Richard Clement Moody


Born - 13 Feb 1813
2nd Lieutenant -   5 Nov. 1830
Lieutenant - 25 June 1835
2nd Captain -   6 March 1844
Captain - 19 Aug. 1847
Governor of Falkland Islands - 1841 - 1849
Lieutenant-Colonel - 13 Jan. 1855
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, BC. Given command of Columbia Detachment of RE. Dormant commission as Lieutenant-Governor of BC. Appointed Autumn 1858
Arrived in Colony with wife & 4 children. 25 Dec. 1858
Left Colony with wife & 7 children. 11 Nov. 1863
Colonel -   5 Dec. 1863
As a Colonel, Moody's Regimental Pay would have been 330 Pounds per Annum plus a Colonial Allowance of 1200 Pounds per Annum.
Colonel - 28 Apr.1858
Major-General - 25 Jan. 1866
Retired, full-pay - 25 Jan 1866
Died at Bournemouth -  21 March 1887

Born on Feb 13 1803 in Barbados, Richard Clement Moody became the second-most important leader in the formation of BC.  Like our first BC Governor, James Douglas, who was born in British Guyana, Moody brought Caribbean ingenuity and vision to the frontiers of Western Canada.

Moody had entered the army at an early age.  Moody’s father Thomas was also a Colonel in the Royal Engineers.  A graduate of the Royal Academy at Woolich, Moody joined the Royal Engineers in 1830 and served in Ireland and the West Indies, as well as a professor in Woolich.  After Moody had been sick twice from yellow fever, he drew plans submitted to Queen Victoria for restoring Edinburgh Castle.

In 1841 he went to the Falkland Islands as Lieutenant Governor, later Governor where he stayed until 1849.  In 1858 Moody was appointed Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Lieutenant Governor of the new colony of BC.  Moody was soon sworn in as Deputy to Douglas on the mainland and empowered to take his place, if anything should happen to the Governor.

Moody’s role in the colony was two-fold: to provide military support and to carry out major building projects with the Government considered necessary to keep up with a sudden growth in population and commerce.

Moody’s Sappers were specially trained in surveying, reconnaissance, and constructing roads, bridges, and fortifications.  They represented many trades such as printers, draughtsmen, photographers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and masons.

Colonel Moody and his sappers were sent to BC because of the 1858 BC Goldrush.  On April 25th 1858, 495 gold-rush miners arrived in Victoria.  Governor James Douglas commented that "they are represented as being with some exceptions a specimen of the worst of the population of San Francisco – the very dregs in fact of society".  By the middle of July 1858, the number of American miners exceeded 30,000.  Rev. Lundin Brown held that "never in the migration of men had there been seen such a rush, so sudden and so vast".

Moody sent out his first detachment of men, under Captain Parsons.  They were to arrive in British Columbia prior to the main Body of RE as well as Moody himself.


London 1st September 1858


You will proceed to Southampton and take command of the Detachment of RE under orders for British Columbia.

You will endeavour to embark them tonight but all must be on board the "La Plata" Mail Packet early tomorrow morning.

Sir Ed. B. Lytton has signified his desire to visit and inspect the party on board immediately previous to the vessel sailing for Colon.

On your arrival at Colon you will at once communicate with the B. Consul.  I enclose you a letter to him from the Foreign Office.  He will afford you every assistance in his power.  I also enclose a letter I have received from the Colonial Office by which you will perceive the Directors of the Mail Steam Company have also instructed their Agents to afford you assistance.  You will avail yourself of this precisely in the manner indicated in the enclosures to the Colonial Office letter with the exception of paying the expenses.

You will defray all the expenses of Transit, food and quarters for the party.  Keeping vouchers in triplicate for every Kind of disbursement.  Doubtless the gentlemen above referred to will enable you to simplify your operations in this respect.

I place in your hands the sum of 500.00 Pounds and you are at liberty to draw on H.M. Treasury to an extent not exceeding a further sum of 500.00 Pounds.  I enclose you blank forms of bills for this purpose.

You must distinctly understand you are to be guided by the utmost economy and are not to incur any expenses but such as are indispensably necessary to convey you to Victoria in Vancouver's Island.  For all these expenses your receipts and vouchers must be completely explanatory.

I also enclose Foreign Office letters to the B. Consul at Panama and San Francisco.  These gentlemen will afford you their aid in getting your draughts cashed.

In crossing the Isthmus by rail it is indispensable the Men do not carry any arms, not even side arms.  You will use your own discretion as to their dress but allow no departure from military discipline in proceeding to the Train-cars and in leaving them for their quarters in Panama.

Your chief difficulty will probably be in getting forward from Panama.  The Admiralty has sent instructions to the Naval Officers along your route to afford you all aid in their power.

If any B. Vessel of War be at Panama you will ascertain whether such might not be in a position to convey yourself and party to your destination or en route towards it.  If such arrangement be practicable avail yourself of it, but if not, the naval Officer in command the British Consul and the British Mail Packet Agents and Correspondents will aid you in obtaining a passage to Victoria by a merchant Vessel.  The Naval Officer in command will probably be able to assist you by causing the Merchant Vessel to be inspected as to her sea-worthiness, proper supply of Provisions, water, etc.

