Peter O’Reilly

The Rise Of A Reluctant Immigrant

By (author): Lynne Stonier-Newman
ISBN 9781926741048
Softcover | Publication Date: March 8, 2010
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 7.5 in
288 Pages

About the Book

Powerful and diligent, Peter O’Reilly played a role in shaping British Columbia in the last quarter of the 1800s. An immigrant from Ireland, O’Reilly landed in Victoria during the height of the Cariboo Gold Rush and was appointed gold commissioner for BC. He held the position of county court judge, and sorted settler and Native disputes, despite often having to function as an assistant land commissioner. From 1880 to 1898, O’Reilly was the federally appointed BC Indian Reserve Lands commissioner. Many of his decisions about the location and size of Native reserves continue to be challenged in the courts to this day.

In Peter O’Reilly, we also see the private side of this industrious man, a man who enjoyed the vast wilderness for years, on horseback or by foot, on snowshoes or in a canoe. He had many acquaintances and two close friends, Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie and Edward Dewdney. He lived with his cherished wife, Caroline Trutch O’Reilly, and their children at Point Ellice House in Victoria, BC.

About the Author(s)

Lynne Stonier-Newman is a freelance writer, historian and communications consultant who is the author of articles, poetry and plays about BC. She was born in Quesnel, where her father was the BCPP patrolman. She is the author of Policing a Pioneer Province, The Lawman: Adventures of a Frontier Diplomat and Peter O' Reilly: The Rise of a Reluctant Immigrant. She was also a contributor to the 2008 CBC Radio One book The Trail of 1858.