Kilts on the Coast: The Scots Who Built BC

Overview

When the Hudson's Bay Company decided to establish its new Pacific coast headquarters at Fort Victoria oh Vancouver Island in 1843, the Island was a pristine paradise-or an isolated wilderness, depending on one's point of view—that had sustained its First Nations inhabitants for millennia.

It was Scots who answered the call of the HBC and came to the Island to manage the Company's business, engaging in the fur trade and establishing coal-mining ventures. From founding father ...

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Kilts on the Coast: The Scots Who Built BC

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Overview

When the Hudson's Bay Company decided to establish its new Pacific coast headquarters at Fort Victoria oh Vancouver Island in 1843, the Island was a pristine paradise-or an isolated wilderness, depending on one's point of view—that had sustained its First Nations inhabitants for millennia.

It was Scots who answered the call of the HBC and came to the Island to manage the Company's business, engaging in the fur trade and establishing coal-mining ventures. From founding father James Douglas and other high-placed Company men to thee humble miners from Orkney and Ayrshire who came to work in Nanaimo's mines, the Scottish influence on the young Colony of Vancouver Island was indelible.

Kilts on the Coast focuses on the people and the events that sparked settlement and growth in the Colony during six critical years, 1848 to 1854, and delves deep into the roots of the Scottish presence, tracing the lives of such pioneers as Dr. William Tolmie, Robert Dunsmuir, Walter Grant and their descendants.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781927051276
  • Publisher: Heritage House Publishing Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 270
  • Sales rank: 442,329
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 9

Preface 11

Introduction 13

1 From Scotland to Vancouver Island 15

The Last Frontier 15

The Hudson's Bay Company 18

Manning the Forts 21

The Ayrshire Coalfield 25

The Little Emperor: Sir George Simpson 28

The Intellect Andrew Colville 31

2 The Scots of Fort Victoria 33

The Governor James Douglas 33

The Shepherd Incident Peter Brown 45

A Man of Leisure Alexander Grant Dallas 50

An Unhappy Man Charles Ross 55

Clerk-in-charge Roderick Finlayson 60

Doctor, Botanist, Climber and Librarian William Fraser Tolmie 63

Victoria's First Retiree John Tod 68

From Cloth Merchant to Chief Justice David Cameron 71

The First Senator William John Macdonald 74

3 The Independent Settlers 82

The Wakefield Experiment 82

An Independent Man: Walter Colquhoun Grant 84

The Scottish Farmer Kenneth McKenzie 91

The Farm Workers at Craigflower 100

The Spirit Merchant James Yates 106

The Cooper from Orkney John Flett 110

4 The First Mining Families Arrive 116

Douglas Makes Preparations 116

A Difficult Voyage 119

The Fort Rupert Experience 124

Gold Find at Gold Harbour 131

The Muir Family of Sooke 133

5 The Nanaimo Coalfield 140

Colvilletown (Nanaimo) 140

Conflicting Personalities 145

Three Generations of Miners: The McGregor Family 147

6 The Coal Baron Robert Dunsmuir 154

Destiny Intervenes 154

An Uncle's Choice 156

A Licensed Free Miner 159

Finding Black Gold 161

Family Connections 163

Building a Railway 166

A Castle for Joan 170

7 Colony Population Doubles 178

More Miners for Nanaimo 178

The First Engineer Andrew Hunter 79

Prospector Extraordinaire John Dick 185

Inspector of Mines Archibald Dick 190

Assistant Miners: The French Brothers 192

8 The Orcadians 195

The Explorer: Adam Grant Home 195

Harbourmaster and Hoteliers: The Sabiston Brothers 207

Skilled Labourers: The Papley Brothers 214

Family Tragedies John Work 217

rent River Bridge Accident 220

The Stonemason William Isbister 223

Village Pedagogue Christopher Finlay 230

Cedar Farmer James Stove 233

A "Faithful-reliable" Man John Malcolm 234

Blacksmith Striker William Ritch 238

Big-Island Settler Magnus Edgar 239

Ill-fated Voyage 242

Epilogue 245

Appendix I 248

Appendix II 250

Appendix III 254

Appendix IV 254

Endnotes 255

Bibliography 262

Index 267

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