The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume III

Page 913
sponsored by
Violet Moores,
Mount Pearl,

[14 July, 1763.]

p. 913

to Cape Florida (as that Cape commands the whole Navigation from the Bay of Mexico) the Residence of the other at Pensicola, with particular Instructions regarding the Missisippi the free Navigation of which ought, we apprehend, to be most accurately understood, not only in respect of that River being the future Boundary betwixt Your Majesty's Dominions, and those of the French, but as this River by its Communication with the Ohio, the Illinoris &ca is of the utmost Importance to all Connection with the Indian Nations and the only Outlet to the great internal Trade, which may be carried on amongst them.
    If it shall be thought proper to divide Florida into two distinct Governments, they may be distinguished by the names of East and West Florida and may be bounded as follows,
    East Florida to be bounded by the Coast of the Atlantick Sea from Cape Florida to the North Entrance of St John's River, on the East; by a Line drawn due West from the North Entrance of St John's River to the Catahowche or Flint Rivers, on the North; and on the West and South West by that part of the Coast of the Gulph of Mexico, which extends from Cape Florida to the Mouth of the Catahowche River, and from thence following the Course of the said Rivers to where the North Line falls in.
    West Florida to comprehend all the Sea Coast of the Gulph of Mexico, extending West from the Catahowche River or Flint River towards the Missisippi, as far as Your Majesty's Territories extend, and stretching up into the Land as far as the 31st Degree of North Latitude, which, We humbly apprehend, is as far North as the Settlements can be carried, without interfering with Lands claimed or occupied by the Indians.
    By this Plan of Division, which is formed with a view to make the two Colonies as distinct as possible, by establishing a natural Line of Separation between them, and by giving to each a due proportion of the natural Advantages and Conveniences of Commerce and Navigation, a large Tract of Land lying between the North Boundary Line of East Florida and the River Alatamaha, the present South Boundary of Georgia, which has hitherto been unoccupied as to any permanent Settlement, either by Your Majesty's Subjects or those of Spain, remains to be put under some proper Establishment: and we think it cannot in any respect be better disposed of, than by putting it under the Jurisdiction and within the Government of Georgia, By this means the principle Obstacles, which have hitherto impeded the Progress of that advantageous and well regulated Colony, will be removed, and its Settlements extended to the great Benefit and Advantage of the Mother Country.
    With respect to the Form of each of these Governments, We are of Opinion, that in regard to their being Infant Settlements the most suitable will be that of a Governor and Council, by Your Majesty's Commission, with Instructions adapted to the most quick and speedy Settlement of these Countries. But a considerable military Force must be likewise kept up in these Governments, as well in respect to the neighbourhood of the French and Indians, as to the Security of the Settlers, till their numbers enable them to have Security by their own internal Force.
    The chief Object of the new acquired Islands in the West Indies, being

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that of extending West Indian Products of all kinds, as quickly as possible, to the Benefit of the Trade of Your Majesty's Kingdoms; And such Extension being impossible to be obtain'd but by the means of a very large Capital immediately to be laid out by Settlers in the Purchase of Negroes and Erection of Buildings, it is obvious that Security in this is more peculiarly to be attended to, and that as all those Islands, the Grenadaes excepted, which are inhabited by French, are almost entirely uncleared and uncultivated, It is equally obvious, that this Security cannot be obtained for some time at least but by the means of regular Troops—and We are clearly of opinion that this is so necessary, that We do not believe any Persons of sufficient Stock will be found willing to hazard the Capital necessary for a Sugar Plantation in any of these Islands without it.—The next Circumstance necessary to the Establishment of general Security is that of the regular Administration of Justice under a civil Government, the only Form of which that can be adapted to the present Situation of these Islands is, We apprehend, by a Governor and Council, under Your Majesty's immediate Appointment. But all particulars relative to it will best come under Your Majesty's Consideration, when We receive Your Orders to prepare the Commission and Instructions for the Governor.
    We are of Opinion that the erecting all these Islands into one general Government, with a subordinate Lieutenant Governor in each, as is now practised in the Leeward Islands, will be better adapted, as well to the purposes of Civil Government as to the Application of military Power to the Protection of the whole, than either the separating of them into distinct Governments, or leaving those of St Vincent, Dominico and Tobago under the Commission of the Governor of Barbadoes.—For, by this means, the military Force will be best applied to the general Security, especially if their relative Situation be such as we are inform'd it is, that there is an easy Communication from ye one to the other, even of those which appear to be most remote.—Their being subject to one Government for the present will likewise contribute best to the carrying most speedily into Execution those Instructions, which will be necessary, as well for surveying those Lands as for dividing them into Lotts proper for Sugar Plantations or other Products, and for granting such Lotts to such Persons as shall be willing to undertake the Settlement of them, either upon Sale, Lease or gratuitous Grants as Your Majesty shall think most proper to direct.—By this Disposition not only Your Majesty's Orders will go thro' the Channel of one Person, but one Person will be responsible for the due Execution of them.
    Having thus given our humble opinion in general as to the Government, which it may be necessary for Your Majesty to establish in Canada, Florida and the West Indies, We should now conclude this point, reserving all other particulars relative to it to be offer'd to Your Majesty's Consideration in the Draughts of ye Commissions and Instructions for the respective Governors, which must necessarily be prepared, if Your Majesty shall approve the general Proposition, but our Duty and the Experience of our Office, as well as the Authority of our Predecessors, oblige Us on this Occasion to make one other general Observation, which We humbly submit to Your Majesty.

