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HISTORY OF CANADA.   301

drawn up and largely signed in favor of union with Canada. At Portage Is Prairie, the people set up a local government of their own, which, however, they at once abandoned on learning from the colonial secretary that the proceeding was illegal.

The Pacific Coast—A New Colony.—After the Treaty of Oregon (1846) a tide of immigration set in to the Oregon territory. In 1848 the United States, as a result of a successful war with Mexico, acquired California. To offset this increase of strength on the part of our neighbors, Great Britain planned to plant a colony on the Pacific coast. The Hudson's Bay Company, with their usual enterprise, offered to undertake the government and colonization of all the British territories in North America beyond the older provinces. Fortunately this large offer was rejected, but, as the company had exclusive trade privileges over the coast region which would not expire until 1859, the plan for the new colony there was largely committed to their hands.

Vancouver Island.—Early in 1849 the whole of Vancouver Island was granted for ten years to the Hudson's Bay Company upon terms which would, it was thought, ensure speedy settlement. A regular form of government was established for the new colony, and Richard Blanshard was sent out from England as

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