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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.? 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 wrong. headed," 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
| Franklin to his son, July 14, 1773, Work3, V., 196.
? 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." 1
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." 2
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 side.” He argued that their numbers prevented the colonies from becoming dangerous to Great Britain. Their mutual jealousies prevented union" without the most grievous tyranny and oppression." Perhaps Franklin's argument had some weight in deciding the British government to retain Canada and the west instead of Guadaloupe.
1 Franklin's Works, V., 32. ' Ibid., p. 33.
Soon after the peace,' the King's proclamation was issued. His majesty ordered the organization of the governments of East and West Florida, Quebec and Granada; but the rest of the land just acquired from France was reserved "for the present," "for the use of the... Indians," "as also all the land and territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and northwest." The king further declared ; - "We do hereby strictly forbid on pain of our displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any purchases or settlements what. ever, or taking possession of any of the lands above reserved without our special leave and license for that purpose first obtained."?
Now what was the real object of this proclamation? The Annual Register, after remarking on the fact that the largest and best part of the conquered country had not been placed under any government, said: "Many reasons may be assigned for this apparent omission. A consideration of the Indians was, we presume, the principal, because it might have given a sensible alarm to that people, if they had seen us formally cantoning out their whole country into regular establishments. It was in this idea that the the royal proclamation of the 7th of October, 1763, strictly
I Canada Pamphlet, Works III., 111. Sparks says (Franklin's Works, IV., 1) that this “pamphlet was believed to have had great weight in the ministerial councils, and to have been mainly instrumental in causing Canada to be held at the peace." If this is true, Franklin's argument may have suggested the king's proclamation as the first step in a far-seeing plan which, admitting the inevitable settlement of the west, proposed to limit at once the colonies "on the maritime coast," contemplating the existence of “as many more behind them on the inland side”- the whole object being to reduce America to the then condition of the German empire, i. e., many and weak governments, rather than few and strong ones. This is, however, merely conjecture.
any extension of our old colonies beyond the heads of the rivers. "! Washington wrote in 1767, "I can never look upon that proclamation in any other light (but this I say between ourselves) than a temporary expedient to quiet the minds of the Indians. It must fall, of course, in a few years, especially when those Indians consent to our occupying the lands."? But probably the very best authority for the purpose of the proclamation was George Grenville, prime minister of Great Britain when it was issued. He always admitted that the
" design of it was totally accomplished, so soon as the country was purchased from the natives."3 This evidence would indicate that the proclamation was merely "a temporary expedient" and that it was not contemplated to place a permanent check on western settlement. This view is supported, too, by the words of the proclamation itself, which says that the west is reserved "for the present
for the use of the Indians; " orders all settlers to remove from all "lands, which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by, us, are still reserved to the Indians;" forbids private persons to purchase lands of the Indians, but when the latter “should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same shall be purchased only for us;" and that none of "our lov. ing subjects" may take possession of any of the land in question "without our special leave and license for that purpose first obtained.". Why not accept as the object of the
1 restrictions the reason given in the proclamation; viz., that the Indians should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by, us, are reserved to them.
I Annual Register, 1773, p. 20. ? Washington-Crawford Letters (Butterfield), p. 3. : Franklin's Works, V., 37. * Franklin's Works, V., 80. The italics are mine. Ibid., p. 79. Professor Coffin says there seems to be no reason for doubting that