Paget to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
29 June 1863
I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, to send you herewith, for the information of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies two Despatches from Commodore The Honble J.W. Spencer, dated the 4th and 6th May, No 21 and 24, with their respective enclosures, reporting the proceedings of the Devastation Steam Sloop and of the Gun Boats Grappler and Forward in endeavoring to capture Indians who had committed outrages on White Men,andManuscript image and to prevent the illicit traffic in spirits on the East Coast of Vancouver Island.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
C. Paget
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
These proceedings will be very useful both in punishing & checking the Indians, & in the repression of the sale by the Whites of Spiritous liquors to the Natives.
The absence of the Governor on a tour in B.C. is probably the explanation why we have not heard from him on these subjects.
ABd 30/6
Put by?
TFE 30/6
Manuscript image
CF 2 Jy
N 5
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
1. Spencer to Secretary to the Admiralty

Reporting Proceedings

No 21 of 1863
Her Majesty's Ship "Topaze"
Esquimalt Harbour
4 May l863
I have the honor to report for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that on the date of my last communication No 16 of 15th April 1863 consequent on the enclosed copy of a letter from Governor Douglas, I despatched Her Majesty's Gun Boat "Forward" in furtherance of His Excellency's wishes to endeavour to apprehend the murderers of the persons therein mentioned, and I beg to enclose a copy of Lieutenant and Commander the Hon. H.D. Lascelles' report of proceedings by which it will be seen that he has succeeded in capturing two of the Indians suspected of being concerned in the outrage and that he had considered it necessary to fire into a Village belonging to the Lamalcha tribe, who it appears returnedtheManuscript image the fire, occasioning I regret to say, the loss of a first class Boy of the "Forward". From all the information that I have been able to gather respecting the above named Indians, they appear to consist of all the outcasts of all the different tribes on the Coast, and are in fact little better than a nest of Pirates. Kuper Island on which they have located themselves being admirably adapted from its situation for the purpose of capturing the numerous small Trading Vessels which are in the habit of passing through the inner passage up the Coast.
On the receipt of Lieutenant Lascelles' letter I immediately directed Lieutenant Commander E.H. Verney to proceed with the "Grappler" to place himself under the orders of Lieutenant Lascelles conveying Dr Turnbull, Assistant Surgeon of Her Majesty's Ship "Topaze" in the event of any medical assistance being required, with further instructions for "Forward" not to employ force with the other Tribes if it could possibly be avoided, and on the return of HMS "Devastation" on the 3rd Instant IorderedManuscript image ordered Commander Pike also to proceed to Cowitchan, with a view of displaying more force in order to give confidence to the Settlers in the neighbourhood, who appear to be much alarmed by the warlike attitude of the Indians, and at the same time endeavour by peacable means to induce the Chief to give up the other suspected Indians.
Commander Pike will direct "Forward" to remain at Cowitchan for the present for the protection of the Settlers and Her Majesty's Gun Boat "Grappler" will proceed to New Westminster to lay down the buoys at the entrance of the Frazer River in compliance with the requisition of His Excellency in the latter part of his despatch.
I have also to enclose for their Lordship's information the copy of the letter of proceedings of Commander Pike of Her Majesty's Ship "Devastation" during his absence in search of the vendors of illicit spirits to the Northwards, on which service he appears to have been eminentlysuccessfulManuscript image successful, and to have carried out his orders in a very zealous and satisfactory manner.
Copies of the correspondence received from this Office, as also from Lieutenant Lascelles have been forwarded for the information of His Excellency Governor Douglas who has been absent on an Official Visit to British Columbia, and with whom I have been unable to communicate personally. His Excellency may be expected to return to Victoria in the course of a few days.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient Servant
John W.S. Spencer
To The Secretary of the Admiralty
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1.1 Douglas to Spencer

(Enclosure in Spencer to Admiralty, 4 May 1863.)

13 April 1863
I have the honor to represent to you that instances of Murders and attempted murder of white men by Indians, have recently occurred near to Admiral or Salt Spring and Saturna Islands.
2. The particulars of these outrages will be found in the accompanying copy of information laid before the Stipendiary Magistrate at Victoria.
3. I have therefore to request that you will be good enough to despatch one of the Gun Boats to visit the settlements along the Coast as far as Comox to give confidence to the settlers and to allay any feelings of alarmthatManuscript image that may at present exist amongst them, the Gun Boat remaining a few days at each place.
4. It is very desirable that the guilty Indians should be apprehended but this can only be done by strategy, and not by force, as they would immediately flee and secrete themselves beyond the reach of capture, did the Gun Boat make any decided attempt to arrest them. The Officer in Command may however be able to gain information concerning the guilty parties from other Indians, and the well disposed amongst the tribe may be inclined to point them out and permit them to be taken quietly. I have already set on foot enquiries amongst the Indians here, and would wish to see the Officer you may detach in order to explain to him the bearing to be adopted towards, and the most desirable mode of proceedingwithManuscript image with the Indians on the Coast.
5. As I believe there are several Settlers belonging to Comox now in Victoria, awaiting an opportunity to forward their seed I would ask such accommodation in the matter may be afforded by the Gun Boat as may be consistent with the Public Service. Four and twenty hours notice of departure would I imagine be ample time to enable the settlers to complete their arrangments.
6. The recent Gales have displaced two Buoys from the Channel at the entrance of Frazer River. I would ask that a suitable opportunity be taken for the Gun Boat to run across to replace them which will probably be more convenient than detaching a vessel specially for the service.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obed Servant
(signed) James Douglas
Commodore The Hon. J.W.S. Spencer
&c &c &c
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1.1.1 Statement by John Henley before A.F. Pemberton

