BC Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS)

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” - Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.

EMPLOYMENT AND OCCUPATIONS

This section is under constuction.  

Still to come: Content navigation aids and external links.  

 


About this section: General information about the employment of Blacks in the province from their arrival in 1858 to more contemporary times is provided in this section.   The majority of the information pertains to the early Black settlers since their occupations have been well documented.  While the occupations of some contemporary Black individuals may be known privately, only a small number – because of outstanding or unique achievements – have been included in this section.

The occupations include Athletes, Barbers, Brickmakers, Bricklayers, Businesses, Carpenters, Coalmen, Cooks, Creative Artists, Dressmakers, Dentist, Farmers, Gardeners, Grocers, Hunters, Lawyers. 

Part 2 inlcudes: Nurses, Midwives, Ministers, Painters, Plasterers, Policeman, Prospectors/Miners, Municipal Workers, Road Construction Workers, Storeowners, Shopkeepers, Tailors, Teachers, Transportation Workers, Writers/Journalists.


 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Books and Articles

Bertley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , p. 100.

The author mentions that some of the Black settlers were highly skilled as carpenters, bakers, cooks, draymen, barbers and prominent businessmen.

Brown, R.  The Negroes. , op.cit. , pp. 238, 241.

In writing about the Black pioneers the author notes that their occupational range included merchants, shopkeepers, saloon proprietors, barbers, and farmers.  She also reports that present day Blacks “are scattered throughout the region and many have achieved distinction as doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, teachers, social workers, businessmen, skilled artisans and artists.”

Fawcett, E. Some Reminiscences of Old Victoria, op.cit. p.215.

The author in mentioning the first Black settlers provides a list of the names and occupations of fifty-three “coloured men”.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. pp. 162, 165, 166.

In discussing employment of Blacks in the 1940’s, Kilian states that the little information available “tends to confirm the view that Blacks were largely confined to such occupations as barbering, cooking and semi-skilled work”.  He mentions that during the early 1960’s “well known business firms in the Lower Mainland refused to hire Blacks.”  The results of a 1971 BCAACP survey reported by Kilian, show that of those interviewed 40% were white-collar workers, semi-professionals and professionals; 17% were skilled workers; and 26% were semi-skilled and 16% unskilled.  Kilian comments that by the late 1970’s Blacks were employed in social services professions out of all proportion to their numbers, but were relatively rare in law and medicine.

Woodcock, George. Canada and the Canadians.  London; Faber & Faber, 1973, p.87.  (LL)

In writing about Blacks, Woodcock noted “their most typical occupations, however, were those of entertainers and railway porters, and to this day most sleeping car attendants and most porters at Canadian stations and airports are still Negroes.”

Manuscripts

Black Community Survey. op.cit. pp.19, 20.

The results of this 1971 survey indicated that Blacks were well represented in the semi-skilled and professional categories and there were not many un-skilled or white collar workers.  The authors felt that although there were Blacks in all categories of from unskilled to professional, Blacks “are weak in the areas of business, the white collar world, which in most communities supplies the economic power and political aspirations.”

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. op.cit. pp. 1-48.

Pilton mentions that many Blacks were involved in gold mining while others were merchants, barbers, restaurant and saloon keepers and labourers.  He reports that Blacks supplied some of the economic needs of the community by selling goods and services which enable them to become successful.

Walhouse, Freda.  The Influence of Minority Ethnic Groups on the Cultural Geography of Vancouver.  op.cit. pp. 314-316.

In discussing the occupations of the majority of Blacks, the author describes work on the railroads as being almost the only form of employment.  They worked as firemen (engine stokers) in the early days and were later employed as porters.

Newspapers

Province, June 29, 1935.  “B.C.’s Colored Colony” by Anne Wood

The author reports that the first Blacks who arrived on Vancouver Island were representative of the following occupations: farming, carpentry, hairdressing, Indian trader, fisherman, porters, tailors, blacksmiths and coopers.

Province, March 4, 1950.  “’Shoeshine or Porter’ – Only Situation Open”.

The writer reports that a business agent for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters stated that the only jobs open to a Vancouver Black after leaving high school is that of a shoeshine boy or a sleeping car porter.

Sun, May 10, 1978. P. 25 “Job Picture Improved for Blacks” by Kathy Ford.

In this article the author interviews Jim Cole, a Black man born in Vancouver, who recently retired as area sales representative for C.P. Express.  Cole states that sports activities and train porters have been traditional Black occupations since he began work as a porter in 1934.  But in his opinion, “it’s expanded and now we’re in every professional occupation.”

Times, February 5, 1938 p. 8.  “Victoria’s Negro Invasion” by Reby Edmond.

The author mentions that Blacks who arrived in Victoria were teamsters, coopers, barbers, cooks, blacksmiths, draymen, hairdressers, caulkers and laundrymen.

Vancouver Newspaper,  July 29, 1949. “Few Occupations to Negroes, Group Told”.

This article deals with the observation made by the President of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (CAACP), that Vancouver employers, due to little experience, tended to decide against them when hiring.

OCCUPATIONS

Athletes/Athletic Instructors

EMERY BARNES

Books and Articles

Bartley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent., op.cit. , p. 310.

The author notes that while attending the University of Oregon, Barnes was an all-round athlete in track and field, basketball, and football, and that he was a popular football star in B.C.

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. p. 169.

Kilian reports that Emery Barnes played professional football with the B.C. Lions for five years.

JOHN BRAITHWAITE

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. p. 169.

It is mentioned that Braithwaite organized and coached the “Harlem Nocturnes”, an all-Black team which won the B.C. Provincial championship.

SERAPHIM (JOE) FORTES

According to the biographical data taken from sources listed, Seraphim (Joe) Fortes, who was born in Barbados, came to Vancouver in 1885.  He worked as a porter and bartender, and later as an unofficial swimming instructor and lifeguard at English Bay.  Eventually he was officially appointed and also made a special constable by the City.  There have been frequent reports and accounts of the many lives he saved from drowning.  Testimonials to his popularity and the reminiscences, of those taught to swim by Joe when they were young, have been numerous.  In 1910, the citizens of Vancouver presented him with a text thanking him for his services; a gold watch and a sum of money.  When he died in 1922, the city gave him a large public funeral which was attended by many citizens.  Several years after his death, a children’s drinking fountain was erected in memory of Joe Fortes.

