9336. Vancouver's Island.
No 16.
11 August 1851.
My Lord,
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of 20th March 1851 in which after acknowledging the receipt of mine of 18 September 1850, you inform me that it is not in the power of Her Majesty's government to maintain a detachment of regular troops to garrison Vancouvers Island and further that Her Majestys government cannot protect British subjects who may voluntarily expose themselves among the natives at a distance from the settlements.
I beg to assure your Lordship that I have always discouraged persons from so exposing themselves but itManuscript imagebut it is scarcely applicable to the unfortunate seamen who were murdered at Fort Rupert, as the murder was committed at a considerably shorter distance from that post than is frequently visited by the servants of the Hudson's bay company on their shooting excursions.
That the settlement was in danger I was fully persuaded both by what I saw myself and by the apprehensions expressed by the Hudson's bay company's servants who were on the spot, and I still firmly believe that the visit of H.M. Ship "Daedalus" prevented a massacre,
I have the honor to be
my Lord
Your most Obedient Servant
Richard Blanshard Governor
1The Rt Honble
Earl Grey
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
The Governor states that the Instructions of 20h March are scarcely applicable. But on a subject of so much importance he should have taken pains to explain himself.
The instructions assume that the murders ofManuscript image 1850 were committed at some distance from the settlement     But the Governor now states that the crime was perpetrated at Fort Rupert, and apparently contradicting himself, at a considerably shorter distance from that post than is frequented by the Hudson's Bay Co's Servants on their shooting excursions.
The murders of 1851 were committed at a distance of about 30 miles from the settlement.
Both murders have been in some measure avenged by HM Ships Daedalus and Daphne. But if further crimes be committed, of the same nature, it might become extremely awkward to let them pass unnoticed.
PS 11 Novr
HM N 11
It wd no doubt as Mr Smith says be awkward to pass over such crimes unnoticed. — On the other hand it is quite impossible to keep up a force in Vancouver's island for the purpose of meeting such cases, & with respect to the murders which have been reported we have no informatn whatever as to the circumstances under which they were committed. The first provocatn may have been given by the sufferers.Manuscript image I am afraid it is not very uncommon for the Europeans in their collisns to be the aggressors by insulting the women of the natives. — I do not see that anything cd be usefully added to the instructns already given, or that there wd be any advantage now in continuing this correspondence. — Put by. —
G. 12/11
  1. This addressee information appears at the foot of the first page of the despatch.
People in this document

Blanshard, Richard

Grey, Henry George

Merivale, Herman

Smith, Peter

Vessels in this document

HMS Daedalus, 1826-1911

HMS Daphne, 1838-1864

Places in this document

Fort Rupert, or T'sakis

Vancouver Island