In regards to Fred Branches [sic] yeah I know of him and have talked to him by email a couple of times. It's his passion to find the truth of Slumach. He is a really nice guy. But Slumach is not the be all and end of the Lost mine saga.The newspaper article is from the Mainland Guardian of 10 November 1869 and not 1889. Yes, I agree that, until we find some earlier evidence, the story of the Indian who found gold in a little stream on the north side of Pitt Lake, is probably the first publication linking the area with gold and the start of the legends.
The truth about Slumach is he is just one of many to find gold in those mountains and he did find gold. How much and where is the question? ... Slumach did however bring gold into New West. ... The first mention of his find was in the paper back in 1889. I believe Fred has the article on his site about the Indian coming into New West with a good showing of gold. That indian I believe is Slumach and this is where the legend starts
But why would that Indian be Slumach? Slumach only became part of the Pitt Lake gold saga in 1926. The question is not how much and where Slumach found gold. but if he found gold at all. The truth is, that there is no evidence that he found any or did "bring gold into New West." And those "many to find gold in those mountains"? Many searched for it but only a few are rumoured having found gold there.
By the way, I am equally interested in the legendary figures, such as Jackson, who probably never existed.