Books and Articles

Brown, R. The Negroes, op.cit. p. 240

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing.  , op.cit. p. 115

Morley, A. Vancouver, From Milltown to Metropolis. , op.cit. pp 76, 156-158, picture opposite page 130.

Nicol, Eric. Vancouver. , op.cit. pp. 42, 65, 85, 111, 129, 200.

Pethick, D. Vancouver Recalled.  , op.cit. p. 52.

Vancouver’s First Century, A City Album 1860 – 1960. Op.cit. p. 57

Newspapers

Colonist, September 28, 1975, Magazine Section p. 3. “The Real Old Black Joe” by George Bangs.

The Courier, May 27, 1976, p.10. Picture of Joe Fortes.  Caption?

News-Advertiser, January 19, 1913. “The Story of My Life” by Joe Fortes.

News-Herald, July 26, 1838. “Casual Comments” by George Wright.

Province:

August 25, 1900, p. 1. “Joe Fortes Bravery Saves Man and Wife from Watery Grave”.

April 16, 1901, p. 2. “Neelands and Joe Fortes”.

August 6, 1902. p. 1. “He saved four lives in a day”.

October 1, 1902, p.1. “Twelve lives saved in Season”.

 June 4, 1906, p.1. “Joe Fortes Had a Busy Day”.

February 12, 1926. “Memorial to Children’s Friend”.

August 12, 1928. “The Passing of Old Black Joe”.

July 19, 1947, p.7. “Joe Fortes – Little Children Loved Him” by Ian Nicholson.

September 10, 1955, p.4-5. “Vancouver Loved Joe Fortes and he repaid the love in full” by Alan Morley.

February 11, 1961, p. 15. “Piracy – English Bay Version” by William Heilbron.

March 16, 1964, p.4. “Remembering the days of ‘Old Black Joe’” by Bruce Ramsey.

March 18, 1964, p. 4. “Vancouver Album”

May 28, 1976. “A Legacy from Joe” by Aileen Campbell.

April 1, 1977, p. 44. “Even tributes showed bias to ‘Black Joe’” by Bruce McLean.

Star, January 14, 1925.  “Memorial Planned at English Bay in Honour of Life Saver” by Beatrice E. Green.

Sun:

February 5, 1922. “Death Calls Joe Fortes, Lifeguard”.

February 6, 1922. “Joe Fortes – Children’s Friend”.

February 7, 1922. “Great Crowd at Funeral of Joe Fortes”.

February 8, 1922.  Pictures and description of funeral.

August 23, 1952.  “English Bay Joe was our First Lifeguard” by Mary E. Colman.

May 12, 1954. “Joe Fortes, English Bay ‘Senor’ was Greatly Beloved Figure” by Roy Brown.

June 25, 1955, Magazine Section. “West End Memories” by Joyce Taylor.

May 6, 1968. “Legendary Joe Fortes Won Mersey Swim Race”

December 24, 1973, p. 33.  James K. Nesbitt’s column.

Times, April 20, 1965. Reprint of an article from The Innocent Traveller by Ethel Wilson.

Aural History Tape

Tape 23553:1 – Interview on July 20, 1976 with Mrs. Marjorie Dickie, aged 71, a Vancouver resident of British descent.

Mrs. Dickie recalled being taught to swim by Joe Fortes and talks of his work and his death.

Slide – Tape

Racism in B.C. op.cit.

While showing a slide of Joe Fortes, the narration points out that Joe Fortes could save lives of whites at English Bay but Blacks could not swim there.

HANBURY INDOOR BASEBALL TEAM

The Hanbury Indoor Baseball team played in the Upper Island League that included Courtenay, Cumberland, Nanaimo, Royston Lumber Company.   

Digital

Vancouver City Archives: Blacks in Canada

There is 1 image that is a team photo taken in 1924 showing 1 Black man on the team. 

ERNEST LEOPOLD HARRISON

Ernest Harrison, born on Salt Spring Island in 1867, is noted in several articles as being a track and field star and boxer.  He was the middleweight champion of B.C., 1897 – 1898, and taught boxing at the YMCA in Victoria for thirty years until 1931 when he returned to Salt Spring Island where he died in 1956. His parents as listed by Salt Spring Island Archives are: William Henry Harrison, Virginia USA & Harriet Copeland, Virginia USA.  

Newspapers

Colonist, March 14, 1954. “Pioneer to Keep Traditional Date”.

Colonist, March 16, 1656. P.8. “Former Slave’s Son Enters 90th Year”.

Colonist, September 13, 1956. P. 23. “Pioneer’s Son Dies, aged 82”.

Nanaimo Press, March 17, 1956, p. 7. “Salt Spring Man Now 89 Years Old”.

Times:

March 15, 1950.  “On the Times” by Art Stott.

March 17, 1952, p. 10. Picture and brief description of Ernest Harrison.

March 19, 1954. P. 7. “E. Harrison, 87, Recalls Gulf Indians on Warpath”.

May 15, 1955, p. 6. “Salt Spring Pioneer 88 Today”.

March 16, 1956, p-. 13. “Salt Spring’s Oldest Son on 90th Year”.

September 12, 1956, p. 12. “Salt Spring’s Ernie Harrison Dead at 90”.

BARBARA HOWARD

Born and raised in Vancouver at 10th and Nanaimo. During the late 1930s, the Vancouver-born Howard was one of the fastest female sprinters in the British Empire. She represented Canada at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, Australia. She was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Newspapers

Sun, February 25, 2017. 

“Barbara Howard – Obituary”.

Globe and Mail, March 7, 2017

“Barbara Howard – Obituary”. 

These obituaries provide biographical details about her life, accomplishments and family.  These articles were published after her death on January 26, 2017. 

Digital

Vancouver City Archives: Black Canadians.

There is 1 image of Barbara Howard holding a koala bear which was gift she received when she represented Canada at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, Australia.

UBC News, March 8, 2017.

“Remembering Barbara Howard”.

