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A History of British Columbia
Chapter VII - A Political Outline


There are two sides to political history, an outside and inside. The one is contained in the records of speeches, in newspaper discussion, and in official archives. There are many blanks in the knowledge thus acquired. The other side is seen by personal contact with the principal actors in the political arena, by having access to the charmed circles behind the scenes. We also get glimpses of the inside in private diaries and journals, in letters not intended for publication, in autobiographies, in club gossip, in the heart-to-heart talks in the sanctum sanctorum of the home or office. These are invaluable in completing the true picture of the times we wish to paint for the public gaze. They destroy many illusions, they explain many mysteries, they illuminate many manuscripts. British Columbia is not exceptional in having its secret pages of history, known only to those who were the principal actors, or those who had the entree to their confidences. To write a chapter on political events, which shall truly mirror them, requires the personal and familiar knowledge of the man who was contemporary with them, was an eye-witness, and mingled in the strife. There are few such men in the province qualified to discourse on them. Most of the • generation who took part in the early scenes of political activity are dead. Of those who are still living by far the greater number have long since retired, and without being chroniclers of the daily routine, are not available for accurate reminiscences. The one man' who has been continuously active, as journalist and participator in public life, from the outset—that is, since 1859—is Mr. D. W. Higgins, ex-editor of the Colonist, ex-M. P. P., and ex-Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. After passing through the California gold excitement and founding the San Francisco Call, he came to British Columbia, attracted by the rush, and in i86o| started the Victoria Chronicle, subsequently amalgamated with the pioneeH paper, the Colonist, with which he was identified as proprietor and editor fori many years subsequently. Having had an intimate knowledge of affairs, such as a journalist and parliamentarian can obtain, and possessing an almost unfailing memory of details, he was asked to contribute a chapter outlining the course of politics during his long experience in the province, which he kindly consented to do. What follows is from his pen, and while to some. extent it may be representative of his point of view for which he is responsible, may be accepted as a reliable summary of events within a lengthened and^ memorable period still within the memory of a lifetime. While the facts correspond in the main with the printed record there are many sidelights which give to the narrative peculiar interest and value.

That the reader may intelligently grasp the political conditions of the British Pacific while under Hudson's Bay Company rule and before the territories of Vancouver Island and New Caledonia were formed into Crown Colonies, with one governor and separate civil lists, a brief history of the situation as it existed prior to the entry of the Colonies into the Canadian Confederation, and for some years subsequently, becomes necessary.

Although Vancouver Island and New Caledonia (now British Columbia) were ruled by Sir James Douglas, the Company's chief factor, the American element largely predominated; but there was a fair sprinkling of British subjects from all parts of our great empire, including many from the Canadas and the Maritime Provinces. The men from the Colonies, having left a constitutional form of government behind them, chafed and fretted under the form of government that they found here, and those who settled in and about Victoria almost at once began an agitation for a representative government. In the fall of 1858, when the miners had returned from their claims on the mainland, to pass the inclement months at Victoria, the agitation for reform began to take definite shape. Many of the colonial men had mixed in politics in their homes. Some were good talkers and could make speeches from the platform that stirred the people, and it was not long before the government was denounced on all sides as a despotism, a family compact, an oligarchy, etc., etc.

Opposition to Hudson's Bay Company Rule.

The Pacific Colonies at that time occupied an anomalous position politically as well as commercially. Victoria was the centre of government, of finance and trade. It was the place where the immigrant landed from the ship that conveyed him to these shores. It was there that he outfitted for the Mainland mines, and it was the place where he bade adieu to civilization and plunged into the trackless wilds of New Caledonia in search of hidden treasure. There was a staff of officials for each colony, but both staffs resided at Victoria. Governor Douglas held the reins, presided at both council boards, and curbed with a strong hand any attempt to curtail his powers as the irresponsible head of two irresponsible executives. There was a semblance of representative government, but it was a mere mockery. A few popular members were returned to what may be properly designated a " mock " parliament, but the official members of the legislative assembly, who were all nominees of the governor, were largely in the majority and were ever ready, under instructions from the ruling hand, to vote down any measure that proposed to confer constitutional rights upon the people. The manner in which the popular members were returned was unique. It would have been amusing if it had not possessed an intensely dramatic side, in that it was devised with the object of stifling the voice of the people, and for years that object was successfully attained. No. elector could vote unless he had a property qualification of £10 and had been registered as a voter for a certain time before the election. Upon one occasion, in 1859, at the village of Nanaimo, which had not then come to the front as a coal-producing^ centre and contained a few score of inhabitants, mostly Hudson Bay Company's traders, only one man was found to possess the two necessary qualifications—property and registration. The voting was open. The sheriff mounted a packing case and opened the poll, with all the solemnity of a returning officer presiding over a great English or Canadian constituency, by reading the Governor's proclamation that informed the true and loyal voter (s) of Nanaimo that a vacancy had occurred in their (his) representation and that it became their (his) duty to fill the said vacancy by returning a loyal Briton to represent them (him) in the legislative assembly. Whereupon, a certain Captain Stuart, the solitary voter, nominated Charles A. Bayley, a Victoria hotel-keeper. A bystander who was not a voter seconded the nomination. The poll was then declared open. Captain Stuart cast his vote for his man at 4 o'clock, and there being no other voters or candidates, the sheriff declared Charles A. Bayley duly elected a member of the Legislative Assembly. The proceedings in other districts were equally farcical, the only difference being that instead of one voter the number ranged from half-a-dozen to twenty. Some of the electors by virtue of owning land had votes in every district.

At that time the undoubted leader of the Colonials, who had gathered at Victoria, was Amor de Cosmos. He was an energetic and able worker, and being fearless and having had some political experience in Nova Scotia, he was admirably fitted for the position. He started the British Colonist and bombarded the governor and his friends with liberal literature of the fiercest kind thrice each week. In his writings Mr. De Cosmos was assisted by a contributor who wrote over the signature of "Monitor," but whose name was Charles Bedford Young. Mr. Young was a bitter and sarcastic writer. Many of his articles were libellous, and, looking back now over the many years that have elapsed since that warfare was waged, one is surprised when he is told that Young and De Cosmos never found themselves on the wrong side of the lock-up. On one occasion the government did essay to " muzzle the press " by ordering De Cosmos to discontinue the publication of his paper until he should furnish bonds to the sum of £1,000. as required at that time in Great Britain from all publishers. De Cosmos suspended publication, the people espoused his cause, the bonds were furnished with a rush and the publication was resumed. On another occasion, in i860, the publisher was brought before the legislative assembly for libelling the Speaker. He was arrested by the clerk of the assembly—a mite of a man named Captain Doggett—and an apology was' demanded. The apology was offered and accepted and the prisoner released.

