No. 14
7th June 1856
Sir
Since I had the honor of addressing you on the 22nd of May last, I have held a meeting of Council for the purpose of taking into consideration the instructions contained in your despatch No 5, respecting the summoning of Assemblies of the Free-holders of this Colony. I read to Council a draft of the proclamation, which I intend to issue, forManuscript imagefor convening the Assembly: proposed that the Island should be divided into four electoral Districts; and should return seven members; and that the property qualification of members should be free-hold estate of the value and not lower than 300 Sterling. The property qualification of voters to be according to the terms of Her Majesty's Commission, 20 acres or upwards of Freehold land.
The Council adjourned without coming to any decision, till tomorrow, for the better consideration of the subjects laid before them.
The proclamation for convening the Freeholders will probably be issued in the course of this week, and the Assembly will probably meet about the first week in August.
There will be a difficulty in finding properly qualified representatives and I fear that our early attempts atManuscript imageat legislation will make a sorry figure; though at all events they will have the effect you contemplate of removing all doubts as to the validity of our local enactments.
There has been at this place lately a large arrival of savages from the Queen Charlotte Islands.
What has this to do with the preceding Paragraphs? But the Govr has been lately told to keep his subjects distinct by the means of separate despes.
The son of their principal chief, who are both among the number of those unwelcome visitors, was committed to Jail and whipped, at this place, about two years ago for theft. It having, ever since, been currently reported, that his Father the Chief had resolved to wipe out the disgrace of the whipping, by making a hostile attack upon the settlements, I yesterday, called him publicly to account for his reported enmity to the whites, which he however strenuously denied. I, at the same interview, charged him to watch his people very closely, during their stay in this Colony, and to keep them fromManuscript imagefrom stealing quarrelling drunkeness and riotous behaviour, warning him that for any of those offences, they will be punished by whipping or imprisonment.
Unfortunately, his son, the same youth who, as already said, was before whipped for misconduct, was this day charged with committing a drunken assault, on an unprotected woman; and I have been under the necessity of punishing him by fine and imprisonment.
This has caused great excitement among those savages, and my Indian employ'es report that they are about to leave the Colony in disgust. I have therefore placed them under surveillance, as a protection from treachery, and it will be a great relief, when they leave the Colony, as they are very ignorant and untractable.
IManuscript image
I was induced to expect by letters from Rear Admiral Bruce, that Her Majesty's Sloop "Alarm" would be here before the last week in May; but she has not, as yet, made her appearance.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
James Douglas
Governor

The Right Honble Henry Labouchere Esqre
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
See 7191. Answer with that despatch.
HM Augt 13
HL A 14
Douglas, James to Labouchere, Henry 7 June 1856, CO 305:7, no. 7192, 56. 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/V56014.html.

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