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Sir James Douglas
Chapter IX - Confederation


AFTER toil,—rest. Long before the period of his commissions had expired, Douglas had made up his mind: his public connection with the colonies must cease. No one was more conscious than he that his day of greatest usefulness was past, and that his present office, if continued, would be one only of increasing difficulties. For a place in the new regime he had no inclination. Accustomed as he had been to untrammelled rule, he could play no part in the turmoil of reconstruction and divided power which was now approaching, and which was still to last for several years before the people of British Columbia achieved entire control of their administration.

The retirement of Sir James Douglas from the governorship of the two colonies was marked by all those forms and ceremonies with which the man of public affairs is wont to pass from the scene of his activity, and which may mean much or little. There had undoubtedly arisen a deep-rooted opposition to the principle of irresponsible government in British Columbia and to Douglas as the representative of that principle. Yet in the mass of customary laudation with which his days of office closed, the note of gratitude for the unequalled experience which he had brought to the service of the country and for the value of the work he had done was persistently present, even in the minds of those who realized most clearly the necessity for change. There were banquets and processions, presentations of memorials and tributes of the press. The formula was repeated in the respective capitals of the colonies. At Victoria, two hundred of the leading citizens of Vancouver Island took their seats at a dinner in his honour; in New Westminster, where settlement was less compact, seventy-five. Both colonies presented addresses signed by hundreds of their inhabitants to the Duke of Newcastle, colonial secretary, in which admiration of the governor was warmly expressed. The legislature of Vancouver Island declared its belief that the signal prosperity which the colony had enjoyed was "mainly ascribable to the policy which His Excellency inaugurated," the governor characteristically replying with an exhortation to harmony between the executive and the legislature. So, likewise, the council of Vancouver Island placed on record its high estimation of the policy of Douglas "in originating and administering the government" of the colony, of his appreciation of his duties and responsibilities, and of the moral qualities which had adorned his actions and endeared him to the people of the island. In Victoria, the universal respect in which the governor was held had kindled into an affection which was plainly manifest in the demonstrations with which his departure was accompanied. Twenty-two years from the time that the natives of Camosun first saw the harbour ruffled by the Beaver, Douglas passed through the streets of the city he had founded on his last official progress, the people thronging the way and crowding to grasp his hand as the guns of the fort pealed their farewell salute. On the mainland, where he was at one time regarded as the natural enemy of the colony, it is of significance to quote the following from an address which was presented at New Westminster and which bore the names of over nine hundred of the inhabitants:

"During the period His Excellency has been in office, he has assiduously devoted his remarkable talents to the good of the country; ever unmindful of self, he has been accessible to all, and we firmly believe that no man could have had a higher appreciation of the sacred trust vested in him, and none could have more faithfully and nobly discharged it than he has.

"The great road system which Governor Douglas has introduced into the colony is an imperishable monument of his judgment and foresight. It has already rendered his name dear to every miner, and future colonists will wonder how so much could have been accomplished with such small means. The colony already feels the benefit resulting from his unwavering policy in this respect, and year by year will the wisdom of that policy become more manifest.

"During his term of office the laws have ever been rigidly, faithfully and impartially administered; the poorest man has always felt that in a just cause he would not have to seek redress in vain, and the country has in consequence enjoyed a remarkable exemption from crime and disturbance."

It was in reply to this that Douglas uttered the words that sum up, better than any other of his own that have survived, the total of his endeavour as governor: "This is surely the voice and heart of British Columbia. Here are no specious phrases, no hollow or venal compliments. This speaks out broadly, and honestly, and manfully. It assures me that my administration has been useful; that I have done my duty faithfully; that I have used the power of my sovereign for good, and not for evil; that I have wronged no man, oppressed no man; but that I have, with upright rule, meted out equal-handed justice to all."

Among the most persistent opponents of the administration of Douglas was Amor de Cosmos, founder and editor of the Victoria Colonist. Few names in western history are more widely known. Beneath the eccentricity which was his most marked outward characteristic, and of which the changing of his name in that wild and free society was a conspicuous example, lay a genuine public spirit and a dogged resolution in resisting what he deemed to be abuses. Born in Nova Scotia, where the fight for responsible government was early fought and won, and by nature combative to a degree, he found in the form of administration existing in British Columbia, a condition which kindled within him all that fierceness of political invective of which he was the accomplished master. Here was not only government without a legislature and without a ministry, but government by a man as autocratic by instinct and training as by the ordinance from which his power was derived. To de Cosmos, not free from opportunism and seeking now the pathway to his own future, Douglas was the mere embodiment of the Hudson's Bay Company's influence carried forward into an era in which it had no place, and in which it could work only for evil. From the embittered warfare waged daily in the columns of the Colonist, an organized party took form in opposition to every act of the governor, an opposition which was soon extended to the mainland, and which was silenced only with the inauguration of popular government in 1871. Among the friends of the retiring governor, de Cosmos, therefore, could not be reckoned. His tribute, accordingly, to the personal worth of Douglas was of no ordinary value when in the Colonist of October 13th, 1863, he wrote as follows:—

"We have conceived it our duty, upon some occasions, to differ from the policy pursued by Mr. Douglas, as governor of this colony, and we have, from time to time had occasion, as public journalists, to oppose that policy: we trust, however, that such opposition has at no time been factious—personal to the governor himself it has never been. If we have opposed the measures of government, we have never, in our criticism of the public acts of the executive head of that government, failed in our esteem for the sterling honesty of purpose which has guided those acts, nor for the manly and noble qualities and virtues which adorn the man. The intimate relations which have so long existed between Sir James Douglas and the people of Victoria will shortly undergo a change, and we are quite sure that we echo the sentiments of the public of Victoria in saying that His Excellency will carry into private life the honest esteem and hearty good wishes of all Vancouver. His services to his country as governor of these colonies will not be forgotten for many years to come."

It may be of interest to mention here that from 1863 until 1866 the desire for the annexation of the colonies outrode all other sentiments in Vancouver Island, and that de Cosmos himself was among the most persistent advocates of unconditional union, notwithstanding that the change involved for the time the acceptance of administration by the Crown.

