Documents from birth of B.C. put on auction block
The 1858 Governor James Douglas Proclamation documents (Lots 101 and 102) "date to the Fraser gold rush, when the B.C. mainland went from having a couple of handful of residents of European descent to about 30,000, virtually overnight.
The influx of American miners led Britain to declare the mainland a full colony. Vancouver Island had already been declared a Crown colony on Jan. 13, 1849; it remained a separate colony until it merged with B.C. on Aug. 8, 1866.
Douglas, a longtime official of the Hudson’s Bay Co., was named the governor of both colonies. The auction also includes an 1860 document signed by Douglas and another prominent pioneer, Alfred Waddington, over the lease of some land in today’s Fairfield District in Victoria. Its estimate is $750.
John McLoughlin was also a prominent Hudson’s Bay Co. official, in the era where HBC lands went all the way to the Oregon border. American settlers flooded into what became Oregon in the 1840s, and McLoughlin’s aid to them was so key to their survival that in 1957 the Oregon state legislature named him the “Father of Oregon.”
Grant Duff is auctioning an HBC document signed by McLoughlin on Nov. 9, 1842, that’ll appeal to collectors on both sides of the border. It lists some goods that arrived damaged aboard the SS Beaver, the legendary HBC vessel that ran aground off Prospect Point in Stanley Park on July 26, 1888. The goods had been sent from Fort Nisqually on Puget Sound (between Tacoma and Olympia, Wash.) to Fort Vancouver (today’s Vancouver, Wash.). It has an estimate of $500."
Read the full article with more historic B.C. documents in this 1150th Auction