Located on the western edge of Canada, the two British Crown Colonies of British Columbia (BC) and Vancouver Island (VI) were isolated geographically and postally from other Canadian provinces in the 1858-1870 period. Consequently, virtually all mail to foreign destinations from the two colonies was necessarily routed through San Francisco, California.
The Cariboo gold mining region lies 200 miles northeast of New Westminster, the former capital of British Columbia (BC) and today a suburb of Vancouver. The region itself stretches another 350 miles in a northeasterly direction from Lillooet to Williams Creek (near what is now Barkerville).
This article attempts to list and analyze those often confusing British Columbia and Vancouver Island instructional markings. The Gerald Wellburn collection is available for study, including write-ups on his album pages, in the coffee-table book on his collection edited by Daniel Eaton and Jack Wallace.