3118. Vancouver's Island.

Hudson's Bay House
April 16th 1851.⎯
My Lord/
I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of Mr Hawes' letter of the 7th Instant1 transmitting copy of a Despatch from Governor Blanshard tendering his resignation of his office, and
3Ansd 30 April/51
communicating that Her Majesty had been graciously pleased to accept the same, and enquiring whether the Hudson's Bay Company had any Gentleman to recommend for the Situation. ⎯
In answer to this enquiry, I have to state that the Governor and Committee consider that in the present state of Vancouver's Island as respects the Native Indians and the white population it is of importance that the Governor should possess someManuscript imagesome experience in conducting the requisite intercourse with the Indians and for this and other reasons they have requested me to recommend James Douglas Esqre Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company and Manager of their affairs in the Island as well qualified to fill the Office.
I take this opportunity of stating that the Governor and Committee are surprised at the observations made by Mr Blanshard respecting the conduct of the Company towards him which they feel to be unjust
He was offered a passage in one of the Company's Ships, but declined it, and preferred proceeding by the Steam Packet to Chagres and thence by Panama to the Island. ⎯ The Governor and Committee understood that this course was to be at his own expence, and when a Bill for £100 was drawn upon them by him from Jamaica, it was referred toManuscript imageto his own relations in London. ⎯ But afterwards on hearing from him that there was some misapprehension respecting the expence of his journey by the route which he had taken, he was informed that the amount was placed to his credit, and he must have been in possession of this decision at the date of his letter vizt 18th November 1850
It was necessary to import provisions from the Oregon Territory and elsewhere, cultivation on the Island at that time being insufficient for the supply of the Company's Establishment there, and the prices may have been high but the Governor and Committee are confident that neither the prices of provisions, nor of European Articles were enhanced or "run up" by the Company as alleged by Mr Blanshard who in point of fact had a Seat at the table kept at the Company's Establishment
I have the honor to be
My Lord,
Your most Obedt Sert
JH Pelly Govr
2The Right Honble
The Earl Grey
&c. &c. &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
The Despatch from Governor Blanshard of which a copy was transmitted to Sir J Pelly on the 7th instant is in circulation.
2     If Lord Grey […] adopts the recommendation of Mr Douglas for the Office vacated by Mr Blanshard I presume steps should be taken for informing […] Sir J. Pelly that the Queen has approved of the nomination of that Gentleman, & for making out his appointment.
3     I suppose it will hardly be thought expedient for this Office to be[…] the medium for prolonging the Correspondence between the Governor, & Company on differences […] which have no public importance ABd 17/4. and which we are not likely to reconcile.
ABd 17/4.
Mr Hawes
This is a question for Lord Grey's consideration: there are of course many obvious advantages in the appointment of Mr Douglas, but it will be regarded as a complete surrenderx of the Island to the Company.
HM Apl 17
A 18 xI fear this is true. And I think before assented to, some understanding might be come to as to what the H.B.Cy intended to do towards Colonizing the Island. If the Cy wd or cd undertake this suddenly, I shd have little doubt it wd be best promoted in their hands. I confess this may be doubtful.
There being no means of providg a salary for a Govr except from the Compy I see no possibility of makg any other arrangement than that *here proposed. ⎯ Say that I will submit Mr Douglas's name to the Queen & let the necessary steps be taken for makg out the appointt.
G. 24
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Pelly, 30 April 1851, advising that Grey was prepared to submit to the Queen "the name of Mr James Douglas as Governor of Van Couvers Island."
  1. This is a scribal filler, likely used to denote the continuation of a given paragraph. This representation is approximate; see corresponding image scan for the original mark.
  2. This text runs perpendicular to main body text; see image scan.
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People in this document

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Blanshard, Richard

Douglas, James

Grey, George

Grey, Henry George

Hawes, Benjamin

Merivale, Herman

Pelly, John Henry

Victoria, Alexandrina

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document



Oregon Territory, or Columbia District


Vancouver Island