No. 56, Miscellaneous
17th July 1865
I have the honor to transmit the copy of a correspondence between myself and the Acting Governor of Washington Territory, United States, having reference to the absconding of the ship "Maria" from this Colony to Port Angelos, Washington Territory, without papers.
These documents are soexplanatoryManuscript image explanatory that they require little comment from me.
Subsequently to the receipt of Acting Governor Evans' letter, the American Consul resident in Vancouver Island called upon me in company with a Gentleman interested in the Ship "Maria" desiring to "come to some arrangement on the subject." I informed him that I regretted it was wholly out of my power to become a party to any compromise and recommended that the vessel should be given uptoManuscript image to the proper authorities in this Colony to be dealt with according to law.
I pointed out the incorrectness which might arise to American as well as British commerce by the establishment of such a precedent as that of permitting an English vessel to take refuge in an American port without a clearance or papers of any kind, and declining to give her up when demanded.
The Consul led me to expectthatManuscript image that the "Maria" would be placed within Colonial jurisdiction, but this has not been done and I have not received any further communication from Acting Governor Evans which the last paragraph of his Despatch led me to expect.
I am credibly informed that this vessel has since been at San Francisco.
While I deem it my duty to bring this matter under your notice I may at the same timeaddManuscript image add that the most friendly relations exist between the neighbouring United States Authorities and myself.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
I suppose it will be right to communicate copies of this despatch &tc & to the Bd of Trade, & also to the F.O.
ABd 12 Sep
Mr Cardwell
To both those Departments for consideration?
I venture to draw your attention to the letter of theManuscript image American Governor on account of the extreme courtesy of it's tone, and of the anxiety he expresses to meet the wishes of our Government.
We shall hear about it from higher authority, but I confess that to my unlearned eyes it seems difficult to understand how the American Governor could have forcibly returned an English Ship to our Colony. We should be rather surprized, I should think, if the American Government addressed a similar request to us.
TFE 12 Sept
To both offices. When we reply to Governor Kennedy we should notice the Letter of the U.S. Governor to which Mr Elliot has referred.
EC 13
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Kennedy to Elwood Evans, Governor of Washington Territory, 23 May 1865, advising that the Maria, recently arrived in Victoria from Hong Kong, had been found in violation of the "Chinese Passengers Act 1855" and was liable for seizure, but had suddenly sailed without clearance or papers to the United States, and asking that the ship be detained and given up to the colony.
Manuscript image
Evans to Kennedy, 27 May 1865, advising of his earnest desire to comply with the wishes of the governor, but informing that he had no authority to act in the manner requested, with enclosures.
Manuscript image
Evans to F.A. Wilson, Collector of Customs, District of Puget Sound, 27 May 1865, forwarding copy of Kennedy's letter and expressing regret for his inability to act, but asking that the captain of the Maria be urged to return to Victoria.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Elliot to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, and J. Booth, Board of Trade, 19 September 1865, forwarding to each a copy of the despatch and enclosures for consideration.