Kimberley to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Hudsons Bay House
11th June 1868
I have the honor to transmit herewith an extract of a letter received from the principal officer of the Hudson's Bay Company in British Columbia, dated Victoria, Vancouver's Island 29th April 1868, on the question of the right of British vessels to free access to the Stikine River in the Territory, recently ceded by the Russian Government to the United States.
By the 6th article of the Convention between Great BritainandManuscript image and Russia dated St. Peter[s]burgh 16/28 February 1825, it is provided— That the subjects of His Britanic Majesty, from whatever quarter they may arrive, whether from the Ocean or from the interior of the Continent, shall for ever enjoy the right of navigating freely and without any hindrance whatever, all the rivers and streams which in their course towards the Pacific Ocean may cross the line of demarcation upon the line of Coast described in Article III of the present Convention, and the Company presume that there can be no doubt that this Article is binding on theUnitedManuscript image United States as the present possessor of the Territory.
I am therefore to request that you will move His Grace the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos to take steps to have this matter brought under the consideration of the United States Government and to obtain for the Company relief from the grievance complained of in Mr Tolmie's letter.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Holland
See 12847 from F.O.
CC 13 June
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Sir F. Rogers
This should go (I presume) to the Foreign Office, as it is to be brought under the notice of the US Govt. The Queen's Advocate's opinion is I fear somewhat adverse to the view taken by the Hudson's Bay Compy.
HTH 13/6
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Yes to F.O.
FR 13/6
CBA 15/6
B&C 15/6
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Extract, W.F. Tolmie, Chief Factor, to W.G. Smith, Secretary, Hudson's Bay Company, 29 April 1868, complaining that British ships were being required to pay "a light due of $150 00/100 each trip" to the Americans at Sitka while enroute to British territory on the Stikine River.
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office, 25 June 1868, forwarding copy of the letter and enclosure for consideration.