without, as
I have intimated, delving for years among the original sources oi our in-
formation. Hubert Howe Bancroft's History of British Columbia, though
characterized by many imperfections, performed a splendid service, and indi-
cated by innumerable references much that will be exceedingly useful for the
real historian when he appears upon the scene. With a wealth of original
material at his disposal, however, his own use and treatment of it were not
historical in that sense in which the great Bancroft excelled. The late
Alexander Begg, with his conspicuous industry, compiled a history of this



province that is valuable in many respects, but obviously lacking in workman-
ship, analytical skill and insight.

To avoid comparisons, I make no pretensions to have done more than
is set out in the foregoing, and that, I am^ avi^are, imperfectly. It is simply
a narrative, or succession of narratives, that a journalist familiar with an out-
line of the events described, niight have contributed to a magazine in order
to convey a general impression of the past, and prepare the reader for a
keener appreciation of a more pretentious work with the details faithfully
and artistically filled in.



Early Explorations I

English Buccaneers 7

Later Explorers 14

Land Expeditions and their Outcome 36

International Questions 51

Fur Traders and Gold Seekers. . 71

A Political Outline 109

Organization of the Mainland 146

Union of the Colonies ^ 178

British Columbia and the Canadian Pacific Railway 224

Governors and Lieutenant Governors of British Columbia 253

Material Resources 273

Appendices 299


Abbott, Harry B., 385-
Abrahamson, John, 583.
Adams, George, 547.
Albion Iron Works, The, 394-
Alexander, Richard H., 490.
Annandale, Thomas S., 619.
Armstrong, Joseph C, 624.
Armstrong, Thomas J., 654.
Armstrong, W. J., 323-
Arthur, Edward C, 554-
Ashwell, George R., 605.
Ashwell, John H., 585-
Averill, Clarence M., 516.

Baldwin, George R, 527.
Barber, John G., 406.
Barnard, George H., 525.
Barr, M. J., 405.
Bate, Mark, 335.
Beasley, Harvy E., 767.
Beattie, Martin, 427.
Beckwith, John L., 606.
Bent, J. Howe, 632.
Bird, Harry, 464.
Bird, Robert M., 543.
Bland, James W., 441.
Bland, John W., S9i-
-Bole, W. Norman, 336.
Bonson, Lewis R, 726.
Boultbee, F. W., 382.

Bowe, Herman O., 706.

Bowes, Joseph H., 492.

Bowser, William J., 378.

Braid, William, 570.

Bray, Marshal, 477.

Briggs, Thomas L., 688.

Brown, Hugh A., 577.

Brown, John R., 456.

Brydges, Samuel M., 688.

Brydonel-Jack, William D., 402.

Buscombe, Frederick, 674.

Gamble, Henry J., 578.
Campbell, Duncan, 437.
Campbell, George W., 697.
Carey, Joseph W., 471.
Carlisle, John H., 581.
Carne, Frederick, 357.
Gates. George E., 574.
Caulfield, John J., 759.

Cawley, Samuel A., 632.
. Cayley, Hugh St. Q., m.
Chadsey, George W., ^\^.
Chipperfield, George J., 384-
Christie, William, 530.
Clark, Robert, 657.
Clubb, William H. P., 407-
Clute, John S., Jr., 440.
Clute, John S., Sr., 679.
Coburn, John W., 668.
Collister, W. H. R., 394-
Commercial Hotel, 738.
Cooke, W. B., 493-
Cooney, Charles T., 750.
Cowan, George H., 667.
Cowan, Thomas, 722.
Crease, Edward A., 380.
Cridge, Edward, 563.

Davie, John C, 699.
Davis, Lewis T., 469.
Dean, John, 438.
Dickie, Charles E., 481.
Dougall, James St. L. M., 433-
Douglas, James A., 340.
Drake, Montague W. T., 496.
Drake, Samuel, 503.
Drysdale, William F., 557.
Duck, Simeon, 541.
Duff, Lyman P., 721.

Edmonds, Henry L., 415.
Edwards, Henry C, 651.
El ford, John P., 736.
Elliot, John, 704.
Embleton, Thomas, 467.
Erb, Ludwig E., 653.
Erickson, John A., 532.
Ewen, Alexander, 662.

Fagan, William L.. 418.
Fawcett, Edgar, 673.
Fell, Thornton, 589.
Fletcher Brothers, 347.
Fletcher, George A., 347.
Fletcher, James H., 347-
Fletcher, Thomas C, 347-
Fletcher, Thomas W., 347-
Fletcher, William R., 348.
Fortune, William, 763.
Foster, George M., 43^.