The ceremonies of leaving office ended, Douglas was free to carry out the dream of many years—a voyage to Europe. There is little of public interest in the journey; but a diary in which he kept a daily record of his movements and impressions throws a singularly valuable light upon his tastes and sympathies, the variety of his information, and many of his views on public affairs. Conspicuous throughout are his affection for his family, the fervour of his religious convictions, the characteristic love of a Scotchman for his native country, and the wide range of subjects in which he had an interest. Leaving Esquimalt in May, he sailed by way of Panama for Southampton, the voyage as he covered it exceeding ninety-six hundred miles. The summer and early autumn were spent in England and Scotland, where he visited one of his daughters in the vicinity of Inverness, and the rest of the year in France, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands. The south of France, Spain and Italy were visited in the opening months of the following year. In March he was in Rome, where the first attack of an illness which was to give him much anxiety was recorded. His active life in the open and his severely regular habits had hitherto made disease unknown to him; the derangement of the heart to which he finally fell a victim was constitutional or perhaps induced by the strenuous early life of the fur traders, many of whom though vigorous in the extreme failed to reach old age. But the mind of Douglas, even in Italy, was never far away from the land to which he had given his life. At Villetri, near Rome, on the 6th of March, he sees "rocky land covered with brush, places which recall the narrow little vales between the ridges of Work's farm near Victoria"; and again, "a cloudy sky, a short sprinkling of rain, the low springing grass, the damp earth and the brave little daisy are not unlike early March scenes in Victoria." From Italy he passed again through Germany to Paris where the news of the death of a daughter plunged him in deep affliction. From France he returned to London and in a few months more had arrived at Victoria, no longer to bear an active part in public affairs.

The rest of the life of Douglas was uneventful. In the management of his private fortune, in constant reading, and in the out-door exercises that had been his passion during the busiest part of his career, the days went by. He died on August 1st, 1877. The end came suddenly, though not without premonition, from heart failure. The funeral was a notable event in the history of the province. Especially striking were the tributes of the Indians to whom he was indeed the friend they held him. His wife was laid by his side in 1891.

Before the day of his passing, Douglas had lived long enough to witness not a little of the growth which sprang directly from his sowing, and at least the promise of that greater fruitage which the future was to yield. It will be well, before attempting any final estimate of the man and his work, to turn for a moment to the more important of the developments that followed his retirement from public life and to the general course of progress since in British Columbia.

On December 17th, 1867, the legislature of British Columbia assembled for the first time at Victoria. The influence of Seymour, who had succeeded to the governorship of the united colonies, had hitherto retained for New Westminster this coveted distinction. Having yielded in one matter, the governor and the opinion which he represented saw fit to bow to the majority in another and more important. No sooner had the confederation of the eastern colonies become an accomplished fact, than the admission of British Columbia to the Dominion of Canada was keenly debated. The governor opposed it. A small party which favoured annexation with the United States opposed it. The body of office-holders opposed it vigorously. At the first, the activity of these succeeded in shelving the question. Nevertheless, as early as March, 1868, a resolution passed the council in favour of the union, provided fair and equitable terms could be obtained. Public meetings at Victoria, Barkerville and other points, soon after gave solid endorsation to the project. The sympathy of the Dominion itself was obtained, with special reference to the taking over of the intervening territory. A confederation league was formed and a convention held under its auspices at Yale. Here, perhaps for the first time, the movement found its full voice, the existing form of government being denounced as a despotism for which the only remedy was asserted to be the immediate admission of British Columbia into the Dominion and the establishment of responsible institutions.

But the most potent of all the arguments for union was the promise which it held out of promoting overland communication with Canada. This it was that finally silenced the opposition of Seymour. In any event, the death of the governor in 1869 led to the appointment of an avowed advocate of confederation, Anthony Musgrave, previously governor of Newfoundland, and with an experience of administration gained in the West Indies. A tour of the colony which the new officer immediately undertook confirmed the view that the overwhelming sentiment of the population was in favour of confederation. On the back of this came formal instructions from England that the governor should take such steps as he properly and constitutionally could, either in conjunction with the governor-general of Canada or otherwise, to promote the favourable consideration of the question. When the council, which had been reconstituted in 1869, met for the session of 1870, Musgrave had a series of resolutions prepared for its consideration. In a memorable debate which began on March 9th, 1870, and lasted until the twenty-fifth, the terms on which British Columbia should become a part of the Dominion were definitely determined. On July 7th, the news was received from Ottawa that the articles had been agreed upon, the construction of the transcontinental railway guaranteed, and the delegates who had been sent to present the claims of the province already on their way home.

The provisions upon which British Columbia entered confederation ensured in the first place that the Dominion should assume all debts and liabilities of the colony, allowance being made for the small amount of these compared with the original indebtedness of the other provinces. For the support of the provincial government an annual subsidy of thirty-five thousand dollars, with an additional grant of eighty cents per head on an estimated population of sixty thousand was promised, the latter allowance to be increased pro rata until the population reached four hundred thousand. Canada was to defray all charges in respect to the salaries of the lieutenant-governor and of the judges of the Superior and County or District Courts—likewise of the department of customs, the postal and telegraph services, the fisheries, the militia, the geological survey, the penitentiary, the marine department, the care of the Indians and other matters appertaining to the general government. A fortnightly steam mail service between Victoria and San Francisco, and a weekly service with Olympia, were to be maintained by the Dominion. But the portion of the agreement which was of most absorbing interest to British Columbia, was that which set forth in detail the terms on which the railway across the continent, now the dream of every section of the community, should be built, and which provided in brief that it should unite the seaboard of British Columbia with the railway system of Canada and that its construction should be begun within two years of the date of union, the province conveying the necessary public lands along the line in trust to the Dominion government. The Dominion also guaranteed the interest for ten years on a maximum sum of 100,000 to be expended on the construction of a graving dock at Esquimalt. The new province was given three seats in the senate and six in the House of Commons. Finally, it was agreed that the constitution of the executive authority and of the legislature of British Columbia should continue until altered under the British North America Act, it being understood that the Dominion government would consent to the introduction of responsible government when desired by the people of British Columbia, and that it was the intention of the British Columbia government to amend the existing constitution of the legislature by providing that a majority of its members should be elective. The union was to take place on a date to be fixed by Her Majesty on addresses from the legislature of British Columbia and of the parliament of Canada, the former being granted leave to specify in its address the electoral districts for which the first election of members to serve in the House of Commons should take place.

The document containing the terms of union reached Victoria on July 18th, 1870. Meantime a representative had been despatched to England to secure the needed change in the constitution of the colony and the guarantee of the imperial government for the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. For the election of the new council, which for the first time in the history of the united colonies was preponderatingly representative in character, the colony was divided into eight electoral districts, consisting of Victoria City, Victoria district, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Hope, Yale and Lytton, Lillooet and Clinton, and Cariboo and Kootenay. Of these, Victoria city returned two members. The elections were held in November, and the council met in January, 1871. The chief work of the session was, of course, the ratification of the terms of union previously agreed upon. This done, an Act was passed abolishing the council and establishing a legislative assembly in its stead, the latter to be elected once in every four years and to consist of twenty-four members chosen by twelve electoral districts. Thus it was effected that responsible government should come into operation at the first session of the legislature subsequent to the union with Canada. A Qualification and Franchise Act was passed and the council prorogued on March 28th. On the same date, the resolutions for the admission of the colony were moved in the Canadian House of Commons, and, after a four days' discussion, were adopted. On July 1st, 1871, the first Dominion Day was celebrated in British Columbia.

