to the miners. When the gold fever subsided the two colonies suffered a severe relapse, and hard times had much to do in bringing about first their own union and then their accession to the Canadian Confederation.
End of the Company's Rule.—The charter of the Hudson's Bay Company was the subject of an investigation in 1857 by a committee of the British House of Commons. The grievances of the coast settlers were laid before it, and, as one result of the inquiry, it was decided that the company's privileges west of the Rocky Mountains should cease. The soil of Vancouver Island was resumed by the Crown (1859) and new provision was made for its government. Douglas was continued in his post as governor, but only upon the distinct stipulation that he should cease to be connected with the Hudson's Bay Company. He at once withdrew from it and his rule thenceforth was that of a wise, upright and impartial governor. The assembly was continued as before. The two colonies, though nominally distinct, were for purposes of executive government practically one. A