Church Missionary House,
February 28, 1852
In a Letter addressed to this Office on the 9th Inst under the direction of Earl Grey, enclosing an Extract from a Despatch from the Governor of Vancouver's Island, his Lordship desired to be informed whether this Society would be able to comply with the suggestions of the Governor for the establishment of Schools for the moral training & instruction of the Native Tribes.  
I have the honour to inform you that the Committee have taken this matter into their serious consideration which they have been enabled to do with the better effect from their long labours among the Kindred Tribes of the Hudson's Bay Territory; & they hope that their existing Mission in that Territory may be serviceable to Missionary operations in Vancouver's Island.  
Adverting to the objects stated in the Governor's Letter, viz: that the Natives may become "of service to the Colony & form a valuable auxiliary force in the event of war with any foreign power"—it appears to the Committee that the most desirable plan would be the establishment of industrial Boarding Schools upon the model of similar institutions in New Zealand.  
The Committee would beg to refer to a recent Despatch from Governor Sir Geo. Grey of New Zealand to Earl Grey dated Wellington, New Zealand, Jan 24/51, a copy of which Despatch was also furnished to the Missionaries of this Society, as exhibiting the importance of such Schools in a social & national point of view. A copy of this Despatch is herewith appended.  
Should Her Majesty's Government concur in these views, the Society will be prepared to undertake the establishment of such Schools in Vancouver's Island, provided, as in the case of New Zealand, they be furnished with suitable buildings, land, & the assistance of an Agriculturist together with necessary implements, until the School shall become self supporting. The Society on their part will send out & maintain a competent English Training Master, & such Native assistance from the converted Indians in the Hudson's Bay Territory as may seem suitable for the purpose.  
In addition to such Schools, the Comee conceive that it will be necessary to provide one or more Chaplains or Missionaries, who might attend to the spiritual instruction of the Settlers as well as the evangelization of the Aborigines.  
The Committee could not undertake the establishment of the Schools without the security of their superintendence by a Clergyman of their own selection; but they conceive that as such a Clergyman would be rather a Chaplain to Settlers than a Missionary, they may fairly look to Her Majesty's Government, or to the Hudson's Bay Company, to provide the necessary Salary. It was upon this footing that Missionary operations were first commenced in the Hudson's Bay Territories.  
The Society has communicated with the Secretary of the Hudson's Bay Company upon this subject & have placed in his hands a copy of the Letter which they have now the honour of transmitting to you.  
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your Obedt humble Servant
H. Straith
Sec C.M.S.

Right Honorable
Sir John S. Packington, Bart., M.P.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Grey, Governor of New Zealand, to Earl Grey, 29 January 1851, reporting the development of several industrial schools for natives in New Zealand, and urging that they be opened to native children from the neighboring islands.  
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
As the Hudson's Bay Co have a copy of this Letter perhaps it will be sufficient to ask the Co what they intend to do in the matter of setting the Schools up, & paying the Missionary.  
Mh 2
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft, Colonial Office to Pelly, Hudson's Bay Company, 13 March 1852, asking to be informed of the company's intentions "with respect to the establishment of Schools and the necessary provision for a Missionary."  
Public Offices document:
Straith, Church Missionary Society to Pakington, 28 February 1852, National Archives of the UK, 1836, CO 305/3. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed 18 January 2019. 

Last modified: 8:20:30, 18/12/2018