Kits then and now1 900x500

The development of BC between 1812-1873

  • John McLoughlin (1784-1857)

    John McLoughlin (1784-1857)
    McLoughlin, was theChief Factor of HBC. He determined that the headquarters of the company at Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River was unfit and built Fort Vancouver as a replacement, on the north side of the Columbia across from the mouth of the Willamette River, at a site chosen by Sir George Simpson. From his Columbia Department headquarters in Fort Vancouver he supervised trade and kept peace with the Indians and inaugurated salmon and timber trade with the Mexicans.
  • James Douglas (1803-1877

    James Douglas (1803-1877
    Sir James Douglas was a company fur-trader and a British colonial governor on Vancouver Island. From 1851 to 1864, he was Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island. In 1858 he also became the first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia, in order to assert British authority during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. He remained governor of both Vancouver Island and British Columbia until his retirement in 1864. He is often credited as "The Father of British Columbia".
  • Arthur Kennedy (1809-1883)

    Arthur Kennedy (1809-1883)
    A British colonial administrator who served as a governor of a number of British colonies, including Vancouver Island. He faced with aggressive Legislative Assembly and achieved little of note. During this time the colony fell into economic depression. He left after the united colonies of Vancouver Island and BC.
  • 1813: Fort Astoria acquired and renamed Fort George

    1813: Fort Astoria acquired and renamed Fort George
    Cause and Consequence:Fort Astoria was founded by a New York financier, John Jacob Astor.After War of 1812, NWC bought out the assets of the PFC (Astor’s company) in 1813, including Fort Astoria. Since Fort Astoria is acquired by NWC, Astor and other Americans lost enormous economic opportunities. Significance: The fort served as a key trading center for Native peoples of the Pacific coast and lower Columbia region, and as a cornerstone of Anglo-American settlement in the region.
  • Frederick Seymour (1820-1869)

    Frederick Seymour (1820-1869)
    Seymour was the governor of BC after Douglas. He continued to build Wagon road and respond to the Tsilhqot's attack. He unsuccessfully opposed the union of the colonies and the establishment of Victoria as the capital city.
  • 1821: North West Company, Hudson Bay Company merged

    1821: North West Company, Hudson Bay Company merged
    Cause and Consequence: Due to the conflict at the Selkirk Settlement in 1820 and the extinction of fur animals, The HBC and the NWC merged together. The merger ceases the vicious competition between two companies. Lastly, the workers in both companies faced unemployment because no more jobs were needed. Significance: The merger marked the joint company of French and the English. It made the two companies (with different language and culture) to cooperate together.
  • 1825: Treaty of Saint Petersburg

    1825: Treaty of Saint Petersburg
    Cause and Consequence: Britain and the United States followed their 1818 treaty by defining their boundaries with Spain and Russia. However, limited knowledge of the region meant that the southern border between Russian and British America was later led to the Alaska boundary dispute. Significance: This treaty defined the Columbia District as being south of 54°40 north latitude, north of California, and west of the Rocky Mountains.
  • 1825: Fort Vancouver established by HBC

    1825: Fort Vancouver established by HBC
    Cause and Consequence: Fort George was an impressive fort, but it was poorly situated for agriculture. In 1825, Simpson picked Fort Vancouver – it is closer to the interior fur trade routes and, of course, on the north side of the river. Significance: Fort Vancouver has an important role in the history of Northwest agriculture as the site of the first large-scale farming and ranching. The company also developed a robust business in exported products to the Russian forts in Alaska.
  • Amor De Cosmos (1825-1897)

    Amor De Cosmos (1825-1897)
    Amor De Cosmos was a Canadian journalist, publisher and politician. He believed that the colonies of British North America needed to be self-supporting, develop a distinct identity, and form a political and economic union. From such policies, he become a politic and persuade others that merging Colony of British Columbia’s entry into Confederation is a right decision. Through the instrumental role De Cosmos played in realizing these two goals, he became the second premier of British Columbia.
  • 1827: Fort Langley Established

    1827: Fort Langley Established
    Cause and Consequence: To end American competition, Simpson decide to built a new fort near the mouth of Fraser River. The existing depot, Fort George, was south of the Columbia River, which the Governor expected to become the United States border. Significance: Fort Langley had operated a large scale farm, initiated the famous west coast salmon packing industry and began B.C.'s foreign commerce.
  • 1835: Coal discovered on Vancouver Island

    1835: Coal discovered on Vancouver Island
    Cause and Consequence: Coal was discovered on the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island at the HBC post named Fort Rupert. Between 1849 and 1850 approximately 11,000 tonnes of coal were extracted from the coal field. Ethical Issues: The miners were frustrated with serving as indentured labor and earning the expected commissions based on the output of their production. The British and Scottish miners were not used to surface mining, but HBC forced them to work as experienced colliers.
  • 1843: Fort Victoria Established

