W. Kaye Lamb
B.C. Historical Quarterly, January-April – 1950


Richard Blanshard, first Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island, arrived at Fort Victoria on March 9, 1850, and two days later read his commission to the assembled populace. The centenary of this significant event was officially recognized by the reading of a statement in the Legislative Assembly on March 10, 1950, by the Honourable the Premier, Byron I. Johnson. A special brochure was issued to the school-children of the Province and radio broadcasts arranged.

As long ago as July, 1944, this Quarterly published an article by Willard E. Ireland entitled “The Appointment of Richard Blanshard.” It was anticipated that shortly thereafter Blanshard’s subsequent career would be published. The centenary now affords an appropriate occasion to release this sequel. The first instalment dealt with the circumstances leading up to the selection, commissioning, and arrival at Vancouver Island of Richard Blanshard. Dr. Lamb takes up the story at that point—Blanshard, a young, inexperienced English barrister, has assumed the governorship of a remote British colony, set up under the egis of the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was then represented on the spot by one of its older and most experienced officers, James Douglas.

Blanshard – Reading of Commission at Fort Victoria, 1849

It is probably significant that early in April 1850, Douglas, writing privately to Pelly, expressed the opinion that he was better off without the governorship—a view with which Pelly agreed.[1] Even at that early date it was becoming evident that Blanshard’s position was and would not be a comfortable one. Events were already tending to bring him into conflict with Douglas. For example, there was the matter of the Governor’s official residence. Soon after Blanshard’s appointment Barclay had written to Douglas, informing him that a house would have to be provided.[2]  Inevitably the letter was months on the way, and it would appear that late in February, probably no more than a fortnight before the Governor’s arrival, construction had commenced.[3]  As no temporary quarters were in readiness, Blanshard was compelled to remain on board H.M.S. Driver during her stay in the colony. He accompanied her both when she visited Nisqually and later when she steamed north to Fort Rupert.[4]  When she finally left, Blanshard was given a room in Fort Victoria.[5]  All this time progress on his dwelling had been exasperatingly slow. In June he questioned Douglas officially regarding the delay,[6] and early in August sent him a letter which included the following stinging paragraph:

“I find that three of the Kanakas and one of the workmen have been withdrawn from my cottage, leaving one solitary man to carry on work that has already been loitered over for more than five months. I beg to state that you are at liberty to withdraw him also, as the labour of a single man is a mere mockery and I will consider such withdrawal as proof of the inability or unwillingness of the Hudsons bay Company to furnish me with lodging.[7] 

Douglas, in his turn, dealt with the matter at some length in his report to Archibald Barclay:

“I herewith transmit copies of a correspondence with Governor Blanshard relative to the dwelling house I was directed to put up for him at this place. We have done every thing in our power to forward the building; but unfortunately, it was impossible, with our limited means to keep pace with his wishes; without altogether neglecting the Company’s business and making it a secondary object, or hiring Mechanics in the Columbia at the enormous rates paid there for labour, and I did not feel at liberty to adopt either of these expedients.

“The Governors complaints were excessively mortifying and have given me more pain than I can describe. You will observe by his letter of the 5th August that he speaks of only one man being employed at the “Cottage” while my reply of the same date shows that no fewer than ten workmen were then actually employed about it.

“I have no wish however to indulge in complaints at the expense of Mr. Blanshard, for that would be unjust as with the exception of his letters, I never heard him, make an unpleasant remark.

“The house is now nearly finished, and he will soon move into it; so that there will be an end of trouble, from that source. The size of the Governors House is 40 x 20 ft, with a kitchen 18 x 12 feet attached and a house 24 x 18 for his servants. The house is ceiled and painted inside. It has a neat appearance and is on the whole the best finished building in Oregon.

“I beg to recommend in the event of any other public buildings being contemplated, that Mechanics may be sent out to erect and finish them, as we have not a single house carpenter or Joiner at this place, our own work being done by the rude self taught carpenters of the country, who are not capable of turning out a neat job.[8]

The cost of the completed residence and premises was $1,548.55. As it was built on “Fur Trade land” it was not charged to the colony.[9] Later Blanshard himself built an addition to the house, and before he left Vancouver Island, Douglas paid him $634.90 in settlement for “all improvements” he had made.[10]

The whole episode may seem petty, but it is also revealing. It illustrates Blanshard’s understandable impatience and disappointment, and his reluctance to accept the simple and even rude standards of life in the colony. It was all so different from what he had expected! Douglas, on the other hand, looms up as a formidable figure—not unfriendly or unsympathetic, but merely the cautious guardian of the company’s interest.

There is no reason to believe that Douglas exaggerated difficulties when he reported to Barclay. In 1852 Dr. Helmcken built a modest dwelling in Victoria, and the account of the problems and delays which arose are set forth in his reminiscences. By that date Douglas had become Governor and Helmcken was about to marry his daughter, but he seems to have been able to do little to hasten the construction of a house, even for his prospective son-in-law. In the end, the wedding took place before the building was completed, and Helmcken and his bride lived for some months in Blanshard’s former residence. Writing in 1892 Helmcken recalled that it was “at the corner of Yates St. [and Government Street] . . . a four room building on about four lots; faced with plained shingles. It was comfortable but not commodious, in the present sense of the term.”[11] 

Another matter which caused trouble between Blanshard and Douglas was the promised grant to the Governor of 1,000 acres of land. In 1857 Blanshard stated that he had been given to understand, before he left for Vancouver Island, that this property was intended for him personally. He was positive on the point “because,” as he recalled, “Sir John Pelly had told me that I might select such portions of land as I thought would turn out valuable, and that they would sell advantageously.”[12] What ever Pelly may have intended, the instructions sent to Douglas within a month of Blanshard’s appointment explicitly ruled out this interpretation:

“The Governor is to have a grant of land to the extent of 1000 Acres, as he may require it. This grant is not made to him as an individual but in his public capacity and will always belong to the Governor for the time being. You and he together will select some eligible spot not included in what may have been set apart for the fur trade or Puget Sound Company.[13] Blanshard’s anger and disappointment when he arrived and was refused title to his 1,000 acres may be imagined. Inevitably Douglas bore the brunt of his displeasure. Moreover, he held to his view-point as long as he remained in the colony, and as he declined to occupy or improve the property, the “Governor’s Public Reserve” was not even laid out.[14] Shortly before his departure he “claimed 100 acres of those 1,000 acres,” to use his own words, at Metchosin, for the benefit of a servant who wished to remain in the country.

“Mr. Douglas,” Blanshard continues, “who was the agent for the land there, nominally evaded giving me any kind of title to it and said that I should get it more easily settled in England. The Hudson’s Bay Company declined to make it over to me, and said that those 1,000 acres of land were merely intended for the Governor for the time being.”[15] In view of his instructions, and the land regulations by which he was bound, Douglas could only act as he did. He reported to London that no payment had been received for the 100 acres, but that he was reserving the land for Blanshard, pending a decision by the company.[16]

Richard Blanshard – 185-    BC Archives – A-01112

A third matter which caused irritation was much more directly Douglas’s responsibility. For practical purposes the Hudson’s Bay Company was the only source of supplies in Vancouver Island. The price-scale at which an individual could purchase goods depended upon his relationship to the company. For this purpose, Blanshard was considered completely independent, and was therefore charged the highest tariff. In 1850 this tariff was very high indeed, as it was based upon the peak prices prevailing during the gold-rush in California. The consequence was that Blanshard found the cost of living ruinous, and it would seem that Douglas and the company might well have made a generous concession under the circumstances.

The delay in completing his house, the loss of his lands, and the high cost of living were, after all, personal matters. As a public official Blanshard was faced with the more serious consideration that there was scarcely any colony for him to govern. In March 1850, Captain W. Colquhoun Grant and his eight men were the only genuinely independent settlers on Vancouver Island. Everyone else was connected in some way with the Hudson’s Bay Company or its satellite, the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. Nor was there any immediate prospect that this state of affairs would change. True, the Norman Morison had eighty immigrants on board when she arrived on March 24, but every man amongst them was either a servant or a settler-servant bound to one or other of the companies.

Faced with this situation, Blanshard judged it best to conduct the government of the Colony single-handed, and so reported early in April to the Colonial Secretary:

“As no settlers have at present arrived, I have considered it is unnecessary as yet to nominate a Council, as my instructions direct; for a Council chosen at present must be composed entirely of the officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company . . . and they would moreover be completely under the control of their superior officers[17]

Years later, in the course of the Hudson’s Bay inquiry, Roebuck addressed to Blanshard a question which at this point naturally comes to mind: “Would any great mischief have happened if there had been no Governor at all?” To which Blanshard replied: “There would have been a great deal of quarrelling; it was necessary that somebody should be at the head; that there should be some kind of law on the island, and to enforce it.”[18] 

This statement would appear to um up in a sentence Blanshard’s mission, as he understood it, and as he endeavoured to carry it out in 1850—1851. To the best of his ability he would settle disputes and check injustices, even though they might arise within the service of the company.

