James Kennedy (1817 - 1903)
James Kennedy & Caroline Stone Wedding
Photo 1854 Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Click on underlined Links to view info
Click on Picture to enlarge
1817 December 09
James was born: in Ballymena (near Belfast) county Antrim, in Ulster Ireland.
1838 June 28 Victoria crowned Queen, succeeding King William IV.
James sailed to America at age 22.
1843 July The Hudson's Bay Company establishes Fort Camosun at the southern end of Vancouver Island. By December it will be known as Fort Victoria.
James moved to Toronto Ontario late forties Stayed until early fifties.
While living in
James took a trip to Australia November 1852
1853 September James returned from Australia.
1856 November 01 Son : James Marshall born in St. Paul, Minnesota.
James Marshall (1856 - 1923)
1858 November 19 The mainland, known as New Caledonia, was colonized and named British Columbia.
1859 James along with his wife and young son, made a short sojourn at St. Paul’s Minnesota early 1859.
1859 February " Queensborough " renamed New Westminster. The name was chosen by Queen Victoria. From this naming by the Queen, the city gained its nickname, "The Royal City".
1859 February My husband (James) and I, with our little boy of two and one half years left Oshawa, Ontario, the latter part of February, 1859, for New York, bound for the western part of the Continent on the Pacific Coast, then little known to the outside world.
1859 February 22 - 28 We spent a few days in New York, embarking on Tuesday, for Aspenwall, reaching there the following Sunday evening, leaving early the next morning for Panama, crossing the Isthmus by train, a cool and pleasant run of about three hours. Passengers, baggage and freight were immediately transferred to the steamship which was to take us to our destinations. We called at several ports along the Coast also went up the Willamette River, The Columbia, too, as far as Portland.
1859 March After two weeks of rather a tedious journey, we reached Victoria, a shabby looking little place. The previous year it had experienced stirring times. The gold excitement of the Fraser had enticed many, chiefly from California, all bent on seeking their fortunes in the sands of the Fraser. We remained in Victoria two weeks, during which time Mr. Kennedy made a trip across the Gulf and up the Fraser to the site (for there was little else) of Queensborough. Upon his return we decided to settle in Queensborough.
1859 March After arriving in New Westminster (Queensborough) by the boat "Eliza Anderson" we were most hospitably entertained by Mr. W. J. Armstrong, who had very recently arrived and had opened a grocery and provision store. He proffered us the use of his comfortable batching quarters until our tent was put up, which Mr. Kennedy set right about doing over a substantial frame upon a board foundation, on a partially cleared piece of ground not far from the river, later known as Lytton Square, where our market now stands.
Wife : Mrs. James Kennedy was the first white women to arrive in New Westminster.
1859 March Son : James Marshall Kennedy, age 2 years 5 months was first white child to arrive in New Westminster.
1859 April 01 Rev. Edward White - Wesleyan missionary. 8AM-5PM: Victoria to Queenborough (sic) on steamship Eliza Anderson (built 1858). At the time there was not a house in New Westminster, so he was invited to stay in the Kennedy tent. One man did live above his store, (W. J. Armstrong).
First religious service held in New Westminster.
1859 April 23 Rev. Edward White and family arrived in New Westminster. Our tent, being a very large one, we had partitioned off one half of it, put a door in and built a large table like our own. Here we all sojourned very pleasantly together, Mr. and Mrs. White, their two young children and Miss. Woodman, Mrs. Whites’ sister, while our respective little homes were being made ready to move into.
1859 June 18 Rev. White and family moved into new house he built for family.
1859 July Our new home was ready, on corner of Columbia & McKenzie St. in late July.
1859 August 11 Son : George born in New Westminster. Not long after we were settled, my first B.C. baby was born, whom we named George. He was the first white child born in New Westminster. Mr. and Mrs. White walked down to see the new arrival and found us ensconced beneath mosquito netting for protection from those little pests.
George (1859 - 1934)
1860 In BC
James followed his vocation as Architect &
Builder, also School Teacher, Road Contracting, Ranching.
1860 In 1860 James was the first that pre-empted land in the area that was to become the municipality of Surrey (Surrey was incorporated in 1879) - First of the Kennedy Farming Family.
New Westminster's first commuter in 1860 was
1861 New Westminster Click on photo.
January 31 James
Kennedy signed trail contract.
1861 February 13 BC's longest-lasting newspaper published its first issue. It was New Westminster's British Columbian. The paper folded in November, 1983 after more than 122 years. Note: The Kennedy Brothers owned the newspaper for 12 years between 1888 - 1900.
1861 August 15 Son : Robert born in New Westminster.
Robert (1861 - 1946)
1864 September Son : William Dempter born in New Westminster.
1865 September 18 Son : Thomas born in New Westminster. Click on photo
1866 August 06 The Crown Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia are united and will be known as British Columbia. The capital is New Westminster. (That will change in 1868).
1867 April Langley's first school opens at Derby. James Kennedy was the teacher.
1867 July 01 Canadian Confederation, creating a new country away to the east called Canada, and naturally inspiring thoughts it might eventually stretch from sea to sea.
1867 November 18 Daughter : Mary Emily born in Derby near Ft. Langley.
1868 May 25 The capital of the colony of British Columbia is moved from New Westminster to Victoria.
1871 June 17 Dr. I. W. Powell received the first dominion flag. Dr. Powell returning from a visit to his old home in Ontario, brought with him a new Canadian Ensign which he flew proudly on July 1st. and again on July 20th. It was the first emblem of the Dominion of Canada to be flown in Victoria, BC
1871 July 20 British Columbia joins the Canadian Confederation. The combined colonies became a province of Canada known as British Columbia.
1872 April 08 Son : Benjamin Stone born in Fort Langley. Was the youngest son.
1872 June 12 Superintendent John Jessop visited the school at Fort Langley. The teacher, James Kennedy, was in the process of being fired, the school was about to close because of mosquitoes, and there were no maps or blackboards.
1879 Surrey was incorporated.
1884 March 17 The K de K steam ferry began the first ferry service between New Westminster and Brownsville (now part of Surrey).
James occasionally contributed to the columns of his Sons, the Kennedy Bros. newspaper the
"Daily" and "Weekly Columbian".
The Kennedy Brothers James, George & Robert owned the Columbian
It was on Columbia Street until fire
in 1898. It was then reestablished on Sixth St.
1889 October 24 1st annual general meeting of Westminster Club.
1890 May 25 Daughter-in-law : Fanny Viola Pemberton born in Kamloops, BC. Her father was Arthur G. W. Pemberton and mother was Catherine Viola (Kate) Cochrane. They lived on their 1500 acre ranch at Pemberton Spur now named Pritchard, BC.
1898 September 10 Fire burned 1/3 of New Westminster.
1903 November 23 James died two o’clock Sunday afternoon at his residence Alfred Terrace, Columbia Street, New Westminster after an illness of several weeks. Faith Presbyterian as was his father.
26 Funeral service two o’clock on November 26, 1903
at his residence Alfred Terrace, Columbia Street. Interment ODDFELLOWS Cemetery, Sapperton (wet afternoon)
1905 New Westminster Click on photo.
1906 July 06 Grandson : George Herman Kennedy born in New Westminster, BC
1908 June 23 Grandson : Melvin Stuart Kennedy born in Delta/Surrey, BC
1909 Kennedy Street : New Westminster - Named for the Kennedy family, newspaper publishers. Note: Was Douglas Lane or Douglas Place, 1891-1892. Named for Sir James Douglas, Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, but was changed to Kennedy Street in 1909.
1910 BCE Interurban opened in 1910 closed 1950. The Kennedy's donated some of their land in Kennedy Height's, Surrey to help get the Interurban extension underway. Kennedy Station was also at Kennedy Heights.
1911 May 03 ? Son : Robert married Fanny Viola Pemberton.
1912 February 07 Granddaugther : Caroline Louise Kennedy born in Spokane, WA, US
Robert (Bobby) 4 1/2 months
1912 May 15 Grandson : Robert Pemberton Kennedy Born in New Westminster, BC.
1913 September 19 Grandson : Wilfrid Haggman Kennedy born in New Westminster, BC. He was named after Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada 1896 - 1911.
1913 September 30 Granddaughter : Fanny Annette (Nan) Kennedy was born in New Westminster, BC.
1913-15 Son : Robert turned to farming in Pitt Meadows, BC
1915 February 09 Granddaughter : Mary Adeline Kennedy was born in New Westminster, BC.
1915 March 22 Grandson : Ralph Dempster Kennedy was born in New Westminster, BC
1916 March 26 Granddaughter : Katie Kennedy was born in New Westminster, BC
1916 September 03 Grandson : Edward Earl Kennedy was born in New Westminster, BC
1917 March 22 Grandson : Darryl Kennedy was born but died shortly afterwords
1920 June 20 Grandson : James Wilton Blair Kennedy was born in Princeton, BC.
1922 The first school in North Delta was built in 1922 (Kennedy School).
1922 October 10 Grandson : Arthur James Pemberton Kennedy was born in Coquitlam Hospital, Port Coquitlam, BC.
1923 February 20 Wife : Caroline (Carrie) Stone died. See story: Reminiscences of our early days in British Columbia.
1923 May 01 Son : James Marchall Kennedy died. He was co-owner of the Columbian newspaper and Kennedy Brothers Reality.
1927 Aprox. Son : Robert moved his family back to New Westminster, BC for awhile, from his farm in Pitt Meadows, BC. Robert's son Arthur started his schooling in New West.
1927 November 21 Grandson : Edward Earl Kennedy died of accidental drowning at age 11 years near Mission, BC
1934 July 10 Son : George died at his apartment, New Westminster.
George Died Tuesday afternoon July 10, 1934.
George was the 1st white baby born in New Westminster August 11,1859
1937 November 15 Pattullo Bridge opened. Connecting New Westminster and Surrey. Grandson : Robert Pemberton Kennedy and Margaret his wife to be, were one of the first to walk across the bridge. Tolls were removed February 12, 1952.
1937 December 08 Grandson : Robert Pemberton Kennedy married Margaret.
1938 August 11 Son : William Dempter Kennedy Died in Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster. He had been living in Pitt Meadows. He was a Federal Fisheries Patrol boat Captain .
1943 October 02 Son : Thomas Kennedy died at home on his Dairy farm at 1462 Kennedy Road in Surrey, BC. He was in the sheet metal, plumbing and heating business as a member of the firm of Mahony & Kennedy, proprietors of the largest concern of this kind in this section of the province. He worked right up till last month on his farm... See clipping.
07 Son :
Benjamin Stone Kennedy died at home 1371 Gray Road, Delta BC. He was a
and printer. He worked right up till last month. Notice in newspaper 1944...
1944 August 24 Son-in-law : Albert Fortin died of a heart attack while helping hay for only a few hours on Robert P. Kennedy's farm at Reichenbach Road, Pitt Meadows, BC. He lived with his wife Mary Emily (Kennedy) at the Commercial Hotel, Port Coquitlam, BC. He was born in St. Pamphile, Quebec on July 31, 1881. His parents were Wilfred Fortin and Marie Ricord both from Quebec. He was a cook at the Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, BC. He worked their right up till two days ago.
1945 January 28
Grandson : Lieut. Wilfrid Haggman Kennedy.
Killed in WWII - On Active Duty with Canadian Army, in Holland.
1946 July 20 Great-granddaughter : Judith Ann (Judy) Kennedy was born.
1946 November 11 Son : Robert died at home on his farm, Kennedy Road in Pitt Meadows BC. He was co-owner of the Columbian newspaper and Kennedy Brothers Reality. He later took up farming in 1913. He worked right up till last year on his farm.
1953 May 12 Daughter-in-law : Elizabeth Allanson died at the family home 1490 Kennedy Rd., Surrey, BC. She was born in Yorkshire, England on Aug. 23, 1870. She came to BC 59 years ago. Her husband Thomas Kennedy died 10 years ago on Oct. 02.
1954 March 07 Great-granddaughter : Judith Ann (Judy) Kennedy died of leukemia at age 8 years.
1957 November 04 Great-granddaughter Carolyn , was employed at the Columbian newspaper between Nov. 04, 1957 - Sept. 1966 under the direction of Rick Taylor, grandson of J. D. Taylor. Note: Interestingly, Carolyn's grandfather Robert and great-uncles James M. and George owned the newspaper for 12 years. In 1900 they sold to the Columbian Company, under the control of J. D. Taylor, later Senator Taylor
1958 Son : John (Jack) Kennedy died in Vernon, BC. He lived on his lake front property at the north end of Kalamalka Lake in Vernon, BC.
