Berens to Lytton
Hudson's Bay, House London,
September 2, 1858
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Merivale's letter, dated the 31st Ultimo, transmitting an Extract of a letter from Dr O'Brien of Port Townsend, Washington Territory, in which he alleges that the Miners proceeding to the Gold diggings on Fraser's River are refused a passage up the river until they purchase all their mining implements from the Hudson's Bay Company.
In compliance with your request that we should communicate any information on this subject that it may be in our power to afford, I have merely to state that we are without any information whatsoever that could lead Manuscript imageus to believe that there is the slightest foundation for the charge alleged against our Officers. In our accounts from that district we do not find a word which could guide us as to the origin of the story, and we feel confident that, on investigation, it will turn out to be one of those exaggerations or misrepresentations which may be expected from a country agitated and distracted, as British Columbia is at the present moment, from the sudden influx of strangers into the territory.
The Extract from Dr O'Briens letter had been previously communicated to us by the Earl of Malmesbury, together with a copy of a Despatch from Lord Napier, in which his Lordship stated that the letter was addressed to Mr Nugent, the United States Commissioner to the Pacific frontier, and communicated by that gentleman to his Lordship; and it Manuscript imageappears from Lord Napier's statement that he at once treated the charge as an exaggeration or altogether untrue. I have every confidence that his Lordship's opinion on that respect will be fully confirmed by our next accounts from the Colony, and in the meantime I have to repeat what I stated in reply to the Earl of Malmesbury, that we have lost no time in referring the matter to Governor Douglas, with instructions which, if there should have been ever a shadow of ground for the charge, will certainly prevent its recurrence.
I have the honour to be Sir
Your most obedt humble
H.H. Berens
Depty Govr
The Right Honble Sir Edwd Bulwer Lytton Bart
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
As the F.O. have been in communication with the Company on this subject, this letter may be put by?
VJ 3 Sepr HM S 3
It is satisfactory so far as it goes.
C Sep 4
Would not Sir Edward wish to peruse this Letter?
ABd 7 Sepr
Put by.