(Enclosure in Douglas to Spencer, 13 April 1863)


Colony of Vancouver Island and its Dependencies
To Wit:

The information and complaint of John Henley of Victoria in the Colony aforesaid taken this tenth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand, eight hundred and sixty three, before me Augustus Frederick Pemberton Esquire, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony of Vancouver Island and its dependencies, who being sworn upon his Oath, saith
Last Saturday about two o'Clock in the Afternoon I encamped on a little Island about three or four miles from Salt Spring Island, it is a long narrow Island, with high mountains in the middle, I was accompanied by a man named Bill Brady, I went to Hunt, and returned, about half an hour after dark. In the meantime five Indians had arrived, three men and two women. We had supper, then Brady cooked some bacon and made some tea for the Indians, he gave them two cakes of bread, and about half a cup of sugar. We then went to sleep. The Indians also lay down close to our tent. About an hour after we had been asleep, I was awakened by shots fired. There were four shots fired. Three at me and one at Brady. The first shot hit me in the thigh, the second shot hit me in the Arm, a third shot hit me in the private parts. Brady had his thigh shattered by one shot, and he was not able to move afterwards. He lived until the third day and died about three o'Clock in the afternoon. After I was wounded I got my rifle Gun, and fired several Shots, perhaps half a dozen, I don't remember how many, I was so much excited. The Indians retreated and I saw a party which I suppose to be the same leave the Island, the second day after this occurred. We did not leave because it rained so hard, I started the morning of the fourth day on a boat by myself and I reached Oak Bay about two o'Clock the same day, travelling with the tide. A Policeman fetched me from Mr Tod's House at Oak Bay to the Hospital. One of the Indians had a glass eye, that is the ball of the eye was white, he was about sixteen years of age. One had large projecting lips, the third one is a well looking but his teeth are a little undershot, none of these men were older than sixteen years. I have seen the undershot Boy at Cowitchan, he was present when Brady and I went to buy awhaleManuscript image whale boat at Victoria. This boy was one who shot at me. One of the women was an old woman full of wrinkles, she might be forty years of age, the other woman was a well looking girl about sixteen years of age, with long black hair reaching down to her waist, and thin small lips with good pretty teeth. Brady was raised in the States he had been round here since fifty eight. He has been hunting this winter with me. We had intended to have cut hay on the Island, on which we landed. The Indians told us they came from Cowitchan. Brady was not a Whisky seller to Indians. We had no spirits with us, and were not in the habit of carrying spirits with us. I am a half bred Cherokee, born and raised in Texas. I came to Victoria last fall.
John Henley
his X mark

Sworn before me the day and date above written
A.F. Pemberton
William Seeley
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1.1.2 Statement by Christian Mayer before A.F.Pemberton

(Enclosure in Douglas to Spencer, 13 April 1863.)


Colony of Vancouver Island and its Dependencies
To Wit:

The information of Christian Mayer, now of Victoria in the Colony aforesaid taken this tenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and sixty three, before me, Augustus Frederick Pemberton Esquire, one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said Colony of Vancouver Island and its dependencies who being sworn on his Oath saith On last Saturday afternoon about one o'Clock a boat arrived at my place at miners Bay on Mayne Island containing Mrs Marks and five of her children and a man named Henry. Mrs Marks said her Husband and daughter had started from Waldron Island in another boat, but the boats got parted in a squall on Thursday afternoon—she said she had waited all night and all the next day at Henry's place on Pender Island, and on Saturday she came on to my place in Plumper Pass in search of her husband. On Sunday morning I took an Indian and started in search of Marks and his daughter.
On Tuesday afternoon I found the boat on the beach at Saturna Island, everything was taken from the Boat except a stove, the boat was chopped to pieces with a sharp axe. I also found some pieces of trunk, which had contained the Children's clothes and family linen.
From the information I have received I believe Marks and his Daughter were both murdered by Indians. I found two Dogs belonging to Marks near the boat.
Christian Mayer

Sworn before me the day and date above written
A.F. Pemberton
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1.2 Lascelles to Spencer

(Enclosure in Spencer to Admiralty, 4 May 1863.)

