The Journal of
Arthur Reid Lempriere

Lieutenant, Royal Engineers


The following journal is the only first-hand document written by one of the Columbia Detachment officers in existence.  The journal was placed in the National Army Museum and a copy was posted to Frances Woodward, UBC Special Collections.  She in turn kindly made available this copy to us.  Any and all transcription errors are the responsibility and fault of the editor.

  April 1859 | May 1859 | June 1859 | July 1859 | Aug 1859 | Sept 1859 | Oct 1859 | Nov 1859Dec 1859

Jan 1860 | Feb 1860 | Mar 1860 | April 1860 | May 1860 | June 1860

April 1859                                 back to top

     1st Friday – Very calm: 568 miles from Cape Flattery

     2nd Saturday – A full rigged ship in sight, on our starboard beam: not near enough to speak with.  It is the first vessel we have seen since leaving Valparaiso, now 47 days out from there - A farewell paper of the Immigrant Soldiers Gazette and Cape Horn Chronicles was read out on the troop deck in the eve –

     3rd Sunday – Strong head wind.  Glover states he was too unwell unable to read service, so Luard did it.

     4th Monday – Head wind as usual.  The play “Our Wife” performed in the evening - and afterwards some songs were sung -

     5th Tuesday – The oilcloth in the cabin was taken up and the place cleaned for the first time. 456 miles from Cape Flattery.

     6th Wednesday – Wind changeable and weather foggy -Pork very bad at 4 bells, I got  it exchanged.  506 miles from Cape Flattery; the people between decks seemed anything but pleased when I announced the distance there and found that we were 50 miles further off than the day before -

     7th Thursday – Strong breeze, but fair - 414 miles from Cape Flattery - In the evening it blew half a gale and the ship got under single reefed topsails: weather foggy.

     8th Friday – Strong breeze and under single reefed topsails.  Weather clearer.  Got a very bad cold somehow or other.  Got the anchors slung to commence getting the chain on deck.  250 miles from Cape Flattery -

     9th Saturday – Six months today since date of embarkation at Gravesend.  Squalls of hail and rains: under single reefed topsails - Lowered the royal yards and continued getting up cable on deck –

     10th Sunday – Sighted land about 6 a.m. and entered to straights of  “Juan De Fuca” about 4 p.m. - They are about 10 miles broad and separate Vancouver’s Island from the Oregon Territory: The country is very hilly and covered with timber, the more distant mountains being covered with snow, below which you could see the clouds laying in dark passes -

     11th Monday – Head wind and endeavored to beat up the Straights but made little way forward - Saw several canoes with Indians in them; one of them came near the ship soon after sunset: our bugle happened to sound and they made off  - as fast as possible, probably thinking we were beating to quarters.

     12th Tuesday – Light breeze but fair: we fired two guns when within some miles of Esquimalt harbour for a pilot: He came off in a small boat pulled by two men: The skipper did not heave to to take him on board and the pilot laid hold of the main sheet which filled the boat and capsized it, he still kept his hold and the life boat being lowered he was taken in, as also the other 2 men who were hanging on to their own boat which was by this time half a mile astern.  We got them all safe on board and then went on. We came to anchor in Esquimalt Harbour about 3 p.m. I and Luard immediately went on shore to pay our respects to Col. Hawkins at the barracks, called the Pilgrim’s Rest: wrote a few lines while there to my mother telling her of my safe arrival and then I and Luard rode over to Victoria where we met Wilson of our Corps and Haig of the Artillery: We dined with them at a restaurant and then went over to see Col. Moody who told us all the news: We did not leave him till about 9 p.m. and after some trouble we got our horses and started on our way back to the Barracks: it being dark we lost our way and thought we should stand a good chance of having to sleep in the woods, but we gave our horses their lead and to our great astonishment suddenly found ourselves back at the Pilgrim’s Rest, where they were beginning to think we had lost ourselves.  We had a cigar there and then went back to the old “Thames City”.  I got several letters which were sent to the “The Thames” for me, but arrived too late.  I did not get any late news from home -  There were 3 men of war in the harbour the “Brisbane”, “Satellite” and “Phylades” - The country all about is incredibly beautiful and covered with timber, principally pine.  The road   between Esquimalt and Victoria which is 3 miles long is very rough and in some places so boggy that I thought my Horse would  never get out of it.  Some of the bridges have planks broken here and there makes it rather dangerous.  The Pilgrim’s Rest Barracks form a very picturesque group of huts and are very comfortable inside: a narrow path down a steep bit of hill leads to a retired corner in the Harbour, where our people keep their boats –

Officer's Quarters at Pilgrim's Rest Barracks, Esquimalt, front view.  Photograph LC-USZC4-11403 courtesy of The Library of Congress

The Officers' quarters are on the right of the image and the Enlisted Men's quarters are on the left and centre.  Photograph (photonegative 3728948/listed as Camp of the Northwest Boundary Commission, Semiahmoo) courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University (keyword: s-1817).

     13th Wednesday – Several naval officers called in the morning – In the afternoon Captain de Courcey R.N. of H.M.S. Pylades called: I gave him the book that Sir J Hindmarsh had asked me to bring out for his grandson “Stephen” who was on board the Calypso: he said he would take care of it and let him have it by the first opportunity, the Calypso being at the Sandwich Islands – A good many canoes with Indians about the ship all day selling fish, vegetables etc.: they are a hideous looking race with very long hair all down their backs and wear but little clothing: they sit in the bottom of their canoes and paddle along at a great pace – I was on board all day; In the afternoon some of the sailors coming off in the boats quite drunk, I was there myself at the time, and they [crashed] into the 2 mates and broke Mr. Beren’s [?] nose and nearly stunned Mr. [?]: I immediately ordered up the guard and placed 4 of them in irons.  In the evening we had a dance on the quarter deck.

     14th Thursday – I was woken up about 6 a.m. by a steamer coming along side to take some of our men and cargo to Queensboro: I immediately jumped up, and put on my clothes, and we soon got some of our men to work transshipping a part of the cargo to the small steamer, and also sent a quantity of our ammunition on board H.M.S. Satellite which was about to start for Queensboro with 150 marines and 20 of our men.  Palmer with 20 more of our men started in the Eliza Anderson about 11 a.m. 

STEAMER Eliza Anderson left yesterday for Queenborough.  She took up a detachment of Royal Engineers, twenty  men in charge of Lt. Palmer, with about 50 tons of government stores from the Thames City, - and also about fifty tons merchandise and forty passengers.  She is expected here this morning and will leave again today for Queenborough, returning so as to depart on her regular day, on Tuesday morning.

