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Printed by WitxiAM H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1914.  To His Honour Thomas Wilson Paterson,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
The undersigned has the honour to present herewith the Annual Eeport of the
Department of Archives for the A'ear 1912-13.
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
Page V 6, second paragraph, last line—" 1884 " should read " 1844."
Page V9, No. (18)—" H.M.S. Inconstance" should read " H.M.S. Inconstant."
Page V 75, second line of heading—" H.M.S. Inconstance " should read " H.M.S. Inconstant.' PROVINCIAL ARCHIVES DEPARTMENT.
Victoria, B.C., February 28th, 1914.
To the Honourable Henry Esson Young, M.D., LL.D.,
Provincial Secretary and Minister of Education, Victoria. B.C.
Sib,—I have the honour to submit the following Report of the Archives Department for the
year ended December 31st, 1913:—
During the year under review the Provincial Archives have been enriched by approximately
3,000 accessions, consisting of manuscripts, portraits, views, maps, charts, photographs, and
medals illustrative of historic events. The new material covers all periods and phases of
Provincial history, and alone would form a collection of no small interest and value. The maps
and charts include several exceedingly scarce items, such as an illuminated copy of " Typus
Orbis Terrarum," circa. 1579, by the famous Ortelius; the " Diversa Orbis Terrae," 1694, of the
great Dutch cartographer, Peter Schenk; an official Spanish manuscript of 1790, showing the
Strait of Juan de Fuca; and a fine set of the Dalrymple sketches. Inasmuch as it is in such
ancient and rare productions—the surviving " sea-cardes " and " mappes " of the old cosmog-
raphers and cartographers—that one catches the first glimpse of the Pacific seaboard of North
America, it is needless to emphasize the importance of these acquisitions.
The manuscripts which were acquired in the period covered by this report comprise a mass
of valuable literary matter in the form of letters, diaries, journals, and memoirs, running from
1753 to 1871, amongst the chief of which may be noted two autograph letters of Captain James
Cook, written at the Sandwich Islands in 1778 and addressed to Captain Clarke, of H.M.S.
" Discovery "; two letters written at Nootka in 1792 by Captain New, of H.M.S. " Daedalus,"
to his sister; journal of a voyage to the north-west coast of America in the ship " Ruby," 1794-6,
by Captain Charles Bishop; memoir of the discoveries of the Russians in the Eastern Sea, by
P. I. Pallas; papers relating to voyages and discoveries in the North Pacific Ocean down to 1753,
by Philip Buache; a collection of autograph letters and diaries by Sir James Douglas, Doctor
John McLoughlin, Sir George Simpson, the Honourable John AVork, Doctor W. F. Tolmie,
Archibald McDonald, and many others; a number of journals of the fur-trading period; many
interesting letters written at the time of the gold excitement, 1858 to 1865; a daily record of
the overland expedition to Cariboo in 1862; and a large number of illuminating documents
relative to early days and activity in the gold districts.
The Department has had the good fortune to acquire a very fine gallery of photographs—in
an excellent state of preservation—taken by Mr. Frederick Dally in the early sixties. Mr. Dally,
with commendable zeal and energy, journeyed hither and thither over the Province, and this
great collection of views forms a pictorial memoir of our transitional period which will prove
of great human interest and also of historical importance.
In the matter of old-time photographs, it should be mentioned that an arrangement has been
made with Mr. A. H. Maynard, of Victoria, whereby the Archives Department is to be furnished
with a complete set of the splendid series of views taken by the late Mr. Maynard, a well-known
and honoured pioneer. Mr. Maynard visited the Cariboo District in the early sixties, and his
photographs of the mines of Barkerville, Cameronton, Richfield, Van Winkle, Lightning Creek,
and other places, famous in the annals of placer-mining, are of absorbing interest, because they
faithfully depict faces which have long since passed away and scenes which have changed
beyond recognition.
The medallions include one of the silver medals which were struck by the Royal Society
in honour of Captain James Cook, bearing a fine engraving of the famous circumnavigator
with the mottoes: " Jac. Cook Oceania Investigator Acerrimus " and " Nil Intentatum Nostri
Liquere "; also a " token " of the North-west Company of 1820 and a set of the Hudson's Bay
Company's coins.
It is difficult to convey in a few words an adequate idea of the work of the Department,
but the documents printed in the Appendix hereto will serve to show the nature of the collection V 6 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
which is being acquired and preserved. The letters of Sir James Douglas, K.C.B., are particularly valuable because they throw light upon the many-sided character of a remarkable man,
whose name and fame will endure for all time in the Province of British Columbia. Likewise,
the letters and reports of Captain Vancouver are also worthy of more than passing notice. Nor
can the historian afford to overlook the significant documents relating to Arancouver Island.
With reference to Arancouver's " Narrative " it may be well to explain that this document
confidentially reports to the Admiralty the proceedings at Nootka in 1792. Although an account
of the diplomatic controversy between A'ancouver and Bodega y Quadra is given in Vancouver's
A'oyages (ATol. I., Chapter X.), the "Narrative" is printed here in full because it contains the
correspondence on the subject of the cession of Nootka, of which only a synopsis appears in
the work just quoted. It will also be instructive to compare the confidential report with the
published account. Judging by the letters it would appear that Dobson, the interpreter, who,
according to A'ancouver, " spoke and translated the Spanish language very accurately " (Vol. 1,
page 3S6), gave a very literal translation of the Spanish letters. Bodega y Quadra's note to
the American traders, Gray and Ingraham, and the reply thereto, appear in the " Proofs and
Illustrations" of Greenhow's "History of Oregon and California," London, 1884, pp. 413-417.
In addition to the documents contained in the Appendix, the following bulletins are presented
.   1. " Minutes of the Council of A'ancouver Island, commencing August 30th, 1851, and
terminating with the prorogation of the House of Assembly, February 6th, 1861."
2. " House of Assembly :   Minute Book, 1856."
3. " House of Assembly:   Correspondence Book, 1856."
With the exception of a few excerpts, these invaluable records have never been printed.
If by any unhappy mischance the originals were destroyed, the earliest pages of the parliamentary history of British Columbia would be for ever lost. The documents in question deserve,
therefore, very special consideration. In passing, it may be observed that one of the most
pressing obligations of the Department is the publication of original material in the form of
bulletins, for it is only by such means that the resources of the archives can be made generally
The work of copying ancient records is being actively prosecuted, w7ith the result that a
great many exceedingly important documents are being brought to light. Of the first importance
in this connection are the letters and reports of Captain Cook, Captain A'ancouver, David Thompson, David Douglas, Lieutenants Warre and A7avasour, and the Spanish explorers.
In the course of the last two years much field-work has been carried on. The undersigned
has visited Lytton, Kamloops, Lillooet, the Cariboo Road, Barkerville. Richfield, Fort Fraser,
Fort St. James, Fort George, and many other historic spots, with fruitful results. It should be
borne in mind, however, that much yet remains to be done. In most cases the only sure way
to secure our scattered documents is to seek them out—they cannot be saved otherwise from
thoughtless guardianship. One might here venture to suggest that, similarly, an effort should
be made to gather together all colonial documents in the various Provincial governmental
departments, in order that they may be properly classified and indexed. This work has, indeed,
already been begun. Herbert French, M.A., is making excellent progress in arranging the
material in the Department of the Honourable the Provincial Secretary. The matter is one
well worthy of serious consideration, since the departments possess historical records of the
first importance.
Hitherto, unfortunately, owing to lack of space, it has not been possible to arrange the
manuscripts in proper order, or to make them available for general investigation; but in
the building now rapidly nearing completion there will he ample accommodation for all papers
and documents in rooms specially designed for the purpose. The new quarters will consist of
three large well-lighted rooms, to be devoted to manuscripts, maps and charts, and North-west
Americana respectively. Adjacent to these apartments will be two large studies for the convenience of students and others engaged in research-work.
The Department gratefully acknowledges the generosity and public spirit of Mr. John
Tolmie and the Misses Tolmie, of Cloverdale, A'ictoria, in presenting a very valuable collection
of manuscripts, consisting chiefly of the journals of the late Honourable John Work, who played
an active part in public affairs in early days as member of the Legislative Council of Arancouver 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 7
Island. The documents cover the period 1824 to 1835, and contain a mass of general information, notably the Journal of 1824, which records in detail an exploration of the Fraser River
from its mouth to the present site of Langley and beyond.
The Department is also indebted to Mrs. McMicking, Mrs. Newall, daughter of the late
General R. C. Moody, the Honourable John Sebastian Helmcken, Dr. C. F. Newcombe, His Honour
Judge Howay, the Honourable J. H. Turner, Mr. James McDougall, Mr. Sellars and Mr. C. B.
Bagley, and many others for their valuable assistance and support.
The writer wishes to place on record his deep appreciation of the generous assistance and
kindly advice of the late Mr. Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, a sturdy pioneer and gifted writer, who
always exhibited a keen interest in the Provincial Archives. Up to the last, Mr. Sproat was
ever ready to place his mature knowledge and ripe judgment at the service of the Department.
In conclusion, the writer ventures to express the hope that the public will rally to the
support of the Department and show their interest in the history of the Province by assisting
in every possible way to preserve our memorials of the past. In a new country it is not an
easy matter to preserve, or indeed to trace, historical records. Incessant movements and
migrations among the people too often result in the disappearance or destruction of valuable
old letters and diaries, and so many a document whose rightful place is in the Archives of the
Province lies neglected and forgotten or is irretrievably lost. In British Columbia there is now
no excuse for the destruction or loss of historical materials, because the Provincial Archives
Department is ready to safeguard all such records, no matter how unimportant or trivial they
may at first sight appear to be. For the sake of those who may not care to lose ownership of
cherished documentary possessions, a safety-deposit system will be inaugurated, whereby papers
of historical interest may be preserved in a fireproof vault. All documents entrusted to the
Department upon this understanding will be kept in duly labelled metal boxes, which will be
always readily accessible. In this way it will be possible to guard against irreparable losses
by fire or other causes, which can scarcely be prevented, except by the maintenance of a central
repository such as the Provincial Archives Department.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Provincial Archivist. V 8 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(1.) "Narrative of my proceedings in His Majesty's Sloop Discovery from the 28th of
August to the 26th of September, 1792, particularly relative to transactions with
Sigr. Quadra, respecting the cession of certain territories on the N.W. Coast of
America, &c, agreeable to the Articles of the late Convention." Captain George
A'ancouver, R.N.
(2.) "Information obtained from Lieutenant Meares." 3d July, 1790.
(3.)  Memorandum by Lieutenant Meares, 4 July, 1790.
(4.)  Lieutenant John Meares to Right Honourable W. W. Grenville, July Sth, 1790.
(5.)  Memorial of Lieutenant Meares, 30th July, 1790.
(6.)  Minute of Cabinet.    Whitehall, SOth April, 1790.
(7.)  Lieutenant John Meares to the Right Honourable AA\ AV. Grenville.    June 29, 1790.
(8.)  Lieutenant John Meares to Evan Nepean, Esq.    3d July, 1790.
(9.) "A Recapitulation and General Account of the Losses and Damages sworn to have
been sustained by the United Company of British Merchants trading to the North
West Coast of America, by the Capture of their A'essels, and the being dispossessed
of their Settlements by Don Stephen Joseph Martinez, Commander of His Most
Catholic Majesty's Squadron in the Seas." London, 7th September, 1790.
(10.)  Schedule of Sundry Vouchers and Papers presented to the Right Honble. William
Wyndham Grenville, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.
(11.)  Captain  George A'ancouver to Evan Nepean,  Esq.,  His Majesty's  Ship  Discovery.
Monterey, 7th January, 1793.
(12.)  Undated and unsigned memorandum hi Foreign  Office,  entitled  "My  Idea  as  to
Nootka is as follows."
(13.)   Captain  George A'ancouver  to the  Lords  Commissioners  of  the  Admiralty.    Whitehall, 23d February, 1791.
(14.)   Sir Joseph Banks to Mr. Alexander Menzies.    Soho Square, 22nd February, 1791.
(15.)  Captain George A'ancouver, H.M.S. Discovery.    St. Helens, 3d March, 1791.
(16.)  Captain George Vancouver to Evan Nepean, Esq.    Falmouth, 12th March, 1791.
(17.)  "Demand for a Supply of Provisions for the Use of His Majesty's Sloop Discovery
under my Command, being a Proportion for 547 Days for 100 Men."    Captain George
(18.)  Evan Nepean, Esq., to Captain George Vancouver.    Whitehall, 17th March, 1791.
(19.)  Lord Grenville to Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.    Whitehall, 11th February,
(20.)  Captain George A'ancouver to Evan Nepean.    Discovery, Falmouth, March ye Slst,
II. Papers belating to the Colonization of A'ancouver Island.
(1.)  Lieutenant Adam  D.  Dundas,  R.N.,  to  the  Secretary  of   State  for  the  Colonies.
26 Pall Mall, Tuesday, 30th May, 1848.
(2.)  "Extract of a Despatch received from Sir George Simpson, dated Norway House,
June 24th, 1848."    August 24, 1848.
(3.)  Charles Enderby, Esq., to The Right Honble. Earl Grey.    13 Great St. Helen's, 25
August, 1848.
(4.)  Charles Enderby, Esq., to Sir J. H. Pelly.    13 Great St. Helen's, 5th April, 1848.
(5.)  James Ed. FitzGerald,  Esq., to  H. B. Hawes,  Esq.,  Colonial Office,  London,  June
9th, 1847. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 9
(6.)  James   Edward   Fitzgerald,   Esq.,   to   Herman   Merrivale,   Esq.     British   Museum,
February 14, 1848.
(7.)  "A  Proposal   to  Form  a   Company  for  the  Purpose  of  Working  the  Coal,   and
Establishing a Colony in ATancouver's Island."    John Shillinglaw, Esq.,  Soho.
(8.)   James Edward FitzGerald, Esq., to Herman Merrivale, Esq.    British Museum, June
30, 1848.
(9.)  Charles Humphreys, Esq., to James Edward Fitzgerald, Esq.    46 Lucas Street.
(10.)  James Edward Fitzgerald, Esq., to Herman Merrivale, Esq.    British Museum, June
2nd, 1848.
(11.)  W. Colqn. Grant, Esq.    Junr. United Service Club, Novr. S, 1848.
(12.)  Letter to Captain Grant, dated 15 November, 1848, from (?).
(13.)  W. Colquhoun Grant, Esq., to R. Hawes, Esq., M.P., etc., etc.
(14.)  Edward Ryan, Esq., to Herman Merrivale, Esq.    Teignmouth, Devon, September 24,
(15.)  Report on A'ancouver Island.
(16.)  "Resolutions of the Hudson's Bay Company.    Colonization of Vancouver's Island."
January 13, 1849.
(17.)  P.   Hornby,  Rear  Admiral  and  Commander  in  Chief,   to  J.   Parker,   Esq.    Dated
Valparaiso, 29th August, 1849.
(IS.)  James  Douglas,  Chief  Factor,  Hudson's  Bay   Company,  to   Captain  J.   Shepperd,
H.M.S. Inconstance.    Dated Fort Nisqnally, 2Sth May, 1849.
(19.)  AVilliam Miller, Esq., to H. A. Addington, Esq.    Dated AVoahoo, October 23, 1848.
(20.)   Statement of The A'ancouver's Island Steam Sawing Mill and Agricultural Company,
for the consideration of the Board of Trade.
III. A. Colville, Deputy Governor, to the Rt. Honble. Earl Grey.    Dated Hudson's Bay
House, London, December 18, 1850.
IA'. The Right Reverend Modeste Demers,  Bishop of A'ancouver's  Island,  to Benjamin
Hawes, Esq., Secretary7.
A'. Archibald McDonald, Esq.    Dated Fort Langley7, 20th February, 1831,
VI, Letters op Peter Skene Ogden and James Douglas to Dr. AA'. F. Tolmie.
(1.)  Fort A'ancouver, Sth October, 1846.
(2.)  Fort A'ancouver, 4th November, 1S46.
ATI. Letters op Sir James Douglas, K.C.B., to Dr. W. F. Tolmie.
(1.) Cowlitz Farm, 23rd June, 1845.
(2.) Fort Vancouver, 19th April, 1847.
(3.) Victoria, April 28, 1851.
(4.) „        7th May, 1851.
(5.) „       21st May, 1851.
(6.) „        7th August, 1851.
(7.) „       27th December, 1851.
(8.) „        27th December, 1851.
(9.) „       27th January, 1852.
(10.) „       27th March, 1852.
(11.) „        6th May, 1852.
(12.) „       7th May, 1852.
(13.) „       21st May, 1852.
(14.) „        28th July, 1852.
(15.) „        17th Sept. 1S52.
(16.) „       17th Sept. 1852.
(17.) „        14th October, 1852.
(18.) „       5th November, 1852.
(19.) „       6th December, 1852. V 10 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
VII. Lettebs of Sib James Douglas, etc.—Concluded.
(20.) A'ictoria, 29th April, 1853.
(21.) „ 21st June, 1853.
(22.) „ 22nd June, 1853.
(23.) „ 14th July, 1853.
(24.) „ 14th Jany. 1S54.
(25.) „ 21st Jany. 1S54.
(26.) „ 4th March, 1854.
(27.) „ 13th April, 1854.
(28.) „ 14th July, 1S54.
(29.) „ 19th September, 1854.
(30.) „ 3rd October, 1854.
(31.) „ 26th April, 1S55.
(32.) „ 21st July, 1855.
(33.) „ 25th August, 1855.
(34.) „ 1st May, 1856.
(35.) „ 26th May, 1856.
(36.) „ 26th August, 1856.
(37.) „ 13th August, 1857.
(38.) „ ISth December, 1857.
(39.) „ 28th December, 1857.
ATII. Lettebs  of James  Douglas,  K.C.B.,  to  Archibald  Barclay,   Esq..   Secretary7  of  the
Hudson's Bay Company.
(1.)  Dated A'ictoria, 17th August, 1850.    (An extract only.)
(2.)  Dated A'ictoria, 3rd January, 1852.    (Letter complete.)
IX. Provisional Regulations respecting Gold Mining in the Districts of Fraser River and
Thompson River.    29th December, 1857.
X. Letters and Reports by7 David Thompson, relating to the Oregon Territory.
(1.) Letter to Captain H. Bagot, R.N., dated Montreal, February 12th, 1842.
(2.) Memorandum on the Seventh Article of the Treaty of Ghent.
(3.) " On the West Side of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean."
(4.) Letter to  His  Excellency Sir  Charles  Bagot,  Governor-General  of  Canada,   dated
February 22nd, 1842.
(5.) Letter to J. M. Higginson.    Dated Montreal, 21st July, 1843.
(6.) Letter to the Earl of Aberdeen.    Dated Montreal, 29th November. 1843.
(7.) Letter to the Earl of Aberdeen.    Dated Montreal, 28th October. 1844.
(8.) Letter to the Earl of Aberdeen.    Dated Montreal, 2nd December, 1844.
(9.) Letter to Captain Sir James Alexander.    Dated Montreal, May 9th, 1845.
(10.) "Remarks on the Oregon Territory."    Montreal, June 10th, 1S45.
XI. Letter written by Chartres Brew at Fort Yale. 26th February. 1859. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 11
(1.)  Captain A'ancouver's Report to the Admiralty on the Negotiations with Don Juan
Fbascisco de Bodega y Quadra at Nootka Sound in 1792.
A Narrative
Of my proceedings in His Majesty's Sloop Discovery from the 28h. of August to the 26th.
September 1792, particularly relative to transactions with Sigr. Quadra, respecting the cession
of certain territories on the N. AV. Coast of America, &ca. agreeable to the Articles of the late
In consequence of a letter I received on friday the 17th. of August, from Mr. Thomas New,
Master of the Daedalus Transport, lying ill Friendly Cove, Nootka, charged with their Lordship's
orders for me, and stores and provisions for the A'essels under my command, informing me of
the unfortunate death of Lieutenant Hergest & Mr. Gooch, Astronomer, &ca. I determined to
end my researches on this coast, to the northward, for this year, and repair immediately to
Nootka Sound. About 4 o/clock in the afternoon of the 28th. we approached near the entrance
of Friendly Cove, when a Spanish Officer with a pilot came on board and conducted us to
We found riding a Spanish Brig of War, bearing the Broad pendant of Commodore Sr.
Don Quadra, the Chatham, the Daedalus, and a Merchant Brig, called the Three Brothers, of
Signr. Quadra residing on shore, I sent Mr. Puget to acquaint him who we were; that I
should shortly pay him my respects, and that I would salute his flag if he would return an
equal number of guns; to which he returned answers replete with every degree of politeness
and hospitality; therefore, having saluted with thirteen guns to which they returned an equal
number, I went on shore and had the pleasure of finding myself received with every mark of
friendship and civility. The Commodore informed us he would return our visit in the morning;
and himself, with several of his Officers accordingly came to breakfast, and were saluted with
thirteen guns on their arrival and departure.
This day was spent in marks of ceremony and festivity; myself, with as many of the
Officers as could be spared, dined with Sigr. Quadra, and experienced a sight that was realy
surprising. A dinner, consisting of a superfluity of the best of provisions, mostly the produce
of Nootka, and served with no less equal elegance. A Royal salute was fired on drinking the
health of their Catholic and Britannic Majesties, and 17 guns for the success and happy
termination of our present expedition.
Maqueena, who was present on this occasion, had been in the morning, by being entirely
unknown to us, unfortunately prevented by the Centinel and the Officer on deck, from coming
on board, as we were then very busily employed: and there being no appearance in him to
distinguish his superior situation: of this he had most vehemently complained, and it was with
much difficulty that Sigr. Quadra prevailed on him to accompany him to breakfast; however
on receiving suitable presents of Blue Cloth, Copper, &ca. his fears seemed disipated; but after
a glass or two of w7ine he renewed the subject, and likewise introduced that of the Spaniards
quiting this place, asserting that presently we should give it to some other nation. On this
occasion Sr. Quadra took the greatest pains to convince him in the first instance that it was
ignorance of his person that occasioned the treatment lie experienced in the morning, and that
he and all his people would find themselves equally well treated by the English as they had
been by the Spaniards; with which assurances he seemed perfectly satisfied: nor could I avoid
observing, with a mixture of surprise and pleasure, how highly the Spaniards had succeeded in
gaining the confidence and good opinion of these people, together with the orderly conduct of
the latter on all occasions towards the Spaniards.
The next day being Thursday the 30th. we sent on shore the Observatories, Timekeepers,
and instruments, and set hard to work about our respective duties: such as caulking the Ship, V 12 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
overhauling the rigging & sails, clearing the hold, breadroom &ea. for the reception of stores
and provisions: hauled all the boats up to be repaired, which from their various extensive
excursions had now become highly necessary. On this occasion, in consequence of the unfortunate death of Lieutenant Hergest, I considered it expedient an Officer should be appointed in
his room, on the part of Government, to superintend the conduct of the Daedalus Transport.
I therefore appointed Lieutenant James Hanson of the Chatham, to be Agent to the Daedalus;
I likewise appointed Mr. James Johnstone to be Lieutenant of the Chatham in his room; and
Mr. Spelman Swaine, one of my mates, to be Master of the Chatham, in the room of Mr.
This forenoon I received by the hands of a Spanish Officer, a very long letter from Sigr.
Quadra respecting the restitution of this place: on this occasion I considered myself excessively
fortunate in finding a young gentleman, by the name of Dobson, on board the Store-ship, who
spoke and translated the Spanish language very accurately, and who very politely offered his
good services to me on all occasions: I shall therefore here insert his translation together with
my answers, as the best mode of describing these transactions.
Copy of Sr. Quadra's first letter to me, dated 29th. Augt. 1792.
" The Sovereigns of Spain and England not being well satisfied of the reality of the things
which has passed in places so distant from Europe, and animated with the most sincere desire
to terminate their differences, they have agreed to leave the examination to the direction of
two Commissaries of the different courts.
With this object, and that of uniting our general Charts, for to propose the limits, I anchored
in this port on the 29th. of April; but finding your retardment might frustrate my compliance
in every respect with my duty, I commissioned all the A'essels under my command to inspect
the Coast, and as they passed to inform themselves of the circumstances which preceded the
detention of the Argonaut and the Sloop Princess Royal, merchantmen, in the year 17S9: and
of whatever occurred in that epoch.
By solemn treaties; by discoveries; and by a possession immemorial, well confirmed; it has
been known to all nations the propriety which ours has in the coast to the north of California.
Founded in this right we have gone without violence, gaining the love of the natives, with the
cost of innumerable sums, in different expeditions by sea and land, and in sustaining the
department of Sn. Blaz, without any other view than as an auxiliary to other establishments,
and to extend them. Who then can take it ill that Dn. Estevan Martinez disputed the preference of this port; if they know that in the year 1774, it was seen by the Spaniards, and In
1775 possession was taken two degrees to the Southward and six to the Northward, and that
at his arrival he met with no kind of Establishment whatever.
Authorized with the orders of the Vice Roy of New Spain, Martinez entered Nootka on the
5th. of May 1789, and with visible demonstrations of joy in the Indians, took possession and
fortified, without the least remonstrance or protest being made by the Captain of the Portuguese
Brig the Iphigenia, the only A'essel which lay in this cove. He afterwards examined her passports and those of the Ship Columbia and Sloop Washington, Americans. Not adopting some
expressions in those of the first, he treated for detaining her, or making her a prize, which, in
effect, he. executed till they were interpreted by a more mature examination. He then gave him
his liberty, and delivered up the Cargo, and gave him things to enable him to pursue his voyage.
A little after this arrived the Schooner, North West America, and the Sloop Princess Royal,
both English. Towards them he conducted himself with the greatest attention till their departure, they remaining in the port as long as was agreeable to themselves. Afterwards appeared
the English A'essel Argonaut, commanded by Captain Colnett. Fearing to enter, they went on
board him, and his fears vanished. But as his ideas were not entirely fixed on the commerce
of Skins, but likewise to establish a factory, and fortify himself in a commodious situation,
expressing himself in terms which could not be misunderstood; upon which Martinez resolved
to arrest him, and to send him to Sn. Blaz; doing the same with the Princess Royal, Thomas
Hudson, after she returned; (being persuaded that she came to assist and favour him) likewise
with the North West America, which he bought of Douglas; but this sale hitherto has not been
properly cleared up, neither to whom the skins got from Clayoquot belonged, or in whose personal
charge. This the person most interested ought to satisfy, being well understood that by no
means they can graduate the value of the Aressel in more than one thousand dollars and that
of the skins at more than 35 or 40, according to those who have intelligence of their value. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 13
This is as things are, and is ingeniously related as agreed by the two friendly nations: and
they have manifested that Martinez had no orders to make prize of any, nor was this his
intention: neither did he exceed nor violate the treaty of peace or was faulty to the laws of
And I will demonstrate with proofs, not the least equivocal, that the injuries, prejudices
and usurpations which Captain Mears represents, are chimerical, (permit me to say so) when
the natives positively affirm, and the adjoining documents prove, that he never had any other
habitations on these shores than a small hut, which he abandoned when he left this, and which
did not exist on Martinez arrival: that he bought no lands of the Chiefs of these villages: that
the Iphigenia did not belong to the English; and that they did not extract the least part of
her Cargo. In fine, I see that on the arrival of Colnett at Sn. Blaz, he was treated with the
greatest distinction, and his Officers and crew were satisfied with wages for the time of their
delay, according to the wages given to the Royal Navy in the South; the Cargo and A'elssels
were returned, and he got, on his egress from this, a good number of skins.
Things thus established to their primitive state, it is clear that Spain has nothing to deliver,
nor the smallest damage to make good.
But comprehending the spirit of the King, my Master, is to establish a solid peace, and
permanent with all nations, and consulting to remove obstacles Which influence discord, far
from thinking to continue in this port, I am ready without prejudice to our legitimate right,
nor that of the Courts better instructed resolves, generously to cede to England the Houses,
Offices, and gardens which has with so much labour been cultivated, and retire to Fuca; and
for never to be disturbed or molested, the subjects of the one or the other party; the above
mentioned place ought to be our last establishment, and there to fix the dividing point; and from
thence to the Northward to be common the free entrance, use, and commerce, conformable to
the Sth article of the convention: and that no others may be able to form themselves without
the permission of the respective Courts:  neither for the English to pass to the South of Fuca.
. If you have any difficulty, or meet with any other medium that is honourable, that will
terminate the negotiation and affiance the peace, I shall be happy if you will communicate it,
certain that I aspire to contract the bonds of amity which they wish to preserve.
Nutca 29th Augt. 1792.
I have the honor to be &ca.
Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra."
The following are Copies of letters and translations of letters accompanying the foregoing.
" To Sn. Dn. Francisco Jph de Viana:
As chance has proportioned our power to verify with your arrival in this port, the reason
w7hich Mears had to represent things against Dn. Estevan Jph Martinez; I wait for your
information what colours the Iphigenia had? To what nation she belonged? who was her
Captain? What her cargo, and those interested in her? If anything was wanting? What
treatment they received? If he assisted them with provisions? What kind of a house the
English had in this port, and with what right it was fabricated? and all that occurred 'till
you sailed.
God guard you many years.
" Juan F: de la Bodega y Quadba."
Nutca, 29 Augt. 1792.*
" Sr. Commandte. Dn. Juan frco. de la Quadra.
I can inform you that the colours of the Iphigenia were Portuguese, and that she belonged
to the same nation.    J. Franco. Jph Vianna, Vassal to the King of Portugal, was Captain of her.
Her Cargo was forty sea Otter Skins, and belonged to John Carballo, A'assal of the said
King: further I inform you that all that was on board said Vessel when D. Estevan Jph
Martinez made me prisoner was delivered exactly the same to me when the A'essel was liberated.
We were extremely well treated, and with the best of everything, and Dn. Estevan Jph Martinez
succoured us with provisions, and a cable for said Schooner:   he likewise sent us Caulkers.
* This date, with that of the following letters, is  supposed  to  mark  the time of their  being  copied,
and not the time of their being written. V 14 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
The house we had on shore was very small and made from a few boards got from the
Indians, and when we sailed it was pulled to pieces; and when Dn. Estevan Jph Martinez entered
this port of Nootka, there was not the least remains of a house &ca. this is all that offers on
these subjects.
I have only now to say that I wish you a long life and health that you may know how much
I am.
Your humble Servt.
Fbanco. Jph de A'ianna."
(Copy)    Nootka, 29 Augt. 1792.
J: F: de la Bodega y Quadra.
" S & Sres. Dn. Roberto Gray & Dn. Jos: Ingraham!
To satisfy as is just the Court of England of the injuries, prejudices, and usurpations, which
they think was suffered in the year 1789, in this port, you will be kind enough to inform me
with sincerity, as is proper and corresponding to the honor of truth, for what cause Dn. Estevan
Martinez detained, or made prizes, of the Vessels of Capt. Colnett, the Iphigenia and N. W.
America; what establishment or house Mears had at the arrival of the Spaniards : what territories were those which is said he bought of Maqueena, Yuquinani, or any other Chief of these
A'illages; with what view the crew of the N.W. America were put on board the Columbia, and
if they embarked 96 skins in her, and the sum total which they produced at China, and to whom
they belonged. Nootka, 2d. August 1792.
I have the honor to repeat to you that I am &ca.
Juan Franco, de la Bodega y Quadba."
A Copy    Nootka    29 Augt. 1792.
" Don Juan Francisco del Quadra.
Your esteemed favor was duly handed to us by Captain Arrow requesting from us information relative to the transactions between the English and Spaniards in this port in the year
1789, which we will do with great pleasure and impartiality at your request. On the 5th. of
May 17S9 when Dn. Esteven Josef Martinez arrived in Friendly Cove, he found riding there the
Iphigenia only ; the Columbia being at Mahwinna, six miles up the sound. The Sloop Washington
and North West America were on a cruise. This information is necessary in order to regulate
the sequel of the present. After the usual ceremonies of meeting were over, Dn. Martinez
requested the papers of each A'essel, and demanded why they were at Anchor in Nootka Sound,
alledging it belonged to His Most Catholic Majesty. Captain A'ianna, who passed as Commander
of the A'essel Iphigenia, answered they had put in. being in distress, having but little provisions,
aud in great want of every necessary, such as Anchors, Cables, Rigging, Sails, &ca. that they
were in daily expectation of the arrival of Captn. Mears from Macao to supply them, when they
should depart. Capt: Mears was expected to return in the same A'essel he sailed from hence
in, in the year 1788, which was under Portuguese Colours, and had a Portuguese Captain on
board. This A'essel with the Iphigenia were said to belong to one Cavallo, a merchant in Macao;
in whose name the Iphigenia's papers were made out. Seeing the Iphigenia was in such want
Dn. Martinez gave them assistance, by supplying them with such articles as they were most in
want of, till the A'essel before mentioned should arrive. At this time there was not the least
suspicion of any misunderstanding or disturbance among us; as the Commodore seemed satisfied
with the answer each A'essel had given to his request. However on the 10th. of May, the Sn.
Carlos, Captain Arrow, arrived. The same day all the American gentlemen belonging to the
Columbia came to Uquot, or Friendly Cove, to welcome them in; and the next morning (the
11th. of May) Dn. E: J: Martinez captured the Iphigenia; and his reason, as we understood
was, that in their Portuguese instructions they had orders to capture any English, Spanish, or
Russian A'essel, they met on the North West Coast, and could take. This, at the time seemed
improbable, as she was a A'essel of small force; and was afterwards found to be a mistake in
reading the instructions, owing to their want of a perfect knowledge of the Portuguese language.
However after the A'essel was taken the Officers and seamen were divided: some on board the 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 15
Princessa, and others on board the Sn. Carlos, where they were treated with all imaginable
kindness, and every attention paid to them. The 24th. the above mentioned mistake being
discovered, the Iphigenia was restored, and the Portuguese flag hoisted on board her. The
same day Capt: Douglas with the Portuguese Captain and seamen repaired on board.
The Iphigenia, while in possession of the Spaniards, from being a wreck was put in complete
order for Sea; being caulked, rigging and sails repaired, Anchors, Cables, &ca. sent from the
Princessa. On the 26th Dn. Martinez supplied them with every kind of provisions, for which
Captain Douglas gave him Bills on Mr. Cavallo, before-mentioned, Merchant in Macao. On the
31st the Iphigenia sailed—was saluted by the Spanish Fort, and the Commodore accompanied
him out of the Harbour, giving him every assistance of launches, &ca. AA'hen Capt: Douglas
took leave of the Commodore and his Officers, he said he should ever retain a sense of D.
Martinez goodness; apparently deeming his conduct relative to the A'essel, nor more than his
duty as a King's Officer. Upon the whole, we both believe the Iphigenia being detained was of
infinite service to those who were concerned in her. This must be plain to every one who will
consider the situation of the A'essel when the Princessa arrived, and the advantages reaped
from the assistance and supplies of the Spaniards. The detention, if it may be so called, could
be no detriment; for had nothing taken place, she must have remained two months longer at
least: having, as has already been mentioned, put into Port being in distress: of course they
could not have sailed 'till supplies arrived, which was not 'till July, as will appear in the sequel;
whereas being early fitted, as has been mentioned, she sailed on the coast, Northward of Nootka
Sound, and there being no A'essels there, they collected upwards of seven hundred sea Otter
skins: which has often been represented to us by Captain Douglas and his Officers, after our
arrival in China. This may suffice for the transactions relative to the Iphigenia. Before Capt:
Douglas sailed he gave Dn. E : J: Martinez a letter for Mr. Funter, Master of the Schooner,
N. W. America; telling him, from Capt. Mears not arriving at the appointed time, there was
great reason to fear the Vessel he sailed from Nootka in had never reached China; she being in
bad condition when she sailed from this place; therefore as he, Mr. Funter, must on his arrival
be destitute of everything, he was at liberty to conduct as he thought most conducive to the
interest of the owners. AVe shall make mention of this A'essel again hereafter. Interim we
observe your wish to be acquainted with what house or establishment, Captain Mears had at
the time the Spaniards arrived here. We answer, in a word, None. On the arrival of the
Columbia in the year 1788, there was a house, or rather a hut, consisting of rough posts, covered
with boards made by the Indians; but this Capt: Douglas pulled to pieces, prior to his sailing
for the Sandwich Islands, the same year. The boards he took on board the Iphigenia; the
roof he gave to Capt: Kendrick, which was cut up and burnt as fire wood on board the Columbia:
so that on the arrival of Dn. E: J: Martinez there was no vestige of any house remaining. As
to land, which Mr. Mears says he purchased of Maquinna, or any other Chief, we never heard
of any, although we remained among these people nine months, and could converse with them
perfectly well. Besides we have asked Maquinna and other Chiefs, since our late arrival, if
Captain Mears ever purchased any land in Nootka Sound? They answered, No: that Capt:
Kendrick was the only man to whom they had ever sold any land.
On the 8th of June the North West America arrived: and the next day the Spaniards took
possession of her. Dn. E : J: Martinez had an account taken of the property on board her,
particularly of the Skins; which he said should be given to the Officers and men, that they
might be sure of their wages.
On the 16th. of June, the Sloop Princess Royal, commanded by T: Hudson, arrived from
Macao. This A'essel brought accounts of the safe arrival of Capt: Mears; and that Capt:
Colnett was coming on the Coast, Commodore of the English trading Vessels for the ensuing
Season, in a Snow named the Argonaut: this Vessel likewise brought accounts of the failure of
Mr. Cavallo, merchant at Macao, before mentioned. What right the Commodore had to detain
the North AVest America before, is not for us to say; but he always said it was an agreement
between Captain Douglas and himself, after the arrival of the above A'essel with the news of
Cavallo's failure he held her as security for the Bills of Exchange drawn on said Cavallo in
favor of His Most Catholic Majesty : this we have heard him say.
2d. of July the Sloop Princess Royal sailed out of this port, having to our Knowledge been
treated by the Commodore and his Officers with every possible attention, which Capt: Hudson
himself seemed grateful for, and conscious of.    Prior to  this  A'essel sailing the Commodore V 16 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
gave to Mr. Funter all the skins he brought in the N. W. America, which were shiped on board
the Princess Royal by Mr. Funter for his own account. The same evening a sail was discovered
from the Spanish Fort. We were among the first who went out to meet them: it proved to
be the Argonaut, before mentioned, Capt: Colnett.
The transactions of this Vessel were such that we can give the sense of it in a very few
words, that may answer every purpose of the particulars, many of which are not immediately to
the point or tending to what we suppose you wish to know.
It seems that Captain Mears with some other Englishmen at Macao had concluded to erect
a fort and settle a Colony in Nootka Sound; from what authority we cannot say. However
on the arrival of the Argonaut we heard Capt: Colnett inform the Spanish Commodore he had
come for the above purpose, to hoist the British flag, and take formal possession to which
Dn. Estevan Joseph Martinez answered he had taken possession already in the name of His
Catholic Majesty; on which Capt: Colnett asked if he would be prevented building a House in
the port. The Commodore mistaking his meaning answered him he was at liberty to erect a
tent, wood and water, after which he was at liberty to depart when he pleased: hut Captain
Colnett said that was not what he wanted, but to block-house, erect a fort, and settle a Colony
for the Crown of Great Britain. Dn. E: J: Martinez answered No: that in doing that he should
violate the orders of His King; run a risk of losing his commission, and not only that but it
would be relinquishing the Spaniards Claim to the Coast: besides Dn. Estevan observed the
A'essel did not belong to the King, nor was he invested with proper powers to transact such
public business; on which Capt: Colnet answered he was a King's Officer; but Dn. Estevan
replied his being on half-pay, and in the Merchant service rendered his commission, as Lieutenant
in the Navy, of no consequence in this business. In conversing on this subject after the arrival
of the Vessel in Port, it seems Capt: Colnet insulted the Commodore, by threatning him, and
drew his sword in the Princessas Cabin; on which the Commodore ordered his Vessel to be
seized. We did not see him draw his sword, but were informed of the circumstance by those
whose veracity we have no reason to doubt. After seizing the Argonaut the Sloop Princess
Royal arrived a second time, and as belonging to the same company the Commodore took
possession of her also. With respect to the treatment of the prisoners, although we have not
read Mr. Mear's publication, we presume none of them will be backward in confessing that
Dn. E: J: Martinez always treated them very kindly and all his officers consistent with the
character of gentlemen.
Having acquainted you with the principal part of the business agreeable to request, one
thing yet remains to answer, which is of the Captain Officers and crew of the N. W. America.
You ask if we carried them to China ? we did; and with them one hundred Sea Otter Skins,
the value of which we judge, independant of freight was 4875 Dollars, which was delivered
Mr. Mears, and was, we suppose, his property. AA'e sincerly hope Sir, that when things are
represented in truth as they are, it will rescue our friend Dn. E: J: Martinez from any censure;
at least that he may not be deemed an imposter and a pirate, which many from only hearing one
part of the story supposed he was. As to the treatment of Americans by Dn. Estevan, we have
ever testified it in terms due to such hospitality. And we are again happy to have it in our
power to do what we deem justice to his conduct. While speaking of others of your nation we
can never be unmindful of you; your kind reception and treatment of us has made an impression
that will not be easily erased. & we hope you will ever bear in mind how very sincerly we are
your friends and
Your most obedt.  Servants
Robt. Gray
Jos: Ingbaham."
Nootka Sound, 5 Aug: 1792.   -
Copy.   Nootka.   Aug: 29th. 1792.
" Juan fran. de la Bodega y Quadra." 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 17
"On board His Britannic Majesty's Ship Discovery in Friendly Cove, Nootk(a)  Sound.
Sept. 1st. 1792.
I have had the honor of receiving your letter dated Nootka, 29th of August 1792; as well as
the copies of those from you to the Captain Dn. Franco. Joseph de Viana, & Messrs. Robert)
Gray and Joseph Ingrabam, with their answers: the substance of which correspondence doth
not at present come within the limits of my commission to enter into any retrospective discussion.
I doubt not but what you have done on that subject has been with the best intentions of
acquiring real information on the solid basis of honorable truth; in which laudable pursuit
I should be ever happy in exerting my utmost aid and assistance.
The major part of your letter likewise, entering into a retrospective discussion of rights
and pretensions, of the Sovereigns of Spain and England, in the Western parts of North America,
northward of California. I consider as equally foreign to the object of our present business;
that having been already set aside, by the Ministers of the two Courts, in the preamble of the
Convention signed at the Escurial, the 28th of October 1790. Nor do I comprehend the fifth
article of convention in the same point of view which you have pointed out: as that article
expressly says; "It is agreed, that as well as the places which are to be restored to the British
Subjects by virtue of the first article, as in all other parts of the Western Coast of North
America, or Islands adjacent, situated to the North of the parts of the said Coast already
occupied by the Spaniards, wherever the subjects of the two powers shall have made settlements
since the month of April 17S9, the subjects of the other shall have free access and carry on
their trade without disturbance or molestation."
This being the exact words of the said article, I should suppose the Establishment His
Catholic Majesty has made in the mouth of Fuca, to come under the denomination of a port
of free access, as well as such as may have been, or may hereafter be made from thence south
to Port St. Francisco, conceiving that port to be the Northernmost part of the said Coast then
occupied by Spain; and I believe the Establishment at the mouth of Fuca to have been made
no longer ago than last May, when I was, myself, employed in surveying the said Coast.
Under which circumstances, agreeable to the tenor of the articles of the aforesaid Convention, and the instructions and orders I am under, I do not, in the present instance, conceive
myself at all authorised to enter into any negotiation further than that which is contained in
the substance of Count Floridablanca's letter, which authorises you to restore, and me to
receive, the buildings, districts, and parcels of land, which were occupied by the subjects of
His Britannic Majesty, as well in the Port of Nootka or St. Lawrence, as in the other said
to be called Port Cox, and to be situated about 16 leagues distant from the former to the
This, as I have already mentioned, being the only business I am at present authorised to
transact, I have only farther to add that I am thoroughly convinced the houses, offices, gardens
&ca. now existing in this Cove, have been constructed with considerable labour, and at the
expence of His Catholic Majesty; and it would be the highest injustice were I not to acknowledge
the obligations of gratitute we are under from such generosity in putting them into our possession, being so materially essential to add to our comforts; as likewise the many marks of
kindness and civility yourself have bestowed on the British subjects that have visited this port
during your residence. I am therefore ready to be put into possession of the abovementioned
territories so soon as you may find it convenient; hoping, at the same time, that you will not
suffer it to interfere with your own comforts in the smallest degree; and as soon as I should
have made sufficient observations for correcting and arranging my Charts, which I hope will
be in a few days, I shall be happy in the honor of presenting yon a copy of all I have seen,
replete with every degree of accuracy I have been able to ascertain.
Convinced of our mutual desire of aspiring to contract the strictest bonds of amity and firm
friendship, I beg leave to say I am happy in having the honor to be &ea.
" Geobge A'ancouvee."
Sr. Dn. Juan F. de la B. y Quadra,
dc. rf-c. Sc"
On the 31st. of August the Chatham hauled on shore to examine and repair the damages
she had sustained by getting aground, in the course of our Summer's excursion; which were
2 V 18 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
a part of her gripe, and a piece of the fore-foot of her Main Keel; and part of her false-Keel,
carried away, and the copper torn away in different places, both forward and aft.
The next morning, Sigrs. Galliano and A'aldez arrived from the Gulph of Georgia, having
pursued a passage to the South of the one we navigated, as also that seen by Mr. Johnstone.
On the 2d. in my way to the Observatories, I called on Sr. Quadra, who informed me Mr.
Dobson had translated my letter, and that it had afforded him the greatest satisfaction to find
a person of my character to transact this business: that he should accept of my offer of remaining on shore until the Carpenters had finished some additional accommodations to his appartments
on board his little Brig, and then would either wait my departure to accompany me in my
researches to the Southward, and to any Spanish port I intended visiting, in order that he
might in person shew me every civility and attention that country afforded, or would wait at
any Rendezvous I should appoint for that purpose, recommending St. Francisco or Monteri.
He also enquired of me who I intended to leave in possession of the territories; and being
informed I should leave Mr. Broughton, in the Chatham, aud deposit under his protection the
remaining Cargo of the Daedalus, he gave directions that the Store-houses should immediately
be cleared and cleaned out, and desired I would walk with him round the premises, as then I
should be the best judge how to direct the depositing the different stores. I found the different
places sufficiently secure, and more extensive than was necessary to answer all the purposes
we could possibly want. A very fine large new oven had been lately finished, which he said
he had ordered to be built on purpose for us, and had not yet suffered it to be used, the houses
had likewise, for the same reason, been repaired, & the gardeners were busily employed putting
the gardens in order, transplanting &ea.—the poultry, consisting chiefly of fowls and turkies,
were in excellent order, as were the black cattle and swine; of these, he said, he should only
take just sufficient for his passage to the Southward, leaving all the rest, together with a
considerable quantity of seeds he had by him for the use of Mr. Broughton. Sigres. Galliano
and A'aldez added all they had in their power, being three excellent goats; I had likewise both
hogs and goats to leave with him, so that there was a prospect of Mr. Broughton spending the
winter by no means uncomfortably, with the assistance of the natural productions of the country.
