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Vancouver Island. Despatches. Governor Blanshard to the Secretary of State. 26th December, 1849, to 30th… Vancouver Island (Colony). Governor (1849-1851 : Blanshard) 1863

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26th December, 1849, to 30th August, 1851.
II  = —
Governor Blanshard to Earl Grey.
No. 2.
-My Lord,
Fort Victoria, Vancouver Island,
April 8th, 1850.
An application was made to me by Captain Hill, Commandant of the IT. S. M
tary Post, at Chelahom, to allow a force to proceed to Vancouver Island to apprehend two men, Military deserters from the United States Army, who had he stated
been taken from Chelahom by a Schooner belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company,
incurring thereby a heavy penalty under the local law of the State of Oregon. This
I declined to allow, as 1 conceive that no reciprocal arrangement exists between
Great Britain and the United States for the arrest of deserters for purely Military
No. 1.
December 26th, 1849.
My Lord,
I hereby beg to inform you of my arrival at Panama, on my way to Van- No. l.
couver Island, on the 28th of November. I have as yet heard nothing from
Admiral Hornby, relative to my further passage, nor have I had any opportunity
of communicating with him, by the Lima Mail Packet, which sails to-morrow. I
intend to forward to the Admiral a copy of the despatch, dated the 9th August,
relating thereto, with a copy of which I was furnished by the Admiralty, previous
to leaving England.
I have, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island.
I beg to inform you of my arrival at Victoria, the settlement of the Hudson's No. 2.
Bay Company in Vancouver Island, on the 10th March ultimo, in H. M. S. S. Driver. On the 11th I landed, and read my Commission in presence of Commander
Johnson, of H. M. S. Driver, and the officers and servants of the Hudson's Bay
Company. No lodging beiug ready for me, 1 have been compelled to remain on
board the Driver, during her stay in the Colony, and took the opportunity of visiting Fort Eupert, a new settlement which has been formed at Beaver Harbour, for
the purpose of working the Coals with which the north-eastern part of the Island is
said to abound. About six months ago, the Hudson's Bay Company sent a party
of Scotch miners to Beaver Harbour, but they have not yet been able to discover
Coal in any quantity; at the xlepth of seventy feet the largest seam they had struck
was only eight inches in depth, and the surface Coal, which former reports describe
as being three feet in depth and of excellent quality, nowhere, I am assured by the
miners, exceeds ten inches, of which one-half is slag. Should they persevere, there
is no doubt that a supply of Coal may eventually be obtained, which will gx^eatly
increase the value of this Colony; but the miners are unprovided with'proper implements, discontented with their employers, and can scarcely be induced to work. 'Vancouver
The quantity of arable land, or land that can be made arable is so far as I can
ascertain exceedingly limited'throughout the Island, which consists almost entire y
ol broken ranges of/ocky hills, intersected by ravines and valleys so narrow as to
No' 2'      render them useless for cultivation.
A Mr. McNeil, Agent for the Hudson's Bay Company at Beaver Harbour, who
is considered to be better acquainted with the Indian population than any other
person, estimates their number at the very largest at ten thousand, and these he
considers to be steadily decreasing, although the sale of spirituous liquors has been
for a considerable time prohibited, and the prohibition appears to be strictly eniorced.
As no settlers have at present arrived, I have considered that it is unnecessary as
yet to nominate a Council, as my instructions direct; for a Council chosen at present must be composed entirely of the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, few
if any of whom possess the qualification of landed property which is required to vote
for Members of Assembly, and they would moreover be completely under the control of their superior officers; but as no immediate arrival of settlers is likely to
take place, and my instructions direct me to form a Council on my arrival, I should
wish for a further direction on this point before I proceed to its formation.
I am, &c,
No. 3.
Vancouver Island,
June 15th, 1850.
My Lord,
I beg to enclose you a copy of my last letter, April 8th, 1850, since which
time no opportunity has occurred of dispatching letters with any degree of certainty.
Nothing of importance has since occurred in the Colony; no settlers or immigrants have arrived, nor have any land sales been effected. Coal has not yet been
discovered, though the miners have not yet, I am happy to say, abandoned all hope.
An American Company have commenced running a line of Mail steam packets
between San Francisco and Oregon. They have not yet decided what port in
Oregon will be their terminus; could coal have been supplied from Vancouver
Island they would have chosen Nisqually, in Puget Sound, which would have
greatly facilitated the communication between Vancouver Island and England, but
as it cannot be obtained they will probably select Portland, on the Columbia River.
The Hudson's Bay Company have commenced a survey of the land reserved to
themselves, which is bounded by a line, drawn nearly due north, from the head of
Victoria Harbour to a hill marked on the chart as Cedar Hill or Mount Douglas,
and thence running due east to the Canal de Arro. The extent is estimated at
about ten miles (square). A tract adjoining, of similar extent, is reserved for the
Puget Sound Agricultural Association, the Hudson's Bay Company under another
name, for the association has no real existence. This last contains the Harbour of
Esquimalt, the only harbour in the southern part of the Island worthy of notice, as
it is of large extent, has good anchorage, is easy of access at all times and in all
weather, is well watered, and in many places the water is of sufficient depth to allow
ships anchoring along the shore. Victoria Harbour, where the Hudson's Bay
Company's settlement is established, is very small, the entrance is narrow, tortuous
and shallow; no vessels can enter except at high tide with favourable wind and
weather; and there is no water near, the water required for the servants of the
Hudson's Bay Company is brought from a distance of two miles, and during: summer and autumn they are kept on allowance as at sea.