DOUG HUDLIN

Doug Hudlin worked for the City of Victoria, but his love was being on the field as an umpire; he umpired generations of Island ball players over four decades.  He was the first non-American to be invited to umpire the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1967 and again in 1974.   He also twice umpired at the Senior Little League World Series at Gary, Indiana. Doug was inducted into the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association hall of fame in 2011 and inducted, posthumously into the Canadian Baseball Hall of fame in 2017.  The 21st induction ceremonies takes place June 23 in St. Mary’s, Ontario.

Newspapers

Colonist, January 11, 2014

“Longtime Island umpire dies at 91”

Colonist, February 3, 2017

“Islanders enter Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame”.

Colonist, February 11, 2017

“Umpire Hudlin taught life-long lessons”.

Saanich News, June 12, 2017

“Beloved Victoria umpire celebrated where it all began”

This article states that the City of Victoria had declared June 11, 2017 as ‘Doug Hudlin Day’.  On June 11th “in his old neighbourhood at Cook Street and Hillside Avenue, an enthusiastic crowd of family, friends and National Little League families and alumni gathered to pay tribute to a born-and-raised Victorian whose knowledge and passion for the game, and his love of teaching young players made him a legendary and larger-than-life figure on diamonds around Victoria”.

Digital

Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame 

Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame 

 

HARRY JEROME

Books and Articles

Bertley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent. ,  op.cit., pp. 263, 331.

Harry Jerome’s athletic career is described briefly.  Some of his achievements and awards include: 100 metre Olympic medal winner in 1964, voted Canada’s outstanding male athlete and inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Amateur Athletic Union in 1966, named Male Athlete of the Century in 1967 and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1970.  His work as a B.C. high school teacher and sports consultant is mentioned.

Fraser, Fil.  Running Uphill:  The Fast, Short Life of Canadian Champion Harry Jerome.  Edmonton, AB: Dragon Hill Publishing/Lone Pine Publishing, 2006. 

‘Running Uphill’ showcases Harry Jerome's race upon the treadmill of 'race,' where progress against racism is glacial, even for an Olympic sprinter. This is the heroic story of a young Black man who overcame crushing adversity to achieve national acclaim as an athlete and as a champion of human rights. Despite the many challenges for a Black athlete in the 1960s, Jerome made Canadian sports history by winning the bronze medal in the 100-metre sprint at the Tokyo Olympics and gold medals at both the Commonwealth and Pan American Games. Jerome is immortalized by a graceful statue in Vancouver's Stanley Park, as well as by the multi-sport Harry Jerome Centre in North Vancouver. The Harry Jerome Awards, sponsored by the Black Business and Professional Association, are held annually in Toronto.

Newspapers

Newspaper Index

As at 1978 there are ten cards (each card contains several entries) listing articles which have appeared about Harry Jerome in Vancouver and Victoria newspapers from May 1959 to January 1978.

BILL LONG

Newspapers

Sun, March 15, 1977, P. 25.

“Car burned in race-hate campaign”. 

In this article Bill Long is noted as being an athletic instructor at Douglas College.

GEORGE PARIS

In the sources listed, it is noted that George Paris coach and trainer for boxers and runners, at age 60 became a coach for the Vancouver Police until he was well past 70.  At the time of his death in 1947, several writers reminiscence about his personal life and his athletic career.

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing, op.cit. , p. 160.

Newspapers

Province, September 2, 1947, p. 9. “City Athletes Friend, George Paris, Dies at 78”.

Province, September 3, 1947, p. 19. “Work of George Paris Praised”.

Sun:

September 2, 1947, p. 9. “Death at 70 Halts Career of George Paris, Negro Sportsman”.

September 3, 1947, p. 4. “Two Good Citizens”. The author refers to George Paris and Joe Fortes.

September 4, 1947, p. 2. “Mayor Attends Paris Funeral”.

September 30, 1947, p. 11. “Memories of Paris” by Alf Cotterel.

Vancouver Newspaper, May 19, 1943. “George Paris Reaches 75, Remains Active Coach”.

BAKERS

ROBERT ABERNATHY

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , p. 209.

ROBERT THOMAS CLANTON

Books and Articles

Bertley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent., op.cit. , pp. 100-101.

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing, op.cit. , p. 150.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit., p. 153, 208.

Picture File

There is one picture of Robert Clanton and his wife, Victoria Clanton.

BARBERS/HAIRDRESSERS

RANDALL CAESAR

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia, 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , p. 208.

Pilton lists Caesar as being a barber and the proprietor of the Saucelito Baths.

ISAAC DICKSON

Books and Articles

Bertley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , pp. 100.

Dickson is mentioned as a barber in Barkerville.

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing, op.cit. , p. 87.

Dickson is described as a Black barber in Yale in the 1860’s.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. p. 161, 163.

Dickson is described as a barber in the Barkerville area.  Pilton also mentions Dickson’s contributions to the “Cariboo Sentinel” in the form of letters.

JOHN EDWARDS

ARCHER FOX

JOHN EDWARD FOX

WILLIAM ALEXANDER SCOTT

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , p. 208.

Pilton lists Archer Fox and John Edward Fox as barbers. William A. Scott and John Edwards are listed as hairdressers.

WELLINGTON DELANEY MOSES

Moses’ occupation as a barber is cited in numerous works.   He owned one of the five barbershops in Victoria in 1858 and later opened a barbershop and general store in Barkerville in 1862.  He is mentioned as keeping a lodging house in Victoria in 1861 and is noted as having the first bathtub in the city of Barkerville in his salon.

Books and Articles

Brown, R. The Negroes. , op.cit. , p. 239.

Bertley, L. Black Tiles in the Mosaic. , op.cit.

Bertley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , pg. 100.

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing., op.cit. , 1st edition p. 46; 2nd edition p. 37, 65-66, 75.

Ramsay, B. Barkerville: A guide to the Fabulous Cariboo Gold Camp. , op.cit. , p.25.

Ramsey, B. Ghost Towns of British Columbia. , op.cit. , p. 64.

Smith, D.B. (Ed) Lady Franklin Visits the Pacific Northwest., op.cit. , p.6.

