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Ocean to Ocean
From Kamloops to the Sea


Under a roof again. — Kamloops Beef.— Sermon.— John Chinaman.—No letters.—Lake Kamloops.—Savona's Ferry. — A night ride to Ashcroft. — Farming country.—Sage brush. —Irrigation. —A broken leg. — The Judge and the miners.—Gold mining.— Siwashes and Chinamen.—Indian graves. —The waggon road. — Canyons of the Thompson. — Big-bugs. — Lytton. — The rush to the gold mines. — Obstacles to settlement. — Effects of uneducated Salmon. — Boston Bar.—Jackass Mountain. — The road along the Canyons. — Grand scenery.—Suspension Bridge. — Spuzzum's Creek. —Yale. — Letters from home. — Travelling by steam again. — Steamer "Onward."— Hope. — The judiciary of British Columbia. — New Westminster. — Salmon. — Assaying office.— Burrard's Inlet.— Grand Potlatch. — The "Sir James Douglas."—General remarks.

Sept. 29th.—A long sleep in real beds under a raftered roof, and a dip in the Thompson prepared us for such a breakfast as some at least of us never expect to eat again. "Turtle soup out of a gold spoon" is meagre fare compared to Kamloop's beef. After a few samples at breakfast, we were willing to subscribe to all that had ever been said in favour of bunch-grass as feed for the cattle of kings. Mealy potatoes, eggs, and other luxuries that need not be mentioned, lest those who never knew want should scorn our "simple annals," explained satisfactorily the process by which Dr. Cheadle added forty-one pounds to his weight in a three week's stay at Kamloops. The dip was a pleasure too and not merely the duty it had sometimes been felt; for though the branches of the river are united, the currents of the two keep distinct for several miles down ; and the Fort being on the south side, we bathed in the South branch, which is so much warmer than the North that in summer, people who are anxious for cold water often cross in a canoe to the other side for a bucketful.

Soon after breakfast, people began to assemble for the public worship that had been intimated immediately on our arrival The service was held in the dining room of the fort. About thirty attended;—our own party, several gentlemen from other parts of the Province, the seven or eight inhabitants of Kam-loops, and four or five farmers from the neighbourhood. Mr. Tait's two little girls represented the female population of the place; for the three or four white women of the settlement were either absent from home or otherwise unable to attend; and the men who lived with "Klootchmen," as might be expected, did not bring them to church. It may seem wonderful that these prosperous farmers should not have white wives; but the remoteness of the place must be remembered, and they say too that the Victoria girls are unwilling to give up the pic-nics and gaieties of the capital for farm-life and hard work in the interior. Of course there are no servant girls at Kamloops. A young Chinaman, answering to the common name of "John," was cook and maid of all work at the fort; and he did the work in a quiet pleasant thorough way that made us wish to steal him for our own use.

Lunch at one, and dinner at five o'clock came in not too rapid succession, though a walk to the nearest hill-top was all that even the most energetic of the party took in the interval. From the hill-top is a magnificent view of the country round Kamloops : the North Thompson valley for twenty miles up; the South Thompson extending to the east, and the united stream running west for seven miles,—when it expands into a beautiful sheet of water—eighteen miles long—called Kamloops Lake The hills in the neighbourhood have the clean cultivated park-like appearance that we noticed yesterday; and several farms on the flats, at the junction of the two branches, gave a look of life and field work, to which, as well as to the universal soft mellow colouring imparted by the bunch grass, our eyes had long been unaccustomed. Ten miles away among the hills on the opposite or north side of the Thompson is the " guard " with the four or five hundred horses of the fort, which, had time allowed, we would have visited, to compare the horses with those of the plains. One keeper suffices for the guard, for the horses cluster in bands round their own stallions, and give no trouble except when some, being required for use or sale, have to be separated from the rest. On such occasions, the whole guard has to be "coralled" or penned, and the selection made. It would be impossible for a thief to steal one except by "coralling" the band. Last year the Company was offered $12,000 for their Kamloops collection of horses. The offer was not accepted, but it gives us an idea of the value of animals that cost their owners only the pay of one keeper.

Our Sunday dinner was again crowned with a pemmican plum-pudding. The Doctor had fraternized with 'John,' and prepared it as a surprise. Nothing can be said concerning its excellence more forcible than that it stood the test of being eaten after Kamloops roast beef, and a dinner worthy in all respects of Hudson Bay hospitality. Few guessed the ingredients of the pudding, but all praised it as having a "peculiar" flavour.

Dinner was scarcely over, when people began to assemble for the evening service that had been announced in the forenoon. It was 'rough, mighty rough' on some of the party round the table, this sudden transition from material to spiritual food. The Doctor looked beseechingly at the Secretary, and formed on his lips without syllabling it a word that could easily be interpreted 'short'! But he, with callous indifference, preached for nearly an hour, because the congregation was larger than in the morning, and would not get a sermon again for six months.

September 30.—On Saturday night our disappointment had been intense on learning that there were no letters or papers for us. All grumbled, and one threatened to leave out the last half of the weekly toast of "sweethearts and wives"; but hearing that the paymaster of the Canada Pacific Railway Survey had left Victoria for up country, we comforted ourselves with the hope of meeting him with the budget in his pocket at Cache Creek, where the Kamloops road joins the Cariboo waggon road, or at Ashcroft six miles farther down the Thompson.

Ashcroft is fifty-five miles from Kamloops, and if we were to get there to-night, an early start was necessary. But the proverbial difficulty of getting away in a hurry from an Hudson Bay fort held good. New arrangements require to be made ; men taken on or paid off; horses or boat, and baggage to be seen to; instructions to be left; and all the time loafers and interviewers are in the way. We took advantage of odd minutes to be weighed, and a table giving our respective weights at Toronto and Kamloops is enough to prove that the expedition had not told severely on our physique.