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    That if all the Governors of Your Majesty's Colonies are not for the future obliged to constant Residence, as well as all subordinate Officers whatsoever, particularly in these new Governments, and appointed in such manner as to be removeable at Your Majesty's Pleasure there will be no proper Security either for the due Execution of their Offices upon the spot, or for their furnishing in a regular and punctual manner such Information to Your Majesty's Boards and Offices in this Kingdom, as is absolutely necessary for Your Majesty's Service, and for the Security and Improvement of Your old as well as new Colonies; and, We apprehend, it was upon a Conviction of this Truth, that when the Governments of Georgia and Nova Scotia were lately erected, all the new Officers then created, were appointed in this manner.
    It now only remains that, in Obedience to Your Majesty's Commands, We should give our Opinions upon the mode of Revenue least burthensome and most palatable to the Colonies, whereby they can contribute to the additional Expence, which must attend the Civil and Military Establishments adopted on the present Occasion, but on this point of the highest Importance, it is intirely out of our Power to form any Opinion, which We could presume to offer for Your Majesty's Consideration, as most of the Materials necessary to form a just and accurate Judgement upon it, are not within the reach of our Office. Such as can be procured shall be collected with all possible Dispatch, and shall at any time be laid before Your Majesty, in such manner as You shall please to direct,
    All which is most humbly submitted,

         June 8

ED: ELIOT              ORWELL

No. 203.                             JOINT

WHITEHALL, July 14th 1763.
Lords of Trade.
    MY LORDS,—Your Report, dated the 8th of last Month, having been laid before the King, and His Majesty having taken the Same into Consideration; I am, in Consequence thereof, to acquaint your Lordships, That the King approves the Erecting Three New Governments in No America, under the Denominations your Lordships propose, of Canada, East Florida, and West Florida; But, with regard to the Limits of these Governments,

¹ A. and W. I., vol. 268, p. 205.