Fowler, Samuel S., 501.
Fox, Joseph, 613.
Fraser, Fred, 571.
Fraser, J. S. C, 444.
Frith, Kenneth C. B., 444.
Fulton, Frederick J., 377.

Garrett, Alexander E., 569.
Gaunce, William G., 500.
Gibson, John A., 505.
Giflford, Thomas, 534.
Gillanders, Milton F., 586.
Gilley, Walter R., 474.
Gilpin, Ranulph R., 756.
Glover, Frederick R., 424.
Godson, Charles A., 580.
• Goodacre, Lawrence, 343.
Gore, John C, 562.
Gore, William S., 358.
Gosnell, William. 749.
Goward, Albert T., 639.
Graham, John, 511.
Graham, O. Allen, 627.
Gray, Johnstone P. M., 439.
Green, Robert F., 364.

Hall, Frank W, 616.

Hall, George A. B., 536.

Hall, Richard, 555.

Hamersley, Alfred St. G., 544.

Hamilton, Charles R., 488.

Hamilton, John, 751.

Hammar, Jeffery, 504.

Hanna. William J., 428.

Harrison, Eli, 509.

Hart, Frederick J., 718.

Hart-McHarg, W., 482.

Haslam, Andrew, 553.

Hastings, Oregon C, 764.

Hayward, Charles, 434.

Haywood. William D., 739.
Heaps, Edward H., 339.
Heisterman, Bernard S., 635.
Heisterman. Henry F., 62,^-
Helmcken, John S., 684.
Henderson, John C, 620.
Henderson, Thomas H., 629.
Hendry, John, 359.
Hibben, James P., 350.
Hibben, Thomas N., 350.
Hill, Leslie, 319.
Hogle, John H., 770.
Holden, Donald B., 618.
Honeyman, John A. J., 483.
Home, Adam H., 614.
Home, James W., 330.
Houston, John, 502.
Hull, John R., 548.
Hume, Clarence B., 389.
Hume, J. Fred, 707.
Hunter, Gordon, 720.

Hunter, Joseph, 772.
Hunter, William, 497.

Irving, Paulus A. E., 375.

Jack, Alexander, 600.
Jack, William D. B., 402.
Jardine, Robert, 686.
Jaynes, William P., 637.
Johnson, Archie M., 459.
Johnston, William, 517.

Keary, William H., 705.
Kennedy Brothers, 412.
Kennedy, George, 412.
Kennedy, James, 429.
Kenning, Angus W., 478.
Ker, David R., 588.
Kiddie, Thomas. 531.
Kilpatrick, Thomas, 351.
Kingham, Joshua, 652.
Kingston, Charles M., 410.
Kipp, Isaac, 507.
Kirk, George A., 587.
Kirkpatrick, Thomas, 506.
Kirkup, John, 425.
Kurtz, David G., 537.

LaBau, David, 556.
Ladner, William H., 745.
Lalonde, C. O., 781.
Lamont, Peter, 540.
Langley. John M., 384.
Law, William M., 760.
Lawrence, J. S., 477.
Lawrence, William M., 401.
Lawson, James H., 455.
Lay, J. M., 529.
Leamy, James, 695.
Lees, Andrew E., 645.
Leigh, James, 6y6.
Leigh, James, & Sons. 676.
Leigh. Sidney M., 677.
Leighton, William K., 465.
Lemon, Robert E., 409.
Lennie, Robert S., 703.
Lenz, Moses, 468.
Lewis, Frank B., 389.
Lewis, Herbert G., 318.
Lewis, L. A.. 630.
Living.ston, Clermont, 72Z-
Loewenberg, Carl, 612.

Macdonald. William A., 524.
Macgowan, Alexander H. B., 655.
Macintyre, Alexander D., 549.
Mackenzie, Archibald B., 379.
Mackinnon, John McL., 780.
MacLeod, Henry F., 368.
Macpherson, Robert G.. 491.