The order for the day was to row down twenty-five miles to Savana's ferry at the foot of Kamloops Lake, and there take horses to Ashcroft. This plan would both ease the horses, and enable the Chief to examine a bluff on the south side of the Lake, that had been represented as a formidable obstacle to the Railway line projected along the Thompson.

It was 8 o'clock before a start from the fort was effected, and a head wind springing up soon after, our rate of progress was very slow. The river gradually expands into the Lake, and the scenery would be exceedingly beautiful were it not for the grey and arid or California look that vegetation here presents. The hills are diversified in form and colouring, as they are in age; some heavy bluffs of trap and basalt jutting out into the lake, intermingled with carboniferous rocks; and beyond them elevated plateaus, composed of a silt of mingled sand and clay, retreat in more or less distinctly defined terraces on which the subsiding waters had successively rested. These plateaus again have been broken and twisted by small streams and side waters. On those broken, narrow winding plateaus, and the hill sides that bound them, is abundant grazing for ten times the number of cattle or sheep now seen on them.

While rounding the great bluff, the wind—which generally blows directly either up or down stream—blew so freshly up that the boat made little or no headway. We landed at midday to eat a cold lunch, resolving to take to the horses if they could be seen on the other side of the bluff, and leave Terry in the boat to look after the luggage. Fortunately Mr. Tait had accompanied Jack, (who had made a forced march from Clearwater, arriving at Kamloops on Sunday afternoon), and noticing that the wind kept the boat back, they waited for us in a little cove beyond the bluff, nine miles from the ferry. We gladly mounted into the saddle again at 3 P.M., and in an hour and a half reached the end of the lake, where the Thompson issues from it as a broad deep noble-looking river. Ferrying across, a council was held at Savona's to decide what was to be done. It would be sunset before refreshment could be taken; and it looked a little Dick Turpinish to start at such an hour for a thirty mile ride over a new road in a cloudy moonless night. Learning, however, that the Governor had been on his way to Kamloops to meet us, but had turned back to Ashcroft on hearing that we would probably be there to-night, our usual word "Vorwarts" was given. A jolly-looking Boniface and Mrs. Boniface hurried up a capital supper of Kamloops beef and vegetables, coffee and cake; and promised one 'that would make the hair curl' to any who could remain over night. Such a temptation, aided doubtless by a variety of circumstances, induced Smith to remain; but at 6 o'clock the rest of us were in the saddle.

Four hours after, we reached Cache Creek, having rested only ten minutes on the way at the house of a French Canadian settler. The road followed the course of the Thompson, except for the last six or eight miles, when it turned a little northerly up the valley of the creek that runs into the Buonaparte, a tributary of the Thompson. There are good farms along the road, but night and the fact that it was after harvest made it necessary to accept the testimony of others on the point. The ground is a sandy loam, and will produce anything if irrigated, and nothing without irrigation. At Cache Creek the hotel was full, as it generally is, because at a junction of several roads. We learned here that the paymaster had gone in the Cariboo direction some days previously, perhaps carrying our letters on his person, as amulets. There was a letter for us from the Governor, and his trap waiting to take us on to Ashcroft. After waiting a little at Cache Creek to give the Dr. time to examine a patient, we got into the trap, and reached Ashcroft Hotel at 11 o'clock, and in half an hour after were in bed. The Governor had taken up his quarters at Senator Cornwall's, hard by, and would see us in the morning.

October 1st.—After breakfast, a decision had to be come to with regard to our future movements in British Columbia. The Governor, not expecting our arrival so soon, had concluded that we would not be able to take the steamer for San Francisco till the 27th inst. He had arranged to accompany us to Bute Inlet on the nth, and advised us to visit in the interval the Upper Fraser river and Cariboo. It was important, however, that we should leave Victoria a fortnight earlier, if at all possible, and that necessitated our going on directly to New Westminster. No special object would be served by the Chief visiting Cariboo. The Governor, therefore, very kindly waived his own wishes, and telegraphed to Victoria for a steamer to meet us on Saturday at Burrard's Inlet.

We had now to wait a day at Ashcroft for an express to Yale, where the steamer to New Westminster connects with the stage coach from Cariboo. Nothing would be gained by going on at once, for there would have to be delay at Yale, if not here. We therefore spent the day in seeing the country, and in the evening dined at Senator Cornwall's.

The country about Ashcroft is sparsely peopled, and men accustomed to the rich grassy plains on the other side of the mountains, might wonder at first sight that it is peopled at all. In appearance, it is little better than a vast sand and gravel pit, bounded by broken hills, bald and arid except on a few summits that support a scanty growth of scrub pines. The cattle had eaten off all the bunch-grass within three or four miles of the road, and a poor substitute for it chiefly in the shape of a bluish weed or shrub, called "sage grass" or "sage bush" has taken its place. The cattle eat this readily, and fare well on it in winter; but it grows thinly, dotting rather than covering the sandy soil, and giving a "pepper and salt" look to the near hill-sides. This poor looking land however is no more a desert than are the rich valleys of California. Like them, it will grow anything, ir irrigated. Unfortunately the clouds pass and repass, driving forward only to sail high up, and beyond to the mountains, or to eddy back; but even with this great drawback, and the high price of labour, and the lack of capital or enterprise, fanning here pays well. There is abundance of water in the Thompson to irrigate all those arid slopes, and the time is coming when this shall be done with success.