Ihave received news from Oregon of the discovery of very rich gold mines on the
Spokan Eiver.    The whole population of that territory are flocking to the spot
Should the favourable accounts of these mines prove correct, I fear that it will draw
away all the Hudson s Bay Company's servants from Vancouver Island, and at present they form the entire population. F
I am, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island. GOVEENOE BLANSHAED TO EAEL GEEY. 3
,~ J-*"0,   *• VANCOUVER
(COPY). Island.
Victoria, Vancouver Island, ~
July 10th, 1850.
I beg to enclose a copy of a Letter I addressed to J. S. Helmcken, Esq., No. 4.
Medical Officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, at Fort Eupert, appointing him to
act as Magistrate, provisionally; this is the only appointment I have yet made in
the Colony, for as there are no independent settlers, all cases that can occur, requiring magisterial interference, are disputes between the representatives of the Hudson's Bay Company and their servants. To appoint the former Magistrates, would
be to make them Judges in their own causes, and to arm them with additional
power, which few of them would exert discreetly. Mr. Helmcken has only recently
arrived in the Colony from England, he is therefore a stranger to the petty brawls
that have occurred, and the ill feelings they have occasioned between the Hudson's
Bay Company and their servants; from this and from my knowledge of his character I have great confidence in his impartiality, his situation too as Surgeon renders
him more free from the influence whicfrmightbe exercised over another servant of
that Company.
It is moreover highly desirable that there should be a resident Magistrate at Fort
Eupert, as the miners and labourers there have shown a disposition to riot, which
if not checked may lead to serious consequences, the Indian population being
numerous, savage, and treacherous; and the distance from Victoria and total want
of means of communication between the two places increases the inconveniences.
I would strongly recommend a duty to be imposed on the importation and manufacture of ardent spirits, as their introduction tends to demoralize the Indians to a
most dangerous degree, but I conceive I have not the power to impose such duty,
free Trade having been declared-here, without further instructions, which I would
request on this point at your Lordship's earliest convenience.
I may here mention that the accounts which have been published in*, respecting *g{c [a orjgi.
the barbarous treatment of the Indian population by the Hudson's Bay. Company, nai.
are, both from my own personal observation, and from all I have been able to
gather on the subject, entirely without foundation. They are always treated with
the greatest consideration, far greater than the white labourers, and in many instances are allowed liberties and impunities in the Hudson's Bay Company's establishments that I regard as extremely unsafe. No liquor is given them by the Company
on any pretence, but it is impossible to prevent their obtaining it from the merchant
vessels that visit the Coast.
I remain, &c,
Governor of Vancouver Island.
Enclosure in No. 4.
Governor Blanshard to Mr. Helmcken.
(Copy). Victoria
v        g June,
You are hereby appointed to act as Magistrate and Justice of the Peace, for Enclosure
the protection of and preservation of order amongst Her Majesty's subjects, in and
about Fort Eupert, and in the adjoining District of Vancouver Island, subject
alwavs to Her Majesty's approval of your appointment, when your Commission will
be formally made out and forwarded to you, till which time this Letter shall be a
sufficient warranty for your acting as Magistrate of the District, and exercising all
powers that belong to that office. m
I remain, &c,
Governor of Vancouver Island. Vancouver
No. 5.
(Copy.) t .     ,
Victoria, Vancouver Island,
August 18th, 1850.
My Lord, . . ,
I have to inform your Lordship of the massacre of three British bubjects by
S&> 5-     the Newitly Indians, near Fort Eupert.    Want of force has prevented me frorn
making any attempt to secure the murderers; indeed the only safeguard of the
Colony consists in the occasional visits of the cruizers of the Pacific Squadron, which
only occur at rare intervals, and for short calls.    The massacre of these men has
produced a great effect on the white inhabitants, many of whom do not scruple to
accuso the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company of having instigated the Indians
to the deed by offers of reward for the recovery of the men (sailors who had absconded) dead or alive.   I have not yet been able to enquire into the truth of this
report, but it is very widely spread, and men say that they ground their belief on
what the Hudson's Bay Company have done before.    The establishment at Fort
Eupert is in a very critical state.    A letter I have received from Mr. Helmcken,
the resident Magistrate, states that the people are so excited by the massacre, which
they charge their employers with instigating; that they have in a body refused all
obedience both to their employers and to him as Magistrate; that he is utterly unable to maintain any authority, as they universally refuse to serve as constables, and
insist upon the settlement being abandoned; that to attempt such a step would lead
to their entire destruction, as they are surrounded by the Quarolts, one of the most
warlike Tribes on the Coast, three thousand in number and well armed.    Mr.
Helmcken has tendered his resignation as Magistrate, as without proper support
the office merely exposes him to contempt and insult; and he further states that
being in the employment of the Hudson's Bay Company, he cannot conscientiously
decide the cases which occur, which are almost invariably between that Company
and their servants.    This is the very objection I stated to your Lordship against
employing persons connected with the Company' in any public capacity in the
Colony.    I am in expectation of the arrival of one of Her Majesty's ships of war,
according to the promise of Admiral Hornby, Commander-in-Chief in the Pacific,
when I shall be able to proceed to the North and restore order.    In the meantime
I have prohibited any persons from leaving Fort Eupert without special permission,
as if the people attempt to abandon the settlement and straggle about the Coast
they will infallibly be cut off by the Indians, who are daily becoming more inclined
to outrage, and are emboldened, by impunity.
