Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Queen Charlotte's Island. Return to an address of the Honourable the House of Commons, dated 16 June… Peel, Frederick, 1823-1906 1853

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0221700.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0221700-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0221700-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0221700-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0221700-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0221700-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0221700-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

RETURN to an Address of the Honourable The House of Commons, 
dated 16 June 1853;—-for, 
'COPIES or EXTRACTS of Correspondence relative to the 
Discovery of Gold at"Queen Charlotte's Island" 
Colonial Office, Downing-street, 
July 1853. 

Mr. Peel. 
Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 
19 July 1853.  
788.  [   iii   ]
Governor Blanchard
Governor Blanchard
Governor Douglas   •
Earl Grey (Extract)
Governor Douglas
H. Merivale, Esq. to
Captain Hamilton.
Governor Douglas
Hudson's   Bay Company,   Sir   J.   H.
Hudson's Bay Company, Sir J. H.
Hudson's Bay Company, Sir J. H.
H. Merivale, Esq., to
Captain Hamilton.
Captain Hamilton- to
H. Merivale, Esq.
18 August
29 March -
31 October
4 February
1851 :
16 December
24 March  -
29 January
26 March -
3 April
3 May
13 May
25 May
Reports having seen a very rich specimen
of Gold Ore brought by the Indians of
Queen Charlotte's Island      -
Intended Expedition by Hudson's Bay Company with a view to making proper Investigations -
Report of Discoveries of Gold in Englefield
Bay; result of the visit of one of the
Hudson's Bay Company's*Vessels; United
States' Vessels proceeding to the place;
Instructions requested as to the exclusion
of Foreign Vessels        -
Prohibition against the resort of Foreign
Stating that it is not expedient to issue a
Further information respecting United
States' Vessels proceeding to Queen
Charlotte's Island        -
On the necessity for Naval Protection
In continuation of foregoing Report; intention of Americans from Oregon andCali-;
fornia to colonize the Island
Discoveries by Hudson's Bay Company's Ship I Una," at Mitchell's
Harbour; result of the workings of
a rich Gold Vein; interference of
the Indians - - - - -
Remarks on the resort of Foreign Ves-.
sels; communication with Admiral
on station for protection of British
interests, &c.       -
Forwarding Copy of a Report by Mr.
M'Neill, a chief trader in the Hudson's.
Bay Company's service, of the result of
the Expedition to Queen Charlotte's
Island in the Company's Ship | Una," and
stating the extent of the G old Discoveries
there, and the interruption of the workings by the Indians      -
With Extract Report from Officer in charge
at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia
River, relative to the excitement of the
American population in that quarter, coni
sequent on the Gold Discoveries at Queen
Charlotte's Island        -
Forwarding Copy of a Communication addressed by Governor Douglas to Rear-
Admiral Moresby relative to the proceedings and views of American
Adventurers in regard to Queen Charlotte's Island        -
Relative to measures of Naval protection  -
Orders   given   for   Her   Majesty's   Ship
" Thetis" to proceed to Queen Charlotte's
Island ._----
Letter from the British Consular Agent
at San Francisco (1st March 1852)
containing recent information
{continued) C  H   ]
Governor Douglas
Governor Douglas
15      Governor Douglas
17      Governor Douglas
15 April
J8 May
Captain  Hamilton  to
H. Merivale, Esq.
2 August
27 September
27 August
The Right Honourable
Sir John Pakington
to Governor Douglas.    (Extract.)
27 September
(No. 5.)
Excitement among the Labouring Classes
in consequence of the Gold Discoveries -
Departures of Hudson's Bay Company
and   American   Vessels   for   Gold
Harbour      -
In continuation of the preceding Report;
arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company's
Brig " Recovery " at Queen Charlotte's
Island; possession taken of the Gold
Vein at Gold Harbour -
Subsequent arrival of American Ships;
unsuccessful Explorations; landingof
Crews; and erection of Block House
Arrival     of     Her     Majesty's     Ship
Good effects of the visit of Her Majesty's
Ship "Thetis" -----
Departure of the Americans from Gold
Harbour; Reportsfrom the Hudson's
Bay Company's parties of the working on the Island are not so satisfactory as anticipated    ...
Forwarding Report of Captain Kuper (Her
Majesty's Ship "Thetis") on the Gold
Workings, &c. at Queen Charlotte's
Island, and the proceedings of the several
parties who have visited the place; description of the Country and Natives; explorations, &c.     -
Stating that the Gold Diggings in the Island
have not been productive; but the general
opinion as to existing wealth remains unaltered       ------
Fine specimens of Lead and Copper
Ore have also been procured -
Stating the measures determined on by Her
Majesty's Government with reference to
the recent Gold Discoveries -
Appointment of a Lieutenant Governor
of Queen Charlotte's Island -
Steps taken for insuring Naval protection of British interests against the
depredations of Indians, or the intrusion of Foreigners - -
Communications addressed to Her
Majesty's Minister at Washington -
Instructions on the occupation of Land,
and issue of Licenses for procuring
Gold ; precedent of the Australian
Colonies       -
Question as to the exclusion of Foreign
Vessels from the Trade of the Island
Issue of Commission of the Peace,
&c. &c. -----
14 [ 1 ]
CORRESPONDECE relative to the Discovery of Gold in
Queen Charlotte's Island.
m No. 1. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Blanchard to Earl Grey; dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 18 August 1850.
(Received 25 November 1850.)
" 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."
No. l.
Gov. Blanchard
to Earl Grey.
18 August 1850.
— No. 2. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Blanchard to Earl Grey; dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 29 March 1851.
(Received 8 July 1851.)
11 have heard that fresh specimens of gold have been obtained from the
Queen Charlotte islanders; I have not seen them myself, but they are reported
to be very rich. The Hudson's Bay Company's servants intend to send an
expedition in the course of the summer to make proper investigations."
No. 2.
Gov. Blanchard
to Earl Grey.
29 March 1851.
— No. 3. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to Earl Grey, dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 31 October 1851.
(Received, 19 January 1852.)
11 have further to inform your Lordship that the natives have discovered
gold in Englefield Bay, on the west coast of Queen Charlotte's Island. One of the
Hudson's Bay Company's vessels visited the spot in the month of July last, and
succeeded in procuring about 60 ounces of gold, principally by barter from the
Indians. One lump of nearly pure gold, weighing lib. lloz., was seen in the
possession of one native, who demanded a price beyond its value, so that it was
not purchased. The gold is associated with white quartz rock, similar to that
of the auriferous deposits in California ; it is yet found in small quantities; but
I am of opinion that it exists abundantly in that and other parts of the
The report of that discovery having become known in this country, I am
informed that several American vessels are fitting out in the Columbia for
Queen Charlotte's Island, for the purpose of digging gold—a circumstance to
which I would request your Lordship's attention, as it may be the desire of
Government to exclude foreign vessels from that part of the coast."