On July 28,1849, the British Parliament had passed An Act to Provide for the Administration of Justice in Vancouver’s Island. Blanshard was informed that this Statute, together with his commission and instructions, gave him “power for the present to make such provisions as you may consider most advisable both for the apprehension of offenders & the trial of prisoners & the conduct of Civil cases. . . .“[19] We know that he was supplied with law books to the value of some £51,[20] and with this simple equipment, plus his legal training, he proceeded to administer justice in the Island. When asked in 1857 how it was done, he answered: “I did it all myself; I had no means of paying a recorder a salary; there were no colonial funds.  . . when I wanted a constable, I swore one in.”[21] 

The early legal records that have survived are scanty, but one gains the impression that Blanshard was more active than is usually thought. A realization may even have spread abroad that something that stood higher than the company was repre sented in the land. This is not to deny that at times the stage resembled that of a comic opera, for Blanshard’s conduct was sometimes sufficiently out of harmony with his surroundings to be slightly ridiculous. Helmcken recalls one such occasion:

“Once the men became riotous—drunk probably—there were no police—but Blanshard I think got some special constables and I saw him walking his verandah with sword at his said [side), vowing that he would have peace and be very severe on those who broke it. I am not aware that any one was brought before him. At this time the Government Street bastion was supposed to be the prison, but it was tenantless—and had no officer.[22]  

A few miscellaneous papers relating to Blanshard’s activities have been preserved. These include the report of what was probably the first formal inquest held ‘on Vancouver Island. One William Gillespie, a labourer, was found drowned on May 12, 1850. The next day a jury of twelve, of which Roderick Finlayson was foreman, returned the verdict: “Accidental Death, owing to the deceased being in a state of intoxication.” Douglas was amongst those who gave evidence.[23] 

Soon after this Blanshard received an appeal from Captain Hinderwell of the British ship Albion, which had been seized off New Dungeness for felling trees in American territory without authority.[24]  Blanshard replied as follows, in June:

“You must be aware that it is beyond my jurisdiction so that I cannot interfere in the matter. Your supercargo Mr. Brotchie is I am informed well acquainted with the North West Coast of America, and consequently could not have been ignorant that you were trespassing on the United States territory nor that the U.S. Customs laws have been extended to Oregon territory.[25] 

The objection was well taken, for Captain Brotchie had in fact made several voyages to the coast in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Later in the same month Blanshard was called upon to determine the seaworthiness of the barque Cowlitz, which had touched shore several times between Victoria and Fort Rupert. The Governor appointed a committee to investigate, consisting of three ship masters and two shipwrights. It found that the damage was slight, and that the vessel could travel safely to the Sandwich Islands for repairs.[26] 

The Hudson’s Bay Company had undertaken to supply coal to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and in the spring of 1849 Fort Rupert was constructed on Beaver Harbour, at the north end of Vancouver Island, near which outcroppings of coal had been discovered. At first Indians were employed to gather coal from the surface deposits, but in September a small party of Scottish miners arrived, headed by John Muir, and under ground operations commenced.

Fort Rupert – 1880s. B.C. Archives A-01032

Even before the miners arrived, the new post had had its share of stress and strain. The Indians in the region were numerous and frequently troublesome. Cases of theft were common, and the men were apprehensive of attack. The district happened to be cross-roads of native traffic, and the Indians were often in a state of turmoil owing to the arrival of visiting or marauding tribes. The men the company had been able to muster for the new post seem to have been an unhealthy and unsavoury lot; on one occasion the harassed officer who kept Fort Rupert’s official journal wrote: “such a miserable set of devils I firmly believe were never before congregated…[27] When the miners arrived, things went from bad to worse. Nominally they were under the control of John Muir, and all the company’s dealings were supposed to be with him, and not with the miners individually. But Muir often could not enforce discipline, possibly because the little party included four of his own sons, who do not seem to have stood in any awe of him. Indeed, one of the four, Andrew Muir, soon became the leader of the malcontents. Housing and working conditions, which they did not consider came up to the standards promised in their agreements, were the basic causes of complaint, but the weather, difficulties met with in sinking a shaft, and fear of the Indians were all added reasons for discontent.

In the spring of 1850 matters worked up gradually to a crisis. Entries in the post journal make it so clear that trouble was brewing that it is difficult to see how Chief Factor John Work, who spent a few days at Fort Rupert in March, could possibly have gained the impression that “all was going well and the Miners apparently in high spirits.[28] On March 27 Blanshard himself arrived in H.M.S. Driver[29] and was greeted by Captain W. H. McNeill, the officer in charge. Both McNeill and Douglas felt afterwards that the Governor increased the discontent amongst the miners, and Douglas so stated in a private letter to Simpson.

“The Governor is, I fear, not blameless in the defection of the Miners. McNeill told me he was over familiar with them, last spring at Fort Rupert, and supported all their demands. Calling at Muir’s House and remaining two hours there in secret confab with the Miners, was neither decorous, in a person of his rank, nor doing justice to the Company, yet McNeill says he did so.[30]

For his part, Blanshard reported to the Colonial Office that “the miners are unprovided with proper implements, discontented with their imployers, and can scarcely be induced to work.”[31] 

The Driver spent three days at Fort Rupert, and took aboard 87 tons of coal, which the Hudson’s Bay ‘Company gave to her free of charge in return for the coal she had expended when, at Douglas’s request, she had gone to Fort Nisqually and brought cattle and sheep to Fort Victoria. The Driver sailed on the 30th, bound for Victoria by way of Nootka, and Blanshard was duly honoured with a seventeen-gun salute from the fort as she left the harbour. Here, as elsewhere, Captain Johnson won the regard of those whom he visited. The Fort Journal reads: “Cap. Johnson is a nice man and uncommonly kind and rendered us a great deal of service by coming here, the appearance of a vessel of war has a good effect on the Indians.”[32] 

On April 9 Captain McNeill left in the Beaver for Fort Victoria, leaving a young clerk, George Blenkinsop, in charge, with one Beardmore as his assistant. With McNeill’s departure, tension at Fort Rupert increased sharply; Indians, labourers, and miners all alike became more troublesome. The natives demanded payment for land; thievery became bolder and more serious. The miners insisted that a stockade for their protection be built around the workings, which were at some distance from the fort. They first staged what would now be termed a slow down, and then stopped work entirely. On April 18 things had already reached such a pass that Blenkinsop hustled off dispatches to Victoria in a canoe, in order to secure the advice and support of the company authorities there.[33] In the Fort Journal, which unfortunately has been lost except for a single volume that concludes on April 27, 1850, Andrew Muir emerges as the spokesman of the miners and a bold critic of the company. An echo of Chartism is heard when the Journal records that young Andrew declared that “Revolution was approaching, the Company’s day was gone by and that men were beginning to hold their heads up &c. &c. and a lot of other rebellious language. . . .“[34]

Gerorge Blenkinsop – ca 1890 – B.C. Archives G-02102

This situation moved Blenkinsop to vigorous but imprudent action. Two of the miners (Andrew Muir being one) were locked up on May 3 and were kept in irons and fed on bread and water for six days. Four others were imprisoned for two days.[35] Thereafter all six were released, but they were kept within pickets. Andrew Muir later brought charges against Blenkinsop and others for illegal imprisonment from May 3 to as late as June 15.[36]

Little or nothing can be said in support of Blenkinsop’s conduct. It called forth a stern rebuke from no less a person than Sir John Pelly, who insisted that the special status of the miners should have been respected, no matter what happened. Writing privately to Douglas, Pelly said:

“I can hardly conceive anything these men can have done that should require Such Severe Measures as putting them in Irons except they had been guilty of Felony it is such a bad example to the Natives nor can I conceive what Mr. Blenkinsop could have to do with the Men at all. He ought to have considered them as a Gang entirely under Mr. Muir & only through him to have had any communication with them at all.[37] 

The miners and others involved in the Fort Rupert troubles appealed to Blanshard, who responded by appointing Dr. Helmcken Magistrate for the district, subject to the Queen’s approval, and instructing him to deal with the disputes which had arisen. His reasons for choosing Helmcken, as set forth in a dispatch to London, are revealing:

“This is the only appointment I have yet made in the Colony, for as there are no independent settlers, all cases that can occur, requiring magisterial interference, are disputes, between the representatives of the Hudson’s Bay Company and their servants. To appoint the former Magistrates, would be to make them Judges in their own causes, and to arm them with additional power, which few of them would exert discretely. Mr. Helmcken has only recently arrived in the Colony from England, he is there fore a stranger to the petty brawls that have occurred, and the ill feelings they have occasioned between the Hudson’s Bay Company and their servants; from this and from my knowledge of his character I have great confidence in his impartiality, his situation too as Surgeon renders him more free from the influence which might be exercised over another servant of that Company.[38] 

The letter of appointment was dated June 22, 1850. It was accompanied by a private note expressing the Governor’s confidence that Helmcken would not “shrink from the trouble of the office, though . . . the honor is likely for the present to be the only reward.” Blanshard then pointed out certain legal aspects of Blenkinsop’s alleged actions, for Helmcken’s guidance, and advised him to bind over both. parties in a dispute to keep the peace, a course which “cools the blood and discourages litigation.”[39] 

The commission reached Helmcken, who was already at Fort Rupert, on June 27, and the same evening he read it publicly in the court-yard of the post. The next morning, he asked for volunteers to act as special constables, but none appeared, and he was compelled to conduct the business of his office unassisted.