My orders, directing me to receive on the part of His Britannic Majesty these territories,
were entirely silent in what manner I should act, whether to contriving some mode of retaining
them or evacuating them; I was therefore at; a considerable loss at first what measures to
pursue: but considering the principal object His Majesty had in view in directing the undertaking of this Expedition was for facilitating and acquiring commercial advantages, and at
one view seeing the importance of this station, situated in the very center of the commerce of
N. W. America, the ease and convenience with which this Port is accessible, as likewise the
success all European productions yet tried had been attended with: — these weighty reasons
concurring with seeing this the general place of Rendezvous for the traders of all nations,
being English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Americans; (a list of which is herewith
inclosed, so far as I have been able to obtain the necessary information) and the nature and
quantity of articles of traffic and other stores sent out in the Daedalus, from the Secretary of
States' Office, together with such conversation as I had formerly been present at in that office,
induced me to believe an establishment was in contemplation shortly to take place some where
on this coast, though I had not received a single line from that office on that or any other
subject, however being thoroughly convinced that this place would not long remain unoccupied
by some one of the trading nations, and not at all unlikely but by Spain; in which case a
probability of involving my Country in fresh disputes, &ca. might be laid to my charge: and
likewise as disputes had already taken place among the competitors in the Fur-trade particularly
between a Mr. Brown, Master of the Buttersworth of London, and Mr. Magee, Master of the
Margaret of New York, the former having gone so far as to attempt to prevent the A'essel of
the latter from sailing out of this port, in which Sigr. Quadra was obliged to interfere: all
these circumstances combined induced me to determine on leaving this Port under the orders
of Mr. Broughton, in the Chatham, whose presence would doubtless curb and restrain such
conduct, while myself in the Discovery would be employed in putting the remaining part of
our voyage in execution, until I should have farther directions how to act after such information
had been given. Thus conceiving all matters firmly arranged, I gave all necessary directions
for the clearing the Store Ship; which was immediately set about. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 19
The civil, hospitable, and very attentive, behavior of Sigr. Quadra, induced Mr. Broughton
and myself, with a certain number of the officers and gentlemen, to dine with him almost every
day; which was not only excessively pleasant, but likewise very salubrious; his table being
covered with the greatest profusion of all sorts of refreshments, which we had long been
strangers to: and this evening Sigr. Galiana, who being particularly attached to the Commission of Sigr. Malaspina, and not under Sigr. Quadra, informed me he should take the advantage
of the present serenity of the weather (which has existed since our arrival without the smallest
interruption) and should sail for the Spanish ports to the Southward, either in the course of
this night or by daylight in the morning. He accordingly, at midnight, departed with Sigr.
A'aldez in company, and did me the favor of promising to forward a short letter touching
just the heads of our transactions, since our departure from the Cape, for their Lordships
In the morning Sigr. Quadra breakfasted with me, and as on all occasions he seemed to
pay the utmost attention in endeavouring to impress the Indians with the highest and most
favorable opinion of us, he informed me that on the present occasion he conceived a formal
visit to Maquilla (or as the Spaniards call him Maquinna) necessary, it was therefore agreed
to set out for Maquinna's habitation, which was at a place called Tasheer's about seven leagues
up the sound in the morning.
This evening I received a letter from Sigr. Quadra, in reply to mine of the 1st. of Sep.r. but
Mr. Dobson having hurt his right arm, so as entirely to prevent his writing, the translation did
not immediately take place, nor from his oral translation did it appear to us at all necessary.
Agreeable to our appointment, on Tuesday morning our boats were equiped for our
expedition to Tasheer's. Sigr. Quadra accompanied me in the Discovery's pinnace; which,
with our launch, a Spanish launch, and the Chatham's Cutter, with as many Spanish and
English Officers as we could take, set off about 8 o/cloek. The weather, though gloomy, was
very pleasant, and having a favorable breeze we reached Tasheer's about 2 O'clock, and dined
in Maquinna's house, Sigr. Quadra having provided an elegant repast on the occasion; which
being finished, Maquinna entertained us first with a representation of their warlike achievements.
This was performed by about a dozen men armed with Musquets, &ca. and about eighteen with
spears, sixteen or eighteen feet long, pointed with iron, and seemingly a very awkward and
unweildy weapon. These have sung several warlike songs, accompanied by actions of attack
and defence, withdrew, and was followed by a masque dance, which was attended by a present
to me of two Sea Otter Skins in return to the distributions I had made of copper, beads, blue
cloth, &ca. to Maquinna, his wives, daughter, and brothers. Having a drum and fife with us,
our Sailors concluded the afternoon's amusements with a Country dance, reels, &ca.
Maquinna seemed excessively delighted, and not less proud in the honor we had done him
in this visit, and promised to return it in a day or two, on which occasion he was given to
understand he should be entertained in our way, no less to his satisfaction than what we had
now experienced; by which I meant a display of fire works; but they never having seen anything
of the kind could have no idea of it, nor indeed did the Spaniards themselves seem exactly to
understand our meaning.
The evening approaching we took leave of our Tasheer's friends and proceeded a few miles
homewards. About % past 6, arriving at a convenient little cove we pitched our encampment
for the night; and passed a very pleasant evening. Next morning after breakfast we embarked
on our return. The weather was pleasant, but the wind though light was contrary. The afternoon was cloudy, attended with some rain, thunder, and lightning: about 5 O/clock we reached
Friendly Cove having dined by the way. In the course of conversation which passed this afternoon, Sigr. Quadra requested that in the course of my farther exploring this country I would
name some port or Island after us both, in commemoration of our meeting and the friendly
intercourse that on that occasion had taken place; which I promised to do; and conceiving no
place more eligible than the place of our meeting, I have therefore named this land, (which
by our sailing at the back we have discovered to be an extensive Island) The Island of Quadra
and A'ancouver: which compliment he was excessively pleased with; as also my retaining the
name of Port Quadra to that which in May last I had called Port Discovery, but finding it
had beeii formerly explored and named after this officer, I had since adopted that name. V 20 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
I found the Chatham had hauled off during our absence; but from the inconsiderable rise
and fall of the tide had not been able to repair her damages therefore was obliged to remain
light until the next springs; which according to the present arrangements, was a matter of
but little importance.
On Thursday, Maquinna with two of his wives and some other relations returned our visit;
on which occasion I could not avoid noticing them to be the greatest beggars I had ever seen,
and expressing the most excessive impatience on all occasions; and indeed that kind of disposition seems generally very prevalent among them, which I attribute to be in a great measure
owing to the vast indulgence the Spaniards have shewn them : as anything they take a fancy
to, if not immediately given, though probably not in our power to spare, they affect to be greatly
offended, and remain sulky for two or three days. It was fortunate I had at hand everything
to satisfy Maquinna's requests which were upon the whole very moderate; probably the number
of things I had given himself and family so recently at Tasheers had not quite escaped his
memory: his impatience was however almost beyond bearing in soliciting the amusement I had
promised him: he could not, or would not be prevailed on to believe that night was necessary
for such an exhibition, accusing us of telling falsities &ca. &ca. Sr. Quadra however at length
prevailed on him to stay the night on assuring him all we had said was true. Our display
consisted of Sky and Water Rockets, AVheels, balloons, Flower-pots, &ca. which he viewed with
much fear, surprise and admiration; and with some difficulty I prevailed on Maquinna and his
brother to throw off a few Sky rockets; which having executed they exulted in no small degree.
These being all excessively well preserved and prepared afforded no small amusement to the
Europeans that were present as well as the Indians.
On the S.. arrived here the Aransasu, a Spanish armed Ship, commanded by Sr. Caamano,
a Lieutenant of a Line of Battle Ship.
Mr. Cranstoun the Surgeon of the Discovery, having been since our departure from the
Cape of Good Hope, from a general debilitated state of health, rendered totally incapable of
paying the smallest attention to his duty had requested I would permit him to proceed to
Port Jackson in the Daedalus, conceiving by that means he might shortly procure a passage
to England, which he conceived would be useful; and having directed a Survey in consequence
to be made, and the Report being to the same effect, he was, on Sunday the 9th discharged;
and Mr. Archibald Menzies, who embarked on board, in Botanical and other scientific pursuits,
and had on all occasions most cheerfully and attentively rendered his services ever since Mr.
Cranstoun's indisposition; therefore seeing that hitherto such attention did not interfere with
his other pursuits, and conceiving ourselves highly obliged by the services he had rendered us,
I appointed him to that office in the room of Mr. Cranstoun.
Mr. William House, the Boatswain, a very sober, careful, and attentive officer, having
likewise laboured under a violent Rheumatic indisposition, since our departure from New
Zealand, so as totally to prevent his attention to any point of duty, being surveyed and
reported to be a proper person to be sent home, was discharged. Mr. Noot, Boatswain of
the Chatham, was appointed to the Discovery, and Mr. George Philliskirk to be Boatswain
of the Chatham. And Mr. Phillips, Carpenter of the Discovery, who from the general tenor
of his conduct, in neglect of duty, destruction of Stores, insolence, and contemptuous behavior
to myself and most of the Officers, in particular Mr. Mudge, the first Lieutenant, but lastly to
me on the 20th of March, 1792; and since that day having been suspended, was sent as a prisoner
in charge of Mr. Hanson, to be forwarded to England to be tried; with his charges attested
evidences, &ca.; Mr. Thomas Laittiwood, acting Carpenter since that time, was appointed to
the Chatham, and Mr. Bray, Carpenter of the Chatham to the Discovery. These arrangements
I hope their Lordships will approve, as the discharged persons would only have occupied the
places of those now appointed, infinitely more capable of performing their respective duties.
From the many trading A'essels, &ca. passing and repassing in this ocean, on the 10th. I
read to the Ships Company their Lordships' directions respecting Charts, Journals, drawings,
&ca. with every injunction, in my power to lay; and that their failing to comply with such
orders and directions would incur their Lordships' highest displeasure; directing Lieutenant
Broughton to do the same.
Mr. Dobson having been able to translate the letter I received from Sr. Quadra, Sept. 2d.
I was a little surprised in finding it to the following effect.— 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 21
" Nootka, Sept. 2d. 1792.
According to the 1st. article of the Convention, and the Royal Order which I have, I am
only to restore to His Britannic Majesty, the Edificies, districts, or portions of land, which in
April 1789 were taken from His subjects.
I have been able to justify that the small hut they had did not exist on the arrival of
Martinez, nor is our establishment in the place where they had theirs.
In answer to your attentive and esteemed favor of the 1st. current, you say you do not
consider yourself authorised to agree upon those points which exist in my commission. Each
of us will lay before our respective Courts what we think most just, that from thence they
may be able to resolve; and you from hence to be in possession of what Mears occupied; and
at your command the houses, gardens, and offices, which we have; and I shall retire 'till the
decision which ought to result, after clear and authentic informations.
I return you many thanks for the Kind offer of your works, & I shall have the greatest
satisfaction in accompanying you in those which remain, & in occasions where I may more
and more shew how sincerly I am, &ca.
J : F : de la Bodega y7 Quadra."
Sr. G. Vancouver.
do. dc.
To the above letter I made the following reply.
" His Bbitannic Majesty's Ship Discovery in Fbiendi.y Cove,
Nootka Sound, 10 Sept. 1792.
I am favored with your very civil and obliging letter of the 2d. instant, and as it was
verbally translated to me I did not conceive it required any immediate reply: the translation
however appearing in writing seems still to contain a retrospective discussion of right of the
respective Sovereigns in the territories here in question; which I have already observed doth
not appertain to our present business, and must therefore beg leave to decline entering into it.
You may depend on the justness of my representation to the British Court in every thing
that has come within my observation, (or at least so far as my abilities will allow me)
respecting our transactions here.
I have therefore only again to observe that I am ready to be put into possession of the
said territories, agreeable to the 1st. article of the Convention &c. &c. so soon as it may, in
every respect, be compatible with your situation and convenience; taking this opportunity of
returning you my best thanks for the Charts you have favored me with; and to which, in two
or three days, I shall have the honor of making a similar return, I beg leave to assure you
I have the honor to be &ca.
Geo : Vancouver.
P. S. I trust you will excuse the lateness of this reply, as Mr. Dobson's arm not allowing
him to write prevented the translation taking place before.
Sr. Dn. J: F: de la Bodega y Quadra."
In the course of the night arrived here the Brig Plope: an American trader belonging to
Boston: commanded by Mr. Jos: Ingraham; the person who jointly with Mr. Robt. Gray, had,
at Sr. Quadra's request, given a statement of the conduct of Sr. Martinez, and the transactions
in this port, in the year 1789, which statement has been already inserted in the course of this
narrative: and in the forenoon of the 12th. I received the following reply to my letter of
Nootka, Sept. 11th. 1792.
I am well persuaded that you will inform your Court, with all the sincerity that is possible,
what you have observed during your residence in this port; but permit me to repeat, that I
meet with no other medium to finish our negotiation than that which I have proposed to you
for the conservation of peace; because I comprehend the first article of the Convention only to extend to the delivery of the territories which in April 1789 were occupied by British subjects;
I am not only ready to cede them, but also what we at present possess until the discussion of
this point; but I have not the power of amplifying this point;
Remaining always, Sir,   &ca.
J : F: de la Bodega y Quadea.
Sr. Dn. George Vancouver.
dC. &C. &C.
To which I immediately returned the following answer.
His Bbitannic Majesty's Ship Discovery, Friendly7 Cove,
Nootka Sound, 12th. Sepr. 1792.
I am favored with your letter of the 11th. and in reply have only to say, when it suits
your convenience to put me into possession of the territories on the N. W. Coast of America,
or Islands adjacent, agreeable to the 1st. article of the convention, which I conceive the territories here at present in question, I am ready to receive them, but in respect to the discussion
of right of the respective Sovereigns, as I have already twice observed, I consider totally foreign
to our present business.    Remaining always, &ca.—
George A'ancouver.
Sr. Dn. J: F: de la Bodega y Quadra.
Having dined with Sr. Quadra, and in consequence of the letters that had passed no final
determination was yet come to respecting the cession of this territory, he requested some
personal conversation; there were present, besides ourselves, Mr. Dobson the interpreter, a Sr.
Mozino, and Mr. Broughton, these two gentlemen speaking french very well made a greater
certainty of our perfectly understanding each other on this subject.
Sr. Quadra principally vindicated the conduct of Martinez, and laid considerable stress on
the donations of Maquinna, in putting them in possession of the lands they now occupy: and
on these grounds he seemed to establish the rights of the Spanish Crown, and to have adopted
that opinion in consequence of the information he had acquired, and a certain part thereof
communicated to me, since his arrival in this Port. He also pointed out the small place Mr.
Mears's house occupied, which identical spot was not occupied by Spain, and that I might take
possession of those few yards when I pleased. These being subjects entirely foreign to my
business, he was informed I could not enter into any argument or discussion to that effect,
nor in our final conclusion of this negotiation could any subject of right or pretentions appear.
This being finally understood, it was agreed that we should respectively represent our transactions to our different Courts, who possessing such information would decide on the Subject
of right &ca. in the mean time he would leave me in full possission of these territories, which
he would quit so soon as his A'essel was ready to receive him; and on his departure the Spanish
flag should be hauled down and the British flag hoisted in its room; which he would salute,
provided I would return an equal number of guns, which being likewise agreed to, matters
seemed perfectly settled to the wish and desire of all parties; this negotiation being brought
to so pleasant a conclusion, he requested we would remain on shore in order to pass the evening
with him, which we accordingly did: and in the morning I received, to my great astonishment,
the following letter.
Nootka 11 Sept. 1792.
Sir !
I am ready to deliver to you agreeable to the 1st. article of the Convention the territories
which were occupied by the British subjects in April 1789, and to leave ours until the discussion
of the courts; which is as far as my powers extend.
Repeating the sincere friendships of &c. &ca.
J : F: de la Bodega y' Quadra.
Sr. Dn. George Vancouver.
&ca. &ca. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 23
To which I replied,
His Britannic Majesty's Ship Discovery,
Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound,
Septr. 13th. 1792.
I am excessively concerned that after the explanatory conversation which took place
yesterday, to find on the translation of your letter of that date, any farther necessity of
corresponding on the subject of these territories. AVhat I understand to be the territories of
which His Britannic Majesty's subjects were dispossessed of, and to be restored to them by the
1st. article of the convention, and Count Floridablanca's letter, is this place, in toto, and Port
Cox: of which, if it is not in your power to put me in full possession, I can have no idea of
hoisting the British flag on the Spot you have pointed out in this cove, of but little more than
an hundred yards in extent any way. If therefore that is your situation I must decline receiving
any such restitution on the part of His Britannic Majesty: and so soon as His Britannic
Majesty's A'essels under my command are in readiness, I shall proceed to Sea, until I shall
receive further directions from the British Court on this Subject. Nor can I avoid in this
instance observing the material difference of the language of your two last letters from that
of your first, in which, if the translation is right, you say, " But comprehending the spirit of
the King, my Master, is to establish a solid peace, and permanent with all nations, and consulting to remove obstacles which influence discord, far from thinking to continue in this Port,
I am ready without prejudice to our legitimate rights, nor that of the Courts better instructed
resolves, generously ta cede to England the houses, gardens, and offices which have with so much
labour been constructed."
On this Subject I have already acknowledged my thanks, for the generous disposition of
the Spanish Court in leaving those offices, &ca. for our convenience: these however I consider
as erected on the territories of which the British subjects were dispossessed in April 1789. I
have the honor to be &ca.
George A'ancouver.
Sr. Dn. J: F: de la Bodega y Quadra.
&ca. &ca.
On the 14th I received an answer to the following effect from Sr. Quadra.
Nootka, 13 Sepr. 1792.
I thought after the verbal conversation which we had, the difficulties you had put to me
were settled, and that we had both complied with our duty: but seeing by your attentive letter
of the 13th. currt. that you do not conform, I repeat, I will leave you in possession not only
of the territories which were taken from His Britannic Majesty's subjects in April 17S9. but
also that which was then occupied by the natives of the place, and now by the Spaniards in
consequence of the cession made in their favor by Maquinna. But you have not the power to
controvert, nor I to adjudge, the property of this land; thus I hope it will be convenient to
you to have the possession of the whole; and will inform our Sovereigns; and they will decide
the most just.
This medium I think the most comformable to the pacific Spirits of the Courts; as in the
seventh article of the convention it is ordered, that, " In all cases of quarrels, or the infraction
of the articles of the present convention, the Officers of the one and the other party, without
passing to any violence or act of force, are to give an exact relation of the case and of its
circumstances to their respective Courts, who will terminate amicably such differences." All
ours consists in the right of possession and property.
You say you are authorised to receive the whole:—I am not free to deliver in those
terms. In this idea I judge we shall be under the necessity to instruct our Kings of the truth
of things of which they have no knowledge; and that for my part there may not be the least
motive for disgust, nor for you to suffer any extortion. I am ready to deliver all that was
occupied by the English in that Epoch, as a thing belonging to Great. Britain, and to leave you
in possession of the remaining land, reserving only the right of property, which I have not the
power to alienate, and according to my method of thinking ought to be preserved jointly with
the British subjects, and to comply in this manner with the sense of the treaty. V 24 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
For what respects the houses, gardens and offices, I in nothing vary from my first expressions, which were always limited with these words, " without prejudice to our legitimate right,
or what the courts better instructed may resolve." This is without renouncing the property
which I comprehend ought to remain in favour of the King my Master. I shall be happy to
have in answer the pleasure to find you are fully satisfied, and that you will live persuaded
of the sincerity with which I esteem you, &ca.
J: F: de la Bodega y Quadba.
Sr. Dn. George Vancouver
&ca. &ca.
On Saturday morning the loth., a young lad, who had been about two days missing from
Sr. Quadra's Vessel, was found in a cove, not far from the Ships, most inhumanly murdered;
the calfs of his legs were cut out, his head nearly cut off, and several wounds in different parts
of his body. There were some doubts respecting the author of this act of barbarity, whether
done by the Indians, or by a black man, of a very infamous character, who had deserted much
about that time; but the prevailing opinion seemed to charge the Indians. Sigr. Quadra sent
a threatning message to Maquinna, demanding the Murderer; and on this occasion all the
Indians in our neighbourhood departed, which seemed rather to support the opinion of some
of them having comitted the crime.
In the forenoon I replied to Sr. Quadra's letter of yesterday, in the following words.
His Bbitannic Majesty's Ship Discovery-,
Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound,
15 Sepr. 1792.
I have received your letter of the 13th. and in reply have only to say that like the former
ones it contains nothing but a discussion of right, which as I have before observed is diametrically foreign to the business we are ordered to execute, that subject having already been
thoroughly investigated by the Ministers appointed by the respective courts for that purpose,
as is fully explained in the preamble to the late treaty. You likewise have mentioned Mr.
Mears's A'essels being under Pourtuguese colours:—that is equally foreign. Mr. Fitzherbert and
the Count of Florida Blanca, being as well informed of that subject as we are, by Mr. Mears's
original petition to the Parliament of Great Britain. I am, therefore, here only, as I have before
repeatedly mentioned, to receive and be put into full possession of, on the part of His Britannic
Majesty, the territories the British Subjects were dispossessed of in April 17S9: which are, this
place and Port Cox: this is the place which was then occupied by the said subjects: here they
were captured; their Vessels sent as prizes, and themselves prisoners, to New Spain; by which
means this place was forcibly wrested from them, and occupied and fortified by the Officers of
the Spanish Crown. This place, therefore, agreeable to the 1st. article of the Convention, and
the Count of Florida Blanca's letter, (of which the British Court has transmitted me a true
translation,) with that of Clayoquot or Port Cox, are to be restored, without any reservation
whatever; on which terms, and on these terms only, I am here to receive the said territories;
and must here insist on declining any farther correspondence on this subject, except receiving
your positive answer, whether you will or will not restore to me, on the part of His Britannic
Majesty, the said territories: and in respect to the 7th. article of the Convention, in the present
instance, there can be no appeal whatever, you being ordered to restore the said territories, and
I ordered to receive them: You will therefore favor me with your final answer on that subject,
permitting me to remain, &ca.
George Vancouver.
Sr. Dn. J: F: de la Bodega y Quadra,
&6. &c.
This difference in opinion had however no effects on the rights of hospitality and friendship:
we visited as usual, and Sigr. Quadra, with Sr. Caamino, and most of the Spanish Officers,
favored me with their company to dinner this day. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 25
On Monday morning, being the 17th. arrived here the Fenis and Sn. Joze, a Portuguese
trading Brig, commanded by John de Barros de Andrade, and in the evening I received Sr.
Quadra's final letter of determination, respecting the cession of these territories, in the
following words.
Nootka, 15 Sepr. 1792.
I cannot give you a more definitive answer, or in terms more categorical, than to say I am
ready to put in execution all that I am ordered by the letter of His Excellency the Count of
Florida Blanca, by the rule of the 1st. Article of the Convention.
In that I am ordered, that the Officer of His Britannic Majesty, be immediately put in
possession of the Edifices and districts, or portions of land which were occupied by the subjects
of that Monarch in April 1789, as well in the Port of Nootka or St. Lawrence, as in the other
which, it is said, is called Port Cox, and is situated about seventeen leagues distant from the
antecedent: restoring to the said Officer such parcels, or districts of land, of which the English
subjects were dispossessed, in case the Spaniards now possess them.
In my first, of August 29th. I demonstrated to you, that the English had no Edifices here
at the arrival of Martinez, nor had he the least opposition; nor those with whom to have it,
in the formation of our establishment; and in that of the 2d. of September, that the cultivated
land is not the place where the provisional house of Captain Mears was: and he, in his
memorial, certifies the same; as he says, that after his arrival at Nootka he purchaesd of
Maquinna (the Chief of the contiguous district and of that which encompassed that place)
a piece of land, where he built a house for his provisional residence, and for the more convenient
continuation of commerce with the natives: he hoisted the English Colours, and made a Breast
Work round the house & mounted three Cannon in the front. A little after he ordered Mr.
Colnet to fix his residence in Nootka, with the view of building a good house on the land which
was purchased the year anterior. And in the prints of his works, page 108 and 220, printed
in London in 1790, his establishment was situated with the greatest clearness, independant of
that of Maquinna, which territory he did not purchase, and we now possess it by the donation
of that chief. Thus in sight of these reasons, you must know, I am only ordered to deliver this
space of land, and not the remaining.
By all my anterior letters, you must be certain I have never thought in any other manner;
but desirous of consolidating, more and more, the friendship and good harmony between our
Sovereigns, and to remove every obstacle capable of disturbing them, I not only deliver you
the portions which Mears purchased, and in which Colnet had orders to establish himself, but
I'll likewise put you generously in possession of what Maquinna ceded to us; with the houses,
gardens, and the rest, which at the expence of the King, my Master, and the labour of his
subjects, has been cultivated 'till now: with the only restriction that the Sovereigns accord
'between them, the right and property of the land which we now have, after our informations
to our respective Courts.
This is not wanting you to enter into the controversy of rights, but to clear things and
manifest the sense which I think is obvious in the expressions of the Convention, and letter
of Count Florida Blanca, to give an entire compliance to the order of the Sovereigns in the
part which touches me.
But if you are not pleased with the little land which Mears purchased, nor the terms in
which I make the cession of the rest; we'll draw a divisionary line in the middle of the two
portions, and by this method make an equal distribution between the Spaniards and English,
that in case my court resolves to have any establishment here, they may account from henceforward the place of their property. Their houses, gardens. &ca. are at present at the disposition of the British subjects, the port remaining common for the two nations, without one
knowing the dominion of the other.
These are all th<> parts as far as I can propose, and the execution, I believe, conformable
to the articles of the Convention, and the letter of the Minister of State. But if you do not
please, or cannot accede to them, You'll pursue in this case, that which you think most convenient, and you will be kind enough to inform me; and I am extremely sorry the affair has
not been terminated. I find myself under the necessity of retiring in two or three days, in the
interim to leave the Courts to settle this difference.    A Frigate whose commander has promised V 26 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
the offices of friendship and correspondence with the British subjects that remain here, or come
hereafter, although only on the motive of commerce; and they will use, as a thing belonging
to them, all that is in our territory, without experiencing the least opposition. And I shall
always esteem it as a particular honor that you believe the sincerity with which I esteem
you, &ca.—
J: F: de la Bodega y Quadba.
S. D. George Vancouver.
&c. &ca.
Circumstances so situated any further letters seemed quite unnecessary;
I therefore on the 19th requested in person a moment's conversation to know if he was firmly
determined in adhering to the principle of his last letter: which being answered in the
affirmative, I informed him I should henceforward consider it a Spanish port, and requested
his permission to carry on our necessary avocations: to which he very politely answered, not
only that but any service in his power he should feel the greatest satisfaction in affording.
Matters thus at length determined, he informed me he should leave Sr. Caamano in charge of the
Port until the Princessa, commanded by Sr. Fidalgo, should arrive to relieve him, who was to
remain here; and that he should this evening take up his abode on board the Brig, requesting
Mr. Broughton and myself would dine with him there on the morrow.
In the morning the Brig, Hope, Ingraham, of Boston sailed: and I believe charged with
Spanish dispatches respecting these transactions.
We dined with Sr. Quadra, and were saluted with 13 guns on our arrival and departure.
The longitude my observations have placed this part of the Coast in, as likewise that part
seen by Captain Cook to the North of Cape Foulweather, differing considerably from what Capt:
Cook has placed it in, I wished to have embraced farther opportunities of observing, as I
should be under the necessity of remaining here some days longer, and by that means to satisfy
myself more properly on that Subject before I finally arranged my Charts; but Sr. Quadra,
wishing to make a certainty of such information as I had acquired, conceiving the error could be
hut inconsiderable, requested such a copy as I was able to make, which he received this evening,
together with the following reply to his final letter of the 15th. of Sepr.
His Britannic Majesty's Ship Discovery, Friendly Cove,
Nootka Sound. 20th Sepr. 1702
I received your letter of the 15th instant, and finding that corresponding on this Subject,
instead of drawing nearer to a conclusion, your letters lately seem positively intended to carry
•the execution of our respective orders more and more remote.
Under which circumstances I have not deemed it expedient to make any reply to the said
letter, agreeable to your request, until I had arranged my Charts of this Country, in order to
deliver you a copy thereof according to my promise: the one from Cape Mendicino to the
latitude of 50° 30 No. is replete with every degree of accuracy I. have been able to ascertain:
the longitude of the other I am doubtful of. not having made sufficient observations in this
port to satisfy myself in that respect. They are, however, otherwise as perfect as circumstances
permitted me to make them; and, agreeable to your desire, you have them with these imperfections on their head.
It is therefore only necessary, in reply to your definite and categorical letter, to repeat what
I have uniformly written and avowed; which is, that I came here to receive, on the part of
His Britannic Majesty, these territories, of which the Subjects of that Sovereign were forcibly
dispossessed in the year 1789, agreeable to the first article of the Convention, without entering
into any discussion of right, restriction, &ca. &ca. These subjects being totally foreign to my
present business can have no place whatever in these transactions; which has been fully and
sufficiently explained in my former letters. To this transaction, you, Sir, have thought proper
to refuse a compliance; You must therefore retain the said territories for His Catholic Majesty,
until the respective Courts, who undoubtedly will, and whose province only it is, and not ours,
to decide on matter of right, restriction, &ca. &ca. shall by their superior abilities determine
on whatever they may deem necessary, which they will undoubtedly do, independant of our
opinions, though probably on the grounds of such information as we may respectively give. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 27
Nor have I any thing to do with the remaining part of your letter, respecting lines of
limitation, dominion, &ca. &ca. which I have likewise formerly pointed out.
Therefore I trust you will do me the honor of believing I am equally animated with a desire
of consolidating the bonds of amity and harmony which at present subsists between our respective
Monarchs, so far as is compatible with honor, and with the integrity and allegiance I owe my
Sovereign. In the execution of whose service I cannot avoid here mentioning the delay that
must be occasioned by the present mode of proceeding, so different, both toy letter and conversation, to your sentiments on our first arrival; those inducing me to clear the Store-Ship, and
deposit her Cargo in the Store-houses I then conceived were to be ceded to His Britannic Majesty.
The alteration that has since taken place obliges me to reload the said A'essel. by which my
departure from this place will he prolonged infinitely beyond my wishes or inclinations, as
were that not the case, I should be now in readiness to proceed to sea. Your favoring me with
a line to acknowledge the receipt of this will oblige, &ca. &ca.
Geobge A'ancouver.
Sr. Dn. Juan F. de la Bodega y Quadra.
&c &c.
In the morning of the 21st. I received the following letter from Sr. Quadra.
Brig Active, at Anchor in the Port of Nootka,
20th. of Sepr. 1792.
Knowing your resolution it remains for me to say, I am sorry that you did not understand
the expressions which were manifested in my first letter, where I was ready to cede the houses,
gardens, lands, &e. but under these restrictions. Interim I shall come personally to give you
thanks for the Chart which you have sent me, and to receive your orders, and I hope to remain
with your friendship at whatever distance.
Sir, &ca.
J : F : de la Bodega y Quadra.
Sr. Dn. George Vancouver.
&c. &c.
Sigr. Quadra with Sr. Caamano, and most of Sr. Quadra's Officers did me the honor of
their company to take their parting dinner, his intentions being to sail in the morning. On
this occasion he received similar marks of ceremony and respect we had experienced on our
first visiting. The day was spent very pleasantly, and Sr. Quadra appointed the port of Monteri
as a Rendezvous, where we should next meet. He likewise undertook to forward a short letter,
pointing out for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiral}7, the heads of the
principal parts of these transactions; and on my regretting of not having leisure sufficient to
make a Copy of my Survey of this Coast to accompany that letter, Sr. Quadra promised that
in the course of his passage he would cause a copy of the Charts I had given him to be made,
which should be sent with the letter. He likewise informed me he should salute me when he
sailed, which he did on Saturday morning the 22nd. with 13 guns, to which we returned an equal
In the forenoon the Columbia, Gray, of Boston, aud the Adventure Sloop, tender to the said
A'essel arrived here.    The Margaret, Magee, of New York, arrived the preceeding evening.
Under the circumstances of the before mentioned transactions which I have minutely related
in every particular, precisely as they occurred, I considered it totally incompatible with the
intentions of the British Court, or w7ith the words of the Convention and the letter of Count
Florida Blanca, that the identical space of ground on which Mr. Mears's house and breast-work
was placed, and that space only, situated in the Northern Corner of this small cove, whose
whole extent is scarce more than a musquet shot in any direction, nor the above space no where
extending above an hundred yards, bounded by the sea on one side and steep perpendicular rocks
on the other, could possibly be considered as the tracts of land, according to the 1st. article of
the convention; the districts or parcels of land, according to the letter of the Count Florida
Blanca; or the tracts of laud or the districts or parcels of land pointed out to me by their
Lordships' different instructions on that subject. V 28 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Uniformly therefore conceiving that such a cession could never have been intended, and
that by my acceding thereunto, contrary to my own opinion, I should knowingly have betrayed
the trust with which I am honored, and have acted in contradiction to the duty and allegiance
I owe my Sovereign, by receiving, on the part of His Britannic Majesty, a territory under the
tenure of the Crown of Spain, without being directed so to do. These are the principles which
have operated, and actuated my conduct in these transactions with Sigr. Quadra; which I trust
will meet their Lordships' approbation. But should I be so unfortunate as to fall under their
censure, I hope their candour will do me the justice of attributing any impropriety I may have
unavoidably fallen into to its real and only cause,—an ignorance in transacting business of this
important nature, and a want of sufficient abilities in extricating myself from difficulties I had
never the most distant idea of experiencing.
This being the real and positive state of our situation in this part of the World, I have
considered it my duty to send the earliest information to their Lordships, and by such methods
as to reduce as near to a certainty as possible, a just and true account from under my own
hand, arriving with all the dispatch in my power to acquire. On which account I have directed
my first Lieutenant, Mr. Mudge, a zealous and active officer, to take charge of these dispatches,
and to depart in the Fenis and Sn. Jose, Portuguese Brig, John de Barros de Andrade, Commander ; who sails in the morning, wind and weather permitting, for China; and will probably
arrive there about the time the India Company's Ships are taking their departure, in the first
of which he is directed to take his passage without a moment's loss of time, in order to lay
these proceedings before their Lordships: and whose attention since under my command, and
diligence with which he will perform their service; will I hope recommend him to merit their
Lordships' future favor. On this occasion I have removed Lieutt. Puget and Lieutt. Baker to
be first and second Lieutenants of the Discovery, and Mr. Spelman Swaine, lately appointed
Master of the Chatham, to be third Lieutenant of the Discovery: and Mr. Manby, one of my
Mates to be Master of the Chatham; which regulations I likewise hope their Lordships will
On board the above mentioned A'essel in which Mr. Mudge takes his passage, I found Mr.
Duffin, her supercargo: the gentleman who was present on most occasions respecting Mr. Mears's
business on this coast, who has favored me with a relation of such of those transactions as
came within his own observation, which he has sworn to before me: this, differing in many
respects very widely from the information communicated on that subject by Sr. Quadra, and
the principal grounds he has gone on in refusing to put me into possession of this Port, &ca.;
as likewise a A'iew of this Cove, taken by Mr. Humphrys, one of my mates, will tend to illustrate
the small pittance of land Sr. Quadra has offered to cede to me on the part of His Britannic
Majesty; which space is not badly pointed out in Mr. Mears's Survey of this cove. These I
have thought proper should accompany this narration &ca. for their Lordships' farther information, as likewise a Copy of Sr. Quadra's letters to me in Spanish, with their translations
and my answers annexed.
A List of Vessels employed in commebcial pursuits on the N. W. Coast of America in the
Summer of 1792.
Nam- Commanders. b™g. ™*»
Ship  Butterworth    Brown  London   October 1791
Sloop Prince Lee Boo    Sharp       Do         Do.
Jackall   Stewart       Do  ...        Do.
Ship Jenny  Baker    Bristol   Augt. 1791
Brig, Three Brothers  Alder   London   Deer.    „
Schooner, Prince Wm Henry  Ewens        Do       Do.
Brig Halcyon  Barclay   Bengal   } Jany. 1792 or
„    Venus   Shepherd      Do ( Deer. 1791
Snow Moore   Canton  Deer. 1791
Brig   Coolidge       Do Apl. 1792
Brig   Barnett       Do       Do. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 29
List of A'essels—Concluded.
Names. Commanders.
Where When
belonging. Sailed.
Ship Columbia  Gray   Boston  Octr. 1790
Sloop Adventure as a Tender to the Columbia,! TT
,   ... ,, .    „      , V Haswell       	
built on this Coast   J
Ship Margaret  Magee   New York     Octor. 1791
Ship Jefferson   Roberts         Do.  Nov:
( Last from
' • • | China Apl 92
Brig Hancock  Crowel       Do.          Do.
Brig Hope   Ingraham          Do.
Iphigenia  .A'iana
The foregoing being a list of the trading A'essels that are employed on the Coast this season,
and I believe have found their commerce pretty well to answer their purpose, many of them
being satisfied with their cargoes collected this Summer: and others that winter either on the
coast or at the Sandwich Islands, intend leaving parties in this port to set up Vessels, brought
out in frame, an American and an English shallop being at present building in this cove, which
so soon as accomplished will employ themselves in dragging along the Coast, and inland navigation, collecting skins, &ca. as circumstances may admit of. And besides these Vessels there
have been employed on this Coast the following Vessels belonging to the Crown of Spain;
the Conception and Gertrudis, I believe frigates of 36 guns; the Active Brig of 12 guns, the
Princessa and, armed Ships, with the Vessels of Galiano and Valdez. These have
been employed in acquiring information and other subjects tending to commercial advantages.
These circumstances, together with the conduct of Sr. Quadra, respecting the territories on this
coast, &ca. cannot fail of clearly evincing the important light in which the Court of Spain
views the commercial advantages that are likely to accrue from such pursuits in this part of
the world. I have thought proper to deliver this information and opinion, as likewise to send
a Copy of my Survey of this coast, similar to the one I gave Sr. Quadra, and under the same
circumstances, not yet having finally fixed the longitude thought by the mean of 100 sets of
lunar distances, taken since our arrival, I place our Observatory here in 233° 30' Et. longitude,
being 5 farther west than the longitude of the different points written in this and the one
given to Sr. Quadra, and 19' to the East of what Captain Cook places it; its latitude being
49° 34, No.
Their Lordships will observe in my Chart of the Coast, North of Cape Mendocino, a conspicuous point in latitude 46, 19, No.—236°, 06' Et. longitude; South of which a ridge of rocks
extends across an apparent opening in the land, but did not appear to us to be a navigable
channel. It has however since been entered by Mr. Gray, and proved to be a river, which he
has called Columbia, a sketch of which, as he has drawn it, I have herewith transmitted. In
my rout(e) to the South, which I hope will take place in a few days, I shall fully examine it,
as I conceive it an important post from the surrounding country, as likewise that at the back
of it on the Southern regions of Admiralty inlet; appearing delightfully pleasant and capable
of producing every essential, necessary, and luxury of life.
I am excessively concerned that the immense labour, and different distant excursions, in
which I have been employed throughout this whole summer, has prevented my having a duplicate
of my Jourals of our whole proceedings in proper order to have been transmitted by this
conveyance for their Lordship's information. However conceiving the importance of such information as we are able to give, together with the transactions that have occurred here, it is my
intention, after having revisited the said Southern Coast,, down to the Spanish settlements, to
dispatch Mr. Broughton in the Chatham, by way of Cape Horn, who being perfectly conversant
with all my proceedings with Sr. Quadra, and is likewise an officer of conspicuous abilities and
much observation, will be able to elucidate any information their Lordships may require, where V 30 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
my journals, &ca. may be defective; nor do I think it improbable but he may arrive as soon,
or before these dispatches: and whatever dispatches their Lordships may have for the guidance
of my conduct, I know no person more zealous, or more capable in forwarding them with the
utmost dispatch, or a person I would sooner wish to assist me in the execution of their Lordship's commands, than Mr. Broughton, though, I should hope, in that ease, it would be in a
better Vessel than the Chatham, which has doubtless, by her bad sailing, materially retarded
our progress in the course of the execution of this part of our voyage.
I cannot here avoid observing that in the departure of the Chatham I shall experience a
considerable loss in Mr. Broughton, and the other Officers, whose departure this has occasioned,
whose zealous asiduity has been too evident to pass unnoticed. However the service seems
positively to demand it, and I shall continue to put in execution their Lordships' farther commands in the Discovery; who will, at the departure of the Daedalus for Port Jackson, have
on board about two years spirits and Wine, with eighteen months of other provisions, and a
proportional quantity of Stores; these, however, from the insulated Country we seem to have
left behind, I have my doubts of being sufficient to enable me to finish the examination with
that scrupulous degree of accuracy, I have hitherto found in my power to pursue, in respect to
ascertaining the true limits of the Continent, the Islands having never yet occupied more of
our attention than occured without quiting the main object of our pursuits on the continent.
I shall therefore direct the remaining part of her Cargo to be returned to me on this coast;
considering that I am not, under the present circumstances, authorised to quit this hemisphere,
in pursuit of the service I am ordered to execute in the Southern one, until I should have their
Lordship's farther directions to that effect: and should it be deemed necessary that any of His
Majesty's A'essels should be continued on this coast, for the protection of its commerce, I should
suppose, from the Knowledge of the Coast, the different harbours, &ca. we have aquired, there
could, in the present instance, for respectability, protection, &ca. be no better A'essels than the
forty-four gun Ships; who by stowing away their lower deck guns, would be able to bring out
a large portion of Stores, provisions, &ca.—
Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound,
Sepr. 26th, 1792.
George Vancouver.
(2.)   Memorandum entitled "Information obtained from Lt. Mears, 3rd July, 1790."
Appendices 2 The last accounts from China dated in February, mention the arrival of the Washington
to 10, from    from Nootka, with a Cargo of Furs of very considerable value.
Foreign  Office
Miscellaneous The Report of the release of the Prss— Royal and Argonaut without foundation.
5- The AA'ashington had sold her Cargo, and was about to return to Nootka.
The AVashington brot. an account of the arrival of a Spanish Frigate on the Coast, with
three Transports and Troops to form the new establishment at Nootka.
Don Martinez had killed the Chief of Nootka without any provocation—He was the firmest
friend the English had upon the Coast.
The AVashington had gone up de Fuca's Straits and discovered a New Sea, extending to
the Northward.
It is supposed that Nootka and all the places which have lately, been visited, are situated
in Islands, and not on the Continent.
A small Swedish Ship commanded by and Englishman, and another A'essel purchased from
an American by Mr. Douglas (lately an officer on board the Iphigenia) has sailed for the N. Wt.
Coast, under the protection of the Arnerican flag.
The Spaniards are diligently employed in working a Mine at Nootka, some of the ore is
now in Town.
Endorsed:     Memo.  3.  July  1790.     Intelligence  obtained  from Mr. Meares. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 31
(3.)  Memorandum by7 Lieutenant Meares.
4 July 1790
Mr. Neville an Officer in the Et. India Company's Service came home from China in the
Duke of Buccleugh—
He was some weeks at Macao, and frequently in Company with Capt. Kendrick of the
AA'ashington, from whom he learnt—That the AVashington left Nootka in the latter end of
September, that she afterwards went up de Fonti's Strait and passing thro' a Sea came out at
the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Kendrick named the Island formed by these Straits, Washington
—Procured as many Skins as brought him in China 26,000 Dollars. Copper was the best article
for Trade of which he had but a small quantity, the AVashington is a Sloop not much larger
than a Ship's Longboat—That previous to the departure of the AVashington from Nootka, a
small A'essel had arrived from Sn. Bias—that there was no reason to suppose by the intelligence
brot. by her that either the Prss Royal or Argonaut had been released—The AVashington left
the Coast in the latter end of Octo. and arrived at Macao early in January.
No intelligence has been received of the Prss Royal or Argonaut in China in the latter end
of February last.
Lt. Mortimer of Marines came home in the Duke of Buccleugh. He had less communication
with Keudrich than Neville and is not so circumstantial in his accots. He says however that
the release of the two Ships was not known at China when he left it.
Mr. Dickinson who is an intimate friend of Mr. Cox and who has letters from him, is not
in town, he resides somewhere near Coventry—
Cox had sailed for the North West Coast under Swedish Colours in a Snow called the
Martinez shot Callicum because he had given an opinion that he (Martinez) had acted
unjustly by his Countrymen in taking their property from them. He was not apprized of the
distinction between the two Countries, but supposed both to be subject to the same sovereign.
Endorsed:    Memo.
(4.)   Lieutenant John Meares to Right Honourable W. AA'. Grenville, July* 5th, 1790.
On a former occasion, when I had the honor of stating to you the peculiar hardship
attending my situation, you were pleased to express that concern at such uncommon violences
which deprived me of my Fortune, that I am persuaded Sir my present application will Be
view'd in a favorable manner, and as one that results from absolute necessity.
I trust Sir that it will not be deem'd an unreasonable request to intreat some mark of favor,
bereaved of my property, I am necessitated to throw myself at the feet of Government to intreat
protection, if my conduct Sir, since my arrival, has met your approbation, if it has been entirely
govern'd in every respect by a just sense of the high honor of my protectors, I humbly hope and
request in the event of a AVar, that I shall not be left destitute.
The manner in which I had the honor of making the most open and unreserv'd communications will I trust be a consideration which will induce you Sir to think favorably of this letter,
and let me intreat you to consider, that, however the nation at large may feel, an individual,
unsupported, is unable to struggle with such misfortunes and must sink under the pressure of
I have not the honor Sir to boast of many friends, that industry and spirit of adventure
which led me forward to distant climes to endeavour to open new Sources of Commerce for my
Country, will ever be ready to exert itself in any situation that your goodness and pleasure may
think proper to place me in, and permit me Sir to add, that there are no commands of yours that
I shall not implicitly obey with pleasure and alacrity.
I remain Sir
, with great respect
! your most obt.
July 5th. 1790 and very Hble Servt.
Right Honble Wm. Wm. Grenville Jno Meabs.
Endorsed :    5th. July 1790.    Lieut. Meares. V 32 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(5.)   Memorial of Lieutenant Meabes, 30th July, 1790.
To the Right Honble Wm. Wm. Grenville, one of His Majestys principal Secretaries of State.
The Memorial of
John Meares    Lieutenant in His Majestys Royal Navy—
i Most humbly sheweth—
That your Memorialist having in the Month of May last presented a Statement of Facts,
under the title of a Memorial, containing a full and particular account of the Seizure of the
British Ships in Nootka or King Georges Sound, by a Squadron of His Catholic Majestys Ships
of War, together with a full and just statement of the amount of the losses which your
Memorialist and his associates have sustained by the above captures, your Memorialist now begs
to submit to your consideration.
That the American Sloop Washington, mentioned in the above Memorial, did arrive in China,
at the Port of Canton, about the Month of February last with a very valuable Cargo of Furs.
That the above mentioned Sloop Washington, did enter those Straits to the Southward of
Nootka Sound, which your Memorialist distinguished by the Name of John de Fuca, and having
saild therein a considerable distance, did arrive in an open channel or Sea, and having Coasted
that part of the land which forms Nootka Sound, did reenter the Pacific Ocean between the
Latitudes of 54° and 55° North, and having completely assertaind that Nootka Sound, and all
the lands adjacent, to be an Archepelago of Islands, and not the Continent of America, she did
arrive in China as above mentioned.
Your Memorialist begs leave to state, that the AA'ashington in her progress had intercourse
with great bodies of Indians inhabiting these parts, and carried on a considerable traffic with
them, but that being in want of the necessary articles of Trade, such as are had in estimation
with the Natives, she was for this reason necessitated to leave large quantities of Furs behind
her, particularly Sea Otter Skins, in the possession of the Natives, sufficient to lade the Washington.
That your Memorialist from this circumstance begs leave to point out, the probable consequences that must have ensued, if the Ships of him and his associates had been permitted to
have traded unmolested on the Coast, as the small A'essels of your Memorialist would have
penetrated those parts explored by the Washington, and being in possession of the very Articles
of Commerce held most in request by the Indians, would have purchased all the Furs which
they would not sell to the Americans, and those small A'essels of your Memorialist would have
finally been able to have extended their Commerce considerably.
Your Memorialist states these points as leading facts, which precludes conjecture, as to the
advantages that have been lost, in the Seizure of the British Ships.
Your Memorialist begs leave to state, that, in this interval, when the British Commerce
is suspended, other adventurers have sail'd to America in order to reap those advantages, which
by the best possible right would have belong'd to your Memorialist and his associates, your
Memorialist begs further to state that, amongst those adventurers is the Washington, the Master
of which A'essel has taken formal possession, in the name of the United States of America, of
those very parts discovered by your Memorialist, and which, as a British Subject your Memo.t
took possession of as stated in the Memorial presented by your Memorialist in the Month of
May, and your Memo.t begs to inform you that Tatouche, the Indian Chief, and the firm ally
of the British Nation reigns over that Country.
Your Memorialist now humbly begs leave to state the consequences that have ensued from
the Captures, as related in the Memorial of May last, to your Memorialist and his associates,
with respect to the Government of China.