In 1859 George Hunter Cary, a barrister who had been appointed attorney-general of the two colonies, arrived from England. Mr. Cary was a very able man, but he was short-tempered and irascible. In his bursts of passion he was known to denounce the (then) Chief Justice Cameron as a "------- old fool," cast his wig and gown on the floor and rush from the courthouse, remaining away until he had been coaxed to go back by his client and resume his toggery and argument; but he was never asked to apologize. Now it happened that Mr. De Cosmos was as short-tempered as the attorney-general, and it was not long before these two men clashed. It was over an election for Victoria City. De Cosmos was nominated by the opposition and Selim Franklin by the government. De Cosmos' return seemed certain, but on the eve of the election, acting on the advice of Cary, a large number of American negroes, who had been driven from their homes by their white countrymen, were placed on the roll of voters and Franklin was returned. Petition after petition was filed, but the legislature refused to unseat Franklin, and he held on to the end. The next important question that agitated the Victoria public was the Victoria water supply, just as at the present day, nearly half a century later, a similar agitation has teen launched. At the time of which I write, Victoria was supplied with water by carts that went from door to door. The water was obtained from Spring Ridge, where a spring had been utilized for many years by the Hudson's Bay Company and its tenants. In this spring Cary thought he saw a chance to turn a few honest dollars. So he purchased the lots on which the spring stood from the company and fenced in the water. The car men, the following day, were in-^ formed that unless they paid a tax of a shilling a barrel no more water .would be supplied them. Popular indignation was at once aroused. The papers denounced the sale of the people's water supply as an unpardonable sin. Pub-' lie meetings were called. At these Cary was hooted from the platform and the populace passed strong resolutions. In the midst of the excitement a New Brunswicker cut down the fence and the car men filled their barrels unA molested. The attorney general received back his money, and the sale was cancelled, but from the day when he secured the right to the spring Cary's popularity and influence declined. He was the constant object of attackl and the mere mention of his name called forth the most vituperative expressions. He built the late Cary Castle, lost all his money and returned toj England in 1867, where he died in a madhouse. The agitation for constitutional government continued unabated. In 1863 the franchise was extended and Mr. De Cosmos was returned with several supporters; but what could six popular members effect in a legislature of fifteen?

In March, i860, Governor Douglas, attired in vice-regal uniform and accompanied by a brilliant staff of naval and military officers, convened the] second Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island in the public buildings at| James Bay. There had been a Legislative Assembly in 1856, which was presided over by Hon. Dr. Helmcken, and the members were nearly all Hudson's Bay Company's employes. There was very little ceremony observed and as there were no newspapers at the time the doings of the body were never made^ public. At the opening in i860 Dr. Helmcken was elected Speaker, and the speech was read by the clerk, the Governor, his staff, the Speaker, and the^ audience standing during the ceremony. The speech promised a great many things that were never carried out and which were probably only inserted to quiet the public mind, which by this time had become very pronounced and often threatening in favor of responsible government. This House only lived through two sessions, but during its existence a strange thing happened. One of the popular members who sat for Esquimalt was George Tomline Gordon. In 1861 he was made colonial treasurer, and the government conceived the brilliant idea of causing him to resign and stand for re-election, although there was no constitutional provision that required him to take that step. In fact, there was no constitution. De Cosmos was put up to oppose Gordon. The vote, five minutes before the poll closed, stood ten and ten. De Cosmos' real name was William Alexander Smith, but in California, by an act of the legislature, he was permitted to assume the name of Amor de Cosmos. On the occasion of the Esquimalt election he stood as'William Alexander Smith," commonly known as Amor de Cosmos, and his friends so voted for him. The last man made a grievous error. He forgot the long formula and voted for " Amor de Cosmos," and his vote was so recorded. The polls being closed, the sheriff announced a tie between Gordon and Smith, and one vote for Amor de Cosmos. He then voted for Gordon, whom he declared elected. Above the Legislative Assembly there sat the governor with his executive council, who promptly stifled every measure of a popular nature which the government nominees in the lower house might permit to pass. The sittings of the assembly were open and reporters took and published notes of the proceedings. So a government member, who did not wish to incur public opprobrium by opposing a popular measure in the open, voted for it. The measure then went before the executive council and was quietly strangled there, no reporters being present.

Independent Colonial Government.

About this time the Hudson's Bay Company surrendered the unsold public lands which they held under a patent from the Crown and the Imperial Government. Lord Lytton, being Colonial Secretary, proclaimed the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Governor Douglas was made Governor of both and New Westminster was declared the capital of British Columbia. Colonel Moody, an officer of the Royal Engineers, was made Lieutenant Governor, with a residence at New Westminster, and the staff of the Mainland Government, which had resided all these years at Victoria, removed to New Westminster, and took up their quarters at Sapperton, a short distance from the new capital, where a handsome Government House was afterwards built. It must be remembered that while Vancouver Island had " enjoyed " the shadow of a representative form of government the Mainland had not even had the shadow. It was governed directly from Victoria, where the officials resided, until Lord Lytton's accession to the Colonial Office. John Robson, a writer of great force and an able orator, had meanwhile established the Columbian newspaper and fired a weekly broadside at the one-man government.

In 1864 the Home Government awoke to a sense of the anomalous condition of public affairs in the Pacific colonies, and appointed Colonel Kennedy Governor of Vancouver Island, and Mr. Frederick Seymour Governor of British Columbia, with separate civil lists. The new governors arrived early in 1864 and both caused elections to be held in their respective colonies. The official element predominated in the legislatures and the sessions were marked by acrimonious debates and the passage of many undesirable measures. The civil list salaries were enormous. Governor Kennedy was voted $15,000.00 per annum, and Cary Castle, destroyed by fire in 1898, was provided for him as a gubernatorial residence. Governor Seymour was voted $20,000.00 per annum and a $50,000.00 residence was built for him. A feeling of intense rivalry sprang up between the two provinces. This was emphasized in 1866 by the passage of a series of resolutions through the Island, Legislature asking the Imperial Government to unite the two colonies under one governor with one civil list. Victoria, from its early settlement about 30 years before, had been a free port, no duties being levied upon imported goods. The revenue for the support of the Government was derived from direct taxation, which caused the burden to fall heavily upon property-owners and business men. Mr. De Cosmos succeeded in passing a resolution calling upon the government to impose a scale of customs duties, which the government, being pinched for- means, promptly did. The Imperial Government approved of the scheme for uniting the colonies. They abolished the colony of Vancouver Island and organized the Pacific possessions into one colony under the name of British Columbia, with New Westminster as the capital. The Islanders were furious at the loss of their political identity and the seat of government, and a movement was begun in favor of Victoria being made the capital of the united colonies. Governor Seymour vigorously opposed the proposition to remove the capital to Victoria. He did not like the Islanders and the Islanders did not like him. But they wanted the capital even if Mr. Seymour should come with it. In 1877 the Imperial Government proclaimed Victoria as the capital, and New Westminster submitted with very bad grace to the inevitable. The costly and pretty Government House, heartbroken by the change that had come over its fortunes, rapidly fell into a state of decay and delapidation, and the place where it once stood is now scarcely recognizable.

The Confederation Movement.

The erection of the Maritime Provinces and the Canadas into a Confederation took place on July 1, 1867. British Columbians were not slow in organizing a party that favored the admission of the colony into the confederation, if by so doing they could secure responsible government. Mr. De Cosmos went to Ottawa in 1867 and Mr. Higgins went there in 1868 to urge upon the Federal Government the importance of admitting British Columbia into the union, and so put an end to a feeling that existed at Victoria in favor of annexing the colonies to the United States, and which was becoming uncontrollable.