Letter of Proceedings
25 April 1863
In obedience to your orders I proceeded to Victoria at 9 a.m. on Wednesday the 15th Instant, and placed myself under the orders of His Excellency the Governor a copy of which I enclose.
Having taken on board Mr Smith the Superintendent of Police I left Victoria at 3 P.M. and anchored off the Royal Marine Camp, San Juan for the night. Thursday the 16th I proceeded to Miner's Bay, Active Pass and from information there received searched the shore of Saturna Island for the scene of the supposed murder of Mr Marks and found the remains of the Boat with the stove, and several portions of the young woman's dress, and returned to the Anchorage at San Juan for the night.
OnManuscript image
On Friday the 17th I searched Piers Island for the body of the man Brady, but failed in finding any traces of it, and anchored in Cowitchan Harbor for the night. Saturday the 18th we remained at Cowitchan, and started on Sunday 19th to intercept the canoes returning from a Blanket feast at Chemainus having received information that Indians suspected of the murder were among them whose names the Superintendent of Police had. With some trouble, being obliged to fire some blank Guns to bring them to we searched them all, and captured two of the Indians suspected, and anchored for the night in Bird's Eye Cove.
On Monday 20th I left the Anchorage at 8 a.m. and proceeded to Kuper Island with a view of arresting several Indians known to have been connected with the recent murders, and as they had declared their intention of resisting any attempt to arrest them, I had the rifle plates up, and the men's bags put in theinterveningManuscript image intervening places, on arriving at the place, I found they had a strong log house, in the centre of the Village loopholed. I then sent a message on shore by a canoe to say I wished to speak to the Chief, who returned an answer that he would not come, nor would he give up the murderers. I told him through the Interpreter a very valuable Half Bred Cherokee Indian whose services I secured at Cowitchan that if the Chief was not on board before the flag which we hoisted was hauled down giving them a quarter of an hour I would fire on the Village. The Chief answered that he would not come, and was not afraid of us. At the end of the appointed time I hauled down the flag and fired into the Village which they deserted immediately and opened a very sharp fire of musketry on us from the two points at the entrance of the Bay, by which I regret to say that one Boy Charles F. Gliddon was killed being shot through the head whilst acting as powderman at thePivotManuscript image Pivot Gun. Though the Gun Boat was hit in several places, we sustained no other injury. The firing last[ed] about half an hour when having thrown a few shells into the woods, and knocked the Village down, as much as possible I went over to Chemanos Bay for the night. The following morning I returned to Village Bay and found that most of the Indians had left in the night, I completed the destruction of the place with a few shot and shell and returned to Cowitchan.
This tribe called the Le Malcha are the terror of the Coast, both to Indians and white men, and make a boast of the number of white men they have killed.
Having remained at Cowitchan all Wednesday on Thursday I proceeded to search Portland Island and Moresby Island, and some smaller ones for the body of Brady but found no trace of it. The informationinManuscript image in deposition is so very vague I stopped at Miner's Bay and returned Mr Marks' Boat &c and proceeded to this place for coal.
Having communicated with H.M. Surveying Steamer Beaver off Active Pass we proceeded together and anchored here at 6.30 P.M.
I propose starting to visit the Comox settlement tomorrow, and on my way back to Esquimalt to call again at Kuper Island and Cowitchan. Mrs Marks who is in great distress at the loss of her husband and daughter I have promised a passage to Victoria with her Children.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedt Servant
Horace D. Lascelles
Lieut. & Commander
Commodore the Hon. John W.S. Spencer
(Senior Officer) H.M.S. Topaze
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1.2.1 Young to Lascelles

(Enclosure in Lascelles to Spencer, 25 April 1863)

Colonial Secretary's Office
15 April 1863
With reference to the orders which you have received from the Commodore commanding, in consequence of a requisition made upon him by His Excellency the Governor, for a vessel of War to visit the settlements on the Coast, and to inquire into certain outrages which have been recently committed by Indians, I am desired by His Excellency to forward to you herewith copy of the Instructions which have been issued by the Commissioner of Police to Mr Smith the Superintendant, who will proceed in the "Forward," and I am to request that you will be good enough to afford Mr Smith such assistance as may be requisite to enable the object of capturing and bringing to justice the offending Indians to be fully carried out.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient and humble Servant
William A.G. Young
Lieut The Hon. H.D. Lascelles
Commanding H.M. Gun Boat "Forward"
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1.2.2 Pemberton to Lascelles

(Enclosure in Lascelles to Spencer, 25 April 1863.)
Police Office
Victoria, V.I.
14 April 1863

Memorandum of Instructions issued for the guidance of the Superintendant of Police in executing Warrants to apprehend certain Indians charged with having murdered a man called Bill Brady.

1. Mr Smith will be ready to go on board HMS "Forward" tomorrow at 12 o'Clock noon. He will make diligent search for the supposed murderers, and if he requires assistance he will apply to the Officer in Command of the Ship. 2. He must take care not unnecessarily to endanger the lives of the men under his charge by straying too far from the Ship. 3. He will make enquiry as to the fate of Mr Marks and his daughter, and if any outrage has been committed he will exercise his authority as a constable in arresting the perpetrators of the outrage if they be found.
By Order
A.F. Pemberton
Commissioner of Police
Lieut The Hon. H.D. Lascelles
Commanding H.M. Gun Boat "Forward"
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1.3 Pike to Spencer

(Enclosure in Spencer to Admiralty, 4 May 1863.)

No 2 of 1863
Letter of Proceedings
4 April 1863
I have the honor to report my proceedings since leaving your broad pendant on the 29th March.
I arrived at Nanaimo on the evening of that day, and at that place received information that a quantity of liquor intended for trade among the Indians, had been landed from the "Explorer" on Hornby Island. This induced me to send a boat under the master to verify the truth of the report, and after completing coal to proceed in the "Devastation" and anchor off the North side of Hornby Island.
I have the honor to forward copies of my letter to the Collector of Customs at New Westminster and of the report of the Officers detached by me which will fully explain my proceedings with regard to this liquor.
A strong S. Ely. Gale blew all last night and today, but it is my intention to proceed at daylight tomorrow morning in pursuance of your orders through Johnstone's Straights and Milbank Sound to Kittimatt.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient Servant
J.W. Pike
To Commodore the Hon J.W.S. Spencer
Senior Officer H.M.S. "Topaze"
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1.3.1 Pike to Carter

