1885 Map showing Police Station in Bastion Square, UBC Specal collections G 3514-V5G475 1885 s2.  For a larger version, go to the Maps section. Songhees Reserve and Victoria Harbour, BCA: F-09568

“All the hotels, inns, and whisky shops, are closed against us …They shut us out from their concerts… Having from early boyhood cherished a friendly feeling for the British-Government, which was the result of her liberal-policy towards the colored people generally, we had hoped on coming here to occupy this virgin soil; that we would enjoy all of the rights and privileges enjoyed by others, but how sadly have many of us been disappointed.” (British Colonist June 13, 1859)

The segregation and unquestionably racist atmosphere of Vancouver Island in 1859 had arisen from the aristocratic sentiments of its white inhabitants. Typically, whether Black, Asian, or Aboriginal, the opportunities and acceptance of an individual of color was uncommon, whereas callous and bigoted restrictions and racist behaviour was not. The following section is dedicated to an explanation and analysis of the origin and persistence of the racism that existed in the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1859.

“…there is a power behind the throne stronger than the throne itself and that power is public opinion. …the position we hold in this colony, is not only humiliating in the extreme, but degrading to us as a class. I will not now stop to enquire why it is that we are thus treated, hated and despised. Enough to know that it is so….the obnoxious seeds of prejudice are so deeply rooted in the white man’s heart, which he directs against us with such burning force, biting like an adder and stinging like an asp, that we naturally suffer from its deadly effects.” (British Colonist, June 13, 1859).