Winks, R. The Blacks in Canada. , op.cit. , p. 276.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , pp. 50-51, 161, 164, 208.

Newspapers

Colonist, Feb 22, 1866. 

Moses advertisement for hair tonic described as “Hair Invigorator” appears in this issue.

Gazette, July 24, 1858.

This is an advertisement for Moses’ Pioneer Shaving Salon and Bathroom on Yates Street.

ROBERT TILGHMAN

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. opcit,, pp2018-213

Tilghman is listed as a barber.  

BLACKSMITHS

JOHN FRANKS

ROBERT WILLIAMSON   

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , pp. 208-213

Pilton lists Banks and Williamson as blacksmiths.

BUSINESSES

THE ALEXANDER FAMILY

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing., op.ci. , p. 181.

The author writes that in the 1900’s the Alexander family ran a successful coal business in Victoria.

WILLIS BOND

Willis Bond is reported as being involved in several business ventures including auctioneering, contracting, house moving, and merchandising.  He is also noted as being an outspoken orator and politician.

Books and Articles

Bertley, L. Black Tiles in the Mosaic. , op.cit.

Bertley, L. Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , pg. 101.

Brown, R. The Negroes. , op.cit. , p. 239.

Higgins, D.W. The Mystic Spring and Other Tales of Western Life. , op.cit. , pp. 47, 121.

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing., op.cit. , p. 84.

Morton, J. In The Sea of the Sterile Mountains. , op.cit. , p. 138

Winks, R. The Blacks in Canada. , op.cit. , p. 271.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , pp. 61-65, 108.

Newspapers

Colonist, January 31, 1854, p. 10. 

“Old Homes and Families” by Jim Nesbitt.  

This article retells some of the business ventures in which Bond was involved and describes some of the disagreements Bond had with the law.

 Colonist, February 26, 1867, p. 3.

“Victoria was known as Fine Place for Romantic Runaways.” By James L. Nesbitt.

This article details some of Bond’s public speaking activities.

Gazette, April 26, 1859.

Bond, as an auctioneer, advertises the goods for sale at the auction that day.

Press, November 21, 1861.

Willis Bond advertises as a general contractor in raising and removing buildings in Victoria.

ORVILLE BOYNTON

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. , p. 126.

The author reports that Orville Boynton was a manager in the lumber industry until he retired at the age of 80 in 1947.

Newspapers

Province, September 12, 1966.  P.2.

“Fresh Air beats the years”

Written at the time of Boynton’s 100th birthday, the article describes the work of Boynton who lived in B.C. for 63 years.  He built two mills in Fernie and worked in the lumber industry until his retirement at age 80.

Province, April 10, 1968. P. 26.

“Centenarian’s rights held”.

Sun, April 9, 1968, p. 12.

“101 Year-Old City Man Given Rites”.

These articles announce the death of Boynton and mention that he worked as a manager in the lumber industry most of his life.

JOHN SULLIVAN DEAS

John Sullivan Deas arrived in Victoria in 1862 and was a tinsmith in his early years.  It is thought that he was one of the founders of the canning industry and he was considered to be the leading canner from 1872 – 1876, prior to his canning business, he also owned a hardware and stove business under the name of Birmingham House at the corner of Fort and Broad Streets in Victoria.

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit. p. 152.

Ralston, H. Keith. John Sullivan Deas: A Black Entrepreneur. B.C. Studies, #32 Winter 1976 – 1977, pp. 64-78.  (PA)

 Schloefield, E.O.S. & Howey, F.W.  British Columbia from the Earliest times to the present.  Op.cit. Volume II, p. 565.

Newspapers

Colonist, September 13, 1867, p.2.

Deas is reported as being a tinsmith.

Colonist, July 25, 1872.

Deas is noted here as leasing a fishery and employing twenty-five men to work there.

Colonist, September 30, 1873, p. 3.

This is a report on the quantity of fish canned at Deas’ Fishery.

Colonist, December 15, 1986 p. 9.  Magazine Section.

“Victoria’s Ghosts” by T.W. Paterson.

This article gives an account of a night spent by Deas and his family in a house which they had purchased and which was said to be haunted by its previous owner, R.H. Johnson, a Black man.

Mainland Guardian, August 28, 1878, p.2. – Deas, J.S. File.

This article reports that Deas is selling his cannery business.

Tribune, April 16, 1866 p.2. Deas, J.S. File.

Deas advertises as selling stoves and tinware is his store on Front Street in Yale and offers his services as a repairman.

MIFFLIN WISTAR GIBBS

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit.  1st edition pp.142-144; 2nd edition pp. 37, 118-122.

Mifflin Gibbs was involved in other areas besides being a store owner and a public servant.  He is reported in Kilian’s book as Director and major shareholder of the Queen Charlotte Coal Co. prior to 1868.  He resigned this post when his bid to build a tramway and wharf for the company was accepted.  Later he became mine superintendent following completion of the tramway.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada. Op.cit. p. 276.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. , op.cit. , pp. 82-83.

PETER LESTER

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. 2nd edition p. 37

The author writes that “Lester and Gibbs” ran ads in the Victoria Gazette as dealers in groceries, provisions, boots, shoes etc; retail and wholesale.

LESTER & GIBBS

Peter Lester and Mifflin Gibbs were partners in a general store in Victoria in the 1860’s.  The establishment is noted in several works and some sources state that their store was the first large mercantile business in B.C. other than the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Books and Articles

Bertley, L.  Black Tiles in the Mosaic, op.cit.

Berley, L.  Canada and its People of African Descent.  op.cit.  pp. 99, 104.

Gould, Jan.  Women of British Columbia,  op.cit.  p. 91.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit.  1st edition p. 45; 2nd edition p. 37.

Ormsby, M.  British Columbia: A History.  Op.cit.  p. 139.

Winks, R. The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  p. 274.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  , op.cit. , p. 208, 209.

Newspapers

Gazette, March 22, 1859.

Lester & Gibbs advertised their wholesale and retail store continuously and one example can be seen in this issue.

Picture File

There is one picture of Mifflin Gibbs and of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lester.

JOHN FREEMONT SMITH

Smith is noted as being a shoemaker, prospector, secretary of the Board of Trade, Indian agent, alderman and an agricultural and mining journalist in Kamloops.

