Washington Territory. For the last two years no taxes have been collected and none assessed by Whatcom County. For three years no duties have been collected on foreign goods, and during two years past no inspector of customs has resided upon the island. American citizens have equal rights with British subjects. Vessels go to and from Victoria without entering or clearing from Port Angeles. In November last an order was psoted by commanding officer of Camp Pickett, Captain Bissell, to the effect that where differences occur between American citizens on the island they be left to arbitration. This order corresponds almost entirely to the laws relating to arbitration in Washington Territory. Under it a difficulty has already been settled between an English and American subject about the lines of their respective claims. There was no necessity for the English subject to submit to it, but he chose to do so. On the occupancy by the forces of the respective Governments under the treaty as made by General Scott and Governor Douglas, there came on the part of the British eighty non-commissioned officers and privates and four officers, a captain, first and second lieutenants, and an assistant surgeon. There have been up to the present time no changes either in officers or men, except in cases of sickness or desertion, and then they have been quickly replenished from Esquimalt. During this time, consequent upon the rebellion of our country, we have had as many changes of officers with their respective commands as we have had years of occupancy, and I would respectfully represent to the commanding general that during these several changes officers have differed as to the true interpretation of the statutue of General Scott. This has given rise to discussion and quarrels among the settlers as to their true position here. The American settlers, I believe, would be contended to have the laws of Washington Territory in full force, and with rigid vigor executed, but are prepared to believe that the general will agree with them that under the law as executed by Mr. Hamblet we have something other than the laws of our country. I am inexperienced in writing communications, and have written this hastily to avoid delay. The general will be kind enough to excuse any apparent rudeness in my remarks.
Hoping Brigadier-General Alvord will respectfully forward this communication and papers to Brigadier-General Wright, U. S. Army, commanding Department of the Pacific, for his favorable consideration, I have the honor to subscribe myself your obedient servant,
EDWARD D. WARBASS.
[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.]
According to the wish of Captain Bissell, as expressed to me, I hereby request the citizens of this island to meet at Frazer's house, in the woods, on the road to the garrison, on Sunday, February 1, for the purpose of making such laws as we shall deem necessary for the settlement of differences between settlers concerning land claims and for the enforcement of good order upon the island.
E. T. HAMBLET.
SAN JUAN ISLAND, January 22, 1863.
SAN JUAN ISLAND, February 1, 1863.
At a meeting of the citizens of San Juan Island on the 1st day of February, 1863, for the purpose of establishing a criterion by which the American citizens of this island should be governed, Esquire Hamblet