1851-1864: James Douglas is Governor of Vancouver Island (1851–64) and British Columbia (1858–64)

James Douglas was born in Guyana in 1803. His father was Scottish and his mother was “free coloured.” Douglas was Chief Factor for the Hudson’s Bay Company operating from Fort Victoria. In 1851 he was appointed Governor of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, succeeding Richard Blanshard. Meanwhile, the mainland colony functioned under the defacto administration of the Hudson’s Bay Company with Douglas as its chief executive. In 1858, the mainland colony became the Colony of British Columbia, and Douglas was named as its governor. He concurrently continued as Governor of Vancouver Island, which remained a separate colony until 1866. Queen Victoria knighted Douglas in 1863. Read more