We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

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The Bute Inlet Meeting
The British Colonist, Aug. 27, 1862

Aug. 27, 1862

Last evening about 300 persons assembled at the Theatre to hear Mr. Waddington’s remarks on the Bute Inlet Route, and the advantages which it possesses over all others in affording a cheap and easy means of communication with the Cariboo diggings. The meeting was called for 7 1/2 o’clock, but the business did not commence until 8 o’clock, when Mr. Sproat was called to the chair by Mr. [Cochrane?].

A map of the proposed route, as well as a part of the Fraser River and Bentinck Arm countries, was exhibited on the stage. Mr. Waddington came forward amid great applause and told how he was laughed and sneered at when he first stated his belief in the existence of a pass through the Cascade mountains by which a practicable road could be made to the mines; how Mr. McNeil, formerly stationed for the Hudson Bay Company at the head of the Inlet encouraged that belief by a statement of what he had seen there; how he (Mr. Waddington) felt piqued at a newspaper article turning his statement to ridicule, and organized six expeditions before the object had in view was obtained and the existence of a practicable route ascertained by Mr. Teideman. The lecturer then proceeded to tell about the Homathco River and pointed out on the map the topography of the country around Alexandria, Cariboo, Bute Inlet and other sections. On the whole route he said there was plenty of feed; only two hills - one of eight hundred feet and one of four hundred feet - were met with - and two lakes, one of which Mr. Teideman crossed on a raft. The Bute trail intersected the Bentinck Arm trail at Pantza Lake, and continued on to Alexandria, a distance of 90 miles, over a country more like our English parks than a wild stretch of land, and not water enough on the trail to [three words illegible] party in returning took a shorter and [illegible] route than in going up. The trail might be made either to strike the Fraser at Mud Lake, Alexandria, Quesnelle River, or Swift River. Either point would answer well. The entire distance to be traversed by this route was a trifle over 200 miles, and while mule packing at the very lowest figure from Douglas to Mud Lake would cost 16 cents per pound, it could be done from the head of Bute Inlet for 8 cents at the highest, with five loadings and unloadings on the Bute Route to fourteen on the Fraser Route. Mr. Teideman had reported rich agricultural land about Chilcoaten, on an immense plain, only 240 feet above the level of the sea; and Mr. Ogden, of Fort Alexandria, had told the speaker that so little snow fell there that Cayoosh ponies lived the whole winter without shelter.

Returning to the Inlet, Mr. Waddington said that an excellent harbor for the largest vessels could be had at the mouth of the Homathco River, where good anchorage also existed. The wind always blew either up or down the Inlet, which was “straight as a chimney.”

A wagon road could be built for $220,000 to a point above the Quesnelle; but a portion of the road - the most difficult portion, above the head of navigation could be constructed for $50,000; the remainder could be made immediately available for packing purposes. A five years’ charter for the road, with a privilege to collect five cents per pound toll for goods passing over it would be obtained from the Government, and he proposed to issue 500 shares at $100 each, in order to form a Company to build the difficult portion of the road, and the remainder would be built more promptly. For the trouble and expense which he had been to so far, all he asked was 2 per cent, on the entire amount of stock taken, and to show the confidence which he felt in the undertaking, he would put his name down for $5000.

The lecturer then touched briefly on the advantages to accrue from adopting the route - the facilities for transporting supplies to the diggings, and the consequent cheapness of provisions there, and thought that if the route was not opened, the people didn’t deserve to have any miners in the country next year [applause]. Only 15 per cent of the amount subscribed would be required before next February or March, and he hoped to see the stock generally taken. The charter also gave the right to the company of selecting ten stations or villages on the route of ten acres each, which could not but prove valuable eventually.

Mr. Waddington having been listened to very attentively throughout by the audience, then retired, and Mr. C. B. Young, being called for, came forward and condemned the Bentinck Arm route, and advocated that via Bute Inlet, and to show his earnestness and faith in the latter, subscribed for several shares, and invited others to do the same.

After announcement from Mr. Waddington that the list would be found at Capt. Nagle’s office, and at McDonald’s Bank, the meeting separated.

Source: "The Bute Inlet Meeting," The British Colonist, August 27, 1862.

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