No. 70
Victoria Vancouvers island
3 August 1860
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor of transmitting herewith for your Grace's information copy of a letter from Mr O'Reilly the Magistrate at Hope, with enclosure, being the first report received from the party of Gold Miners sent out from
that place as stated to your Grace in Paragraph 8 of my despatch of the 5th June marked "Separate." *
2. This report though not conclusive as to the general character of the country, yet speaks very favourably of those parts examined.  
3. The quality and value of the specimens of gold alluded to in the above report have been estimated by a practical assayer
here, as follows
No. 1‹‹Weight..........about 5 grains
Quality.........860 thousandth fine
Value...........9 pence
No. 2‹ Quality.........860 thousandth fine
Value...........22 pence
Weight..........about 12 grains. from which an inference may be drawn greatly in favour of the Shimilkomeen as a mining district.  
4. A new Gold district is also said to have been discovered in the Southern part of British Columbia, at Rock Creek, a tributary falling into the Kettle-fall River near the
49th parallel, and 400 Miners, chiefly from Oregon, were reported to be engaged in working that field, and making wages from 15, 20, up to as high as 100 dollars a day. It is anticipated that there will be a great rush of miners to that part of the country and if so food will be required in large quantities, which will lead to a great increase of trade, and to the formation
of new settlements in that part of the Colony, by reason of this additional attraction.  
5. The importance of directing the supply of provisions for this region by way of Hope is thus greatly increased, and an additional motive supplied for opening the road between Hope and the Shimilkameen, which is being at the present moment vigorously carried on, and thus preventing the trade from taking the
course of the Columbia River to Oregon.  
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Acke: & send to Land Board. Lay before Parlt thereafter.  
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Peter O'Reilly to W.A.G. Young, Colonial Secretary, 31 July 1860, forwarding a letter reporting the results of the expedition to the Shimilkameen district.  
  • T[J].F. Allison to O'Reilly, 27 July 1860, reporting on the gold mining possibilities of the Shimilkameen region.  
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft, Rogers to Emigration Commissioners, 4 October 1860, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosure for information.  
  • Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 51, 4 October 1860.  
Despatch to London:
Douglas to Newcastle, 3 August 1860, National Archives of the UK, 9346, CO 60/8. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed 23 May 2018. 

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