Stafford to Desart (Parliamentary Under-Secretary)
Admiralty
28 June 1852
My Lord
I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Secretary Sir John Pakington, Copies of a Letter from Rear Admiral Moresby, dated the 11th May 1852, No 52, and of its enclosures, relative to Queen Charlotte Island.  
I am, My Lord,
Your most obedient humble Servant
Aug Stafford

Lord Desart,
Colonial Office
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
I am not aware that any use can be made of this communication.  
ABd
30 June
D
30
JSP
July 1
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Moresby to Stafford, 11 May 1852, enclosing letters from Aikin, British Consul at San Francisco, and Staines, Hudson's Bay Company Chaplain.  
  • Aikin to Moresby, 3 April 1852, reporting movements of vessels and forwarding letter from Staines.  
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Staines to [Aikin or Moresby?], 10 January 1852
Victoria, Vancouvers Isld
January 10th/52

Dear Sir
Not knowing whether any reliable information has been transmitted by anybody here to any of HM representatives on this Coast, as to the certain discovery of Gold in Queen Charlottes Island, & that, in great density & very large quantities I think it by no means inconsistent with my duty as a British Subject to take the earliest opportunity of giving you authentic information of it. It appears that the existence of the Gold had been known to the Agents of the H.BCo. for about 2 1/2 years, to my certain knowledge they must have been aware of it in 1850 or very early in 1851. I saw two specimens of it, before Aprl
last
last year, & had one myself in the end of April or the beginning of May, which came through their hands. They have already sent two expeditions thither for the purpose of obtaining it, both by trading it from the Natives and also by mining. The last started about the beginning, say the 10th or 12th of Octr last, in the Brigte Una in which the bearer Jno McLean bore a part. This vessel stayed only three days, & her success fully proved the richness of the Mines at the place where she made her trial. She was wrecked on her return at Cape Flattery. For all details I beg to refer you to the bearer, in whose information you may rely. He has a few specimens with him which you can examine. I have some myself which I would send if I had any certain mode of sending.  
I
I have thought it the more necessary to write about this matter because on the one hand, I know that many American expeditions are likely to proceed thither, as indeed, 3 have gone already (one is a British ship, but chartered by Americans). This vessel the Georgiana is wrecked on Q.C. Island, & an American ship the Damaiscone [Damanscove?] has been sent by the Collector at Olympia Puget Sound, under the Revenue Flag to try & redeem them. 3 or 4 of the crew who are in the hands of the Natives are British Subjects. On the other hand I have heard that the H.B Co have made an attempt to obtain a grant of the Island from our Govt not letting them know the reason why they wanted it. I sent 2 specimens to Genl Miller at the Sandwich Islands in Augt or Septr last, & in a letter dated Octr 11th he states to me that he had sent one of them to the Foreign office. Perhaps it would be as well to purchase McLeans specimens from him. I have written simultaneously to the British Consul at San Francisco.  
I have etc
(sd) R.J. Staines
 
Public Offices document:
Stafford to Desart (Parliamentary Under-Secretary), 28 June 1852, National Archives of the UK, 6031, 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=V525AD04.scx. Accessed 21 September 2017. 

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