Series GR-1169 - Correspondence

Map of Alberni Canal and Somass River area

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  • textual record
  • cartographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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  • 1860-1865 (Creation)
    Vancouver Island (Colony). Office of the Surveyor General

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Physical description

1 cm of textual records and 1 map

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Biographical history

The first Surveyor General for the Colony of Vancouver Island was appointed in 1859 under the name Colonial Surveyor. Prior to that, the affairs of the colony were also the affairs of the Hudson’s Bay Company and were administered by the chief factor (James Douglas) and employees of the company. The name was changed to Surveyor General by Royal Warrant in 1861. The first Surveyor General was Joseph Despard Pemberton who was originally hired as Colonial Surveyor and Engineer for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Victoria in 1851. In 1859, when his contract with the company expired and the Hudson’s Bay Company surrendered the Colony of Vancouver Island to the British government, Pemberton was appointed as Colonial Surveyor for the colony. In 1861, Pemberton received a royal warrant from Queen Victoria naming him as Surveyor General for the Colony of Vancouver Island. He served in that position until 1864 during which time his assistant, Benjamin W. Pearse, served as Acting Surveyor General when Pemberton was absent. Pemberton resigned his post in 1864 and Pearse continued as Acting Surveyor General until 1866 when Vancouver Island was united with the Colony of British Columbia. The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Surveyor General for the Colony of British Columbia was responsible for Vancouver Island from 1866 until 1871 when the Colony of British Columbia joined confederation as a province of the Dominion of Canada.

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Scope and content

This series contains letters inward and outward of J.D. Pemberton and B.W. Pearse, Colonial Surveyors. It also includes copies of correspondence with Edward Stamp and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat pertaining to purchases of lands and various agreements on lands at Alberni and Barclay Sound in regard to the establishment and operation of a sawmill and a copper mining company. Includes a map of company land holdings in the Alberni valley.

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General note

Accession number(s): GR-1169, 17519B.

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