4441 Vancouver's Island

No 9. 
Vancouvers Island

February 12. 1851.
My Lord,
The Agent of the Hudson Bay Company has presented me an account for signature being a voucher of the balance between the amount expended by the Hudson's bay company on the colony, and the receipts of duties, sales, royalties &c collected in the colony; 
The Account asserts that they have expended $2736 (dollars) of which $2130 (dollars) are
Extracts
Copy to Hudsons Bay Co 4 June/51.
[...]ide to Hudsons Bay ,, 26 ,, ,, . 
for goods paid to Indians to extinguish their title to the land about Victoria and Soke harbours, the remainder also for goods paid also to Indians for work done for the colony, provisions, and ammunition for the same Indians. The receipts amount to $1489 (dollars) (from which 10 per cent is to be deducted according to
the
the charter of grant to the Hudsons bay Company) and consists entirely of royalties on coal for the last two years, land sales there are none, as I have previously informed your Lordship. On examining the account I found that for the goods paid to the Indians a price was charged three times as great as what they are in the habit of paying them at, for their own work; respecting this and some inaccuracies I detected in the account I addressed a letter to the agent; he corrected the errors but made no alteration in the prices, and in the course of the conversation gave me to understand that they did not expect the charter of grant to be renewed at the expiration of the five years (January 1854) and that then they would be entitled to a reimbursement of their expenditure. At this rate they may continue for the next three years paying away a few goods to Indians to extinguish their claims to the soil, and by attaching an ideal value to their goods
Omit 
they will at the end of that time appear as creditors of the colony to an overwhelming amount, so that the foundation will be laid of a colonial
debt
debt, which will for ever prove a burden. I beg your Lordship to observe that, at the prices they usually pay goods at, the receipts are amply sufficient to cover the expenditure and to have a balance in favor of the colony — 
Under these circumstances I yesterday signed an amended copy of the account, as a voucher for the goods, adding a protest that the balance shall not be considered a true one, as I conceive it to lie on the other side and to be against the Hudson's bay Company; 
The whole financial arrangement and expenditure is of course entrusted to the Hudson's bay company but I conceive that my instructions, (Art 20) containing directions about the public money
These are the Treasury instructions. 
authorize my exerting a negative voice on the present occasion, to prevent the revenue which does exist, and is much required for internal improvement, (roads especially) being swallowed up by the Hudson's bay company, as profit on their goods — 
I trust that your Lordship will lose no time in
Omit 
appointing my successor, as my health has been very bad for some months, and I feel it impossible to remain here much longer, on account of increasing
weakness
weakness; my instructions direct that in the event of my death or absence, and there being no Lieutenant Governor, the Senior member of the Council shall for the time assume the government, (Art 40) but I have not been able to appoint a council, as there is no one in the Island above the grade of a Labourer except the servants of the Hudson's bay Company, and I have previously stated to your Lordship, my reasons for considering them unfit for Magisterial appointments, of any kind; 
I have the honor to be
Your Lordships most Obedient Sert
Richard Blanshard.
Earl Grey.
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
Extracts to Hudson's Bay Company for report and explanation. 
ABd
23/5.
HM
May 26.
G.
27
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft, Colonial Office to Pelly, 4 June 1851, forwarding extracts of the despatch for observations. 
 
Footnotes
  1. This addressee information appears at the foot of the first page of the despatch.
  2. This text runs perpendicular to main body text; see image scan.
Despatch to London:
Blanshard to Earl Grey, 12 February 1851, National Archives of the UK, 4441, CO 305/3. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. http://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/getDoc.htm?id=V51009.scx. Accessed 20 July 2018. 

Last modified: 13:59:57, 16/2/2015