p. 899 C
PAPERS RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT IN THE TERRITORIES CEDED TO BRITAIN BY THE TREATY OF 1763.¹
EARL OF EGREMONT TO LORDS OF TRADE.
WHITEHALL May 5th 1763.
Lords of Trade
MY LORDS,—His Majesty having brought the Negotiation with France & Spain to a happy Conclusion, and having given the necessary Orders for carrying into Execution the several Stipulations of the late Treaty, is now pleased to fix His Royal Attention upon the next important Object of securing to His Subjects, and extending the Enjoyment of the Advantages, which Peace has procured.
His Majesty therefore, upon the same Principle of Sollicitude for the Interests of His Colonies, which engaged him in a just & necessary War, in support of their Rights, and obliged him to insist on such Terms of Peace as he thought peculiarly calculated for the future Security of that important Object, directs me to transmit to Your Lordships herewith the Definitive Treaty of Peace; and I am commanded to signify to Your Lordships His Majesty's Pleasure, that You do, without Loss of Time, take into Your most serious Consideration, those Articles which relate to the Cessions made by their Most Christian & Catholick Majesties, & that You do report Your Opinion.
By what Regulations, the most extensive Commercial Advantages may be derived from those Cessions, and
How those Advantages may be rendered most permanent & secure to His Majesty's Trading Subjects.
The Means of arriving at these desireable Ends, will perhaps be most distinctly pointed out, by considering, separately, the several Cessions stipulated by the Articles of Peace and examining the different Circumstances by which
each Cession becomes more or less susceptible of the great Advantages of Commerce & Security above mentioned.
[¹ This and the following papers contain an account of the steps taken by the British Government to provide a suitable constitution and policy of administration for Canada and the other recently acquired territories in North America. They furnish the basis for the Proclamation of Oct. 7th, 1763, as also for the Commission and the Instructions of the same date, given to General James Murray as Governor of the Province of Quebec. The papers are copied from the originals in the Public Record Office, and except where noted, are from the series “America and the West Indies.” The first is from vol. 268, p. 93.]
North America naturally offers itself as the principal Object of Your Lordships Consideration upon this Occasion, with regard to which, I shall first obey His Majesty's Commands in proposing to Your Lordships some general Questions, before I proceed to desire You will furnish that Information, which His Majesty expects from Your Lordships, with regard to the Northern or Southern Parts of this Continent considered separately.
The Questions which relates to North America in general, are,
1st What New Governments should be established & what Form should be adopted for such new Governments ? and where the Capital, or Residence of each Governor should be fixed?
2dly What Military Establishmt will be sufficient ? What new Forts should be erected ? and which, if any, may it be expedient to demolish?
3dly In what Mode least Burthensome and most palatable to the Colonies can they contribute towards the Support of the Additional Expence, which must attend their Civil & Military Establishment, upon the Arrangement which Your Lordships shall propose?
Under the first of those Heads, Vizt What new Governments shall be established ? It will be proper to examine, what Priviledges are reserved to His Majesty's New Subjects by the Terms of their Capitulations; I therefore send Your Lordships herewith the Capitulation of Quebec & Montreal.
It may also be a proper Object of Consideration, how far it is expedient to retain, or depart from the Forms of Government which His Most Christian Majesty had established in those Colonies; and in order to furnish Your Lordships with those Lights, which may enable You to form a just Opinion on this Head, I send herewith Copies of the several Reports of Govrs Murray Burton & Gage.
The Second Question, which relates to the Security of North America, seems to include Two Objects to be provided for.; The first is, the Security of the whole against any European Power; The next is the Preservation of the internal Peace & Tranquility of the Country against any Indian Disturbances. Of those Two Objects, the latter appears to call more immediately for such Regulations & Precautions as Your Lordships shall think proper to suggest &ca.
Tho' in order to succeed effectually in this Point, it may become necessary to erect some Forts in the Indian Country, with their Consent, yet His Majesty's Justice & Moderation inclines Him to adopt the more eligible Method of conciliating the Minds of the Indians by the Mildness of His Government, by protecting their Persons & Property & securing to them all the Possessions, Rights and Priviledges they have hitherto enjoyed, & are entitled to, most cautiously guarding against any Invasion or Occupation of their Hunting Lands, the Possession of which is to be acquired by fair Purchase only; and it has been thought so highly expedient to give them the earliest and most convincing Proofs of His Majesty's Gracious and Friendly Intentions on this Head, that I have already received and transmitted the King's Commands to this Purpose to the Governors of Virginia, the Two Carolinas & Georgia,
and to the Agent for Indian Affairs in the Southern Department, as Your Lordships will see fully in the inclosed Copy of my Circular Letter to them on this Subject.
Having thus executed the King's Commands, with regard to such Questions as relate to North America in general, I am to signify to Your Lordships His Majesty's further Pleasure that You do take into Consideration the following Queries, which concern some parts of that Continent in particular.
