Holloway to Secretary of State
11 Windsor Place
City Road
9 June 1852
Sir,
I have the honor to address you upon the subject of a purchase which I am desirous of making of a track of land in Queen Charlotte's Island in the North Pacific.  
Imagining that the Hudson's Bay Company might have had some jurisdiction over the Island in question I applied to them, but the reply from the Secretary was such as lead me to believe that the whole power was vested in the British Government. With this impression I have taken the freedom to ascertain from you whether in accordance with the survey, (which I presume has been taken) a price has been fixed per acre, and in the event of this being the case you would possibly have the goodness to inform me whether I may be permitted to select such plot as may in my opinion be eligible.  
With the highest respect,
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant
H. Holloway

The Right Honble
Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies
&. &. &c
Minutes by CO staff
Inform the writer that the Govt are not at present prepared to sell Land at Queen Charlotte Island, & that no survey of the Territory has been made.  
ABd
10/June
HM
June 10
D
11
I approve of this answer, as the only one we can now Send—but a Survey of Q. Charlotte's Island ought to be made. I wish to be informed what will be the best arrangements for effecting this object.  
JSP
11
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft, Colonial Office to Holloway, 17 June 1852, advising that the government was "not at present prepared to sell Land in Queen Charlotte Island."  
The following are the only suggestions I can offer on the question proposed by Sir J. Pakington as to the survey of Queen Charlotte Island.  
I presume that any such survey must be accomplished by the means either of Officers of the Royal Engineers, or of competent professional Surveyors deputed expressly by the Government. If the former are employed the service will be executed very slowly, but very scientifically, and effectually. The Officers would require a Staff of employ es—& instruments which would make the work an expensive affair.  
On the other hand the employment of experienced Land Surveyors, of whom there are now so many seeking opportunities of getting something to do, would be a cheaper plan, and I should think quite as effectual as, for the present purpose at all events, is wanted. The points to be ascertained, are the configuration of the Country, the course of the rivers, the quality of Soils, the climate, in short all those general pieces of information which an Emigrant would seek to know before settling himself in a strange Country. These points any active, enterprizing Surveyor could ascertain in a short time, & probably at no great Expense—but it is material also to bear in mind that he must be accompanied by an armed force, for the service will be one of danger owing to the fierceness of the natives, and the conflicts which may be expected with the encroaching marauders from California. This force might possibly be spared by the Vessel of War ordered off the Island. & might consist of a few Marines, & a certain number of sailors. Supposing any such Surveyor were to be employed I think it would be best to engage him in this Country, as the terms of this engagement cd be more conveniently settled here, & he cd be apprized of the views of Govt on the subject, better than if Lord Elgin were desired to select one in Canada & send him across the Rocky mountains—which route though practicable is not a facile or quick mode of reaching the Pacific. Possibly Sir John Pelly might be able to help us with some ideas on the subject, & indeed recommend a good man for the undertaking. Parliament would ultimately have to provide for the expense—though the Treasury might in the meanwhile be required to advance the necessary funds for the enterprize.  
As regards the value of the gold discoveries—on whh a surveyor could not be expected to give accurate information—I have little doubt that the British Consul at San Francisco could find a person there well qualified to give an opinion. He of course would have to be paid for his services.  
It certainly seems important that the Government shd know what Queen Charlotte Island is really of value to Great Britain for—whether it is a pasture, or a mineral Country, or a corn growing Land, which last I should doubt it's being, because this Country may be despatching Ships, & giving itself trouble and entering into expenses about a possession of insignificant value. On the other hand it may be said "settle first, and survey afterwards." That I conceive, however, to be a doctrine which has entailed so much inconvenience in other quarters of the B. Dominions that I hardly think it necessary to pursue the point: & I have no hesitation in expressing as my own opinion that a survey of a rough though efficient nature should precede any settlement whatever.  
ABd
Queen Charlotte's Island is a rocky, woody, swampy region, to all appearances, in a far North latitude, & inhabited by numerous & well armed Indians. Of course it can be surveyed—but neither this nor any other serious step can be taken with regard to it, unless government are prepared to encounter the expenses and the difficulties involved in making it a regular colony.  
HM
June 14
The recent discovery of gold in Queen Charlottes island would seem to render some step for its survey & colonization I trust necessary. A little while ago the advantages existing in Vancouvers island—in its possession of coal—& its position for a commercial station in the Pacific were laid before this office.  
D
14
 
Correspondence (private letter):
Holloway to Secretary of State, 9 June 1852, National Archives of the UK, 5223, 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=V526H02.scx. Accessed 21 November 2017. 

Last modified: 14:00:55, 16/2/2015