On the whole, the new province brought to the Dominion a dower of no ordinary richness in the way of accomplished development and of promising outlook for the future. From the lavish expenditures of the early years a system of retrenchment and economy had been evolved, while the permanent results of these expenditures remained. Roads had been opened. Agriculture had been planted; it was estimated that not less than one hundred and twenty-five thousand acres, valued at from two dollars and a half to five dollars per acre, were available for cultivation. The mining industry of the province was already famous throughout the world, while it was known that not a tithe of its richness had been revealed. Even manufactures were assuming importance. Trade had reached a volume of over $3,400,000 a year. The labour market was in a promising condition, unskilled workmen being in good demand at wages of two dollars and a half per day and upward. The Indian question had been placed on a satisfactory basis. The Hon. J. W. Trutch, distinguished for many years past in the councils of the colony, became the first lieutenant-governor, under auspices that promised to the mind of every inhabitant the beginning of a golden era for the province.

But the union could not be real to British Columbia until the railway—the tie on which so much depended—was at least in visible process of realization. In this, a grievous disappointment awaited the province. For a decade and a half the delay in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was the leading topic in political, industrial and commercial circles throughout British Columbia. A reference to this phase in the development of the province is necessary to complete the record of confederation.

As early as 1858, when the discovery of the gold-fields of the Fraser made the value of the country known, the ambition of Great Britain to see planted a chain of colonies which should cross the continent, bound by a single chain of railways, from Nova Scotia to the Pacific, was formally acknowledged. For ten years more, however, the enormous difficulties, both of finance and of engineering, prevented serious consideration of the project, and it was not until the explorations of Viscount Milton in the Rocky Mountains and the unceasing agitation of Mr. Alfred Waddington had awakened public interest, that the undertaking may be said to have been brought within the realm even of the remotely practicable. In September, 1869, the Canada Gazette contained a notice that application would be made at the ensuing session of parliament for a charter to build a railway from the Canadian system to the foot of the Rockies; but this was later acknowledged to have been only a part of the campaign for the creation of an intelligent public opinion on the subject. By 1870, however, such measures were no longer necessary, the desirability of the railway being no longer questioned, and the proposition for its construction having been accepted, in the way that has been described, as an integral part of the bargain between British Columbia and the Dominion. The line, it had already come to be recognized, was almost as necessary to the one as to the other; for if British Columbia was thought to profit more immediately by its construction, and in the discussions on the subject bore always the. aggressive part, an outlet to the unoccupied territory of the West was no less an urgent need to Canada if she was to prevent her surplus population from continually overflowing into the United States, and if in process of time she was to be assured of an expanding market for her produce.

But the signing of the articles of union did not by any means allay the almost universal feeling of distrust, not to say of alarm, with which the project had been regarded from the first in Canada. To the majority it seemed indeed that the Dominion had essayed a task that was impossible. The feeling was reflected in parliament where, in spite of the strength of the government of the day, the confederation measure passed with difficulty and only on the promise that the undertaking would be left to private enterprise without involving further additions to the taxation of the country. This in itself was a blow to the expectations of the people of British Columbia; for it was clear that the enormous expenses of construction and the scanty earnings that could be counted upon for many years in the service of so small and scattered a population would prove but an indifferent attraction to capital. As a matter of fact, the limit specified at confederation for the beginning of the work, July 1st, 1873, expired before even the surveys had been more than started.

The tangled skein of the dispute which forthwith arose between the province and the Dominion, it is unnecessary here to unravel. Throughout its continuance no real desire was apparent on the part of British Columbia, if we pierce below the surface, to exact the full legal penalty of a compact proved by time and circumstances to be unjust. She had been led, however, to regard the railway as the chief condition of the union, and the railway she was determined should be built. If her attitude was local and colonial rather than federal and Canadian, it must be remembered that her assimilation with the Dominion was the very point at issue. The charge of breach of faith preferred by the province was the subject of prolonged negotiations. After a lengthy war by correspondence, Mr. J. D. Edgar, afterwards Sir James Edgar, was despatched in the spring of 1874 as a special agent of the Dominion to Victoria. The result was but to bring the differences to a head, in the form of an appeal by the province to the British government. The construction of two rival lines, the Northern and the Union Pacific, in the United States, added fuel to the discontent. The award which followed, known as the Carnarvon terms, was distinctly favourable to British Columbia, in so far that it ensured the building of the road, though it recognized that the letter of the original agreement could not possibly be carried out. The award required that two million dollars should be spent each year on the construction of the road within the province from the time the surveys were completed, the latter to be pushed at once with all possible vigour; that the railway should be completed and opened for traffic between Lake Superior and the Pacific seaboard on or before December 31st, 1890; and that a telegraph line and certain wagon roads should be constructed forthwith.

At the outset, it should be stated, an Act had passed the Dominion parliament granting a subsidy of thirty million dollars together with fifty million acres of land for the construction of a railway from Lake Nipissing to the Pacific, and a charter had been awarded to a company organized under the leadership of Sir Hugh Allan. The episode familiarly known as the Pacific scandal had followed, and the company, finding it impossible to raise the needed capital, went out of existence. Mackenzie, on succeeding to the chaos which followed the resignation of Sir John Macdonald's ministry, having failed in the attempt to treat directly with the provincial authorities and having sought in vain to purchase calm by the passage of a new Pacific Railway Bill in 1874, found even in the terms of the Carnarvon settlement an unexpected difficulty. In addition to the provisions referred to, the award required the construction by the Dominion with all possible despatch of a line from Esquimalt to Nanaimo, the building of this road having been offered by the previous government to the province by way of offset for the delay which had occurred in the carrying out of the terms of the union. A bill which incorporated this feature of the award was passed by the House of Commons, but was rejected by the senate on the ground that the terms of union did not call for any extension of the line to Vancouver Island, and that, if the extension were considered in the light of compensation, it was on altogether too extravagant a scale. The entire question was thus thrown open anew to discussion, and the negotiations which ensued served but to widen the breach between the governments.

From the standpoint of British Columbia, the attitude of the Dominion was now in open disregard of the Carnarvon terms, as it had previously been at variance with the articles of union. By 1876, neither the mainland nor the island road had been begun, nor had the agreement relating to the provincial section of the telegraph been carried out, nor had a commencement been made of the wagon road intended to facilitate the work of construction proper. Widespread depression in trade, it was claimed, had followed these delays, and the development of the country had been greatly retarded. On the other hand, the Mackenzie government now protested vigorously against the selection, agreed to by its predecessor, of Esquimalt as the terminus, a choice involving an expenditure of seven millions and a half on Vancouver Island, with a bridge across the narrows estimated to cost twenty millions more. It was willing to offer seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, or about seventy-five dollars per capita of the white population of the province, as indemnity for the delay; but this had been refused. Moreover, during the first four years of union, the Dominion had expended in British Columbia twelve hundred thousand dollars more than had been derived from the province in revenue, though undoubtedly a large portion of this was incidental merely to the extension of confederation over the new territory.

