Lumber, so essential to the Commerce and Cultivation of the Sugar Colonies, both which Articles are to be found in great Quantities, and with peculiar Advantage and Convenience in the Province of Canada, upon Lake Champlain, and in those Parts of Nova Scotia, the exclusive Possession of which is now confirmed to Your Majesty, and this Benefit arising from the Treaty is of the greatest Consideration, as the Supply of Masting and Stores for the Royal Navy from America had been almost entirely stop'd by bad Management and Waste committed in Your Majesty's Woods in New England and New York and the Price of Lumber had been greatly enhanced from the Necessity of procuring it at a greater Distance from the Ocean, and from convenient Ports of Shipping.
In the Province of Georgia and the Neighbouring Florida Commercial Advantages of a still more valuable Nature will probably follow the secure Extension of Settlement, which will be attained by the Cession of Florida, and the End which will be thereby put to Interruptions from the Indians. For there can be no Doubt, that Indigo, Silk, Cotton, and many of the Commodities now found in the West Indies only, may be raised in these Climates. An Object which will prove a strong Temptation to the Settlement of those Territories.
A capital Advantage highly deserving Your Majesty's Attention is the Increase of the Trade of Sugar, Coffee, Cotton and other Indian Products by the speedy Settlement and Culture of the new acquired Islands.—It is known Truth, that the Produce of our West India Islands has hitherto been but barely sufficient to answer our growing Consumption in the first of these valuable Articles, and that as these Islands were all, excepting Jamaica, intirely cultivated, additional Territory was therefore become absolutely necessary to this Branch of Trade, which may be extended to a very great Degree if those new Islands are speedily settled.
The last advantageous Consequence arising from the Cessions which We shall now lay before Your Majesty is that of securing the whole Gum Trade on the Coast of Africa from a Monopoly in the Hands of the French by means of the River Senegal as well as the Acquisition of a considerable Share of the Slave Trade formerly in their hands, with a Variety of other Articles which there is great reason to believe may be obtained by the prosecution of further Discoveries on that River.
Having thus stated the most obvious Advantages resulting from the Cession made to Your Majesty by the late definitive Treaty, We submit to Your Majesty, as Our humble Opinion, that they can only be secured and improved by an immediate Establishment of regular Governments, in all such Places, where planting and Settlement, as well as Trade and Commerce are the immediate Objects. For in order to invite new Settlers to risque their persons and Property in taking up new Lands, as well as to secure the old Inhabitants in the Enjoyment of those Rights and Priviledges reserved to them by the Treaty, such regular Government appears, both from Reason and Experience, of absolute Necessity. And it seems likewise necessary for the same reasons, as well as to secure Your Majesty's Sovereignty and the
Publick Tranquility, that a large Military force should be kept up in each Government, 'till by the increase of Inhabitants, each Colony shall be enabled to maintain their own Governments by their own internal Force. But as no such regular civil Government is either necessary or indeed can be established, where no perpetual Residence or planting is intended; It will there be sufficient to provide for the free Trade of all Your Majesty's Subjects under such Regulations, and such Administration of Justice as is best suited to that End. Such We apprehend to be the case of Newfoundland, where a temporary Fishery is the only Object, and this We suppose has been the reason, which induced Your Majesty to annex the Coast of Labrador to that Government Such is the case of Senegal and the Principle upon which we suppose Your Majesty thought proper to put that River and Country under the Administration of the African Committee. And such we apprehend will be the Case of that Territory in North America which in Your Majesty's Justice and Humanity as well as sound Policy is proposed to be left, under Your Majesty's immediate Protection, to the Indian Tribes for their hunting Grounds; where no Settlement by planting is intended, immediately at least, to be attempted; and consequently where no particular form of Civil Government can be established. In such Territory we should propose, that a free Trade with the Indian Tribes should be granted to all Your Majesty's Colonies and Subjects under such Regulations as shall be judged most proper for that End, and under the protection of such Military Force, to be kept up in the different Posts & Forts in the Indian Country as may be judged necessary, as well for the Protection of Trade and the good Treatment of the Indians as the Maintenance of Your Majesty's Sovereignty and the general defence of North America.