No. 3.
Governor Douglas
to Earl Grey.
31 October 1851.
■ No. 4. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Earl Grey to Governor Douglas; dated
. Downing-street, 4 February 1852.
" With regard to the discovery of gold on the west coast of Queen Charlotte's
Island, I do not consider that it would be expedient to issue any prohibition
against the resort thither of foreign vessels."
No. 4.
Earl Grey to
Governor Douglas.
4 February 1852.
No. 5.
Governor Do
to Earl Grey.
16 Dec. 1851
— No. 5. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to Earl Grey; dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 16 December 1851.
(Received, 2 March 1852.)'
11 Since I had last the honour of addressing your Lordship, two vessels from
the American ports, in Paget Sound, bound to Queen Charlotte's Island, have
touched at this port. They had collectively about 60 passengers on board,
who were going thither for the purpose of digging gold i it is also currently
reported, that several vessels, filled with passengers, have sailed from the Columbia
and California for the same quarter* Their presence on the coast will, I fear,
be productive of much evil, and lead to serious difficulties with the native
tribes. It has also occurred to me that those adventurers may possibly attempt
to plunder the British trading posts on the neighbouring coast j and I will
further submit for your Lordship's consideration the probability of their becoming
formidable from the mere force of numbers, and, should gold prove abundant,
putting Government to much future trouble and expense in guarding national
rights, unless measures are immediately taken to restrain the subjects of the
United States and other foreign powers from entering or forming settlements
on that island."
No. 6.
H. Merivale, Es
to Captain
24. March 1852.
— No. 6. —
Copy of a LETTER from H. Merivale, Esq. to Captain Hamilton.
Sir, Downing-street, 24 March 1852.
I am directed by Sir John Pakington to transmit to you for the consideration
of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, an extract from a despatch from
the Governor of Vancouver's Island, reporting the resort to Queen Charlotte's
Island of adventurers from the United States and elsewhere, and I am to request
that you will call their Lordships' attention to the reasons therein alleged for
stationing a ship of war off the coast, to protect both national rights and private
I am, &c.
(signed)        H. Merivale.
No. 7.
Governor Douglas
to Earl Grey.
29 January 1852.
— No. 7. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to Earl Grey,  dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 29 January 1852.
(Received, 3 May 1852.)
" In my communication of the 16th December, of which I herewith transmit
a duplicate, I informed your Lordship that several vessels had sailed, and that
others were reported to be fitting out, in the American Ports of Oregon and
California, for the coast of Queen Charlotte's Island.
These vessels are chartered by large bodies of American adventurers, who are
proceeding thither for the purpose of digging gold; and if they succeed in that
object, it is said to be their intention to colonise the island, and establish an
independent government, until, by force or fraud, they become annexed to the
United States. They look forward and are prepared to encounter much opposition from Her Majesty's Government, but they speak very confidently as to
their numbers, which can be recruited to almost any desirable extent, from the
floating population in California; and the ultimate success of their enterprise is
considered by them as a matter admitting scarcely of a doubt.    This report is
1 ived, and the chances of success are openly discussed in the best-informed
■*" ^ "^s *JF t\*
Hudson's Bay Company's vessels (the " Una"), which made a
larbour, on the west side of Queen Charlotte's Island, in
circles in Oregon.
One of the
November last, discovered a rjeth vein of gold, averaging 6i inches in width,
bedded in quartz rock, running 80 feet parallel with the coast, and from thence
apparently taking a direction towards the interior of the island; but it could not
be traced beyond the point where it diverges from the line of coast, on account
of the surface earth, which conceals .it from view. The vein was worked for
several days, by blasting, and rich specimens were procured, some of which
yielded 25 per cent, of pure gold, and there was every prospect of maMng a
profitable voyage, when the natives, attracted to the spot in great numbers, by
the presence of the vessel, became so exceedingly troublesome to the parties
on shore, by pilfering their tools, and by rushing tumultuously upon the mine
from time to time as the explosions took place, to seize the gold which had been
so hardly earned, that they could no longer carry on their operations without
being in danger of their fives. The officer in command, influenced by the
entreaties of the Indian chiefs, who, with much apparent good feeling, begged
him to keep his men on board, and not permit them to land, as they found it
impossible, amidst so many temptations, to restrain their people from committing
those violent acts, his men at the same time having refused to work on shore,
unless they were allowed to fire upon the Indians if they again attempted to
maltreat or plunder them, left the coast, a decision made from the best of
motives, but which has unfortunately left the field open to the American adventurers, who arrived there shortly after his departure; and, as the S Una" was
wrecked at Cape Flattery, on her return to this place, and the Hudson's Bay
Company had no other disposable vessel at hand to send there, the Americans
still remain in possession of the gold region.
I have since learned, that the first American ship which arrived in Mitchell's
Harbour remained only a few days, as the adventurers on board were intimidated
by the hostile appearance of the natives, and would not venture on shore.
Another smaller vessel was wrecked on the east coast of the island, and I have
ascertained, through a letter from the master, received by Indian conveyance,
that the whole party he had on board, consisting of 30 persons, had reached the
shore in safety, and were living in a most wretched condition among the
A vessel was lately despatched to their relief by the United States' authorities
at Nesqually, with what success I have not yet heard. I have not been able to
ascertain how many other American vessels have gone there, but I will inform
your Lordship as soon as I receive information regarding that matter.
While on the subject of Queen Charlotte's Island, I will further take the
liberty of remarking to your Lordship that, apart from political considerations,
and as a mere question affecting the prosperity of this colony, it would be highly
important to exclude the vessels of foreign powers from that field of enterprise,
leaving it open to national vessels alone; as in that case a flourishing trade
would soon flow into this colony, which would then necessarily become a general
place of refuge for the shipping employed on Queen Charlotte's Island, and find
a market for all its farm and agricultural produce, in supplying the miners with
food; on the other hand, if American vessels be admitted, they will draw their
supplies, and carry the produce of the mines into their own ports in Oregon and
California, to the manifest injury of Her Majesty's possessions in those quarters.
I have addressed a communication to Rear-Admiral Moresby,* informing him
of the important discoveries made in Queen Charlotte's Island, and requesting
him to take such measures as he may deem proper and advisable in the circumstances for the protection of British interests and national rights."
Page 6.
— No. 8. —
No. 8.
Copy of a LETTER from Sir J. H. Petty to the Right Honourable Sir John Sir J. H. Pelly
S. Pakington, Bart., m.p. to s*J-s- Pa^inS"
&       i \ ton, Bart., M. v.
