THE VICTORIA GAZETTE 25 November 1858 p.1
LETTER FROM NEW FORT LANGLEY.
Installation of the Government of British Columbia.
New Fort Langley, 20th November 1858.
Editors Gazette: – Yesterday, the birthday of British Columbia, was ushered in by a steady rain which continued perseveringly throughout the whole day, and in a great measure marred the solemnity of the proclamation of the Colony. His Excellency, Gov. Douglas, with a suite comprising Rear Admiral Baynes, (commanding the naval forces on the Pacific Station) Mr. Cameron, the respected Chief Justice of Vancouver Island; Mr. Begbie, the newly appointed Judge of British Columbia, Mr. Lira, and others, proceeded on board H.M. ship Satellite, Capt. Provost, on Wednesday morning by the Canal de Haro to Point Roberts, where His excellency remained during the night. On Thursday morning His Excellency and suite were conveyed by the Hudson Bay Company’s screw steamer Otter to the Company’s steamship Beaver, which was lying moored within the mouth of Fraser river. Both vessels then proceeded in company as far as Old Fort Langley, where the Otter disembarked a party of eighteen sappers under the command of Capt. Parsons, who immediately embarked in the Recovery revenue cutter, joining the command of Capt. Grant, R.E., who had previously reached the point with a party of the same corps. Both these gallant officers have recently arrived from England with small parties of men under their command. The Beaver then proceeded with His Excellency aboard to New Fort Langley, where preparations were made for the ceremonial of the following day.
On Friday morning, the 19th inst., His Excellency, accompanied by his suite, and received by a guard of honor commanded by Capt. Grant, disembarked on the wet loamy bank of the Fort, and the procession proceeded up the steep bank which leads to the palisade. Arrived there, a salute of 18 guns commenced pealing from the Beaver, awakening all the echoes of the opposite mountains. In another moment the flag of Britain was floating, or to speak the truth, dripped over the principal entrance. Owing to the unpropitious state of the weather, the meeting which was intended to have been held in the open air was convened in the large room at the principal building. About 100 persons were present.
The ceremonies were commenced by His Excellency addressing Mr. Begbie, and delivering to him Her Majesty’s commission as Judge in the Colony of British Columbia. Mr. Begbie then took the oath of allegiance and the usual oaths on taking office, and then, addressing His Excellency took up her Majesty’s Commission appointing the Governor, and proceeded to read it at length. Mr. Begbie then administered to Governor Douglas the usual oaths of office, viz.: allegiance, abjuration, &c. His Excellency being thus duly appointed and sworn in, proceeded to issue the Proclamation of the same date (19th instant) viz.: one proclaiming the act; a second, indemnifying all the officers of the Government from any irregularities which may have been committed in the interval before the proclamation of the Act; and a third, proclaiming English Law to be the Law of the Colony. The reading of these was preceded by His Excellency’s Proclamation of the 3rd inst., setting forth the Revocation by Her Majesty of all the exclusive privileges of the Hudson Bay Company. The proceedings then terminated. On leaving the Fort, which His Excellency did not finally do until to-day, another salute of 17 guns was fired from the battlements, with even grander effect than the salute of the previous day.
On leaving the river side, in front of the town, a number of the inhabitants were assembled with whom His Excellency entered into conversation previous to embarking on board the Beaver, and by whom he was loudly cheered in very good style as he was on his way to the steamer. VIATOR