No. 35, Miscellaneous
29 May 1863
I had the honor of enclosing with my Despatch No 2 of the 18th February 1860, a report from Mr Duncan Church of England Missionary at Fort Simpson, and I have now the pleasure of transmitting
another communication which I lately received from the same gentleman giving an interesting account of the subsequent progress of his Mission, and what is, especially, worthy of attention entering into details illustrative of the moral and social condition of the settlement and exhibiting the satisfactory results which have attended the police and fiscal regulations established
through his own act, for its good government.  
2. Mr Duncan has successfully carried into effect the design he had for some time previously entertained of founding a Mission at "Metlakahtla" a place situated about 20 miles South of Fort Simpson; his object being to withdraw the converts as much as possible from contact with the Members of their Tribe
who have not yet joined his communion.  
3. "Metlakahtla," now the Chief seat of Mr Duncan's Missionary labours, has already grown into a populous village; the inhabitants having themselves erected comfortable wooden dwellings, in the American style, and residing therein with their families.  
4. The successful issue
of Mr Duncan's efforts to introduce the knowledge and practices of christianity among the Natives of British Columbia, is one of the extraordinary facts of the day; and unless we suppose them to be gifted with a singular degree of intelligence and aptitude, the mere labour of imparting instructions to the christian neophytes, in reading, writing and
arithmetic, must of itself have been overwhelming to any one individual, and yet Mr Duncan has accomplished all this, and in addition, has, by this example, done much to prove that the permanent elevation of the aboriginal races is not altogether a hopeless attempt.  
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
Humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
Acke rect. If the Duke of Newcastle saw no reason to object I think it would be only due to Mr Duncan to express the great satisfaction experienced by His Grace at this gentleman's praiseworthy efforts to convert the Indians to Xtianity & promote their welfare.  
17 July
17 July
A very singular & gratifying account of a little Indian Paraguay under a Protestant Missionary, wh. should be printed for Parlmt. in our next B.C. Collection. It is difficult to imagine a greater crime than that committed by the European traders who madden the poor Indians with their spirits.  
Write by all means commending the valuable services of Mr Duncan.  
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • William Duncan to Douglas, 6 March 1863, reporting at length on his missionary efforts in the Fort Simpson area (12 pages).  
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 37, 24 July 1863.  
Despatch to London:
Douglas to Newcastle, 29 May 1863, National Archives of the UK, 7001, CO 60/15. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed 15 December 2018. 

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