Hammond to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
19 September 1859
With reference to my letter of the 14th instant, I am directed by Lord John Russell to transmit to you for the information of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle copies of a Despatch and of a further Telegram fromManuscript imagefrom Her Majestys Minister at Washington respecting the occupation of the Island of San Juan by troops of the United States.
I am etc.
E. Hammond
Minutes by CO staff
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Duke of Newcastle
It will be seen that Genl Cass disclaims some of the more important expressions of a pacific tendency which were at first attributed to him by Ld Lyons.
HM S 21
I think the F.O. must feel that this is most unsatisfactory & they should consider whether some Naval reinforcement should not at once be ordered. Genl Cass' statement even without the subsequent withdrawal is Manuscript imageutterly at variance with the President's principle of "maintaining the actual status."
N: 22.
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Mr Merivale
Be so good as to draft a despatch to Governor Douglas for Saturday's Mail, acknowledging those which have been received from him today and expressing the great concern with which HMs Govt have received the intelligence of the unjustifiable occupation of the Island of S. Juan by U.S. Troops which appears to have been as unnecessary for the protection of American Citizens as it was uncalled for by any act of the Colonial Manuscript imageAuthorities of Great Britain.
Express approval of the Message which he sent to the Lege Assembly which is dignified in tone and conciliatory to the Government whose Subjects have acted with such want of courtesy to a friendly Nation—but also satisfaction that he did not carry out his original intention of sending English Troops with a view to joint occupation—a measure which at the moment might have led to Manuscript imagecollisions or further disagreements.
Send Copies of all Instructions to Lord Lyons from 24 Augt to the present date—also Lord Lyon's despatches received today.
Instruct him not to withdraw the Gentleman whom he has sent to S. Juan as Magistrate, but to impress upon him the necessity and duty of cautious forbearance from all acts which may lead to hostile Manifestations by the U.S. Officers, Manuscript imageand not to land Troops in the Island or take any further steps without instructions from this Office or from Lord Lyons, unless they be required for the protection of the lives or property of British Subjects.
Promise further Instructions when we receive answer from Washington to despatch of 24th August.
N 26-9/59
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, Confidential, 29 September 1859.
Minutes by CO staff
This has been seen by Mr Hammond who agrees.
I am sorry this should [illegible] later than it ought but if Your Grace will return a blank signature with the corrected draft there is [just?] time.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Hammond, 28 September 1859, expressing dissatisfaction at the situation and asking whether naval reinforcements should not be sent to the area.
Minutes by CO staff
For signature & return to me.
Sent off 23 S.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Lyons, British Minister at Washington, to Russell, 5 September 1859, forwarding information relative to the occupation of San Juan Island, and reporting on his meeting with General Cass to discuss the issue.
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Lyons to Lewis Cass, U.S. Department of State, 3 September 1859, asking for an explanation of American activities on San Juan Island (second page partially obscured).
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Extract (hand written) from New York Herald, no date, describing the occupation of the island and subsequent reaction from Victoria.
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Telegram, Lyons to Foreign Office, 6 September 1859, correcting a section of his despatch No. 174 concerning the orders sent to General Harney by the U.S. government regarding his removal from the island.
Hammond, Edmund to Merivale, Herman 19 September 1859, CO 305:12, no. 9477, 196. 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/V595FO10.html.

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