In the early 1860’s, Blacks in Victoria were involved in politics as a group and were a recognized political force.  By voting as a unified group, Blacks occupied a position of political power.  This period lasted only a few years because the Black population decreased in size, their interest in politics waned and Black political unity became fragmented.  Since then Blacks are involved in politics on a more individual basis, representing their specific constituents; several have served or are serving as elected political representatives.

The individual politicians included in this section are Emery Barnes, John Braithwaite, Rosemary Brown, Mifflin Gibbs, John Craven Jones, Henry Robinson, and John Freemont Smith.



In 1856 James Douglas formed the first Legislative Assembly which were in power until January 1860 when an election was held for a new fifteen member Assembly.  Blacks played a significant role in the outcome of this election.

The two seats available for Victoria representatives were contested by four candidates – Attorney General George Cary, Selim Franklin, Amor de Cosmos and Edward Langford.  Cary and Franklin were supporters of James Douglas, while de Cosmos and Langford were opposed to James Douglas and considered themselves ‘reformers’.  Langford later withdrew leaving de Cosmos to run against Cary and Franklin.

Only British subjects were eligible to vote in the election and at that time there were no naturalization laws in the colony so no one could become naturalized British subjects there.  This excluded the majority of Blacks who were neither British subjects, nor had become naturalized in another British colony.  In 1859, aware of a sizeable Black community, Cary and Franklin approached the Blacks with the suggestion that Blacks could vote simply by swearing an oath of allegiance.  This advice was based on the Dred Scott decision of the United States Supreme Court which among other things upheld the Blacks were not U.S. citizens.  To become a naturalized British subject it was necessary to renounce previous citizenship and swear an oath of allegiance.  Since, by virtue of the Dred Scott decision, Blacks in effect had no citizenship to renounce, Cary and Franklin reasoned that swearing an oath of allegiance should be sufficient to become naturalized.  This suggestion, coming from the Attorney General himself, was favoured by the Blacks who desired the equality of franchise.

de Cosmos in a November 1859 editorial warned the Blacks that the Cary-Franklin suggestion was merely an attempt to secure their votes, but later when the Blacks swore the oath of allegiance and registered to vote, he did not object.  The result of the voting (which was public rather than by secret ballot), was Cary – 137, Franklin – 106 and de Cosmos – 91.  All eighteen Blacks who had voted, supported Cary and Franklin.

Immediately after the election, de Cosmos, the editor of the ‘Colonist’, began to write articles criticizing the participation of the Blacks in the election and the Blacks as a group.  He also attempted to initiate proceedings to have he voter’s list examined but this was delayed and postponed by government design, until eventually after continuous public objections, a Court of Revisions was established in March 1861.  This Court made the decision that 24 out of the 26 Blacks who were on the registered list were not qualified and were struck from the list.

This event, however, did serve to make evident the need for naturalization law and in May 1861 Cary announced he would introduce such a bill in the Assembly and that year the ‘Alien Act’ was passed.

1861 was also the year of a by-election in Victoria for two vacant seats in the Legislative Assembly.  Jacob Francis, a Black saloon keeper, announced his intention to run in this election and was duly nominated.  Joseph Trutch who was not in the colony at the time, was also nominated.  An objection to his nomination was raised on the grounds that he was not present to swear the oath of allegiance required of all candidates.  Nevertheless, his nomination was accepted.  There were four candidates for the two vacant seats and the results of the voting were: Trimble – 38, Trutch – 36, Francis – 11, and Young – 4.  There was public debate and support for Francis’ claim to the seat, but Trimble and Trutch were sworm into office.  Jacob Francis hired a lawyer and prepared a petition concerning the legality of Trutch’s election.  The committee, established by the Assembly to investigate Francis’ claim, rejected his petition on a technicality – the petition had “erasures and interlineations”.  Francis was advised to submit a new petition but in the meantime the deadline for submitting a petition expired and Francis was not given an extension.  Trutch’s questionable election stood.