At lunch to-day, a lumberer from the other side of the river, came in and inquired for the Doctor. A log had fallen on a Chinaman employe, and broken his leg. As there was no Dr. within a hundred miles, the employer had come over to telegraph for a druggist 30 miles off, as the nearest approach to a regular practitioner. "John," he said, "was a wonderful Chinaman; he would as lief live with him as with a white man." The Doctor went at once on the errand of mercy, and having to extemporise everything required for setting the leg, it was eight o'clock at night before he got back. He reported the patient to have exhibited the greatest fortitude, and to be doing well.

All the domestic servants we had seen as yet were Chinamen. They are paid from $20 to $45 a month, but as servant girls ask nearly as much, "John" is usually preferred. Though all gamble and most smoke opium, such vices do not materially interfere with their duties as servants. They are bowling out not only the cooks and servant-girls, but the washer-women on the Pacific coast. And we must look to them as the future navvies and miners of our West. There are now 18,000 of them in San Francisco out of a population of 160,000; 60,000 in California, and about 100,000 altogether on the Pacific side of North America. It would have been difficult to build, and it would now be difficult to work the Union Pacific Railway without them. Is it wonderful then that there should be a prejudice against them in the breasts of the white working-classes they are supplanting. The true-blue Briton of last century hated the French, because "they were all slaves and wore wooden shoes." Why should not the Yankee labourer hate the Chinese, when they not only wear wooden shoes, but are the best of workmen, cleanly, orderly, patient, industrious, and above all cheap?

This evening we met Judge O'Reilly whose praises had been often sung by Brown and Beaupré, in contrast with judges on the other side of the boundary line. "There isn't the gold in British Columbia that would bribe Judge O'Reilly," was their emphatic endorsement of his dealings with the miners. They described him, arriving as the representative of British law and order, at Kootanie, immediately after thousands had flocked to the newly discovered gold mines there. Assembling them, he said that order must and would be kept; and advised them not to display their revolvers unnecessarily, for, boys, if there's shooting in Kootanie, there will be hanging." Such a speech was after the miners' own hearts, and after it, there were no disturbances in Kootanie.

The judge in his turn praised the miners, as manly law-abiding fellows. He never had the least difficulty in preserving order among the thousands gathered from all quarters of the earth, though the available force at his back usually consisted of two constables.

Left this morning for Lytton, forty-eight miles down stream, in an express, as the mail waggon from Cariboo was sure to be full of passengers at this season of the year. The waggon road on which we travelled is the principal public work of British Columbia; constructed as a government work with great energy soon after the discovery of the Cariboo gold mines. It was a creditable undertaking for the infant colony, for most formidable engineering difficulties had to be overcome at the Canyons of the Fraser and the Thompson, and the expense was necessarily heavy.

Before it's construction there was only a trail to Cariboo, along which the gold hunters toiled night and day, driving pack-horses that carried their blankets and provisions, or if too poor to afford horse or mule, packing everything on their own backs. Men have been known to start from Yale on foot, for the gold fields, with 150 lbs weight on their backs, and when they got to their destination, their difficulties only commenced. Gold was and is found in every sandbar on the river and in every creek; but it had to be found in large quantities to enable a man to live. A pound of flour cost a dollar and a half, and everything else sold at proportional prices. The gold was in largest quantities near the bed rock, and this was generally covered with a deposit of silt from five to forty feet thick, containing but little of the precious metal near the surface. The country presented every obstacle to "prospecting." Range upon range of stern hills wooded from base to summit, through which a way could be forced only with incredible toil, and at the daily risk of starvation; it is little wonder that the way to Cariboo, and the country itself proved to be the grave of many an adventurous gold seeker. A few made fortunes, in a week or a month, which as a rule they dissipated in less than a year; hundreds gathered moderately large sums, which they took away to spend elsewhere; thousands made "wages;" and tens of thousands, nothing. It had been the same in California, when gold was discovered there : but then the masses who were unsuccessful could not get out of the country, and they had,—fortunately for themselves,—to hire out as farm servants and herdmen. In British Columbia they could get back to Oregon and California, and back they went, poorer than they had come, but leaving the Province little the better for their visit.

At various points on the river, all down the road, miners are still to be found. These are chiefly "Siwashes" and Chinese, who take up abandoned claims, and wash the sand over again, being satisfied with smaller wages than what contents a white man. Their tastes are simple and their expenses moderate. None of them dream of going to the wayside "hotels," and paying a dollar for every meal, a dollar for a bed, a dollar for a bottle of ale, or twenty cents for "a drink." The Chinaman cultivates vegetables beside his claim; these and his bag of rice suffice for him, greatly to the indignation of the orthodox miner. The Siwash catches salmon in his scoop net from every eddy of the river, and his wife carries them up to the house and makes his winter's food. These two classes of the population, the one representing an ancient civilization, the other scattered nomads with almost no tribal relationships, resemble each other in appearance so much, that it would be difficult to distinguish them, were it not for the long tail or queue, into which the Chinaman braids his hair, and which he often folds at the back of his head, instead of letting it hang down his back. The Pacific Indian is Mongolian in size and complexion, in the shape of the face, and the eyes. He has neither the strength of limb, the manly bearing, nor the dignity so characteristic of the Indians on the east side of the Rocky Mountains.

Salmon are the staple of the Siwash's food, and these are so abundant that they generally sell them for ten to twenty-five cents apiece; and ten cents in British Columbia is equivalent to ,a penny elsewhere, for there is no smaller coin than the ten cent piece in the Province. Servants here and on the Fraser river would probably bargain as they used to bargain when "hiring" in Scotland, that they were not to be expected to eat salmon oftener than four times a week, if there was the slightest necessity of their making any stipulation. But master and mistress know their places too well to dream of imposing that or any other hardship on them. We passed several Chinamen travelling along the road, each man carrying all his worldly goods suspended from the ends of a pole slung across one of his shoulders. So habituated are they to this style of carrying weight, that when they possess only one bundle, inconvenient to divide, they are said to tie a stone to the other end of the pole to balance the load.

