Register of Free Miners in the Cariboo
- GR-0216, Volume 94
This register lists holders of Free Miners Certificates in the Cariboo. The certificates, which permitted the owner to mine on Crown Land, were issued by the provincial government. The cost was one dollar.
The volume is a “who’s who” of BC history, and reflects the extraordinary mix of people who sought their fortunes in the Cariboo gold fields, mining under extremely difficult conditions. The register lists gold seekers from all over the world, including South America, Europe, China and the UK. Many left after the rush ended, but some stayed and founded prominent families and businesses.
While the Cariboo was dominated by men, there were also women miners, some of whom are listed here. Chinese miners were treated as second-class citizens and listed separately at the end, along with one First Nations miner named “Tom”.
Interesting names include:
- Laurent Guichon and brothers, who came as prospectors, to whom Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon is related by marriage,
- T.R. and William Pattullo, uncles of Duff Pattullo, who later became BC Premier,
- Wellington Delaney Moses, a member of the first group of black immigrants who came from San Francisco to Victoria in 1858,
- Annie Miller, a prostitute, noted for her habit of wearing men’s clothes for travel,
- Isaac Oppenheimer, later a successful merchant and Vancouver councillor,
- Fanny Bendixen, a French hotelier and saloonkeeper in Barkerville and Van Winkle,
- John Bowron, an early gold commissioner, for whom the Bowron Lakes are named and
- A.B.B. Davie, a future Attorney General of BC.