Books and Articles

Balf, M. Kamloops.  A History of the District to 1914.  Op.cit.  pp. 80, 109, 116, 120.

 Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. ,  op.cit.  p. 154.

Newspapers

Kamloops Sentinel, February 19, 1966, p. 3.

"John Freemont Smith was the first non-Indian to Explore Northern Territory".

Kamloops Sentinel, no date, Smith, J.J. File.

"Late J.F. Smith a Real Pioneer of the District".

Province, November 21, 1931

"Who`s Who”

Short article describing John Freemont Smith.

Province, October 6, `1934.

“Beloved Kamloops Pioneer is Dead”

CARPENTERS

CHARLES ALEXANDER

It is mentioned that Charles Alexander with his skill as a carpenter, helped to build the first Methodist Church at Shady Creek in South Saanich.

Books and Articles

Glover, George. History of the United Church: North and South Saanich Archives.  Sidney, B.C.  Not dated, p. 5.  (PA)

 Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op. cit.  p. 150

Virgin, V. History of North and South Saanich Pioneers and District.  op.cit. , pp. 46, 56.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit. p. 277

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1868 – 1871.  op. cit. pp. 67, 208.

Pilton noted that Charles Alexander earned $6 a day as a carpenter when he first came to Victoria.

Newspapers

Colonist, May 13, 1973, p. 4.

“The Alexander Story” by Margaret Belford.

Picture File

There is a picture of Charles Alexander with his wife Nancy Alexander.

JAMES BARNSWELL

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit.  1st edition: pp. image between pages 48-49, 149.; 2nd edition: 126,127,  image pg. 127.

The author describes Barnswell as a carpenter who built some of Victoria’s most elegant homes, and states that he became a prominent member of the Victoria community during the 1870’s.

Newspapers

Sun, October 21, 1972. P. 36.

“At 74 Wally is still a 2-stacker” By Leslie Peterson.

Barnswell is mentioned by his descendant Wally Alexander as having been a private carpenter for Sir James Douglas and as having built a church that stands on the corner of Pandora and Quadra in Victoria.

MIFFLIN WISTAR GIBBS

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. ,  op.cit. 1st edition p. 45   

This author noted that Gibbs had been a carpenter by trade in the U.S. and that he had remodelled the home he bought in Victoria himself.

FORTUNE RICHARD

Books and Articles

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing. ,  op.cit. 1st edition p. 46; 2nd edition p. 39.

Fortune Richard’s occupation is described in this work as a ship’s carpenter.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1868 – 1871.  Op.cit.  p. 211. P

 CHARLES H. THORP

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1868 – 1871.  Op.cit.  p. 212.

Pilton lists Thorp as a ship’s carpenter by trade.

THORENTON WASHINGTON

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1868 – 1871.  Op.cit.  p. 212.

The occupation of Washington as a carpenter is recorded by Pilton.

COALMEN

WALLY ALEXANDER

Newspapers

Sun, October 21, 1972. P. 36.

“At 74 Wally is still a 2-stacker” By Leslie Peterson.

In this article interviewing Wally Alexander, he gave the information that he had been a coalman for the past 45 years and at 74 was still actively doing this job.

COOKS

HAROLD EDWARD ALEXANDER

Newspapers

Colonist, May 13, 1973, p. 4.

“The Alexander Story” by Margaret Belford.

This article reports that Harold Alexander, son of Fred Alexander, was a cook on the CPR for five years, then a cook on American passenger boats where he later became a master chef with five cooks to supervise.

HENRY HOLLY BRONEN

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1868 – 1871.  Op.cit.  p. 208.

Bronen is included in Pilton’s occupational list of Black settlers as a cook.

JULIA AND MARY HERNANDEZ.

These women are mentioned as working for Victoria of $100 a month in 1858.

Books and Articles

Gould, J.  Women of British Columbia, op.cit. p. 91

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1868 – 1871.  Op.cit.  p. 70.

PHILIP SULLIVAN

Books and Articles

Gould, J. Women in British Columbia, op.cit. , p. 91.

There is mention here by Gould that Josephine Sullivan helped her chef husband, Philip, prepare meals at Moody’s Mill.

Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing, op.cit. p. 155

Philip Sullivan’s occupation as a steward at Moody’s Mill in 1870 is noted.  He is described as possibly being the first Black resident of what is now North Vancouver.

CREATIVE ARTISTS

LEON BIBB

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing (1st edition).  Op.cit. p. 168.

Kilian notes that Leon Bibb, an American singer, settled in Vancouver in the early 1970’s.  “His performance in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Berlin to Broadway, and numerous solo concerts have enhanced his already solid international reputation.”

Newspapers

Colonist, October 24, 2015,

“Vancouver performing legend Leon Bibb dies at age 93. “

The article mentions that Bibb’s final public performance took place at Government House, the vice regal residence in Victoria, in February, 2014. He was singing as part of celebrations to mark B.C. Black History Month.  His long-time pianist Sample: “It couldn’t have been better planned. We played in Victoria at Government House, just he and I. We got piped in by a piper, no less, and the Lieutenant-Governor introduced us, and Leon sang his ass off in front of a huge crowd at Government House”

Globe and Mail, November 1, 2015

“Singer Leon Bibb was the Voice of Civil Rights” Tom Hawthorn

This article recalls Bibbs move from New York to Vancouver in 1970 and his career in Vancouver.  The article also lists his many awards and recognitions prior to his death on October 23, 2015.  “His death on Oct. 23 at 93, after a series of strokes, was preceded by many honours, including investment into the Order of British Columbia, induction into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame and, many years earlier, a Tony award nomination. The University of British Columbia had also granted him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.”

GRAFTON TYLER BROWN

Newspapers

Colonist, June 26, 1883, p2. Advertisement

“Art Exhibition of British Columbia Scenery by G.T. Brown”

Colonist, June 26, 1883, p.4.

“Exhibition in Oils of British Columbia Scenery”. 

The article mentions that the exhibition consisted of 22 paintings of views of Victoria and surroundings in addition to scenes of the mainland. The paintings are on display for 1 week in The Colonists new building on Government Street.