Sir, Hudson's Bay House, 26 March 1852.      a6 March l852'
The Hudson's Bay Company, in the course of their trade with the natives of
Queen Charlotte's Island, on the North West Coast of America—a trade to
which they have an exclusive right, under a grant from the Crown, dated the
13th May   1838—having  discovered that the natives were in possession of
specimens of gold ore, which they said were found on the island, lately sent a
small expedition thither, under the command of Mr. M'Neill, a chief trader
in the Company's service, to make the necessary investigations respecting this
discovery, and to establish a trading post.
I have the honour to enclose herewith, for the information of Her Majesty s
Government, Mr. McNeill's report of his- proceedings, and shall feel obliged if
you will grant me an interview, with the view of considering what steps should
be taken for obtaining the gold, and particularly for preventing citizens of the
United States from trespassing on Her Majesty's possessions, and infringing the
rights of the Hudson's Bay Company.
I have, &c.
(signed)        J. H. Pelly.
End. in No. 8. Enclosure in No. 8.
Sir, Fort Simpson, 20 November 1851.
After leaving Victoria, I proceeded with the " Una " to fulfil your instructions of 4th
October 1851. We had a fine run to Queen Charlotte's Island of four days, after which, a
gale of wind came on, which detained us off the place Cape Henry eight days, consequently
we did not anchor in Mitchell's Harbour until the 20th October.
On the second day after our arrival, we commenced blasting the rock at the old place.
We commenced in a vein of quartz, and were very successful; the rock proved to be rich
witli gold, as you will see by the specimens now forwarded per Doctor Kennedy. We
followed the vein, and found it deeply impregnated with gold. The vein seems to take the
direction up the mountain. In fact, our men went half way to the top, say 300 feet above
the water, and found quartz rock, a specimen of which I now send you. In my opinion
gold will be found in many places hereafter on the west side of the island, as quartz rock
is to be found in every direction. We found it in four different places in Mitchell's Harbour,
but had no time to examine it. I am sorry to inform you that we were obliged to leave off
blasting, and quit the place for Fort Simpson, on account of the annoyance we experienced from the natives. They arrived in large numbers, say 30 canoes, and were much
pleased to see us on our first arrival. When they saw us blasting and turning out the gold
in such large quantities, they became excited, and commenced depredations on us, stealing
the tools, and taking, at least, one-half of the gold that was thrown out by a blast; they
would be concealed until the report was heard, and then make a rush for the gold; a regular
scramble between them and our men would take place; they would take our men by the
legs, and hold them away from the gold: some blows were struck on those occasions ; the
Indians drew their knives on our men often. The men who were at work at the vein became
completely tired, and disgusted at their proceedings, and came to me on three different
occasions, and told me that they would not remain any longer to work the gold; that
their time was lost to them, as the natives took one-half of the gold thrown out by the
blast, and blood would be shed if they continued to work at the diggings ; that our force
was not strong or large enough to work and fight also. They were aware they could not
work on shore after hostility had commenced ; therefore I made up my mind to leave the
place, and proceed to this place.
The natives were very jealous of us when they saw that we could obtain gold by blasting;
they had no idea that so much could be found below the surface; they said that it was not
good that we should take all the gold away; if we did so, that they would not have anything
to trade with other vessels, should any arrive; in fact, they told us to be off. The chiefs
have no power over the lower order, and, of course, cannot prevent them from plundering
or committing any act of violence on strangers. I will refer you to M'Gregor for information regarding the vein, &c, at the diggings, as he seems to have a good idea of the rock,
and how the work should be carried on; he has behaved well, and was very zealous at his
The men said they should go again in the spring, if an expedition, properly fitted, should
start for working the gold on Queen Charlotte's Island.
In my opinion, should another expedition go to Queen Charlotte's Island, a force of, at
least, 80 men would be required, with two officers to attend the land party; the ship also
should have three officers, besides the captain, which I can prove by experience during our
late visit to the gold district. The ship's crew, as well as the land party, should go on shares
of the gold that may be collected, as it would prevent any one from trading gold. We had
considerable trouble, duiing our stay at the island, to prevent the people from trading the
ore. The natives brought a quantity of gold to me, which I traded, and now forward it,
together with that which we obtained by blasting ourselves.
Very little, if any, gold will be obtained on Queen Charlotte's Island, except by blasting.
It appears to me that some of the gold I traded was obtained on some other place than
that which we were at..
They, however, said that they had discovered gold in no other place than in Mitchell's
Harbour: this report I much doubt, as the lumps are solid, and different*•from any other
that we found at the place we were at work on.
We have discovered and proved by this voyage, that gold is to be found in quantities at
Mitchell's Harbour alone to pay an expedition to go there, and work it. I had no opportunity of examining the country much, as we remained but 15 days, during which time I
was occupied with the Indians, as no one on board, except myself, could speak to them 'y
we had some bad, boisterous weather during the time also. I saw no place where we could'
build a fort anywhere near the diggings. The shores near the sea and harbours are bold
steep rocks, down to the water's edge.
Provisions will be found scarce at Mitchell's Harbour; no deer on the island and fish
appears to be very scarce, as they cannot catch them on the outside of the island except
during a calm, or a north-east wind. Potatoes can be had in large quantities, from tne
Skidigates tribe, who reside on the east side of the island, but can reach the diggings in two
days'travel in the summer season.
Should a fort be built, or a ship remain, at the diggings for a length of time, a laro-e number of Indians would collect, and reside near at hand, and give annoyance; therefore a large
force of men would be required for protection, and to work the gold; a person acquainted
with Indians should lead the expedition, and have an interpreter.
The natives on the west, or outside of the island, are great marauders, and prey on distant
tribes, take many prisoners, and make slaves of them.
I hope you will be satisfied with the reasons I have given for leaving the diggings, and
not remaining there so long as you wished.
The voyage has, however, done some good; we have ascertained that gold is to be found
by blasting to pay well for working it.
The best or purest gold is to be found deep down in the rock; we, however, had no time
or chance to get at it, as we were obliged to leave, as stated before.
I remain, &c.
James Douglas, Esq. (signed) W. H. M'Mill.
No. 9. —-
Copy of a LETTER from Sir J. H. Pelly to the Right Honourable Sir John sir J. H. Pelly
v    "   " '" to Sir J. S. Paking-
S. Pakinyton, Bart., m.p.
Sir, Hudson's Bay House, 3 April 1852.
On the 26th ultimo I had the honour of addressing a letter to you, enclosing
a copy of a report on the subject of the gold mine discovered in Queen Charlotte's Island, and requesting an interview, to which I have not yet had an
Since then I have received a letter from Mr. Ballenden, the officer in charge
at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River, of which I enclose an extract, from
which you will perceive that the discovery had occasioned great excitement
among the American population in that quarter, who were making preparations
for a descent on the island.
