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This webpage reproduces a section of
Mackenzie of Canada
Mark S. Wade

published by
William Blackwood & Sons Ltd.
Edinburgh and London 1927

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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 p314  Appendix II

Note to page 264

"Preliminaries to the Establishment of a permanent British Fishery and Trade in Furs, &c., on the Continent and West Coast of North America.

"1. To form a supreme Civil and Military Establishment, on the centrally situated and Navally defensible Island of Nootka, at King George's Sound, Lat. 50° North, with two subordinates; one in the River Columbia, Lat. 46°, and the other on Sea Otter Harbour, Lat. 55° North.

1. Priority of occupation vesting sovereignty in the possessor, no time to be lost.

Vide Treaty with Spain of 1790.

"2. Either to repeal so much of the Acts of Parliament now in force as vest in the East India Company or South Sea Company, jointly or separately, an exclusive Right of Fishery Trade and Navigation in the Pacific Ocean and on the West Coast of North America;

2. On the ground that neither of these Companies have exercised this Fishery and Trade, and that the East India Company is under a legal obligation to Grant such a Licence, unless cause to the contrary, allowed to be good by the Board of Control, can be assigned.

Vide Act of Par. 33 Geo. III, Ch. 52, sec. 78.


"to obtain from both or either of those Companies a Licence, irrevocable and unlimited, there to Fish Trade and Navigate in  p315 their or its Right and to establish Factors or Agents at Canton in China and any other Port, or place within the limits of their Charters, for the Direct sale and Barter of the Exports and Imports from and to the West Coast of North America, to and with the people of China and others, there residing or trading at the time; as fully and freely as both or either of these Companies might do, if they themselves carried on said Fishery Trade and Navigation — namely, during the yet unexpired term of their Charters; and those Charters not to be renewed, but either with the entire exception of the said Fishery Trade and Navigation, or under a legal obligation to continue the Licences now to be granted for the whole term of their duration.

On the ground that as the returns of this Trade are not realisable in less than three or four years, no body of men capable of carrying it on to the advantage of the Nation will embark in it, unless thus assured of its permanency.

"3. To obtain from the Hudson Bay Company, If it has legal power to grant or refuse it, a Licence of Transit, irrevocable and unlimited; for all Goods, Wares and Merchandise, the growth, produce, and Manufacture of Great Britain and of America, in and outwards, through all the Seas, Bays, Ports, Rivers, Lakes, and Territories, within the Limits of its Charter, in their passage directly between Great Britain and North America, without being subject to any visitation or Search nor to any duty or charge, to which those of the Company itself are not liable; the Consignee, say, the Resident agent at York and Churchill Factories, or Conductors of every transport delivering to the Governor, or other officer representing the  p316 Company in chief, at the first Port or place of Entry into the limits or jurisdiction of the Company a Manifest of the Marks, Numbers, and Contents of the several packages, Chests, &c., upon oath to be administered to him by the said Governor or officer in chief, who, within twenty-four hours after such Manifest has been to him tendered, shall return the same to the said Consignee or Conductor, indorsed with his Visa and Signature, under the seal of the Company, to serve as a passport, producible at every but not questionable by any other station of the Company, commonly called Trading Houses, interiorly or exteriorly, by any Governor or other officer or servant of the Company within the limits of their jurisdiction.

3. On the ground that the Right of transit between the Mother Country and her Colonies, through her own proper Territory and Colonies, is an Attitude of sovereignty, neither surrendered nor meant to have been surrendered to the Hudson Bay Company according to its Charter, the exercise of which is not deniable on any principle of Political Economy; while it is necessary, and would be highly beneficial, as being the shortest way to and from Countries without its limits for the purpose of facilitating the intercourse between Great Britain and these Countries, in the Exchange of the Manufactures of the former for the raw products of the Latter.

"4. To grant these Licences to a Company of British Merchants, to be established in London under the name of "The Fishery & Fur Company," which Company, for the purpose of combining the Fishery in the Pacific with the Fur Trade of the Interior from the East to the West Coasts of the Continent of North America, would at once equip Whalers in England, and by means of the establishments already made and in activity, at Montreal in the East and advanced posts and Trading Houses in the Interior towards the West Coast to which they might be extended and where other establishments to be made at King George Sound, Nootka Island, under the protection of the supreme Government; and on the River  p317 Columbia and at Sea Otter Harbour, under the protection of the subordinate Government of those places would open and Establish a Commercial Communication, through the Continent of North America, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, to the incalculable advantage and furtherance both of the Pacific Fishery and American Fur Trade of Great Britain, in part directly and in part indirectly through the Channel of the possessions and Factories of the East Indian Company in China, &c., it being perfectly understood that none of these Maritime or inland Establishments shall be made on territory in the possession of any other European Nation, nor within the limits either of the United States of North America or of the Hudson's Bay Company.

4. There are at present, vide Mackenzie's 'Voyages,' two Companies at Montreal engaged in the North American Fur Trade, both of which are chiefly composed of men, who, by personal exertions, no less hazardous than laborious and persevering, have contributed to the extension of it into formerly unknown parts; and who, if not the only men able to extend it to the Pacific, are at least the most likely to succeed as the best qualified to undertake it. These Companies have not heretofore had any idea of embarking in the Pacific Fishery, but if they should succeed in combining the Fur Trade of the East with that of the West, they would find it highly beneficial to combine the latter, if not both, with the Whale Fishery, and in so far as they may not be possessed of a Capital sufficient for carrying on both the Fishery and Fur Trade, they would be at no loss for Partners in London who would raise the deficiency.

The Whalers might carry out from England all the British articles Saleable or rather barterable for the furs and other Products of America, and bring back such part of the latter as would best suit the British Market; while other vessels of such a size and construction as may be found best adapted might be employed to carry the samples to Canton and such other Settlements of the East India Company as offer the best Market in the way either of Sale or Barter.

But as it is obvious that the two Companies already embarked in the Fur Trade from Montreal, including their several connections in London, must find their interest in coalescing, may that the great national object in view, in the first instance, if not wholly unattainable without, will at least be best attainable through, a voluntary connection and consolidation of the two Companies into one for such a number of years and on such other terms as they may agree upon; so is there not the least reason to doubt; That under such Licences — 1st, of Fishing Trade and Navigation; and 2nd, of Transit — they would unite themselves, and succeed equally to their own proper and to the public advantage.

London, 7th January 1802.
Alex. Mackenzie.

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