Next to the bold and varied scenery, and the dangers of the road, the chief objects of interest to a stranger travelling down the Thompson and the Fraser, especially after entering the Cascade range, are the Indian graves. Whatever these poor people can accomplish in the way of architecture or art, is reserved for their dead. A house better than they live in is built, or a good tent erected, and in it are placed all the valuables of the deceased,—his gun, blanket, food, etc.; in front hang scalps, or bright shawls, and white flags; his canoe is placed outside, and beside it the hide of his horse or mule over a wooden skeleton; rude painted images representing the man, woman, or family, as the case may be, are ranged in front. It is an article of faith with them that no Indian ever desecrated or robbed a grave; and this is probable enough, for seldom has an Indian been known to steal or disturb even the "cache" of another, though the cache of dried salmon on the Pacific slope is usually hung on a tree by the wayside. The provincial law, very properly imposes severe penalties on those who violate Indian graves; but that the temptation may not be too strong, the canoe is generally riddled, and the lock of the gun taken off, before being deposited beside the dead. All those possessions so valuable in the eyes of a Siwash are left exposed to the winds of" heaven and the beasts of the forest, and the age of the grave can be read in the condition in which you find them.

Driving for three hours over a country resembling that round Ashcroft, we came to Cook's Bridge, where the Thompson is crossed, and soon after to the foot hills of the Cascade range. Everywhere the soil looked poor and arid; yet everywhere that cultivation was attempted, it produced cereals, roots, and fruits of the best kind. Tomatoes, water and musk melons ripened in the open air; and no farmer has fewer than fifty head of cattle, while some have ten times as many. Now, however, we were about to enter another rainy region, and the heavy mists resting on the hill-tops ahead, were the first indications of the change. The river's narrowness about Ashcroft had astonished us; but here it contracted still more, looking smaller than either its North or South branch away up at Kamloops. What it is forced to lack in breadth it makes up in depth. As the rocky outliers of the mountains cannot be levelled into meadows, the river has to dam itself up their sides or dig a deeper ditch. The road followed its course, winding along the bases of the hills, or climbing over the canyons, while far down, so immediately under us, that a stone could be dropped into the deep water, the river lay, like a green serpent, now at peace, and now rearing a crested head to pierce deeper into the overlapping barriers before it.

Towards sunsetting, cold rain with strong gusts of wind came on ; and as the road was often only a narrow ledge, cut out of the side of a precipice, we were thankful when the driver pointed out a hill in front, as the one on the other side of which was our resting place, the village of Lytton, at the junction of the Thompson with the Fraser.

We soon saw the lights of the village, and drove up to a house, the mean outside of which gave little promise of the good things for the inner man, in the dining room. M. Hautier, a Frenchman, and his pretty little Flamand wife, kept the house, and had comfortable rooms prepared for us, and a petit gout de mouton, with fixings, for supper. The only unpleasant creature in the house, was a half drunken loafer, who carried the credentials of his nationality in his nose, and who was so disgusted at our having a separate sitting room, that he swore at large for an hour or two, consigning all "big bugs" to unmentionable places. Nobody answering or taking any notice of him, he at length subsided into mere growling and snoring, one or the other of which he kept up through the night, as a democratic protest against "big bugs."

October, 3rd.—The village of Lytton can scarcely be considered worthy of its aristocratic name. A single row of frail unpainted sheds or log shanties, the littleness and rickettiness of which are all the more striking from the two noble rivers that meet here and the lofty hills that enclose the two valleys, is the sum total of Lytton. Its population of perhaps an hundred souls is made up of Canadians, British, Yankees, French, Chinamen, Siwashes, half-breeds; all religions and no religion. An Episcopalian Missionary who has his headquarters at Lytton, was reported in a recent Exeter Hall speech to have four thousand baptized Siwash catechumens on his roll. A cipher or two must have slipped in through a clerical mistake, for the best authorities say that there are not as many Siwashes on the Thompson and Fraser, all told, and that the great majority are Roman Catholics or heathen. If the converts were baptized by any Church into cleanliness and industry, travellers would be more likely to believe in their conversion.

To judge by the outside appearance of the village of Lytton, there must be something rotten in its state.—No sign of progress or improvement of any kind ; the use of paint or whitewash considered a sin; though, perhaps even whitewash would be too good for such tumble down little huts. But go into the hotel, and all is changed. The inside is as different from what the outside would lead you to expect, as if it was the house of a rich Jew, in the middle ages. "All the comforts of the Saut-market" are to be had, and everyone, inside and outside the house, appears able to pay for them. A dirty looking miner calls for drinks all round, at twenty-five or fifty cents a drink, and considers himself half insulted if any one in the room declines the friendly invitation. "Go through the form so as not to give offence," whispered a gentleman to the Doctor, as he saw him backing away from the freely proffered claret, champagne, and brandy. The meat, fish, vegetables, and sweets on the table are all excellent, and well cooked. There are no poor men in the Province, and no such thing as bad living known. The explanation of this contrast, huts in which the tenants live like fighting cocks—is that none of the people came here to stay. They came to make money and then return home. Therefore it is not worth their while to build good houses or furnish them expensively; but they can afford to live well; and the gold miner's maxirn is "Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die."

