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Gold Rush In Bc Timeline Homework

Gold Rush Events/World Events/Other News

-As early as 1833, David Douglas, the naturalist, found gold along Lake Okanagan.

-Beginning of the California Gold Rush.

-Hudson's Bay Company had collected gold in small quantities from First Nations in New Caledonia.
-During the 1850's, 424,000 British and 914,000 Irish would come to America.

-Sewing machine invented
-First double decker bus used in transit.
-Gold found in New South Wales, Australia.
-Sir James Douglas was appointed the second governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island.

-Heinrich Goebel invents first form of electric light bulb.

-Americans ascending the Columbia River discover gold in British territory.

-News of gold on the Thompson River leaks out. By the summer of 1857, miners arrive on Fraser and Thompson Rivers from Washington and Oregon.
-Sir James Douglas, worried about the Americans claiming British territory in the Cariboo, proclaimed that people could claim mines if issued a license by him, the representative of British authority. Sir James Douglas hired policemen and drew up mining regulations to keep control over the frenzy of the Gold Rush.

-Gold Rush hits British Columbia's Fraser River.
-Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie becomes one of the first officials of the new Crown Colony of British Columbia. Begbie would become B.C.'s most famous judge, often referred to as a "hanging judge." He took law and order seriously and won the respect of miners and citizens of the towns he served.
-Ottawa becomes the capital of Canada.
-B.C. is established as a Crown Colony after 37 years as a Hudson's Bay Company preserve. Sir James Douglas is made Governor of the new crown colony.

-Peter Curran Dunlevey discovers gold at Little Horsefly Creek and starts the Cariboo Gold Rush.
-James Douglas authorizes the construction of a road called the Douglas Trail from the coast to the interior.
-French tight rope walker walks across Niagara Falls on a tight rope.

-Prospectors find gold at Keithley Creek, one of the first gold strikes. At nearby Antler Creek , gold was so abundant that in some cases gold was so close to the surface a miner did not have to dig for it.
-Gold Rush brought immigrants from Hong Kong to the port of Victoria. Chinese miners worked their way up the Fraser River as white miners abandoned these sites. Many Chinese immigrants moved to the Cariboo to become miners or set up businesses such as laundries and restaurants. An estimated 6,000-7,000 Chinese immigrants had come to B.C.
-Abraham Lincoln becomes US president.
-US Civil War begins.

-Cariboo Gold Rush bring men and women from all over to the Cariboo.
-In May, the Royal Engineers began construction on the Cariboo Wagon Road which began in Yale and continued on through the Fraser Canyon, Lytton, the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, and finally on to Quesnel.
-June, Overlanders leave Fort Gary (Winnipeg) for the Cariboo. Included in this group is the famous gold rush artist, William George Richardson Hind. Catherine Schubert is the only woman of this group from Fort Garry.
-Mining town of Richfield is founded and named after the rich gold claim found at Williams Creek by a miner named Bill Cunningham.

-Billy Barker strikes gold on Williams Creek making him one of the most prosperous miners of the Cariboo Gold Rush.
-Barkerville is named after Billy Barker and his successful claim. Barkerville becomes the largest mining town in the Cariboo with about ten thousand residents in 1863-64.
-Camerontown is established by John "Cariboo" Cameron who needed to hire a lot of people to mine his claim on Williams Creek. His employees soon became the citizens of Camerontown

-Cariboo Wagon Road reaches Barkerville.

-June 17th-July 29th -unparalleled yield of gold taken off Erikson claim in Cariboo. Above $160,000 taken out in 7 weeks. (Cariboo Sentinel, 31 July 1965)
-Increase of Gold production of nearly 100%(or 1/2 million dollars) in one year. Production for June/July 1865=$950,648 Production for June/July 1864=$475,158. (Cariboo Sentinel, 31July 1865)
-Cariboo Road completed to Barkerville for over $1 million.
-Abraham Lincoln assassinated April 14.
-US Civil War ends May 26.
-Thirteenth Amendment to US Constitution ends slavery.