Digital

The Grafton Tyler Browin website provides biographical information about G.T. Brown written by Dr. John Lutz, Professor and Department Chair of History at the University of Victoria; as well as images of many of Brown’s paintings.

JAY BURNS

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing (1st edition).  Op.cit.  p. 168.

Kilian reports that Burns started a Black Cultural Awareness Program in 1975 to help introduce children to African and Caribbean dance and music, jazz and Black cultural history.

ELEANOR COLLINS

Eleanor Collins is a Vancouver singer who in the mid-1950’s had her own half-hour weekly show on national television.

Newspapers

Colonist, November 17, 1968.  Op.cit. p. 48.

“Canada’s Swinging-est Grandmother Even Sews”.

Columbian, January 29, 1966.

“Her career is enriching the lives of others and her own”.  By Mildred Jeffrey.

Province, August 16, 1973, p. 34.

“The Best of Both Worlds” by Nicole Strickland.

Sun, July 16, 1955. P.2. Magazine Section.

“Meet Vancouver’s Eleanor Collins” by Norma Rudolf.

REBECCA GIBBS

Rebecca Gibbs established a laundry in Barkerville circa 1868 and published poems in the Cariboo Sentinel.  Her most memorable poem is “The Old Red Shirt” that is engraved on her grave marker in the Ross Bay Cemetery.  The grave marker, erected by the VBPS and the Old Cemeteries Society says she was born in Philadelphia, USA about 1808, lived in Barkerville for many years and died in Victoria, B.C. in 1873.   Her occupations include Laundress, Poet and Nurse.

Books and Articles

 Kilian, C. Go Do Some Great Thing, op.cit. , 1st edition pp. 95; 2nd edition pp. 79-80.

In the 2nd edition, the author notes that her poem the on a Barkerville fire was published in the Cariboo Sentinel and later reprinted in The Elevator.  The poems about the fire and The Old Red Shirt are printed in this book. 

ERNIE KING

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing (1st edition).  Op.cit.  p. 168.

The author notes that since the mid-1970’s, Ernie King’s Sepia Players have staged several “creditable productions”.

JENI LeGON

She was born Jennie Bell in Chicago.  She settled in Vancouver in 1969 to teach tap and pointe.

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing (1st edition).  Op.cit.  p. 168.

Kilian mentions that “Jenny LeGon’s Troupe One has provided opportunities for young people to develop their abilities in dance.”

Digital

“Jeni LeGon: Living in a Great Big Way”, National Film Board of Canada, 1999, directed by Grant Greshuk and produced by Selwyn Jacob.

SARAH LESTER

It is noted that Sarah Lester, daughter of Peter Lester, gave piano lessons in Victoria. 

Newspapers

Gazette, December 23, 1859.

This is an advertisement for music instruction on the piano given by S.A. Lester at her residence on Vancouver Street in Victoria.

SAM RAYMOUS

Pilton, J. Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871. op.cit. pp. 208-213.

Pilton list Sam Raymous as a minstrel.

ARTHUR SULLIVAN

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. , 2nd edition pp. 134-135

Kilian writes Sullivan he was a musician, played the organ at church and played the harmonium at a festival.

Morley, Alan.  Vancouver from Milltown to Metropolis,  op.cit.  pp. 49, 79.

Arthur Sullivan is mentioned as becoming “the town’s leading musician and most popular master of ceremonies.”

VAUDEVILLE ACTORS

AL ANDERSON

WALTER CRUMBLY

JAY GOINES

Digital

Vancouver City Archives – Blacks in Canada

There are images of Al Anderson (ca:1915), Walter Crumbly (ca:1922) and Jay Goines (ca:1915) as well as three group photos of Black actors who performed at the Orpheum Theatre.

DENTISTS

WILLIAM ALLEN JONES

Books and Articles

Brown, R.  The Negroes.  op.cit.  p. 239

The author mentions Jones as a dentist in Barkerville.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit. , 1st edition p. 90, 109; 2nd edition p. 123.

Kilian states that Jones was the first dentist in Barkerville. He also mentions that Jones provided an update to the Oberlin alumni in 1895: “”Painless” Jones was still in Barkerville working in “Gold Mining and Dentistry”.   

DRESSMAKERS

? Alexander

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing (2nd edition). ,    op.cit. , p. 137.

Kilian quotes a classmate of Wealtha Alexander’s  “Her mother was an excellent dressmaker and made dresses for a lot of well-known women, and of course her daughter was always well turned out”. 

FARMERS

GENERAL INFORMATION

Books and Articles

Lyons, C. P.  Milestones on Vancouver Island.  Op.cit.  p. 86.

The author states that from 1860 – 1870, early Black settlers were recorded as land owners, who were “hard at work turning farms out of the wilderness.”

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  p. 27.

Winks writes that a substantial, proportion of pioneer property owners on Salstspring Island were Blacks and that many ran small farms.

CHARLES ALEXANDER

It is noted that Charles Alexander was a prominent and respected farmer for 33 years in the Shady Creek district of Saanich.  He also assisted in the formation of an Agricultural Society there.

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit.  p. 150

Virgin, V.  History of North and South Saanich Pioneers and District.  op.cit.  p. 46.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  p. 277

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  Op.cit.  p. 65

JIM ANDERSON

Jim Anderson is described as a farmer and a logger.

Books and Articles

Hamilton, Bea.  Saltspring Island.  Op.cit.  pp. 172-173

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing,  2nd edition op,cit.  p. 142. 

Photograph seated with Willis Stark, p 92.

Newspapers

Colonist, March 11, 1973.  P. 10.

“Hepburns on Saltspring”. 

The reporter of this article in an interview with the Hepburns obtained some information about Jim Anderson.  It is mentioned he had a farm on the Island and he made it available to the young by transforming it into a park.

Province, January 5, 1946.

“Jim Anderson.  Gulf Island’s Old-Timer and Friend of the Children” by Betty Barber.  

The author gives a biographical description of Anderson’s “Grandview” farm.  She also notes that he was famous as a powerful logger.

