Chapter 6 - The Nation Expands • In 1858 the gold rush started in British Colombia • In that summer over 20,000 miners swarmed into Fort Victoria on Vancouver Island. • Miners left from Victoria for the Fraser river on anything that would float. • Fistfights broke out for places on the stream. • Many people from England were lured by the thrill of the gold rush and the possibility of getting rich
British Colombia is Created • Before the gold rush, British Colombia was considered just Vancouver Island. But after the gold rush began, lawlessness took over on the mainland and there wasn’t much that could be done to stop it. • The British Parliament, hearing of the gold rush, passed an act creating the colony of British Colombia on the mainland. A governor appointed and laws were enforced. • By the end of the summer of 1858 about $500,000 work of gold had been taken out of the Fraser river. Most went home thinking it had all been taken. • A few years later, a great new gold find was made farther up the Fraser river. Billy Barker made the find. The town that sprang up became known as Barkerville. • Governor Douglas decided a good road was needed along the Fraser river. Miners brought their families and ranchers began to drive their cattle north. • Soon B.C. had a booming population.
The Great Camel Catastrophe • In the 1860’s a heard of camels was imported to haul freight to the gold fields. • It was said the camels could carry much more than mules and live in harsher climates. • It soon turned bad. The camels could not travel on the rocky trails. Their feet weren’t designed for it. • The camels stunk and the workers could not get their smell out of their clothing. • The camels could not walk through the deep winter snow. • The experiment failed and the camels sent to Victoria.
British Colombia Enters Confederation • In the late 1860’s the new colony of British Colombia was in financial trouble. People began to realize they would probably have to be a part of a large country if they wanted to prosper. • On May 10th, 1870 three delegates left Victoria for Ottawa. They met with Sir John A. Macdonald to let him know B.C. was interested in joining Confederation if proper terms could be worked out. • It wanted what the other provinces had, plus the government to take over its debts. Finally, Canada would have to build a wagon road across the prairies and through the mountains to link B.C. to the east. • The new province would provide Canada with tremendous amounts of natural resources, such as gold and timber. Canada agreed to accept B.C.’s terms. • Macdonald went even farther than what B.C. had asked for. Macdonald proposed a railway that would be started in two years and completed in ten. • Only July 21st, 1871 British Colombia entered the Dominion of Canada.
New Territories Join Canada • At the time of Confederation, the area of Rupert’s land and the Red River Settlement were governed by the Hudson’s Bay Company. • Macdonald feared that Canada and Britain would lose the west to the United States if something wasn’t done. • Many in the Red River didn’t like the way the Hudson’s Bay Company governed and wanted to be part of the new country of Canada. • Canadian delegates went to England to see if the Hudson’s Bay Company would be willing to sell. Finally a price was agreed upon. • The Hudson’s Bay Company was paid $300, 000 and allowed to keep 1/20th of the fertile land. Some day it would sell the land to settlers. The Company got to keep its posts and the land around them. • The land was transferred to Canada on December 1st, 1869. It was renamed the North-West Territories.
PEI joins Confederation • In the six years since they turned down Confederation, islanders were having second thoughts. • The islanders had decided to build their own railway along the entire island. It caused all types of problems because everyone small town wanted a train link up to the main line. • When the island government tried to borrow money to build the rails, it discovered that being small and alone made it a poor risk. • By 1873 the railway was hopelessly in debt. When the people of PEI heard they would have to pay heavier taxes or join Canada, the prospect of joining Canada looked pretty good. • In 1873 PEI approached Canada about joining Confederation. By terms of the agreement, Canada provided $800, 000 to buy the land on the island from the absentee landlords. • Canada took over the province’s debts. It promised a year round ferry boat service from the mainland to the island and a telegraph service. • On July 1st, 1873 Prince Edward Island joined Confederation.
How Canada has Changed Map of British North America (later Canada) 1823