No. 43
8th May 1865
I have the honor to forward copy of a letter from Mr Brew, Police Magistrate of New Westminster, which is not without interest. You will perhaps be somewhat surprised to see that ontheManuscript image the Lower Fraser, not many miles above New Westminster, in a district surrounded by settlers, "the Indian Chiefs have always killed their women when they had a mind."
2. Mr Brew adds, "it is their common law and prescriptive right, and is considered by them a useful and valuable institution. It is a ticklish matter to intermeddle in for the first time, for it has never beeninterferedManuscript image interfered with yet."
3. Much as I wish to follow the Indian policy of my predecessor, I cannot sanction murder being committed in our most settled districts. I therefore gave orders for the Law to take its course. The Chief was arrested. There were alleviating circumstances. He was convicted of man-slaughter, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour. NottheManuscript image the slightest sympton of dissatisfaction has been evinced by any member of the Tribe.
4. It is not the death of Indian women alone that has hitherto been unavenged in this Colony. White men have been killed in most of the districts, by the Natives, but no efforts were made to punish the murderers. Bentinck Arm became particularly notorious from the number of Europeans whowereManuscript image were slain by the Natives without any retribution following, and there is no doubt that the massacre of Mr Waddington's Road party was mainly owing to the impunity with which similar offences on a smaller scale had been attended.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Approve the Governor's proceeding.
ABd 10 July
I think so.
I cordially agree in his opinion of the inexpediency (in my judgement it is also immoral) of letting Crime go unpunished.
TFE 10 July
EC 13
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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C. Brew, Police Magistrate, New Westminster, to Seymour, 20 March 1865, advising that a certain Indian tribe allow the murder of women by their husbands.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 43, 19 July 1865.