No. 42, Miscellaneous
14 July 1863
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Grace's Circular Despatch of the 11th April 1863, referring to the great distress which still prevails among theManufacturingManuscript image Manufacturing population of the Northern Counties; and to the several schemes which have been proposed for rescuing the people from their present condition, and for enabling them again to earn an independent livelihood. Your Grace also mentions that among these schemes Emigration occupies a prominent place, and points out the great importancetoManuscript image to Her Majesty's Government of knowing accurately to which of Her Majesty's Colonial Possessions the Emigration of any portion of those people might be directed, with the best prospect of advantage to the people themselves, and to the Colony, and Your Grace requests me to furnish the best information in my power on the subject, and to state what is the openinginManuscript image in this Colony for each class of the distressed operatives referred to in your Despatch.
2. The industrious poor may improve their condition in British Columbia by the following means—
Firstly—by occupying and cultivating land which may be held under the Preemption Act on payment of the Registration fee of eight shillings (8/s), no other chargebeingManuscript image being made until the land is surveyed. By taking that course any immigrant of ordinary industry and prudence may, at a small outlay, soon attain a comfortable and independent position: for so great is the fertility of the soil, wherever it is adapted for tillage, that the produce of a field of 10 acres of land properly cultivated wouldnotManuscript image not only suffice to keep a family in food, but also by the sale of the surplus produce, for which there is a ready market, realize a sufficient sum to procure all the other necessaries of life.
Secondly—The Mines of British Columbia offer unusual advantages to the industrious immigrant,ifManuscript image if gifted with enterprise and perseverance he may in a short time, like many others who have tried the experiment, acquire a valuable Mining Claim worth a fortune; or if his views be less aspiring, he may work for wages, at the rate of eight or ten dollars ($8 or $10) a day.
Thirdly—The immigrant may earn a comfortable livelihood by the manufactureofManuscript image of roofing shingles, or by hewing timber or by cutting and making Hay which grows abundantly in the natural meadows of the Colony.
Fourthly—He may go into service either as a house or farm Servant, or maintain himself by job work.
3. These pursuits andoccupationsManuscript image occupations all require a certain degree of skill, a robust and healthy condition of body, and a certain amount of means to support the immigrant on first landing in the Colony. They are therefore unsuitable for the class of emigrants referred to in Your Grace's Despatch who being altogether destitute would have to be maintainedforManuscript image for an indefinite length of time, wholly at the public expense.
4. I would therefore recommend that the following emigrants, and no others, should be sent out to British Columbia, that is to say—Ten "Married men with not over large or very young families who have been accustomed tooutdoorManuscript image outdoor labour." 100 "young women of good character who have been employed in the Mills, but who have had some experience of domestic service or seem capable of undertaking it."
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
To the Emigration Commrs. This Despatch does not hold out much prospect for the manufacturing Emigrants.
GG 29/8
TFE 29 Augt
N 31