Madden, Thomas, 752.
Mahony, Edwin C, 700.
Mainwaring-Johnson, Archie, 459-
Maitland-Dougall, James St. L., 433.
Major, Charles G., 677.
Malkin, WiUiam H., 691.
Malone, John J., 778.
Manchester, George H., 366.
Mann, James G., 593.
Marpole, Richard, 704.
Marvin, E. B., 609.
Mathers, William J., 479-
Maynard, Richard, 399.
McBeath, Dave, 767.
McBride, Richard, 426.
McCarter, George S., 411.
McCullouch, William, 759.
McCutcheon, John, 622.
McDowell, Henry, 621.
McGillivray, Donald, 513.
McGuigan, Thomas F., 598.
McGuigan, William J., 611.
McHarg, W. Hart, 482.
Mcllmoyl, James T., 348.
Mclnnes, Thomas R., 670.
McLean, Ernest H. S., 416.
McMillan, Anthony J., 727.
McMillan, William J., 741.
McMorris, Daniel C., 431.
McMurtrie, Andrew J., 539-
McMynn, William G., 450.
McNair, Alexander, 779.
McNair, James A., 663.
McPhillips, A. E., 322.
McQuade, Louis G., 342.
McQuarrie, William G., 484.
McRae, Alexander, 599.
Mellard, Samuel, 748.
Meston, John, 723.
Miller, Ernest, 757.
Miller, Jonathan, 417.
Mills, Richard, 769.
Milne, George L., 327.
Moresby, William €., 617.
Morley, Christopher, 735.
Morrison, Aulay M., 546.
Morrow, Thomas R., 445.
Muirhead, James, 719.
Munro, Alexander, 692.
Munro, Charles W,., 495.
Munsie, William, 363.

Neelands, Thomas F., 665.
Nelems, Henry, 641.
Norris, Frederick, 381.
North, Samuel, 386.
Northcott, William W., 344.
Northrop, Edward R., 711.
Nunn, George, 461.

O'Brien, Martin J., 353,
Oddy, Benjamin S., 521,

Odium, Edward, 372,
Oppenheimer, Sidney S., 370.
Ovens, Thomas, 744.

Palmer, P. L, 393.
Palmer, Richard M., 538.
Paterson, James, 395,
Paterson, Thomas W., 647.
Peck, John, 710.
Pelly, Justinian, 642.
Pemberton, Frederick B., 354.
Pendray, William J., 550.
Perry, Dallas G., 626.
Peterson, John, 523.
Pither, Luke, 514.
Pittendrigh, George, 369.
Pitts, Sidney J., 646.
Poole, Alfred, 547-
Prescott, A., 738.
Price, Frank H., 533-
Price, W. H., 740.
Proctor, Arthur P., 559-
Proctor, Thomas G., 528.

Quennell, Edward, 457-

Ralph, William, 73i-
Ramsey, James, 774.
Reece, Jonathan, 499.
Reichenbach, Joseph, 644.
Reid, James, 462.
Reid, John, 635-
Reid, Robie L., 423-
Rendell, George A., 520.
Robertson, Alexander R., 320.
Robertson, David, 572.
Robertson, Herman M., 321.
Robinson, John T., 552.
Robson, David, 371.
Roper, William J., 782.
Rose, William O., 470.
Ross, Andrew W., 775-
Ross, Dixi H., 743-
Ross, Harrie G., 743-
Ross, John F., 68t.

Salsbury, William F., 725-
Sampson, John, 713.
Sayward, Joseph A., 345.
Schaake, Henry, 648.
Schetky, George L., 5i5-
Scott, J. G., 596.
Scott, John M., 415-
Sea, Samuel, Jr., 346.
Sea, Samuel, Sr., 567.
Sehl, John J., 397-
Shakespeare, Noah, 603.
Shannon, Thomas, 712.
Shannon, William, 446.
Shiles, Bartley W., 510.
Skene, William, 602.


Skinner, Robert J., 391.
Skinner, Thomas J., 696.
Slavin, William T., 558.
Smith, William, 615.
Spankie, James E., 352.*
Spratt, C. J. v., 722,.
Stanton, Herbert, 610.
Starkey, Fred A., 460.
Stemler, Louis, 643.
Stewart, A. M., 408.
Stewart, Donald M., 739.
Stewart, Henry A., 715.
Stewart, John, 526.
Stone, John A., 458.
Sulley, William, 403.
Sutherland, William H.,


Tait, John S., 565-
Tait, William L.. 728.
Tatlow, Robert G., 365-
Taylor, Thomas, 567.
Teague, John. 334.
Thompson, Nicholas, 758.
Thomson, George, 522.
Tomkins, Belville, 558.
Townley, Thomas O., 733.
Townsend, Herbert R., 432.
Trapp, Thomas J., 753.
Tuck, Samuel P., 451.
Tunstall, George C, 437.
Tunstall, Simon J., 683.
Turner, George, 714.
Turner, J. H., 485.

Underbill, F. T., 376.
Upper, Reginald A., 747.

Urquhart, George W., 390

Vanstone, Wesley E., 640.
Vedder, Adam S., 494-
Vernon, Charles A., 650.
Vernon, Forbes G., 693.
Victoria Chemical Works,
Vowell, Arthur W., 453.