This state of things has been the millstone round the neck of British Columbia. The discovery of gold in 1858, on the Fraser, brought the first rush of people to the mainland, and resulted in the formation of the colony. All California was delirious. Thirty thousand men left the States for the Fraser, or, as it was popularly called, "the Crazy River." The rush to Pike's Peak was nothing to the rush for Victoria. But in the course of the next two or three years, the thousands died or drifted back again, and only the tens remained. Then, in 1862 the Cariboo mines were discovered, and the second rush was greater than the first; but again, not an emigration of sober, steady householders, whose aim was to establish homes, and live by their own industry, but of fever-heated adventurers from all parts of the world,—men without a country and without a home. San Francisco was deserted for a time. Thousands sold their lots there, and bought others in Victoria or claims in Cariboo. Cariboo was four hundred miles from the sea, and there was no road but an old Indian trail, winding up and down mountains and precipices, across deep gorges and rivers, through thick woods without game; but the obstacles that would have stopped an army were laughed at by miners. Of course the wave soon spent itself. Had the colony been wisely governed, some thousands of the gold crusaders might have been retained as farmers, whose labour would have enriched the country ten times as much as all the gold of Cariboo. But the Province was not wisely governed in those days. It "knew not the times of its visitation." At least this was the reason assigned by most persons we conversed with on the subject; and their testimony is confirmed in a work published in 1862 by D. G. F. M'Donald C. E., on British Columbia and Vancouvers Island, Here is his pretty strong language, page 59:—

"What has been done to forward the peopling of the country? The
"answer is short and simple,—nothing. The policy pursued has been
"disastrous in the extreme, unexampled in the history of any other
"dependency of the British Crown, and pertinaciously persisted in for
"reasons unexplained to the public, and to them incomprehensible.
"Greviously, indeed, have those persons complained who have given
"consideration to the subject of colonization, and who have felt deeply
"interested in the prosperity of the colony; but without avail. Every
"obstacle had been cast in the way of the agriculturist, who desired to
"settle and battle with natural impediments. This, no conscientious man
"can be found to gainsay. The inflexible reply to one and all had been
"that land could not be had even at Government prices, or upon any
"terms until first surveyed and put up at auction; and that squatting or
"pre-emption would not only not be tolerated, but such aggression would be
"visited with the summary process of ejectment by the stern arm of the law.
"Such has been the discouraging announcement which greeted hundreds
"of hardy industrious emigrants, who finding themselves in the colony,
"and having been at the expense of landing there, had determined upon
"giving it a trial; and these men had a full knowledge of all the natural
"obstacles incident to such settlement and many had ample means to im-
"prove their allotments, and provide for their immediate support. Lands
"denied by the marvellous blindness of officials—a blindness as culpable
"as it is inexplicable! Has not the colony been strangled in its infancy?"

Mr. McDonald then proceeds to give a number of facts to prove his assertions, p. 60 to 67; but, it's no use "crying over spilt milk."

From that day, until recently, the colony has been going back, or as some gloomily say: "getting into its normal condition." Within the last ten years, millions of dollars in solid gold have been taken out of the colony. No one thought of remaining in it except to make a fortune ; no one was interested in its political life ; no one of the thousands of foreign immigrants became a subject of the Crown. It was a mere finger-joint separated from its own body. But all this is now changing. With Confederation came the dawn of a brighter future ; and, although British Columbia may never have the population of California or Oregon, an orderly development is commencing that will soon make it rank as a valuable Province of the Dominion. It has now the prospect of being no longer a dissevered limb, but of being connected by iron, as well as sympathetic, bands with its trunk; and it is already receiving the pulses of the larger life, Had the Columbia River, instead of the 49th parallell been made its Southern boundary line, i. e., had it received its natural and rightful boundary instead of a purely artificial one, it could compete with California in cereals as well as in gold mining, But in this, as in every case of disputed lines in Amerifia, U. S. diplomatists knew the value of what they claimed, and British diplomatists did not. Every one in the Province believes that they lost the Columbia, because the "salmon in it would not take a fly." At the time of the dispute, when, too, the Secretary for War was using brave words in the House of Commons, the brother of the Prime Minister happened to be stationed on the Pacific coast, and fished in the Columbia without success, because the salmon were too uneducated to rise to a fly. He wrote home to his brother that "there was no use making a fuss about the country for it wasn't worth a------." And so the worthless region, now considered the most valuable on the Pacific, was gracefully given up. And why not, when it was the privately if not publicly announced aim of a school of British politicians to get rid of the whole of British America, and thus gradually work out Benjamin Franklin's problem of how "a great nation may be made into a very little one." But enough of this. We still have more good land than we know what to do with.

Our first spell to-day was thirty-two miles down the Fraser from Lytton to Boston Bar,—once a sand-bar celebrated for its rich gold deposits, and still rich enough to be washed by Chinamen and even a few not over ambitious whites. The road for the first ten or eleven miles ran chiefly across broken gravelly benches and then over, or when possible, around canyons that overhung the river. The highest of these was "Jackass Mountain," a huge bluff of pudding stone, probably so called because before the waggon-road was made, the trail must have been strewn with the carcases of the gold seekers' mules. The road now is at an elevation of seven or eight hundred feet above the river ; and a thousand feet higher up may be seen a bridge at one time only two feet wide, stretched, like a spider's web, across a deep gulch on the old trail. Many a miner, in 1862, had crawled across this on his hands and knees, with heavy packs on his shoulders, well knowing that if he slipped, there was nothing to save him from rolling and pitching over sheer perpendicular rocks, from point to point, for eighteen hundred feet into the Fraser.

The waggon road, in many places, had to be hewed sideways out of the rock, or cloven through it, or built up with log or mason work in the hollows; and the cribbing is now so much out of repair, that one couldn't help feeling uneasy occasionally. The heavy rain last night had both brought down boulders on it from the rocks above and loosened the soil at its outward edge, leaving but little firm ground for the waggon between the mountain and the edge of the bank. The slightest carelessness or recklessness in driving would have hurled the whole of us into the deep muddy torrent that rolled along swiftly at the bottom of the gorge. But the ribands were in the hands of a steady New Brunswicker, who had been on the road since it was built, in summer and winter, day-light and dark, storm and shine, and who had never once missed time or come to grief in any way.