The first case heard concerned eight Kanakas, whose contracts were about to expire, and who wished to leave at once for California (where the gold excitement was intense) instead of returning to the Sandwich Islands, as their agreements required. As some essential documents were lacking, Helmcken was unable to deal with the matter. On June 29 he heard the miners’ charges, but the absence of McNeill and others prevented him from taking any action. A few days later, not having received any satisfaction, some of the miners deserted the fort.[40] 

By this time Helmcken had had enough of office and was anxious to resign, but his troubles were only beginning. Lying near Fort Rupert was the barque England, awaiting a cargo of coal. Presently Helmcken heard that there were on board her several deserters from the Hudson’s Bay vessel Norman Morison. Though the captain admitted their presence, a search of the ship failed to reveal them, and it became evident that they had escaped ashore. On July 8 a report came in that three white men had been murdered by the Indians. This was confirmed the next day. At first Helmcken believed it was the miners that had been attacked, but the victims proved to be three of the Norman Morison’s deserters. On the 11th Beardmore, Blenkinsop’s assistant, volunteered to go and investigate. He learned that one of the bodies had been weighted and thrown into the sea, but found and hid the other two. These Helmcken later brought to Fort Rupert, where they were buried on July 16.[41]

In the course of his travels Beardmore had actually learned all about the murders, but for some reason he chose to give Helmcken a completely false report. Instead of telling him that they had been committed by the Newitty Indians, he concocted a complicated tale that implied that maurauders from the north had been responsible. Why he did this is not clear; presumably he conceived that he was doing his chief and the company a service by befuddling the Magistrate. Be this as it may, his dishonesty was to have unfortunate consequences. Helmcken found the evidence unconvincing, but naturally blamed the Indians instead of Beardmore. He was greatly perturbed by the whole affair, and sent a long report and appeal to Blanshard, in which he summarized his predicament as follows:

“Blankets have been offered for the missing body, and apprehension of the murderer or murderers, and if these be discovered, we cannot go to war, because the distance is great and our men too few to protect the Fort and fight also, even if they were willing so to do. Nevertheless something must be done and I should be glad if Your Excellency would come as soon as possible; because if we make no demonstration the Indians will lose all respect for us and may make an attack upon our fort, particularly as they well know also that the men here are in great disaffection, and whom they despise.[42] 

In due course this report, accompanied by a great variety of rumours and accusations emanating from the miners, Kanakas, and others, reached the Governor in Victoria. In reply he wrote Helmcken a long private letter on August 6, in which he discussed the situation with sound common sense. He explained first why he was not leaving at once for Fort Rupert:

“I should have come to your assistance before this had I been able to bring any means of enforcing my authority, but I know that though “the Queens name is a tower of strength” it is only so when backed by the Queens bayonets, and as my visiting Fort Rupert is the only remaining threat that can be held out to the disaffected, I do not think it judicious to weaken its effect by coming alone, which could only end in bringing all authority into contempt. I have been expecting a ship of war on the coast and have sent dispatches to San Francisco and down the coast to hasten her arrival, as soon as she comes I will put matters on a proper footing at Fort Rupert.

Next, Blanshard pointed out how foolish and melodramatic the conduct of Blenkinsop and others had been, and urged Helmcken to calm the atmosphere as much as he could:

“All that is said about desertion and mutiny is utter nonsense, and the people know it, they are offences that can only be committed under the articles of war, and in some instances under ships articles. . . . Above all pray try and impress in the officers the necessity of using calm, temperate language at all times, the silly threats of shooting mutineers and hanging and flogging deserters, form very plausible grounds for complaint and may lead to serious consequences.[43]

To assist Helmcken, he sent him a proclamation, to be affixed to the fort gate, which provided that “no person or persons shall for the present leave Fort Rupert further than their daily avocations shall require without a pass under the hand and seal of the resident magistrate, which will only be granted in cases of urgent necessity . .[44]

Regarding the murders, Blanshard’s advice was simple:

“With respect to the Massacre there is no use making any stir till we have sufficient force, if any information comes in your way receive it but keep it quiet…

Finally, he regretted that he had placed Helmcken “on such a bed of thorns,” but insisted that he must carry on as Magistrate for the present.[45] It was at this point that Beardmore’s dishonest report to Helmcken once again exercised an unhappy influence. If Helmcken had been able to report that he knew definitely that the Newitty had committed the murders, all might have been well. Instead, he had been able to send the Governor only a few surmises of his own and the concoction of tales that Beardmore had served up to him. This left the Governor’s mind receptive to suspicions and charges against the Hudson’s Bay Company, and many of these were circulating freely in Victoria. The result can be traced in the dispatch to the Colonial Office dated August 18, 1850, in which Blanshard all but lends credence to the most damaging of the rumours. He reports that many of the white inhabitants in the colony:

“ . . do not scruple to accuse the officers of the Hudson’s Bay Company of having instigated the Indians to the deed by offers of reward for the recovery of the men (sailors, who had absconded) dead or alive. I have not yet been able to inquire into the truth of this report, but it is very widely spread, and men say that they ground their belief on what the Hudson’s Bay Company have done before.

The same day Blanshard wrote this dispatch, Chief Factor John Work arrived at Fort Rupert from Victoria with the Governor’s letter and the enclosed proclamation for Helmcken. Two days later Beardmore went to Helmcken and told him the true details of the massacre, including the names of the murderers, who were all members of the Newitty tribe. His only excuse for his former action was that he had wished to tell the story first personally to Douglas or to Blanshard.[46] 

To add to the misfortune, the Governor heard nothing of this for several weeks. On September 18 he reported to London that all communication with Fort Rupert was cut off, and that he was still waiting for a warship to arrive. He urged “the necessity of protecting this Colony by a garrison of regular troops,” some of which “would be stationed at Fort Rupert, and the remainder near Victoria . . .“ [47]

On the 22nd H.M.S. Daedalous finally appeared. She was a corvette of 1,082 tons, commanded by Captain George Greville Wellesley. He agreed to convey Blanshard to Fort Rupert, and the Daedalous evidently arrived there in the first days of October. He found that the “civil disturbances” had subsided, and that Helmcken had not found it necessary to publish the proclamation sent to him; but the matter of the three murders was still out standing. The Governor at once took charge, and on October 9 wrote Dr. Helmcken a formal letter instructing him to hold a parley with the Newitty Indians, and authorizing him “to offer a reward of twenty blankets for the apprehension of each of the murderers payable so soon as he shall be identified by name and committed for trial . . .“[48] Helmcken went to the Newitty camp as directed, but when he arrived, as Blanshard later reported:

“The whole tribe took up arms; they acknowledged the murder, and offered furs in payment, but refused to surrender the guilty parties, declared them selves hostile, and threatened the lives of the Magistrate and. his party, pointing their guns at them.[49] 

Blanshard thereupon applied to Captain Wellesley for assistance, and on the 12th three armed boats were sent to the Newitty camp to secure the murderers. The camp was found to be deserted, and the lieutenant in charge had to content himself with burning “the houses and all the property he could find.” By this time the Daedalous was running short of provisions, and on the 14th she was obliged to sail for San Francisco.[50]

Though Blanshard remained behind at Fort Rupert, no further operations against the Indians were undertaken at this time. The last document on the case is the dispatch to the Colonial Office written by Blanshard on October 19. In addition to a narrative of the proceedings, it includes the following statement:

“I found that the officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company [Beardmore] who had been dispatched by Dr. Helmcken to make enquiries respecting the murder had on his return given a totally false account of the result of those enquiries, asserting that he owed no obedience except to the Hudson’s Bay Company. He shortly afterwards crossed the strait to a post of the Company’s and made a declaration of the real facts to Mr. Douglas, a Chief Factor of the Company. Of this statement I was not furnished with a copy till after my arrival here, a few days ago, and not till the investigation was concluded. Thus two conflicting stories were in circulation at once, which, being traced to the same source, raised suspicions of foul play, and caused the report that I have previously mentioned, viz: that the unfortunate men had been murdered by order of the Hudson’s Bay Company.[51] 

Parts of the story still remain a matter of speculation. Did Beardmore tell the true story to Helmcken because Douglas told him he must, and sent him back forthwith to Fort Rupert? Or—as seems probable—did Blanshard write Douglas’s name in error, and was it Chief Factor John Work, then stationed at Fort Simpson, who first heard the truth? Be that as it may, Blanshard was convinced that Beardmore had placed loyalty to the company above loyalty to the Queen, and that fact was of the greatest importance in the psychology of the Governor of a colony as closely knit to the company as was Vancouver Island.

As for the action taken against the Indian murderers, it seems clear to-day that Blanshard, and to a lesser extent Helmcken, were seeking to put into force the white man’s law in what still remained a red man’s country. Helmcken himself added a last word on the matter forty-two years after the murders occurred. Looking back on the episode in 1892 he wrote:

It shows too how quarrels were settled Indian fashion by payment of damages. This Indian idea of law—and indeed it is their law—of payment applies even to persons killed, as shown too by their offer to pay for the murdered men at Newittie. This Indian law was often acted on at Fort Rupert and suited very well. None other would or could have been put in force. Douglas perhaps might have landed and seized the Indian here at Newitte—but I do not believe even he would have tried.[52] 

The Fort Rupert affair—of which we shall hear more later— was the most exciting event which occurred during the Blanshard régime. But much more important was the failure of the colony to develop as Blanshard and others had expected. There was general agreement that the Island was suitable for such a venture. “From all accounts which we heard of it,” the Honourable Edward Ellice stated in 1857, “it is a kind of England attached to the continent of America.”[53] Blanshard himself considered that the country “was very well adapted for an English settlement.”[54] Yet, when Blanshard arrived, Captain Grant was the only independent settler in the colony, and he remained the only one for some time. In June, 1850, Blanshard reported dolefully to the Colonial Office that “no settlers or immigrants have arrived, nor have any land sales been effected.”[55] In October he stated that there were then “no settlers at all in the Island: Mr. Grant left for the Sandwich Islands some days ago.”[56] As for the servant-settlers brought out by the Hudson’s Bay Company itself, we know that a total of 187 men, 35 women, and 33 children, in all 255 persons, had arrived up to the time of Blanshard’s departure in September, 1851. Another thirty landed shortly after he had left.[57]

It is usual to lay the entire blame for this state of affairs—as did Blanshard—at the door of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The argument is that fur-trading and colonization were incompatible; that anything in the nature of a colony must damage the fur trade; that the company assumed control of the colony in order to stifle it, and to prevent anyone else from making a success of it.

No doubt the question will remain controversial, but the evidence is by no means as one-sided as this statement of the case presupposes. Vancouver Island was not an important source of furs. The company, as a result of its experience in Oregon, was convinced that to establish a colony was the surest way to check American encroachment, and there is nothing to indicate that it considered a mere token settlement would suffice. Finally, it can hardly be a coincidence that the archives of the company, which include many private and personal letters, record no expressions of satisfaction that the enterprise was a failure. The intentions of the governor and committee seem to have been of the best; it was their management which was at fault.

