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They [the HBC] have numerous servants, a most remarkable and effective system of discipline, great power over the Indian tribes. These qualities are fully conceded to them by their enemies, and especially by their rivals the Americans, and they are qualities which would be serviceable for the purpose of colonization as for those of trade, if the Company was willing to use them. But it is said they are not willing; that their only object is exclusive trade; their only purpose in obtaining possession of Vancouver's Island, the exclusion of competition.


This digital archive contains the original correspondence between the British Colonial Office and the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. This project aims to digitize and publish online a complete archive of the correspondence covering the period from 1846 leading to the founding of Vancouver Island in 1849, the founding of British Columbia in 1858, the annexation of Vancouver Island by British Columbia in 1866, and up to the incorporation of B.C. into the Canadian Federation in 1871.

All the material on this site originates in the work of Dr. James Hendrickson and his team of collaborators at the University of Victoria, which resulted in the publication of 28 print volumes of correspondence several years ago.

Teachers and students may also be interested in the Governor's Letters website, which provides learning materials based on this collection.