No. 50
7 December 1858
1. I have the honor of transmitting herewith copy of a letter lately addressed to me by the Agents of the Hudson's Bay CompanyresidingManuscript image residing at this place—setting forth the claims of the Company to certain tracts of land connected with their several Trading Establishments in British Columbia; which they may have occupied for many years and improved by settlement and otherwise at much expense. 1
2. Her Majesty's Government may probably consider, that the Hudson's Bay Company have acquired rights to the soil, through permissory occupation and improvement, as well as by the public services which theCompanyManuscript image Company have rendered to the Country, and may therefore meet their claims in a spirit of judicious liberality, especially as the settlement of the Company's possessory rights in Oregon, resting on the construction of the third article of the Treaty of the 17th July 1846 with the United States of America, 2 will probably be influenced by the decision of Her Majesty's Government in allowing or disallowing the possessory rights of the Company in British Columbia.
IManuscript image
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Ack. rect—refer to Sir Edd Lytton's desp. of the 16 Novr; 3 observe to the Governor that Sir Edward awaits the full report which he has called for from him on this subject, & instruct him to call in the assistance of the Commr of Crown Lands, from whom a report will also be requisite for the consn of Sir Edward, before deciding.
ABd 31/1
HM Jan 31
C Feby 1
EBL Feb 3
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, No. 17, 8 February 1859.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Draft, John Work and Dugald McTavish, Chief Factors, Hudson's Bay Company, to Douglas, 24 November 1858, requesting confirmation of title to land claimed around Hudson's Bay Company posts in British Columbia.
  1. = HBC anterior land claims See Lytton to Douglas, 14 August 1858, No. 8, CO 410/1, p. 160; Kelly and Cairns to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary), 19 June 1858, 6012, CO 305/9, p. 350; Shepherd to Labouchere, 24 February 1858, Shepherd to Labouchere, 1987, CO 305/9, p. 440; and Henry Hulse Berens to Lytton, 9 August 1858, Berens to Lytton, 7962, CO 305/9, p. 496. Check these?? For a detailed account of the company's claims, see F.W. Laing, Hudson's Bay Company Lands on the Mainland of British Columbia, 1858-1861, British Columbia Historical Quarterly, 3 (April 1939): 75-99.
  2. The Treaty of Washington establishing the Oregon boundary was signed on 15 June, not 17 July, 1846. Article 3 provided that the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company would be respected, including the right to navigation on the Columbia River and the right of the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company to its farms, lands, and other property in the American territory. For more information, see Frederick Merk, The Oregon Question: Essays in Anglo-American Diplomacy and Politics (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1967). Check Art 3??
  3. = HBC anterior claims (see Lytton to Douglas, 16 November 1858, No. 42, CO 398/1, p. 148.
People in this document

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Mactavish, Dugald

Merivale, Herman

Work, John

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

British Columbia

Columbia River

Oregon Territory, or Columbia District

Puget Sound

Vancouver Island