The miners have left the Colony in a body, owing to a dispute with their employers.    The seam of coal is consequently undiscovered.
I have seen a very rich specimen of gold ore said to have been brought by the
Indians of Queen Charlotte's Island, but I have at present no further account of it.
I remain, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island.
No. 6.
Vaucouver Island,
My Lord September 18th, 1850.
No. 6. I .nav.e nothing of importance to communicate respecting this Colony as all
communication is stopped with the northern part of the Island, and the want of
force has prevented me from going there myself to enquire into the late disturbance complaints of Indian outrages have reached me from Soke, about thirty
miles from Victoria, where a gentleman of the name of Grant late in Her Ma
Future settlers will labour under the same disadvantages, viz: being dispersed Vancouver
at considerable distances from each other, and from the establishment, as well as Island.
being exposed to the depredations of the Indians, which no means are afforded me v~,
of checking. ©j*
• A^0'?^ ^eg to press on your Lordship's consideration, the necessity of protecting
this Colony by a garrison of regular troops, in preference to a body of pensioners,
tor as the principal service that they would be called on to perform would be to
repress and overawe the natives, a moveable force would be necessary, and I think
that Marines would be better calculated for the duty than Troops of the Line. Two
companies would be sufficient, of which a detachment would be stationed at Fort
Eupert, and the remainder near Victoria; a cantonment might easily be formed on
the plains near Esquimalt Harbour, and as timber is abundaut there, the Troops if
landed in the spring, could easily complete their own barracks before the rainy
season, which does not commence till October. The expense of maintaining a
garrison would be inconsiderable, and there are ample funds for the purpose, as the
Hudson's Bay Company have still in their hands the price of the lauds they have
taken in their own name, and that of the Puget Sound Association. Should your
Lordship decide on placing such a garrison, I should recommend that an Engineer
Officer should be sent before hand to select such sites for barracks, &c, as might be
most convenient.
I have, &c,
Governor of Vancouver Island.
id, ,.111 A	
No. 7.
Fort Eupert, Vancouver Island,
October 19th, 1850.
My Lord,
I have the honor to inform your Lordship that Her M. S. Docdalus, under No. 7.
the command of Captain G. Wellesly, visited this Colony on the 22nd of September
last. On my informing Captain Vfellesly that three murders had been committed
by the Indians, and also of my inability to take any measures for the punishment
of the murderers, he consented to proceed with the Docdalus to Fort Eupert, near
Avhich the murders were committed, to give any assistance that might be required.
On my arrival at Fort Eupert, I found that the officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, who had been dispatched by Dr. Helmcken to make enquiries respecting the
murder, had on his return given a totally false account of the result of those enquiries, asserting that he owed no obedience except to the Hudson's Bay Company.
He shortly afterwards crossed the strait to a post of the Company's, and made a
statement of the real facts to Mr. Douglas, a Chief Factor of the Company. Of this
declaration I was not furnished with a copy till after my arrival here, a few days
ago, and not till the investigation was concluded. Thus two conflicting stories were
in circulation at once, which, being traced to the same source, raised suspicions of
foul play, and caused the report that I have previously mentioned, viz: that the unfortunate men had been murdered bj order of the Hudson's Bay Company. A
deposition that has since been made me on oath, backed by the evidence of an Interpreter and several of the Iudian Chiefs, was perfectly conclusive, not only as to the
Tribes, but as to the very persons of the murderers. On the 11th of October, Dr.
Helmcken visited the Newi.tly Camp, about 12 miles distant, and demanded, by
name, the murderers for trial; the whole tribe took up arms; they acknowledged
the murder, and offered furs in payment, but refused to surrender the guilty parties,
declared themselves hostile, and threatened the lives of the Magistrate and his party,
pointing their guns at them. On learning this I applied to Captain Wellesley for
assistance, and he dispatched the boats of the Doedalus, on the 12th, to apprehend
the murderers by force, if necessary. They returned on the 13th, and I have the
honor to enclose your LordshiD a copy of the report, by which you will see that the
whole tribe had deserted tbeir'camp, which was burnt by the Officer commanding
the boats. I have offered a reward for the apprehension of three of the murderers, the fourth who was present being a boy of only nine years of age.
The Doedalus left me at Fort Eupert, on the 14th instant, to proceed to San
Francisco being- unable to remain longer on account of shortness of provisions.
With reo-ard to the disturbances that had taken place among the Honorable
Hudson's Bay Company's servants, they have completely subsided, insomuch so f
No. I
that Dr. Helmcken did not find it necessary to publish the proclamation of which I
sent your Lordship a copy. The disturbance had been occasioned by the bad
quality of food which had been served out to the English laborers, as well as by two
miners being actually placed in irons illegally for some days, for refusing to perform
some work.
The miners made me a written complaint on the subject, demanding redress, but
they left the Island before I was able to take any notice of it.