Wadds, William, 443."
Wainewright, Griffiths, 595.
Wallace, Alfred, 584.
Warren, Falkland G. E., 659.
Wasson, Hilliard J., 535.
Watson, John H., 487.
Watson, Thomas, 479.
Watts, William, 716.
Webb, Horatio, 436.
Wells, Francis B., 390.
Whiteside, Arthur M., 452.
Whiteside, William J., 545.
Whyte, John C, 560.
Williams, Adolphus, 396.
Wilson, Charles H., 475.
Wilson, George I., 730.
Wilson, Peter E., 777.
Wilson, W. J. B., 466.
Wolfenden, Richard, 519.
Wood, Robert, 708.
Woodrow, James I., 356.
Woodward, Charles, 761.
Worsnop, Charles A., 576.

Yarwood, Edmund M., 777.

Yates, James, 328.

Young, Frederick McB., 638.


I— I




British Columbia.


The study of the history of the Northwest Coast of North America
carries us back to that period of grand achievement, the sixteenth century.
It was in this brilHant age of new birth and vigorous thought, when as yet
the old had not entirely succumbed to the new, nor the new completely sup-
planted the old, that the Pacific Ocean was discovered. The finding of a
new ocean highway marked an epoch in the history of the world and it had
an important bearing on the future relations of the great nations, as well as
giving new possibilities to the continent of which it formed the western

Hereafter we witness the Spanish, the Dutch and the English vying
with each other for the possession of the trade routes to India and the Orient,
and as an outcome of this rivalry we see the gradual decline of the first and
the steady rise of the second two as naval powers.

In all cases where nations have attained world-wide supremacy, we find
that that supremacy has rested upon the sure foundation of naval superiority
and command of the sea. Spain was no exception to the rule. The suc-
cesses of the Spaniards were entirely due to their unrivalled maritime re-
sources. The development of her navy was so rapid and her rise so remark-
able that within the short space of three-quarters of the sixteenth century
she had in its last decade reached the zenith of her fame. But the sun of
Spain's prosperity waned, even as it had risen, and the dying years of the
sixteenth century marked the beginning of the decline of Spain's sea-power.


and fore-shadowed the passing of the naval supremacy of the world to the
Dutch and the English.

The shouts of acclaim that greeted the tidings of Balboa's achievements
in viewing the Pacific Ocean from^ the heights of Panama had scarcely died
away when the house of Castile turned its attentioo to the examination of
the coasts of America to the north and to the south O'f the Isthmus of Darien,
hoping to find a passage directly leading tO' the Pacific Ocean. Many expe-
ditions were despatched with this object in view, and for seven years the
Spaniards persisted in a futile search for the hidden strait. Then Magellan,
the Portuguese, with his compatriot Ruy Faleiro, offered to find for Spain a
western passage to the Moluccas, and Charles V was prevailed upon to fit
out an expedition of five vessels for this purpose. In 1520, Magellan, after
mutinies, the loss of several ships and many stirring adventures, discovered
and sailed through the strait which bears the great navigator's name. The
Spaniards had at last found the long sought for opening, but the discovery
after all brought little advantage, the strait being too far south to be used as
a regular route to the Spice Islands and the Orient. Therefore, it early be-
came the practice to transfer the gold, silver and precious stones captured in
Peru, and the rich cargoes of the Philippine argosies, across the Isthmus of
Darien to the galleons on the eastern coast of this narrow neck of land. The
South seas were not yet destined to become the scene of commercial activity.

However, obstacles presented by nature could not long prevail against
the intrepid and resourceful mariners of Spain in the day of her greatness,
Cortez, the famous or infamous, according to tlie canons by which he may
be judged, conquered Mexico and ruthlessly placed a new dominion under
the galling yoke of the Spaniard. Pizarro, with equal daring and equal
deviltry-, dethroned the Incas of Peru and forced upon their unfortunate sub-
jects a tyranny so atrocious that we pale as we read the story of Spanish
prowess in this unhappy land. These events were fraught with far-reaching


