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Encyclopedia > Colony of British Columbia

The Colony of British Columbia was a crown colony of British North America from 1858 until 1871. It was largely coterminus with the present day Canadian province of British Columbia. It was united in 1866 with the Colony of Vancouver Island to form a further colonial entity named British Columbia, but unofficially known as the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia to avoid confusion. A United Kingdom overseas territory (formerly known as a dependent territory or earlier as a crown colony) is a territory that is under the sovereignty and formal control of the United Kingdom but is not part of the United Kingdom proper (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). ... By 1763, British North America included 19 British colonies and territories on the continent of North America. ... 1858 (MDCCCLVIII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1871 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Canada is a federation of ten provinces which, together with three territories, comprise the worlds second largest country. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Official languages English, French Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Parliamentary representation  - House seat  - Senate seats 36 6 Area Total  â€¢ Land  â€¢ Water    (% of total)  Ranked 5th 944,735 km² 925,186 km² 19,549... 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... See main article Vancouver Island Colonial flag of Vancouver Island, consisting of the British Blue Ensign and the great seal of the colony. ... Colonial flag of British Columbia (1870-71), consisting of the British Blue Ensign and the great seal of the colony. ...

Contents


Background

Main Article: History of British Columbia British Columbia is the western-most province in Canada. ...


The explorations of James Cook and George Vancouver, and the concessions of Spain in 1794 established British jurisdiction over the coastal area north of California. Similar jurisdiction was established inland via the explorations of such men as John Finlay, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, Samuel Black, and David Thompson, and by the subsequent establishment of fur trading posts by the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). However, until 1858, the region which now comprises the mainland of the Province of British Columbia was an unorganised area of British North America comprising two fur trading districts: New Caledonia, north of the Thompson River drainage; and the Columbia District, located south of the Thompson and north of the Columbia River. James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. ... Captain George Vancouver George Vancouver (June 22, 1757 – May 12, 1798) was an officer of the Royal Navy, and an explorer best known for his exploration of North America, including the Pacific coast along Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia; he also explored the southwest coast of Australia. ... The Nootka Convention was a treaty between Spain and Great Britain in 1790 that averted a war between the two countries over overlapping claims to portions of the northwestern coast of North America. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 402. ... Alexander Mackenzie (1764 - March 11, 1820) was a Scottish-Canadian explorer. ... Simon Fraser (1776 – 18 August 1862) was a fur trader and an explorer who charted much of what is now the Canadian province of British Columbia. ... David Thompson (April 30, 1770 – February 10, 1857), was an English-Canadian surveyor and explorer. ... // Indian trade The fur trade (also called the Indian trade) was a huge part of the early history of contact in North America between European-Americans and American Indians (now often called Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada). ... Today, the North West Company is a grocery vendor in remote communities across northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland. ... The Hudsons Bay Company (HBC. TSX: HBC) is the oldest corporation in Canada (and the second oldest in North America) and is one of the oldest in the world still in existence. ... This article is about the geomorphological/geopolitical term; MAINLAND is also a cheese brand owned by Fonterra, a New Zealand dairy company. ... // Indian trade The fur trade (also called the Indian trade) was a huge part of the early history of contact in North America between European-Americans and American Indians (now often called Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada). ... The Thompson River is a major tributary of the Fraser River in the south-central portion of British Columbia, Canada. ... Columbia River Gorge, Washington or North side The Columbia River is a river situated in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. ...

Sir James Douglas, first governor of the Colony of British Columbia
Sir James Douglas, first governor of the Colony of British Columbia

With the signing of the Treaty of Washington in 1846, which established the US border along the 49th parallel, the HBC moved the headquarters of its western operations from Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River (present day Vancouver, Washington) to the newly-established Fort Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia were organised as a crown colony in 1849. Meanwhile, the mainland continued to function under the defacto administration of the HBC, whose chief executive, James Douglas, also happened to be governor of Vancouver Island. The non-aboriginal mainland population during this time never exceeded about 150, mostly HBC employees and their families. File links The following pages link to this file: James Douglas (Governor) Categories: Canada copyright images ... The Treaty with Great Britain, in Regard to Limits Westward of the Rocky Mountains (known as the Oregon Treaty or Treaty of Washington) was a bilateral treaty signed between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the United States in 1846, and brought an end to the longstanding... The 49th parallel of north latitude forms part of the International Boundary between Canada and the United States from Manitoba to British Columbia on the Canadian side and from Minnesota to Washington on the U.S. side. ... Fort Vancouver Fort Vancouver was a 19th century fur trading outpost along the Columbia River that served as the headquarters of the Hudsons Bay Company in the Oregon Country. ... City of Vancouver Logo Vancouver, Washington is a city on the north shore of the Columbia River, in the state of Washington, USA. It is the county seat of Clark County. ... The arms of Victoria. ... Vancouver Island is separated from mainland British Columbia by the Strait of Georgia and the Queen Charlotte Strait, and from Washington State by the Juan De Fuca Strait. ... The Gulf Islands is the name collectively given to the islands in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the mainland Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada. ... Strait of Georgia at sunset The Straight of Georgia (also known as Georgia Strait and the Gulf of Georgia) is a 240 km (150 mi)-long strait between Vancouver Island (as well as its nearby Gulf Islands) and the mainland Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada. ... James Douglas Sir James Douglas, K.C.B, ((August 15, 1803 – August 2, 1877), was born of a Scottish father and Creole mother in Demerara. ...


