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• During our stay, I proceeded on shore, accompanied by Mr. Sangster and the first and second engineers. I found the northwest point of McNeil's Harbour to be a Peninsula, and in honour of the First Lord of the Admiralty, I called it Ellenborough. We found a seam of coal just below high water-mark, which appeared to descend at an angle of about 30° toward the land. We then ascended the hill, and very near the top, at about sixty feet above the level of the sea, in the bed of the stream, we found a layer of freestone, at about 5 feet 6 inches below a surface of peat, and below that a seam of coal much resembling in appearance the English Newcastle coal. This seam was ten inches thick with freestone below; having bored through and blasted
came to another seam 18 inches in thickness, both seams appearing to run parallel to each other, descending at an angle of 20° in a north-westerly direction.
Being confident from these two trials that the seams thicken lower down, I did not make any further experiments here, but proceeded the next day to a small sheltered bay about eight miles farther down the coast to the north-west, which was called Baillie Hamilton Bay, after Captain Baillie Hamilton, Secretary of the Admiralty. Here we observed another rich seam, extending along the beach below high water-mark, and which we traced a quarter of a mile in an inland direction.
· The seams we found were similar in appearance and thickness to those on Ellenborough Peninsula, which confirms me in an opinion I had formed, that they were connected.
''On trial we found the coal of good quality; they flare much in the furnace, and do not appear to have any of the injurious effects on either the fire-bars or furnaces that Welch coal has. The proportionate expense for four hours, as compared with Scotch and Welch, is as follows, viz. :
2 8 • Scotch
14 Ellenborough and Hamilton 2 18 • This difference may appear considerable in proportion ; but
the coal having been procured from the surface where it has been exposed to the action of the atmosphere, and much of it to the injurious effects of salt water, will weigh considerably in favour of the Ellenborough and Hamilton coal. Had it been procured at several feet from the surface, I have no hesitation in saying that the result would be at least equal to the best Scotch coal. We have also tried it at the forge, and welded several bars of 14 and l} inch, and the heats were as clean as if taken with the best English coal. • It is my
belief, that the field does not extend farther to the westward than the eastern shore of Beaver Harbour, and to the eastward than the Innihish River, marked in the accompanying plan by a dotted line; indeed, the feature of the country from Beaver Harbour to Shuchaste, is quite different, being covered with hard blue whin rock, without any appearance of freestone whatever.
It is impossible to form any opinion of the extent of the field in an inland direction, but from the appearance of the country, I am of opinion that it is very considerable.
On first going on shore, the natives appeared tenacious of our examining the coals, and accused us of coming to steal them; but having made a few presents to some of the chiefs, they entered into our views, and became very active, and I am only surprised, that with the rude implements they have for digging, viz. hatchets and wooden wedges, they were able to procure so large a quantity in so short a time, and I am persuaded, that with the means we have, assisted by the natives, we could fill our coal bunkers in from ten to fourteen days. • The natives are a fine race of men,
industrious and friendly, but are much addicted to thieving. 'In conclusion, I beg leave to remark, that the coal district, my opinion, is admirably situated, possessing, as it does, excellent anchorage in its neighbourhood, and being so far north, that vessels of almost any burthen can approach it by way of Cape Scott, thus avoiding the difficult and dangerous navi
gation of Sir George Seymour's Narrows and Johnstone's Straits.
I have the honor to be,
"G.T. GORDON, Commander. • To John A. Duntze, Esq., Captain of H.M.S. Fisgard, and Senior Officer.'
The following is an extract of a Despatch from Rear-Admiral
Sir George Seymour, dated H.M.S. Collingwood, 26th
February, 1847. • The harbour of Esquimalt, near the new establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company's fort, Victoria, in the straits of Juan de Fuca, is described to be capable of receiving ships of the line in security, and is a valuable addition to our knowledge of the island, of which, in general, I am glad to see Captain Gordon has formed a very favourable impression.'
In due time, further information will doubtless be obtained as to the extent of cultivable land in Vancouver's Island; what is known is favourable to its occupation by British subjects, and the fort formed by the Hudson's Bay Company, is the nucleus of a colony which may be extended as circumstances require. I venture to express a hope, that a very moderate price be fixed on the land : twelve years ago, I stood almost alone in opposition to what was termed the “Wakefield Principle,' of selling all land at an uniform, or at least a minimum price of 20s. per acre. New South Wales has now found the disadvantage of this measure, which has checked the sale of land, and turned emigrants, who would have been farmers, into 'squatters,' holding large tracts of territory under licence.