While the conquest and subsequent pillaging of Mexico and Peru en-
grossed the attention of Cortez and Pizarro, hardy mariners were exploring
that portion of the Pacific which washes the coasts of Central America and
the northern portion of the southern continent. Gradually knowledge of the
trend of the land was acquired and the possibilities of establishing a short
route to the far east, by way of the isthmus of Panama, were recognized at
an early date. Then, Cortez, with the remarkable energy that characterized
all his actions, pushed his exploration and conquests to the western confines
of his province, and established the sovereignty of Spain over the whole land,
from the Gulf to the Pacific. His attempts to colonize the Californian lit-
toral were failures. The hostility of the inhabitants, the ravages of disease,
and the barrenness of the soil, proved insurmountable barriers, and rendered
abortive his ambitious scheming in this direction. In spite, however, of dis-
asters, Cortez, with indomitable courage and zeal, undertook the exploration
of the Pacific Coast of North America. He issued instructions for the build-
ing of ships on the Pacific seaboard, and the difficulties to be overcome may
well be imagined when it is remembered that all the iron and much other
material needed for the vessels had to be carried overland to the port of con-
struction. But even then the difficulties had only commenced, for there was
no seasoned timber available, and skilled labor was scarce, but in the face of
all these drawbacks, several vessels were launched from the crude ship yards
at Tehauntepec. One of these, under the command of Maldonado, sailed
northward and explored the coast for a distance of some three hundred miles,
but the data obtained on this voyage was of no particular value. It is inter-
esting only as marking the first attempt of the Spaniards to explore the un-
known western coastline of Mexico. In the following years several impor-
tant expeditions were despatched to the Gulf of California and its shores
were more or less carefully examined. Of the early voyages along the
western coast of Mexico that undertaken in 1532 by Diego Hurtado de
Mendoza, a kinsman of Cortez, was relatively speaking of some consequence.


Mendoza reached a point near the twenty-seventh parallel, where, owing to
the mutinous conduct of his men, he was forced to send back one of his ves-
sels, continuing the voyage in the other. It is impossible to say how far this
pioneer navigator proceeded after parting company with his former com-
panions, nor have we any record of his observations bearing on the lands
which he visited in the course of his wanderings, for his vessel was cast away
on an unknown reef, and neither Mendoza or any O'f his men returned to
Mexico to recount their adventures.

As the coast line became better known, as the result of these voyages,
the explorers became bolder, and at last in 1539, Ulloa, after having exam-
ined with care the shores of the Vermilion Sea, .as the Gulf of California was
marked on early charts, rounded the Cape San Lucas, at the southern ex-
tremity oi the California Peninsula, and pointed the way to the great north-
west coast that stretched in one long, irregular line tO' the mist-enshrouded
waters of Behring Strait, although for many a long year it remained, as here-
tofore, a terra incognita, and nothing foreign disturbed the primeval solitude
of that vast region. From the time of Ulloa, the first European tO' examine
tlie outer shore of the California Peninsula, the Spaniards made spasmodic
efforts to explore and annex the northwest coast, but the endeavors to a
great extent were rendered fruitless, chiefly owing toi the parsimonious policy
pursued by the viceroys of Mexico. Nevertheless, whatever may be said with
regard to the lack of energy displayed by those responsible for the despatch-
ing of exploratory expeditions, we can, as a general rule, only praise the
commanders and crews of the vessels to whom this difficult task was entrusted.
In ships ill-found and small they bravely sailed away to the unknown north-
ern waters, a few of them to hand their names down to posterity, many of
them to perish at the hands of savages, or to die miserably from disease, and
all of them to suffer untold hardships from starvation, sickness, and inclement
weather on the rock-bound coasts they essayed to explore.

In 1542 Cabrillo, a navigator of some local fame, followed in UUoa's


track, and, having rounded Cape San Lucas, commenced the first systematic
survey of the western coastline of California. He advanced northward in
easy stages, charting to the best of his ability, and naming the bays, capes
and inlets, but the nomenclature of this explorer has long since been super-
seded by that of later discoverers. Cabrillo unhappily succumbed to hard-
ships and privation a few months after his departure from the Mexican port
of Navidad. Like many before and after him, he passed away on a wild and
unfrequented coast far from his native land, whither duty called him. The
voyage was continued by the pilot of the expedition, Ferrelo, who zealously
continued the work of exploration. We are informed in the Spanish narra-
tive touching this undertaking that 'the forty-first parallel of latitude was
attained. Ferrelo probably sighted the promontory later named Cape Men-

At an early date the Spaniards learned to take advantage of the prevail-
ing westerly winds of the Pacific, and from Mexican and Peruvian ports
fleets sailed for the Philippines, China and India, but for a long time no' ves-
sels voyaged from thence tO' Mexico or South America across the great ocean,
as the constant " trade winds," as they have since been termed, baffled the
efforts of the Spanish navigators to return by the way they had gone. There-
fore, those ships which escaped destruction from storms, the sunken reefs of
the East Indies, or the hostile natives, sailed on to Europe past the Cape of
Good Hope, a route long known to the Portuguese engaged in the Asiatic
trade. The Spanish government was always intensely jealous of the successes
of the Portuguese in India and China, and on more than one memorable oc-
casion endeavored to wrest from them the fniits of their lucrative trading

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