29 October 1858
My dear Sir,
I have received 'The printed Scheme of Hong Kong Papers' 1 and the report of the Commission of 1855 2 on the state of the Gold fields in Victoria, which you have kindly forwarded with your private note of the 1st of September, and you have my cordial thanks for that and former considerate attention.
I am at present in great perplexity for want ofefficientManuscript image efficient help, having neither the assistance of a Colonial Secretary, Treasurer or Accountant, while it would require a full staff of efficient Officers, to perform the duties that now devolve upon me alone, a misfortune for myself and the Country, as both suffer in consequence of that want.
The class of men who are mining in Fraser's River are composed of all nations, some of them no doubt, respectable, but when I landed at Fort Yale in my late journey to Fraser's River, it struck me that I had never before seen a crowd of more ruffianly looking men, than were assembled on that occasion.
About Manuscript image
About 3000 were present, and to add to the horror of the scene, many of them were drunk; things however, wore a better appearance next day, and after saying a few kind words to them, they were profuse in acclamations, and did, at my command, give three cheers for the Queen, but evidently with a bad grace. There is a strong American feeling among them, and they will require constant watching, until the English element preponderates in the Country. Let me therefore have the assistance of Officers, capable of managing the subordinate departments, of drafting dispatches and so forth, so as to leave me time for the executive functions of Government which are more than enough tooccupyManuscript image occupy my attention. Pray be kind enough to let me know in what way I can serve you, as I am sure it will give me infinite pleasure to do so.
I have received your note enclosing a Copy of a private letter from Mr Begbie, and much regret that gentleman's illness, which I trust will not be protracted. 3
I remain etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
In a public Despatch 544, sent forward today, the Govr asks that an Attorney General, Colonial Secretary & Treasurer may be appointed. The last named Officer sailed in Novr. 4
VJ 17 Jan
This is important.
HM Jan 17
C Jany 20
I have answered all this in another Minute.
EBL Jan 22
The Desp: with the Minute to which Sir Ed. refers is in circulation. 5
  1. FIND Hong Kong Papers?? Parliamentary Papers??
  2. = Gold fields of Victoria Report of the Commission of 1855, Australia. FIND??
  3. = Begbie, illness Merivale to Douglas, 2 September 1958, enclosing 8851, Begbie to Lytton, 31 August 1858, CO 6/27, p. 154.
  4. = Gosset appointed Treasurer (Douglas to Lytton 544, CO 60/1, p. 379). William Driscoll Gosset applied for the office of treasurer on August 18 and sailed from Liverpool for Victoria on 30 October 1858. In CO 6.
  5. = Lytton minute re officers Possibly Douglas to Lytton 544, CO 60/1, p. 379, of which part of the minutes are missing or misfiled. Minute predates January 22 1859??
People in this document

Begbie, Matthew Baillie

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Gosset, William Driscoll

Jadis, Vane

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Victoria, Alexandrina

Places in this document

British Columbia

Fraser River

Vancouver Island


Victoria, Australia