7 February 1862
The unusual severity of the weather since the beginning of the present year, has brought business entirely to a close in British Columbia.
2. An event whichfortunatelyManuscript image fortunately seldom occurs, the freezing of Fraser River for many miles below New Westminster, has cut off the direct access by water for the last five weeks; since then the communication with that place, has been carried on through Burrards Inlet from whence an overland transit of five miles leads into thetownManuscript image town.
3. The navigation of the River beyond New Westminster is also obstructed by ice; the River Steam boats cannot move and the inland transit is therefore for the time being completely suspended.
4. About Hope and Yale the snow lies from 1 to 2 feet in depth, andfearsManuscript image fears are entertained of heavy losses occurring among the running Stock in those Districts.
5. It is however satisfactory that a much more favorable state of things exists in the Upper Country; especially in the Districts of Lillooet Lytton, Buonaparte and the Thompson where, bylateManuscript image late advices, we learn that the pastures are not deeply covered with snow, and that the farm Stock and transport Mules and Horses, wintering there in great numbers, on the range of the country, are generally in good condition and have not suffered from the severity of the seasonnorManuscript image nor for want of food.
6. The weather is still, however, unusually cold, materially interfering with the industrial pursuits of the Colony and affecting the state of the public revenue, which has suffered to a serious extent from the decrease in imports since Frasers River was frozen.
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7. It will require redoubled exertion on the opening of the navigation to make up for this inopportune delay, in providing for the exigencies of the coming season, and the wants of a larger population, but I have no doubt the Merchants and Packers will prove equal to the emergency.
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8. There is nothing further of interest respecting the Colony to communicate.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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I suppose that this report tho' unsatisfactory from the state of the weather, must be printed with other annual reports of Govrs on their Colonies.
ABd 19 Apl
I think that the unfavorable nature of theManuscript image report is no reason for not printing it: the object of publishing despatches is to afford a correct view of the places to which they relate.
But the Parliamentary series to which Mr Blackwood refers consists of reports on the Blue Books; this despatch does not relate to a Blue Book, nor do I observe anything in it to give it the character of an annual report. There is no reason therefore why it should be printed otherwise than in any future general collection of despatches on British Columbia.
Meantime acknowledge the receipt?
TFE 22 April
N 23
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 118, 26 April 1862, acknowledging receipt of Douglas's despatch.