A new House of Assembly was to be elected in 1863.  The Alien Act of 1861 had enabled Blacks to become naturalized British subjects and having met the property requirements, 52 Blacks were placed on the voter’s list.  Amor de Cosmos was again a candidate. He attempted to secure the votes of the Blacks but for the most part these overtures were unsuccessful.  A few Blacks did vote for de Cosmos and some did not vote at all.  In this election, the voting of Blacks was not a significant factor as de Cosmos gained his seat with a healthy majority.

In an 1864 by-election three candidates – Searby, Franklin and Welch – ran for one available seat.  One of the key issues of this election was the proposed Alien Bill which would give all naturalized subjects the rights of British subjects, including the right to run for legislative office.  At that time there existed a law that only British subjects by birth and not by naturalization could take a seat in the Assembly.  This law effectively excluded the majority of Blacks including Mifflin Gibbs, an acknowledged leader of the Black community.

In an effort to gain the votes of Blacks, Searby promised to support the Alien Bill despite the fact that years before he had espoused segregation in the churches and had stated publicly that he would not sit on the same Board with a Black man.  Franklin, on the other hand, would not commit his support to the Alien Bill.  Eventually the majority of Blacks made a pledge to back Searby, except for some Jamaicans, who were already British-born and would not benefit from the Bill.  Many Blacks did not vote at all but the Jamaicans and three Black Americans voted for Franklin who defeated Searby by a seven vote margin.

This election marked an end to a period of Black political unity and power derived from that unity.  As well, Blacks were already beginning to return to the United States and their interest in Victoria politics diminished.

Books and Articles

Foner, F.  The Colored Inhabitants of Vancouver Island.  op.cit. , pp. 29-33.

Higgins, D.W.  The Passing of a Race and More Tales of Western Life.  op.cit. , pp.166-168.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit. , 1st edition pp.64-74, 129-131; 2nd edition Chapter 6 (pp. 51-60), 59, 96, 109.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit. , pp. 282-285.

Wild, R.  Amor de Cosmos.  op.cit. , pp.45-46, 97-98.

Woodcock, G.  Amor de Cosmos: journalist and reformer.  op.cit. , pp. 49-50.


Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia – 1858-1871.  op.cit. , pp.89-111, 186.

Walden, F.E.  The Social History of Victoria, British Columbia.  op.cit. , pp.22-24.


Colonist, November 21, 1859. p.2. “A Trap”.

Amor de Cosmos gives his opinion on the upcoming Victoria election and is particularly concerned about the Blacks voting before the passage of a naturalization bill which would permit them to become British subjects.  He warns “the foreign portion” that they are being trapped into voting illegally.

Colonist, January 10, 1860. “The Late Election”.

In this editorial Amor de Cosmos comments on the Victoria election which he lost to Cary and Franklin who won with the support of the Blacks.  He blames Attorney General Cary who encouraged the Blacks to take an oath of allegiance to vote.  He asks why “colored men” who had come straight from slavery should have the right to vote in only four months.

Colonist, January 10, 1860, p.2. “Cary-Franklin Jollification”.

This article describes the victory celebration held by the Black residents of the community and the two winning candidates.  The speeches of George Cary and Jacob Francis, a Black man, are reported.

Colonist, January 12, 1860. “The Election and the Colored People”.

In this long letter signed “Shears”, the writer states that the Blacks voted on the basis of “who is most friendly to the ‘nigger’ or who will promise the most to the colored men”.  The writer goes on to suggest that Blacks “always want a little more liberty than white men … acting upon the mistaken notion that freedom is without limits, they succeed in making themselves hated wherever they go”.

Colonist, January 14, 1860. “The Election and the Colored People”.

In this lengthy letter, Mifflin Gibbs writes a rebuttal to “Shears” criticism of Blacks in connection with the election.

Colonist, January 14, 1860. This letter written by “Shears” criticizes the editor of the ‘Gazette’ for defending the Blacks’ voting in the recent Victoria election.

Colonist, February 14, 1860. “Getting Paid”.