From the first the project was hampered by the pound per acre which was charged for land, and by the conditions which were attached to larger purchases. The price was much too high, especially in view of the free land available in American territory, only a few miles away. For this the Colonial Office was to blame. “Lord Grey insisted that the Company should not sell land under a pound an acre.”[58] But for the conditions which required a settler to take out with him one workman for every 20 acres purchased, the company itself was responsible. Above all, the company, remembering Oregon, feared the land squatter, and the land regulations seem to have been drawn up with his exclusion specially in mind. In December, 1849, Barclay wrote to Douglas:

“The Committee believes that some of the worst evils that afflict Colonies have arisen from the admission of persons of all descriptions, no regard being had to the character, means, or views of the immigrants. They have therefore established such conditions for the disposal of lands as they trust will have the effect of introducing a just proportion of labour and capital, and also of preventing the ingress of squatters, paupers, and land speculators. The principle of selection, without the invidiousness of its direct application, is thus indirectly adopted.[59]

As early as December 1848, Douglas had raised the question of land terms in a letter to Pelly, who had replied as follows:

You will see that your suggestion of giving each family a grant of 200 to 300 acres has not been adopted, nor can it be entertained. Men sent out in that way would in all probability not bring their lands into cultivation, or they might go away to the mining districts of California. The settlers required for Vancouvers Island are men of small property, who cannot live upon it in this country. If a man, a mechanic or farmer, has saved any given sum, say £300, he will be able to purchase 100 Acres of land,—have enough to pay for his land, and passage out for himself and five labourers (the number of persons required for 100 acres to cultivate it) under contracts for 5 or 7 years, as the Hudson’s Bay Company hire their servants,— and to stock his farm: or if he has only enough to purchase 20 acres, (which, if a mechanic, will be sufficient to feed him, and he may employ himself in mechanics in which he is acquainted) he will have nobody to take out but himself and wife. The passage money will be made as easy as possible.[60] 

In theory this was all very fine, but in practice it failed. For one thing, Vancouver Island was too remote. Immigrants preferred lands which were better known and nearer at hand, particularly the United States. It is too seldom realized that the American immigration into Oregon was in great part a movement from what are now the middle-western States. It was but the last step in a march across the continent. No similar beaten path led the way to Vancouver Island. Quite as important, even the Hudson’s Bay Company itself could not answer many of the questions which prospective settlers naturally asked. In particular it lacked maps and was quite unable to give an exact account of the location or character of the lands available.[61]  The company quickly became aware of this deficiency, but unfortunately it took a year or more to correct. Writing to Douglas as early as February, 1850, before Blanshard had even set foot on Vancouver Island, Barclay confessed that:

“Until a more minute examination, and a map and plan of the country round Fort Victoria is made and sent home, it is not likely that many settlers will be offering who can pay £1 p acre, (and none other will be accepted,)[62] 

The following December he remarked in a private letter:

“A regular surveyor or even two should have been despatched in the first instance to ascertain the capabilities of the Island and if these should have proved inviting a number of settlers able to protect themselves would have soon followed.

“Thinking of the Fort Rupert trouble, which had received considerable publicity in the British press, he added: “Now the prospect, from here at least, looks gloomier than ever.”[63] 

One other important factor must be taken into account—the California gold-rush. Blanshard questioned its influence,[64] but contemporary records do not bear out his opinion. Thus in March 1850, Douglas remarked in a letter to A. C. Anderson:

“The California excitement continues as strong as ever in this quarter, to the great injury of the country. The benefit derived from the gold discovery is confined to the few, the detriment to the million.[65]

In June Blanshard himself was upset by reports of a rich strike nearer at hand, on the Spokane River.

“Should the favorable accounts of these mines prove correct,” he reported to Lord Grey, “I fear that it will draw away all the Hudson’s Bay Company’s servants from Vancouver Island, and at present they form the entire population.”[66] 

Even as it was, the company’s service was much demoralized, and desertions were numerous. Indeed, much of the trouble which arose during Blanshard’s governorship can be traced to this cause. The Kanakas at Fort Rupert, who wished to break the terms of their agreements, wished to do so in order to go to California. The deserters from the Norman Morrison were trying to get away and join the gold-rush. The state of affairs at Fort Simpson is recorded in a personal letter from John Work to Donald Ross, written in November:

“The gold fever still rages unabated. You can scarcely imagine the effect the excitement has upon the Men. We have had a strike here for the first time this summer chiefly caused by three Kent men that were sent on here. These Englishmen are the Worst subjects we have got yet. The rest of the men are all brought round [though] not till I gave one of them a cudgeling. The Kent men are still 0ff duty living on bread and water for near three months, rather than Work. It was in agitation among the men at one time to go off in a body.[67]

Twice during his stay in Vancouver Island Blanshard was able to make the more hopeful report that rich specimens of gold ore had been secured from the Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands, but the very mild excitement these occasioned in no way benefited the colony.[68]

It is interesting to find that opposition to the colony within the company arose not in London, but amongst its chief traders and chief factors. Many of them retained vivid memories of the trouble and expense which the Red River venture had cost the fur trade, and they had no desire to see the experience repeated. Peter Skene Ogden wrote to Donald Ross:

“There appears to be some grand plans in London the Colony is at present all the range [rage] if the Fur trade escapes we may consider ourselves fortunate if we do not meet with a second edition of Red River you were I believe one of those who agreed to that speculation and the heirs of Lord Selkirk laugh at your expense now so I warn you to look sharp.[69] 

In a private letter to Simpson, Ogden blamed the existing derangement of affairs in the Columbia upon “that thrice cursed Colony,” Vancouver Island.[70]

For his part, Douglas could not see how he could possibly provide any considerable number of settler-servants, let alone independent settlers, with food, accommodation, and profitable employment. Even before the Norman Morison arrived, in March 1850, he was much worried. “The anxiety and suspense of this life, is torturing,” he remarked to A. C. Anderson, “wealth is truly no compensation, except it leaves one at liberty to seek a change.”[71]

Douglas wrote his fears to London, and in February, 1850, Barclay replied, assuring him that:

”…care will be taken that you are not exposed to inconvenience by any large number [of independent settlers] until there is time for you to accumulate and store up a sufficient store of provisions, which they may buy until their own cultivation may render them independent of your stores.

But to Douglas’s anxiety he added In the meantime more people can be sent out as servants – – . if required, who may be employed by the Fur trade and Puget Sound Company in cultivating their lands.[72]

That Douglas’s opinion of such requirements was a modest one is shown by a later dispatch from Barclay:

“You seem to think that the number [of servant colonists] to be sent out this year should be limited to ten; but in this opinion they [the Governor and Committee] do not concur. You will have seen by my letter of the 5th tilt. that they have resolved to forward by the ship to sail in September eighty persons—of whom perhaps sixty may be men fit for any kind of 1abour.

And as if to prove beyond any doubt that his London superiors had no comprehension of local conditions and difficulties, Barclay enclosed, by way of suggesting how the housing difficulty might be met, an extract from a letter lately received in England from California:

“Wooden houses here are all the go. You would be astonished to see the immense quantities of wooden houses, and what splendid edifices are turned out in wood. You can have a large wooden house put up in a single day; they can build a city of them in a week, and comfortable strong houses too.[73]

Somewhere on its journey from London to Victoria this letter and extract must have passed the dispatch to Barclay which Douglas wrote on September 10, 1850, in which he dealt with the delay in completing Blanshard’s residence and noted that there was not a single house carpenter or joiner in the colony.

For convenience it may be noted here that the vessel to which Barclay referred was the Tory, which sailed from England late in 1850. When she arrived at Victoria in June 1851, Douglas found that she had on board not 80, but no less than 130 passengers, and his feelings may be imagined. For his part, Blanshard seized the occasion to berate the company and by inference its local chief factor:

“The ship Tory has just landed about one hundred and twenty persons, all with two exceptions, servants of the Hudson’s Bay Company . . . No preparations had been made here for their reception, beyond erecting a couple of log houses or rather sheds; in these the remainder are huddled together like cattle, as I have seen myself, to the number of thirty or thirty-five in each shed. . .[74]

At the time of Blanshard’s appointment the company had made it clear to Douglas that the Governor’s sphere of action would be a restricted one. His duties were to be “confined to the administration of the civil government of the Colony and to military affairs. . . .“[75] So far as civil government was concerned, Blanshard had judged it best not even to appoint a Council, and the Fort Rupert affair had been the only occasion for military activity. By contrast, Douglas, in his capacity as agent for the company, was in complete control of land sales and public works, while his positions as chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company and local manager for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company gave him a firm grip on the whole economic life of the colony.

Blanshard’s position was anything but comfortable, and it was perhaps inevitable that he should become an active opponent of the company. Less than a month after the Governor’s arrival, Douglas was wondering if he had drawn some of his ideas from the unfriendly publications of James Edward Fitzgerald.[76]  But for a time all went reasonably well. As late as July 1850, Blanshard took pains to report to the Colonial Office that reports of “barbarous treatment of the Indian population by the Hudson’s Bay Company” were “entirely without foundation.”[77]  Immediately thereafter, however, he became entangled in the Fort Rupert affair, and from that time on his hostility to the company never wavered.

It will be recalled that H.M.S. Daedalous left the Governor at Fort Rupert in October 1850. How and when he travelled back to Victoria we do not know, but it is apparent that he returned with his mind made up to leave the colony. Eight months of disillusionment and unhappiness in Vancouver Island had been enough. On November 18 he wrote two dispatches to Lord Grey. In one he asked for permission to visit England. In the other he tendered his resignation as Governor and requested an immediate recall. The reasons given for both requests were the same: the state of his health and the very great expense the office had occasioned.

