EXTRACT FROM INSTRUCTION TO GOVERNOR OF WEST FLORIDA, 3rd NOVEMBER, 1763.*
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE, C.O. 5/599.
Instructions to Our Trusty and Welbeloved George Johnston Esqr Our Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over Our Province of West Florida in America, and of all other Our Territories dependent thereupon. Given at our Court.
58. And Whereas our Province of West Florida is in part inhabited and possessed by several Nations and Tribes of Indians, with whom it is both Necessary and Expedient to cultivate and maintain a Strict Friendship and good Correspondence, so that they may be induced by degrees not only to be good Neighbours to our Subjects, but likewise themselves to become good Subjects to us, you are therefore, as soon as you conveniently can, after your Arrival to appoint a proper person or persons to assemble and treat with the said Indians, Promising and assuring them of Protection and Friend-ship on our part, and delivering them such presents as you shall carry out with you, or shall be sent to you for that Purpose.
59. And you are to inform yourself with the greatest Exactness of the Number, Nature and Disposition of the several Bodys or Tribes of Indians, of the manner of their Lives, and the Rules and Constitutions by which they are governed or regulated; and you are upon no Account to molest or disturb them in the possession of such Parts of the said Province as they at present occupy or possess; but to use the best means you can for conciliating their affections, and uniting them to our Government, reporting to us, by our Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, whatever information you can collect with respect to these people, and the whole of your proceedings with them.
60. Whereas We have, by Our Proclamation dated the 7th day of October in the third Year of Our Reign, strictly forbid, on pain of Our Displeasure, all Our Subjects from making any Purchases or Settlements
* Similar Instructions are contained in the Instructions which were given to the Governor of West Florida on the 15th February, 1770. (Vide, Public Records Office, C.O. 5-600.)
whatever, or taking possession of any of the Lands reserved to the several Nations of Indians, with whom We are connected, and who live under Our Protection, without Our especial Leave for that purpose first obtained; It is Our express Will and Pleasure, that you take the most effectual Care, that Our Royal Directions herein be punctually complied with, and that the Trade with such of the said Indians as depend upon your Government be carried on in the manner and under the Regulations prescribed in Our said Proclamation.
61. You are to use your best Endeavours in improving the Trade of those Parts by settling such Orders and Regulations therein, with the Advice of our said Council, as may be most acceptable to the Generality of the Inhabitants. And it is Our express Will and Pleasure, that you do not, upon any pretence whatever, upon pain of Our highest Displeasure, give your Assent to any Law or Laws for setting up any Manufactures, and carrying on any Trades, which are hurtfull and prejudicial to this Kingdom; and that you do use your utmost endeavours to discourage, discountenance and restrain any attempts, which may be made to sett up such Manufactures, or establish any such Trades.