Shepherd to Labouchere
Hudson's Bay House
7th February 1856
Sir
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Merivale's letter of the 4th Instant, addressed to the late Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, transmitting, by your directions, copy of a Despatch from the Governor of Vancouver's Island, in reference to the hostilities now prevailing in Oregon between the Indian tribes and the American residents of that District, and have to return you the thanks of the Committee for this communication.
In the recent interview which I had the honour to have with you, I mentioned that the Hudson's BayManuscript imageBay Company had received information relative to this subject from their Agents in Oregon, and I now beg to enclose Extracts of various letters transmitted to them in reference thereto.
I have etc.
John Shepherd
Deputy Govr

The Right Honble Henry Labouchere
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
These enclosures report more in detail than the Governor has already done the state of affairs in the American Territory.
ABd 9 Feby
Thank for communication?
HM F 9
Very serious & may lead to further troubles.
JB 11 F
HL F 11
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Secretary to the Admiralty, Immediate, 23 February 1856, forwarding copies of the enclosures and requesting the Lords Commissioners to "give immediate directions for stationing a Ship of War off Vancouver's Island with orders to the Naval Officer Commanding on the Station to keep the ship there so long as any cause for alarm shall continue."
Minutes by CO staff
Apply to the Admiralty.
Submit to Admy for consideration—
not command.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Colonel Mundy, War Department, Immediate, 13 February 1856, same text as to Admiralty.
Minutes by CO staff
This draft is prepared on an instruction from Mr Labouchere.
The enclosures, which have been circulated before, are retained to be copied.
Cancelled. Vide annexed letter to the Admiralty.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Ball to Shepherd, 8 March 1856, transmitting copy of a letter from the Admiralty stating they had called the attention of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific to the defenceless position of Vancouver Island.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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1. Extract, Dugald Mactavish to W.G. Smith, Secretary, Hudson's Bay Company, dated Vancouver, Washington Territory, 10 October 1853, stating that the "Yakima" men had reportedly murdered a Government Agent and some other men, and troops from the Dalles and Steilacoom had been dispatched as a result.
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2. Extract, Mactavish to Smith, 23 October 1855, reporting the forced retreat of US troops under Major Haller following a skirmish with Indigenous forces in which one-fifth of the US troops perished; a volunteer force of 1000 men had arrived in the Dalles from Oregon.
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3. Extract, Mactavish to Smith, 7 November 1855, reporting that James Sinclair, in charge of Fort Walla Walla, had fled with most of his men men to the Cascades but were planning to return to the fort with a force of volunteesr being dispatched to that vicinity; other volunteers had been killed on the Duwamish River, some forty miles north of Nisqually and troops from Steilacoom had been sent there.
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4. Extract, Mactavish to Smith, 24 November 1855, enclosing copies of letters from Sinclair, 18 and 21 November and George Taylor, 14 November, regarding events at Fort Walla Walla, and reporting "as it now seems likely that the Indians have, ere this, taken every thing, and may probably destroy the Establishment."
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4.2 Sinclair to Mactavish, 18 November 1855, reporting that an Indigenous force of "from 800 to 1000" men was encamped within a mile of Fort Walla Walla, commanding the approaches to the fort, and enclosing Goerge Taylor, Sinclair's employee who had remained behind at the fort, to Sinclair, 14 November 1855.
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4.2.1 Taylor to Sinclair, 14 November 1855, reporting that the "Walla Walla Indians" had declared war on the whites, robbed the fort, and driven away some cattle, and warning that the "Cayuse forces" may join them.
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4.3 Sinclair to Mactavish, 21 November 1855, reporting from Fort Kelly, Umatilla River, Oregon, where the volunteer force was awaiting reinforcements before attempting to retake Fort Walla Walla from the Indians, and describing the efforts being made to drive the fort's cattle and horses to Fort Colvile.
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4.1 Nathan Olney, "Indian Agent" at Walla Walla, to James Sinclair, 13 October 1855, stating that war with the Indigenous forces now seemed unavoidable and ordering him to leave Fort Walla Walla without delay.
Shepherd, John to Labouchere, Henry 7 February 1856, CO 305:7, no. 1227, 238. 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/V565MI01.html.

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