[Enclosure in No. 204.]
To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,—In Obedience to Your Majesty's Commands contained in a Letter from the Earl of Egremont, dated the 14th of July last signifying to Us Your Majesty's Most gracious Approbation of Our Idea, that that large Tract of Country bounded by the Mississippi and the Limits of the Hudson Bay Company on the one hand and on the other by the Limits of Canada, East and West Florida and His Majesty's ancient Colonies, should for the present be made subject to no grants of Lands nor to any Settlements, But acquainting us, that it was Your Majesty's Pleasure, that it should be put under some civil Jurisdiction, by a Commission under the Great Seal of Great Britain, so as to prevent any Objection, which might be formed, as to the Property of it, or its being considered as abandoned or direlict, or it's becoming a refuge for Criminals and Fugitives, and for these Reasons, that the whole of this Territory should be inserted in the Commission of the Governor of Canada, and assigned to that Government, unless we should suggest to Your Majesty some disposition which would answer these Purposes more effectually and directing us on this Matter to lose no time to report to Your Majesty.
We have taken this important Subject into our most serious Consideration and do most humbly concurr in Your Majesty's Opinion, of the propriety of putting this Country under a particular Government, by a Commission under Your Great Seal, with a most precise Description of its Boundaries, in Order to ascertain the actual possession of its property, and with such Powers as may be necessary, as well to maintain and secure the free Exercise of the Indian Trade, which it is proposed all Your Majesty's Subjects shall enjoy within it, under proper Regulations, as to prevent its becoming a Refuge to Criminals and Fugitives.—But at the same time, we beg Leave to submit to Your Majesty, the following Objections which have occurred to us, against the annexing this Country to any particular Government, especially to that of Canada—
1st We are apprehensive that, should this Country be annexed to the Government of Canada, a Colour might be taken on some future Occasion, for supposing that Your Majesty's Title to it, had taken it's Rise, singly from the Cessions made by France, in the late Treaty, whereas Your Majesty's Title to the Lakes and circumjacent Territory as well as to the Sovereignty over the Indian Tribes, particularly of the Six Nations, rests on a more solid and even a more equitable Foundation; and perhaps nothing is more necessary than that just Impressions on this Subject should be carefully preserved in the Minds of the Indians, whose Ideas might be blended and confounded,
if they should be brought to consider themselves as under the Government of Canada—
2d We are apprehensive as the whole of this Country would become subject to the Laws of a particular Government or Province, it would give that Province such superior Advantage in respect to the whole of the Indian Trade, which Your Majesty in Your Justice and Wisdom has determined to leave as open as possible, to all Your Subjects, as might controul and obstruct it to the Prejudice of Your other Colonies—
3d If this great Country should be annexed to the Government of Canada, we are apprehensive, that the Powers of such Government could not be carried properly into execution, either in respect to the Indians or British Traders, unless by means of the Garrisons at the different Posts and Forts in that Country, which must contain the greatest Part of Your Majesty's American Forces and consequently the Governor of Canada would become virtually Commander in Chief or constant and inextricable Disputes would arise, between him, and the commanding Officers of Your Majesty's Troops—
If these Objections should appear of Weight to Your Majesty, We would humbly propose, that a Commission under the Great Seal, for the Government of this Country, should be given to the Commander in Chief of Your Majesty's Troops for the time being adapted to the Protection of the Indians and the fur Trade of your Majesty's subjects; And We submit to your Majesty whether any Inconveniencies would arise, from such Commission, which would not equally arise from a like Commission to a Governor of any of Your Majesty's particular Colonies—
But as the Instructions to such Governour, if Your Majesty should approve of this Proposition, would require a great Variety of Information, both with respect to the Management of the Indian Tribes and Trade, which can only be had from Your Majesty's Commander in Chief, and Your Agents for Indian Affairs, We would further submit, whether the issuing such Commission and Instructions, may not be delayed; 'till by the receipt of such Information, which Your Majesty has been graciously pleased to direct, We are enabled to make a full and particular Report on that very important subject.—And we flatter Ourselves, that no such delay will produce any bad Consequences, either in Respect to this Country's being considered as direlect, while Your Majesty's Troops are in the actual possession of every Post and Fort formerly enjoyed by the French, or in respect of Criminals and Fugitives, taking refuge in this Country with Impunity, as this may be easily prevented by an Instruction to the present Commander in Chief, empowering and directing him to send back all such Persons to their respective Colonies—
In the mean time We humbly propose that a Proclamation be immediately issued by Your Majesty as well on Account of the late Complaints of the Indians, and the actual Disturbances in Consequence, as of Your Majesty's fixed Determination to permit no grant of Lands nor any settlements to be made within certain fixed Bounds, under pretence of Purchase
or any other Pretext whatever, leaving all that Territory within it free for the hunting Grounds of those Indian Nations Subjects of Your Majesty, and for the free trade of all your Subjects, to prohibit strictly all Infringements or Settlements to be made on such Grounds, and at the same time to declare Your Majesty's Intentions to encourage all such Persons who shall be inclined to commence new Settlements from Your old Colonies, together with all foreign Protestants, coming by themselves or with such Undertakers, in Your new Colonies of East and West Florida or your old Colony of Nova Scotia with particular regard to be shewn to those Officers and Soldiers, more especially those residing in America, who have so faithfully and bravely distinguished themselves, during the War, by allowing; Five thousand Acres lying together to every Field Officer; Three thousand Acres to every Captain, Two thousand five hundred Acres to every Subaltern or Staff Officer; One hundred Acres to every non-commission Officer, and Fifty Acres, to every private Man; in such parts as they shall chuse, on condition that they shall personally apply for and reside upon them subject to such terms of Cultivation, as your Majesty shall think proper to impose on all Persons undertaking such Settlements, which Encouragements may be also extended to reformed Commission Officers in Your Majesty's Navy in Case Your Majesty shall judge it reasonable and expedient.