I have, &c.
(signed)       J. IT. Pelly.
ton, Bart., m.p.
3 April 1852.
Enclosure in No. 9.
Extract of a Letter from John Ballenden, Esq., to Archibald Barclay, Esq., dated
Fort Vancouver, O. T., 3 February 1852.
" The excitement at Nisqually, and to the north of the Columbia, respecting the gold
found in Queen Charlotte's Island, is very great: to the south, along the Willamette
River, it is a perfect fever. At Portland alone they are endeavouring to collect about 100
armed men to proceed to the island, set the Indians at defiance, and commence working
the mines.
The news will reach San Francisco in a few days, and many idle persons will be found
there ready to embark in such adventures."
End; in No. 9.
— No. 10. —
Sir J. H. Pelly presents his compliments to Sir John Pakington, and begs to
hand him a packet, addressed to the late Secretary for the Colonies, which has
been received to-day from the Governor of Vancouver's Island, and also the
copy of a letter from the Governor to Rear-Admiral Moresby, relative to the
proceedings and views of American adventurers in regard to Queen Charlotte's
Hudson's Bay House,
3 May 1852.	
788. A 3
fowa, ma
End. hi No. 10.
Enclosure in No. 10.
Copy of a Letter from James Douglas, Esq., Governor of Vancouver's Island, dated
Fort Victoria, 29th January 1852, to Rear-Admiral Moresby, Commander-in-Chief o
Her Britannic Majesty's Naval Forces in the Pacific.
Sir, Fort Victoria, 29 January 1852.
In my communications to Earl Grey of the 16th December and 29th January, inst. on
the affairs of Vancouver's Island, I made known to Her Majesty's Government the projects
entertained by certain adventurers of Oregon and California, in reference to Queen Charlotte's
Island; and I have since resolved to communicate with you directly on that subject, as the
circumstances referred to demand rapid and vigorous measures, and are of such a nature as.
may authorise you to act without specific instructions.
I informed his Lordship that several vessels had sailed, and that many others were
reported to be fitting out in the American ports of Oregon and California for the coast
of Queen Charlotte's Island; that those vessels are chartered by large bodies of American
adventurers, proceeding thither for the purpose of digging gold; that if they succeed in
that object, it is their intention to settle permanently on the island, and establish an independent Government, with the view ultimately of becoming annexed to the United States.
They look forward and are prepared to encounter much opposition from Her Majesty's
Government, having confidence in their numbers, which can be recruited to any desirable
extent out of the floating population of California and Oregon.
I despatched one of the Hudson's Bay Company's trading vessels last October to retain
possession of a rich vein of gold in Mitchell's Harbour, on the west coast of Queen
Charlotte's Island, which had been discovered on a former visit; but the officer in command of the vessel unfortunately did not carry out his instructions, but left the place,
after a very short stay, in consequence of difficulties with the Indians; the field, therefore,
remains unoccupied, and open to American adventurers, who are reported to have gone
thither in great numbers. I have not, however, been able to ascertain the exact number
now there, but I can state with certainty that three vessels bound thither, containing about
100 adventurers, besides the ships' crews, and provided with mining implements, lately
called at this port for information about the gold region. A large ship from California
was also spoken some weeks ago off the Straits of Juan da Fuca, bound to the same
quarter, with 250 adventurers on board, and a number of brass field-pieces, for the purpose
of coercing the natives, if hostile ; so that from all accounts I think there cannot be less
than 500 Americans, well armed and equipped, on the island.
We are now fitting out a vessel for Mitchell's Harbour, which will carry about 40 hands,
to watch and report proceedings ; but you are aware that 1 have no force at my command,
nor authority to protect national rights on Queen Charlotte's Island.
1 imagine Her Majesty's Government will take possession of the mines for the Crown,
and establish laws and regulations for the protection of life and property, allowing the mines
to be vvoiked on payment of certain royalties. That privilege, I presume, will be conceded
to British subjects alone, or to persons professing to be such, and that the subjects and
vessels of foreign powers will be entirely excluded from the mines. Delay will add to the
difficulty of enforcing regulations such as I have supposed will be adopted by Her Majesty's
Government, as the number of adventurers will be continually on the increase; and I am
convinced, if left unmolested, they will attempt to wrest that valuable possession from the
British Crown.
Whatever force may be sent to Queen Charlotte's Island, should be accompanied by a
steam-ship, which I think will be found of incalculable service in guarding the numerous
bays and inlets of the coast, where prohibited vessels may lie concealed.
I cannot discover from any authority within reach if foreign vessels touching at Queen
Charlotte's Island without a permit will be subject to seizure and confiscation.
The Americans have shown the example by the seizure of the British merchant-ship
"Albion," of 600 tons burthen, while her crew were employed cutting timber on the American
side of the Straits of Juan da Fuca, which is inhabited by savages alone, and without any
Government establishment, such act being considered a violation of the revenue and navigation laws of the United States; and the | Albion" was consequently confiscated, and sold.
This colony is, I am happy to inform you, in a tranquil state, and the Neweete murderers
have paid the forfeit of their crimes with their lives, having been put to death by their own
. I have, &c.
(signed) James Douglas,
Governor of Vancouver's Island.
Rear-Admiral Moresby, Commander-in-Chief of Her
Britannic Majesty's Naval Forces in the Pacific.
P.S.—I herewith transmit a sketch of Mitchell's Harbour, Queen Charlotte's Island, for
your information.
— No. 11. —
Copy of a LETTER from H. Merivale, Esq. to Captain Hamilton.
Sir, Downing-street, 13 May 1852.
In requesting you to lay before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty
the accompanying copies of despatches from the Governor of Vancouver's
Island, and of a letter from that officer to Rear-Admiral Moresby, I am directed
by Secretary Sir John Pakington to request you to recall their Lordships' attention to my letter of the 24th of March, on the subject of stationing a ship of
war off Queen Charlotte's Island. It appears to Sir John Pakington, from the
enclosed papers, that the discovery of gold in that island, and the reported
resort thither of several ships conveying adventurers, whose presence is likely to
occasion disorder, render it imperative on Her Majesty's Government to take
immediate steps for the security of British interests, and the upholding of national
rights. I am therefore to request you to move the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty to instruct the Rear-Admiral on the station to despatch such a force
to Queen Charlotte's Island as their Lordships may consider adequate for the
service, and apprise the Rear-Admiral that it is of importance that this instruction should be obeyed as promptly as possible. Sir J. Pakington is of opinion
that a steam-vessel should he included in the naval force to he sent to Queen
Charlotte's Island, as that description of ship will afford facilities for more
prompt and vigorous action, if such should be requisite, than a sailing vessel;
and I am also to inform you, that it is Sir John's intention to provide the officer
in command with a commission of the peace, so as to enable him to insist on
obedience to the law on the part of British subjects.