1958 October 28
Daughter : Mary Emily Kennedy died in North Surrey, BC. She studied music and conducted the pianoforte exams for the Royal Academy of
1959 April 21 Grandson : Robert Pemberton Kennedy moved his family to the Shuswap area at Tappen from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley. Interestingly, this was exactly 100 years after his grandfather, James Kennedy and family moved from Whitby, Ontario to New Westminster BC. This also marks the start of the Kennedy family migration from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley to the Tappen Valley in the Shuswap.
1959 September 13 Grandson : George Herman Kennedy died in Vancouver, BC
1967 July 01 Grandson : Arthur James Pemberton (Art) Kennedy moved his family to the Shuswap area at Tappen from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley, following the migration of his brother Robert in 1959. Arthur and his family settled on an adjoining farm to his brother Robert.
1967 August 31 Daughter-in-law : Fanny Viola (Pemberton) Kennedy moved her family to the Shuswap area at Tappen from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley, following the migration of her sons Robert in 1959 and Arthur just 2 months before. Fanny and her family settled on an adjoining farm to her sons Robert and Arthur.
Grandson : Melvin Stuart Kennedy died in Langley, BC. He was
married to Margaret (Penny) Reid.
Peggy Reid is the sister of Internationally and Canadian renowned Haida goldsmith, carver, sculptor,
1983 September 11 Grandson : James Wilton Blair Kennedy died in Vancouver, BC
1986 Daughter-in-law : Fanny Viola (Pemberton) Kennedy died in Salmon Arm, BC
1989 June 02 Official opening of Kennedy Trail Elementary School. ( 8305 - 122 A Street, Surrey BC ).
1994 November 28 Granddaughter : Mary Adeline Kennedy died in Salmon Arm, BC. Mary moved with her mother and brother to the Shuswap area at Tappen from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley at the end of August 1967, following the migration of her brother's Robert in April 1959 and Arthur July 1967. Mary, her mother and brother settled on an adjoining farm to her brother's, Robert and Arthur.
1996 July 13 Grandson : Robert Pemberton Kennedy Died in Oliver, BC.
Notice in the Salmon Arm Observer...KENNEDY
1996 July 15 Grandson : Ralph Dempster Kennedy died in Grand Forks, BC
1996 July 23 Letter from Nelson A. Riis, MP Kamloops Riding
Bob Kennedy was one of those very special kind of people who was fully involved in the world and those around him . Bob was thoughtful and concerned and held views on virtually any issue that would come up in a conversation . In fact , one of my fondest recollections of Bob was spending hundreds of hours on the telephone --- listening , commenting , arguing and agreeing with the thoughts and concerns he had for those around him .
My fondest memory of Bob Kennedy involved farmers and ranchers who were hard pressed during the period of high interest rates in the early '80s . What could be done to help these people was the question Bob and I wrestled with . Then , reaching back into his encyclopedic memory he recalled a piece of legislation used during the 1930's to save peoples' farms . It was called the "Farm Creditors' Arrangements Act". I had never heard of it but , upon Bob's urging , I immediately went to work in the Ottawa Archives and , sure enough , I found it and brought it to the attention to both Parliament and the Minister of Finance . It's provisions were seriously considered and as a result the government came up with a number of programs that , in fact , enabled many hard pressed farmers and ranchers to keep their operations solvent . In fact , thousands of successful farm and ranch operations today owe their continued success to the man called "Bob Kennedy".
I'll miss Bob and everyone who had the good fortune to come in contact with him over the years , will miss him too . He was a rare individual who truly cared for his country . And there is no doubt in my mind that , today , while we remember and cherish Bob's life , that he's up there advising and cajoling Angels on how even Heaven can be a better place . Bob , thanks for making our country a better place . We'll never forget you.
Yours in friendship ,
NELSON A . RIIS , M .P .
House of Commons , Ottawa , ON
1996 July Gordon Priestman's "Observations" column in the Salmon Arm Observer newspaper.
Glad that you were here, Bob
It was a voice I knew well . Gruff , loud , sometimes irascible , occasionally indignant , more often playful .
"Hello. Star reporter ? Say , what the hell's going on with this government ? What do you think about this latest nonsense ..."
Over 25 years those calls , often several a week , at home and at work , covered an amazing range of topics : taxes , local government , crime , pensions , marketing boards , social services , youth ...
I'm going to miss those conversations - those often long conversations - and I'm going to miss the caller .
There was a memorial service this week for Robert Pemberton Kennedy - Bob Kennedy - who died at the age of 84 .
Bob , who farmed for the last 40 years or more in Tappen , was something of a free spirit . He could be tough , demanding , irritable . He also had a wicked sense of humour . Although not highly educated in a formal sense , he had a questing mind and kept himself tuned into the world around him .
He always had an opinion - which he didn't hesitate to tell you - but he knew how to listen , too . And how to apply it to modify his own views if he thought you made sense , or argue like mad if he didn't . He enjoyed it either way .
Aside from the fact I really liked and respected Bob , that's one of the reasons I'll miss him .
I often say I don't really care if people agree or disagree with things I write in my column . I figure if I can make even one person think about something ,really think it out to their own solution , I've accomplished something worthwhile .
Bob Kennedy did that for me . He often challenged conventional wisdom . He certainly challenged some of my columns . He applied a high standard of horse sense , morality and social conscience to the issues of the day . He made me think .
Made me laugh , too . And I'll miss that .
But Bob was more than a talker . He was a scrapper for what he believed in and nothing illustrates that more then the time , in the early 80's when he took on the powerful banks of this country and , won . Bob not only saved his own farm from foreclosure , after an epic legal battle in which all the odds seemed against him , but , with the help of MP Nelson Riis , paved the way for other farmers , across the country , to do the same .
It was a time when the economy had turned sour , when interest rates were hiked to astronomical levels , and when farmers and ranchers in their hundreds were being evicted and threatened with losing all they had .
As Riis tells it , Bob Kennedy worried about all those other rural families from coast to coast : "Reaching back into his encyclopedic memory , Bob recalled a piece of legislation used during the 1930's to save peoples' farms . It was called the Farm Creditors' Arrangements Act . I had never heard of it , but upon Bob's urging , I immediately went to work in the Ottawa Archives and , sure enough , I found it and brought it to the attention of both Parliament and the Minister of Finance .
"It's provisions were seriously considered and , as a result , the government came up with a number of programs that enabled many hard-pressed farmers and ranchers to keep their operations solvent . In fact , thousands of successful farm and ranch operations today owe their continued success to the man called Bob Kennedy ."
Bob Kennedy was a rare individual . He cared about people . He cared about right . He helped make things better - not only for those of us who know him , but for families across this land who will probably never know his name .
No small thing , that .
Granddaugther : Fanny Annette (Nan) Kennedy died in Eagle
Ridge Hospital, Coquitlam, BC
1998 January 26 Granddaugther : Caroline Louise Kennedy died in Kelowna, BC
1998 June 28 Granddaugher : Katie Kennedy died in Salmon Arm, BC Katie and her husband Bruce moved from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley to the Shuswap area at Gleneden near Salmon Arm in aprox. 1972 following the migration of her brother's Robert in 1959, Arthur in 1967, her mother in 1967.
1999 June 14 Kennedy Trail plaque. - The unveiling of a commemorative sign, located in front of Gibson Elementary, marking the historic trail blazed by James Kennedy in 1861. The Kennedy Trail, connecting with the Telegraph Trail, formed the first communication link between Canada and the U.S. Four generations of the pioneer Kennedy family were on hand for the unveiling of the Kennedy Trail plaque. Kennedy was the first European settler in Delta.
2003 April 10 Grandson : Arthur James Pemberton (Art) Kennedy died in Salmon Arm, BC Arthur Kennedy moved his family to the Shuswap area at Tappen from Pitt Meadows in the Fraser Valley on August 31, 1967. He and his family settled on adjoining farms to his brother Robert and his mother Fanny..
2004 September 17 3rd. great-granddaughter : Kayli was born.
James Kennedy's Diary - Trip to Australia
I had heard so much about the
great fortunes that were being made at the gold diggings in Australia that I
secured passage with many others.
On Friday morning, November 5, 1852, the ship Sacsusa was hauled out into
the East River, New York, with 160 passengers aboard, bound for Port Phillips,
Australia. About 9 o’clock
Saturday morning a tug came alongside to tow us outside, but it was not till one
hour later that we made sail, owing to unfavorable winds.
About 2 o’clock we were clear of Sandy Hook, and stood out to see.
Once more I was on the trail of fame and fortune.
Who could tell, but this adventure would lead to my future homeland?
The state of a passenger ship at such a time is really a sight of human
confusion. When we got fairly well
out to sea we had a stiff breeze on our quarter, which caused the ship to roll
heavily. Most of the passengers
cast up their food after eating of a hearty dinner, and seasickness was the rule
of the day. I was one of the first to be sick, and for four weeks I was
unable to take down notes of what passed. I
found it a great source of uneasiness the way in which matters were conducted.
Some lay in their bunks for days without any attention whatsoever.
The staterooms were small and crowded to excess.
It was like lying on a cupboard shelf.
Sunday, December 5, 1852 - - in 20 N. Lat.
Have had a succession of squalls, head winds, and calms.
The ship lost its main top brace in a bad squall.
I have been miserably sick all the time.
I have refrained from eating anything, and feel as tho I would give
anything to be on land again. Under
no consideration would I again undertake such a voyage. The weather is beginning to get hot, especially in the calms.
Sunday, December 19 - - crossed the Equator last nite in longitude 32.
The thermometer is 81 ½ in the shade.
We have been six weeks at sea, and tho the weather is very hot at times,
it is not as bad as if we were on
land in the same latitude.
Saturday, December 25 - - Christmas Day.
We had fresh pork for diner. I
can eat a little now, but must be careful at all times not to overdo it.
We have been beating against headwinds for the last week, trying to
weather Cape St. Rogue, on the Brazillian coast.
I dreamt last night of being ship-wrecked and cast upon an island.
Sunday night, 26th - - we recrossed the Equator in longitude
29.50. Thursday, 30th -
- we were passed by a small schooner in longitude 30.50, bound for San
Francisco. She passé us like a
thing of life.
Sunday morning, January 2, 1853. We
came into sight of a convict island belonging to Portugal - - latitude 3.52 and
longitude 32.25 west. It is called Fernando Noronto, and lies about 200 miles
north east of Cape St. Rogue. It is
7 miles long by about 3 miles wide. The
interior is fertile, while around the shores nothing but rock abounds.
There are two remarkable rocks on the south side.
One, about the center of the north shore, stands like a huge spire,
rising 600 feet high. The other, to the east of the island, stands like a mighty
pyramid to the height of 400 feet, and when the sun shines upon it, looks like
brass. On an elevated table rock,
stands the fort, and it looks to be inaccessible from three sides.
On approaching the island from the south-east a most enchanting
appearance is presented. At first the rocks are seen on the horizon like small clouds.
By degrees we could discriminate the base, till at length, the main
outline was visible.
The passengers became wild with delight to see their “mother south”
is a common saying that, when Fortune smiles, she smiles profusely.
It was so at this instance.
While we were admiring the island, birds in numerous numbers, flew around
our ship as though to welcome us to their homeland.
The monsters of the deep, as though conscious of a jubilee, played around
along-side the Sacsusa.
The sun was shining with all its tropical splendour.
Surely we must have presented a wonderful sight to the inhabitants of the
small island. The
rigging of our ship was crowded with humanity, from the end of the bowsprit to
the top of the mizzen mast.
When we came within two miles of it, I went up into the top foreyard and
what a sight I saw!
The towering rocks with their peaks glistening in the sun, gave fantastic
shapes from such a distance, while their sides cast gloom into the valleys far
a spy glass, the Governor’s house and gardens could be distinctly seen.
The huts of the convicts and the scattering shrubs and trees that grew on
the uncultivated land, showed clearly.
As we passed the west end, the island presented a new face, each as full
of novelty as the last.
The extreme west end is a perpendicular rock about 300 feet high.
It has the appearance of a mighty fortress.
It was one of those incidents in life that is calculated to inspire us
with fresh hope, and to create in every mind the proper awe and reverence toward
the Great Being.
