McMaster to Newcastle
17 Chatsworth Terrace
Greenkeys Manchester
28th May 1862
The Right Honourable the Duke of Newcastle
H.M. Principal Secy of State
for the Colonies
My Lord,
I have been in communication with a number of friends of Temperance in Various parts of the Kingdom who have a desire to emigrate to British Columbia with a view to forming a Temperance Settlement in that Colony. It is intended that agriculture shall be the chief pursuit of the settlers although there will not be any restriction upon tradesmen to prevent them following their ordinary calling.
We desire to receive the assistance of Govt in carrying out the project in the shape of a free grant of a suitable tract of land for the purposes of the intended settlement. We trust that as the Govt of Auckland is making free grants to the Nonconformist Settlers and others & the Govt of Queensland & Canada free grants to Settlers from Europe, we will not be deemed to be making an impracticable request & believing as we do that the land is the possession of the Crown & under the control of the Govt in Engld. This project has the countenance of the leading temperance men of Manr & if a grant can be made to us, steps will immediately be taken to make the project public & it will be carried forward with vigour. Already in reply to the enclosed advtt in one weekly newspaper
Newspaper clipping attached to margin (obscured).
numerous replies have been received & from present indications I have no doubt that a respectable company of settlers will soon be got together. In admitting applicants to join the party every care will be taken to ensure that they are of good moral character.
To induce the Govt to comply with this request I might point to many advantages the Colony would derive from the accession of a body of permanent settlers at a period when the majority of immigrants are adventurers & foreigners bent only upon the speedy acquisition of wealth & who either satisfied with success or disgusted with failure at the diggings will return to their homes in other lands to the manifest disadvantage of the Colony, but I do not think you will overlook the importance of such contingencies especially as the present system of Govt there will soon be at an end & the necessity of a population British in principle and sentiment is so apparent.
I am Your Lordships most obedt Servt
Jas. McMaster
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Wd it not be the best course to refer this to the Land Board, though the answer is simple enough.
ABd 31 May
It is so simple that we may as well give it. Tell him that the Govt does not make free grants in B. Columbia, but that all public lands are disposed of by sale. The conditions may be seen in the Colonization Circular published by Groombridges & Sons and procurable through any Bookseller.
TFE 31 May
Other documents included in the file
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Fortescue to McMaster, 3 June 1862, advising that there were no free grants of land in the colony, and explaining where information on British Columbia could be found.