Much will depend on the adoption of a liberal principle in the granting of land, to make Vancouver's Island a flourishing colony.
CONSTITUTION AND WORKING OF THE
HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY.
The Constitution of the Hudson's Bay Company is founded on the Royal Charter of 2nd May, 1670, (see Appendix A,) at which period the Crown possessed, and sometimes exercised, the right of granting dominion and exclusive trade to individuals, or to associations, without the Sovereign asking the consent, or the grantee needing the sanction of Parliament.
The Charter issued by Charles II. to Prince Rupert and his associates, in the Hudson's Bay Company, was granted in perpetuity,—has the same validity as any other Royal Charter, and is as truly a rightful property, as is the land or houses of an Englishman's private estate.
The lawfulness of the Charter, or of the Company founded on the Charter, have never been questioned by the Crown or Parliament; on the contrary, there has been a full recognition in various public documents, such as the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and the treaty of Oregon in 1846, which gives to the Hudson's Bay Company the right of navi. gating the Columbia ;—in various Acts of Parliament, viz.: 2nd of William and Mary, A.D. 1690, which ratified, confirmed, and established the said Letters Patent, or Charter, hereinbefore mentioned, bearing date, second day of May in the two and twentieth year of his said late Majesty, King Charles II., to the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson's Bay, and to their successors, for ever* ?:-By 6 Ann, c. 37, when all the
* This was merely a declaratory Act for ' confirming to the Governor and Company trading to Hudson's Bay their privileges and trade,' and was passed under the erroneous idea that the punishment of offenders, recovering of forfeitures and fines, the making of bye-laws, orders, rules, and constitutions, for the due management of the trade, cannot be so effectually done as by authority of Parliament. This Act did not in any manner question or interfere with the powers and rights conferred by the charter of 1670; on the contrary, it recognised them in the strongest and most explicit terms; declared that the said · Governor and Company and their successors shall at all times from henceforth stand, continue, and be a body politic and corporate in deed and in name, according to the purport and effect of the said charter,' which shall from henceforth be good and effectual and available in the law, and to all intents, constructions, and purposes, to the aforesaid Governor and Company and their successors for evermore. effectually enabled the Company to restrain interlopers, and its renewal on expiry at the end of seven years was unnecessary.
estates, rights, and privileges, of the Hudson's Bay Company, were declared to be saved, notwithstanding the tenor and tendency of the Act, which proposed to facilitate the Colonial trade. -By 14 Geo. III., c. 83, the northern boundary of Canada was to be the southern boundary of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company :'—By 1 & 2 Geo. IV., c. 66, the Charter of Rupert's Land was twice expressly recognised. Thus, by the Parliaments of England and of Scotland, and by the Parliament of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the Charter of 1670 has been l'ecognised and confirmed
The Crown recognition of the Charter has been manifested on several occasions; especially by the Royal Licence of George the Fourth, dated Carlton House, 5th December, 1821, which was issued to the Hudson's Bay Company, and to W. & S. M'Gillivray and Edward Ellice, Esqrs., for the exclusive privilege of trading with the Indians in all such parts of North America as should be specified, not being part of the lands or territories heretofore granted to the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading to Hudson's Bay ;' and this Royal licence was expressly issued to prevent the admission of individual or associated bodies into the North American Fur trade, as the competition in the said trade has been found for some years to be productive of great inconvenience and loss, not only to the said Hudson's Bay Company and Associations, but to the said trade in general, and also of great injury to the native Indians, and others our subjects.'
The Royal licence of exclusive trade with the Indians in certain parts of North America, for a further term of 21 years, and upon
the surrender of the former grant,' was issued by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, dated Buckingham Palace, May 30, 1838, to the Hudson's Bay Company alone (Messrs. M‘Gillivray and E. Ellice having surrendered their rights and interests under the previous licence to the Hudson's Bay Company,) to encourage the trade with the Indians of North America, and prevent, as much as possible, a recurrence of the evils referred to in the previous grant.'--(See Appendix B.)