No. 28
12th December 1855
I have the honor to transmit herewith for your information, Minutes of the proceedings in the Council of this Colony, on and since the 21st day of June last.
You will observe that the sum of 102 dollars and 30 cents, was voted for the purpose of paying the expenses incurred in apprehending and committing to gaol, by the United States Commissioner, several seamen belonging to the British Ship"Marquis of Bute"Manuscript image "Marquis of Bute," who committed a robbery on board and deserted from that ship, while lying at anchor, in this Port. Part of the property which they carried off was recovered; but the offenders were not delivered into our hands; having been released by order of Governor Stevens, within the United States Territory.
The Council then proceeded to examine the outlay incurred on account of the Colony for the past year, amounting to 3512.18.9, which was ordered to be paid.
The defence of the Colony next occupied our consideration, and it was resolved to raise a small force of ten men, to be at hand, in the event of any emergency, during the residence of the Northern Savages in the Colony.
This force does not imply much apprehension of danger from the natives.
That measure was however not fully carried out, in consequence of the presence of Her Majesty's Ships, which led me to reduce the number of men to four privates, and theirpayManuscript image pay to Two pounds Sterling a month.
The other matters considered by Council are the appropriations made for the public service of the year, and the appointment of Commissioners to superintend the construction of a road on the east side of the Victoria Arm, for the convenience of the inhabitants settled in that quarter.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
James Douglas

The Right Honble Sir William Molesworth Bart
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
You will observe that on the 12th Decr some British Vessels of War were off this Settlement, and that the Governor seems under no apprehension from the natives. This satisfactory announcement will relieve Mr Labouchere from the uneasiness he entertained—occasioned by Letters of other correspondents dated from V.C. Island late in Novr last—with respect to the possibility of aggressions on the part of the Indians, & the very defenceless state of the Island, but I do not the less think it to have been a very prudent precaution on the part of Mr Labouchere to require the presence of a Ship of War whilst the Indians are in a hostile attitude in the American Territory. It is impossible to say on how slight a foundation a rising may occur amongst the Indians in V.C. Island, & especially if flushed by success in the neighborhood of the British Territory, & it wd be a very poor apology for the B. Govt, after having been warned of the state of affairs in Oregon, if our people were to be massacred, & no measures of defence, or protection had been ordered.
ABd 14 F
Put by.
HM F 14
JB 16 F
HL 18
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Minutes of the Council of Vancouver Island, 21 June 1855, as per despatch.