--16th April, 1859
The British Colonist

 In the afternoon I , Luard and Seddall rode off to Victoria.  I went to the Post Office and got a letter from Isabelle dated 3rd February; called at Col. Moody’s, the Governor’s, and the Gossett’s.  I had a look at the Hudson’s Bay Fort. I then rode back with Seddall and dined on board.  In the evening we got up a dance –

     15th Friday – Getting out cargo, and placing it on deck ready for the steamer to take in.  Gossett was on board for some time.  In the afternoon I, Luard and Seddall went on shore for a stroll: the country was beautiful: we had a good view of Mount Baker which is 16,000 feet high.  We had 6 or 7 of our men prisoners, several of them for being drunk - On the day of our arrival I got letters from [?] and [? ?] and Harriet –

     16th Saturday – The “Eliza Anderson” came along side about 10 a.m.  We set to work immediately putting cargo into her.  At 4:30 p.m. I warned the men that we were to start the following morning at 3.  All of the married men with the women and children for Langley and 30 NCO and men for Queensboro - The skipper of the “Eliza Anderson” paid our men a dollar each for working after hours getting out cargo: They finished about 10 p.m. The sappers at Pilgrim’s Rest Barracks Gave our married people a grand entertainment: I had not gone ashore all day, except taking a few trips to the landing place getting back the women and children –

The S.S. Eliza Anderson, 1860 Photograph courtesy of the BC Archives
Call number H-01517

     17th Sunday – The detachment went on board the steamer “Eliza Anderson” at 3 a.m. and she  got under weigh about 4:30 a.m. -  I had some trouble with “Sapper Dodd” who was a prisoner and so had him sent off in irons.  We had service on the troop deck as usual. The ship seemed so quiet now that the foredeck was deserted. I and Luard in the afternoon pulled off to the Hospital to call upon Cooper of the Marines: we afterwards pulled round the harbour, and saw a great many Indians, some in their canoes and others sitting round fires on the beach: we spoke to one of them that understood a little English – he had his face painted a bright Vermilion, and appeared to be a sort of chief.

     18th Monday – In the afternoon I walked down to Mr. Monroe’s and gave him the letters of introduction that Mr. Morris gave me; he was very civil, and after I left sent me a note off  to the “Thames City” about a tent etc. for Mr. Ogilvie.

Hudson's Bay House
London, 9th September 1858

My dear Sir,

Permit me to Introduce Lieutenant Arthur Lempriere who goes to Vancouver's Island in charge of a detachment of Her Majesty's troops, and who probably will, ultimately proceed to the Fraser's River for the purpose of Keeping order, and supporting the laws among the Miners assembled at the gold diggings.

I shall feel much obliged by any Kindness and attention you may have in your power to shew to Lieutenant Lempriere and I feel persuaded that you will not only assist in making his residence on your Island an agreeable one, but, that, in case of Emergency you will afford him Your best advice and assistance.

I ever am,
My dear Sir,
Very truly yours,

M Burns

To His Excellency James Douglas
etc., etc.,
Fort Victoria

     19th Tuesday – I rode over to Victoria, had lunch with the Governor, Mr. Douglas, where I met Cooper and St. John of the Marines. I afterwards called with them upon some people about a mile and a half out of Victoria, and then rode back to the Pilgrim’s Rest Barracks where I dined with Bauerman and Lord, and pulled back to the ship about 10 p.m.

     20th Wednesday – The steamer “Eliza Anderson” came along side about 2 p.m.: we immediately set to work getting the cargo shifted into her.  Dodd tumbled down the hatchway.  I took a boat manned with our own men, and went off at once to the “Pylades” and brought off the Surgeon: he was cut about the head a good deal, but not seriously hurt. I gave the “Bill of Lading” for the tent etc. belonging to Ogilvie to Messers Dickson and Hamley and also had a note left for him at the Post Office in Victoria authorizing them to delivering it to him.  I lunched at the Governor Douglas, gave him the letter of introduction that Mr. Morris gave me.  I afterwards went with Cooper and St.John of the Marines and called upon the Works about a mile and a half out of Victoria.  I then rode back to Esquimalt.  [above paragraph crossed out] I dined with St.John on board the “Brisbane” every one was very civil and kind: Their band played in the evening on the main deck.

     21st Thursday – Left the “Thames City” with 30 men, 3 women and 4 children at 10 a.m. and embarked in the Eliza Anderson.  We went round in her to Victoria.  In the evening I got the men into a warehouse close alongside the pier.  In the afternoon walked with Luard to the top of Beacon Hill.  We dined with Hamley.  And slept on board the Eliza Anderson on the sofa for an hour or so without taking my clothes off –

     22nd Good Friday – Paraded the Detachment at 4:30 a.m. and marched them onboard.  We started at 5 a.m. and got to Queenborough at 5:30 p.m.  There were a good many drunken fellows at the pier who threw bottles of grog on board to my men: however I saw it immediately, and had it thrown overboard, posting a sentry at the same time to prevent its occurrence again.  I landed my detachment about a mile further up where I met Col. Moody and some other officers – after leaving everything correct I went to the map room which was a small log hut of the roughest description with a large chimney about 6 feet wide at the base and without any fireplace [? ? ?].  Jolly good [?] fire and we were all as merry as possible.  Judge Begbie the Lord Chief Justice of British Columbia was one of the party: we had several songs and about 10 p.m. retired to our tents which were pitched in a very picturesque spot on the banks of the Fraser river – I found it very cold during the night –

Interior of the hut mentioned in above text. Drawn by Crease while in the room, March 1859.  Note the three officer's forage caps hanging on the wall on the left.

Photograph courtesy of BC Archives
Call Number PDP-05429

     23rd Saturday – Looking about me most of the day – In a board of survey in the afternoon –

     24th Sunday – We had divine service at 11 a.m. on the ground close to the camp.  Col. Moody read the service.  There were only ourselves, the Marines and a few civilians – In the afternoon we walked along a trail to a ravine where a large tree about 6 feet in diametre had fallen right across and formed a natural bridge –

     25th Monday – Commenced a powder magazine on the side of the ravine separating our camp from the Marines.  I was also placed in charge of all the stores and everything relative to the Commissary Department in addition to superintending other works – The photographic equipment was also placed in my charge –

     26th Tuesday – Went [? ?] excursion up the Pitt River and to the head of the lake at the [?] – about 25 miles from Queenborough: The steamer we went in was called the Enterprise it had its paddle at the stern and the wheel for steering by the fore part and only drew about 18 inches of water – The country all the way was beautiful particularly when we got into the lake where the high mountains on both sides covered with snow gave it a most magnificent appearance: There appeared no open ground, every spot being covered with timber, back up to the tops of the mountains – on returning our paddle shaft broke and it was with the greatest difficulty we could get on.  When we got close to Queenborough we felt all of a sudden a tremendous shock and discovered that the steamer had run right onto a sand bank and that forward she was high and dry; so we took a small boat and pulled back to the camp – Luard arrived –  

     27th Wednesday – Getting the stores etc. to rights and various other little matters.  The English Mail Arrived in the evening while we were at dinner.  I got a letter from Emma and a few lines from Harriet dated 24 February.  The latter had not been at all well.  It was such a treat to get a letter from home and hear something of them all –

      28th Thursday – Accompanied Col. Moody on the tour of Queenborough alias “The Stump City “ – The idea of a place covered with timber and brushwood, so that it is next to impossible to make your way through it, becoming at some future time a commercial city seems almost absurd.