In 1869 Governor Seymour summoned a Legislative Council, a majority of which were officials. Mr. De Cosmos, during the first session of the council, had 'for his lieutenant Thomas Basil Humphreys, a bold, aggressive man, with a voice like a clarion and a flow of language that seemed never ending. Mr. J. W. Trutch (after Sir Joseph), chief commissioner of lands and works at the time, was leader of the Legislative Council, and an attempt made by the popular members to pass resolutions favoring confederation was voted down by the official members. The people were enraged and a public meeting was convened at the theatre, which was densely crowded. At that meeting "Tom" Humphreys delivered a violent speech, in which he attacked "Joe" Trutch as a traitor, a boodler, a self-seeker and an all-round, undesirable citizen. The Government members were incensed at Humphreys' language and his attack on Mr. Trutch. When, upon the following day, Humphreys appeared at the House, he was confronted with the scandalous remarks as reported in the press, and asked if the report was correct. He replied: "It is certainly correct." A resolution was then moved calling upon him to apologize to Mr. Trutch and the Council for his words. He refused to apologize to Mr. Trutch, and delivered a bitter speech, in which he declined to retract one word. An amendment was then offered to the resolution that provided for his expulsion, and he was expelled by an almost unanimous vote. He left the Council chamber and was received by an immense throng on Government street and loudly cheered, and at night he was serenaded, when he made a characteristic speech in which he repeated word for word his attack upon the chief commissioner. On the next night a mass meeting was held at the theatre, where he again attacked Mr. Trutch and hurled defiance at his "persecutors." Resolutions condemnatory of the action of the Council were carried unanimously and Humphreys was presented with a valuable gold watch, duly inscribed, together with the freedom of the city, and a chain as a mark of public approval. A writ was issued to fill the vacancy caused by Mr. Humphreys' expulsion. He was triumphantly re-elected for Lillooet, and took his seat at the Council board, where he remained unmolested, but did not again attack the chief commissioner.

But if in 1870 the official members of the Legislative Council were opposed to confederation and passed resolutions declaring that the time had not arrived for entering the union, a rapid change of front took place during the recess. In the summer of 1870 Governor Seymour, who had been known to be strongly opposed to confederation, was taken seriously ill. He was never a strong man, and his constitution had been undermined by the climate of Honduras, where he filled the position of Governor before being sent to the Pacific colony. He was advised to take a sea voyage and embarked in Her Majesty's ship Sparrowhawk for a cruise along the Northwest coast. He failed rapidly and at Bella Goola he passed away. The body was brought back to Esquimalt and buried in the naval cemetery, where it reposes beneath a handsome monument erected by his widow.

Sir Anthony Musgrave, Governor of Newfoundland, was appointed to succeed the late Governor. He arrived here in the fall of 1870, and it was understood that he had received instructions to favor a policy that would insure the admission of British Columbia into the Canadian Confederation upon just and equitable terms. The Legislative Council was dissolved and elections were held throughout the colony. The popular members were all or nearly all in favor of joining the confederation. When the Council met Mr. Trutch introduced a series of resolutions asking for the admission of British Columbia into the Canadian Confederation. The terms were discussed with more or less heat. Some of the speeches were eloquent. The popular members taunted the official members with having received assurances that they would be pensioned or billeted on some other unfortunate colony for the balance of their lives.

Mr. De Cosmos introduced a resolution which demanded as one of the terms that responsible government should be guaranteed the new province. The resolution was voted down by the officials, aided by two or three popular members. It was held that the system of government should not form part of the terms, but must be left for the action of the electorate after the confederation. The elected members contended that if this opportunity for a change of the system was lost, years might elapse before another opportunity would present itself for securing a popular form of government. The Government carried their point, and the responsible government resolution was negatived.

Arranging the Terms.

The greatest stumbling block to the immediate passage of the union resolutions lay in the question of overland communication. Scarcely anyone believed that Canada, then in her swaddling clothes, having been born, nationally, only three years before, would guarantee a railway. The most enthusiastic advocates of the confederation of this colony with the young nation at the east scarcely dared hope for railway construction within a generation, and a demand for a wagon road with steamboat connection on the water stretches of the Middle West known as the Great Lakes, was all that most men expected. The newspapers, as in duty bound, maintained a constant fire on the Legislative Council, declaring that nothing short of a railway would lure British Columbia into the Confederation. But the Councillors, after several days of labor, delivered themselves of a clause that adopted the wagon road suggested and with that modest demand the section went through.

Another important matter that evoked much discussion was the question of tariff. At the union of the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia the free pprt of Victoria was abolished and for it was substituted the tariff in force on the Mainland previous to the union. This tariff averaged about 12½ per cent, there being a long list of goods that were admitted duty free. Canadian goods were treated as foreign goods and were taxed accordingly. The British Columbia tariff was not intended to afford protection. It was for revenue only. The customs duty in force in Canada at that time averaged scarcely 15 per cent, a rate which the early legislator deemed ample v for all purposes. Now, notwithstanding the abolition of the free port, three years before, there remained a good many people who believed that with that abolition the sun had begun to set on Victoria's commercial interests. They argued that the policy of the Crown Colony Government had been to make Victoria the storehouse of the Pacific, where goods of every description might be accumulated in vast quantities, and from which the stocks of merchants along the whole coast might be repleted as occasion required. Impressed with this idea, several importing firms had erected fireproof warehouses on the water front, and the wharves that still stand in the inner harbor were placed there for the accommodation of heavy stocks of merchandise of various descriptions. The owners of these warehouses and wharves and the heavy importers were most energetic in their endeavors to have the free port restored. Failing in that, they pressed for a clause that would permit British Columbia to retain her 123^ per cent tariff until after the completion of an overland railway. This last proposition was finally agreed to, subject to any action which the Legislative Assembly of the new province, to be created by proclamation after the final adoption of the terms, might take. It is almost needless to say that at its first session the Legislative Assembly passed resolutions in favor of the adoption of the Canadian tariff, and we have since lived and prospered under it in spite of the fact that the scale of duties in force in 1871 has been more than doubled in pursuance of the protection policy of Sir John Macdonald, which policy has been emphasized and confirmed by their successors.

Another matter which occupied the earnest attention of the Legislative Council was the financial basis on which die colony should enter the Confederacy. It was finally agreed that an annual subsidy of $35,000 and an annual grant equal to 80 cents per head of a population of 60,000, to be augmented in proportion to the increase of population at each subsequent decennial census until the population reached 400,000, at which rate such' grant should thereafter remain, should be paid the province. It was further stipulated that the Dominion Government should assume the colony's debt (about $2,000,000), guarantee the interest for ten years from the date of the completion of the works at the rate of 5 per cent per annum on such sum not exceeding £100,000 sterling as might be required for the construction of a first-class graving dock at Esquimalt. The Dominion was further required to provide for the salaries of the Lieutenant-Governor, judges, customs officers, postal and telegraph employes, fisheries and militia, and to maintain lighthouses, buoys and beacons, quarantine hospitals, geological surveys and the penitentiary. The Dominion was also asked to provide for pensions for the retiring Crown Colony officers, and British Columbia was declared to be entitled to six commoners and three senators in the Parliament at Ottawa.

The terms having been finally passed by the Legislative Council and approved by Governor Musgrave in council, it now became necessary to appoint three delegates to bear the precious document to Ottawa and present it in person to the Governor-General in council. Hon. Mr. Trutch, Hon. Dr. Carrall and Hon. Dr. Helmcken were selected as the delegates. Dr. Helmcken declined and the Hon. John Robson was suggested in his stead. Indeed, his appointment was on the eve of being gazetted, when Mr. Robson's enemies urged Dr. Helmcken to go. The opposition to Mr. Robson was based on the facts that he was an advocate of responsible government and that he and Mr. Trutch were not on good terms. The doctor finally relented and the delegation as originally planned left for the east.