As I looked at the countenances around me, I could not help reflecting to
myself, and saying, “If such a sight of such an insignificant spot on the
ocean gives such delight what must be the rapture of the redeemed soul in sight
of the Celestial Canaan?”
After leaving the island far behind, the passengers began to feel
melancholy, and of faint heart.
All was anxiety, looking forward to when we should see the land of
convicts and GOLD!
Sunday, January 9 - - lat. 17.28 - - long. 29 west.
We are in a calm, 90 in the shade.
If a small breeze was not blowing, the heat would be unbearable.
It is very pleasant in the Tropics, and only for the length of the
voyage, and the inconveniences one meets with on ship, I would enjoy it very
monotony of the sea destroys the effects of its beauty.
The Sabbath is spent in a disgraceful manner.
No signs of Christianity at all.
The majority are lamenting that they ever left their homes.
Indeed, nothing is calculated to cool off GOLD FEVER better than a sea
voyage such as this.
Tuesday, 11 - - lat .20 - - long. 28.
in the shade. I
made a good job of doing my washing, despite the salt water.
My strength is returning as I grow accustomed to things in general.
I eat as little as possible and drink no tea or coffee.
I eat no animal flesh, my food mainly consisting of potatoes, rice,
butter and molasses.
Occasionally I eat some apple sauce and fresh rols.
Those that cannot retrain their appetites, are getting fat and stupid.
Some have boils, which indicates poor blood from overeating.
Preserves and dried fruit go well on board ship.
I wear nothing but pants and a shirt; a thing I could not do on land!
Wednesday, 12 - - calm-rather hot.
Last night was very chill.
I had two dreams, one that I was in Whitby, and one wherein I was in my
home, in Ireland.
Friday - - calms and little squalls.
Passengers are beginning to feel they are in for a long and tedious
captain took the water decanters to the galley and made the passengers go there
for it. He
refused to let the steward give me a drink of water.
Saturday - - sailing into a smart breeze - - the first within a week.
We have hard times because the captain is so brutal.
On Wednesday he shut up the water closet for the second time, and refused
to let an ailing woman the right to occupy it.
Today he refuses the cabin passengers any water.
He does these disturbing things just to show his contempt for us.
His conduct, so far, proves him to be an imprincipled wretch.
The passengers in the cabin are a low-lived set, for not one of them dare
remonstrate to the captain’s face.
The passengers from Canada, (Bytown) are the most vulgar and uncultivated
I have ever sailed with.
They are of a class calling themselves Loyalists, and sons of the Old
are distinguishable only by their ignorance and impudence.
Judging by the passengers on this ship, Australia is getting a miserable
addition to their convict population; from a moral and intellectual point of
Sunday, January 16 - - good breeze this afternoon.
Had a white squall today.
They are very treacherous because you don’t see them.
No water allowed in the cabins; only one drink of coffee.
Unpleasant times ahead with such a captain.
He takes every means he can find to annoy us.
Today, while I was leaning on it, the captain let loose the main brace
and nearly threw me into the sea.
He gave me no warning at all.
The Tropics - - this is a miserable existence.
I would surely die in despair if I did not know we would strike land
captain has no regards for religion, and Sunday is disgracefully spent.
Only those well established keep to their customs.
I read my Bible as much as possible.
Sometimes I take up my singing book, but am obliged to put it down with
something the feeling of the Jewish captives when in bondage, “O, How the
Lord’s song can I sing, when in a foreign land? ”
I hope I am never placed in such circumstances again.
I trust I shall be able to get some good teachings from my experiences.
I now have the feeling that I care nothing for digging for GOLD.
Gold hunting is the Devil’s harvest time.
I trust God will protect me from the evil influence of GOLD.
We are now within 2800 miles of Cape Town, South Africa.
Wednesday, January 19 - - 86 in the shade.
Fair wind for the Cape.
Yesterday we had a new arrival to join our expedition.
About the time of “its” arrival we were taking tea as though nothing
The female adventuress was born in one of the cupboard-like staterooms;
about 6 by 4, they are.
The husband officiated.
This same woman suffered more on this voyage than would have killed ten
was never able to sit down, nor eat at the table once.
And what was worse, the brute of a captain discharged the stewardess who
should have attended her.
He did it just for spite, because he and the woman’s husband had
one thought anything of such a state of affairs.
What a savage animal man is!
Thursday, January 20 - - a gentle wind is on our quarter.
The weather is sunny, hotter than usual; every one seems dull and stupid.
In the evening it is lovely; at sunset, the clear, blue sky, and all the
various tints that the clouds on the horizon show, makes one forget his misery
and feel happy.
I have never seen anything to equal it.
But these things cease to charm when there is nothing but grumblings
morning and night.
Today we sat down to dinner with nothing but sea biscuit and salt junk
before us. We
were not allowed any water.
Friday, 21 - - same wind as yesterday.
Sunday, 22 - - wind changed to westerly by south, last night.
Heavy squalls and much rain today.
The doctor and the captain had a stormy quarrel at breakfast time.
At dinner the captain began a tirade against those who dare to violate
his laws, and, much to my astonishment, the ensuing quarrels ended much better
then I had hoped for.
I seem to care naught whether I ever reach our destination.
The continual grumbling gets on my nerves.
I have come to the conclusion that this world is all a fleeting show
given for man’s illusion, and he will never profit by pursuing the things of
Monday, 24 - - head wind today from the east.
Getting very cool and rather boisterous; a great many of the passengers
have colds. Today,
we had water at breakfast.
At dinner each man was supplied with a tumblerful.
We were told by the captain not to squander it.
Tuesday - - sailing east by east, gentle breeze.
Yesterday afternoon a young sailor, who was painting on the side, was
thrown off his seat and drowned.
It was not a pleasant scene to witness as he disappeared beneath the
surface, never to rise again.
I imagined him standing in the presence of the great, “I am”,
surrounded by innumerable angels and justified spirits, welcoming him home.
And he, in transports of unspeakable joy, joining in the general song of
“Hallelujah” to the lamb who rescued his soul from a more fearful abyss that
which received his body.
uncertain life is!
Just one misstep, and our earthly existence is cut off.
half an hour after the accident the clouds began to brood around the horizon,
and within a few minutes all was gloom.
It seemed as if the elements were rejoicing in their triumph over man.
The hollow wind seemed to chant the Requiem of the dead, and to invite my
29 - - fair wind, very hazy; signs of land.
Sea birds, albatrosses, were to be seen.
Sunday, 30 - - more signs of land.
Monday, 31 - - fine and clear.
We are within 700 miles of Cape Town.
Preparations are being made for our there.
The weather is getting cool, and this calls for heavy clothing.
February 1 - - best day’s sailing yet.
A strong breeze.
Air is bracing and pleasant.
A great many birds are to be seen. The albatross,
Pages LOST - -
February 21 - - pleasant day - - light breeze from the south.
We are off our course.
Sailing south south-west, instead of south-east by east.
Tuesday, 22 - - cold piercing wind, backward for sailing.
Wind ahead. Wind is very changeable.
Thursday, 24 - - yesterday was a calm.
Today fairer wind, pleasant. Friday, 25 - - same as the 24th.
Saturday, 26 - - strong west wind today.
Lat. 42 south, long. 44 east.
Monday, 28 - - fair wind today and yesterday.
Very cold; 10 knots.
march 1 - - wind north-west by west; on the starboard quarter.
Not so cold.
Are about halfway from the Cape to Port Phillips.
We are beginning to feel as though we would get to our journey’s end.
Wednesday, 2 - - wind is west; regular gale.
Today is sunny and peasant.
Thursday, 3 - - wind is north north-west.
At night it is awful to hear the wind and the sea contending, and to see
in the wake, phosphorous, like balls of fire, dancing about.
It is really beautiful, though at the same time dreadful.
March 4 - - wind south-west; light breeze.
Saturday, 5 - - wind north north-west; light breeze.
Sunday, 6 - - Sabbath spent as usual.
In about two weeks time we expect to reach Australia.
I shall not regret leaving this ship, whatever be my fate in the New
8 - - wind from north-west to south-west.
Yesterday was calm and very pleasant.
Thursday, 10 - - light wind from west.
Cold and rather hazy.
We are beginning to prepare for landing; ladders for the ships side are
being got ready.
Hope is beginning to peep out of the mist that has so long enveloped it.
seems a short life time since we started from New York.
The seasickness and the long confinement, and monotony of the scene from
day to day, gradually wear away the senses, until at length all ambition has
fled, and you get into a state of perfect indifference.
March 11 - - hazy weather.
Saturday, 12 - - today is a perfect gale.
The cold is very piercing.
Sunday, 13 - - as we are approaching Australia, time seems to hurry; from
the increasing anxiety, I suppose.
This voyage has been a state of existence contrary to my nature,
therefore it hasn’t been very pleasant for me.
It may, however, temporize me, as I believe I require it.
For my own good and the enjoyment of those who may come into contact with
expeditions as this are liable to harden the thoughtless and profane and may
impress on others the uncertainty of all earthly hopes and prospects.
March 14 - - strong west wind.
Rather cold and rough.
Tuesday, 15 - - rain in the forenoon.
Wednesday, 16 - - gentle south-west wind.
Pleasant sunny day.
Thursday, 17 - - north wind; sunny day.
Friday, 18 - - sunny day.
Saturday, 19 - - wind changeable from north-west to south-west.
20 - - wind south; light and pleasant breeze.
We are now within three days sailing of Port Phillips, and all is
get on land! That
is life. If I am unsuccessful in this adventure to find my fortune in the gold
fields of the New World, I know not what will be the result.
If I am successful, I have my plans as far as intentions go.
In either case, God only knows what will be the issue.
22 - - wind south-east; 3 knot breeze.
Tuesday, 22 - - wind east, ahead.
Cold, chilly weather.
Wednesday, 23 - - wind east.
Ship beating about making making no headway.
If this continues, no knowing when we will get in.
Today is rather pleasant, not so chilly.
Thursday, 24 - - east wind, dead ahead.
Tacking about, but making no heading.
Pleasant day, though rather cold.
It is really discouraging to be within two days of our destination and
still unable to get in.
March 25 - - same wind and weather as yesterday.
Saturday, 26 - - boisterous head wind.
Sunday, 27 - - east wind as usual.
Boisterous and chilly.
This is the 21st Sabbath we have spent at sea.
It seems as though we will never get in.
Here we are at our destination, and still we are not.
The wind is just playing with us.
Our patience is worn out, and nothing but despair remains.
31 - - wind hauled around to east south-east.
This makes it kind of difficult for us to get into Port Phillips.
April 1 - - last night, at sunset, we approached within sight of land, and about
9 o’clock we were within sound of the breakers on the beach.
Then we tacked about and stood south; we were then about 40 miles west of
Cape Otway. This
morning at 4 o’clock the wind hauled to the north, and by sunrise we were
standing east, and fully in sight of land again.
The sun was most resplendent on Bass Straits, and fragrant smell from the
land was most invigorating.
It reminded me of the smell of a healthy moor in Ireland in the month of
a few hours we were opposite Cape Otway on the north, and within 40 miles of
smell that come off the land is very refreshing.
As we approach we begin to feel the effects of the hot winds from the
2 - - rainy today.
Head wind; foggy.
We are afraid of standing in for Port Phillips.
Sunday, 3 - - this morning at 4 o’clock we were within sight of the
heads of Port Phillips.
We were within the Bay at 7 o’clock and picked up the pilot.
At 2 o’clock we anchored.
We had reached our journey’s end.
the anchorage in Hobson’s Bay to Melbourne is 8 miles.
All vessels that are too big to go up the river must anchor in the Bay
because the shores are shoally.
April 4 - - At daybreak we learnt that the sailors had taken a ship’s boat and
had deserted the Sacsusa.
The captain was furious, and we were forbidden to leave so we could go
and I, with a few others, hired a boat, and were the first passengers to leave
landed at a place called Sandridge and had to wait till the custom men had
passed us. Our
trunks were fully examined, and despite the heavy rain, they went to the very
bottom, with the result that all our stuff was soaked.
We stored our stuff, and then hit for Melbourne.
The mud was nearly to our knees.
We now began to see something of colonial life.
Drays, horsemen, and footmen, were all hurrying to and fro.
The whole land between the Bay and Melbourne was covered with baggage and
other stuff. It
looked like the advance of a retreating army.
If you asked a man a question he gave you the shortest answer he could
we arrived at the city we set out to find lodgings for the night.
Now and then we met someone whom we knew.