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as described in the Report, and marked out in the Chart thereunto annexed; Altho' His Majesty entirely concurs in your Lordships Idea, of not permitting any Grant of Lands, or New Settlements to be made, for the present, beyond the Bounds proposed by your Lordships; Yet the King thinks, that great Inconveniences might arise, from so large a Tract of Land being left, without being Subject to the Civil Jurisdiction of some Governor, in Virtue of His Majesty's Commission, under the Great Seal of Great Britain; And that, (besides the Difficulties there might be, for Want of such a Civil Jurisdiction, in bringing to Justice Criminals, & Fugitives, who may take Refuge in that Country,) Their not being included within some established Government might, in Time to come, furnish Matter of Dispute, with Regard to the Property; And other Powers, who might hereafter find Means of Access to those Countries, might take Possession thereof, as derelict Lands: The King therefore is of Opinion, that, in the Commission for the Governor of Canada, all the Lakes, vizt, Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior, should be included, with all the Country, as far North, & West, as the Limits of the Hudsons Bay Company, and the Mississippi; And also that all Lands whatsoever, ceded by the late Treaty, and which are not already included within the Limits of His Majesty's ancient Colonies, or intended to form the Governments of East and West Florida, as described in your Lordships Report, be assigned to the Government of Canada, unless your Lordships should suggest any other Distribution, which might answer the purpose more effectually; On which Matter your Lordships will lose no Time in making a Report to His Majesty¹.
     Having thus informed your Lordships of the King's Intentions, with regard to the Extent of the New Governments to be erected in North America; I am now to repeat to you, That His Majesty entirely concurs in your Lordships Idea, of not permitting, for the present, any Grant of Lands, or New Settlements, beyond the Bounds proposed in your Report; And that all the Countries, beyond such Bounds, be also, for the present, left unsettled, for the Indian Tribes to hunt in; but open to a free Trade for all the Colonies And the King would have the Instructions to the Three New Governors in North America, formed so, as to contain the strongest Injunctions and Restrictions for this Purpose:—And His Majesty having been pleased to appoint The Honble James Murray to be Governor of Canada; Francis Grant Esqr to be Governor of East Florida; and George Johnstone Esqr to be Governor of West Florida; I am to signify to your Lordships, the King's Pleasure, that you do, forthwith, prepare, to be laid before His Majesty for His Approbation, Draughts of Commissions, and Instructions, for the said Three Governors, agreable to the King's Intentions communicated to you in this Letter, and to the Form of Government, proposed by your Lordships, of a Governor and Council by the King's Commission; Adapting the Instructions to the different Circumstances and Situation of the respective Countries; And your Lordships will insert an Instruction to the said Governors of Canada,

    [¹  The reasons for not following the plan suggested are given in the reply of the Lords of Trade, of Aug. 5th, which follows this letter.]

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and of East and West Florida, to cause accurate Surveys to be made, of the Countries under their Government.
    With regard to the ancient Colonies; I am to acquaint your Lordships, that the King approves the extending the Limits of Georgia in the Manner you suggest; as also the Additions, your Lordships propose to be made, to Nova Scotia; and, in Case such Addition to Georgia, and Nova Scotia, shall make it necessary to issue New Commissions to any of the present Governors in Nº America, your Lordships will prepare Draughts thereof, for the King's Approbation: And your Lordships will also prepare Draughts of such Instructions, as shall be necessary, for the several Governors of the ancient Colonies, for preventing their making any New Grants of Lands beyond certain fixed Limits to be therein laid down for that purpose; And in these Instructions, as well as in Those for the New Governors, your Lordships will insert a Clause directing most particular Regard to be had, in the granting of any Lands, to such Officers and Soldiers, more especially Those residing in America, who have served so faithfully, and bravely, during the War, and who may now be willing to undertake any New Settlements under proper Conditions.
    His Majesty thinks it highly proper, that the Agents for Indian Affairs should correspond with your Lordships, in regard to the Indian Country, and should transmit such Information on this Subject, as your Lordships shall require from them; for which purpose you will send them the necessary Orders and Instructions; But, with regard to the Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces, the King thinks, that His Correspondence should remain, as it has hitherto done, with the Secretary of State; who will not fail to communicate to your Lordships all such Informations, & Lights, as he shall, from time to time, furnish, relative to the State of the new Acquisitions in America: And as soon as your Lordships shall be able, from such Information, to make a more full and particular Report, as to the Number of Troops necessary to be maintained in the several Governments, and Posts, in America; and that the King shall have taken His Resolution thereupon; the Secretary of State will signify the same to the Commander in Chief And, in the mean Time, I shall acquaint him, with your Lordships general Idea, that a large Military Force should be kept up in the New Governments; and such Garrisons, as he shall, in his Discretion, think proper, in the Forts already erected, and proposed to be kept up, for the Security of the Indian Trade.
    Having now gone thro' the several Points, relative to North America, I come to the new acquired Islands in the West Indies; On which Subject I have only to inform your Lordships, that the King approves your Proposal of Erecting all These Islands, vizt Grenada and the Grenadines; St Vincent; Dominico; and Tobago; into one general Government; with a subordinate Lieutenant Governor in Each, as is now practiced in the Leeward Islands, under the same Form of Civil Government by a Governor and Council:—And His Majesty having been pleased to appoint Robert Melvill Esq. to be Governor of the said Islands; Your Lordships will prepare, to be laid before



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