     29th Friday – The schooner with the remainder of  the cargo from the “Thames City” arrived with Sgt. Osmet and 3 or 4 more men the last of our detachment. In the afternoon I and Palmer started in a small canoe up the creek; we had Edwards with us and at the entrance of the creek we found logs right across and that it was quite impossible to get the canoe through; so we were obliged to stand on the logs and lift the canoe over the logs and trunks of the trees were only floating and very little above the water with intervals of 4 or 5 feet between them with deep water, so if one missed one’s footing down you could go and have a good dunking.  We paddled away about 5 miles up the creek through rapids and all sorts of places, in some places having to get into the water up to your knees and pull the boat along.  It was my first boat trip in a canoe, but I managed the paddling very well: one must be very careful in getting in or out, or else it is likely to upset: we took a fishing rod and gun with us, but did not have any sport –

     30th Saturday – Busy in the morning unloading the schooner and taking powder out of our store to the one below the Marine camp – in the afternoon I and Seddall went out for a pull and visited the Custom House. 

May 1859                                 back to top

     1st Sunday – Had service in the morning in a new building intended as a survey office: there were no seats, so we all had to stand.  Col. Moody read the service, Parsons the Scripture, and Mr. Wright a Methodist preached an extemporary sermon.  Seddall played on the Harmonium and we had some very fair singing.  The Marines and a good many civilians with a few Indians were present - 

     2nd Monday – Busy designing for a church and at various other duties.

Holy Trinity in 1860, the church Lempriere was designing.

Photograph courtesy of BC Archives.  Call number A-02803

     3rd Tuesday – Received orders to hold myself in readiness to proceed to Langley.  From there to Fort Hope and then report where a proposed trail to Boston Bar making a reconnaissance of the same: I was then to go on the Lytton and from there to the mountains returning by Fort Yale and making a reconnaissance of the trails on both sides of the river to Fort Hope.  Palmer started with 2 men on an expedition up the country –

     4th Wednesday – Col. Moody and his secretary Burnaby left for Victoria.  I was in a district Court martial from 12 a.m. till 4 p.m. for the trial of 1st Corporal Medical Staff Orderly Hazel, the court was [in session] till 10 a.m. the following day – 

Queenborough, 2nd May 1859

"...obliged to postpone the Leave which Captain Bazalgette solicits, there being insufficient Officers for District Court Martial."

-- Letter from Colonel Moody

 Just after we left the court some civilians came and stated they had been attacked and robbed by some of the Sumash Indians, who presented rifles at them in the [?] of their [?]: we immediately manned the whale boat with our own men taking rifles, revolvers etc. And went in pursuit, I, Parsons, Seddall, the magistrate ( Spalding) and 5 of our men formed the party (including the crew): we went about 5 miles down the river as hard as ever we could pull, but the Indians had had too much of a head start and we were compelled to return without capturing them –

5th Thursday – The district Court Martial again – heard Sapper Delaney.  In the afternoon went out in a canoe with Parsons and Seddall up the Burnette.  Bedford came down in the evening –

     6th Friday – Wrote to Harriet –

     8th Sunday – Had service as usual: Grant read it.  In the afternoon pulled over to the other side of the river.  Rained very heavily –  

     9th Monday – Pulled down the river with Parsons who was surveying and afterwards visited the Custom House in Queenborough - 

     10th Tuesday – In board of survey in the morning. Busy marking out plans for wharf.

     11th Wednesday – Continuing the plans of wharf and church. In the afternoon walked into Queenborough with Seddall and in the evening went over to the Marines, where they were celebrating Sparshott’s promotion.

     12th Thursday – Continuing plans of church and roughed one of a house as an officers quarters.

     13th Friday – Left Queenborough in the "Eliza Anderson” at 3 p.m. with Corporal Sinnett, my servant Crart, and Cote an axe-man, and arrived at Fort Langley at 5 p.m.  I called upon Mr. Yale and gave the Colonel’s letter and started about 6 p.m. in the steamer “Maria”: she got aground about 12 p.m. on a sand bank. 

Victoria, 12th May, 1859


The wife of Francois Cote civilian attached to your Staff having drawn from this Department the sum as per margin, I think it right to apprise you in order to facilitate the checking of his account with your Department.

I have the honor to be,
Your obedient Servant,

R. Burnaby, Secretary


8 February - To HBC order for Sale Shop - $25
23 February - Cash - to John Lemon for wife - $10
8 March - Cash - to John Lemon for wife - $15
8 April - Cash - to W.J. MacDonald - $25
12 May - Cash - to W.J. MacDonald - $25

     14th Saturday – With some difficulty we got off the sand bank which was at the mouth of the Sumash river and steamed up the Chilliweoak till we got to the camp of the United States Boundary Commission where they got out the cargo about 5 a.m. – I went on shore and saw several officers belonging to the expedition: we left soon afterwards and proceeded up the Fraser river to Fort Hope where we arrived about 5 p.m. I made a reconnaissance of the river as  well went up and gave names to several prominent points in the mountains: the scenery all the way up was magnificent: we had some difficulty in getting through the rapids, especially just before we reached fort Hope.  I saw Mr. Oglivie on arriving and delivered the Colonel’s letter to him: had the men put up at [?] the Baker’s at the rate of 12- per [?] each – met Brown the paymaster of the Plumper at Mr. Ogilvie’s who kindly gave me a shake down; we had supper at 8 p.m. and went to bed about 11.  I was very tired not having been to bed the night before and surveying all the day. 

     15th Sunday – Had breakfast about 10 a.m. and afterwards walked with Mr. Mills to the Quoquehalla where I [?] upon a spot for [? ?] a [?] bridge to [?] the new trail from Fort Hope to Boston bar.  In the afternoon I and Brown rode out on mules to the point where the Quoquehalla was easily forded, but found that the river had had risen so much and it was so rapid that it was impossible to ford it, so we tied up our mules and went across in the ferry.  Mr. Ladner got into the boat and held his mules reins and went across making the mule swim: he nearly lost his mule – we walked some distance the other side and then rode on the banks of the Fraser river to the mouth of the Quoquehalla fording several streams: it was no easy matter getting along the brushwood being so very thick – 

     16th Monday -  Got Corporal Sinnett to work plotting my reconnaissance up the river: I made arrangements about mules and provisions for [?] my expedition – It was a very wet day – in the afternoon I and Brown made various trials of the rate of the water in the Quoquehalla and found that in some places it ran at 8 knots and then 10 knots per hour.  I was to have held a meeting of the people interested in the new trail between Fort Hope and Boston Bar, but could get no one to attend it.