-Two separate colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia are joined under one administration with the capital at Victoria, then the largest settlement.
-Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.

-British North American Act establishes Dominion of Canada.
-Russia sells Alaska to USA for $7.2 million.
-Gold discovered in Wyoming, USA.

-The town of Barkerville burns down in what became known as the Barkerville fire. Though reconstruction began the next day, the Gold Rush was dwindling.

British Columbia gold rushes were important episodes in the history and settlement of European and Chinese peoples in western Canada.

The presence of gold in what is now British Columbia is spoken of in many old legends that, in part, led to its discovery.[citation needed] The Strait of Anian, claimed to have been sailed by Juan de Fuca for whom today's Strait of Juan de Fuca is named, was described as passing through a land (Anian) "rich in gold, silver, pearls and fur". Bergi (meaning "mountains"), another legendary land near Anian, was also said to be rich in gold as well. Speculative maps of northwestern North America published before the area was mapped placed the legendary golden cities of Quivira and Cibola in the far inland northwest.[citation needed] No Spanish exploration parties in search of El Dorado, "the golden one" a reference to the legendary king of a lost golden city, are known to have ever reached British Columbia, although archaeological remains point to a brief Spanish presence in the Okanagan and Similkameen regions of the province's Southern Interior.[citation needed] The Muchalaht, the Nuu-chah-nulth group in the area of the community of Gold River, on Vancouver Island, which is a community at the end of a fjord that drains the west coast of Vancouver Island, tell a story of Spanish arriving then burning the valley searching for gold. Prospectors searching the valley have found old crude dug adits on the pass of the White River Valley and the Gold River Valley.[citation needed]

Queen Charlottes Gold Rush, 1850[edit]

Main article: Queen Charlottes Gold Rush

Gold was first formally discovered by non-indigenous people at Gold Harbour on the west coast of Moresby Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands, near the Haida village of Tasu on Mitchell Inlet, an arm of Gold Harbour (which is part of Tasu Sound). A brief gold rush - the Queen Charlottes Gold Rush - ensued in the following year, leading to the declaration of the Colony of the Queen Charlotte Islands to prevent the archipelago from being overrun by Americans and so claimed by the United States. The extent of the ore body proved superficial, and there are various stories of American prospecting parties harassed by the Haida people, who were still very numerous and powerful. In later times, Gold Harbour and Mitchell Inlet became the location of a modern mining operation, also called Tasoo or Tasu, but for iron rather than gold. In 1969, a local logger, Efrem Specogna and his brother-in-law, John Trinco made the initial gold discovery of the Specogna (Babe) Gold deposit west of Port Clements on Graham Island. By 1979, a 2 million ounce gold deposit was defined by exploratory drilling by major mining companies, Cominco, Kennco Explorations (a subsidiary of Kennecott) and Quintana Minerals. A junior exploration company continued drilling the project and a gold rush ensued from 1979-1981. The Specogna gold deposit remains an unmined deposit with over 3 million ounces of gold and is categorized as an epithermal type gold deposit.[1]

Tranquille, Thompson, and Fraser Gold Rushes[edit]

Main article: Fraser Canyon Gold Rush

Gold discoveries are not reported in the journals of the early fur traders, and it became policy on the part of the fur companies to not advertise the presence of gold as the protection of the fur trade was the main corporate interest of their enterprise. Governor Etolin of Russian America expressly forbade news of gold discoveries as a serious crime against the state. Small quantities of gold were reported by traders in the 1830s and at some posts became current in local trading, though not common or in quantity. but Hudson's Bay Company policy, or the good judgement of the Chief Trader, kept news of such discoveries quiet until a large trove was brought into Fort Kamloops in 1856 by members of the nearby Tranquille tribe of the Secwepemc. When news of the find, and a large poke of gold dust brought to James Douglas, Chief Factor of the Columbia Department at Fort Victoria and also Governor of Vancouver Island, decided to ship it to San Francisco for smelting. Some historians have suggested he did so deliberately to spread news of the gold find so as to provoke a gold rush so as to force Britain's hand on the status of the British mainland north of the 49th parallel, which since the Oregon Treaty had remained unincorporated and had remained solely the domain of the fur company and its native clientele. American miners had been appearing more frequently on British soil and Douglas felt he had to take action.[2][3]