Some gave encouraging accounts of the mines, and others said they were no
made an agreement with a dray man to take our stuff to the mines.
We finally found a place to spend the night.
supper was ready, there came from all parts of the house soe of the most
disgusting, filthy creatures I ever saw.
All the nationalities in the world.
The greater majority of them were drunk.
Not a word was said as we ate.
The plates and knives and forks were as filthy as the eaters.
The food was colonial, mutton, bread, and strong tea.
For my bed that night I was lucky enough to get a bench in the dining
room, while most of the party had to sleep out in an old horse stable infested
with rats and fleas.
They got hardly any sleep because it was not safe.
Too many bad men were waiting for a chance to commit robbery.
During the night there was a constant stream of men and women going in
and out of the dining room, so I got no sleep at all.
soon as the day broke, we started to make our preparations
to leave for the mines.
We bought a good del of supplies and went down to get our stored stuff.
That night we slept in a government shed near the beach and nearly froze,
because we slept on the bare boards.
We thought the nights would be warm, but we were soon fooled.
noon the next day we were well on our way to the mines.
It is a strange sight to see a party of tenderfeet (they call them new
chums here) leave for the mines.
As we were only 18 in number, we had just one wagon to freight our stuff.
We walked behind or in front of the dray.
It was not long before we were coated with sands and dust.
And we could now understand why there was so much eye trouble prevalent
in Australia. The
disease is called sand blight.
The roads were covered with drays, men and horses going to and from the
was going at outmost speed as though their very lives depended on getting there.
Most of the drays were ox drawn, and these poor animals received brutal
treatment, and very little to eat.
One evidence of the bad handling they receive is the carcasses that line
the roads from Melbourne to the mines.
I never heard such language as the ox drivers use!
Even the canal workers in America would have to take a back seat to these
Australian ox drivers.
They are the lowest type of humanity there is.
first night we camped on a wooded plain 8 miles from the city.
After getting our tents up, we went to find water from a pond where
cattle drank. It
was very vile and putrid.
That is how bad the water situation in this New World is.
I was informed that this was good water as compared to the water at the
we had for dinner was tea and bread.
was the first time I really regretted coming to this land of gold hunters,
convicts, and bad water.
But I was determined I would at least see the mines, even if they did not
appeal to me. We
appointed sentinels on account of the danger from night attacks by the bush
are very numerous and plenty bad.
had been sleeping for a short time when the alarm signal was given.
We all jumped up with our weapons in our hands ready to give battle.
We went to where the noise was coming from.
Men were yelling and cursing at something.
And to our great relief it was only one of the horses which had thrown
itself over by one of its own ropes.
we were traveling the next day, I was greatly disappointed in not finding any
signs, of farm life.
Here and there we saw a lone sheep station and shepherds’ huts; that
was all. The
face of the country is very picturesque in spots, undulating, with here and
there a small copse of trees.
The trees are generally low and bushy, and with some exceptions, cast
their bark annually instead of their leaves.
The shrubs and trees do not have a healthy appearance as those in
in the shape of vegetation looks sickly.
There is a tree here called the wattle tree.
Nature has provided an almost certain cure for dysentery in the gum from
this tree. I
know this from personal experience.
a tedious journey of six days we arrived at the diggings on April 12.
Before we arrived many of our party were completely worn out.
It took the outmost persuasion to keep them from turning back.
On our way we saw many Aborigines.
They are not as black as the American Negro, and are very inferior in
are a very filthy people, especially the females.
I was very much astonished when the teamster refuse to rest on the
said we would soon learn differently in this country.
“Rest and be damned!
You’ll soon get colonized!”
And sure enough, the roads were as crowed as on any other week-day.
Some of us demurred at traveling on Sunday, but on we had to go.
arriving at Bendigo, 110 miles from Melbourne, we saw numerous tents up, all
over the landscape.
The Mounted Police were riding around in small groups.
On the hillside was a solitary grave, marked and protected from the
ruthless miners by a crude fence.
Few, indeed, have friends that will mark their resting places, I thought.
I wonder who would do the same for me.
soon pitched our tents, and put our stuff away.
I took a stroll over the diggings to see how things really were shaping.
Very few miners were at work because no water was to be had.
Some were collecting their diggings, waiting till the water came, so they
could work it.
I found that a great many had left, and had gone to work on the roads.
That awful disease, eye blight, caused by a fly, and made worse the sand,
Scarcely a man was to be seen with a sound eye in his head.
The sallow countenances and the filthy appearances were enough to disgust
any man who had been accustomed to decent living conditions.
The manner in which diggers live is enough to kill an ordinary man. You
work all day in water to the knees, under a burning sun; eat unwholesome bread
made with filthy water, and half baked in the ashes of a few embers.
Sometimes you have no flour, and then must live on mutton and tea.
And when you consider the amount of cursed liquor these miners consume,
no wonder they sicken and die.
But the bad water is the evil of all.
looking around a few hours on these scenes of misery and wretchedness, I firmly
made up my mind to abandon the idea to dig my fortune from such holes.
As I returned to the tents I picked up a small flake of gold.
Here, thought I, is my share, I will go satisfied.
It was evening when I got back to my tent.
Some of our party had taken a stroll and returned not over enthusiastic
of what they had seen.
We looked at one another as though to read what was in each one’s mind,
each fearing to express an opinion.
After some silence, the question being put to me, I said what I thought
about the diggings.
Without any hesitation whatsoever, I told them my mind was made up to
leave as soon as possible.
I said that I considered the whole game as a lottery.
And when one figured that the water situation, and that the life of a
digger was not what we were used to, I considered it was slavery to stay.
Something like living next to Hell!
From what I had seen of the country, its people, their habits, and the
prospects generally, I considered one was only losing time by staying here.
I told them T would get out of it as soon as possible.
This declaration caused them all to stare, so bent were they on getting
was delighted to hear that I was intending leaving.
The other three resolved to stay and try their luck despite the
bought our share of the tent.
After supper we rolled up in our blankets and tried to get some sleep.
But this was nearly impossible, owing to the fatigue from traveling, the
disappointment at the mines, and the continual talk of robbers.
morning Simpson and I were up good and early, in preparation for our return trip
to Melbourne. We
started back at 10 o’clock, leaving the others in a kind of a dilemma.
They arrived in Melbourne two days later.
the way back we suffered very much from the cold at night, as we had nothing but
our blankets, and no shelter but the dray to sleep under.
Our custom was to encamp where the fallen timber was thick, set fire to a
log, place the dray opposite the fire, and lay with our feet towards the heat.
If it rained we were obliged to stand up.
The third night we encamped in what is called the Black Forest.
Here it rained all the time.
This thickly wooded section is said to be a great haunt for the bush
good many coming down when we were sleeping.
I awoke to find the water running under my blankets.
The dray man who was well accustomed to such life, lay before the fire,
sound asleep. I
could not think of anything to compare him to as he lay before the fire, smoking
like a kiln. I
attempted to wake him, but in vain.
He only grunted, and turned over to dry on his wet side.
this moment a rustling was heard in the bush a little distance off.
To our great relief it was a pair of weary diggers with a light wagon and
were Englishmen on their way to Melbourne, and seeing our fire, came to stay for
the night. One
of them had lost his health at the mines, and he was almost blind.
Though they had made money, they regretted that they had ever come to the
had been in the colonies for 5 or 6 years, and were determined that there was no
peace to be found in the country.
The government was corrupt, the people viscious and degraded, and society
was in a bad state, owing to the mixture of convicts, drunkenness and other
told me that they had been all over the country, and that it was not fit for
There was no certainty as to crops because of the duration of droughts
and other causes.
And above all, the lack of sufficient water to support a farming
was fit only for sheep raising.
I was seized with an attack of dysentery the next morning.
I had no cure and no nourishment, and the dray man would not have stopped
if I had been dying.
But providentally, the balm was at hand.
The wattle tree gum effected an immediate cure.
I spent a miserable day, as weak as a cat.
At night I was as well as before as far as the dysentery was concerned.
That night we camped on a beautiful mountain base.
It was dry, and there was plenty of dry leaves and boughs with which to
make a good bed.
As the evening was fine, we had everything arranged for the night.
So I went for a stroll up the mountain by myself, ruminating and musing
on my present position.
I was weak from the dysentery, but I managed to wind my way up to the
was nothing to break the silence except the whistling notes of the magpie.
On reaching the summit I found some oxen quietly feeding.
They looked up at my approach, and seemed to ask what right had I in
disturbing their peace.
The view that I had from the top of this mountain was most enchanting.
The sun was just setting in the west, and it tinged the mountain tops
with gold, while night over the deep valley below had begun to spread her sable
never can forget that singular occasion.
All the endearing recollections from childhood seemed to flock upon my
mind, and while I felt solitary and alone, as far as any mortal was concerned, I
felt that the kind arms of the all seeing Providence were around me.
And I knew that it would restore me to my friends and kinder.
After my reverie was over, I retraced my steps down the mountain in the
darkness, and I had some difficulty in finding my companions.
They had felt a little alarmed at my long absence.
After our homely fare or tea and bread, we made our beds on the leaves
and boughs, and rolled in our blanked.
This night’s sleep was very comfortable - - a nice fire was sending
forth its cheerful warmth, and as I layed awake after the others had gone to
sleep, I felt a sense of gratitude.
I thought of the beautiful words, “He makes to dwell in gladsome towns,
or clothes in sorrow’s shade.”
The previous night might be compared to “sorrow’s shade”, and the
present night to, “gladsome towns”.
The next morning being Sunday, I pleaded with the dray man to stop in
this beautiful place for a day, but he abruptly refused to do any such
We started and traveled until noon, when we stopped to refresh on a
beautiful level plain, just like those of Western America. I remarked that there
were a great many females with the dray that we met.
The dray man told me that these women had been brought here by the
expense of the government, and were disappointed in not getting work.
To my question if they were the wives of the draymen, I was told that
perhaps one in ten was married.
The dray man told me that it had been the ruin of a great number of good
We arrived in Melbourne about 10 o’clock in the night, not knowing
where to look for lodging at such an hour on Sunday, the dray man invited us to
stay with him.
Knowing the character of the man, the offer was not inviting; but we
preferred it to the streets, where we would be in danger of a night ranger.
To our great astonishment and pleasure, we found his wife to be one of
those lively and benevolent English women who have seen better days.
She had a supper on the table in a very short time.
After supper she went to make a bed for us on the floor, and regretted
that circumstances would not allow her to make us more comfortable.
We passed the night, I can scarce tell how, for, between the squallings
of the youngsters, and the fleas and the thoughts of the future, we slept hardly
at all. To
render our situation more harassing, about a dozen kittens sprawled over us
during the night.
I began to think of the times that I used to complain of the wants of
comfort in Canada, when perhaps the bed was not level, nor the pillows not laid
to suit me. I
concluded that Providence had brought me here to teach me to know, and be
thankful, when I was well off.
As soon as morning came, we were up and ready to depart, but our kind
hostess would not allow us to leave without our breakfast.
And she refused to accept any pay for her kind attentions.
This was the only act of kindness I ever met with in my stay in
We now started for the city to see what was to be done.
The first thing was to find lodgings.
We got residence in the home of an English Jew.
To give an idea how crowded things are in Melbourne - - the house
contained a kitchen, about 6’ x 10’, where all the cooking was done.
It also held all the cooking apparatus, had a fireplace to cook at, and
was the sleeping place for three hired girls.
One upstairs room dining room, 8’ x 12’; and three small bedrooms to
accommodate from 12 to 24 boarders, and the master and his mistress.
No one can hardly imagine such a state of things without experiencing it.
One really does not appreciate the comforts of a private home till he has
been placed in such circumstances as these.
The lodgers in this place were chiefly German Jews, traders in clothing.
They are a most degraded and mean groveling race of people.
Money is their God.
They kept the Passover, ate by themselves, and were very particular to
eat nothing but unleavened bread.
But they did not forget to drink a goodly share of brandy and gin!
Every night was spent in the playing of cards, in fact, the Passover was
nothing else than a regular time of dissipation.
Simpson, being a blacksmith, got work at once, at 5 pounds a week.
During the week I looked around for a job at carpentering, my trade.
I could have got several jobs, but the uncomfortable lodgings, the bad
water, the filthy state of the streets, (dead carcasses of oxen and various
other animals, and the state of utter confusion of things, disgusted me.
So I took a job three miles from the city at a place called St. Kilda.
I engaged for work at 22/6 per day, board myself.
