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A Survey of the Laws Regarding the Development of the Mineral Resources of Canada's Dynamic Province of British Columbia

Donald L. Brothers, Proceedings of 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1967)

British Columbia Developed as a Mining Province

Originally coal was discovered on Vancouver Island which was used in the ships of those days. In the 1850's gold was discovered which caused the famous Cariboo gold rush and resulted in a great influx of American gold seekers. In order to protect this land from becoming American territory, Governor Douglas recommended to the British Government that to forestall the American invasion a legal boundary should be established and that some form of government should be set up. The factor of the Hudson's Bay Company post at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia river, told the British Government in 1846 that what is now British Columbia was not worth fighting for. At that time British influence was being driven out of what is now Oregon and then Washington. To the north, the Great White Eagle, as the Factor was known by the Indians, saw nothing but Christmas trees and rocks. Nevertheless the British government agreed upon forming British Columbia as a province in 1866. The British, however, doubted that British Columbia would ever amount to much. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was being constructed to provide Canada with a coast-to-coast railway, a British newspaper wrote, The Canadian Pacific will run, if it is ever finished, through a country frostbound for eight months of the year and will connect with the western part of the Do