Gosset to Blackwood (Senior Clerk)
May 25 1859
My dear Mr Blackwood,
In January, I took the liberty of addressing you, in the hope that you might be good enough to place my name before Sir E. Lytton, as a candidate for the Colonial Secretaryship of British Columbia.
Hearing this day, that Mr Young (The Governors nephew who was temporarily appointed after the date of my note to you), hesitates to accept the post permanently, on account of your condition that he should resign Manuscript imagehis Naval occupation, I again venture to request the favor of your intercession in my behalf with the Secy of State for the Colonies—believing, as I honestly do, that after the excellent instruction I derived from Sir Henry Ward, whose guest I was for months at a time in Ceylon, in all subjects of Colonial Government, I am aufait at the details & conversant with those general measures for a Colony's development which would come under consideration.
As a matter of economy, as I stated to Mr Douglas on my arrival, whilst the Colony's business continues so limited as at present, as it promises to do for some time to come—the Lands & Works Dt Manuscript imagehaving, it is said on account of Colonel Moody's failing health, failed to commence roads or make surveys of agricultural lands for desiring settlers, wanting which population is on the decrease—I might transact both the Col. Secrys & the Treasurer's duties, without fear of any undue pressure upon me, accustomed as I have been, for nearly twenty years, to deal with extensive organization & large Departments.
Could I produce Sir Henry Wards public impressions of my business habits and successful aid in developing Ceylon, or two complimentary letters he was good enough to write me, one when expecting me back, the other on hearing of my non-return, I believe they would exhibit such testimony of my fitness for the office I Manuscript imageventure to solicit as would weigh favorably with the Secy of State. It is with pride, not out of boast, that I refer to the opinion of so able a man as Sir Henry Ward.
The Times Reporter, probably informs you of our doings, but there is one point referring to these Colonies which seems scarcely to engage sufficient attention either here or at home—Union of British Columbia & Vancouver Island.
My own conviction is that great moral good & pecuniary advantages would result from a Union of the two Colonies—much injurious rivalry would be extinguished, and the administration of Government would be simplified. Less Manuscript imagethan 100 miles apart as are the chief towns of the respective Colonies, one set of Departments would suffice for both, and of course at half the cost of the present double arrangement. In our infancy, we cannot afford two staffs & two Capitals, with the double set of buildings &c &c. Should the Colonies thrive, separation a future day, may or may not be a subject for consideration, but in the present struggle for an existence, Union would be economy and strength.
I am aware that Vancouver, having been granted Manuscript imagea constitution, cannot be violently shorn of it and that Her Majesty's proclamation promises a Union should the Vancouver Council petition for it. So long however, as the present Assembly exists (elected some years since chiefly by Hudson Bay Compy settlers) no hope can be entertained of a Vote for Union. The dissolution of this House might however, I venture to think be fairly pressed upon the Governor; when a new Election would impart new blood into the House & lead, first to a revision and extension of the franchise & increase Manuscript imagein the number of Representatives, next to another election; when, with larger numbers & a greater diversity of characters, more enlarged views might be expected, the first fruits of which would probably be a Petition for Union. Such are not merely my own convictions, but the opinion of the most intelligent merchants & men of business here, men, thoroughly fit to exercise a vote, but who are now excluded from the list of qualified persons, because of not owning 20 acres of land, although possessing wharfs & stores worth, 500 times the value of 20 acres of Manuscript image(perhaps uncultivable) country land. Our Governor is a very long headed man, but I doubt whether he has as yet contemplated a Union—at least he has generally waived the subject when I have brought it on the table. He showed great forethought last year in opening the Lillooet mule trail—the execution, by reason of wanting proper officers was rather a failure, but the idea was a sound one—were he not tied by instructions not to interfere in Colonel Moodys operations he would have had it converted into a cart way by this time & have saved the Colony. I write in great haste for the mail expected hourly. Pray excuse my ramble & Believe me
Yrs very truly
W. Driscoll Gosset

Minutes by CO staff
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Ansd that I wd request him not to address me on official Subjects, but to write to the S. of State.
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A very interesting letter.
N
Regr & Put by.
Gosset, William Driscoll to Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone 25 May 1859, CO 60:6, no. 7482, 528. 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/B596G01.html.

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