Miller to Colonial Office


Observations to accompany the "Picayune" of San Francisco, of the 1st of January 1852.
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The Payment of a Pound Sterling an Acre for Land on Vancouver's Island, and other Purchase conditions, together with sundry Restrictions imposed upon British Colonists there (and hence so few of them) appear, in this part of the World, to be both injurious and hazardous to the Interests of all Parties concerned, excepting only the Americans.
To the best of my recollection this condition of selling a. 1 an acre was imposed on the HBC by Government—not wished for by themselves.
Might it not be worth while to consider whether, if such a system be persevered in, it would not, in the end, be likely to lead to Vancouver's and Queen Charlottes' Islands becoming as Independent of Great Britain as Java now is?
It seems also very doubtful, if the Proverbially, Harsh and Prying Discipline pursued by the Hudsons' Bay Companys' Officers, and if Contracts or Sales of considerable Tracts of Land comprising Sites of future Commercial Towns and Ports, in favor of one Party, to the detriment or exclusion of other Parties, can be very durable within a Stones' throw of Yankee Equality and Yankee Enterprise not very scrupulous in this distant Region.
American Settlers—whether SquattersManuscript imageSquatters or Emigrants—cheerfully surmount hardships, privations, and all sorts of obstacles, depending exclusively upon their own exertions, seldom, if ever, applying to their Consuls or other Authorities for Aid.
It is sadly the reverse with the greater part of British Emigrants whose spirit of Dependency and want of Energy are too often manifest, at all events of a large majority of such as touch at or come to the Sandwich Islands.
The high Price of, and other difficulties in obtaining Land, and forming Homesteads in our Colonies, destroy Enterprise and too often engender a very bad feeling towards the Mother Country.
January the 5th 1852
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
San Francisco Daily Evening Picayune, 1 January 1852.
People in this document

Merivale, Herman

Miller, William

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Haida Gwaii

Hawaiʻian Islands

San Francisco

Vancouver Island

Miller, William to Colonial Office 5 January 1852, CO 305:3, 539. 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/V526M01.html.

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