You will state to the Consul at Colon and at Panama that Captain Grant will certainly proceed via Panama and will probably be accompanied by 12 RE's.  Request them to be prepared to aid.

You will endevour not to call at San Francisco.  It will add to the expenses and may be predudicial to discipline.

On your arrival at Victoria, Vancouver's Island you will report yourself to the Governor and submit to him instructions your have received personally from the Colonial Minister and from myself that to carry out the objects of the Government as conveyed to me subject to the Governor.  It is essential every facility should be afforded to you to proceed with the party as early as possible to the Fraser River.  To effect this it is of course necessary the Governor furnish you with the means of transport with free rations to which the party are entitled and with some reasonably good Barrack or Building quickly convertible into a Barrack located on the Fraser River.  It is most probable Fort Langley may be the best position temporarily, and it is possible the Governor may be able to rent the Buildings there from the Hudson's Bay Company and appropriate them to the Military Detachment under your command as well as for those about to follow.

Of course it is impossible for me to give your precise instructions to you on this head.  You will find the Governor has been very fully instructed in the matter and from his well-known character for energy and judgement I have no apprehensions in my own mind that if you frankly place yourself in unreserved communication with him you will find difficulties quickly mastered.

The main duties you are to Keep in view are these:

1  To "House" and "feed" your party.
2  To prepare for those that are to follow.

When the first duty shall have been effected, and the second be in progress, you will after Captain Grant's arrival, take his orders for a selection from your party, and you will with them proceed up the "Fraser River" to the first rapids or Falls (if time will admit) and return, making a most careful reconnaissance of both banks but more especially the North Bank.  You will certainly proceed as far as Fort Yale.

I am very anxious you should be prepared with an extremely full and careful reconaissance for me against my arrival devoting your attention chiefly to such distance up the River as ordinary merchant trading vessels can proceed convieniently.

You will use every endevour to obtain assistance in this matter both from the Governor and from the Naval Officer in Command.  Among other assistance from the first it is necessary you should obtain intelligent guides who know every spot of ground on the banks and if a gentleman among the Hudson's Bay Company's Officers would go with you it would materially advance the Public Service.

I hope it may be possible for the Naval Officer in command to assist you with the council of an officer (and to give a small party of men) for opinions on points which will readily to occur to you.

It is possible that among the vessels of war at the Station when you arrive there may be one, such as a Gun boat, of light draft, and that the Naval Officer in Command may be disposed to direct that it ascend the River with you on board in furtherance of this important duty.

By the time you have returned to Victoria or Fort Langley as the case may be and prepared your Report, I trust I shall have arrived and after placing myself in communication with the Governor would hope he may be able to spare the time to accompany me so that the site of the chief town may be early settled.

I think it would be well for you to draw the attention of the Governor to the circumstance that military considerations of the very gravest importance (seeing the nearness of the Frontier) enter into the question of determining the site of the chief town and also of the one to be laid out at the entrance of the River.  It it be absolutely necessary to commence some occupation at the latter place it should be confined to the north side and I hope the Governor would be able to make it a temporary tenure.  At all events the spots marked on the accompanying chart should be reserved.

Should Lt. Colonel Hawkins be present on your arrival you will of course at once report yourself to him and will consult with him on all points of your duty but do not allow anything short of imperative necessity from causes not known here (to) induce you to deviate from the general principles I have above laid down for your guidance.

I have the honor to be,
Sir, your most obedient
humble servant,
RC Moody

The enterprise of getting Stores, Sappers and their Families off to British Columbia was not as smooth as hoped.


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 5th Instant enclosing one from the office of the Comptroller of Transport Services in which I am desired to report the circumstances under which 20 tons of hay and Oats were landed from the "Thames City" at Gravesend and also whether I consider the "Brokers of the Ship are entitled to be paid freight for the same" in reply to which I have the honor to state as follows, viz.

After the arrival of the "Thames City" at Gravesend on the completion of her loading with Stores for Vancouver's Island, Colonel Moody visited the Military Store Office Tower and expressed his wish that the quantity of oats and hay that had, by his directions, been previously shipped should be taken out of the Vessel at Gravesend in order to afford additional accommodations for the families of the Detachment of Sappers on board her, as well as for other reasons assigned by him.

I accordingly proceeded to Gravesend by directions from Mr. Eaton, then principal Military Storekeeper in the Tower, and on my arrival on board the Vessel was told by the owner that no portion of the Cargo should be removed unless a quarrantee was given him that full freight should be paid for the quantity of Stores taken out.

The Officer of Royal Engineers who was on board in command of the Sappers (Luard) stated he could give no such quarantee, and I also expressed my incompetancy to afford the security required, altho' I felt no hesitation in saying that I considered under the circumstances of the case, that there was a just claim for its being so paid, upon which the owner of the Vessel told me that if I would give him my opinion in writing he would immediately withdraw his opposition and allow the Oats and hay to be removed and which was done on the terms for which he stipulated and I conclude he is in possession of the memo with which I furnished him on the occasion.