Peter Skene Ogden remarked grimly in a letter a few weeks later that Vancouver Island could “now boast of a Gov[ernor] six months in the year in his bed and ten Colonists.”[78]  His description of the state of Blanshard’s health does not seem to have been exaggerated. The Governor himself reported to Grey:

“Since my arrival here I have suffered so severely from continual attacks of ague and subsequent relapses that I am now enfeebled to a degree which renders me incapable of the slightest exertion.[79]

“My health has completely given way . . and shows no signs of amending.[80]

Dr. Benson, formerly surgeon at Fort Victoria, had been transferred to Fort Vancouver, and Blanshard was unable to send a medical certificate. Instead, he sent a detailed description of his condition to his father, who secured the opinion of two London physicians. One declared that he was not only “labouring under the most severe form of intermittent fever,” but was “also evidently suffering severely from internal congestion & other effects of ague, [such] as frequent faintings & breathlessness from slight exertion.”[81] Blanshard’s condition at this time was such that Dr. W. F. Tolmie was brought from Fort Nisqually and remained in consultation at Fort Victoria for several weeks.[82] About Christmas time, 1850, Dr. Helmcken returned to Victoria to replace Benson. In his reminiscences he recalls the wretched state of Blanshard’s health, and its effect upon the character of the man:

“. . He had been in malarious countries—smoked a great deal and had to take morphine for his attacks and so being in bad health was a pessimist and blamed the condition of things, when in fact the drawback was in his own health. Blanshard however was a gentleman—very agreeable to his friends—of rather military carriage and military moustache. . . . Under different conditions he would have been a very different man.[83]

Turning next to financial matters, Blanshard first complained that the Hudson’s Bay Company, contrary to his expectations and to the promises of Sir John Pelly, had not met the entire cost of his outward journey to Vancouver Island. He had received only £175, whereas—owing, no doubt, to the long delay in the arrival of H.M.S. Driver at Panama—the actual cost had been about £300.[84] Worse still, his private fortune was proving “utterly insufficient for the mere cost of living here, so high have prices been run up by the Hudson’s Bay Company.[85] Later he estimated his expenses at £1,100 per annum.[86] He advised Grey to appoint as his successor “some person whose larger fortune may enable him to defray charges which involve me in certain ruin.”[87] 

Blanshard knew that a considerable period must pass before a reply could arrive from London. As it turned out, nine of the seventeen months he spent in Vancouver Island still lay ahead at the time he wrote his letter of resignation.  They proved to be months of recurring friction between the Governor and the Hudson’s Bay Company. A serious difference soon arose over the question of the company’s land reserves at and around Fort Victoria. In February, 1851, Blanshard reported to Grey that Douglas was claiming “nearly thirty square miles of the best part of the Island,” and that he admitted that the company had “no intention of paying for it.”[88] The same month Douglas informed Simpson that Blanshard would “do everything in his power to prevent a free grant being made to use of the Reserve,”[89] and in March he repeated the warning:

“The Governor is keeping a strict eye over the Reserves of Land, for the Hudson’s Bay and Puget Sound Companies. He declares he will see they pay for every acre taken. I do not know how far his power may extend; but it is only proper to inform you of his intention as communicated to several parties here, who gave me the information.[90]

As a matter of fact, if Douglas ever claimed the 30 square miles, he greatly exceeded both the rights and intentions of the company. As early as August, 1849, Pelly had informed him quite specifically that “the Fur Trade . . . have no interest in the Island except in that portion of it which they were in possession of before the Oregon Treaty. . . .“ Whatever additional land might be required would be purchased at the regular price of £1 per acre.[91] In January, 1851, Barclay wrote Douglas in similar terms, and added that the extent of the reserve to be received free under the treaty “must be accurately marked out and agreed with Governor Blanshard.[92] Douglas countered by asking for instructions. He explained that the fur-trade reserve, as originally chosen by himself in 1841, consisted of:

“…rather over 20 square miles. The extent, however, actually occupied by tillage and enclosures, does not need two square miles, while the Cattle ranged over an additional space of about 4 square miles. Was he to claim the whole 20 or only the 6 square miles”[93]

The same month Blanshard complained that the reserves served to “effectually prevent” settlement; that surveys were essential, but that the company had “never even engaged a Surveyor.”[94] In this he, in his turn, was being less than fair. The celebrated Captain Grant had represented himself as a qualified surveyor, and had been engaged by the company in that capacity before he left England in 1848.[95] Indeed, he actually drew his salary for one year, to the tune of £162.[96] In May, 1850, he commenced a survey of the company’s lands, but it quickly became apparent that he was quite incompetent, and the attempt came to nothing.

Time brought the land-reserve controversy to an end, but unfortunately the principal point in dispute was not settled until shortly after Blanshard’s departure. In July 1851, Barclay informed Douglas that the 6 square miles were to be the” utmost extent of the land” to be given free to the fur trade.[97] Later an actual survey revealed that the area claimed contained only 3,084 acres, or less than 5 square miles, and this was duly deeded to the company.[98]

Blanshard’s one brief moment of satisfaction seems to have come when he detected certain errors in the Colonial accounts, which Douglas acknowledged and corrected, and the astute analysis which accompanied his report of the incident probably constituted his most damaging criticism of the company. Expenditures, he pointed out, had consisted mostly of expenses incurred in extinguishing the land titles of the Indian tribes about Victoria and Sooke. These had been paid for in goods, which Blanshard stated had been charged to the colony at three times the price the company would have entered them in its own trading.[99] 

These circumstances, no doubt, partly account for the distrust and opposition with which Blanshard in April greeted a letter from Archibald Barclay which might conceivably have marked a turning-point in his fortunes in Vancouver Island. Written on January 1, 1851, it informed Blanshard that the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company were both to become purchasers of large tracts of land, and continued:

“The Governor and Committee feel that they may to a moderate extent anticipate the funds which will thus come into their hands in trust for the Colonization and improvement of the Island. They have therefore deter mined to authorize Mr. Douglas to make you advances to the extent of Four thousand pounds as it may from time to time be required in erecting some of the buildings most urgently required. Barclay then proceeded to list the buildings which would prob ably be needed, which included “a moderate sized but respectable house and premises “for the Governor himself. He continued:

“The site of these buildings should be near the Fort Victoria for convenience and protection, and the materials should be stone as preferable to wood to diminish the risk of fire.[100] 

But Blanshard was not to be placated and rejected the entire project. In a dispatch to the Colonial Office he dealt at length with the land-reserve problem, and contended that the huge tract of land claimed by the company, and its failure to survey its claims, made this or any other development unwise and impracticable.[101] At the same time he wrote a long and critical letter to the Hudson’s Bay Company in which he expressed the opinion that the vicinity of Fort Victoria was not at all suitable for a settlement, and recommended that the town should be situated on the eastern side of Esquimalt Harbour.[102]

Both letters show ability and imagination, and it is interesting to speculate as to what might have occurred if Blanshard had had the health and strength to remain in the Island for a longer period.

As it was, his sojourn was drawing to a close. Much of his time was spent with a little group of malcontents, with whom he had little or nothing in common except an antipathy for Hudson’s Bay Company. It included the Rev. Robert Staines, the interesting but eccentric chaplain at Fort Victoria, and Edward E. Langford, a somewhat ineffectual bailiff for the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, to whom Blanshard was distantly related.[103] In earlier days Dr. Benson, who was later transferred to Fort Vancouver, had also been a member. Of him and the group in general Helmcken wrote later:

“I suppose Mr. Douglas preferred Bensons absence—he was a radical— a grumbler—had become attached to Governor Blanshard, and shared with him mutual grumbles about the H.B. Co. These people were in too much of a hurry, arid thought a colony could be formed in a day. . .  Any how Benson was a sterling, honest, kindhearted upright man, always ready to do good, but somehow did not fit in, possibly he could not serve two master[s] Blanshard and the H B Co in the shape of Mr. Douglas—in fact this divided authority led to “parties” and was the source of very much bad feeling and trouble.[104]

Douglas afterwards. must have been sorely tried at times, but his references to the Governor continued to be courteous and considerate. A private letter to Simpson, written in May, 1851, gives an interesting glimpse of their relations:

“By a late letter from Mr. Barclay, I observe that the Committee suppose that I am not on good terms with Governor Blanchard [sic]. That is a mistake as nothing disagreeable, of a private nature ever occurred to disturb our harmony. True it is we differ in opinion as to public matters—as for example he is anxious to have a military force stationed on the Island— which is unquestionably a proper measure, but as an agent of the Company who would have to maintain that force I have endeavoured to show that there was no positive necessity for it. Again, he is opposed to the large reserves of land made for the Companies which he, with justice, opposes as injurious to the country, while I am in duty bound to maintain their rights.