     17th Tuesday – Found the width of the Quoquehalla to be 194 feet at the ferry.  In the afternoon went over to the island opposite the town and warned the men there that we would very likely have to quit it shortly.  I made a sketch of the Fort for Ogilvie and trial the rate of the river “Fraser” opposite to town.  It was running about 7 miles per hour – I had sappers on board the “Governor Douglas”.  Brown left in the evening to return to the Plumper.  Mr. Dallas one of the Hudson’s Bay Officials arrived on a tour of inspection – In the morning I had a trail from the Fort to the ferry traversed with compass – I was awoke up by Brown paymaster of the Plumper about 1 a.m. who told me that a murder had been committed in the town and that the magistrate wanted assistance: I immediately slipped on some clothes, loaded my revolver, and went down to the Court House where Mr. Smith the magistrate was making out a Warrant to arrest “Weaver” the man who had stabbed the other person, and who turned out to be only very seriously wounded: I went down to see him and felt his pulse: He looked very bad, and his face was covered with blood. I accompanied the magistrate into 4 or 5 houses looking after Weaver but to no purpose and as Mr. Smith thought he had very probably taken a canoe and gone down the river, he did not make any further search so I turned in to bed again – I had hardly been in bed  an hour when I heard shots fired just outside the Fort, so I immediately went out again and found that it was some unfortunate miner who had been mistaken for Weaver and shot at by some of the men in search of him –  


We learn that a difficulty of a serious character has occurred at Fort Hope.  It appears that one Chisholm, a constable, was about to arrest a man named Weaver, the keeper of a bar at that place, when the latter drew a knife and plunged it into the abdomen of the constable. the wound is considered to be mortal.  Weaver had not been captured.

-- 20th May, 1859
The British Colonist

     18th Wednesday – Brown left in the Governor Douglas – I was surveying about the town most of the day.

     19th Thursday – Gave Ogilvie a receipt for 130 dollars – I had all the mules packed and stared about 1 p.m. on my expedition to Boston Bar on the proposed trail.  We had some difficulty in getting the mules across the Quoquehalla which was very rapid (average rate 9 miles per hour) and had risen very high.  We unpacked them and then let them swim.  They were taken a long way down, but eventually got across though my mule had rather an escape – In all my party consisted of Corporal Sinnett, Sapper Crart, Cote a distinguished axeman, but horribly drunk at starting, a muleteer and 5 mules and 4 Indians – We went a short distance along the banks of the Quoquehalla and encamped in a very pretty spot upon a lake – about 1 1/2 miles from the ferry –  Up at 5:30 a.m. Breakfasted at 7 and had mules packed and started down after 8.  We ascended 2 steep hills: The view from the East was beautiful looking down upon the Quoquehalla Valley: We met several parties prospecting for gold and camped at noon for dinner at the point where the Hudson’s Bay trail to Thompson river crosses the Quoquehalla.  We went another 4 or 5 miles after dinner and then pitched our tents.  The weather was beautiful and I must say I quite enjoyed it, rough work as it was.  My bed made of small branches of cedar and 2 or 3 blankets to wrap myself up in, clothes and all except boots –

     21st Saturday – Up at 5:30 a.m. and stared about 8: We ascended a high hill from which there was a beautiful view and I christened it “Belle Point” after Isabelle Reid: Just below this point a “gold flat” and a little further on where I camped for the day, I came upon some waterfalls which I called “The Gypsie Falls”.  I camped here about 11:30 a.m. Being informed by Mr. Ladner who was superintending the trail lately that I could not possibly get on further without cutting my way through: so I sent my Muleteer back to Fort Hope to get Ogilvie to purchase 6 falling axes and some barley etc. and to go at it myself, as to turn back would never do for an Engineer Officer – I prospected for gold and found a little – some people who were trying at the “gold flats” were very successful – we had a roaring fire at night of cedar wood, it quite lighted up the dense forest all around us: There is something so solemn and grand in all this, that it almost strikes one with awe at first; the moaning of the trees and the rushing sounds of the water all adds to the solemnity of the scene –

     22nd Sunday – Remained camped in the same spot. 

     23rd Monday – Very wet so did not change camp. 

     24th Tuesday – Moved our camp about 2 ½ miles on. 2 of my Indians deserted and the rest of my party sent forward to cut the trail: we saw indications of bears.

     25th Wednesday – Moved our camp about 1 ½ miles.

     26th Thursday – Moved our camp about 1 ¾ miles.

     27th Friday – Moved our camp about 1 ¾ miles. I walked with Mr. Ladner up a creek to explore it and see weather we could not make a short cut.  It was tremendous climbing an I got so worked up, I thought I would never get back to my camp again.  Had some grouse for dinner which one of the Indians had shot, a great treat after living on bacon. 

     28th Saturday – Moved my camp on about a mile – I sent the muleteer into Fort Hope for provisions and wrote to Luard.  The afternoon was very wet and miserable and the snow about 2 feet deep around my tent.  A wet day under canvas is very unpleasant, particularly when one has nothing but the bare ground to sit or lay on – however in the evening we managed to get a good fire, cut down a large tree, strip the bark off in pieces of  6’x 8’ and build a sort of shed to sit under – and made ourselves tolerably comfortable.  It is only in the spring of the year when the sap is up that the bark will peel off the trees in that way – It turned out a very wet night –

     29th Sunday – Very wet all day and night. Began a letter to Belle.

     30th Monday – Wet nearly all day.  I walked about 2 miles along the trail, got wet through and came back.  Turned into bed about 8 p.m.  Afterwards the muleteer arrived from Fort Hope: He brought a letter from Ogilvie with some newspapers, potables etc.: A grand treat.

     31st Tuesday – Wet all morning so that we could not move our camp or send the trail cutting party out.  I continued my letter to Belle – In the afternoon I rode on a short distance and could not get my mule on any further, the snow being so rotten, he came down with me twice, so I tied him up to a tree and walked on to the top of the mountain (sandy hill): I was very tired when I got back.

June 1859                                 back to top

     1st Wednesday – Struck camp about 8 a.m. and went on about 4 miles and camped close to some beautiful falls, the gorge was so narrow that there was not sufficient space to pitch my tent properly.  The trail was very rough and the ascent up the mountain very steep: one of my pack mules rolled down a considerable distance, they did not get along at much more than 1 mile per hour.

     2nd Thursday – Moved my camp on about 2 miles: very rough traveling and snow very rotten: it was from 2 to 3 feet deep outside our tents and thawing rapidly –

     3rd Friday – Breakfasted at 5 a.m. and left my camp with the Indians and muleteer and rode into Fort Hope: It took is 8 ½ hours getting in, only dismounted once for a quarter of an hour to eat some biscuits and drink a little water which was all we had for our dinner.

