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of the Pennsylvania Indian traders, such as the firm of Baynton, Wharton and Morgan.
Again, it may seem strange, that when all these schemes for new colonies were being brought forward, there was no protest from Virginia, that her jurisdiction was being threatened. Every scheme proposed, involved an invasion of territory, which, after the Revolution, she so strenuously insisted on as within her charter limits. In November, 1770, the Earl of Dunmore wrote to Lord Hillsborough that he had made it his "business to inquire and find out the opinion of the people" on the question of "establishing a colony on the Ohio." His letter would indicate that he found only disapproval; but among all the objections advanced, not one had reference to the invasion of the jurisdiction of any old colony. We might surely have expected that Lord Hillsborough's letter to the Virginia governor, inviting objections to the establishment of Vandalia, back of Virginia, would have called out an objection on the score of invaded jurisdiction. But instead, the official reply states that "with respect to the establishment of a new colony on the back of Virginia, when that part of the country shall become sufficiently populated it may be a wise and prudent measure," "2 the only care being that land titles under prior grants should be respected by the new colony. Also in the opposition arguments before the council at Whitehall, while the question was brought up as to the expediency of the western country, or part of it, being under Virginia's jurisdiction, the charter right of Virginia was, so far as we know, never mentioned as an objection to the establishment of Vandalia. There can be little doubt
1 Documents Relative to the Colonial History of N. Y., VIII., 253. Also Fernow's Ohio Valley in Colonial Days, p. 276. George Washington declared in November, 1773, that Virginia had a right to the lands beyond "the western boundary of the new colony" both by charter and by sale of the Six Nations, thus virtually conceding the better right of the Vandalia Company to the lands that had been as yet merely bargained for. Washington to Gov. Dunmore, Writings (Ford) II., 396. Washington evidently thought the King's Proclamation of 1763 did not interfere with Virginia's territorial extent. "Pres. Nelson to Lord Hillsborough, Oct. 18, 1770. Public Good, p. 24.
that it was generally recognized that the crown had the right to cut off vacant lands from any colony at pleasure, regardless of that colony's chartered extent. It was urged that one object (quite a secondary one however) of the King's proclamation of 1763, was to limit the colonies on the west, as "the charters of many of our old colonies give them, with few exceptions, no bounds to the westward but the South Sea."" If so, the King was merely using his recognized right. In the previous century there had been several cases in which new colonies had been carved out of the chartered territory of older ones, and there is no reason to believe that the crown did not still possess the right. In this connection, it may be well to mention that the fact of the province of Quebec, being extended to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers by the Quebec Act of 17742 was no guarantee whatever against new colonies being erected north of the Ohio, whenever the British government should choose to establish them."
But the most difficult subject upon which to draw conclusions from the foregoing attempts at colonization, is the policy of the British government in regard to new western colonies. In order to understand the situation, it is necessary to know something of the way American affairs were conducted in London. Until 1766 their direction appears to have been jointly in the hands of the Secretary of State for the Southern Department, and the President of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations,' the other members of the Board cutting little or no figure. The President of the Board of Trade doubtless attended to most of the details of colonial administration, but as the
1 Annual Register, 1763, p. 20. The Annual Register is supposed to have been written by Edmund Burke.
2 Houston's Const. Docs. of Canada, p. 91.
It is Hinsdale's opinion that one object of the Quebec Act was permanently to sever the West from the shore colonies, and put it in train for being cut up when the time should come, into independent governments that should have their affiliations with the St. Lawrence basin rather than with the Atlantic slope." Old Northwest, p. 141.
Commonly called the Board of Trade.
colonies were also within the Secretary's department, the latter often exercised a marked influence in colonial affairs. Important questions, however, were referred through the King to the Council, with whom rested practically the final decision.