Fraser Rush and founding of the Gold Colony[edit]

News of the finds in what was then known as New Caledonia hit California at a time of economic depression, when the gold fields were depopulated and many miners were in San Francisco, where the news hit like wildfire and overloaded steamers full of men equipped with not much more than gold pans and the clothes on their back headed north, along with entrepreneurs of all kinds and others seeking to profit not from the mines, but from the miners. Victoria, until then a "sleepy English village" of a few hundred people, was transformed into a tent city of some 30,000 within weeks in the spring of 1858, among them 4000 were Chinese[4]. After initial complaints of a "humbug" because high water levels prevented mining, thousands returned to California, only to be replaced by others as water levels dropped and mining began in earnest. The first major find, and among the largest on the river, was at Hill's Bar about 15 kilometers south of Fort Yale, which had become the epicenter of the gold rush as it was at the head of river navigation and at the foot of the Fraser Canyon and its difficult trails and rich gold-bearing bars. Hill's Bar's first claim, known as the "Boatmen of San Francisco", worked the bar alongside Chief Kowpelst and his people, the Spuzzum tribe of the Nlaka'pamux, whose village was just north of Fort Yale. The mining population, split in thirds about evenly between Americans, Chinese, and a mix of Britons and Europeans who had been in California, many since the California Gold Rush ten years earlier, entered into conflict when two French miners violated a Nlaka'pamux girl near Litton, then called "the Forks", and their beheaded bodies were seen floating down the river. In the ensuing unrest, known as the Fraser Canyon War, most of the mining population fled the Canyon for Spuzzum and Yale, and war parties composed of Americans, Germans, French and others (many who had been mercenaries in Nicaragua, or in service of France in Mexico), forayed up the canyon and made a peace with the Nlaka'pamux, though many were killed on both sides. News of the war had reached Victoria in the meantime and Governor Douglas was forced to take action to enforce British authority and sovereignty on the mainland and set out by steamer with Royal Marines and the newly arrived first contingent of Royal Engineers for the gold fields. En route, the party stopped at Fort Langley, then still located at Derby, where Douglas declared the Colony of British Columbia and was sworn in as its first Governor, on August 1, 1858. Proceeding without much incident to Yale, where news of the governor's journey upriver had travelled in advance, the Governor and his troops were greeted by the war parties or "Companies" that had engaged in the war, flying the British flag and greeting the Governor with a formal welcome. Admonishing them that the colony had been established and the Queen's Law would prevail, the governor appointed officials who would later lead to a series of events known as McGowan's War over the course of the next winter. Also while at Yale, Douglas decreed the creation of subscriptions by which parties of men could pay for the right to construct a new route to the "Upper Fraser" via the Lakes Route, as a way around the dangers of the canyon trail and continued fears about the Nlaka'pamux. the "Upper Fraser" was the area of Lillooet and Fountain and several thousand miners had arrived in that region via overland routes through Oregon and Washington Territory, despite an injunction from Douglas that all access to the goldfields would be through Victoria only. Those who came by those routes, the busiest but war-ridden Okanagan Trail, also spread farther afield in the Interior, leading to gold discoveries further and further afield and a string of small and large gold rushes including what would become the largest and most famous, the Cariboo Gold Rush. Not for nothing that among the most common sobriquet used at the time for the new Mainland Colony was "the Gold Colonies".