I have, &c.
(signed)    H. Merivale.
No. li.
H. Merivale, Esq,
to Captain Hamilton. 13 May 1852.
— No. 12.—
Copy of a LETTER from Captain Hamilton to Herman Merivale, Esq.
Sir, Admiralty, 25 May 1852.
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you
herewith, for the information of Secretary Sir John Pakington, copies of a letter
from the British Consular agent at San Francisco to Rear-Admiral Moresby,
relative to the discovery of gold in Queen Charlotte's Island, and of the order
given for Her Majesty's ship "Thetis" to proceed to assert the sovereignty of
Her Majesty over that island, &c., and to visit the settlement of Fort Rupert, in
Vancouver's Island
I am, &c.
(signed)        IF. A. B. Hamilton.
No. 12.
Capt. Hamilton to
H. Merivale, Esq.
25 May 1852.
Enclosure in No. 12.
British Consulate, San Francisco,        Encl. in No. i:
Sir, 1 March 1852.
I have the honour to communicate intelligence respecting the discovery of large
quantities of gold, and of gold bearing quartz, at Queen Charlotte's Island. From a letter
received from Mr. Staines, chaplain to the Hudson's Bay Company in Vancouver's Island,
and the statements of two English sailors who have just returned, I have been enabled to
gather the following information:
The " Una" schooner, belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, was, I believe, one
of, if not the first vessel to proceed there, and found good anchorage close to shore, in
a small bay on the south coast of the island: a trade was carried on.for some days
with the Indians, when the schooner returned to Fort Victoria, Vancouver's Island, but
had to leave after three days, in consequence of the Indians preventing the crew from
removing the gold, which was found chiefly in quartz, close to shore. Three blasts were
made, yielding about 300 1., with which, and the gold received m exchange for blankets, &c,
they again left, and were wrecked at Cape Flattery, on the Oregon coast. A schooner,
the " Damariscone," has lately returned.   In making; the voyage from San FranSsco to
Puget's Sound, they thought they might as well run up to ascertain the truth of the
reports concerning the gold. When they arrived, the Indians were in force, and made
so warlike a demonstration as to compel them, being few in number, to hasten their
departure. Before they left they received a pencilled note from Mr. Rowland, a British
subject, master of the sloop " Georgiana," who had proceeded thither only a few weeks
before in his little vessel, about 40 tons, with a company of Americans, from Puget's
Sound. The note informed them that the 1 Georgiana" was wrecked, and that all the
party were in the hands of the Indians, who had stripped them of every thing. The
** Damariscone 1 returned, and gave information to the United States collector of customs
at Olympia, who forthwith chartered and fitted her up under the United States revenue
flag, with a lieutenant and four privates of the U. S. Artillery, and ten volunteers, who
found, on arrival, the whole party in captivity, and secured their liberation by donations of blankets and trinkets: three of the party rescued were British subjects. It is
reported that lately several small vessels had sailed from Oregon for Queen Charlotte's
Island, and three are endeavouring to procure passengers here for that destination. I have
thought it right to address you with all the particulars, as far as I have been able to learn,
in case you should deem it expedient to take any steps for the protection of the island
Rear-Admiral Moresby, Commander-in-Chief,
&c.  &c. &c.
I have, &c.
(signed)       Geo. Aikin*
No. 13.
Governor Douglas
to Earl Grey.
15 April 1852.
— No. 13. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to Earl  Grey;   dated
Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 15 April 1852.
(Received, 13 July 1852.)
" There has been for some time past much excitement among the labouring
classes on the subject of the gold diggings of Queen Charlotte's Island, to the
great injury of the colony, which has, in consequence, lost many useful men.
One of the Hudson's Bay Company's vessels sailed for Gold Harbour about the
end of last month, with a strong and well-appointed party.
I The Exact," and another American vessel, which called at Gold Harbour
since my last report, returned unsuccessful from that voyage, having been
beaten off by the natives, though the American force was considerable, and well
armed. Several other American vessels are reported to be on the point of sailing
from the ports of Oregon for the same part of the coast. I have no reliable
information from California, though the rumours in circulation lead to the belief
that Gold Harbour will be the great attraction of the season."
No. 14.
Governor Douglas
to Earl Grey.
28 May 1852.
— No. 14. —
Extract of a DESPATCH  from  Governor  Douglas to Earl Grey;   dated
Fort Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 28^May 1852.
(Received, 9 August 1852.)
" I also observe that your Lordship, for very important reasons, does not
consider it expedient to prohibit the resort of foreign vessels to Queen Charlotte's
Since my last report of the 15th April, advices have been received that the
Hudsons^ Bay Company's brig "Recovery" had arrived safely at Queen
Charlotte s Island, and taken unmolested possession of the only surface gold vein
in Gold Harbour, with the consent and approbation of the native Indians, who
have lived on the most friendly terms with the party ever since their arrival.
No foreign vessel was known at that time to be on the coast; but in the space
ot ten days afterwards seven vessels had assembled in Gold Harbour from the
American ports in Oregon and California, having each from 40 to 70 miners on
board. Finding the vein pre-occupied by the Hudson's Bay Company's people,
the Americans sent out parties in all directions to explore the neighbourine
coast; but their researches for gold were not successful, and four of the vessels,
after a few weeks' stay, abandoned the enterprise, not, however, without having
landed a party of 15 men, who have thrown up a block house on Nutts' Island,
and mounted two small pieces of ordnance, as a protection against the natives.
That party and one American vessel were, by last advices of the 26th instant,
still in Gold Harbour. It was expected, from the small quantity of gold found,
that the vessel would soon leave the coast; but the party on shore had, it appears,
made up their minds to remain for a further time on the island, from a persuasion that gold would be found in considerable quantities by mining, and they
were expecting a reinforcement of hands, with supplies, by a ship from California.
With our limited information respecting the auriferous deposits of the island,
it is difficult to predict with certainty what may be the issue of their adventure ;
but it is very certain that success will have the effect of attracting a crowd of
adventurers from the American settlements on this coast to Queen Charlotte's
Island, and it will be no easy matter to eject them when firmly established.
I had, indeed, hopes, derived from the signal failure of the five first American
vessels which visited the island, that the mines would be left to the better
directed and firmer enterprise of Her Majesty's subjects, and that this colony
would become a depdt and place of refuge to the British ships employed about
the mines.
The Hudson's Bay Company's people were working the auriferous rock with
great energy, but indifferent success, not having struck any decided vein of gold ]
a fortunate Indian had, however, picked up near the same spot a beautiful
specimen of pure gold, weighing about three pounds troy, which he found among
the mud on the beach, a little beyond low-water mark.
