No. 8
23 March 1859
I have the honor to lay before you the following circumstances in connection with the plunder of the United States Merchant Brig "Swiss Boy" by the Indians of Barclay Sound on the South west coast of Vancouver's Island, into which place the "Swiss Boy" entered, in a waterlogged and unseaworthy condition.
2. IManuscript image2. I believe the Master of the "Swiss Boy" has proceeded to Washington, with a view of making an attempt to establish a claim against Her Majesty's Government for the loss of his vessel, and I am therefore anxious to place you in possession of the facts of the case, with the least possible delay.
3. On or about the 18th Ultimo, I received a statement from Mr David K. Welden, the Master of the "Swiss Boy," a copy of which forms Enclosure No 1, detailing the circumstances of the abandonment and plunder of his vessel. To this I returned an answer (Enclosure No 2), acquainting him that Her Britannic Majesty's ShipManuscript imageShip "Satellite" would proceed to Barclay Sound, to enquire into the case and to restore to him his vessel and property, and that a passage for himself and crew would be provided in the "Satellite." This offer he refused to accept, as will be seen from his Letter, dated 22nd February, Enclosure No 3. On the 23rd February I received a further letter from Mr Welden, Enclosure No 4, stating that he held himself in readiness to proceed in any vessel that might be despatched to investigate the case, to this I replied by Enclosure No 5, referring him to the former letter addressed to him, but he did not avail himself of the opportunity offered him for receiving his property, for altho' there was ampleManuscript imageample time for him to find his way on board the "Satellite," he did not make his appearance, but allowed her to depart without him, and the same day, the 24th of February, he quitted this place in the mail Steamer for San Francisco.
4. The requisitions I made to the Senior Naval Officer for the assistance of a vessel of war to investigate the alleged outrages, form Enclosures No 6 and 7.
5. On the 11th of Instant the "Satellite" returned to Esquimalt, and I forward herewith the Report, Enclosure No 8, made upon the case by Captain Prevost, which goes very fully into the matter, and would appear conclusively to shew that theManuscript imagethe "Swiss Boy" was unseaworthy before she left Port, and was most improperly overladen. The fact of the first may be judged from some specimens of her timbers forwarded by Captain Prevost, and sent herewith, and the proof of the latter rests upon the Report of the Officers appointed by Captain Prevost to hold a survey upon the vessel, vide Enclosure No 12.
6. It will be seen that the cargo of the "Swiss Boy"; Timber, remained untouched on board the vessel at the time of the "Satellite's" visit, and that the property stolen by the natives consisting mainly of the personal effects of the Master and crew, was recovered by CaptainManuscript imageCaptain Prevost, and there being no person authorized to take possession of it, was placed in a hut, under the charge of one of the Chiefs where, I have no doubt it will remain undisturbed for any length of time.
I have etc.
Minutes by CO staff
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Lord Carnarvon
Copy to For: Office, enclosures in original.
ABd 11 May
C May 12
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Not in file.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 20 May 1859, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures.