Land Law - Just And Good Cause - Indigenous Peoples
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
POLITICS - WEALTH - CHURCH
The Courts Of Europe Agreed In Law To Recognize Indigenous Peoples Legal Ownership Of Turtle Islands North Lands - The Friendly Cove - Nootka Sound Secured Such Paramountcy. And, In Consequence, Spain Paid England The Penalty Amount In Coin; And, Returned Possession Of Ships And Land Buildings. Chiefs Maquilla And Calicum Concurred. Captain Vancouver's Records Attest To These Matters; As Do Russia's Counsel. These Legal Matters Are Accorded In Utrecht Court. Therefore, The Queen Victoria 1867 Royal Assent To The British North America Act Appears To Be Null And Void; Having Been Constructed Contrary To The Utrecht Settlement Between England And Spain Circa 1788.
Addendum Notations Are Included Here For Readership Review
Before Vancouver left Nootka, Mr. Duffin (first officer on the Felice), one of the men who had been employed by Captain Meares, opportunely arrived and gave evidence as follows. His evidence probably formed part of the despatches sent by Vancouver to England via China by an envoy.
It furnished direct facts from an eye-witness : To Captain George Vancouver, Commander of his Britannic Majesty's ships, "Discovery" and " Chatham" now lying in Friendly Cove, King George's Sound. " SIR, Whereas different reports have been propagated relative to what right Mr. Meares had for taking possession of the land Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, I shall state with that candor and veracity which always influence me on such occasions, an impartial account of Mr. Meares's proceedings in the above mentioned port.
"Toward the close of 1787, a commercial expedition was under- taken by Henry Cox, Esq., & Co., merchants, then residing at Macao, who accordingly fitted and equipped two ships for the fur trade on the north-west coast of America.
The management of this expedition was reposed in John Meares, Esq., as commander-in-chief and sole conductor of the voyage, and who was likewise one of the merchant proprietors. These vessels were equipped under Portuguese colors, with a view to mitigate those heavy port charges imposed on ships of every nation (the Portuguese only excepted), which circumstance is well known to all commercial gentlemen trading in that part of the world.
Under those circumstances the said vessels fitted out in the name and under the firm of John Cavallo, Esq., a Portuguese merchant then residing at -Macao.
He had no property in them whatsoever both their cargoes being entirely British property and the vessel navigated solely by the subjects of his Britannic Majesty.
" On our arrival the first time in the above port in Nootka Sound, which was in May, 1788, the two chiefs, Maquilla and Calicum, were absent.
On their return, which was either on the 17th or the 18th of the same month, Mr. Meares, accompanied by myself and Mr. Robert Funter, second officer, went on shore and traded with the said chiefs for the whole of the land that forms Friendly Cove, in his Britannic Majesty's name.
He accordingly bought it of them for eight or ten sheets of copper and several other trifling articles.
The natives were fully satisfied with their agreement.
The chief and likewise the people did homage to Mr. Meares as their sovereign, using those formalities that are peculiar to themselves and which Mr. Meares has made mention of in his publication.
The British flag was displayed on shore at the same time, and those formalities were used as is customary on such occasions, and not the Portuguese flag as has been insinuated by several people who were not present at the time ; consequently they advanced those assertions without foundation.
"On taking possession of the cove in his Britannic Majesty's name as before mentioned, Mr. Meares caused a house to be erected on the very spot where the Chatham's tent is at present, it being the most convenient part of the cove for our intentions.
The chiefs with their subjects offered to quit the cove entirely and reside at a place called Tashees, and leave the place to ourselves as entire masters and owners of the whole cove and lands adjacent ; consequently we were not confined merely to that spot but had full liberty to erect a house in any other part of the cove, but chose the spot we did for the above mentioned reason.
" Mr. Meares appointed Mr. Robert Funter to reside in the house, which consisted of three chambers for the officers, and the proper apartments for the men, and a mess-room. The said apartments were elevated about five feet from the ground, and under these were apartments for keeping our stores in. Exclusive of these were sheds and outhouses for the convenience of the artificers to work in.
On Mr. Meares's departure the house was left in good condition, and he enjoined Maquilla to take care of it until his return or any of his associates on the coast again. " It has been reported that on the arrival of Don Jose Estevan Martinez in the cove, there was not the least vestige of the house remaining. However that might be, I cannot say, as I was not at Nootka at the time.
"On our return in July, 1789, in the said cove, we found it occupied by the subjects of his Catholic Majesty.
There was like- wise some people belonging to the ship Columbia, commanded by Mr. John Kendrick, under the flag and protection of the United States of America, who had their tents and outhouses erected on the same spot on which our house formerly stood, but I saw no remains of our former architecture.
" We found lying in the cove, at anchor, his Catholic Majesty's ships Princessa and Don Carlos ; likewise the ship Columbia and sloop Washington ; and the second day after our arrival in the Argonaut, we were captured by Don Jose Estevan Martinez. The Americans were suffered to carry on their commerce unmolested. " This is the best information I can give you that might tend to elucidate the propriety of Mr. Meares taking possession of the village of Nootka and Friendly Cove.
"Should anyone doubt the truth of this protest, I am always ready to attest it before any court of jurisdiction, or any peison duly authorized to examine me. " I have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem, etc., " (Signed) ROBT. DUFFIN. "That the above was the identical truth, was sworn before me this 21st September, 1792. " (Signed) GEO. VANCOUVER."
COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED. On behalf of Spain, Don Manuel de la Heras was appointed a commissioner to determine the amount of losses to be paid to British subjects as compensation for their losses caused by the seizure of their vessels, etc., in 1789. Mr. Rudolph Woodford was appointed on behalf of Great Britain. They met at Whitehall, London, and agreed that the sum of two hundred and ten thousand dollars in coin, should be paid by Spain in full of all claims.
The agreement was signed on the 12th of February,
1793. Bancroft, in his history of the North-West Coast, states it was ratified the same day by the British monarch. He adds sneeringly : " Presumably the money was paid without delay, greatly to the satisfaction of Meares and his associates, who if they got half the amount named, though their original claim had been six hundred and fifty thousand dollars, had every reason to be content."
POLITICS - WEALTH - CHURCH