    1843: Fort Victoria Established
    Cause and Consequence: James Douglas built Fort Victoria to replace Fort Vancouver as the company's Pacific headquarters and to strength up the British claim to Vancouver Island. In later years, Fort Victoria continues to grow as a commercial center. Significance: Construction of Fort Victoria led to the establishment of crown colony of Vancouver Island. It also led Victoria to become the capital city of BC.
  • 1846: The Oregan Treaty

    1846: The Oregan Treaty
    Cause and Consequence: After a British minister rejected U.S. President James K. Polk's offer to settle the boundary at the 49th parallel north, Democratic expansionists militantly called for the annexation of the entire region up to Parallel 54°40′ north. After the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, U.S changed their attention, and the matter was settled. Significance: The Oregon Treaty made Vancouver Island to retained British. Without this treaty, BC may have been annexed to the U.S.
  • 1849:Vancouver Island proclaimed Crown Colony

    1849:Vancouver Island proclaimed Crown Colony
    Cause and Consequence: The British government created the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island to to maintain control over the Pacific Northwest. The HBC was given the exclusive rights to trade with Indigenous people if they agreed to colonize the island with British settlers.
    Significance: The outbreak of Crimean War in 1854 made Britain realize that the significance of colonizing Vancouver Island - Britain needed its Pacific station and also didn't want it to fall under the control of the U.S.
  • 1851:Queen charlotte gold rush

    1851:Queen charlotte gold rush
    Cause and Consequence: This gold rush started in 1851 with the discovery of gold after a Haida man traded a 27-ounce nugget in Fort Victoria for 1,500 HBC blankets. However, the miners only found small quantities of gold and were repeatedly thwarted by shipwrecks and resistance from the Haida people. Significance: Although the Islands’ gold rush was declared a bust, the episode had helped to consolidate the new Colony of British Columbia and prepare the way for the rush to the Cariboo.
  • 1852: Queen Charlotte Islands became dependency of Crown Colony Vancouver Island

    1852:  Queen Charlotte Islands became dependency of Crown Colony Vancouver Island
    Cause and Consequence: The Queen Charlotte Colony was in response to the increase in American marine trading activity resulting from the gold rush on Moresby Island. No separate administration for the colony was ever established, as its only officer was James Douglas. Significance: Queen Charlotte Island is incorporated as a formal colony of Britain, and could be amalgamated into the Colony of British Columbia in 1858. This event also prevent dispute of land, which may happen in the future.
  • 1857: Fraser Canyon Gold Rush

    1857: Fraser Canyon Gold Rush
    Cause and Consequence: The Fraser Canyon gold Rush began in 1857 after gold was discovered on the Thompson River. The gold rush caused the non-sovereign territory of Britain known as New Caledonia to be established as the colony of British Columbia in order to deal with the massive influx of foreign miners.
    Significance: The Fraser Canyon gold rush was the catalyst for the founding of the Colony of British Columbia, the building of early road infrastructure, and the founding of many towns.
  • 1858: Colony of B.C. formed

    1858: Colony of B.C. formed
    Cause and Consequence: By 1857, the colonial office was faced with a largely alien population. Douglas stationed a gunboat at the entrance of the Fraser River to exert British authority by collecting licenses from prospectors attempting to make their way upstream. To normalize its jurisdiction, the district was converted to a crown colony. Significance: This action protected BC from becoming part of the U.S and marked the end of fur trading - HBC lost its monopoly over the economy of the region
  • 1858: Fraser Canyon War

    1858: Fraser Canyon War
    Cause and Consequences: The violence began when Nlaka’pamux sent downstream the headless bodies of two French miners who had raped an Nlaka’pamux woman. On August 14 the war began, the miners killed nine Nlaka’pamux, wounded others, and took three prisoners. They also burned three Native villages. Ethical Dimensions: The miners had caused many troubles for the First Nations by harassing the women, trespassing on their land, excluding them from mining for gold, and destructing their property.
  • 1859: New Westminster named capital of B.C.