Steve and a brother New Brunswicker, who drove the mail-coach, were now, as they deserved to be, partners in the concern. Better whips there are not; and we, therefore, cordially recommend tourists who wish to travel over a road far more grand and picturesque than the celebrated Cornice between Genoa and Nice, to trust themselves to either of them.

We dined at Boston Bar; and by one o'clock, were on the road again, hoping to get over the remaining twenty-four miles to Yale before dark. The scenery all the way was of the same frightfully grand character as it had been for most of the forenoon, with the exception of a small patch of open ground here and there, cultivated by an enterprising settler, and on which fruits and roots of the finest kinds grow readily. Eleven miles from Yale we crossed to the west side of the Fraser over a pretty suspension bridge, and, a mile beyond had to halt, as it seemed at first, for the night. A gang of men were busy rebuilding the bridge over a strong mountain torrent, called Spuzzum's Creek, from a patriarchal Siwash chief of that ilk, who had gathered a colony around him near the bridge, in decent looking huts superior to those of the town of Lytton; and as only the stringers had been laid, there seemed nothing for it but to camp, or cross on foot and walk to Yale through a thick drizzle which had commenced. Several of the huge freight waggons used in British Columbia, each drawn by twelve or sixteen oxen, and fully a hundred pack mules had come on before us, to cross ; but having been told that there was no chance, their drivers had unharnessed or unpacked them, and were idling about. Steve, however, was equal to the occasion. He offered ten dollars if the men would stop their work and place loose planks across the stringers. The bargain was struck, and in an hour the job was done. Steve unharnessed his horses and walked them across, and the men dragged after him not only his waggon, but also the mail coach which by this time had caught up to us. A number of Siwashes were engaged on the bridge, and seemed to work on a footing of equality with the whites, with the grand exception that their wages were only $20 a month, while the whites got from $40 to $60 and their board. The general report was that the Siwash was a good fellow, obedient and industrious as long as he had "a mind to work," if liquor could be kept from him but that liquor made him mad. He could neither resist it nor stand it. Again we were struck with the Asiatic cast of countenance; and some of them were handsomer, from having decidedly straighter noses, than any Chinaman we saw. But the Fraser and Lilloet Indians are said to be the best in the Province, the best featured and the most industrious.

It was not quite dark when we saw the lights of Yale. Our first resort was to the Post Office armed with authority from the Governor to open the Kamloops bag. No difficulty was made, and in it were found letters and papers for everyone of the party but the Secretary. Unfortunate man ! Never did Briton look more like pariah than he as he sat looking gloomily at the others. They dealt generously by him, even handing him their own to read. He smiled and made light of it, but they instinctively felt it would be better to say nothing. The newspapers were the first things that gave relief. In their company he found solace till the "wee short hour."

October 4th.—At Yale, we said good bye to horses. Henceforth, steam, the nineteenth century horse would carry us down the river, along the coast, and across the continent homewards. Canoe and barge, buck-board and cart, saddle and pack-horse, buggy and express waggon belonged to the past of the expedition.

To-day the steamer "Onward," that runs twice a week down the Fraser from Yale, was to take us to New Westminster, the Capital of British Columbia, previous to its union in 1866 with Vancouver's Island. There, another steamer connects for Victoria, but our intention was to examine some of the harbours on the mainland before crossing to Vancouver's Island. The "Onward's" usual hour of starting is 7 A.M., but she delayed to-day till noon to oblige several gentlemen who had come up the river as far as Hope, to examine a new silver lead discovered in the mountains seven miles back from that settlement, and who wished to get back to Victoria this week. The delay gave us time to walk round Yale and up the river. The village itself has a neat, clean, and thriving appearance, as if its inhabitants had settled down to live in the country. The scenery in the neighbourhood is of the grandest kind, varying with every bend of the river. Hills rise in gradual wooded slopes for five, six, or eight hundred feet; and above, bald rocks shoot up plumb for ten or twelve hundred feet higher. The valley is narrow, affording but little room for the farmer.

The steamer started at noon, and nine hours after reached New Westminster, distant 95 miles. The current is so strong that she could run down in six hours—subtracting stoppages, while it takes two days to work up. None of the stopping places, are of much importance, though one or two are reported to be "growing," especially the agricultural settlement of Sumass, which is beginning to supply New Westminster and Victoria with beef cattle. A little more work 'on that line' is what the Province needs most; for at present, instead of keeping her gold within her own borders, she has to export it all to buy the necessaries of life.

Soon after passing Hope, where every one got specimens of the new silver mine, the Fraser turns from its southerly to a south-westerly and then a westerly course; and the valley begins to broaden and give some room and verge for farms. But the good land near the river does not amount to much. The Fraser has gold in its sandbars and salmon by the hundred thousand in its pools and channels; but spite of its great length and force, the mountains between which it forces its way are too powerful for it to accomplish the usual work of rivers. It cannot overflow, no matter how immense the volume of water it rolls down to the sea; it can only rise higher up the sides of its rocky barriers. We could see the high water mark twenty-five feet above the present level.

