No. 142, Military
25 April 1859
I have the honor to communicate to you that the Freight Ship "Thames City" arrived in Esquimalt Harbour on the 12th Instant, with the main body of the Sappers and Miners for service in British ColumbiaManuscript imageColumbia.
2. The Ship touched at the Falkland Islands and at Valparaiso on the passage out; several births occurred during the voyage, and on arrival at Vancouver's Island the Troops together with the women and children were in excellent health.
3. The Ship was only chartered as far as Esquimalt, but as I considered that the Master would be quite willing to proceed to Frasers River, I entered into arrangements with the Senior Naval Officer that the "Thames City" might be towed by oneManuscript imageone of Her Majesty's Ships to Queensborough, the Destination of the Troops, however the Master would not consent to go for a less sum than Twelve Hundred pounds (£1200), and as this was deemed exorbitant, a contract was entered into with one of the Merchant Steamers for the conveyance of the whole of the Troops, and Government Freight from alongside the Thames City to Queensborough for the sum of Nine Hundred pounds (£900). This amount may appear large, but, nevertheless, it was the very lowest rateManuscript imagerate at which we could get the work performed.
4. The Troops with the Women and Children have all been removed to British Columbia, and the last of the government freight will be conveyed thither in a day or two.
5. I would take this opportunity of respectfully submitting that in all future cases of sending Troops or Stores to British Columbia, the Vessels should be chartered to proceed to Queensborough, so that the very heavy expense which has, in this case, been incurred may hereafter inManuscript imagein a part be avoided.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Communicate to War Office. L[ithographed] F[orm]. Acke.
ABd 10 June
HM June 11
The safe arrival of the men is satisfactory.
C June 11
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, 16 June 1859.
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Draft, Colonial Office to Under-Secretary, War Office, 16 June 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.