No. 54
27 December 1858
1. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch No. 28 of the 9th of October last transmitting copies of a correspondence which has passed with the Foreign Office on the subject of the money advanced by me in 1856 for the purchase of commodities supplied to the authorities of Washington Territory, on the requisition of Governor Stevens, and I feel truly obliged to you for the great trouble you have taken in this matter. 1
2. I regret to observe that the United States Government have not repaid the money due to me on that account, a want of good faith which I must confess has called forth in my mind a feeling of pain and surprise. This is however not the only instance in which I have suffered in consequence of relieving the distress of United States Citizens who have applied to me for assistance, and I therefore certainly trust that such instances may not often occur hereafter during my tenure in office.
I have etc.
James Douglas
  1. = Loan of money to Stevens. See Lytton to Douglas, 9 October 1858, CO 410/1, p. 185. In the spring of 1856, Douglas sent $7,000 worth of ammunition and clothing to Governor Isaac Stevens of Washington Territory to aid in his war against the Indians. Douglas purchased the goods with his own funds and requested the British government to repay him, but after considerable delay, the Foreign Office decided that the United States government should repay him. The American government refused to reimburse Douglas immediately, stating that since he forwarded goods and not funds, he was considered a supplier and would be treated as all other suppliers to the U.S. government. See Douglas to Labouchere, 10 April 1856, 5814, CO 305/7, p. 25; Douglas to Labouchere, 19 May 1856, 7189, CO 305/7, p. 41; Douglas to Labouchere, 31 October 1856, 348, CO 305/7, p. 121; Labouchere to Douglas, 23 August 1856, NAC, RG7, G8C/1, p. 483; Douglas to Labouchere, 7 December 1857, 1621, CO 305/8, p. 257; Douglas to Stanley, 17 May 1858, 6666, CO 305/9, p. 84; Fitzgerald to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary), 18 August 1858, 8408, CO 305/9, p. 383. Douglas did not succeed in recovering these funds until 1861??
People in this document

Douglas, James

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Stevens, Isaac Ingalls

Organizations in this document

Foreign Office

Places in this document

Washington Territory