On board the "Onward" we met Chief Justice Begbie, another name held in profound respect by the miners, Siwashes, and all others among whom he has dealt out justice. Judge Lynch has never been required in British Columbia, because Chief Justice Begbie did his duty, and maintained the dignity of his Court as effectually as if it had been held in Old Westminster. It is a grand sight to a rightly constituted mind when two or three policemen scatter a street mob. It must have been a grander to see a British judge backed by one or two constables maintaining order at the gold mines among the tag-rag and bob-tail, the rough and tumble, fever-heated classes of miners, gamblers, claim 'jumpers,' and cuthroats who congregate at such places. For "the yellow fever" seizes upon the most daring and the most abandoned of humanity, the strongest and the weakest. And where there is no previously settled population to enforce order, what can be expected round every rich creek or gulch but a miniature "Norfolk Island" without the keepers? In such communities, especially at the outset, justice or even a little more than justice is true mercy. That Scotch Lord Braxfield who gleefully told an unfortunate wretch that 'he would be nane the waur o'a little hanging' would have been a very guardian angel in California in 1849. It is a proud thought to us that British America has proved herself a worthy daughter of the Old Mother in her judiciary; that in no Province has a judge ever been accused as corrupted or corruptible. In British Columbia the difficulties in the way of preserving order were greatest, yet the laws have always been respected and enforced, and two or three constables proved sufficient for every emergency. The results have been simply marvellous. The Times Cariboo correspondent could write in 1862:—"As to security of life I consider it just as safe here as in England." Every week for the last nine years the mail coach has carrid a box or boxes of gold dust from Cariboo with no defender but " Steve" or his partner ; and though running through a country roamed over by the lawless of every nation, where ambuscades could be planned at every turn, where for long stretches there is neither house nor shanty, it has never been plundered nor even attacked. Though comparisons are odious, they ought to be made sometimes. It is almost impossible to take up a newspaper, published on the other side of the line, without reading accounts of violent deeds in the gold fields, or of mail-coaches plundered. One fact that came under our own notice is sufficiently illustrative. On our return, the train stopped for an hour at Ogden in the Utah Territory. The first thing that attracted our attention was a series of placards on the railway station describing four different cases of highway robbery in the territory that month, and offering rewards varying from hundreds to thousands of dollars for the discovery of the highwaymen.

They tell many good stories in British Columbia of the Chief Justice's dignity on the Bench, and the terror he inspires not only the guilty but sometimes the innocent with. The last we heard ought to be true if it is not. He sternly told a witness who hesitated considerably, that he believed he was prevaricating. —"And h-how can a fellow h-help prevaricating who has l-lost his front teeth?" was the half-frightened, half-piteous response of the poor man expecting nothing less than an order for his instant execution.

On our arrival at New Westminster, several gentlemen of the place waited on the Chief to offer him a public dinner. He felt obliged to decline, with thanks for the courtesy; and after making arrangements to start for Burrard's Inlet in the morning, we turned into our berths in preference to going to an hotel. The Secretary got his letters at New Westminster, and as a recompense for last night's disappointment received twice as many as any other of the party.

October 5th.—The programme for the day was to drive nine miles across the spit of land, on one side of which is New Westminster, to Burrard's Inlet on the other side; see as much of the Inlet as possible; and when the steamer that the Governor had telegraphed for arrived, proceed in her to Bute Inlet, visiting on the way the surveying parties who had been at work all summer on the coast. Several New Westminster gentlemen accompanied us to Burrard's Inlet; and as the member for the district, the senior member for Victoria, and a senator from Cariboo were in town, the Chief invited them to join us in our coasting trip to the north.

As this enlargement of the party occasioned an hour's delay, there was time to look round New Westminster, before starting, The population of the little town is less than a thousand, but the importance of a town in America is not estimated so much by its population, as by its position and the extent of country it supplies. New Westminster is the only town on the delta of the Fraser, and as the delta may be said to extend east and west from Sumass to the sea, and from Boundary Bay on the south to Burrard's Inlet on the north, or over sixty miles in length by twenty in breadth, a district including much land fit for agriculture, the population and importance of the country and town are sure to increase. Its being near the mouth of the Fraser, a river seven hundred miles long, does not help it much, not only because the Fraser drains comparatively little fertile land that is well adapted for cultivation, but because the entrance is intricate on account of the tortuous channel and shifting shoals that extend out for some distance into the Gulf of Georgia. The excellent harbour of Burrard's Inlet, nine miles to the north, will therefore be generally preferred for shipping purposes. This has been already proved to a certain extent. The New Westminster proprietors of a large steam saw-mill finding Burrard's Inlet the fitter port for their shipments of lumber, transferred the machinery and set up their mill on the north side of the Inlet; so that now, little or nothing is exported from New Westminster, except fish and cattle from the neighbouring settlements. A practically unlimited quantity of fish ought to be exported ; for salmon go up the Fraser from the sea in countless numbers. They are said to be inferior in quality to those of the Atlantic coast, though we did not unanimously think so, and they would probably be quite as good for "canning." The first "trade" we saw this morning was a Klootchman selling four salmon for twenty-five cents; and that in a country where twenty-five are less valuable than ten cents in the Eastern Provinces. A sturgeon in the fish market weighed over 300 lbs. They are sometimes caught from six to nine hundred weight, and the flavour of this fish is considered by many superior to salmon. But the Province is very young, and requires capital and enterprise before it can compete on a large scale with the fish-curing establishments on the Columbia River.

We paid a visit to the Assaying office, and the agent in charge explained the process by practical illustrations. Where there is no assay office, the miner in selling his gold is at the mercy of itinerant dealers. Now he takes his precious dust or nuggets to the office, where it is fused into ingots and the exact market value of each ingot stamped on it for a quarter per cent, or $1 for $400. The New Westminster office assayed last year of the products of the Fraser mines $100,000. The Cariboo office of course does a much more extensive business.

