We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

Romaine to Rogers, No. 6810

18 July 1864

With reference to Mr. Elliot's Letter of the 18th Inst, enclosing a Copy of a Letter from the Governor of British Columbia relative to the Massacre of a Party of Roadmakers by Indians, and requesting that suitable support and protection may be afforded by the Naval Forces to the Governor; I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Mr. Secretary Cardwell, a Copy of the Instructions on this subject sent to the Senior Officer of Her Majesty's Ships at Esquimalt by the Mail of the 16 Inst.

My Lords observe that Governor Seymour in his Letter uses the expression "I dispatched a Gun Boat & c,"but they hope that the expression has been used inadvertently and that it is not intended to imply that he has any authority over Her Majesty's Naval Officers.

I am etc.
W.G. Romaine

Sir F. Rogers

Copy to Governor Seymour, with reference to Mr. Cardwell's despatch of the 16th inst.

Is it necessary to notice the observation of the Admiralty about the despatch of the Gun boat. The Governor having succeeded in borrowing the assistance of a Gun boat she was necessarily sent by him, where, in his opinion, she could be most useful. It is not to be implied, I think, that he meant to assume "authority over H.M. Naval Officers."

Abd 19 July

No. But Governors are continually using expressions of this kind, of which the Admiralty never fail to complain. It is therefore desirable that he should be put on his guard. I should add that Mr. Cardwell takes it for granted that Mr. Seymour is fully aware that the Governor has no authority over H.M.'s Ships & that the word noticed by the Lords Commissioners was used in the freedom of semi-official correspondence.

The tone of the Admiralty letter is rather calculated to discourage cooperation with the Governor.

FR 19/7

CF 20

EC 22


Romaine to Rear Admiral Denman, 16 July 1864, concerning his actions and responsibilities with regard to such instances as the massacre of road workers.

Extract of Minute, Seymour to Rogers, 1 June 1864, concerning his securing of naval assistance after the massacre.


Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 23, 16 July 1864.


Prepared and approved by Mr. Cardwell; and despatched on the 16th Inst.

TFE 18 July

Rough draft of despatch No. 23 as noted above, extensively revised, in Elliot's hand.

Colonial Office to Secretary to the Admiralty, 16 July 1864, forwarding private letter of the governor reporting the state of affairs in the colony, and asking that appropriate instructions be issued to ensure provision of adequate naval support as required.

Rogers to Secretary to the Admiralty, 1 August 1864, advising that "no interference was intended with the authority of the Naval Officers,"but trusting that they would offer such assistance as requisite to ensure "efficient protection to life & property."

Source: Great Britain Public Record Office, Colonial Office Records, CO 60/20, p. 5, 6810, W.G. Romaine, Letter to Rogers, No. 6810, sent July 18, 1864, received July 19, 1864.

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