Credit: Rare Books & Special Collections, University of British Columbia, Douglas, James, RBSC-ARC-1300-13-104

Governor of British Columbia, James Douglas, creates the Gold Fields Act to control how gold is mined. It required miners to obtain a free miner’s certificate for a fee of 1 pound, that grants them free entry to explore for minerals. They could then stake a claim to any area on Crown Land. The size of land a miner could claim was regulated under the act. BC still operates under the Free Mining System.