The writer of the article states that Blacks who had voted for Cary and Franklin had been placed on the jury lists.

Colonist, February 16, 1860. “Bargain and Sale”.

This is a letter signed “Anglo-African” who criticized the Blacks who voted for Cary and Franklin.  The writer felt that they only voted in order to secure free concert tickets and be placed on the jury lists.

Colonist, March 12, 1861. “Court of Revision”.

There is a reprint of the testimony given during the hearing to decide on objections to the 1859-1861 registered lists of voters.  The names of the Blacks who were allowed to remain on the list are given.

Colonist, March 13, 1861. “Court of Revision”.

This is a continuation of the testimony given during the hearing.  Mifflin Gibbs’ name was retained on the voters list and Peter Lester gave testimony.

Colonist, March 23, 1861. “Court of Revision”.

This is an account of the Revising Barrister, M.W.T. Drake’s ruling that this court did not agree with a previous decision that any persons who are not citizens of any other country, could become British subjects immediately upon their arrival on British soil.  He therefore was striking off the list, names of numerous Black people including Peter Lester.

Colonist, March 23, 1861. “How the Obstructives Treat Their Colored Voters”.

In this editorial, de Cosmos comments on the deceit of the Blacks by the same men who after using them, remove the names of Blacks from the voters list.

Colonist, May 21, 1861.

It is reported that at a public meeting Cary announced his intention to put forward in the Assembly, naturalization law – an Alien Act.  The issue of Blacks voting in previous elections was again brought up and Gibbs defended their right to vote.  At this meeting Gibbs and Cary disagreed over the intent of Cary’s suggestion prior to the 1860 election, that Blacks could become eligible to vote by swearing an oath of allegiance.

Colonist, November 16, 1861. “Nomination Day”.

Jacob Francis is nominated by James Thorne and J.D. Carroll as a candidate in the upcoming Victoria election.

Colonist, November 16, 1861. “Election Day”.

This article deals with the Victoria election in which Trimble, Trutch, Francis and Young were the candidates.

Colonist, November 18, 1861. “Trutch Considered to have been Elected Illegally in Victoria District”.

This article supports Jacob Francis’ claim to the seat in the Victoria election because the writer considered the election of Trutch illegal.

Colonist, November 27, 1861. “The Colored Question”.

This letter signed “West Indian” comments on the public debate over the possible election of a Black man to the House of Assembly.

Colonist, December 10, 1861.

This article describes how Trutch was sworn in despite Francis’ petition which was rejected because of “erasures and interlineations”.  It was necessary for Francis to submit a new petition but the time by which he should do this had already expired, and no extension would be granted.

Colonist, January 19, 1864.

There is a reprint of a letter written by Mifflin Gibbs to Searby to determine Searby’s stand on the Alien Bill.

Colonist, January 19, 1864.

In his reply to Mifflin Gibb’s letter, Searby states that he would support Mr. Ridge’s bill for the naturalization of aliens when it was introduced to the House.

Colonist, January 20, 1864.

There is a description of a political meeting in which Mifflin Gibbs is noted as the leader of the Blacks who attended and pledged to support Searby who favoured an Alien Bill.

Colonist, January 27, 1864. “The Colored Vote”.

The writer comments on the result of the recent election and discusses the consequences of the Blacks voting in the 1860 election.

Chronicle, July 18, 1863.

The article reports the opinions of Mifflin Gibbs and Willis Bond concerning the approaching election.  The men gave reasons that they could not support de Cosmos’ candidacy until they “saw how he behaved himself.”

Chronicle, July 18, 1863.

It is reported that the Black voters number fifty-two and that their vote would determine the outcome of the election.

Evening Express, January 22, 1864.

In this letter to the editor signed “J. Cathcart alias Jamaica” the writer expressed his reasons for opposing the Alien Bill.

Evening Express, January 25, 1864.

The article suggests that the Alien Bill would only enable Lester and Gibbs to enter the Legislative Assembly and that all the other “aliens did not wish to give up their citizenship.  Only Blacks wanted to “meddle” and enter the House.

