No. 58
5 December 1862
Adverting to the remarks contained in my Despatch No 57 of the 3rd Instant, upon the difficulty which I have experienced in obtaining any information from the local Agents of the Hudson's Bay Company upon the subject of the lands surrenderedtoManuscript image to the Crown under the Articles of Agreement of 3rd February 1862, and to the conjecture I hazarded that at the time of the receipt of that Agreement in Vancouver's Island no Map or Plan existed upon which sales of land to the south of James' Bay had been made—land that although still unoccupied has within the last few months been cut up into lots and marked with boundary posts upon the ground—I have the honor to forward herewith to Your GraceCopyManuscript image Copy of a letter received this day from Mr Dugald Mactavish, the principal Officer of the Company at Victoria, in which he confirms my conjecture, inasmuch as he states that the requisite Map is only now "in a forward state", and that he hopes to have "a copy" of the same in readiness for me at an early date.
2. I enclose copy of the communication which drew this reply from Mr Mactavish. In that communication it will be seen that I offered the services of theSurveyorManuscript image Surveyor General to expedite matters; but Mr Mactavish takes no notice of my offer.
3. On the 29h July Mr Mactavish wrote in reply to an application previously made to him I have yet to furnish to His Excellency a map or plan of the land to the south and west of James' Bay, shewing such portions as have been sold, and giving other necessary information in regard to the same—this duty shall be attended to at the earliest possiblemomentManuscript image moment, and had it been possible to procure the services of a qualified draughtsman, the map would have been in readiness long 'ere this.
I did not desire unduly to press the matter, I therefore delayed again writing until the 2nd Instant, and now I am told by Mr Mactavish that he "hopes" to have "a copy" in readiness by an "early date", leaving the matter in reality as indefinite as ever: for if it requires more than five Months to complete aCopyManuscript image Copy of a Map promised at the "earliest possible moment", and which copy could most assuredly have been made—if any original existed to copy from—in less than three days, it is impossible to conjecture what period of time may be involved in the expression "at an early date."
4. I will bring the whole subject before Your Grace immediately I do receive the requisite data: in the meanwhile I abstain from any further remark, but I deemitManuscript image it right, nevertheless, to make Your Grace acquainted with the actual position of affairs in connection therewith to shew what I have done to bring matters to a speedy settlement.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
Land Board.
ABd 31 Jany
Refer—without delay.
TFE 31/1
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Mactavish to Colonial Secretary, 4 December 1862, advising the map requested by the governor was in a forward state and would be transmitted to Douglas at an early date.
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Colonial Secretary to Mactavish, 2 December 1862, asking whether the map was prepared and offering the services of the Surveyor General in making a copy.