The first and most important Object is the Fishery, with regard to which Your Lordships will furnish all the Lights you possibly can in order to shew,—
Whether the French had made any Incroachments with regard to the Fishery, contrary to what is stipulated, on this Head by the Treaty of Utrecht ? How those Incroachments may be most easily prevented by such timely Precautions, as may most effectually obviate all Disputes between the Subjects of both Crowns, in those Parts & preserve Peace & Tranquility there for the future.
What Inconvenience or Disadvantage may arise to His Majesty's Northern Colonies, or to the Fishery in those Parts, from the Vicinity of St Pierre & Michelon, ceded to France, under certain Restrictions by the 6th Article of the Definitive Treaty ? And by what Precautions may that Inconvenience be most effectually guarded against, either with respect to Our Fishery, or a Contraband Trade with Our Colonies.
Can Your Lordships furnish any Lights with regard to the Climate or Soil of the Inland Parts of Florida, which tho' hitherto neglected and useless, are said to be extremely fertile?
Is there any Reason to believe that the Mouth of the Catahocke River is, or might be easily made Commodious for Shipping, or, that a Harbour may be found in the Southern Parts of the Peninsula of Florida ? What particular Advantages might arise from such a Harbour, or from that of Pensacola or Mobile, or from any other, on that part of the Coast of North America lately ceded to His Majesty, which bounds the Gulph of Mexico to the North.
The general Queries with regard to North America, having taken in all the Points of Information wanted, relative to the Louisiana & the Illinois, I shall only add, that His Majesty desires to have Your Lordships Opinion whether any immediate Advantages may be derived from the free Navigation of the Mississippi, and how they are to be improved & extended?
Having thus gone thro' the several Points relative to N. America, upon which His Majesty desires to have the Opinion of Your Lordships, the obvious Application of most of the same Queries to the other Cessions made to His Majesty by the Peace, makes it unnecessary to repeat them, it will be sufficient therefore to desire that Your Lordships will report for His Majesty's Information, Your Opinion, with regard to the most effectual Means of improving and securing the Commercial Advantages, which may be derived from the Conquered Islands and from Senegal. With regard to the latter I am to inform Your Lordships, that His Majesty has thought proper to accept the Proposal of the African Committee made in the Petition of which I send You Copy inclosed, and Orders are already given to the Governor of Senegal to have a
Detachment under a proper Officer to keep Possession of that Place till the African Committee shall be prepared to take Possession thereof. Your Lordships will report Your Opinion of this Arrangement, and suggest whatever may occur to You for the Advantage of this Part of the African Trade.
In Order to supply Your Lordships with all the Materials in my Office, which can in any Shape assist You, in making Your Report as ample, and as satisfactory as possible, I inclose herewith Copies of Accounts transmitted by the King's Command from Colonels Scot & Worge, as also the Capitulation of Martinico, Grenade having surrendered under the same Terms, which had been granted to that Island.
As it must require some time to examine & deliberate upon the several Points which are referred to Your Lordships in this Letter, it is the King's Pleasure, that without waiting to make a full Answer to the whole You do, as soon as possible, report your Opinion upon such Points as shall appear to you most pressing that proper Directions may be given, without Loss of Time, with regard to the Arrangements immediately necessary for the New Acquisitions.
I am &c.
Enclosures in letter of 5 May 1763—
Capitulation of Quebec. in B. Genl Townshend's Sept. 20. 1759
Capitulation of Montreal. in Gen1 Amherst's of Sepr 8. 1760
by Sr Jeff.
Govr Murray's Report. Quebec June 5. 1762
Govr Burton's Report. Trois Rivieres Apr. 1762
Genr Gage's Report. Montreal. March 20. 1762
Capitulation of Martinico. in Gen1 Monckton's of Feb. 9. & 27.
Govr Scott's Letter. Grenada. July 7. 1762
Govr Scott's Report. Grenada. Jany 19. 1763
Govr Worge's Report. Senegal Jany 11, 1762
Mem1 of Committee of Merchants trading to Africa, & Estimate
Circular, March 16., to Govrs, of Virginia, Two Carolinas, &
Georgia, & Agent for Sº District of Indians.
endorsed: List of Papers sent to Board of Trade—May 5: 1763.
[¹ Charles, Earl of Egremont succeeded Wm. Pitt as Secretary of State for the Southern Department, Oct. 9th, 17 61. At this time there were two Principal Secretaries of State, one for the “Northern” and the other for the “Southern” Department, these distinctions referring to the division between them of British foreign affairs in Europe. The American Colonies came under the attention of the senior secretary, being usually the secretary for the Southern Department. In Jan. 1768, a third Secretary of State was appointed to take charge of Colonial affairs; but, with the virtual loss of the American Colonies, this office was abolished in 1782. Thereafter a new division was made into the Home and Foreign Departments. The colonies came under the care of the former department until 1801, when they were transferred to that of the Secretary for War, a new department establised in 1794. From 1801 to 1854 this department was known as that of the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.]