April 14, 1858: Douglas’s “emissary” Captain Jeremiah Nagle meets with the San Francisco Black community

On the evening of April 14,1858 at the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in San Francisco, the Black community were celebrating the release of fugitive slave Archy Lee.

In the midst of these celebrations Jeremiah Nagle, captain of the steamship Commodore which sailed regularly between San Francisco and Victoria, arrived at the meeting. It is said that Nagle came well-prepared to the meeting with maps of Vancouver Island and a letter from “a gentleman in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company of undoubted veracity” giving details about the colony and inviting the Black community to come to the Colony of Vancouver Island.

The Pioneer Committee arrived in Victoria on April 25, 1858.