No 3.
7378 Vancouver's Island.
Land &
Vancouvers Island.
June. 15. 1850.
My Lord,
I beg to enclose you a copy of my last letter, April 8. 1850, since which time no opportunity has occurred of dispatching letters with any degree of certainty.
3Copy to Hudsons Bay Compy for informn 21 Sept/50.
Ackd 23 Oct /50 No 5
Nothing of importance has since occurred in the colony, no settlers or immigrants have arrived nor have any land sales been effected. Coal has not yet been discovered, though the miners have not yet, I am happy to say, abandoned all hope.
An American Company have commenced running a line of Mail steam packets between San Francisco and Oregon, they have not yet decided what port in Oregon will be their terminus, Could coal have been supplied from Vancouvers Island they would have chosen Nisqually in Pugets Sound, which would have greatly facilitated the communication between Vancouvers Island and England, but as it cannot be obtained, they will probably select Portland on the Columbia river. The Hudsons Bay Company have commenced a survey of the land reserved to themselves, which is bounded by a line drawn nearly due North from the head of Victoria harbour to a hill Manuscript imagemarked on the charts as Cedar Hill, or Mount Douglas, and thence running due East to the Canal de Arro. The extent is estimated at about ten miles (square). A tract adjoining, of similar extent is reserved for the Puget Sound Agricultural Association, the Hudson Bay company under another name, for the Association has no real existence, this last contains the harbour of Esquimalt, the only harbour in the southern part of the Island worthy of notice, as it is of large extent, has good anchorage, is easy of access at all times and in all weather, is well watered and in many places the water is of sufficient depth to allow ships anchoring along shore. Victoria Harbour where the Hudson's Bay Companys settlement is established, is very small the entrance is narrow, tortuous, and shallow, no vessels can enter except at high tide with favourable wind and weather, and there is no water near, the water required for the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company is brought from a distance of two miles, and during summer and autumn they are kept on allowance as at sea.
I have received news from Oregon, of the discovery of very rich gold mines on the Spokan River the whole population of that territory are flocking to the spot; should the favourable accounts of these mines prove correct, I fear that it will draw away all the Hudson's Bay Company's servants from Vancouvers Island, and at present they Manuscript imageform the entire population.
I am
Your Lordships Obedient Servant
Richard Blanshard.
Governor of Vancouvers Island.

1The Rt Honble
The Earl Grey
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale.
The original desph dated the 8 April last, has been duly received, & a copy of it sent to the Hudson's Bay Co for their information. Should the same course be adopted with this?
ABd 5/Sepr
HM S 5
S. 6. A very unpromising account of this new Settt—& for which it is quite clear that the arrangts made were ample.
G. 9/
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Sir John Pelly, Hudson's Bay Company, 21 September 1850, forwarding copy of despatch.
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Grey to Blanshard, No. 5, 23 October 1850.
Minutes by CO staff
2(To H B Comp: 26 Oct/50 to forward to Gov)
  1. This addressee information appears at the foot of the first page of the despatch.
  2. This minute entry is presumed to be Blackwood's.
  3. This text runs perpendicular to main body text; see image scan.
People in this document

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Blanshard, Richard

Grey, Henry George

Hawes, Benjamin

Merivale, Herman

Pelly, John Henry

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Columbia River


Haro Strait

Mount Douglas

Nisqually, or Fort Nisqually


Puget Sound

San Francisco

Spokane River

Vancouver Island