“It is not as a private individual but as a servant of the Company that there has ever been a difference of opinion. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Blanshard and shall do everything in my power to make him comfortable.[105]

Late in June 1851, H.M.S. Portland, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief on the Pacific Station, dropped anchor in Esquimalt Harbour. Her arrival was a sequel to the Fort Rupert affair. Captain Wellesley of H.M.S. Daedalous had carried to Rear-Admiral Hornby a dispatch from Blanshard asking for further action against the Indians. Hornby was on the point of handing over his command to Rear-Admiral Fairfax Moresby, but promised Blanshard that the first thing he would “press upon Admiral Moresby” would be to send a vessel to Vancouver Island which would remain there “the greater part of the summer” of 1851.[106] Moresby took a serious view of the matter, and came north himself in the Portland to investigate. He asked for a report on events since the departure of the Daedalous, and in reply Blanshard wrote:

“I caused a reward to be offered for the apprehension of the murderers and have since been informed that the tribe have shewn an inclination to surrender them, but this they will not do unless intimidated by the presence of an overwhelming force such as one of the H.M. ships.[107] 

Moresby agreed at once to help. On June 29 he informed the Governor that Captain Fanshawe, of H.M.S. Daphne, had been ordered to receive him on board, convey him to the “Northern Settlements,” and exact satisfaction from the Newitty Indians.[108]

The expedition reached Beaver Harbour about the middle of July. There Blanshard learned that the Newitties were encamped on an island not far distant. He then requested Captain Fanshawe to “dispatch a proper force to seize as many of the tribe as may be found and also to seize and destroy their encampment canoes and other property.” He urged that drastic action be taken if necessary, as the “long impunity” of the tribe was “producing a very bad effect upon the neighbouring tribes.”[109]

Fanshawe immediately sent off sixty men under a lieutenant, and this force attacked the Indians at dawn. The natives at once abandoned their encampment and fled to the woods, whereupon the attackers burned their houses and canoes, as instructed. Douglas himself described the dispersal of the tribe as complete, and the losses they suffered as very severe.[110]

The Daphne loitered in the vicinity of Fort Rupert until July 30, and then sailed back to Victoria, where she arrived on August 3, after a pleasant voyage. The next day Blanshard reported the action, with obvious satisfaction, to the Colonial Office. His dispatch concluded:

“A most beneficial effect has been produced on the tribes in the neighbourhood, who had previously caused much alarm among the Hudson’s Bay Company’s servants, and endangered the safety of the post at Fort Rupert. For the future I trust that place will remain in safety, which it did not appear to be before.[111]

In justice to Blanshard it should be noted that Douglas substantially agreed with this opinion, though he was somewhat less certain of the permanence of the cure.[112]

Owing to the slowness of communication with England, the whole Fort Rupert affair, from first to last, had taken place before Blanshard received a reply to the earliest of his dispatches relating to it. But the ink was scarcely dry on his report of the cruise of the Daphne when he was handed a package of dispatches which had left the Colonial Office in March and April of 1851. Their contents were upsetting to say the least. In a special military dispatch Grey took him roundly to task for his conduct of the whole affair. The Government, Grey stated, could not undertake to protect citizens who chose to wander off amongst the Indians, far from settlements. Nor was he convinced that the settlements themselves had actually been in any danger. Worse still, he was extremely critical of the employment of the Daedalous, in October 1850  “. . . I by no means feel satisfied,” Grey wrote, “of the prudence of the steps which you took in directing the expedition, which appears to have failed in its main object.”[113]

The unkindest cut of all was reserved for a separate dispatch, in which Grey informs Blanshard that he is enclosing a letter from the Secretary of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty:

“…on the subject of a passage afforded to you in Her Majesty’s Ship “Daedalous ‘between the 30th of September and 9th of October last, and I have to request that you will cause the expense thereof amounting to £47-15-0 to be paid to Captain Wellesley of that Vessel.[114]

Blanshard’s feelings can be imagined, but he replied promptly and with spirit. So far as the protection of persons outside the settlements was concerned, he begged to point out that it was:

“…scarcely applicable to the unfortunate Seamen who were murdered at Fort Rupert, as the murder was committed at a considerably shorter distance from that post than is frequently visited by the servants of the Hudson’s Bay Company on their shooting excursions.

Dealing next with the peril of the settlement, he continued:

“That the Settlement was in danger I was fully persuaded, both by what I saw myself, and by the apprehensions expressed by the Hudson’s Bay Company’s servants who were on the spot: and I still firmly believe that the visit of H.M.S. Daedalous, prevented a massacre.[115] 

So far as the payment for his passage in the Daedalous was concerned, Blanshard turned the shaft neatly by stating that he presumed that Grey’s remark that he “did not consider it as an expense that ought to be paid by the public, referred to the terms of the grant of Vancouver Island to the Hudson’s Bay Company,” and that he had therefore forwarded a copy of the letter to the governor and directors of the company, “requesting them to make the payment, for no funds are at my disposal as Governor.”[116]  Who actually paid the claim in the end does not appear.

A third dispatch from Grey informed Blanshard that his resignation had been accepted, and that he was at liberty to leave the colony. Fortunately, H.M.S. Daphne was still in Island waters, though about to sail for San Francisco, and Blanshard immediately applied to Captain Fanshawe for a passage as far as that port.”[117]

We do not know just when it became known in Victoria that Douglas was to be Blanshard’s successor. Judging by the dates of various letters and dispatches, it seems probable that the Governor received the news some days at least before Douglas. It is not surprising that Blanshard regarded the appointment as a calamity for the colony. In May he had charged in a dispatch to Grey that the “whole tendency of the system pursued by the Hudson’s Bay Company” was “to exclude free settlers, and reserve the Island, either as an enlarged Post of their own or a desert.”[118] With Douglas in office, he saw all opposition stifled and this policy sweeping everything before it.

Late in August Blanshard received a petition, the first three paragraphs of which read as follows:

“May it please your Excellency, We, the undersigned, inhabitants of Vancouver’s Island, having learned with regret that your Excellency has resigned the government of this colony, and understanding that the government has been committed to a chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, cannot but express our unfeigned surprise and deep concern at such an appointment.

“The Hudson’s Bay Company being, as it is, a great trading body, must necessarily have interests clashing with those of independent colonists. Most matters of a political nature will cause a contest between the agents of the Company and the colonists. Many matters of a judicial nature also, will, undoubtedly, arise in which the colonists and the Company (or its servants) will be contending parties, or the upper servants and the lower servants of the Company will be arrayed against each other. We beg to express in the most emphatical and plainest manner, our assurance that impartial decisions cannot be expected from a Governor, who is not only a member of the Company, sharing its profits, his share of such profits rising and falling as they rise and fall, but is also charged as their chief agent with the sole representation of their trading interests in this island and the adjacent coasts.

“Furthermore, thus situated, the colony will have no security that its public funds will be duly disposed of solely for the benefit of the colony in general, and not turned aside in any degree to be applied to the private purposes of the Company, by disproportionate sums being devoted to the improvement of the tract of land held by them, or otherwise unduly employed.[119] 

The petitioners, who numbered fifteen, claimed that they constituted “the whole body of the independent settlers” in Vancouver Island, and asked Blanshard to appoint a Council before his departure, in order that their interests might be better protected.

Of the fifteen, six were members of the Muir family, who had come out as miners but had since taken up land at Sooke. Three. others were settlers in the same district. The remaining names were those of James Yates, James Cooper, William McDonald, James Sangster, Thomas Blinkhorn, and, lastly but by no means least, the Rev. Robert John Staines, “Chaplain to the Honourable Hudson’s Bay Company.” From what is known of the signatories, it is difficult to believe that any one of them was the author of the petition, and the suspicion arises that it was at least revised by Blanshard himself. With this view Helmcken agrees:

“This document comprises more than all of the real or fanciful grievances [felt by the settlers] and in my opinion if not actually penned by Blanshard, was instigated by him—the grievances had been talked about—new ones occasionally arose which could be traced to the Governors coterie and their conversations.’[120]

Shortly before the petition was presented, Blanshard had come upon an instance of the way in which the jurisdiction of Governor and chief factor could come into conflict, even in small matters. A new captain took charge of the famous schooner Cadboro, owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company. As had been usual, Douglas made the necessary entries in the ship’s papers. The captain, however, had doubts about the legality of this proceeding and took the register to Blanshard:

“He was not at all satisfied with the alteration which had been made in the register, and he asked whether the Hudson’s Bay Company’s servants had any right to make these alterations. On referring to the Navigation Act, I concluded that they had not, and I told him so. However, the next day, or the day after that, he went to sea without seeing me on the subject. She [the Cadboro] went to sea with the register signed by Mr. Douglas.

When she returned to port, Blanshard pursued the matter further:

“I sent for the master and ordered him to produce his register, and on its being produced I pointed out to him that it had been illegally signed, and I summoned both him and Mr. Douglas to account for it.

Both captain and chief factor duly appeared, and Blanshard bound them over to appear when called upon, on their own personal security. He told the Select Committee in 1857 that he did not imagine that any further action was ever taken, as he had left the Island very soon afterwards. But doubtless Blanshard found some satisfaction in having in this way pointed out to Douglas that. a change had really come about in Vancouver Island, and that it was no longer legal for him to make entries in a ship’s register which Blanshard himself readily admitted had in the past been quite properly “signed over and over again, on every change of masters, by the resident chief factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.”[121] 

Douglas himself was none too pleased when he learned that it was intended that he should become Governor. His brief and provisional contact with the office in 1849 had not ended very happily from his point of view. He always contended that he had actually been appointed Governor pro tempore on May 12, 1849, and that he was entitled to payment at the rate mentioned by Simpson—300 per annum—from that date until Blanshard’s arrival in March 1850. Douglas raised the question of payment in a letter to Simpson in November 1850,[122] and the matter was not finally disposed of until as late as 1854. The company then finally ruled out the claim, and Barclay explained that the appointment had been “merely temporary and arising out of the emergencies at that time.”[123] 

It will be recalled that Douglas had resented being transferred to Vancouver Island. In Victoria he held three executive positions, and each in turn had produced a crop of troubles. In November, 1850, he remarked privately to Simpson that he was often sick of the whole affair.[124]  A few months later we find him grumbling to a fellow officer about the amount of clerical work his duties involved:

“Corresponding with the Governor and Committee, Governor and Council, Proprietors of Vancouvers Island, Pugets Sound Agricultural Company, and Sir George Simpson, once a month in duplicate is rather more than should fall to my share of extra work. I am getting tired of it.[125]

He was in no mood to welcome still another appointment, particularly a provisional one; but to his disgust that was precisely what he was asked to accept in the dispatches from England. In September he wrote to Simpson:

“Our worthy friend Governor Blanshard lately sailed for England and I am again appointed Governor pro tempe [sic], this is too much of a good thing. I am getting tired of Vancouver’s Island.[126]

This time, however, no hitch was to occur. Even before he wrote these words, Douglas had been appointed Governor, and his commission arrived in Victoria in November 1851.