It was evidently a travelled lump ; but whether thrown up by the waves, or
carried down from the neighbouring mountains, could not be ascertained,
though plausible arguments were adduced in favour of each of those opinions.
Detachments had been out to explore the interior of the island, who discovered
a large fresh-water lake, and many extensive beds of quartz rock; but they saw
very little surface gold.
Her Majesty's ship " Thetis," under the command of Captain Kupar, arrived
at the neighbouring port of Esquimalt on the 24th of May, and sailed on the
5th instant for Queen Charlotte's Island and Fort Rupert, the northern settlement of Vancouver's Island.
I communicated to Captain Kupar the substance of the information respecting
Queen Charlotte's Island, and the prospects of the American adventurers, which
is stated in this and my previous letters to your Lordship, and also procured one
of the Hudson's Bay Company's officers, who is well acquainted with the navigation of the coast, to accompany him on that voyage."
— No. 15. —
No. 15.
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to the Right Honourable Governor Dougla
Sir John S. Palwmton 1 dated Fort Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 2 August to the Right. Hon
-.qpo J. S. ralungton,
ii5i)J" 2  August lb52v
(Received, 18 October 1852.)
11 observe with much satisfaction that you have directed the attention of the
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the subject of stationing a vessel of
war off Queen Charlotte's Island for the support of national rights, and the
protection of Her Majesty's subjects trading to that quarter.
We have received no intelligence from Queen Charlotte's Island since the
arrival of Her Majesty's ship "Thetis" in the early part of last month. The
Americans had all left before the departure of the " Thetis" from Gold Harbomy
and I have no doubt the report of her proceedings on the coast will deter many
788. B persons 10
persons from going there,   who would  otherwise have been induced by its
reputed wealth to visit the island.
The danger is not, however, completely removed, as rumours are still abroad
of parties forming in California and Oregon, for the avowed purpose of working
the gold mines, and any prospect of success will set them all in motion.
The reports received from the Hudson's Bay Company parties, employed on
Queen Charlotte's Island are not so favourable as anticipated, and it has now
become a question if surface gold, as found in California, exists in large quantities
on any part of the island. On the other hand, all the accounts agree in representing the great value of the auriferous quartz, from which it is expected that
a rich harvest of the precious metals will be obtained.
The presence of a vessel of war permanently stationed on this coast will, I am
convinced, have the happiest effect in promoting general trade, as well as the
special interests of this colony, and I am in hopes that Her Majesty's Government will take a favourable view of that measure."
No. 16.
Captain Hamilton
to H. Merivale,
27 Sept. 1852.
No. 16. —
Copy of a LETTER from Captain Hamilton to H. Merivale, Esq.
Admiralty, 27 September 1852.
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you
herewith, for the information of Secretary Sir John Pakington, copies of a letter,
dated the 23d July last, from Captain Kupar, of Her Majesty's ship "Thetis,"
and of its enclosures, containing intelligence respecting Vancouver and Queen
Charlotte Islands.
I am, &c.
(signed)        W. A. B. Hamilton*
Enclosure in No. 16.
Encl. in No. 16.
* Page?-
Extract of a LETTER from Captain Kupar to Rear-Admiral Moresby, c. b. ; dated
Her Majesty's Ship " Thetis/' San Francisco, 20 July 1862.
"It would appear that the information contained in the letter addressed to you by Her
Majesty's Consul at San Francisco on the 1st March last* was substantially correct; but the
amount of gold as yet procured from Queen Charlotte's Island has, I think, been overrated. The only place where gold has as yet been found is in Port Mitchell, and the
Indians maintain that all they have procured came from the same spot, and that they have
not found it in any other part of the island; their reports, however, cannot be depended
The Hudson's Bay Company's schooner " Recovery" arrived at Port Mitchell from
Fort Victoria on the 5th April last, with a party of men who had agreed to work, on shares,
the vein of quartz which had first been worked by those on board the "Una;" the
Hudson's Bay Company finding all materials, powder, mining tools, &c., and receiving
one-half of the proceeds towards paying the expenses, the other half beino- equally divided
amongst those employed, who, although the regular servants of the company, Were to
receive no wages during the time. This expedition is under the command of Doctor
Kennedy; but, from the information I received from him, as well as from some of the
miners, it would appear that they had been much disappointed in their expectations.
Several of the men had already deserted, and the rest all expressed themselves as anxious
to get away, as the amount of gold procured would not, by the account of Doctor
Kennedy, by any means pay the expense of powder and tools, and would only give a v§*y
trifling share to the men. The gold they had got has been procured by dint of very htrcd
labour, the mere clearing the ground being a matter of difficulty, and the stone contiguous
to the vein of quartz being exceedingly hard and difficult to blast. They told me tfaat
they had sometimes been days without finding gold. The vein is close to the water's
edge, and the portion opened about 20 feet in length, and in the deepest part six or eight
feet below the surface.
1 have been unable to obtain any correct information as to what amount of gold has
actually been taken from the island; but the " Una," previous to her being wrecked in
Neah Bay, in the Straits of Juan da Fuca, certainly got some, and I was informed by
Mr. Mitchell, who then commanded the " Una," and is now in command of the " Recovery,"
that when he left the island in the " Una," there was a considerable amount of gold visible
in the vein ; but, not being insufficient numbers on board, they were prevented from working'
it by the Indians, but that the place had been visited subsequently by a vessel with
a party of adventurers from San Francisco, who are supposed to have met with some
success. Of the existence of gold in considerable quantity upon the island there can be
no doubt, from the specimens of pure metal which have been brought for barter by the Indians.
The largest piece as yet seen weighs 22 ounces, and is in possession of one of the chiefs,
who, however, places so exorbitant a price upon it (I believe 1,500 blankets) that nobody
has been able to make a bargain with him. The mountains, as far we were able to explore,
abound in veins of quartz; but the extremely rugged and impracticable nature of the
country will present most serious obstacles to the success of any adventurers who. may be
disposed to visit the island in search of gold.
I enclose a list of the vessels which have visited Port Mitchell since April last, for the
purpose of seeking for gold. I am told that they had each from 40 to 50 Califoraian adventurers on board; but they appear to have met with no success whatever, and returned to San
Francisco, after remaining only a short time, during which they appear to have examined
many of the hills and water-courses in the vicinity of the port. The only persons left
behind were a party of seven men, professing to be British subjects, whom I found lining in
a small rocky island close to the " Thetis" anchorage. They had been landed in the
beginning of May from the schooner " Susan Sturges," which vessel they expected daily
to return to take them away again. They were preparing a boat, in which they intended
to return to San Francisco, should the schooner not arrive shortly. This party were also
working a vein of quartz, not far from that of the Hudson's Bay Company, but, according to
their own account, had not found sufficient gold to make it worth their while to continue
their operations, and were anxiously looking out for an opportunity to leave the island.