That that Government having a Knowledge from the Washington, as well as by letters
from the Chinese who have been captured, of the acts of Hostility committed by the Spanish
Nation on the Subjects of His Britannic Majesty, and finding that a certain number of their
subjects, who had embarkd on the Ships Pss Royal and Argonaut under the protection of the
British Flag, had also been captured, and the Chinese Government having receiv'd from your
Memorialist and his associates full and ample security that the Subjects of His Imperial
Highness, the Emperor of China, should be retnrnd to their respective Families, did demand
of your Memorialists associates, that all the Chinese who had thus embarkd, should be inline- 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 33
diatly and forthwith return'd to their Native Country, which demand your Memo, and his
associates being unable to comply with, were necessitated to submit to whatever acts of
oppression the Chinese Government thought proper to put into execution—
Your Memorialist begs leave to state that, in pursuance of the resolution taken on the part
of the Chinese Government, the A'ice Roy of Canton, did order to be seized, the Cargo of Furs
returnd in the Iphigenia, which Cargo your Memorialist had sold to a Chinese Merchant, previous
to his Departure from Canton, deliverable at a certain period, for the sum of 17,000 Spanish
Dollars, but that before the stipulated time of Delivery came, the Government of Canton, seizd,
as above mentioned, the Cargo of the Iphigenia, for the express purpose of providing for the
numerous Families of all those Chinese who embark'd under the protection of the British Flag,
and the Vice Roy of the Province of Canton, declared to your Memorialists associates, that His
Imperial Majesty of China did hold the British Nation responsible for the persons of his Subjects
captured by the Ships of His Catholic Majesty—
That your Memorialist apprehensive of further evil consequences to himself and associates,
and equally fearful of the effects that this transaction may have on the British Commerce carried
on throughout the Chinese Empire, thinks it his duty to state clearly and explicitly the above
Your Memorialist begs leave to state that, after the plunder and release of the Iphegenia
by Don Estevan Martinez, the Master thought he was in duty bound to make some effort to
procure a few furs to defray the heavy arrears of Wages &c &c, that in pursuance of this
resolution, he steer'd, after quitting Nootka Sound, to the Northward of that Port, and purchased
a quantity of Sea Otter Skins, giving in exchange the Cloathing belonging to the Officers and
Seamen, and that a yet more valuable Cargo might have been purchas'd had the Master of
the Iphegenia had on board those articles of Commerce which had been plundered from her by
the Commander of His Catholic Majestys Ships of War—
Your Memorialist therefore hopes that these peculiar and uncommon hardships to himself
and associates will be considered, and that the necessary measures will be taken to extricate
them from the dangers of the Chinese Government and to obtain that redress which he and his
associates expect from your hands as British Subjects.
John Meares.
July 20th. 1790
Endorsed :    Memorial of Lieut. Meares R 30th July 1790.
(6.)   Minute of Cabinet.    Whitehall, 30th April, 1790.
Whitehall   30 April 1790.
Present   The Lord Chancellor i
Lord Privy Seal
Duke of Richmond &c
Duke of Leeds
Lord Chatham
Mr. Pitt, and
Mr. Grenville.
Upon consideration of the information which has been received from Mr. Meares of the
detention and Capture of several British Vessels at Nootka Sound of the Coast of America, and
of the Circumstances of that transaction, as also of the Papers which have been delivered by
M: del Campo relative thereto.
Your Majesty's Servants have agreed humbly to submit to your Majesty their opinion that
Your Majesty's Minister at the Court of Madrid, should be instructed to present a Memorial
demanding an immediate and  adequate  satisfaction  for  the  outrages  committed  by  M:   de
3 V 34 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Martinez; and that it would be proper in order to support that demand, and to be prepared
for such events as may arise, that Your Majesty should give orders for fitting out a Squadron
of Ships of the line.
Endorsed:    Minute of Cabinet 30th April  1790.
(7.)   Lieutenant John Meabes to the Right Honoubable W. W. Geenville.    June 29, 1790.
Having on a former occasion done myself the honor of placing before you, on the part of
myself and associates, a statement of the losses which we have sustaind in the capture of the
British Ships, permit me Sir to submit to your consideration, that the Messrs Etches, having a
certain proportional Stock in the captured property, and claiming a yet further share, which
both I and my associates have agreed to allow, provided, Messrs Etches pay such Sums of Money
as have been advanc'd by us on their account, those Sums Sir having been repeatedly demanded,
and the Messrs. Etches having declined to make them good, common equity Sir, will we trust,
consider those gentlemen to be no further concern'd, than the proportional share of that stock
which they hold in the concern.
Trusting Sir to full and ample restitution and indemnification for all our losses, permit me
Sir to request that, should the present dispute between the two Courts be brought to a happy
issue, any Monies, which may be remitted by the Court of Spain as restitution to the injured
parties, may he detaind in the hands of Government till the point in dispute shail be decided
between the parties
I remain
with the greatest respect
your most obt PIble Servt
Jno Meabes.
June 29th. 1790
Right Honble Wm. Wm. Grenville.
Endorsed :    London 29th. June 1790.    Lieutt. Meares.
(8.)   Lieutenant John Meares to Evan Nepean, Esq.    3d July7, 1790.
My dear Sir,
I have been particular in my enquiries.
The Washington left Nootka 25th. Sepr. last & arrived in China the 3d. of February—they
were then erecting Fortifications, and had built several large launches and Store Houses and
meant to Winter there, they seizd numbers of the Natives to work, others fled and Martinez
himself shot Callicum through the heart—
They every moment expected additional Forces, I could not learn what time the A'essel had
arrived from St. Bias, but when the Washington Saild there was no advice of either the Argonaut
or Princess Royal being liberated, neither was there any news of them in China, so that I think
there can be no doubt but that they are detaind at St. Bias and have not been released—
I have just called to leave these particulars and not finding you here commit them to paper—
I am Dear Sir
&c &c &c
J. Meares.
10 o/clock.
Addressed:    Evan Nepean Esqr. &c. &c. &c.
Endorsed :    3 July 1790 Lt. Meares. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 35
(9.) A Recapitulation and General Account of the Losses and Damages sworn to have
been sustained by the United Company of British Merchants tbading to the Nobth
West Coast of Ameeica, by the Captube of theie A'essels, and the being dispossessed
of theie Settlements by Don Stephen Joseph Maetinez, Commandeb op His Most
Catholic Majesty's Squadeon in these Seas—A'izt.
Amount of Loss sustained by the Capture of the Ships " Iphegenia " as per
account     £11,766.15. 6
Amount of Do. sustained by the Capture of the Ship " North AA'est America "
as per account         7,683.9.3
Amount of Do. sustained by the Capture of the Ship Princess Royal as per
account        21,275.11.  2
Amount of Do. sustained by the Capture of the Ship Argonaut, as per account   25,075.12.11
Amount of Do. sustained by the Capture of the Ship Jason as per account . .      2,943.  3.  2
Amount of Loss sustained by the Capture of the Chinese Subjects as per
account          3,780.  -   -
Amount of goods given to the Indians for the purchase of Lands of which
they have been dispossessed         1,000. -   -
Amount of particular Expences incur'd and Damages sustained by Captn.
Mears the general Agent to the Company from being obliged to quit the
American Station and his line of Business to come to Europe in order to
prosecute the present Claim against the Court of Spain       5,000. -   -
£78.524.12.  0
Amount of positive Losses sustained during the Course of the year 1789 by
the Capture of their Ships as per account £106,322   -   -
Amount of Probable and Perspective advantages which the United Company
would have acquired, and of which they were deprived during the years
1790 and 1791 in consequence of their Trade being interrupted and their
Ships and Settlements being Captured    £285,019   -   -
London 7th. September 1790    Errors excepted
Jno. Meares
Endorsed : Recapitulation and General Account of the Pretensions of the United Company of Merchants Trading to the North West Coast of America.     No. 14.
N.B. The Iphigenia has been sold at Canton for 8000 Dollars or £2000 which is to be made good to
His Catholic Majesty after deducting the Charges that have been incurred in the Sale.    J.M.
(10.)   Schedule of Sundry A'oucitees and Papers presented to the Right Honble William
Wyndham Grenville, one op His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.
Accounts of the Iphigenia including four Numbers.
General disbursements.
Sundry disbursements with affidavit, Builders Certificate, and Letter from David Scott,
Merchant of Bombay.
Impress Wages and restitution to the Crew with Sundry receipts and Affidavits.
Account of Provisions received from American Ships in Nootka Sound.
Accounts of the North West America with Affidavit.
Accounts of the Argonaut, including three Numbers.
General disbnrsments.
Sundry disbursments with affidavit.
Wages and restitution to the Officers and Crew with affidavit.
Accounts of the Princess Royal including four Numbers.
General disbursements.
Sundry disbursements with affidavit.
Agreement with the Officers and Crew, with an Account of Wages and Restitution and
Captain Colnet's Letter dated from Mexico May 1st. 1790, with affidavit.
Affidavit made at Canton with Mr. Hudson's receipt. V 36 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Accounts of the Jason with Affidavit.
Chinese Subjects with Affidavit.
Factories with Affidavit.
Positive and Immediate Losses including five Numbers.
General Account.
Affidavit of Davidson and Littlewood.
Affidavit of Robert Funter.
Affidavit of John Mears.
Affidavit of John Etches.
(positive losses £106,322.)
Affidavits respecting the Charge of Interest including two Numbers.
Affidavit of James Baldwin and Jno McCleary.
Affidavit of John Mears.
Sundry Papers respecting Insurance including three Numbers—
Policy of the London Assurance Office.
Policy of the Royal Exchange Assurance Office.
Letter from Alderman Macauley.
Account of Probable and Perspective Losses.
Prospective Advantages of which they were deprived, £285,019.
Certificate of Sundry Merchants of London—respecting the charge of Insurance.
Recapitulation and General Accounts of the Pretensions of the United Company of Merchants
Trading to the North West Coast of America.
J. M.
Endorsed :   In Lieut.  Meare's Memorial of the 7.  Septr. 1790.
(11.)  Captain  George  A'ancouver  to  Evan  Nepean,   Esq.,  His  Majesty's   Ship  Discovery.
Monterey, 7th January, 1793.
Discovery Monterrey7
Janry. ye 7th. 1793
Dear Sir.
In addition to the Mortification I experienced at Nootka in the unhappy, and unaccountable
accident which occasioned the loss of my much esteemed & very worthy friend Hergest who I
believe you knew and were acquainted with I felt no small degree of disapointment in not
receiving a single line either officially or privately from your office or from yourself.
I have notwithstanding taken the liberty of intruding on your leisure a few lines pointing
out some particulars which have not exactly found a place either in my private letter to My
Lord Chatham or in that to My Lord Grenville though both in these letters and in my journal
they are in some measure pointed out as having been the cause of placing me in a very embar-
rassd situation respecting such of my transactions as have taken place at Nootka. These
transactions however I do not consider as requiring a place in this letter supposing that not
only them but my journal charts Drawings &c which from our departure from Falmouth to
this period, I have transmitted to the Admiralty by the same conveyance which forwards you
this letter will be open to your inspection.
You will then my good Sir observe in my origonal instructions dated March ye Sth 1791
that the Buildings and tracts of land situated on the N W Coast above mentioned (ie. America)
or on the Islands adjacent there unto of which the subjects of His Britannic Majesty were
dispossessd about the month April 1789 by a Spanish Officer shall be restored to the said British
subjects, the Court of Spain has agreed to send orders for that purpose to its officer in that part
of the world. But as the particular specification of the parts to be restored may still require
some further time; it is intended that the Kings Orders for this purpose should be sent out to
the Sandwich Islands by the Vessel employed &c &ca. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 37
You(r) own letter to me dated AA'hitehall 17 March 1791 likewise informs me thus
"His Lordship (Ld. Grenville) has directed me to acquaint you that it is conceived to be
material that the A'essel intended to follow you with stores & provisions should leave England
in the course of the present season in order to carry out to you directions which it may be
Necessary to give on the subject of the restitution of Nootka and any other buildings or tracts
of Land on the N W Coast of America which may be to be restored to His Majestys Subjects
in consequence of the late Convention."
I shall now refer to the only orders I received on that Subject by the said. Vessel being
the Daedalus Transport and are as follow
" and where as you will receive here with a duplicate of a letter of the Count Florida
Blanco to the Spanish Officer commanding at Nootka (together with a translation thereof)
signafying His Catholic Majestys orders to cause such officer as may be appointed on the part
of His Britannic Majesty to be put into possession of the Buildings & Districts or Parcels of
Land therein described which were occupied by His Majestys Subjects in the month of April
1789 agreeable to the first article of the late Convention &c &ca.
Which description states thus.
" you will give directions that His Britannick Majestys Officer who will deliver this letter
shall immediately be put into possession of the Buildings and Districts or paroles of Land
which were occupied by the subjects of that Sovereign in April 17S9 as well in the Port of
Nootka or of St. Lawrence as in the other said to be calld Port Cox and to be situated about
sixteen Leagues distant from the former to the Southward and that all such parcels or Districts
of Land of which the English subjects were dispossessd be restored to the said officer &c &ca."
Now from the above quotations there cannot possibly appear any distinct or clear specifications
of the Parts to be restored & what I have considerd and understand as the Buildings districts
or parcels of Land which were occupied &c &c. as well in the Port of Nootka or of St. Laurence
as in the other said to be calld Port Cox &c &c is the whole and intoto the Lands and territories
appertaining to the above Ports and not a small chasm in the rockey shores of the spacious
Port of Nootka; which chasm, not a hundred yards in extent in any one direction being the
exact space which the house and brestwork of Mr. Mears occupied can this chasm possibly be
considerd as the districts or parcels of Land &c intended to be ceeded to me on the part of
His Britannic Majesty. No—there can be little doubt I should either proved myself a most
consumate fool or a traitor to have acceeded to any such cession without possitive directions
to that effect.
The different opinion however prevaild with Senr. Quadra who from the words of the letter,
of the Count of Florida blanca's has considerd himself only authorized and directed to ceed that
small pittence of rocks and sandy beach such being the only space in the Port of Nootka the
English occupied in April 1789, the arguments by each side on this subject are justly represented
in my Journal and its appendix therefore as I have already observed requires no repetition here.
It therefore now becomes necessary to point out the motives of this discussion which I
intend should convey such information as will point out to you the embarressment I have
labourd under in the whole of my transactions at Nootka not only in respect to the cession of
that territory but likewise had such cession been made agreeable to what I had conceived
honorable and just; I was still left totally in the darlc what measures to persue, you may
answer I w7as directd to be put in possession on the part of His Britannic Majesty the affore
said territories—I grant that to be the case but what were to become of those territories here
after. I was likewise by the same instructions directed to prosecute a voyage of investigation
in this Ocean, without receiving any instructions to persue the one and abandon the other;
had Nootka been put into my possession I certainly ought to (have) been informed if it were
to be retained in possession or evacuated in order to persue such as might be considered the
most important object of His Majestys service intrusted to my charge & execution, if therefore
it were necessary to retain Nootka both or at least one of the vessels were absolutely necessary
to have remaind there for that particular purpose which as it will appear in my journal I had
in the first instanc deemd expedient & directed matters to be so arranged.
How far my conduct might have been approved in such retention or on the other hand in
its evacuation as likewise leaving that post under the protection of the Chatham only; when
such extensive commerce was evidently carrying on principally through that Port from its
being the general rendezvouse of the A'essels of all nations employd in their mercantile persuits V 38 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
on that Coast; without remaining there myself; I am perfectly at a loss to guess, nor can I
possibly say which of those expedients would have proved the least liable of censure that in
all probability would have depended on the necessity of the times or the success w7ith which
the addopted one would have been attended.
Directions for regulating my conduct in respect to such transactions I had doubtless every
right to expect and bouyed up with every hope of receiving both from my origonal instructions
& your official letter of the 17 of March 1791.
You my good Sir may easily figure to your self the disappointment I experienced at finding
nothing to that effect on joining the Daedalus at Nootka.
The measures in consequence there of which I have judged most prudent to persue have
been such as my own common understanding dictated as most compatable with honor and the
Duty and allegiance I owe to my Sovereign and my Country whos approbation should such
conduct meet; will make me one of the happiest of men and this explanatory letter by such
event be rendered entirely unnecessary. But should I be that unfortunate man to be deemed
deserving of censure in executing those transaction under the above circumstances, You will
I hope excuse the liberty I have taken in thus intruding on your goodness this letter as a kind
of superficial vindication of my conduct, though I cannot but be thoroughly convinced that I
have no authority to intrude such business either on your friendship or your leisure; Nevertheless I have been induced to write yon this letter under the consideration of my instructions
origonateing in the office under your inspection and in consequence of your kind offer before I
left England to render me such services particularly in point of representation that I might
require and in the power of your official capacity to execute.
Lastly then I beg leave to observe that the contents of this letter is not intended to be
communicated excepting my conduct should fall under that sensure as to require such A'indica-
tion as is here pointed out, under which circumstances if you will then do me the kindness to
produce it; it may probably be essentially serviceable, and untill that period shall arrive I
neither wish or consider it prudent to make such representations to Persons in the more elevated
seats of office.
It now remains to solicit your forgiveness for assuming this liberty and to request your
acceptance of my sincerest wishes for every well fare and falicity—heaven can bestow on your
self Mrs. Nepean and family which will highly oblige
Dear Sir
Your most obedient and
devoted humble servant
Geo. A'ancouver.
P.S. Janry. ye 18th. at Sea
If I mistake not I had the pleasure of meeting you one day at My Lord Grenvilles in
company with a very intimate friend of mine Mr. John King; if he has the honor of your
aquaintance you will do me a further kindness to inform him I am well and nothing but
being very hard prest for time prevented my writing to him.
Nor can I at last avoid saying that the Conduct of Mr. T. Pit has been too bad for me to
represent in any one respect.
Evan Nepean Esqr. Whitehall.
Endorsed :   Discovery, Monterrey  7th.  Januy.  1793.    Captain Vancouver R 16 July By Lt. Broughton.
(12.) Copy of Undated and Unsigned Memorandum on Nootka in Foreign Office.
My Idea as to Nootka is as follows.
I think Capt Vancouver was very naturally induced from the Nature of his instructions,
and a Recollection of the original Ground of Quarrel to hesitate and ultimately to decline
closing the transaction on the terms suggested by the Spanish Commandant. I regret however
that it was not closed on those terms, for we would have been in Possession and under those
Circumstances would have been on a better footing for Negotiating at home, than when the
Spaniards are in possession, and when they may feel a point of honour not to depart from 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 39
the Ground assumed by their Commandant. All that We really are anxious about in this
particular part of the Business is the safety of our National honour which renders a Restitution
necessary. The extent of that Restitution is not of much moment, and in truth the only Evidence
to which either Party can resort, will justify the claim of either side. The true state of the
fact appears to be that Mears never was in possession of more than the Hut where the tent
now stands in the Drawing made by Mr Humphrys, and there fore in a narrow and literal
sense Restitution is complied with by restoring that spot, But we are justified in maintaining
that the transaction cannot admit of so narrow a Construction, the Place being so small as not
to admit of a divided Property. I think this last Circumstance may afford a good way of
terminating the Dispute for instead of insisting solely upon our Right let us mix with it in
our statement the obvious inconvenience of a Division, and by negotiating upon it in that
Manner, I daresay Lord St Helens will find no great difficulty in persuading the Spanish
Minister to make the Concession absolute which the Spanish Commandant at Nootka did not
think himself at liberty to do. The use of the Harbour must of course remain common to
both Parties.
(13.)  Captain  George A'ancouver to the Lords  Commissioners  of the Admiralty7.
Whitehall, 23d. February, 1791.
Whitehall 23d. Feb: 1791.
Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty.
My Lobds
I transmit to Your Lordships herewith, in addition to my Letter to You of the 11th. Instant,
a copy of Instructions which have at my desire been prepared by Sir Josh. Banks and given to
Mr. Menzies the Botanist who has embarked on board the Discovery, for the regulation of his
conduct, and I am to request that they may be communicated to the commander of that Ship.
As the service which Mr. Menzies has been directed to perform is materially connected with
some of the most important objects of the expedition, it is necessary that the Commanding
Officer should be instructed generally to afford him on all occasions every degree of assistance
in the performance of the duty which the circumstances of the expedition will admit—and
particularly with respect to the following points. The Commanding Officer should be directed
to accommodate Mr. Menzies with a Boat for the purpose of pursuing his researches at the
several places which may be visited, at all times when the necessary duties of the Ship will
admit of her being spared, and to order that the Crew of such Boat may assist him either in
carrying his heavy luggage, bringing earth, or on any other services which may be necessary
to be done during his excursions on shore, and to cause Mr. Menzies to be supplied from time
to time with a due proportion, both in quantity and quality, of the merchandize put on board,
in order to enable him, as occasion may require, to obtain any necessary assistance from the
Natives in fulfilling the objects of his Mission.
It will also be necessary that Your Lordships should direct the Captain of the Discovery
to take on board such quantities of water as may, from time to time, be likely to be wanted, for
the nourishment of the plants which Mr. Menzies may collect, and to supply him with the same
in such proportions as may be requisite and compatible with the other necessary demands for
that Article. That he is also to allow Mr. Menzies to have the sole charge and custody of the
plants which he may collect, and to direct that care may be taken that neither Dogs or any
other Animals, or property belonging to any other persons be suffered to be put into the Frame
within which the plants are intended to be deposited, and that particular care may be taken,
in case the' glass of .such Frame should from any accident be broken, that the same may
immediately be repaired, aud that during the time it is necessary to keep the said Frame
open, for the convenience of admitting air or rain to the plants, no animals likely to do
mischief to them, be suffered to be loose in the Ship.
Endorsed:    Drat. V 40 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(14.)  Sir Joseph Banks to Me. Alexandeb Menzies.
Soho Square, 22d February 1791.
The Business on which You are employed being of an extensive Nature, as it includes an
investigation of the whole of the Natural History of the Countries you are to visit, as well as
an enquiry into the present state and comparative degree of civilization of the Inhabitants you
will meet with, the utmost degree of diligence & perseverance on Your part will be necessary,
to enable you to do justice to your employers, and gain credit to yourself. The following instructions you will consider as a guide to the outline of your conduct, but as many particulars will
doubtless occur in the investigation of unknown Countries, that are not noticed in them, all such
are left to your discretion and good sense, and you are hereby directed to act in them as you
shall judge most likely to promote the interest of science, and contribute to the increase of
human knowledge.
In all places where the Ship in which you are embarked shall touch, & the Commander shall
make a sufficient stay, you are to pay a particular regard to the nature of the soil, and to note
down its quality, whether clay, sand, Gravel, Loam &ca and how it is circumstanced in regard
to Water. You are to remark particularly the size of the Trees that grow upon it, whether
they stand in thick close Groves, or seperate and distant from each other. You are to consider
also, as far as you are enabled to do by the productions, the probable Climate, and whether,
should it at any time hereafter be deemed expedient to send out settlers from England, the
Grains, pulse, & Fruits cultivated in Europe are likely to thrive, and if not, what kind of produce
would in your opinion be the most suitable.
As far as you find yourself able, you are to enumerate all the Trees, Shrubs, Plants, Grasses,
Ferns, and Mosses you shall meet with in each Country you A'isit, by their scientific Names, as
well as those used in the language of the Natives, noting particularly the places where each is
found, especially those that are new or particularly curious: You are also to dry specimens of
all such as you shall judge worthy of being brought Home, particularly those of which you shall
procure, either living plants, or seeds, in order, that the Persons who are employed in examining
the Plants you furnish to His Majesty's Gardens at Kew, may be assisted in ascertaining their
Names and qualities.
AVhenever you meet with ripe seeds of Plants, you are carefully to colect them, and having
dried them properly, to put them up in paper packages, writing on the out side, or in a corresponding List, such particulars relative to the soil & Climate where each was found, and the
mode of culture in your Opinion likely to succeed with it, as you may think necessary to be
communicated to His Majesty's Gardeners; and you are to forward these packages directed to
me for His Majesty's use by every convenient opportunity that shall occur, dividing them, for
safety's sake, into Duplicates, as often as you shall judge needfull.
AVhen you meet with curious, or valuable plants which you do not think likely to be
propogated from seeds in His Majesty's Garden you are to dig up proper specimens of them,
plant them in the glass frame provided for that purpose, and use your utmost endeavours to
preserve them alive 'till your return, & you are to consider every one of them, as well as all
seeds of Plants which you shall collect during the A'oyage, as wholly & entirely the property
of His Majesty, & on no Account whatever to part with any of them, or any cuttings, slips, or
parts of any of them, for any purpose whatever but for His Majesty's use.
As soon as you shall have provided yourself with living plants, & planted them in the
glass frame before-mentioned, you are at all times when the ship shall be watered to acquaint
the Commanding Officer, what Quantity of Water you judge necessary for their support and
preservation, by the Week or Month, in order that he may be enabled to make a competent
provision of that Article for their future maintenance and nourishment.
In all your excursions on shore, you are to examine with care and attention the beds of
Brooks, and Torrents, the steep sides of Cliffs and all other places where the interior strata of
the earth are laid bare by Water, or otherwise; to remark the Nature of the Earth and Stones
of which they are composed, and if among them you discover ores, or metals, or any mineral
substances which bear a resemblance to such things; or any beds of Coals, Lime Stone, or
other matters, likely in Your opinion to prove usefull to Mankind, You are to collect & preserve 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 41
Specimens of them carefully, noting the exact spot on which each was found, and you are also
to examine the pebbles and sand brought down by the Rivers, and Brooks from the Inland
Country, and to collect and bring home samples of such as you suspect to contain Mineral
substances, even tho' so minute as not to be discoverable but by a Microscope.
At each place where you land, you are to inform yourself as well as you are able, what
sort of Beasts, Birds and Fishes likely to prove usefull, either for Food, or in Commerce, are
to be found; and pay particular attention to the various ways of catching them in traps, or
otherways used by the Natives; You are to pay particular attention to every part of the Natural
History of the Sea Otter, and to learn all you are able concerning the Wild Sheep said to be
found in the inland Countries, and if in your power to procure a skin of one of them for your
employers, you are also to note particularly all places where Whales or Seals are found in
At all places where a friendly intercourse with the Natives is established, you are to make
diligent enquiry into their manners, Customs, Language & Religion, and to obtain all the information in your power concerning their manufactures, particularly the art dyeing, in which
Savages have been frequently found to excell, and if any part of their conduct, civil, or
religious, should appear to you so unreasonable as not to be likely to meet with credit when
related in Europe, you are if you can do it with safety and propriety, to make yourself an Eyewitness of it, in order that the fact of its existence may be established on as firm a basis as
the Nature of the enquiry will permit.
You are to keep a regular Journal of all occurrences that happen in the execution of the
several Duties you are entrusted to perform, and enter in it all the observations yon shall make
on every subject you are employed to investigate; which Journal together with a compleat
collection of specimens of the Animals, vegetable and minerals you shall have obtained, as well
as such curious Articles of the Cloths, Arms, Implements and manufactures of the Indians as
you shall deem worthy of particular Notice, you are on your return to deliver to His Majesty's
Secretary of State for the Home Department, or to such Person as he shall appoint to receive
them from you.
I am, &oa.
Jos: Banks.
Mr. Alexr. Menzies.
Endorsed:    Copy  transmitted  to  the  Lords  Commrs.  of the  Admty  in letter of 23  Feby.   1791.
(15.)  Letter fbom Captain Geobge Vancouver.
Discovery   St. Hellens Road
Thursday March ye. 3d. 1791
De. Sir.
Since I last wrote the Chatham arrived in a few hours after my letter w7as sent to the Post
and I feer from her situation it will be Monday or Tuesday next ere she will leave this Port.
The Discovery was paid this day and saild from Spit head but the wind being AVesterly oblged
us to anchor at St. Hellens during the Flood from whence we shall weigh on the ebb making
at nine this evening and preced on our Voyage down Channel without a moments loss of time.
I trust the lateness of the Chathams arrival and the time she will necessaryly remain here
will be the means of my making a certainty of receiving Remsdens instrument, and as I think
the mensuration in hight of the different mountains we may be able to assend may make a
pretty addition to the differend observations of our voyage one of Ramsdens Barrometers for
that purpose (price 8 guineas) will be a usefull instrument in my collection and will thank you
to order it to be sent with the other instrument.
I have the pleasure to inform you that I have at length been able to establish a thorough
reconciliation between the Gentlemen of the gun room Mess & Mr. Menzies which I assure you
affords me no small satisfaction, trusting I shall have the pleasure of hearing from you at V 42 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Falmouth and that yon will excuse this very inaccurate epistle as I have many many letters
to write this evening, I beg leave to say I have the honor to be   Dr. Sir.
Your most obedient humble Servant
Geo. Vancouver.
P.S.    In providing for Tawrower native of the Sandwich Islands have laid out near £55
and could not decently do it for less,    therefore have not much above five guineas for his use
here after which I think too little.    Davison will here with receive the acount
Endorsed :   Discovery St.  Helens    3 Mar. :  1791.    Capt. Vancouver.
(16.)  Captain George Vancouver to Evan Nepean, Esq.
Discovery Falmouth
March ye. 12. 1791
Having been favord with the perusal of the rough draft of my instructions; and the
knowledge I have of the Countries we are likely to visit, as also the supplies there is a
probability of our drawing from them; are subjects that necessarily must have occupied a
very large portion of my consideration since I returned to the Ship, respecting such measures
to be addopted as to insure the success and completion of our expedition under all its different
Provisions and stores and the proper period when such supplies will be most acceptable are
therefore points of the greatest importance & in course has induced me very closely to investigate
the quantity of stores and provisions on Board as also the quantity we may be able to take into
the Ship at the Cape of Good Hope; and on mature deliberation I have not the smallest doubt
of being able to sail from that port with eighteen months stores and the same proportion of
provisions; salt meat excepted, for a certain part of which flour and fruit will be substituted,
the other portion and in all human probability infinitely more will be procured among the
different South Sea Islands. Under these circumstances I have considered that it may be an
object with Government for one supply to answer all the purposes of our Voyage; therefore
provided the Vessel which is to be despatchd with such stores & provisions, is of sufficient
magnitude to take on board eighteen months stores & provisions for the Discovery and Chatham
agreeable to the inventory here annexed, as there doth not appear a probability of our being in
want of any supply whatever before the end of the year 1792 or the begining of 1793, such being
the case, I humbly conceive it would not be advisable that a vessel should be equipd for that
purpose sooner than to enable her to meet us at the Sandwich Islands about Janry. 1793, as
those provisions cannot come into use before that time, and may be obliged to last us near
two years after that period; therefore the fresher we are able to procure them from Europe
undoubtedly the better; and should a supply be sent out prior to the period here stated, for
instance by this time twelve months, we shall then be able only to complete to eighteen months
from that time, & should want another supply in Septr. 1793 to allow us to put into execution
the Southern object of our expedition. The only obstacle which presents its self to me against
the supply's meeting us in the begining of 93 is His Majestys commands respecting the restitution of Nootka which probably may be in the power of your office to furnish me with at present;
and which in case the Vessel which I understand (by the instructions) is intended shortly to
follow us, should not arrive at the Sandwich Isles, before the first of March 92 which by the
bye I now begin to think is highly probable she will not, I shall then not be able to receive &
put into execution such instructions untill the Spring of 1793, do therefore humbly think that
objection if any such it is may be easily removed.
Such are the Ideas which have occurd to me respecting the best mode of procuring the
supplys necessary for the completion of our expedition, and which I think it my duty to request
you will refer to the better consideration of My Lord Grenville.
In the inventory of provisions; for two reasons I have demanded the full proportion of
all species for eighteen months; first fearing any unfortunate circumstance might occur to
prevent our gaining such supplies as we naturally expect from the South Sea Islands by which
means a disappointment might take place in the full execution the A'oyage; and lastly con- 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 43
sidering the necessity Government will for some time be under, to send provisions &c &c. to
the Colony of New South AVales such articles as it will not be absolutely necessary (provided
I procure the refreshments I expect from the Islands) for us to take the full proportion of;
which will principally be the Salt Meat and, probably part of the flour, and bread; she may
on her way home deposite them at one of those settlements. I have also mentioned besides
the wine to be supplied by the Victualling Office (who will supply us with no other than the
common light thin Wine served generally to the Navy) three pipes of Port Wine of a sound
and good quallity for keeping to be sent out least any epedemlck disorder may attack us in
the course of the A'oyage. The cask I wish to contain each article are mentioned against them
being the different sizes we can stow in our different holds with most convenience; also when
I began this letter I intended likewise to have transmitted an account of the Chatham proportion
of stores, and provisions, for the same time; but not being perfectly master, of the sort of cask
she most conveniently stows, shall defer sending her inventory nntill she joins us.
It may here not be unnecessary to observe, that Mr. Davison should be made acquainted
with the equipment of this. A'essel in its early stage, having some very heavy and necessary
articles of trade for us, which ought to be among the first things put on board, no part of
which I have been able to take from not having it in due time.
I write this letter at sea that not a moment may be lost in your receiving it trusting that
you will do me the favor of a reply prior to my departure from Falmouth, particularly on the
point when the supplies are to meet us as should my plan be addopted of their not arriving
at the Sandwich Islands untill the beginning of the year 1793, and as my researches on the
American coast are to commence in a low latitude, I might be induced to quit the Sandwich
Islands earlier next spring than the time stipulated by the instructions which upon reflection
I think some what too late.
Calms and baffling winds since our departure from Spithead has in some measure retarded
our progress down channel more than I could wish this however will I hope be attended with
a good effect; that of enabling me to make a certainty of Ramsdens instrument as I should be
exceedingly distressed were I to sail without it.
I have lost a paper of memorandums and among the rest of the Channel you pointed out
as most proper to transmit any information I might judge necessary to communicate, by the
way of Spanish America which I will be thankfull if you will inform me of.
In respect to a place of Rendezvous at the Sandwich Islands there are two situations which
appear to me equally eligable the one at Woahhoo* to the westward of its SE point having
there, a fine large bay with good anchorage which I would advise being attended to in the first
instance, but should they there find the inhabitants troublesome or not be able to procure refreshments, they ought then to run down to Attowait which is farther to leeward and anchor in
Wyman Bay the anchoring place of Capt. Cook and all the Navigators who have visited that
Island since him. I am apprehensive that My Lord Grenville may conceive that the different
circumstances here stated ought to have been mentioned when I was last in Town which
undoubtedly would have been the case had I been sufficiently prepared and collected at that
time but the indisposition under which I then labourd with the multiplicity of circumstances of
various kinds which occupied every moment of my leisure will I trust plead my excuse for such
a neglect. By this post I have transmitted to the Admiralty a letter on the different material
subjects of this epistle as also an inventory of stores and provisions to be sent out in which
account however neither the additional three pipes of Port wine or the candles are noticed
the latter not being an article supplied by any of the Offices in the Naval department, & the
former will I am convinced be infinately superior if provided for us by your directions and as
cleanliness is undoubtedly one of the first preservers of health, five or six hundread weight of
Soap in those remote regions would be very acceptable to our people should you think proper
to supply us with it, these articles may appear in themselves trifling and easy to be taken with
us but we are with those and every other article in proportion so full so exactly like an Egg
that there is not room to stow away one single Box more in any part of the Ship.
The Chatham is not arrived yet, and as the winds have again set in westerly I am apprehensive it may be some days yet before she makes her appearance and as I have not yet received
my final orders from the Admiralty who I presume wait untill they hear of my arrival here as
* Or Wahoo.
t Or Atooi. V 44
Provincial Archives Department.
I understood a messenger was to be sent down purposely with them I flatter myself with hope
of your being able to communicate My Lord Grenvilles opinion on the subject of this epistle,
before I sail.
My Lord Canimilford & family are here and very well, we found them waiting for the
Ship with much anxiety and as we arrived only this afternoon have in course been able to see
but little of my young shipmate yet cannot avoid saying I am much pleased with his appearance
and deportment.
I have nothing further at present to communicate but should any thing occur shall take
the Liberty of troubling you & beg leave to say I have the honor to be. Sir
; Your Most obedient very humble servent
Geo : A'ancouver.
PS.    I have the pleasure to inform you I am much better have a very-
gain strength every day but dare not venture on wine yet.
;ood appetite and
Evan Nepean Esqr.
Endorsed :   Falmouth  12th March 1791.
Estimated  at 18S  Tons.
Cap. Vancouver R 16.    (4 inclosures)   Provisions and Stores
(17.)   "A Demand fob a supply7 of Pbovisions foe the use of His Majesty's Sloop Discovery7
under my Command, being a proportion for 547 Day's foe 100 Men."   (Captain A'ancouver.)
Bread    27,350 pounds       in Puncheons
Flour in lieu of Bread    27,350 „                      Do
Beef  (in kind)        6,512—41b  pieces in Hhds
Pork        7,814—21b.     „ Do.
Pease           224 Bushels           Do.
AVheat    )                                                                (    252 „            in Barrels
Molasses} iu 1Ieu of 0Jltmeal    j 7,728 pounds              Do.
Butter          488 „             in  y2  Hhds
Cheese         651 „                   Do.
Sugar)                                                                      f 7,326 „                    Do.
Cocoa \ In lleu of Butter & Cbeese    j 2,442 Do.
Flour  ,     3,906 „             in Puncheons
Suet     )                                                                   (    327 „             „   y2 Hhds
t,  . .   A in  lieu  of  Beef    <     .,— T.
Raismsf                                                                       j     Ooo „                     Do.
Vinegar         490 Galls.         in  Hhds
Spirits        3,231 „               „   Do.
Wine        700 „              iu Puncheons
Candles—Moulds             2 Cwt.
8s  3
Cutts        5
Extra Articles.
Essence of Spruce          280 pots
Malt             70 Bushs.
Hops              4 Cwt.
Sour Krout             5 Tuns
Dried Yeast            80 Pots
AVhite Salt            27 Bushels
Bay Salt              7 Bushels
Saltpeter               1 cwt. 2 qts.
Flour Mustard         150 pounds
Portable Soup       1500
Essence of Malt       1500 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 45
It is requested that all the provisions &ca. may be pack'd in tight Iron-bound Cask. And
should the A'ictualler touch at the Cape of Good Hope it is further recommended that the
Raisins may supplied from thence.
In addition to the Wine mentioned on the other side, I particularly request, that three pipes
of Red port AA'ine, of the first quality, may be sent.
Geo : A'ancouvee.
(18.)   Dbaft of Letter feom Evan Nepean, Esq., to Captain A'ancouvee.
Whitehall    17th Maech 1791.
Captain Vancouver.
I have received and laid before Lord Grenville your letter to me of the 12th, instant, with
the Estimate of Stores and Provisions which accompanied it.
His Lordship has directed me to acquaint you, that it is conceived to be material that the
Vessel intended to follow you with Stores and Provisions should leave England in the course
of the present season, in order to carry out to you the directions which it may be necessary
to give on the subject of the restitution of Nootka, and any other buildings or tracts of Land
on the North West Coast of America which may be to be restored to His Majesty's Subjects in
consequence of the late Convention.
The Commander of this Vessel will be directed to proceed in the first instance to Woahhoo,
and not meeting you there to Attowai. If previous to his arrival at those Islands you should
have found it adviseable to proceed to the Coast of America (which by your Instructions you
are authorized to do if you should think proper in the course of the month of January) you will
devise some means of leaving for his information, a notice of some proper place of rendezvous,
which may be done either by leaving a person at one or other of those Islands, or by adopting
any other mode which may appear to you to be likely to answer that end. It seems indeed
probable that you may without difficulty previous to your leaving England be able to determine
on that point, and to convey to me such information of your intentions in that respect as may.
be sufficient for the guidance of the Officer commanding the A'essel to be sent out, subject
however to be varied by any unforseen accidents, in which case you will leave notice of
rendezvous as above stated.
The Supplies to be sent to you by the A'essel in question will, by making up for the intermediate consumption, complete your stock to the Month of September 1793, after which she
will repair to New South Wales and Governor Phillip will be directed to redispatch her so
that she may be at the Sandwich Islands with a further supply of Provisions by the Month
January 1793, and may either wait there for your return (in case you should have sailed again
for the N.W. Coast of America) or may follow your directions with respect to any other place
of rendezvous: With this further assistance there can be no doubt that you will be able to
carry your orders into full execution.
The Merchandize provided for your expedition, which you could not receive on board the
Discovery and Chatham, will be forwarded to you with the Soap and Candles you have desired,
in the A'essel which is to follow you, and care will be taken that the Wine to be put on board
her shall be of the best quality.
I find that the Chatham Tender has sailed from Spithead in order to join you at Falmouth,
and I am sorry to add without the Instrument you had fixed upon, which even at this moment
is not nearly finished. That which Lt. Broughton is charged with will I hope answer every
necessary purpose.
Lord Grenville had great pleasure in observing that your state of Health had amended
since you left London, and hopes that you will shortly be perfectly restored.
Endorsed :   Drat,  to Capt. Vancouver 17th March 1791. V 46 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(19.)   Lobd Gbenville to Loeds Commissionebs of the Admiralty.
Whitehall    11th February    1791
My Lords.
His Majesty having judged it expedient that an expedition should be immediately undertaken for acquiring a more complete knowledge than has yet been obtained, of the North West
Coast of America, I am commanded to signify to your Lordship His Majesty's Commands, that
the necessary measures should be adopted for that purpose. The Discovery and Chatham Brig
being, as I understand, in readiness for this Service, it is desireable that no time should be lost
in their proceeding to the Sandwich Islands, where the Officer commanding those A'essels should
be instructed to Winter.
During the time of his remaining at those Islands, he is to employ himself in the survey
and examination of them, and as soon as the weather is favourable which may be expected to
be in February, or at latest in March 1792, he should be instructed to repair to the American
Coast, for the purpose of his Survey.
It having been agreed by the late Convention between His Majesty and the Catholic King,
that the buildings and tracts of land, situated on the North AVest Coast of the Continent of
North America, or on Islands adjacent to that Continent, of which the Subjects of His Britannick
Majesty were dispossessed about the Month of April 1789, by a Spanish Officer, shall be restored
to the said British Subjects, the Court of Spain have agreed to send orders for that purpose to
their Officers in that part of the World, but as the particular specification of the parts to be
restored may still require some further time, The King's Orders for this purpose must be sent
out to the Sandwich Islands, by a Vessel which may carry out a further Store of Provisions for
the Discovery and Chatham, and should sail from this Country in time to reach the Sandwich
Islands in the course of the ensuing winter. If in consequence of the arrangement to be made
with the Court of Spain, it should hereafter be determined that the Discovery should proceed,
in the first instance, to Nootka, or elsewhere, in order to receive from the Spanish Officers such
Lands or Buildings as are to be restored to His Majesty's Subjects, orders to that effect will
be sent out by the Vessel above mentioned. But if no such orders should be received by the
Commanding Officer of the Discovery previous to the end of January 1792. he should be directed
not to wait for them at the Sandwich Islands, but to proceed in such course as he may judge
most expedient for the examination of the Coast of North West America, comprized between
Lat. 60 North, and Lat. 30 North.
In the examination of this Coast, the principal Objects which he is to keep in view are,
First, the acquiring accurate information with respect to the nature and extent of any
Water Communication which may tend in any considerable degree to facilitate an intercourse
for the purposes of Commerce between the North West Coast and the Countries upon the opposite
side of the Continent, which are inhabited or occupied by His Majesty's Subjects.
Secondly, The ascertaining, with as much precision as possible, the number, extent and
situation of any settlements which have been made within the Limits above-mentioned, by any
Eureopan Nation, and particularly by Spain, and the time when such settlement was first made.
With respect to the first point, It would be of great importance, if it should be found, that
•by means of any considerable Inlets of Sea, or even of large Rivers communicating with the
Lakes in the interior of the Continent, such an Intercourse as I have already mentioned could
be established. It will therefore be necessary that, for the purpose of ascertaining this point,
the survey should be so conducted as not only to ascertain the general Line of the Sea Coast
but also the direction & extent of all such considerable Inlets, whether made by Arms of the
Sea, or by the Mouths of large Rivers, as may be likely to lead to, or facilitate such communication as I have described.
This being the principal object of the examination as far as relates to this part of the
subject, it will probably appear to Your Lordships that a considerable degree of discretion must
be left to the Officer commanding the Expedition as to the best means of executing the Service
which His Majesty has in view. But as far as any general Instructions can here be given on
the subject, it seems desireable that in order to avoid any unnecessary loss of time he should
be directed not to pursue any Inlet or River further than it shall appear to be navigable by 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 47
A'essels of such Burthen as might safely navigate the Pacific Ocean. But as the examination
of such Inlets even to the extent here stated, may possibly require that the Officer commanding
the Expedition should proceed up them further than it might be safe for the Discovery to
go, it seems necessary that such Officer should be authorized by Your Lordships to take the
Command in Person of the Chatham Brig, at all such times & in such situations as he shall
judge it necessary or expedient: and that corresponding orders should be given to the Officer
commanding the latter A'essel.
The particular course of the survey must of course depend on the different circumstances
which may arise in the execution of a service of this nature. It will however be proper that
the Officer commanding on this Expedition should be directed to pay a particular attention fo
the examination of the supposed Straits of Juan de Fuca, said to lay between 48. and 49. North
Lat: and to lead to an opening through which the Sloop Washington is reported to have passed
in 1789. and to have come out again to the Northward of Nootka. The discovery of a near
communication between any such Sea or Strait, and any River running into or from the Lake
of the AVoods, which is commonly laid down nearly in the same latitude would be particularly
useful. If the Vessels employed on this Service should fail in discovering any such Inlet as
I have spoken of to the Southward of Cook's River, there appears the greatest probability that
it will be found that this River rises in some of the Lakes already known to our Canadian
Traders, and to the Servants of the Hudson's Bay Company. This Point it would in that case
■be material to ascertain with as much precision as the then existing circumstances of the
Expedition may allow. But the discovery of any similar communication more to the Southward,
should any such exist, would be much more advantageous for the purposes of Commerce & should
therefore be preferably attended to.
With respect to the second of the points above-mentioned it is probable that more particular
Instructions will be given by the A'essel to be sent to the Sandwich Islands after the Discovery.
But if not, the officer commanding the expedition is to be particularly directed, in the execution
of this, and of every other part of the Service, with which he is entrusted, to avoid with the
utmost caution the giving any ground of Jealousy or Complaint to the Subjects or Officers of
His Catholic Majesty: and if he should fall in with any Spanish ships employed on any service
similar to that committed to him, he is to afford to the officer commanding such ships every
possible degree of assistance and information, and he is to offer to him that they should make
to each other reciprocally a free and unreserved communication of all Plans and Charts of
Discoveries made by them in their respective Voyages.
If in the course of any part of this Service, His Majesty's Ships or Officers should meet
with the Subjects or Vessels of any other Power or State, they are to treat them in the most
friendly manner, and to be careful not to do anything which may give occasion to any interruption of that Peace which now happily subsists between His Majesty and all other Powers.
The whole of the survey abovementioned, if carried on with a view to the Objects here
stated, without too minute and particular an examination of the detail of the different parts
of the Coast laid down by it, may as I understand, probably be completed in two Summers.
In the intermediate AA'inter, the Ships are to be directed to return to the Sandwich Islands, and
during their continuance there, to endeavor to compleat any part that may be unfinished of
their examination of those Islands.
After the conclusion of the Survey in the second summer, the commanding Officer should
be directed, supposing the State and circumstances of his ships should admit of it, to return
by Cape Horn, for which the season will then probably be favorable.
It seems doubtful how far the time may admit of his making any particular Examination
of the Western Coast of South America. But if this should be practicable, he should begin
such Examination from the South Point of the Island of Chiloe, which is in about 44 South
Latitude; and he should direct his attention to ascertaining what is the most Southward Spanish
Settlement on that Coast, and what Harbours there are south of any such settlement.
In the execution of every part of this Service, it is very material that the Commanding
Officer should be instructed to use every possible care to avoid disputes with the Natives of
any of the Parts where he may touch, and that he should be particularly attentive to endeavour,
by Presents and by all other means, to conciliate their friendship and confidence. V 48 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
I herewith inclose to your Lordship a List of such Articles as have been procured for the
purpose of Presents. These will be delivered into the Care of the Commanding Officer, to be
disposed of by him according to the regulations which have been observed in similar Cases.
I am,
. &c.
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
Endorsed :   To the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty 11th Feby. 1791.
(20.)   Captain George A'ancouver to Evan Nepean.
