Berens to Newcastle
Hudson's Bay House
13 July 1859
My Lord Duke/
I have the honor to transmit herewith, a copy of a letter recently addressed by His Excellency James Douglas the Governor of British Columbia to the Secretary of this Company, from which it appears that Mr Douglas has addressed a letter to your Grace by which he tenders to the Government the power of purchasing his retired interest in the Hudson's Bay Company for a specific sum.
It has occurred to the Board of Directors of this Company that Her Majesty's Government may consider it contraryManuscript imagecontrary to their usual practice to become the purchasers of the interests of a private individual in any Commercial undertaking and that therefore Governor Douglas's proposition would probably not be received with favour. Under this impression, and with a view of relieving Her Majesty's Government of an embarrassing question and testifying how highly the Company appreciate the long and faithful services of Governor Douglas and at the same time, of enabling him to retain the dignity which Her Majesty's Government had conferred upon him, the Board have determined to make a special exception in this case, and in the event of Her Majesty's Government declining the propositionManuscript imageproposition, to become themselves the purchasers of Governor Douglas's retired interest at the price which he himself has put upon it.
They have accordingly lost no time in communicating to Governor Douglas this determination, and they trust that its effect will be to remove all further difficulties with respect to the definitive acceptance by Mr Douglas of the high office to which he has been nominated.
I have etc.
H.H. Berens
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Governor Douglas' despatch is in circulation.
ABd 14 July
See 6987.
This is a very handsome offer of the Company. But I think it can scarcely be definitively accepted until Govr Douglas's conduct in relation to the late expenditure to which he has pledged himself for public buildings in Victoria, has been considered?
HM Jy 15
CF 18
But an acknowledgement of this very liberal offer must not be delayed till then.
N 19
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Berens, 20 July 1859, advising final decision of Douglas's position must await settlement of certain issues.
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
Do you think it wd be expedient to send Govr Douglas a copy of this Correspondence without comment, but with reference to the despatch, which will be forwarded to him next Mail, touching his expenditure for Govt buildings at Victoria?
It is not unlikely that the H.B.Co will send it to him.
ABd 27 July
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Douglas to Thomas Fraser, Secretary, 4 May 1859, concerning his interest in the fur trade.