At that time little was known of the vast Pacific empire, with its boundless resources of forest, mineral and fossil wealth, its inexhaustible fisheries and its genial and health-giving climate. Although possessed of every resource which, upon development, would prove to the world that British Columbia, with its 380,000 square miles of territory, was the richest and most favored section of British North America, the country was but sparsely settled. The delegates, upon their arrival at Ottawa, were regarded almost as visitors from one of the heavenly planets, who, having ventured too near the edge of their world, had missed their footing and, falling into space, had landed at the federal capital. The delegates had the most cordial reception. Sir John Macdonald was the Prime Minister and Lord Lisgar was the Viceroy. But Sir John was very ill and when the delegates arrived it was feared that his end was in sight. Sir George Cartier was acting premier. He submitted the terms to the Executive Council, and while they were being considered the delegates were wined and dined by nearly every one of note. Lord Lisgar remarked that he was much impressed with the ability of the delegates in pressing their claims and their earnestness of purpose. The matters embraced in the document were of so momentous a character that several weeks elapsed before a final decision was reached. The Dominion Government, a year or so before, had purchased from the Hudson's Bay Company its rights in the Northwest Territory, and were firmly committed to a policy of expansion by the construction of a railway to and through that country of wonderful agricultural possibilities. The terms, as I have said, when they left Victoria, asked only for a wagon-road, and the acting Premier, when he informed the House that the ministry had decided to alter the terms as submitted by British Columbia, and had guaranteed to construct an unbroken line of railway to the tidewaters of British Columbia in ten years, startled the Commoners and the whole country. The Liberals, led by Alexander Mackenzie and Hon. Edward Blake, bitterly opposed the railway as being beyond the financial capabilities of the country to build within the specified time. It was during the debate on the terms that Mr. Blake characterized British Columbia as a "sea of mountains," and declared over and over again that a railway built through that "sea " would never pay operating expenses. The excitement caused by the introduction of the railway clause was intense throughout Canada. Public meetings were held at all large centres and denunciatory resolutions passed. But in spite of the most strenuous opposition from all quarters, Sir George Cartier stood firm, and after weeks of debate the resolutions were finally passed. When-they were about to be reacl for a third time, it is recorded that Sir George Cartier rallied his supporters by the shout, "All aboard for the West!" The summons acted like a bugle] call on the nerves of his followers and the resolutions went through with a] rush.

The terms were amended in another important particular. When the delegates left Victoria for Ottawa they were accompanied by a quiet but ob-l servant gentleman who was instructed to inform the Government that unless the clause which withheld responsible government was eliminated from thej terms, British Columbia would not consent to enter the Confederation. He was instructed to tell them that if the agreement should be placed before thJ people without a guarantee of this nature, it would be rejected. The gentle-j man performed his duties effectually. He enjoyed a personal acquaintance, with two or three of the Maritime Province Ministers, and so impressed them and their colleagues that they consented to alter the terms in that respect and give the people full political power.

After Confederation and the Railway.

The ratification of the terms in their amended form by the Legislative Council was an easy task, and on the 21st day of July, 1871, British Columbia entered the Confederation. Mr. Trutch, who had been in the meanwhile! knighted, and who was now Sir Joseph, was appointed Lieutenant-Governor, and he shortly called upon the Hon. Mr. McCreight, a leading barrister, toj form a Ministry. Mr. McCreight, who had not distinguished himself in politics and who was not a supporter of responsible government, accepted thd task and assumed the portfolio of Attorney-General. He called to his assist-] ance Mr. A. Rocke Robertson, as Provincial Secretary, Hon. Geo. A. Walkem as Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and Hon. Henry Holbrook as< President of the Council. It is worthy of remark that Messrs. McCreight, Robertson and Walkem were afterwards made justices of the Supreme Court.

Proclamations were issued defining the districts and calling upon the electors to register as voters. The suffrage was universal and voting was to be open. Proclamations for the elections followed and for the first time in its history British Columbia enjoyed the blessings of a government that was responsible to the people instead of to the Crown. The elections resulted in the return of a "mixed" house of 25 members. All the ministers were returned; but there being no party lines or any well defined political issues, and no acknowledged leaders, the first was a sort of happy-go-lucky session, in which the fledgling statesmen merely tried their wings, and got ready to soar at the next session. The Government was bitterly attacked by Mr. De Cosmos and Mr. Thomas Humphreys. Mr. Robson was also a member of the new house, but he was not in accord with De Cosmos and Humphreys, although he, too, was classed with the opposition. The session of 1872 closed with Mr. McCreight and Mr. Robertson thoroughly disgusted with politics and politicians. One of the most important measures passed provided for the adoption of the Canadian tariff. Another measure adopted the ballot and a third denied the franchise to Chinamen and Indians.

At the opening of the next session, in the fall of 1872, the Government met a hostile house. Several members who had supported the Ministry throughout the previous session appeared in opposition, and the Ministers had not won over a single opponent during the recess. After a few days' sharp struggle the Premier informed the House that he could no longer consent to occupy his seat on sufferance, and that he had placed his resignation in the hands of the Lieutenant-Governor. Sir Joseph was deeply pained at the ignominious failure of the Ministry in whom he had placed his entire confidence and the personnel of which he highly approved. He accepted the situation with ill-concealed chagrin, and called on Mr. De Cosmos to form a government. That gentleman took in Mr. Walkem as Attorney-General, Mr. Robert Beaven as Chief Commissioner, Dr. Ash as Provincial Secretary, and Mr. W. J. Armstrong as Minister of Finance.

To the surprise of all and the indignation of not a few, Mr. Humphreys, who had stood loyally by Mr. De Cosmos for several years and fought hiĞ battles and those of the opposition in and out of season, was omitted from the list of Ministers. Mr. Robson, who had fought in the opposition ranks also found his claims ignored. Both gentlemen went into opposition with Mr. Smithe and two or three others, but the new Ministry developed great strength, and in a house of 25 their opponents numbered only 7.

While the House was in session at Victoria, events which were destined to have an important bearing on the Pacific Province, and, indeed, on thd whole Dominion, were transpiring at Ottawa. The Macdonald Ministry, in consequence of developments that history has recorded as the Pacific scandal,, resigned, and Lord Dufferin, who had succeeded Lord Lisgar in 1872, called^ upon Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, leader of the Liberals, to form a government. The new Premier experienced no difficulty in completing his cabinet, and as soon as arrangements could be perfected he asked his Excellency for a dissolution. The request was almost unprecedented, the House being only in its second session, but Mr. Mackenzie declared that the House was "tainted" and, a dissolution was granted on the 2nd January, 1874. The Liberals swept the country, returning with an enormous majority.

Among the first of the acts of the new Government at Ottawa was an endeavor to obtain a relaxation of the terms of union with British Columbia, | so far as they related to the time-limit for the commencement and completion of the railway. The Macdonald Government had agreed to begin railway construction within two years after the entrance of British Columbia into Confederation. Three years had elapsed and not a tap had been struck, beyond exploratory surveys throughout the Province. Mr. Mackenzie proposed to substitute for an all-rail construction the water stretches that lie between the Northwest and Eastern Canada. Now, it so happened that Mr. De Cosmos, the new Premier of British Columbia, was a member of the House of Commons, as well as a member of the Provincial Legislature. It was borne in mind that when the terms were before the Legislative Council he had only argued for overland communication by wagon road. He was suspected of an ambition to enter the Mackenzie cabinet; and there were not wanting some who were ready to accuse him of an intention to so alter the terms as to adopt, instead of an all-rail connection, the water-stretch policy of Mackenzie. Before the session at Victoria was well begun Mr. De Cosmos left his post in the local House and sailed for Ottawa to take up his duties there, leaving his provincial seat vacant. He had always been in favor of the retention of the British Columbia tariff, and when he left for Ottawa a resolution for the adoption of the Canadian tariff was pending at Victoria. The advocates of a low tariff were in an angry mood at what they termed their betrayal. The Premier's opponents made the most of their opportunity and the Canadian tariff passed the House. Mr. De Cosmos was denounced on all sides for being absent when he should have been present at the critical moment of tariff changes. An agitation for the abolishment of dual representation, aimed directly at Mr. De Cosmos, was started, and a bill was passed to that effect, so that at the following election Mr. De Cosmos, who preferred retaining his Ottawa seat, was not eligible to hold a seat in the local House, and dropped out of local politics forever.