Discovery       Falmouth
March ye Slst, 1791
I am favord with your very civil letter of the 17th. instant and should have done myself
the pleasure of replying to it ere now had I not intended giving you the latest information of
my detention in this Country which has been occasioned by the absence of the Chatham who
from adverse Winds &c &c. has not been able to reach this Port before to day she anchord
here a little after Noon; we are now unmoord and at day break in the morning shall sail
I therefore herewith inclose you an estimate of such stores & provisions as we have conceived
necessary for her; for the same period as are demanded for the Discovery.
With much attention I have considered that part of your letter which appertains to an
appointment of rendezvous after our departure from the Sandwich Islands which I shall most
certainly quit as early in the Spring as possible my intentions being to begin my researches at
their southern extremity Latd. 30° No. and proceed Northward, which will ere I reach the
Latitude of Nootka bring the summer in all probability some what advanced as the examination
of De Fuca's Straits &c &c. will intervene in that space. Should therefore conceive that Friendly
cove in Nootka Sound to be a very eligable situation to meet the Vessel with stores & provisions
in case we are departed from the Sandwich Islands prior to her arrival there. But should it be
considered improper that she should proceed to Nootka before a formal restitution of that
territory is made; as Port Cox & Berkleys Sound (of both which there are plans extant) lay
between the the supposed Straits and Nootka, on my having made such investigation shall if
possible in the course of the summer visit those Ports & should my researches lead me back
into the North Pacific by the same way I enterd the Straits those Ports will lay directly in my
Route to the Northwd. and should a private signal be Necessary to know each other by she
will put abroad a red Ensign from the Main T. Gt. M. head to the Top Gt. Yardarm with the
union at the upper part of the fly instead of the part next the mast which shall be answerd by
a St. Georges Ensign at our Fore Top Gt. Mast had with a gun to Windward after which she
will hoist her Ensign at the Ensign Staff or Miz. Peak and we hoist ours at the same place, but
should we fail of meeting each other by circumstances that may occur it will then be necessary
that at a proper period she should repair to Karacacooa Bay in Owhyhee that being the weather-
most port in those Islands and the first I shall call at on my return to them.
Such at present appears to me the most eligable mode of our meeting and which I am
exceedingly concearned I had not long ago submitted to your consideration but having not
the most distant Idea that there was the smallest probability of my remaining here to be
favourd (with) your opinion or My Lord Grenville on that subject from day to day I deferd
writing considering every one to be the last I should remain here, however should there be any
vessel bound to the Cape of Good Hope that is very shortly to sail, such opinions may by that
means be communicated which will afford me great satisfaction, I have only further to add with
best respects to My Lord Grenville that my Health is wonderfully improved which blessing
that yourself and family may with every other felicity enjoy is the ardent Wish of him who has
the Honor to be with great regard Sir
Your most obedient Humble Servant
Evan Nepean Esqr. Geo : Vancouver
Endorsed: Discovery at Falmouth 31st. March 1791. Captain Vancouver R 4th April. (Extract
to the Admiralty.)     (4  Inclosures.) 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 49
(1.)   Lieutenant Adam D. Dundas, R.N., to the Secretary of State for the Colonies.
26  Pall Mall       Tuesday
30th May 1848.
In accordance with your request that I should transfer to paper the subject of our conversation on Saturday with regard to the Advantages or disadvantages that would accrue to a
colony on A'ancouver's Island, under the jurisdiction or superintendence of the Hudson's Bay
Company I beg to submit the following
Having during my late period of Service in the Pacific been for upwards of two years
employed on that part of the North West Coast generally known as the Hudson's Bay Territory,
the greater part of which has been spent within the limits of Fort Vancouver their great
AA'estern Depot, I have had every opportunity of observing, not only how all their arrangements
were managed but the spirit which pervaded their whole system, and which I have no hesitation
in saying would be wholly and totally inapplicable to the nursing of a young Colony, with the
hopes of ever bringing it to Maturity and my opinion only accords with that which I have heard
universally expressed by all disinterested individuals who have had an opportunity of visiting
not only these regions, but their Settlements in Hudson's Bay and on the Red River.
There has always appeared to me an overbearingly illiberal usurpation of power on the
part of the IL B. Co. to which every better feeling has invariably been Sacrificed, and which has
rendered their line of conduct in many instances most irregular and unjustifiable, however
necessary this System may have been found when dealing with Savages, it Could not but prove
repugnant to the feelings of the Colonists and the facility which in this case would be offered
them of leaving the island, would doubtless be taken advantage of, and the Colony after dwindling into insignificance would become hut another dependance wholly at the mercy of the
Hudsons Bay Co.
That this powerful Company have the ability to form advantageous Settlements in these
unfrequented parts, there is not a doubt, but when their trade is wholly carried on with the
Aborigines, is it to be Supposed, that they would aid in the advancement of Civilization when
from time immemorial it has been proved that the progress of the one has ever been made at
the expence of the other? and should the Natives cease to exist, why, their occupation is gone.
It is only a natural Conclusion then to arrive at that the efforts which the Hudsons Bay Company are putting forward to obtain either a direct or indirect influence in A'ancouvers Island
are with the Sole motive of protracting to as late a period as possible a monopoly which they
have so long enjoyed, and which could not benefit the Country, the only object of establishing
a Settlement in Such a distant quarter. The Puget's Sound Company are doubtless equally
anxious for Hudsons Bay jurisdiction but it must be at the same time remembered that these
two Companies are wholly incorporated in each other, and their interests are mutually blended,
their object being to engross all those other available Sources of revenue to AVhich the fur trade
is not immediately applicable.
Were it necessary to corroborate what I have now stated, I might quote instances which
have come under my immediate observation but I believe it to be unnecessary as there has
never been but one opinion on the subject.
With regard to the Natural advantages of the island, my impression is that they are highly
favourable for the establishment of a Colony, the climate is a most desirable one, and comparing
it, with that of this Country infinitely more equable, it is as healthy as could be wished for and
seems to suit the European Constitution admirably, and though fever and ague are very prevalent
on the Main land yet from the absence of low and marshy ground they are unknown here.
AA'ater however is not wanting and can always be obtained in Sufficient quantity, as a proof
of which there are beaver on the island, whose aquatick propensities are too well known to be
commented on.
To give a correct description of the island would entail a task, which I do not hesitate
to confess I  am incompetent of performing, as its interior has never been explored,  and in
4 V 50 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
fact it has only been penetrated at one point to the extent of twenty miles, the Shores however
have been very frequently Visited, in the course of trafficking with the Indians and from such
sources of information a very satisfactory conclusion may be arrived at.
A'ancouver's is an island about two hundred and fifty miles long, and sixty five its extreme
breadth at any part, although in many places it does not exceed half of that, in its general
appearance it is mountainous and thickly wooded, the AVestern or Sea coast being the most
As the Straits of de Fuca are entered its wild aspect gradually diminishes until within
some fifteen or twenty miles of A'ictoria the Company's only Settlement on the island—here it
presents a most favourable view—the dark pine forest giving way to plain and open park land
studded with fine oaks, this continues with some exceptions along the Coast bordering the Canal
de Arra and gulph of Georgia running up in a North Westerly direction offering many eligible
spots for Agricultural operations, the Navigation here is considered difficult at times even for
steam vessels, owing to the rapidity and irregularity of the Currents, but when it is remembered
that Vancouver found his way through here in Safety, it cannot be doubted but that these
difficulties will disappear before advancing civilization and science. To compensate however
for the casual disadvantages in the navigation the whole coast abounds in most excellent
harbours which can scarcely be equalled in any island of similar extent, and where the most
secure inlets are wanting numerous small islets afford the Mariner a safe anchorage and
protection from the Weather. AVith regard to the mineral as yet coal is only known to exist
here, but sanguine hopes are entertained that there are others, lead and tin having been
discovered on Queen Charlottes island which is little more than a degree to the Northward.
The coal was quite accidentally discovered from the vein having .been seen on the beach at
low water, a quantity of this although taken almost from the surface has been satisfactorily
tried on board the Company's Steamer Beaver on several occasions, the situation of this mine
is about twenty five miles from the entrance of Queen Charlottes Sound, and could be reached
by sailing vessels with perfect ease, entering from the Northward. The timber which is here
to be met with consists almost exclusively of the gigantic pine in different varieties, there are
also oak ash and such other trees as are to be met with in this country, although they bear
but a small proportion, the pine is most available for ships spars and the more Northerly the
climate the more valuable they are.
I have as yet said nothing about the Soil—there are conflicting opinions as to its being very
available for agricultural purposes and I have very lately seen it publickly stated, that there
was such a thin surface over rock as to render it perfectly unavailable, but I think that, that
is rather a sweeping assertion, that the gound is in many places stony there is no doubt but
with a little labour they can be removed, and there remains as rich a soil as the farmer can
So little being known of the interior of the island as I have already observed, it would be
difficult to form a very correct estimate of the number of its inhabitants, but from the knowledge
of the existence of nine tribes on the coast, averaging seven hundred men to a tribe, a sufficiently
accurate approximation may be arrived at, by stating the whole to amount to about ten thousand
which however I should think it did not exceed. They are for the most part generally friendly
to strangers although not wholly perhaps to be depended upon, yet a simple demonstration of
force has always been found to keep them in check. They subsist chiefly on fish, but likewise
take a great quantity of game, all of which are easily procured and are in great abundance;
they even venture after the whale in their light canoes, and that animal frequents the Straits
of de Fuca, and gulph of Georgia during the season, great numbers are caught, I was informed
on good authority, as many as a hundred had been taken during the year, this of course has
been found a very productive sport.
The subject of transporting emigrants across the isthmus of Panama, having been suggested
as a less expensive method than conveying them round Cope Horn, I would beg to observe as
far as my experience allows me that the latter must certainly prove the more economical of
the two; allowing fifty days as the passage of a sailing vessel from England to A'era Cruz and
that from Panama to Vancouver's Island to be sixty which would be the probable amount
taking into consideration the prevailing winds, add to which ten days occupied in transporting
the Emigrants and their baggage across the isthmus—the amount would be one hundred and
twenty.   Now the whole journey round the Cape would scarcely occupy more than one hundred 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 51
and forty this certainly would show a saving of twenty days, but when taking into consideration
the expences of conveyance overland, aud the two sets of vessels which it would of course require,
independently of no small inconvenience to the Emigrants attending their transhipment, I doubt
not but that the longer route would eventually be the more preferable.
I have the honour to remain
Your most obedt. Servt.
Adam D. Dundas
Lieut. R.N.
(2.)   Extract of a Despatch received from  Sir George  Simpson
dated Norway House June 24th, 1848.
Received.     CD.    Aug:   24th.   1848
I am deeply concerned to say that that part of the Country (on the Columbia) has been in
a very unhealthy state, arising from dysentery, typhus fever and measles, introduced by large
bodies of immigrants from the United States who came to the Willamette last Season, occasioning a fearful mortality among the natives, with much loss of life and suffering among our own
people, about 20 of our Servants having died, principally at Fort A'ancouver. The loss of life
from these causes among the tribes situated between the Cascades and the Upper part of the
Columbia has been very great, and one of those tribes, the Cayuses, in the neighbourhood of
Walla, Walla, Supposing that Dr. AVhitman, who Superintended the mission of Wailatpu, about
30 miles from our post of AValla Walla, was instrumental in introducing these pestilences among
them, as a punishment for some offence they had previously committed, in the month of December
massacred that unfortunate gentleman, his wife and nine (9) other grown up persons belonging
to the mission; And, with the assistance of their allies the Nez Perces, made prisoners of 64
men, women and children, the remaining inmates of Dr. Whitmans and another American
Mission, on the Clearwater River under the charge of Mr. Spalding. Information of these alarming proceedings having been conveyed to the Board of Management, they became apprehensive
of danger to our establishment of Walla AA'alla, and Chief Factor Ogden proceeded from Vancouver to its relief, with the double object of affording protection to Our own post, and of
rescuing the unfortunate captives. On arrival at Walla Walla, however, it was found that the
natives did not manifest any hostility towards our people, on the Contrary, that they Shewed
a friendly disposition even while engaged in the Massacre at Wailatpu, having protected two
of the children of Chief Trader Manson, who were there at School and conveyed them Safely
to Walla Walla where they were placed under the care of Mr. McBean, the gentleman in charge.
Chief Factor Ogden next directed his attention to the American Captives, and after much
negociation Succeeded in obtaining their release, by ransom to an amount not exceeding £100.
The object of the Indians in taking these people prisoners, was to hold them as hostages, with
a view to their own protection, being apprehensive that Strong measures of retaliation would
be adopted by the Provisional Government. Mr. Ogden, however, could give no pledge to that
effect, and I am concerned to say that a war of extirmination has been commenced upon these
unfortunate people under the direction of the Provisional Government. A force of 400 men,
was raised as early as possible and despatched under a A'iolent and injudicious leader named
Gilliam, who has had Several Skirmishes with the Natives, in which a few lives have been lost
on both Sides, but no decisive engagement had taken place up to our latest advices.
There is no question, however, that the Americans will, in the end, glut their revenge upon
the wretched Indians, although from their want of discipline and means, it will require a length
of time to effect the work of destruction.
The Board of Management when called upon by the Provisional Government to afford their
assistance to punish the natives, very wisely determined on maintaining a Strict neutrality,
declining to make a loan of $100,000 required by the Government for the purpose of carrying
on the war; but Supplied them with provisions to the Amount of $1S00 on the personal security
of the Governor (Abernethy) and two Members of the legislature. V 52 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
For further information as to details on this Subject, I beg to refer to the accompanying
Copy of the despatch from the Board of Management dated 16th March, and of the Correspondence therein referred to.
Notwithstanding the judicious determination of the Board of Management to take no part
in the hostilities I am exceedingly apprehensive that we shall become more or less involved
in them and get into difficulties both with the Americans and Natives. AVe have already very
narrowly escaped doing so, as regards the former, a plan having been formed to Supply themselves by force with munitions of war and provisions from Fort A'ancouver, but Chief Factor
Douglas, (Chief Factor Ogden being absent at AA'alla AValla,) having had private information
of this intention on the part of Colonel Gilliam, opened a communication with the authorities
upon the Subject, and being at the Same time prepared to make a determined resistance, this
lawless proceeding was abandoned.
At the Post of Walla AValla however, by direction of Colonel Gilliam, forcible possession was
taken of two barrels of gunpowder, And I regret to Say that, no other, opposition than a Simple
protest was offered by Mr. McBeau, the Clerk in charge to this robbery.—As regards the Indians,
it is probable that, the circumstances of our having got the hostages out of their hands; of
Thomas McKay, late Clerk in the Service, and Several of our retired Servants having joined
the A'olunteer Corps; of the Americans having obtained provisions from us to carry on the
War; and of their being permitted to take the powder without resistance, may lead them to
Suppose that, although not actually in the field, we are in league with the Americans against
them, and I am very apprehensive that this may draw upon our establishments of Walla Walla,
Fort Hall, Colville & Okanagan, which are in a very defenceless State, their hostility.
It is possible, however, that those establishments may not be attacked, but even Should that
fortunately be the Case, there is no question, that, pending the hostilities, the trade of those
Posts will be ruined, as the Natives cannot, during Such excitement, give attention to the
Collection of Furs. We have therefore, Suggested to the Board of Management that, if the
AVar be protracted, the Posts of AA'alla Walla and Fort Hall be temporarily abandoned.
In the present disturbed state of the Country, we Shall be exceedingly anxious until we
have further advices from the Columbia ; I have, therefore, requested the Board of Management
to report from time to time by every Channel of communication.
Besides an influx of about 3000 immigrants to the Columbia proper during the past year,
a large body of people, known as the Mormons, driven out from the United States on account
of their religious tenets, have Seated themselves down to the Number of 3000, in the Neighbourhood of the Great Salt Lake in the Snake Country, where they are forming a City. This party
may be considered as the pioneers of the Sect, Amounting to about 20,000 in all, 7000 more
being expected at their New Settlement this Season. By the accompanying Copy of letter from
John Smith their President, you will observe they are desirous of obtaining Supplies from us,
but there appears a disinclination on the part of the Board of Management to meet their application. From the numbers and organisation of these people, it is evident they will become very
formidable and iu due time, be in a Condition to give law to Oregon, it is, therefore, highly
desirable that we should Conciliate them by every proper means within our power: And to
that end, I have Suggested to the Board of Management that, we Should provide them with a
few Supplies from time to time, for which we have reason to believe they have the Means of
paying in Money.
Agriculture however, will be their principal occupation but Situated so far in the interior.
it is impossible that they can form an export trade, or do more than obtain a bare Subsistence,
and as they are not likely to remain Satisfied with that State of inaction, I am very apprehensive
they may follow up their original intention before leaving AA'isconsin and direct their Steps to
A'ancouvers Islands, from whence it would be quite impossible for us, even if assisted by the
Natives to dislodge them.
The persecution they have experienced in the United States has given rise to a feeling of
hostility on their minds towards their Countrymen, while, on the contrary, it is Said they are
favourably disposed to British interests, so that they might hereafter become useful partisans
in the event of difficulties with the U. States.
Herewith I forward for your information an extract from a private letter to me from
Chief Trader Richard Grant, dated Fort Hall Slst. Deer. 1847, by which it would appear that 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 5J
the Mormons have been in communication with H. M. Government with a view to Settling on
A'ancouvers Island, and that they consider their application as having been favorably received.
(3.)   Charles Enderby7, Esq., to The Right Honble. Earl Grey.
Received.    CD.    August 26 1848.
13 Great St. Helen's,
; 26 August, 1S4S.
My' Lord,
The recent discussions in Parliament on the subject of A'ancouver's Island induce me to
trouble your Lordship with a few remarks suggestive of a means whereby two important
national objects may be accomplished and made to subserve each other: I allude to the
re-establishment of the British Southern Whale Fisheries and the Colonization of A'ancouver's
Her Majestys Government have afforded myself and brothers every encouragement and
facility for prosecuting the Whale Fisheries from the Auckland Islands, in pursuance of the
plan developed in my pamphlet, and w7e have only been prevented from carrying out the project
by unexpected causes; these being, first, the delay occasioned by a fruitless negotiation arising
out of proposals made to us on the part of the South Sea Company, but which they afterwards
found could not, owing to peculiar circumstances, be fulfilled; and Secondly, the disturbed State
of Monetary and Commercial affairs which supervened, and has rendered abortive all attempts
to come before the public with the view to the formation of a Company.
On referring to my pamphlet your Lordship will perceive that I have alluded to and
contemplated carrying on the Fishery in the North as well as in the South Pacific Ocean; and
although certainly we do not require any fixed Station in the former of those Seas at which
to refresh our A'essels, still, if, as I infer, Her Majesty's Government consider it important
that A'ancouver's should be colonized, and we can be assured of obtaining there the means of
refreshing our crews and taking in supplies of Stores, &c, we should not only feel ourselves
bound, but should find it our interest to make that island the place of rendezvous for our Ships,
in the same maimer that the Sandwich islands (which have sprung into great importance and
prosperity in consequence) are the general rendezvous for American AVhalers.
It is impossible to imagine how A'ancouver's Island, considering its remote position and
great distance from the Mother-Country, can be of any commercial advantage, or made to hold
out any inducement to parties to locate themselves there as Settlers, unless by being adapted
to the purposes of a AVhaling Station; and your Lordship will perceive from the enclosed Copy
of a letter from me to Sir Henry Pelly (written some Months since, and in consequence of Sir
Henry Pelly having himself been the first to moot the subject in a conversation between us)
that the idea of Colonizing A'ancouver's Island by making it a Whaling Station in connexion
with our own is not new to me.
As, then, it would appear that Her Majesty's Government contemplate urging the Hudson's
Bay Company to colonize A'ancouver's Island, I would respectfully suggest to Your Lordship
that the end in question might be at once attained by the Hudson's Bay, or Puget Sound Company (of which latter, I believe, Sir Henry Pelly is Chairman, and which has a large Capital
whereof not more than about One-third is paid up) effecting a junction of interests with us.
If, therefore, your Lordship should think favourably of the proposition I have hazarded, I do not
doubt but your Lordship's recommendation of it to the Companies referred to would have great
weight, and be attended with a satisfactory result, as it is obvious that such an arrangement
as that contemplated would be mutually beneficial to all parties.
I have the honour to be.
My Lord,
Your Lordship's
Most obedient and humble Servant
Chas. Enderby.
The Right Honble. Earl Grey—
&c &e &c V 54 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(4.)  Charles Enderby7, Esq., to Sib J. H. Pelly.
13 Great St. Helen's,
5 April, 1848.
My Deab Sir,
AA'ith reference to a conversation which I had with you on Saturday last, on the subject of
the Whale Fisheries and Vancouver's Island, it may be as well for me to observe that in pages
55 and 56 of my pamphlet I have laid down my reasons for selecting the Auckland Islands as,
in all respects, the most eligible Station from whence to prosecute the trade. To the arguments
there urged I can scarcely make any addition, and they constitute the basis whereon I found
my conclusion that we can not only compete successfully with the Americans, but bear down
eventually any opposition on their part. This line of argument must, however, lose its force
if the main Station be transferred from the South to the North Pacific, and A'ancouver's Island
be selected instead of the Auckland Islands, the Americans occupying California. Having, as
I trust, now clearly explained myself on this point, I will refer to the subject more especially
considered, viz., the Settlement and Colonisation of A'ancouver's Island, and this, it appears to
me, would be best effected by making it a subsidiary AV'haling Station to the main one at the
Aucklands. You are aware that very extensive Whale Fisheries are prosecuted in the North
Pacific Ocean, the same commencing generally in the month of March and terminating in
October; as also that the Whaling Ships, whether from Europe or America, refresh on the
outward and homeward passage at the Sandwich Islands, and I need scarcely observe that
from the more casual visits of the A'essels the islands have sprung into consideration and
importance. Now, provided that Vessels could obtain the necessary provisions and Stores at
A'ancouver's Island, this would be preferable to the Sandwich Islands as a place of resort for
them, more especially when it is considered that all disturbance or disagreements amongst the
Masters and crews could be arranged and Settled on the spot through the medium of British
law. I have expressed my opinion that the A'essels equipped from the Auckland Islands for
the Fishery should be of the burthen of 250 tons each; not that I contemplate they will
uniformly fill with Oil, since I have averaged their produce at only 190 tuns, but for the
purpose of enabling the ATessels to carry conveniently their boats and crew. Now the evils
I have pointed out in pages 44, 45 and 46 of my pamphlet, as regards the freighting of the
Oil to England in AVhaling Ships with but half Cargoes, would equally apply, though in a
minor sense, to the Fishery in the North Pacific. For example, I will suppose 100 Vessels to
proceed from the Auckland Islands to fish in the North Pacific, and that the quantity of Oil
obtained during the Season is only sufficient to fill 80 of them. In such case it would be
productive of a considerable saving both in time and expense if we could have a Station at
A'ancouver's Island, at which the A'essels could discharge their cargoes and get a refit, and
where an Agent could settle the Wages of the Crews of such of the A'essels as might remain.
By such an arrangement great advantages might be expected to accrue, as the 20 A'essels
referred to, instead of returning to the Auckland Islands, could prosecute the Sperm AA'hale
Fishery from October to May; or, if found advisable, some of them might be employed in
conveying Coals, or in trading t,o India, China, Japan, or other places in the Pacific Ocean,
thus extending British Commerce as also connecting British interests in those Seas.
I am Sir
Chas.  Enderby.
Sir J. H. Pelly.
(5.)   James Edwaed FitzGerald, Esq., to II. B. Hawes, Esq., Colonial Office.
London, June 9th, 1847.
In compliance with your suggestion I have the honor to submit for your perusal an outline
of a scheme for the formation of a colony in A'ancouvers Island, on the North West Coast of
America, together with some remarks in explanation of the objects and principles by which its
authors have been guided. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 55
But, although you are, doubtless, well acquainted with the general features of the island,
and with the political importance of its position, I beg, in the first place to offer one or two
reasons, which seem to justify the expectation that her Majesties govt, will do all in their
power to promote the undertaking.
First, with respect to the political importance of the position, Great Britain possesses no
dependency of any description in the Pacific ocean, Eastward of Hong Kong, New Holland and
New Zealand, whilst France is establishing her influence in the South sea Islands and The
United States are pushing their population Westward to the Shores of the Ocean.
The principal part of the settlements made by the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company,
lying at Nisqually and along the Cowlitz and AVillamette rivers, are, according to the provisions
of the last treaty with the United States, Allotted to that power.
The Hudsons Bay Company possess only one or two inconsiderable settlements on the Coast,
to the North of the 49th. parallel of North latitude; so that, in fact, Great Britain has, at
present, hardly any thing to shew more than a nominal Sovereignty over her portion of the
Oregon Territory.
Her Majesties Govt, cannot but be fully alive to the extreme importance of possessing some
strong dependency on the North West Coast of America in order to counterbalance the increasing
influence of the United States; and to watch the interests of Great Britain in the Pacific Ocean.
Secondly. AVith respect to the Geographical position of the island as affecting the prospects
of its future inhabitants: it is to be remarked, that it occupies very nearly the same position
with respect to the Pacific which Great Britain does with respect to the Atlantic ocean.
But there is this difference, that no portion of the globe is so deficient in harbours as the
West Coast of North America.
There is no shelter for craft, of even the smallest size between San Francisco in California
and the Harbours which lie within the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
And although San Francisco is a noble Harbour yet as it is above Seven hundred Miles
to the South of the Straits these two can hardly be considered rivals in a commercial point
of view.
Hence it follows that the inhabitants of the country lying around the Straits of Juan de
Fuca must, of necessity, retain, forever, a monopoly of all the trade which shall ever pass into
and out of the Northern part of the West coast of America.
The Pacific Ocean is studded with islands, teeming with tropical productions in all directions. For these productions there is at present, no natural Channel of Exchange. But the
North West Coast of America is the only country within reach, which is capable of exchanging
the productions of a colder for those of a tropical climate.
It seems difficult to over-rate the rapidity with which trade might increase if an industrious
and persevering race were to establish themselves on the Northern Shores of the Pacific Ocean.
It is indeed true that the harbours on the south or American Side of the Straits, extending
down to Pugets Sound, are as good as any in the British Territory, but it is extremely probable
that the people who take the initiative will retain at any rate for a very long time, the
superiority in the commerce which the increasing population of the country must create.
Moreover, believing that the prosperity of Colonies, as of all civil communities, depends on the
principles upon which they are founded and by which they are governed, we cannot doubt that
a Colony might be established in the British Oregon Superior to any rivalry it might experience
from its Neighbours of the Columbia river; if the emigration to that country from the United
States is to proceed in the maimer in which it has been hitherto conducted.
Hence, the importance of this island which commands the Straits, bounding it for more
than 60 miles on the north side, in a commercial, as well as in a political point of view.
Thirdly, with respect to the natural capabilities of the country and its facilities for colonization, it would be too long a task, to enter into any detail as her Majesties Govt, have doubtless
correct information on the subject. I may simply state my conviction, after consulting every
written authority on the subject, and also after taking the opinions of men who speak from the
personal experience arising from long residence in the country, that, in healthiness of climate,
in fertility of soil, in the abundance of game of all kinds, Flesh, fish and fowl, as well as in
rich mineral productions coal, iron and copper,—this territory contains everything, as a home
for a people, from which necessities can be supplied or wealth obtained. V 56 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Another circumstance should be mentioned which will facilitate the construction of a colony
in A'ancouvers Island. There are, in its whole length above 250 miles, not above 5000 Natives
according to the best authorities, and these are on the best possible terms with the English,
owing to the wise and generous policy which has been pursued towards them by the Hudsons
Bay Company.
AVith respect to the Hudsons Bay Company, I beg to draw your attention to a clause in
their Charter which reserves to Her Majesty the right of revoking as much of that charter as
refers to any Country at present included in its provisions in which Pier Majesty may at any
time think fit to found a Colony.
But, at the same time, it is hardly necessary to do so because it is clearly the interest of
the Hudsons Bay Company that such a Colony as that now projected should be established.
A'ancouvers Island produces very little fur. The settlements founded by the Servants of the
Hudson's Bay Company are in the American Territory: and the holders of the farms etc., will
be obliged either to migrate farther northward or to become Citizens of the United States. A
Colony in A'ancouver's Island would probably form an attractive new home for many of these
persons. It would also form a sort of barrier against the encroachments of the Americans upon
the fur trade of the Hudson's Bay Company upon the Continent and which they have already
gone to so much expense and labour to secure against the Americans and the Russians in the
Oregon territory.
One reason may be suggested why the attempt to form a new Colony from this country
ought not to be regarded as unwise.
It is a fact that, although Great Britain possesses, beyond all comparison, the largest
dependencies of any country in the world, and although a very large number of emigrants leave
her shores every year, a great proportion do not go to the British Colonies but to the United
States of America. It is sufficient in support of this fact to quote the reports of the Colonial
land and emigration commissioner.
Hence it may be inferred that, from some cause which it is foreign to our purpose at
present to dwell on, the wants of British emigrants are not supplied by any system at present
acted on in any of the colonies belonging to our own country; and hence too it would seem that
there is ample room for a new colony to meet the demands of the emigrants from our.shores.
Now, if there be the necessity above stated for a powerful and prosperous colony on the shores
of the Pacific, in order to keep up our influence in that portion of the globe, and to prevent the
vast trade w7hich must some day flow from the Islands of the Pacific Ocean falling into the
hands of rival powers, then it is reasonable to anticipate that a scheme which proposes the
foundation of such a Colony in a country the most favourable to the attainment of these ends,
will meet with the sanction and patronage of her Majesty's Government.
It is in this expectation, and believing that such a scheme may be framed as shall offer
greater inducements than are offered by any other British Colony to men of education, intelligence and capital, to embark in the enterprize that the promoters of the undertaking submit the
following proposal.
I. That a joint stock company be formed called the Company of Colonists of A'ancouvers
(a.)  It is not intended that all the shareholders should necessarily emigrate to the colony
but the greatest possible inducement to do so should be given.    All the privileges of a colonist
in the government of the colony and in the management of the company should be vested in
residents alone.
II. That capital be subscribed in shares of £100 each, to be expended in the conveyance of
labour to the Colony.
(«.) The labourers carried out should be selected, young married men, between 18 and 35
years of age.
(b.) It should be a rule that an equality should be preserved in the numbers of the two
sexes conveyed to the Colony, at least for several years.
III. That no interest be paid on the capital but land be allotted to the shareholders in
proportion to the number of their shares.
(a.)  This scheme is in fact only another mode of selling the land for so much per acre,
but with this difference, by adopting the form of a joint stock company all the civil privileges 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 57
of a colonist—the rights of voting etc., are given along with the share; and moreover, the
expenditure of the money is entrusted to the company instead of to the government.
{b.) The whole of the capital of the company in other words the price of land is to be
expended in the manner most beneficial to the colonist, viz., in the supply of labour which is
found practically to be the greatest want in a new colony.
(c.) This it is conceived can be effected far more readily and more economically by a
company—that is to say by the directors who are responsible to the shareholders than on the
one hand by auy private individual or, on the other by the government.
(d.) The whole question of the economical prosperity of a colony is reduced to a single
proposition. Such a proposition must exist between The Share, The land allotted to it, and
the labour that can be supplied by it that the greatest possible return may be made on the price
of the share, in that case two results will occur.
(1.)  The Shareholder will have maximum profits.
(2.)  The labourer will have maximum wages.
If this proportion does not exist the labourer will be making money at the expence of
the shareholder or else the Shareholder at the expence of the labourer.
(e.) The question to be determined is what extent ought to be allotted to one share in
order that there may be a maximum return. The basis of the calculation by which the right
quantity may be suggested may be stated as follows.
According to the best authorities three men are required to till 100 acres. But in order
that a Civil community may prosper more than one half the population ought not to be
employed on the production of food from the soil. Half at least ought to be engaged in other
species of industry. I assume one half because in Ireland with the greatest distress three
fourths are employed in agricultural occupations, and in England in the midst of luxury only
one third, or less, are employed. I therefore take one half as the proportion of the agricultural
Hence—six men ought to be conveyed to the colony for every 100 acres of land allotted.
Now supposing which is the most favourable case, that all the labourers are young married
men without families and that a man and wife can be conveyed to A'ancouvers Island for
£50—then £300 will be the cost of conveying labour to the Colony, sufficient for 100 acres of
laud allotted. Hence—for the outlay of £100, i.e. of share 100/3=33% acres ought to be the
extent of the allotment.
And if the above theory be correct and the assumed numbers be right the Shareholder
will then obtain the maximum profits which his £100 could be made to yield and the labourer
would obtain the maximum wages which could be obtained without subtracting from the profits
of the shareholders.
There is another mode of viewing this question. The wages of a labourer in a colony in
a prosperous condition ought to be such that, in a few years, he may be able to save enough
to buy a share. In this case his labour is not withdrawn from the market for the price of
his Share is expended in the introduction of a new labourer to take his place. The labourer
ought not to have such high wages as shall enable him to buy a share in a very short time,
first, because when wages are so high it is certain to be engrossing a part of the profits of
capital which it has no right to, secondly, because the general result has been to demoralize
the labourer so that the more he has to save the less he saves.
Although it is not possible to frame on this basis, a calculation as to magnitude of the
allotment of land to each share, yet it is essential to establish the fact that there is a direct
relation between the rate of wages and the size of the allotments.
For the rate of wages depends on the ratio between the capital in the Colony available for
the employment of labour, that is the capital in private hands, and the supply of labour in the
market. Now the supply of labour depends on the capital in the bauds of the Company, and
this latter for a given tract of country depends on the price of the land, or in other words on
the extent of the allotment per share. Hence the rate of wages depend on the ratio between
the amount of private capital and the price of the land on which it is employed. In other
words the rate of wages varies directly, as the amount of private capital and" inversely as the
price of land. According to this reasoning the greater the amount of private capital in the
colony the higher ought to be the price of land in order to prevent the wages of labour becoming
exhorbitant.    Now with regard to the direct variation.    Since it will be manifestly impossible V 58 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
to discover the quantity of capital that may find its way into the Colony in private hands no
calculation can be made in order to suggest the quantity of land to be allotted to a share in.
order that there may be a fair rate of wages.
But with respect to the inverse variation. It is clear that experience will soon determine-
how much capital there is afloat in the colony, and then should wages rise exhorbitantly it will
be necessary to diminish the extent of the allotments, so that there will be less work to be
done and more hands proportionally to do it, when wages must fall, and besides there being
less demand for capital in wages, the holders will be more inclined to invest it in the Company
which will introduce more labour and still more lend to depress wages. And on the other hand
should wages fall too low it will be necessary to increase the extent of the allotment when for
similar reasons wages may be kept up.
These operations however will be of very slow movement.
Two things then on the whole are absolutely necessary to the prosperity of the Colony.
First, that there (be) a fixed size of the allotments per share and that it should be
guaranteed in the Company's Charter Specifically.
Secondly, that a power should be vested somewhere of changing the size of the allotment
per share in case the circumstances of the Colony require it. This power should be so vested
that it cannot be used suddenly or inconsiderately.
It is proposed to place it in the hands of the Directors of the Company subject to the
approval of the Governor in Council in the Colony and of the Queen in Council in England.
With respect to the mode of allotment, it is not necessary to enter into detail at present.
The Island should be surveyed as fast as possible, beginning from the site chosen for the first
settlement and divided into lots of the extent appropriated to one share numbered and registered.
Two principles should be adopted. The first claimant of a lot shall always have it. If
two persons claim simultaneously, they should cast lots for the first choice.
Every Shareholder should then be registered as holding Specified lots and no person should
have the rights of a Shareholder until he had registered himself as the holder of a specific lot
or lots.
IA'. That the affairs of the Company be managed by a board of 13 directors, one of whom
they shall elect as Chairman.
It is submitted that an association such as that now proposed occupies two different positions.
First that of a Company. Secondly that of a Colony. First as a merely commercial and
agricultural association whose object is to divide land amongst its members according to certain
principles previously agreed upon, and to expand their capital upon a specified object, the
introduction of labour; it is proposed to entrust the management to a board of directors such
as is found to be practically the most convenient in all companies of a similar character.
This board is not supposed to take any part in the civil and political government of the
community, but simply to direct the financial operations of the company. It is in short a land
and emigration commission.
A set of directions should be issued defining their power and their functions and these
directions should be incorporated into the companies charter. They should settle the mode of
allotting land, the quantity to be allotted per share (providing for the alteration of the quantity
in the manner before specified), the mode of expending the capital, the granting of titles to
land, the surveying of the land, the treatment with the natives for the possession of the soil etc.
The directors should be elected at first by the Shareholders, four should retire, first by
lot, afterwards in rotation every year their successors should be elected by the Shareholders.
They should be all holders of at least 10 shares and resident in the Colony.
Any charge of breaking the directions in the charter should be preferred against them
before the Governor in Council with an appeal to the Queen in Council in England.
It is submitted that the administration, in matters purely of business, of a body of men
whose personal interest is involved in the welfare of the colony, who are responsible to their
fellow Shareholders, and who are controlled only by a number of " directions " written in their
charter which will give uniformity to their proceedings and therefore confidence to the public
is far more likely to produce a prosperous state of affairs than the arbitary interference of any
offices or officers in the Colony or at home who have no personal interest in the matters with
which they have to deal. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 59
It is submitted that in this proposition there is no prejudice to the rights of the Crown as
the dispenser of justice and the source of government in a colony, nor to the authority of the
Mother Country as exercising a control essential to the welfare of the Empire. These are
provided for hereafter. But it is conceived that a spirit of loyalty to the Crown and affection
to the parent country will be most successfully cultivated when the prosperity of the colonists
is most amply provided for and that such a provision will be made by entrusting the economical
affairs of the Company to those who are most immediately interested in its success.
Now is it supposed that the parent country has no interest in the disposal of the waste
lands in her Colonies. These waste lands have come into the possession of Great Britain by
means of the power and character of the British Nation. They ought then to be considered the
indefeasible inheritance of the people of Great Britain and in the construction of a colony
ought to be granted, so only as tobe held in trust for their benefit. But it is indisputable that
this principle is more really and definitely acted on by ensuring the prosperity of the colonists
than by any other method whilst, on the one band, this prosperity is consulted by entrusting
the management of the Speculation to the Company for its own benefit, on the other hand, the
rights of the British people are provided for by a distinct definition of the limits within which
its directors are to act. This should be specified in the original charter and the charter should
be unalterable and irrevocable (except on the grounds of a violation of its provisions by the
company) unless by a joint act of the highest authorities in the Colony and in the Mother
The distinction here drawn betw7een the functions of the Company and of the Colony are
not, it is submitted, theoretical but real; and it is one which seems to be recognized in the lease
or grant of the Auckland Islands on the first of March in the present year to the Messrs.
Enderby. According to the provisions of their charter the Messrs. Enderby or the Company
formed by them for carrying on the Whale Fishery in the South Seas, are entrusted with the
entire disposal of the land and management of the immigration, whilst the whole of the civil
government is vested in the Crown. The Messrs. Enderby being only required to provide for
the necessary expenditure of Government.
It is thought that there should be a provision that as soon as all the lands granted to the
company have been allotted the directory shall cease to exist.
A'. That A'ancouvers Island be granted to the directors as trustees for the Shareholders;
to convey it to them according to the terms Specified in the Charter.
It is a question for her Majestys Government to determine whether this should be done by
Charter from the Crown, or by Special Act of Parliament. But as some difficulty might arise
from the course pursued in other colonies where special acts have been obtained to settle the
Sale of AVaste lands, and also from an act 1 and 2 G. IA'. " entitled an Act for regulating the fur
trade and establishing a criminal and civil jurisdiction within certain parts of North America "
the provisions of which act would be fatal to the existence of Colonial government in any part
of the British Territory lying west of the Canadas, it is probable an act of parliament will
be necessary in order to establish the proposed Colony and to invest its government with the
requisite authority.
A'L That the constitution and Government of A'ancouvers Island be provided for as follows.
(1). A Governor;
appointed by the Crown for life but removeable (1) in case he should be intollerably
obnoxious and mischievous in the Colony, by an address to the Crow7n from the colonial
House of Assembly past two (or three) consecutive years. So that the desire for his
removal shall be a continued and decided feeling on the part of the Colony not a partial
or temporary opinion of a faction.
(2)  In case he should neglect or oppose the interests of the Mother Country by
an address to the Crown from both Houses of Parliament.
(2.)  An Executive Council:
Consisting of persons presiding over the departments of
(a). Law7,
(b). Police;
(c). Finance; V 60 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(d). Public Works;
(e.)  Public Instruction:
(/). The Board of Directors.
All these officers should be appointed by the Governor but with a veto by and
removeable by an address from the House of Assembly, passed three times. The Chief
Justice may be sent from England. All the others must be resident Shareholders and
in the House of Assembly. No act of the Governor to be valid unless made in Council.
All appointments to be made by the Governor but with the consent of the Council.
Directors are eligible to sit on the Council but in a trial about the conduct of
the Directory the Directors may not vote.
(3). A legislative assembly:
At first this assembly ought to be composed of all the Shareholders in the Company, an arrangement should be made for a representative system to come into operation at the end of two or three years. It would be premature to enter into details
but the principal features of the system should be—
The House of Assembly should be elected by the " freemen "
Every Shareholder should be free.
Every person possessing bona fide property of the value of £100 should be a
Any man may be presented with the freedom of the Colony for a reward for a
great public service rendered the State.
The Governor has the right of calling together or proroguing or dissolving the
Assembly at pleasure.
The Assembly can not sit more than five years.
The Assembly must meet once a year at least.
All public acts must receive the assent of the Assembly, of the Council—and of the
Governor severally. And no laws are of force in the Colony unless passed by the
legislature of the colony.
An order in Council by the Governor has the force of law between the ordinary
sessions of the Assembly. If it be not sanctioned by the Assembly it cannot be
All English law shall be law in the Colony untill altered by an Act of the Colonial
No act of the Imperial Parliament shall be of force in A'ancouver's Island unless
an act providing for the welfare of the whole Empire, in this case the Assembly are
compelled to pass it under penalty of loosing the Charter.
No act of the Colonial legislature is valid which violates a provision of the Charter.
The mode of altering the size of allotments has been referred to above, but no
other alteration may be made in the Charter without joint acts of the Legislature of
the Colony and of the Mother Country.
The Charter should contain a promise on the part of the Mother Country guaranteeing that it shall never be altered or revoked unless on the plea that its provisions
have been violated by the colony and then only upon an address to the crown by both
Houses of Parliament.
In this scheme no provision has been made for a second or upper house of legislature. In
the early settlement of the colony no advantage can result from any second elected house, if
indeed there is ever any thing gained by such an institution when the Colony becomes older
and larger and the character and tone of the government is fixed and apparent and legislation
becomes a much more important matter than it will be found to be for many years at first, then
the introduction of an upper house may (be) effected if desirable and it is thought the institution
of the board of Directors may form a sort of nucleus for such an assembly. But at first it
seems difficult to make the constitution too simple.
One question of great importance has been passed over in silence, that of Religion, with
the various conflicting opinions which are likely to be found in a Colony sent from this country
and from Ireland. At the present day there seems to be no possibility of projecting any satisfactory means of providing for religious instruction by an Act of State.    It is recommended 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 61
that this point should be left to the Colonial legislature when the complexion of the Colony
shall have been ascertained and a fair judgment can be formed as to what it may be possible
or advisable to effect.
Another important question will arise as to the relations between the colony and the
natives. This should be settled In the instructions to the board of directors which it is proposed
to insert in the Charter. The chief object kept in view should be maintaining the most friendly
relations, civilizing, christianizing and finally incorporating them into the colony.
In case her Majesties Government should think proper to accede to the scheme proposed
it is in contemplation to form a provisional committee of influential gentlemen to manage the
affairs of the Company and receive the Shares untill a certain number say 200 Shares are paid.
After this the directors may be elected by the Shareholders in the manner specified in the
Charter. The Governor may be appointed by the Crown and the Council by the Governor and
the whole machine of Government thus set in motion before the first Colonists quit the shores
of this Country.
In conclusion, Sir, I beg to remark that having in compliance with your suggestion abstained
from taking any public mode of ascertaining the numbers of those to whom such a scheme as
the present is likely to recommend itself, I can only state my own conviction from the result
of enquiries amongst my own friends that in case her Majesties government think proper to
sanction the Enterprize, men will not be wanting.
There are a great number of young men in this Country who, either have no professions
or who have no very sanguine expectations of professional success, who are possessed of some
small capital, although not enough to enable them to live independantly, and who would probably
be glad to And a definite application at once for their capital and their enterprize in an undertaking which offered good prospects of success.
Besides which at the present moment it is very likely that many of the higher orders in
Ireland will be unable to retain any longer the position they have hitherto occupied. It seems
unavoidable that many of the smaller Landlords, whose estates are greatly encumbered will,
under the pressure of existing circumstances be compelled to sell their properties. Unquestionably in many instances it will be their policy to do so—and if persuaded to sell at once they will
probably be able to rescue for their families something more than if they cling to their properties
till a later period.
To such persons naturally unwilling to sink into a lower where they have held a superior
position in society—a colony if undertaken on a scale of such magnitude and such a manner
as to ensure success would be not unlikely to offer an acceptable home, w7here energies no longer
fettered by circumstances beyond their control might find a new and profitable application.
If her Majesties Government will signify their willingness to confer upon the Company
such a charter as is here proposed, it is in contemplation at once to appeal to the class of persons
above alluded to in Ireland and if possible to organize an extensive emigration of the higher
orders from that country.
But in speculating on the probability of a sufficient number of gentlemen being found willing
to join the Colony it must not be forgotten that our proposal is not of the nature of an attractive
speculation, offering prospects of rapid or exhorbitant returns. It contemplates rather an
ameliorated condition to many than a monopoly of wealth by a few. AA'hilst appealing to that
self-interest which stimulates to exertion in the mass of those who engage in it, it will demand
some sacrifice on the part of many of those at any rate who will stand in the position of leaders
in the colony.    Sacrifice of hope of success in this country.    Sacrifice of home and of social ties.
Our proposal whilst aiming at the removal of the poor from that misery which is contingent
on a large population crowded into a small island, would not banish them to a desolate territory
without means, without organization. It would remove them through the agency of the
emigration of those who are their natural leaders and guides, the middle and higher orders
of society. Supplying them with these and with a definite and judicious system of Government
it would secure their prosperity by organizing their exertions.
It is then reasonable to hope that some more than ordinary inducements may be offered to
men of Education of enterprize and of loyalty to engage in such an undertaking for by such
alone can any great and prosperous Colony be founded. And how much the more so, if there
be very urgent political necessity for such a colony in the proposed locality. V 62 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
The inducements which can be supplied by Her Majesties Govt, are a defined and liberal
Constitution in the Colony, a local government which shall attach the colonists to itself and to
the authority whence it emanates by securing him from arbitary caprice in its administration
and from ruinous interference with his interests.
This scheme is submitted with the greater confidence because it is believed to embody the
principles which are entertained by her Majesties government.
Earl Grey, in a despatch dated Jan. 27th, 1847, writes to the Early of Elgin "... I continue to be of opinion that a very great advantage would result from enabling emigrants to proceed
from this country in bands, associated together for the purpose of settling in North America
under the guidance of religious teachers if the practical difficulties of so doing could be surmounted. Much of the pain which must ever attend the breaking up of the ties that bind
men to their native Country would be spared to those who could emigrate in company with a
considerable number of their friends and relations for the purpose of finding on the other side
of the Atlantic new Societies composed in a great measure of the same elements as those to
which they had previously belonged. Both morally and politically great benefit would I think
result from the formation of such Societies and from the substitution of some mode of settlement in villages for that usually adopted by which the first occupiers of the wilderness are
scattered over the surface of the country removed from those civilizing influences and deprived
of those facilities for obtaining religious instruction and the means of Education for their
children of which men can only have the advantage when collected together in somewhat considerable numbers. I will not abandon the hope that hereafter the practical difficulties which
stand in the way of carrying these views into effect may be overcome and that means may
be discovered of accomplishing that more systematic colonization of the still unoccupied territory
of British North America, by which I am persuaded that the welfare of the Emigrants would
be best ensured and the prosperity of these fine provinces would be carried to a far higher point
than it can otherwise attain."