     4th Saturday – The steamer Governor Douglas arrived at Fort Hope.  I received an official stating that the Governor was perfectly satisfied with everything I had done with regard to the trail and that he intended sending me a N.C.O. and 6 sappers by the next trip of the steamer –  I sent my letter to Belle.

     5th Sunday – I left Fort Hope with the muleteer and my Indians: we found we could not reach our camp that night and having no tent with us, we made use of an open bark shed it was very cold, but fortunately not wet.  The only grub we had was bread and tea the latter I was reduced to drinking out of the frying pan – 4 other Indians came up to us, 2 of them were fellows that had left me and whom I had refused to take back: I did not at first like the look of it, they remained all night, but eventually went off without giving us any trouble -  

     6th Monday – Started at 4 a.m.: we had hardly got on more than 200 yards from where we spent the night, when my Indian touched me and pointed to a large black bear about 30 yards off looking at us: He stopped an instant and then made off up the mountain – I had no rifle with me – I got to my camp in the snow about noon and was not sorry to get a bit of bacon to eat -  

     7th Tuesday – Moved the whole of my camp down to Gold Flats -   

     8th Wednesday – Moved my camp close to Fort Hope on the bank of Quoquohalla. 

Lt. Lempriere's Report on the Boston Bar Trail.

8th June, 1859. Sent from Hope.

     9th Thursday – The steamer arrived with a detachment of 1 NCO and 6 men.  I received  letter from Emma which she had sent to Valparaiso and which was forwarded from there.  Sent my servant Crart back to Queenborough homesick.


The "Governor Douglas" on the up trip carried seven Sappers for the Fort Hope trail.  Considerable complaint has been made because further assistance has not been rendered by the government.

- 27th June, 1859
The British Colonist

     10th Friday – Camped again at Gold Flat.

     11th Saturday – I moved camp about 5 miles.  Rather wet in the afternoon, it cleared up however in a short time and I sent my new detachment at work improving the trail for the first time.

     12th Sunday – No work. Weather cloudy and dismal: How I should like to have a nice quiet country church to go to.

     13th Monday – Wet.  Continued improving the trail – 

     14th Tuesday – Moved my camp about ¾ of a mile.  I afterwards rode into Fort Hope, so as to meet the steamer, which was expected the following day.

     15th Wednesday – Very wet: steamer did not arrive.

     16th Thursday – Steamer arrived in the evening.  I received a note from the Colonel telling me that he was unable to get to Fort Hope as he intended and desiring me to return to Queenborough and take charge of the works there: He left it to my own discretion to decide, so I thought it better to have Corporal Sinnett in charge of the trail party and I determined upon returning to Queenborough immediately – so I went on board the steamer the same evening I received a letter from Belle with a few lines from Aunt: also one from my mother, Isabelle and Emily.  It was an immense treat getting these letters.  Belle’s was a very jolly long one, she had received my letter from Valparaiso all safe –

     17th Friday – I arrived at our camp at Queenborough about noon, rather tired and worked up.  I found the place a good deal improved during my absence: The Colonel put me in charge of the works, the building of the church being the principle thing.  Sent a letter to Uncle John.

     18th Saturday – Busy on the works most of the day. In the afternoon, went down to the City and called at Spalding’s and Hamley’s – 

     19th Sunday – Grant read Divine Service in the open air, in the morning.  In the afternoon went out for a walk with the Doctor –

     20th Monday – Busy most of the day –

     21st Tuesday – About 50 of our men paraded to go to Port Douglas with about the same number of Marines to cut the Harrison and Lillouet trails.  The steamer arrived in the evening and Hamley the Collector of Customs demanded the new toll tax of a dollar per head, which the Captain of the steamer refused to pay: Upon which he said he would have to seize the steamer our men were all on board as also Colonel Moody.  The skipper shipped his cable and went off, but one of the Custom House officers seized the wheel, he and the skipper trying to steer different ways: The officer being overpowered immediately requested assistance in the Queen’s name from Colonel Moody, which of course he gave at once, and had the steamer brought back to the wharf.  The skipper then paid the tax, and was allowed to go on up the river, it was very fortunate that there were military on board, otherwise the Custom House authorities would have been quite laughed at. Grant, Seddall and Palmer, went up with the men.  Thermometer 108.15 in sun. 


The "Governor Douglas" was seized by the Government for the head tax which Captain Murray refused to pay on his last voyage down.  A difficulty occurred between him and the seizing officer, which ended in ordering out the soldiers.  He offered to pay the money under protest, this not being satisfactory, he was going to land the soldiers on board for Port Douglas, when the money was taken under protest.  On his return, he was bound over to appear on Tuesday at Queenborough to answer the charge of resisting an officer.  The matter however will be settled amicably.

Great excitement prevailed in relation to the head tax among the people.  A protest was signed declaring it impolitic, and illegal.  The latter is a mistake.

-27th June, 1859
The British Colonist.

     22nd Wednesday – Set the Marines to work marking for the Colonel’s Quarters, drawing plans etc.

     26th Sunday – Had service in the open air, In the afternoon walked as far as Silas’s Camp on the Burrard Inlet trail – 

     27th Monday – Pulled up to the Brick field: It rained very hard and we did not get back till dark. 

     28th Tuesday – Left Queenborough in the Governor Douglas and got up as far as Langley. I and Captain Prevost R.N. had a cabin between us.

     29th Wednesday – Left Langley about 2 a.m. and arrived at Port Douglas at 3 p.m.  Rode over part of the Harrison and Lillouet trail with Grant and Seddall and dined with them afterwards –

     30th Thursday – Arrived at Fort Hope about 6 p.m. and walked with the Colonel as far as the ferry.  Ogilvie gave me a shake down on the floor of his sitting room.  The H.B.C. brigade had arrived and  [? ? ? ?] before it got very late.

July 1859                                 back to top 

     1st Friday – Started with Captain Prevost R.N. along the trail and reached my men’s camp about 7 p.m. : It rained most of the time – Discovered that Captain Prevost was a nephew of the Baron de [?] , and knew my father and a number of [?] people – 

     2nd Saturday – Started in the afternoon and camped some miles beyond the Cypress Falls: The snow all gone but the trail very rough; one of the mules came down about 4 times –

     3rd Sunday – Read service to the men in the afternoon – 

     4th Monday – Started with Captain Prevost, Cote, Sainsbury and my servant Crart and after a hard day’s walk through the forest, there being no trail and climbing a steep mountain we camped for the night at the top:  the snow was from 4 to 5 feet deep and we had no tents with us: However we knocked up a little shelter with boughs of trees and making a bed on the top of the snow of the same material, with a tremendous fire at our feet we managed to make ourselves pretty comfortable: a few biscuits, tea and preserved vegetables formed our repast –

     5th Tuesday – breakfasted at 5 a.m. and started immediately afterwards: we traveled about 8 miles on the snow till we got clear of the mountains and about 10 more brought us to a trail cutter’s camp:  our provisions were nearly all out and I don’t recollect ever being more thankful for a good meal than I was that day: the party whom we had just reached were very civil and kind gave us shelter under one of their tents for the night and grub to take with us the following day –

     6th Wednesday – We left the trail cutter’s camp and walked along the banks of the Anderson River about 10 or 12 miles, there being no trail: My Indian caught us up bringing down provisions with him, and a raccoon which though very tough we made a hearty meal off.  We slept as usual on the ground without any tent –

     7th Thursday – Started early and after a very long hard day’s journey we reached Boston Bar, where I, Captain Prevost and our men all got shelter under the same tent –

     8th Friday – Left Boston Bar having procured 4 horses the day before and in the evening reached the Lake House situated on the top of a mountain.  As it was very cold our men being tired we rushed to stay there the night: There was only one room in which we all slept with a lot of miners, Indians etc., in all numbering about 14 or 15: Bunks were arranged in three tiers all round the room, for the accommodation of travelers. I cannot say it was particularly agreeable. 