(Enclosure in Pike to Spencer, 4 April 1863.) 4 April 1863
While at Nanaimo I received information from James Jenkins Master of a small sloop belonging to Dr Benson that there was amongst the cargo of the Schooner "Explorer" Moses Phillips Master, which cleared from New Westminster on the 6th February last for Bentinck Arm and Stickeen some three or four hundred Gallons of spirits intended for trade among the Indians.
Also that the liquor was when the vessel become a wreck, landed and stored on Hornby Island, to await reshipment. I had also at Victoria received notice from Mr Tedcomb that the Captain of the "Explorer" had on board some 400 gallons of spirits that were seizable.
On the 31st Ulto I despatched a boat with Mr Simpson Master and Mr Daw Boatswain to examine into the truth of this information and I enclose a copy of their report.
On receiving this I proceed[ed] in H.M.S. "Devastation" to Hornby Island on the 3rd Instant and anchored near the spot where the cargo was landed.
In answer to my questions Moses Phillips stated that he had shipped the spirits at Victoria with the knowledge and permission of Mr Tedcomb and that he intended to sell them at Stickeen.
He had no paper or document of any kind to show, stating that they had all been lost at the time of the wreck.
LayingManuscript image
Laying there I found the two Schooners "Ino" and "Nanaimo Packet". The Ino had taken on board the goods and liquor of Mr Adam Ross for Bentinck Arm, for all of which he had papers in due form.
In reply to my questions Collins Master of the Nanaimo Packet stated the vessel had been hired by Moses Phillips to convey the portion of the cargo of the Explorer belonging to Phillips to Stickeen and that he had agreed with Phillips to take all the dry goods and "the liquor if it was not seized."
She had a landing Warrant for a few dry goods only.
Mr Adam Ross volunteered information that liquor had been sold by Moses Phillips while on Hornby Island an offence however of which it was not in my power to take cognizance.
I consider the "Explorer" had she been met at sea, would have been liable to seizure for a breach of the Custom's Laws of British Columbia, and I have considered this quantity of liquor seizable on the following grounds. 1. It was shipped on board a vessel bound to a port in British Columbia without the Skipper or Master having any documents to show the right to ship them. 2. They have been shipped on board a vessel bound for Russian Territory contrary to the IXth article of the treaty which says that the liberty of commerce shall not apply to Spirituous liquors. 3. That now (by His Excellency's orders) liquor cannot be shipped on board a vessel bound for Russian Territory.
For the beforementioned reasons, and the strong conviction in my own mind that this liquor is intended for sale to the Indians between this and Stickeen, I have deemed it advisable to seize it and send it to New Westminster to your custody.
I alsoManuscript image
I also found in the encampment well known as a Whisky seller in Victoria, who stated that he had engaged a passage in the "Explorer" from Moses Phillips to Skidegat Queen Charlotte's Islands and had paid 7 blankets for the same.
As H.M.S. "Devastation" is just commencing a voyage to Fort Simpson, and it would be extremely inconvenient to detach a boat and boats Crew to take this liquor to New Westminster I have hired a small sloop belonging to Dr Benson of Nanaimo at Five dollars a day to perform that duty.
I have &c
J.W. Pike
To the Collector of Customs
New Westminster
British Columbia
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1.3.2 Simpson and Daw to Pike

(Enclosure in Pike to Spencer, 4 April 1863.) April 3 1863
In compliance with your orders we left Nanaimo in the 2nd Cutter on the night of March 31st to proceed to the N.E. point of Hornby Island, where the Schooner "Explorer" was wrecked, and arrived there about 11 a.m. on the following morning.
We examined the Cargo saved from the wreck of the "Explorer" and in addition to the quantity of liquor shipped by Mr Adam Ross, and a Keg of Brandy marked D.G. Bentinck Arm for which there were proper documents. We found One Cask Islay Malt said by Moses Phillips to contain
78 Gallons 78 Gallons
One Cask of Gin about 42    "
Three Casks of Gin each about 30 Gal. 90 "
Two    "    "    "    "    40 Gal. 80    "
One    "    "  Brandy 42    "
(This Cask was not full the [Burig?]
having been started at some previous time.)
Six Cases of Gin each containing 12 Bottles
& 1 Case containing 2 bottles in all 72 about 12 1/2  "
Total number of Gallons about 344
Moses Phillips informed us that one 40 Gallon Cask of Spirits was lost entirely when the vessel was wrecked.
We did not open any packages nor gaugeanyManuscript image any Cask but put down the quantities judging from the size of the Cask, and from what Moses Phillips said each contained.
The Schooner Nanaimo Packet arrived about the same time. We boarded her examined her papers, and cargo and found them correct. She had a small quantity of Flour and Rice for British Columbia, and some lumber for Comox, all belonging to Moses Phillips, and her landing Warrant authorized her to ship the dry portion of the Cargo saved from the Explorer but none of the liquor.
The Master of the Nanaimo Packet said he was chartered by Moses Phillips, to take on board about 8 tons of the Cargo, saved from the "Explorer" the liquor being included.
In answer to our questions Moses Phillips stated that he hed purchased the liquor intending to take it to Stickeen and set up a store.
That when the Explorer's cargo was shipped he did not know of any law against taking liquor to Stickeen, and that it was contrary to treaty to do so, but he acknowledged that he knew the Governor's orders on ths point when he left Victoria in the "Nanaimo Packet" to take on board the same liquor saved from the wreck of the "Explorer".
He stated that before leaving Victoria in the "Explorer" he asked the Custom House Officer if any landing Warrant was necessary or if there was any duty to pay on the liquor he was shipping for Stickeen and that he was told that none was required.
In reply to a question as to what he intended to do with the Cargo when shipped with the Nanaimo Packet, he stated that he intended to go first to Comox and build a House with the lumber he had brought fromVictoriaManuscript image Victoria to land part of the cargo, and to leave Mr Hart, his Partner to keep a store there, while he proceeded on his voyage to Bentinck Arm and the Northward.
He said in reply to our remarks that he did not know that he could not set up a store in Comox without first obtaining a license, but at the said time said he had applied for one before leaving Victoria and he had told his Agent to apply for one and forward it to Comox.
We told him that having this liquor without proper papers from the Custom House was contrary to law, and that it was seizable in consequence, and that we should seize the liquor and detain him till the arrival of H.M.S. "Devastation" which we did.
The schooner "Ino" arrived on the same day to take on board the portion of the "Explorer's" Cargo belonging to Mr Adam Ross. Her papers were correct.
Mr Ross stated that when a passenger on the Explorer, he heard Moses Phillips and his partner Jack Hart say they intended to trade liquor to the Indians for furs, that they could get a Marten's skin for a bottle of liquor, and that he had heard them calculating the probable profits of their voyage and had heard them say that it was no good going North to trade without liquor.
He also states that Mr Walker who was a passenger at the same time heard them say the same.
Considering the facts that the portion of the Cargo belonging to Moses Phillips consists of little else than Spirits, and the way in which he prevaricated when question[ed] as to their destination we are left but one conclusion, that it was his intention to barter liquor for furs with the Indians along the coast.
We have &c
F.O. Simpson, Master
W.T. Daw, Boatswain
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1.4 Pike to Spencer