The difficulties to which Earl Grey alludes seem to be incident rather to an established
country or province and might readily be overcome in the construction ab initio of a New
Colony. And although the above remarks of his Lordships refer to another system than that
now proposed yet, recognizing in them the principles upon which this scheme is founded, and
which it aims at carrying into action, the promoters join with me in requesting you to lay this
letter before his Lordship, Earnestly hoping that it may receive from his Lordship as well as
from yourself as speedy a consideration as possible.
I have the honor to be, Sir.
Your most obedient humble Servant,
James Ed. FitzGerald.
H. B. Hawes Esqr., Colonial Office.
(6.)    James Edward Fitzgerald, Esq., to Herman Mebeivale, Esq.
Received.    C D.    Feb. 16. 1848.
British Museum
Febr. 14, 1S4S.
Dear Sib
With reference to the conversation I held with you on the 12th. instant, I have the honor
to Submit the following observations; and to request that you will bring them under Lord Greys
notice, at your Earliest Convenience.—
The Govt, of the United States of America has entered into a contract with a commercial
house in New York, by which the latter undertakes to convey the Mails, for a period of ten
years, by means of Steam A'essels, between Panama and the Columbia river, and the intermediate
ports of Rr. St. Bias, Magetetar, Acapulco, San Francisco, Monterrey &c. There are three
Steamers of 1000 tons each now building at New York for the purpose, and it is said they are
to be completed in December next. In order to perforin this contract a supply of 20,000 tons of
Coal will be required, yearly. The New York Company offer to Contract with an English House
for this Supply of Coal to be sent from England. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 63
The Pacific Steam Navigation Company have two Steamers continually running from
A'alparaiso to Panama; touching at all intermediate ports. It is said this Company is willing
to contract for a supply of 2000 tons of Coal annually, to be landed at Panama. Moreover, the
supply of coal required by her Majesties Steamers in the Pacific Ocean, will it is probable,
continually increase.
It is obvious that all this coal could be supplied at a lower cost from A'ancouver Island
than from England.
For a statement of the nature and Capabilities of the coal in A'ancouvers Island, I beg to
refer you to a dispatch from Rear Adml. Sir G Seymour, enclosing a letter from Commander
Gordon of H.M.S. Cormorant, dated some time in Febr. 1847 which is in the Admiralty.
It is now proposed to form a Company to work the Coal in Vancouver Island. It is necessary however, in the first place to know upon what terms her Majesties Govt, will grant the
right of working the Coal.
In the second place, it will be obvious to Lord Grey, that an undertaking such as that
contemplated will involve the necessity of transporting a large population of English to Vancouver Island. The number of Seamen alone will be considerable, and the population necessary
to produce food for their subsistence must also be numerous: besides it is probable that any
depot for Shipping in this Situation would attract considerable numbers of whale ships to the
Island. It is plain, then, that in the event of the proposed company being formed, A'ancouver
Island will become the resort of a considerable number of Her Majesties Subjects; and that it
will be essential to the comfort and convenience of the population, and to the security of the
speculation, that a Government should be established on the Island, contemporaneously w7ith
the first formation of the Colony. It will therefore be very desirable to know Lord Greys views
on this point.
Lastly, apart from the profit to be gained by working the coal, of which, from the Statements
here given, there seems to be a reasonable prospect, Lord Grey is aware that there are various
reasons why a colony in that Part of British America is desirable. I shall not trouble you with
any remarks on this head, as I have fully stated the case in a letter to Mr. Hawes dated 11 June
1847. It is a matter for his Lordships consideration whether the establishment of a Colony could
not be most readily effected through the agency of such a Company as that now proposed &
whether (referring to my letter of 11 June) it would not be wise to grant the whole Island to
such a Company binding them by their charter to effect the colonization in a certain maimer.
I am not able at present to state who will be the principal parties in forming this company,
when the time shall arise I hope such names will appear as shall place the scheme above the
risk of failure.
The possibility of forming a company at all, will, however, depend on the view Lord Grey
may take of the above questions.
I have the honor to be
Dear Sir.
Your obedient Servant,
James Edwaed Fitzgeeald.
Herman Merrivale Esq.
&c. &c. &c.
(7.)   A Peoposal to Foem a Company7 foe the puepose of Woeking The Coal, and
Establishing a Colony- In A'ancouveb's Island.
Received.    C D.    Feb: 23, 1848.
Vancouver's Island, the possession of which was settled in Great Britain by the last treaty
with the United States, lies on the west coast of North America, between north lat. 48° and 51°
and west long. 123° and 128°; and is about 250 miles in length, and 50 in breadth.
The straits which separate it from the main land are little more than a mile wide at the
north end of the Island, and about 25 miles at the south, where they are called the Straits of
Juan de Fuca. V 64 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
The general character of the country is hilly, in parts mountainous, and richly wooded; but
there is fertile plain land in many places. The trees are of various descriptions, in great
abundance, and of very large growth.
The temperature is nearly the same as that of England: the climate is mild and salubrious,
and peculiarly adapted to European constitutions. British plants, fruits and vegetables of all
descriptions thrive, as well as sheep and cattle.
The Island abounds with game, and the neighbouring waters w7ith various kinds of fish.
The Hudson's Bay Company occupy a small fort (A'ictoria) on the south side of the Island,
where they have successfully brought a tract of land into cultivation.
The geographical situation of the Island renders it peculiarly suitable for a colony. It
possesses on all sides a multitude of magnificent harbours; and there is no port of any description, southward of those in the Island, and those within the Straits of Juan de Fuca, nearer
than San Francisco in California, more than 700 miles distant: It seems, then, to follow, that
all the trade which shall ever pass into the north-west coast of America must fall into the
hands of those who occupy the country adjacent to these Straits, of which A'ancouver's Island
forms the north shore. The south shore belongs to the United States, and abounds also with
harbours; but it is likely that the people who first obtain will continue to enjoy the pre-eminence
in commercial enterprize.
According to the best accounts, there are not more than 5000 native inhabitants of the whole
Island, and their numbers are said to be rapidly decreasing. They have been for the most part
on very good terms with the English with whom they have come in contact.
There is a great abundance of coal at the north end of the Island, and copper also is to be
procured in the vicinity. Satisfactory evidence can be given that this coal is w7ell adapted for
burning in steam vessels.
It is, therefore, proposed to form a Company, for the purpose of working this coal, and at
the same time of founding a general Colony in the Island.
The present moment is one which is more favorable than any other to the success of such
an undertaking. The Government of the United States of America have entered into a contract
with a commercial house in New York, by which the latter undertake to convey the mails
between Panama, the Columbia river, and the intermediate ports, in steam vessels: this contract
is to last for ten years.
There are three steamers now building at New York, of a thousand tons each, for this
purpose, and they are to be ready at the end of the present year.
This Company have proposed to enter into a contract for the supply of coal from England,
necessary to enable them to fulfil their contract with the American Government.
It is obvious that the requisite quantity could be supplied at the Columbia river, and at
Panama, at a very much lower rate from A'ancouver's Island than from England, even supposing
the expense of procuring the coal to be the same in both places; but in Vancouvers Island the
coal lies in large quantities on the surface, and is close to the sea, in a most convenient place'
for shipment.
Besides the above supply, which it is calculated would amount to from 15,000 to 20,000'
tons annually, the Steam Pacific Navigation Company, whose vessels run from Valparaiso to
Panama, are in want of a supply of coal at the latter port.
It is probable that if these coal mines were worked, there would be a demand before long
for above 30,000 tons annually in the Pacific Ocean.
A communication has been made to the Colonial Office, with a view to ascertain the terms
upon which Her Majesty's Government would grant the right of working the coal in Vancouver's
Island; and it is hoped, that, in the event of a Company being formed capable of carrying its
objects into effect, every assistance will be afforded both by the Government and by the Hudson's
Bay Company.
Since the working of the coal, ou such an extensive scale as is here proposed, will involve
the conveyance of a considerable number of persons to the Island, it is obvious that a sufficient
population must also be provided, to secure the production of food for the whole community.
Hence it will be the object of the Company to obtain from Her Majesty, in the earliest stage
of its operations, a charter of government.
It will also be the interest of the Company, that some sound scheme of general colonization,
should be adopted, by which labour may be continually supplied. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 65
It is contemplated to call a meeting in a short time, of all those who are likely to take an
interest in the scheme, for the purpose of taking the preliminary steps for the formation of the
Company; and the arrangement of the necessary details. At this meeting, of which due notice
will be given, your presence and assistance is particularly requested. In the mean time all
communications on the subject of this paper may be addressed to
John Shillinglaw, Esq.
23, Dean Street, Soho.
(8.)  James Edwabd FitzGerald, Esq., to Herman Merrivale, Esq.
Received, C D.    June 5.    1848.
British Museum.
June 2nd. 1848.
Dear Sir,
I am anxious to draw your attention once more to the Subject of A'ancouver Island.
Subsequently to the last conversation I had the honor of holding with Mr. Hawes and
yourself I was informed by Sir J. H. Pelly that Govt, had determined to give the Island to
the Hudsons Bay Company. Understanding that the matter was settled, I gave up all intention
of taking any further part in it, because I did not believe that the Hudsons Bay Corny, could,
or would, effect the colonization of the Country. In consequence, however, of what passed
between a friend of mine and Sir J. H. Pelly, I waited upon that Gentleman. He then offered
to make us a grant of all the Coal Mines, upon terms which he specified in detail, and promised
at the same time to assist us in procuring the Capital necessary to commence working the
mines. I was therefore induced by these liberal promises to take up the Scheme again, and
I expected that we should be able to sail in the course of the Summer. A gentleman having
been sent over from New York with the object of entering into arrangements for procuring the
Supply of Coal for the Steamers about to sail on the N. W. Coast, it was essential that our
plans should be arranged as speedily as possible. But on w7aiting upon Sir J. H. Pelly, in order
to bring matters to a final settlement, he informed me that Sir George Simpson had been in
communication with Mr. Aspinwall, the owners of the Steamers destined to run on the N. W.
Coast, and had issued orders that the Coal Mines in Vancouver Island should be immediately
occupied, with a view to supplying coal to the steamers. Sir J. H. Pelly therefore declined to
say any thing more, until he had communicated with Sir G. Simpson, which could not be earlier
than next September. AVhen I represented to Sir J. H. Pelly that some arrangements should
be made at once, and that the opportunity for securing a sale for the coal would otherwise be
lost, and that I had been working for the proposed colony for some time, on the strength of his
promises, Sir J. H. Pelly denied having made any promise or offer whatsoever!
Now I only trouble you with these facts, because I think it of importance that Earl Grey
should be aware of what dependance is to be placed on the promises of the Govr. of the H. B.
Coy. and of the consequence of the steps about to be taken, of putting the H. B. Coy. in
possession of A'ancouver Island.
I beg you will believe that I have no interest in the affair, farther than that which attaches
to a Subject upon which I have bestowed considerable time and Attention; and in proposing to
undertake the management of the coal Speculation, I did so, only because it offered me the
means of carrying into effect my scheme of founding a Successful Colony. But I bring these
facts under your notice, for the information of Earl Grey, because they are sufficient evidence
that Sir J. H. Pelleys professions of liberality and disinterestedness in offering to colonize the
country, are utterly insincere: And I have been warned, on all hands, that I should find this
out at last. The Hudsons Bay Coy. want to get the island into their own hands in order that
they may prevent any colony there, except of their servants and dependants. I am anxious
that Earl Grey should be informed, that there is no one who is acquainted with the System of
the H.B. Coy. who does not coincide in this opinion.
I cannot refrain from expressing an earnest hope that Earl Grey will pause in taking any
final step in this matter, untill he has availed himself of the information to be derived from
r> V 66 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
indifferent and independant witnesses, for example, the officers of H. M. S. Cormorat, Modeste,
America &c. &c. as well as from other persons who are intimately acquainted, with the proceedings of the Compy.
There is not a servant of that Coy. who would not leave the Service at the first opportunity;
and there is not one of those who have left, who does not loudly condemn the Conduct and
policy of the Coy.
The servants of the H.B. Co. in the Oregon are a poor and ignorant class, chiefly of the
lowest order of the Scotch. They are not well paid, and the Corny, having the monopoly of all
the supply of the necessaries of life, they are bound in a state of practical Slavery to their
Now it will be perfectly manifest to Earl Grey, that the H. B. Coy. are unable to found
an independant Colony, because no independant man, no Gentleman will ever settle under their
sway. They will, if they get the island, extend their present system. They will get a large
settlement of labourers and workmen who will be little better than slaves. All the capital
will be in their own hands. But surely that is not the sort of colony which His Lordship desires
to see formed, as the representative and model of British power in the Pacific Ocean.
There is another mode of ascertaining what the H.B. Coy. are likely to do. What have
they done in their vast possessions on the East Side of the rocky Mountains—Have they produced one single contented thriving or prosperous Settlement, in any part of their vast estates?
They have not.
Moreover is not Colonization opposed to the interests of the H.B. Co. necessarily? Must it
not interfere with their monopoly of the Fur trade, and still more with their import trade of
manufactured goods, on which they make such vast profits?
If Vancouver Island gets into the Hands of that Company, His Lordship may be assured
that no colony will ever exist there.
In urging upon Lord Grey the Strong reasons which present themselves, for pausing before
giving this Island to the H. B Coy., I assume that His Lordship is well aware of its daily
increasing importance to Great Britain. Prospects of extensive Steam communication to all
parts of the Pacific Ocean, are rapidly opening. A Project is even now entertained of running
Steam Ships from California to China, and a route is proposed by which the London mail from
Canton may be conveyed in 45 days. Mr. Enderby's plan for extending the Whale Fishery will
bring a considerable number of ships into the Northern Seas, and that gentleman contemplates
leaving a part of them to refit in A'ancouver Island.
It does then seem to be running a great risk, to place the fortunes of such an Enterprise in
the hands of a Corny, notoriously close and narrow in their policy, exclusively commercial in
their character and objects, and whose interests are, of necessity, diametrically opposed to those
of an independant Settlement.
Nor is it to be forgotten that the Charter of Trade which the Coy. possess will expire in
10 or 12 years; and, in the event of the Govt, then refusing to renew it, it is riot easy to see
what legitimate or beneficial position the Coy. will occupy, as the proprietors of a tract of land
on the N. AV Coast. It would be even doubtful whether they could continue, in such circumstances, to exist as a Company any longer.
In offering these observations I am aware I have no claim whatsoever upon his Lordships
attention, further than that I have bestowed considerable time and attention on the subject on
which I speak.
I have no rival scheme to propose. I did indeed formerly bring under your notice the
advantages to be gained by forming a Company for the purpose of Colonizing the Country. But
I know how difficult it is, in the present state of money affairs in Europe to obtain Capital,
or to form a Company; And though I have my own opinion how the object in view may be
effected, I do not wish to trouble you with any observations, further than what are warranted
by the immediate object of this letter, viz, to do whatever I can, to prevent the Country, which
has been for so long a time a matter of so much interest to myself, falling into such hands as
would for ever annihilate its usefulness for the purposes of Colonization.
I am, dear Sir,
Yours truly,
Herman Merrivale Esq. James Edward  FitzGerald.
&C. &C. do. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 67
(9.)   Charles Humphreys, Esq., to James Edward Fitzgerald, Esq.
46 Lucas Street
6th. June 184S.
Dear Sib,
In reply to your letter of the 2nd. inst I am sorry to learn that the Hudsons Bay Coy. are
on the eve of Securing to themselves A'ancouvers Island, in the event of which, in my opinion
Colonization is at an end, being convinced that Gentlemen either of education or fortune, on
learning the arbitary and very unpleasant conduct of many of the principal officers in that
quarter, will at once be deterred from placing themselves under their Government.
I do not however think that the Hudsons Bay Coy. have any real intention of Colonizing the
Island, it is rather a feigned design to secure to them the Grant.
The Company's officers are quite aware that an independant Colony would effectually put
an end to their unlimited and uncontrolled power—for, with the exception of one or two Masters,
I am of opinion that they are all much disliked by their Servants most of whom, would be ready
to leave and join any other employ; And the Company being aware of such, is sufficient reason
for their endeavouring to retain the Island in their own hands.
The Government of the H.B. Co. as regards the House in London is mild, but the Conduct
of many of their Officers throughout the Country is exceedingly cruel and unjust.
I am of opinion that an independant Colony would speedily prosper there being immediate
employment in Coal Mining Ship building and farming.
The Americans out there are doing well and of course any new7 Colony would have to
compete with them.
I am dear Sir
Your most obedt.
Chas. Humphbeys.
Jas. Ed. FitzGerald Esqr.
(10.)   James Edwabd Fitzgebald, Esq., to Herman Merrivale, Esq.
Received.     C D.    June 30, 1848.
British Museum
June 30th, 1848.
Dear Sir,
I have not troubled you so often on the subject of A'ancouvers Island, without being ready
to make a definite proposal as to what should be done, in the event of Earl Grey refusing, (as
all w7ho are interested in the country most earnestly hope will be the case,) to grant the territory
to the Hudsons Bay Coy.
It is my intention in this letter briefly to state, and earnestly to urge on the consideration
of Earl Grey, that proposal.
I am the more anxious to do so, because I have received an intimation that Messrs Aspinwall
of New York are willing to enter into a contract to take a supply of coal, upon the basis of an
arrangement which I proposed to them some time ago (when I anticipated a satisfactory arrangement with the Hudsons Bay Coy. about the coals) and which would, I believe, render it possible
to work the mines with profit. Mr. Aspinwall being satisfied, as I understand, with the evidence
offered him that the Coal is of a kind suitable for the purposes of steam navigation.
On the one hand, then, in bringing this scheme before the public, we can shew that there is
every probability of success which the most favorable mercantile speculation can afford; but,
on the othe*, I am perfectly convinced, that it will be impossible to secure the confidence and
support of the public, until it is definitely known what IL M. Govt, intend to do in the matter.
I am quite aware that it is the custom of the Colonial Office, not to take the initiative, but
to wait until some definite scheme is proposed by parties able to execute the same; but I do
hope, that Earl Grey, will consider that a feeling of general insecurity exists, owing to the
state of affairs and that, although there is no want of money at present, there is a great
disinclination to invest it, except upon ample security; and that His Lordship will, for these V 68 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
reasons, and for urgent political expediency of founding a Colony on the N.AV. Coast of America,
consent, on the present occasion to depart from the policy hitherto adopted and to state what the
Crown will do with respect to A'ancouver Island. And I hope this, because I assume that there
is no real advantage in concealing the policy of the Govt, and that the same terms which Earl
Grey would offer to one applicant for the territory, are open to all.
If Earl Grey will promise that, supposing a company of Colonists formed, Consisting of a
certain number of persons, possessing a certain amount of capital, intending to convey themselves
to the Island, and capable of doing so, a charter of incorporation will in that case be at once
granted; by which charter,
(1) A'ancouver Island will be granted to the Company,
(2) A free municipal system will be guaranteed (if with right to elect their own Govr. so
much the better.)
(3) The terms will be specified on which the company is to dispose of land to settlers.
If, as I say, Earl Grey would promise this, then there would be (a) positive and practical scheme
to lay before the country and I for one believe that there would be no further obstacles to
forming the Colony.
The coals in that case would belong to the Company; and it could either work them with
its own capital, or borrow money on what would then be good security, to do so, or let them
on lease to be worked by private enterprize.
At any rate you would have a Company on the spot, whose sole interest it would be to
colonize the Island as rapidly as possible.
If this is not done, either the Hudsons Bay Coy. will have the Island, when there will be
an end to all colonization, or else the country will remain barren, and the greatest opportunity
yet offered for the foundation of a Colony will be lost forever.
In the mean time the United States will be all powerful on those Coasts, and we shall be
unable to Compete with them.
Hoping you will bring this letter under Earl Greys notice at your earliest convenience
I have the honor to be
Dear Sir
Yours very faithfully
James Edward FitzGerald.
Herman Merrivale Esq.
(11.)   W. Colqn. Grant, Esq., to Under Secretary of State for Colonies.
June. United Service Club.,
Novr. 8.
Permit me to apologize for the liberty which I as a stranger take in addressing you; having
however in pursuance of an intention to emigrate to Vancouver's Island, agreed to purchase
a certain quantity of land from the Hudson's Bay Coy. & having engaged labourers at the rate
of 6 for every hundred acres purchased, who are to be sent out in a vessel chartered by the
Hudson's Bay Coy. on the SOth. instant, I shall feel obliged if you will be kind enough to inform
me whether the island is so far made over to the Hudsons Bay Coy. as to justify my purchasing
land from them, & being at the expence (for I am to be at the sole expence) of sending out
emigrants to cultivate that land. The price paid for land is £1 pr. acre, nine tenths of which
Sir J. Pelly informed me wd. be spent on the colony for its benefit, he further fixed a charge
of 2/6 pr. ton on such coal as cd. be exported by Colonists, also a charge of 10/ pr. load on
whatever Wood sd. be exported, allowing colonists the use of whatever wood they required for
domestic purposes.
He further gave me the appointment of Surveyor of the island, leaving salary amts. of
surveys to be made &c. to be fixed on arrival in the island. Sir J. Pelly also informed me that
the island wd. at present be governed by a Governor & ten Councillors, one of which councillors,
he gave me to understand he had appointed me, as also a Magistrate, justice of the peace &c.
May I take the liberty of enquiring from you as under Secretary for the Colonies, whether it 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 69
is in the power of the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Compy. to make all these appointments
conditions &c. concerning the sale of land in A'ancouver's Island, & whether I as a private
individual anxious to go out to that part of the world, should apply myself to the Hudson's Bay
Coy. or to Her Majesty's Government.
I have the honor to be
Yr. Most obedt. Servt.
W. Colqn. Grant.
(12.)   Reply to Captain Grant.
15 Nov/48
Captain Grant
I have received and laid before Earl Grey your letter without date containing certain
enquiries connected with the recent Grant by the Crown of Van Couvers Island to the Hudson's
Bay Company and I am directed by his Lordship to acquaint you in answer, that the grant of
the Land in question to the Company has been completed with the exception of some of the
necessary forms; and that although the direct power of conferring appointments is not vested
in them, their recommendations of persons to fill situations of trust in the proposed Settlement
would meet with every attention on the part of H. M's Govt.
I am further to add that the Hudson's Bay Company have suggested certain instructions to
be given to the Governor of Van Couver's Island, which have not as yet been full considered
& approved by Lord Grey, but that although the negociations between the Company & the Govt,
are, on that account, still pending, yet his Lordship has no reason to doubt that the Colonization
of the Island will proceed under the Company's auspices.
In any event, provisions of grants to individuals made by the H.B.C. on the faith of the
negociations up to the present time would be respected by H.M.'s Govt.
(13.)   W. Colquhoun Grant, Esq., to R. Hawes, Esq., M.P.
21 Albany St. Edinburgh
Novr. 17-48
I have the honor to acknowledge the rect. of your official letter of the 15th. inst. acquainting
me with the decisions of Earl Grey, as to my queries regarding the Grant by the Crown of
A'ancouver's island to the Hudson's Bay Compy.
I refrain from expressing my individual opinions as to the policy pursued in this instance
by her Majesty's Government, I cannot however avoid stating what I know to be a fact, that
the grant of Vancouver's Island to the Hudson's Bay Compy. will be the means of instantaneously
checking the intended emigration to that island, of several Scottish gentlemen who were otherwise prepared to embark w7ith all the " Material" which wd. be likely to bring about successful
As I myself purpose carrying out my intention of starting thither very shortly, taking with
me a Clergyman of the Church of Scotland, & some mechanics, labourers, &c. I trust I may be
permitted respectfully to record my petition, a petition in w7hich I am convinced I shall be
seconded by every embryo emigrant to A'ancouver Id. That it may please Her Majesty's Government, to exercise their power of revoking within the limits of this New Colony all such privileges
of exclusive trade as have been granted to the Hudson's Bay Coy. in certain other parts of
British North America. The High price of land that settlers will have to pay amtg. in all to
abt. £2.4 pr. acre, is surely in itself a sufficient evil, to this will be added the overwhelming
competition with a powerful Coy. against which individual colonists will have to strive in every
department of culture or traffic. Heavy Royalties that on the exportation of timber, viz. 10/
pr. load, being sufficient to annihilate any proposed traffic in that commodity are to be charged V 70 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
on all kinds of available produce, and if even then settlers are debarred, by the continuance
of a Monopoly, from availing themselves of one of the principal natural resources of the island,
so crushing a check may be given to the exertions of private enterprise, as materially to impede
the success of any effort at Public improvement in the Colony.
I have to apologize for the great liberty I take in making these suggestions and
I have the honor to be
your most obedt. humble Servt.
W. Colquhoun Grant.
R. Hawes Esqr. M. P. dc. de. de.    Colonial Office.
(14.)  Edward Ryan, Esq., to Herman Merrivale, Esq.
Teignmouth, Devon,
Sepr. 24. 1848.
My Deae Sir.
I have been moving about and did not receive your notes of the 19th. & 23d. until last night.
I return all the papers you sent me. The additions to the Grant are what we agreed upon
when I saw you and will carry out the arrangements proposed in Mr. Hawes' letter of the
4th. of Sepr. and assented to by Sir John Pelly in his letter of the 9th. The reservation of land
required for the formation of Naval establishments was mentioned at the meeting of the Committee as described by Lord Auckland and it was agreed that a reservation of land for that
purpose should be introduced into the grant.
AA'ith respect to the suggestion made by Mr. Fitzgerald. The first as yon state has been
anticipated. The second is I think deserving of some consideration, I am disposed to think
Mr. Fitzgerald has put a right construction on the terms of the grant, and I think it questionable whether the Company should be allowed to exercise the exclusive right of fishing.—Perhaps
without altering the terms of the Grant Sir J. Pelly would have no objection to give a written
acknowledgement that it was to be understood that the Colonists were not to be deprived of the
right of fishing. As to the third & last suggestion. It seems to me exceedingly unlikely that
the Company would accept the Grant if liable to be disposed at any time by the local legislature,
but I do not see how we could reasonably propose such terms.
The Committee of the Privy Council are only to consider the terms & conditions of the
grant not the prospects of making a grant. Mr. Fitzgerald who is opposed to the Government
making any grant to the Company may with some show of reason suggest terms which cannot
be accepted.    Any papers you wish to send me will reach me if sent through the Factory Board?
Yours very truly
Edward Ryan.
To Herman Merrivale Esq.
(15.)   Report on A'ancouvee Island.
A'ancouver's Island.
In the year 1823, after the long-continued differences between the Hudson's Bay Company
and the North-West Company had ended in an amalgamation, an Act passed (1 and 2 Geo. IV,
c. 66) empowering the Crown to grant exclusive privileges of trade with the Indians in such
parts of North America as were neither within the original Hudson's Bay Company's charter,
nor part of any already established province. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia.      < V 71
Under this Act the Hudson's Bay Company received exclusive privileges of trade over what
is termed the North AVest Territory. Their present licence bears date May 13, 1838, and will
last until May 13, 1859. It contains, however, a power of revocation as to any territories which
may in the interval become comprised in any colony.
The so-called North-West Territory was bounded at this period, eastward by the Rocky
Mountains; north by the Russian territories and the Frozen Ocean; South by the undetermined
frontier of the United States.
The Puget's Sound Company, established about , are a branch of the Hudson's Bay
Company, constituted mainly for the purpose of conducting agricultural undertakings in these
northwestern regions, which had been found to contain districts far more suitable for this
purpose than any in Rupert's Land, the territory comprised in the Hudson's Bay Company's
original grant. The Puget's Sound Company possessed in 1846 considerable establishments of
this kind on the banks of the Columbia; and there was also one on the southern point of A'ancouver's Island, an island containing about 10,000 or 12,000 square miles (English) and adjoining
the main land from west latitude 48° to 51°. On this latter about twenty-seven servants of the
Company were established at the date of the last particular accounts (April 1848).
In June 1846 the Treaty of AVashington was made. By this Treaty the Puget's Sound Company's establishments on the Columbia were placed within the United States territory, and the
United States engaged to purchase this property, the negotiation for which purpose is still
This circumstance induced the Company to turn their attention more than before to their
establishment on A'ancouver's Island. Accordingly, in September 1846 they commenced negotiations with the Secretary of State for the acquisition of land in addition to that which they
already occupied. It was required that their legal right to hold grants of land in the North-
AVest Territory should be ascertained, and this was done by an opinion of the Attorney and
Solicitor-General. The Hudson's Bay Company then proposed that a grant should be made to
them of all the Crown lands in the North-West Territory. This was not acceded to, but it was
ultimately agreed that a grant of the land of A'ancouver's Island should be made to them.
The grant is embodied in a charter, which, after reciting the original charter of the Hudson's
Bay Company, the Act of 1 and 2 Geo. IA'., and the licence of May 13, 1838, and the provisions
of the Treaty of Washington, grants the land of Vancouver's Island with all mines to the Company. The condition of the grant is declared to be the colonization of the island. With this
object the Company are bound to dispose of the land in question at a reasonable price, and to
expend all the sums they may receive for land or minerals (after the deduction of not more than
10 per cent for profit) on the colonization of the island, reserving also to the Crown at a reasonable price such land as may be required for naval establishments.
The manner in which these provisions are intended to be enforced is this. The Company are
to certify every two years the number of their colonists aud the amount of their land sold; and
after five years Her Majesty's Government has power to cause a farther enquiry to be made into
the condition of the island. If the result of this inquiry be that Government is satisfied that
the conditions of the grant are not fulfilled, the grant may be revoked.
When the Company's licence to trade terminates, i.e. in 1850, Government may repurchase
the land on payment of the sums expended by the Company on the island and the value of their
The grant contains no provisions respecting the government of the island. The power of
the Crown in this respect, therefore, remains the same as in the case of any other settlement
formed by British subjects. And it is proposed to issue a Commission aud Instructions, under
which the Legislature of the island will consist of a House of Assembly elected by freeholders
owning land to the extent of acres and a Council nominated in the usual manner by the
The whole of these necessary arrangements may be effected without the aid of Parliament
except as to one point. By the 1&2 Geo. IV., c. 66, already referred to, the cognizance of all
causes amounting to 2001. in value, and of all criminal cases of a capital or transportable nature
(within the Indian territories, except that portion comprised in the original charter of the
Hudson's Bay Company). appears to be vested in the courts of Upper Canada. Consequently it
should seem that jurisdiction over such cases cannot be conferred by Her Majesty without the V 72 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
aid of Parliament in any courts to be constituted in A'ancouver's Island or elsewhere in the parts
of North America to which the Act applies.
With regard to the Indians it has been thought on the whole the better course to make no
stipulations respecting them in the grant. Little is in fact known of the natives of this island
by the Company or by any one else. Whether they are numerous or few, strong or weak;
whether or not they use the land for such purposes as would render the reservation of a large
portion of it for their use important or not. are questions which we have not the full materials
to answer. Under these circumstances any provisions that could be made for a people so distant
and so imperfectly known, might turn out impediments in the way of colonization, without any
real advantage to themselves. And it is thought the more safe to leave this matter to the
Company inasmuch as its dealings with and knowledge of the North American Indians are of
course very extensive; and inasmuch as, notwithstanding the many accusations of which that
Company has been the object, no distinct charges of cruelty or misconduct toward the Indian
tribes under its control have been made out by reasonable evidence: while every year brings
painful accounts of mutual wrongs and mutual revenge between Indians and whites from the
neighbouring regions not under their control. It must however be added that in parting with
the land of the island Her Majesty parts only with her own right therein, and that whatever
measures she was bound to take in order to extinguish the Indian title are equally obligatory
on the Company.
The general effect of the grant therefore is that the Company hold the land, as any
individual grantee might hold it, without any powers or authorities such as are contained in
their old charter.
These remain with the Crown. And as they are bound to part with the land by sale on
reasonable terms, their vendees become wholly independant of the Company, except as regards
the licence of the latter to take minerals.
The Company's licence for exclusive trade is not touched. By the terms of that licence, as
has been said, the Crown may revoke it as to any colony which may be established within its
limits. It is therefore revocable at any time, as to A'ancouver's Island, should sufficient reason
be shown for revoking it, notwithstanding the grant of land.
That as far as regards their power, the Hudson's Bay Company are better fitted than any
association of individuals can be to form a settlement in A'ancouver's Island, cannot be doubted.
They have already the exclusive Indian Trade of the island and the adjoining continent; and
although, if a settlement had been formed by other adventurers on the island, the licence would
have been revoked quoad the island, yet as it must have remained in force for eleven years,
as regards the continent, the settlers would have found themselves hemmed in by the territories
of a company which, (if half that is alleged of its monopolising spirit be true) might have placed
them effectually under its subjection. They have also a flourishing and increasing establishment
on the island itself. They have a still larger and indeed very extensive establishment on the
Columbia, of which, if they can effect their negotiations with the United States, it would be
their interest to transfer as much as was capable of transfer to this island. They have numerous
servants, a most remarkable and effective system of discipline, great power over the Indian
tribes. Their qualities are fully conceded to them by their enemies, and especially by their rivals
the Americans, and they are qualities which would be as serviceable for the purpose of colonization as for those of trade, if the Company was willing so to use them.
But it is said they are not willing; that their only object is exclusive trade; their only
purpose in obtaining possession of A'ancouver's Island, the exclusion of competition. How far
this is true in fact of the present policy of the Directors, must be judged of as a matter of
evidence, not of reasoning. But assuming this to be the traditionary policy of the Company,
it is evident that its application must depend on the respective circumstances of the different
portions of their immense territories. In by far the greater part of these the Fur trade is the
only employment which affords a chance of profit; and we may well suppose the main object
of the Company to be to secure the monopoly of it, and that for this purpose they would
discourage colonization in these regions by other parties, if any attempt was made at an undertaking against which nature has interposed such powerful obstacles. But the case is very
different with the narrow maritime region of the north-west with its comparatively mild climate.
There, the Fur trade must soon be, if it is not already, a very secondary matter. The very
natives of that tract are not so much hunters as fishermen and root-diggers.    If that region is 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 73
worth holding, it must be not as a game preserve, but for purposes of trade, to which its situation
so well adapts it, with the neighbouring American country, with its numerous and very commercial population of the South Sea Islands, and eventually to more distant markets.
For these purposes, colonization would apparently be to the Hudson's Bay Company an
advantage instead of a loss, in the strictest mercantile sense. And the evidence that they so feel
it is to be found in the remarkable progress already made in agricultural undertakings, so foreign
to their ancient policy on the Columbia, and in this island itself.
The Company have now passed resolutions to the effect that land in A'ancouver's Island is
to be sold to emigrants in lots of not less than twenty acres, at the rate of 11. per acre, taking
out with them five single men or three married couples for every hundred acres; the Company
reserving a right to dig for minerals, but leaving also the same right to the owner of the land,
payment of a royalty of 2s. 6d. per ton. The Company by their resolutions further agree to
reserve one-eighth of the land or the proceeds for religious purposes.
(16.)   Resolutions  of the Hudson's  Bay7 Company:   Colonization  of  A'ancouveb's Island.
Whereas, by a Royal Grant, or Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at AVestminster, the thirteenth day of January, one
thousand eight hundred and forty-nine, the conditions of which are hereunto appended, Her
Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria did give grant, and confirm to the Governor and Company of
Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson's Bay, and their successors, that portion of North
America called Vancouver's Island; and whereas the said Governor and Company are desirous
of effecting the objects therein set forth, resolved, that the Committee are ready to make grants
of land to any emigrants from Great Britain or Ireland, or from any other part of Her Majesty's
dominions, who may be desirous of settling on the said island, on the following conditions:—
1st.   That no grant of land shall contain less than twenty acres.
2nd. That the purchasers of land shall pay to the Hudson's Bay Company, at their House
in London, the sum of one pound per acre for the land sold to them, to be held in
free and common soccage.
3rd.   That purchasers of land shall provide a passage to A'ancouver's Island for themselves
and their families, if they have any; or be provided with a passage  (if they prefer
it) on paying for the same at a reasonable rate.
4th.   That purchasers of larger quantities of land shall pay the same price per acre, namely,
one pound, and shall take out with them five single men, or three married couples, for
every hundred acres.
Sth.   That all minerals, wherever found, shall belong to the Company, who shall have the
right of digging for the same, compensation being made to the owner of the soil for
any injury done to the surface; but that the said owner shall have the privilege of
working for his own benefit any coal mine that may be on. his land, on payment of
a royalty of two shillings and sixpence per ton.
6th.   That the right of fishing proposed to be given to the Hudson's Bay Company in the
grant as printed in the Parliamentary Papers, relative to Vancouver's Island, having
been relinquished, every freeholder will enjoy the right of fishing all sorts of fish in
the seas, bays, and inlets of, or surrounding the said island; and that all the ports
and harbours shall be open and free to them, and to all nations, either trading or
seeking shelter therein.
Resolved,—That as it is essential to the well-being of society that the means of religious
instruction should be within the reach of every member of the community, provision be made
for the establishment of places of public worship, and for the! maintenance of ministers of
Resolved,—That for these purposes a plan, of which the following is an outline, be
1st.   The island is to be divided into districts of from five to ten square miles where it is
2nd. A portion of land equal to one-eighth of the quantity sold to be set aside for the
minister of religion.    Thus, in a district of ten square miles, containing 6,400 acres,
supposing 5.120 acres sold, the minister would be entitled to 640 acres.    The remaining V 74 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
640 acres would be available for roads, site for church and churchyard, schools, or
other public purposes; the land so reserved, or its proceeds, to be appropriated for
these purposes in such manner as may appear advisable.
3rd.   With the view of enabling the ministers to bring their lands into cultivation a free
passage to be granted to such a number of persons as a settler having an equal quantity
of land would be required to take out, the cost to be paid out of the fund held in trust
for the benefit of the colony.
4th.   The several apportionments for purposes of religion to be conveyed to, and to be held
by, the Governor and Council, in trust for the parties appointed to perform the clerical
duties of the respective districts.
(17.)   P. Hornby-, Real Admibal and Commander in Chief, to J. Parker, Esq.
No. 78.
A'alpabaiso,    29 Augt. 1849.
I enclose for the Information of the Lords Coinrs. of the Admiralty the Copy of a Letter
addressed to Captain Shepherd of H.M.S. Inconstant by Mr. Douglas, the Chief Factor of
the Hudsons Bay Cos. Establishments relative to the State of their affairs in the North West
The Inconstant proceeded to Vancouvers Island in the early part of May & remained there
until the beginning of June to afford the Honble. Cos. Servants any assistance or protection
that might have been called for, but it is Satisfactory to observe by Mr. Douglas's report that
General Lane the newly appointed Governor of Oregon, is disposed to carry out the provisions
of the late Treaty of demarcation in the most liberal Manner, that the property of the Hudsons
Bay Co. within the American Territory will be fully protected hereafter by the Local Govt. &
that the British Intervention on their behalf will probably not be required,
Captain Shepherd was informed by the Officer in Charge of the Fort A'ictoria, A'ancouvers
Island, that the whole of the Cos. Establishments in Oregon will, in the Course of this Summer,
be disposed of to the Americans & the Cos. Servants withdrawn either towards the end of the
present year or early in the next.
Previous to the Inconstant's arrival at A'ancouver, the Cos. Steamer and a Brig Conveying
about 40 hands had proceeded to the North East end of the Island to effect a settlement & build
a Fort at the Coal Mines, & before her departure the Miners sent out by the Co. had arrived
to commence operations.
As regards the Colonization of the Island, if such is the Cos. object, it is anticipated that
much resistance would be offered by the Indians, the Tribes to the northward being described
as numerous, well armed, brave & AVarlike, & Captain Shepherds opinion is, that no colony
could be established upon it, without being in its infancy rendered safe against the Indians,
by the presence of a strong detachment of Troops.
I shall continue as heretofore occasionally to detach one of the Ships of my Squadron to
A'ancouvers Island for the due protection & support of the Hudsons Bay Co's Servants, more
particularly in the Spring of next year during the removal of their Establishments from the
United States Territory.
I have &c.
P. Hornby.
Rear Admiral & Commander in Chief.
■I Parker Esq. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 75
(18.)   James Douglas, Chief Factoe, Hudson's Bay Company, to Captain J. Sheppebd,
H.M.S. Inconstance.
Fort Nasqually7.
Puget Sound   28 May, 1849.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a communication from you dated 12th. May
1849 announcing the arrival of HM Ship under your command at Esquimalt in pursuance of
orders from Rear Adml. Phipps Hornby, CB Commander in Chief of HM : Naval Forces in the
Pacific, in order to receive, for consideration any cases of aggression since the visit of H:M:S:
" Constance " to N.W. Territory in August 1848, and to endeavour to arrange them as far as it
may be in your power, to the satisfaction of the Honble. Hudson's Bay Company.
I have to beg the favour through you of returning our most cordial thanks to R: Adml.
Hornby, for this instance of attention, in affording protection to the Hudson Bay Company, and
other British subjects, established in this country, who will retain a grateful recollection of his
solicitude on their behalf.
For the last two years we have maintained a severe contest, with the lawless American
population in Oregon, who, up to a very recent date, were entirely neglected by their own Govt,
and left to struggle against the pressure of poverty, distress and an extensive Indian AVar,
carried on at their own expense, without aid or support from their Mother Country and they
were in these desperate circumstances often tempted to seize upon the property of the Hudson's
Bay Company. In opposing their designs we studiously avoided every cause of Collision assisting them as far as it was prudent for British subjects to interfere in their affairs, yet with a
firm resolution to defend our property in case of attack, which was menaced and expected on
more than one occasion. AA'ith the Blessing of Providence w7e escaped any serious loss or disaster, and have we trust, seen the last of these days of anxiety and painful suspense.
The jurisdiction of the United States having been lately extended over all this Territory,
& a regular government established under the Authority of Congress; there will be no future
interruption to the peace and tranquillity of the country, and should it happen otherwise; we
will have the satisfaction of dealing with the Authorities of the United States and not as
heretofore w7ith a lawless and irresponsible Mob.
From General Lane the present Governor of the Oregon Territory who arrived two Months
ago from Washington we have received the most friendly assurances, and found him on all
occasions, wherein we have had recourse to his good offices disposed to carry out the provisions
of the late Treaty of demarcation in the most liberal manner: we have therefore every reason
to believe that the property of the Pludson's Bay Company, within the American Territory, will
be fully protected hereafter by the local Govt., and that we shall have no further cause of
complaint requiring the intervention of the Commander in Chief.
We nevertheless feel all the value and importance of your kind offers of service, and are
at the same time extremely happy that we have no cases of aggression by American citizens
to report to you, since the departure of H: M: S : Constance in August 1848 and General Lane
having expressed a decided intention to arrange all previous matters of complaint we think, on
the whole it will be more agreeable to him, to leave them in his hands for the present, than to
bring them in an official shape under the notice of the British Govt.
In reply to your inquiries respecting the present state of the coal fields in the North East
end of Vancouvers Island I would remark that we made arrangements in December 1848, to
form an establishment between McNeills and Beaver Harbour, where the Coal Crops abundantly
to the Surface, and a party of our people are now engaged in the execution of that Service.
We propose by forming an establishment in that quarter to open a new branch of trade, by
working these beds, and supplying the rapidly increasing demand for Coal, on this Coast.
The result of this experiment is questionable in consequence of the peculiar circumstances
of the Country; the Savage and treacherous disposition of the Natives, the expense and difficulty
of procuring labourers, and the limited though increasing demand for Coal in these seas, circumstances which present serious obstacles to the successful prosecution of this enterprise.
A body of English miners are coming out from England, by a A'essel expected at Fort
A'ictoria in the course of next month, under whose directions the Coal works are to be
Carried on. V 76 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
The A'ancouver Island Coal is considered good; though the surface beds have as yet only
been tested, and our impression is, as experience has proved in other cases, that the inferior
beds will yield a much better quality. Coal has not been seen on any other part of Vancouver's
Island except that before mentioned, or on the Continental Coast of British Oregon; but the
Indians report that it also exists on the North AA'est Coast of Vancouver's Island, particularly
at a place known by the name of Naspate about 25 miles north of Nootka Sound.
It is also found in the Columbia at the mouth of the Chityles River which discharges into
Gray's Harbour and in one or two other places within the limits of the United States Territory;
but from the specimens I have seen it appears to be neither so good nor is it so abundant, nor
so accessible to shipping as the Coal beds of A'ancouver's Island.
The character of the British Territory on the main land about which you want information
may be described in a few words.
The Coast presents one continuous outline of dense forests swamps and rugged mountains
and has everywhere a most unprepossessing appearance. The interior, particularly the valley
of Fraser's River, contains good land and is capable of supporting a large agricultural population, but that is an exception to the general character of the country, which is valuable chiefly
for its inexhaustible forests of the finest fir timber in the world; and its valuable fisheries
which will become a source of boundless wealth to its inhabitants at some future time.
The Climate is remarkably healthy and very pleasant in summer, the winters, which extend
from the middle of March, are on the contrary generally rainy and disagreeable, and not very
unlike the winter weather on the West Coast of Scotland, though the cold is at times more
There is abundance of game on every part of the Coast, and it probably produces the
finest venison in the World. The Elk and two species of Fallow Deer inhabit the low Islands,
and level parts of the coast while fur bearing animals such as Beaver, Otters, Bears, Wolves,
Martens and Minks are more or less numerous in different parts of the Country.
Excellent harbours abound on every part of the Coast, which are well described in A'ancouver's Work, to which I will take the liberty of referring you.
The names of the Companys Trading Posts on the West side of the Mountains are as
follow vizt.—
On the American Territory, South of 49°.
Fort Colvile
Flat Head House
Fort Okanagan
Fort Nez Perces
Fort Boise
Fort Hall
Fort A'ancouver
Fort Umpqua
Fort George
Fort Nesqually
Cowilitz Farm.
On the British Territory North of 49°.
Forts A'ictoria
St. James
Chileoten 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 77
There are about 600 Europeans, Men and Officers, attached to these Establishments besides
a great number of Indian Labourers who are emplyed in the various departments of the
Service, West of the Mountains.
The Exports from the Company's Settlements on the West side of the Mountains may be
classed as follows :—
Russian Settlement on the N.AV. Coast   £10,000
Sandwich  Islands          8,000
Great Britain        60,000
The annual imports vary from £25,000 to £30,000.
The above is of course merely a rough estimate given from Memory, as I have no books
at this place to refer to but you will find much interesting and authentic information on that
Subject, and also a General review of the use, progress and present state of the Company's
general trade, in Murray's History of British America, forming two Volumes of the " Family
The Vessels employed in the Company's Trade on the AVest side of the Mountains are as
3 Barks
1 Steam Vessel
1 Brig
1 Schooner
1 Sloop
The four latter remain constantly in this Country, while the three Barks are alternately
employed in taking the returns home, and bringing out our annual supplies for the trade.
I have thus briefly replied to most of your enquiries, and shall be most happy to communicate verbally any further information which it may be in my power to furnish, if I
have the good fortune to see your at Fort A'ictoria; in which case I shall also be most happy
to take advantage of your obliging permission to forward letters to England under your charge.
I have &c.
James Douglas
Chief Factor   H. B. Compy.
Capt. J. Shepperd   H.M.S. Inconstance (Inconstant).
(19.)    William Miller, Esq., to H. A. Addington, Esq.
Woahoo, Octr. 23. 1848.
The following are extracts of a letter which I have received from Captain Courtenay, dated
on board H.M.S. " Constance " at Sea, Septr. 12, 1848.
" I had a long passage, 26 days, from Honolulu to Port Esquimalt, but I luckily had a fine
day & fair wind to enter the strait of Juan de Fuca, & found my Port without difficulty.
" The Hudsons Bay Company's Settlement of Fort Victoria is only three miles from Esquimau, so that we got our daily supplies of Beef without much trouble. The Company have 300
acres under tillage there, & a dairy farm of 80 cows, together with numerous other cattle & 24
brood Mares, the whole under the superintendence of a Civil but hard Scot, named Finlaison
who has about 30 people of all description under him. They are likewise building a Saw Mill
at the head of Port Esquimalt which will be ready for work at the end of the year.