The proposition of the Canadian Government to relax the all-rail clause and substitute a system of connection by water stretches created alarm throughout the Pacific Province. Public meetings were everywhere held, bitter speeches were made, and resolutions denouncing the new policy were almost unanimously passed. At a meeting convened in the Philharmonic hall at Victoria on the 28th of January, 1874, it was announced that the Legislature was at that moment holding an evening session for the purpose of rushing through an alteration of the railway term in response to the demand of the Mackenzie Government. Resolutions of an almost revolutionary character were carried without a dissenting voice. It was resolved to present the resolutions then and there. A crowd of at least, two thousand persons rushed across James Bay bridge, which trembled beneath the tread of so many feet, and swarmed into the Legislative hall, which they rapidly filled, leaping over the bar and occupying the space devoted to honorable members, packing! the galleries, and hooting, yelling and cursing as they entered. Dr. Trimble, who was Speaker, called for order. The noise was deafening and the Speaker's voice could not be heard three feet from the throne. He wasl hooted and fists were shaken at him. Then he left the chair, thus suspending the sitting. The members of the Ministry hurried from the hall, the lights were put out and the crowd retired; but not until the resolutions had been placed in the Speaker's hands. The motion to present the resolutions at the bar was injudicious, unparliamentary and dangerous. Bloodshed! might have resulted. As it was, pistols were drawn and clubs flourished, but no one was injured. For a few days it was thought that the capital would be removed to some town on the Mainland, where the legislators might legislate in quiet and security. The next day an unimportant resolution, which did not materially affect the terms of union, was passed by the House and the incident closed. To illustrate the fickleness of public opinion it is only. necessary to mention that Mr. De Cosmos a few days later stood for re-election to the Commons in the constituency which on the night of the riot declared itself ready to hang him, and was successful.

Mr. Walkem, who succeeded Mr. De Cosmos as Premier, later in the year bore a petition to the Queen, asking Her Majesty's Government to enforce the railway clause in the agreement with Canada, the Imperial Government having been a party to the agreement. From that petition sprang the Carnarvon terms, which provided, among minor things, for the building of a line of railway from Victoria to Nanaimo in satisfaction of past defaults. When the Carnarvon terms were laid before the House of Commons Mr. Edward Blake opposed them, and Mr. Mackenzie, alarmed at the defection of his principal adherent, did not press them. This action, or inaction, on the part of the Federal Government again excited the province to a fighting pitch. More meetings were held, and more petitions were sent to Ottawa and England. An emissary of the Canadian Government came to Victoria, but he submitted terms which were not acceptable to the Government or the people.

Lord Dufferin's Visit.

The summer of 1876 was a memorable one. Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy of Canada, with Lady Dufferin and a numerous suite, arrived at Esqui-malt in a warship. They reached the province via San Francisco, there being no railway north of that port at the time. His Excellency landed at Esquimalt, where he was received with a royal salute and a deputation of citizens and escorted to Government House. Along the line many triumphal arches had been erected. They bore various patriotic and welcoming devices, but on one of them appeared the inscription, in bold letters, "Carnarvon Terms or Separation." This arch spanned Fort street at its intersection with Broad. Lord Dufferin, who had been previously apprised of the existence of the arch, suggested that if the "S" in "Separation" were changed to an "R," making it read "Reparation," he would pass beneath it. If it remained unaltered he would be driven through another thoroughfare. The committee refused to give way, and when the vice-regal carriage reached Fort street it left the procession and was driven along Broughton to Douglas and thence back to Fort street, thus avoiding the arch altogether. The offensive arch remained standing for several days, as a mark of defiance and disaffection, and in the meanwhile the Governor-General remained at Cary Castle arranging for a stroke which was intended to quiet the turbulent popular feeling and put an end to the threats of secession from the Canadian Union. Provincial elections had been held in 1875 and the Walkem Government had gone down. Mr. A. C. Elliott, a barrister, and lately police magistrate, was called on to form a government. Hon. A. N. Richards had succeeded Sir Joseph Trutch as Lieutenant-Governor a few days before Lord Dufferin arrived and the Elliott Government was in power. It was a very trying period for the'new Governor and his Premier, with disaffection at home and ill-faith at Ottawa to contend with. There was another burning question which agitated the constituency. Ever since the province had joined the Dominion a fierce fight had been waged between the residents of the lower Mainland and those of Vancouver Island for the adoption of a line for the railway which would benefit their respective localities. The Mainlanders insisted that the proper route was along the Fraser valley, with its terminus at Burrard Inlet. The Islanders were equally insistent upon the adoption of a line by Bute Inlet, which would make Esquimalt the terminus. Railway engineers had surveyed both routes, and it was known that Marcus Smith, the chief engineer, had reported that the best route was through the Rocky Mountains via Yellowhead Pass, thence to Bute Inlet (where he proposed to establish a ferry and ultimately to build a bridge), with the terminus at Esquimalt. When Lord Dufferin left Ottawa for Victoria it was semi-officially announced in the papers that he was the bearer of a proclamation that would decide the contest for the route in favor of Bute Inlet and Esquimalt. This dispatch, according to Lieutenant Governor Trutch, was sent from Government House to- the Provincial Secretary's office by an official messenger and was handed, so the messenger reported, to the Provincial Secretary. From that'day to this the dispatch has not been seen. It never reached the public eye. Who destroyed it if it was destroyed, who secreted it if it was secreted, who lost it if it was lost, will never be known. The parties are all dead. Lord Dufferin always denied all knowledgment of its fate, although it was admitted that His Excellency, handed the dispatch to the Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant Governor said he personally delivered it to the messenger. The Provincial Secretary and the Premier were equally emphatic in asserting that it never came into their hands. Nine years ago Sir Joseph Trutch told the writer that the proclamation adopting the Bute Inlet route was carefully read by him and that he, gave it to the messenger himself. He added that its disappearance was as profound a mystery to him as it was to Lord Dufferin. The Fraser River route a year or two later was adopted by the promulgation of another proclamation, and with the removal of four cargoes of steel rails that had been landed at Esquimalt and Nanaimo with the view to railway construction on the island from Esquimalt to Seymour Narrows the battle of the routes came to an end.