It will be seen what my views on the case were at that time and which subsequent consideration has not in any respect induced me to alter.

I have, etc.

Brighton, 7th August, 1861

Moody and his family set sail from England on board the "Asia".  The Moody's travel with a group of people who will later be important in the early life of the Colony.

"The trip across has been most pleasant.  I was at the same table with Colonel Moody and his wife, Capt. Gosset and do., Mr. Crickmer the chaplain and do., all en route for Vancouver, and very excellent friends I am with them all.  Gosset is an old Marplot of Dick's (Burnaby's Brother) and promises to keep up his character.  I think there will be a row between him and Moody before they have been in Columbia very long; but he may get better, tho' at present he is queer."

-- 12th November, 1858,
from the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.42

"...Col. Moody, is a very delightful amiable good man...He is a very religious man, but does not go in a canter, views low and somewhat Methody, but sincere and practical and therefore of course respectable.  From all I see I do not think he has quite enough energy and go in him to settle the colony off hand as it ought to be done, he is timid and rather uncertain as to the extent of the power entrusted to him, but you will find that what he does will be well done and will not need mending.  He has been most kind to me and will assist me in every possible way, I am certain.  He and Gosset will have a difficulty evidently.  He told me the other day how grieved he was at Gosset's manner during the whole voyage.  He quite ignored or else talked down the Col. and you would have thought, as everyone did, that he got his appointment solely by his own merits, and that it was a very grand one, whereas hr followed Moody from place to place begging to be taken in any capacity, and it was contrary to the wish of the Government that the got his birth, which after all is nothing much."

-- 15th November, 1858,
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.45

"We are all in the excellent of spirits and continue a very united party, the only difficulties being the Gosset's who hold themselves aloof from everyone, are proud, disagreeable and trying to make mischief.  Happily he is most unpopular with everybody he meets, and any hopes he may have of injuring Col. Moody or thwarting his plans will very certainly be disappointed."

-- 19th December, 1858,
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 55

They all arrived at Esquimalt Harbour on Christmas Day, 1858 and Moody went promptly to work.

At the conclusion of BC’s ‘Ned McGowan War’, as it was Sunday morning, Colonel Moody invited forty miners to join him at the courthouse for worship.  As no clergy was present, Colonel Moody himself led worship from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

"It was the first time in British Columbia that the Liturgy of our Church was read," wrote Moody.  "To me God in his mercy granted this privilege.  The room was crowded with Hill’s Bar men…old grey-bearded men, young eager-eyed men, stern middle-aged men of all nations knelt with me before the throne of Grace…"

After dealing handily with "Ned McGowan's War" in Yale, Moody dropped off his Royal Engineers at Derby and continued on to Victoria.

H.M.S. Plumper arrived yesterday afternoon from British Columbia, bringing Lieut. Gov. Moody.

--29th January 1859
The British Colonist

That same day, Moody noticed a potential problem in The British Colonist of the 15th of January and wrote to correct it, ere it did damage.

Victoria, 28th Jan., 1859

Sir --An article in your paper of the 15th Inst. (Ditches and Quartz) commences with the following sentences:

"As the immediate supervision of British Columbia now devolves on Lt. Governor Moody, we hope to hear that among his first acts will be," etc., etc.

It is possible the above might lead to misunderstanding, and I therefore take the earliest opportunity of requesting you will do me the favor greatly to qualify it.

I serve under His Excellency Governor Douglas, receive his instructions, and carry out his orders in all matters relating to British Columbia.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Col. Com. and Lt. Gov

--29th January 1859
The British Colonist

When Moody returned from the "Ned McGowan War", he found that his correspondence pile had grown large.  His wife had been assisting him but with the growing family, Mary Moody was not always available. Moody required staff.

"[...] request the appointment of some gentleman of ability and experience qualified to take charge of such duties as I may assign to him in the office [...]"

--22nd February, 1859,
to Governor Douglas

"Col. Moody takes me altogether into his confidence and now that business is so slack and likely to be so for a while, he wants me to be his private secretary, and has made application to the Governor for it.  All the men at present surrounding him are the nominees of Douglas, and take care to watch him closely and report all they see and hear, and Moody is afraid that they will try to oust me and put in another of the Governor's creatures which he is determined not to stand.  Begbie the Judge is a thorough courtier, and works the crooked policy against Moody, and like the rest is doing all in his power to retard B. Columbia and to build up this place, which is the stronghold of Hudson's Bay interests, and where all the old set, from the Governor downwards, have a great landed stake."

--22nd February, 1859,
The Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.64

RE Camp, Queenborough
17th March, 1859


Captain Parsons having no place of security in Camp, I should feel greatly obliged to you, if you would kindly cause a small iron safe capable of holding a few folio volumes to be purchased, and have the money intended for his use placed in it and sent to Queenborough early.

We have no one in Victoria to whom to apply who would take the same interest in assisting us as yourself.

