Easterby to Under-Secretary of State
May 18th 1858 The Under Secretary of State
Colonial Office Downing Street My Lord,
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's answer dated March 17th to my application regarding Queen Charlotte's Island, and to apologise for again trespassing on your attention.
The enterprise upon which we founded our application was undertaken in 1852 and was abandoned by the orders of Captain Kuper R.N. Your Lordship will perceive therefore that the plea for compensation does not rest upon unauthorised expenditures subsequent to the unsuccessful application for a lease of the mine made in 1853, but is based uponManuscript image the discovery of the mine, the consequent outlay, and the ultimate loss of the vessel. The adverse decision of H.M. Government conveyed through Mr Richard Taylor after I left England, and after the names of the gentlemen at that time associated with me had been submitted and as I understood accepted, emboldened me to conceive, that while H.M. Government had favorably entertained the equity of our application for permission to work the mine we had discovered, they had found it inexpedient to grant a lease at that time.
Deeming it possible that time, and circumstances may have modified the objections which then existed I again beg respectfully to renew my application for permission to work the mine upon such terms as formerly submitted, or as mayManuscript image be vouchsafed by H.M. Government.
The Americans are now flocking to the newly discovered gold fields on British territory and I respectfully submit that upon further consideration, H.M. Government, may not think it presumptuous on our part that we ask for the protection of a title to work this claim, after having expended so much upon it.
With profound respect, I subscribe myself
Your Lordship's Most obedient
A.Y. Easterby
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Would it not be best to tell the writer that it is in contemplation to establish a New Colony between the Pacific & the Rocky Mountains in B.N.A. in which Queen Charlotte Island will be comprized, & that if such a measure should receive the sanction of the Imperial Parlt he should prefer his application for a lease of the mines in that Island to the Govr of the Colony—but that he must distinctly understand that H.M. Govt refuse to admit the claim which he puts forward to a Lease on the ground of an alleged prior discovery of the mine, of his outlay of money, & subsequent topics. Add that until the establishment of the projected Colony the search for Gold in Q.C. Island must continue on the terms contained in the Letter addressed to Mr Taylor on the 20 July 1853—with which the writer is acquainted.
See Page 5. of P. Papers 788/53—No 1.
ABd 1 July
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Carnarvon to Easterby, 12 July 1858, denying his request for compensation and advising that additional requests must remain unanswered due to lack of information.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
This letter sent again to Mr Easterby 25 Octr 59.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
I think it is better to hold out no hopes, nor advise any line of action, to this class of writers. I would only say that Sir EB Lytton must decline entertaining in any way their claims to compensation, and that he can give no answer as to the farther requests contained in their letter, because no sufficient information is as yet before HMs Govt to enable them to decide on what terms parties shall be admitted to search for gold in North Western America.
HM July 1
I agree.
C July 2
EBL July 3
Manuscript image
Mr Blackwood
The Messrs Easterby sent a Ship to Queen Charlotte's Island in 1852 in search of Gold. The Vessel was seized by the Natives and destroyed.
In 1853 they applied for a lease of the gold mine, as an indemnification for their losses.
The Duke of Newcastle at first Entertained this application, as he appears to have had a favorable opinion of the applicants, but it was ultimately refused, because the Governor of VanCouver's Island had in the meantime issued licenses to dig for gold. This decision is contained in a letter from this Department dated 28 July 1853, which denies their claim to the lease from priorityofManuscript image of discovery, & does not refer to their losses as giving them any claim to it.
In January last Messrs Easterby wrote to this office urging their claim for indemnification, and making an additional claim on the score that they had been led to believe that the lease would be granted and had incurred further expense under that belief. They were answered on 17 March that we refused to admit their claim on this latter plea.
They now write to explain that they intended in their previous letter to urge their claim to compensation for their losses in 1852 & not for theirsubsequentManuscript image subsequent outlay under the impression that the lease wd be granted—and renew the application for a lease of the mine in Queen Charlottes Island.
Their statement that the Expedition in 1852 was abandoned by orders of Captn Kuper RN does not agree with the report of that officer in the accompanying Parl Paper.
H.T. Irving 29 June