No. 2
Downing Street
13th August 1855
Sir,
I have to acknowledge your Despatches No 5 of the 18th May last and No 7 of 12th June last on the subject of an outrage committed by American Citizens in the Canal de Arro; which I have communicated to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with a request that theircontentsManuscript image contents may be taken into immediate consideration.
2. I wish, however, to call your attention to a question of some importance which appears to arise on these papers.
3. In your Despatch of the 24th November 1853, on the subject of the boundary question in the Canal do Arro, you expressed it to be your intention that these Islands should remain a de facto dependency of Vancouver's Island unoccupied by any Settlement of Whites, except a Fishing Station, whichwasManuscript image was established some years ago by the Hudson's Bay Company on the Island of San Juan, an intention which appears to Her Majesty's Government judicious; the question of boundary being still unsettled, however just the ground which you might have for asserting the British right.
4. But Mr Griffin in his letter, accompanying your present despatch of May 18th, says When I first established myself here, 15th November 1853, I was given explicitly to understandbyManuscript image by your Excellency, that this was British Territory, and that I should be protected by my Country from all Foreign aggressors. And he appears to have entered on agricultural operations on the Island of San Juan accordingly.
5. I cannot reconcile these two statements, and have to instruct you to furnish a more detailed report of the circumstances and date of the British occupation of the Island of San Juan.
I have the honor to be Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant
W. Molesworth

People in this document

Douglas, James

Griffin, Charles John

Molesworth, William

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Haro Strait

San Juan Island

Vancouver Island

Molesworth, William to Douglas, James 13 August 1855, LAC RG7:G8C/1, 269. 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/V557302.html.

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