It was said at the time that Lord Dufferin was deeply incensed at the conduct of the populace when he refused to pass under what he termed the "disloyal arch." He was jeered and hooted, and an effort was made to turn his horses' heads up Fort Street; but the sober second thought of the people came to them before it became necessary for the safety and dignity of the vice-regal party that they should alight and, declining to accept further courtesies, leave Victoria without carrying out the object of their visit, which was a heart-to-heart talk with the people, when the whole subject of railway construction would be reviewed, and the inaction of the Federal authorities in failing to carry out the railway clauses of the agreement, viz., to begin construction within two years from the date of the entry of the province into the Dominion, and the positive refusal of Mr. Mackenzie to accept the Carnarvon terms after the Colonial Secretary had made the award as an arbitrator between the Dominion and British Columbia, were to be explained and condoned. It was argued with much force that the province had voluntarily accepted the higher Canadian tariff, believing that in surrendering its own tariff, which it was entitled to retain until the completion of the promised overland railway, it was contributing more than its quota to the Dominion Government. The local opposition paper, the Standard, was violent in its opposition to the Ottawa Government, and while it did not openly approve- of the demonstration that occurred at the separation arch, it did not disavow it or express regret at the untoward occurrence and the insult that was offered to Lord Dufferin. The Colonist, organ of the Elliott Government, mildly rebuked the offenders and argued that the period was a critical one for the interests of the Island, and particularly for those of Victoria, which had everything to gain by pursuing a moderate course at a time when the selection of a route for the railway hung in the balance. A resort to violence and insult might prove most disastrous.

Shortly after the Governor-General's arrival at Victoria, a large popular deputation waited upon His Excellency at Government House and presented him with an address in which the grievances of the province were set forth in temperate, yet forcible words. The Governor-General received the deputation cordially and after hearing the address read, informed the deputation that he would consider its clauses and give an answer at an early date. The vice-regal party visited the Mainland and penetrated the Interior as far as the limited steam and stage methods of transportation permitted. They were everywhere received with demonstrations of affection and loyalty. The addresses presented were devoid of the slightest allusion to the unhappy differences that existed between the province and the Dominion; but they pressed for the early beginning of railway construction in words so well chosen as to elicit praise from His Excellency. No disloyal arches were erected and the party returned to Victoria highly pleased with the results of their visit to the Mainland. The Victoria deputation was invited to Government House some days later. They were received in the billiard room. His Excellency, who wore the insignia of his order, was supported! by his military staff. Lady Dufferin, a charming and beautiful woman, stood by his side and remained there during the interview, which lasted about two hours. His Excellency considered the address clause by clause, delivering the most eloquent and effective address it had ever been the good fortune of the writer to hear. His speech occupied nearly two hours, his hearers listening with rapt attention to the glowing words that fell from his lips. He reviewed the whole situation, and while admitting that the province had been disappointed in one detail of the terms, claimed that every other obligation had been faithfully kept. He attributed the delay in carrying out the railway obligation to the financial condition of the country and the insufficiency of the surveys, instead of, as had been charged, to a deliberate intention on the part of the Dominion to break faith. When he considered the part of the address which pressed the right of the province to separate from the Dominion, he plainly told them that the desire for a dissolution did not extend to the Mainland, where the sentiment was one of unbroken loyalty to the Dominion. He pointed out that if the Islanders' demand to secede was admitted they would go out alone. The Mainland would not accompany them. The Imperial Government would not consent to the annexation of Vancouver Island to the United States, and the Island would stand in a position of isolation subject to all the political disadvantages of a Crown Colony form of government, from which it had just escaped by joining Canada. He then drew a picture of Vancouver Island weighed down by debt and in a forlorn condition, with the commerce of the empire passing its doors, while the Mainland, which would be connected with the east with a transcontinental railway, prosperous and contented, strode on to greatness and power, regarding her ill-advised sister with a feeling akin to pity. His Excellency concluded a long oration with an eloquent peroration in which he referred to "this glorious province" and its prospects in enthusiastic and prophetic language.

Lord Dufferin bowed to his audience as a signal that the interview was at an end, and the deputation withdrew in silence and buried in serious thought. Canada's case had been presented as it had never before been presented, and the deputation was impressed for the first time with the belief that while British Columbia undoubtedly had a grievance Canada had a just claim upon the sympathy and consideration of the province for the failure to begin railway construction within the time-limit fixed by the terms of union.

After the departure of Lord Dufferin for home the talk of secession grew fainter. His words had set the leaders of the separationists thinking and they had at last concluded that separation would be prejudicial to the Island's interests, so they confined their agitation within constitutional limits, and while they continued to press for the Carnarvon terms their language was moderate and gave no offense at Ottawa.

Strenuous Politics.

Mr. Elliott's government, which had gained office after the election of 1875, held on during two stormy sessions. They were vigorously opposed by Mr. Walkem and Mr. Humphreys, his first lieutenant. Mr. Elliott was asserted by his admirers to be an able man; but he was fond of his ease and his books and was no match in debate for his alert and active opponents. He simply could not turn his thoughts to politics. They were distasteful to him. Most of the time since his arrival in the colonies in 1859 had been devoted to discharging his duties as magistrate—first at Yale, then at Lillooet, and afterwards at Victoria. As a magistrate, he was a marked success. As a politician and as leader of the House he was a conspicuous failure, and no one was better aware of that fact than himself. His opponents held him up to ridicule in the House and to the country. He was denounced as a traitor to the province, was told that his government had sold the colony to Mackenzie and that in consequence of his supineness and treachery the child yet unborn would not live to see the first rail of a transcontinental line laid in British Columbia. The session of 1878 was worse for the Government's interests than any that preceded it. In the previous sessions, Mr. Elliott had had an unbroken majority of four. In the session of 1878, one of his supporters fell off and his majority was reduced to two. From the date of that vote, which showed that the solid ranks of the Government were broken, the opposition rode roughshod over the ministry. They disputed the passage of every public measure, opposed the most trivial motions when moved by a supporter of the government, and, in reality, "ran the House." Matters went from bad to worse. The country was suffering for legislation. Road work was suspended, salaries were unpaid and the treasury was at a low ebb. A vigorous, militant man at the head of the ministry could have saved it with a majority of two; but Mr. Elliott was neither one nor the other. Mr. Walkem, with only the casting vote of the speaker, had held office in 1875, in spite of all the opposition could do to dislodge him. It is true, upon dissolution he was defeated, but he succumbed to the demand of the country, not to that of an evenly divided legislature.

At last Mr. Elliott surrendered. A conference was arranged between him and the leader of the opposition. The latter demanded, did not ask, that the House should be dissolved on the opposition's terms. He offered to permit certain money votes and a little necessary legislation to pass. When that had been done there must be a dissolution and an appeal to the electorate. The premier consented to the humiliating proposition, and an appeal to the country resulted in the overthrow of the ministry. Their candidates were mostly defeated. At Victoria, the premier and all his supporters were beaten by decisive majorities. The other towns, and many of the country districts, were equally pronounced in condemnation of the ministry and when in September following the House was called together by the new premier, Mr. Walkem, a mere handful of opponents, under the guidance of Mr. Smithe, confronted him. Mr. Walkem had the wisdom to take Mr. Humphreys into his cabinet and, strange to relate, that gentleman sat through four sessions and scarcely uttered a word, nor did he introduce a single measure. From a hard hitting, forcible debater he became silent as an oyster and sat at his desk twirling his thumbs, or lounged through the lobby smoking Havanas. The year 1878 is remarkable for the fact that during it two sessions of the Legislature were held. The new House eagerly voted the supplies and some needed legislation, and was prorogued after passing an address to the Home Government calling attention to the continued failure of the Dominion Government to carry out the terms of union.

