PDF Fraser gold 1858!: the founding of British Columbia

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The numbers of "Americans" associated with the gold rush must be understood to be inherently European-ethnic to start with. Anglo-American Southerners and New Englanders were well represented. Alfred Waddington, an entrepreneur and pamphleteer of the gold rush later infamous for the disastrous road-building expedition which led to the Chilcotin War of , estimated there were 10, miners on the Fraser at the peak of the gold rush.

This estimate was based on the Yale area and did not include the non-mining "hangers-on" population.

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Moody had hoped to begin immediately the foundation of a capital city, but upon his arrival at Fort Langley he learned of an outbreak of violence at the settlement of Hill's Bar. This led to an incident popularly known as " Ned McGowan's War ", where Moody successfully quashed a group of rebellious American miners. Governor Douglas placed restrictions on immigration to the new British colony , including the proviso that entry to the territory must be made via Victoria and not overland, but thousands of men still arrived via the Okanagan and Whatcom Trails.

Douglas also sought to limit the importation of weapons, one of the reasons for the Victoria-disembarkation requirement, but his lack of resources for oversight meant that overland routes to the goldfields could not be controlled.

During the fall of , tensions increased between miners and the Nlaka'pamux , the First Nations people of the Canyon. This led to the Fraser Canyon War. Miners wary of venturing upriver beyond Yale began to use the Lakes Route to Lillooet instead, prompting Douglas to contract for the building of the Douglas Road , the Mainland Colony's first public works project.

The governor arrived in Yale to accept the apologies of the Americans who had waged war on the natives. Wanting to make the British military and governmental presence more visible, Douglas appointed justices of the peace and also revised the slapdash mining rules which had emerged along the river. Troops to maintain order, however, were still in short supply. Competition and interracial tensions between European Americans and non-white miners erupted on Christmas Eve , with the beating of Isaac Dixon , a freed American black.

He was the town barber and in later years was a popular journalist in the Cariboo. Dixon was beaten by two men from Hill's Bar , the other main town in the southern part of the goldfields. The complicated series of events that ensued is known as McGowan's War. Its potential to provoke United States annexation ambitions within the goldfields, prompted the governor to send newly appointed Chief Justice Begbie , the colony's chief of police Chartres Brew and a contingent of Royal Engineers and Royal Marines to intervene.

They did not need to use force, and were able to resolve the matter peacefully. The team also dealt with the corruption of British appointees in the area, which had contributed to the crisis. The Fraser Canyon War did not affect the upper reaches of the goldfields, in the area of Lillooet, and the short-lived popularity of the Douglas Road caused the town to be designated "the largest town north of San Francisco and west of Chicago ", with an estimated population of 16, This title was also briefly held by Port Douglas , Yale, and later on by Barkerville.

By , however, the gold-bearing sandbars of the Fraser were depleted. Many of the miners had either drifted back to the U.


  • A Sidney Chronology 1554–1654?
  • Fraser River Gold Rush;
  • The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Founding of British Columbia.
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Other gold rushes proliferated around the colony, with notable gold rushes at Rock Creek , the Similkameen , Wild Horse Creek and the Big Bend of the Columbia River spinning immediately off the Fraser rush, and gold exploration soon after led to the Omineca Gold Rush and the Stikine Gold Rush , which led to the creation of the Stikine Territory to the colony's north. Many others moved on to a gold rush in Colorado.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Moon Cakes in Gold Mountain. It is as important to the Pacific States as Cuba is to those on the Atlantic. While the escalating confrontation between the American military and the Royal Navy was soon referred to arbitration, the events signalled that the future province was up for grabs. By the mids, the Fraser River Rush had run its course. The good times were over and the number of miners was falling dramatically.

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The colonies had run up a huge debt from building roads to the goldfields. To save money, Britain folded the Vancouver Island colony into its British Columbia counterpart in The long-term future of the United Colony of British Columbia became much debated. Most of those of British background favoured the existing situation.

Others sought annexation to the United States see Annexation Association. American expansionism again came to the fore. In , the day after the British North America Act now the Constitution Act, received royal assent, the United States purchased Alaska from Russia, which renewed its interest in the intervening land mass.

Britain may have been tempted to give in to American desires.

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At the time of the Alaska sale, it was negotiating reparations with the United States for having allowed the Confederate South to build warships on British territory during the recently concluded American Civil War. The US secretary of state proposed to take British Columbia in settlement.

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To give up British Columbia would inconvenience the Royal Navy. However, the Americans persisted. After visiting Victoria in August , the US secretary of state reported confidently that British Columbians were generating petitions in favour of annexation. In the end, two petitions were completed with only signatures in total. While causing a flutter in Congress, no further action was taken and the surge abated. In the meantime, Britain took the initiative.

It continued to be interested in colonies only so far as they benefitted the mother country, something a struggling British Columbia seemed unlikely to do. In , a new governor was appointed to cajole the colonial legislature to set demands for entry into Confederation. Since , commitment to British Columbia as a distinct entity had taken shape.

That commitment expressed itself in different ways. Exasperated with British indifference, Attorney General H.

1858 Fraser River Gold Rush

The sequence of events beginning in the spring of concluded on 20 July , with British Columbia becoming a Canadian province see British Columbia and Confederation. The excitement of the gold rush followed by the proclamation of the colony of British Columbia had not assured the future, but they made it possible.

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British Columbia in was still a very fragile place. While large in size — more than twice the area of Washington and Oregon combined — its settler population was minute, at one-tenth their roughly , The occasion of BC provides a powerful reminder not to take our province for granted, be it yesterday, today, or tomorrow. Search The Canadian Encyclopedia. Remember me.

Fraser Gold 1858!

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