The Cariboo Gold Rush 1861-1867[edit]

Main articles: Cariboo Gold Rush and Cariboo Road

By 1860, there were gold discoveries in the middle basin of the Quesnel River around Keithley Creek and Quesnel Forks, just below and west of Quesnel Lake. Exploration of the region intensified as news of the discoveries got out, and because of the distances and times involved in communications and travel in those times, moreover because of the remoteness of the country, the Cariboo Rush did not begin in earnest until 1862 after the discovery of Williams Creek in 1861 and the relocation of the focus of the rush to the creek valleys in the northern Cariboo Plateau forming the headwaters of the Willow River and the north slope of the basin of the Quesnel. The rush, though initially discovered by American-based parties, became notably Canadian, Maritimer and British in character, with those who became established in the Cariboo among the vanguard of the movement to join Canada as the 1860s progressed. Many Americans returned to the United States at the opening of the Civil War. Others went on to the Fort Colvile Gold Rush, Idaho Gold Rush, and Colorado Gold Rush. Some went elsewhere in the Intermontane West, including other parts of British Columbia, in addition to those who had come and gone during the advent and wane of the Cariboo rush. To preserve British authority and retain control over the traffic of gold out of the region, the Governor commissioned the building of the Cariboo Road, a.k.a. the Queen's Highway, and a route from Lillooet and also established the Gold Escort, although that government agency never proved viable and private expressmen dominated the shipment of goods and mail into the gold fields, and gold out of it (see Francis Jones Barnard and B.X. Express). Among other events associated with the Cariboo Gold Rush was the Chilcotin War of 1864, provoked by an attempt to build a wagon road from Bute Inlet to Cariboo via the Homathko River. In addition to the gold rush's capital and destination of the Cariboo Road Barkerville, dozens of small towns and mining camps sprang up across the rainy, swampy hills of the Cariboo, some such as Bullion and Antler Creek attaining mining fame in their own right. The Cariboo gold fields have remained active to this day, and have also yielded other boomtowns, such as Wells, a one-time company town of 3,000 in the 1920s just a few kilometres west of Barkerville, which today is a museum town, and one of the larger deep-rock mines in the Cariboo mining district. The city of Quesnel, remained important after the wane of the rush as the jumping-off point for other goldfields discovered yet farther and farther north in the Omineca and Peace River Country to the north of Fort George (today's city of Prince George), then only a small fur post and Indian reserve.

Minor Gold Rushes 1859-1869[edit]

  • Blackfoot Gold Rush, 1859
  • Similkameen Gold Rush, 1861
  • Rock Creek Gold Rush
  • Peace River Gold Rush, 1861 (a.k.a. Finlay Gold Rush)
  • Stikine Gold Rush, 1861
    • The Finlay and Peace-Finlay Gold Rushes prompted the declaration of the Stickeen Territories, which lay north of the colony's boundary, the line of the Nass and Finlay Rivers, extending to the 62nd parallel, west of the Rockies.
  • Shuswap Gold Rush (Spallumcheen River)
  • Cherry Creek Gold Rush (Cherryville)
  • Big Bend Gold Rush, 1865
  • Omineca Gold Rush
  • Wild Horse Creek Gold Rush (Fisherville and Fort Steele)
  • Goldstream Gold Rush at the Goldstream River in 1863
  • Leechtown in 1864-5
  • Burnt Basin Gold Rush

The Stewart Gold Rush[edit]

This section is empty.You can help by adding to it.(July 2010)

Atlin Gold Rush, 1898[edit]

This section is empty.You can help by adding to it.(July 2010)

Bridge River, Cayoosh Gold Rushes 1870s-1890s[edit]

Golden Cache Gold Rush 1896-1899[edit]

Yalakom Gold Rush 1941[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Specogna Minerals websiteArchived November 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^McGowan's War, by Donald J. Hauka
  3. ^British Columbia: From the Earliest Times to the Present Vol. II, E.O.S. Scholefield and F.W. Howay
  4. ^Dawson, Brain (1991). Moon Cake in Gold Mountain. Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Detselig Enterprises Ltd. p. 20. ISBN 1-55059-026-X. 

Further reading[edit]

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