4 October 1858
1. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatches marked "Confidential" of the 16th and 21st of July last, 1 and I can hardly find words to express how grateful I am for your kind notice of my public services, and I would also thank you for the cautions given in respect to my publicactsManuscript image acts while connected in business with the Hudson's Bay Company.
2. I observe the intention of Her Majesty's Government, to appoint a Governor for British Columbia, and that it was their desire to appoint me at once to that office in the usual terms of a Governor's appointment, namely for six years at least, and that this Government was to be held for the present in conjunction with a separate Commission as Governor of Vancouver's Island. That offer being made subject to one condition, that I should give up on receiving the appointment thus offered, all connection with the Hudson's Bay Company, either as its servant or a share holder, or in any other capacity, as wellasManuscript image as relinquishing directly or indirectly all connection with the Puget's Sound Company. I observe also that you made that proposal with the acquiesence of the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, who had seen your despatch of the 16th of July.
3. On those conditions, and with the consent of the Hudson's Bay Company, I place my humble services unhesitatingly at the disposal of Her Majesty's Government, and I will take early measures for withdrawing from the Company's service, and disposing of my Puget's Sound Stock, trusting that the allowances as to salary from Her Majesty's Government willbeManuscript image be adequate to my support, in a manner worthy of the position I am thus called upon to fill. The sum mentioned in your letter 2 for British Columbia, admitting that a separate and larger allowance was made for Vancouver's Island, is manifestly insufficient for that purpose, in this very expensive country; where food, clothing, servants wages, the price of labor, and in short of every necessary of life, so far exceeds the standard of those values in England.
4. The sum of £5000 per annum including the salaries for both Governments, would be no more than sufficient to cover the actual expenditure of that position, a suggestion mademerelyManuscript image merely for your information; as I feel assured you wish me to maintain the dignity of the office; and my own fortunes impaired by the almost unrequited tenure of office in Vancouver's Island, cannot afford the outlay, otherwise I should be independent in point of means, and in a measure indifferent about the emoluments of office; which I only wish to be equal to the respectable representation of Her Majesty's Government in this country.
5. I take the liberty of making those suggestions with the more confidence, as I feel assured that the resources of the country can afford the expense of maintaining a respectable government, and IshallManuscript image shall do every thing in my power to develop those resources, and to bring the Colony rapidly into a self supporting condition.
I shall take immediate steps to inform the Hudson's Bay Company of my present decision.
Awaiting your further instructions.
I have etc.
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir Edward Lytton
This announces Govr Douglas' acceptance of his office. It is satisfactory in all respects except as regards the sum which he considers necessary for the maintenance of a Govr in B. Columbia & V. Couver's I.
I have always felt that before long the necessities of the case wd compel a considerable increase of salary; and that considered in reference to the pay of Col. Moody 3 and other officials in the Colony, £1000 per an. is very far below the proper sum. Whether £5000 is in the present state of affairs above it will be a matter for your consideration. I do not doubt that the expenses of such an office are very considerable, and the conjunction of V. Couver's I. & B. Columbia as is practically the case adds largely to those expenses.
You will remember that the mail leaves on the 1st Decr (tomorrow).
C Nov 29
No answer can be given to Salary till the Govr tells us the revenues. Urge him to do this as soon as he can.
And he must take into acct the colonial expenses of Col. Moody.
EBL Nov 29
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, Private, 16 December 1858 (extensive revisions by Lytton).
  1. Copies of these despatches may be found in Lytton to Douglas, 16 July 1858, CO 410/1, p. 139, and Lytton to Douglas, 31 July 1858, CO 410/1, p. 145. The date 21 July has been corrected to 31 by Colonial Office staff.
  2. = Douglas' salary. In offering Douglas the governorship of British Columbia, Lytton was decidedly vague as to the salary that would be attached to the office, suggesting only that it would be "at least £1000 per annum." Lytton to Douglas, 16 July 1858, CO 410/1, p. 139.
  3. = Moody's salary. Moody's received £330 per annum in regimental pay, plus a colonial allowance of £1200, plus expenses. See Merivale to Moody, 23 August 1858, enclosed in Lytton to Douglas, 2 September 1858, No. 7, CO 398/1, p. 58.
People in this document

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Moody, Richard Clement

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

British Columbia

Puget Sound

Vancouver Island