Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thirty Thousand semi-barbarous Californians

Victoria, 1858 ~ Illustrated News of the World

Adding powder to the powder keg building up on San Juan Island, in 1858 gold was discovered on the Frazer River in British Columbia. Here is a brief excerpt from: “an Irish-American itinerant journalist and California propagandist” J. Ross Browne’s account, The Golden State’s View of the Frazer Gold Rush, originally published in Harper’s Magazine 1861.

The British Lion had been slumbering undisturbed in Victoria for half a century, and was very much astonished, upon waking up, to find thirty thousand semi-barbarous Californians scattered broadcast over the British Possessions. Governor Douglass issued manifestoes in vain. He evidently thought it no joke. The subject eventually became a matter of diplomatic correspondence, in which much ink was shed, but fortunately no blood, although the subsequent seizure of San Juan Island by General Harney came very near producing that result.
~ J. Ross Browne

"Returned From the Frazer"

Resource: Unsettled Boundaries: Frazer Gold and the British-American Northwest
by Robert E. Ficken

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