I am Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,

Lt. Gov.

To Captain Gosset, RE

After the Thames City arrived on the 12th of April, 1859, Moody set out his grand plan of the Camp at Queenborough.  Building commenced immediately.

The Beaver left yesterday morning for Queenborough with a large amount of freight and a considerable number of passengers among whom was Gov. Moody.

--16th April 1859
The British Colonist

From The British Colonist, 30 May 1859


The Celebration of the Anniversary of Her Majesty’s Birthday at Queenborough 

The 24th of May was a day of general rejoicing and festivity in Queenborough, the capital of British Columbia, in honour of the anniversary of Her Majesty’s birth, and what rendered the day so peculiarly interesting was its being the first time Her Majesty’s subjects in this distant part of the world have had an opportunity of expressing their loyalty and devotion to their beloved Sovereign.  The sports and games went off with éclat, amid the applause of a large concourse of people.  The weather lowered opinions at the dawn of the day, but changed towards noon to one of those bright, sunny days, which are so well known in dear old England as “Queen’s days”. 

To the stroke of time, the bugle summoned the troops of the garrison to the place of rendezvous, whilst loud hurrahs followed in their wake, giving to the parade ground of the North Camp, a very animated appearance, which was moreover graced by the attendance of Mrs. Moody, Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Spaulding and others of the fair sex. 

The troops were drawn up in line at 11:30.  A field piece manned by the blue jackets of Her Majesty’s Ship Plumper, which ship, by the way, had been gaily dressed in flags, occupied the extreme right.  The Royal Engineers on the left under the command of Captain Grant.  The Royal Marine Light Infantry on the left under the command of Captain Bazalgette, R.M.L.I., Major Magin having been unfortunately indisposed.  The Lieutenant Governor Colonel Moody, R.E., and staff, having inspected the troops, a Royal Salute of 21 guns was fired at noon, accompanied by a feu-de-joie from the forces.  He then addressed the troops in very feeling and soldier-like terms, after which, the national Anthem was sung by all present in a strain that filled many with emotion. 

At this stage of the proceedings the scene was most telling in effect.  Three cheers were then given for our Most Gracious Queen, when all testified by volumes upon volumes of fervent vociferation how they felt and could pay a tribute to the good Queen of England, and how she reigns in the affections of her people.  It is truly a happy and glorious thing to think of a nation’s loyalty, called forth by something more than lofty station and high descent, rendered to a Queen who has manifested those virtues, attainments and powers which win for her a high place in the hearts of an intelligent and mighty people.  We need hardly add that Colonel Moody was warmly and enthusiastically cheered by the troops and civilians more than once in the course of the day. 

The following is the programme of the sports and amusements as drawn up by Captain Luard, R.E., Lieutenant Sparshott, R.M.L.I., and Dr. Seddall, R.E., : - Foot and hurdle-races, putting shot, throwing the hammer, high and long jumps, tossing the caber, bobbing for treacle rolls, bobbing for “bubs” in water, wrestling and boxing, boat races, etc., etc.  Concluding with a sack race and greasy pole: a Blue Jacket having succeeded in attaining the envied grease crowned crest with little less difficulty than the Argonauts of ancient lore, received a like reward.  The soldier’s wives and children were entertained with tea and cake, kindly provided by Mrs. Moody and the hilarity of the day was much enhanced by a scratch band from the Engineers, Marines and Plumpers.  In the evening the Royal Engineers entertained the garrison and the officers of H.M.S. Plumper at dinner.

"He (Moody) and I get along famously.  He is not quite energetic enough in business, nor sufficiently master of details to make office work under him easy or pleasant; but his every thought and act is so good and kind that all the inconveniences fade away and I have been for some time quite one of the family, and until like Solomon I have built me a house, as all good masons are bound to do, he insisted on my living with them taking meals, etc. and I sleep in and have to myself a jolly marquee (tent) - with two beds in it - in one of which a stranger is now and then buried."

-- 23rd June, 1859,
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 95

By the Summer of 1859, Finances in the Colony was strained and Douglas dismissed all of the civilians working on Moody's Staff.

"...With reference to Mr. Burnaby's services I considered and consider the assistance of a gentleman of his qualifications an essential aid to me, and I regret the decision at which your Excellency has arrived...It is possible I may be under the necessity of requesting an officer may be selected in England to carry on some of the duties that have hitherto been conducted by Mr. Burnaby."

-- August, 1859,
to Governor Douglas

"Colonel Moody is to work without any Civilian aid at all, and I do not think he will remain here very long, for he has been baffled and worsted, and certainly when the time came for action, belied all the hopes his friends had formed as to his character and abilities.  He promised to do great things, and affected to be playing a very deep game, and till tried there was nothing to lead one to doubt otherwise, but Gosset has been working against him, well knowing his man, and has bowled him over on some serious points.  First came expenditure; Moody building up houses, and laying out towns, employing Civilians to chop and clear, etc. but in spite of all entreaties, never doing the least thing to organize his materials and to work with method.  Consequence?  Great outlay of money and not much to show for it.  All the difficulties of accounts etc. thrown on my shoulders, with no manner of assistance or regulation to get them into shape.