(Enclosure in Spencer to Admiralty, 4 May 1863)

Letter of Proceedings

No 3 of 1863
H.M.S. "Devastation"
28 April 1863
I have the honor to report further my proceedings since my letter No 2 of the 4th April 1863.
Leaving Hornby Island at daylight on the 5th I proceeded through Discovery Passage and attempted to pass Seymour Narrows, but the strength of the tide which I found to be running from 10 to 11 knots compelled me to return to an anchorage in Duncan Cove.
Proceeding next morning through the Narrows, and up Johnstone's Straights I arrived at Cormorant Island at 3 p.m. I dropped an anchor and sent Mr Simpson on shore to search for spirits which I had reason to suppose had been secreted on shore by a man named George Collins, for the purpose of trading it to the Indians at Fort Rupert, and to those who might pass the Island.
At 4.30 I again weighed and proceeded and anchored at 7 P.M. off Fort Rupert.
Immediately on arrival I sent on shore to search for more liquor, and to arrest George Collins if he could be found.
I was informed that the whole Camp was in a state of drunken phrensy from the effects of liquor sold to them by Collins, who had brought it from Cormorant Island.
The first part of this statement, I on landing found to be, a fact and the report of Mr Simpson, a copy of which I have the honor to forward (Enclosure No 1) fully details the occurrences at CormorantIslandManuscript image Island and Fort Rupert. At these two places I seized in all about 70 Gallons of pure Alcohol and some small Kegs of mixed spirits, and I detained George Collins until the Police authorities could be communicated with.
I received information that same evening that the sloop "Kingfisher" had been trading large quantities of spirits on the N.W. Coast of British Columbia. This information was given by a man named Edwin Hall who had! acted as master of her during part of the Voyage.
Next morning she arrived at Fort Rupert, and I at once detained her upon the information I had received, and sent her in charge of an Officer and Crew to New Westminster. She had only 52 bottles of spirits remaining. The Master and Owner did not deny having broken the law, alleging as a justification that He sold better spirits than the other Traders, and upon my arrival at Fort Simpson I found plenty of evidence to corroborate Hall's information upon which I had detained her (Enclosure No 2) as a copy of the report of the Officers who examined her.
On the 8th I left Fort Rupert and proceeded as far as Shadwell passage, where I anchored for the night. Next morning I passed through one [illegible] passage, across Queen Charlotte's Sound, and up Fitzhugh's Sound, and through Lama passage, and anchored for the night off Bella Bella or Millbank.
Next morning I proceeded across Millbank sound and up Finlayson's Canal. I this day fell in with and examined the schooner Nonpareil from Stickeen, her papers were in perfect order, and no subsequent information has been received of her having called at any place in British Columbia, except Bentinck Arm, for which place she had a landing Warrant or of her having committedanyManuscript image any breach of the Custom's laws.
I found shelter that evening in a Bay of the Eastern shore of the Channel between the East side of Hawkesbury Island and the main land, dropping the anchor in 32 fms and making the Ship's stern fast to the trees with a Hawser.
Next morning the 11th I proceeded up the Channel east of Hawkesbury Island off the North end of which I stopped, being about 8 miles to the southward of Kittimatt River.
A strong breeze was blowing with heavy snow squalls, no anchorage could anywhere be found, I therefore detached the first Cutter and Gig to go to Kittimatt before news of our presence could reach that place, and was compelled to return in the ship, down the Channel to find anchorage.
Just to the Northward of the Inlet below Port Staniforth I found a convenient Anchorage in 20 fms calling it Bishop's cove and remained there the night until 4 a.m. next morning when I again proceeded up the Channel to Kittimatt and at 8 a.m. picked up the Cutter, bringing down 221 Gallons of Alcohol.
The circumstances under which it was seized will be found in the copy of Lieutenant Singleton's report (Enclosure No 3) which I beg to enclose.
At Kittimatt I landed and detained Louis Morris, who had been left in charge of the store belonging to Barrowitz, the Master of the "Langley" and I explained to the Chief of the Kittimatt Tribe that the house and property which was left there in charge of an Indian who had traded spirits for Barrowitz on a former occasion must be inspected, and that he would be held responsible should any outrage or robbery be committed by his people.
As I could find no Anchorage whatever off Kittimatt I was compelled to return down the Channel.
AsManuscript image
As it was reported that the "Langley" was expected next day at Kittimatt, I detached the Cutter to proceed down Douglas Channel to intercept her, should she be coming up, and returned in the ship for the night to Bishop's Cove.
Next morning I proceeded around Point Cumming and up Douglas Channel for 15 miles, picked up the Cutter, and then up Greenville Canal as far as Loin's Inlet where good anchorage was found for the night.
In Greenville Canal the Sloop "Petrel" was fallen in with, and in accordance with a request from Mr Hamley the Collector of Customs, and the information of Edwin Hall I at once detained her.
