No. 64, Military
3 November 1863
I have the honor to enclose herewith copy of a letter addressed to me by Colonel Moody R.E. asking for the remission of the sum of One Hundred and five pounds (£105), passage money, required from Sergeant McColl R.E. on account of the conveyance of his Wife and Family to this Colony.
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2. The circumstances of the case are shortly these. Sergeant McColl was sent to British Columbia with the first party of Royal Engineers viâ Southampton and Panama. His Wife and Family were to have followed him in the Troop Ship carrying the bulk of the Detachment viâ Cape Horn. Ill health prevented her availing herself of the opportunity; and a passage was obtained for her, afterwards, together with certain other women of the Detachment, by the Emigration board under the sanction and direction of the Secretary of State, the movement originating in an application made by Colonel Moody, andwhichManuscript image which is adverted to in the Secretary of State's Despatch addressed to me, and dated 21st July 1860, No 43.
3. In a further Despatch dated 11th August 1860, No 46, the Secretary of State informs me that "the Secretary of State for War will be consulted as to the propriety, under the circumstances of allowing the wife and family of Sergeant McColl to be sent to the Colony at the Public Expense," but I am not aware as to the decision that was arrived at in the matter; and I therefore have now informed Colonel Moody that I do not feel at liberty to authorize the course he recommends, but that I will represent the casetoManuscript image to Your Grace.
4. Viewing the case in all its bearings I am inclined to submit that, if the passage of Mrs McColl and Family would have been at the public expense in the first instance, it might fairly be borne by the public now; or at all events that Sergeant McColl should only be required to repay the excess, if any, existing between the cost of the passage by the Troop Ship, and by the Ship which ultimately brought his family.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
When the Rl: Engineers sailed for B. Columbia in the Autumn of 1858, the regulated number of women were selected to accompany them, but, there not being room in the Vessel, they were sent after them in a Troop Ship. The wife of Sergeant [Mc]Coll was one of the number selected, but not being able thro' illness, to undertake the long Sea Voyage another woman was substituted for her. In 1860 Colonel Moody proposed that the Wives and intended Wives for the remainder of the Detachment should be sent out—that passages should be engaged for them & the Cost defrayed in the first instance by the Imperial Govt, to be repayed by stoppages fromManuscript image the Men's pay. Colonel Moody referred to the case of Sergeant Coll & recommended that his wife and family should be sent out at the public expense. The general proposal was recommended by the S. of S. to the Treasury & War Office & sanctioned by those Departments but the W.O. demurred to making an exception in favor of Mrs Coll, and she went out on the same terms as the other women. This decision of the W.O. (9021) does not appear to have been communicated to the Govr. Stoppages to the extent of one half of the cost of his wife's passage (£l05) have been made from Sergt Coll's pay & Col: Moody recommends that the remaining half should be remitted. There is some degreeofManuscript image of hardship in the case, in as much as illness or temporary inability to endure so long a voyage deprived his wife of the opportunity of joining her husband free of expense. Sergt Coll bears a good character and will no doubt if he remains in the Colony, prove a desirable settler.
VJ 2 Jan
Mr Jadis
I think that all that we can do is to submit this appeal for favorable considn to the W.O. With reference to their letter of 15th Sepr 1860 about sending out the wives of the detachment of Royal Engineers, say that the general reasons therein agreed to were duly carried into effect, but that it appears that by some accident the decision which it containedManuscript image on the particular case of Sergt Coll was not conveyed to the Govr for the infn of Colonel Moody. The Govr has, however, carried into effect the general directions, and under these, Sergt Coll has accordingly been subjected to the stoppages required by the decision of the S. of State for War that he was to be dealt with in the same manner as the rest whose wives & families did not go out by the original opportunity.
He has paid in this manner, it appears, £_ by deductions from his pay, being one half of theManuscript image cost of the passage of his wife & family. Col: Moody applies for the remission of the remaining half. Sergt Coll bears a good character, & it was by a misfortune, & not by any fault of his, that he was deprived of the benefit of his family's going out free with the first party. Such being the circumstances in his favor, the S. of State for War alone can judgeManuscript image whether or not there may be general considerations which would render an assent to the application for indulgence to Sergt Coll improper or inconvenient.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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R.C. Moody to Douglas, 22 October 1863, supporting McColl's application for full or partial remission of the passage money.
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W. McColl to Moody, 6 October 1863, explaining the circumstances of his case and asking to be relieved of the cost of passage for his wife and family, with a note by Moody at the end recommending the remission of the remaining one half of the amount due.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Under-Secretary of State for War, 15 January 1864, forwarding copy of the despatch and requesting a decision regarding remission for McColl.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 3 November 1863, CO 60:16, no. 12528, 244. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B63064.html.

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