The following newspapers carry reports of the death of Jim Anderson on Saltspring Island in 1946.  Anderson is described as having been a logger and a farmer all his life on the Island.  His home with its terraced gardens, is mentioned as having been one of the showplaces of the district.

Province, October 7, 1946

“Noted Negro Pioneer Dies on Saltspring”

Saanich Peninsula, Gulf Island Review, October 9, 1916 – Anderson, J. File.

“Native Son of Salt Spring Dies Suddenly at Fulford”.

Sun, October 7, 1946.

“Salt Spring Negro Pioneer Dead at 78.”

HOWARD ESTES

Estes’ occupation as a farmer on Saltspring Island and in Saanich is recorded briefly in these works.

Books and Articles

Hamilton, B.  Salt Spring Island.  Op.cit.  p. 14

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing  op.cit.  2nd edition p. 88,89

Virgin, V.  History of North and South Saanich Pioneers and District.  op.cit.  p. 43.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  p. 277.

This author notes that Estes ran goats on Saltspring Island.

Newspapers

Colonist, April 30, 1961.  P.8.

“Saltspring knew the Curse of the Penalakuts” by Cecil Clark.

Old West,  Spring 1976.  Western Publications, Austin Texas, Stark Family File.

“A Color-Blind Island” by Ruth Herberg.

This article describes the early arrival of Estes and family to Saltspring and there is mention that Estes brought first cattle to the Island.

ERNEST HARRISON

Ernest Harrison is noted as having an eight-acre farm on Saltspring Island where he was born in 1867.

Newspapers

Colonist, March 14, 1954.

“Pioneer to keep traditional Date”

Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands Review, March 23, 1955. P.1.

Harrison, E. File

Times, March 19, 1954, p.7.

“E. Harrison, 87, recalls Gulf Indians on Warpath.”

JOHN NORTON

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. ,  op.cit. , 2nd edition p. 87.

Kilian writes that John Norton became one of the most successful farmers on Saltspring Island.

FIELDING SPOTTS

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. op.cit.  2nd edition p. 129.

Kilian writes that the family farmed on Saltpring Island for a few years before moving to Saanich.  There is also an image of Fielding Spotts on that same page.

Virgin, V. History of North and South Saanich Pioneers and District.  op.cit.  pp. 32-33.

This author writes that Spotts owned a 100-acre farm in Saanich.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  p. 277.

The occupation of Spotts is recorded by Winks is that of a cooper as well as a farmer.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  Op.cit.,   pp. 67, 212.

Newspapers

Saanich Star, November 1, 1951.

“He Brought His Family Here to Find Freedom”

This article gives information on one of the first homes in Saanich, which was built by F. Spots in 1860.  A picture of the house accompanies the article.  Brief information is included about Spott’s arrival with the first Black pioneers.

Saanich Peninsula Gulf Island Review, January 2, 1952 – Spotts, F. – File.

“He Came in Search of Freedom”

This article is identical content as that in the Saanich Star cited above.

FIELDING WILLIAM SPOTTS

Newspapers

Province, June 29, 1935

“B.C.’s Colored Colony” by Anne Wood.

The author in writing about early Black settlement in B.C. mentions Fielding William Spotts’ arriveal in Victoria as a child.  His father, Fielding Spotts, who had emigrated from California, was one of the first Black settlers in 1858.  F.W. Spotts became a farmer on Saltspring Island and later moved to Vancouver in 1902.

Province, February 2, 1937.

“Patriarch Once Part of Negro Migration to New Caledonia Under Douglas Dead.”

Vancouver Newspaper, February 1, 1937.

“Man Who Came to B.C. 75 Years Ago is Dead”.

These papers report the death of F.W. Spotts in 1937.

LOUIS STARK

Louis Stark and his family came to Saltspring Island in 1860.  He bought ten to fifteen dairy cattle wwith him from the U.S. and practiced mixed farming on his land “Fruitvale” until 1875.  Then most of the family moved to the Cranberry District near Nanaimo where he bought a new farm called Extension.  He farmed there until his death in 1895.

Books and Articles

Brown, R.  The Negroes.  op.cit. , p. 239.

Flucke, A.F.  Early Days on Saltspring Island.  Op.cit.  , pp. 186, 193-194.

Gould, J.  Women in British Columbia.  op.cit. , pp. 71-72.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit.  , 2nd edition pp. 93, 96, 132.

Lyons, C.P.  Milestones on Vancouver Island.  Op.cit.  , p. 152.

Winks, R. The Blacks in Canada.  op,cit., p. 277

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  Op.cit.,   pp. 137, 143.

Louis Stark to J.W. Trutch (Chief Commissioner of Land and Works), November 3, 1869.

In this letter from Louis Stark, he explains that because of the threat of Indian attack, he has moved his family to another part of the Island and requests that his pre-emption rights be transferred to a piece of land on the north-east side of Ganges Harbour.

Louis Stark to B.C. Pearse (Acting Commissioner of Lands and Works) September 15, 1870.

In this letter, Louis Stark request the government to aid in the completion of building a road from his farm to the school and boat dock.  He himself cleared two miles of road but the remaining mile and a half needed was blocked by the claims of two other farmers.

Newspapers

Colonist, April 30, 1961, p.3.

“Saltspring Knew the Curse of the Penalakuts” by Cecil Clark.

Colonist, October 27, 1968, p.3.

“Murder Followed the Starks” by Brenda Sharp.

WILLIS STARK

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing .  op.cit. 2nd edition , pp. 89, 94, 132-133.

The author notes that after his father, Louis, moved to the Nanaimo area, Willis Stark remained on Saltspring Island to look after the farm; otherwise they would have lost their pre-emption.  

PATRICK JEROME ADDISON

GEORGE ANDERSON

GEORGE CARTER

DANIEL FREDISON

WILLIAM ISAACS

HENRY ROBINSON

FORTUNE RICHARD

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  Op.cit.,   pp. 208-213.

Pilton lists these men as farmers.

GARDENERS/ BRICK MAKERS

RICHARD JACKSON

HENRY PERPENO

WILLIAM ROBINSON

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  Op.cit.,   pp. 210, 211.