On the following Monday I went to work.
There were twelve men in the establishment, most all of them being Englishmen. We all boarded ourselves in an adjoining part of the work shop, and slept in a small apartment above it. I worked there for five weeks, and never used anything but a saw and hammer, framing square and chisel. It was as miserable time as I ever spent in my life. We mostly slept on the floor with nothing but a blanket under us. I had my Canadian overcoat for my covering. We bought our bread and other things at a grocery, and cooked in messes.
principle fare was bread, tea, and mutton; sometimes we had beef.
From the prevalence of dysentery, I dare not eat any meat.
So I was obliged to mainly subsist on bread and tea.
There was scarcely any vegetables to be found, and if we had of had any,
we would have been unable to find time to cook them.
On Sunday we generally had a meal of potatoes, and this was considered a
real luxury in Australia.
The English are well calculated to live from the habits at home, to live
in such a manner.
They can subsist altogether on animal food and coarse work.
The manner of living became so intolerable that I resolved to quit, and
if I could not situate myself, I would leave and return to America.
I looked around for a place to lodge, thinking by that change I would be
able to hold out until I had saved some money.
I was able to put 5 pounds aside each week, but after a day or so I found
that I had jumped from the pan into the fire.
The board in my new house was miserable.
I had to eat from off a box lid, and sleep in a place where the rain
soaked me at night.
I soon found my health declining, my mind decayed, and not being able to
endure it any longer, I resolved to quit the place at once.
June 3 - - I left St. Kilda, and came to Melbourne.
I found Simpson still staying at his boarding house, and he was very glad
to see me. He
had been out of work for a fortnight.
He looked as though he had been going through hard times.
When I expressed a desire to go to Sydney and look for work there, he
fell in with the idea, and we left Melbourne four days later.
We had made up our mind, if we couldn’t get suitable employment in
Sydney, we would take the first boat for California or England.
I had the opportunity of looking around and getting some information as to the
fate of some of our shipmates.
Also the chance of seeing a great deal of Canadians, and of hearing about
the fates of some of the people I didn’t meet.
If I were to give the names of all of them, and their present conditions,
it would be the means of causing others to hesitate before coming to this land.
Many of my shipmates have died of dysentery, some on the roads, and some
in the hospitals.
speaking of hospitals:
I took occasion to visit the hospital while in Melbourne.
When I was working at St. Kilda a young man fell from a building and
fractured his ankle.
He was sent to the hospital, so I went to see him.
I used this as my excuse for calling and seeing what it was like.
was admitted, on stating I wanted to see some one.
In giving the young man’s name, I was conducted to the ward where he
was in the shape of an L, and was full of patients with various diseases.
The man was very glad to see me.
He looked very poor.
He wanted very much to get out, because he was afraid of a disease.
He said that many who came in whole and healthy had caught the diseases,
and died. He
complained much of the neglect in treatment, and of the want of proper
were all sorts lying around, blacks, Chinese, and whites, and they were the most
horrible looking objects I ever saw.
Some were wasting in speedy consumption arising from dysentery, and
looked as pale as Death itself.
A good many were writhing in pain from some wound from a bullet or a
were daily shootings and knifings.)
Altogether it was a scene that was calculated to teach a lesson, and show
forth in unmistakable characters the misery incident to human existence.
Especially in such a state of society as Australia now has.
young man told me that it was awful to hear the groans of the dying, especially
at night, to hear the exclamations of those who had but left their homes lately.
More shocking still, was to see the coffins waiting for the dying to die.
I very much pitied a young man there.
He was from the States.
On the way to the mines, he had wounded an opossum which lay fast on a
limb of a tree.
He had climbed up the tree to take it down, and the
bough being weak, it had broken and precipitated him to the ground.
The fall had caused a rupture in his spine, at the back.
He now lay, unable to move, in a most hopeless condition.
He would never be able to move again.
And to add to his misery, he had caught dysentery.
Need I say that he had regretted coming to this country.
are thousands of such cases in this country.
You never hear of them.
Thousands die that will never be heard of by their friends.
I heard of a son of a Scotch baronet, who, being hard up, and being
refused aid from home, he blew his brains out.
Thousands who have been brought up among affluence in other countries,
are now reduced to the most menial employment.
doctor of our ship is working on the roads.
Clerks and lawyers are reduced to the same conditions, living with men of
the lowest characters.
I could mention the name of a wealthy banker in Canada, whose son was
selling apples from a stretcher on the streets of Melbourne.
Another, whose name would be known in Toronto, was reduced to excavating
could name a dozen names of those who rank first in Canada, who are now reduced
to the lowest state of degradation, if low employments do so.
If these young men ever get back, it will perhaps teach them to consider
the case of the poor working man.
was told by an Englishman about the son of an English peer who came to Australia
with his coach and everything necessary to fit out such a personage.
He rode around for some time in great splendour, but his servants, seeing
that his money must give out, and thinking that their wages would not equal what
they could make at the mines, ran away and left him helpless.
His only alternative was to sell his establishment and try his hand at
the mines. His
rank now gave him no advantages above any other man.
He started for the mines, but met his fate in the Black Forest, and was
robbed of all his goods and money.
He was obliged to turn back.
He had to sell all his clothes in order to eat along the way.
He is now wandering about in Melbourne, unfit for work, living on the
cold charity of others.
would here remark, that in most cases where robbery is committed where there is
a good haul, there are spies in Melbourne, and even along the way, who mix in
with the travelers and pass themselves for new chums.
They thereby find out the circumstances of unsuspecting persons.
When they find a good prize, they keep close, and having connections all
over, they take the most favorable opportunity to stick them up, in many cases
these bush rangers dress as the Mounted Police, and thus surprise their game.
And it is much hinted that some of the police are, themselves, connected
with the rangers.
I do not care to say that it is true, but it would be a very good scheme
by which to carry out their purpose.
of the most daring robberies imaginable have been committed in the very streets
of Melbourne at night.
With the police standing 20 yards away.
As I said before, they generally watch a good mark, and come up
alongside, and all at once present a pistol to your head.
If you even move a hand, you’ll receive the contents of the pistol.
In some solitary cases the robbers have been out-generalled.
I know of one person who was walking along with his hands in his side
pockets, and on being challenged in the usual manner, without taking his hand
out of his pocket, fired through his coat.
The robber received the contents in his bowels, which was very effectual.
only time that I was exposed to danger,
(for I kept in at night) was one evening that I had occasion to return
from Melbourne to St. Kilda in company with a shipmate.
We left the city as the lights were coming.
We had to pass through a mile of heavy bush land.
It was rather dark, and being unacquainted with the way, we were in
danger of losing ourselves in a large swamp that skirts the bay.
our disputes to decide which direction we should take, we talked kind of loud.
We finally decided on the direction we would take, and in a short time we
discovered two men coming toward us.
I remarked to my companion that the men looked kind of suspicious, as
they were neither going to or fro Melbourne, but making for us.
We immediately started for the direction of a light that we saw in the
distance, which was the only house between Canvasstown and St. Kilda.
It stood on the left.
Our aim was to make for this house if they gave chase.
We quickened our walk to see if they would follow.
They hastened to keep up with us.
We kept our distance for some tie, and then the leading one sang out for
us to stop. This
was enough! We
made no reply, and having all our money on our persons, and no arms to fight
with, I thought one pair of heels were better than two or three pairs of hands.
My companion had the same idea, and so we put on steam.
The robbers did the same.
We started a direct course for the light.
It being dusk, and not being able to see well, we ran up against a
I said to my companion that we were caught.
But, on looking around, we saw that we had outdistanced our pursuers
considerably, which gave us fresh hope, Knowing that it could not be far to the
turning in the fence, we continued our speed long the fence and immediately came
to the corner.
Then we increased our speed, and within a few minutes were up to the
making any alarm, we thought it better to conceal ourselves under a dray that
stood by the side of the house.
But long as we waited, the robbers made no appearance, so we went and
knocked at the door.
We wished to stop for the night we said, in answer to the man who asked
us what we wanted.
After a strict scrutiny as to what was our business, we told of the chase
as it happened, and were informed that there had been several robberies in this
Their house had been attacked, and now they were always ready for
conversing with the man, I found that he came from the north of Ireland.
His name was Stephenson, and he had emigrated, with his wife, twelve
years ago. He
had 12 acres of land, which he had bought very cheap.
Now he was offered 30,000 pounds for it. It was to be laid out for a
Such is the enormous rise in the price of land at times when a boom comes
resting for some time, Mr. Stephenson and two other men conducted us to within a
short distance of our destination.
They were well armed.
That ended my night walking!
leaving Melbourne, I went to see Knox, from Oshawa, who had arrived two weeks
previous, by the ship Adelaide (1), from England.
He had a long voyage of five months, burnt out several times, and they
had to use the pumps all the way.
On the same day I ran into Hutchinson and Gould, also of Oshawa.
Young Munro from Toronto was with them.
They had been at the mines and were going back that same day. I believe
that they had not done well, Munro said that he was going to try it for three
months more. He
spoke as though he was tired of the country.
morning, June 7, 1853, I was on board the small steam tug that carried
passengers for Sydney out to the screw steamer, Cleopatra (2).
Simpson was with me.
The morning was wet, and the bank of the river was mud to the knees.
There is no wharf at the place where the ship lay.
The scene was unapparelled as I viewed it from the deck of the small
steamer, which was crowded to excess.
Still they continued to come aboard, tumbling over one another,
scrambling over other vessels that lay astern and in front.
So eager were they to get aboard, that the little craft was rolling to
and fro, every minute threatening to capsize.
The exclamations were general:
thanking their lucky stars that they had got away from that cursed place,
we wound around the many bends of the muddy, filthy river, full of dead
carcasses of animals, I took this memorandum, and in these words I expressed
looking back on Melbourne, I feel as if I had escaped from the lower regions,
and whatever may be my fate elsewhere, I am happy in getting away from here.
How I long to set foot once more upon American soil!
a few hours we were aboard the splendid English steamer, Cleopatra (3).
Splendid, did I say?
Yes, splendid in the first cabins, miserable in the second, and a perfect
dungeon in the third (steerage).
I thought how different this was to the American steamships.
I had, without seeing them, taken passage in the steerage, which the
agent said was commodious for a short voyage of two or three days.
But on coming to see the place where I had to sleep and eat in, I was
more so when I saw the characters who had stowed themselves away.
From appearance, they were mostly old convicts.
I went immediately to the steward and told him I wanted passage in the
second class. For
that I had to pay 2 pound 10 more, which was 8 pound 10 for a trip of two or
three days. And
you have to take the refuse of the first class cabins!
The steerage subsist on the refuse from both the first and second class
is something about British customs that intends to disgrace the poor man, on
land or sea. I
would not advocate, that the man who only pays half as much, should have as good
fare as the other, but as far as lighting steerages, and cleaning them goes,
there is no attention paid to them at all.
steerage of that fine looking ship was both dark and filthy.
The sleeping apartments of the second cabins were not much better.
It is part of the policy of the British nation and government to mark the
line between the rich and poor, as wide as possible, and the distinction is
visible from the merest slave to the highest dignitary in the nation.
Side by side are to be found splendid wealth and squalid poverty; the
poor looked down upon as a crawling insect; the rich looked up to as a diety.
The same spirit is carried out in Australia, as far as circumstances will
was really disgusting to see the stewards put their hands to their caps every
time they met an officer in the passage.
Even when they were about their work, they stopped to do pay this bit of
could not help comparing the English and the Americans.
The one is calculated to improve and raise to the common level, all who
wish to be respected, and respectable.
The other aims at keeping in constant remembrance those that are below
them in circumstances.
The English aim to keep the poor where they will not forget their
passage from Melbourne to Sydney was not interesting.
The shores are black and barren looking. Scarcely a human habitation is
to be seen. The
only thing of interest is Wilson’s Promontory, the termination of a range of
mountains that traverse the continent to the Bay of Carpentaria.
It is traceable by small islands across the straits to Van Demansland.
June 11, 1853 - - We were opposite, and within about two leagues of the far
famed Botany Bay.
It is quite a spacious by, but has every shoal water which renders it
unfit for a harbour.
The land along the coast is rather low at the entrance, but as you
approached Post Jackson, or Sydney, the coast begins to rise until it becomes a
perpendicular wall of sandstone and rock.
The entrance at the head is very inspiring in appearance.
On the north stands the lighthouse, and on the south head the walls stand
out like a fortress.