Evening Express, February 25, 1864.

This article suggests that Blacks had been given too many privileges and proposed that the period of residence required for naturalization be extended.

Gazette, January 9, 1860.

In this article the editor asks why the right of the Blacks to vote had not been challenged at the time of voter registration and also asks if de Cosmos had hoped to secure the votes of the Blacks himself.

Gazette, January 9, 1860. “Political Meeting”.

The writer gives an account of the meeting to celebrate the victory of Cary and Franklin in the Victoria election.

Gazette, January 9, 1860.

A person signing “H.P.” points out incidents of discrimination against members of the Black community who had voted for Cary and Franklin in the recent election.

Gazette, January 11, 1860. “Facts”.

The Victoria election and the participation of the Blacks in the election is discussed.

Gazette, July 23, 25, 1860.

These articles deal with complaints about illegal voting in the 1860 election.  The election committee refused to open the registration lists because they had already been closed by the revising barrister.

Press, March 23, 1861.

The decision to remove the names of the majority of Blacks from the voters list is reported.

Press, November 12, 1861.

Jacob Francis announces his intention to run as an independent candidate for the vacant seat in the Legislative Assembly.

Press, November 20, 1861.

It is reported that Jacob Francis had retained a lawyer to investigate the legality of the election of Joseph Trutch.

Press, November 21, 1861.

The editor supports Jacob Francis’ legal right to the disputed seat in the recent election.

Sun, January 11, 1977, p. 27. “We Like to Pretend” by James K. Nesbitt.

This article deals with prejudice in B.C. past and present.  Sections quoted from Philip S. Foner’s article on the political position of Blacks in Victoria during the 1860’s, comprise a large portion of this report.


Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was a candidate for City Councillor in the August 1862 Victoria municipal election and was defeated by only four votes.

In November 1865, Abner Hunt Francis, representing the Yates Street Ward was elected and sworn in as a City Councillor but then immediately resigned.  His candidacy was questioned  because he was not listed on the 1863 Assessment Role.

One year later, in 1866, Mifflin Gibbs was elected to Victoria City Council, representing James Bay. He was also Chairman of the Finance Committee and even served briefly as acting Mayor.  He was re-elected to the Victoria City Council in 1868 and in January 1869 he took a three month leave of absence in order to build a wharf and tramway for the Queen Charlotte Coal Company.  Having outstayed his leave of absence, Gibbs lost his seat in July 1869.


In 1873, Letters of Patent were issued to establish the Municipality and Township of Salt Spring Island and seven Town Councillors were elected.  Two of the Councillors were Black –  John C Jones and Henry W. Robinson who also served as Municipal Clerk.

Throughout the ten year existence of the Municipality, there was controversy surrounding its activities.  Some Salt Spring residents were more self-sufficient pioneers who preferred to remain independent of any political organization.  Other residents felt that the Council could hasten the process of development of the Island.  (These divisions do not appear to have been related to race.)  There were often charges of election malpractice, financial mismanagement and other irregularities.

In 1881, settlers brought charges against three men, including Henry W. Robinson, for election malpractices which resulted in the election being declared void.  Eventually in May 1863, the Provincial Legislature passed an Act to annul the Letters of Patent establishing Salt Spring as a Municipality and this period of political activity on Salt Spring Island came to an end.

Books and Articles

Flucke, A.F.  Early Days on Salt Spring Island.  op.cit. , pp. 194-199.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit. , p, 114.

Roberts, E.  Salt Spring Saga.  op.cit. , pp. 61-63.

Winks, R. The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit. , p. 278.


Irby, C.  Black Settlers on Salt Spring Island in the Nineteenth Century.  op.cit. , p. 10.


Colonist, January 16, 1873. “Salt Spring Municipal Election”.

Colonist, April 22, 1882. “Salt Spring Island Election Case”.



Books and Articles

 Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit. , 1st edition p, 160; 2nd edition p. 140.