I regret to say that Dr. Helmcken has declined acting any longer as Magistrate,
on the ground that the only causes are between the Hudson's Bay Company and
their servants; and as being a paid servant of the former, he cannot be considered
an impartial person. This objection is good against all servants of the Company
holding Commissions, as they can be removed from the Colony at a moment's
notice by their employers, and are kept in the greatest subjection.
There are at present no settlers at all in the Island. Mr. Grant left for the Sandwich Islands some days ago.
I am, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island.
Enclosure in No. 7.
Captain Wellesly to Governor Blanshard.
H. M. Ship Doedalus,
Beaver Harbour, Vancouver Island,
October 13th, 1850.
I have the honor to inform you that on the receipt of your letter of yesterday's
date, I dispatched a force (under the command of Lieutenant Burton, senior Lieutenant of this ship) in three armed boats, with directions to proceed to the place
where the Newitly Camp was said to be, and endeavour to secure the actual murderers, or the chiefs of the tribes as hostages; and failing that to attack and destroy
the camp, burning the houses and property.
I have now to acquaint you that the force returned this afternoon, and Lieutenant
Burton reports to me that he found the camp deserted by the tribe, and that he has
accordingly burned the houses and all the property he could find.
I have, &c.
(Signed)       GEORGE G. WELLESLY,
No. 8.
Victoria, Vancouver Island,
November 18th, 1850.
My Lord,
No 8 As I shall have completed two years' absence from England, before your
answer can reach me, may I take the liberty of requesting your Lordship to grant
me leave to visit England, as I have urgent private affairs to attend to, which require
my presence there; and since my arrival here I have suffered so severely from continual attacks of ague and subsequent relapses that I am now enfeebled to a decree
which renders me incapable of the slightest exertion. I am not able to enclose a
Medical Certificate, as the Surgeon in the employment of the Hudson's Bay Company
has been removed from this Colony to one of their posts in Oregon. Should your
Lordship grant this application, I trust you will direct a passage to be allowed me
as far as Panama in one of Her Majesty's ships, as there are no direct means of
communication; the indirect ones are very uncertain, enormously expensive and
the heavy expenses which have been thrown on me by the Hudson's Bay Company
contrary to my expectation, for my passage out, and during my residence here have
greatly straightened my private finances.
I have, &c,
Governor of Vancouver Island. mmm
No. 9. y
(Copy). Island.
ancouver Island,
November 18th, 1850.
Victoria, Vancouver Island,
My Lord,
Iregret to inform your Lordship, that I find myself compelled to tender my
resignation as Governor, and solicit an immediate recall from this Colony, as my
private fortune is utterly insufficient for the mere cost of living here, so high have
prices been run up by the Hudson's Bay Company, and as there are no independent
settlers every requisite for existence must be obtained from them. My health has
completely given way under repeated attacks of ague, and shows no signs of amendment. Under these circumstances I trust your Lordship will at once recall me,
and appoint some person as my successor, whose larger fortune may enable him to
defray^ charges which involve me in certain ruin. I trust that your Lordship will
give directions that I may be furnished with a passage as far as Panama in one of
Her Majesty's ships, as my state of health will not bear the long voyage round Cape
Horn, and being compelled to defray the expenses of my passage out by the Hudson's Bay Company, who repudiated the Bills their Chairman had authorized me
to draw, has so straightened my private means, that I am unable to pay the heavy
expenses of the route through California.
I have, &c,
Governor of Vancouver Island.
No. 9.
No. 10.
Vancouver Island,
February 3rd, 1851.
My Lord,
Nothing of any importance has occurred since I had last the honor of addres-     No-10-
sing your Lordship.
As two years have expired since Vancouver Island was granted to the Hudson's
Bay Companj', and the conditions of that grant bind them to deliver a report of the
state aud progress of the Colony at the end of such period, I beg your Lordship will
allow me a copy of such report, that I may compare it with my own remarks.
The only real sale of land that has taken place, so far as I am informed, is one of
one hundred acres of land to a Captain Grant, at Soke Harbour. Mr. Grant left
the Island some months ago, leaving a laborer in charge of his farm. Nothing has
been heard of him since, and as his affairs here are in a most hopeless state, I do not
think he will return. More than a year ago he executed an assignment of his title
to the Hudson's Bay Company. A Mr. Todd (still a servant of the Hudson's Bay
Company) has ploughed up a few acres near Fort Victoria, under a verbal arrangement with the Company's Agent, Mr. Douglas, that he should be allowed to purchase one hundred acres, to be furnished with a title. Finding that he cannot
obtain the said, title, nor even a written promise to furnish it, he is becoming alarmed, has discontinued the house he was beginning to build, and talks of leaving the
With the exception of a Canadian who has squatted near Eocky Point, there is not
another cultivator on the Island.
I have written to Sir John Pelly, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company,
requesting some information respecting a large tract of land called the Hudson's
Bay Company's and Puget Sound Company's Eeserve, but no notice of my letter
has been taken yet. Their Agent here professes ignorance of every arrangement,
but has admitted that they do not intend to pay for it. This tract contains, I am
informed nearly thirty square miles of the best part of the Island, and they are
already attempting to sell small lots to their own servants at greatly advanced rates.
