Grant to Lytton
Panama, Central America
15th October 1858
I do myself the honor to inform you that the Dett of R. Engineers under my command arrived at Colon on the morning of the 9th inst and through the courtesy & assistance of Captn Hole of the R.M.S.P. Medway 1 and the agents of the Co Messrs Hurtado, 2 was enabled to cross the Isthmus with the men & stores by the 8 1/2 am train.
We reached Panama at 1 o'c, when I immediately called upon the acting Consul Mr Bidwell and arranged withhimManuscript image him for quartering the men for the night & with his assistance & through the prompt attention of Commander Priser of H.M.S. Alert 3 I was enabled to embark them on board his ship at 8 a.m. the following morning.
The American Mail Steamer is not expected to leave for San Francisco before the 17th and I am thankful that during this period the men will be under proper restraint & kept out of harm's way.
I beg to express my sense of the great zeal and assistance afforded by the gentlemen I have named, and which enabled me without trouble to take measures to save expense and ensure as far as possible the health & discipline of the men.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient Servant
J. Grant Cap. RE

The Right Honble
The Secretary of State for the Colonies
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Put by?
VJ 20 N
TFE 22/11
This is satisfactory. Put it by.
C Nov 22
  1. The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company's Medway was a wooden paddle ship, 1,895 tons (gross). Source?
  2. Hurtado y Hermanos [brothers?] were the largest mule owners on the Isthmus and in 1853 entered into a contract with the Pacific Mail Steamship Company to convey passengers and baggage through to the Pacific side at a fixed rate. Kemble, The Panama Route 1848-1869, p. 173. Cf. Parsons to Lytton, 27 September 1858, 11022, CO 60/3, p. 496. Bio Dir??
  3. The HMS Alert was built in 1856 at Pembroke for the Royal Navy. It had nineteen guns and was powered with an auxiliary engine installed horizontally below the water line, an unusual construction feature designed to protect the ship from damage by ice. In 1858 it travelled around Cape Horn to Esquimalt and remained at this station surveying the northern coast and Vancouver Island from 1865 to 1869. The Alert was later used in the British Polar Expedition in 1875 and travelled to the Arctic and to Hudson Bay.
People in this document

Bidwell, Charles Toll

Carnarvon, Earl

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Grant, John Marshall

Hole, Captain

Hurtado, J. M.

Jadis, Vane

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Priser, Commander

Vessels in this document

HMS Alert, 1856-1896

Medway, 1841-1861

Places in this document


Hudson Bay


San Francisco

Vancouver Island