Weekes to Molesworth
Septr 22nd 1855
Sir,
Permit me to call your attention to the importance of making Vancouver's Island a British colony in reality, and without delay. To continue its present sleepy existence in connection with the Hudson's Bay Company is a dangerous waste of time. It is the key-stone of our Western American possessions, and its commanding position with respect to Russia on the one side and the United States on the other, to the North Pacific and even to the eastern coast of Asia, is a sufficient reason for developing such a valuable acquisition, independently of its temperate climate, its excellent harbours, its coal and other minerals. When in California on my way home from New ZealandManuscript image I had opportunities of acquiring much information respecting our North Western American possessions and it surprised all thinking men in that country that they should be allowed to remain comparatively dormant. But late events shew that it is now more than ever essential that a colony be established which shall be in a vigorous state by the termination of the Russian war. A naval depot here would also obviate the necessity of our ships resorting to the foreign port of San Francisco.
Vancouver's Island could be colonized without entailing any expense on the Mother country. I feel assured that by adopting a liberal and attractive system nothing more than a two year's loan would be necessary to permanently establish a flourishing and self-paying colony there. In addition to British emigration, by allowing foreign settlers to naturalize without unnecessary obstacles, there are numbers of respectable American families who being disgusted with the lawlessness of California, would proceed thither, and carry with them what they so thoroughly understand—the art of developingManuscript image a new country.
I trust, Sir, you will forgive my intruding these suggestions on your notice, and that you will accept as my excuse the suddenly increased importance of a subject which has interested me for the last four years.
I have the honour to remain Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
Henry Weekes

The Right Honble
Sir Wm Molesworth
Secy of State for the Colonies
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
I have an impression that Mr Weekes is a Geologist by profession—& that he is an independent man in opinion. The subject he addresses Sir W. Molesworth upon has, as you are well aware, been at different times, & I might say is still under the consn of this Office, but it will be impossible to make a governmental establishment, independent of the Hudson's Bay Co, without a Parly vote for a while—& the writer's suggestion of a 2 year's loan is equivalent to a gift.
ABd 25 Sepr
HM S 26
Acknowledge letter.
WM S 27
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Weekes, 4 October 1855, acknowledging his letter.
Weekes, Henry to Molesworth, William 22 September 1855, CO 305:6, no. 9007, 326. 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/V556W01.html.

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