We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

Arthur Nonus Birch

[ Arthur Nonus Birch, Bradley and Rulofson, San Francisco, BCA A-01995 ]

Arthur Nonus Birch was the Colonial Secretary of British Columbia during the Chilcotin War. Prior to arriving in the colony in 1864, he had served in several junior positions in the Colonial Office in London. Alfred Waddington’s first impression of him was as “a tallish, lean, flexible-limbed youth, good-looking, well-mannered and immaculately British.” In 1865-66, Birch was responsible for the administration of the colony while Governor Seymour was in England for a 14-month period. He returned to the London office in 1866 for twelve more years of service after which time he was employed by the Bank of England until his retirement in 1913.

The Birch family collection, including diaries, reminiscences, and correspondence pertaining to Arthur Birch’s life in the colonial service, is held at the B.C. Provincial Archives.

Secondary Sources

Ormsby, Margaret. British Columbia: A History. Toronto: Macmillan, 1958.

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