     9th Saturday – We left the lake house and descended the mountain till we struck the Fraser river at Chapman’s Bar:  We went along its banks for about 5 miles and then reached the ferry at  [?] where we crossed the river and after leaving 2 more mountains arrived at Fort Yale.  We started there about half an hour and then took a canoe to Fort Hope a distance of 15 miles: The river was very high and rapid and we went down in less than 1 ½ hours.

     10th Sunday – Arrived at Hope.  In the morning went to service in the Court House 

     11th Monday – I, Captain Prevost and my servant Crart left for Fort Hope in a canoe with 2 Indians at 8 am – ands arrived at Queensbourough at 9 pm a distance of 80 miles – The Fraser river was at its highest and we ran down at a great pace: We stopped a minute at one or two places on the way down but the mosquitos were so numerous that they regularly drove us off.

     24th Sunday – Wrote to Isabella Lempriere –

     31st Sunday – HMS Plumper, Captain Richards unexpectedly arrived at 11 pm while we were all sitting in our map room talking: She brought dispatches from the Governor ordering all the Marines and a Detachment of our men to embark immediately for San Juan which had been occupied by a company of the United States Army: I was told off to join the Expedition in charge of the Detachment of RE’s: The orders then being for us to retake the place immediately.

August 1859                                 back to top 

     1st Monday – left New Westminster in Charge of a Detachment of 14 of our men in HMS Plumper at 5 am: Unfortunately we ran aground at the mouth of the Fraser river which prevented us getting to San Juan till the following day, when we were transferred to HMS Tribune Captain Hornby with the marines under Major Magin.  The orders for retaking the island we found had been rescinded, and a joint occupation was talked of until the matter might be referred some.  I went ashore with Colonel Moody and Captain Hornby and called upon Captain Pickett who was in command of the U.S. Troops there: He was a very civil but a thorough Yankee – Colonel Hawkins RE was dispatched to England to get instructions from the Home Government relative to the occupation of San Juan by the Americans, the territorial Rights of the Island being in dispute – I remained on board HMS Tribune till the 19th during which time the Americans increased their forces to about 500 men having eight 32-pounders in place on the hill commanding the landing place and 6 field pieces in front of their camp: We were on very good terms with the American officers and visited each other frequently.  On one occasion the 18th I met Colonel Casey, Captain Pickett and Lt Conner of the US Army at dinner at Captain Hornby’s RN.  Griffin who was in charge of the HBC farm was very civil and lent me a horse to ride whenever I wanted one: The land of San Juan is very pretty with plenty of open prairie land -

     19th Friday – Left San Juan in HMS Tribune for Victoria; when in the Gulf the Plumper signaled for myself and Detachment to be transferred to her, so I got out of my trip to Victoria.  We were unable to take our baggage, and as soon as we were on board the Plumper she started off to Nanaimo to coal: We got there that evening and left again the following morning for Burrard’s Inlet where we found that Burnaby and his party had been hindered by Indians: However we found them all safe and so continued our course till we got about 10 miles up the inlet when we anchored for the night.

     21st Sunday – Landed with the men marched from the inlet to our camp at New Westminster a distance of 6 miles though uncommonly rough.

     23rd Monday – Heard of my promotion to Captain. Started in steamer Governor Douglas for Fort Hope where I arrived the following day–

     27th Saturday – Took latitude and Longitude of Fort Hope: Also Photographic views of Indian Burial Grounds and of the Town of Hope.

Fort Hope, 1859.
It is our opinion that this photograph was taken by Lempriere on 27 Aug 1859.
Photograph courtesy of the BC Archives
Call number A-03530

     28th Sunday – Attended service in HBC Store. Mr. Pringle afterwards gave us an extemporary.

     29th Monday – Left Hope for own camp on the trail, and on arriving there found that the forest was on fire for about 3 miles in advance, and that it was quite impossible to get through, so I decided upon returning and withdrawing my detachment.  I walked some little distance through the part of the forest on fire: it was a magnificent sight, but anything but pleasant as the trees were constantly falling and crashing on all sides: I frequently had to vault over trees fallen over trail were still on fire. 

     30th Tuesday – Moved our camp 8 miles towards Hope.

     31st Wednesday – I did not move our camp but had some photographs taken.

September 1859                                 back to top 

     1st Thursday – Returned to Hope: I was not very well. 

     3rd Saturday – Got back to New Westminster with Detachment about 12 pm.  I remained at New Westminster till the 16th Sept. in charge of the works; and commenced and constructed a pier, etc. 

     16th Friday – Governor Douglas arrived on a tour up the country: Col. Moody ordered me to go with him and so I started with about an hour’s notice in the steamer with His Excellency the Governor. 

     17th Saturday – We arrived at Port Douglas and I rode with the Governor about 4 miles along the road that Grant was making with a detachment of our men to Kagoosh [?]: a very different style of road from the old Hudson’s Bay trail which appeared always to go up and down hill instead of taking the best line of route.

     18th Sunday – Left Douglas in Steamer: Mr. Pringle who was on board read service.

     19th Monday – Arrived at Fort Hope. Posted a letter to George: Also 9 or 10 other letters from Grant. In the afternoon went out riding.

     20th Tuesday – Very wet. Wrote to Parsons.

     22nd Thursday – Rode with the Governor, his secretary and Ogilvie to Cornish Bar and paid the miners there a visit.  We did not get back till dark.

     23rd Friday – Started up the river with Governor and suite in 3 canoes.  Visiting all the bars on the way, and camped about dusk a little below Shaw Ferry Island.

     24th Saturday – Started at day break and visited the remainder of the bars as far as Yale, where the Governor was received with a salute fired in a most unaccountable manner from a blacksmith’s anvil: They also made an attempt at a cheer but signally failed – Deputations waited on the Governor immediately on his arrival – The miners on the whole seemed pleased with the Governor’s visit on the different bars.  It gave us a good insight into the mode of using rockers, sluicing operations, etc. – all of which I found very interesting: In some places flumes were constructed about 3 miles in length, which supplied the different sluicing companies with water.  The mining on Prince Albert’s Flat where they had sunk down about 40 feet and tunneled to the river was the greatest mining operation that we saw on the river between Hope and Yale.

