2237. Vancouver's Island

March 15th 1849
2 Ansd 27 March / 49
[…] Hudson's Bay Com. 28 March /49
[…] to Foreign Office 7 Apl / 49
(Draft with 2777 Hudson Bay Compy)
I am directed by Viscount Palmerston to transmit to you, for the information of Earl Grey,
No 2 Jany 12/49
a Copy of a Dispatch from Mr Adams, Her Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires in Peru, stating the substance of enquiries which have been made of him by British Subjects who are desirous of settling in Vancouver's Island, and I am to request that you will move Lord Grey to favour Lord Palmerston with any informationManuscript image information upon this subject, which His Lordship may think it desirable that Mr Adams should be enabled to communicate to the Persons who have applied to him.
I am
Your most obedient
humble servant
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
16 Mar
Mr Hawes
I presume the answer will be to request Ld Palmerston to inform Mr Adams, that Vancouver's Island will be a settlement entirely under Imperial Government by means of a Governor appointed by the Crown with instructions to call a representative assembly; that the landManuscript image only is granted* to the H.B.C. and annexing (for the information of intended Settlers) a copy of the recent resolutions of the H.B.C. respecting the sale of land. A copy of this letter & the answer to be also transmitted to the Company?
HM Mh 16.
M 16 *I should say conditionally granted.
In answering […] this communicatn I do not think it wd be prudent to insert the word suggested by Mr Hawes — it wd be liable to misinterpretatn. — Send as suggested.
G. 17/
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Copy, William Pitt Adams to Viscount Palmerston, 12 January 1849, requesting information about Vancouver Island.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Eddisbury, 27 March 1849, providing information on the colony at Vancouver Island, with enclosures.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr. Hawes
No copy of these Resolutions appear to have been sent to received by the Department from the Hudsons Bay Compy but they are published in the Morning Chronicle of the 17 Jan last, a copy of which accompanies their Draft.
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Sir John Pelly, Hudson's Bay Company, 28 March 1849, forwarding correspondence with the Foreign Office regarding settlement at Vancouver Island.
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
No 2
Lina January 12, 1849

My Lord,

The recent discovery of the Gold Region in California, accessible to Individual enterprise and highly remunerative to Personal labour, has created a General movement among British Subjects of the operative Classes who are formed, in considerable numbers, along this Coast.
Compelled by a desire for change, and hopes of rapid prosperity, but doubtful of the advantages of California from the Report (however incorrect) of its lawless population
The Viscount Palmerston GrB
andManuscript image and unhealthy climate, several Individuals have applied to me for information respecting Vancouver’s Island, believing that by the working of coal and agricultural pursuits, they might realize ready profit from the expected commerce with California, and obtain a permanent settlement with an excellent Market for their produce. The first questions generally put to me are, Is there any Govt established in Vancouver’s Island? Can we depend upon Law and Order? I have been able to give in reply, such information only as could be collected from the Report of theManuscript image the Debates in Parliament during the last session on the subject, and have found that the idea of living under the Govt of the Hudson’s Bay Company is distasteful to the majority of proposed Immigrants: the best men, skilled Artisans with some Property, seek apparently the Imperial Protection, and desire to settle where they can feel confident of security under Her M’s Govt.
I have thought it right to state these circumstances to Your Lordship because should it be deemed expedient, there would seem to be a probability by advice and information above of directing a certain number of excellent Immigrants to Vancouver’s Island, inManuscript imagein preference to any of the Territories of the United States.

I have &c.
Wm Pitt Adams
  1. This addressee information appears at the foot of the first page of the despatch.
  2. This text runs perpendicular to main body text; see image scan.
People in this document

Adams, William Pitt


Grey, Henry George

Hawes, Benjamin

Jadis, Vane

Merivale, Herman

Pelly, John Henry

Temple, Henry John

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Foreign Office

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document


Vancouver Island