The year 1878 also witnessed the return of the Liberal-Conservative party to power at Ottawa, with Sir John Macdonald as Premier. Lord Dufferin's term had expired and he had been succeeded by the Marquis of Lome, now Duke of Argyle, whose wife is the Princess Louise, daughter of oun late Queen. One of the first official acts of the new Governor-General was to acquaint himself with the nature of the grievances of the people of British* Columbia, and to set about devising a remedy. He found Sir John Macdonald disposed to lend a willing ear to the complaints of the Columbians, but-" the Premier was hampered by some of his colleagues, who feared to bring down a measure providing for the payment of a large sum of money to secure the fulfillment of the Carnarvon agreement. The petition of the Walkem Government had been duly received at Ottawa; where it was pigeonholed by the Secretary of State. It reposed in its hiding place for more than a year when, no answer or acknowledgment from the Imperial Government having been received, an enquiry was set on foot and the precious document was brought to light. Another petition was sent to the Governor-General and was duly acknowledged. In the meanwhile the Fraser River route was proclaimed as the chosen route for the railway, and in the spring of 1880 railway construction was commenced on the Mainland. The work was vigorously prosecuted on the Pacific end; while the C. P. R. pushed ahead on the other end. The heavy expenditure consequent upon railway construction in the province pleased British Columbians generally, but a large and influential party was still dissatisfied and pointed out that while the Mainland had secured a railway the Island was still denied the section of road promised by the Carnarvon terms. It is true that in 1876 Marcus Smith had driven stakes near the naval hospital at Esquimalt. These stakes he named the "terminal stakes of the transcontinental railway," which .was to have its terminal point there after traversing Yellowhead Pass and the Bute Inlet country, but nothing further was done, although the people of Victoria and Esquimalt were greatly elated by the stake-driving, which seemed' to be the beginning of the realization of their hopes. The stakes remained where Smith drove them for many years and finally rotted away.

Lord Lorne and the Settlement Act.

In 1882 it was announced that the Governor-General and his royal consort would visit the Province. Great preparations were made to receive the distinguished visitors, who arrived by the cruiser Comus and landed at Esquimalt. They were received with royal salutes and beneath triumphal arches were presented with addresses that breathed the loftiest spirit of loyalty and regard on the part of the inhabitants. They were escorted to Victoria by a number of gentlemen outriders and a large cavalcade of mounted citizens, preceded by bands of music. Prominent among the instruments were the Scottish bagpipes played upon by a Scotchman from the estate of the Duke of Argyle. Government House had been prepared for the reception of the august pair and their suite. The Marquis and the Princess remained in the province for nearly three months. They were feted at every place where they visited. All classes vied in paying their respects to the Queen's daughter and her distinguished husband. Balls, dinners and at homes and riding and driving parties were of frequent occurrence and all classes were charmed by the simple and unaffected manner of the visitors and the cordial and unconventional way in which every one who approached them was received and entertained. The Princess in conversation always referred to the Queen as "My Mother," and to the Marquis as "My Husband."

His Excellency before leaving Ottawa had informed himself as to the unhappy relations of the province with the Dominion and although railway construction on the Mainland had begun under favorable auspices the Carnarvon Terms had not been carried out, and the popular discontent on the Island, though deep, was not loud as on the previous occasion. During the six years that had elapsed since the visit of Lord Dufferin, Hon. Mr. Richards had retired from Government House and had been succeeded by Senator Cornwall as Lieutenant Governor. To the local government, of which Hon. Mr. Beaven was Premier, Mr. Walkem having been elevated to the Supreme Court Bench, the Marquis of Lome expressed a desire to mediate and if possible, restore the pleasant relations that existed between the federal and provincial governments during the first few years after the entrance of the Province into the Confederation. The presence of a Conservative Government at Ottawa was believed to be a happy augury for the success of the peace negotiations, which were immediately opened. The local government was found to be well disposed towards an arrangement that would end the warfare, and the Ottawa Government expressed a similar disposition. The Marquis of Lome had met the Hon. Robt. Dunsmuir, then member of the local house for Nanaimo, and was greatly impressed with his earnestness and ability. Mr. Dunsmuir, besides, was a man of great wealth, and possessed a progressive nature. He had discovered and developed the Wellington coal mines and was an ardent advocate of the Carnarvon Terms. Preliminaries having been arranged, the Governor-General addressed himself to Mr. Dunsmuir as the one man in the province who might be willing to take the contract for building the line to Nanaimo. Mr. Dunsmuir recognized the stupendous character of the undertaking. In his earlier interviews with the Marquis, he absolutely refused to have anything to do with the contract. He had made his fortune, he said, after many years of toil and hardship, and why should he imperil it by entering upon an enterprise which presented many obstacles to success? The Marquis persisted, however, and at last, Mr. Dunsmuir consented to undertake the task, but only upon terms that would be acceptable to Messrs. Crocker and Huntington, of the Central Pacific syndicate of capitalists. Those gentlemen consented to take half interest in the scheme on conditions that have since been denounced as onerous and unparalleled in the history of any country, though similar terms had been rejected by other capitalists in the United States and Great Britain. The principal features of the concession were: Free gift of nearly two millions of acres of land on the Island, extending from the Straits of Fuca to Crown Mountain in the Comox district. This land was to be free from taxation forever or until alienated by the Company. The syndicate also asked for a cash subsidy of $750,000 to be paid upon the completion of the line, which would be some eighty miles in length. The-land grant carried with it all minerals, fossils and substances of whatsoever nature in, on, or under the land. It was contended at the time that the grant carried with it the precious as well as the base metals. This point was subsequently submitted to the Privy Council, by whom it was dedided that the deed that conveyed the land not having mentioned the precious metals they had not passed with the land. An old decision of Lord Bacon's was quoted by the Privy Council to show that the royal metals (gold and silver) should have been particularized, and that the words "all minerals and substances of whatever nature" did not include the royal metals. Is it not strange that nearly a quarter of a century after the agreement was made with the syndicate a controversy has arisen over the water rights contained in the belt, and that the Privy Council may again be appealed to before a satisfactory settlement can be reached?

The Marquis of Lome and the Princess remained in the Province until December, 1882, a period of about three months. They were delighted with the climate, the people, the resources and the scenery. The Princess passed much time in sketching the grand views that can be seen from Government House and vicinity, while the Marquis visited the Interior and afterwards took a spin on the Government steamer along the coasts of the Island and the Mainland. The visitors opened agricultural fairs at Victoria, New Westminster, and Kamloops and were prominent at several private functions. They held a reception in the Parliament Buildings and gave many dinner parties, winding up a season of gaiety with a ball at Government House. It is worthy of remark that during the stay of the Marquis and the Princess there was neither wind nor rain. Regular Queen's weather set ini with their coming and continued until after their departure, a happy augury( of a peaceful outcome of negotiations with both governments,

Upon returning to Ottawa the Marquis laid before the Government a draft of the treaty of peace which he had provisionally arranged at Victoria. His Excellency found the Ottawa Government anxious for a settlement, and^ willing to do all in their power to close the breach; but they could not see^ how the cash gift of $750,000 could be explained to the satisfaction of their followers. The Smithe Government had in the meanwhile come into power at Victoria, and after long negotiations an arrangement was made which! it was believed could be carried through both Parliaments. It was agreed that in consideration of a gift of $750,000 the Province should cede to the Dominion Government two million acres of land on the Island, and in addition convey three million five hundred thousand acres in rectangular blocks I in the Peace River country in the northeast corner of the Province and adjacent to the Northwest territory. The tract was valued then at 22 cents per acre, the Dominion Government, in return for these concessions, to secure the construction of the Island railway, and with Imperial assistance to, complete the dry-dock at Esquimalt. This dry-dock, it must be stated, had) been commenced as a provincial undertaking in 1874, but work had been1 suspended for want of funds. The late Sir Alexander Campbell, the Minister of Justice of the Dominion cabinet, came to Victoria and had many I interviews with Mr. Smithe and his colleagues. The Settlement Act was framed at last on the basis above stated. At their succeeding sessions the respective parliaments ratified the agreements and both railway and dry-dock were completed in due course.

