James Douglas began his career in the fur trade serving in various posts before being assigned to build Fort Victoria in 1843. From there, he rose to the rank of Chief Factor before being appointed Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849. As Governor, he was aware of his responsibility to the crown and attempted to maintain sovereignty over the vast holdings of the Hudson’s Bay Company on the West Coast. In 1858, along with Matthew Baillie Begbie and others, he traveled to Fort Langley to read the proclamation from Queen Victoria that established the Colony of British Columbia. His personality and management style led to keeping a British presence on Canada’s Pacific coast.