New Westminster
13 April 1864
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward herewith the accompanying communication received by me through a deputation from the inhabitants of British Columbia, for transmission to Your Grace.
2. As it relates exclusivelytoManuscript image to the character of my administration in British Columbia, it is unnecessary for me to make any observations with reference to it, except to remark that I truly appreciate the kindness and good will which prompted the Colonists to come forward so spontaneously to bear their testimony to my humble efforts faithfully to discharge the trust reposed in me by my Sovereign.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your graces most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Acke with satisfaction. (The inhabitants of V.C.I. last year paid Sir J. Douglas a similar compliment.) On some convenient oppy it will perhaps be thought right to signify to Sir J. Douglas the expression of the approval of H.M's Govt at his conduct as Govr of V.C.I. & B. Columbia.
Sir J. Douglas' career as Governor has been a remarkable one. Brought up in the service of the H.B.Co, which was a school from which it was scarcely to be expected that a man should be found capable of managing a colony, which was by no means free from the element of American notions as to Govt, he succeeded in keeping order, & maintaining liberty among the Inhabitants. And though his resolute style of governing produced occasional complaints I cannot recal to mind one single instance in which his explanations were insufficient, or any censure was administered. On the same principle on which a private individual in this Country would exceed his resources for a while in order to make a road through his property which he knew wd ultimately prove a great service, & increase the value of his Estates Governor Douglas for the sake of his roads in B. Columbia occasionally embarrassed us here by overdrawing his account; but after sundry cautions he became more regular. He now quits his two Govts leaving them in a state of prosperity, with every prospect of greater advancement.
ABd 3 June
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Mr Fortescue
There can be no question of the propriety of acknowledging with much satisfaction the Address presented to Sir James Douglas by a Deputation on the close of his Govt of British Columbia, expressive of their appreciation of the merits of his public services, and of the manner in which he had conducted the affairs of the Colony.
But I confess that I doubt whether the Secretary of State is called upon to go out of his way in so vexed a question as the merit of Sir J. Douglas' administration to write any separate despatch expressly for the purpose of pronouncing a general commendation. The Duke of Newcastle in announcing the intention to name a successor, sent out to Sir James the Order of K.C.B. which was probably the most striking method that could be adopted of signifying His Grace'sManuscript image general satisfaction with the Governor's administration.
TFE 16 June
I think the answer proposed by Mr Elliot will be the safer course.
CF 20
EC 21
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Petition from the inhabitants of British Columbia to Newcastle, praising the past administration of Douglas, various dates from around the colony, over 1,000 signatures.
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Copy of the petition as noted above, signatures not appended.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 20, 28 June 1864.