Next he made an excellent and extensive contract with one Mr. Trutch, who left England with us on the "ASIA" - for the survey of the rural lands of B.C. -  This with the Governor's sanction verbally given, subsequent investigations into the pecuniary state of the Colony, and letters from Home about Finance induce old Douglas to back out of his word, and to condemn the whole affair as a gross indiscretion; Result?  Moody induces Trutch to waive his rights and forgo the Contract for the sake of getting him out of a mess, this after declaring in the most indignant way that he would hold to the matter through thick and thin.

Then my case, of course, I was included in the sack of Civilians, and instead of making a fight for me, as being an insult to remove a man's confidential Secretary, he "caves in" as before and lets them snub him as they please.  He shows so little desire to give me a big lift either, that it really looks as though he only cared about himself and his own reputation, and I almost believe what I hear on all sides, that he has been noted for getting hold of men to do his work, and pull him through with credit and leaving them in the lurch.  It is painful to feel or write this, as I have really a personal liking for him and he for me, but it is always the case with these Methodistical men, I fear, though I has always taken him for a bright example of the other way.  We part the best of friends, and all the folks here are well with me but Gosset, who is a fiend incarnate, and hates me for Dick's (Burnaby's Brother) sake I verily think, as well as my own.  He is the most unpopular man here, but certainly an able one."

--21st July, 1859,
The Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 100

New Westminster Times
1st November 1859

"...First on the list of questionable differences which have become notorious in these colonies, was the case of Colonel Moody, versus his chief officer, Captain Grant.  The Colonel on a certain occasion, denying that Captain Grant had ever reported the brig "RECOVERY", as available for return to her owners, and the Captain as stoutly averring to the contrary, a dispute which lasted many days, and terminated by Captain Grant defying the Commandant and producing a witness to prove the accuracy of his (Captain Grant's) assertion; but the colony was the loser and had to pay for the services of the vessel during the time the Colonel persisted in retaining her.  By this misunderstanding the public certainly did not profit, nor did the animus engendered between the Commissioner of Lands and Works and his chief officer, in any way facilitate the arrangement of public business."

"Colonel Moody appears to go lower and lower down, fails to fulfill all the promises he made, as to policy and action, and subsides into mere listless ill-used on-entity."

--27th November, 1859
From the Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg.125

"...[Governor Douglas] has taken Colonel Moody, and crumpled him up small: never was there a man so well armed for the fight - sent out on purpose to out manoeuvre the old Hudson's Bay factor - he talked a great deal of all his intended moves: while the old Boy, who had measured his man, let him go on and on: muddling his work, and doubling his expenditure; and then when the time came for it quietly sat upon him, which the gallant Colonel allowed. At one time from his talk I thought him an exception to the rule that all members of the Canting school are weak and wishy washy - but he has proved true to the Colours of the faithful and of course was writing slip slop to Missionary meetings when he ought to have been hard at work on the country - after waiting Mrs. Moody's convenience in regard to an increase in the population."

--3rd December, 1859
from The Letters of Robert Burnaby, pg. 127

Every returning miner from British Columbia gives us the same glowing accounts of the diggings.  From many agriculturalists we have received communications replete with common sense, and all unite in describing that colony as rich in farming lands.  But, from Alexander to New Westminster the same loud complaint of the want of roads, and consequently of supplies, is constantly urged upon our notice.  Roads denied us by the marvelous blindness of the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, - a blindness as culpable, as it is inexplicable; for there is no man in the colony who has not long since recognized the necessity of immediate and energetic measures being adopted to carry out a good system of roads.

Notwithstanding repeated remonstrances, British Columbia is allowed to languish, its population rapidly diminishing, and ere long, unless fresh energy is infused into the Lands and Works Department, the colony will have sunk into its former insignificance.

During the past year, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been frittered away upon works which have not even respectability in our eyes.  The main body of Sappers and Miners who, under an efficient leader, would have become the sinews of life to the colony, have for months been allowed to remain in comparative idleness, or their energies wasted in beautifying a costly and useless camp.

The result of the non-existence of roads is painfully visible to every man interested in the well-being of British Columbia.  Miners leave the country disgusted with the high cost of provisions, agriculturalists prevented from settling by the want of means of communication with the various towns on the Fraser; in a word, a few more months of such gross mis-management and the colony will be too far gone to recover.  The road system, or rather the no-road system, has assumed the form of despotism.  If we ask why we have not roads been constructed, we are told that the chief commissioner has been better employed building a showy residence and carrying out his ideas of a pretty camp, which, however, unfortunately for him, no one can see the utility of.  It required but little genius to develop the resources of British Columbia.  The path was clear.  Colonel Moody is found not to possess even that small amount of genius, although the colonists have been unceasing in their endeavors to drive him to a right sense of their requirements.  Had he but drifted with the tide he would have achieved for himself a reputation, - and done this colony an amount of good which it is impossible to calculate.  Colonel Moody's tone on his arrival led us to expect great things of him, consequently the greater is our disappointment at the entire absence of the qualifications necessary for a chief commissioner in a colony such as British Columbia, which a year's experience of the Colonel's doings has taught us.  Our representations have hitherto been in vain.  The prosperity of British Columbia is a matter of vital importance to us all, and we are not going to shrink from advocating a course which we honestly believe to be the only one that will effectually remedy the great evil complained of by all classes of the community, the appointment of an energetic, able officer to the post now so unsatisfactorily filled by Colonel Moody.

