Hudson's Bay House
March 26, 1852
Sir,
The Hudson's Bay Company in the course of their trade with the Natives of Queen Charlotte's Island on the North West Coast of America—a trade to which they have an exclusive right under a Grant from the Crown dated the 13th May 1838—having discovered that the Natives were in possession of specimens of gold ore which they said were found on the islands, lately sent a small expedition thither under the command of Mr McNeill a Chief Trader in the Company's service, to make the necessary investigations respecting this discovery and to establish a trading post.
I have the honour to enclose herewith for the information of Her Majesty'sManuscript imageMajesty's Government, Mr McNeill's Report of his proceedings, and shall feel obliged if you will grant me an interview with the view of considering what steps should be taken for obtaining the gold and particularly for preventing Citizens of the United States from trespassing on Her Majestys possessions and infringing the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient humble Servant
J.H. Pelly

The Right Honble
Sir John Pakington
&. &. &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Sir John Pakington has lately written to the Admiralty to know whether any vessel of War can be detached from the Squadron in the Pacific to Queen Charlotte's Island to afford protection to British interests. The ansr has not yet been recd.
The Company must not expect the Govt to protect them in their gold explorations. Sir John Pelly asks Sir J. Pakington to give him an interview.
ABd 27/3
Lord Desart
The H.B.C. have under the annexed grant of 1838 the exclusive right of trading with Indians in the North West Territories, of which Q. Charlotte's Island is an appendage. But they have no territorial rights there or anywhere West of the Rocky Mountains. Consequently they have I apprehend no more right to blast rock or extract gold than any other of the Queen's subjects would have. and though I do not suppose it would be at all desirable to interfere with their operation, they clearly cannot themselves interfere with others. Sir J. Pelly may probably have some plan to suggest at this proposed interview, but none occurs to me.
HM Mh 28
I concur generally on the above minute, but the matter demands much consideration & enquiry.
D M 31
Write accordingly to Sir John Pelly & as to [an] interview, say my time is at present very full, but Lord Desart will see him.
JSP 31
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Pelly, 6 April 1852, asking that he arrange an appointment with Lord Desart to discuss the matter.
Minutes by CO staff
I do not understand Sir J. Pakington to wish that any question should be entered into in this draft as to the right of the Co. to dig for gold in Q Ch. I. as they only represent it as an experiment. It may be necessary to take into consideration hereafter, & therefore I noticed it.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
McNeill to Douglas, 20 November 1851, describing his recent expedition to Queen Charlotte Island in search of gold.
Pelly, John Henry to Pakington, John Somerset 26 March 1852, CO 305:3, no. 2534, 438. 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/V525HB09.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)