" Altogether the Company's affairs appear to be exceedingly well and particularly economically
managed; & my opinion is the sooner they give up their Settlement in Oregon & retire within
our frontier, the sooner an end will be put to their bickerings with the Americans, but I fear
that the large amount of gain annually flowing into their coffers, from being the chief Merchants
& Purveyors there, will cause them to remain as long as they can, & to cry Wolf, until, like the
Shepherds Boy in the Fable, they are not listened to. V 78 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
" From the nature of Mr. Douglas' letters to you, one -would have imagined their lives &
Properties were in danger, no such thing the Americans never molested them in the slightest
degree, with the exception of the Powder affair at AValla Walla which they first asked to buy,
& in the end gave receipts for, so that they have clearly the Law of Nations on their side, if
A'attel is any authority. The story of the redoubtable General Gillian (who was killed by
accident) having threatened to hang Mr. Macbean is so perfectly idle, that when I mentioned
the circumstance no one know any thing about it, so that if any such threat ivere made it must
have been merely an idle blustering of some Yankee Back-woods man.
" The exaggeration of friend Douglas must have been, in my opinion, the reason why he
avoided meeting me, for instead of coming to Fort A'ictoria as he originally intended he returned
to Columbia River!!! notwithstanding Lieut Wood offered him a Passage in the " Pandora " by
which evasion I have been unable to procure information on any one point from the H. B. Co.
for so greatly do they fear each other that Mr. Finlaison referred me to Mr. Ogden at Fort
Vancouver, & that worthy referred me again to ' Chief Factor Douglas,' who made himself so
scarce that although I remained to the latest day my orders admitted in the Strait of Juan de
Fuca, I never was enlightened either by his presence or by the sight of his handwriting. I really
think that one of the causes of the strong desire the H. B. Co. have for the presence of a Ship
of War is the help it throws into the General Stock, for example the " Constance " paid them
£400 for what cost them absolutely nothing namely, Cattle that feed on the Prairies & flour
that is manufactured at no cost whatever.
" They nominally pay their Farm Servants £17 a year, but as they are the only Purveyors
the said servants are in every case compelled to come to their Stores for all their wants w7hich
are furnished them at a charge of 150 per cent over cost price-
The Company have a regular Tariff, from which they never depart in their traffic for Furs,
from bear Skins for a blanket, not so large as a Purser's blanket charged 6s/ to the Sailors
is a specimen.
" The Indians inhabiting A'ancouvers Island & the neighbourhood are a very dirty, wretched
set of People, without fixed habitations, but many of them have handsome features, particularly
the women. * * I was agreeably surprised to find that they are not so thievish as represented,
scarcely a single instance of dishonesty occurred during our intercourse, but they will not do
you a hand's turn, or give you a drink of water without payment.
" There appears to be a great deal of excellent Land in A'ancouvers Island, & the Coast
abounds with good harbours; As it is too far distant ever to be colonized by emigration, it would
be the Place of all others for a Military Colony. The winters are mild; never so severe as to
interrupt agricultural pursuits, & they have never failed to gather in their crops at Fort Victoria
in the month of August while the extensive Prairies afford pasture for innumerable herds of
" The Country abounds with Elk, Deer, & other game besides all the Fur animals.
" San Francisco, Septr. 17. I got here yesterday & sail tomorrow for San Bias— The Gold
Fever goes on & its extent is not exaggerated."
Mr. Jamison also writes to me from San Francisco. October the Sth. that " The Constance "
has been here & gone after staying only for water. The " Pandora " arrived a few days afterward, & Captain Wood, fearing also desertion sailed after taking in water for San Diego."
I remain &c.
P.S. It should be borne in mind perhaps, that unhealthy Mazatlan and adjacent Coast may
be considered El Dorado of officers commanding Ships on the Pacific Station, & that they do not
relish being kept just on its' out-skirts.
H. A. Addington Esqr.
de de dc 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 79
(20.)   The A'ancouver's Island Steam  Sawing Mill and Agricultural Company.
Statement of the Company for the consideration of the Board of Trade.
This Company has been established under the sanction of the Hudson's Bay Company with
a view to carry out the desire of the Government, that A'ancouvers Island should be colonized,
and it is their intention (should it meet with the sanction of the Legislature) to form a large
trading establishment there. It may, here, be proper to mention that the design originated in
a report which has been furnished to the Promoters, by a Captain Cooper, who has been some
time engaged under the Hudson's Bay Co. & who has within the last few weeks only arrived in
this Country from A'ancouvers Island, & it is intended by the Co. to entrust the full carrying out
of the design to that Gentleman but the distance & consequent difficulty of communication renders
it imperatively necessary that the persons here forming the Company & who are almost without
exception connected in business or otherwise with the Hudsons Bay Co. should be limited in
their responsibility it is therefore proposed that a Company should be formed with a Capital
(to commence with) of £10,000 to be raised by shares of £,250 each, with a power to increase
the Capital to £15 or even £20,000 provided the scheme should become a prosperous one.
The object of the Co. will be in the first instance the purchase in this Country of large &
expensive Machinery consisting of a Steam Engine & the other necessary Machinery of Saw Mills
for the purpose of being transmitted to A'ancouvers Island to enable the Company to carry out
their Trade in Sawing Timber (of which there is great abundance) for exportation.
The next object will be the purchasing of land for the purposes of the Company & with a
view to erect a fort for the protection of the Emigrants and workmen to guard against any
incursion by the Natives (no White being resident in the neighbourhood of the proposed Settlement) should any such occur tho it is reported by Sir Geo Simpson that the Natives are not
numerous or formidable (as the Hudsons Bay Co. had been led to believe) but seem peaceably
& well disposed, and also for the purpose of Agriculture to support the Colonists & workmen
employed in the Establishment—and to enable the Co. to export the produce of the Land including the valuable minerals which there abound
Owing to the position of the Island the Month of September (or October at the latest) is
the only period in which a Ship should set sail from this Country and the present Company are
desirous at once to proceed and they have, hoping or almost relying on the Support of Govt,
accordingly given orders for the construction of the requisite expensive Machinery. Three
fourths, at least of the Capital will, at once be paid up and vested in Trustees (for payment of
the Machinery &c) & to comply also with the standing orders of the House of Lords on the
subject and the residue will be paid within a limited period and the Company are now desirous
to present their Petition to the Ho. of Commons & obtain (with the consent of the Standing
order Committee of that House) leave to present a Petition for a Bill to limit their responsibility to the amount of their respective Shares & to authorize them to purchase and hold Land
in Vancouvers Island, notwithstanding that the time allowed by the Standing Orders of the
House has elapsed. The only other Standing order of the House with which the Company
(owing to its recent formation) cannot comply is the one directing that a Notice should be
published in the Gazette during the Month of October or November. The Chairman of the
Standing order Committee has been seen by the Parliamentary Agent upon the subject & has
expressed himself that if the Company were able to obtain the favorable opinion of the Board
of Trade a great deal of difficulty for the consideration of the Standing order Committee would
be removed. Before therefore incurring the great Parliamentary expences the Co. are desirous
of obtaining from the Bd. of Trade the information whether in the event of their seeking this
session to obtain an Act of Parliament for the objects above stated, they would receive the
approval (or at least would not be met by the opposition) of the Govt, to their design being
one of almost national importance as tending to promote the colonization of the Island. It may
also be mentioned that in the selection of Emigrants & Workmen Married persons will be sought
for to counter balance any desire which might arise of their leaving the Colony for the Neighbouring Gold district.
Dated this 10th June 1850.
J. Dangerfield
Parratt d Walmisley Solicitor to the Company
Ho. of Lords.   Parliamentary Agents. 68 Chancery Lane. V 80 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Received.    C D.    Dec : 19. 1850.
Hudsons Bay House
London, Decemr. 18, 1850.
My Lord.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Mr. Hawes's letter of the 11th. Infstant,.
(addressed to Sir J. H. Pelly, the Governor, who is unfortunately absent from indisposition)
desiring to be informed whether the Hudson's Bay Company contemplate adopting any measures
for a more permanent protection to the people in A'ancouver's Island than can be afforded by
the occasional visits of Her Majesty's Ships of War;   In reply to which I have to state that
we have never found any  serious difficulty  in protecting the  Servants  and property  of the
Company from hostile attacks of Indians, and w7e have every confidence that a continuance of
that temperate and prudent conduct towards them, which is the rule and practice of the Service,
will be the means of restoring a good understanding with the tribes in A'ancouver's Island with
whom it may be necessary to maintain intercourse.
By the ship " Tory " which sailed from hence on the Sth. ultimo we sent out a considerable
number of agricultural and other  Servants to A'ancouver Island, and we do not consider it
necessary to do more at present.
I have the honor to be. My Lord,
Your Lordships obedient humble Servant
A. Colvile.
Dy. Govr.
The Rt. Honble. Earl Grey.
dc. de.
Received.    C. D.     Aug. 29. 1850.
To Benjamin Halves Esqr. Secretary
I have the honour to inform you that I am a British subject, being born in Canada, and that
on the seventeenth day of July one thousand eight hundred and forty six I was nominated and
since have been consecrated Roman Catholic Bishop of A'ancouver's Island.
I have the happiness to be one of the two first Missionaries sent out to Oregon where I
have performed the sacred duties of the Ministry among the French Canadians and the Natives
of that country for ten years.
Besides A'ancouver's Island I am Administrator, pro tempore, of two other Dioceses which
are first: Queen Charlotte Island, including the Sea Coast North to the Russian Settlements;
second, New Caledonia.
No doubt but you know that a certain number of Canadians, after leaving the Hudson's
Bay Company's service have been settling with their families in the AVallamet Valley, which
now belongs to the United States. On my leaving Oregon some of them were telling me they
would willingly go and settle on A'ancouvers Island, would the Company allow them to do so.
I have great reason to believe that the establishment of a Catholic Mission on the Island will
cause many of them, as well as those that will be let free, to settle on it, which they would
not do if they had no prospect of having Clergymen amongst them.
The state of things being so I will now take the liberty to expose to you my present
situation: in the whole territory committed to my care their are about fifty thousands of
Indians, of whom I may say four thousands are already enrolled under the sacred banner of
Christianity. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 81
Having not a single Missionary to help me I saw the necessity of coming over to Europe
to find the means to bring a certain number of Clergymen that would devote themselves and
follow me; a passage for each one of them will cost me seventy five pounds. Nothing is done
yet, I have got no house, no place of worship put up.
These informations may lead you to fhe object I have in view in giving them: I am aware
that several Roman Catholic Bishops in the British possessions are allowed a yearly sum of
money by Her Gracious Majesty's Government; a motive that encourages me in asking for the
same favour, and I am in hopes that it will be extended to the poor Mission of Vancouver's
Island, where nothing shall be spared of what can promote the welfare, both spiritual and
temporal of Her Majesty's subjects in that remoted part of Her Dominions.
Please lay this letter before His Lordship the Minister of the Colonies.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
your most humble and obedient Servant
Mod. Demers
R. C. Bishop of Vancouver's Island.
U Buxton St. Spitalficlds, London.
August 26th. 1850.
Fort Langley, 20th Feb'y, 1831
My dear Mc.
I have very great pleasure in acknowledging rect of your kind letter of July last from your
old quarters, which came only to hand five days ago via Puget Sound after a march of 11 weeks
thro the different tribes between A'ancouver and this & when I tell you that my private letters
alone furnished the whole of my news from Hudsons Bay, you can guess at the avidity with
which I glanced over two & thirty of them. It is with sincere regret I find by yours, that you
enjoyed but very indifferent health last season—a blessing as you say, we never sufficiently
appreciate when we have it, & when decay and sickness overtake us, few mortals present a more
dismal and forlorn situation than an Indian Trader, in a manner abandoned by the world & by
himself. Thanks to the great Father of all blessings I have had little cause of complaint myself
since I last had the pleasure to address you; yet I have had awful warnings about me. I have
buried two of my men since—Jno. Kennedy who was unwell but still walked about entered our
kitchen one day in the month of April and dropp'd dead on the floor. In the month of August,
another of them (Therien) ran out of the Fort in sound health and was brought in a corpse in
a very few minutes—his case was an accident—shot by one of the Guns of the A'ancouver. I was
very sorry indeed to hear of poor McKenzies death, but no one tells me how it happened.
Finlayson says he died in June, and you say it was in Jan'y. When I wrote to you last I was
not aware of Mr. Deases fate, poor man—it would have been much better had he not returned
to the Columbia I should now like to give you some of our West side News and you know my
itching in general for writing long letters; but really if I attempted on this occasion it would
be with great disadvantage, for almost the whole of the occurrences of any importance in this
quarter are known to me but by mere report: there is lots of it however, & the loss of another
Brig is not the least important—their Honours liberality however in that way, by sending ont
two others beside, has saved our distance. One of them returned to England with the Returns
and the other with the two schooners is cruising about. I believe at present the Brig and the
Vancouver are to California & the Sandwich Islands, with Deals and salted salmon, & the
whole three of them on their return, will proceed with Ogdens Expedition to Nass, which from
various causes was put off last year. He is succeeded in the Snake country by Work and
probably McLeod will be the Bearer of this. Our friend Black is at Kamloops and our t'other
friend at Colville. I take no credit for this Kind of News to you, because it is such as everyone
will report—then let us back again to Ft. Langley, where I shall defy any man to speak of,
unless it passes thro my hands—to be more plain (for actually I do not thoroughly comprehend
myself in what I wrote then) I shall write upon Frasers River affairs, because tis only myself
6 V 82 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
that know anything about it by having the field to myself; however, do not suppose that I impose
upon you all when I say that in the face of two vessels our Trade is not 150 skins less the
Great Returns of the year before, and that this defficincy is more than made up by 220 Barrels
of Salmon, and the Establishment now reduced to one clerk and 10 men besides 2 or 3 raw
Owhyhus. If the Americans are off this year I hope things will be still better. 'Am now
preparing from 2 to 300 Barrels to be at the salmon immediately in the commencement of the
season—they say a cooper is come across for me but we saw7 nothing of him as yet. In Consequence of my Casks of last season losing the pickle, the Dr. sent none of them to market but
sent his ow7n, and kept ours for home Consumption, so the end is always assured, and perhaps
this ought at all times to be the arrangement as the Columbia fish is acknowledged better than
ours. Curious they are caught a week or two sooner at the bridge than here—last season it
w7as approaching the end of August before they appeared here.
I must now congratulate you all on the great acquisition to your society of late. The
Governour's residence at Red River must give a wonderful luster to the state of affairs there—
and it is to be hoped that his own health will also improve there. I see our grand Joint Stock
Company has fallen to the ground and an Experimental Farm substituted in its stead under
the superintendance of my predecessor here. So you see our rank N'Westers give a hand to
promote the interest of poor Red River—by the bye I had a letter from Mr. Halkett by the last
conveyance—he was returned from the continent with Lady and family and were then living
near London with Lady Isabella Douglas—Countess Selkirk was daily espected there with her
two daughters from Scotland and Lord Selkirk was at Oxford—grown tall like his father—
stout and in a good health—what nonsense I do write to a man just returning from England—
never mind I did not give it a thought at the moment that you was across the big water and I
knew it would give you pleasure to hear of the family. Jenny and the Boys are well—I think
I forgot to tell you that her 3'd came to the world last Oct'r—quite enough to transport out of
this rascally country. You see I must conclude and it will be with fresh assurances of my
sincere good wishes for your better health and prosperity.
Aech'd McDonald.
Fobt A'ancouvee 4 Novr, 1840.
To Dr Tolmie
Dear Sir
We have to acknowledge your letter of the 23 Octr., with the accompanying documents
which were found correct and satisfactory. A Bill against the Fisgard, for postage of Captain
Duntze' letters to Fort George, w7as forwarded to you some time ago, of which we can discover
no traces in your documents, from whence we fear it has been entirely overlooked, and not
brought forward in your settlement with Mr. Rome. Pray examine into that matter and let
us know the result. The amount of the Bill was 18 Doll. 53 cts. The Barque " Toulon " arrived
lately in this River with very important intelligence from the Sandwich Islands.
It appears that the Oregon Boundary .is finally settled, on a basis more favourable to the
United States than we had reason to anticipate. We forward with this copy of a communication from Sir George Seymour Commander in Chief in the Pacific to our agents at the Sandwich
Islands which contains all that is at present known to us relative to the Boundary Treaty.
Business will of course go on as usual, as the treaty will not take effect on us for many years
to come.
You will please to get as many shingles ready for shipment by the Columbia as possible,
which may be shipped by the Beaver to A'ictoria, as we have not yet a sufficient cargo for both 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 83
ships. Inform the shingle makers of this and that they will be allowed 4 Dollars a thousand
for all they can deliver between this and the sailing of the Ships; but the old prices only will
be paid afterwards. You will please to send 6 men or engaged Indians immediately to clear
the road in the two points of wood between the Nisqually River and Bute plain, which are
nearly impassable for loaded horses another party will be employed at the Cowelitz end of
the Portage under Mr. Sangster, who will afterwards proceed to Nisqually to relieve you for
a time as your presence will be required here, on or before the first day of December, to attend
the Legislature, and you will please to take your measure accordingly, using every exertion
to be here by the time specified.
With best wishes
Yours truly
Peter Skeene Ogden.
James Douglas.
Fort A'ancouver Sth Octe 1S46
Dr. Tolmie
Deae Sib
We have received your letter of the 26th Septr., and were happy to learn that the furs and
specie, forwarded by Mr. McDonald had been safely delivered into your hands, and we hope that
the 8 Merino sheep sent by the same opportunity to the Cowelitz have by this time also reached
A Cooper Charles Bayfield is now dispatched to assist, in salting the Beef required for
next year, and we have to request that he may be returned as soon as you can dispense with
his services.
We think that about 160 Barrels of Beef will be sufficient to meet the demands of the coming
year, and you will therefore please to slaughter cattle enough only to form that quantity, which
we wish you by no means to exceed.
We expect the Steam Vessel at Nisqually about the 20th Octr., and we hope that you will
have every convenience prepared in advance, to ship cattle by her to Fort Victoria, a service
of great importance to the business and that we are desirous should be forwarded by every
means in your power.
With best washes.
We remain
Dear Sir
Yours truly
Peteb Skeen Ogden.
James Douglas.
P.S. William Chainley Esqre. late a Captain in Her Majesty's Sth Regiment of foot and now7
travelling in Oregon, will give you a call at Nisqually, and we have no doubt you will show him
every attention in your power and furnish any supplies he may require, on his account, from
the Company's Stores, during his stay in your neighbourhood.
We have promised him a passage by the Barque A'ancouver, to the Sandwich Islands and
you may therefore, on his application for the same, allow himself and Brother a passage in
the Steam A'essel to Fort Victoria, an accommodation strictly limited to the two persons in
question and to be extended to no other person unconnected with the service, without our
You will please to send Charles Bayfield to examine and repickle the Nisqually Beef at Fort
Victoria by the first trip of the Steam Vessel or any earlier opportunity that may occur. The
beef is said to be in a very critical state and requires immediate attention.
James Sinclair and Puili are sent over to joint the " A'ancouver " at Fort A'ictoria, and you
will please to forward them by the Steam A'essel. V 84 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Dr. Tolmie
Cowelitz Faem    23 June 1845
My deab Sie
The Sandwich Island Packet arrived at A'ancouver yesterday week, with information of
Rae's horrible fate. What could have tempted our poor friend to raise his sacrilegious hand
against his own life; that precious gift which it is the duty of all men to preserve and defend
until resumed by its beneficent bestower.
Rae must have been labouring under a temporary aberration of mind when he committed
the fatal act, or he could never have forgotten the evils he was bringing upon his excellent wife
and helpless children and the pain he was inflicting on his relatives and friends, to whom he
was so deservedly dear.
The day before his death he made out a statement of the Company's property in his charge,
and appointed Mr Forbes, by a deed of Attorney, as his successor in the Agency, from which
we suppose that the causes which led to the fatal event, had been for some time previously
operating upon his mind.
The misfortune weighs heavily upon the Doctors mind, but he bears the pressure with the
noble fortitude of a true Christian.
I arrived here on Saturday the 21st, with four wheat boats; the Cowelitz is high and difficult to ascend, but I anticipate a quick and easy run down to the Columbia.
The fields of grain here have a fine appearance giving promise of an abundant harvest
and not only here but likewise at A'ancouver and generally throughout the Wallamatte settlement.
It will soon become a question with us, how we are to dispose of the grain, the country
will soon be brought to produce; if there be no vent for the article, of course we cannot buy it,
and what are the poor farmers to do then. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof, let us look
forward with hope to the future.
I left Tod and Manson with the Brigade at the Fort, they got down without accident, though
the water was high and River dangerous. They are expected to leave on their return about
the 26th.
I am glad to hear that you are pleased with Edgar, I always thought he would gain upon
you, and do the duty of the place, with much less palaver, at half the expense, and equally as
well as our worthy friend McLean, who by the bye was never a great favourate of mine, as he
always appeared to me, much greater in word than deed.
I am just starting for A'ancouver and have not time to detain you longer.
With best wishes
Yours truly
James Douglas.
Fort A'ancouver 19th April 1847
(Reed. 28)
Dr. Tolmie
My dear Sir
I have been lately favoured with your valued private communication of the 11th. Sangster
was rather tardy in his movements, 6 days being slow travelling from this place to Nisqually;
it matters not now as the Cowelitz and Cadboro have been announced in the River, within the
last hour. The Cadboro led in and sustained her reputation as a good pilot. About the Treaty,
I cannot say much, the Governor and Committee appear satisfied, perhaps par necessite, with
the provision made for the protection of British interests, and they being satisfied so am I. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 85
All things considered, the yielding mood of the British Ministry, and the concessions made,
we have come off better than I expected. I looked for nothing short of an utter sacrifice of
our interests. We send you the Pngets Sound Letter and Papers, take copies and return them
by the first safe conveyance. You will prepare an answer to the letter, as you ought to have
every opportunity of bringing yourself into notice; and you shall have my aid to that effect, and
best wishes too.
Go on and prosper with the claims, the parks on the unrecorded claims, are clear and most
convincing proofs of occupation; you will observe by the letter from Sir. J. H. Pelly that the
Companys claim is understood as extending, " to all lands, brought into cultivation or used
in the folding of Sheep or herding of cattle," which is precisely the view we had taken of the
Treaty. Therefore continue as you have begun, securing by quiet means as much land as
Alderman I hear, has taken the claim next to yours on the American Plain, that fellow has
been always a bore, and I don't know what to advise about him. It appears however good policy
to leave him alone for the present, and your friend the Scot, and Moore who is at the mouth
of Douglas burn as we cannot dislodge them, and excitements are dangerous in the present state
of the country. Warn off all new comers, in a pleasant way, and keep always on the right side
of the law.
Employ McLeod to the best advantage—Edgar the fool must go home now as he is no longer
wanted. He has nobody but himself to blame for that. A paper of Iukpowder accompanies
With best wishes
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
We are nearly out of best 2% pt Blankets—let none be issued except in payment for furs.
Fort Victoria
28th April 1851
William F. Tolmie Esqrc
Dear Sib
The Rev Mr Staines arrived here on Friday last, when I was favoured with your communication of the 21st Inst. The order drawn by Mr. Staines, for sixty dollars and Forty six
cents, has been duly honored and placed to credit of Fort Nisqually.
McEwdng's remarks in Congress relative to the Company's rights of Trade with the Indians
of Oregon, are of a piece with the instructions of the U. S. Government to the Indian Agents
lately appointed to act in this country and are I fear but the prelude to some fresh measure
of oppression meditated against the Company: like the lamb in the fable we may prepare to
be devoured.
The Miners are all here, waiting for employment, I am in hopes of making some arrangement with them about completing their time in the service. Mr. Hetling returns to Vancouver,
as his services are required there more than at this place. I enclose the amount of supplies
to Brig Orbit, that the value may be retained out of the funds due to Mr Simmonds. Please
forward Mr. Hetling and the accompanying letters for Vancouver.
No tidings of the " Tory " as yet.
With best wishes
Yours truly
James Douglas. V 86 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Fobt Victoria
7th May 1851
William F. Tolmie Esqure.
Dear Sir
The " Una " arrived off this Port on the 4th Inst., entered Esquimalt on the Sth and her
cargo of live stock was safely landed before night, with the loss of one sheep which died on
the passage.
The total number of sheep landed here was 301 Gimmers and 100 wedders, making with
the Gimmer w7hich died on the passage 402 in all—or three head short of the number Invoiced.
You will please to charge the whole of that cargo of live stock to the P. S. Coys. Farm at
Esquimalt where they are now kept.
I have to acknowledge per " Una " your letter of the 2d May, with enclosures.
The four Indians who accompanied Lapoitree to this place will return with him to Nisqually
as we are not in immediate want of their services on board the Cadboro, which will not be put
into active service before the month of June. I have however agreed with these youths that
they are to come here about that time, either in a canoe of their own, or in the return mail
canoe, and have paid them 1 Blkt each for the present trip to and from Nisqually.
Lapoitree has received his advances for the year, and will send no private order for the
present season; he applied on your part for some reaping sickles, but there are none at present
on hand.
The two country plough Shares requested in your letter are not quite ready and will be
forwarded by next conveyance.
AVe shall credit Nesqually with the price paid for Governor Blanshards horse, when the
account is settled.    Pray send me Adairs letter, which you have inadvertently retained.
I am at a loss what to advise in reference to the squatters on the Company's lands at
Nisqually, no doubt the proper course is to enter suits at law against them as soon as we
possibly can, but since the Company are averse to that mode of proceeding, both on account of
the expense and the uncertain issue of that test of right, I do not feel at liberty to act with
the decision the case requires. It is very evident however that something should be done, to
check those encroachments, or-the Company's lands will soon be overrun, with squatters.
Suppose then we take one of the most glaring cases of trespass say Charles Wrens, and
enter suit on it, at the approaching circuit court; the expense of one suit cannot be overwhelming, and the decision of the court in that instance will serve as a guide to future
In the mean time pray let all the squatters be duly warned, that they are trespassing on
the Company's lands.
I remain
Dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
P.S   Pray forward the letters to Vancouver by the earliest convenience.   J. D.
The Amount of Lapoitreg's Book Debts or advances here—is £16/0/4.
Fort Victoria
21 May 1851
My dear Sir
I have barely time to recommend the accompanying packet for Vancouver to your Special
care—requesting it may be forwarded with despatch. The Norman Morison arrived safely in
London on the 30th Febry.
The Gold dust sent by her averaged £3.10 an ounce. 4 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
V 87
The Company have sent out Mr. Pemberton as Surveyor and Engineer by Panama and he
may be daily expected at Nisqually.    Salary £400 per an.
I am now at liberty to dispose of such parts of the Reserve as the Company may not
require, so yon had better claim the Grand Bas Fonde which I have reserved for you.
Kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie
With best wishes
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
Caii you spare any Blankets or medicines from your private order.    J. D.
Fort A'ictoria
7th August 1851
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
Deae Sie
The Nesqually mail canoe arrived last night, just in time to prevent the departure of a
canoe, which we intended to despatch this morning with letters for the Columbia.
I have now to acknowledge your communications of the 2d August, with enclosures.
Though it is very unpleasant to yield obedience to the arbitrary demands of the people of
Tanalquat, I think it will be as well in the present state and circumstances of the country, to
avoid every cause of difficulty with them, and not to send any sheep to that part of the country,
if you can possibly find a sufficient range north of the Nesqually River.
The letter of the Attorney General contains Sound views, lucidly expressed. I am, and
have always been of his opinion that it is not expedient at present to commence legal proceedings against trespassers. His meaning is obvious it would be imprudent on our part, and
dangerous to our interests—to take such a course—the notice served upon trespassers is a
sufficiently distinct assertion of our rights.
In reference to the Pugets Sound Companys land claim at Nesqually—the kind of document
wanted by the Attorney General is clearly described in his letter.
First he requests a statement of the Company's rights to the land, as founded on occupation
to the present extent, since the year 18J/0.
Secondly The extent and boundaries may be shewn, by the map in your possession which
also exhibits the character of the country and many of its minuter features.
That map with an explanatory description in wilting, strictly confined to the above points
is all that I conceive necessary, according to the tenor of Holbrookes letter. Pray attend to that
matter without loss of time.
I will select a fine sea Otter for Mr. Holbrooke and forward it by a safe conveyance.
Many thanks for your private note, which will have my best attention.
In great haste
Yours very truly
James Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria
27 Deer. 1851
William F. Tolmie Esqre
Dear Sir
In my last communication I omitted to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th
Novr.; to which I will now reply. The arrangement proposed with the Ross' family, relative
to the return of half the number of cattle they received from the Company, at first cost, is
satisfactory and judicious. V 88 Provincial Archia'es Department. 1914
I am very sorry to hear that the Company's old and faithful servant Mr. Charles Forrest
has departed this life—and I wish to be informed if he has made any testamentary disposition
of his property, with reference to his Daughter at this place.
I am most anxious to learn what has been the result of your journey to the Columbia.
The detention of our vessels at Nisqually will put to the Company to a frightful expense
and amount of inconvenience.
The proceedings of Mr. Moses in reference to the vessels are vigourous in the extreme,
inasmuch as there was clearly no intention to defraud the revenue—but still it must be admitted,
that our own proceedings have not been so prudent and circumspect as they might have been,
and have furnished the pretext of which he is now making so unmerciful a use. It was folly
in Stuart to allow his passengers to land at Nesqually or even to stop them for the purpose of
cutting wood, any other point on the communication would have been less objectionable.
Again why did Stuart keep any goods in the trade room of the Steam vessel and why having
such goods on board, did he not make a correct post entry of them as return cargo, which may
be done by the Master at a cost of two dollars even after the entry of the vessel in all cases,
when there are more goods found on board a vessel than the Master thereof has reported—Act
2 March 1799. Explanations will not always answer to remove suspicion, nor to establish rectitude of intention, it is alwrays better to conform on all known points to the letter of the Law7.
The " Damariscone" left this port for Queen Charlottes Island on the 25th Inst. Lieutt.
Dement was received with every attention here.
He produced his instructions from Captain Hill and Mr. Moses' letter of credit, on which
I thought it best to advance the goods necessary for the ransom of the Queen Charlottes Island
Captives, which came to $1838.91c.
We took Mr. Dements Bill in Triplicate on the Collector, the first of which, with a certified
Invoice are now forwarded for Settlement.
Seconds of the Bill and Invoice will be forwarded for better security by another conveyance.
That account should be presented to Mr. Moses for immediate settlement and you will please to
advice us of the payment.
With best wishes.
My dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria
27th Deer. 1851
John Work Esqre.
Dear Sir,
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your several communications of the 16th, 17th and
19th Deer, with the accompanying documents numbered from one to eight which will be duly
After perusal of Mr. Moses' statement of reasons for detaining the Steam vessel Beaver
I think he has failed in making out a clear case against her.
The first charge being that the Master failed in making out a due entry of passengers,
according to the form prescribed by law.
The second that passengers were landed at Nisqually a Port of Delivery, before entry of
the vessel was made at Olympia the Port of Entry.
The third is founded on the delay of the vessel for fifteen hours at Nesqually, and having
then and there communication with the Shore.
The fourth states that some goods not entered on the Manifest were found on board.
The fifth that the Manifest of Stores did not correspond with the Cargo on board. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 89
The first charge is substantially met by the Collectors own admission that a list of passengers on board was appended to the list of the Steam vessels crew delivered at the Custom
house—the fact of the riassengers being on board was therefore duly reported to him which is
after all the essential point, though that report was not made in the proper form.
Admitting that informality, the whole question is reduced to a mere matter of form, leaving
no ground to suspect that concealment or fraud was intended.
In reference to the second charge it is admitted that the passengers did land at Nisqually,
the Master of the Beaver not being aware of any law to the contrary, but their luggage was
not landed and remained on board, while the fact of the passengers having landed at Nesqually,
and the cause was frankly explained to the Collector before the Seizure of the vessels.
The delay at Nesqually arose from a necessary detention to replenish the Steamer's Stock
of fuel, which was nearly exhausted on her arrival there, and she could not otherwise proceed
to Olympia. If vessels bound to Olympia 100 miles from the entrance of a narrow sound are
exposed to seizure for a delay of 15 hours at any one point short of Olympia, it is evident that
not one in a hundred, can escape the penalty, as vessels under Sail, seldom make the passage
in less time than five days. They must watch wind and tide, and necessarily make frequent
stopages whenever those are unfavourable.
The error lies in placing the Port of Entry near the head, instead of being at the entrance
of Puget Sound which no vessel under sail can possibly reach without much delay and making
numerous stoppages.
The fourth charge setting forth that some goods were found on board which were not
entered in the Manifest is in a great measure disposed off by Deputy Collector Evans' own
admission—see Exhibit A., that Captain Stuart informed him when he first boarded the vessel
that there were " a few trifling articles " (to use the Collectors own words) on board for trading
with Indians. Captain Stuarts own account of the matter as given in his report is as follows,
" I informed him, (the Deputy Collector) " We had some trade goods on board, but he did not
" express any wish to see them having sealed the hatches " &c.
The two accounts together will I think clearly establish the fact, that Captain Stuart did
communicate to the Deputy Collector then and there on his very first appearance on board, that
a few loose Goods, not intended to be landed, were contained in the trade room of the vessel, in
that act we again observe the fair and open dealing which marked all Captain Stuarts proceedings, and not the remotest intention of fraud.
The fifth and last charge is also refuted by the reply made to the fourth.
Captain Stuarts errors and omissions evidently arose from ignorance of the forms prescribed
by law as set forth, in his declaration to Collector Moses, in which case the law should have
been construed with every latitude, according to the directions lately issued from Washington,
in reference to the custom House Seizures made in California, which were declared null and
void, by the Secretary of the Treasury and orders issued for the liberation of the vessels and
that the owners should be indemnified for the detention of their ships.
I firmly believe our Ships will be liberated after some delay, which will expose the Company
to much loss, and we must therefore estimate the damages at their full amount.
I think the sum named in my last letter say £100 per diem should after the first month,
be increased to £150. per diem, as that sum will barely cover losses.
I observe your intention of coming to this place immediately, but 1 think it will be necessary
for you to remain at Nesqually, to conduct affairs, until we procure the release of the vessels,
and you will please to advise the Governor and Committee of the progress of the negotiations
by every mail.
A letter addressed to Dr. Tolmie left open for your information is herewith enclosed. It
contains a Bill for 81838.91c on Collector Moses, which please forward immediately to Olympia
for his acceptance and advise us thereof.
Dr. Kennedy arrived here on the 21st Ultmo. from Fort Simpson by the " Una " which he
left at Neah Bay, where he took a canoe to this place.
The expedition to Queen Charlottes Island has not been productive of much advantage.
One point is however made clear, that gold may be got in considerable quantities by mining,
but the Indians are strongly opposed to the mines being worked by any but themselves.
Three blasts in the vein of Gold produced about 58 lbs. of ore which Kennedy supposes will
yield about 4 lbs. of pure Gold. V 90
Proatncial Archives Department.
Had the Indians allowed the party to work unmolested they would have made handsome
returns, but they became so turbulent and unruly, that the men were afraid to venture themselves ashore and the vessel consequently left, and proceeded to Fort Simpson, where Captain
McNeill is now in charge.
The Una has not yet made her appearance here.
AVith best wishes
I remain
Yours truly
James Douglas.
P.S Get the Bill on Collector Moses, settled as soon as possible as he may also be making
some difficulty about that. The Bill will cover a great part of the duties—I would not have
honored his letter of credit, had it not been for present circumstances, which place us so much
in his power.    J. D.
Fort A'ictobia
27 Jany. 1852
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
My7 Deab Sib
I was glad to recognize your well known hand among the letters received in the packet by
Stuart, whose arrival without the Steamer on Sunday last, was rather a startling event, particularly as he could not tell why or wherefore he had come, and I was left in doubt until I
received the explanation of the mystery from your letters.
Your journey to Vancouver has not been fruitless, and I can fancy something of the trouble
and vexation you have had—I rejoice that matters are likely soon to be brought to a close—
whether satisfactory or not remains to be seen
I think it will be expedient hereafter to supply Nesqually with goods from the Columbia
provided it can be done to more advantage than from this Depot, but we cannot decide that
point until we have more information on the subject.
Suppose for example that the Nesqually goods are packed and Invoiced separately in
England, and sent on in the same packages and by the same ship or by one of the country
vessels from this place—will they be chargeable with duty in that case on the Victoria wholesale price or on the London price. Pray address Mr. Moses on that subject and request him
also to have the goodness to furnish pro forma Manifests and other documents required at the
Custom House
The Colvile question I will leave for another day.
I hope soon to have the pleasure of addressing you again. I look forward with pleasure to
your interesting sheet about old Columbia friends. AVith kind regards to Mrs. Tolmie and
best wishes,
Sincerely yours
James Douglas.
Fobt A'ictoria
27th March 1852
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
Dear Sir
An express Canoe was dispatched this morning, with a packet, for Nesqually, and it has
been since discovered that the Tin Case of Charts, which was particularly recommended to
your care, has been left behind. I have therefore determined on sending off your canoe, which
arrived today, immediately in hopes that it may still reach Nesqually with the Surveys, in
time to be forwarded with the letters to Vancouver; Sales remaining here to take passage by
the Schooner " Honolulu." 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 91
I will now briefly run over your letter of the 20th March: the Custom House Affadavits
were forwarded with the Canoe this morning and will I trust be found correct and in due form.
The Hyquas requested in your letter will be purchased from the Indians, and forwarded as soon
as possible, but fears are entertained that we will not succeed in getting them from the Indians
of this place, nor until the arrival of the Cape Flattery people, who are not expected here before
the fine weather permanently sets in.
I am sorry to observe by your private communication, that you anticipate some difficulty
in the final settlement with Collector Moses; though I cannot conceive on what grounds, but
I still hope that every thing will be equitably arranged.
Cooper grumbled a good deal about the freight of the sheep; and contended that he had
not agreed with you about the charge of 62% cents per head, but we refused to give more
without further advices from you, and he was paid accordingly. I fear that it will be out of
my power to send you another man for Mr. Dean, as in consequence of the drafts for Queen
Charlottes Island, we are short handed at present.
I am glad to find that you have disposed of a part of your potatoes at a fair price. It
would not I think be advisable to purchase the 40 inch white cotton unless you can dispose of
it at Nesqually, as it is not wanted here.
The Indian bearers in number, have been paid, (1 Blanket 2% points) each according to
a note on the envelope of your letter; they claim more, and if their claim be well founded you
may settle with them at Nesqually.
AA'e had a great discussion yesterday with the Indians of this place in consequence of a
charge of Cattle lifting, brought against them by McAuley, A Warrant was issued for the apprehension of the offender which the Constable duly served, and brought in the party charged, aided
by Mr. McKay and Posse.
The Indian pleaded not guilty, and criminated another party, residing in the village opposite
the Fort. The Constable aided by Mr. McKay and followers, were sent to apprehend him, but
on landing at the village the men were surrounded and in part disarmed by the Indians, and
retreated in great alarm leaving one of the Boats, and two muskes in possession of the Indians.
When that report was brought in I despatched a party to demand the Boat, and Muskets, which
they refused to surrender. The Steamer was immediately towed up a breast of the village, and
the Fort Guns w7ere also turned upon it, but before any offensive measures were taken the
Indians beat a parley, and returned the property claimed; which put a stop to further proceedings.    The village is now nearly deserted the Indians being in a state of great alarm.
They are now mustering property among them to pay for the cattle stolen; which will I
presume lead to a final adjustment of this affair. I will not trouble you with further remarks
at present, as I will have to address you again in a few days by the Schooner " Honolulu "
which we have chartered to bring 4 loads of horned Cattle from Nesqually. She will carry
about 80 head at one trip, and we trust that you will be prepared to load her with despatch.
The terms are 5 dollars a head for large cattle, 4 for two year old and 1 dollar for Calves of
one year
With best wishes
Yours very truly
James Douglas.
foet a'ictoeia
6th May 1852
W F Tolmie Esqre.
Dear Sir,
The " Honolulu " arrived here on the 30th Ultimo, and ou the morning following Captain
Pattle delivered your letter of the 29th April with all the other letters and documents forwarded
by him from Nesqually.
The cargo of the " Honolulu " was safely landed on the 1st Inst, with I beleive, very little
loss, as you will observe by an account of the Stock, which I have desired Mr. Finlayson to
make out, and forward to you herewith. V 92 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
All the Stock forwarded to this place should be charged as stated in that account.
I am happy to hear that you have succeeded in completing the log park and lane leading
to the beach, and that it answers the purpose of confining the Cattle perfectly well.
A young animal answering the description of L. A. Smith's yearling Bull, was found here,
and will be re-shipped for Nesqually by the " Honolulu."
Captain Pattle being at present busily engaged in constructing a house for himself on his
claim, does not intend to leave for Nesqually until the 9th. or 10th Inst; which will be an
advantage to you in one respect, by allowing a little repose to your much jaded horses.
The Sheep Shears were received here, and Captain Pattle has been paid for the freight of
his late cargo of Stock according to the arrangement stated in your letter, and has also settled
for his account at Nesqually, amounting by your account to 35 dollars 90 cents.
I am very anxious to procure 12 or 15 Gelding Horses to mount a body of rangers; which
I am now forming for the protection of the settlements, and especially of the running cattle,
which are continually straying into the woods, where they become as wild as the Deer, and
offer an irresistable temptation to the prowling Indian. I have to solicit your good offices in
procuring these horses by purchase from Indians or otherwise; and shipping them to this place
by the " Honolulu," and also beg you to purchase and forward 20 good riding saddles, either
country made or imported if  at any thing like a moderate price.
We shall reserve and forward the number of milk pans requested in your letter.
I have to beg that you will forward as much fresh beef as possible, besides the Live Stock,
by return of the "Honolulu" to this place.
With best wishes I remain
My dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
Clapp has requested that two sums of money say $20 and 25 dollars, may be paid to you
and Scarthe respectively, which has been charged to his account here, and may be paid at
Nesqually and charged to Fort A'ictoria sale Shop.    J. D.
Fobt A'ictoria
7th May 1852
My Dear Sib
I have received your much esteemed private letter of the 29th April, and thank you for its
interesting contents.
Strange people are those Americans possessing qualities the most opposite and extraordinary,
wearing the garb of devoted patriotism, yet bartering political faith for dollars, are vices hardly
so strongly marked in England as in the New World.
To have attempted to arrest the course of the Survey, would have been an act of folly in
the mob. The disbanded soldiers will be dangerous neighbours, but we cannot prevent it, events
must take their course, whether for or against our interests.
I fear the transport of the Nesqually outfit from A'ancouver, by the way of the Cowelitz,
will be very expensive, much more so, than Ballenden Supposes. Mr. Peers says that they
cannot find Indians to boat the Cowlitz wheat to Vancouver under 2 dollars a day for each.
I hope you may succeed in getting a full cargo of cattle for next trip of the Honolulu, and
pray, do your utmost to get the horses we want for our rangers. The Indians are all very quiet
at present and have been so ever since the row in March but of course Small difficulties will
now and then occur, which should be provided for.
I do not think it w7ould be advisable to diminish the production Sheep at Nesqually, or
approve of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. 4 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
V 93
Provisions will be scarce and high for many years to come in this country and the supply
of this colony will annually take a great number of sheep off your hands. Sheep are moreover
valuable on account of being so easily managed and so available for use.
The crops are looking better than usual in this quarter. I will leave all the news to
With compliments to Mrs. Tolmie and best wishes,
Yours very truly
James Douglas.
Bailleys School is doing wonders—books are scarce, will you get 36 spelling Books for that
promising institution if procurable any where
truly yours
J. D.
Fort A'ictoria
21st May 1852.
William F Tolmie Esqre.
Dear Sib
I forward this communication by John Jeffreys Esqre. who is proceeding on his professional
pursuits to Fort Vancouver, and will visit Fort Nesqually on his way thither.
The object of Mr. Jeffrey's Mission is known to you by report, and also that he is travelling
under the protection of the Hudson's Bay Company, and you are hereby authorized to furnish
any supplies he may require in continuation of his journey to Fort Vancouver.
I feel assured that you will do every thing in your power to promote his views, by furnishing every necessary assistance and information respecting the country.
You will please to forward a valued and receipted copy of the account of supplies made to
Mr. Jeffreys in your department when he leaves for Fort Vancouver and with these remarks 1
recommend him most warmly to your kind attention and hospitality.
I have just received your communication of the 12th inst, and have to thank you for the
information it contains.
We expect the " Mary Dare " from the Sandwich Islands, on, or about the 10th June, and
if you ascertain that her presence is required at Nesqually, we will send her thither as soon as
you communicate information of the same to us.
There have been no arrivals from any quarter since the date of my last communication, and
nothing has occurred here worthy of particular notice.
I remain
Dear Sir
Your obt Servt.
James Douglas.
P.S. Antoine Gagnon is travelling on leave to Fort Vancouver, and will return from thence
by way of Nesqually with Mr. McLeans daughter and his own two children. You will oblige
me by supplying him with a horse to the Cowelitz and by sending them on to this place from
Nesqually.    J. D.
My7 Deab Sib :
I have received your private note of the 12th, and thank you for much intelligence.
The attempt to arrest the progress of the surveyors was a very foolish thing, and worthy
of the men who made it.    Pattle has no doubt long ere this made appearance at Nesqually— V 94
Provincial Archives Department.
and I shall therefore say nothing about him.    Large oxen are certainly much required here
—and I think it would be advisable to employ Wren in driving them in as you have suggested.
AVith kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie
Sincerely yours,
James Douglas.
Note.—This refers to the stopping of the survey of the P. S. Agr. Compy's claim (land) in Pierce
County. Mr. Chapman, Senr., was the Surveyor.—in 1862 I was with Mr. Chapman. The armed
mob were squatters. I recollect the names of a few—Sandy Smith; Chas. AVren; John McLeod;
Henry Murray; Thos Tallentire (Father of the printer " Tallentire " once well known in Olympia).
They made (the mob) loud threats of what they'd do, if we continued the work, and Scared Old
Chapman, from finishing the work, which was more than % completed. After the lapse of a few
weeks, / went quietly to work and finished the Survey.
E. Huggins
(Fort Nisqually).
Fort A'ictoria
2S July 1S52
William F Tolmie Esqre
My Dear Sib,
I duly received your letters of the 8th and 21st July with their enclosures, respectively.
The former of those letters was brought to this place, by Mr. Way and Company who took
charge of the packet, after the wreck of your express canoe near Point Partridge: the Indian
crew did not come to this place, and did not consequently receive the articles you requested
might be delivered to them here. I have engaged Mr. Way to put up a two story house in
Constance Cove Esquimalt, which lies contiguous to a very fine tract of land on the Puget's
Sound Cos claim: the situation is very valuable, and will give an impulse to the settlement of
the neighbouring coast.
I received the copy of the letter to Mr. Holbrooke containing the decision of the Treasury
Department in reference to the seizure of the " Mary Dare." It is just such a result as I
anticipated and as our (suptneness) has merited
As long as we submit tamely to wrong, injuries will be heaped upon us with an unsparing
hand, and the triumph of our oppressors be complete.
The services of the Mary Dare are pressingly wanted for the coast, otherwise we might as
you have suggested, make her over to the United States for the expenses incurred by the seizure.
AVe have charged the 100 dollars drawn by Mr. Lemprit on Pere Rioard, to Fort Nesqually
1852.    The 12 riding saddles were duly received here.
The mail forw7arded by the Damariscove was duly received here, and also your Requisition
of goods from A'ancouver. I am sorry to observe that your stock of blankets is exhausted, more
so as we have no means of sending you a further supply at present, as the Mary Dare must
proceed to the coast, as soon as she returns from Fort A'ancouver.
I trust Mr. Ballenden will succeed in freighting a vessel from the Columbia for Nesqually,
indeed he spoke to me so positively as to the facility of carrying out such an arrangement,
that I have no doubt of your soon seeing a vessel with supplies from A'ancouver; on the contrary,
I will endeavour to supply the Post from this place. Mr. Tempier of Marseilles has given an
annual credit of 10,000 francs, equal to £375 sterling, on behalf of Mr Ricard or his coadjutor,
Mr. Herberney, including how7ever the sum of £75 already drawn for last year, and you may
advance Father Ricard to that amount, in such articles as he may require, and the credit may
be continued from year to year until further instructions.