The author notes that in Vancouver in 1914 Jay Mack McAdow, known as “Johnny Mack” organized the Independent Colored Political Association (ICPO) to encourage Blacks to become naturalized and to educate themselves politically.  The ICPO existed for 5 years under the leadership of McAdow.   In the 2nd edition Kilian notes that the organization encouraged young Blacks to become teachers and nurses.


Province, November 30, 1940. P. 14. “British Columbians of the Week”.

This article provides a brief history of the Blacks in B.C. and focuses on the formation of the Independent Colored Political Organization in 1914.




Since 1972 Emery Barnes has been a New Democratic Party member of the Provincial Legislature representing Vancouver Centre.  During the NDP’s years in power, he acted as Party Whip and was one of the few New Democratic Party MLA’s to survive the Social Credit landslide in the 1975 provincial election.

He was elected four consecutive times, serving until 1996; during that time, in 1994, he was elected Speaker of the Legislature.

Books and Articles

Bertley, L.  Black Tiles in the Mosaic, op.cit.

Bertley, L.  Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , p. 310.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. , 1st edition p. 167, 169; 2nd edition p. 145-146.


Newspaper Index

As stated in the 1st edition of this catalogue: There were 48 cards (each with an average of 6 entries) listing articles pertaining to Emery Barnes, which have appeared in Vancouver or Victoria newspapers from December 1959 to June 1978.

Aural History Tapes

Tape #2687: 3 side 2

Emery Barnes speaks briefly on national unity in 1977.


When elected in 1972, John Braithwaite topped the polls and served as a North Vancouver alderman until 1976.

Books and Articles

Bertley, L.  Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , p. 277.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. , 1st edition pp. 167, 169; 2ND edition pp 145.


Newspaper Index.

As stated in the 1st edition of this catalogue:  There are eight cards (each with an average of six entries) listing several articles pertaining to John Braithwaite which have appeared in Vancouver and Victoria newspapers from June 1958 to October 1977.


In 1972 Rosemary Brown began serving as a New Democratic Party member of the provincial Legislative Assembly representing Vancouver-Burrard.  In 1975 she ran for the federal leadership of the New Democratic Party and came in second.  She was re-elected as a provincial MLA in 1975 even though the NDP was defeated in that election.

Books and Articles

Bertley, L.  Black Tiles in the Mosaic, op.cit.

Bertley, L.  Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , pp. 278, 300, 308, 309.

Fotheringham, C.  The Pure Left Politics of Rosemary Brown. , op.cit.

Gould, C.  Women of British Columbia. , op.cit. , pp. 200-203

Hobbs, L.  Why is Rosemary Running?  , op.cit.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing. , op.cit. , 1st edition p. 167, 169-171; 2nd edition p. 145.


Newspaper Index

As stated in the 1st edition of this catalogue: There were 139 cards (each with an average of six entries) listing articles pertaining to Rosemary Brown, which have appeared in the Vancouver and Victoria newspapers from February 1971 to August 1978.

Aural History Tapes

Tape #1010 – 1.  February 1, 1977.

Ms. Brown is interviewed after returning from the World Conference of Blacks held in Nigeria.  She comments that most people who attended were surprised to learn that there was a Black population in Canada and that she could be a political representative elected by a predominately white community.

Tape #1010-2.  February 28, 1977.

Recorded on this tape is a speech given by Rosemary Brown to a group of handicapped people who came to Victoria to address Human Resources Minister, Bill Vanderzalm, who refused to meet with the group.

Side 2.  March 4, 1977.

Ms. Brown criticizes the new rates announced for handicapped people by Human Resources Minister, Bill Vanderzalm.

Tape #1010-3 – Side 1.  March 14, 1977.

Rosemary Brown presents her critique of the philosophy of the Ministry of Human Resources and discusses the problems of welfare recipients in B.C.

Side 2. June 22, 1977.

Ms. Brown criticizes the decision of Mr. Vanderzalm to eliminate the Vancouver Resources Board.