In 1766 a change was introduced. The Board of Trade was made a mere Board of Report upon reference to it for advice or information on the part of the Secretary of State," and "Shelburne, who held the seals of the Southern depart ment, was directed to carry it out in conjunction with Hillsborough, the President of the Board." Another change was made January 20, 1768, when Lord Hillsborough became Secretary of State for the Colonies, the creation of this new office being found necessary on account of the growing importance of colonial affairs.2 This made Hillsborough both President of the Board of Trade, and Secretary of State for the Colonies, with the whole direction of colonial affairs, subject to the King and Council. This was the situation when Thomas Walpole and Company began action for the Vandalia scheme, and remained the situation until the summer of 1772, when Horace Walpole could write as follows: "Not a cloud in the political sky except a caprice of Lord Hillsborough, who is to quit his American Seals because he will not reconcile himself to a plan of settlement on the Ohio which all the world approves. He did resign, and was succeeded by Lord Dartmouth, who was, or at least had been regarded as, friendly to "settlement on the Ohio."
Lord Hillsborough, however, before his resignation, took such a prominent part in the question of new colonies, that his real personal influence needs to be considered. The slurring language of Horace Walpole is not the only indi
1 Fitzmaurice, Life of Shelburne, II., 2. See this work for description of the system. Dictionary of National Biography, XXVI., 428.
Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, July 23, 1772. Letters of Horace Walpole (Cunningham), V., 401.
• Franklin to his son, Sept. 12, 1766. Works, IV., 137.
cation that he was not held personally in high regard. Franklin wrote of him to his son that he, "of all the men I ever met with, is surely the most unequal in his treatment of people, the most insincere and the most wrongheaded," and Franklin was not the man unfairly to disparage another over whom he had won a signal triumph. King George III. said "I am sorry to say, I do not know a man of less judgment than Lord Hillsborough." To be sure, these opinions of the Earl's judgment, may, perhaps, not have been generally held; but, putting them with the fact that his report on the Vandalia matter was actually rejected, much to his mortification, it is fair to presume that the British government did not allow its colonial policy to be shaped by Lord Hillsborough. With this in view it would certainly be wrong to base conclusions as to British policy in regard to new colonies upon his opinion, though it is not necessary to deny that he did have a certain influence upon it. Now with this understanding of the administration of colonial affairs and the personal influence of Lord Hillsborough, let us examine what was actually done, and what important opinions were actually expressed by those in position to have a real influence upon colonial policy.
It should be pointed out first, however, what has doubtless been quite apparent, that the whole question of new colonies was bound up with the question of western land grants and western settlement. At the court of St. James, practically the whole question was one of western settlement; the idea of new colonial governments being, in the main, merely incidental to it. No evidence appears to show that until 1748 the British government was ever called upon to form a policy as to trans-montane settlements. Then the Board of Trade reported to the Privy
1 Franklin to his son, July 14, 1773, Works, V., 196.
2 George III., to John Robinson, Oct. 15, 1776. Historical MSS. Commission, Tenth Report, Appendix, Part VI., p. 15.
Council "That the settlement of the country lying to the westward of the great mountains, as it was the centre of the British dominions, would be for his Majesty's interest, and the advantage and security of Virginia and the neighboring colonies." The Council approved of this, and in the spring of 1749, not only was the grant to the Ohio Company authorized, but the instructions to the governor of Virginia expressed the hope that "such examples may likewise induce the neighboring colonies to turn their thoughts towards designs of the same nature.
Soon, an even larger grant was given to another company. Clearer proof could not be asked to show that the British government in 1748 and 1749 was plainly favorable to settlements west of the Alleghany mountains. The object was, doubtless, to secure the back country from the French, and to get the Indian trade into English channels, but the fact nevertheless remains, that it was, at that time, the British policy to encourage settlement of the west. But the actual settlement was interrupted by the French and Indian War.
Great Britain, before the peace, was in a position to choose between the island of Guadaloupe and Canada with the west. After hesitation, the latter two were taken. But while the question was under discussion, Dr. Franklin published a reply to the arguments advanced against retaining Canada and the west. After discussing and dismissing the apprehension that the American colonies were becoming useless to the mother country, he said: "I shall next consider the other supposition that their growth may render them dangerous. Of this, I own, I have not the least conception, when I consider that we have already fourteen separate governments on the maritime coast of the continent; and, if we extend our settlements, shall probably have as many more behind them on the inland
1 Franklin's Works, V., 32.
Ibid., p. 33.