I consider this as an extremely unfair proceeding. The terms of the Grant of the
Island expressly state that "all lands shall be sold except such as are reserved for
"nublic purposes," and in consideration of the trouble and expense they may incur
fie Hudson s Bay Company are allowed the very handsome remuneration of ten
r>er cent en all sales they may effect, and on all Eoyalties. Not satisfied with this,
thev are'erasping at the whole price of the land, by monopolizing this vast district,
rnakine- it a free <nft to themselves, and then selling it for their own profit, as they
are attempting to do.    In proof cf this, I may mention that an Englishman, of Vancouver
the name of Chancellor, arrived here from California, a few weeks ago, with the intention of settling. The Agent offered to sell him land on the "Company's Eeserve,"
which he declined as he preferred another part of the Island, but found so many
No< 10' difficulties thrown in the way that he at last pronounced the purchase impracticable,
and is leaving the Colony in disgust. He told me that he was the forerunner of a
party of several British Subjects at present in California, who were merely waiting
for his report to decide whether they would settle in California or the United States.
I have, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island.
No. 11.
Vancouver Island,
February 12th, 1851.
My Lord,
No. ii. The Agent of the Hudson's Bay Company has presented me an account for
signature, being a Voucher of the balance between the amount expended by the
Hudson's Bay Company on the Colony, and the receipts of duties, sales, royalties,
&c, collected in the Colony.
The Account asserts that they have expended $2,736 (Dollars), of which $2,130
(Dollars) are for goods paid to Indians to extinguish their title to the land about
Victoria and Soke Harbours, the remainder also for goods paid also to Indians for
work done for the Colony, provisions and ammunition for the same Indians. The
receipts amount to $1,489 (Dollars), (from which 10 per cent, is to be deducted,
according to the Charter of Grant to the Hudson's Bay Company), and consists
entirely of Eoyalties on Coal for the last two years; Land Sales there are none, as
I have previously informed your Lordship. On examining the account, I found
that for the goods paid to the Indians a price was charged three times as great as
what they are in the habit of paying them at, for their own work; respecting this,
and some inaccuracies I detected in the account, I addressed a letter to the Agent,
he corrected the errors, but made no alteration in the prices, and in the course of
the conversation gave me to understand that they did not expect the Charter of
Grant to be renewed at the expiration of the five years (January, 1854), and that
they would be entitled to a reimbursement of their expenditure. At this rate they
may continue for the next three years, paying away a few goods to Indians to extinguish their claims to the soil, and by attaching an ideal value to their goods they
will at the end of that time appear as creditors of the Colony to an overwhelming
amount, so that the foundation will be laid of a Colonial debt, which will for ever
prove a burden.
I beg your Lordship to observe that, at the prices they usually pay goods at, the
receipts are amply sufficient to cover the expenditure and to leave a balance iu
favor of the Colony.
Under these circumstances, I yesterday signed an amended copy of the account,
as a Voucher for the goods, adding a protest that the balance shall not be considered a true one, as I conceive it to lie on the other side, and to be against the Hudson's Bay Company.
The whole financial arrangement and expenditure is of course entrusted to the
Hudson's Bay Company, but I conceive that my instructions, (Art. 20) containing
directions about the public money, authorize my exerting a negative voice on the
present occasion, to prevent the Eevenue which does exist, and is much required
for internal improvement (roads especially) being swallowed up by the Hudson's
Bay Company, as profit on their goods.
I trust that your Lordship will lose no time in appointing my successor as niv
health has been very bad for some months, and I feel it impossible to remain here
much longer, on account of increasing weakness; my instructions direct that in the
event of my death or absence, and there being no Lieutenant Governor, the Senior
Member ot the Council shall tor the time assume the Government (Art 40^ • but
I have not been able to appoint a Council, as there is no one in the Island above
the grade of a labourer, except the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company and I
have previously stated to your Lordship my reasons for considering them unfit for
Magisterial appointments of any kind.
I have, &c,
No. 12. v
Vancouver Island,
25th February, 1851.
My Lord,
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No. 5, of 23rd
October, 1850, in which, after expressing a hope that the emigration to California
may ultimately prove beneficial to this Settlement, you point out a mistake I have
fallen into, in supposing the Puget Sound Agricultural Company to bo identical
with the Hudson's Bay Company. I am fully aware that the rights of the Puget
Sound Company are recognized in the Treaty of 1846, between Gfreat Britain and
the United States; but my remark was merely intended to apply to the state of
things here. The Agent of the Hudson's Bay Company receives, I am informed,
a Salary for acting as Agent of the Puget Sound Company; beyond, this the latter
Company are not represented in the country. Labourers bound by engagements
to the Hudson's Bay Company have been, and now are, employed on^the Puget
Sound Company's Land Claim, without any change of service. The Hudson's Bay
Company make use of such portions of that Land Claim as they think fit, for the
erectiou of buildings, cutting timber, &c; a Saw-mill and houses attached for the
workmen are standing on it; their property, farming stock such as Cattle and Sheep
are removed from one Company's claim to the other, belonging alternately to each
of them, but always under charge ot the Hudson's Bay Company's servauts, none
of whom acknowledge any service to the Puget Sound Company, the greater part
being ignorant of its very name. A further proof of their identity here, may be
found in the fact that these persons employed on the Puget Sound Company's Land
Claim are allowed to make their purchases at the stores of the Hudson's Bay Company, at the same reduced rate of prices as when employed on the Land Claim of
the Hudson's Bay Company, a privilege which is declared to be strictly reserved to
the servants of that Company. I think that these statements will prove sufficient
explanation of my remark.
