Date of Issue: 8/1/2008 Denomination:52¢ It could be said that a rich part of British Columbia's history lies in the creek beds and shallow pools of the Fraser River. During the 1850s, thousands of hopeful, would-be millionaires flocked to central B.C. and the Fraser with big dreams of discovering gold. In March 1858, excitement reached a fever pitch, when the schooner Wild Pigeon landed in Washington Territory, now Washington State, with news of natives trading gold from the Fraser River to the Hudson's Bay Company. The resulting "rush" triggered an influx of some 30,000 prospectors, miners and those simply hoping to strike it rich. The gold rush, combined with the expansionist policy of the United States, worried James Douglas (1803-1877), governor of Vancouver Island. The threat to British sovereignty from the incoming waves of gold seekers from the U.S. was very real to Douglas, and in his reports to London he painted a grave picture of the situation.
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