San Francisco
May 5th 1858.
My Lord
I as a British subject residing at present in this City take the liberty of making a few remarks to your Lordship in reference to the newly discovered gold fields in Caledonia. Your Lordship is doubtless aware that this part of Her Majesties Dominion by recent discoveries possesses extensive deposits of gold, which I may remark has been known to Staff of the Hudson’s Bay Company at Vancouver’s Island, and who I am informed have been wishful to keep such discovery secret and to discourage & if possible deter parties (miners) from participating for the good & from mining in that part of her Majesties possessions.
At present there are many of her Majesties subjects residing here who would be glad to leave California to mine in that district if they knew they were protected by her Majesties Secretary for Colonies, once not as is now supposed be completely subject to the narrow views and government of Mr. Douglas GovernorManuscript image of the Hudson’s Bay Company at Vancouver’s Island. It has been rumoured that the Hudson’s Bay Company are wishful to deter American Citizens from mining in this region; now if I may advance my humble opinion I think it is very unpolitic and grievously wrong, for every Englishman in California has the same privilege in mining as any American citizen.
I am not aware what the privileges of the Hudson’s Bay are, but I would premise when the Charter was first granted them, the spirit of such Charter did not extend to monopolising the minerals in that part of HM Colonies.
I have been informed that there are rich copper mines in Vancouver’s Island, but the discoverers of such mineral will not give the information to the HB Co being well aware that they would immediately monopolise the same.
There are extensive coal fields in Vancouver’s Island, many shipments of which have been sent to this market, this also unjustly has been monopolised by the HB Co, tho the coal was first discoveredManuscript image by an official who gained nothing from such discovery.
It is my intention shortly of visiting Caledonia when I will wait your further in reference to the minerals residing there.
I trust in the meantime your Lordship will not undervalue these remarks, but endeavour if it lays in your power to place any every miner on the same footing (to use the expression) as in Australia, and not leave them subject to the government of a trading company, but to the Government of of Great Britain & her Colonies just these few remarks. I remain my Lord
Your humble Servant
BH Hunter
of Whitby Yorkshire
Manuscript image
To the
Right Honble Henry Stanley
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr. Merivale The writer asks for my information at […] lands Would you make this – or put it by? If the former I think it shd be added that to shew The Hudson’s Bay Co Trading license does not give them the mines & minerals.
ABd
16 June.
I am inclined to think, […] by the writer is going to Fraser’s Arm, & would never get an answer. Besides, he promises to write again. I am afraid the […] a commission to Mr. Douglas will be represented as a concession to the H.B. Co which cannot well be helped.
HM
June 16
C. June 17.
EBL July 24

There is no news
concerning him
Hunter, B. H. to Stanley, Edward Henry 5 May 1858, CO 6:28, no. 5688, 85. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B586H07.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)