Pilton lists Richard Jackson as a gardener, Henry Perpeno as a gardener and brick maker and William Robinson as a brick maker

HOTEL AND RESTAURANT OWNERS/WORKERS

HENRY GRANTON

JOSHUA HANDY

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  Op.cit.,   p. 209.

Pilton records Granton and Handy as being restaurant owners. 

RICHARD JOHNSON

R.H. Johnson was a hotel owner who built the Mount Ararat Hotel near the gold diggings at Leech River near Sooke to accommodate miners and travellers in 1865.

Books and Articles

Bertley, L.   Black Tiles in the Mosaic.  Op.cit.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing op.cit. , 2nd edition, pp. 83-84.

The author notes “It’s good and well-appointed rooms were praised by Governor Kennedy”.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871, op.cit.   p. 175.

Newspapers

Chronicle, May 13, 1865.

This article includes Governor Kennedy’s complimentary description of the Hotel Ararat where he stayed while visiting the area.

Colonial Correspondence

R.H. Johnson to Henry Wakefield, October 3, 1864.

This is a letter requesting land for a public house.

WILLIAM MILLER

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871, op.cit.   p. 211.

Miller’s occupation is reported as a saloon-keeper.

 .

SAMUEL RAMSAY

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871, op.cit.   p. 208-213.

Samuel Ramsay is listed as a waiter.

SAMUEL RINGO

Books and Articles

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing  op.cit, 2nd edition pp. 37.

Samuel Ringo owned a restaurant, situated on Yates Street that was noted as the best in Victoria and known as Ringo’s.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  , p. 274.

Newspapers

Colonist, October 8, 1961.

“History Neglects the Famous Ringo” by James K. Nesbitt.

The author of this article includes a quote from an anonymous letter to the Colonist in May 1857.  The quote describes Ringo’s Restaurant as serving some of the best “cuisine”, a fact which made him famous.

STEELE

Books and Articles

Bertley, L.  Canada and its People of African Descent, op.cit. , p. 100

Bertley notes that Steele was the owner of one of the outstanding restaurants in the Cariboo.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. ,  op.cit, 1st edition pp. 90.

Kilian records a Black man named Steele as owning a restaurant in Barkerville.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871, op.cit, p. 153.

ARTHUR & JOSEPHINE SULLIVAN

JOSEPHINE SULLIVAN

Books and Articles

Morley, Alan.  Vancouver from Milltown to Metropolis, op.cit.  pp. 49, 79.

The author mentions that Arthur Sullivan and his mother had a restaurant and a store and were the proprietors of Gold’s Hotel on Water Street before the great fire in 1886.  Arthur Sullivan is also mentioned as becoming “the town’s leading musician and most popular master of ceremonies.”

Gould, J. Women of British Columbia, op.cit. , p. 91

Gould writes that Josephine Sullivan had a successful restaurant in Gastown after her husband’s death.

J.S. TAYLOR

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871, op.cit, p. 212.

Taylor’s occupation was a restaurant and saloon keeper.

HUNTERS

WILLIS STARK

Newspapers

Colonist, December 2, 1973, p. 4.

“Pioneers Who Made Saltspring the Paradise It is Today.” By Lillian Horsdal.

In this article it is mentioned that Willis Stark was a well-known cougar and game hunter.

Aural History Tapes

Tape #100:1

Interview on August 23, 1972 at Ganges, Saltspring Island with Mr. Desmond J. Crofton, retired manager of Harbour House Hotel.  Mr. Crofton is of British descent.

Tape #798:1

Interview in 1965 with Len Bittincourt, aged 72, a Saltspring resident of British descent.

Both of these men mention that Willis Stark was also known as a cougar and game hunter.

LAWYERS/JUDGES

JOSHUA HOWARD

Books and Articles

Bertley, Leo.  Black Tiles in the Mosaic, op.cit.

The author notes that Joshua Howard was the first lawyer to advertise in a B.C. newspaper.

Manuscripts

Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871, op.cit, p. 49.

Pilton reports that Joshua Howard practiced law and gives information about his career.  A copy of his newspaper advertisement appears here.

Newspapers

Columbian, May 26, 1960, p.3.

“Some People Don’t Know” by John Pearson and J.M. Reitz.

This article states that Joshua Howard, a Black man was the first attorney to practice law in the colony of Vancouver Island, and British Columbia.  There is mention that Howard lost his first and only known case in 1858 because he was too talkative.

Gazette, July 18, 1858.

An advertisement by Joshua Howard announced Howard as an Attorney and Counsellor at Law in Victoria.  “Advice in law to the poor, gratis” was a phrase he utilized in his advertisement.

Vancouver Newspaper, October 29, 1955.

“Negro First as Barrister”

The article mentions Howard was the first person to practice law in the colony of Vancouver Island, and appears to have obtained this information from the July 1958 ‘Gazette’.

SELWYN ROMILLY

Newspapers

Province, October 1, 1974, p. 21.

“Judge Named”

This is an announcement that Romilly was appointed provincial court judge in Smithers.

Province, October 27, 1976, p.4.

“In Terrace a Judge with a Difference”   by Chuck Poulsen.

This article describes the background of Romilly and notes that two years previously at the age of thirty-four he became B.C.’s first Black judge.

Vernon Daily News, December 8, 1976, p. 18.

“Black B.C. Judge acts as Bridge”.

This article is based on the same information in Poulsen’s article in the Province.

VALMONT ROMILLY

Newspapers

Province, October 27, 1976, p.46.

Valmont Romilly is mentioned in an article about his brother, Selwyn Romilly, regarding their setting up a law practice together in Smithers.

EDSWORTH SEARLES

Newspapers

Province, October 9, 1957, p. 19.

“First Negro Lawyer called to bar in B.C.

Sun, October 8, 1957, p. 19.

“First Negro Admitted to B.C. bar”.

Times, October 9, 1957, p. 16.

“Negro Lawyer Called”.

These articles report Searles history-making achievement and provides some brief background data about him.

CONTINUE TO PART 2:  

Nurses, Midwives, Ministers, Painters, Plasterers, Policeman, Prospectors/Miners, Municipal Workers, Road Construction Workers, Storeowners, Shopkeepers, Tailors, Teachers, Transportation Workers, Writers/Journalists.