No. 212
8 September 1859
My Lord Duke
I have the honor to forward herewith to your Grace, the Copy of a letter addressed to me by Colonel Moody requesting that a Commissariat Officer may be sent out at an early date.
2. As recent events have proved to me the expediency of confining to one particular officer all matters connected with CommissariatManuscript imageCommissariat expenditure, I have as a temporary measure expanded the duties of Captain Gosset, who has been acting as Commissary for the Royal Engineers, so that he may act generally as Commissary for the Colony, according to the system pursued in Ceylon, which I am informed is found to work well.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
To me it appears that this is a most unjustifiable application.
Captain Gossett [Gosset] was appointed Treasurer of British Columbia, & Commissariat Officer to the R. Engineers. The arrangement for the 2 offices was made on the recommendation of Colonel Moody. On reaching Van Couver Island—for none of the public Officers took up their quarters in B. Columbia—and no money finding its way into the pockets of Govt from the gold fields or elsewhere, Capn G. had literally nothing to do, except the Commissariat business for this handful of Engineers. More recently he has had to subsist a few supernumerary marines who have been sent on shore. This being the case the Governor, finding Gossett a very clever energetic person, has appointed him Acting Treasurer of V. Couver Island—which the Duke of N. has disapproved, ordering the Governor not to employ B.C. Officials on V.C. Island affairs, & directing (on a preceding occasion) that all the B.C. Officers shd repair to their own Colony & set an example of settlement. I guess (I do not know,) that the Governor is employing Captain Gossett in ways other than are mentioned, the result of which is that Capn G. is taken away from his own proper duties, and Colonel Moody, finding the inconvenience thereof, is obliged to profer this request. If I am right in my premises, and if H.M. Govt have no intention of adding to the Military force, already in B. Columbia—whh Colonel Moody implies must almost immediately be done—then I cannot perceive why an Engineer soldier—or a Clerk acting of course with and under Captain Gossett—should not perform all the duties of subsisting the small body of men now stationed in the Colony. Should Her Ms Govt contemplate sending a Regt or more to V.C. Island a Commissariat Officer wd, in such case, necessarily accompany the force—Captain Gossett's duties requiring him in B. Columbia.
ABd 2 Novr/59
Colonel Moody's application appears to proceed from an anticipation on his part (which may I trust not be realized) that some material additions must be made to the Military Forces in British Columbia. I agree with Mr Blackwood in thinking that the application should be rejected.
TFE 3 Novr
By the last Mail the Govr sent, without comment, a very hasty letter from Col. Moody propounding a scheme for a considerable Military Force of all arms (even including Cavalry) and the covering despatch of the Govr led me to anticipate some remarks from him by the next Mail and consequently to postpone any communication with the W.O. Has any such despatch come by the present Mail? If not, let me have Coll Moody's letter with this.
N 4
Duke of Newcastle
I Annex Colonel Moody's letter. No despatch has come from the Governor on the subject.
HT Irving 8 Novr
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Under-Secretary for War, 12 December 1859, forwarding copy of despatch and enclosures and previous letters from Moody for comment.
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 2, 2 January 1860, declining the request for a Commissariat Officer to be sent to British Columbia.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Moody to Douglas, 18 August 1859, requesting a commissariat officer.