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Joel & Nate - The Development of British Columbia Timeline

By joelly
  • The Chinese

    The Chinese
    The Chinese were the largest group of non-european immigrants that came to B.C in the 19th century. They wanted to find gold, and make a fortune, but most of them became miners. The Chinese produced a decent amount of gold. However, they didn’t feel like this was the job for them, so they started service industries such as stores, restaurants, laundries, and banks when the gold rush was over.
  • Kanakas

    Kanakas were people of Hawaiian descent. The first Kanakas began showing up on the west coast of North America in the early 1800’s. Ships sailing to and from Asia from B.C. often picked up extra crew members from Hawaii. Kanakas began to settle in B.C., mostly in Vancouver and Vancouver Island. By the 1820’s, the HBC was regularly hiring Kanakas to work at HBC trading posts. By the 1840’s, more than 200 Kanakas were working near Fort Vancouver as farmers.
  • George Simpson Tours BC

    George Simpson Tours BC
    In 1824, George Simpson, the Hudson Bay Company manager, toured the HBC trading posts in the Oregon Territory. After visiting all the trading posts, George decided that the HBC was not making the best uses of British Columbia resources. George then decided to build a new trading post on the north bank of the Columbia River called Fort Vancouver. Fort Vancouver became the HBC's main trading post in the Oregon Territory.
  • George Simpson Revisits

    George Simpson Revisits
    In 1841, George Simpson revisited the Hudson Bay Company trading posts in the Pacific coast region. He was disappointed that the coastal fur trade had not expanded as much as he had hoped. George decided to cut costs, and all trading posts along the coast except Fort Simpson were to be closed. The steamship Beaver would be used to trade with the coastal First Nations communities.
  • "54 40 or fight"

    "54 40 or fight"
    "54 40 or fight" was James Polk's presidential campaign slogan. This meant that James Polk planned on obtaining all of the Oregon Territory by either negotiating, or fighting. James Polk won and became president, but his slogan was just tough talk. Negotiations throughout 1845 and 1846 simply extended the 49th parallel boundary west, excluding Vancouver Island,
  • Crown Colony of Vancouver Island

    Crown Colony of Vancouver Island
    The Crown Colony of Vancouver Island needed to be a more official British presence on the Pacific coast. It was definitely necessary. James Douglas was appointed governor of the Crown Colony. Plus, for 10 years, James was the chief factor of Fort Victoria. James wanted to encourage settlement, so he that free land should be offered to colonists.
  • California Gold Rush

    California Gold Rush
    In 1848, gold was discovered along the Sacramento river. A vast majority of these gold seekers wanted to strike it rich, but didn’t find a lot, and never returned home. Although the gold was real, the gold rush entirely was a fantasy. There was never an extremely large amount of gold in one area. A pan of gold only valued from 25 cents to a dollar. By the mid 1850’s, the gold along the Sacramento river had been mined out.
  • Douglas Treaties

    Douglas Treaties
    When the colony of Vancouver Island was first created, the First Nations population was far greater than the European population. The First Nations hunted and fished freely, and there were no reserves. James Douglas thought that if European immigration was to succeed, he would have to negotiate to get the First Nations to surrender land title to him. Between 1850 and 1854 fourteen Douglas Treaties were signed. First Nations got to choose where they were, and the size of their reserves.
  • Fraser River Gold Rush

    Fraser River Gold Rush
    In late 1857, a HBC trader showed up in Fort Victoria with gold dust and nuggets he had panned along the banks of the Thompson River. He showed Governor Douglas, and Douglas feared Vancouver Island would be invaded by thousands of miners. In 1857-1858, prospectors started moving to the north banks of the Fraser and Thompson River. They found gold in both rivers. By the end of the 1858 summer, over 10000 men, mostly American, were working claims along the Fraser Canyon.
  • Fraser Canyon War

    Fraser Canyon War
    Miners on their way, to hopefully strike it rich, could not be stopped. Eventually the rush of newcomers into the area led to conflict. Some sources say that the trouble began when some started to attack on a young Nlkaka’pamux woman in the fall of 1858. Informal militias of the armed miners were quickly formed after this. One leader wanted to solve things peacefully, while another advocated the complete destruction of the Nlkaka’pamux tribe. The conflict eventually was ended peacefully.
  • Colony of British Columbia

    Colony of British Columbia
    James Douglas was made governor of B.C. Matthew Begbie was to be the chief of justice for the new colony. By 1860, the leading edge of the gold rush reached the Quesnel river. Several miners found large deposits of gold in the Quesnel river, and convinced them that the motherload was nearby. So, the Cariboo Gold rush was underway.
  • Black Immigrants

