Churchill to Cardwell
No 11, George Yard,
Lombard Street, E.C.
20 Septr 1865 To the Right Honble E. Cardwell Secretary of State for the Colonies
I have the honor to inform you that in 1862 a concession was granted by Col. R.C. Moody R.E. the then Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works for the Colony of British Columbia to Alfred Waddington Esqre of Victoria Vancouver Island, for the construction of a Road from the head of Bute Inlet to the mouth of Quesnelle river, which is the centre of the Mining region. As the mining population is wholly dependent upon the Port of Victoria for all its supplies, the question of facility of transport is of paramount importance to the development of the natural resources of the Colony. The present route via the Fraser river has to cross the Pavillion mountains, 3000 feet high, in 3 1/2 miles and entails 393 miles of tedious land carriage requiring 35 to 37 days transit and costing 19 to 22 cents per lb.
The projected road would onlyManuscript image involve 230 miles of land carriage, of easy gradients; (the highest elevation being under 450 ft) which would reduce the cost to 11 cts per lb and the time required to 20 to 22 days. Besides reducing the cost and time of transit nearly 50%, the greater portion of the road will pass through a fine Agricultural district, many thousands of miles in extent, capable of indefinite development. Mr Waddington was proceeding with the works & had expended some £10000 to £15000, when in the spring of last year his men were massacred by the Indians; thus compelling him to suspend further operation in consequence of the heavy losses sustained.
He instructs me, that a petition on the subject, signed by upwards of a thousand of the leading residents of Victoria, has been sent to you, also that further petitions are being prepared by the Miners of Cariboo, thus showing the high estimation in which the undertaking is held by all classes in both Colonies. Mr Waddington being thus unable to proceed with the works, has instructed me his Agent, by Power of Attorney, through Messrs Pearkes &Manuscript image Green, Solicitors (G. Pearkes Esqre being late Sol. General for Vancouver Island) with a view to the matter being taken up by Capitalists in England.
The parties who are desirous of entering into it will only do so on condition that Her Majestys Government, in accordance with the petition of the Colonists protect them in carrying out Mr Waddingtons concession; and grant them the security to which all H.M. Subjects are justly entitled in the prosecution of any legitimate undertaking. The construction of this road being of vital importance to the future interests of this extensive Colony I trust you will urge upon H.M. Government the necessity of giving the required assurance to enable us to proceed with the work immediately. Waiting the favor of a reply at your earliest convenience.
I have the honor to be
Your humble and obedt Servant
James D. Churchill
Atty for the said Alfred Waddington
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
See 8623 B.C. and 7324 V.C.I. A careful ansr will be requisite to this application.
ABd 21 Sepr
I should be more disposed to a decided one—viz that Mr Cardwell can hold out no hope whatever that the Imperial Govt will furnish protection to the workers & others whom it is proposed to employ in making a road in B. Columbia.
The writer may be informed that no such assurances as that for which he asks will be given to him by me. The parties in question must address themselves to the Government of the Colony.
EC 22
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Churchill, 27 September 1865, advising that no assurance of protection could be promised by Cardwell, and that the proper course would be to consult the colonial government.
Minutes by CO staff
Send a copy of this correspce to the Govr for his infn?