     25th Sunday – Mr. Pringle read service in the evening at the magistrate’s residence.

     26th Monday – I started with Nind, Barnes and Leech and 4 Indians up the canyon to Harrison and report upon the feasibility of constructing a road through there from Yale to Spuzzum: It was very hard traveling, climbing over rocks etc. and to make matters more unpleasant it rained all afternoon.  I left Nind transporting at Sailor’s Bar in order to get on and camp which we did, not far from an Indian Village at Spuzzum: It was getting quite dark and raining hard, when we stopped, pitched our tents on the wet ground, set fire top a tree and put the kettle on the fire to make some soup: To my astonishment I found the Indians whom I had left to guide Nind come in without him: He said that he had waited a long time for him but could not see anything of him, I then sent another Indian back but he returned without seeing anything of him: And as it was a terrible wet night I thought it better to wait till the following morning and then march off in search of him.  I turned in to my blankets very soon as I was dozing off to sleep when I was awoke to the rain coming down on my face in torrents and finding my blankets and everything in a regular puddle, soaking wet: having no place to go to and no dry clothes, etc., I thought I might just as well remain where I was. 

     27th Tuesday – Started at daybreak after a most unpleasant night, the same way as we had come the day before: It was still raining hard, I went part of the way in a canoe, sending the Indians all along the shore to make enquiries about Nind, whom we discovered after some time: He had lost his way the day before and was very nearly spending the night in the woods without any grub or a tent or anything else, but he fortunately stumbled upon a log hut occupied by some nigger miners, they were very hospitable and took him in for the night: We then walked on to Yale, which I was working to reach after my dunking the previous night which made me very stiff and cold. 

     28th Wednesday – I measured the bluff and wrote out specifications for trail. The Governor started for Spuzzum. 

     29th  and 30th – Remained at Yale. 

October 1859                                 back to top

     1st Saturday – Returned to Fort Hope in a canoe and made a reconnaissance of the River on the way down.

     3rd Monday – Started with His Excellency the Governor and suite in a large bateau about 8 am and went down the river: we camped for the night at the mouth of the Harrison river: we examined some prime land shewn us by some Indians: The Governor sent me about 6 miles up the Harrison River with a written note to open the Mail Bags (which were on board the steamer that had been anchored there) and got his Dispatches.  The Governor Christened a spot at the mouth of the Harrison River “Carnarvon”.

Carnarvon, BC
3rd October, 1859

Dear Sir,

Will you kindly deliver to Captain Lempriere all public dispatches that may be in your possession addressed to me and, if necessary, permit him to open the Mail bags, for which this will be the authority.

I remain,
Your Obedient Servant,

James Douglas

P.S. Also any other letters belonging to those in my company.

(Only known correspondence written from Carnarvon, BC. See "The People of the Harrison" pg. 68 on Carnarvon.)

     4th Tuesday – Started with the Governor and without any breakfast about 5 am and got to the Depot of the British North American Boundary Commission on the Chilouak about 9am where we breakfasted with Wilson of ours: Being tired of the Governor I took a canoe from there to Langley, where I procured anther and got down to New Westminster about 7:30 pm and found our fellows at dinner. 

     5th Wednesday – The Sale of Suburban lots commenced.  The Sappers formed the principal purchasers. 

     6th Thursday – Sale of lots continued.  The Governor arrived and we all dined at the Colonel’s in the evening. Sat on a Court Martial for the Trial of Corporal Sinnett and Sapper Bruce.

     7th Friday – The Governor dined at our Mess. First Parade and distribution of Medals.

     9th Sunday – One year since date of embarkation at Gravesend in the Thames City.

     12th Wednesday – The Governor, Good and [?] left in the “Eliza Anderson”.

     15th Saturday – Received a letter from Emma.

     16th Sunday – In the night the temperature was at 6 degrees below freezing.

     25th Tuesday – Found Sapper Dodd asleep on his post when sentry on the main road.  I had him made a prisoner of.

     27th Thursday – 3 white men were found murdered some miles below New Westminster – Spalding, the magistrate, came up and requested that an armed party might be sent in search of the murderers supported by the Indians living some miles above the Camp.  I and Luard each went in command of a boat with armed men and started up the River.  There was also a party of Yankees all armed, one man had no less than 3 revolvers on his waist belt. When we arrived at the Indian ranch we took 3 Indians whom we had some suspicion of.  The Yankees wanted to hang one of them right off the bat and requested Captain Luard, the magistrate and myself to go away a short distance saying “ That it would be all over by the time we got back and that no one would be any wiser” – however Captain Luard told them, that that was not the way we did business, and they then said they would put it to vote, endevouring to get our men to join them.  We immediately made our men fall in, put the prisoners in my boat and returned to our Camp.


Great excitement prevailed here today in consequence of a small sloop, laden with flour and provisions, being picked up about five miles inside the mouth of Fraser's river, - the boat burned to water's edge.  There were three men on board who were supposed to be killed by Indians.  It appears two men were down the river yesterday morning hunting, when they discovered the sloop on shore and burning.  They pulled towards her and found one man not quite dead on board, and two on the beach dreadfully mangled.  They immediately came here with the wounded man, who died as they were removing him from the boat at Scott's wharf, and without being able to tell how the massacre occurred.  Mr. Scott acquainted Col. Moody with the facts, who promptly informed him that a detachment of twenty men and boats would be immediately dispatched to the scene of murder, to discover the murderers, if applied for by the magistrate.  The magistrate was in doubt whether he had power to act; but would consider it. the people were indignant, and ten men at once volunteered to capture the Indians, the supposed murderers or accessories.  They accordingly proceeded up the river and arrested five Indians.  The civilians were disposed to execute summary justice on one Indian, but the magistrate and soldiers arriving four of the Indians were taken to the barracks, - and one held in custody at Mr. Scott's house.  Great credit is due to Mr. Scott for his exertions to capture the authors of this diabolical outrage.  And it is hoped that if the crime is brought home to the Indians that such an example will be made of them as will strike terror into the hearts of the savages.

- 31st October, 1859
The British Colonist


The names of the Italians murdered near the mouth of Fraser river, are Giovani Nice and Sebastiano Artisi.  The other murdered man was an American.  They purchased their beans and flour from Mr. Vignolo, Johnson Street.

- 11th November, 1859
The British Colonist

28th Friday – Mrs. Crart in a fit of temporary insanity cut the throats of 3 of her children and then that of her own.  She and one of the children died, the other two were very seriously injured.  She was a [?] her husband was my servant till about 2 or 3 months ago.  Heard from Captain Grant that a tree had fallen on a tent occupied by 7 men of his detachment and that 2 or 3 of the men had been seriously injured getting their legs and arms broken.  We also got some news of the murderers of the 3 white men and made preparations for an early start the following morning in search of them. 