With best wishes
I remain
My dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
P.S. Your letter of credit for 500 dollars on behalf of Captn. Balch, was presented here by
Captn. Hatheway, and goods to the amount of $477.71c for which Captn Hatheways receipt is 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 95
herewith transmitted, were delivered to him. In making that advance to Captn Balch, I have
no doubt you have acted with your usual prudence, but I would nevertheless remark, that as a
general thing the system of credit should not be extended, as it is expressly prohibited by the
Company's regulations. i
Yours sincerely
J. D.
Mr. Peers is anxious to visit this place after harvest, to look after his property on A'ancouvers Island, and I have consented to his coming, provided you can spare Mr. Huggins to
remain at the Cowelitz during his absence.    J. D.
17 Septr. 1852.
My dear Sir
I was sorry to learn by your much esteemed private letter that you had been exposed to
so much bad wreather on your return to Nesqually, and trust Mrs. Tolmies health has not
materially suffered by it.
I am sorry to hear of the loss of the Eagle, on the west coast of A'ancouvers Island and
regret the bad conduct of the Indians, which I will represent to the Colonial office, for consideration.
At present I have no force at my disposal to resent such acts, but I have no doubt due
notice will be taken of the matter.
Balch appears to be driving a flourishing trade at Clayoquot, but I would advise him not
to repeat the experiment too often for fear of accidents.
I am glad to hear that Mr. Moses is disposed to be reasonable and I wish we were prepared
to take advantage of the mood, which may not be lasting—probably we might make up a cargo
of sundries say sugar, salt, Flour and woolen goods, sufficient to settle all accounts with him.
In that case send your order and we will forward it by the Recovery. Ross' conduct is I
am sorry to hear been very bad.    It will probably end in his ruin.
Mrs. Douglas and family unite with me in kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie.
AVith best wishes
Sincerely yours
James Douglas.
P. S. You w7ill oblige me, by purchasing 100 Bushels of oats ou my private account and
forwarding the same, with the oats purchased for the Company. I do not however wish to pay
for it in cash—at the present ruinous price, I will therefore send you a sufficient number of
Blankets from my own stock of goods to cover the cost.    J. D.
Fort A'ictoria
17th Septr. 1852.   ,
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
The return canoe arrived here from Nesqually yesterday afternoon and I have to acknowledge the receipt by that conveyance of your letter of the 12th Septr. and the accompanying
The balance due by the Revd. Mr. Staines at Nesqually has been charged to his account
in the Sale Shop Books at this place, and you will therefore please to charge that Sum Say
£25.13.1%d. to Fort Victoria Sale Shop, under the following entry—To balance of the Revd. Mr.
Staines account transferred.    I was not aware of the advance of $155 made on account of the V 96
Provincial Archives Department.
Revd. Mr. Staines, as mentioned in your private letter and no trace could be found of it in his
account here: I have now had that Sum charged to his Shop account, and beg that you will
also carry it to account of Fort A'ictoria Sale Shop in your Books.
In future I beg that you will advise me immediately of all payments made at Nesqually on
account of persons at this place, to prevent irregularities, the necessity of that precaution, being
obvious from the instance just quoted, which proves that without the hint in your private letter
the large Sum of 155 dollars advanced at Nesqually, would not have been charged to the Revd.
Mr. Staines; no record of the transaction having been kept here.
As there may be other instances of the same kind I beg that a copy of your charges against
this place may be made out and forwarded to me at your earliest convenience.
I notice the proposition made by Collector Moses, in reference to the payment of his Bill
and we shall forward the Goods, as Soon as you send a requisition to this place: the sooner
that is done the better, as the retirement of Mr. Moses from office, may endanger the Security
of the debt. The large Sales lately made at Nesqually will I have no doubt enable you to sell
a much larger quantity of Goods than we have ordered from England, so that the Post will be
also a gainer by the transaction.
I wish you would inform me by return of Mail, if you will be able to meet a draft in favour
of Mr. Way, for $1,000—if so it will save the expense and risk of sending that quantity of cash
to this place.
The 2 dozen of Pit Saw Files forwarded by the Indians were delivered here.
Mr. Pemberton has returned from Nanymo; and has ascertained, that the Nanymo district
is one vast coal field. Mr. Muir's explorations have also proved satisfactory, but have not been
carried to an extent sufficient to determine the great question as to the extent of the 5 foot
The " Cadboro " has returned with a Second cargo, and the " Recovery " is I presume by this
time loaded. The " Mary Dare" lately from Fort Simpson was despatched yesterday to the
Mines for a cargo.
We have now 80 Tons of Coal here for sale, and the Recovery is expected in a few days
with a cargo of 120 Tons, which will be sold to any vessel touching at this port.
I will thank you to circulate that intelligence at Nesqually, and to forward our lumber by
any vessel coming this way.
AVith best wishes
I remain Sir
Yours truly.
James Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria,
14th October,
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
Dear Sib
The Nesqually Indians arrived here on the 12th Inst, with the Vancouver Mail, and your
letter dated the Sth of October to which I shall now reply.
Mr. Walker's removal to Newmarket will I fear prove an inconvenience to us, should lumber
be purchased from him; as the increased distance will add considerably to the charge of transport to this place. In those circumstances I approve of your not giving him the order for the
cedar clap boards, which can be prepared here at fully less expense; but I beg you will complete
the order given for the inch deals which will all be required for the new farming Establishments
of the Puget Sound Company.
In regard to the transport of that lumber to this place, we will be able to effect it by one of
our own vessels as I shall send either the New Brigatine Vancouver or the " Mary Dare " to
Nesqually, about the beginning of December next, about which time the lumber should be brought
down to meet the vessel there in order to avoid detention. A requisition for any Goods required
by that Conveyance should therefore be forwarded to this place some time previously, that they 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 97
may be put up in readiness for the vessel.    The Nesqually Wool and Furs may also be shipped
by the same conveyance.
Should any earlier opportunity however occur of forwarding the lumber, and other freight
at a low rate of charge by any other vessel to this place, I have no objections to your taking
that course but I feel assured that Chartering a vessel expressly for the purpose would involve
a very serious expense, which I do not feel disposed to incur.
I may reply to your enquiry Concerning Coal that we have about SO Tons on hand at this
place, which we will sell at 12 dollars a Ton, and further that very large quantities may be
procured at short notice from the Mines at Nanaimo, where it is delivered alongside for 10
dollars a Ton. The coal is of excellent quality, and burns with a bright flame, and ardent heat,
to a white ash leaving no dross or waste whatever.
The demand made by the Collector of Taxes for the levy on the Puget Sound Companys
lands is I suppose according to Law, and the sum would have been levied by execution on the
Company's property, even if you had not consented to pay the demand; you had therefore no
alternative but to pay the Sum, under protest which was the proper course. You remark that
the sum paid was " 645 dollars and 12 cents, that being the amount of tax at 75 cents per acre,
on the extent of our'land 224 square miles as shown by the late survey." By my calculation
of the extent of that area, the rate of Tax will not come to more than one half cent per acre
or exactly 2 dollars and 88 cents a square mile, a matter to which I call your attention lest there
should be a mistake in your statement.
Young Dean is now sent to his Father with whom I trust he will behave better than he has
done at this place and become a steady and useful man.
Johnson is here, but we have as yet entered into no arrangement with him, his terms being
higher than w7e are disposed to give.
The supplies ordered in your note will be forwarded.
I am sorry that a better supply of horses has not been sent from Fort A'ancouver, but I trust
you will be able to purchase such as we want from the Indians, making the payments in goods,
which will be charged at transfer price.
Mr. Walter Ross is now under the Doctors hands, and I fear it will be some time before
he is fit for duty.
The " Mary Dare " & " Recovery " have been both despatched to California with cargoes of
coal, the latter the day before yesterday and the former on the 6th Inst.
Coal is very abundant at Nanaimo; in addition to the first discovery a second 6 foot Seam
has been lately discovered, at the distance of 1% miles from the former, and it is supposed we
can take out about 10,000 Tons by Indian labour alone. The Coal is of excellent quality, superior
as Mr. Muir thinks to any Scotch Coal he has ever seen, and fully equal to good English coal.
I will make no further comment on that discovery, lest I should say too much, as it is
altogether so extraordinary, that one can hardly think temperately on the Subject.
We have not received the Onion seed, which you promised to send, and you will confer a
great favour by forwarding it by any early conveyance.
I remain
Dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
Reed. Novr. 10th
Fort A'ictoria
5th Nov. 1852.
William F. Tolmie, Esqre.
Dear Sib
I have received your letters of the 20th Octr. with the packet from A'ancouver. The letters
now forwarded for England and Fort A'ancouver by the bearers, contain remittances, and refer
to matters of great importance—let me therefore beg that they be forwarded with despatch,
and by a safe conveyance.
7 V 98
Provincial- Archives Department.
I wish you could forward a few rams for Mr Langford as we cannot send a Boat to Nesqually
at present.
We have a large quantity of salmon on hand at this place and Fort Langley and sell at
11 Dollars a barrel.    Coal is sold at 12 dollars a ton here, and 10 Dollars at Nanaimo.
Lime Stone and Lime may be procured here by Sending an order in advance but there is
no fixed price as Scarcely any business has yet been done in that way.
Many thanks for the San Francisco price list and for the onion Seed.
Ten dollars a ton is an extravagant price for freight from Nesqually to A'ictoria, yet if
payment be made in Coal at 12 dollars a ton—I should not object to it. Take the Clapboarding
from Mr. Walker, since you have agreed to do so. Charge the goods given for that lumber, to
the " Pugets Sound Company " at transfer price, with all expenses incurred and a Commission
of 2% per Cent for the benefit of Fort Nesqually. Such is the principle on which all transfers
between Districts will be hereafter Settled.
I am glad to hear that Moses' Bill is on its way to AVashington.
The arrangement with Miller is good—my best respects to him—I agree with you that no
dependence can be placed on Moses.
All well at Nanaimo and elsewhere.
With best wishes
Very truly yours
James Douglas.
My dear Sir
Many thanks for your private note. I am glad the grass seeds are coming up; and delighted
with Dr. Shumards opinion of the Cowelitz Coal.
I cannot employ Charles Ross—perhaps it would be as well to purchase the Ross farm;
but it should be done with the Consent of the principal members of the family. I shall give Tod
a reading of the Tribunes—I have not heard except by your letter, of the adjustment of the
Fishery question with the U. S.—Kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie.
A'ery truly yours
James Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria
6th December 1852.
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
Deab Sir
The York Factory party arrived here on the 4th Inst, and delivered the packet Safely, also
your letter of the 29th November.
We have not yet Succeeded in purchasing a Canoe for Nesqually, as there are none of the
right description within reach; but we shall endeavour to procure one at the first favourable
opportunity. The Indians have been therefore paid for the trip in order to save the expense
of paying them at Nesqually.
We shall see what can be done for you in the way of Flour by the first Ship that proceeds
to Nesqually; but I hardly think it will be in our power to send you any, as we have not a large
Stock on hand.
The " Mary Dare " and " Recovery " have both returned from California. The market was
unfortunately overstocked with Coal before their arrival at San Francisco, and purchasers
hesitated in bidding for an article whose qualities had not been thoroughly tested.
The Cargoes were therefore sold at a low price the one, at 15 & the other at 16 dollars pr.
Ton. The experiments since made with that Coal have proved, I am informed, very Satisfactory, and the opinion is expressed that it will answer well for Steamers use.
The news from Nanaimo is good. The Miners Struck Coal in the Shaft at the depth of
46 feet. This proved to be a bed of excellent Coal measuring rather over 72 inches from roof
to pavement, and great things are expected from it. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 99
The Recovery sailed yesterday for a Supply of potatoes at Cowetchin. The Mary Dare will
be detained at least 15 days in Port for repairs. No word of the Steamer as yet. Indians all
quiet. Have not yet attempted to catch the murderers, reserving that duty till the arrival of
the Steamer,
AVith best wishes
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
P.S.    Please mail the accompanying letters for England p first opportunity.
Fort A'ictoria
i 29th April 1S53.
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
Dear Sib
I received your letter of the 23rd of April with enclosures two days ago, by the arrival of
Mr. Simpson at this place.
I shall not fail to make inquiries about the articles stolen from Nesqually by the Indians
of our last mail Canoe, and we shall endeavour to procure restitution of the Stolen Goods, though
the success of the experiment is uncertain, as from the Scarcity of Indians about the place at
the time, the two Canoes w7ere not manned by our regular voyaging Indians, but by Stragglers
from different parts of the Country.
I have strictly charged Mr. Simpson to protect and make your Indians as comfortable as
possible while here, so as to leave no room for complaint.
The Steamer and " Cadboro " lately arrived from Fort Rupert, The " Recovery " having
remained as guard Ship at Nanaimo. The Coal works there are doing wonders; the shaft being
fairly Started. The Coal is in places 9 feet thick, and every where of excellent quality. I have
sent up 10 assistant miners, engaged at £25 per year, who turn out as much coal as the regular
hands who came from Scotland. The latter are rather annoyed at this and disposed to be
sarcastic at the expense of the novices.
Her Majesty's Steam Sloop " Virago" Captn. Prevost, called here on her way to Queen
Charlotte's Island, to guard and protect the Coast against the unauthorized visits of foreign
vessels and will return to this place in the Course of three weeks.
I have perused the reply of Messrs. McElroy & Bebie, editors of the Columbian, and beg
you will inform them that the Kind of printing wanted, is such as used in the Columbian, that
type being sufficiently large and distinct; for printing proclamations, acts of the Legislature,
and such like documents required for the information of the public.
I beg you will be good enough to forward the accompanying packets and letters for England
some of which are from Her Majesty's Ship " Virago." The Canvass Bag contains the Seamen's
letters, with money for the postage say rather over $2% ; which you will oblige me by paying
With best wishes
Sincerely yours
James Douglas.
A'ictoria 21 June 1853.
William F. Tolmie Esqre
My dear Sir
I had flattered myself with the hope of meeting you here, before this, but find from your
last letter, that I must look to a future time for that pleasure—I w7ish you could manage to come
over, when I am not much engaged, and when I am not from home, as your company will be
quite a treat, which I should be sorry to miss. V 100 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
The time is now at hand when I must leave this, to meet the Brigade at Langley from
whence I will return about the 5th July—therefore do not come before that date. Your private
note contains much interesting matter. I fear squatters will encroach on the Company's lands,
in defiance of all our exertions to the contrary. The Agents of the Company appear to take the
announcement of such proceedings very cas'ly. I suppose they are like ourselves, at a loss how
to act, in the circumstances, unwilling to lay out money in the improvement of uncertain
property, and unable to get government to take any active measures for their relief. There
remains to us only two modes of proceeding, either to warn trespassers off the Company's lands
or to grant portions of it on leases—and I think you had better consult our lawyer, as to the
question of which plan will be expedient at present.
I shall strive to get you Pierre Lagace as an assistant, if he comes this way, of which
however I can see little or no chance—so that you must strive to provide a substitute for
Montgomery from your own establishment.
We have just received intelligence by Indians from the northern Posts. All well in that
quarter, and returns remarkably good at Fort Simpson. The Mary Dare returned on the 2d from
San Francisco, with a supply of flour, laid in at 10 dollars a barrel—the A'ancouver has just
left for the same port, chiefly for a cargo of flour—which is still scarce here.
I hope Mrs. Tolmie and family are quite well—my son James is still ailing though he bears
up bravely, and is full of life. I have not time to say all that I wished to say, but we shall
take a good spell when we meet.
AA'ith best wishes
Sincerely yours
Jas. Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria
22d June 1853.
William F. Tolmie Esqre.
Dear Sir
Mr. Langford having authorised Mr. Thomas Cooper to purchase twelve thousand feet of
assorted lumber, on account of Esquimalt Farm, according to a descriptive list in Mr. Coopers
possession, it being understood that the price of lumber is thirty dollars per thousand feet, I beg
that you will furnish said Mr. Cooper with funds to make the said purchase and charge the
same to the account of Esquimau Farm. If you can manage to make the payment in goods, it
would lighten the cost of the lumber, and be less burdensome to the Farm—which has been so
far very expensive to the Company—though the improvements are worth the outlay.
The flooring boards for A'ictoria Depot may be also shipped by the return of the Alice, Mr.
Cooper having agreed to bring them here at the rate of eight dollars a thousand feet as freight.
I have received your letters of the 28th May, and Sth June, which I will now briefly notice,
before I leave for Langley, where the Brigade arrived three days ago, with fair returns from the
I have seen and approve of your advertizing the public of the sheep you have on hand for
sale. I foresee the annoyance, that will be caused by squatters on the Company's lands, the
only preventive in our power is to warn them off—and so also with the squatter on the Sequale-
chem unless the Company's legal adviser should recommend leasing the place, as the more
expedient course.
I shall be most happy to hear that you have sold the disposable sheep, on hand, at a good
round price, as something in the way of income is needed to keep the shareholders of the Puget
Sound Company in good humour.
I have not heard lately from friend Ogden. who is I trust in good health—Peers poor fellow
is suffering from an attack of fever—a plague from which- we enjoy a happy exemption at this,
place. 4 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
V 101
The Otter is not yet arrived and I do not expect her here before the first week in July.
She has some goods on board which were ordered for the supply of Nisqually, but probably they
will not be sent there now7.
I trust Ogden will send your supplies in good time, and not keep you waiting to the great
injury of the trade.
With best wishes
Sincerely yours
James Douglas.
14th July 1853.
William Fraser Tolmie, Esqre.,
Deab Sib
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your much esteemed letter of the Srd Inst, with the
Cash which was delivered to Mr. Finlayson and I believe found correct.
The sheep have been sold to great advantage and it is to be hoped you may turn the other
disposable sheep to equally good account.
I hope you may benefit by the exchange of Rams for sheep in the Walamette, though I
would not consider it an advantage to get Sheep of inferior Fleece.
The Farmers of the Puget Sound Company on this Island being in great want of work-oxen
which cannot be supplied here I beg that you will take measures to get as many as 24 Oxen
partially tamed and broke to the Yoke for their use, and I will send a vessel for them as soon
as I am informed of your being ready to make the delivery.
The " Cadboro " being often disposable I could send her to Nesqually, at very little expense,
provided we could get her safely through the Custom House.
Pray write me if that can be managed, and if so her services will become more useful than
I remain
Dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
P.S. Fitzwilliams made a dreadful mess with the packet intrusted to his care. Pray trust
none of those fancy travellers with our letters, as they will always disappoint us. I commend
the present packet for England to your care.
Many thanks for your private letter, which I will reply to when we meet. Compliments to
Mrs. T. and family.        Sincerely yours     J. D.
William F. Tolmie, Esqre.
14th Jany., 1854.
Dear Sir
I herewith transmit to your care, the following packets vizt:
2 packets His Grace Duke of Newcastle
1       „       Archibald Barclay Esqre
1       „       Messrs. Maitland Phelps & Co.
which I desire may be transmitted by first mail for San Francisco.
I have nothing of importance to communicate on business matters-
our vessels, which you will hear from Mr. Work.
-except the movements of V 102 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
I forward this canoe chiefly for the purpose of conveying Mr. J. H. Saunders, solicitor of
San Francisco, to Nisqually. He is a party interested and arrived here, by ship, with Captain
Howard, to make the final arrangements in the Ice contract. The deposit money has been paid
to Lowe, and the first instalment of rent will be paid on the 1st day of March. Saunders is
remarkably intelligent and gentlemanly—and may give s7ou valuable hints, in regard to the
Companys lands.
I have given him a letter of introduction to you and beg you to treat him kindly and liberally.
Push him forward on his journey—as he is anxious to catch the mail steamer of the 26th.
Very sincerely yours
James Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria
21st Jany, 1854.
William F. Tolmie, Esqre.,
Dear Sib
The " Otter " being now here waiting the arrival of the " Colinda " from England, she being
required to take the passengers to " Nanaimo," I have resolved on despatching her in the interval
for a cargo of Fresh beef and mutton to Nesqually, as we are Short of fresh provisions at this
place—and you are aware that a large supply of food will be required on her arrival—with the
Miners—therefore make up a load of fresh beef and mutton with as little delay as possible, and
with that pray send the Otter back to this place—I give her the coming week for that service—
and will expect her here, on or before Saturday the 29th Inst.
I have today received your letter of the 11th Novr. with the charges against Constance Cove
and Maple Point Farms.
The last cargo of Deals by the Alice consisting by Mr. AValkers account of 20,000 feet of
lumber, was sent to Nanaimo, and may be all charged to that place.
The former cargo which you allude to as having been purchased at a cost of $397.85, I am
not very certain about. I authorised you in a letter dated 19th June last, to purchase 12000
feet of assorted lumber for " Esquimalt Farm " which was duly received here, and also to send
the Flooring boards for A'ictoria Depot, to this place by the Alice. AA'e received on the latter
account about 3200 feet, but that is the only lumber excepting the last cargo sent to Nanaimo
which appears to have been received from Nisqually this year.    Pray correct me if I am wrong.
The Alice brought another and third cargo of Deals, but it was not on our account, the
Bishop and another party here, having furnished Captain Cooper with Cash, to purchase it at
Olympia on their account.
We shall be infinitely obliged to you for a supply of 2 or 3000 dollars in specie by return of
the Otter.
We had a fall of ten inches of snow last night.
With best wishes
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
Fobt A'ictoria
4th March, 1854.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
Deab Sib :
I have received your letter of the 21st February, with the accounts, and other Documents
forwarded by Captain McLean.
I have examined your account of charges against the AVestern Department, and see nothing
to remark upon, except the Beef, which is valued at a price much beyond the understanding I 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 103
had with you on the Subject. It was agreed that the Beef should be charged against the Fur
Trade, at the rate of 3d per lb: It was only on those terms that I agreed to purchase the lean
ill-fed Beef of Nesqually. I am at a loss to conceive how you came to deviate from the principle
of that agreement. I am however resolved on one thing, that we shall get no more Beef from
Nesqually as long as a better article can be had for less money at San Francisco. Your charge
5d for the Beef supplied, and I am convinced that price w7as doubled by the time it was issued
here, through waste, depreciation, and loss of weight during the voyage and shipment from
The " Colinda " has not yet arrived with our supplies from England.    AA'e lately heard that
she had put into the Port of A'aldivia, in consequence of a mutiny on board.
Pier arrival here is therefore uncertain,    AVe expect the " Otter " next week with supplies
from California.
I have heard from Kennedy up to the Sth January and from Fort Rupert to the 13th Feby
all was then well and trade good.
We are very short of Cash at present, not having a single Dollar, and the servants are all
clamourous for money.
I shall take your hint about the " Otter " and not send her to Nesqually until the excitement
Please forward the accompanying Packets for England.
With best wishes
Yours truly,
James Douglas.
P. S.    Have the goodness to prepay the three enclosed letters and oblige yours
Jas. Douglas.
Foet A'ictoria
13th April, 1S54.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.
Dear Sir
By the arrival of the Alice at this Port I was favoured with your letter of the 1st of April,
with the accompanying Documents, which I have perused with much attention..
I have noted your remarks in regard to the weight of the Beef supplied this place, and the
explanation is satisfactory. It is however not my intention to get any more Beef from Nesqually,
until there is a reduction in the price, as we can import it from other quarters at much less
expense. The last mess Beef, brought from California cost $16 a Barrel, and we have just
received a supply from the Sandwich Islands at the rate of $11 a Barrel, being scarcely half
the cost of the Nesqually Beef, though a much Superior article.
We have received the Oats per " Alice " and do not require the Pease, as we have received,
a supply. '
In reply to your enquiry, about the " Prince Albert," expected in August next from England,
she will have to touch at this port and discharge her cargo before going to Nesqually
Pray therefore make all necessary arrangements with the Custom House Authorities at
Olympia and acquaint me with their decision. \
If any Blankets can be spared from the " Thomasine's " cargo, for the trade of Nesqually I
shall send you a supply, that is however a point which cannot be decided until the arrival of
the vessel, as neither the Invoice nor Bill of Lading have arrived here, and I do not know what
proportion of our Requisition was shipped by her.
We have just received the accounts from the Interior. The returns are excellent. The
increase on New Caledonia is about £2,000 and on Thompsons River about 50 per cent, on the
amount of returns.    All our friends in that quarter are well and food abundant. V 104 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
I beg your kind, attention in forwarding the accompanying Packets, for England and Fort
A'ancouver, per first mail.
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
A'ictoria, 14th July, 1854.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
Dear Sib
I have to thank you for your letter of the 27th June, and for your kind wishes on the birth
of our infant daughter.
Mrs. Douglas is now leaving for Nesqually with James and baby to try the effect of a change
of air.    I am afraid they will put you to much trouble, which I will not forget.-
Have the goodness to supply them with anything they may want at Nesqually on my account,
as I regret no expense for their good.
Dr. Helmcken accompanies them, and will return immediately with the canoe and mails
from England. I am glad to observe by the Document received with your letter, that the Puget
Sound Agents have taken your Services into consideration aud allowed you a per centage on
the nett profits of Nesqually Since 1S52. It will not in my opinion interfere with your Fur Trade
prospects, being a distinct allowance, from them.
I am glad to hear that Mr. Mason was pleased with A'ictoria. Pray give him my respects,
and tell him that the Tomgass Indians have been traced nearly to their distant homes, and are
no longer in the vicinity of this Colony. A large party of Hyda's lately arrived at this place,
but they have Since left on their return homeward, owing in a great measure to the advice I
gave them. Those wild migrations must be discouraged, as they may lead to much evil. I met
the Brigade at Fort Langley; our Interior friends are all well and the returns remarkably good;
no foreign arrivals from any quarter.    Please to forward the packet for England per first mail.
AA'ith kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie, and commending my little ones to your kind care,
I remain My Dear  Sir
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
P. S.    I wish you could send a few hundred dollars in cash by the return canoe.    J. D.
19th Septr. 1854.
Henry N Peers, Esqre.,
Dear Sir
I herewith transmit a packet for London, which you will oblige me by forwarding with the
first mail, as w7ell as the accompanying letters for San Francisco, which I am anxious should
reach that place in time to catch the " Otter " there, about the end of this month.
It being rumoured here that the combined Anglo Franco Fleet, consisting of 8 vessels, will
shortly rendezvous at this place, for the purpose of commencing some new plan of operations,—
I feel assured that they will be in want of supplies of all kinds, particularly fresh Beef, mutton
and vegetables.
It will be out of our power to meet their demands, for fresh Beef and mutton, and we will
therefore have to apply for assistance to Nesqually, and you may consequently hold yourself
prepared to meet all our demands of that kind. 4 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
V 105
I think it unfortunate that Dr. Tolmie sent away so many of the wedder sheep, when there
was a prospect of a better market at home.
Begging your attention to that object and advising that the Prince Albert will leave this
place in a few days for Nesqually,
I remain Dear Sir
Yours truly,
James Douglas.
Victoria, Srd Octr. 1854.
Mr. Huggins.
I herewith transmit to your kind care a Packet addressed to Archibald Barclay Esqre and
several letters for Fort A'ancouver, all which I beg you will forward by the very earliest conveyance ; should the " Prince Albert" arrive at Nesqually before Mr Peers' return, please to
discharge and despatch her with all possible diligence and give Captain Mannock, a large Supply
of fresh provisions when he leaves Nesqually on his way to Nanaimo. The Allied Fleet have
just anchored in the offing, and w7e will probably have to send to Nesqually for a supply of Beef
and Mutton, therefore Keep the wedder Flocks at hand.
I remain
Yours very truly
James Douglas.
Fort A'ictoria
26th April, 1855.
William F. Tolmie, Esqre.
Dear Sib
I have this moment received a Despatch from Admiral Bruce, Commander in Cheif of the
Squadron in the Pacific announcing his intention to call at this place, with part of the Fleet,
under his command in all July next.
He has sent a demand for a large supply of vegetables, and fresh meat, which will afford
a good opening for the Pugets Sound Sheep at Nesqually.
If the ships make any stay here—between 1500 and 2000 wedders will be required, and I
think they should be brought here early in June, so as to have time to recruit, before they are
w7anted for use, I would also advise sending an active agent of the Pugets Sound Company to
look after them here—and to make the sales of mutton.
I dare say Mr. Skinner would take charge of 300 head and the others might be kept in
one flock. Could you also furnish a number equal to 40 head of tame bullocks for beef, and a
quantity of vegetables, which might be bought from the Settlers for resale here, say Cabbage,
carrots, turnips, onions and potatoes.
We will employ the Cadboro and Steam vessel in this traffic. You had better therefore clip
the young wedders early next month.
Pray write me soon on that subject and tell me what you propose to do.
Yours sincerely
James Douglas. V 106 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
A'ictobia, 21st July, 1855.
My7 dear Sib
Hanson having called to say that he was on the point of leaving this place, on his way to
Nisqually I have to acknowledge by him the receipt of your letter of the 30th Litmo., which
must have lingered somewhere on the way.    Many thanks for the intelligence it contains.
The " Recovery " arrived last night from the Sandwich Island;—ship and cargo, in high
order; no news of any importance from thence. Salmon still low, and lumber, not paying cost
and charges.
Her Majesty's Propeller " Brisk " arrived here they day before yesterday. Left the Fleet
off Sitka, two days before. Petro Paulowski has fallen, the fleet dashed in and took the place
without firing a shot.
There was no enemy to oppose them, Ships, troops and inhabitants had all left the scene of
contention and no traces of the fugitives could be found. A great disappointment to our gallant
tars w7ho expected some hard fighting. No attempt was made to molest our friends at Sitka
who were assured of safety. Admiral Bruce writes that he will not call here this year, himself,
but the " Trincomalee " will be despatched to this place in a short time.
No other tidings of any importance.
With best wishes
Yours sincerely
James Douglas.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.
A'ictobia, 25th Aug: 1855.
William F. Tolmie, Esqre.
My7 Dear Sir
The Nesqually canoe arrived here and A'enn safely delivered the packet into my hands.
The news from Fenchurch Street is important; the cargo of furs ex " Princess Royal " was
landed in excellent order; and from the report of Fur transactions at the last Leipsic Fair, there
is every probability that the autumn fur sales will go off satisfactorily. Dr. Johnson will not
be allowed to return to this country, in the Compauys service; in consequence of his trading
transactions at Nanaimo. Pembertons return is also uncertain—he has had a very tempting
offer, in connection with the projected rail-ways in India—and may probably accept it—so he
writes to me.
Many thanks for your kind letter of the ISth and 19th. I am grieved at the state of my
poor wifes health, and am ready to do any thing to comfort and relieve her. The letters were
for her as well as Mrs. Helmcken, family letters that all might read.
Your report of proceedings in respect to San Juan affairs, is useful and interesting, those
worthies of AVhatcomb, appear disposed to agitate, until matters are brought to a crisis—their
blood be upon their own heads should any be shed. I trust the rumoured repulse of the Allies
at " Sebastopol " is false or greatly exaggerated. The successes at Kertch, and the Sea of Azoff
are so complete and have so important a bearing on Crimean affairs, that one is tempted to ask
why the Fleet was kept so long inactive and the attempt not sooner made. The Trincomalee
was at Sooke last week and is expected here today. Symptoms of scurvy among the crew
induced Captain Houston, to leave Sitka sooner than he intended.
We expect the Otter about the 27th Inst. She will afterwards take a run to Nesqually,
except in the case of her having an insufficient stock of coal for the trip, requiring her to make
a previous call at Nanaimo—which will cause a weeks further delay.
Airs. Douglas will return here with the " Otter." 4 Geo. 5
British Columbia.
V 107
There is not a man about this place who can be called either trusty or faithful or I would
place him, immediately at your disposal.
With kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie and family and sincere best wishes,
Your friend
Jas. Douglas.
28th sVug.    The Monarch Admiral Bruce is just arrived in Esquimalt—magnificent ship.
J. D.
A'ictoria, A'ancouver's Island,
1st May, 1856.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
Deae Sir
I had this pleasure on the 28th of April by Jone's Boat, who took charge of the Packet for
Nesqually, I believe that no mention was made in that letter of a payment of $20 having been
made to him at this place, being the charge in full of the Mails Carried by him up to said date.
I have again to beg the favor of your attention to the forwarding of the two packets herewith, by the earliest Conveyance for San Francisco.
Several interesting experiments have lately been made here in washing out Gold at Soke
and other places; the result is encouraging and will lead to further researches, as the attention
of the public is now strongly directed towards that object.
There is nothing else of much importance to communicate at present.
With best wishes
1 Packet H. Labouchere Esqr. Yours truly
1       „      AV. G. Smith Esqr. James Douglas.
A'ictobia, A'ancouver's Island,
26th May, 1856.
W. F. Tolmie, Esqre.
Dear Sir.
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters of the llth of May, one of them
enclosing a communication from W. H. Frost, in respect to the importation of goods, via Fraser's
River, to Fort Colvile.
It is our intention to build a new Post on British Territory, within 30 miles of Fort Colvile,
where the greater part of the goods, sent to that district, will be deposited.
AA'e therefore do not wish to enter all the goods, taken in by Mr McDonald, at the U. S.
Custom-house, but only such part of the same, as may be intended for the Posts within the
American limits, and, as that proportion cannot be ascertained here, we wish Mr McDonald to
make the entries on his return to Colville, where I am of opinion Mr. Frost ought to station a
Custom-house Officer, and if he considers the expense too great, we will bind ourselves to Act
as revenue Officers, in our own affairs, and to pay duty on all the goods, we send over the
Frontiers.    Pray mention this subject without delay to Mr. Frost.
We have received the mail forwarded by Dr Johnstones boat, and also, that, by Jones who
takes on the present mail to Nisqually.
I will thank you to forward my despatches, which are herewith transmitted.
AA'ith kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie I remain
Dear Sir
Yours very truly
James Douglas. V 108
Provincial Archives Department.
A'ictoria, A'ancouver's Island,
26th August, 1856.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
Deab Sib
The Nisqually Docket exhibits (a) (grea)t array of your welcome letters, which have not
(yet) (be)en acknowledged, but I will now7 pay off the score (without) further delay. I have
three of your letters (dated) 17th July, and two of the 7th and 11th August. (I) (inten)ded
to have sent the "Otter" to Nisqually last (week, but the) "Recovery" being here waiting for
a cargo, she was (?)  Sent to Langley for Salmon just cured,  (and has not yet)  returned.
Two days ago a Squatter named Thomas (?) (was) brought to this place by a party of
Cowegines (in a serio)usly wounded state. It appears that (he was fire)d at by a Sarimina
Indian, a Tribe who inhabit (the) Cowegin District, and I am now hourly expecting (the arrival)
of the "Otter," to proceed with a force allowed (by) Admiral Bruce, to secure the offenders.
AVe shall have a desperate chase, but for the peace and security of the settlements, we must use
every exertion to seize him.
This will be a further detention to the Otter, as she cannot visit Nisqually until that
business is over. Salmon are exceedingly scarce in this quarter, and I greatly fear it will
be a year of privation in New Caledonia. You may act in the case of Gravelle, according to
the dictates of your own excellent judgment. I shall be most happy to see you at this place.
Rewarding faithful servants by small grants of land is I agree with you an excellent plan, and
may I think be adopted with advantage in the case of the Puget's Sound Company's servants.
Your requisition for supplies has received best attention, and will be forwarded by the first
Both Jones & Innis, arrived here and delivered their respective Packets. (The A'ictoria)
Packet is forwarded by Jones, and I have (to) recommend my letters to your kind care, being
herewith transmitted.
With kind respects and best wishes
Yours Sincerely
James Doug (las).
P.S. I forward herewith a despatch from Admiral Bruce, which I will thank you to transmit
with care. I also herewith return the vouchers sent here for signature, say seven in duplicate.
Be careful in forwarding the scrip only by a Safe conveyance, as it is not in duplicate. AVben
are those Bills to be Settled?    I trust Governor Stevens will see to that.
Yours truly
James Douglas.
A'ictobia, 13th Aug: 1857.
My deab Sir
Jones arrived last night and delivered your letter of the 7th of Instant, with a requisition
which will receive our attention. Jones claims ten dollars for carrying your communication in
fact precisely the Same price as for an English mail. Pray always make some previous and
special arrangement with the Post man, when he brings only a small packet and no English
AVe have very lately heard of the murder of Colonel Ebey, on Whidbeys Island. The blood
thirsty villains should be chaced to their homes, and capitally punished; or it will soon be
dangerous to live on any part of this coast.
We are all well in this quarter, salmon is very abundant. Manson will go to Nesqually, by
Jone's boat in a few days.
I send an express canoe with the mail, for the purpose of catching the mail Steamer—which
leaves Astoria on the 19th Inst., as it is of immense importance that the letters should be trans- 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 109
mitted by that conveyance.    Pray therefore spare no expense in forwarding the letters by an
express rider, should they be too late for the Steilacoom mail.
I have sent Antoine in Charge of the Canoe; and you will please to send him back immediately with our letters and papers.   The Indians are all Natives of Victoria
In haste
Yours faithfully
James Douglas.
A'ictoria, V.I., 18th Deer. 1857.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
My7 dear Sir
I owe you many thanks for your Kind letter of the 10th of Instant, wiiich I have just
received by Mr. Rhodes. I feel obliged by the trouble you have taken to collect information
respecting the American Stud horses that are for sale in your neighbourhood.
It would be very important to have one of those animals here, but since I spoke to you on
the subject it has occurred to me that there would be a difficulty in getting him attended to by
any of our people, and that we will therefore defer the purchase for the present, though probably
we may make some such arrangement in the spring and thereby save the cost of Keeping him in
idleness all winter.
I have noted your remarks about Blenkinsop's business transactions. McArthur seems to
be feathering his nest pretty w7ell at our expense. You ought to write Blenkinsop, and inform
him that such extensive transactions should not be undertaken without consulting the Board of
His course throughout those transactions has been unbusinesslike as well as impolitic; it is
in fact putting arms into the hands of those who seek the destruction of our trade.
I feel all the importance of your remarks about the School, a subject in which I take a
heartfelt interest, and I am willing to do anything in my power, and to support any well digested
Scheme for accomplishing the great object of having a respectable Seminary of education in this
I am certainly your debtor to a great extent for many unrequited and interesting letters.
I must crave your indulgence in that respect in consideration of the constant pressure there is
upon my time at present.
It would indeed be a great disappointment to me if deprived of your Kind and valued
Pray write as often as you can. I was sorry that I missed seeing yourself and Mrs. Tolmie
before leaving this place. The " Otter " has just returned from San Francisco having had a
very stormy passage. The " Recovery" sailed 3 days ago for the Sandwich Islands, with a
cargo of Salmon, and the " Satellite " is here; the " Plumper " is still out surveying
With Kind respects to Mrs. Tolmie and best wishes
I remain Dear Sir
Yours very truly
James Douglas.
P.S.    Pray send me 50 Apple Trees—% winter, y:i early fruits.    J. D. V 110
Provincial Archives Department.
A'ictoria, A'ancouver's Island,
28th December, 1857.
William F Tolmie, Esqre.,
Dear Sir
I have received your letter of the 3rd of December, enclosing a requisition of Goods for
Nisqually which will have our best attention. I have also noted your remarks about the early
despatch of the Otter. That vessel is now under repair and we have many pressing demands
for her services.   AVe will however attend to your requirements as soon as business will permit.
AVith best wishes
I remain Dear Sir
Yours truly
James Douglas.
29th. P.S. We have just now received very favourable accounts from Thompsons River.
About 209 oz. of Gold have been traded from the Natives since the 6th of last October. I am
forming a transport corps for the purpose of pouring supplies into the interior by Frasers River
making a Portage in whole or in part at the Falls, and we shall probably form a Depot at the
junction of Thompsons River—with Frasers River. I propose employing Mr. Peers on that
service, which we must set about immediately. I have just issued a Proclamation, declaring the
rights of the Crown in respect to all Gold found in its natural state of deposit and prohibiting
the removal of the same, by any persons not duly authorised by License, from this Government.
This is the fore-runner of a series of measures having for object the prevention of crime,
and the protection of life and property in the Gold Country.
I beg that you will cause the Proclamation and License regulations to be inserted in the
" Pioneer and Democrat" for the information of the Public. The Couteau Indians have driven
off all the whites who have attempted to work the Rivers of their country, and people should be
warned that they are decidedly dangerous.
Yours ever truly    Jas. Ds.
James Douglas, Esqe., to A. Babclay7, Esq., Secy,,
17 August, 1850.
H. B. Company, Fobt A'ictobia,
" Chief Factor Work arrived here lately by Canoe from Fort Rupert to consult about the
affairs of that place, which are in great disorder. The Miners, with the exception of Mr. and
Mrs. Muir and their youngest boy left that place with their families for California by the barque
" England."—Walker the Blacksmith and six other men, recruits by the Norman Morison, whose
names are enclosed, absconded at the same time. The other men on the establishment consisting
of 11 of the Norman Morison recruits, aud a party of 11 Canadians, influenced by their example,
had struck for double pay and many other allowances inconsistent with the rules of the Service.
Another party of eight men left the fort in presence of the Officers, and made their way by canoe
to this place. To check the Spirit of insubordination in the bud I mustered a party of one
clerk, Mr. H Moffat, and twelve men, volunteers and others, and despatched them to Fort
Rupert with instructions to Mr. Blenkinsop, the officer in charge, to treat the mutineers as
prisoners at large, and to feed them on bread and water until they returned to duty on the
terms of their agreement. With that reinforcement there will be a force of 18 men not concerned in the Strike which will be sufficient to protect the Fort. The Mining operations are
completely suspended as Mr. Muir objects to starting without the assistance of regular miners. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 111
The Indians however continue to bring in coal, which, owing to increased numbers at work,
they produce in larger quantities than last year. There were by last accounts about 700 Tons
in the Coal Yard near the Fort. These difficulties have in many respects a baneful effect on
the Service, by impairing our influence with the natives, and destroying the character of the
Service. These effects have been felt at Fort Rupert, as I have received letters from Mr.
Blenkinsop and Dr. Plelmcken declaring their intention of leaving the Service at the close of
the present year, a circumstance which adds greatly to my own pressing anxieties."
" Chief Factor AVork left this place a few days ago by canoe on his return to Fort Rupert,
and will see that the instructions to Mr. Blenkinsop are carried out to the letter."
Fobt A'ictoria, 3d Jany. 1852.
Archibald Barclay, Esqre.
The American Sloop " Susanna " bound from San Francisco to Nisqually but last at Neah
Bay called at this Port Yesterday to land Captain Mitchel with the Officers and Crew of the
Company's Brigantine " Una" which unfortunately drove on shore with two Anchors down,
on Neah Island, near Cape Flattery in a gale of wind, during the Night of the 25th December.
The master of the " Susanna " (Hoffmgton) then lying at Anchor in Neah Bay, very kindly
and promptly rendered every assistance to the Crew of the " Una " whom he Received on board
the " Susanna" with all the Cargo Consisting of Furs and Gold Ore from Queen Charlottes
Island, so that fortunately No lives were lost and None of the Cargo.—The Vessel with her Stores
and Rigging became a prey to the Indians who either from accident or design, set her on fire,
and she was burnt to the waters edge before the party left Neah Bay. There was otherwise
however No hopes of saving her as she was forced among the Rocks and lay Nearly dry at
low water.
Captain Mitchell has duly noted his sea protest and all the documents Connected with the
Recovery of the Insurance, will be drawn up and transmitted as soon as possible for the information of the Committee.
I feel great obligation to Captain Hoffmgton for his kindness to our people and have paid
him the Sum of $700 dollars which he charged for the detention of the " Susanna " a large sum
Considering the Circumstances, but Moderate Compared with the loss the Coy. would have
sustained had the Cargo fallen into the hands of the Indians.
The Indians of Cape Flattery with a few honorable exceptions behaved Very badly on the
occasion having Robbed and Maltreated some of the " Unas " Crew who landed soon after she
was cast on Shore.
This disaster has deprived us of a useful A'essel at a season when her services are greatly
needed and I would in Consequence Strongly Recommend that another A'essel be sent out to
Replace the " Una " of the tonnage and description stated in My letter of the 23rd Novr. last,
when advocating the same Measure on other grounds.
That description will show exactly the sort of A'essel adapted for the Company's service
on this Coast. One that will do the greatest Amount of work at the smallest Cost. The Trade
of Queen Charlottes Island will probably furnish much occupation for the Coming Year and we
propose taking every advantage of it.
I have Received no late intelligence concerning our A'essels detained at Nisqually but I
have Requested Chief Factor Work to advise You directly from Nisqually of every event that
transpires Connected with them. This is forw7arded to Nisqually by the " Susanna " now on
the point of sailing,
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient Servt.
James Douglas. V 112 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Goveenment House A'ictobia
29th December 1857.
With reference to the Proclamation issued on the 2Sth of December, declaring the lights of
the Crown, in respect to gold found in its natural State of deposit within the Districts of
Fraser's River and of Thompson's River, commonly known as the Quaailan, Couteaux, and
Shuswap countries, his Excellency the Governor, has been pleased to establish the following
provisional regulations, under which licences may be obtained, to dig Search for, and remove the
1st. From and after the first day of Feb next no person will be permitted to search for, or
remove, gold, on or from any lands public or private, without first taking out and paying for, a
licence, in the form annexed.
2nd. For the present, and pending further proof of the extent and productivness of the gold
deposits, the licence fee has been fixed at 10s/- per month payable in advance, but it is to be
understood, that the rate is subject to future adjustment, as circumstances may render expedient.
3rd. The licences can be obtained, at A'ictoria A'ancouvers Island, until a commission is
appointed by his Excellency the Gove to carry those regulations into effect, and w7ho will be
authorized to receive the fee payable thereon.
4th. Rules adjusting the extent and position of land to be covered by each license and for
the prevention of confusion, and the interference of one license with another, will be regulated
by the Said commissioner.
James Douglas,
Governor Vancouvers Island.
By His Excellency's command.
Richaed Golledge
(1.)   Letter to Captain H. Bagot, R. N.
Montreal, 12 Feby 1S42.
Since the 3d. Instant the day of the receipt of your polite Letter, I have carefully examined
my Letters to Sir Robert Peel and Lord Stanley, forwarded to them in the Summer of 1840, and
have added a few7 sentences to render more clear what appears to have too much brevity. The
Letters now sent by the Honble. Peter McGill are Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. Two letters yet remain,
No. 6 & 7 which close at the Pacific Ocean. I hope they may receive the approbation of His
Excellency. The Third and following Letters refer to Maps of the Country on which the several
letters are respectively written, and cannot well be understood without the Maps. My circumstances are now such that I cannot give my time to copy my original Maps without some
remuneration, say at the rate of £30 per Month, for the Letters I make no charge. The Maps
required to elucidate the disputed and unsettled parts of the 6th and 7th Articles of the Treaty
of Ghent are first—a Map of Lake St. Clair, and its Channels—2nd A Map of St. Maries River
which connects Lake Huron and Lake Superior. 3rd A Map of Lake Superior with the unsettled
territory to the North end of the Lakes of the Woods and Westward to the Missisippi and the
Red River.    4 A Map of the Countries on the West Side of the Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.. 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 113
How7 far any or all of these Maps may be useful to His Excellency or to Lord Ashburton
whom report says is shortly to be expected to arrive at AVashington with plenary powers to settle
the Boundaries of the two Nations, His Excellency must be the best Judge. To me it appears
next to impossible for any Minister to understand the effects of a Boundary without the Maps.
I am &c.
' David Thompson.
Captn. H. Bagot R. N.
de. de. de.
(2.)   On the Seventh Article of the Treaty of Ghent.
"It is further agreed that the (said) two last-mentioned Commissioners, after they shall
have executed the duties assigned to them in the preceding Article, shall be, and they are hereby,
authorized upon their Oaths impartially to fix and determine, according to the true intent of
the said Treaty of Peace of 1783, that part of the Boundary of (between) the Dominions of the
two Powers which extends from the AA'ater Communication between Lake Huron and Lake'
Superior, to the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods, to decide to which of the
two Parties the several Islands lying in the Lakes, water communications and Rivers, forming
the said Boundary, do respectively belong, in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty
of Peace of 1783 " &c.
