Cormack & Hall to Newcastle
14 October 1861
[Note in file:]

"Folios 161r—165r being too large, will be photographed later."

The Memorial of Inhabitants of British Columbia presents at a Public Meeting held in New Westminster October 14th A.C. 1861 Humbly sheweth that a Memorial from the Inhabitants of British Columbia represented by an influential Public Meeting held in New Westminster, was presented to His Excellency Governor Douglas; praying for present expediency that a sum of £5000, or more if necessary, be granted, from the Colonial Revenue, to subsidize a mail line of Steamers between New Westminster and San Francisco.
Your Memorialists ascertained from His Excellency, with deep concern in reply to a deputation that he had not the power to grant any sum from the Revenue of the Colony without the consent of Her Majesty's Government, but at the same time expressed his entire concurrence in the object of the Memorial.
Therefore it was unanimously resolved at a subsequent meeting, that a Memorial to Your Grace should be forwarded from this Colony praying that Her Majesty's Government would be pleased to comply with the prayer of Your Memorialists in authorizing His Excellency to grant the necessary sum.
Furthermore Your Memorialists are fully alive to the growing importance of Imperial, as well as Colonial interests, that they should have a reliable source of communication with Great Britain, and think this to be a fitting opportunity to represent to Your Grace that notwithstanding the many drawbacks Your Memorialists have suffered from various causes in their progress since the foundation of the Colony, they can boast that British Columbia from recent developments, is the richest auriferous and mineral country in the world, that the agricultural capacity of the Colony exceeds the most sanguine expectations our Forests unsurpassed for marine and commercial purposes and our Fisheries invite the trade of all nations.
That Your Memorialists look forward with a degree of certainty to a large immigration attracted by the richness of the Gold Fields of British Columbia in the course of the spring and summer of next year 1862.
That Your Memorialists seriously apprehend that the present troubles of the United States, however much they may be deplored, are not unlikely to extend to the Pacific Coast, and thus in all probability under existing arrangements, would effectively cut off our communication with the Mother country.
Whilst Your Memorialists believe that these circumstances of themselves are sufficient, there may be others of still greater Imperial importance to induce Her Majesty's Government to meet the prayer of your Memorialists by placing a Mail line of Steamers between Panama and New Westminster, and thus free us from the humiliating position of depending soley upon the courtesy of a Foreign Power for the conveyance of our Mails, the irregularities of which have proved a constant source of annoyance and great injury to the commercial interests of the Colony.
Your Memorialists are most anxious, representing as they do, the sentiment of the people of this Colony, to explain to Your Grace that Emigrants and Miners whose destination is British Columbia have materially suffered pecuniarly by the Ocean Steamers hitherto making Victoria, Vancouver Island, the port of debarkation.
And although the people of British Columbia have as yet no Voice in its Legislation, Your Memorialists avail themselves of this opportunity of stating most respectfully to Your Grace that no measure short of the Ocean Steamers from "San Francisco" or "Panama" making "New Westminster" their destination will give that satisfaction expected by the Inhabitants.
Your Memorialists therefore humbly hope that the prayer of their Memorial may be granted, and that Your Grace will receive with favourable consideration the claims of the people in this Colony upon the Imperial Government, whose loyalty to the Throne is not to be disputed.
And Your Memorialists as in duty bound will ever pray
&c &c &c
W.E. Cormack
Municipal Council
Valentine Hall
Town Clerk
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
The subject of Postal Communication between this Country & B. Columbia & Van Couver Island is under the consideration of the Treasury. They might be reminded of it by sending them the present Memorial, & the Memorialists answered thro' the Govr to the effect that such was the case.
VJ 16 [Dec?]
TFE [19?]/12
They insist with Mail Steamers running, not to Victoria, but to New Westminster.
N 17
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 95, 23 December 1861, requesting that any future memorials be sent through Douglas.
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to G.A. Hamilton, Treasury, 27 December 1861, forwarding copy of the memorial for consideration.