Confidential
D[owning] S[treet]
29 September 1859
Sir,
I have to acknowledge your [BC] Despatch of the numbers and dates noted in the Margin,
No. 30—1 Aug, 1859;
No. 31—8 Aug, 1859;
No. 33—12 Aug, 1859;
No. 34—12 Aug, 1859.
received by the Mail just arrived, and which relate to the landing of a party of United States Soldiers, under the Orders of Gerneral Harney, upon the Island of Manuscript imageSan Juan, the dominion over which forms a part of the boundary question now under discussion between the Governments of the two Countries.
It is with much concern that Her Majesty's Government have received the intelligence of this unjustifiable proceeding, which appears to have been as unnecessary for the protection of American Citizens, as it was unprovoked by any act of the Colonial Authorities of Great Britain.
Her Majesty's Government fully approve of the Message which you addressed on this subject to the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Vancouvers Island which is at once dignified in its tone, and conciliatory towards the Government of that Republic whose Citizens have acted with such want of courtesy to a friendly Nation. They Manuscript imagealso feel it to be a cause for satisfaction, that your original intention of sending British troops to the Island for the purpose of a joint occupation was not carried out. Such a measure might have led, at the moment in question, to farther disagreements or even to collision.
I have to instruct you not to withdraw from San Juan the Gentleman whom you have sent there to act as a Magistrate. But it is necessary that you should impress on him the necessity and duty of cautiously forbearing from all acts which may lead to hostile manifestations by the United States Officer. You are also not to land troops in the Island, or to take any farther steps, without instructions from this Department or from Lord Lyons, unless the Americans should endeavor to remove by force the British Magistrate from the Island, or Manuscript imageunless such steps should be required for the protection of the lives and property of British subjects.
I transmit to you Copies of the correspondence which has taken place on this subject between Her Majestys Government and Lord Lyons: and you shall receive farther instructions, as soon as an answer arrives from Washington to Lord John Russell's Despatch of the 24th August last.
I have etc.
Newcastle
Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes to Douglas, James 29 September 1859, CO 410:1, 223. 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/V597112A.html.

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