Chief Douglas' Daughter

"Chief Douglas's Daughter" is a poem written by Ben Griffin, prefactor of Boomerang Inn, giving an account of the elopement of Alice, daughter of Sir James Douglas, Governor of British Columbia, with Charles Good, the then Colonial Secretary of British Columbia , ca. 1861.  The "Drake" referred to in the poem was the Grandfather of Montague Drake


A trav'ler bound across the sound
Cries, "Boatman, do not tarry
And Eagles three I'll give to thee
To row us o'er the Ferry!"
"Now who be ye would cross the flood,
This wild and stormy water?"
"Hush, man, I'm Secretary Good,
And this the Douglas daughter.

"Three days ago I sought her hand
Her Father bade me dry up,
And should he find me where I stand
He'd bung my other eye up."
Out spake the hardy boatman then,
"Come on my buck I am ready.
It is not for your Eagles bright
But for your plucky Lady.

"And by my word the bonny bird
Shall soon find fortune's frowns end
For tho' the waves are raging white
I'll take thee to Port Townsend."
The Chieftain after dinner sat
O'er his rum & water,
"But where's my Alice? Where's my pet,
My daughter, oh my daughter?"

He to his castle window hied.
He gazed out o'er the trellis
And in a schooner bobbing round
Espied his daughter Alice.
"What ho, my gallant Drake," he cried
"Quick to my house restore her.
Of old, your sire explored yon coast.
Go catch me yon 'Explorer'."

"Now haste, love, haste," the lady cried.
"Oh Charlie dear I'd rather
Be married on the other side
Than taken back to Father.
And by the rood my sight is good,
That sternmost schooner stuck in,
I'm sure I see that odious Drake.
I hope he will get a ducking."

The night fell dark, the lovers' barque
By Cupid's aid befriended
The land was made, the JP paid
And all their troubles ended.
And in the morn the gallant Drake
While brailing up the spanker
Espied the lovers in a Bay
Quite cosily at anchor.

Quick alongside, impetuously,
He boarded in a passion.
"Come back," said he. "I shan't,"
Said she, "I'm married Yankee fashion."
"Ah, is it so," cried Drake, "alas
None destiny can master.
Since Jonathan has tied you fast
John Bull must tie you faster.

"Come back, it is your sire's command
Tho' all his plans you've blighted
And since you've been united here
You'll there be reunited."
Back then they came and in the church,
Both Pa & Ma consenting,
The pair were wed, went home to bed,
And Drake was left lamenting.


Aice Douglas married Charles Good in Canada August 31, 1861, and in the US just prior to August 31, 1861.  They later divorced and remarried. 

Alice caused a scandal in Victoria when at the age of seventeen she eloped with Douglas' private secretary Charles Good. Douglas sent a government agent, Drake, after them, but it was too late. The couple had been married by an American Justice of the Peace at Port Townsend.


When they returned the next day, Douglas insisted they go through a second marriage ceremony, as he was uncertain about the validity of it, so on August 31, 1861, they re-exchanged their vows in Victoria. The marriage was not a happy one, however, and eventually obtained a divorce, but later remarried.


"Had she trusted her Father more, and put less faith in God, how different, and how much more happy would her lot in life have been" -James Douglas


Alice died in 1928.


Further details on this entry would be welcome.


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