Beaver, 1835-1888
Arguably, the most famous coastal ship of its era, the Beaver was a paddlewheel steamer built in England in 1835 for the Hudson's Bay Company's trade-business in the Pacific Northwest.1 It was made of sturdy oak and elm and driven by twin side-paddles and two 35-horsepower engines; it was reasonably light and nimble, at 111 tonnes and 31 m, and could achieve a top speed at 10 knots.2 As for sails, it could be rigged as both a schooner and a brigantine.3
The Beaver arrived at Fort Vancouver on April 10th, 1836.4 It spent much of its life carrying freight and passengers between outposts in and around Vancouver Island and particularly between Victoria and the Fraser River during the gold rush of 1858.5
It was sold in 1874 to a company in Victoria, who used it for barge and cargo work until it wrecked off of Prospect Point in Vancouver Harbour.6 The scope of its influence can be seen in the volume of place-names that bear its memory.7
This despatch reports that the Beaver was detained by American customs officers and notes this event's effects on trade, colony morale, and US relations. This despatch, in the following year, reports that the ship was employed as part of A difficulty which nearly led to a fatal affray with the Songies Tribe.
This despatch by Douglas reports that he proceeded to Fort Langley on the Beaver, having transferred from the Satellite and Otter, respectively, to proclaim the Act of Parliament providing for the Government of British Columbia.
Mentions of this vessel in the documents