While the controversy continued thus, with secession openly in prospect, Lord Dufferin, the governor-general of Canada, paid a visit to the new province, which, while failing of its avowed object of reconciling the discordant elements, succeeded through his tact and adroitness in allaying much of the irritation with which the subject had by this time come to be associated and which in itself formed no small obstacle to an agreement. Nevertheless, for two years longer, though the surveys were actively prosecuted, not only was nothing done on the actual construction of the line, but tenders were not even invited. In September, 1878, accordingly, a formal threat of separation was made by the British Columbia legislature. Annexation with the United States again became a subject of discussion in certain quarters; and there was general discontent and demoralization. On the change of ministry at Ottawa, however, more conciliatory counsels were adopted; surveys were rapidly completed; Port Moody on Burrard Inlet was finally selected as the terminus; and by 1880 all was in readiness for the fulfilment of the railway clauses of the union. This had its due effect in British Columbia. In 1881, the conveyance of twenty miles on either side of the line to the Dominion was authorized, and with the passing, on March 25th, of an Act providing that the Supreme Court of Canada and the Exchequer Court or the Supreme Court of Canada alone (according to the provisions of the Act of Parliament of Canada known as the Supreme and Exchequer Court Act) should have jurisdiction in controversies between the Dominion and the province, the actual union of the province and the Dominion may be said to have been consummated. The province continued to press in London for permission to collect its own tariff of customs and excise until through communication should be established with the eastern provinces; but the plea fell now on deaf ears and after a brief agitation was allowed to die.

From this time forward the railway made rapid progress. It had been decided, in 1878, that the route should follow the valleys of the Fraser and the Thompson. By 1880, when some sixteen and a half millions had been expended on surveys and construction as a whole, Sir John Macdonald announced the formation of a syndicate by whom the work would be completed. The Dominion, under the contract, agreed to build the portion of the road between Yale and Kamloops by the end of June, 1885, and that between Port Moody and Yale by June 1st, 1891. All was finally laid at rest between the governments by the Settlement Act of 1884.

Of the various terms of the agreement and of the manner in which its provisions were carried out in the sections east of the Rocky Mountains, no further mention is necessary here. Of the work within the boundaries of British Columbia, however, the completion of which may be said to have marked an epoch in railway construction as well as in the history of the province, the more extraordinary features may be noted. Between Kamloops Lake and Burrard Inlet, where the road descends the canyons of the Thompson and Fraser, the contracts were undertaken at a cost approximating twelve million dollars, apart from rails and fastenings. Ground was broken early in 1880. On portions of the road it is probable that the difficulties were greater than had ever before been encountered in railway building, except perhaps in Switzerland and Peru. The cost per mile over a considerable section averaged eighty thousand dollars; in certain parts as much as two hundred thousand dollars per mile was expended. In nineteen miles near Yale, thirteen tunnels occur. Elsewhere in the Fraser canyons the roadway was literally hewn from the rock, men being lowered hundreds of feet down the face of the precipice to blast a foothold. At times over seven thousand labourers were employed, though the average was nearer four thousand. The enormous difficulties of forwarding supplies and material were overcome with no less marvellous skill. Even the rapids of the Fraser were breasted by a steamer built for the purpose. In the section of the railway which traverses the Rocky Mountains, scarcely less astounding feats of engineering were required. By 1884, the track had been laid from Winnipeg to the summit of the Rockies, though there was still a gap of two hundred miles between that point and Kamloops. But the end was soon to crown the work. On November 7th, 1885, five years before the date required by the Carnarvon terms, the final rail was laid. The last spike was driven by Mr. Donald A. Smith, now Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, a leading director of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and, by a fitting coincidence, the chief representative of the great fur-trading enterprise whose men had been the first to enter the Pacific slope. It was a grave moment in the history of Canada and the British Empire. Henceforward east was west and west was east in British North America, as nearly as the hand of man could accomplish it. The gateway to the Orient had been opened at last by land. How, on commercial grounds alone—though these were not its basis—the undertaking begun amid so many doubts and fears has justified the vision of its founders, is among the trite lessons of our history. In the creation of the prosperous city of Vancouver, to-day one of the leading centres of industry in Canada, entrepot of a trade that reaches to the ends of the earth, with clearings of over two hundred million dollars, employing a tonnage of nearly thirteen millions, and already numbering over seventy thousand inhabitants, where a quarter of a century ago was virgin forest, may be seen a typical instance of what that great enterprise has accomplished for the province and for Canada.

It will be of interest to notice here the further steps that have been taken to open up the province by means of railways. That Port Moody was selected by the Dominion as the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway largely because it rendered unnecessary the construction of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo line as a condition of the union with British Columbia, there can be no doubt. The effect was long felt by Victoria and Vancouver Island. In 1883, however, a contract was entered into with another agency for the construction of the line in question, the work to be begun at once and to be finished by 1887. Thus, with only a slight delay, the island was provided with a railway throughout its most thickly peopled districts, and the line by a recent purchase forms part of the system of the Canadian Pacific. Even before the projection of this undertaking, the New Westminster and Port Moody, the Fraser River, and the Columbia and Kootenay Railway Companies, had been incorporated. The last, which provided entrance to the Kootenay district from the north, became in time a part of the important system built westward by the Canadian Pacific Company from the prairie section through the Crow's Nest Pass, opening up a country whose marvellous wealth in coal and mineral is now known throughout the world. Meanwhile the Great Northern Railway has crossed the border from the state of Washington, connecting Vancouver with the railways of the United States and promising soon to establish another and much needed outlet from the Kootenays westward to the coast. But these results, substantial as they are, form but an earnest of the progress which the immediate future holds, when, to mention only the greatest of several lines that are projected, a second and even a third road from Canada, piercing the mountains of Cariboo and Cassiar, shall cross the province three hundred miles to the northward of the Canadian Pacific Railway and awaken those primeval solitudes to settled industry. As an interesting note to the foregoing, it may be stated that the system of roads and trails begun by Douglas, and built and maintained by the government, amounted in 1900 to a total of over ten thousand miles.

The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway marks from many points of view the beginning of a new era in the development of British Columbia— so far-reaching was its effect in affording transport for the growing industries of the province and in bringing the country into touch with the outside world. From a population of 36,241 in the year of confederation, grown to 49,459 in the decade following, the province had become a community of 178,657 souls in 1900, the date of the last Dominion census, while the revenue has reached an estimated total of $3,286,476 for the fiscal year of 1908, and the import and export trade a total of approximately $40,000,000. A very brief indication of the economic and industrial progress reflected in these returns, and appropriate in the case of a community whose history from the outset is primarily a study in industrial development, is all that may be attempted in this restricted space.

