Monday, August 18, 2008

Canada BC 150 FDC

Canada FDC
Name: British Columbia's 150th Anniversary
Issue date: 01 August 2008

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.

Acting quickly, the British Parliament passed an act in August 1858 to establish a crown colony on the Pacific mainland. The official ceremony proclaiming the Crown Colony of British Columbia took place on November 19, 1858, at Fort Langley.

To celebrate British Columbia's 150th anniversary and recognize the pivotal role of the Fraser River Gold Rush in the province's creation. Canada Post is issuing a domestic rate 52c stamp on August 1, 2008.

The stamp features a gold-panning image in which a panner's rugged hand outlines the province's eastern border. The image is superimposed over a modern-day map of B.C., including the Queen Charlotte Islands, which weren't part of the colony 150 years ago.

Comment: Canada Post made too many machine postmarks on this FDC, but they still forgot to cancel the left two stamps. BTW, the illustration of this FDC is very special. Could you see James Douglas Map?

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