1st August 1868
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward Copy of a letter addressed to me by Captain Delacombe R.M.L.I. commanding the English force stationed on the Island of San Juan,askingManuscript image asking for my recommendation that the local (to the Island) rank of Lieutenant Colonel may be bestowed upon him while serving in Command of Her Majesty's troops on San Juan. Such distinction to be honorary merely, to carry with it no precedence outside the island, and no increase of emolument.
2. I need hardly say that I look upon it entirelyfromManuscript image from a Civil point of view. Captain Delacombe has no superior officer on the Island and his Military influence would not be affected by the change. I however beg to state that in a diplomatic point of view I think it desirable that Captain Delacombe's request be acceded to. The Colony is now hardly ever without the presence of American Officers of highrank.Manuscript image rank. We have lately received in Victoria both the Naval and Military Commanders in Chief on the Pacific Coast. Generals and Colonels are frequent visitors, and nearly all go over to San Juan. Captains are so common that I think it would be desirable to move Captain Delacombe out of the Category. While the Island of San Juan isinManuscript image in its normal state, the settlers will always believe in a slight superiority on the part of the American Garrison over the English when the one is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel and the other by a Captain. Amongst the lower orders of Americans it is not usual to make use of the surname of a military officer. It is "the Colonel" or "the Captain."TheManuscript image The settlers will attribute superior position to Lieutenant Colonel Grey as compared with Captain Delacombe.
3. Your Grace will understand that I look upon the matter as one concerning purely civil administration and diplomatic influence. Nothing could be further from my wish than to interfere with the internal arrangements of Her Majesty's Forces.
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5. I add with pleasure that I have had every reason to be satisfied with Captain Delacombe since he has been in command at San Juan.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
humble Servant.
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The question of raising the rank of our Officer in command at San Juan has already been referred to the Admiralty—see letter to them of 31 Aug. or F.O. 9064. Send copy to Admy with reference to that letter & say that the Duke of Buckingham would be glad to be informed what decision the Lords Commrs may arrive at?
CC 10 Sept
TFE 10/9
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& ? recommend. But I thought it was only [remainder cut off microfilm].
CBA 11/9
B&C 12/9
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W.A. Delacombe to Seymour, 1 August 1868, asking for recommendation that his rank be raised, with enclosure indicating the degree of diplomatic interaction between the British and American commanding officers on San Juan.
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Printed copy of letter, Charles McCoy to Major H.A. Allen, American Commander, expressing thanks and appreciation for services rendered during his service on the island.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Secretary to the Admiralty, 19 September 1868, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures for consideration.