Agriculture, until recent years, cannot be said to have attained importance as an industry in British Columbia, though progress relatively has been very rapid. In the decade of 1890-1900, the agricultural area of the province increased, according to the Dominion census, from 115,184 to 171,447 acres, the latter representing a total value in agricultural property of $33,491,978. This is less than one per cent, of the entire area of the province, and the returns do not enter into comparison with those of Ontario and the north-west provinces. The reason is to be sought in the heavily timbered nature of the valleys, which, notwithstanding their fertility, require capital for development in all but a few sections, whereas the neighbouring prairies of the north-west provinces have offered no resistance of this kind, and have naturally been occupied more rapidly. Large areas of British Columbia will be available for agriculture only on the introduction of irrigation. Hard wheat, moreover, is not grown in the portions of the province as yet devoted to agriculture. The advantages of the British Columbia climate, however, have given a special impetus to fruit growing, and the orchards of Okanagan are already known in the leading markets of the world, not only for the quality of the fruit but for the enterprise and skill of the grower. In 1901, there were 7,430 acres in orchards, with some 650,000 trees; in 1906 there were 40,000 acres with 2,700,-000 trees. Dairying and cattle raising also are, by every indication, on the eve of an important future, the present year exceeding any previous record in the quantity and quality of the output. In 1900 there were seven cheese and butter factories in operation; in 1906 there were nineteen. There are ranches in British Columbia carrying ten and fifteen thousand cattle, but the tendency is to break up these larger holdings into farms. Legislation has kept pace with these developments, the laws for the promotion of agricultural societies, Farmers' Institutes, Co-operative Associations, Dairying Associations, Boards of Horticulture, and various lands, drainage, animals and cattle Acts, being among the most advanced in the Dominion.

The fisheries of British Columbia, once the almost sole support of the native population and no mean source of revenue to the Hudson's Bay Company, are now a household word throughout the world. Every species of salmon known to the Pacific abound in its waters—the sockeye, the spring, the cohoe, the humpback and the dog-salmon. The taking and preserving of these fish has grown into the most distinctive, if not the greatest, industry of the province. The mysterious four years' absence of the sockeyes in the depths of the Pacific, the teeming millions in which they return to spawn and to die in the streams that gave them birth, and the unique methods of capture and manufacture, are familiar features. In 1897 and 1901, the two most productive years on record, no less than 1,026,545 and 1,247,212 cases of salmon were put up in British Columbia. From 4,000 to 20,000 men are employed in the industry, according to the season. Unfortunately, the province is unable to reap the whole of the magnificent harvest which her rivers yield. On their return from the sea, the sockeyes pass for many miles along the shores and islands of the United States, where they are taken without let or hindrance by the canners of Puget Sound, who annually secure a larger pack than British Columbia herself and render any attempt at preservation or regulation extremely difficult. But the salmon is not the only food fish of British Columbia. Halibut and herring yield an increasing return, the latter under methods which promise a prosperous future. Whale fishing, which in early days found the Sandwich Islands the most convenient centre, has assumed great importance within the past two years off Vancouver Island. For many years, also, Victoria has been the headquarters of the sealing fleet of Canada in the Northern Pacific, which yields a considerable, though steadily decreasing, return.

From the pigmy efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company in the sawing and marketing of lumber, dependent almost wholly upon the demands of the Russian and Northern Pacific trade, has sprung up an industry that produces hundreds of millions of feet annually and extends to Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as meeting the enormously increased demand arising from the settlement of the Canadian prairies. Possessing perhaps the greatest compact area of merchantable timber on the North American continent, the province, in the face of the general depletion, holds her forest wealth as second only to her mines among her great natural resources, if the extraordinary trade of 1906 and 1907 has not advanced it to the premier place. Apart from its abundance, the magnificence of the growth attained by the Douglas fir and the giant cedars of Vancouver Island give an added value to the product, trees of eight, ten and eleven feet diameter and three hundred feet in height, being not infrequently found. Fires have occasioned an enormous and deplorable waste, especially in the interior of the province beyond the humid influence of the ocean; but in this as in other respects the policy of the government has been enlightened, and under an improved system of protection losses were never so small as at present. What the general progress of the industry has been, may be judged from the fact that in 1888, the first year for which official statistics are available, the number of mills in operation was twenty-five, and the total cut 31,868,884 feet; whereas in 1902 the number of mills had increased to one hundred and five, and the annual cut to 281,945,866 feet, figures which have been nearly doubled since the rapid settlement of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta has created a new and, for many years to come, a heavy market for the products of the British Columbia forests. Up to confederation it was estimated that the entire cut of the colony had not exceeded two hundred and fifty million feet. Meanwhile, the manufacture of shingles has frequently reached half a billion yearly, and the fleet required to transport the growing output to the foreign market has been multiplied by several times.

But the leading asset of British Columbia has, from the moment of her birth in 1858, been looked for in her wealth in mineral. The beginning of the mining industry has been already described. It may be said that in so far as placer mining is concerned, the year 1863, with its total output of nearly four millions in gold, has remained the highest point to which production has attained. Yet Cariboo in 1900 was still yielding $700,000, the new Atlin district of the far north-west being the other leading producer with a total of over $400,000. But the days of the rocker and the sluice have forever passed away, and the hope of the future in these fields is in the great hydraulic processes, established at enormous cost, which have already been installed on the scenes of the excitement of 1860-5. The placers, however, now yield but a small part of the annual harvest of mineral in British Columbia. Metalliferous lode mining, which can scarcely be said to have been followed before 1891, and which now yields from the mines of the Rossland, the Nelson, the Slocan and the Boundary camps alone an annual product valued at $14,000,000, has become the great and foremost industry of the province. In coal mining, the small beginning of the Hudson's Bay Company on Vancouver Island which has been duly noted and which in 1861 passed under the control of the "Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company," has grown from year to year until an annual production of over a million and a half tons has been reached. In addition, the fields of the Crow's Nest Pass began shipping in 1898, and have now a daily capacity of four thousand tons, with almost unlimited resources in areas to draw upon and markets to supply. Legislation of an enlightened character has accompanied this great development. In 1877, child and female labour underground in coal mines was forbidden, and in a series of enactments since, the safety of employees has been guarded by every means suggested by experience. The latest of these enforce the eight hour day in the coal mines, metalliferous mines and smelters throughout the province.

If manufacturing has had less incentive to growth than the sister industries, the progress made is far from inconsiderable. In 1901 the Dominion census showed a capital of $22,901,892 invested in manufacturing in British Columbia, a total which places the province fourth, after Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, in Canada. The session of the legislature of 1908 has placed a Factories Act upon the statute-book that constitutes perhaps the most advanced legislation of the kind in Canada to-day.

