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Pemberton, Augustus Frederick
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Election records from Victoria

  • GR-1667
  • Series
  • 1871-1872

This series consists of poll-books, voters' lists, and correspondence relating to two landmark elections in British Columbia: the election of 1871 of representatives to the provincial legislature, and the election of 1872, called to elect provincial members to the Dominion House of Commons - respectively the first provincial election and the first federal election held in B.C. These records document B.C.'s last "open voting" elections (i.e. a secret ballot was not used). Compiled by A.F. Pemberton, Chief Returning Officer for Victoria, the records pertain to Victoria City, Victoria District, Esquimalt and Metchosin.

The election of 1871 was held in various parts of the province between October and December. It was conducted in accordance with the Colonial Election Regulation Act [34 Vic., No. 13, a statute which affirmed the practice of open voting (as opposed to the secret ballot). Thus, the poll books in this collection show the names of electors and the candidates for whom each elector voted. Voter's qualifications were determined by the colonial Qualification and Registration of Voters' Act [34 Vic., No. 156]. To qualify for the franchise, a voter had to be male, a loyal British subject, over twenty-one years of age, literate (at least able to write his name), and a resident in B.C. for no less than six months. In addition, qualified electors had to meet one of the following criteria: occupy premises with an annual rent of $40 or more; own freehold property having an assessed value of at least $250; have a pre-emption claim of 100 acres or more; possess a free-miners' license.

The Dominion election of 1872 was held under the authority of two federal statutes: the Interim Parliamentary Election Act of 1871 [34 Vic., c.20] and the Act to Re-adjust the Representation in the House of Commons, 1872 [35 Vic., c.13]. The first statute made provisions for holding a federal election in B.C.; the second confirmed the number of MPs to be elected from B.C. [6] and established federal electoral boundaries. 2 MPs were elected from the district of Victoria; 1 MP from the district of Vancouver (i.e. Vancouver Island north of Victoria and adjacent to the Gulf Islands); 1 MP for each of the districts of New Westminster, Yale, and Cariboo. Section 5 of the Interim Parliamentary Elections Act declared that the laws already in force in B.C. would apply to the election of 1872. Accordingly, polling for the province's first federal election was carried out under colonial legislation noted above. The Dominion election was also carried out in accordance with B.C.'s Corrupt Practices Prevention Act [34 Vic., No. 158], a colonial statute which stipulated that candidates had to declare all expenses incurred during their campaign. Hence the documents in Box 1, files 6 & 7 of this collection.

The records in GR-1667 relate solely to the Victoria electoral district. For elections to the provincial legislature, the riding included areas within the city's limits. Federally, however, the electoral district of Victoria embraced the City of Victoria and adjacent areas of Saanich (Victoria District), Esquimalt and Metchosin. A.F. Pemberton was the district's chief Returning Officer in both elections. In the provincial election -- held on 16 October 1871 -- Pemberton established the district polling station at the Police Barracks in Bastion Square. In the Dominion election -- held on 2 September 1872 -- he established six polling stations. The polls were open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Three candidates contested the two Victoria seats: Amor DeCosmos, Henry Nathan and Robert Beavan. DeCosmos, and Nathan were elected. The results of the election, and returns from each of the polling stations, were published in the Victoria Daily Colonist (3 Sep 1872).

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Indian lands correspondence and other material

  • GR-0504
  • Series
  • 1861-1877

This series consists of correspondence, petitions, accounts, statements of population, and reports relating to land of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia from the Department of the Provincial Secretary.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

Kenneth McKenzie family personal and business papers

The McKenzie Family collection consists of the business and personal papers of Kenneth McKenzie (1811-1874), his ancestors and descendants, including correspondence, notebooks, diaries, and other papers. It documents over one hundred and fifty years of family history. The collection is divided into those records relating to Vancouver Island (Boxes 1-19) and those relating to Scotland (Boxes 20-25). The Vancouver Island papers contain correspondence and documents pertaining to Lakehill Farm, the settlement of estates, official appointments, and other family matters. They also chronicle the organization and operation of Craigflower Farm and, to a lesser extent, the other farms operated by the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company on Vancouver Island. The Scottish papers document family events, relationships and property from 1779 to 1852. Included is an extensive record of the protracted settlement of the estate of William Blair (Boxes 22-23). William Blair was the father of Janet McKenzie (Blair).

Born in Edinburgh October 5, 1811, the son of Dr. Kenneth McKenzie (1786-1844) and Janet Blair (1784-1820), Kenneth McKenzie was raised and educated in the same city. Later he moved to his father's estate of Rentonhall, Haddingtonshire, East Lothian where he managed the operations. The estate was sold in 1851 and McKenzie, his wife Agnes Russell (1823-1897) and their six children emigrated to Vancouver Island in 1853. McKenzie had been hired by the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company to oversee the establishment and operation of Craigflower Farm near Victoria. In 1866 the family, now with eight children, moved to Lakehill Farm just north of Victoria. Kenneth McKenzie died there April 10, 1874. A comprehensive biography of Kenneth McKenzie by William R. Sampson is in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, X, pp.477-479. A rough genealogy of the McKenzie Family is provided in the hardcopy version of the finding aid.

Numbers appearing at the upper left corner of documents are references to the old catalogue system and should not be used for citation.

Boxes 1-4: Kenneth McKenzie (1811-1874) and family: correspondence inward
Box 5: McKenzie, Kenneth (1846-1906): correspondence inward
Box 6: Kenneth McKenzie (1811-1874) and Kenneth McKenzie (1846-1906): correspondence outward
Box 7: Kenneth McKenzie (1811-1874): notebooks and personal papers
Box 8: McKenzie Family: notebooks, diaries, correspondence and personal papers
Box 9: McKenzie Family: material relating to Lakehill property
Boxes 10-18: Craigflower Farm
Box 19: Puget's Sound Agricultural Company
Boxes 20-25: McKenzie family: material relating to Scotland. N.B. See also box 25 for further material relating to the estate of William Blair, d.1800