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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Queen Charlotte Islands

page 53

Queen Charlotte Islands

Are visible on clear days from the mainland as a hazy outline. Three principal islands—Graham, Moresby, and Prevost; probably much like Vancouver Island: western side more nigged than eastern side; southern islands lower than northern ones; Moresby Island high in interior; long stretch of flat land skirting whole eastern coast; islands densely wooded, chiefly "spruce" and fine cypress; alders on the flats; undergrowth luxuriant, chiefly salal; no deer nor wolves. Natives plant potatoes and turnips; climate mild and very moist; little snow; 1st April no snow on lowlands; during that month mosquitoes and humming-birds.

Indians tall and fair complexioned; both sexes good-looking; intelligent; good artistic skill; courageous, but cruel and vindictive; are becoming more used to strangers, but not to be trusted yet.

As regards the value of these islands, it is probable that so long as better portions of British Columbia invite settlers, these islands will only attract the attention of the hunter and miner. Gold has been found on them, and anthracite coal, &c. Hunters might find it profitable to kill sea-otters, which are numerous on the western shores. The farming capabilities of the islands, like those of Vancouver Island, will probably prove to be greater than is now supposed. But at present it is believed that the fierce character of the natives would render any attempts at permanent settlements, unless in strong parties, dangerous.