Industrial problems of no mean order have followed in the wake of this remarkable and steady progress. In general, they have been those familiar in communities where placer-gold or other great natural resources are free to all. The spirit of buoyancy, natural to a new and vigorous community, is still reflected in the high prices of commodities and in the high wages and shorter hours which widespread organization has been able to obtain for labour. Population is less fixed than in older Canada, and there is less of settled order in the general industrial life. Nowhere in Canada have industrial disputes been waged with greater bitterness and violence than in British Columbia. This, however, is but to say that the province, in spite of its substantial achievements, is still in its infancy as an industrial community, and that the impulse which it obeys is western.

The problem of Oriental labour is shared with the rest of the Pacific coast. From the days of the first rush of gold-seekers into the Fraser Valley, the Chinese have been in the province. The first official reference to their presence is found, in 1859, in a report of the assistant gold commissioner of the district of Lytton, which was thought of sufficient importance to warrant transmission to the colonial office. The first detachment numbered in the neighbourhood of thirty. Trouble followed almost immediately in their wake. The supplying of liquor to the savages by the whites soon found a dangerous counterpart in their being furnished with arms and ammunition by the Chinese, and when the miners drove the latter away the result was to arouse the open hostility of the Indians. The Chinese were present in considerable numbers in the opening up of Cariboo, working by their patient effort claims that the white miner passed over in contempt. By 1881, they numbered 4,383. The period of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway followed, and by 1891 there were 9,129 Chinese in Canada. But the heaviest influx began in 1895, between which year and 1898 the average immigration of Chinese amounted to 2,100 yearly. By 1901, the total had reached 16,792, of whom 14,376 according to incomplete returns, remained in British Columbia. A capitation tax of $50, later raised to $100, proved ineffectual to stem the tide. The highest point of the movement was reached in 1900 when over six thousand Mongolians landed in British Columbia between the months of January and April alone. Thereupon a Royal Commission of enquiry was appointed by the Dominion government, in reply to a petition of the province, on whose recommendation the capitation tax was raised to $500, since when the inflow has, until quite recently, wholly ceased. The immigrants are of the coolie class entirely, and though not criminal are incapable of assimilation, and live without family life in overcrowded and unsanitary communities. The verdict of the province at large is for the careful regulation of the whole movement, though by the employers of labour, especially those engaged in the extensive works that accompany the development of a new country, the cheap but inferior services of the Chinese are in demand. The question of Japanese immigration has arisen almost wholly in the past decade. It may be said to have reached its solution within the past year as the result of a special mission to Japan of the Minister of Labour for Canada. Still more recently the movement from India has been restricted under an arrangement concluded by the Deputy Minister of Labour with the government of Great Britain.

In this review of purely material progress no mention has been made of the background of provincial politics against which it has been carried out. The truth is that the annals of political controversy in British Columbia are not of widespread interest. As in the days of Douglas, the issues that have arisen have been of practical administration almost wholly. For that reason, possibly, a lack of leadership or even of constructive party organization (marked contrast with the period of Douglas!) has been a feature of the politics of British Columbia. As already mentioned, the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway furnished matter for the politicians of a decade, and the local issues which arose in conjunction with the controversy with the Dominion were not always worthy of remembrance. Yet some exceedingly useful legislation has been enacted, and in many respects the way has been shown to the older provinces. Even in the days of conflict with the Dominion over the terms of union, sufficient respite was obtained to allow the original restrictions on the suffrage to be abolished by a series of Acts dealing with qualification and registration. After this, attention was paid to municipal affairs, the administration of justice, the providing of a revenue, the improvement of communications, the establishment of a lands policy, and other matters of vital import to the development of the province.

Education may well demand a statement to itself. A beginning, as we know, was made in the Crown colony of Vancouver Island in the public schools which were opened by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1855, with the Rev. Edward Cridge, the clergyman of the company, as the first honorary superintendent of education. Ten years afterwards, in 1865, a free school system was established by the island assembly; but the population of the mainland was still too sparse to admit of any regular and organized system. Even on Vancouver Island the cost of schools did not exceed $10,000 per annum (the average pay of teachers being $65.00 per month) and six of the eleven schools established in 1865 had been forced by 1867 to discontinue for lack of funds. By 1869, when the united colonies passed legislation on the subject, there were still only twelve schools in existence, seven being on the island, while of a school population estimated at two thousand, only three hundred and fifty were at school. Teachers were appointed without examination, and there was no inspection. The end of this disorganized and inefficient system came with the Act of 1872, based largely on the Ontario Act of 1846, but modified to suit the immense area of the province and the scattered nature of the population. Under the improved conditions which immediately followed, by 1874 there were over 1,200 names on the various registers. By 1875 these had risen to 1,685, the number of schools being forty-five and of teachers fifty. At present the roll is over 78,000. The consolidated Public School Act of 1876, the Public School Act of 1879, and further amendments and consolidations in 1885 and 1891 are later milestones in the progress of education in the province. The Victoria High School dates from 1876, and those of New Westminster, Nanaimo and Vancouver from 1884, 1886 and 1890, respectively. The crowning point of the system may be said to have been reached in 1906 with the establishment of the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning in British Columbia, in close affiliation with one of the greatest of the universities of older Canada, and-with the passing of an Act in 1907 whereby the University of British Columbia, first projected in 1891, was granted a reservation of provincial lands for use at such time as it might be thought desirable to proceed with its organization. In 1908 that organization was finally perfected under special Act of the session.

Two important matters remain to be mentioned in both of which the interests of the province were primarily concerned, though the questions, being international in scope, were dealt with by Great Britain and the Dominion. These were the controversies concerning jurisdiction in Behring Sea and with regard to the location of the Alaskan boundary. The former arose from the attempt of the United States to make of Behring Sea a mare clausum under the terms of the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. Relying on her interpretation of the Russian agreements, seizures of a number of Canadian vessels found sealing within those waters were made by the United States in 1886, 1888 and 1889. On the protest of Great Britain, the dispute was referred to arbitration, and the award declared the seizures to be unlawful, Russia having been proved never to have made good her claim that the sea between Alaska and Siberia was hers alone and not a part of the great Pacific. The dispute concerning the Alaskan boundary had been in progress for several years, and a joint commission to locate the boundary had conducted surveys during 1893-4. Here again the controversy proper was one involving the interpretation of the convention between Great Britain and Russia in 1825. Did the line determining the thirty miles of lisiere provided for by the treaty go around the inlets and interior waters of the coast (including the Lynn Canal concerning which the widest divergence of views occurred and to which the events arising out of the Yukon gold discoveries gave special prominence); or should it pass along the summits of the mountain range nearest the shore line, crossing all narrower waters? The decision of 1903, arrived at after negotiations lasting many months, and yielding nearly all to the United States, still smoulders with the dissatisfaction which it aroused in Canada. Nevertheless, with the confidence born of power, the ending of uncertainty has been accepted as a gain in British Columbia, and the province is now enabled to bend her energies, without disquietude as without vain regrets, to the splendid tasks of the future. How, then, shall we of the present, looking before and after, with knowledge of events of half a century, pass judgment on James Douglas, the man whose work and character make up the early history of a region so great in itself (as time has but begun to prove) and doubly great because it brings to our people a share in the mighty destinies of the Pacific?

