The Gum Coat Hold Up

Advertisement in the British Times Colonist, April 1863:

A quantity of this material has just been received by the undersigned from Mackintosh of London, and will be sold in lengths to suit purchasers. It is light, pliable, and perfectly waterproof, and can be used either as a covering for luggage, or to supply the place of India Rubber blankets.
N.B. Also a lot of light Waterproof Coats and Inverness Capes.

T. Wilson
Government Street

Cattle drives were a major event during the Cariboo gold rush. Fresh beef was welcome after a monotonous diet that included canned or pickled fish and stored beef. To supply the winter market, there were two cattle drives in the fall, one in September and the last one in October. Buyers bought cattle from ranchers on behalf of merchants and when the cattle arrived, the buyers would get the exact count of cattle.

Independent buyers always carried cash, bank drafts or cheques. One buyer was always known by his waterproof “gum” coat. After a successful sale of cattle in Barkerville, the buyer sold his raincoat.

The man who bought the raincoat left for Quesnel the next morning. On the second day of his trip, he encountered several gunmen who demanded his money they expected from the sale of the cattle. Despite trying to convince the robbers that he was not the buyer, the man handed over his money (75 cents), his white “gum” coat and his horse.

He walked to Cottonwood House where he told his story of the Gum Coat Hold Up.