Author Tags: Early B.C., Transient
Before his arrival on Vancouver Island, Englishman Charles Aubrey Angelo (1810-1875) founded Belmont, California, situated between San Francisco and San Jose in California. On December 18, 1850, he opened a roadhouse called Angelo House (located in what is now the intersection of Ralston Avenue and Old County Road), having previously managed a stage stop tent-house near Menlo Park. His newspaper advertisements in the Daily Pacific News boasted his hostel's "peculiar advantages for salubrity that cannot be excelled by any part of California." This way station at Angelo's Corners became the seat of the county government where court cases were heard. In mid-1953, he sold his property to a partner, Marcus Flashner, and left for Canada, at which time Angelo's Corners became known as Flashner's Corners. The name changed to Canada del Diablo, then eventually to Belmont (beautiful mountain).
In his two-volume travel memoir about the Pacific Northwest, Charles Aubrey Angelo described his visit to Vancouver Island and criticized the policies of James Douglas as "British misrule in Victoria." Angelo had worked as a clerk in the Victoria Customs House and been convicted for falsifying accounts. Sentenced to a year's imprisonment, Angelo twice petitioned Douglas for release, but was refused both times. Not surprisingly he wrote, "The imbecile fossil was the unworthy possessor of the Queen's commission... possessing barely sufficient judgment to establish an understanding with a tribe of debased Indians (with whom he is allied by domestic ties,)..."
Angelo's bizarre death was reported in the Saturday edition of The New England Farmer for August 14, 1880. "Aubrey C. Angelo, correspondent of the Liverpool Courier, who was with Prince Napoleon in Zululand when the latter was killed, and who has recently been traveling in Wyoming Territory, writing up the West for his paper, was accidentally run over by cars near Laramie City last week. Finding himself probably fatally injured, and no person being at hand to render assistance, he shot himself through the heart, and his body was found beside the track the next day."
Angelo's condemnation of James Douglas was mirrored by the 1859 remarks of Lieutenant Charles William Wilson, reprinted in The Frontier: Charles Wilson's Diary of the Survey of the 49th Parallel, 1858-1862, While Secretary of the British Boundary Commission (Toronto: Macmillan, 1970), edited by George F.G. Stanley: "The Government is a perfect farce. Though the Governor is a wonderfully clever man among the Indians, he does not seem to be governing a white population at all."
Angelo, C. Aubrey. Idaho: A Descriptive Tour and Review of Its Resources and Route, Prefaced by a Sketch of British Misrule in Victoria, V.I. (1865; Ye Galleon Press, 1969).
Angelo, C. Aubrey. Sketches of Travel in Oregon and Idaho: With map of South Boise (New York: Printed for the author by L.D. Robertson, 1866; Ye Galleon Press, 1988, 1994).
Wilson, Charles William. The Frontier: Charles Wilson's Diary of the Survey of the 49th Parallel, 1858-1862, While Secretary of the British Boundary Commission (Toronto: Macmillan, 1970). Edited by George F.G. Stanley.
[BCBW 2005] "Early B.C." "Transient"