Tape #1209-3.  March 24, 1977. – Side Two.

Rosemary Brown discusses the Pharmacare program and notes the lack of programs available to the sick and elderly.


For Jackson: A Time Capsule from His Two Grandmothers. , Leila Sujir (Writer and Director). Leila Sujir (LRS Producer). Germaine Ying Gee Wong. (NFB Producer). Montreal, PQ: National Film Board of Canada, 2003

This 1-hour documentary features the late politician and activist Rosemary Brown.
This moving portrait incorporates interviews, family footage and archival materials to recount history through two grandmothers, Rosemary Brown (1930-2003) and Ruth Horricks-Sujir (born 1925). The documentary is intended as a time capsule for Jackson, their 7-year-old grandson.

Works by Rosemary Brown

A New Kind of Power.  Women in the Canadian Mosaic. Edited by Gwen Matheson.  Toronto: P. Martin Associates, 1976.  Pp. 289-298. (PA).

Feminism and Socialism.  Herstory and Policy.  NDP Women’s Committee.  British Columbia NDP, 1971., pp. 1-9. (LL).

The Negroes. , op.cit. ,  pp. 237-242.


In November 1865, Abner Hunt Francis was nominated by Willis Bond to represent the Yates Street Ward.  Francis was elected to Victoria City Council on November 13 and formally sworn into office on November 14th.  However on November 16th Francis posted a notice that he was resigning.

Colonist, November 9, 1865. Pg.3. “Municipal Nomination”

The article states that the nomination of mayor and six councillors took place yesterday …”For Yates Street Ward – Mr. Willis Bond proposed Mr. Abner Hunt Francis as a suitable candidate…”.

Colonist, November 14, 1865. Pg.3. “The New City Council”

The article states that yesterday at 12 o’clock councillors-elect for the City of Victoria were formally sworn in before Chief Justice Needham. The article includes “Mr. A.H. Francis taking the oath.

Colonist, November 16, 1865. Pg.2. “Yates Street Ward”

This is a notice submitted by Francis to Lumley Franklin, Esq. Mayor-elect Victoria, V.I. which states “Sir – Doubts having been cast upon the validity as a City Councillor, and not being desirous to combat with such, I beg to resign into your hands all rights or claims, or supposed right to a seat at the Board of the City of Council of Victoria.” Dated this Wednesday, the 15th day of November A.D. 1865. ABNER HUNT FRANCIS. Witness: John Copland, Solicitor Supreme Court

Colonist, November 16, 1865. Pg.3. “Resigned”

This article refers to the notice on page 2 and states “It would seem that Mr. Francis name does not appear on the Assessment Roll of 1863, which disqualifies him from holding the office to which he has been elected by the voice of the electors”.

Colonist, November 17, 1865. Pg.2. “Another Municipal Exhibition”

This article questions the use of the Assessment Role in determining candidacy for elections, and specifically why is the most recent (1865) assessment role not used.



Mifflin Gibbs is one of the most recognized leaders and spokesman of the pioneer Black community.  He was a candidate for City Councillor in the August 1862 Victoria municipal election and was defeated by only four votes.  Gibbs felt that there had been some irregularities in the election procedure but later withdrew his protest.  In November 1866 he again ran for City Council and was elected in the James Bay Ward.  He was Chairman of the Finance Committee and even served briefly as acting Mayor.  In 1868 the settlers of Salt Spring Island elected Gibbs as their representative to the Yale Convention to define the terms of B.C.’s entry into Confederation.  He was re-elected to the Victoria City Council in 1868 and in January 1869 he took a three month leave of absence in order to build a wharf and tramway for the Queen Charlotte Coal Company.  Having outstayed his leave of absence, Gibbs lost his seat in July 1869.

He returned to the United States and in 1873 he became the first Black Judge.  He was elected to this position in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He later was appointed U.S. Consul for Madagascar from 1897 to 1901.  In 1907 he visited Victoria and in 1915 he died in Little Rock.