Mr. Grant has returned to the Island, and resumed possession of his farm at Soke.
One or two persons in the employment of the Hudson's Bay Company have, as they
inform-me, agreed to purchase small plots of Land, near Fort Victoria, at very high
rates; others who are willing to settle are deterred by the price.
I have received a note from Captain Wellesley, commanding H. M. S. Doedalus,
of 24th October, 1850, San Francisco, in which he informs me that one of his boats5
was fired into by the Indians near Cape Scott, by which the Officer in charge and
two Mariners were wounded, all slightly. I have no particulars, but presume the
occurrence has been reported to the Admiral on the Station.
I have, &c,
Governor of Vancouver Island.
No. 13.
Victoria, Vancouver Island,
29th March, 1851.
making apTointments'among the Company's servants."Even after retiring from the
service they are in a great measure subject to the same influence, as they receive
certain'allowances which maybe forfeited if they act in any manner that is considered as preiudicial to the Company. The forfeiture would be at once enforced by
the Agents in this Country, and the great distance from England would render any
appeal to the Directors in London a work of time and uncertainty.
No. 12;
My Lord,
I be°- to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's despatch, No. 6, of 20th No. is.
November °1850, approving of the provisional appointment of Mr. John Sebastian
Helmcken' as Magistrate at Fort Eupert, and further mentioning your Lordship's
concurrence in the opinion that a tax on the importation and manufacture of ardent
spirits would be desirable so soon as a Legislature should furnish the necessary authority. Mr. Helmcken has, as I previously informed your Lordship, resigned his
appointment, and has been removed from Fort Eupert to Victoria, There is unfortunately no one remaining whom I consider at all fit to take his pla Vancouver
I have heard that fresh specimens of Gold have been obtained from the Queen
Charlotte's Islanders.    I have not seen them myself, but they are reported to ®e
very rich.    The Hudson's Bay Company's servants intend to send an expedition
*0,13,     in the course of the summer to make proper investigations.
I have, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island.
tto. 14.
No. 14.
Vancouver Island,
28th April, 185L
My Lord,
I have received a communication from the Governor and Directors of the
Hudson's Bay Company, stating that they and the Puget Sound Company are about
to occupy some land in this Island, and that the sum of Four thousand pounds is to
be expended on public buildings, under my direction, subject to the approval and
sanction of their Agent, and further indicating the neighbourhood of their own
posts -as the place where such buildings are to be erected.
Unless the Colony is intended to be merely an enlarged depot of the Hudson's
Bay Company, which I do not conceive was the intention of Her Majesty's Government in making the grant of the Island, it will be a waste of public money to expend
it in the way they indicate, as the public buildings will then be surrounded by their
Eeserves, which they are neither prepared to use or sell.
The large tract of land called their Eeserves, of about thirty square miles in extent, includes the only part of the Island, in the Strait3 of Fuca, in any way adapted
for the first settlement. There are other large tracts on the Canal de Arro and the
Gulf of Georgia, but they are at present so inaccessible that their settlement and
occupation must be gradual. The quantity of Land at Soke is too small to make it of
any importance, and the rest of the Coast is one mass of rock, without Harbours.
The Hudson's Bay Company does not profess to require all these Eeserves, either
for its own purposes or those of the Puget Sound Company, but say they cannot
tell what portions of them they may require till surveys have been sent to them in
England. These surveys they have taken no steps at all to obtain; they have never
even engaged a Surveyor. A Mr. Grant, who had studied for a short time at the
Military College, Sandhurst, commenced a survey of part of the Company's land
last summer, but it was discontinued and has never been resumed. The Agent here
tells me that he expects a Surveyor from Canada in the autumn, if one can be engaged. Supposing that he does come, the winter rains will prevent any operations
till the following spring, which will bring it far into the fourth year of the Hudson's
Bay Company's possession of the Island. In the meantime these Eeserves effectually
prevent any bona fide Colonists from settling.
No sitefor a Town has ever been mentioned, and indeed until the question of the
Eeserves is settled, it would be useless to select one, for by refusing to sell the land
around it, taking it as their own and setting an extravagant price on. it, as they have
already done near Victoria, they will completely isolate and prevent the occupation
of any such Town. When .a Town Site shall be selected, that will be the place for
the public buildings, notdn the vicinity of the Company's posts, where there is no
probability of ;a population ever gathering, beyond a few of their own servants
Until such site be selected, and the adjoining land brought into the market fairly'
I do not think it will be expedient or even just to the future prospects of the Colony
to -expend the produce of the Land Sales on buildings.
I have, &c,
(copy.) '     No-15- 'fflsr
Vancouver Island,
,.   T 12th May, 1851.
My Lord, j
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's Despatch No. 3, of 29th
June, 1850, transmitting the Public Seal of the Colony of Vancouver Island, and
Her Majesty's Warrant and Sign Manual, authorizing and directing its use.
I have also to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's Despatch No. 4, of 16th
July, 1850, approving of my reasons for deferring the nomination of a Council for
the present, and pointing out the expediency of establishing the Council and other
prescribed institutions without any unnecessary delay.
_ I can assure your Lordship that I am deeply impressed with a sense of the expediency of the prescribed measures, but I regret to add that there is at present a
total want of the necessary materials, either for a Council or for any other Legislative or Executive appointments. The whole tendency of the system pursued by the
Hudson's Bay Company being to exclude free settlers, and reserve the Island,
either as an enlarged Post of their own, or a desert.
