No. 87
11st May 1869
My Lord,
In consequence of information having reached me of the wreck of a Bark named "John Bright" supposed to belongtoManuscript image to Coquimbo and sailing under the Chilian Flag, near Nootka Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and the supposed murder of her crew by Indians, I thought it well to cause some investigation to be made at the scene of the alleged outrages.
2. On my requisition, the Senior Naval Officer at Esquimalt despatchedHerManuscript image Her Majesty's Ship "Sparrowhawk," Commander Mist R.N. and J.P. to convey Mr Ball, Police Magistrate of New Westminster to Nootka Sound. I have now the honor to report that the "Sparrowhawk" has returned.
3. The bodies of some of the crew had been buried on the shore; they were exhumed by order of the Magistrates. A Coroner's Inquest was held and the Jury returned a verdict ofMurderManuscript image Murder against two Indians, who have been brought down to Victoria.
4. The Magistrates experienced the utmost difficulty in obtaining Information from the Indians. There is however little doubt but that the crew were drowned in their attempts to gain the land, except one man, and a woman. These tworeachedManuscript image reached the shore where they were murdered by the Indians.
5. The Assizes are to be held on the 27th Instant, when the two prisoners will be tried. As soon as the result is known I will forward a further Statement in regard to this affair.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
TheManuscript image
[P.S.] The Attorney General was sent with Mr Ball to assist in his investigations. FS
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Sir F. Sandford
Put by till we receive the result of the Trial?
CC 5 July
FRS 6/7
Manuscript image
See subsequent Admy 8788 Aug 3, 1869. Also Sep. 9672 July 27, 1869.
Seymour, Frederick to Leveson-Gower, Granville George 11 May 1869, CO 60:35, no. 7494, 626. 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/B69087.html.

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