No. 30
13th October 1857
Sir
1. I have much satisfaction in communicating for your information that this Colony continues in a state of profound tranquility; that the Native Indian Tribes are quiet and well disposed; that the harvest has been housed in good condition, and though the grain crops are not soheavyManuscript image heavy as in the year 1856, that there is nevertheless an abundant stock of food in the settlement for the consumption of the year.
2. In connection with the state of this Colony I beg to enclose herewith copy of a correspondence with the Governor of Washington Territory, relative to outrages committed on citizens of the United States, by the native Indian Tribes of the north west coast in and north of the British Possessions, and my reply thereto.
3. You will observe that I did not for obvious reasons entertain Acting Governor Mason's application for assistance.
4. It is a matter of difficulty to arrest a murderer in his own country and without careful management the attempt is almostcertainManuscript image certain to involve the assailants in hostilities with the Tribe at large, and the consequences will necessarily become very serious.
5. The Indians who murdered Mr Ebey are reported to be natives of the Russian American Territory and are consequently not within the jurisdiction of the Law Courts of this Colony.
6. I have therefore recommended to the Executive of Washington Territory that a well equipped force should be despatched without delay, for the purpose of discovering the retreat and effecting the arrest of the murderers; and that in the case of the expeditionary force, being opposed, that they should make reprisals on the property and persons of the Tribe at large.
7. Indian outrages shouldinManuscript image in all cases be promptly and severely punished, otherwise neither life nor property will be secure, and the country will become intolerable as a residence for white settlers.
8. I was lately favored with a short visit from Governor McMullen, who proposed that the forces of the two Governments should be united for the purpose of undertaking a joint expedition against the northern Indians, but I was necessarily obliged to decline his proposal.
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
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Mr Merivale
We have already received the intelligence of the Murder of Mr Ebey thro' the Hudson's Bay Company. Copy to the F.O. with reference to former correspondence & approve the Govs' proceedings?
VJ 15 Decr
HM D 15
CF 16
HL 19
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 30 December 1857, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures.
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Draft reply, Labouchere to Douglas, No. 2, 8 January 1858.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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1. Acting Governor C.H. Mason, Washington Territory, to Douglas, 26 August 1857, enclosing minutes of a public meeting at Port Townsend and asking Douglas to use his best efforts to procure the murderer of I.N. Ebey and his great influence "to prevent these merciless savages from entering the jurisdiction of the United States.
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1.1 Minutes of a Public Meeting held at Port Townsend 15 August 1857, to consider the measures for their safety and means of apprehending the murderers of Ebey, at which it was agreed to hold ten native prisoners hostage and resolved "to shoot or execute all Northern Indians found in our waters." Transcribed below.
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2. Douglas to Governor McMullen, 9 October 1857, stating "it may not be in my power" to procure the arrest of Ebey's murderer "nor prevent the annual migration of the Northern Indians" into American territory, but that he would try to "induce them to suspend their visits to the white settlements and to remain quietly in their own country."
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
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Copy

As a public meeting composing the citizens of the lower part of the Sound held at Port Townsend the 15th day of August 1857, for the purpose of taking into consideration measures for their future safety, and devising some means for the apprehension of the murderers of Col: I N Ebey of Whitby Island and to consider what steps should be taken in relation to a number of Northern Indians held in custody by the citizens of the lower part of the Sound.
On Motion. The Honble F.A. Chenoweth was called to the chair and Thomas Cranney was appointed to Secretary. On Motion of Dr. McCurdy the Honble Mr Smith was called in to state the object of the meeting. Mr Smith came forward and in a few brief and pertinent remarks explained the object of the meeting. Mr Smith came forward and gave his views at length in relation to the course to be pursued by the citizens to prevent any further incursions by the northern Indians whichManuscript imagewhich were heartily approved by the meeting. On motion of A.M. Miller, Col: Wm. H Wallace was called on to address the meeting— Col: W came forward, and made a few brief remarks and moved that the prisoners held in custody be brought before the meeting. Motion carried, and the prisoners (18) eighteen were brought in. Col W. then moved that the Inspector of San Juan Island state for what purpose one of the prisoners came to Port Townsend
The Inspector then came forward and explained satisfactorily to the meeting the object for which he came to Port Townsend whereupon on motion Col W. the prisoner was released, with instructions never to return to our Territory under pain of death. On motion of M.H. Frost, one of the prisoners JM Polk was released with similar instructions.
On motion of Mr Gibbs resolved that the remaining Indians now in custody held under suspicious circumstances be detained Manuscript imagedetained to answer the action of a meeting to be held six weeks hence, that in the meantime the Governor of this Territory be requested to make a requisition on Governor Douglas of Vancouver Island for the delivery of the murderers of Col. I. N. Ebey, and to inform him that these Indians are held as hostages, for their delivery and will be executed on failure to return the criminals.
On motion of J. S. Smith— Resolved that it is the deliberate sense of this meeting, and the duty of all good citizens hereafter, to shoot or execute all Northern Indians found in our waters, as we regard them as our enemies and murderers and enemies.—
On motion of J S Smith— Resolved that a Committee of three be appointed to communicate with the Executive of our Territory, and to make known to him the sentiments of this meeting, whereupon the chair appointed J.S. Smith, W.T Sayward and D Howe.
On motion of Dr. McCurdy. Resolved that all other countries on the Sound be Manuscript imagebe requested to cooperate with this meeting in driving all Northern Indians, both men and women from our borders—
On motion. — Resolved that JJH Van Bokkelen. AA Plummer and GW Ebey be appointed to take charge of the prisoners now held in custody.
On motion— Resolved the proceedings of this meeting be printed in the Pioneer & Democrat.
On motion the meeting adjourned
Signed F.A. Chenoweth
Chairman

Signed T. Cranney
Secretary.
Douglas, James to Labouchere, Henry 13 October 1857, CO 305:8, no. 11372, 245. 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/V57030.html.

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