I have received a communication from the Hudson's Bay Company, stating that
no Salaries are to be paid out of the proceeds of the Land sales, but must be raised
in the Island, either by taxes on imports, or otherwise. This is, in fact, repudiating
the clause in their Grant, which binds them to provide at their own expense, all
necessary civil and military establishments; their own arrangements tend to prevent a tax paying population settling here; and that the Harbours shall be open to
all nations for the purposes of trade is prominently put forward in the Prospectus
they have published.
Eeports are current of Gold having been found by the Cowitchin Indians, in the
Arro Canal, but they are so vague as scarcely to deserve notice.
I have, &c,
No. 15.
No. 16.
Vancouver Island,
*    10th June, 1851.
My Lord,
I beg to enclose to your Lordship a copy of a Memorial presented to me by No. 16.
Andrew Muir, a Scotch miner, lately in the employment of the Hudson's Bay
Company. The said Andrew Muir appears to have been grossly illtreated by the
Officers of that Company, and in consequence left the Island, in a Ship bound for
San Francisco, in company with some other persons, who declared they did not
consider their lives safe after the violent threats that had been used to them. They
have returned by the first opportunity, and seek redress for the loss and damage
they have sustained. Several minor cases of the same kind I have settled summarily,
but a case like the present does not admit of being so disposed of, as considerable
damages are claimed. I expect that other actions of a similar nature will shortly
be commenced, and to secure a fair trial will, to say the least, be a matter of great
difficulty as with the exception of plaintiff's family (the Muirs'), there are not five
persons in the Island, except the Hudson's Bay Company's servants. My instructions
authorize me to make Magisterial and temporary judicial appointments, but do not
provide for the event of there being no persons qualified to hold them. I would
tea: to press on your Lordship's notice, the expediency of making an immediate
appointment of Chief Justice or some Law Officer tor the Colony, who shall have
full power to hear and determine all causes, subject to the usual appeals; a fair
Salary should be attached to the appointment, to be paid by the Hudson's Bay
Campany, till such time as it can be raised in the Island.
The ship Tory has just landed about one hundred and twenty persons, all, with
two exceptions, servauts of the Hudson's Bay Company; some have already been
spnt to Oregon and some to other posts of the Company. No preparations had been
made here for their reception, beyond erecting a couple of log houses or rather
Sitds • in these the remainder are huddled together like cattle, as I have seen myself,
to the number of thirty or thirty-five in each shed, men and women, married and -
Vancouver single, without any kind of screen or partition to separate them; as may be supposed
Island, great discontent exists already, and will most certainly increase, the result will
„ —        probably be that they leave the Colony and seek employment in Oregon.
I have, &c.
Governor of Vancouver Island.
Enclosure in No. 16.
Mr. Andrew Muir to Governor Blanshard.
(Copy). Fort=Victoria,
29th April, 1851.
May it please Your Excellency :
Enclosure. I, the undersigned Andrew Muir, being a British subject (and lately resident
at Fort Eupert), and deeming myself to have been wronged and illegally dealt with
by certain officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, namely: William Henry McNeil,
Chief Trader, George Blinkinsop, Clerk, and Charles Beardmore, Clerk, all of Fort
Eupert, aforesaid, and being desirous to obtain redress for the wrongs and injuries
. I have received, beg to approach your Excellency with my earnest and humble
request that you would be pleased to do me justice for the same. I hereby charge
the aforesaid "William Henry McNeil, George Blinkinsop, and Charles Beardmore,-
that on Friday, 3rd May, 1850, at Fort Eupert, aforesaid, the aforesaid William
Henry McNeil, George Blinkinsop, and Charles Beardmore, did illegally assault
my person, I likewise charge them that they did illegally imprison me, from Friday ?
3rd May, 1850, aforesaid, until Saturday, 15th June, 1850, and keeping me in
irons and fed on bread and water during six days of the said period, by which
imprisonment I have sustained permanent and serious injury to my bodily health.
(Signed)       ANDEEW MtTIE.
John McGregor,     j Cathlamit
Mrs. McGregor,     j
John Smith, Benirria.
John Muir, Senior. ") -n   , -„-. ,   .
a -n/r„™       r * ort V ictoria.
Archibald Muir,    j
John Philips, )
Thomas Court, /
Edward PeArce, > Fort Rupert.
Jonathan Martin, I
Charles Payne. )
No. IT.
Victoria, Vancouver Island,
,,   x 4th August, 1851.
My Lord, &     '
No. 17. I have the honor to forward for your information the report made to Captain
; ianshawe, of H. M. Ship Daphne, by Lieutenant Lacy, of the Daphne, who commanded a party sent to apprehend the murderers of the British seamen at Newitly
on the 19th July last The tribe at first fired on the boats, but fled when the party
landed. Lieutenant Lacy did not pursue them, owing to the nature of the ground
bnfc the other Indians represent the dispersion of the tribe as complete. This was
effected without loss, and the wounds of the two seamen are slight. A most beneficial
effect has been produced on the tribes in the neighbourhood, who had previously
caused much alarm among the Hudson's Bay Company's servants, and endangered
the safety of the post at Fort Eupert. For the future I trust that place will remain
in safety, which it did not appear to be before.
