No. 51
2nd April 1867
My Lord,
I have had the honor to receive Your Lordship's Circular despatches of the 26th and 30th of January, on the subject of the proclamation of Martial Law. The latterdespatchManuscript image despatch states that you are not aware whether any law authorizing the proclamation of Martial Law by the Governor exists in this Colony.
2. There is no law authorizing any such proclamation here, but I shall not shrink from accepting the grave responsibility of proclaiming Martial Law should imperative circumstances require it.
3. I may mention thatinManuscript image in May 1864, when the massacre by the Chilicoten Indians of a Road party at Bute Inlet was followed by the extermination of the whites from the sea to the Upper Fraser I did not think it necessary to proclaim Martial Law. Two strong and efficient bands of Volunteers were started from Cariboo and New Westminster respectively but every man was sworn in as a special ConstableandManuscript image and the Chiefs, two experienced Magistrates, were appointed Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer in order that a legal trial might be afforded to any prisoners taken. As an additional precaution I accompanied the New Westminster party myself. Though a valuable life was lost in skirmishing with the natives, and several wounds received the prisoners when driven to surrender weretriedManuscript image tried by the Chief Judge of the Colony and a Jury. None but the Chiefs were executed. Six were hung at Quesnelmouth, and one at New Westminster. A total immunity from Indian disturbances since then has been the consequences of our proceedings.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Keep as decided on the recent Ceylon Dispatch for consideration when the answers generally have been received, but in the mean time the Eastern Dept should see it?
GG 28 May
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Mr Seymour managed this Indian business with great [illegible] & judgement.
FR 28/5
CBA 29/5
B&C 31/5
CC 3 June