its first governor. There was to be a council of not more than seven members, and the governor was also empowered to call an assembly. For reasons which will appear, no assembly met until 1856. The whole expense of government, including the governor's salary, was to be defrayed by the company. When Governor Blanshard arrived at Fort Victoria early in 1850, he found none but the company's employees to greet him, and soon discovered that he was a mere figure-head. As has been said, "his time was occupied, and his administration consisted, in giving orders which were disregarded, and in writing despatches to the home government complaining of the actions of the company's officers." In disgust he tendered his resignation in November, 1850, and left the colony in the following summer. Ile reports that there was "no colonization worth mentioning ;" that, all told, the settlers amounted to thirty, and that the company had made but one real sale of land for colonization purposes.
The Company's Monopoly.--The company, indeed, were all-powerful. Besides controlling all expenditures, they were lords of the soil of the island. Settlers would interfere with the fur trade, and the company, therefore, reserved the best land and fixed the price of what was left at such a figure as to drive in-tending settlers away. While in the neighboring territory of Oregon land could be bought for $1.00 per acre, the Hudson's Bay Company fixed the price of theirs at £1 per acre. All minerals were the property of the company, unless the settler chose to pay an exorbitant royalty for a mining privilege. The discovery in 1849 of coal at Nanaimo--now the chief coaling station on the Pacific—failed to draw settlers, as the company monopolized the mines. The necessaries of life could be obtained only from the company's stores at high prices. The only school was con-ducted at the company's fort by the company's chaplain, Rev. Robert Staines. After Blanshard's withdrawal from the island, James—afterwards Sir James—Douglas, the company's chief factor, took his place as governor of the infant colony. Thereafter the nominal, as well as the real, control was in the company's hands. Under these circumstances settlement proceeded but slowly. In 1853 there were only some 450 white people on the island, the company's employees included. The grant of the island to the company had provided that if in five years they failed to