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Encyclopedia > Colony of Vancouver Island

See main article Vancouver Island 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. ...

Colonial flag of Vancouver Island, consisting of the British Blue Ensign and the great seal of the colony.
Colonial flag of Vancouver Island, consisting of the British Blue Ensign and the great seal of the colony.

Vancouver Island was a crown colony of British North America from 1849 to 1866, after which it was united with British Columbia. The united colony joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871. The colony comprised Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of the Strait of Georgia. The modern Blue Ensign of the United Kingdom The British Blue Ensign (1707–1801) English Blue Ensign as it appeared in the seventeenth century. ... The Great Seal might mean: Great Seal of Canada Great Seal of the Irish Free State Great Seal of the Realm (UK) Great Seal of the United States See also: Seal This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... 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. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 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. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Official languages English 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 km... We dont have an article called Canadian-confederation Start this article Search for Canadian-confederation in. ... 1871 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 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. ...


Establishment of the colony

Captain James Cook was the first European to set foot on the Island at Nootka Sound in 1778, claiming the territory for Great Britain. Fourteen years later, under the provisions of the Nootka Convention, Spain ceded its claims to Vancouver and the Gulf Islands. It was not until 1843, however, that Britain — under the auspices of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) — established a settlement in the territory. The settlement was in the form of a fur trading post originally named Fort Albert (afterward Fort Victoria). The fort was located at the Songhees settlement of Camosack (Camosun), near the site of the present-day Empress Hotel on Victoria's Inner Harbour. James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. ... Nootka Sound is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean and a natural harbour on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. ... 1778 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 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. ... 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. ... 1843 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 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. ... // 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 arms of Victoria. ... The Coast Salish are a Salishan-speaking First Nations/Native American people that inhabited an area centered in southwestern British Columbia in Canada and western Washington in the United States for several millennia up to the time of arrival of the Europeans in the 19th century. ... The Empress Hotel The Fairmont Empress (generally known as The Empress) is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, British Columbia. ...

With the signing of the Treaty of Washington in 1846, the HBC determined that its trapping rights in the Oregon Territory were tenuous. Thus in 1849, it moved its western headquarters from Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River (present day Vancouver, Washington) to Fort Victoria. Fort Vancouver's Chief Factor, James Douglas, was relocated to the young trading post to oversee the Company's operations west of the Rockies. 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 Oregon Territory is the name applied both to the unorganized Oregon Country claimed by both the United States and Britain, as well as to the organized U.S. territory formed from it that existed between 1848 and 1859. ... 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. ... 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. ... 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. ... A factor can be: a person acting for another as a mercantile and/or colonial agent, or, in Scotland, a Factor is a person or firm managing property on behalf of the owner; in mathematics, a multiplicative factor is a synonym for coefficient a number that is a divisor of... 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. ... White Goat Wilderness Area, Alberta, Canada The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a broad mountain range in western North America. ...

This development prompted the British colonial office to designate the territory a crown colony on January 13, 1849. The colony was immediately leased to the HBC for a ten year period, and Douglas was charged with encouraging British settlement. Richard Blanshard was named the colony's governor. Blanshard discovered that the hold of the HBC over the affairs of the new colony was all but absolute, and that it was Douglas who held all practical authority in the territory. There was no civil service, no police, no militia, and vitually every British colonist was an employee of the HBC. Frustrated, Blanshard abandoned his post a year later, returning to England. In 1851, his resignation was finalised, and the colonial office appointed Douglas as governor. The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet official in charge of managing the various British colonies. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The flag of the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Categories: | ...

Governorship of Sir James Douglas

Sir James Douglas, second Governor of Vancouver Island
Sir James Douglas, second Governor of Vancouver Island

Douglas's situation as both the local chief executive of a private company as well as the civil governor of the colony from whom the company had leased all rights, was barely tenable from the outset. Initially, Douglas performed the delicate balancing act well, raising a domestic militia and encouraging settlement. By the mid-1850s, the colony's non-aboriginal population was approaching 500, and sawmill and coal mining operations had been established at Fort Nanaimo and Fort Rupert (present day Port Hardy). Douglas also assisted the British government in establishing a naval base at present-day Esquimalt to check Russian and American expansionism. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Lexington Minuteman representing militia minuteman John Parker A militia is a group of citizens organized to provide paramilitary service. ... This article or section should include material from Saw mill A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards. ... Wyoming coal mine Coal mining is the extraction of coal from the Earth for use as fuel. ... Nanaimo (2004 pop. ... The Township of Esquimalt is a municipality at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. ...

