No. 7
5 February 1862
I have on this occasion the honor of forwarding a very valuable report from Mr Begbie the Judge of British Columbia submitting his observations on the state of thecommunicationsManuscript image communications through the interior of the Colony from Lytton and Lillooet to the Gold Fields on and about Antler Creek in the Caribou Country a distance of nearly 500 miles from the Coast.
2. The judicious selection of roads, being an object of vast importance to the Colony, is a subject which cannot be too carefullystudiedManuscript image studied, and is naturally viewed with profound solicitude by this Government.
3. I consequently feel deeply obliged to Mr Begbie for this useful contribution to our local information.
4. It is probable that the routes now in use from Lytton and Lillooet to Alexandria will be established as a permanent thoroughfares—for they notonlyManuscript image only traverse, and open to settlement the most extensive farming districts of the Colony, but are less obstructed by snow during the Spring and Winter months than the other known routes.
5. That question cannot however be considered as finally settled, while any part of the country remains comparatively unknown inwhichManuscript image which category may be placed the extensive Districts beyond Lytton and Lillooet which have not been examined with such a degree of care and attention as fully to establish the relative merits and defects of the several routes.
6. Mr Begbie's report is therefore very acceptable and has been forwarded to the Commissioner ofLandsManuscript image Lands and Works for his information.
7. Mr Begbie's account of the enormous sums realized by the Miners at Caribou is highly interesting and I would especially call the attention of agriculturists to the price of grain at "Williams" and "Beaver Lake"—i.e. 10d a lb for Oats and 1s/3d & 1s/6d a lbforManuscript image for Barley and also to Mr Begbie's remarks on the character and productiveness of the soil as exemplified by the crops of the few farms which have been brought into cultivation.
8. With such prospects in view I hope that many of Her Majesty's British subjects may be induced to visit thisColonyManuscript image Colony and to make British Columbia their home.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
Acke, & request the Governor to thank Judge Begbie for this valuable contribution to the geographical knowledge of the interior of B. Columbia.
Print this when the oppy occurs. Send copy to L. Emign Board.
ABd 23 Apl
TFE 23/4
N 25
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie to Douglas, 30 November 1861, report as per despatch (24 pages).
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 119, 28 April 1862, acknowledging receipt of Douglas's despatch containing Begbie's report and requesting that Douglas thank Begbie.
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Draft, Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 10 May 1862, forwarding copy of the despatch for information.