It would be interesting to know at what figure the Dominion Government now would hold the three million five hundred thousand acres of land that were conveyed to them under the Settlement Act and which in 1884 were deemed to be of so little importance that 22 cents an acre were considered an extreme value. The opposition at Ottawa, when discussing the Act, declared that the lands were perfectly valueless, being part of the "sea of mountains" which Mr. Blake had eloquently but incorrectly named in his speech, when arguing against the admission of British Columbia on the original terms. In the British Columbia Legislature, the opposition protested against the grant on the ground that they were of immense prospective value. If the land is arable its present value to-day is $5 per acre, or $17,500,000 for the whole tract, a sum sufficient to pay the debt of the Province and leave a handsome surplus for public improvements.

The Settlement Act having been finally passed by the Ottawa and Victoria Parliaments both governments proceeded to carry out its provisions in good faith. The island railway was built by Mr. Dunsmuir and his associates within the time set for its completion. The contract for the completion of the Esquimalt dry-dock was awarded in 1885 to Larkin & Connolly, and the work was finished in 1888, in a very satisfactory manner, the Imperial Government sharing the cost of the construction with the Dominion Government in consideration of Her Majesty's ships being docked free of charge. The building of these works inspired the people of the island with confidence in the future of the capital city. Population poured in, business advanced, and real estate increased in value, and numerous buildings of an important character were undertaken. The period from 1886 to 1892 was one of unexampled prosperity for the inhabitants in and about Victoria, and generally on Vancouver Island and throughout the province. In 1889 a land boom set in, and lasted for about three years. Property continued to rise, and many sales were effected that gratified buyers and sellers. Business of the ports as indicated by the customs house was doubled and every branch of industry showed a vast improvement over previous years. The outlook was favorable everywhere, and the construction of a system of electric tramways through the streets of Vancouver and Victoria, with connecting lines to the naval station at-Esquimalt and New Westminster contributed largely to the general prosperity and added to the value of realty, increasing public confidence in the stability and permanency of the towns and cities.

Advent of the C. P. R.

In 1886 the C. P. R. reached Port Moody and a considerable town sprang up at that place which proved, however, to be only a temporary terminus. In July, 1886, the townsite of Vancouver was swept as clean as the back of a man's hand by a fierce fire which totally destroyed nearly every I building there. In two hours the flourishing young town was reduced to a pile of hot ashes and glowing embers. But the pluck of the people was undaunted. Fire might destroy their town, but it could not burn out their faith in its destiny. Before the ruins had cooled—at daylight next morning, in fact—two new buildings were in course of erection, and before nightfall lots for the accommodation of half a dozen other buildings were being cleared of ruins. So the work of reconstruction went on, till in the course of a few weeks there was scarcely a scar caused by the late conflagration visible.

In the local legislature during the session of 1887 tne provincial government introduced a bill to authorize the subsidizing of the C. P. R. with 6,000 acres of crown lands in consideration of their extending their line to Vancouver and making that city the final termius of the road. The proposition was vigorously combated. It was argued that the company in its own interests must bring the road to Vancouver without a subsidy. The contest was long and bitter, but the Government triumphed with the modest majority of three, and the bill was passed. The acres conveyed to the company by the bill are now estimated to be worth several millions of dollars. Besides the government concession the railway company demanded and received one-third of the land owned by the syndicate of Victorians who had bought much of the townsite at bottom prices and were holding the lots for an enormous advance on cost price in anticipation of railway extension. The company lost no time in earning their subsidies and in May, 1887, the scream, of a locomotive whistle announced the arrival of' the first through train from Montreal. The rejoicing of the Vancouverians was great, and the popular demonstrations at the Terminal city were such as befitted the great occasion. But while Vancouver rejoiced the people of Port Moody mourned in sackcloth and ashes over the destruction of their hopes and the certain decay of their little town, which had just begun to grow, when it was decided to carry the line eleven miles further down the inlet.

Later Politics.

The political changes since the passing of the Settlement Act have been many. Mr. Smithe held office from 1883 to 1887, when he died, just after carrying the country at the general elections. A. E. B. Davie succeeded him as Premier, and he died two years and three months later. John Robson came after A. E. B. Davie as Premier, in 1889, and he died in London, England, in 1892. Theodore Davie was the next Premier. In March, 1895, he resigned, having been appointed Chief Justice of British Columbia in place of Sir Matthew Baillie Beghie, who had died a short time before. During the administration of Hon. Theodore Davie, and while Hon. Edgar Dewdney was Lieutenant Governor the magnificent buildings at James Bay were begun, and during the administration of Hon. Mr. Turner, who succeeded Mr. Davie as Premier, the beautiful pile was completed and opened with great pomp and ceremony by Lieutenant Governor Mclnnes. Mr. Davie did not long enjoy his judicial honors, for he died in 1898 after an illness of a few months' duration.

In the fall of 1898 a remarkable political event startled the province and the Dominion. Lieutenant Governor Mclnnes dismissed the.Turner Government while the result of the general elections was still in doubt, and while two seats remained to be heard from. Then he called on the former Premier, Mr. Beaven, to form a government; but after a week of industrious effort, that gentleman announced his inability to form a cabinet, and Mr. C. A. Semlin, leader of the opposition in the previous house, was asked to tryj his hand at cabinet making. Mr. Semlin succeeded in forming a government, and the house met the following winter, with Mr. Joseph Martin hold-< ing the portfolio of Attorney General. In July, 1899, Mr. Martin resigned from the cabinet at the request of the Premier, and the next session he went into opposition. The Semlin government was defeated by a majority of one in the session of 1900, and the Governor just before prorogation requested Mr. Martin to form a ministry. Mr. Martin consented, although he had no following in the House. When the Lieutenant Governor entered the chamber to prorogue it, every member with the exception of Mr. Martin rose and left the hall and the speech from the throne was read to empty benches, Mr. Martin alone remaining. The scene was unequalled in a British legislature. It was an extreme measure, but it was deemed necessary to mark popular disapprobation of the course of the Lieutenant Governor in calling upon a gentleman with not one political friend in the House. After prorogation Mr. Martin formed a government of five, only one of whom had had any political experience and that in another province. An appeal to the country followed a few months later, and Mr. Martin was hopelessly defeated. Mr. James Dunsmuir was then requested to form a government. He succeeded in getting a ministry together and with a large majority of the elected members, signed a round robin addressed to the Governor General asking him to remove Mr. Mclnnes from office in consequence of his unconstitutional act in calling upon Mr. Martin to form a government. The Lieutenant Governor was dismissed from office on the 21st of June, 1900. He was succeeded by Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere. After the session of 1902, Mr. Dunsmuir resigned and the Lieutenant Governor called upon Col. ^Prior, who, meanwhile, had resigned from the Dominion House of Commons, to form a government, Col. Prior having been elected to fill a vacancy in the Victoria city representation caused by the retirement of Mr. Turner. He succeeded in forming a ministry, but after a turbulent session he was dismissed from office by the Lieutenant Governor. Hon. R. McBride was next asked to form a government. By this time party lines had been decided upon for the first time in provincial politics. Mr. McBride formed a Conservative Government, and was returned to the house with a working majority. He and his ministers are still in power.


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