Douglas's efforts at encouraging settlement were hampered by colonial officials in London, who kept land prices high in order to encourage the emigration of wealthier Britons, who were given incentives to bring out labourers with them to work the landholdings. The result was that emigration was slow, and the landless labourers frequently fled the colony either to obtain free land grants in the United States, or work the newly-discovered goldfields of California. A secondary result was the replication of the British class system, with the attendent resistance to non-parochial education, land reform, and representative government. The California Gold Rush was a period in American history marked by great world-wide interest concerning a gold discovery in Northern California. ...

At the time of the establishment of the colony, Vancouver Island had a large and varied First Nations population of upwards of 30,000. Douglas completed fourteen separate treaties with the various nations, or tribes. Under the terms of these treaties, the nations were obliged to surrender title to all land within a designated area, with the exception of villages and cultivated areas, in perpetuity. They were also given permission to hunt and fish over unoccupied territories. For these concessions, the nations were given a one-time cash payment of a few shillings each. Carved mask in Vancouver First Nations is a term for ethnicity used in Canada to replace the word Indian. It refers to the Indigenous peoples of North America located in what is now Canada, and their descendants, who are not Inuit or Métis. ... Viewed historically or developmentally, a tribe consists of a social formation existing before the development of, or outside of, states. ... The shilling (or informally: bob) was an English coin first issued in 1548 for Henry VIII, although arguably the testoon issued about 1487 for Henry VII was the first English shilling. ...

As settlement accelerated, resentment towards the HBC's monopoly — both economic and civil — over the colony swelled. A series of petitions were sent to the colonial office, one of which resulted in the establishment of a colonial assembly in 1855. At first, little changed, given that only a few dozen men met the voting requirement of holding twenty or more acres. Moreover, the majority of the representatives were employees of the HBC. However, as time went on, the franchise was gradually extended, and the assembly began to assert demands for more control over colonial affairs and criticized Douglas's inherent conflict of interest. A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, a politician, or an executive or director of a corporation, has competing professional and/or personal interests. ...

By 1857, Americans and British colonists were beginning to respond to rumours of gold in the Thompson River area. Almost overnight, some tem to twenty thousand men moved into the interior of New Caledonia (mainland British Columbia), and Victoria was transformed into a tent-city of prospectors, merchants, land-agents, and speculators. Douglas — who had no legal authority over New Caledonia — stationed a gunboat at the entrance of the Fraser River in order to exert British authority by collecting licenses from boats attempting to make their way upstream. In order to exert its legal authority, 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, on condition that he sever his relationship with the HBC. Douglas accepted these conditions, and a knighthood, and for the next six years would govern both colonies from Victoria. The Thompson River is a major tributary of the Fraser River in the south-central portion of British Columbia, Canada. ... Prospecting is the act of searching for minerals or ore deposits. ... 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. ... 1858 is a common year starting on Friday. ...

Amor De Cosmos, editor of the Daily Colonist, was an ardent opponent of the "family-company compact" of Bay men and Douglas associates who controlled the colony
Amor De Cosmos, editor of the Daily Colonist, was an ardent opponent of the "family-company compact" of Bay men and Douglas associates who controlled the colony

