Talk:Colony of British Columbia (1866–1871)

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United Colonies name[edit]

I've been putting off creating an article for each of the colonies - which IMO should be the way this is configured; the United Colonies were never called that during their own period, and IMO that term surfaced only in recent times. I'd put off creating the articles before because I didn't have it clear which was the Crown Colony and which was the Colony; I think it was VI that was the Crown Colony and I meant to look up the legal distinction between the two as far as the name-difference goes. The Crown Colony of Vancouver Island should have its own article, and the Colony of British Columbia should have a split article and (i.e. one article two sections).

As the "United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia" was never an official name it's highly dubious it should be used as the title for a page. More later; haven't had my coffee yet....Skookum1 18:40, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Skookum1, for your input. Upon reflection, I agree that the Colony of British Columbia should have its own separate entry. If you create the article, I will amend this one accordingly. I do think that this article should remain, since the two colonies functioned as one administrative unit from. Hence, while it may not have been an official title, it was a functional one and the affairs of the colonies were handelled as one. Fishhead64 22:01, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
But was ONE colony, not two. The affairs of the mainland colony were handled from Victoria but according to different procedural and constitutional parameters; and those were different than post-1866. Vancouver Island should definitely be its own colony page; maybe the BC page could be both and because the names were at least the same.Skookum1 23:25, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I must disagree with you on this point. Please note that the colonies were legally united by an Act of the British Parliament on August 6, 1866, hence creating an entirely new entity. I don't know what this legal entity was popularly called during its lifetime, but I suppose some research would uncover the wording of the specific Act (see the entry for Frederick Seymour in the Canadian Dictionary of Biography Online). Hence the need for a separate article. The affairs of the two colonies certainly overlapped between, but they had separate administrations, and were legally two separate entities, hence my suggestion that an article on the Colony of British Columbia be created that will cover the years. However, again, after 1866, British Columbia and Vancouver Island ceased to exist as distinct colonial units. To conflate the united colonies post-1866 with the Colony of British Columbia pre-1866 would be, imho, misleading from a legal and functional standpoint. Fishhead64 23:46, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
This is why I thought there should be three articles......and AFAIK the legal name was simply British Columbia. The problem, then, is how to distinguish from; it could be that the latter was a "Crown Colony" vs the plain old "Colony" of the former. Currently all these are boiled down with the various BC lists such that the L-Gs page has Seymour and Douglas listed there, which of course they shouldn't be. There was an L-G in colonial BC, I think, but only from 1866 onwards; that aside it's also worth commenting that the list of "Governors" in lists those for the Columbia District (the fur district based on Ft Vancouver) as if they were Governors of a political entity rather than a corporate one. Nomenclature's a sticky business and I know there are Wiki parameters of some kind to use here; which I'll have to study before commenting further I guess.Skookum1 23:53, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
You are correct, I looked up the 1871 Act of Union and that was the name of the colony. As I said upthread, perhaps you or I could create an article on the Colony of British Columbia, and I will amend this one accordingly. Deal? :) Fishhead64 00:01, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
OK; kind of requires I get my ass in gear with finishing the McGowan's War article and getting about the Fraser Canyon War and Douglas Trail articles, too, which are all tied together and which I've been putting off for a LONG time; also the REs in their BC manifestation (there's already an RE page but much wider in context than their relatively obscure service in BC). Maybe the title of THIS page could be "United Colony of ...." ?? Depends on what you find in the way of names used; I have Morton's book on early politics so maybe there's a useful term in there; I'll re-read those chapters later tonight.00:10, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

LG's site uses "United Colonies"[edit]

In fixing up William Culham Woodward with references, I found a timeline page on the L-G's homepage, and it (i.e. Government House's clerical/administrative staff's page) uses "United Colonies" now. I suspect that may be a reflection of the former Wikipedia title, which I note is still here in section headings. This is maybe an example of where a concocted wiki-ism has entered the mainstream, and is an example of why such usages should be avoided. On the other hand, the L-G's site or some other source that they know of uses "United Colonies"...but I'd never seen that name until it was come up with in Wikipedia. The issue bears writing them and asking, I suppose......but not today.Skookum1 (talk) 22:26, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Working Text[edit]

I'm not sure whether this should be here or in a sandbox page, but this is posted here towards deconstructing it and revising it:

The Colony of Vancouver Island had been created in 1849 to bolster British claims to the whole island and the adjacent Gulf Islands, and to provide a North Pacific port at Fort Victoria.
reworked: The Crown Colony [or Colony?] of Vancouver Island was created in 1849 to secure the British claim to the island and the adjacent Gulf Islands in the wake of the Oregon Treaty of 1846, by which Britain had surrendered the mainland south of the 49th Parallel and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the United States. The location of Victoria had been chosen in 1843 to prevent an American-claimed partition of Vancouver Island at the 49th Parallel, and in 1849 because of its strategic advantages (because of the many excellent harbours near the site and coal deposits farther up-island). Located near Victoria were also ideal for the expanding Royal Navy presence in the Pacific which would also be the guarantor of the new colony from an American filibuster.
Notes on changes: had been/was = passive vs. active. Bolster or secure...or manifest or ?? "Secure" seemed best. Added mention of the Oregon Treaty and the surrender of the Columbia District to give context to the act of securement, i.e. the Colony was created so that the area was not an unincorporated possession, as was now the Mainland ('til '58). Ideally this paragraph should mention that it was a relocation of Company regional HQ from Ft Vancouver to Ft Victoria too, but this paragraph is alreayd at eight lines when it was originally two....didn't want to spell out Esquimalt Harbour and Sooke Basin but could; the RN was just new on the scene and the terms to use here are "anchorage/harbour/harbourage" rather than "port", which implies a hinterland to export things from; in reality between Esquimalt, Nanaimo and Fort Rupert the Royal Navy's main interest here was coal and spar-timbers; this was a strategic naval base and resupply depot, not a port. Worth remembering about the expanding British naval presence in the Pacific that this was the era of the Opium Wars, the Australian Gold Rush and (a few short years later) the Crimean War. I used the term "filibuster" in its archaic sense and no doubt it should be changed; in this era it meant something like a mercenary - a freebooter hired to expedite a political/military campaign, usually on behalf of American interests or American annexationist drives (as with Texas and California), or specifically US adventurist regiments in Central America; a term Douglas and Begbie used in that mode; not sure what to call it now; "agitationists"?Skookum1 16:37, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
2nd parag reworked: By the mid-1850s, the colony's non-First Nations population was between 500 and 1000, most of these concentrated around Victoria but some also at the coaling stations at present-day Nanaimo and at Fort Rupert, on far nothern Vancouver Island. The mainland area of present-day British Columbia, Canada was an unorganized territory under British sovereignty until 1858 and, other than HBC employees, is not known to have any significant number of settlers until then. The mainland was under the defacto administration of the Hudson's Bay Company, and its regional chief executive, James Douglas, who also happened to be Governor of Vancouver Island. The mainland was informally given the name New Caledonia, after the fur-trading district which covered the central and northern Interior west of the Rockies, although the boundary between the New Caledonia and Columbia Fur Districts was nominally the Thompson River.
Notes on changes: added bit about Nanaimo and Fort Rupert. cdn spelling of organized. There may have been some settlers and others; e.g. Frank Gott of Lillooet, b.1850 in that place, was the son of a Captain Gott and a St'at'imc woman (Capt Gott's origins are unknown), so there must have been pre-gold rush non-HBC presence in the mainland; probably overland from the US/California but not otherwise recorded in any local histories. Defined the New Caledonia proper vs the accustomed use of it for the mainland as happened to emerge.
3rd parag reworked: All this changed with the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of, when the non-aboriginal population of the mainland swelled from only about 150 Hudson's Bay Company employees to an estimated 30,000 prospectors, speculators, land agents, merchants and hangers-on. The British colonial office acted swiftly, and the Colony of British Columbia was proclaimed on August 2, 1858.
Notes on changes: 58-59, not 57-58; non-aboriginal population was HBC staff only, as their families were native/halfbreed. Pop. estimate is over 30,000, not c.20,000. The rest of this I'm going to have to consider the wording so as to keep it brief: the Colonial Office did NOT act swiftly, and only grudgingly heeded Douglas' unilateral (and unauthorized) declaration of a colony on the mainland, which was hastily convened to thwart American annexationist filibustering in the goldfields, which were not possible to militarily secure due to their location. Douglas' declaration on Aug 2, 1858 was only retroactively endorsed/approved by the Colonial Office (see Hauka's book Ned McGowan's War).Skookum1 19:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
PS if the Colonial Office had acted "swiftly", they would have declared a colony or colonies immediately in the wake of the Oregon Treaty, and also ignored HBC/Douglas' efforts to discourage settlement.Skookum1 19:59, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Historical resource[edit]

Looking for something else, I found this in, which has all kinds of useful BC history stuff available on line; the title of this one is British Columbia : return to an address of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 2 July 1868, for "Copy or extracts of correspondence between Governor Kennedy of Vancouver Island, Governor Seymour of British Columbia, and the Colonial Office, on the subject of a site for the capital of British Columbia, and is a publication of the Colonial Office.Skookum1 (talk) 14:19, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

wording problem[edit]

was the name informally given to the de facto amalgamation

That's gonna have to be cited; so far as I am aware that terminology was invented for wikipedia and is not in fact in use, nor has been ever (other than in Wikipedia). "is a name used in Wikipedia for the de facto amalgamation" is more accurate, but not per MOS. Some better wording has to be come up with....Skookum1 (talk) 03:25, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd forgotten I'd left this comment, but just now amended the lede to match the very same argument. This article title is a pure wiki-fiction and does not exist in sources. The problem is many articles linking to this have adopted this name, because of the article title and redirect-bypasses, and with successive edits it's become increasingly unclear as to the origin of this term. The only solution I can think of is to re-style the Colony of British Columbia article as Colony of British Columbia (1858) and this one as Colony of British Columbia (1866), though those date-dabs could be 1858-1866 and 1866-71 for clarity; single-year dabs are used on ships of the same name, but this is not a ship.Skookum1 (talk) 07:41, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, I agree with your solution. Adding years is a common disambiguation method for historic geopolitical entities with the same name (e.g. Kingdom of Italy). Article states that it was simply known as Colony of British Columbia. This should probably be sourced and if verified, this should be the title and be used consistently throughout. But leaving the current title is misleading and may therefore add fuel to criticism of WP's reliability. -- P 1 9 9 • TALK 18:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I came across this article, and it was absurd on the face of the lead paragraph that the article title was a title of Wikipedia convenience, and not as far as we can tell, a common name or the official name. I moved the articles in accordance with the suggestions above, and did a bit of clean-up, although more may need to be done.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:36, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

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