At 10 A.M. the united party started for Burrard's Inlet, and arrived in two hours. A lover of ferns would be charmed with this bit of road, so surprising a variety can be gathered, especially near the Inlet. Many, such as the shield, the winter, the rock, the lady fern, and the bracken, are similar to those found in the Atlantic provinces, but other varieties were altogether new to us. [A small collection chiefly made about Burrard's Inlet, includes the following varieties, besides two now ones that we could not make out:—Polypodium vulgare; P. Dryopteris; Asplenium Trichomanes; Allosorus crispus; Cystopteris montana; C. fragilis; Pteris Aquilina; Blechnum boreale; Polystichum acrostichoides; P. Lonchitis; Lastrea dilatata; Botrychium Virginicum: B. Lunaria; B. lunarioides.]

A steamer, so diminutive and toy-like that each man stepped on board tenderly for fear of upsetting or breaking her, was in waiting to take us across the Inlet to the large saw-mill owned by a firm, of which the enterprising M. P. for New Westminster is a partner. Thirteen million feet of lumber were exported last year from this, and about as much from another mill on the south side of the inlet owned by a company. All the lumber is the famous Douglas pine. Logs four to five feet in diameter were being hauled up and sawed by two circular saws, the one placed above the other, as it is easier to work on such huge subjects with two ordinary sized than with one very large saw. The workmen represented the various nationalities scattered everywhere along the Pacific coast, Whites, Chinese, Siwashes, Kanakas or Sandwich Islanders, etc.

The aborigines work well till they save enough money to live on for some time, and then they go up to the boss and frankly say that they are lazy and don't want to work longer. They are too unsophisticated to sham sickness, or to 'strike.' Another habit of the richer ones, which to the Anglo-Saxon mind borders on insanity, is that of giving universal backshish or gifts to the whole tribe, without expecting any return save an increased popularity that may lead to their election as Tyhees or chiefs when vacancies occur. An old fellow, "big George," was pointed out to us as having worked industriously at the mill for years till he had saved $2,000. Instead of putting this in a Saving's Bank, he had spent it all on "stores" for a grand "Potlatch," summoning Siwashes from far and near to come, eat, drink, dance, be merry, and receive gifts. Nearly a thousand assembled; the festivities lasted a week; and everyone got something, either a blanket, musket, bag of flour, box of apples, or tea and sugar. When the fun was over, "big George," now pennyless, returned to the mill to carry slabs at $20 a month. His reputation mounted to an extraordinary height because of so magnificent a "potlatch," and he stood a good chance of the Tyhee-ship; but two rivals, "Supple Jack" and "Old Jim," were preparing to outdo him; and if Siwashes are at all like civilized beings, the "popularis aura" shall fill their sails before long.

Very naturally Siwashes measure all excellence by the grub or gifts they get. It is said that when a Church of England Bishop lately visited a tribe that one of his missionaries had laboured among for some time, they all gathered to meet him, being told that he was "hyass Tyhee" or great chief of the praying men. The Bishop addressed them at great length, and apparently with effect, but when done, a grave and reverend fellow rose and snuffed out his lordship with half a dozen words, which in vernacular Chinook, are even more emphatic than in any slang English they can be rendered into, "lots of gab; no grub, no gifts; all gammon." A delightful gentleman to convert certainly!

The workmen at the mill live in comfortable little houses, perched on rocks at the foot of a lofty wooded hill overhanging the shore. There is no soil except what has been made on the beach from chips and sawdust. Round the nearest point is a small tract diligently cultivated by a few Chinamen. The men have a large reading-room with an harmonium, and a well selected library. No intoxicating liquors can be sold on the premises. Their pay is good and they save money. The manager of the mill on the other side of the Inlet told us that he would give $200 a month to any competent overseer we would send him.

The woods all round these shores are well stocked with deer. The usual way of hunting is to send the dogs into the woods, and drive the deer down into the harbour, where they are at the mercy of the sportsman. The overseer informed us that in this way he could shoot a deer any day within two hours.

After lunch, we embarked on a large steamer belonging to the mill for a sail round the Inlet. At this moment, the Sir James Douglas the steamer the Governor had telegraphed for, arrived from Victoria. The captain came on board to put himself at the orders of the Chief, and it was arranged to start with him as soon after midnight as possible. In the meantime he proceeded with us down the Inlet.

Burrard's Inlet is naturally divided into three divisions, that are really three distinct harbours. The saw-mills are on the opposite shores of the middle one. This middle harbour narrows at both extremities, and an outer and a further inner harbour are thus made. We had time to visit only the outer and the middle, both safe and capacious harbours, with easy entrance and good anchorage. At seven P.M. we got back to the mill, and after dinner said good-bye to the New Westminster gentlemen who had kindly accompanied us. The little cabin of the Sir James Douglas was to be our dining and sleeping room for the next week, our last week, for after it "the home stretch " would begin.

The little that we saw of the mainland of British Columbia does not warrant us to say much about it as a field for emigrants. There can be no reasonable doubt that it can support in comfort a much larger population than it now has. The resources of the colony are considerable, but all its industries are in their infancy, cramped from want of capital, and obliged to compete with the immense and consolidated establishments of similar industries on the other side of the boundary line. Its distance from the countries that supply emigrants, and the expense of travelling from place to place, on account of the magnificent distances within the Province itself, are great drawbacks. But on the other hand, the high price paid for all kinds of labour, the ready market for all products of the soil, and the healthiness of the climate are immense attractions to the ordinary class of emigrants. While lumbering, mining, and the fisheries offer the richest prizes to men of capital and experience, mechanics and the labouring classes can command such wages that the economy of a few years puts them in the position of small capitalists. Farm labourers especially ought to be able to buy and stock good farms of their own out of the savings of four or five years ; and then they are comfortable and independent for life. We heard the Province styled "the poor man's paradise;" and as 10 per cent is given everywhere, with undoubted security, for the use of money, the rich man has no reason to be dissatisfied.


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