Tully to Lytton


Sir,
I venture to solicit the honor of an interview on a subject of great importance, the laying down [of] a Submarine Telegraph between our New Colony of Columbia & the City of San Francisco in California, there being well-grounded reasons to expect in a very short time, that a telegraphic communication will be effected between San Francisco & the Atlantic Ports of the United States.
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Should Her Majesty's Government sanction and grant its aid to the undertaking, by conceeding the privilege of laying down a Telegraphic Cable from Victoria, Vancouver Island & such points of our territory as may be required, and to land the Cable at San Francisco, I shall be prepared to present to Her Majesty's Government Contractors of the highest responsibility to execute the work and Capitalists under a reasonable guaranty, to supply the requisite Capital.
The United States have nosufficientManuscript image sufficient interest involved to extend an electric Line in the Pacific further north than San Francisco: so that without aid from Her Majesty's Government, our Colony of Columbia will be cut off from early telegraphic intercourse with England.
I have the honor to be, Sir
Your Most Obedient & Humble Servant
Joseph Tully
12a Charter House Square E.C.
November 10th 1858
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 11 Novr
Lord Carnarvon
I suspect that any project of this kind must as yet be premature. If B. Columbia does become a great and wealthy Province, it might afford to guarantee interest in a telegraphic cable connecting it with Canada and the rest of the World, but I apprehend that to pledge the security of British funds for the purpose must be out of the question, and if so that the scheme, as above said, must be premature, seeing that B. Columbia will certainly not at this moment be self supporting.
I should therefore answer that the public resources of the new Settlement are not as yet such as would warrant pledging its funds to guarantee interest upon any undertaking to establish a telegraphic communication with California.
TFE 2 Novr
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Sir Edward Lytton
I agree with Mr Elliot in doubting this project. Any telegraphic communication with V. Couver's I. & B. Columbia is better than none and all that serves to develope the colony is for it's & for our advantage: but I do not think that we have any very urgent reasons for wishing to connect B. Columbia with California & for strengthening more completely a line of Communication wh is American. If the Colony prospers we shall have other schemes for telegraphic communication before us—perhaps some for carrying a line through the whole tract of B.N. America. Meanwhile it wd not I think be prudent to give security on English funds or to concede any exclusive privileges at wh I think this letter points.
C Nov. 13
EBL Novr 15
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Tully, 25 November 1858, declining to grant an interview on the grounds that "the public resources of the new Settlement are not as yet such as would warrant pledging its funds to guarantee interest upon any undertaking to establish a telegraphic communication with California."
Tully, Joseph to Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer 10 November 1858, CO 60:3, no. 11530, 664. 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/B586T02.html.

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