Next day the 14th I proceeded through Greenville Canal, and Chatham Sound communicated with Mr Duncan at Metlahkartlah, and anchored the same evening off Fort Simpson.
From Captain McNeill I received information that the "Langley" was at that moment at Nass River, trading spirits.
In consequence of this I started for Nass at Daylight the following morning (the 15th) and proceeded up Portland Inlet, as far as thick fog and snow would allow, towards the mouth of the Nishka or Nass River. Then I sent up the Cutter away with Lieutenant Singleton, who towed the "Langley" out and brought her alongside.
On examining her I found in her hold about 36 Gallons of pure Alcohol and two Casks of Rum which the Master had made that morning.
The "Langley" and "Petrel" had been I found laying together at Nass trading at the same rates
For a Marten 1 1/4 Gallons
"  " Bear 2        "
"  " Minx   1/8        "
"  " Beaver   1/2        "
Manuscript imageFor an Otter   3/4 Gallons
"  a Sea Otter 10 Gallons and 8 Blankets
Drunkenness and fighting had been the order of the day among the Indians while the Vessels laid there, one Chief was shot dead, and others wounded, some of the better disposed Indians fearing for their lives and property had endeavoured to send the Vessels away, but were prevented by the threats of other Indians, under whose protection the Vessels were trading.
I anchored that afternoon off the entrance to Nass River, and having got on board a Chief named Necashwakes who had been the Agent for selling the Spirits brought up by the "Petrel", and an Indian named Small Boy who had traded the liquor landed from the Kingfisher, I returned on the 17th to Fort Simpson and the day following to Mr Duncan's mission at Metlahkartlah.
In entering Duncan Bay the Ship grounded on the edge of the sandbank which skirts Tugwell Island. The engines being at the time stopped, the Vessel had very little way. The leadsman gave on the Starboard side 10 Fms 5, 2 1/2 and the ship grounded in 12 feet under the Bows and Starboard Paddle Box, 15 feet on Starboard Quarter, 18 Feet under Port Paddle Box, drawing at the time 13 ft. 11 in. forward and 14 ft. 10 aft. Sail was set forward and an Anchor laid out on Port Quarter, and in about an hour, the Ship was hauled off, and anchored in 7 1/2 fms without having sustained the least injury.
I remained at Metlahkartlah five days giving the Lord Bishop time to carry out his intentions with the regard to the Indians, who under Mr Duncan had embraced Christianity and receiving Wood for fuel at 1 3/4 dollars the Chord, four Chords being equal to one ton of Coals.
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At Metlahkartlah I also received two other Indians who had witnessed the traffic in and landing of Spirits by both the "Kingfisher" and "Petrel."
The last day's detention was caused by thick foggy weather but on the morning of the 23rd I left Metlahkartlah, and and proceeded down Chatham Sound and Greenville Canal following the same route, by which I had proceeded north, and arriving at Fort Rupert on Sunday the 26th.
Mr Moffatt informed me, that during our absence the schooner "Nonpareil" had been there, and traded a quantity of Spirits to the Indians, the usual amount of drunkenness and disorder being the result of her visit, indeed Indians told me themselves that there is hardly a man among them now, who has either Blankets or Skins left. It seems that on the approach of the "Devastation" at Millbank all the tins of alcohol were landed and reembarked after her departure, which accounts for none being found when Captain Lewis searched her. The Master I since find is the same man who was Master of the Hamley, when searched last autumn, and though I cannot hear of any case of his part of infringement of the Laws of British Columbia, yet I am of opinion that the charge of selling alcohol at Fort Rupert could be most clearly proved against him, should it be thought necessary to make an example.
One or two Indians can be found there who are quite willing to come to Victoria and state the fact that they received liquor for skins and blankets, and Mr Moffatt can powerfully support their statements, having himself seen these men on board the Schooner with Blankets and furs, and empty tins, and buckets, and return without furs, and blankets and their buckets and tins full of liquor, afeastManuscript image feast being immediately held in the houses of these same men.
A White man named West was also at Fort Rupert at the same time, and a witness to the proceedings of the "Nonpareil".
An example of this sort would no doubt have a salutary effect, as Fort Rupert is the central spot at which large quantities of Alcohol are constantly sold by these vessels, and thence retailed by the Indians, among the numerous villages which are scattered about Johnstone's Straits.
Leaving Fort Rupert I proceeded down Johnstone's Straits, examining the Schooner "Surprise" off Point Macneill and communicating with H.M. Surveying Steamer "Beaver" at anchor in Plumper Bay.
Off Entrance Island I cast off the "Langley" and the "Petrel" which I had towed thus far, and sent them, with the witnesses to New Westminster, and proceeded to this place to coal, after which I shall immediately leave to rejoin your broad pendant at Esquimalt.
I have the honor to state that I have sent a copy of this letter to His Excellency the Governor for his information.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedt Servant
J.W. Pike
Commodore Hon J.W.S. Spencer
Senior Officer Esquimalt
Manuscript image
1.4.1 Simpson to Pike

