One hundred and forty years ago, Edgar Dewdney sent a note to B.C.’s attorney general, Henry Pering Pellew Crease. It is hard to decipher his writing, but he appears to be complaining about having to pay taxes on land he thought “was clear”.
It was sent on July 12, 1877 and is datelined “Burrard Inlet”. He was in the area to do a survey of Granville townsite, which was Vancouver’s first name.
He wasn’t impressed.
“I am here in a very bad camp and the only one I can get on account of the scarcity of fresh water,” he wrote. “I am finishing Granville townsite, and a pretty rough one it is.”
The unique piece of Vancouver history was once owned by Gerald Wellburn, a collector of colonial B.C. stamps and ephemera who died in 1992.