PROCLAMATION OF 22nd DECEMBER, 1766, BY LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC.
Vide Part XVII, page 2759.
REPRESENTATION OF THE LORDS OF TRADE TO THE KING, 10th JUNE, 1768.
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE, C.O. 5/1368, p. 345.
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty
May it please Your Majesty.
In obedience to Your Majesty's Commands, signified to us by the Earl of Hillsborough one of Your Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, in his Letter dated May 17th we have taken into Our Consideration an Address to Your Majesty from the House of Burgesses of Virginia, humbly representing, “ That various persons who in consequence of His late Majesty's Instructions for that purpose, had obtained Grants of Lands to the Westward of the Great Mountains, and settled themselves thereon, having in the course of the late War been driven from their Estates by the Invasion of Your Majesty's Enemies, and being upon the re-establishment of Peace desirous to return to their former Habitations, were prevented from fulfilling such their desires by the Governor's proclamation issued in consequence of Your Majesty's Instructions forbidding Settlements to be made within those “Limits.”—“ Stating withal the Advantages which they conceive will result to Your Majesty's Service and the interest of your American Dominions in general by continuing the Encouragements for settling these former Lands, & praying such Relief and Direction thereupon as Your Majesty in your great Wisdom shall think most beneficial for Your Majesty's Interest and the Happiness of your People there” ;
Whereupon we beg leave humbly to Represent to Your Majesty,
That in the year 1754, Your Majesty's Royal Grandfather at the instance of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, and for the reasons by them set forth in an humble Address preferred to the Crown for that purpose was graciously
pleased to instruct His then Governor the Earl of Albemarle to make & pass Grants of Lands lying to the Westward of the great Ridge of Mountains, which separates the Rivers Roanoak, James and Potowmack from the Mississippi to such persons as should be desirous of settling there; the same to be granted in small and entire Quantities, not amounting to more than one thousand Acres for any one person. And as a farther Encouragement to Adventurers to take up Lands within the said Tract, from the Settlement of which it was represented that great additional security would be derived to this and the neighbouring Colonies against the Encroachments of the French, His Majesty was further graciously pleased, (in conformity to the prayer of the said Address) to direct that these Grants should be made free from the payment of any fine or quit-rent for the term of ten years from the date thereof.
The people who in consequence of these Grants, had settled themselves in this country, having been driven from their possessions, in the course of the late War your Majesty upon the reestablishment of Peace in order to quiet and allay the apprehensions of the various Tribes of Savages whom the great accession to your Majesty's Dominions in America by the total Expulsion of the French from Canada had thrown into alarm was pleased by your Royal Proclamation of October 1763, to give solemn and public Assurance of your gracious attention to, and protection of the said Indians, reserving thereby, till such time as your Majesty's further pleasure should be known all the countries therein excepted and described to their entire use and occupation, warning all persons not to settle themselves on the same, and if already settled enjoining them forthwith to evacuate on such their encroachments.
Under this Interdiction the country in question now falls as lying beyond the Sources of the Great Rivers which empty themselves into the Atlantic; and from the disorderly and irregular Conduct of several of your Majesty's Subjects who from Pennsylvania and the back Settlements of Virginia migrated to the Westward of the Alleghany Mountains seating themselves on Lands contiguous to the Waters of the Ohio, in express disobedience to your Majesty's above proclamation it has so proved that this Country has furnished one principal cause of Discontent and Complaint to the Indians inhabiting those parts, and so highly offensive to them were those Encroachments on their Lands, that in the year 1765, Your Majesty found it expedient by an additional Instruction to your Governor for that purpose to direct and require him to enforce a more strict obedience to the said Proclamation, and to cause all those irregular Settlements which in defiance thereof had been established in this Country immediately to be evacuated. Since the publication of the provisional Arrangements, contained in your Majesty's said Proclamation respecting the territory set apart for the use of the Indians, the Expediency of establishing a Boundary Line by Solemn Compact with the several Tribes has been stated by our Predecessors in Office in the Plan for the Management of Indian Affairs prepared by them in the year 1764 ; which Plan having been communicated to the Superin-
tendants for Indian Affairs, they have made it a subject of Discussion and Negotiation with the Indians in their respective Districts, and the proposition appears to have been so favourably received by the Indians in the Northern District, that the particular Course and Extent of the said Boundary has been very precisely pointed out by them and acquiesced in by Sr William Johnson in a Congress held with these Tribes in 1765. However till this Affair is finally adjusted and a Boundary Line established, either according to the Course recommended in Our humble Representation to your Majesty of the 7th of March last, or upon some other Plan adjusted by your Majesty's Superintendants instructed for that purpose and ratified and confirmed by solemn Compact with the Indians, the same Policy which established the Regulations laid down in your Majesty's Proclamation of 1763, must be considered as still in force; and we cannot, consistently with the same advise your Majesty to give any Countenance & Encouragement to proposals for extending Settlements and Plantations beyond the Great Mountains into the Country, which by the said Proclamation is for a time given up to the Use of the Indians; nor do we apprehend it will be safe until such negotiation is concluded for those persons who claim under Grants, prior to the said Proclamation to repossess themselves of the same.
Upon this State of the Case we would humbly recommend to your Majesty, in consequence of the Application above recited to direct your Lieutenant Governor, or other Commander in Chief for the time being in Virginia, to inform the House of Burgesses, in answer to their Address, that immediately upon notification to him from your Majesty's Superintendants for Indian Affairs of the final Adjustment of the said Boundary Line, according to their Instructions for that purpose, no further Interruption will be given to persons who are disposed to settle themselves in this Country on Lands granted to them prior to the said Proclamation of 1763, provided the same shall be found to come within the Limits appropriated to Settlement, on the contrary all possible protection and encouragement will be given both to them and others who, from a Spirit of Industry and Improvement are willing to engage in the location of this rich and fertile Tract, and thereby to extend and cultivate the Frontiers of Your Majesty's Dominions in America.
All which is most humbly submitted.
Whitehall June 10th, 1768.