Hammond to Under-Secretary of State
March.11.1867
Sir,
I have laid before Lord Stanley Your Letter and it's enclosure of the 5th Instant respecting certain occurences at the Island of San Juan, and I am to request that you will state to the Duke of Buckingham that it appears to Lord Stanley that Governor Seymour has taken the best course both as regards the American Tariff andasManuscript image as regards the Deserter from the Marine Force in the Island; but that the demand made by the Commander of that Force on the Commander of the American Force for the surrender of the man was most injudicious, and wholly unwarranted.
As regards the question of a settlement with the United States of the pending question respecting the possession of the Island, I am to state for His Grace's information that the manner of dealing withthisManuscript image this question involves much difficulty, as he will see by the perusal of the Memoranda of which I enclose copies.
Sir Frederick Bruce will however be instructed again to bring before the American Goverment the proposal of January 25 1861, if he sees no objection to doing so at the present time, and Her Majesty's Government will be able from his report to judge what course should be taken, supposing the American Government are still unwilling to agree to arbitration ontheManuscript image the basis stated in that proposal.
I am Sir,
Your most obedient
Humble Servant,
E. Hammond
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Inform, I presume, Govr Seymour that H.M. Govt approve the course pursued by him in regard to the question of duties, & to the Deserter—& add that they consider the conduct of the Marine Officer at San Juan was most injudicious & wholly unwarranted.
I conclude that Govr Seymour may further be informed that this question of boundary is now under the consn of H.M.G.
ABd 14/3
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See Minute annexed.
TFE March
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No doubt Governor Seymour will be approved, and will also be informed that H.M.'s Govt will not lose sight of the desirableness of inducing the Government of the United States to agree upon some method of settling the right to the Island of San Juan.
But with regard to the Marine Officer, I think that some care should be used in framing our letters. The Foreign Office write to us with the freedom of one Department of State writing to another; but I am not at all sure that their very words are the best to use in any communication which may eventually be made to the Officer concerned.HeManuscript image He doubtless acted to the best of his judgement, and the enclosures of 1992 show that the position of affairs was really very difficult, and also that he had no wish to give offence to his American neighbour.
What I suppose the Foreign Office to mean is that the demand for the deserter was not warranted by the Law of Nations, and that the act of the Officer was not judicious. But their actual phrase seems to make both epithets equally applicable to the Officer himself.
I should therefore prefer saying that a demand for the deserter was not warranted by the Law of Nations, and that the application made for himbyManuscript image by the Officer of Marines was injudicious. It seems to me also that before sending this out to the Governor, the Admiralty ought to be made aware of the case. I would suggest that we send them a copy of the Governor's despatch 1992; that we should say (if His Grace approves it) that the Duke of Buckingham recognizes the prudence and desire for conciliation exhibited in Captn Oldfield's letters, but that with regard to the demand for the deserter made by the Officer of Marines in command at San Juan, His Grace gathers from a letter from the Foreign Office that it was not warranted by the Law of Nations, and that he regrets that he cannot consideritManuscript image it as otherwise than an injudicious act, although doubtless prompted by good motives.
TFE 15 March
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Duke of Buckingham
Is there any use in referring to the Admiralty? & is it not enough simply to approve of Govr Seymour's conduct in both cases & inform him of the question of boundary being again under consideration.
The demand for the Deserter was not against the Law of Nations, but outside of our Extradition law—& the understanding or Acts of the U. States—& we only got the opinion of the F.O. not a decision or information from them.
Cap Bazalgette acted only injudiciously & without any proof of the man being the Deserter supposed.
CBA 15/3
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Gov. Seymours conduct to be approved. Inform him that the boundary question is under consideration—express regret that the officer in command of H.B.Ms troops shd have made the demand for surrender of the deserter which was not warranted by the subsisting engagement with the U.S. that that proceeding was injudicious and the form in which the demand was made was such that no foreign power however well disposed toward us could be expected to comply with. Communicate to Admiralty.
B&C 12/3
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Mr Adderley
I think Captain Bazalgette's letter so injudicious & so calculated to lead to ill feeling, if not to collision, that it ought not to be passed over, especially as the demand made by him is one which he could not have acceded to if made to himself.
Captain B. states that a certain Hughes deserted from his camp in May 1861—5 1/2 years previously, that it has "come to his knowledge" that this manManuscript image "is now serving as an enlisted soldier" in the U.S. army.
On this allegation, without even tendering any proof of the identity or of the desertion Capt. B. peremptorily demands—not inquiry or investigation which would have enabled him to send home a full report for consideration by H.M. Government, but the surrender, indeed the delivery as a prisoner of a soldier of the U.S. Army.
It is very probable that with the mutual good feeling which appears fortunately to have hitherto characterized the jointManuscript image occupation of San Juan, the officers on either side may have handed back to each other stragglers from their respective camps found on the island & attempting to desert, or possibly even persons who under those circumstances have offered themselves for enlistment. But the delivery to a Foreign Power of a regularly enrolled soldier of several years service is a very different matter, and one which Captain B. must have well known, he could not according to the practice—or under any regulation of the British Service have acceded to in the case of a similar demand made to himself.
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I agree & the critical state of things there made caution doubly necessary.
CBA 20/3
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Immediate
Write to Admiralty, transmitting copies of so much of Govrs despatch & enclosures and letter from F.O. as relates to the conduct of Capt. Bazalgette & conveying the within written opinion as to it.
B&C 20/3
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Memoranda, 2 February 1864 and 31 July 1866, concerning settlement of the San Juan Island dispute, prepared by Foreign Office staff (28 pages).
Other documents included in the file
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Colonial Office to Secretary to the Admiralty, 22 March 1867, forwarding copy of correspondence concerning the actions of Bazalgette for consideration, with ending extensively edited.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Duke desires that so much of the despatch as relates to Capt Bazalgette's conduct shd be sent to the Admiralty—but the whole of it relates to the desertion case—& I therefore suppose that a Copy of the whole should go.
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Yes.
Other documents included in the file
*
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Elliot to Secretary to the Admiralty, 22 March 1867, revised copy of the draft as noted above.
Minutes by CO staff
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(Draft to the Governor suspended until Admiralty shall answer.)
Hammond, Edmund to Adderley, Charles Bowyer 11 March 1867, CO 60:30, no. 2464, 118. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B675FO01.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)