6 July 1860
My Lord Duke
Continuing our progress from Hope, from whence I last addressed your Grace, on the morning of the 6th Manuscript image 6th June, we arrived at Yale in the afternoon of the same day.
2. A deputation of the inhabitants bearing a congratulatory address, waited upon me almost immediately after my arrival, and I took that opportunity of stating that I had been induced to visit Yale on that occasion chiefly by the desire of Manuscript image of conferring with them on the highly important subject of improving and wherever necessary altering the line of the present trail leading from Yale to Lytton, with the view of reducing the expense of transport and rendering the country beyond the mountains accessible to intending settlers.
3. I drew their attention to the fact that the cost of transport by Manuscript image by the existing mountain trail, between Yale and Lytton, a distance of 80 miles, exceeded Seventy six pounds (£76) a ton, a charge which the gold miner, by reason of his large earnings, and limited wants, might possibly contrive to meet, but it was evident that until the cost of transport be greatly reduced, settlers, with their multiform wants would Manuscript image would be involved in ruinous expenses, and in fact, virtually excluded from the interior of the Country, which might for want of such facilities of communication as I proposed to form, remain a desert for years to come.
I also remarked how nearly impossible it was, by any conveyance practicable on those trails Manuscript image trails, to transport the implements indispensable to the farmer for bringing the land into cultivation.
4. I therefore recommended that the inhabitants of the Town should forthwith hold a meeting for the purpose of choosing a temporary Council of five members, to concert measures with me, for raising the funds Manuscript image funds requisite for carrying on that important enterprise, which must necessarily confer the most signal benefits on the country at large, and so greatly promote the individual interests of the people of Yale.
5. I then suggested that the money required for that service, should be raised by means of Manuscript image of an inland duty of one farthing a pound, to be charged after the completion of the road on the weight of all goods leaving Yale for any inland part, above and beyond that place, and that in the meantime the outlay should be met by an issue of Colonial Bonds, bearing interest at 6 per cent per annum, to be repaid at fixed periods Manuscript image periods from the revenues so created.
6. In continuation of that subject I may remark, for your Grace's information, that a town Council of five members was subsequently chosen by the inhabitants of Yale, who, on behalf of their fellow citizens, presented a Petition, recommending that the Manuscript image the proposed duty of one farthing a pound, should be charged on all goods carried inland from Yale, and that the revenues derived from that source should be applied to the redemption of the Bonds, issued in payment of the work done on the roads, and also praying that a uniform rate of duty should be levied on all Manuscript image all goods carried inland from Hope and Douglas, in order that no one route should have any preference, or decided advantage over the others.
7. The inland exports from Yale are estimated at Fifty tons a week, or Two thousand six hundred tons per annum; the proposed duty, equivalent to two pounds, four shillings Manuscript image shillings and nine pence (£2.4.9) a ton, should therefore yield an annual revenue of Six thousand, five hundred pounds (£6,500), without taking into account the progressive increase of trade and population, that sum will thus, at the most moderate computation, form an ample fund for the redemption of the Bonds Manuscript image Bonds, and payment of the interest, accruing thereon, and the Country will be largely repaid for the immediate outlay by a direct saving of five pence (5d) a pound weight or Forty six pounds, thirteen shillings, and four pence (£46.13.4), a ton, which it is estimated will be effected in the cost of transport from Yale to Lytton by opening Manuscript image opening the new line of road, as well as from many other sources of prosperity and wealth, that the improvement of the roads will bring into play.
8. Having thus provided the means of executing our plans, the commissioner of Lands and Works was authorized to proceed immediately in carrying them into effect Manuscript image effect. Two portions of the new line of road, from Yale to Spuzzum, are now in progress, and a third portion, between Chapman's and Boston Bar, is about being surveyed, in hopes of discovering some line which may avoid the circuitous direction, and the mountainous district through which the mule trail now passes Manuscript image passes, whereby the actual distance is greatly increased, while the route is in winter rendered altogether impassable by the great depth of snow.
9. I beg herewith to forward, for your Grace's information the substance of a short address which, previous to my departure, I delivered to the people of Yale.
See enclosure No 1 complimenting Manuscript image complimenting them for their public spirit, and thanking them for the cordial manner in which they had responded to my proposals for promoting the improvement of the country.
10. The inhabitants of Hope, to which place I returned on the 15th June, were equally liberal in their views, and also drew up a Petition Manuscript image Petition in favour of an inland duty, equivalent to that levied at Yale, on all goods carried overland from Hope, which will provide funds for improving the road to Quayome, or Boston Bar, and opening a new route by the Ballomme River into the Shimilkomeen valley, a distance of 60 miles, the expense of Manuscript image of which on the scale proposed will not exceed Four thousand pounds (£4,000).
11. I herewith transmit for your Grace's information a sketch map of part of British Columbia, shewing the proposed lines of road mentioned in this report, together with the roads before completed, and others strongly recommended by the Commissioner of Manuscript image of Lands and Works, and which will no doubt greatly facilitate and promote the settlement of the Country.
12. I am happy to inform your Grace that the reports from all the mining districts continue to be of the most favourable character.
Mining is no longer a speculation, it is becoming a business, yielding an appreciable and Manuscript image and certain return, and every day is extending our knowledge of the gold deposits.
13. Our latest accounts represent that 600 miners were successfully employed on Quesnelle river, earning from Ten to Twenty-five dollars ($10, to $25) a day.
The spring freshets have driven them away from their claims in the beds of the Manuscript image the rivers, and they had commenced operations on the hills and ravines, which have turned out to be highly auriferous.
Several pieces of gold varying from Six to eight ounces have been found in those new diggings, and the gold produced has a rougher surface, and is in larger pieces than that found in the Manuscript image the country west of Lytton.
14. About one thousand white miners are working on Fraser's River between Alexandria and Lytton, and about Four thousand Chinese miners are employed in the various districts of the Colony.
15. In my next excursion to British Columbia, I propose to Manuscript image to devote my attention to the Harrison river district, where the land communications are being rapidly improved, and two small Steamers, soon to be increased by a third, are in full operation on the Lakes.
16. I trust Her Majesty's Government will approve of the measures herein detailed Manuscript image detailed for removing the impediments of access to the Country, and the issue of Bonds as a means of raising money for carrying on the work; the whole expense of those works will be defrayed out of the revenues of the Country, derived as I have before stated from the duty on inland transport.
I Manuscript image I feel assured that I have not over-rated the resources of the Country, and that they are equal to the emergency, and I believe that those resources will be, more or less, largely developed, just in proportion to the degree in which the difficulties of access are removed.
I Manuscript imageI have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Send Copy to Land Board for information, & include in the next series of papers laid before Parliament?
VJ 23 Aug
TFE 23 Augt
A good address of Govr Douglas. His efforts to promote local enterprise & taxation seem promising.
CF 24
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Address by Douglas to the inhabitants of Yale, 6 July 1860.
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Note in file: "Sketch Map of part of British Columbia, showing trails and routes of communication, 1860, being fo. 360 of C.O. 60/7 has been removed to the Map Room. Map Room reference MPG, December 1950, D.B. Wardle."
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Rogers to Emigration Commissioners, 12 September 1860, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.