    Black Immigrants
    The black immigrants came to B.C for freedom. They also came in hopes to make a fortune off the gold rush. Most members of the black community took an interest in forming a militia, because at the time, Vancouver Island had no military force. After they didn’t find what they were looking for, most moved to Salt Spring Island to farm.
  • Jewish Immigrants

    Jewish Immigrants
    The first Jewish immigrants arrived in B.C. in 1858. They came mostly from England and Europe. Most the the Jewish immigrants decided to go into business rather than mining for gold. Lots of their businesses however included selling supplies to gold miners on both the mainland and on Vancouver Island. By 1863, the Jewish community on Vancouver Island was well established, and a synagogue was built.
  • Ned McGowan's War

    Ned McGowan's War
    Miners had come to the Fraser Canyon and split into two opposing parties; Law and Order Party and the Vigilance Party. Ned McGowan was the leader of the Law and Order Party. Ned McGowan became frustrated with a local official named Richard Hicks, for taking bribes in exchange for permits and claims. Ned wanted Hicks gone, and fights began breaking out. It climaxed when an American shot a British man. Douglas sent in a judge, Colonel Richard Moody and soldiers, with calmly settled the situation.
  • Cariboo Wagon Road

    Cariboo Wagon Road
    Getting to gold fields in the 1860’s was difficult because there was no easy routes inland. A better route was needed for ease of travel and government presence. In 1862 Douglas ordered the construction of the Cariboo Wagon Road. The road started in Yale, going north to Lytton, Quesnel and Barkerville. It was almost 650 km long, cost $750000 and took 3 years to build. When the road was finished in 1865, the gold rush was declining and with less tax payers, the government was left in heavy debt.
  • Barkerville

    Barkerville was the main town in the Cariboo Gold Rush. The town was named after Billy Barker, who came north after the California Gold rush. By the mid 1860’s, about 5000-10000 people lived in Barkerville. When the Cariboo wagon road opened, business thrived and the town soon had general stores, banks, a post office, a theatre and the Cariboo Literary Society.
  • Smallpox Epidemic

    Smallpox Epidemic
    A San Francisco miner brought smallpox to Victoria. Many First Nation villages were quarantined, while colonists were getting vaccinated. First Nations went to Victoria, but were ordered to go home. They travelled north and brought smallpox with them. On Haida Gwaii, 70% of the population died in the summer of 1862. Villages that had existed for many years were now abandoned.
  • Colony of BC Created

    Colony of BC Created
    When the gold rush began declining, people started leaving. WIth the drop in population, there was also a drop in taxes being collected. This left both the Vancouver Island colony and the Colony of British Columbia in heavy debt. Banks would no longer lend the colonies money. The only solution was to unite the two colonies. On August 6th, 1866, the two colonies were officially united as the Colony of British Columbia.
  • Colony of BC Created

    Colony of BC Created
    When the gold rush began declining, people started leaving. With the drop in population, there was also a drop in taxes being collected. This left both the Vancouver Island colony and the Colony of British Columbia in heavy debt. Banks would no longer lend the colonies money. The only solution was to unite the two colonies. On August 6th, 1866, the two colonies were officially united as the Colony of British Columbia.
  • Confederationists

    The confederationists adopted resolutions that described how and why B.C should join Canada. They wanted a wagon road to be built from Lake Superior to New Westminster, providing crucial tradelinks to the rest of Canada. The confederationists also demanded a responsible government.
  • End of the Gold Rush

    End of the Gold Rush
    On September 16th, 1868, Barkerville was almost entirely destroyed in a fire. Three years later, the town had been mostly rebuilt, but by the early 1870’s, most of the easily mined gold had been mined. Only large mining equipment and operations remained. By the 1880’s, the Barkerville population was dwindling, and by the 1920’s it was almost a ghost town.
  • The Chinese and the CPR

    The Chinese and the CPR
    Building the CPR through the Fraser Canyon was hard and expensive. Andrew Onderdonk was running out money. Onderdonk hired Chinese men at very low costs. Between 1881-1885, about 17000 Chinese came to work on the railroad. They were paid just $1 a day, less than half what the Europeans were paid. Their work was hard and dangerous, about 600-1200 were killed. They had poor living conditions and were forced to pay for their food and lodging.
  • Discrimination

    Overall, there was a lot of discrimination that happened throughout this whole timeline, and frankly, it’s still going on today. But, it’s not as bad as what it was. Chinese workers often performed heavier labour than the whites. To increase profits, most contractors would cheat on the Chinese workers. Amor de Cosmos openly stated that he believed Chinese people were a threat because they did not assimilate.