5 June 1860
My Lord Duke
My last communication to your Grace was dated "Camp Chilwhayhook District, 31st May."
2. During Manuscript image 2. During the few hours I remained at "Douglas," whither the River Steamer which conveyed my party from Chilwhayhook was bound I had merely time to observe the increasing size of the Town, the improved style of the newer buildings, and the evident attention paid to comfort and stability in their arrangement and construction Manuscript image construction, indicating the growing wealth of the inhabitants, and their confidence in the progress of the Town.
Its business facilities have lately been much improved by the construction of two substantial wharves which afford ample accommodation for all shipping which visits the Port.
3. I met Captain Captain Grant Manuscript image Grant Grant R.E. at Douglas who reports very favourably of the progress of the detachment of Royal Engineers and civilian labourers employed under his command in forming the waggon road from Douglas to the lesser Lillooet Lake, which he expects to finish before the close of summer.
4. Our steamer having a full cargo on Manuscript image on board, was detained at Douglas in landing goods from the hour of her arrival, at six o'Clock in the evening, till four the following morning, when she was again under weigh, steaming full power in the direction of Hope, and arrived there at nine o'clock the same evening, the distance being 90 miles, during 40 miles of which she had Manuscript image had to stem the current of Frasers River, now almost at its greatest force and height.
5. At a public meeting of the inhabitants of Hope, held soon after my arrival there, I entered into an exposition of the state and prospects of the country, and more particularly directed the attention of the meeting to the importance of opening lines of road without Manuscript image without delay into various parts of the Country, but especially a line leading into the valley of the Shimilkameen, and shewing that the immediate and direct effect to the Country would be a vast reduction in the cost of transport and a great accession of Trade to the Town and District of Hope.
6. The valley of the Shimilkameen has many attractive Manuscript image attractive features, no part of British Columbia being more beautiful as a country or offering greater inducements to settlers.
The whole of that District is watered by running streams, possesses a great deal of arable land, and is diversified by wood land and meadow. The climate is pleasant and healthy, the winters mild, and the capabilities of the District for raising and pasturing Manuscript image pasturing stock are very great. There is moreover satisfactory evidence that the Rivers and Soil are auriferous and that gold will become a chief article of export and source of wealth. The settlement of that fine district has been retarded by want of roads, and there is no doubt that people will flock thither as soon as it is accessible to travel.
7. A Manuscript image 7. A cutting of 60 miles through the mountains will connect it with the Town of Hope. I entreated the meeting to give the subject their earnest attention, and to recommend such financial measures as might raise the funds requisite for carrying that great work into effect. The people cordially agreed with the Manuscript image the views expressed, and promised their hearty aid and support in providing money for the occasion.
8. The day following I called a meeting of the Miners in the Hope District, and in the course of a long interview ascertained that they had no grievances to lay before me, and that they were satisfied with the existing "Gold Fields" Act Manuscript image Act. I spoke to them about the probable existence of gold in the Shimilkameen, and recommended that they should at once form a party selected by themselves, and composed of experienced miners, and of men on whose energy and judgement they could rely to prospect the Shimilkameen Country, and I agreed on the part Manuscript image part of the Government to furnish the party with food, and to allow a bonus of Four pounds Sterling in money to each of the men employed in prospecting provided they succeeded in finding gold. The proposal was received with evident marks of satisfaction by the whole Company of Miners and they proceeded at once to select a party of nine men Manuscript image men out of a large number of those present, who volunteered for the service, and this choice band will start in a few days time, or as soon as the freshets which now fill the rivers to over-flowing have somewhat abated, and travelling becomes a less dangerous undertaking.
9. The despatch of a party to re-open and improve the road leading Manuscript image leading direct from Hope to Quayome, or Boston Bar, was at once undertaken and carried into effect, but the improvement of the other routes is left for the present and cannot be undertaken until my return from Yale when I will report further.
10. I annex a Return exhibiting the average number of Miners employed on the Manuscript image the several Bars of the Fort Hope District, together with the average earnings of each man per diem, which I have no doubt will be interesting to your Grace.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
See minute on 7721.
ABd 6 Augt
FR 6/8
CF 7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Return listing the number of miners employed in the Fort Hope District from Fort Victoria Bar to Hudson Bar, showing a total of 203 miners, signed by P. O'Reilly, 9 June 1860.