Smith to Under-Secretary of State
Hudson's Bay House
October 28, 1857
I am directed by the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company to transmit, for the information of Mr Secretary Labouchere, the accompanying Extract from a letter recently received from the Governor of Vancouver's Island, communicating the fact of an attack having been made by some Northern (British) Indians on the house of Colonel Ebey (late United States Collector of Customs) on Whidby's Island, Washington Territory, which resulted in the murder of that gentleman.
In communicating the above circumstance the Governor and Committee desire me to express their regret that this unfortunate occurrenceshouldManuscript image should have taken place, as it appears likely to disturb the peace which has hitherto prevailed on the Northern side of the Boundary line.
I have the honour to be Sir
Your obedient Servant
W.G. Smith

The Under Secretary of State
&c &c &c
Colonial Office
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Fortescue
Acke. Communicate to the Foreign Office.
This is an unfortunate occurrence but it is not in the power of the British Authorities, few as they are in this Settlement, to control the Indians living within their territories, any more than the Authorities of the U. States can control the Indians who reside on their lands. Hitherto the British Indians haveManuscript image been well behaved. But there always exist grounds of apprehension on account of these savages, against whom we have no military, or other force save a few constables to oppose, when our people are attacked.
ABd 30 Octr
CF 31
Acknowledge & express regret—& desire that every effort shd [be]
made to discover & punish the offenders. Communicate to Foreign office.
HL 1
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to Smith, 9 November 1857, expressing regret at the murder.
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 9 November 1857, forwarding copy of the letter and enclosure.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Extract, Douglas to Secretary of the Hudson's Bay Company, 13 August 1857, reporting that a group of "Northern Indians" had murdered Ebey "and carried off his head as a trophy. His wife and family fortunately escaped . . . by concealing themselves in the neighbouring forest. This affair will lead to something serious."