The remainder of Douglas's term as Vancouver Island governor was marked by increased expansion of the economy and settlement, and greater agitation for both union of the two colonies and for the introduction of fully responsible government. It was also marked by occasional boundary disputes with the United States, the most significant of which was the San Juan Boundary Dispute in 1859. This resulted in a sometimes tense, twelve-year military standoff as the two countries garrisoned troops on San Juan Island. There was a second gold rush — the Cariboo Gold Rush — in 1861-62, and again Victoria experienced an economic boom as the staging point for the prospectors. The Times Colonist is an English-language daily newspaper in Victoria, British Columbia. ... 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. ... The Pig War (also called the Pig Episode, the San Juan Boundary Dispute or the Northwestern Boundary Dispute) was a confrontation in 1859 between American and British authorities, resulting from a dispute over the boundary between the United States and Canada. ... A forest on San Juan Island San Juan Island is the second-largest and most populous of the San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington, USA. Washington State Ferries serves Friday Harbor, which is San Juan Islands major population center, the San Juan County seat, and the only incorporated town... The Gold Rush of British Columbia occurred after gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley. ...

The increased conflicts between Douglas and the reformers, such as Amor De Cosmos, along with the growing desire of colonists in British Columbia to have a resident governor in their capital of New Westminster resulted in the colonial office easing Douglas into retirement in 1864. Amor De Cosmos Amor De Cosmos (August 20, 1825 - July 4, 1897) was a Canadian journalist and politician. ... The Pattullo Bridge (centre) connects New Westminster (left) with Surrey (right) across the Fraser River. ...

The union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia

Sir Arthur Kennedy, third and last Governor of Vancouver Island
Sir Arthur Kennedy, third and last Governor of Vancouver Island

Douglas was succeeded as governor by Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy, a career colonial administrator who had previously served in Australia and Africa. While there was popular acclaim for the appointment of a governor free from ties with the HBC, Kennedy was initially met with suspicion and opposition by the colonial assembly, which feared the loss of Vancouver Island's status vis-á-vis the growing power of the mainland colony. It resisted the colonial office's request for the permanent appropriation for the civil list in return for control of the extensive crown lands of the colony, and temporarily withheld salary and housing to Kennedy until they had achieved their aim. Kennedy met with further opposition by some in the assembly over the plan for the colony to unite with British Columbia. It was only when opponents were persuaded that such union would boost the colony's ailing economy that passage of the proposal was assured by the assembly. Image File history File links ArthurEdwardKennedy. ... Image File history File links ArthurEdwardKennedy. ... Sir Arthur Kennedy Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy (5 April 1809–3 June 1883) was a British colonial administrator who served as governor of a number of British colonies, namely Sierra Leone, Western Australia, Vancouver Island, Hong Kong and Queensland. ... A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. ... A civil list is a list of individuals to whom money is paid by the government. ...

Meanwhile, Kennedy had achieved some progress in breaking down the longstanding social barriers established over years of HBC hegemony. In 1865, the Common Schools Act funded public education; and Kennedy reformed the civil service, introduced auditing of the colonial budget, and improved revenue collection. Nonetheless, he continued to fail in his efforts to persuade the assembly to introduce the vote of a civil list, as well as enforcing various measures to protect the rights and well-being of the increasingly pressured aboriginal population. Despite his sympathy for the plight of the colony's First Nations people, Kennedy authorised naval bombardment of the Ahousahts of Clayoquot Sound in 1864 in reprisal for the murder of the crew of a trading vessel. Nine Ahousaht villages were destroyed, and thirteen people killed. Clayoquot Sound (usually pronounced clay-kwot or clack-kwot) is located on Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. ...

With the colony's budget collapsing by 1865, and the assembly unwilling and unable to introduce proposals for raising revenue, Kennedy was barely able to keep the administration afloat until the union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in October, 1866. With that, Vancouver Island ceased to exist as a separate colony, becoming part of the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The capital of the united colony would be Victoria.

Governors of Vancouver Island

  • Richard Blanshard, 1849–1851
  • Sir James Douglas, 1851–1864
  • Sir Arthur Kennedy, 1864–1866

Governors of the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia

Sir Anthony Musgrave (31 August 1828–9 October 1888) was a colonial administrator and governor. ...

See also

  • History of British Columbia

British Columbia is the western-most province in Canada. ...

External links

  • A capsule history of the Colony of Vancouver Island from the online Vancouver Island Travel Guide
  • An article on the colony by Bob Reid from British Columbia: A Brief History



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