Gerald Wellburn’s 45 page 1858 Fraser River Gold Rush collection is featuring in All Nations’ auctions 2019
“First there were natives trading furs with the Hudson’s Bay Company. Then gold flakes starting changing hands for trade goods at Fort Kamloops. Governor James Douglas knew that gold could transform Vancouver’s Island and British Columbia as it did California. When the Hudson’s Bay Company sent 200 ounces of gold to San Francisco for minting into trade tokens, the California gold seekers raced northward and overran Victoria and the Fraser River canyon.
“The Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection tells the story of the transformation of the twin colonies of Vancouver’s Island and British Columbia, as American gold miners clashed with natives and colonial authorities, through original documents, contemporary ephemera, and postal history, never before offered at public auction. Starting 10 November here at All Nations
“1858 There’s gold in this collection of early B.C. ephemera! Gerald Wellburn, legendary collector, put together 45 pages of letters, posters, maps and illustrations of B.C.’s gold rush period in the 1850s and 1860s.”
John Mackie has written a detailed article in the Vancouver Sun read here
“Gerald Wellburn died in 1992, and most of his collection was auctioned off for $1 million. But his family held onto his Fraser gold rush collection, including the Cooke letter. Finally the gold rush collection is being sold as well.
Wellburn put the collection into a 45-page booklet, which Brian Grant Duff of All Nations Stamp and Coin is selling one page at a time through his weekly online auction.”
“It’s almost like he was making it to exhibit, so you could show it somewhere, show the history” said Grant Duff.
Flipping through the booklet is like taking a crash course in early B.C. history. Wellburn annotated the collection with historical notes that puts them in context. On the Cooke letter page, for example, he writes “gold was first discovered at Fort Colville on the Columbia River in 1855.”
“The Fort Colville discovery didn’t set off a gold rush. But when gold was discovered on the banks of the Fraser and Thompson rivers in 1858, an estimated 25,000-30,000 miners came to B.C. to try their luck. Alarmed at the prospect of so many Americans flooding into New Caledonia, the mainland region controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company, the HBC’s James Douglas created the Crown colony of B.C. on Aug. 2, 1858. (Vancouver Island was a separate colony until they were joined in 1866; Douglas was governor of both.)” ~John Mackie, Vancouver Sun article
The bear attack letter reads: “1859 Portage Oct 22nd. Half way house twenty four mile. To the resident magistrate at Port Douglas; Sir, Mr G. M Montanys of the Lillooet Meadows arrived at & stopped at this place on his return from Anderson Lake on the evening of the twentieth & left for home on the morning of the twenty-first. About one hour after an Indian arrived & informed us that a man had been killed on the trail below. We hastened to the place about one mile from this & found the above person dead beside the trail. We examined the body & found it badly bitten in the right thigh, one wound having cut the artery which had caused his death. His hands were also scratched as well as two wounds lower on the right leg. On examination we found the tracks of three bares (sic), also where they had twice attacked him, the tracks of one of them were covered with blood after leaving the man. We found upon the body one five dollar coin, one twenty franc coin & a one dollar & twenty five cents silver coin & one pocket memorandum book, pencil case, also a pocket knife. About two hundred yards from the body we found a rubber coat. The above articles have been delivered to his partner Mr Jones who arrived this evening from the Meadows. We buried the body near where it was found as well as the circumstances would permit. There was a party of fourteen Chinamen on the ground at the time of our arrival on their way to Port Douglas whose testimony could be procured should it be required. Yours respectfully CA Yurby John Priety Robert Blair William Herdson.”
1859 British Columbia Proclamation revoking Hudson Bay Company’s trading rights, one of the highlights of the Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection >
“A modest postal service was introduced which allowed express companies to carry mail to the mining camps” >
Gerald E Wellburn was a collector and a person who collected because he was deeply interested in history and wanted to preserve historical things. Spending days researching such things as who was that unknown young fellow in the famous picture of the CPR’s driving of the last spike. He wanted to know the people behind the history and to tell their stories, that was Gerald E Wellburn.. visit our Gerald Wellburn page here
Cover of the 45 page Album
Page 1 Frontispiece of the album
“In 1858 the discovery of gold on bars of the Fraser River led to the founding of the Colony of British Columbia..
Page 1 of the Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection (lot 91) sold for $700 in our 10th November 2018 auction
Page 12 of the Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush Collection H.B.C. 1830 Account to James Yale officer in charge of newly founded Fort Langley on the Fraser Riverread more
Page 11 of Wellburn’s historical journey through the Fraser River Gold Rush is the 2nd August 1858 Act to Provide for the Government of B.C. published in Victoria Gazetteread more
The Albums Pages from Gerald Wellburn’s Fraser River Gold Rush collection that have featured in our auctions to date.read more
British Columbia 8 Feb 1859 3-page Proclamation of Duties Payable by Miners Page 10 of the Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection Lot 101 in our Auction Saturday 2nd February 2019 On the Wellburn page "8 Feb 1859 - Proclamation by Governor douglas re...read more
Page 9 Fort Hope 1858 Lot Lease from James Douglas, Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection
Fort Hope, B.C. 1 Dec. 1858 Lot Lease from James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver's Island Page 9 Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection, folds, faults Lot 79 sold for $3,000 in our Auction Saturday 19th January 2019 View and Bid in this week's Auction Visit...read more
Page 8 1863 cover to B.C. Gold Fields, North America, Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection
Page 8 March 1863 incoming Greenslade & Son Cover to B.C. Gold Fields Wellburn notes: "Delighfully vague address: British Columbia, Gold Fields, North America" Lot 72 realized $1,100 in our Auction Saturday 12th January 2019 The second British Columbia gold rush...read more
Page 7 1862 London 2.5d Cover to Fort Shepherd British Columbia "This envelope eloquently conveys the very vague geographical knowledge of Britsh Columbia at this early period.." Lot 66 realized $1,600 in our Auction A1191 5th January 2019 View and Bid in this week's...read more
Revocation of H.B.C. License 3 November 1858 Proclamation by Governor James Douglas page 6 in Gerald Wellburn's Fraser River Gold Rush collection Sold for $1,800.00 in our A1190 22nd December auction PROCLAMATION By His Excellency, JAMES DOUGLAS, Governor and...read more
Invoice for goods supplied to H.B.C. at Fort Langley 1859 – Page 5 of Gerald Wellburn’s Fraser River Gold Rush sold for $5,000read more
1858 - The Miners’ Ten Commandments - The code of the California gold seekers folded to fit page 4 of Gerald Wellburn 1858 Fraser River Gold Rush collection Lot 80 sold for $1,320 in our Auction A1188 8th December 2018 #bchistory #fraserrivergoldrush unfolded sheet...read more
Australian Broadsheet for Barque Orestes to Vancouver's Island 1858 realized $10,000 Lot 80 in our Auction A1188 8th December 2018 See Gerald Wellburn's 45 page album1858 Fraser River Gold Rushread more
Lot 79 Page 2 of Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush Collection realized $247.50 in our Auction A1185 on 17th November 2018 See more of Gerald Wellburn Fraser River Gold Rush collection See Gerald Wellburn's 45 page album1858 Fraser River Gold Rushread more
1858 Fraser River Gold Rush Gerald Wellburn Frontispiece, Lot 91 in our auction Saturday 10th November sold for $700 The rest of the 45 page album will follow in All Nations auctions See more of Gerald Wellburn's 45 page album 1858 Fraser River Gold...read more