Minute Book of the Council of Vancouver Island, 1851-1861


As part of its mandate, the BC Archives has preserved numerous records created by the colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. These records provide valuable evidence of the administration of the two colonies prior to their joining the Canadian Confederation in 1871.

“Minutes of the Council of Vancouver Island: Commencing August 30th 1851, and Terminating with the Prorogation of the House of Assembly, February 6th 1861” documents 10 years of the government of the Crown colony. The volume, which contains the handwriting of early officials such as Richard Blanshard and James Douglas, complements other archival records, such as the minutes of the House of Assembly (1856-1858) and the colonial correspondence.

The Archives of British Columbia published the contents of this minute book in 1918 and 1980. Provincial Archivist E.O.S. Scholefield wrote in the 1918 publication that that these minutes were one of the “most treasured possessions” in the archives and provide researchers with “an idea of the value of the Provincial legislative records from an historical point of view.”

This object selected by Michael Carter.