I am, &c,
Enclosure No 1. in No. 17.
Captain Fanshawe to Governor Blanshard.
H. M. Ship Daphne,
Beaver Harbour, Vancouver Island,
21st July, 1851.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant,   Enclosure
in consequence of which I, the same night, dispatched the boats of the ship, under
the command of Lieutenant Lacy, to endeavour to arrest the murderers, and I
-enclose herewith a copy of that Officer's report of his proceedings whilst so
I have, &c.
(Signed)       E. G. FANSHAWE,
Enclosure No. 2. in No. 17.
Lieutenant \&acy to Captain Fanshawe.
H. M. S. Daphne,
Beaver Harbour, Vancouver Island,
21st July, 1851.
Having ascertained the position of the Newitly Encampment, I proceeded Enclosure,
thither in the boats under my orders, and at 11 o'clock on the night of the 19th,
reached a point about a mile distant from the Encampment, where the boats were
anchored for the night. At daylight on the following morning, we proceeded to
the Encampment, which we found to be a strong position on a rock communicating
with the shore by a wooden bridge. On approaching, a fire of musketry was opened
on the boats by the Indians, which was returned by the Pinnace's gun, and having
nearly silenced their fire, we landed to take possession of the Encampment, on which
the Indians instantly abandoned it, and took to the bush, from whence they kept up
an occasional fire, wounding two of the seamen, and where, from the nature of the
ground, I did not consider it prudent to pursue them; I therefore, in compliance
with your orders, burnt the houses, together with the property contained in them,
and. destroyed the canoes.
I have, &c.
(Signed)       EDWABD LACY,
No. 18.
Vancouver Island,
11th August, 1851.
My Lord,
I beo- to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch of 20th March, 1851, in
'which afteracknowledging the receipt of mine of 18th September, 1850. you inform
me that it is not in the power of Her Majesty's Government to. maintain a detachment of reo-ular troops to garrison Vancouver Island, and further that Her Majesty's
Government cannot protect British subjects who may voluntarily expose themselves
anions- the natives at a distance from the Settlements.
I beg to assure your Lordship that I have always discouraged persons from so
exposing themselves, but it is scarcely applicable to the unfortunate Seamen who
were murdered „at Fort Eupert, as the murder was committed at a considerably
shorter distance from that post than is frequently visited by the servants of the
Hudson's'Bay Company on their shooting excursions.
That the Settlement was in danger I was fully persuaded, what I saw
myself, and by the apprehensions expressed by the Hudson's Bay Company's
servants who were on the spot; and I still firmly believe that the visit of H. M. S.
Doedalus, prevented a massacre.
No. is; (T
No. 19.
Island. (COPY.) 'm _ ,      ,
— v ' Vancouver Island,
11th August, 1851.
jSto. 19.
My Lord, .     ■ i    % % . ,  _.    -     ,  > „
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship s Despatch of
3rd April, 1851, notifying that Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to accept
my resignation of the office of Governor of this Settlement, and that your Lordship
has communicated my request for a passage in one of Her Majesty's Ships, to the
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
H. M. S. TDaphne, being on the point of sailing from this Settlement for San
Francisco; I have applied to Captain Fanshawe for a passage as far as that port, as
it is very unlikely that another of Her Majesty's Ships will visit the Settlement
Should no official announcement of the appointment of my Successor arrive in
the meantime, it is my intention to nominate a Council, provisionally, or such a
portion of Council as may constitute a quorum, the Senior Member of which will
act as Governor till a new appointment be made.
I have, &c,
No. 20.
Vancouver Island,
11th August, 1851.
My Lord,
lp 20. I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's despatch of 20th April,
1851, enclosing a copy of a letter from the Secretary of the Lords Commissioners of
the Admiralty, and desiring me to pay to Captain "Wellesley, of H. M. Ship Doedalus,
the sum of .£47 15s. 0d., for the expenses of a passage that was afforded me in that
ship, in September and October last.
As I presume that your Lordship, in observing that you did not consider it as an
expense that ought to be paid by the public, referred to the terms of the grant of
Vancouver Island to the Hudson's Bay.Company, by which they are bound to defray
all expenses of the settlement, I have forwarded a copy of your Lordship's letter
to the Governor and Directors of that Company, requesting them to make the
payment, for no funds are at my disposal as Governor.
I have, &c,
No. 21.
Vancouver Island,
My Lord, g' 30th August, 1851.
No> 21'     +t,0 -p n1 b-Gg n in+1°rm y°™ L°rdship that, on the 27th instant, I nominated the
the following Gentlemen as Members of Council for Vancouver Island:
James Douglas, Esq., (Senior Member).
James Cooper, Esq.,
John Todd, Esq.
SuWtr,nLeSr?8ly ?at 5eS?1 aomiaations should be merely provisional  and
subject to be confirmed or disallowed by Her Maieatv thP nnJ «™uonai, ana
named Gentlemen have this day taken the Oath afSlJtlS T£e /bov?
their seats as Members of Council Allegiance as prescribed, and GOVERNOR BLANSHARD TO EARL GREY.
H. M. S. Daphne, leaves this Settlement for California, on the 1st September,
and as I am about to avail myself of that opportunity of leaving the Island, the
Senior Member of the Council will administer the Government till further instructions shall be received from your Lordship.
I have, &c.
No. 21.


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