Blanshard would have been interested in a letter written about this time to Simpson by Peter Skene Ogden. Surveying the scene from the detached vantage point of Fort Vancouver, the redoubtable old chief factor wrote:

We are taught that a man cannot serve two masters but their Honours [the Governor and Committee] are of a different opinion—vide Douglas’ new appointment and not only two but three. C.F. in the Fur Trade, Agent for Puget Sound Coy and Gov. of Vancouver’s Island, if there be not a clash ing of Interests in the management of these different interests—I wonder.[127] 

The last London mail which Blanshard received in Vancouver Island included a letter from Archibald Barclay suggesting that the Governor should appoint Douglas a member of Council before he departed.[128] Judging by the petition he received and appears to have inspired, to appoint a Council had also been Blanshard’s own intention. He decided that it should consist of three members, and on August 27, 1851, duly nominated the following Councillors: James Douglas (senior member), John Tod, and James Cooper.[129] Tod was a famous old fur-trader who had retired in 1848 from the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Captain Cooper had commanded several vessels owned by the company but had arrived in Vancouver Island as an independent settler and trader in the spring of 1851. He had signed the petition submitted to Blanshard.

The Council met first on August 30. The oath of allegiance was administered, and the members then took their seats. The brief proceedings are thus recorded in the old minute-book:

“The Governor announced his having resigned the office of Governor of the Colony, and till the arrival of a fresh commission the Senior Member of Council would fill the place according to the instructions of which a printed copy were laid on the table.

“The said Members of Council have hereupon resolved that they will meet at such times and in such places as may be hereafter appointed for the consideration of public affairs. This 30th August 1851.[130]

Having thus provided for the conduct of the government of the colony, Blanshard sailed in H.M.S. Daphne for San Francisco, where he arrived on September 10, “seven days from Vancouver’s Island.”[131] Beyond that point nothing is known of his movements, except that he evidently returned to England by way of Panama. While he was crossing the isthmus some accident must have occurred, as his papers were under water for several hours in the River Chagres.[132] Fortunately, he was able to rescue his commission, and some seventy years later the water stained parchment returned to Vancouver Island, where it is preserved in the Archives of British Columbia.

The later years of Blanshard’s life cannot be traced in any detail. A few months after his return to England, on May 19, 1852, he married Emily, daughter of James Hyde, of Aller, Somerset.[133]  In June, 1857, he made two interesting appearances which have been recorded in print. On the 15th he gave evidence before the famous Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the account of the proceedings occupies a dozen pages in the printed Report. His questioners included Mr. Roebuck and the Honourable Edward Ellice. It has been pointed out that Blanshard gave the date of his arrival in Vancouver Island incorrectly as “in the beginning of February, or the end of January,”[134] but there is no justification for the inference that his statements were vague or unconvincing. They vary surprisingly little from the facts recorded and opinions expressed in letters, dispatches, and other documents contemporary with the events he was describing.

A week later, on June 22, Blanshard attended the meeting of the Royal Geographical Society before which Captain W. Colquhoun Grant read his Description of Vancouver Island. Grant estimated the Indian population at 17,000, and during the discussion of the paper Blanshard expressed the opinion that the figure was too high.

When he was there he took great pains to make inquiries of the people who, he considered, were best qualified to judge, and they stated the numbers to be, at the outside, 10,000, and that the population was decreasing.[135]

Blanshard had become a fellow of the society in 1857 and retained his membership as long as he lived.[136]  By this time Blanshard seems to have inherited the family fortune, and for the most part he lived as a country gentleman at Fairfield, an estate near Lymington, on the Solent, in Hamp shire. He evidently maintained a yacht, as her captain is remembered in his will. Mrs. Blanshard was well known for her charities. She died in February, 1866, at the early age of 49.[137]

Blanshard seldom visited Fairfield after his wife’s death, though he kept a staff of servants there. Instead, he resided either in London or on the 1,000-acre estate of Horsey Island, Essex, a few miles south of Harwich. The neighbouring church of St. Michael, in Kirby-le-Soken, was “handsomely restored” about 1880 at Blanshard’s expense,[138] and an old resident recalled in 1931 that the Blanshards “used to distribute blankets at Xmas in the old style, and that he was the mainstay of this parish.”[139] He appears to have taken an active part in the life of the counties in which his estates were situated and was a Justice of the Peace for both Essex and Hampshire.

Helmcken states that Blanshard was an invalid in his later years.[140] According to Alexander Begg “his eyesight failed, and before his death he became totally blind.”[141] He died in Upper Berkeley Street, London, on June 5, 1894, in his seventy-seventh year.[142] He was buried beside his wife in Boidre Churchyard, near Lymington. An account of the funeral reads in part as follows:

“Since the death of his wife in 1866 he seldom spent much time at his Lymington residence, but his interest in the place was always kept up, and appeals to his charity for any local object always met with a generous response, and in his death the poor have lost a generous benefactor. The procession left the Mansion at Fairfield about 11 o’clock, and as it passed through the town there was a very general mark of public mourning.[143]

Blanshard’s will disposed of a personal estate amounting to over £130,000.[144] He died childless, and most of his fortune went to a nephew and niece. He left a number of bequests to friends and annuities to several servants, including one Fanny Foss, who had attended his wife during her last illness.[145]

It has become the fashion to belittle Blanshard—an attitude for which Bancroft appears to be largely responsible. Yet it is difficult to suggest any more effective course of action that he might have pursued under the circumstances existing at the time in Vancouver Island. For those conditions the Hudson’s Bay Company was largely responsible. It was not experienced in the arts of colonization and attempted to found a settlement with inadequate preparation. Yet matters were mending slowly by the time Blanshard left the Island, and it is to be regretted that the state of his health made him both unable and unwilling to remain another year in the colony. Even before he left Victoria, the letter which was to settle the land-reserve difficulty was on its way from London. Two qualified surveyors left England before the end of 1851. Within a matter of months, land purchases made it possible to commence a modest programme of public works. In 1852 mining operations commenced at Nanaimo, where rich coal-deposits had been discovered. If Blanshard had had the strength to remain and fight his battle for the colony under these more favourable and pleasant conditions, the usual impression of him might be a very different one.

As it is, his story remains a study in minuti—of little events upon a small stage. But so much has sprung in after years from this beginning that the history of his governorship well deserves to be recorded in detail.

  1. KAYE LAMB. Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

[1] Pelly to Douglas, October 25, 1850 (private). (Acknowledges a letter from Douglas dated April 3,1850.) MS., Archives of B.C.

[2] Barclay to Douglas, August 3, 1849, MS., Archives of B.C.

[3] An entry in the Fort Victoria Journal preserved in the Archives of the Hudson’s Bay Company, London, England, under date February 27, 1850, reads: “. . . people employed as usual except Thomas from the steamer, who was employed with two Indians building the Governor’s house.” While this appears to be the first reference to this work in the Journal, it should be noted that it does not state that this was the first work done.

[4] Blanshard to Grey, April 8, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C. From the Fort Victoria Journal it is clear that the Driver returned from Nisqually on March 23 and sailed the next day for Fort Rupert, returning to Fort Victoria on April 3.

[5] Blanshard landed, with his luggage from the Driver, to reside ashore on April 7, and on the 9th the ship sailed for San Francisco. Fort Victoria Journal.

[6] Blanshard to Douglas, June 26, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[7] Ibid., August 5, 1850.

[8] Douglas to Barclay, September 10, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[9] Ibid., January 29, 1851

[10] Ibid., August 30, 1851

[11] John Sebastian Helmcken, Reminiscences, vol. iii, p. 40; MS., Archives of B.C.

[12] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 288.

[13] Douglas to Barclay, August 3, 1849, M.S., Archives of B.C

[14] Douglas to Barclay, January 28, 1852, M.S., Archives of B.C

[15] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 288

[16] Douglas to Barclay, August 30, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[17] Blanshard to Grey, April 8, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[18] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Ba’y Company, p. 290

[19] Grey to Blanshard, September 15, 1849. C.O. 305, V. 2. Transcript, Archives of B.C.

[20] Return . . . relating to Vancouver’s Island, London, 1852, p. 3

[21] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 290.

[22] Helmcken’s Reminiscences, vol. iii, p. 75, MS., Archives of B.C.

[23] The original report, dated May 13, 1850, is in the Archives of B.C.

[24] Hinderwell to Blanshard, May 21, 1850, M.S., Archives of B.C.

[25] Blanshard to Hinderwell, June 15, 1850. Letterbook copy in Archives of B.C. (For the full story of the Albion, see W. Kaye Lamb, “Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island,” British Columbia Historical Quarterly, 11(1938), pp. 33—34.)

[26] Blanshard to Douglas (agent for the Cowlitz) , June 22, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[27] Fort Rupert Journal, September 4, 1849, H.B.C. Arch., B185/a

[28] John Work to Donald Ross, November 27, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[29] Fort Rupert Journal, March 27, 1850

[30] Douglas to Simpson, October 15, 1850 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/29.

[31] Blanshard to Grey, April 8, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[32] Fort Rupert Journal, March 30, 1850.

[33] Ibid., April 18, 1850.

[34] Ibid., April 26, 1850.

[35] Helmcken to Blanshard, July 2, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C. This is one of two lengthy reports in which Helmcken dealt with events at Fort Rupert in detail. They incorporate extracts from Helmcken’s diary, copies of his letters, etc.