    1859: New Westminster named capital of B.C.
    Cause and Consequence: In 1859, New Westminster was recommended as the first official capital of the new Colony of British Columbia by Richard Mood, because it was farther from the American border. It became a major outfitting point for prospectors coming to the Fraser Gold Rush. Significance: The location of New Westminster necessitated a large amount of labor and money to clear trees and lay out streets, causing the BC to run into larger debts when the gold rush has ended
  • 1860: Cariboo Gold Rush Begins

    1860: Cariboo Gold Rush Begins
    Cause and Consequence: The Cariboo Gold Rush began when prospectors drawn from the Fraser River Gold Rush discovered gold on the Horsefly River. A large number of gold-seekers were drawn to this region. Three towns -- Richfield, Camerontown and Barkerville -- were established. Significance: Most gold-seekers didn’t “strike it rich”, but went bankrupt or even died during the trail. The gold rush also changed people’s view toward money –it is possible to get rich quick!
  • 1862: Smallpox epidemic

    1862: Smallpox epidemic
    Cause and Consequence: In March of 1862, a miner brought smallpox from San Francisco to Victoria. The disease spread quickly. The government forced Natives to leave the city, which caused the disease to spread throughout many parts of BC. Ethical Dimensions: Smallpox epidemic killed 14,000 Indians . The Natives suffered greatly from this epidemic; the government doesn’t care about their lives at all. While the colonist were vaccinated, the First Nations were quarantined.
  • 1862: Construction of Cariboo Road begins

    1862: Construction of Cariboo Road begins
    Cause and Consequence: The Cariboo Wagon Road would begin at Yale because that was as far as steamers could travel up the Fraser River. Governor Douglas ordered the Royal Engineers to build the most difficult section of the road. Significance: The building of Cariboo Road would ease the travel to goldfields, create more jobs, and provide effective government presence. However, when the road was finished, gold rush was already declined. The government was left in debt.
  • 1864: Chilcotin War

    1864: Chilcotin War
    Cause and Consequence: In 1861, a pack-train trail was established from the Bella Coola Valley through Tsilhqot'in territory. Resisting these intrusions, a small group of Tsilhqot'in killed several workers on this road. Five Tsilhqot'in were executed. Ethical Dimensions: In 2007, Supreme Court of B.C. apologized for for hanging Tsilhqot'in war chiefs. The road-building team that threatened Tsilhqot’in workers first. In addition, the Tsilqot’in community had already been ravaged by smallpox.
  • 1866: The union of Vancouver Island and B.C

    1866: The union of Vancouver Island and B.C
    Cause and Consequence: By mid 1860 both BC and Vancouver Island went into debt. Since the Britain didn’t want to subsidize these colonies any more, BC and Vancouver Island merged. The assembly remained dominated by unelected officials, and the citizens were unsatisfied because the government is not fully representative. Significance: The economy recovered a bit, but not quick enough. The union was not a permanent solution. This union eventually led Canada to join Confederation in 1871.
  • 1868: Victoria named capital of B.C.

    1868: Victoria named capital of B.C.
    Cause and Consequence: Victoria was the port, supply base, and outfitting centre for miners on their way to the Fraser Canyon gold fields. Since Victoria was the home of the Royal Navy and a busy city at that time, it became the capital of the new united colony instead of New Westminster Significance: This event helped the Port of Victoria to become one of North America's largest importers of opium, serving the opium trade from Hong Kong.
  • 1871: B.C. became 6th Canadian province

    1871: B.C. became 6th Canadian province
    Cause and Consequence: With the agreement by the Canadian government to extend the Canadian Pacific Railway and to assume the colony's debt, British Columbia joined the confederation. Significance: If the colony did not join confederation, B.C would not be what is today. If B.C remain a British colony, our province would remain British but poor. If B.C decided to become part of the U.S, B.C’s economy may have developed quicker, but BC will lost all its ties with Britain.
  • 1872 Province makes public education free

    1872 Province makes public education free
    Cause and Consequence: In 1872, free, non-denominational public schooling was established in British Columbia. After Confederation, greater numbers of British Columbians identified public education as a means of social advancement in the new nation. Significance: Now every child will have the chance to be educated freely no matter what its parents' circumstances may be.
  • 1873: NWMP formed

    1873: NWMP formed
    Cause and Consequence: The North-West Mounted Police was a paramilitary police force established to maintain law and order, and to be a visible symbol of Canadian sovereignty, in the newly acquired North-West Territories . The NWMP helped Indians make the transition to Indian Reserves after treaties were signed and assisted incoming settlers. Significance: The NWMP had helped the First Nations from the Wolfers; therefore, the treaty went well when they negotiated with the First Nations.
  • 1885: The building of CPR is completed

    1885: The building of CPR is completed
    Cause and Consequence: On Nov. 7, 1885, the eastern and western portions of the Canadian Pacific Railway met at Craigellachie, B.C., where Donald A. Smith drove the last spike. Significance: The building of CPR connected B.C with other provinces and protect B.C from becoming part of the U.S. Population increased and economy grows quicker. Ethical Issues: Chinese workers suffered from discrimination, dangerous job and bad working conditions.