[No. 4]
Victoria Vancouver's Island
7th March 1853
Sir
1. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No 5 of the 27th September, 1852, with its enclosures as noted in the Margin. *
*
Commission as Lieutenant Governor of Queen Charlottes Island dated 9th July 1852.
Copy of a letter from Lord Stanley 2nd June 1852 with enclosures.
Two Parliamentary Papers relating to discoveries of Gold in Australia February 1852, and June 1852.  
 
2. It is with great satisfaction that I observe by that communication that you approve of the measures which were taken, by this Government, to obtain redress from the Cape Flattery Indians, for their cruelty to the crew of the Hudson's Bay
Company's
Company's Brigantine "Una," when shipwrecked in Neah Bay, in December 1851.  
3. I have received Her Majesty's Commission appointing me Lieutenant Governor of Queen Charlottes Island with certain limited executive powers, as therein described, and while I return thanks for this high mark of confidence, which I shall endeavour to exercise for the honor and advantage of the Crown, I cannot forbear expressing a feeling of diffidence in my ability to discharge the duties of another Office involving a serious amount of labour and responsibility, while I have no assistance whatever in the administration of public affairs, and while every function of Government, whether Military Judicial Executive or Clerical must be performed by me alone; a range of duties too extensive and dissimilar in their nature, for my unaided strength, to attend to with satisfaction to myself or advantage to the public. **
**
If any revenue is derived from the issue of licenses to search for gold some assistance out of it might be given to the Governor for a Secretary, or some one to Aid him in his "labors"—though what those Labors can at present be in Q.C.Id. I am at a loss to know.  
ABd
 
I will however most gladly do every thing in my power to meet the views and wishes of
Her
Her Majestys Government trusting that you will forward, from time to time, such instructions as may be necessary for my guidance, and a selection of legal works, containing the Forms of Process observed in the Vice Admiralty Courts, and developing the principles on which their decisions are founded. ***
***
Comply, I suppose.  
[ABd]
 
4. I also observe with much satisfaction that Her Majesty's Government have directed the Admiral Commanding in the Pacific, to take immediate steps for the protection of British Interests on the north west coast of America, against the attacks of Indians, and of the unwarranted intrusion of Foreigners on the Territory of the Queen, and that it is further probable that the application I made for a Steam vessel may be granted. I have also perused with much interest the communication which the Earl of Malmesbury addressed to Her Majesty's Minister at Washington, touching the improper and aggressive acts committed by Citizens of the United States, on Queen Charlotte's Island, and other British Possessions.  
I
5. I shall attend to the instructions in your Despatch, pointing out the wishes of Her Majesty's Government in respect to parties who may be desirous of searching for Gold on Queen Charlotte's Island, and I have to thank you for the two Parliamentary Papers, which, at the same time, you did me the honor to forward.  
Those papers contain much valuable information, and will be of the utmost assistance in framing such regulations, as it may be found proper to adopt, when granting Licences for collecting Gold on Queen Charlottes Island.  
6. I shall soon issue a proclamation declaring the rights of the Crown, in respect to all Gold found in its natural state, and forbidding all persons to dig or disturb the soil in search of Gold, unless duly authorised, in that behalf by License from the Officers of Her Majesty's Colonial Government; and will take such other steps for the protection of the rights of the Crown, and to enforce obedience to the Laws, as are enjoined in your despatch.  
I will also transmit copies
of
of all regulations, which may be framed, and report to you from time to time on the state and progress of the public affairs of Queen Charlotte's Island, and will keep the sums of money received on account of Licences, issued separate and distinct from all other Colonial Revenues, and when it becomes desirable to issue Commissions of the peace for Queen Charlotte's Island, I will recommend competent persons for such appointments according to the instructions in your Despatch of the 27th September last.  
I have the honour to be Sir
Your most obedt Servt
James Douglas
Governor

The Right Honorable Sir John S Packington Bart
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
I think a selection of a few books of authority on Government & some legal works ought to be sent to Mr Douglas who is compelled to rely very much on his own resources when in embarassing situations.  
ABd
24 May
So transmit.  
TFE
24/5
Mr Meyer will I daresay have the kindness to make a selection of such as he may consider most useful, in which I shall be very happy to assist him.  
It is difficult to answer Govr Douglas's very natural statement of his embarrassment with reference to Q. Charlottes'island. According to our law as expounded by the best authorities the Queen cannot of her own authority constitute a legislature, (which would be the only way of giving him any real power) except a representative one for which there are of course no materials. He can only act on existing English law to the best of his ability. It may be hoped that the state of things indicated by discouraging accounts since received of the gold prospects in Q. Charlottes' island will have relieved him from his difficulty.  
HM
May 26
FP
26
N
30
The following Works will be found useful by the Governor of Vancouvers Island.  
The Imperial Acts for 1851 & 1852 similar to those supplied to all the other Colonies.  
Rules & Regulations of the Vice Admiralty Courts abroad.  
Peels Acts & Criminal Statutes with Forms of Indictments by Archbold.  
Archbolds Laws relative to Commitments & Convictions by Justices of the Peace with Forms.  
Archbolds Justice of the Peace & practice on Criminal Cases with Forms of Convictions, orders &c.  
Archbolds New Practice, Pleading & Evidence in the Courts of Common Law.  
Snowdons Magistrates Assistant.  
Clarks Colonial Law.  
Mr Merivale may possibly deem it necessary to amend or add to this List.  
GM
7 June/53
Tomline's Law Dictionary (last edn).  
These will not cost much, & I think we may under the circumstances procure them as contingencies of this office?  
HM
June 9
FP
9
N
10
Order to the Stationery Office.  
JS
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 7, 27 August 1853, with list of books forwarded with the despatch.  
 
Despatch to London:
Douglas to Pakington, 7 March 1853, National Archives of the UK, 5417, CO 305/4. 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=V53004.scx. Accessed 26 April 2018. 

Last modified: 15:05:33, 31/3/2015