We shall defer at present entering into any particulars, as to the number of Troops which it may be necessary to maintain for this purpose. The Number and Situation of the Posts and Forts, and the Regulations proper to be established for a free Trade from all Your Majesty's Colonies into the Indian Country; 'till by further Information from Your Majesty's Commander in Chief of America, and from Your Majesty's Agents for Indian Affairs, We shall be enabled to make a more full and particular Report upon so interesting and important a Subject. And We apprehend that no such Delay can be attended with very material Inconvenience, since, if Your Majesty shall be pleased to adopt the general proposition of leaving a large Tract of Country round the great Lakes as an Indian Country, open to Trade, but not to Grants and Settlements, the Limits of such Territory will be sufficiently ascertained by the Bounds to be given to the Governors of Canada and Florida on the North and South, and the Mississippi on the West; and by the strict Directions to be given to Your Majesty's several Governors of Your ancient Colonies for preventing their making any new Grants of Lands beyond certain fixed Limits to be laid down in the Instructions for that purpose. And We apprehend that in the mean time the Security of this Trade will be sufficiently provided for by the Forts already erected, and such Garrisons as Your Commander in Chief may, at his Discretion, think proper to keep in them.
But that no time may be lost in finally settling this important point of the Indian Country, it will be absolutely necessary that immediate Orders be sent as well to Your Majesty's Commander in Chief of America as to Your Agents for Indian Affairs, that without delay they furnish every Information in their power on this Subject, and that they be directed to correspond directly with Your Majesty's Board of Trade for this purpose.
Canada, Florida and the new acquired Islands in the West Indies appear to Us to be the Places where Planting, perpetual Settlement and Cultivation ought to be encouraged and consequently where regular Forms of Government must immediately be established.
Canada as possessed and claimed by the French consisted of an immense Tract of Country including as well the whole Lands to the westward indefinitely which was the Subject of their Indian Trade, as all that Country from the Southern Bank of the River St Lawrence where they carried on their Encroachments.
It is needless to state with any degree of precision the Bounds and Limits of this extensive Country, for We should humbly propose to Your Majesty that the new Government of Canada should be restricted, so as to leave on the one hand, all the Lands lying about the great Lakes and beyond the Sources of the Rivers which fall into the River St Lawrence from the North, to be thrown into the Indian Country, and on the other hand, all the Lands from Cape Roziere to Lake Champlain, along the Heights where the Sources of the Rivers rise, which fall into the Bay of Fundy and Atlantic Ocean, to be annexed to Nova Scotia and New England in such a manner as upon any future directions after particular Surveys have been made shall appear most proper, If this general Idea shall be approved the future Bounds of the new Colony of Canada will be as follows,
On the South East it will be bounded by the high Lands which range across the Continent from Cape Roziere in the Gulph of St Lawrence to that point of Lake Champlain above St Johns which is in Latitude 45 Degrees North; which high Lands separate the heads of the Rivers which fall into the great River St Lawrence from the heads of those which fall into the Atlantick Ocean or Bay of Fundy. On the North West It will be bounded by a Line drawn South from the River St Johns in Labrador by the heads of those Rivers which fall into the River St Lawrence as far as the East end of Lake Nipissin upon the Ottowa River, and on the South West by a Line drawn due West to the River St Lawrence from that point on Lake Champlain which is directly opposite to where the South Line falls in and so cross the said River St Lawrence and pursuing a North West Course along the Heights where the Rivers rise, that fall into the Ottowa River, to be continued to the East end of Nipissin Lake where the North Line terminates.
In order however that Your Majesty may judge with the greater precision of the Limits of Canada as above described and also of those We shall propose for Florida, and of the Country we think right to be left as Indian Territory, We humbly beg leave to refer to the annex'd Chart in which those Limits are particularly delineated, and of which Your Majesty will have a clearer Conception than can be conveyed by descriptive Words alone.
The Advantage resulting from this restriction of the Colony of Canada will be that of preventing by proper and natural Boundaries, as well the Ancient French Inhabitants as others from removing & settling in remote Places, where they neither could be so conveniently made ameanable to the Jurisdiction of any Colony nor made subservient to the Interest of the Trade & Commerce of this Kingdom by an easy Communication with & Vicinity to the great River St Lawrence. And this Division by the heights of Land to the South of the River St Lawrence will on the one hand leave all Your Majesty's new French Subjects under such Government, as Your Majesty shall think proper to continue to them in regard to the Rights & Usages already secured or that may be granted to them. On the other hand, the reannexing to Nova Scotia all that Tract of Land from Cape Roziere along the Gulph of St Lawrence with the whole Coast of the Bay of Fundy to the River Penobscot, or to the River St Croix will be attended with this peculiar Advantage, of leaving so extensive a Line of Sea Coast to be settled by British Subjects: and all the new Settlers upon this Tract of Land will with greater facility be made amenable to the Jurisdiction of Nova Scotia than to that of Canada; and upon the same Principle, It will likewise be necessary to reannex the Islands of Cape Breton and St John's to the Government of Nova Scotia.¹
And here, We cannot help offering it as Our humble Opinion that the utmost Attention should immediately be given to the Speedy Settlement of this Tract of Country and that Instructions be prepared for Your Majesty's Governor for that purpose, with particular regard to such Officers & Soldiers who have served so faithfully & bravely during the late War and who may now be willing to undertake such new Settlements under proper Conditions.