All which his most humbly submitted,
Whitehall BAMBER GASCOYNE
Augt 5th 1763
No. 206. JOINT
EARL OF HALIFAX TO LORDS OF TRADE.¹
St JAMES'S Septr 19th 1763.
Lords of Trade,
MY LORDS,—Having laid before the King Your Lordships, Representation of the 5th of August last, transmitted to the late Earl of Egremont in Your Letter of the same Date, I am commanded to acquaint Your Lordships that His Majesty, upon Consideration of the Reasons therein set forth, is pleased to lay aside the Idea of including within the Government of Canada, or of any established Colony, the Lands which are to be reserved, for the present, for the Use of the Indians. And His Majesty thinks proper to direct that
¹A. and W. I., vol. 268, p. 217.
the Extent of the Commission, which Your Lordships are to prepare for the Honble James Murray, shall be exactly such as is marked out in your first Report of the 8th of June last, and in the Map thereto annexed, under the Denomination of Canada. That such Government be described in the Commission, as comprehending all such Part of Canada on the North Side of the River St Lawrence, and all such Parts of His Majesty's antient Colonies of Nova Scotia, New England, and New York, on the South Side of the said River, as lie within the Limits above mentioned, and that It be called the Province of Quebec.
His Majesty approves Your Lordships' Proposition of issuing immediately a Proclamation, to prohibit for the present, any Grant or Settlement within the Bounds of the Countries intended to be reserved for the Use of the Indians;
and to declare the Encouragement, which His Majesty, in his Royal Bounty, is graciously pleased to give to reduced Officers, and Soldiers, who served in North America, during the late War, and are desirous of settling in the Colonies. But His Majesty is of opinion, that several other Objects, of much Importance to his Service, might, with great Propriety, be provided for at the same time: And that the speedy Settlement of the new Colonies might be promoted; the Friendship of the Indians more speedily and effectually reconciliated, and Provision be made for preventing Inconveniences, which might otherwise arise from the Want of Civil Jurisdiction in the interior, and reserved Countries, by extending such Proclamation to the following Purposes, vizt.
To make known the Establishment and Limits of the four new Colonies, and the Additions made to the Governments of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Georgia.
To declare the Constitution of the new Governments, as established for the present, & intended in future, and the general Powers which the Governors will have of granting Lands within Them.
To prohibit private Purchases of Lands from Indians.
To declare a free Trade for all His Majesty's Subjects with all the Indians, under Licence, Security, and proper Regulations.—And
To impower all Military Officers and Agents for Indian Affairs, within the reserved Lands, to seize such Criminals, and Fugitives, as may take Refuge in that Country, and to send them to be tried in any of the old Colonies (if That can legally be done) or else to that Government, from which They respectively fled.
It is therefore His Majesty's Pleasure that Your Lordships do immediately prepare, and transmit to me the Draught of such a Proclamation as may extend to the several Points above-mentioned.—But with respect to One of Them, namely the Encouragements to be offered to reduce Officers, and Soldiers, I am to acquaint Your Lordships, that His Majesty's Intentions are, To grant to such reduced Officers only, as have served in North America during the late War, and to such private Soldiers only, as have been, or shall be, disbanded in America, and are actually residing there, the following Quantities of Land, in any of the Colonies on the Continent, upon the usual Reservation of Quit—
Rents, after the Expiration of ten Years, and upon sure Terms of immediate Settlement, & Cultivation; vizt
To every Person having the Rank of a Field Officer....5,000 Acres
To every Captain ..................................................... 3,000
To every Subaltern or Staff Officer............................ 2,000
To every non-commissioned Officer.......................... 200
To every private Man ............................................... 50
His Majesty is also graciously pleased to offer the like Quantities of Land, upon the same Terms, to such reduced Officers of his Navy, of like Rank, as served on board his Ships of War in North America, at the time of the Reduction of Louisbourg, and Quebec in the late War.
I am farther to acquaint Your Lordships, that, as it is of the greatest Importance, that the General Plan, upon which His Majesty's Subjects are to carry on a free Trade with all the Indians of North America, should be established as soon as possible, His Majesty expects that Your Lordships will avail Yourselves of every Information in Your Power, and lay before Him, with all possible Dispatch, a System of Regulations for that purpose.
As to the Commission proposed in Your Lordships', Report of the 5th of August to be given to the Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces, for the government of the interior Country, if upon Experience, & future Information, it shall still appear to Your Lordships to be expedient, & practicable, You will be pleased to prepare, and lay it before His Majesty.
I am &c.,
No. 207. C
LORDS OF TRADE TO EARL OF HALIFAX.²
WHITEHALL October 4th 1763.
MY LORD,—In obedience to His Majesty's Commands, signified to us by Your Lordship's Letter of the 19th of last Month, we have prepared, and herewith transmit to your Lordship, the Draught of a Proclamation, conformable to the Directions contained in your Lordship's Letter; And having laid the said Draught before His Majesty's Attorney General, He has reported
[¹ George Dunk, Earl of Halifax, succeeded Hon. George Grenville as Secretary of State (Northern Department) Oct. 14th, 1762. On Aug. 21st, 1763, the Earl of Egremont died suddenly from apoplexy and the Earl of Halifax temporarily took over the duties of the department, being formally transferred to the Southern Department about Sept. 9th. He was succeeded in the Northern Department by the Earl of Sandwich.]
² A. & W. I., vol. 268, p. 227.