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Description found in Archives

Sir James Douglas fonds [textual record]. 


[ca. 1835-1867]

Place of creation

British Columbia

10 cm of textual records.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of selected journals and correspondence of Sir James Douglas, 1835-1867. Each packet is separately paginated. The journal of March-November 1835 records a voyage from Fort Vancouver to York Factor (pages 1-42). The journal for April 1840-January 1841 (pages 1-95) includes commentary on early exploration of the pacific coast. His voyages to Sitka in October 1841, along the northwest coast, March 1843, and to Fort George in September 1843 are recorded in journals (pages 1-11, 12-17 and 18-19 respectively). A letterbook of July 1840-May 1841 includes lists of staff and the outfits and establishments of various posts for 1839 (pages 1-62); the volume was continued as a letterbook for December 1866-March 1867 (pages 62-82). Another letterbook covers May 1850-November 1855 (pages 1-190) and a third letterbook covers May 1859-January 1864 (pages 1-95).

Textual records
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

No finding aid

Biography / Administrative history

Sir James Douglas, colonial governor, was educated in Scotland before joining the North West Company as an apprentice in 1819. When that company merged with the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, he began his rise to command of posts, working chiefly in the Columbia district. His talents as a negotiator were put to use in meetings with the Russian American Company to implement the agreement of 1839, with the Spanish authorities in California, and with Americans in the Oregon territory. In 1851, he was appointed the second Governor of the new colony of Vancouver Island, holding that office while continuing as a Chief Factor for the Hudson's Bay Company. When the Fraser River gold rush precipitated creation of the colony of British Columbia in 1858, he severed connections with the HBC to take on the governorship of the mainland colony as well. He retired from the dual governorship in 1864, and spent his remaining years at Victoria.

Additional information

Related materials
These private letterbooks may be compared to the Governor's letterbooks in RG_7, G 8 C and to records of the HBC in MG 20, E 22 and F 8.

Location of originals note
Originals with Provincial Archives of British Columbia.

Dates of creation note
Transcribed in 1908-1909 from originals.

Subject heading

1. Sir James Douglas - Correspondence, 1835-1867 Columbia River (B.C. : District), 1839.
2. Sir James Douglas - Journeys, 1835-1867.
3. Sir James Douglas - Travel diaries, 1835-1867.
4. Fort Vancouver (B.C.) - Description, 1835.
5. York Factor (Post) - Description and travel, 1835.
6. Pacific Coast - Discovery and exploration, 1840-1841.
7. Sitka (Northwest Coast) - Description, 1843.
8. Fort George (Quebec) - Description, 1843.
9. Vancouver Island (B.C.) - History, 1843.
10. Hudson`s Bay Company - Records and correspondence, [1835-1867]
11. Fur trade - Canada, [1835-1867]
12. Colonial administration - Canada, [1851-1867]
13. Hudson`s Bay Company - Servants, 1839.
14. Hudson`s Bay Company - Employees, 1839.
15. Fur trade posts - Canada, 1839.
16. Hudson`s Bay Company - Factors, [1835-1867]
17. Colonies. Great Britain
18. Colonies. Grande-Bretagne


Other system control no.