It appears from the above that the 7th Article commences at the outlet of Lake Superior or
head of St. Maries River and apparently to pass through the middle of Lake Superior. By the
treaty of Peace of 1783 the Boundary in Lake Superior " Shall pass North of Isles Royale and
Philipeaux to the Long Lake, thence through the middle of said Long Lake and the Communication between it and the Lake of the AVoods to said Lake of the Woods, thence through said Lake
to the most North Western Point thereof—from thence on a due West course to the River
Missisippi, and Northward to the Southern Boundary of the Territory granted to the Merchant
Adventurers of England trading to Hudsons Bay." On the Old Maps which guided the Commissioners of both powers in laying down the Boundary through Lake Superior, Isle Philipeaux
is represented as a large Island fully ten miles in length, lying about 20 miles, Westward of
Isle Royale of which Island the Boundary shall pass northward according to the true intent of
the Treaty of 1783—Hence we have a specific distance in Lake Superior where the Boundary
shall pass, being about 30 miles westward of the West end of Isle Royale—" From Northward of
Isle Philipeaux to the Long Lake, thence through the middle of said Long Lake." There is no
Lake of this name near Lake Superior, nor in any part of the interior Country to the Lake of
the Woods—the expression " to the Long Lake " seems to imply a Lake either in contact with
Lake Superior or near this Lake by some direct water communication. No such Lakes or Water
Communication exists, and unless the Boundary Line returns on itself, which could not be the
true intent of the Treaty, there is no water communication that leads to the Lake of the Woods
from opposite the place assigned to Isle Philipeaux but the continuaion of the Boundary in
nearly the same direction through Lake Superior, leads to the fine estuary, of the River St. Louis
and answers the description of the Long Lake then (in 1783) the great thoroughfare of the Fur
Trade both to the interior, the Lake of the Woods, and to the rich Countries of the Missisippi,
and its branches, and to the Red River and its Streams from whence the greater part of the
Fur Trade then came. The inspection of the Map will clearly shew the superior communication
by the River St. Louis to the Lake of the Woods, over all the other Communications. It is a
Continuous River to a height of Land: thence by a carrying place of 6278 yards to the A'ermillion
River, which descends into Lake Namenkin, and thence direct to the Lake of the Woods. For
several years after the Peace of 1783, the United States did not dare to lay claim to the Countries
on the West part of Lake Superior and westward to beyond the head waters of the Missisippi.
The Fur Trade of those Countries was then wholly carried on by British Traders with British
Manufactures—the Indians were numerous and hostile, and would allow no other.
Michillimackinau (now called Mackinau) is an Island that lies in the Strait which connects
Lake Huron with Lake Michigan, then the Mart of the Fur Trade from Montreal to the Western
8 V 114 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
In 1800 the United States placed a collector of Customs on this Island who levied heavy
duties on all British Merchandize—that passed to the Western Countries around and beyond
Lake Michigan yet the Fur Trade remained in the hands of the British Traders. In 17S3
the broken communication from the Mouth of the Pidgeon River in Lake Superior, to the Lake
of the Woods, was the route of a few Fur Traders to the distant interior Countries, but by the
persevering efforts of the North West Company, gradually increased and became one of the
principal Thoroughfares of the Fur Trade.
To gain this broken communication every thing had to be landed in a Bay of Lake Superior,
AVestw7ard of the Pidgeon River and by men to be carried eight miles to where the Pidgeon River
is somewhat navigable for Canoes. In the Summer of 1800, a United States Collector Landed,
and told the British Fur Traders, the Bay and carrying place were within the United States
Territory, and he would levy duties on all the Merchandize and Furs that should be landed
in the Bay or pass on the carrying place. The whole of that Side of Lake Superior was then,
and is yet, neutral, and not decided to which Nation it shall belong. The British Fur Traders
were aware that against the arbitrary duties to be levied they would have no support from the
Provincial Government of Canada. They were therefore obliged to explore and open out a very
circutous route to the interior by the Kah-min-is-tik quoi-an River about 40 Miles North Eastward to the great Carrying place of the Pidgeon River, at a great labor and Expence, and in
1802 removed thereto, and which communication bad as it is, is now the only route left for
the Fur Traders to the Interior Countries. The United States demand the Boundary shall pass
through the middle of this circuitous communication although it was not known and opened
until 17 years after the Peace of 1783. The United States, during the War declared in 1812,
severely felt the effects of British Influence on the Indians. In 1815 Congress passed a Law
wholly prohibiting British Subjects trading or traficking with the Indians within their Territory.
The South Fur Trade by Lake Michigan was in consequence wholly given up. The Fur Trade
by the River St. Louis on the South West end of Lake Superior to the interior Countries Westward had received but little interruption—That River was then, and is yet neutral ground, but
in 1816, although the United States could not then on account of the Indians, make themselves
Masters of that Country, yet by a Collector threatening to levy heavy duties on all British
Merchandize and Furs that should pass by the River St. Louis, the British Fur Traders had to
quit the River and the Trade connected with it, altho' east side of that River, strictly speaking
ought to be in the British dominions. The Treaty of 1783 then directs the Boundary to pass
" from the North West Point of the Lake of the AA'oods in a due West course to the Missisippi,"
at the Time of the Treaty of 1783 the North West point of the Lake of the Woods, w7as supposed
to lie in about 50 degrees of North Latitude, and the head of the Missisippi, somewhat further
North, which made the United States agree to a line due West. In the year 1796 conversing
with Mr. John Sager a well educated English Gentleman, wiio was then at the head of the Fur
Department in those Countries, from his account of the extreme Sinuous course of the Mississippi
to its head led me to doubt if it lay so far North as supposed.
Mr. William McGillivray and Sir Alexander McKenzie, then Agents for the North West
Company, requested me to examine all the AVestern Countries to the Missisouri River.
In the Spring of 1797, I was on the head waters of the Missisippi and by Astronomical
observations determined its head to be in the Latitude and Longitude laid down in the Map,
making a difference of 2 degrees and 20 minutes more South than the then supposed North
West point of the Lake of the Woods. The result of my observations was to be kept secret
until a Small Map of the Western Countries which I made could be laid before the Secretary
for Foreign Affairs in London. By Sir Alexander McKenzie going to New York, the Latitude
and Longitude of the Missisippi became known and directly communicated to the President of
the United States at Washington who without loss of time sent Mr. Jay (I think) to propose
another Boundary. On Mr. Jay's arrival in London (as I was informed) he artfully represented
to the British Minister that the head of the Missisippi River was an unknown place situated
among barbarous and hostile Indians, on which account it would be next to impossible to draw
the Boundary Line, and that as the North AVest point of the Lake of the AA'oods lay in 50 degrees
North Latitude, the United States would accede to a definite Boundary on the parellel of the
49th. degree of North Latitude to the East foot of the Rocky Mountains, to which without
consideration the British Minister agreed, and this 49th. degree of North Latitude has since been
and now is the established Boundary between the two Nations from the Lake of the Woods, 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 115
to the East foot of the Rocky Mountains. By this artful policy the United States gained
35,061 Square Miles of territory, full one third of which is fertile Soil of the first quality, the
rest is part of the grassy Plains which extends to the foot of the Mountains.
In a review of the above, one cannot help being struck with the Steady and Successful
conduct of the United States, in enlarging by various means, their territory, and circumscribing
the Dominions of Great Britain. In the year 1800 a United States Collector lands at the great
carrying Place iu Lake Superior, 147 miles north Eastward of St. Louis River, and by his
single word, tho' on Neutral ground, obliges the British Fur Traders to remove 40 miles further
north Eastward, and there open out a new communication to the Interior Countries, and which
is now demanded by the United States, and in 1816, a Collector, by the threat of levying heavy
duties, banishes the British Traders from the River St. Louis, tho' doubtful to which Power it
may belong. The United States take possession of all the Countries they think proper to claim,
as a National right. The demand of the United States for St. Marie's River which connects
Lake Huron with Lake Superior, and the Countries interior of the latter Lake, may be said
to place Great Britain on her last plank to contend with the Sovereignty of the vast possession
in North America to the Pacific Ocean. If the demands of the United States are granted, She
gives up the Keys of her North and AVestern Dominions, shuts herself out from those Countries
can have no communication with them, but by the Frozen Shores of Hudsons Bay. It may be
asked what is the present use of St. Maries River and the Countries interior of Lake Superior—
None other at present than what has been stated, but the operations of time will make them
of high value to the power in possession of them.
The same may be asked of the Rocks of Gibralta and Malta—All of them have their own
peculiar value for the safety of the British Empire. The United States have (especially since
the Treaty of Ghent) in a manner taken possession of all the Countries they claim, as if since
that, sooner or later, they will be given up by Great Britain, and the negligence and procrastination of the British Ministry in settling the Boundaries of her vast possessions on this Continent
give them every right to think so, whatever may be the result. A few years ago the question
of the North Eastern Boundary was treated with contempt as if below the notice of either
nation; the whole of the disputed territory was said not to be worth one thousand Dollars,
it lay dormant. It has started up as a question of importance and threatening aspect to both
Nations, causing much discussion & anxiety, and great expense, and who can tell when and
how it will be settled, yet it is a simple question of territory—no strong National prejudice
or political motive is mixed up with it.
On the contrary to the settling of the Northern and Western Boundary between the two
powers, the United States will bring to the tenacious grasp of territory the strong deep national
prejudice against the Indians, and the sound policy of limiting Great Britain of as much as
possible of her dominions; and with this the British Influence over the Indians. If the United
States can effect this they may call North America their own, they will gradually by fraud
and force become Masters of the Fur Trade, and the Indians wholly at their Mercy for their
wants, Arms, Ammunition, &c. and under their unprincipaled command the democracy of the
several States will effect this and the Executive at Washington plead inability to prevent them;
it is the Will and the AV'ork of the Sovereign People.
Respectfully &c.
David Thompson
t &c &c &c
(3.)   On the West side of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific  Ocean.
There is a very valuable Country, extending from the east foot of the Rocky Mountains
to the Pacific Ocean by the United States called the " Oregon Territory " to gain possession of
which is one of the principal objects of the present ambition of the United States. The north
West Coast of America was discovered and partly surveyed by Captain Cook and notice was
taken of the great profits to be made of the fine Fur of the Sea Otter which induced several
A'essels to proceed to the North Pacific Ocean. In the year 1792 there were 21 A'essels engaged
in this trade, of which about one third were from England the rest from the United States, V 116 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
mostly from Boston in New England. One of those A'essels called the Columbia commanded
by Mr. Grey, sailing near the Shore, perceived a large River which he entered for about 2 Miles,
and anchored to trade with the Natives and departed the same year, shortly after, this River
was visited by the Ships of Discovery under the Command of Captain Vancouver who, with the
Boats of his Ships surveyed the River for 120 Miles to Point A'ancouver near the foot of the
Rapids. The simple entrance of Mr. Grey in the Columbia, which A'essel gave name to the
River, and which cannot be called discovery of the Coast and Country, is the foundation on
which the United States make their Claim to this River and the extensive fine Countries watered
by its Streams, but their Claim is directed to prevent any and every part of North America
from being part of the British Dominions. The United States soon perceived the advantage of
such a safe Port, and the extensive commerce that could be carried on from it to China and
the Islands of that Ocean, but they were not in a condition to attempt a Settlement until 1810,
when Mr. Astor New York sent the Tonquin to establish a trading Post to be called Astoria on
the South Bank of the Columbia—about 15 Miles from the Ocean. This was my 5th. year of
discovery on the West side of the Mountains and placing Trading Posts on the head water of
the Columbia River: In 1S11 I went down the Columbia to Astoria and hoisted the British
Flag and above this place allowed no other Flag. In the War of 1812 The British Ministry sent
the " Racoon" Sloop of War, Captain Black, to take Astoria, which took place in 1813, and
hoisting the British Flag, took possession of Astoria and Country for Great Britain. By the
treaty of Ghent, on the principle of " Status ante bellum " the United States sent Captain Biddle
in the Ontario Sloop of War to take formal repossession, but this had no effect on the British
Fur Traders of the Columbia River. They were too firmly established both in position and
influence over the Natives to allow the United States to have any footing in those Countries,
altho' several fruitless attempts have been made to cross the Mountains. The British Ministry,
well informed of the situation of affairs, gave no countenance to the exorbitant Claims of the
United States but the discussion on it led to the first Treaty on the Country, near the Pacific
Ocean. In the first treaty relative to the above Country under date of October 20th. 1818, it
was agreed that the Country on the north west of America, Westward of the Rocky Mountains
claimed by either Nation, should be open to the Inhabitants of both for ten years for the purposes
of Trade, with the equal right of navigating all its Rivers. When these ten years had expired,
a subsequent Treaty of 1828 extended the arrangement to ten additional years which ended in
1838, leaving the question in the same unsettled state as previous to the year 1818. In the year
1815 a Law was passed by Congress prohibiting all traffic of British Traders within the territories
of the United States The operation of this Law appears to relate only to the Territories south
of the 49th. parallel of latitude and to the East foot of the Mountains, but until the Treaty of
1818, the United States held it, with all its penalties, to extend to the Pacific Ocean, to which
this Law has again returned since the 20th. October 1838. Mr. AVashington Irving, a favorite
Writer, and speaking the voice of the United States, thus expresses himself. " The north west
Company were now in complete possession of the Columbia River and its chief tributary Streams
and carrying on a trade throughout the neighbouring Region in defiance of the prohibiting Law
of Congress which in effect was a dead Letter beyond the Mountains. The British Trading
Establishments were thus enabled, without molestation, to strike deep their roots, and extend
their ramifications in despite of the prohibition of Congress. The British Government soon
began to perceive the importance of this region, and to desire to include it within their territorial domains. A question has consequently arisen as to the right of the Soil, and has become
one of the most perplexing now open between the United States and Great Britain. In respect
of commerce, we should have had a Line of Trading Ports from the Missisippi and Missourie
Rivers across the Rocky Mountains forming a high road from the great region of the west tc-
the Shores of the Pacific. We should have had a fortified Post at the mouth of the Columbia
River, commanding the Trade of that River and its tributaries, and of a wide extent of Country
and Sea Coast carrying ou an active and profitable Commerce with the Sandwich Islands, and a.
direct and profitable communication with China, gradually becoming a Commercial Empire
beyond the Mountains peopled by free and independent Americans and linked with us by ties
of blood and interest. Every year the litigated claim is growing in importance, there is no
pride so jealous and irritable as the pride of territory; should any circumstance therefore occur-
to disturb the present harmony of the two Nations this ill adjusted question which now lies
dormant may suddenly start up into one of belligerent import and Astoria become the Watchword 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 117
in a contest for dominion on the Shores of the Pacific." Such is the view the United States
take of this important question. AVhoever pays the least attention to Congress must notice
the Columbia River and adjacent region, under the name of the " Oregon Territory " annually
brought forward and the Executive urged to take possession of it; for notwithstanding the
efforts of their several Agents for Indians Affairs, they deeply feel the insecurity of their
Northern and Western Frontiers.
Respectfully  submitted &c.
David Thompson.
&c &c &c
(4.)   Letter to His Excellency Sir Charles Bagot, Governor-General of  Canada,
dated February 22nd, 1S42.
No. 7.
May it please y'our Excellency.
In President Tyler's last annual Message to Congress is the following.
" I strongly recommend to your consideration that portion of the Secretary's Report which
proposes the establishment of a chain of Military Posts from Council Bluffs (on the Missourie
River) to some point on the Pacific Ocean within our Limits. The benefit thereby destined to
accrue to our Citizens engaged in the Fur Trade over that AVilderness region, added to the
importance of cultivating friendly relations with Savage Tribes inhabiting it, and at the same
time of giving protection to our frontier Settlements, and of establishing the means of safe
intercourse between the American Settlements at the mouth of the Columbia River and those on
this side of the Rocky Mountains, would seem to suggest the importance of carrying into effect
the recommendations on this head with as little delay as may be practicable."
It appears that the proposition of the United States will be to extend the Line of the 49th
parallel of Latitude from the east foot of the Rocky Mountains across those Mountains until it
strikes the head waters of the Columbia River—thence down the middle of the said River to the
Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately the British Ministry appear to consider and prefer general Lines
for Boundaries in the wilderness of North America in preference to Lines more in detail, as if
Mountains, Hills and Rivers would assume the form place position and course intended by a
general line, and in consequence the effects of a Boundary Line is found to be almost anything
but what it was intended to be. Such is the state of the long vexed question of the North
Eastern Boundary, and such will probably be the effects of the intended Boundary from the
East foot of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The 49th parallel of Latitude will strike
the Columbia River in Longitude 117° 30' AA'est, and by following down the middle of the said
River will proceed as far as 52° 8' North Latitude. Such an extent northward of the Parallel
of the 49th. degree of Latitude, the Ministry surely do not contemplate equal to .218 Statute
Miles in a direct North line. By my Maps of those Countries the Columbia River drains an
extent of surface equal to 316,804 square Statute Miles; and according to the position of the
Mountains and Hills, the Rivers run in every direction before they finally bend their course
to the Pacific Ocean. It requires a Map of the AVest side of the Mountains to understand its
structure, so different from the east side of the Mountains. To continue the 49th. parallel of
Latitude from the East foot of the Mountains to the Pacific Ocean will be (in my opinion) the
first and favorite demand of the United States for a Boundary, they will urge its simple form
and certain direction. Should this Line be granted to the United States, it may be said to be a
surrender of all the valuable Country on the west side of the Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
In this case, a stipulation in justice ought to be made to allow all British Subjects with their
property freely to depart without any charges being made for the 29 years they have occupied
and cultivated the Land they are settled upon, and have permission to sell their Cattle and other
effects, which they may not be able to take away free of any Tax to be imposed on them. " At
the same time giving protection to our Frontier Settlements and of establishing the means of
safe intercourse between the American Settlements at the Mouth of the Columbia River and
those on the side of the Rocky Mountains." V 118 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Except the transient trading Post named Astoria in 1S12, and which was taken and put an
end to in 1813, the United States have never had even a visionary semblance of a Settlement
at the Mouth of the Columbia River or on any part of the West side of the Rocky Mountains;
but this unfounded assertion, as usual, is intended for effect on the British Ministry, and on
the democracy of the States.
In the beautiful Valley of the AVilharmet River on the South east side of the Columbia,
running from south to north, its Sortie 90 Miles from the Mouth of the Columbia River, are a
few farmers, mostly Canadian A'oyageurs who, with their families, live on the portion of Land
they have selected, and with them are a few Americans who, as Hunters, have crossed by the
Missourie pass of the Mountains, and live in like manner. At least seven tenths are British
Subjects. On the West side of the Columbia at Point A'ancouver, is a Settlement of one of the
Parties of the Hudson's Bay Company composed of many families a considerable quantity of
ground under cultivation, giving luxuriant returns in that fine Climate, where frost and Snow
are not known—many Horses, Cattle, and farm stock of every kind which enables them to
carry on a trade in their own A'essels with the Isles and Shores of the Pacific Ocean. A Ship
from the Port of London makes an annual A'oyage to this Settlement. In the Summer Season
the Columbia River is visited by miriads of very fine Salmon of fine species, the largest of about
50 lbs weight, and the smallest species of 5 lbs weight. The latter ascend to the very head of
the River. The Sturgeon are excellent, weighing from three to five hundred and fifty pounds.
A'egetation is on the same scale. I have measured Pines, clean grown, 42 to 48 feet girth and
200 feet without a branch, immense Groves of the finest Cedar 18 to 36 feet girth—the Oak 18
feet girth even the Raspberry measured 18 to 21 feet high. Whoever Settles in this fine Climate
and Country has no wish to return. The British Dominions in North America are certainly not
the splendid gorgeous regions of the East, but they are the Nurseries of Mankind to whom the
Manufacturers of Great Britain are essential, every year are encreasing in demand and value.
Upon what foundation does the United States Claim of the West side of the Rocky Mountains
stands—did those fine Countries form any part of the thirteen States at the Peace of 1783?
they did not then extend to the Missisipi River. It is a Claim without a Shadow of right to
the annoyance of Great Britain.
Respectfully submitted &c.
David Thompson.
formerly Astronomer and Surveyor under the 6th and 1th
Articles of the Treaty of Ghent.
His Excellency Sir Charles Bagot, Governor General, dc. dc. do.
February 22d. 18J/2.
P. S. Since writing the above I have just learned from a Gentleman of the Hudson's Bay
Company that the United States in 1841 sent a considerable number of Men to the lower part
of the Columbia River, and that at least an equal number is to be sent this next Summer.
(5.)   Letter to J. M. Higginson.
Montreal 21 July 1S43.
Please lay before His Excellency the Governor General, the following sketch of the Oregon
Territory. .
The United States demand a Boundary line through what is called the Oregon Territory,
being the Country on the West side of the Rocky Mountains, drained by the Columbia River, and
its tributary Streams, a surface of full 316,804 Square Miles. It may not be unacceptable to
Her Majesty's Ministers, to have a brief description laid before them. It is a Country very little
known, and has not yet engaged the attention of the British Public.
From whatever cause, hitherto not explained, the west sides of the Continents (more
Mountainous than the East sides) have a more temperate and regular Climate than the East
sides.    The  Columbia  River  enjoys  this  mild   temperature;   even  at   the  foot   of  the  great 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 119
Mountains the AVinters are short and mild; for about four Months small rain with very little
Snow. In February the Spring commences, and the flowers spring up. Near the Pacific Ocean,
frost and Snow are unknown; the Winter is a rainy Season of about four Months; the rest of
the year is mostly dry, with a clear Sky and every night heavy dew. The heat is finely tempered
by the regular Sea breeze, which rises at about 10 A.M. and increases to about 10. P.M. it is
then a Gale, then decreases to 3 or 4 A.M. and is calm to 10 A.M. when the Sea Breeze returns;
it is felt to the Mountains. This mildness of Climate gives every advantage to the Farmer, both
for Grain and Cattle; the latter require very little care from Man; the Hogs have become wild,
herds of horses are in the same state. The Climate and Country is favorable to Sheep; of which
there are flocks of several thousands. On the east side of the Mountains, the A'egetation and
Forests, are in proportion to Alan, but on the head waters of the Columbia, and near the Ocean,
Man shrinks into a pigmy among the Forests of Cedar of 18 to 36 feet girth. I have measured
pines of 42 and 4S feet girth at 10 feet above the root clean growth, and full 200 feet without
a branch, and then a fine head. The largest Oak I saw was only 18 feet girth. The raspberry
I measured 18 to 21 feet in height, its berries were large but not in proportion, and had not the
fine acid of humbler growth. All kinds of Grain have yielded a good return. In the Summer
Season, the Columbia River and its branches are visited by myriads of fine Salmon, of fine
species, weighing from 5 to 55 pounds; no two species enter the same River on leaving the main
stream. At the head of the Columbia I have weighed them of 251bs. The S(t)urgeon are from
300 to 550 lbs.
The Animals natural to the Country are. in the Mountains, the Goat, with fine long silky
hair, like Wool. The Sheep with the hair of the Deer. At the foot of the Mountains the Moose
and red Deer—and Seaward various species of the Antelope. The formation of the greatest
part of the Country is very undulating; every Stream has its Valley, bounded by the Spurs of
the Mountains, or by rising grounds, and its general structure seems to resemble Spain in Europe.
Cape Disappointment on the north side of the Sortie of the Columbia, can be made a strong
fortification, commanding the entrance of the River. A'essels drawing twenty feet water can
Navigate the River for about 120 Miles to near the falls. The Oregon Territory may be said
to contain within itself all the Materials necessary to form a powerful Kingdom, and its
situation on the Pacific Ocean, opposite to Japan and China, its proximity to the Southern
Isles and Northern sArchipelago, gives a most advantageous position for extensive Commerce,
which on a small scale, it carries with a few vessels. It may be made of great service to British
interests in those Seas, especially for provisions and timber; and in the event of a AVar, a strong
fortified Harbour, safe in all AVinds.
On what principle the United States demand a boundary, I cannot learn beyond report, they
have hitherto laid much stress on the right of discovery. Seaward, several years after Captain
Cooks discovery and survey of the AVest Shores of this Continent on the Pacific Ocean, Mr. Gray
of the United States, Commanding the trading A'essel, Columbia, entered the River, and Anchored
in Gray's Bay, and proceeded no higher. Captain A'ancouver was then surveying those Coasts,
and shortly after entered the Columbia River and Lieut. Broughton R.N. surveyed it for about
120 Miles up to the foot of the Rapids &.c.    This is all the claim the States can make.
In the interior Country, they rest their claim on the discovery of Messrs. Lewis & Clarke,
which was the Kamoenim River which they descended to the Columbia River, and thence to the
Sea (See the Map). This River is the most southern branch of the Columbia that flows from
the Rocky Mountains. Northward of this, for 400 Miles along the west side of the Mountains,
the Columbia and all the Rivers and Countries, are of my discoveries, during the space of six
years, which will limit them to a very small portion of the Oregon Territory. Sensible of their
limited claim, the United States may not urge it, but will, probably demand the Boundary Line
to be the 49th parallel of Latitude, continued from the East foot of the Rocky Mountains, across
the Mountains and to the Pacific Ocean, and as usual urge its simple form, and certain direction;
—but this insidious demand ought not to be granted, the 49th. parallel of Latitude intersects the
Colnmhia River in Longitude 117°30' AVest, then passes north of it, and comes on the Pacific
Ocean 87 Miles north of the Mouth of the Columbia River, thereby excluding England from all
the fine Countries south of this line; and giving to the United States the entrance of the
Columbia River, and 87 Miles north of it. virtually giving up the whole of the Oregon Territory.
Another demand may be. from where the 49th. parallel of Latitude intersects the east foot of
the Rocky Mountains, the Boundary to pass the Mountains in a direcbWine to the source of the V 120 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
Columbia River, thence down the middle of the said River to the Sea. This would extend the
United States to the Latitude of 52°8' North, giving to them all the most valuable Country and
Rivers of the Oregon Territory. To see the results of this, it is necessary to examine the Map.
for the devious course of the Columbia River. This ought never to be granted. The third
probable demand of a Boundary may be, the continuation of the 49th. parallel of Latitude, from
the East foot of the Mountains to where it intersects the Columbia River; thence down the
middle of the said River to the Sea. Should this be granted, it gives to the United States, all
the Saleesh Country, its fine Climate, Soil, and Rivers, and the only great defile of the Rocky
Mountains, safe and open for nearly the whole of the year, by which the United States will pour
their unprincipled people on the Oregon Territory. The passes of the Mountains by the
Missouri are long with serious obstructions.
The Boundary I now point out is that which, in my opinion, Her Majesty's Ministers ought
to insist on, and for once in the course of 60 years secure to Great Britain her Dominions, from
the hitherto successful policy of the United States. " From where the 49th. parallel of Latitude
intersects the east foot of the Rocky Mountains (in Longiude 113°40' West) the Boundary shall
pass southward along the east foot of the said Mountains to the Latitude of 4S° North thence
along the east foot of the said Mountains to the Latitude of 47 degrees north, thence on the
Parallel of this 47th. degree north, by a line due west, to cross the Rocky Mountains, and
continue to where it intersects the Columbia River, thence down the middle of the said River
to the Pacific Ocean." This Boundary secures to Great Britain the Saleesh Country and its
pass of the Rocky Mountains, and gives to the United States part of my discoveries, a great
extent of fine Country, and 97 Miles of the east bank of the Columbia River on which they have
no claim by discovery or otherwise.
The Oregon Territory from its structure and formation, the devious courses of its many
streams, requires an accurate Map. The Map now sent is the work of many years, founded on
actual minute surveys, and numerous Astronomical observations; the places of observation are
marked " Obsd." it is on the scale of three inches to one degree of Longitude. Shortly I hope
to finish a Sett of Maps of the Oregon Territory only, yet including the Rocky Mountains and
the heads of the Rivers that flow eastward, on the Scale of six inches to one degree of longitude,
which makes the Oregon Territory easy of inspection, and well adapted to the clear definition
of a Boundary line. Her Majesty's Ministers, I think will require to keep the latter as a Map
of reference, for as soon as the Boundary is determined, the Oregon Territory must rise into
As neither Letters nor Maps can answer questions, I am fully persuaded Her Majesty's
Ministers will require my personal assistance, to explain in detail the several Boundaries I have
pointed out, over a Territory so complicated and diversified with Mountains, Hills, Lakes and
Rivers.    My Services are at their command.
I have &c.
, David Thompson.
J. M. Higginson Esqr.
Private Secretary dc. dc. de.
To the Right Honorable the Earl of Aberdeen, Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign
The Memorial of the undersigned, most humbly and respectfully sheweth That he was
Astronomer and Surveyor to the British Commission, under the 6th. and 7th. articles of the
Treaty of Ghent, from May 1817, to the termination of the survey in 1827. The very arduous
duties of which, he performed to the entire satisfaction of the Commissioners of both nations.
Previous to which, and since, he has performed several services to the British and Provincial
Governments. « 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 121
That he has never, in any manner whatever, received any recompence beyond the bare
salary of his duty. That your Memorialist is now far advanced in the 74th. year of his age,
and is no longer capable of following his profession of Surveyor, and civil Engineer, he therefore, most respectfully, solicits a pension of One hundred pounds pr. year, for the few7 remaining
years of his life (if any) be granted to him; or a sum of money as may be most convenient;
and as in duty bound, he will ever pray.
With the highest respect
Your most obedient Servant
David Thompson.
Montreal November 29th. 18,3.
I most respectfully solicit a reference to His Excellency Sir Charles Metcalfe, Governor
General of Canada &c. &c.
The Right Honorable the Earl of Aberdeen, Her Majesty's  Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, dc. de.
Your Memorialist, most humbly, and respectfully shew7eth, that the two setts of Maps
forwarded to Her Majesty's Foreign Office by him, to lay clearly before Her Majesty's Secretary
■of State, the geographical position of the northern part of Her Majesty's Dominion in North
America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The one Map on the scale of three inches to
one degree of Longitude, extends from Latitude 45° to 60° north, and in Longitude from the
east side of Lake Superior, and the western Shores of Hudson's Bay to the Pacific Ocean. The
nther Map is from the west side of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, containing all
that country called the Oregon Territory, on the scale of six inches to one degree of Longitude.
These are manuscript Maps founded upon actual survey to 1/10 of a mile and corrected by very
numerous astronomical Observations for Latitude, Longitude, and A'ariation of the Needle Side
(all which are in his possession)—the results of 28 years of the prime of his life on discovery.
Such are the scientific Maps placed in your possession, for which, by the hands of Mr. Anthony
Barclay, British Consul at New York, you were pleased to award to him only £150. This sum
at a very low rate of wages does not pay even the time of the calculations for the Maps; and
let it be remembered, the survey of those extensive Countries, and these Maps, never cost the
British Government one shilling, the whole was done at his own expence. Mr. Arrowsmith
gave his award of £150 for these original Maps, regardless of the high science of survey, and
practical astronomy, which has been brought to bear on the extensive regions of North America,
of which a great part are yet the Dominions of Great Britain: every year rising into importance.
AA'here is the individual who has executed such a great work at his own expence. Add to this,
his services to the British Government for eleven years, under the 6th. and 7th. Articles of the
Treaty of Ghent; for the four last years of which he was Astronomer and Surveyor to both
Nations, the United States having no practical Astronomer, Thus nobly supporting the scientific
honor of England (his native country) and for which your Memorialist has never received any
reward whatever beyond his salary for the time he was on duty. Your Memorialist is in his
75th. year, of which 48 years of his life has been devoted to the advancement of British Interests
on this Continent without reward. Your Memorialist therefore, most humbly and respectfully
requests, that you will take into consideration the long and scientific services of your Memorialist,
and grant to him, for his Maps, and long services, a further sum of £150, with which he will
thankfully be content, to be a relief to him in his low circumstances, and old age; and as in duty
bound he will every pray
Most respectfully
Your obedient Servant
David Thompson.
Montreal 28 October V 122 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
The Right Honorable, the Earl of Aberdeen, Her Majesty's Secretary for Foreign Affairs dc. dc.
May7 it please y7oub Lordship.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a Letter from Her Majesty's Foreign Office
dated the 24th. October, in which it is stated " having voluntarily accepted the sum of £150,
which on the authority of Mr. Arrowsmith's opinion, Lord Aberdeen offered you for those Maps,
his Lordship does not consider that you have just claim for the additional sum which you now
solicit." In reply to which I have to remark, that my acceptance of £150 for my Maps of North
America from Ocean to Ocean, was anything, but voluntary.
From the month of May 1S43 to late in the year, I was encouraged by Sir Charles Metcalfe,
our Governor General, to prepare and bring forward the Maps of the Oregon Territory, & the
consequence was, that I left off the business of my profession ; and gave my whole time to the
setting in of a Canadian winter to get the Maps ready, and thereby had made no provision for
my family'during winter, relying on the Foreign Office doing me justice for my exertions; even
the time thus spent would have given me £150; the consequence was I had to sell the best part
of my furniture to procure the bare necessaries of life for my family; and when at length the
very low sum of £150 was offered me for the Maps of my discoveries, which cost me upwards
of 2S years of labor, and many hundred pounds of my private fortune, I had to accept it for
the remains of my furniture was then under a writ of execution for Rent. If I had not been
ill this sad destitute condition I should, most certainly, have refused the sum of £150. I was
destitute, what could I do. AVith regard to Mr. Arrowsmith's opinion, I have to remark, that
I have, several times been obliged to point out the errors of his Maps on North 'America, he
has had his revenge on me. My long services of 11 years under the 6th. and 7th. Articles of the
Treaty of Ghent will I hope, plead something in my favor.
Most respectfully
Your obedient Servant
David Thompson.
formerly Astronomer and Surveyor,
under the 6th. and 1th. Articles of
Montreal, December 2nd. 18f'i. the Treaty of Ghent.
(9.)   Lettee to Captain Sir James Alexander, Montreal.
Montreal.    May 9.    1S45.
My son Mr. Henry G. Thompson having mentioned to me, that as a Member of the Royal
Geographical Society of London you wished to see me, and render me any service you could,
for which I feel myself very much obliged to you; but to prevent any unfounded hope on my
part, I lay before you a brief memoir of my life, which may enable j7ou to judge how far I
am worth your kind attention. In Westminster on the royal foundation I received a mathematical education for the Royal Navy. I was free in AVestminster Abbey—its venerable cloisters
were my play grounds. The peace of 1783, and the reduction of the Navy, did not require us,
and the Class had to enter into merchant service and my lot fell to be engaged to the Hudsons
Bay Company, and in September 1784, 1 was landed at Churchill, the most northern of their
factories. In September 1785 I was ordered to York Factory (a long 150 miles) which I performed on foot on an alluvial soil of curious formation. In 178S & 9 I studied practical
astronomy under Mr. Philip Turnor, one of the compilers of the Nautical Almanac, and for
some time an assistant to the Astronomer Royal. From this time to 1796 by the Hudson's
Bay Company I made discoveries of the wild inhospitable regions of the north and west
countries; when finding the extreme parsimony of this Company would not even allow L25CV.
to the discovery of the interior countries and extension of their fur trade, I was obliged to
leave them, and enter into the service of the north west Company of Fur Merchants of Canada:
the late Mr. Simon McTavish was at the head of the firm, the Agents were the late Mr. William
McGillivray and Sir Alexr. McKenzie, Gentlemen of liberal and scientific views; they proposed
to me an extensive circuit of survey, founded on astronomical observations for Latitude, Longi- 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 123
tude and variation of the Compass—from some of the trading settlements I went to the
Missourie River, thence to the head waters of the Red River, and followed it thence to the
very sources of the far famed Missisippi, which I surveyed, and descended, as far, as in those
days (1797) (for war parties) I dared to do, thence turned to Lake Superior, surveyed the
south side of the Fall of St. Maries, and returned by the north side: from this to 1801 different
surveys took place. In 1S01 the northw'est company determined to extend their Fur Trade to
the w7est side of the Rocky Mountains, and if possible to the Pacific Ocean; this expedition was
intrusted to me, and I crossed the Mountains to the head waters of McGillivray's River; but
an overwhelming force of the eastern Indians obliged me to retreat a most desperate retreat
of six days for they dreaded the western Indians being furnished with Arms and Ammunition.
The report of my attempt and defeat, soon reached AVashington and in 1804 the Executive
of the U. States organised a plan of discovery, to be conducted by Captains Lewis and Clarke
(the former the nephew of President Jefferson) of the United States Army, with a company
of picked Soldiers. In 1805 they crossed the Mountains by the most southern branch of the
Columbia River, and wintered near the Pacific Ocean. In 1806 they returned toy the same route
and left no trace of possession behind them. This expedition directed the attention of the
Indians to the head waters of the Missisourie, and in 1807 gave me an opportunity of crossing
the Mountains, and placing myself on the head waters of the Columbia River, and built a fortified
Post of Stockades &c &c from thence exploring the country &c. and making trading settlements
of the North West Company (of which I was a Partner) on the several Rivers, Lakes, &c. &c.
In the autumn of 1810 Mr. Astor of New York made a settlement of a few Log Huts (named Fort
Astoria) as a trading Post, near the Pacific Ocean. In 1811 I went down the Columbia River,
and placed the British Flag at their door, they had to sell out to the North AVest Company, and
there ended Fort Astoria of which the United States talk so much. The North West Company
continued to extend their trading settlements to near the Pacific Ocean. In the year 1S22, the
junction of the North West, and Hudsons Bay Companies, took place, and by this the Hudsons
Bay Company came into possession of the trading Posts of the Oregon Territory, and since
which every thing in that country passes under their name, although until 1S22 not one of the
Hudsons Bay Company set a foot on the west side of the Mountains. Thus 28 years of my life
were spent in those distant countries, of which 20 years were passed on discovery from the
Latitude of 45° north to 60° north and in Longitude from fludson's Bay and the east end of
Lake Superior, to the Pacific Ocean.
My surveys of these extensive (and I may say yet unknown countries) were all conducted
on scientific principles; the courses and distances to 1/10 of a mile were taken of the Rivers,
Lakes &c &c and sketched—these courses and distances worked, and corrected by numerous
astronomical observations for Latitude, Longitude, variation of the Compass &c &c; every course
and distance has its Latitude and Longitude; all the above in their original state are yet with
me. How far these surveys and numerous observations over the above extensive countries are
worth preservation is doubtful, North America has no interest in the eyes of the British Public,
except at present the Oregon Territory, which, after lying 40 years dormant, has started into
notice. In 1817 I was appointed Astronomer and Surveyor under the 6th. and 7th. articles of
the Treaty of Ghent; the survey was conducted under strict scientific order, all the survey from
St. Regis to Lake Huron except Lakes Ontario and Erie (was by triangles of intersection; the
Base Lines correctly measured, and the positions determined by the Transits of the Sun and
Stars and compared with very many observations for Latitude, Longitude, &c. &c. &c. this
survey ended in 1827.
The great Lakes, Huron and Superior could not be surveyed by ordinary observations, nor
the interior countries to the north west corner of the Lake of the AVoods, they were subjected
to practical astronomy and as the United States had no practical Astronomer for the last four
years I acted for both nations.
The above may give some idea of the mass of scientific materials in my hands, of surveys,
of astronomical observations, drawings of the countries, sketches and measurements of the
Mountains &c &c &c all soon to perish in oblivion.
Most respectfully
Your obedient Servant
David Thompson.
Captain Sir James Alexander   lJt. Regt. dc dc dc   R. Engr. Office.   Montreal. V 124 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
(10.)   Remarks on the Oregon Tebbitoby-.
Mr. Falconer has given a clear view of the apparent claims of both nations to the Oregon
Territory, yet it appears neither nation placed any real confidence in their respective claims,
for Mr. Falconer justly observes, " there can be no question that mere discovery is not alone
a complete title to possession."
In 1790, Great Britain and the United States, agreed to the joint occupation of the country,
from Latitude 42° North, to Latitude 47° North; that is the Joint occupation of a Territory
bounded on the South by the parallel of 42° (North) on the north by the parallel of 47° North;
on the East by the Rocky Mountains, and on the West by the Pacific Ocean. (I have the treaty
but cannot now find it, and must depend upon my memory.)
This treaty was for ten years subject to either party disallowing it by giving one years
notice: in 1801 it was renewed for 10 years, and in 1818 again renewed for an indefinite time,
but as yet neither party has given a year's notice, and President Polk has put an end to it, by
claiming the whole of the Oregon Territory. In 1792, Lieutenant Broughton R.N. under the
sanction of the British Government, and by its orders, formally took possession of both banks
of the Columbia River, and on this formal possession, Great Britain founds its claim to the
Oregon, altho' no settlement was formed, and the country directly abandoned, nor to this day,
do I believe that on the part of the Crown, there is a Magistrate, a Court, &c, &c, necessary to
constitute a Colony.
It is a great pity Mr. Falconer did not take the treaty of 1790 and its renewals into his
consideration. It is contended that Mr. Gray was not in the Columbia River, but only in an
arm of the sea: had Lieutenant Broughton been as w7ell acquainted with Rivers as he w7as
with the Ocean, he would have made no such assertion; an arm of the sea we naturally (take)
to be salt water; whereas this arm of the sea is fresh water, formed by the Columbia River
overflowing low lands, which is common to all Rivers, and it required six days for Mr. Gray
to clear the Bar of the River.
Astoria was a trading Factory for Furs, situated close to & westward of Tongue Point, on
the expanse of the Columbia called an arm of the Sea; composed of private individuals in 1810,
and in 1813 sold to the North West Company, also private individuals; yet from this sale,
authorized by the British Crown. (I do not believe it) it became a British Colony without
a Magistrate or any legal authority to uphold the laws of a Colony; three days after the sale,
the Racoon sloop of War arrived to take Astoria, but found it in possession of the North West
Compy.; the crew were very much disappointed, as they expected prize money, but the Captain
quieted them.
At the peace of 1814, altho' Astoria was a Factory of private persons, yet the United
States obliged the Crown to give it up, and its limits to be for future discussion, which have
not yet been settled: here was lost a good opportunity for the Crown claiming the trading
settlements I made in 1807 & subsequent years.
The convention in 1818 was that of joint occupancy,—at the end of ten years, Mr. Canning
and Mr. Huskisson proposed that " the boundary beyond the Rocky Mountains, should pass from
those Mountains AA'estward along the 49th parallel of Latitude to the Northeasternmost branch
of the Columbia River, and thence down the middle of the stream, to the Pacific,"—this was not
agreed to. I doubt much if I could point out any such branch of the Columbia River, for all
the Eastern branches are Southward of the Columbia River.
President Munroe, in his Message of December the 2nd. 1.823 says. " the occasion has been
found proper for asserting that henceforth the American Continents were not to be considered
as subjects for European Colonization."
President Polk declared the same in bolder language; and this is the sole principle the
Crown has to contend with, everything else is argument to no purpose. The boundaries offered
by Great Britain, show a defective knowledge of the Territory.
There is but one boundary which ought to be satisfactory to England, & ought to content
the United States.    (If this is possible.)
This boundary is, from where the parallel of the 49th. degree of Latitude touches the East
side of the Rocky Mountains, the boundary shall pass along the Mountains Southward to the
47th. degree of Latitude and on this 47th. Parallel of Latitude cross the Rocky Mountains, and
continue until this parallel of Latitude intersects the Columbia River, thence down the middle 4 Geo. 5 British Columbia. V 125
of the said River, to the Pacific Ocean, by this Great Britain cedes all the territory South of
the 47th. parallel of Latitude to the 42nd. parallel from the Pacific to the Rocky Mountains;:
this ought to content them.
The proposition of Mr. Canning for the Boundary to pass down the Northeasternmost branch
of the Columbia to this River, shows that Mr. Canning had no map of the Country before him,
for all the branches of the Columbia lie Southeastward or Northwestward: the very devious
courses of the Columbia River, and of all its numerous branches to join it, show7 the necessity
of a good map of the Oregon Territory, founded on actual survey.
The proposition of Lord John Russell to make Macgillivray's River a boundary, plainly
shows he must have had very erroneous maps before him, for this River has a most devious
course to the Columbia, and in a high Latitude of that Territory.
The speeches of Earl Aberdeen, Lord John Russell, and Sir Robert Peel, are all very good
on general principles, but will never determine a boundary over the Oregon Territory. There
appears a total want of knowledge of that Territory, it may be beneath these great men to-
study the Maps of the Columbia River, or they may have erroneous maps.
Even the Saleesh River and its Lakes, (on which I passed two winters) is too devious for
a boundary.
England has always been too forward to conciliate the United States, let this now be given
up, and let the United States now propose a boundary over the Oregon Territory which may be
modified, accepted, or not allowed:  & no longer leave their offers open to the United States.
The single determined principle of the United States is, that no foreign power has any right
to any part of North America, and whatever they may grant to the British Crown, will be
expediency, to be resumed again as soon as possible. On the other hand the Crown ought to
assume a right to the whole Territory, by formal possession taken by Lieutenant Broughton R.N.
in 1792, and whatever is granted to the United States, to be matter of favor, not of right.
Let the British Crown assume its natural dignified attitude, and no longer expose itself to
the refusal of the United States.
David Thompson
' formerly Astronomer and Surveyor under
the 6 d 7 articles of the Treaty of Ghent.
Sir Jas. Alexander, dc. dc. dc.    lkth Regt. R. Engr. Office.    Montreal.    10 June lSJ/o.
Note by Sir J. E. Alexander. I lent Mr. D. Thompson Falconers Pamphlet on the Oregon
and requested him to make notes on it, as he was the first to visit it from the east of the rocky
Mountains in 1801; subjoined are his ideas of the Boundary &c.
J E. Alexander.
Fort Yale B. C.
26th February 1859.
I have the honor to inform you that the 22nd Inst was celebrated at Fort Yale by the
Citizens of The United States as the Birthday of Washington. At Noon one hundred discharges
were fired in imitation of one hundred Guns by exploding Gunpowder between two Anvils. The
noise of each explosion was as loud as the report of the largest sized Gun. I am informed that
they subsequently fired ten Guns as a salute to me, as they imagined that a young lad who was
brought up before Captain Whannell for firing a squib out of a pistol in the street and was
discharged by him with a rebuke, was released through my interference. V 126 Provincial Archives Department. 1914
In the evening a Ball took place at the House of a man named Campbell. I was invited but
did not go. Mr. McGowan, Mr. Perrier and others promised me that they would exert themselves
to have peace and order maintained during the night, and I particularly requested that no pistols
should be taken into the Room. The utmost harmony prevailed till the company went to supper
when some Jealousy arose about precedence for seats. A Mr. Bagly of Hills-bar abused McGowan
and called him an old Grayheaded scamp. McGowan immediately broke a plate on Baglys head
and Bagly in return broke McGowans head with another plate. At once there was a General
row and friends at both side(s) went off to get their pistols but when they returned to the
scene the affair had subsided into a demand for " satisfaction " as soon as arrangements could
be made. On the following morning Bagly sent McGowan a Message and a Friend of McGowans
calling himself Major Dolan sent a Message to a Friend of Bagly's named Burns. McGowau
replied to Bagly that he would not fight in British territory but that he was willing to meet him
on the United States territory and fight him with rifles at 40 paces, to be placed back to back
walk to the mark and wheel and fire at the word. This proposition Bagly accepted and McGowan
has actually sold out his claim at Hills bar and distributed as presents amongst his friends all
his chattels and he proceeds on this day to the Washington Territory to be at the place appointed
for the meeting on I think the 2nd prox.—Every effort was made by peace making friends to
arrange the dispute amicably but without success: it may be settled yet though, as the parties
are not gone: but McGowan is off Hills bar. If they were going to fight in this country I should
have had them arrested and bound to the peace but as they are leaving the Colony and are not
English subjects the propriety of interfering with them appears to me to be doubtful. I think
Bagly would not have challenged McGowan if he thought he would fight, and I am satisfied
that McGowan would be glad to get out of the duel if he could, but he knows he must fight or
forever lose his influence over the reckless Band of which he is the Chief.
The duel between Dolan and Burns is off for the present—they had agreed to fight with
revolvers at 30 paces advancing a pace each shot, but Burns afterwards insisted that if there
was no hit after the six shots a side, they should finish the business with Bowie knives—to
this Dolan would not consent as his right arm is weak from a wound, and so the matter stands.
There are five or six Friends from Hills Bar to accompany each party.
With the exception of this " difficulty " everything has been quiet during the last w7eek.
We had another heavy fall of snow7 on yesterday and frost last n