By 1857, Americans and British were beginning to respond to rumours of gold in the Thompson River area. Almost overnight, some ten to twenty thousand men moved into the region around present-day Yale, British Columbia, sparking the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Governor Douglas and the colonial office were suddenly faced with having to exert British authority over a largely alien population. Douglas — who had no legal authority over New Caledonia — stationed a gunboat at the entrance of the Fraser River in order to exert such authority by collecting licenses from prospectors attempting to make their way upstream. In order to normalise its jurisdiction, and undercut any HBC claims to the resource wealth of the mainland, the district was coverted to a crown colony on August 2, 1858, and given the name British Columbia. Douglas was offered the governorship of the new colony by the colonial secretary, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, on condition that he sever his relationship with the HBC. Douglas accepted these conditions, and a knighthood. British Columbia was given its own capital — New Westminster — in 1859, but Douglas would govern both colonies from Victoria for the next six years. The Thompson River is a major tributary of the Fraser River in the south-central portion of British Columbia, Canada. ... Front Street, Yale, British Columbia circa 1882 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. ... The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ... The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet official in charge of managing the various British colonies. ... The Fraser River is the longest river in British Columbia, Canada, rising in the Rocky Mountains near Mount Robson and flowing for 1400 km (870 mi), into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Vancouver. ... Prospecting is the act of searching for minerals or ore deposits. ... Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (May 25, 1803 - January 18, 1873) was an English novelist, playwright, and politician. ... The Pattullo Bridge (centre) connects New Westminster (left) with Surrey (right) across the Fraser River. ...


Governorship of James Douglas

The influx of people into the new colony required Douglas to act quickly in drawing up regulations and creating infrastructure. Magistrates and constables were hired, mining regulations drawn up, and townsites surveyed at Yale, Hope and Fort Langley in order to discourage squatting on crown land. In addition, roads were constructed into the areas of greatest mining exploration around Lillooet and Lytton. The colony, however, was not immediately granted a representative colonial assembly, because of uncertainty as to whether the gold rush would yield a stable, settled population. Douglas, who had endured unhappy conflicts with the assembly on Vancouver Island, was relieved. A magistrate is a judicial officer with limited authority to administer and enforce the law. ... A constable is a person holding a particular office, most commonly in law enforcement. ... Hope, British Columbia is a community in the province of British Columbia, in Canada, of approximately about 7,000 people located on the banks of the Fraser River and the Coquihalla Rivers, about 200 km Northeast of Vancouver. ... Fort Langley, the birthplace of British Columbia was established as a fort and trading post of the Hudsons Bay Company in 1827. ... This article is about occupying land without legal permission but with ethical intentions and means to use empty space usefully. ... Crown land is a designated land belonging to the Crown, the equivalent of an entailed estate that passed with the monarchy and could not be alienated from it. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Lytton in British Columbia sits at the confluence of the Thompson River and Fraser River on the east side of the Fraser. ... Representative democracy comprises a form of democracy and theory of civics wherein voters choose (in free, secret, multi-party elections) representatives to act in their interests, but not as their proxies—i. ...

A portion of the Cariboo Road in the Fraser Canyon, circa 1867.
A portion of the Cariboo Road in the Fraser Canyon, circa 1867.