(Enclosure in Pike to Spencer, 28 April 1863.) 7 April 1863
In compliance with your order I landed on Cormorant Island yesterday afternoon to search for Liquor.
On landing I went into a Long House of a Man known by the name of West or West Houston, and searched it. I found a bottle containing a small amount of Old Tom, and a tin measure containing a small quantity of Alcohol and Water.
I next proceeded to search the Indian Huts but found no liquor in them.
Supposing any liquor they might have had would have been concealed immediately on the Ship heaving in sight, I went with the men into the Bush immediately at the back of the houses, and after searching some time found a small cask containing a quantity of Alcohol and Water, and soon afterwards found five cases, each containing two five gallon tins of Alcohol. These cases were hid in different places.
Immediately on finding the Spirits I told Houston I should send him on board to see you, and was about doing so, when you came on Shore.
After further search, we discovered a tin can containing a quantity of Alcohol and Water, I sent all the Spirits on board the Ship.
The Indians stated that the liquor belonged to a man named George Collins who had gone to Fort Rupert.WestManuscript image West Houston stated at first that he did not know to whom it belonged. He afterward said he thought it belonged to a man named Charles Stevens.
On our arrival at Fort Rupert yesterday evening I went on shore accompanied by Captain Lewis according to your orders to capture Collins if we could find him.
On the search we met Mr Moffat who informed me that Collins was then in the Indian Village, and had been selling liquor to the Indians for some days past, in consequence of which they were all drunk.
We proceeded to the Village, accompanied by Mr Moffatt, who saw Collins enter one of the Lodges. We followed him and found the door bolted, when we gained an entrance he had escaped the back way.
I next proceeded to search for liquor and after a considerable length of time discovered a case of Alcohol and one Five Gallon tin full of Alcohol and one five gallon tin half full. One Keg about 10 Gallons, half full of Alcohol and Water, a very small Keg containing a small quantity of the same mixture, and a measure and funnel in which alcohol had been.
I seized the liquor and sent it on board the Ship.
This liquor was hid away and covered with a mat on the top of one of the side Bunks which Collins was said to have been occupying, and which was full of Blankets and property belonging to Collins.
On the morning of the 7th I went on shore to endeavour to detain Collins and after some time went into a house at the end of the village but saw no one in it.
Observing the flooring was loose, IpulledManuscript image pulled it up and discovered Collins underneath covered with two Blankets and a Mat. I informed him I should detain him which I did, and conveyed him on board the ship.
In the house I found a tin measure, and a keg which smelt of Alcohol.
I am &c
F.O. Simpson
Manuscript image
1.4.2 Simpson and Daw to Pike

(Enclosure in Pike to Spencer, 28 April 1863.)
H.M.S. Devastation
Beaver Harbour
7th April 1863

In compliance with your order we boarded and examined the Sloop which arrived this forenoon, and found her to be the "Kingfisher" from Stickeen & Fort Simpson last from Safety Cove, Thomas Jackson, Master and three fourths owner.
We examined her hold and found Two full cases of Gin, each 15 Bottle Cases, One open case of Gin containing 11 Bottles, One open case of Old Tom, containing 11 Bottles, Two Casks full of Furs, and a number of Bear Skins loose about the hold, and in the Cabin two boxes full of furs. She had no other Cargo except a small quantity of Powder and Bullets.
In answer to our questions Thomas Jackson stated that the papers had been lost when the Sloop got on shore, that he went to Fort Simpson and Stickeen for the purpose of trading with the Indians along the Coast, and took with him, Flour Rice, Molasses, and Liquor. He admitted having on board when he left Victoria 25 Cases of Gin and Two or Three Casks of Whiskey which he said were entered on the Sloops papers. He also admitted having traded the liquor to Indians in exchange for Furs.
We are &c
F.O. Simpson, Master
W.T. Daw, Boatswain
Manuscript image
1.4.3 Singleton and Daw to Pike

(Enclosure in Pike to Spencer, 28 April 1863.) 12 April 1863
In obedience to your orders of yesterday's date I proceeded in the 1st Cutter with the 2nd Gig in Company to Kittimatt.
I searched a house in charge of Louis Morris who stated that he was landed there from the Schooner "Langley" about the 21st February last. After searching the house and premises some little time Mr Daw Boatswain found a concealed cellar on the back part of the house, on one side of the Kitchen, where after pulling down some planking the following Cases &c of liquor were discovered under the house. One Cask containing about 30 Gallons of a manufactured compound called Rum, 12 Cases and 1 Tin of Alcohol about 185 Gallons, which I immediately seized and placed in the Cutter. I then shoved off from the shore, and encamped for the night at a deserted Indian Village.
A second careful examination was made of Morris' house and I feel certain that there was not any more liquor, than what I have seized.
On questioning Morris he admitted the liquor to have been landed by Barrowitz (or Barronowitz) from the Langley.
This morning I proceeded in the 2nd Gig to the Indian Village at the head of the Inlet, and directed Mr Daw to proceed to the Ship with the liquor and all the stores.
WhenManuscript image
When I arrived at the mouth of the River leading to the Village, I found that it was impossible to get up in the Gig, so I sent her back to the encampment and went up to the Village in a Canoe.
I found no establishment there of any kind, the Chiefs stated that no Trader was there, or had been, at that spot, and that the only trading establishment, was the one in charge of Louis Morris.
I therefore returned to the encampment in the Canoe and returned on board the Ship with the 2nd Gig.
We have &c
W.C. Singleton, Lieutenant
W.T. Daw, Boatswain
Manuscript image
1.5 Pike to Spencer

(Enclosure in Spencer to Admiralty, 4 May 1863.)