[36] Ibid.; also Andrew Muir to Blanshard, April 29, 1851, enclosed in Blanshard to Grey, June 10, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[37] Pelly to Douglas, October 25, 1850 (private), MS., Archives of B.C.

[38] Blanshard to Grey, July 10, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[39] Blanshard to Helmcken, June 22, 1850 (private), MS., Archives of B.C.

[40] See Helmcken’s report to Blanshard, July 2, 1850, and supplement, MS., Archives of B.C.

[41] See Helmcken’s second report to Blanshard, dated July 17, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Blanshard to Helmcken, August 6, 1850 (private), MS., Archives of B.C.

[44] The original proclamation, dated August 12, 1850, is in the Archives of B.C.

[45] Blanshard to Helmcken, August 6, 1850.

[46] Helmcken’s Fort Rupert diary, MS., Archives of B.C.

[47] Blanshard to Grey, September 18, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[48] Blanshard to Helmcken, October 9, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[49] Blanshard to Grey, October 19, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Reminiscences, vol. iii, p. 92, MS., Archives of B.C. Bancroft, in his History of British Columbia, pp. 273—275, gives an account of the Fort Rupert troubles in which he repeats and supports the charge that Blenkinsop sent Indians in pursuit of the sailors with orders to bring them back dead or alive. “The sailors,” he adds, “had been shot down in the forest by savages set upon them by an officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company.” We know to-day that Bancroft based his account upon a narrative by Michael Muir, dictated in 1878, now in the Bancroft Library at the University of California (photostat in Archives of B.C.). Helmcken’s notes, written day by day when the events actually occurred, show beyond any doubt that the charge was false. Bancroft’s History was published in 1887, and in 1892 Helmcken wrote bluntly in his Reminiscences (vol. iii, p. 14) “Bancroft tells lies.”

[53] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 335.

[54] Ibid., p. 286.

[55] Blanshard to Grey, June 15, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[56] Blanshard to Grey, October 19, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[57] Return made since 1849 by the Hudson’s Bay Company. relating to Vancouver’s Island, London, 1852, p. 2.

[58] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 334.

[59] Barclay to Douglas, December 1849, MS., Archives of B.C.

[60] ) “Notes on Mr. Douglas’s letter to Sir J. H. Pelly, Bart. dated 5th December 1848.” Apparently written in May or June 1849. MS., Archives of B.C.

[61] Blanshard complained that even at Fort Victoria information about lands, etc., was difficult to secure. See Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 287

[62] Barclay to Douglas, February 8, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[63] Barclay to Douglas, December 27, 1850 (private), MS., Archives of B.C.

[64] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, pp. 288—289.

[65] Douglas to A. C. Anderson, March 18, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[66] Blanshard to Grey, June 15, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[67] John Work to Donald Ross, November 27, 1850, M.S., Archives of B.C.

[68] Blanshard to Grey, August 18, 1850; March 29, 1851; MS., Archives of B.C.

[69] Ogden to Donald Ross, March 18, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[70] Ogden to Simpson, January 27, 1851 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/30.

[71] Douglas to Anderson, March 18, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[72] Barclay to Douglas, February 8, 1850, M.S., Archives of B.C.

[73] Ibid., August 16, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[74] Blanshard to Grey, June 10, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[75] Barclay to Douglas, August 3, 1849, MS., Archives of B.C.

[76] See Pelly to Douglas, October 25, 1850 (private), MS., Archives of B.C.

[77] Blanshard to Grey, July 10, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.

[78] Ogden to Simpson, January 27, 1851 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/30.

[79] Blanshard to Grey, November 18, 1850 (dispatch no. 8), MS., Archives of B.C.

[80] Ibid., dispatch no. 9.

[81] Statement by S. J. Goodfellow, M.D., March 29, 1851. In C.O. 305, vol. 2. Trctnscript in Archives of B.C.

[82] The following entries from the Fort Nisqually Journal are pertinent: “. . . [November 19, 1850) In the morning Mr. De Shenie & Mr. Ross arrived from Victoria bringing with them news of the sudden illness of Govr. Blanchard [sic] as also to request Dr. Tolmie’s immediate attendance at Victoria, in accordance to which Dr. Tolmie accompanied by . Mrs. Tolmie & Mr. Ogilvie left forthwith to proceed to Victoria. [December 12, 1850] . . . arrived this evening Dr. & Mrs. Tolmie from Victoria. Gov? Blanchard [sic] is slowly recovering his health.” Victor J. Farrar, “The Nisqually Journal,” Washington Historical Quarterly, XII (1921), pp. 146, 220.

[83] Helmcken’s Reminiscences, vol. iii, pp. 37—38. MS., Archives of B.C.

[84] See Blanshard to Grey, November 18, 1850 (dispatch no. 9); Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 288.

[85] Blanshard to Grey, November 18, 1850 (dispatch no. 9), MS., Archives of B.C.

[86] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 288.

[87] Blanshard to Grey, November 18, 1850 (dispatch no. 9), MS., Archives of B.C.

[88] Ibid., February 3, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[89] Douglas to Simpson, February 24, 1851 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/30.

[90] Douglas to Simpson, March 27, 1851 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/30.

[91] Pelly to Douglas, August 4, 1849, MS., Archives of B.C.

[92] Barclay to Douglas, January 1, 1851. Quoted in Berens to New castle, June 20, 1860; see H.B. Co. Colonial Office papers, vol. 729, p. 23; Transcript in Archives of B.C.

[93] Douglas to Barclay, April 16, 1851. Ibid., p. 24.

[94] Blanshard to Grey, April 28, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[95] Grant to the Under-Secretary of State for Colonies, November 8, 1848; Report of the Provincial Archives Department . . . 1918, p. V 68.

[96] Return made since 1849 by the Hudson’s Bay Company relating to Vancouver’s Island, p. 3.

[97] Barclay to Douglas, July 16, 1851. In Berens to Newcastle, June 26, 1860; bc. cit., p. 24.

[98] Ibid., p. 25.

[99] Blanshard to Grey, February 12, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[100] Barclay to Blanshard, January 1, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[101] Blanshard to Grey, April 28, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[102] Blanshard to the Hudson’s Bay Company, London, April 20, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[103] Helmcken’s Reminiscences, vol. iii, p. 37, MS., Archives of B.C.

[104] Ibid. pp. 17—18.

[105] Douglas to Simpson, May 21, 1851 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/30. See also Douglas to Barclay, March 21, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[106] Hornby to Blanshard, dated Valparaiso, January 10, 1851. Transcript in Archives of B.C.

[107] Blanshard to Moresby, June 27, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[108] Moresby to Blanshard, June 29, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[109] Blanshard to Fanshawe, July 18, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[110] See Lieutenant E. Lacy to Captain Fanshawe, July 21, 1851; Fanshawe to Blanshard, July 21, 1851; Douglas to W. F. Tolmie, August 6, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[111] Blanshard to Grey, August 4, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[112] Douglas to W. F. Tolmie, August 6, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[113] Grey to Blanshard, March 20, 1851, M.S., Archives of B.C

[114] Ibid., April 20, 1851.

[115] Blanshard to Grey, August 11, 1851 (dispatch no. 18), MS., Archives of B.C.

[116] Ibid., dispatch no. 20.

[117] Ibid., dispatch no. 19.

[118] Ibid., May 12, 1851

[119] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 293.

[120] Helmcken’s Reminiscences, voL iii, p. 105, MS., Archives of B.C.

[121] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, pp. 290—291.

[122] Douglas to Simpson, November 22, 1850 (private), H.B.C. Arch., D5/29.

[123] Barclay to Douglas, February 3, 1854, ibid., A6/30.

[124] Douglas to Simpson, November 22, 1850 (private), ibid., D5/29.

[125] Douglas to Tolmie, April 21, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[126] Douglas to Simpson, September 15, 1851 (private), H.B.C. Arch., P5/31.

[127] Ogden to Simpson, August 10, 1851 (private), ibid., D5/31.

[128] Barclay to Blanshard, May 1, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[129] The original proclamation making the appointments, subject to approval, is in the Archives of B.C. See also Blanshard to Grey, August 30, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.

[130] Minutes of the Council of Vancouver Island, MS., Archives of B.C.

[131] San Francisco Daily Alta California, September 11, 1851.

[132] Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 287—288. Blanshard exaggerated when he said in 1857 that all his papers were lost, as the original of his instructions, signed by the Queen, is in the Provincial Archives and shows no sign of water damage. The commission and instructions were both presented to the Archives by Sir Leicester Harmsworth in March, 1922.

[133] Joseph Foster, Men-at-the-Bar.

[134] Report of the Select Committee on the Hudson’s Bay Company, p. 294

[135] Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, I (1855—57), p. 489

[136] Librarian, Royal Geographical Society, to A. J. Mayes, October 19, 1928, MS., Archives of B.C.

[137] “The decease of this truly excellent lady has thrown a gloom over the neighbourhood. It is not only a large circle of friends that will deplore her loss, but that loss will be keenly felt by many of the poor of the town.” Lymington and Isle of Wight Chronicle, February 9, 1866. Mrs. Blanshard died on February 4

[138] J. Y. Watson, The Tendring Hundred in the Olden Time, 3rd edi tion, Coichester, 1884.

[139] J. Hodgkinson (Vicar, Kirby-le-Soken) to John Hosie, April, 1931, MS., Archives of B.C.

[140] Victoria Daily Colonist, December 13, 1903.

[141] Alexander Begg, C.C., History of British Columbia, Toronto, 1904, p. 199.

[142] Annual Register, 1894.

[143] Lymington and South Harts Chronicle, June 14, 1894.

[144] Illustrated London News, July 14, 1894, p. 56.

[145] Photostat copy of Blanshard’s will, Archives of B.C.