--17th December 1859,
The New Westminster Times

As the first Christmas in the Colony approached, the Camp buzzed with various preparations.

"We have really been quite gay, in the Camp this Xmas, on the Friday before Xmas everybody dined with us, Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Spalding and the gentlemen..."

--2nd January, 1860
Letters of Mary S. Moody


We have had a gay time during Christmas here.  Our Lt. Gov. Col. Moody, gave a dinner on Friday last, to which a large party were invited.  On Saturday, many private parties were given in camp, and the Men employed in cutting various trails came into the city; these, joined the Men employed on the wharves, formed themselves into a band, each armed with a candle, and gave a serenade at nearly every home.  A Christmas Carol in a noisy way.  All the inhabitants received them well, with scarcely any exception, and were only too glad to see the bones and sinew of the country enjoying themselves, and received the honor that was done them in the best of spirit, paying all largesse required.  Christmas Day being Sunday, was of course devoted to its proper use, without festivities.  On Monday, the Non-commissioned officers gave a Ball at the theatre, that they have erected by private subscription amongst themselves, which went off very well, to which most of the inhabitants received an invitation, and on Tuesday the festivities were ended by the Officers giving a grand dinner at their Mess-room, to which several ladies received invitations, and every thing passed off pleasantly.

-- 7th January 1860
The Weekly British Colonist

Despite the Holiday season, the level of frustration in the Lands and Works department and Moody in particular, appeared to increase in the Victoria papers.


These vessels are stated in Tuesday's Colonist, to be about leaving for England with the marines recently embarked.  This is incorrect; these vessels will not go home for some months.  The Marines were embarked because the Colonial Authorities were desirous of diminishing the expenses of the Colony.  For our part we would have retained this useful body of men, and sent off the Sappers and Miners, as one Sapper costs more than three marines and certainly the marines have been more useful.  Were the Chief Commissioner to employ the skill and talents of the fine body of men under his orders in their legitimate duties, and for which they were sent out, viz., in the making of roads, we should nor object to their remaining, but under the present circumstances we consider that they are a useless burthen on the Colony.

-- 31st December 1859
The New Westminster Times.

Yet in New Westminster, the papers and apparently the populace thought well of Moody.

An address, signed by all the principal people in the city of New Westminster, was presented to Lt. Gov. Col. Moody, RE., congratulating him on the birth of a daughter, (a British Columbian) which happy event took place two days back.  The deputation presenting the address were kindly received, and thanked for the honor they had done him.

-- 10th January, 1860
in The Weekly British Colonist of 14th January 1860

During this time, the explorer John Palliser, visited visited New Westminster and was entertained by Moody.

"Shortly after this I went myself to visit a part of British Columbia, and was most kindly and hospitably entertained by Captain Parsons, Col. Moody and the officers of the Royal Engineers quartered at New Westminster.  The site, distant on the river about 1 1/2 miles above the town, chosen by Col. Moody and the engineers as the site for the barracks and the officers' houses, is preferable to that chosen for the site of the town.  But it is worth serious consideration, whether it would not be more advisable to proceed about 18 miles up the river and choose the site where Fort Langley now stands, where there is a good deal of naturally cleared land, and the timber not formidable.  The site of Fort Langley for a British town would have this disadvantage, it is on the same side of the river as the American boundary line."

 --From Appendix IV, pg. 537
Letters of John Palliser.

The brooding feud between Moody and Gosset was now beginning to build up steam.  The Clergy came to the rescue.

To the Editor, Victoria Gazette

Sir - I am obliged to you for inserting the letter of "Spes" in today's Gazette, in reply to that of your correspondent "Tenas Mosquito", published on the 3rd inst.

My opinion respecting British Columbia's views of Captain Gossett, may go for what it is worth, but as I believe it is correct, I now affix my name instead of "Spes".

Captain Gossett, it is believed, owed his appointment to British Columbia to the friendly offices of Colonel Moody.  How far he has been the coadjutor of his patron - how far he has worked for himself - or how far he has followed Col. Moody's example "in going where he was sent", is well known - but what he has done for British Columbia is not known, unless he will tell us himself.  No one denies Captain Gossett a head, even better than "Tenass Mosquitos", which according to himself "is not a very bad one".

