|There were only 300 people living in Victoria when gold was discovered in the Fraser canyon and 40,000 49ers from California flocked North to take advantage of the find.
Dismayed, Governor James Douglas of Vancouver Island petitioned Queen Victoria for Colonial status for the mainland to protect British sovereignty.
Supposedly, she asked her minister what the Colony should be called. "A river runs through it, called Columbia," she was told.
"Then call the Colony Columbia," she said.
"But there already IS a Columbia, your Majesty," the minister replied.
"Then call it British Columbia," she pronounced and so it became. Governor Douglas read the proclamation on November 19, 1858, Making British Columbia a reality.
The first stamps were produced in 1860 and continued until 1871, when BC became a province of Canada on July 2. All Nations has some examples of these Colonial stamps available and they would be great additions to collectors of things Colonial.
Canada Post will be releasing a stamp to commemorate the anniversary on August 1, 2008, and it was unveiled recently by the Premier. Read the newsletter here.
Read the newsletter about the stamp's release at Fort Langley here.