I have purchased for Her Majesty's Government such specimens as I could procure
from Dr. Kennedy of the gold and gold ore found on Queen Charlotte's Island. Those of
pure metal were purchased by him from the Indians. The specimens of quartz, all containing more or less gold, were taken from the vein whicli the company are now working in
Port Mitchell.
The country round Port Mitchell is a series of rugged and precipitous rocky mountains, in some parts perpendicular for 100 feet or more, and thickly wooded, wherever it is
possible for a tree to take root.
The woods, particularly where exposed to the north-west winds, are much blighted in
many places. It is impossible anywhere to penetrate more than a few yards into the
country without extreme labour, the ground being a mere mass of rocks, and fallen and
decayed trees of great size, everywhere covered very thickly with moss. We found good
water abundant in many accessible streams; but I think it probable that later in the season,
when the snow is all melted on the hills, that it would be more scarce, as even during our
short stay we found the streams considerably diminished, and few were sufficiently large
to warrant the supposition that they would continue to flow during the heat of the summer
months. We found the climate damp, and very changeable, the thermometer during the
five days of our stay ranging from 56 to 80 in the shade.
Lieutenant Moresby, after a fatiguing: walk, succeeded in reaching a fresh-water lake of
some extent, about a mile and a half from the head of the harbour, and supposed to be
about 400 feet above the level of the sea; and Lieutenant Peel reached the summit of one
of the highest peaks, when he and his party walked for some distance over snow of considerable depth. Mr. Peel describes having seen from thence a large inlet or harbour tO'
the southward. From the information I received, there would appear to be many good harbours in Queen Charlotte's Island. Not far to the northward of Port Mitchell is a passage
which completely intersects the island, and which was navigated by the Hudson's Bay
Company's steamer " Beaver" from the eastward to within a few miles of its western
entrance, where she was stopped by dangerous rapids. The eastern coast' of Queen Charlotte's Island is said to be much more level, and the neighbouring waters not so deep. It
is said that antimony, lead, and iron are plentiful in that part.
The navigation of that part of the island which I visited appears to be very free
from hidden dangers, but is difficult and dangerous for sailingiVessels of any size, in conses
quence of the great depth of water everywhere, there being no anchorage, except in a very
few places, too clo&euto the rocks for a large ship, and the mountains are so high and
abrupt, that the winds are unsteady and partial.
Mr. George Moore, the master of the " Thetis," has, by my directions, made a plan of
Port Mitchell, and the channel leading to it, a tracing of which I enclose--herewith.
The Indians upon Queen Charlotte's Island appear to be very numerous, and a finer
and fairer race of men than those on Vancouver's Island. From our first arrival, we were
daily surrounded by numbers of large canoes full of men, women, and children. All the
tribes within reach came to see what they called the mountain ship, and we had at one time
upwards of 100 canoes round,, the-sbip; but the Indians invariably behaved in the most
friendly manner towards us, and, beyond the noise they made, caused us no annoyance
whatever They have almost all some portion of European dress, and many understand:
I™ wor'cls of Endish. They are considered to be generally well-disposed towards their
Xte visitors; and I was informedby the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company that they
•rarely had any trouble with them.
The furs procured from Queen Charlotte's Island by the Hudson s. Bay Company are
•sea and land oiter, bear, and martin.
Sub-Enclosure to Enclosure in No. 16.
List of Vessels which have visited Fort Mitchell, Queen Charlotte's Island.
Under what
Date of Ar
Where From.
Date of
Schoontr " Susan Sturges "    -
American   -
20 April 1852
San Francisco   -
11  May   1852
21  April
-    ditto    -
15 May     „
Brig 1 Palerma " -        -        -
American  -
29 April
-    ditto    -
15 May     „
Schooner " Mexican"   -
American   -
28 April
-    ditto    -
8 May     ,,
Brigantine " Eagle "     -
American   -
2 May
Columbia River -
7 June     „
Schooner " Cecil"
American   -
18 May
: San Francisco
26 May     „
No. 17.
-<jrovernor Douglas
jto Sir J. S. Pakington,
■#7 August 1852.
— No. 17. —
Extract of a DESPATCH from Governor Douglas to Sir John S. Pakington;
dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island, 27 August 1852.
(Received, 11 November 1852.)
I Her Majesty's ship ' Thetis' arrived at Esquimalt on the 22d instant,
direct from Queen Charlotte's Island, and I believe Captain Kupar has orders
from the Commander-in-chief to remain on this coast till the month of January
next, chiefly with the view of guarding the Ports of Queen Charlotte's Island.
The gold diggings in that quarter have not been productive this season, which
has not, however, altered the general opinion entertained as to its wealth in the
precious metals, the adventurers ascribing their late want of success simply to
the circumstance of the true beds not having been discovered.
Fine specimens of lead and copper ore have also been procured on Queen
Charlotte's Island, which, in a commercial view, gives it an additional value."
(No. 5.)
— No. 18. —
No. 18.
Sir J.S.Pakington,    Extract of a DESPATCH, &c, from Sir John S. Pakington, Bart., m.p., to
Bart., jj.p. Governor Douglas; dated Downing-street, 27 September 1852.
*■- y    Ot I'll .) "* *
* Page 2.
"I have to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 29th January*
last, reporting generally upon the state of affairs in Queen Charlotte's Island,
consequent upon the discovery of gold in that quarter of the British dominions.
I have to inform you, that Her Majesty's Government, having taken into their
serious  consideration the measures which  the  discovery of gold in Queen
'Charlotte's Island seems to require for the protection of British rights and the
preservation of order, have determined on furnishing you with a commission,
which is herewith sent, as Lieutenant-Governor of that settlement. You will
distinctly understand that Her Majesty's Government have no intention to
sanction, by this instrument, the impression that they may have any design of
colonizing the country, or placing any establishment on it. The commission is
issued solely to meet the circumstances of the times: it conveys to you no
power to make laws, or constitute a regular government; but it gives the party
bearing it a position of authority as representing Her Majesty's Government in
the district, which is both important and valuable.
It will be satisfactory to you to learn that Her Majesty's Government have
-directed the Commander-in-chief of Her Majesty's naval forces on the west
coast of America to take immediate steps for the protection of British interests
against the depredations of Indians, or the unwarranted intrusion of foreigners,
on the territory of the Queen; and I trust it may be further in the power of
the Admiral to comply with your application for a steam-vessel. 1 transmit
therewith, for your information and guidance, the copy of a letter and its enclosures from Lord Stanley, one of the Under Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs,
from which you will perceive that the Earl of Malmesbury has addressed a
communication to Her Majesty's Minister at Washington, which, it is hoped,
will have the effect of inducing the Government of the United States to exert
themselves to prevent aggression by American citizens on English rights. It
will, of course, devolve on you to punish according to law, or forcibly to expel
from Queen Charlotte's Island, any foreigners who may infringe British regulations, or violate British territory.