It is not what I should have wished, to appear in a letter like the present or to have to come so publicly forward, but the case of "British Columbia versus Vancouver", "The lands and Works versus Victoria Government House", have gone by default long enough, and what is every British Columbian's business is nobody's judging by the quiet way in which misrepresentations, roughriding, and insidious puffing are received.  Such questions between two colonies, constituted like British Columbia and Vancouver, assumes a totally different character at home and colonial questions discussed in England.  They carry with them important issues to individual British subjects, for here the welfare of the individual is bound up inseperably with the welfare of the body politic.

I am, Sir, etc.
A.D. Pringle

--10th February, 1860
The New Westminster Times

After the loss of Robert Burnaby and the rest of Col. Moody's Staff, the other officers decided amongst themselves that they would take turns performing the duties of an Aide-de-camp for their Colonel, whom they felt could not be seen with no assistance at all.


The steamer "Otter, Captain Mouat, arrived on Thursday evening from New Westminster, bringing 400 oz. of gold dust and 9 passengers, including Col. Moody and Captain Grant

-- Saturday 11th February, 1860
The Weekly British Colonist

"...There has been a great outcry against the lands and Works department - in this I do not entirely concur - there can be no doubting the fact that too much care has been bestowed, and money expended on "fancy paths and picturesque ravines" at New Westminster, which town site is badly chosen; had Langley

Thanks to Captain George H. Richards who thoroughly surveyed the BC Coast, Colonel Moody’s name has been immortalized in BC history with the city of Port Moody.  The city was established from the end of a trail cut by the Royal Engineers, now known as North Road to connect New Westminster with Burrard Inlet.

THE NORTH ROAD - We believe it is the intention of the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to proceed at once with the formation of this road to Burrard Inlet. All the Sappers who can be spared from the Camp will, we hope, be put upon the work.

--5th January, 1861
The New Westminster Times


BURRARD INLET - The wagon road on the north line to Burrard Inlet was commenced last week by the Royal Engineers, and exhibits every indication of being a creditable work when completed.

--12th January, 1861
The New Westminster Times

Port Moody was developed to defend New Westminster from potential attack from the USA.  The town grew rapidly after 1859, following land grants to Moody’s Royal Engineers who then settled there.  All of the officers returned to England, but most of the sappers and their families chose to remain, accepting 150-acre land grants as compensation.  Port Moody was the Canadian Pacific Railway's original western terminus.

At last, the constant bickering and disagreements between the Governor and Colonel Moody irritated the Colonial Office in London.

April 12th 1861

Mr. Fortescue,

"...I think that Governor Douglas has given a sufficient explanation of the course he took.  In a new Colony such as British Columbia, promptitude and vigor are indispensable.  Colonel Moody is inclined to be guerulous and has shown more activity since he was in Columbia, in writing letters than in effecting good works.  I am afraid too that he has a disposition to write private letters to this Office which is an objectionable and unfair practice, and is one by which we ought to take care that no man finds that he gains an advantage over the Governor of a Colony."

Duke of Newcastle

Moody sets off to Victoria but leaves some questions unanswered regarding the upcoming Sale of Lots.

Lands and Works Department, New Westminster
16th August, 1861.


May respectfully to request that I am informed whether (in the absence of yourself at Victoria which I do not anticipate) I am to receive Scrip as cash at the coming sale.
2. If so, for what Lots - Town? Suburban? or Country lands?
3. At what rate?
4. I take this opportunity of, with deference commenting, that is Scrip, which was issued?


(Reply on same letter)

You are accept Scrip precisely as cash - valuing it 10.4 per acre or 4 Pounds 2 Shillings according with the nature of the Scrip that was issued from the Draft.



Are hereby informed that for the future this Scrip will be accepted (at the value at which it was issued) in full or part payment for TOWN, SUBURBAN, and COUNTRY LANDS, purchased by them under the provisions of the sundry Proclamations relating to the occupation and sale of Lands in this Colony.

R.C. Moody, RE
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
New Westminster, 21st August, 1861

-- 24th October, 1861
The British Columbian

Colonel Moody, RE, who has been absent at Victoria during the last five or six weeks, arrived by the "Otter" on Wednesday.  His return has been anxiously looked for by the people for some time, many of whom think his absence has been too protracted for the good of the Public Service.  It is enough that our Governor resides there; but we are disposed to be very jealous of those who have nobly resided amongst us from the first paying long visits to Victoria.

--22nd Aug, 1861
The British Columbian

Colonel Moody, RE, accompanied by Captain Parsons and suite, left by the steamer "Colonel Moody" on Wednesday of last week on a tour through the upper country.  We believe it is the Colonel's intention to inspect all the Public Works personally, and make himself better acquainted with the wants and resources of the colony.  He will probably be absent about a month.

--5th September, 1861
The British Columbian

Mrs. Moody writes to her family as the weeks pass.

"I don't know when I shall hear from Richard again, he has never been away so far away before.  Captain Parsons is with him.  There is a difference of opinion in Camp as to which of the two will knock up first, they are both dyspeptic you know." 

-- 12 September 1861
Mary S. Moody

Col. Moody came down from the upper country on Saturday last after a lengthened tour.  The gallant Colonel looked well, apparently none the worse for having roughed it a while in the mountain regions.  We congratulate him on his safe return.