The entrance to the harbour winds round to the left, and again to the
right, which opens on a full view of the most magnificent harbour, perhaps, in
the world. It
winds and twines through a number of romantic looking islands studded with
beautiful looking villas.
These villas are the residences of the now princely convicts, merchants,
and government officials.
Facing the entrance of the harbour, is the government house, the
residence of the governor-general.
It is a most magnificent house of cream colored sandstone.
to it are beautiful gardens and pleasant grounds.
The town, though not what reports make it out to be, is rather handsome,
and like most English towns, is in some places most irregular and filthy.
Other parts of the town are very magnificent.
Sydney does not compare with a Canadian town for neatness and order.
The difference is in the character of the people.
The Canadians are a progressive, and moral people, while the English are
(to all appearances) a drunken, dissipated people.
getting ashore, we had some trouble getting lodgings.
We eventually got lodging in an English house.
The habits of the people of Sydney are very English.
I wish I was back in Canada.
The first that attracted my attention, as I entered the tavern, was party
of men and women drinking at the bar.
The women were drinking healths and toasts.
Behind the bar was a women, and she had a real English headdress.
Thinks I, this tells the story, my time here will be short.
having my dinner, my first look out was to see what ships were sailing for
good luck had it, one was due to sail on Monday.
I immediately set out to find her, and found three vacancies in the
my means would not permit anything better, I had to be content with my lot.
Simpson, through the lying of a landlord, backed out.
During Sunday I was disgusted with the drunkenness.
of the age of eight years would come in and drink a couple of rounds of hot
old lady got very boisterous and when the landlady tried to put her out, she
grabbed a bottle.
If timely aid had not come, in the form of the cook, she would have
spoiled some of the artificials that beautified the landlady’s phizogonomy.
Such is it in Sydney.
What I have stated is only a sample.
From what I heard from a man who had been here waiting to go to
California, Sydney, is a perfect London. This man, McKay Stephen St. John McKay
Picking, used to attend the court on Monday mornings, and he said the scenes
Drinking is both the politics and the religion of the people,
consequently, the morals are very bad.
lay down the bay for thirteen days before sailing, during which time I had a
good chance to observe and hear about Sydney and Australia, generally.
wind up on my notes on Australia, I would remark - - The climate is not what it
is represented to be.
Influenza is very prevalent in Sydney.
The people are subject to colds.
The principal cause is the rainy season.
Dysentery is universal around Melbourne.
I saw funerals every day while I was in St. Kilda; they carry off
bad water and the damp atmosphere were held accountable for it.
nights are very cold, while the days are warm.
The sudden changes of the atmosphere is another cause of sickness.
I have seen it change a half a dozen times, perhaps a cold, wet morning,
in an hour or two the sun would come out and it would be quite hot in a short
the rain would come, cold and chilling; and so throughout the day.
have known of cases where doctors in England sent patients to Australia in cases
of consumption, and liver ills.
And the patients died immediately.
I am told the summer is still worse.
The excessive heat renders life a burden.
The hot winds, which are very prevalent when the wind comes from the
interior, are like the scorchings of a furnace.
It was the fall of the year when we arrived, yet we had a slight touch of
it when we first made land at Cape Otway.
Although we were five or six miles from land, it parched our faces and
reminds me of putting my face over a lime kiln.
source of great misery, is the sand and dust which constantly sweeps over
is often destroyed, and cattle die for want of pasture and water.
The chief object of the misrepresentations of the grass lands is for the
purpose of selling land.
It is through the influence of squatters, old settlers, and the numerous
government officials, who have the best land in the country.
Since the enormous increase of population, these lands have sold at
immense prices, especially near the seaport towns.
The lands have yielded princely fortunes for those who had them.
is the way British deal with all their colonies, instead of running the lands
for the hardy, industrious farmer, at a decent rate.
Who would emigrate to a country when the land is parceled out to
companies such as the Canada Company, and the New Zealand Company, who
monopolize the choice portions, and are a barrier to the settlement and
improvement of the country.
A statute exists now that no land shall be sold in Australia below 1
pound per acre.
The object of this was to favor an Australian Company, who petitioned the
Imperial Government to pass such an act in order to drive the emigrant to New
great drawback is the wretched administration.
The government of Victoria, for instance is composed of a governor, and a
council called the Legislative Assembly.
One part is nominated by the governor, the remainder is elected by the
governor’s nominees are generally squatters, and they being the principal
holders of the land, influence the elections of the people’s representatives.
The result is that the people are not
represented at all, and the squatters have it all their own way.
As the great cry now is to unlock the land, and that being against the
squatters’ interests, all force is brought to bear in his favor.
Some of the worst vices of the people are used against them.
tavern keepers, for instance, of Melbourne, get their licences direct from the
council, or from the magistrates appointed by the council.
Thus their interests make them support the government, and as the people
are notorious as drinkers, the tavern keepers have a mighty influence at the
glass or two can do a great deal.
I was in Melbourne at the time of the elections, and saw the
were the headquarters, and it was as much as a man’s life to express an
opinion contrary to the interest of the government.
squatters hold from 10 to 20 square mile of the best lands.
They pay only 10 pounds a year for rent, by leases which the government
promised to renew.
This is the great pull at present.
The squatters want their leases renewed.
The people want their lands opened for sale in smaller quantities. Even
if that was conceded, the system of putting the land up by auction to the
highest bidder, will give the capitalist the advantage.
It is always bidded in at the nearest capitalist, while the English
emigrants go back home, disgusted.
Or they may work on the roads.
soil in some places is very good.
And if it were not for the long droughts, you would be able to raise
country is not calculated as an agricultural land, except for sheep, and maybe
want of water is the greatest drawback.
If the sinking of wells could be done, the country might be supplied with
But the bedrock is extra hard to penetrate to a depth to get a good
many places where water has been found, it is brackish, and so salty, that it is
unfit for use.
great hindrance is the character and habits of the people.
Being a convict colony, consequently its foundation is bad.
And then the emigration system of sending out the pauper community of
England, a people uneducated, and having no moral character, society is not
The result is that the convicts and the emigrants have mixed, and have
become the most immoral people in the world.
makes the situation still worse is that the aristocratic principle is so
strongly carried out the poor (though honest) man from any good examples that
there might be among the rich.
The poor man is compelled to seek the low society, and to never rise from
the ditch of ignorance.
as good a criterion to estimate the morals of the community, as could be
imagined, is to observe the habits and practices of the youth, and taking that
as a kist, Australia stands lower than any other place I have ever been.
For early habits of drinking, swearing, loose talk, want of education and
general intelligence, the Australian youth is at the bottom of the class.
There would have been some hope of reformation had gold never been found,
and had the government given a better influx of population, mostly gold hunters,
the sight of agricultural and manufacturing prospects has been lost.
The one object, which is calculated to bring out the worst properties in
man, is the pursuit of gold.
Formerly the convicts and the vicious were kept in check (we will not
consider whether the law was right or not.
We all know that many people were sent to this penal land for very small
crimes, and that some were sent here for no crime at all.
public offices are filled by those who sacrifice everything for their own
one seems to care about the future of Australia.
The universal motto is, from the governor down, to get all you can in as
short time as possible, and let the colony go to hell!
June 26 - - on board the barque Speed, bound for San Francisco.
Only eighty passengers aboard, chiefly consisting of Californians
returning, and a few English going home.
They are tired and disgusted of the state of things in Australia.
had never such a change to learn, and understand, the moral and physical effects
of gold hunting upon a man.
There were all sorts of people, from doctors to laborers.
I had the experience of conversing with them all.
Most of them had at some time been lucky at the mines, but the fever to
get more and more, had been their ruin.
Some had been in the gold rush of ’49, in California, had made large
sums, but were now penniless.
They were now leaving Australia beggared and crestfallen, sorry that they
had left their occupations to hunt for gold.
Most of them declared that they were ruined, as far as settling down was
learn the moral effect, I had no necessity to enquire.
Just to hear their conversation was sufficient.
On the voyage to Australia, the Sabbath had been bad enough.
But on this return trip there was not the least sign of Christianity.
Card playing is the general thing.
Without questioning, I learnt the history of some on board who had been
well brought up.
They had joined the rush to Australia, losing all they had, because so
dissipated that they were determined to go to hell while the going was good.
To use their own words:
they were done.
short, I find gold hunting is injurious to all classes - - the improved mind
becomes debased, and the ignorant becomes brutalized.
Many talk of gold hunting as a legitimate occupation, and to be carried
on with religious and moral principles.
These people do not know human nature.
The good that may come out of the gold discovered in Australia and
California, is prospective.
It may be seen in the future, but to those immediately engaged in the
production of gold, it is destruction of soul and body.
Just to see the faces and bodies of the men who have dug gold, is to
convince one that is an occupation that will destroy the peace, health, and
prosperity of a people.
July 25 - - today we crossed the Equator in about 172 west longitude.
We have had a favorable voyage so far.
With the exception of four days of calm last week, we have had fair wind
the most of the way.
I was scarcely sick at all, owing to my being so lately at sea.
And I diet myself so as to not overeat.
Nothing of note has occurred except the celebration of the 4th
of July, by the Americans.
The captain, an Englishman commanding an English ship, joined in, and
acting as chairman.
The Declaration of Independence was read, and the usual routine of
business being through, the celebrators steamed up.
Some dispute arose about drinking the toasts, between some New Yorkers
and some Bostonians. There were bowie knives and pistols flourishing, and only
for the level heads of some sober parties, some lives would have been lost.
voyage on the Pacific is pleasant.
The wind and sea are generally light.
But it seems like a life time that I have been away from Whitby.
Although I have spent a good deal of time and money in this adventure of
mine, I really believe that it is not for nothing.
I think that only for my fretting, my health would be better.
I am sure this adventure will do me good in many respects.
I have learned to be more patient and resigned to my lot.
If I ever again have an opportunity to settle down in life, be it ever so
humble, I will be contented.
July 29 - - last four days …
TO BE CONTINUED
Melbourne to Sydney June 7-11, 1853
Jamesk leaves today. P.22
June 26 – September 15, 1853
barque Speed (360 tons) departure Sydney 26th
1853 Jun 23rd
Eldridge, Mr E
[Initial J in tsg:482]
Arbitis, Mr C
[note "t" in surname not clear]
Murry, Mr C D
Keely, Mr L
Goode, Mr J L
Yates, Mr J
48 in steerage
Reference: e- 66851 Source: tsg:483
August 16 - September 29, 1853
REMINISCENCES OF OUR EARLY DAYS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
By Caroline Stone Kennedy
( Mrs. James Kennedy )
My husband and I, with our little boy of two and one half years left Oshawa, Ontario, the latter part of February, 1859, for New York, bound for the western part of the Continent on the Pacific Coast, then little known to the outside world.
A glimpse into the not so far distant past will not be amiss. Since 1824 the Hudson’s Bay Company had been carrying on Fur Trading operations with the Indian tribes throughout the country west of the Rockies as far south as the Oregon Territory, the administration of which was under the guiding genius of Dr. John McLaughton. Many trading posts and forts were built, the Companys’ principal distributing point and model settlement was at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. It is acknowledged that to Dr. John McLaughton, and his able associates, in those formative days before colonization, that the future destiny of this north western part of the continent was greatly determined.
In 1843 the Company established a Fort on Vancouver Island, naming it Fort Victoria, of which James Douglas, a Chief Factor, of the Company, was put in charge, making it their main distributing point in place of their former one on the Columbia River, which that year they had relinquished.
Six months later, July 1849, Vancouver Island was proclaimed a British Colony and Victoria ( Fort Victoria ) made the Capitol with Richard Blanchard as Governor, who two years later retired when James Douglas was appointed.
On November 19th, 1858 the mainland, known as New Caledonia, was colonized and named British Columbia. Governor Douglas was appointed to the task of guiding the affairs of state for both Colonies, severing then his connection with the Company. The word “task” may be taken literally, for indeed it was no sinecure which the early executives of the Crown enjoyed. There were many difficulties to surmount and problems to solve.
Governor Douglas had fixed upon Langley as being suitable for the Capitol of the new Colony, but Colonel Moody, Commanding Officer for the Royal Engineers, who had only recently arrived from England, upon looking over this proposed site advised otherwise. Mary Hill, a high elevation, was next considered, finally the present site, two miles farther down the river was chosen and named Queensborough. A few months later the name was changed. Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, suggesting New Westminster, hence the significance of it sometimes being called the Royal City.