It is obvious that the new Government of Canada, thus bounded, will, according to the Reports of Generals Gage, Murray and Burton, contain within it a very great number of French Inhabitants and Settlements, and that the Number of such Inhabitants must greatly exceed, for a very long period of time, that of Your Majesty's British and other Subjects who may attempt Settlements, even supposing the utmost Efforts of Industry on their part either in making new Settlements, by clearing of Lands, or purchasing old ones from the ancient Inhabitants, From which Circumstances, it appears to Us that the Chief Objects of any new Form of Government to be erected in that Country ought to be to secure the ancient Inhabitants in all the Titles, Rights and Privileges granted to them by Treaty, and to increase as much as possible the Number of British and other new Protestant Settlers, which Objects We apprehend will be best obtain'd by the Appointment of a Governor and Council under Your Majesty's immediate Commission & Instructions. But the particular Regulations and Provisions to be adapted to the different Circumstances and Situation of this as well as Your Majesty's other new Acquisitions, will more properly and distinctly come under Your Majesty's
[¹ It will be observed that Nova Scotia, or Acadia, still included the territory afterwards erected into the separate Province of New Brunswick. The island of St. Johns, here mentioned, is now Prince Edward Island.]
Consideration in the Draught of the Commission and Instructions to be prepared for each Governor, than in this first general Report.
It will however be necessary that a: large military Force be kept up 'till the number of British Inhabitants and new Settlers be very considerably increased, as well to secure the Obedience and Fidelity of the ancient French Inhabitants as to give full Protection & Security to the new British Settlers.
Canada was, under the French, divided into the three Governments of Quebec, Montreal and Trois Rivieres, but the Residence of the chief Governor was at Quebec, and the two other Governments had each a Lieutenant Governor only, subordinate to the Governor in Chief, and we should humbly propose that the same Method be continued under the new Governmt; not only as by this means the Administration of Justice and of Commerce will be less embarrass'd, but that a less proportion of military Force will be requisite to be maintained and be more easily applicable against all external or internal Disturbances.
Florida and that part of Louisiana to the eastward of the Missisippi, both which Tracts are ceded to Your Majesty by the late Treaty, may be compared to Canada, in respect to Extent of Territory, and the number of Indian Tribes, with which they have immediate Communication, but in other respects, they seem entirely different. The number of settled Inhabitants, either French or Spaniards, we apprehend, has never been considerable, and there is little probability, from the Facility of their Removal, that any of them will remain, after the Cessions are compleated, tho' we are of Opinion, as well from this Circumstance of their Paucity, as with a view to the immediate Settlement of the Country, that every Expedient should be used, to induce as many to remain as can be prevailed upon.—
The Produce of Canada, with its Trade, the Navigation of the River St Lawrence, with its Communication to the great Lakes of North America, are, from authentick Information, in many particulars tolerably well understood; but we are sorry it is not in our power, either from any materials in our Office, or from any other to be depended upon, to give Your Majesty that certain Information we could wish either with regard to the Coast, Harbours and Rivers of Florida, or as to the Variety of Produce which there is the greatest probability may be raised in that extended Country. We shall therefore content ourselves with suggesting at present, that whenever a Government is established in this Country, Instructions should be given for surveying with all possible Accuracy, as well the Sea Coast and places fit for Harbours as the internal Country and Rivers, particularly of that part which lies between the great Mountains and the Missisippi, of which there are not extant any Charts or Accounts on which we can depend, for which purpose it will be necessary that a proper number of able and skilfull Surveyors be appointed.
The great Tract of Sea Coast from St Augustine, round Cape Florida, along the Gulph of Mexico, to the Mouth of the Missisippi makes it, we apprehend, indispenseably necessary that this Country should be divided into two distinct Governments, and, for the present, the Chief Residence of the Governor of the one should be at St Augustine, with orders to give particular Attention