Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Constable Henry Anderson, B. C. Police

Henry Anderson was Alexander Caulfield Anderson's third child and second son, born at Fort Alexandria in 1843.
Henry was baptized at Fort Alexandria by Pere Nobili, and the witnesses to the ceremony were Donald Manson and Peter Skene Ogden -- what a grouping of famous men!
Henry was a red-headed, hot-tempered child who grew up to be a hot-tempered man.
In his brother's memoirs, Henry angrily told old Tout Laid, the native man who looked after him, to "Tais toi donc Tout Laid."
Tout Laid, of course, got his name from the French Canadian voyageurs, who rarely gave a flattering name to any man or beast.
For John Lutz -- this is another example of the kind of work the natives did in the fur trade!

Henry grew up at Fort Colvile and in Cathlamet, where he supposedly ran away from home to join the American Army at Steilacoom.
His father galloped north to Steilacoom to rescue him -- I haven't been able to confirm this story so if anyone has further information for me I would like to hear it.

In 1863, Henry had an altercation with a native employee at his father's farm, and was stabbed by the employee.
By the time the case came to court, nineteen year old Henry had disappeared into the gold fields of Northern British Columbia.
In May 1876, Harry was still in the Cariboo, according to a letter to Alexander Anderson's brother, William.

In Summer 1883, Henry had the charge of the HBC post at Fraser's Lake when it was closed.
I don't believe he worked in the fur trader for a long time -- little more than two years.
But because of his connection with Fraser's Lake, I have put Henry Anderson here.

In August 1883 Henry returned home to Victoria, "quite a stranger." None of his family had seen him for fifteen years.
In April 1884 Henry is temporarily employed at the Victoria Land Office.
Walter, Henry's brother, encouraged him to join the British Columbia Police force.

By 1885 Henry was a mining recorder and Constable at Ainsworth.
He was a pioneering businessman at that place, and with John Retallack conducted a general real estate office, mine brokerage and conveyancing business under the name of Anderson & Retallack.
In June 1885, recorder and Constable Henry Anderson arrested the miner R. E. Sproule for the murder of Thomas Hammill at the Bluebell Mine.
In December 1885, the miner Sproule was tried for the murder of Hammill in Victoria.
The miners in Spokane were outraged by Sproule's arrest, and the Spokane newspapers caused a great deal of trouble for Henry Anderson. Anderson's life was threatened, and had he crossed the boundary line he certainly would have been killed, according to James Anderson's story in PABC.
It is clear from James Anderson's journals that Henry is a very unhappy man.

In 1886, Henry is mining recorder and constable at Wild Horse Creek, where he arrested two native men -- Kapala and Little Isadore -- for the murder of miners Hilton and Kemp.
This resulted in Chief Isadore (no relation to Little Isadore) riding into Wild Horse with twenty natives stripped for war, and demanding that Constable Anderson release Kapala and Little Isadore from jail.
The natives demanded that Anderson leave the country, and sent a couple of natives along to pack horses for them and escort them safely to Golden.
In May 1887, the men of the Indian Reserve Commission talked to Chief Isadore, and shortly afterward Major Sam Steele and his D troop of the North West Police met Chief Isadore at Wild Horse Creek.
Anderson and his witness were present, and Harry Anderson took the photograph of Sam Steele and his North West Police tropps arriving at Wild Horse Creek (photo in PABC).

In the British Columbia directory 1877, Anderson is listed as the Government Agent at Wild Horse Creek. Wild Horse Creek is near modern-day Fort Steele, and was the site of the first gold rush in the Kootenays in 1864.
Many years later, a well known Kootenay historian and author revealed that Little Isadore and Kapala admitted to shooting the two American prospectors.

In April or May of 1888, Henry was in Nelson, acting as mining recorder for the district.
He applied for a quarter section of land right near the point of land where Nelson's big orange bridge stands today.
He planned to lay out a townsite called 'Salisbury,' but was forced to shelve his plans when the city gave the land to a man who had earlier laid claim to it.
If Anderson point still exists in Nelson, it is named for Constable Henry "Harry" Anderson.

In May 1891, Henry stormed out of James' house without saying a word to him. "It is cruel the way he has treated us," James wrote.
In June 1891, Henry married Hannah Renouf in Victoria, B. C., and did not invite his family to the wedding.
After his marriage he was appointed Municipal Clerk at Kaslo; he was fifty years old.
On Nov. 6 1893, Henry died suddenly at Kaslo, B. C.
After Henry's death, Hannah maintained a boardhouse in Ainsworth, and narrowly escaped losing her dwelling and possessions in the 1896 fire which destroyed the town.
The Mermaid Lodge and Motel in Ainsworth is Henry Anderson's old residence.
I am applying for permission to the British Columbia Archives to post Henry Anderson's photograph at the top of the page -- be patient.

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