Books and Articles

Beasley, Delilah L.  The Negro Trailblazer of California, Los Angeles, 1919, pp. 110-113 (PA)

Bertley, L.  Black Tiles in the Mosaic, op.cit.

Bertley, L.  Canada and its People of African Descent. , op.cit. , p. 303.

Brown, T. The Negroes. , op.cit. ,  pp. 237-238.

Gould, C.  Women of British Columbia. , op.cit. , p. 91.

Higgins, D.W. The Passing of a Race and More Tales of Western Life. , op.cit.  p. 174.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  , op.cit, 1st edition pp. 127-128, 140-146; 2nd edition p. 11-13, 55-56, 58, 107-109, 117-124.

Pethick, D.  Men of British Columbia., op.cit. , pp. 80-83.

Gibbs is mentioned as a delegate to the Yale Convention in the following works:

Akrigg, G.F.V. & H.B.  British Columbia Chronicle, 1847 – 1871.  Gold and colonists.  , op.cit. , p. 360.

Begg, A.  History of British Columbia. , op.cit. , pp. 285, 383.

Smith, D. B. (Ed.) The Reminiscences of Doctor John Sebastion Hamilton. , op.cit. , pp. 246-247.

Woodcock, G.  Amor de Cosmos. , op.cit. , p. 114.


Pilton, J.  Negro Settlement in British Columbia 1858 – 1871.  , op.cit. , pp. 82-89, 107-110, 138, 183.


Colonist, January 8, 1867 “Mifflin Gibbs”.

Colonist, March 23, 1869. “Victoria House”.

Colonist, August 31, 1907. “Pioneer Victorian Spends Day in City”.

Colonist, February 9, 1958. “It was the Negroes Seeking Freedom Who Formed First Victoria Militia” by A.J. Arnold.

Colonist, July 28, 1974. “One Man’s Crusade” by Ruth Herberg.

Colonist, February 17, 2017 “Black pioneer Mifflin Wistar Gibbs honoured with plaque”.

The article states that Mifflin Wistar Gibbs, a Victoria pioneer and the first black person to hold elected office in B.C., will be honoured with a bronze plaque being unveiled on Sunday as part of B.C. Black History and Heritage Day.  The article includes a brief biography of Gibbs.

Evening Bulletin, June 23, 1858 – Gibbs, M.W. File.

Letter written by Gibbs from Victoria to friend “L” in California dated June 16, 1858.

Montreal Star, April 12, 1962 – Gibbs, M.W. File. “The Negro Judge of Little Rock, Gibbs, Unique U.S. – Canadian Figure Hundred Years Ago”  by A.J. Arnold.

Press, August 11, 1862.

M.W. Gibbs offers himself as candidate for City Councillor.

Press, August 12, 1862.

There is a report of a public meeting involving Gibbs.

Times, May 23, 1962. “Mifflin Gibbs Became Consul”.

Victorian, December 3, 1970. “Mifflin Gibbs man to Remember” by Tom Peterson.

Works by Mifflin Gibbs

Shadow and Light: an Autobiography.  Washington D.C. 1902 pp. 61-62 (PA)




It is noted in several works that John C. Jones and Henry W. Robinson were elected to the first seven man Municipal Council on Salt Spring Island in 1873.

Books and Articles

Flucke, A.F. Early Days on Salt Spring Island. , op.cit. , pp. 194-199.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit.  1st edition p. 114

Roberts, E. Salt Spring Saga.  op.cit.  pp. 61-63.

Winks, R.  The Blacks in Canada.  op.cit.  p. 278.


Irby. C.  Black Settlers on Salt Spring Island in the Nineteenth Century.  op.cit.  p. 10.



J.F. Smith was an alderman in Kamloops from 1902 to 1908.

Books and Articles

Balf. M.  Kamloops: A History of the District to 1914.   Op.cit. pp.80, 109, 116, 120.

Kilian, C.  Go Do Some Great Thing.  op.cit.  1st edition p. 154, 2nd edition p. 134.