Our anticipated journey to this (far off land) was looked upon with genuine anxiety by relatives and friends, which seemed to them to be an undesirable and venturesome undertaking. However, we did not view it in that light, knowing of the Hudson’s’ Bay Company’s activities throughout the country, and having confidence that the officials of that great Company had laid the foundations for and the observance of British Law and Order. Also, additional protection would be given pioneers by the advance guard (if I may so call them) the Royal Engineers, and Sappers, and Miners, who in 1858-1859 had been sent out by the Mother Country, upon the colonization of the Mainland, for development work, surveying, mining, and , if found necessary, for defense and police service.
The first two sections came by Panama. The third comprising chiefly Sappers and miners, their wives and children and the Staff Surgeon Dr. Seddall, in number, all, about one hundred and sixty sailed on the (Thames City) from Gravesend and arrived by Cape Horn, taking at least five months to complete the journey. The camp for the accommodation of all was stationed about a mile above Queensborough (New Westminster) where the Penitentiary now stands, the sight a fine one, and since then has always been as the (Camp) or (Sappertown). A residence for Colonel Moody and built by the Royal Engineers was upon the more westerly point overlooking a heavily wooded ravine called the (Glen). In 1863 a section of the regiment returned to England. Quite a substantial number remained, settling in different parts of British Columbia. Some are in our midst-loyal citizens of the Royal City.
But to get back to our anticipated journey, we spent a few days in New York, embarking on Tuesday, for Aspenwall, reaching there the following Sunday evening, leaving early the next morning for Panama, crossing the Isthmus by train, a cool and pleasant run of about three hours. Passengers, baggage and freight were immediately transferred to the steamship which was to take us to our destinations. We called at several ports along the Coast also went up the Willamette River, The Columbia, too, as far as Portland.
After two weeks of rather a tedious journey, we reached Victoria, a shabby looking little place. The previous year it had experienced stirring times. The gold excitement of the Fraser had enticed many, chiefly from California, all bent on seeking their fortunes in the sands of the Fraser. We remained in Victoria two weeks, during which time Mr. Kennedy made a trip across the Gulf and up the Fraser to the site (for there was little else) of Queensborough. Upon his return we decided to settle in Queensborough. After arriving there by the boat "Eliza Anderson" we were most hospitably entertained by Mr. W. J. Armstrong, who had very recently arrived and had opened a grocery and provision store. He proffered us the use of his comfortable batching quarters until our tent was put up, which Mr. Kennedy set right about doing over a substantial frame upon a board foundation, on a partially cleared piece of ground not far from the river, later known as Lytton Square, where our market now stands.
I may say, with the exception of a few working men, among whom were several miners returning from the Upper Fraser, and a number of Indians, that Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Kennedy, our little boy and myself were the only residents of Queensborough at that time. The Indians occasionally visited us and seemed to enjoy peeping through the glass panes in our tent door, their painted faces giving them a fierce appearance. However, we soon became used to them and often bought fresh salmon and berries from them.
A little stream coming from a wooded ravine flowed past one side of our tent, the water of which was beautifully clear, soft and cold. How we did enjoy it after the hard water in the East and the rain water in Victoria at that time. Two large maples grew quite close to the front of the tent which later, when in full leaf, gave a delightful shade. The forest primeval was all about us. Indeed it was a very restful spot after our recent journey.
It was here Sunday morning, April 3rd 1859, on a mild spring day, out in the open before the tent, that we gathered to join in a simple service of thanksgiving and praise led by Rev. Edward White. A small company it was, a few men whose names I do not know, Mr. Armstrong my husband, our little boy and myself. Rev. Mr. White was one of a number of Methodist Missionaries who, some months previously, had come west. He had been up as far as Fort Langley looking over the field and stopped over at Queensborough before continuing his journey to Victoria where he had left his family. A few days later we received a letter saying it had been decided his pastorate was to be in Queensborough, he hoped to bring his family up with him and if agreeable to us might they share our tent?
The tent, being a very large one, we partitioned off one half of it, put a door in and built a large table like our own. Here we all sojourned very pleasantly together, Mr. and Mrs. White, their two young children and Miss. Woodman, Mrs. Whites’ sister, while our respective little homes were being made ready to move into which was the latter part of July. Ours was on the corner of Columbia and McKenzie Street. Mr. White cleared a space in the forest some distance up the hill on Mary St. (later named 6th. St.) and there built his little home and church. Mrs. White and I planned one afternoon to walk up but had to be piloted up and back for fear we would miss our bearings and become lost in the forest.
Not long after we were settled, my first B.C. baby was born, whom we named George. He was the first white child in New Westminster. Mr. and Mrs. White walked down to see the new arrival and found us ensconced beneath mosquito netting for protection from those little pests. Mrs. White’s first B.C. baby was born some weeks later and was named Newton Arthur. Those were pioneering days in real earnest, without many comforts it is true, but we were blessed with good health and were contented and happy.
Receiving home letters was always a joyful event. All mail came by the way of San and on up through the States and across to Victoria. Sometimes this last lap was accomplished in great Indian canoes. Postage was high. Old Country letters were 25 cents, Eastern 15 cents, nearer distances were 5 cents. Steam boating from Victoria to New Westminster and on up through to Yale and way parts was lively and efficient carrying passengers and freight. Often the kindness of the boats officers insured the safe delivery of our mail. Later the Postal Service was improved. Mr. W. Spalding was our first Postmaster.
William Irving, Captain Mariner, who with his family, came from San , was the first permanent Captain on the route, continuing up to the time of his death in the early Seventies, when his son, Captain John Irving, continued in full control. Speaking of steam boating reminds me that one winter in the early Sixties the Fraser was for weeks frozen over solidly, during which time all steamboat service was discontinued.
In the fall of 1859 the Reverend John Sheepshanks of the Episcopal Church came to New Westminster. The little church and tiny log rectory were built on the same site on which Holy Trinity stands to-day. Mr. Sheepshank took a keen interest in the growing community. I remember, too, how he enjoyed a cup of tea and home-made bread.
In 1862 Reverend Robert Jameson of the Canada Presbyterian Church came to remain in New Westminster and preached his first sermon from the pulpit of the little Methodist Church at the invitation of Mr. White. Afterwards service was held in such accommodation as was available until St. Andrews (and manse) were built. My husband and I affiliated with Presbyterianism in New Westminster, we being of that persuasion.
In 1861 there were signs of real development taking place. One had only to listen to the reverberations of the axe, saw and hammer to realize that the hillside had awakened from its erstwhile slumber, disturbed by the aggressiveness of the white man. Also that year we boasted of a local Newspaper "The British Columbian", which added greatly to the general interest and solidarity of the Community. The Editor and later proprietor was Mr. John Robson, who afterwards was member of the Local House and later became Premier of British Columbia.
In those early days there was little building which called for architectural skill, later there was. Meanwhile Mr. Kennedy varied the time as circumstances and opportunity directed, by road contracting, school-teaching and light ranching, for indeed resourcefulness was the keynote to successful pioneering.
Gold mining was at its height 1861-1864. Many were the thrilling stories and tragedies, too, told of those exciting and adventurous days. Matthew Bailie Begbie, at the time of the colonization of the Mainland had been appointed judge and it might have nonplussed one possessing less wisdom and tactfulness in dealing with the more or less refractory element throughout the Colony. In private life he was kindly and courteous and many enjoyed his friendship. Thousands of miners with pack-mules, yes, and even camels, wended their way over the Douglas - Lillouette trails. Later the Yale - Cariboo road was built, said to be a very wonderful achievement, but at great financial cost to the younger colony. All gold was brought down to New Westminster for assaying and minting. The Assay building was on the corner of Columbia and Mary (6th. St.) used afterwards for the Post Office. The mint stood next on Columbia, afterwards used for the Public Library.
The only public body in New Westminster was the Municipal one. Matters of greater importance required a trip to Victoria, the public offices being there. These years were becoming anxious ones, times were hard and prices high. The joint form of government had become irksome to the mainlanders and repeated requests were made to the Local and Home authorities to be allowed to have a separate government. This request was granted at the expiration of Governor Douglas’ term of office in 1864 when he retired with the honor of Knighthood. Arthur Edward Kennedy was next appointed Governor to the Island and Frederick Seymour to the mainland, who that spring took up residence in the home originally occupied by Colonel Moody, to which additions and alterations were made.
Now that a new era, so to speak had dawned, hopes for a brighter future stirred the hearts of the Mainlanders. These hopes had scarcely more then taken shape when an agitation in Victoria for union with the Mainland was voiced, and persisted in through the Press and the Home Authorities. On February 1866 this union was accomplished. The Mainlanders were far from happy over the turn affairs had taken, but, as the British Columbian quaintly put it "the alliance is a marriage de convenance, in opposition to the principal party to it, but as the deed is done now everyone must try to make the marriage a happy one". The first Legislative Council met at New Westminster, the declared Capitol of the enlarged British Columbia.
The finances of the Island at the time of the union were in a shocking condition and the Mainland little better. Through union the Island had lost its free port as well as its Capitol. Conflicting views through Press and speech became the order of the day. To shorten what would be an unpleasant recital, suffice it to say that an overpowering combination of influences was instrumental in having the Capitol removed from New Westminster in May, 1868 and established at Victoria with Governor Seymour continuing as Governor there.
This was a trying period with a feeling of frustration and isolation, which no doubt gave birth in many hearts of the desire for union with the Canadian Dominion, which desire was also the expression by the majority of the Islanders. A rather influential faction in Victoria advocated annexation with the United States. Perhaps this may be more easily understood in view of the fact that for so many years there had been such close association with their American neighbors. Upon Governor Seymour’s death in June 1869 Arthur Musgrave was then appointed Governor, who was a staunch supporter for the union.
Finally on July 20th, 1871 British Columbia became a part of the Dominion. Thus out of these years of colonial exigences was the remedy found which marked the beginning of a period for this Western land on the Pacific, where setting sun and ocean meet.
“Our loved Dominion bless
with peace and happiness
from shore to shore.
And let our Empire be
united, loyal and free
True to herself, and Thee,
THE KENNEDY'S OF NEW WESTMINSTER AND SURREY
Through Panama to B.C.
From Surrey Museum.
#1: They arrived in New Westminster in late March, 1859. #2: There were no houses, only Mr. W. J. Armstrong's little store which he lived above. #3: The Kennedy Bros. owned the "Columbian" from 1888 -1900. #4: Mary Emily was James Kennedy's daughter.
Pioneer Resident Dies
Another of the earliest pioneers of New Westminster and of the province, James
Kennedy, senior, passed peacefully away at two o’clock Sunday afternoon, November
23, 1903, at his residence, Alfred Terrace, Columbia Street, after an
illness of several weeks.
Up to a little over a year ago, when he had a severe attack of typhoid
fever, Mr. Kennedy, though he had nearly completed his 85th year at
the time of his death, retained a degree of health, strength, and alertness that
was remarkable in a man far past the allotted span. His wonderful fund of
vitality enabled him to withstand a three months’ siege of typhoid last fall,
and retain a considerable degree of health, which, however, began noticeably to
fail about six weeks ago, as the result of a cold and other complications. With
the best of treatment and attention, he was apparently holding his own, but
somewhat suddenly took a turn for the worse on Sunday morning, and passed away
early in the afternoon.
Born at Ballymena (near Belfast), County Antrim, in Ulster, Ireland, on
December 9, 1817, youngest son of James Kennedy, of The Rampart, Ballymena, the
late Mr. Kennedy, after completing his studies as an architect, sailed for
America when a young man of twenty-two. He practiced his profession for some
years at Rochester, New York, and traveled through Wisconsin, Illinois, and
other then Western states, visiting Chicago when the present great interior
metropolis consisted of a few wooden shacks on a swampy site reached by a
stage-coach. His inborn love of the “old flag” and of British institutions
led him, however, to bend his steps toward Canada, and the late forties and
early fifties found him in Toronto (then “dirty little York”). While located
at Whitby, Ontario (where buildings he designed in those early days are still
standing), the late Mr. Kennedy found an outlet for his energetic and
adventurous disposition by taking a trip to Australia, then in the throes of
that time not much more than a convict colony.
An extensive diary kept of this trip makes interesting reading at this
day. The voyage was made in sailing vessel, which left New York in this month
just fifty years ago, and six months elapsed before the southern land of gold
was reached, some time being spent at Capetown, South Africa. Returning from
Australia in about a year, Mr. Kennedy went home to Canada by way of San
Francisco (then a town in embryo) down the Californian coast, and across
Nicaragua to the Atlantic.
