Gallagher, Martin
Martin Gallagher was a gold miner from California and a close associate of Edward “Ned” McGowan, who attempted to take control of the Fraser River mines in 1859. Before coming to British Columbia, Gallagher had been arrested by the San Francisco Vigilance Committee in May 1856 for political manipulation and ballot-box stuffing during city elections and was subsequently sent off to the Sandwich Islands.1
He arrived at the Fraser gold fields in July 1858; in September, at Hills Bar, he reportedly took out seventeen pounds of gold on a single day and thirteen pounds two days later, (Gazette, 15 September 1858), and the British Colonist reported on 16 September 1859 that a man named Gallagher struck pay dirt, three cents to the pan, about four miles above Boston Bar.He calls the new diggings Gallagher's Flat.2
In late 1858 or early 1859, Gallagher launched a suit against the sea captain of the ship that had conveyed him to Honolulu and was awarded $3,000 damages, but the case was subsequently appealed to the US Supreme Court.3
  • 1. Nancy J. Taniguchi, Dirty Deeds: Land, Violence, and the 1856 San Francisco Vigilance Committee, (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), 207.
  • 2. Colonization Instead of War, The Daily Colonist, 16 September 1859, 3.
  • 3. Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft: Popular Tribunals, 1887, (A. L. Bancroft, 1887), 596.
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