     29th Saturday – I and Luard left about 5am in charge of the Whaler and cutter with an armed force and went down the river.  When near the mouth we saw a canoe with 3 Indians, all of whom we made prisoners.  I was ordered to land on an island in search of another Indian shooting the other side, while Luard went round in his boat.  He [?] him and called out to him to stop but as he would not he fired at him, and sounded for us to do the same.  I got my men back into the Whaler as soon as possible and gave the rascal chase, but he managed in his small canoe to give us the slip and ran up a very narrow creek, quite impossible for our boat to get up.  So I took the canoe we had captured and went up in pursuit.  We found the other canoe with several bullet holes through it.  We could not find the Indians who were in it.  We then went on the bank of the river where we examined the Indian’s ranch.  On quitting there to go round the other ranch, it came on very thick fog and unfortunately Luard got aground with his boat for about an hour.  I managed to keep mine afloat and when he got off.  The fog was so thick that we were pulling about for a couple of hours at sea, not knowing which way the land lay.  At last fortunately it cleared up and we pulled for the river and after visiting the Indian ranch we were in search of, started home again with our prisoners.  We did not get back till about 9 pm.  I got my things moved from my tent into the shanty I had been using as an office, and slept there for the first time.  

November 1859                                 back to top

     4th Friday – wrote to [?] Reid, Lady Isabelle Lempriere.  A court martial tried Corporal White.

      5th Saturday – Received Colonial Pay for July at 250 Pounds per annum.  Paid Luard balance of amount due to Governor also Corporal Wolfenden 5 Pounds on account of the House of Amusement. 

     6th Sunday – Fall of snow.

     7th Monday - Some officers from the Pylades arrived from Burrard inlet to make inquiries concerning a small steamer “the Caledonia” supposed to have been lost in [?] from Victoria Sunday.

     8th Tuesday – About 18” of snow on ground.

     9th Wednesday – Thermometer in the night 17 Degress below freezing.  In a court martial for the trial of Sapper Dorothey.  Steamer “Eliza Anderson’ arrived and brought news that the Yankee troops were to be withdrawn from San Juan. Pringle came up in her.  Surveying lands all day, obliged to stop the brickwork at the Hospital in consequence. 

     10th Thursday – Thermometer at 8 degrees Fahrenheit. 

     11th Friday – Thermometer at 7 Degrees Fahrenheit. 

     12th Saturday – A great quantity of ice in the River.  I had to get all the boats sealed up in consequence. 

     13th Sunday – Commenced writing to [?] 

     18th Friday – Grant returned with his wife.  I was out in a canoe in the afternoon and shot a brace of Grouse and a curious description of Crane. 

     19th Saturday – Some of the men complained about the ration of vegetables being too small.  I wrote an official to Grant about it. 

     20th Sunday - Had service in the morning as usual. The Bell ringing for the first time. Finished my letter to [?] 

December 1859                                 back to top 

     2nd Friday – had a row with the Colonel because I refused to sign a certificate on a bill which I knew nothing of. 

     3rd Saturday – The “Colonist” arrived with stores from Vancouver Island.

     4th Sunday – Thermometer at zero (Farenheit). 

     10th Saturday – Anderson RE arrived with 2 men to join the Boundary Commission. 

     14th Wednesday – Indian prisoner escaped and was drowned.

January 1860                                 back to top 

     No entries.

February 1860 

     21st Tuesday – Went down in a boat to meet the steamer and brought up the Colonel and Bishop up to Camp. 

     22nd Wednesday – Left New Westminster in the “Maria” at 6 pm. 

     23rd Thursday – Arrived at Harrison River about 10 am.  I had some difficulty in obtaining canoes, but everything succeeded.  I paddled up Fraser River until we reached the steamer “Colonel Moody” which was aground.  I camped there for the night.  I was obliged to leave most of my provisions behind being unable to get them into a canoe. 

     24th Friday – Reached Fort Hope and put up with the sheriff O’Reilly – who was exceedingly kind and turned out of his own room for me. 

     25th Saturday – Left Fort Hope with 2 canoes and arrived at Yale about 4 pm.  Strong wind, sleet, snow and hail all the time.  A good deal of snow on the ground at Yale.  Dined with Pringle and had a shakedown at [?] HBC. 

     26th Sunday – Pringle read service at the Court House. 

     27th Monday – Started to explore and lay out road from Yale to Falls.  Very slippery and danger going over the rocks.  I was obliged to take my boots off. 

     28th Tuesday – Canoed it to the Falls and then made a portage and then [?] the rest of the road to [? ?] and returned to Yale in canoes through the canyon.  Weather all day very bad, wind and snow and sleet. 

     29th Wednesday – Made out ‘Specification” for road along line I had just followed leaving a copy of it with the magistrate.  Then immediately started in a canoe for Hope where I remained the night at O’Reilly’s.

March 1860                                 back to top 

     1st Thursday – Left Hope in a large canoe with a ‘Voyageur” and went to Harrison River, where our men had just arrived who commence the ? etc.  Found Grant and Palmer there.

     2nd and 3rd – Men making camp and building Store Houses. Etc.

     4th Sunday – Grant read the service in the morning.  In the afternoon we picketed out the work for the new channel.  Parsons arrived in the evening from Douglas.  The steamer having got aground above the rapids. 

     5th Monday – Left in the “Henrietta” with Parsons and returned to New Westminster.  Found a letter from Isabella on my return.  Pringle in the midst of meetings and petitions to the Duke of Newcastle. 

     12th Monday – Commenced constructing a bridge over the ravine in the town with a detachment of sappers. 

     14th Wednesday – Parsons left for Victoria. 

     16th Friday – Mr. Campbell, American Boundary Commissioner, paid us a short visit. 

     18th – Heard that 3 of our Men Elliot, Manstrie and Roe had been drowned the day before at Harrison River. 

     22nd Thursday – Had another row with the Colonel about signing certificates.  He sent Luard to me ordering me to sign them, and I distinctly refused. 

     23rd Friday – Bacon and Bears dined with us. 

     24th Saturday – Captain Joneas dined with us.

April 1860                                 back to top 

     11th Wednesday – The Colonel received an order from London D.O.G. for me to return to England by the first reasonable opportunity, if the Governor had no objections.  I received a letter from Isabella telling me of dear Harriet’s death. 

     18th Wednesday – Packed off a lot of my goods to Victoria to be sold by Auction.  Also made arrangements for selling the remainder here.

May 1860                                 back to top 

     31st Thursday – left New Westminster, British Columbia a passage for England: Arrived at Victoria, Vancouver’s island the same day.

June 1860 

     9th Saturday – left Esquimalt, Vancouver’s Island in steamer “Panama” for San Francisco.

back to top