Let us begin with a definition. Let us recall the scale on which he wrought and something of the essential nature of his task, and so preserve our sense of proportion. It was not what one would call a great scale; it was not, by several standards, a great task. We are apt to be confused by the vastness of the raw materials of statehood which passed through his hands, and so forget the smallness of the human part in its beginning, the few points at which it touched its immense background of nature, and the simple and elementary character of the polity which first arose. Far off and isolated as the colony was, and closely guarded by the sovereign power, here were no problems, save at widest intervals, touching the rival interests of nations; to make the obvious comparison with the eastern colonies, there was here no feud of ruling races to allay, no Family Compact to uproot, no Clergy Reserve to divide, no complicated fiscal policy to arrange. If difficulties such as these arose, even in rudimentary form, they were settled apart from Douglas, or their settlement deferred. He antedated the real political development of British Columbia, and he dealt with no inherited conditions.

The truth is, he was almost wholly an administrator. Risen to be the leader of the great commercial enterprise which had thrust its roots so deeply into that virgin soil, the process of events which made him ruler under the Crown in British Columbia was, when all is said, a change of masters primarily. While varying the ends to be attained, and the means with which to secure them, it made no vital alteration in those methods and principles by which he had been wont to govern all his actions. The establishment of discipline and order among the miners of the Fraser valley, the framing of the rules by which the single occupation of the inhabitants might be carried on, the building of roads, the founding of cities, the financing of the system as a whole—such were his practical cares. It was as if some huge and novel enterprise, reared upon the basis of a past that had vanished as if at a word, were placed for its development in his charge, his powers unlimited in all the multifarious concerns of management, but subject in their larger action to the plans, the policy and the approval of its original creator. The difficulties and responsibilities of his position were indeed very great; had they fallen into hands less competent, had they fallen even into other hands at all, it might almost be said they would have carried confusion if not disaster to the colony. Yet with it all the work of Douglas was that of a builder and organizer, not that of an architect and creator in the fashioning of British Columbia.

We will do well, then, to remember that of statesmanship in the broad and usual sense the career of Douglas does not furnish an example. How, in truth, should he have been a statesman? From the days of his youth he had had to deal with naked fact—with the struggle first for bare existence, and later with the fierce and merciless rivalry against which he had fought his way, step by step and with a stern enjoyment, until he stood free and in full mastery of the huge concern to which he had bound his fortunes. Alert and studious as he was, there was still a great gulf fixed between a training such as that and an apprenticeship to liberal statecraft. Moreover, to repeat, it was not to the exercise of statecraft he was called. In the emergency of 1858, Douglas had qualities of a value to the country greater than any working knowledge of the principles of constitutionalism. From the school of forty years' service in the Hudson's Bay Company he had derived an experience—minute as it was comprehensive, and wholly without parallel on the north-west coast—of every problem of the British Columbia wilderness. That stern devotion to his duty, that perfection of the organizing faculty, and that absolute mastery of detail which at all times characterized the mind of Douglas, were a part of what the company had taught him. Gifts wholly personal were his tact, his resourcefulness, his judgment, and the firmness with which he could enforce his decisions. Above all, he had the power, both by nature and by training, of ruling men. He was the one man of his time and place of whom as much could be said. If, therefore, we shall find him often wrong in matters that lay beyond his experience—narrow in his attitude toward the foreigner, the British policy of no discrimination being for long beyond his grasp; prone to precipitation in certain phases of the affair of San Juan; mistrustful ever of popular government (being, to a degree beyond that of the ordinary idealist, a believer in benevolent despotism) opposed even to confederation in his later years;—and while we shall have reason often to rejoice that the imperial curb was present in his administration; we shall never see him at a loss in any matter of the actual management of the colony or without the courage of his convictions when he felt himself on ground which was his own. And that is indeed to praise him greatly. Confronted with an inrush of the most adventurous and irresponsible classes in the world, rough and ungovernable when they were not vicious, owning no law or authority save that of their own rude customs, and powerful enough to sweep all before them had they willed, —the situation doubly embarrassed by the problem of the native races,—Douglas was able of his own prestige and personality, without jot or tittle of precedent whereon to base his action, to turn all to the upbuilding of the colony, establishing the law and sovereignty of Great Britain, firmly maintaining order, organizing the new community on terms that won the support and confidence, where they might have looked only for the enmity, of the wild and uncouth masses which made up the population, giving in short to the world at large the spectacle of a gold-field ruled as it was never ruled before, and laying the sure foundations of a greater community to be. This was the crowning achievement of Douglas carried out at no small sacrifice of his own ease and fortune; never may we cease to cherish appreciation of it.

It is proper to add that no one was more conscious of his place in the political development of British Columbia than was Douglas himself. At sixty-one years old, in full possession of his powers, with an experience of the country greater than that of any other man, he chose to regard his public career as ended, rather than to launch upon that unknown sea on which the methods of all his past were to unlearn. For he was a product of the fur trade, first and always. He ruled the colony as he had ruled his company before. He could rule absolutely, but he could not govern. Thus let him stand, the greatest figure which the fur trade of Canada ever gave to the order which came after it.

It may be well to notice again, with this dominance of the Hudson's Bay Company over the mind of Douglas in view, a basis of attack that was once of frequent use in the hands of his enemies. He has been many times condemned in that, while governor of Vancouver Island and still in the chief command of the company, he did not scruple to turn his dual office to the sole advantage of the commercial enterprise. But this is surely to misread the situation. As a matter of fact, Douglas in his capacity of governor and chief factor in one was almost wholly the chief factor. It could not have been otherwise. The British government was fully cognizant and expected, probably, no more than that the arrangement should secure, during an unsettled and indeterminate interval, the recognition of the imperial authority as supreme. This it did. Even the illegal assumption of the control of the Fraser in 1858 tended to the imperial advantage, though the more immediate object was the benefit of the company. The subservience of the government's interests was further emphasized by the agreement which threw the expenses of administration upon the company. Anomalous as were the relations thus created, they may not improbably have saved the colony from greater evils. In any case the charge of subordinating the interests of government to those of the company so many times preferred by contemporary and later critics must be laid at the door of the system rather than of Douglas. In the mainland colony no bitterness from this cause arose. Notorious as was the singleness of purpose with which the Honourable Company of Adventurers trading into Hudson Bay pursued its ends, and with which (so powerful was the influence of that life of isolation and grinding discipline) it was able to inspire its servants from the governor down, no serious charge of favouritism was ever brought home to Douglas once his relations with the company were severed and he had pledged himself to the sole service of the Crown. If he never ceased to regard the company with that exaggerated reverence which seems the inevitable result of having once risen in its service, this is only to say that the force of nature was too strong for him and that he could not rise superior to so subtle and overwhelming an influence.