Letter of Proceedings

No 5 of 1863 1 May 1863
I have the honor to report that having completed Coal, I left Nanaimo at 4 a.m. and beg to report my arrival here this day.
H.M. Gun Boat "Grappler" arrived at Nanaimo on the afternoon of the 29th Ulto. and proceeded to Comox.
Yesterday afternoon the "Forward" and "Grappler" both anchored at Nanaimo to complete coal, and from whence Lieutt Lascelles informed me they will proceed at once to Kuper Island.
While at Nanaimo the Whiskey Seller "Collins" was taken before the Magistrate who considering the Case clearly proved against him fined him five hundred dollars.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your obedient Servant
J.W. Pike
Manuscript image
2. Spencer to Secretary to the Admiralty

Reporting Proceedings

No 24 of 1863
Her Majesty's Ship Topaze
Esquimalt Harbour
6th May 1863

With reference to my letter No 21 of the 4th Instant I have further to acquaint you for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that the "Forward" arrived at this Port on the afternoon of yesterday, having been directed by Commander Pike to proceed to Victoria withtheManuscript image the persons captured in charge of the Superintendent of Police.
I beg to enclose a copy of Lieutenant The Hon. H.W. Lascelles letter of proceedings in continuation of his former Report.
The "Forward" will proceed tomorrow to San Juan Island to convey Clothing and Provisions to the Detachment of Marines landed there, and then return to Cowitchin to relieve the "Devastation."
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obd Servant
John W.S. Spencer
Commodore & Senior Officer
To The Secretary of the Admiralty
Whitehall London
Manuscript image
2.1 Lascelles to Pike

(Enclosure in Spencer to Admiralty, 5 May 1863.)

Letter of Proceedings
H.M. G. Boat Forward
at Esquimalt
5 May 1863
Having completed with Coal at Nanaimo I started to visit the settlers at the Comox where I arrived on the Evening of Sunday April 26th. On Wednesday the 29th H.M. Gun Boat "Grappler" arrived with orders from you, and Lieutenant Commander Verney having placed himself under my orders I started on Thursday the 30th for Nanaimo where we arrived the same evening.
Having completed with Coal we started from Nanaimo at 1.45 a.m. with the intention of surprising the Lamalcha Indians by daylight, but on arriving at the Village we found it deserted. I therefore landed a party and fired it. We found on landing everything prepared for resisting an armed force, the block house being very strong, and there were also a number of rifle Pits. The place is completely destroyed. I then proceeded in company with the Grappler to Ganges Harbor, Admiral Island, and as the Grappler required some slight repair to her boilers, I left here there and proceeded to Bedwell Harbor, to find the body of the man Brady, which one of the prisoners volunteered to show us. We found the body and after taking what was necessary to identify it we buried it. I then proceeded to Cowitchen and placed myself under the orders of Commander Pike of the H.M.S. "Devastation."
HavingManuscript image
Having received orders from Commander Pike I returned to Esquimalt (calling at Plumper Pass for Mrs Marks and family and at Victoria to land the prisoners) where I arrived at 5.30 P.M.
Before concluding I beg to inform you of the great service Mr Smith the Superintendent of Police has been to me during the whole time we have been employed in this service, and also of the great assistance that was given by Bishop Demers who volunteered his services to persuade the Cowitchen Indians to give up the suspected men, and owing to the great influence he has, I am convinced was mainly influential in enabling us to arrest them.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient Servant
Horace D. Lascelles
Lieutt & Commander
Commodore The Hon J.W.S. Spencer
Senior Officer
H.M.S. Topaze Esquimalt

People in this document


Benson, Doctor

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Brady, William


Collins, George

Daw, W. T.

Demers, Modeste

Douglas, James

Duncan, William

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Fortescue, Chichester

Gliddon, Charles F.

Hall, Edwin

Hamley, Wymond Ogilvy

Hart, Jack

Henley, John

Houston, West

Jackson, Thomas

Jenkins, James

Lascelles, Horace Douglas

Lewis, H. G.

Marks Caroline

Marks, Frederick

Mayer, Christian

McNeill, William Henry


Morris, Louis


Paget, Clarence Edward

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

Pemberton, Augustus Frederick

Phillips, Moses

Pike, John W.

Rogers, Frederic

Ross, Adam

Seeley, William

Simpson, F. O.

Singleton, W. C.

Small Boy

Smith, Horace

Spencer, J. W. S.

Stevens, Charles


Tod, John

Turnbull, Doctor

Verney, Edmund Hope


Young, William Alexander George

Organizations in this document

Foreign Office

Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty

Vessels in this document

Beaver, 1835-1888

HMS Devastation, 1841-1866

Schooner Explorer

HMS Forward, 1855-1869

HMS Grappler, 1856-1883

Sloop Hamley

Schooner Ino


Schooner Langley

Nanaimo Packet

Schooner Nonpareil

Sloop Petrel

Surprise, schooner

HMS Topaze, 1858-1884

Places in this document

Active Pass

Beaver Harbour

Bedwell Harbour

Bella Bella

Bentinck Arm

Bird's Eye Cove

Bishop's Cove

British Columbia

Chatham Sound

Chemainus Bay

Chemainus River


Cormorant Island

Cowichan Bay

Cowichan Region

Discovery Passage

Douglas Channel

Duncan Bay

Duncan Cove

Entrance Island


Esquimalt Harbour

Finlayson Canal

Fitzhugh's Sound

Fort Rupert, or T'sakis

Fraser River

Ganges Harbour

Greenville Canal (Grenville Channel)

Hawkesbury Island

Hornby Island

Johnstone Strait


Kitimat River

Kuper Island

Lama Passage

Lax Kw'alaams

Loin's Inlet


Mayne Island


Milbanke Sound


Miner's Bay

Moresby Island


Nass River

New Westminster

Oak Bay

Pender Island

Piers Island

Plumper Bay

Plumper Pass

Point Cumming

Point Macneill

Port Staniforth

Portland Inlet

Portland Island

Queen Charlotte Sound

Safety Cove

Saltspring Island

San Juan Island

Saturna Island

Seymour Narrows

Shadwell Passage


Stikine Territory

Tugwell Island

Vancouver Island


Waldron Island