--17th October, 1861
The British Columbian

New Westminster, 22nd October, 1861.

My dear Crease,

Accept my sincere Congratulations - Now I feel happy.  From the very first, when you came in to the old House of "Shakes" dripping wet from that Brunette Excursion, I longed for you to be one of us.  At last it has Come about.  For Cary I have a sincere regard and of his abilities I think most highly.  I know that at times he has not thought of me as I would wish to be thought of - but I invariably put it down to the misrepresentation of others for Cary could not really know me.  I trust he does know me better now.  I have always though he made a mistake in giving us up for Vancouver Island.  I am sure B.C. is to be the Colony - I have told Cary I think he made a mistake, nous verrons, as time rolls on.

Well Mr. Attorney General so you are Diplomatic! and have the Official Reserve as to your appointment though it is in the Gazette in the Times.  You are right, the Newspaper announcement is not sufficient, though in the official London Gazette.  The regular official letter duly signed must first come - I remember a case in point in the War Department.

I was duly gazetted in the "Official London Gazette" as Lt. Co. but (from an accident I presume) the official letter to the General Comb. at Malta did not arrive until a long time after, and in the interval I had to do duty as captain, and was always addressed as such.

The Wife and I are looking forward to happy days with Mrs. Crease, your children and yourself - Remember us most kindly to her and tell the children I am all ready for a Romp and so is Dr. Seddall, Captain Luard, Captain Parsons, and Lt. Palmer.  You must all be of the "Camp Family" somehow or other.

Yours Ever,
RC Moody

TERRIBLE CASUALTY - While a royal salute was being fired in honor of the opening of the first British Columbia Industrial Exhibition, yesterday, at 2 o'clock p.m., Peter Rose, while engaged in ramming down a charge, was blown into the river by the accidental discharge of the piece.  Before a boat could be brought to the spot, the body sank and was not again seen till after a lapse of 15 or 20 minutes, it was recovered by means of a grappling iron, when life was quite extinct.  The deceased was a native of Malta, 45 years of age and had been for some time employed as bar-tender in the Blizzard Saloon.  We would here notice the praiseworthy promptitude with which the boats from HM Gunboat "Grappler", which lay out midstream, reached the scene of this sad accident.  Owing to the general feeling of regret caused by the melancholy mishap, Col. Moody's address, which was to have been delivered at half past 2 o'clock, was postponed till the evening.

 --14th November, 1861
The British Columbian


Came off on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week, and to say that it was a decided success would be saying too little as it far surpassed the anticipation of the most sanguine promoters.  The idea of holding a local exhibition and receiving samples of vegetables, etc., which could not be sent to London was a second thought, conceived too late to afford an opportunity for having the Colony generally represented.  Indeed, Hope was the most distant point that was represented in the agricultural department; and, as will be seen by a reference to the prime list in another column, the Messrs. Moore of that place carried off the first prize both for wheat and peas.  But although confined almost entirely to this district, it was truly surprising to see the display the things made when brought together and nicely arranged.  And if there are any of those creatures called "croakers" still extant, we feel assured a visit to the exhibition last week could not have failed to produce a perfect cure.  In addition to the articles noticed in the report published today, we would make special mention of half a dozen heifers sent in for exhibition by Colonel Moody, from his farm, "Maryfield", as an example showing the good condition maintained by such feed alone as young stock obtain in the forest suburbs of this city, all year round!  These heifers are all of good breeds - one is the produce of the Colonel's valuable Devon cow.  They were all calved and raised in this neighborhood, and therefore afford the best evidence of the adaptability of the country for stock raising purposes.  We would likewise notice a very fine boar, also raised at "Maryfield", as possessing very valuable qualities as a "porker", and as a breed easily kept in good condition.  These animals - for which no provision was made in the programme - were sent in by the President, Colonel Moody, prompted by the deep interest taken by him in all such matters, and will, we have no doubt, be the harbingers of a regular and important cattle show.

--21st November, 1861
The British Columbian

We are happy to announce the birth of a second British Columbian to Colonel Moody, RE, thus affording another fie to this Colony. The Colonel's numerous friends will be gratified to learn that both mother and child are doing well.

--5th December, 1861
The British Columbian


On the 28th ult., at the Camp, New Westminster, the wife of Colonel Moody, RE, of a daughter.

-- 5th December, 1861
The British Columbian

Here, let the writer introduce the list of the wishes which were outlined by Sir Lytton to Col. Moody at the interview held before the latter's departure to British Columbia.

They were:

(1) He should give immediate attention to means of transport by land and water.
(2) Report on the unification of British interests on the Pacific.
(3) Report on harbours of the Colony and the existence of all minerals, especially, coal, and on fisheries, timber, oil and agriculture.
(4) Keep his force from drink.
(5) Show courtesy and tact for all foreigners.
(6) Work harmoniously with the Governor.
(7) See the Colony was self supporting.
(8) Survey the land most needed and send full reports on permanent settlement as the Home Authorities wished to establish responsible government as soon as possible.

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