Upon the whole, however, if the testimony of his own age be sought, it is greatly in his favour. Of those whom he served, whether Crown or company, the approval was never-failing. He was indeed the most indefatigable, the most devoted, and the most efficient of executive officers. The confidence which the imperial government extended to him, in the almost absolute power which it placed in his hands, was of the highest of its kind. It is not essential that we should attempt to fuse the judgment of his other contemporaries. If he won favour from those he served, it was not at the expense of the mass of the people. Discontent among the miners was not always silent, nor did the attempt to levy tribute on their enterprise fail to encounter fierce resistance; yet with the adoption of wiser counsels, as soon as he was free to do so, Douglas gained a unique place in the miner's heart for his even-handed justice and his strict protection of their interests. But greater far as an achievement was the hold which he secured and maintained upon the Indians. To the simple nature of the savage the gift of intuition has been added in unusual measure. No one more quickly recognizes weakness; no one is readier to acknowledge superiority. To win the Indian's confidence and obedience requires not only constant tact and care, it has need of a courage never known to waver and of a strict integrity of purpose as the guiding principle in every action. Especially was this the case with the native races of British Columbia, who if less warlike than their kindred of the plains, ranked higher in all the moral qualities and were proverbial for their honesty, their hospitality and their chastity. Building upon the foundations which the Hudson's Bay Company had established in forty years of intercourse, Douglas attained much more than the usual influence of trader and friend. He became, as they called him, their father, to whom under the slow and crushing weight of the white invader they could look with the trustfulness of children to temper, if he could not turn aside, the bitterness of their fate. Thus by his personal authority he gained what under other circumstances might have cost the effusion of blood; and the colony saw none of the outrages that for years held the western states in terror. Fear may at the first have formed a portion of the awe which he inspired; but in the end it was the justice and the kindliness of the governor that won their confidence. By nature crafty and suspicious, keen to resent intrusion, and reticent of their strongest feeling, they never for an instant questioned the perfect ascendency which he had gained over their minds, even while they saw their lands despoiled before their eyes or snatched from their possession. Decimated though they had been by the vices and diseases of civilization, they were still in 1858, when they passed beneath the British Crown, at least as strong in numbers as the invaders who dispossessed them. To the man who by the patient work of years could hold in leash this formidable element, exasperated by a treatment which had often added insult to injury, the debt of the young community is not easily to be estimated.

In person Sir James Douglas was not of the ordinary; the fact is of importance. It was a personal rule he bore. Six feet and more in height, but so well proportioned as not to seem beyond the usual stature, erect in carriage, muscular, measured and somewhat slow in his movements, yet natural and graceful withal, he was easily the most striking figure in the whole North-West. As he grew older, says Bancroft, the long face seemed to grow longer, the high forehead to grow still more massive and the large and clear-cut features to assume still bolder proportions, while the firm and earnest purpose of the eyes and mouth deepened into a seriousness akin to melancholy. In a London thoroughfare as in a Canadian forest, in a parliament of the nations as in a hut of the fur traders, he would have fixed attention. Linked with those outer traits were a reserve and dignity, amounting often to hauteur, which a life-time of command had made a part of the man. But the cold and stern demeanour, the slow, even lethargic, manner, the formal and exaggerated courtesy, the serious, not to say solemn, cast of thought, the product of a widely informed though not original mind, expressed in a weighty, if not grandiose, habit of speech, were tempered by a deep religiousness that breathed through all his actions and made him to those who could pierce the inscrutable exterior a revelation of sympathy and kindness. To the people whom he ruled he was the personification of justice clothed with power. In that wild unsettled time, so swayed by the obvious and instinctive, it was a happy setting for the qualities demanded in a governor.

It has been the practice to compare him (not at all points to his advantage) with McLoughlin, the other leader which the fur trade bred on the Pacific slope; and the foil which the older man presents to the younger and, it may be said, the greater, has value of a striking kind in the attempt to probe the inner recesses of the personality of Douglas. Fashioned by the same life and precepts, in the same iron mould of circumstance and environment, inseparably wedded to materialism, there was inevitably much of similarity in their character and in the manner in which they achieved their results. In bent of mind, in outward deportment, and in business methods, Douglas copied largely from his master. Each nature, however, had qualities which marked it sharply from the other. Temperamentally, McLoughlin was a Celt; Douglas was a Saxon. McLoughlin was quick, impulsive, intuitional; Douglas was methodical, conventional, exceedingly careful, and never to be hurried. Without the warmth, the artlessness, the spontaneity or the broad benevolence of McLoughlin, Douglas would win respect long before he touched the affections. It has been noted as a characteristic difference that McLoughlin could flatter, but that Douglas could not, though in diplomacy on a wider scale the latter was the superior. Magnanimous and forgetful of self, McLoughlin if he inspired fear and awe did so for his masters; when his company's interests clashed with his sense of humanity, it was the company and his own fortunes that had to suffer. Now Douglas would be a party to no disloyalty however virtuous; he never moved save toward success. That was his duty as he saw it, and to duty he could not be recreant. It is not that he ever failed in justice, or in kindness where it was deserved; but even righteousness and humanity were made to yield their profit. When McLoughlin fell, there was no quixotic devotion to him on the part of Douglas; he stepped into his place. If you were asked why he should not, you would be puzzled for an answer. You will never find Douglas in the wrong; he was without the weaknesses of which unworthiness is bred. His was a greater intellect than McLoughlin's, and he achieved a greater destiny. Neither ever did an ignoble act. Side by side, as in life, their names shall go down unsullied in the annals of the great northwest.

It comes, therefore, in the end, as we search for the supreme virtue in the life and character of Douglas, to a recognition of his plain efficiency—that burning zeal, whatever the task in hand, to do it in the way that shall be best, with the sagacity to devise and the ability to carry out the measures adapted to this end. Being what he was, he would have risen to distinction, if not to greatness, anywhere. He had the key that opens every door, that of opportunity included. For how can opportunity be created by any man save by the preparedness and efficiency with which he faces the world?

"A work is wanted to be done, and lo, the man to do it!" Difficult and unexampled as was the task of giving earliest form to British Columbia, the country itself produced the man who carried it to a successful issue. The genius of Douglas was of our own western soil: let us remember that with just pride. Let it be thought of happy augury to the great province of the Pacific that in the most dubious hour of her history she found within herself the leadership that brought her to safety and enabled her to face her destiny unafraid.


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