Gregorio Fernandes from Maderia came to B.C. in the Fraser river Gold Rush.
In 1876 he was Granville's first shopkeepe with a store in Gastown. Gregorio Fernandes was known as Porguguese Joe no.2. and he was described as a blackguard; “he had gold earrings". The Indians living in Stanley Park supplied his store with fish and milk, which he traded for flour, powder and groceries(1)
In 1876 Fernandes is charged with shooting and wounding John Baptise Amor.
The Statement of the Accused notes Gregorio Fernandes has "nothing to say at this present time".
It is signed by Gregorio Fernandes and the Justices of the Peace:
Captain J.A Raymur, Manager, Hastings Sawmill
Hugh Nelson, Manager Moodyville Mill
Jeremiah Rogers The Burrard Inlet Logger
The Wellburn Album page and document realized C$ 550 in our 9th April Auction
Shooting Affray at Granville
The British Colonist reports that a John Baptiste Jemore called at the store of Gregorio Fernandes (called Joseph Fernandez in the account) to claim settlement of a bill for fruit. There as a lengthy altercation but at last.."Fernandez consented to pay the account for the fruit and turned to his till appar- ently with the intention of counting out the necessary money. Jemore not sus- pecting Fernandez of treachery turned his back to him, but the latter instead of taking the money from the till took a revolver from the drawer and, Jemore states, deliberately shot him" Fernandez is arrested but "denies the shooting entirely"
There were fears for the life of John Baptiste Amore but he eventually recovers from the serious shot through the lung. Fernandez escapes from custody and disappears but eventually returns and faces trial in New Westminster.
"There were reasons adduced showing that prisoner had a spite against DeAmor. It appears that some time ago DeAmor deposited $250 with the prisoner, whom he was compelled to sue in order to have the money returned. A witness also, was produced, who swore that Fernandes had stated his intention to shoot DeAmor if ever he got a chance to do so.
But Fernandez maintains that the pistol went of accidentally and after an able defence Fernandez is acquitted "Jury taking that view of the circumstances, acquitted the prisoner, in which the Chief Justice concurred." (1)
(1) Thank you http://portuguesepioneersofbc for information about Fernandes
(2) Thank you AngelVancouver for photo from Capt. James Matthews
Granville in 1885
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