Tuesday, November 26, 2013


In 2013, Douglas Day had a new feel. For the first time, visitors to Fort Langley learned more about James Douglas's mixed-race origins, and the celebrations included his Guyanese connection.

Here's the video:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Douglas supervising the
building of Victoria 1849
I'm grateful to Clyde Duncan, President of the Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association of BC, for making me aware of this excellent newspaper article about James Douglas by Adele Perry. She is Associate Professor of History and Canada Research Chair in Western Canadian Social History at the University of Manitoba.

The article was published in the Stabroek News last April in Georgetown, Guyana and I found it excellent. I'm pleased that Canadians are getting involved with the heritage that originated in Guyana. So few know about it or about the Guyanese who live here today. 

Enjoy the article here:
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Friday, November 25, 2011


Mahaica, Demerara - JD's birthplace in Guyana 
(c) Government of Guyana] Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport

Since I wrote James Douglas: Father of BC  and it was published in 2009, JD's statue in Guyana has been enclosed by a wrought iron fence. The above image was taken on November 16, 2011, three days before the celebration of Douglas Day in British Columbia at Fort Langley.

The bronze likeness in Guyana was cast from the same mould as the original that stands outside the fort where JD was proclaimed the first governor of BC in 1858 [below].

The CBC video of this year's celebration can be seen here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/11/19/bc-video-douglas-day-history.html

With appreciation to Clyde Duncan, president of the Guyanese Canadian Cultural Association of B.C

© Julie H. Ferguson 2009

Friday, October 7, 2011

© Julie H. Ferguson 2011

At last I was able to visit the grave of James Douglas in September 2011. I drove through the huge Ross Bay Cemetery just off Dallas Road where many of Fort Victoria's early settlers are buried, as well as later luminaries. Victoria's history was all around me commemorated with  life-sized stone angels, obelisks, mausoleums, and the more typical headstones. Here and there, I saw tiny graves, obviously of children and babies from 1850s onward. Life was tenuous on the edge of the Empire.

As I had no map of the site and no one was there to ask where to find the grave, luck played a part in locating the last resting place of JD. And suddenly I saw it right beside the road in the middle of the cemetery. I recognized it immediately from a photo in the Provincial Archives. Had it been off the road, I'd never have found it.

The grave is well tended and the railings around it, freshly painted. What I didn't know was JD's wife Amelia was also buried in the same family vault and so was his son, James. One other person's name is carved on the red marble - I didn't recognize it, so I will have to do some more research.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

MOOSE FACTORY - 1670 TO 2011

Taken by Andrew Evans, Digital Nomad for (c) National Geographic 2011

This image is Moose River close by Moose Factory, shot on July 14, 2011. The view looks exactly as it did to the Europeans in the Hudson's Bay Company who built a fur trading post there in 1670 and to James Douglas, governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island, who saw it in mid-1800s

The fort was situated on Moose Island in the Cochrane district of northern Ontario at the southern end of Hudson Bay beside James Bay. Moose Factory was the first English speaking settlement in Ontario and only the second HBC fort in North America. Nearly 1500 Moose Cree First Nation people live there today.

Many thanks to Andrew Evans and the National Geographic Traveler!
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Fort Langley, BC
© Julie H. Ferguson 2009
I'm pleased to announce that Dundurn has just posted the Teachers' Resource Guide to James Douglas: Father of BC.

This book is relevant for grade 5-10 Social Studies, First Nations 12, as well as Law 12, etc.

Key domains include Identity/Society/Culture, Governance, Economy and Technology, Human and Physical Environment, and Aboriginal.

You can read and download the free TRG for your classroom at http://www.dundurn.com/books/james_douglas (Click on "Download Teacher's Guide" icon.)