The rush indeed was short lived, and the exodus of miners, speculators, and merchants was already underway by the time the Royal Engineers had laid out the colony's new capital at New Westminster. Prospecting was still underway, however, and additional finds farther inland in the Cariboo region in 1860 signalled an impending second gold rush. Provisioning was already proving to be an acute problem, and with more distant finds it became clear that wagon trains would have to replace pack horses, necessitating new infrastructure. By 1862, the Cariboo Gold Rush, attracting an additional 5000 miners, was underway, and Douglas hastened construction of the Great North Road (commonly known now as the Cariboo Wagon Road) up the Fraser Canyon to the prospecting region around Barkerville. A portion of the Cariboo Road in British Columbia, circa 1867 – 1868. ... A portion of the Cariboo Road in British Columbia, circa 1867 – 1868. ... A portion of the Cariboo Road, circa 1867–1868 The Cariboo Road (also called the Cariboo Wagon Road, the Great North Road or the Queens Highway) was a project initiated in 1862 by the colonial Governor of British Columbia, James Douglas. ... View of Fraser Canyon near Fountain, BC View of Fraser Canyon looking upstream from Fountain, B.C. The Fraser Canyon is a stretch of the Fraser River where it descends rapidly through narrow rock gorges in the Coast Mountains enroute from the Interior Plateau of British Columbia to the Fraser... The Corps of Royal Engineers (RE), commonly known as the Sappers, is one of the corps of the British Army. ... The Cariboo is a region of British Columbia along a plateau stretching from the Fraser Canyon to the Cariboo Mountains. ... A wagon train is a long chain of wagons, each moving together and forming a line. ... The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ... A portion of the Cariboo Road, circa 1867–1868 The Cariboo Road (also called the Cariboo Wagon Road, the Great North Road or the Queens Highway) was a project initiated in 1862 by the colonial Governor of British Columbia, James Douglas. ... View of Fraser Canyon near Fountain, BC View of Fraser Canyon looking upstream from Fountain, B.C. The Fraser Canyon is a stretch of the Fraser River where it descends rapidly through narrow rock gorges in the Coast Mountains enroute from the Interior Plateau of British Columbia to the Fraser... Barkerville was a gold rush town in British Columbia, Canada and is currently preserved as a historic town. ...


By the time of this second gold rush, the character of the colony was changing, as a more stable population of British colonists settled in the region, establishing businesses, opening sawmills, and engaging in fishing and agriculture. With this increased stability, objections to the colony's absentee governor and the lack of responsible government began to be vocalised, led by the influential editor of the New Westminister British Columbian and future premier, John Robson. A series of petitions requesting an assembly were ignored by Douglas and the colonial office until Douglas was eased out of office in 1864. Finally the colony would have both an assembly and a resident governor. This article or section should include material from Saw mill A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards. ... A lobster boat unloading its catch in Ilfracombe harbour, North Devon, England A fishery (plural: fisheries) is an organized effort by humans to catch fish or other aquatic species, an activity known as fishing. ... Responsible government is a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. ... A premier is an executive official of government. ... John Robson (March, 1824-June 29, 1892) was a British Columbian journalist and politician. ...

Frederick Seymour, second governor of the Colony of British Columbia, and his cat.
Enlarge
Frederick Seymour, second governor of the Colony of British Columbia, and his cat.

Governorship of Frederick Seymour

Douglas's successor was Frederick Seymour, who came to the colony with twenty years of colonial experience in Van Diemen's Land, the British West Indies, and British Honduras. The creation of an assembly and Seymour's appointment in April, 1864 signalled a new era for the colony, now out of the shadow of Vancouver Island and free of a governor suspicious of sharing power with elected representatives. Douglas's wagon road project was still underway, presenting huge engineering challenges, as it made its way up the narrow Fraser Canyon. Successive loans authorised by Seymour's predecessor, largely for the purpose of completing the road, had put the colony £200,000 in debt; and a First Nations uprising at Bute Inlet cost an additional £18,000 to supress. Seymour himself made the difficult journey through the Chilcotin Ranges to help in the arrest of the insurgents. Van Diemens Land was the original name used by Europeans for the island of Tasmania, now part of Australia. ... The British West Indies are those islands in the Caribbean that are or were British colonies. ... British Honduras was the former name of a British colony on the east coast of Central America, now the independent nation of Belize. ... First Nations is the current title used by Canada to describe the various societies of the indigenous peoples, called Native Americans in the U.S. They have also been known as Indians, Native Canadians, Aboriginal Americans, Amer-Indians, or Aboriginals, and are officially called Indians in the Indian Act, which... Bute Inlet is one of the principal inlets of the British Columbia Coast. ...


On Seymour's return overland, he made a tour of the Cariboo minefields, and along the Fraser Canyon, which made him increasingly convinced of the colony's future prosperity. On returning to the capital, however, fiscal reality set in as it became clear that British Columbia's indebtedness was getting worse. Even as the colonial administration took drastic measures to augment revenues and improve the road system to attract prospectors and settlers, the economic situation grew increasingly dire, and agitation grew for an almagamation of the two colonies. Seymour opposed this proposal, but with pressure from various quarters of the colonial government, he eventually relented, recommending that British Columbia be the dominant partner, and (unsuccessfully) that the capital be located at New Westminster. And so it was that the two colonies were united by an Act of the British Parliament, and proclaimed on August 6, 1866 (see United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia). 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Colonial flag of British Columbia (1870-71), consisting of the British Blue Ensign and the great seal of the colony. ...


Governors of British Columbia

  • Sir James Douglas, 1858-1864
  • Frederick Seymour, 1864-1866

External links

  • Biography of Douglas at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  • Biography of Seymour at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

 
 

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