War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0436 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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place where no law exists, and where great impunity for crime will be obtained. The arrangement was (see General Scott's instructions of November 7, 1859, to Captain Hunt) that "British subject have equal rights with American citizens on the island. " Unless the commanding officer of our troops shall possess the power ferred to I do not see but that American citizens have greater impunity in crimes, besides having equal rights. This is a posture of affairs not likely to preserve the peace. I doubt not the power of the Executive to make such an arrangement. General Scott was sent out empowered to make it. Admiral Baynes at the end of four months accepted it. It is not doubt binding on all Territorial authorities. If this power is given to the commanding officer he will be able to carry out in every other respect the instructions of the 9th of march from the general commanding the department. I fully concur in the opinion that our claim to the island is just, and that it will ultimately be acknowledged by the British authorities; but I am disposed to carry out in good faith the arrangement of General Scott, which was, in fact, under the circumstances, only a necessary sequel to the proposition of Mr. Marcy in his letter of 17th of July, 1855, to Mr. Crampton. I venture herewith to send a draft* of a special order, which if issued from your headquarters, or something like to occur on the island. Your instructions of the 4th ultimo say that the "general desires, if in your judgment it is necessary, that you would go to Olympia and San Juan Island," &c. I do not think it necessary at present. I have important duties here to discharge, as the expeditions are about taking the field, but I shall promptly repair to San Juan if any occasion shall require it. I have requested Captain Bissell to notify me of any such. The action above proposed is the best corrective I can think of. I would myself issue the order if an emergencyt in so grave a matter it can better proceed from the department commander. I feel confident, from all I can learn, that Governor Pickering and the U. S. district judges will be satisfied with the action I have recommended.

I am, colonel, with high respect, your obedient servant,

BENJ. ALVORD,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.] SAN JUAN ISLAND, April 14, 1863.

Brigadier-General ALVORD,

Commanding District of Oregon:

GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to inclose for the favorable consideration of the commanding general of the Department of the Pacific, General Wright, a protest signed by twenty-six American citizens, farmers, residing on Suan Juan Island, written on the back of the resulutions adopted by the meeting held on the 1st day of February, 1863, and purporting to represent the opinions and sentiments of the American settlers residing on the island. I beg respectfully to state to the commanding general that with the exception of two names, O. Cushman and B. F. Sahw, signatures to this protest, the resolutions and indorsement were [not] read by them before signing, and were at the time all busily engaged cultivating their farms. Honorable B. F. Shaw, member of the Legislature Council of this Territory from Whatcom County, is now at Vancouver, and I take pleasure in referring Brigadier-General Alvord respectfully to him for explanation of this meeting and

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*Not found as an inclosure, but see Special Orders, Numbers 129, May 29, p. 463.

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