In 1854 the late Mr. Kennedy was married at Whitby, Ontario, to Caroline,
second daughter of the late Hon. Marshall B. Stone, United States senator, and
early in the spring of 1859, after a short sojourn at St. Paul’s, Minn.,
started with Mrs. Kennedy for British Columbia, by way of Panama, there being no
transcontinental railways in those days.
New Westminster, which was reached after a tedious coasting trip of over
a month, had then just been located by the Royal Engineers, under Col. Moody, as
“Queensborough”, and the site was covered by virgin forest, only freshly
encroached upon here and there along the water front. Here the new and almost
first arrivals literally pitched their tents, and for years sustained the usual
vicissitudes of pioneers in a new land, the late Mr. Kennedy following his
vocation as architect, road builder, or varying this, by school teaching, road
contracting, ranching. In later years he superintended for the Dominion
Government the construction of the Post Office building, destroyed by the fire,
and for the Provincial Government the Provincial Asylum for the Insane, which
has been considerably added to. A number of substantial and handsome
architectural features of the old town before the great fire of 1898.
The late Mr. Kennedy always took a keen and intelligent
interest in public affairs, both local and general, and was interested with his
sons, the Kennedy Bros., in the first years of their publishing the “Daily”
and “Weekly Columbian”, contributing occasionally to its columns. In
religious matters Mr. Kennedy adhered to the faith of his fathers,
Presbyterianism, but knew no denominational bonds in his sympathy with every
good cause and work.
Mrs. Kennedy survives her late husband, and seven sons and one daughter,
all of this city, also mourn the death of a father. A brother, Mr. Thomas
Kennedy, Lower Mill Street, Ballymena, and a nephew, Mr. John Kennedy, Larne
Street, Harryville, also survive.
Funeral services of the late Mr. Kennedy took place at two o’clock on
the afternoon of November 26 from the family residence, Columbia Street, to the
Oddfellows’ Cemetery, Sapperton, and although it was a wet afternoon a large
number of friends of the bereaved family were in attendance. The services at the
house and graveside were conducted by the Rev. Thomas Scouler and the Rev. R. A.
King, B.D., pastor of the West Presbyterian Church.
A noticeable feature of the funeral was that the coffin was borne by the
seven sons of the deceased, Messrs. James, George, Robert, Thomas, William, John
and Benjamin Stone Kennedy.
Many friends sent beautiful wreaths and other floral emblems, which completely covered the handsome metal casket, and many citizens afoot and in carriages followed the cortege to the place of internment.
PROMINENT PIONEER OF ROYAL CITY DIES
Notice in British Columbian newspaper..1934.
NEW WESTMINSTER, July 11.--- George Kennedy, editor of the British Columbian from 1888 to 1900 and postmaster from 1900 to 1910, died at his home in the Burr Apartments Tuesday.
Mr. Kennedy had been in failing health for three months and was taken suddenly ill on Sunday.
He was born in New westminster, August 11, 1859, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Kennedy, who were among the pioneers of this city. His father had come to Eastern Canada from County Antrim, Ireland, and his mother was born in Oshawa, Ont. After their marriage in the East, they made their way to British Columbia, and were among the first to settle in what is now the main section of New Westminster, west of the older settlement founded by the Royal Engineers at Sapperton.
Mr. Kennedy's parents came to British Columbia by way of New York and the Panama from Toronto. After a short stay in Victoria they arrived in New Westminster and a few days later were located in a tent on the present site of Lytton Square on the bank of the Fraser River. Afterwards their first permanent home in the Royal City was built on the corner of Columbia and McKenzie streets, where George Kennedy was born a short time afterwards.
George Kennedy was educated in the city public and high schools. He was editor and joint proprietor of the British Columbian with his brothers, James Marshall Kennedy, who died in 1923, and Robert Kennedy.
After retiring as postmaster Mr. Kennedy engaged in the real estate and financial business with his brothers. During his active life he was a prominent Liberal and was a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Kennedy is survived by five brothers, Robert of Pitt Meadows; Captain William, New Westminster; Thomas, Surrey; John, Vernon; Benjamin, Vancouver, and one sister, Mrs. Albert Fortin, New Westminster.
The funeral will be held Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Crematorrium when Rev. Peter Henderson, an old friend of the family, will officiate. The remains are resting at the pariors of S. Bowell & Son.
OUTSTANDING FIGURE IN CITY, IS DEAD; WAS FORMER EDITOR OF COLUMBIAN
A native son who was for many years one of the outstanding figures in the life of New Westminister died on Tuesday afternoon in the person of George Kennedy, journalist and former postmaster. In failing health for three or four months, suffering from a heart condition. Mr. Kennedy was taken very ill on Sunday in his home in the Burr Block. In a few minutes he lapsed into unconsciousness. He only partially regained consciousness for brief moments at long intervals, and about three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon passed away peacefully. He was 75 years of age.
Mr. Kennedy is survived by one sister, Mrs. Albert Fortin, with whom he made his home; and five brothers, Robert Kennedy, Pitt Meadows; Capt. William Kennedy, retired, formerly with the Dominion fisheries service; Thomas Kennedy, Surrey; John Kennedy, Vernon; and Benjamin S. Kennedy, Vancouver.
Started as Printer
Born on August 11, 1859, George Kennedy was the son of James and Caroline Kennedy, early pioneers of the Fraser Valley, and first white child born in Queensborough (New Westminster). He received his education in the public and high schools of New Westminster and served his apprenticeship as a printer with the Mainland Guardian. In 1888 he and his brothers James and Robert become owners of The British Columbian, of which he took the editorial direction. The brothers directed the fortunes of this newspaper until 1900, when it passed to the Columbian Company, under the control of J. D. Taylor, now Senator Taylor, in whose hands it remains.
Prominent in Politics
A Journalist of the old school, George Kennedy made his editorial period an interesting one in the life of the newspaper, and made the newspaper a notable factor in the life of the city. He was a member of the Liberal party with an open mind to new and constructive ideas, and he took a prominent part in the politics of the times. Gifted with a faculty for expressing himself in an arresting manner, he made the editorial columns a battleground for all the conflicting views of the problems then vital to the community. He was a man with the courage of his convictions and in a day when people took politics seriously and feelings were high, his course of action placed him in the forefront of many a battle.
Nor did he confine himself to waging ?? war with the pen. On many occasions he addressed himself to his fellow citizens from the public platform, turning his literary gift to the medium of the spoken word with considerable effect. A man of a genial personality, he had many friends in spite of his uncompromising attitude on controversial subjects, and his passing will be widely mourned. His interest in public affairs was a lifelong passion, and in the provincial election of last year, he plunged into the fray, both with the written and the spoken word, backing the wrong horse as he himself would have said, with humor untinged by bitterness.
In Realty Business
After disposing of his interest in The British Columbian in 1900, Mr. Kennedy was appointed postmaster of New Westminster, a position from which he retired in 1910. In 1912 he became a member of the firm of Kennedy Brothers, real estate and financial brokers, but ceased from this business when shortly afterwards there came the crash in which many a substantial fortune dissolved. Of recent years, Mr. Kennedy has been living a retired life, except when he emerged to do battle in some public controversy.
The funeral will be held on Friday. There will be a private service at the Vancouver Crematorium at 2:30 p.m. at which old friends will be welcome. The body will lie at S. Bowell & Son's funeral parlor until Friday noon... *1934*
Sheet Metal, Plumbing and Heating Business
Among the most successful, enterprising and prominent of New Westminster's native sons is Thomas Kennedy, now connected with the sheet metal, plumbing and heating business as a member of the firm of Mahony & Kennedy, proprietors of the largest concern of this kind in this section of the province. His birth occurred in 1863 (Correction: 1865) and he is a son of James and Caroline ( Stone ) Kennedy, of whom extended mention is made in another part of this work.
Thomas Kennedy was reared at home and acquired his education in the public schools of his native city. After laying aside his books he served an apprenticeship as a sheet metal worker and became proficient and expert at this line of work. At the end of his term he established himself in business and continued alone for ten years, securing during this time a large trade and building up an extensive and profitable business. In 1910 he formed a partnership with Mr. Mahony under the firm name of Mahony & Kennedy. They now control the largest sheet metal, plumbing and heating establishment in this locality and thier business is increasing owing to the progressive methods which they employ and the honorable standards to which they steadily adhere. Mr. Kennedy since beginning his active career has gained an enviable reputation in New Westminster for high integrity, enterprise and discrimination.
On the 10th of March, 1896, Mr. Kennedy married Miss Elizabeth Allanson, daughter of James Allanson, a native of England. Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have seven children, Caroline, Emily, Thomas, William, Katherine, Marshall and Noal, all of whom with the exception of the two youngest are attending school. The family residence is at No. 229 Queensborough street. Mr. Kennedy has lived in New Westminster all his life and the fact that many of his stanchest friends are numbered among those who have known him from childhood is an indication that his life has been an upright and honorable one. Business men respect him for his high integrity, his enterprise and his initiative spirit and in the course of years he has made substantial contributions to the development of his native city.
(vol.IV p. 399) BRITISH COLUMBIA 1914 FROM THE EARLIEST TIME TO THE PRESENT
Died on Nov. 11/46 at his residence, Kennedy Road, Pitt Meadows BC., in his 86th year. Survived by his wife, three sons and five daughters, Robert P., Pitt Meadows BC., Arthur and Cody, Miss Mary and Jean all at home. Miss Nan of Rossland BC and Mrs. B. Stewart and Mrs. McNiven in Coquitlam BC. One sister Mrs. A. Fortin, one brother John, Vernon, and five Grandchildren.
Funeral services Wednesday, Nov. 13/46 at 1:30 PM in the funeral home of S. Bowell & Son. Rev. W. Barlow Officiating. Interment in IOOF Cemetery.
The British Columbian - Nov. 12th, 1946:
ROBERT KENNEDY, EX-PUBLISHER, DIES IN VALLEY
A stirring epoch in New Westminster annals is recalled by the death of Robert Kennedy, 85, at his home in Pitt Meadows on Monday. He was the last of the three Kennedy brothers who made history as publishers of the daily and weekly Columbian.
Born at New Westminster in 1861, Robert Kennedy became a journalist. In 1888 he and two of his brothers, George and James, both of whom predeceased him, formed a partnership and bought "The Columbian" headed by the founder, Hon. John Robson, Premier of British Columbia. It was a time of great upheaval in politics and economic development in this Province and the "Columbian" under the direction of the Kennedy trio was in the forefront of the battle lines. Their newspaper is credited with having been a deciding factor in turning the political allegiance of the electoral district from the Conservative cause to that of Sir Wilfred Laurier's Liberal Party. Frequently it was involved in libel suits and on one occasion the brothers were summoned by an irate Provincial Government to appear before the Legislature. They defied the summons and took refuge South of the border for two weeks. Returning, they were clapped into jail overnight. The next day they were taken to Victoria, appeared on the floor of the house, refused to apologize, and were jailed in Victoria. They made application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus but before it could be heard the Legislature prorogued, automatically freeing them.
In the Spring of 1900 the Kennedy brothers sold the newspaper to it's present owners the Columbian Co. Ltd. Robert Kennedy was for a time in the real estate business and in 1913 turned to farming in Pitt Meadows, the road on which he lived being named for him.
Besides his wife he is survived by 3 sons - Robert P., Arthur, and Cody, all of Pitt Meadows - 5 daughters, Miss Mary and Miss Jean at home, Miss Nan of Rossland, and Mrs. Bruce Stewart of Coquitlam, a brother John in Vernon, and a sister, Mrs. A. Fortin of Coquitlam.
The funeral will be held Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. from S. Bowell & Son, with Rev. W. Barlow officiating. Interment will be in the family plot in the Independent Order of Oddfellows - Section of the Fraser Cemetery.
The Province? Nov. 12, 1946:
ROBERT KENNEDY ONE OF THE OLDEST PIONEERS OF B.C. AND FORMER PUBLISHER OF " THE COLUMBIAN " DIED AT HIS HOME IN PITT MEADOWS ON MONDAY
Mr. Kennedy was born in New Westminster in 1861 where his parents settled in 1859. His mother was the first white woman in the City. His father, James Kennedy, was an architect who designed many of the early buildings constructed in the Royal City.
Ó2006 All Rights Reserved
This page was last