The property, both in land and mines, in Queen Charlotte's Island being
unquestionably the Crown's, the Crown can delegate to you the power of
granting land and issuing licenses for procuring gold. But it is not the intention
of Her Majesty's Government that any such grants, conveying a permanent
interest in the land, should be made for the present: although you may permit
parties to occupy defined portions of the soil, if you find it advisable, it must be
on the understanding, that no title is thereby acquired until you have reported
to me on the state of things in the island, and received further instructions ; but
with respect to the issuing of licenses, your experience may, perhaps, not be so
extensive. I therefore send you copies of two papers which have been lately
presented by command of Her Majesty to Parliament, relating to the recent
discovery of gold in Australia, from which you will derive very valuable information as to the course of procedure adopted by the respective Governors in
that country for granting licenses to persons to prosecute the search for gold.
You will find the principal information on this subject at pages 70 and 71 of the
Parliamentary Paper of February, and at pages 20, 21, 54 and 55, in that of
June, and will frame such regulations as you may deem practicable and advisable
for granting licenses for collecting gold upon the principle of those which you
will find, from the correspondence, have been granted to the Australian Colonies.
Y'ou will, therefore, understand that your power extends to granting licenses on
such terms and for such period as you may think proper to persons intending to
search for gold on the island; and that in cases of any violation of the right
which such licenses give, or any unauthorised search taking place, you are to
claim the support of Her Majesty's officers who may be within reach to enforce
your authority. At the same time, these powers are entrusted to you* subject
to your own discretion as to the means of employing them;. and if you find that
any fitter means of maintaining the Crown's authority over the tribes presents
itself, you can provisionally adopt it, subject to the approval of Her Majesty's
Government. You will take care to transmit to me copies of the regulations
which you shall frame, and report to me from time to time the progress of
. events arising out of this fresh discovery of gold in the Queen's dominions; and
you will keep the sums received on account of licenses which you may issue
separate and distinct from any other revenue that may be received in the
You have suggested in your despatch of the 29th January, that it would
be highly desirable to exclude the vessels of foreign powers from the trade which
is opening itself in Queen Charlotte's Island, so as to confine it to national
vessels alone.    On this proposal I have merely to inform you that Her Majesty s
7S8* b H Government
Government would not be justified, under the  existing state of the law, in
resorting to any measure of this description.
In conclusion, I have to state that Her Majesty's Government would have
been glad to have furnished the officer in command of the vessel or vessels which
Admiral Moresby may have in his power to detach to Queen Charlotte's Island
with a commission of the peace ; but the difficulty is, to know to whom such a
commission should be granted, as it is impossible to foresee in this country
what officer Admiral Moresby may find it convenient to employ upon the service.
It is clear, however, that Queen Charlotte's Island being out of your commission,
you do not possess the power of granting commissions of the peace in that
settlement, though the Crown can do so, imder the authority of the Imperial
Act 1 & 2 Geo. 4, c. 16, s. 10, notwithstanding the concurrent power which
is vested in the Governor-General of British North America. In consequence
of the difficulty to which I have above adverted, it is not, at all events at
present, in my power to give you positive instructions or information as to the
issuing of a commission of the peace in Queen Charlotte's Island.
But any report from yourself, specifying persons to whom you think such a
commission should be given (with a full description of their names, so as to
enable the commission to be properly drawn up) will receive immediate
I have, &c.
John S. Pakington.
End. in No.,l8.
Enclosure in No. 18.
Foreign Office, 2 June 1852.
I. have laid before the Earl of Malmesbury your letter of the 26th ultimo., inquiring
whether any and what instructions should be given to the Governor of Vancouver's Island,,
or to Rear-Admiral Moresby, in regard to foreign vessels trading to Queen Charlotte's
Is and, or to parties of foreigners whom such vessels may convey thither, for the purpose of
carrying on mining or other operations; and I am directed by his Lordship to transmit to
you a copy of a letter which he addressed to the Admiralty on the 8th ultimo, desiring that
Admiral Moresby should be instructed to protect British property and British territory from
violation by foreigners.
I also transmit to you a copy of a despatch which Lord Malmesbury has written to Her
Majesty's Minister at Washington upon this subject, and which despatch his Lordship
hopes will have the desired effect of inducing the United States Government to exert themselves to prevent aggression by American citizens on English rights ; and I am to request
that you will inform Secretary Sir John Pakington that, in his Lordship's opinion, the
Governor of Vancouver's Island, or the officer whose jurisdiction extends over Queen
Charlotte's Island, should be instructed in conformity with the tenor of the papers above
mentioned, and should make such regulations regarding the trade and mining operations as
may be right and proper, and may prevent such trade and mining from being improperly
usurped by foreigners; and that both the Governor and Admiral should be instructed to
punish according to law, or forcibly to expel from the island, any foreigners who may infringe
British regulations, or violate British territory.
I am, &c.
(signed)        Stanley.
Sub-Enclosure 1, to Enclosure in No. 18.
My Lords, Foreign Office, 8 May 1852.
1 transmit to your Lordships herewith copies of a letter and its enclosures from the
Hudson's Bay Company, respecting the proceedings of certain American adventurers at
Queen Charlottes Islnnd, and 1 have to signify to your Lordships Her Majesty's commands, that the Commander-in-chief of Her Majesty's naval forces on the west coast of
America be instructed to take immediate steps to protect British property and British
territory from violation by foreigners.
m,    T    ,   -.       .   . I have, &c.
Xne Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. (signed)       Malmesbury. OF GOLD AT QUEEN CHARLOTTE'S ISLAND.
Sub-Enclosure 2, to Enclosure in No. 18.
(No. 46.)
n Office, 8 May 185
I transmit to you herewith copies of a letter and its enclosures from the Hudson's Bay
Company respecting the proceedings of certain American adventurers at Queen Charlotte's
Island, and I have to instruct you to call the serious and immediate attention of the
Government of the United States to those proceedings, which are calculated to endanger the
friendly relations between the two Governments, but which Her Majesty's Government
feel assured have been undertaken without the knowledge or consent of the Supreme
You will add, that Her Majesty's Government have, of course, given instructions to the
Commander-in-chief of Her Majesty's Naval forces on the west coast of America to protect
British property and British territory from violation, and that any foreigners who may
suffer from such measures of protection must take upon themselves the consequences of
their aggressive and improper acts.
am, &c.
T. F. Crampton, Esq. (signed)       Malmesbury.
Sec.  &c.  &c.   


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items