Mills, Captain John Powell
Mills was captain of the Colinda which was chartered by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1854 to carry goods and over 200 passengers, servants, and coal miners from London to Victoria.1 Instead of Victoria, the ship arrived at the Port of Valdivia because his passengers forced him to stop there.2 The passengers were tried in a naval court for mutinous and piratical conduct. However, Mills did not prove the charges and was in turn charged with failure to provide enough food for the passengers.3 After this, the passengers refused to travel with Mills and he sold most of his cargo. He advertised his journey to those at the Port of Valdivia before being towed to Victoria by a steam ship.4
In Victoria, Mills obtained an injunction for his failure to properly execute the charter.5 The Colinda was then sent back to London.6 Mills refused to hand over the money that he received from selling the ship’s goods. Only after a tedious process, authorities received the money from Mills.7
Mills wrote to Sir George Grey in 1855 to complain about the attitudes of the Vancouver Island authorities.8 Mills claimed that the loose manner of the Company’s Servants and the promises they made to his passengers created a tissue of grievances which were out of [his] power to control. This, he argued, was why his passengers rebelled against him. He was thrown into prison for four months and was interrogated privately and not allowed visitors. Mills claimed to have been in solitary confinement for two months.9 His ship was, according to Mills, seized in the Queen's name and converted into a brothel for prositutes and drunkards.10 A few months later Mills received a reply stating that nothing could be done for his case. He reiterated his issue, but the case was ignored.11
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Grey, George

Vessels in this document

Colinda

Places in this document

London

Valdivia

Vancouver Island

Victoria

The Colonial Despatches Team. Mills, Captain John Powell. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/mills.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)