Walcott to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
31 August 1860
With reference to Sir Frederic Rogers Letter of the 14th instant, enquiring the best mode, and the cost of conveyance to British Columbia of the wives and children (amounting to 10 statute Adults,) of 7 men belonging to the corps of Royal Engineers, I have the honor to inform you that having made the necessary enquiries both Manuscript image both at Liverpool and London I find that there is not at present any Vessel on the berth at either Port proceeding direct to British Columbia.
2. There are two Ships at Liverpool bound for San Francisco but they both object to take passengers and the route to that Port viâ New York is not to be recommended.
3. From London two Vessels will shortly be put up to sail about the end of October round Cape Horn, and the Brokers have been requested to communicate with Manuscript image with our Officer when the date of departure is fixed.
4. The cost of a steerage passage in an enclosed Cabin in these Vessels will be about 25 guineas for each statute Adult, if the Vessels do not come within the operation of the Passengers Act, but as the outward freight requires only small Ships, 10 statute Adults would probably bring them within the Act, in which case the price for so small a party would probably be increased to 30 or 35 guineas per adult. The length of the Manuscript image the voyage would be about six months.
5. But there is another and much more expeditious route, namely by the Royal Mail Steamers from Southampton to San Francisco viâ Colon and the Panama Railroad. Unless, however, some special contract could be made with the Company the cost for the party would be £375. The length of the voyage to Vancouvers Island would be about two months and the best Steamer to take would be that which leaves on the 17th of each month.
The Manuscript image 6. The objections to this route for Women and children besides its costliness are the breaks and transhipments on the voyage.
I have etc.
S. Walcott
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
According to the last paragraph of our Desp: of the 21 July (annexed) it is intended, I conclude, to await the Govrs reply before taking any further steps in this matter?
VJ 1 Sepr
Mr Jadis
I think so. Put by.
TFE 4 Sep