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or Indians.' It was advised that the new settlers be furnished "a stock of cattle, furniture, utensils" et cetera; that they be given lands on easy tenure; that they be given also "a set of well-contrived good rules with respect to their constitution, polity, economy and order, wise prudent Governors, and a sufficient number of able approven Clergymen and teachers."? It was thought that a new colony might easily be peopled with disbanded soldiers and sail. ors, poverty stricken farmers of England and Ireland, and unfortunate debtors then "pining in jails throughout Britain and Ireland " who could be liberated by the royal mercy on condition of removal to the Mississippi valley. Masons, carpenters, joiners, and bricklayers would be necessary, and miners might be of good service also on account of the mines of silver, lead, and iron which were " said to be in great numbers and very rich " north of the Illinois.'
These are the main ideas of the scheme proposed in the Edinburgh pamphlet. It was urged that the new colony be erected at once so as to check Indian insurrections then in progress, but the scheme seems never to have been considered by the British Government."
About the same time Colonel Charles Lee proposed two new colonies. He suggested that one be located on the Illinois, and the other on the Ohio below the Wabash."
The King's proclamation of 1763, declaring the western lands reserved "for the present" for the use of the Indians probably checked these and other movements toward western settlement. At all events we do not find a record of many attempts to found new colonies after that date. The
* Lord Hillsborough, President of the Board of Trade, declared that the Illinois scheme of 1766-67 was the first one involving a new western colony that the government considered. See his report in Franklin's Works, V., 5 et seq.
7 Draper, MS. Life of Boone, III., 266.
proclamation does not seem to be absolutely prohibitive however, as settlement is forbidden "without our special leave and license for that purpose first obtained.” 1
1 For the Proclamation see Houston's Const. Docs. of Canada, p. 67, or Franklin's Works, V., 75.
THE ILLINOIS AND VANDALIA PROJECTS.
Before three years had passed by, after the King's proclamation, another scheme for new colonies appeared and was presented for his Majesty's" special leave and license.” The plan was drawn up by Governor William Franklin of New Jersey, with the approval of Sir William Johnson, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs. If the scheme did not at first contemplate three new governments, it soon assumed that form. The seat of one was to be at Detroit, another in "the Illinois country" and a third on the lower part of the River Ohio.3 There were to have been 100 original or chief proprietors in each colony, and each of these proprietors was to have been allowed to take up 20,000 acres of land (without paying any fine or consideration to the King for them), and to sell to undertenants; and the proprietors were also to have possessed their lands fifteen years, without paying any quit-rent or taxes;
at the expiration of the 15 years, they were to have paid a quit-rent to the King of two shillings per
1 In May, 1755, General Lyman with 850 associates called the "Susquehannah Company" petitioned the General Assembly of Connecticut for western lands proposing to settle under Connecticut jurisdiction (Conn. Col. Rec. X. 378.) After the French and Indian War, General Lyman appears in London trying to get a crown grant (Franklin's Works, IV., 137 et seq.). It is quite possible that his scheme at that time involved a new colonial government, but I have no evidence to prove it. For an account of General Lyman and his schemes see Am. Hist. Assoc. Report, 1893, p. 333.
? Franklin to his son, Works IV., 141; and William Franklin to his father, Works (Sparks) VII., 355.
3 Franklin's Works V., 45. In Considerations on the Agreement, with the Hon. Thos. Walpole (p. 21) notice the following: "... during the administration of the earl of Shelburne, several applications were made to his lordship, for grants of lands upon the River Ohio, at the Illinois, and at Detroit; and ... his lordship, at that time proposed, the establishment of three new colonies at these places.” The italics are not mine. The old pamphlet which is here and elsewhere quoted is an interesting and well written document that appeared in London in 1774. It is believed by Ford to have been written by Dr. Franklin. See his Bibliography of Franklin.
hundred acres;- and this quit-rent was to have been altogether applied to the payment of the contingencies of the government." These propositions were approved by Lord Shelburne. Further particulars in regard to details of these schemes do not appear.
The one to be erected in the Illinois country received the most attention and seemed most likely of approval by the government. The assistance of Dr. Franklin, then in London, as agent for Pennsylvania, was enlisted. In letters to his son he reported progress with the ministry. That progress cannot be better shown than by a few selections from those letters. The first one, referring to it was written May 10, 1766. He said, “I like the project of a colony in the Illinois country and will forward it to my utmost here." September 27, 1766— "I have mentioned the Illinois affair to Lord Shelburne. His Lordship had read your plan for establishing a colony there, recommended by Sir William Johnson, and said it appeared to him a reasonable scheme." October 11, 1766 — "I was again with Lord Shelburne a few days since, and said a good deal to him on the affair of the Illinois settlement. He was pleased to say he really approved of it; but intimated that every new proposed expense for America would meet with great difficulty, the treasury being alarmed and astonished at the growing charges there, and the heavy accounts and drafts continually brought in from thence." November 8, 1766 – "Mr. Jackson' is now come to town. The ministry have asked his opinion and advice on your plan of a colony in the Illinois, and he has just sent me to peruse his answer in writing, in which he warmly recommends it, and enforces it by strong reasons; which gives me great pleasure, as it corroborates what I have been saying on the same topic, and
1 Considerations on the Agreement with the Hon. Thos. Walpole, p. 22. 2 Ibid.
• Lord Shelburne was at this time, and until 1768, Secretary of State for the southern department.
* Richard Jackson was regularly appointed counsel to the Board of Trade in April, 1770. Chalmers, Opinions of Eminent Lawyers, p. 37.
from him appears less to be suspected of some American bias." June 13, 1767 — "The Illinois affair goes forward but slowly. Lord Shelburne told me again last week that he highly approved of it, but others were not of his sentiments, particularly the Board of Trade." August 28, 1767—“ The secretaries appeared finally to be fully convinced, and there remained no obstacle but the Board of Trade, which was to be brought over privately before the matter should be referred to them officially. In case of laying aside the superintendents, a provision was thought of for Sir William Johnson. He will be made governor of the new colony." October 9, 1767— "I returned last night from Paris and just now hear that the Ilinois settlement is approved of in the Cabinet Council, so far as to be referred to the Board of Trade for their opinion."
November 13, 1767-— "Since my return the affair of the Illinois settlement has been renewed. The King in Council referred the proposal to the Board of Trade, who called for the opinion of the merchants on two points, namely, whether the settlement of colonies in the Illinois country and at Detroit might not contribute to promote and extend the commerce of Great Britain; and whether the regulation of Indian trade might not best be left to the several colonies that carry on such trade; both which questions they considered at a meeting where Mr. Jackson and I were present, and answered in the affirmative unanimously, delivering their report accordingly to the Board."
November 25, 1767, at dinner with Lord Shelburne. "Among other things.
we talked of the new settlements. His Lordship told me he had himself drawn up a paper of reasons for those settlements which he had laid be.
1 In this same letter Franklin reports having a long conversation with Lord Shelburne and Mr. Conway, and urging the advantages of a settlement in the Illinois country in "securing the country, retaining the trade, raising a strength there which, on occasions of a future war, might easily be poured down the Mississippi upon the lower country, and into the Bay of Mexico, to be used against Cuba, the French Islands, or Mexico