« AnteriorContinuar »
The above will sufficiently show what Hazard's plan was. Having drawn up his "Scheme" and being assured
. of colonists to undertake the settlement, of course his next step was to endeavor to secure the grant. The design seems to have been at one time to petition the General Assembly of Connecticut "to make Application to His Majesty for a Charter" in behalf of the would-be colonists,' but it was finally decided to ask Connecticut for nothing more than a relinquishment of her claims upon the desired lands. In May, 1755, a petition to that effect was presented to the General Assembly, and was granted on condition that "the Petitioner obtain his Majesty's Royal Grant and order for settling the said Colony."? Hazard's son relates that his father, after getting this relinquishment from Connecticut, "procured the subscription of between four and five thousand persons, able to bear arms, some of whom were worth thousands, – that he personally explored that part of the country proposed for the situation of the new colony; that he had corresponded with some of the nobility, and with other persons of note and influence in England, who appear to have favoured and encouraged the design; and that having, as he apprehended, brought the scheme to a proper degree of maturity, he proposed embarking for England in the fall of the year, 1758, in order to procure its final accomplishment.": A petition to the king said there was no doubt
. that the "Royal wisdom and penetration has discovered the necessity and importance of settling strong and numerous
1 See the petition in Christopher Gist's Journal, p. 266, "To the Honourable the Governor, Council and Representatives of the Colony of Connecticut,” to which " affixed more than two thousand names."
Colonial Records of Conn., X., 382, and 4 Am. Archives, I., 865. : Memorial of Ebenezer Hazard of New York, 1774, in 4 Am. Archives, I., 865. The son goes on to say that his father's death left the associates "without a guide sufficient to conduct so important an enterprise," but that he himself proposes to take up the Scheme and make" a settlement under the claim and jurisdiction of the colony of Con. necticut," so as “not to be obliged to carry the matter to England." He offers to Con. necticut £10,000 for the land which he proposes to bound on the west by the Mississippi, and on the east by the western boundary of Pennsylvania. The Connecticut General Assembly, however, rejected his offer, and we hear nothing more of the Hazard Scheme.
Colonies in the neighborhood of the Ohio and Mississippi," and prayed for "such countenance and assistance . . . as will be necessary for the encouragement of a people on whose fidelity your Majesty may with the utmost confidence rely, and who, at the same time, esteem themselves bound by the most sacred and indissoluble ties, to hand down the blessings of civil and religious liberty inviolate to their posterity.' This was quite probably intended as a plea for a charter granting a liberal government. Such was what he desired, for we find him writing to Thomas Pownall as follows: "Even the wildest anarchy could hardly be worse than government managed as it frequently has been in the colonies southward of New England. If any schemes be gone into for settling a new colony, I hope things will be put on such a footing as will prevent those jars and contentions between the different branches of the legislature which have almost ruined some of the colonies." ?
But enough has been said to show the main points of Hazard's scheme. Whether, if he had lived, he would have succeeded in securing a grant of even a portion of the territory asked for, we are of course unable to say. He himself and his supporters doubtless had faith in the success of the undertaking or they would not have proceeded so far in it as they did. With his death in the summer of 1758 we hear nothing further of his attempt to plant a new colonial government beyond the mountains. In that same year, however, another proposition was made for a new colony.
A few days after the capture of Fort Du Quesne a writer from that place "suggested that the King should grant a charter for a western colony 'with a full liberty of conscience and a separate governor; and another writer
14 Am. Archives, I., 863.
' Hazard to Pownall, Jan. 14, 1756, Almon's Remembrancer, III, 134. He tells Pownall that "you will undoubtedly have an opportunity of communicating what has been done to the Earl of Halifax, and such others at the head of affairs as you think proper." This would indicate that Hazard expected assistance from Pownall,
shortly after proposed for it the name of Pittsylvania
and that all Protestants who should come under the denomination of King David's soldiers, mentioned by the prophet Samuel, and that everyone that was in distress, everyone that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, should be invited to settle in that extraordinary good land.
"! This seems to have indicated a movement to establish a new colony from philanthropic motives. So far as we know nothing ever came of the proposition.
With the close of the French and Indian war, projects for new western colonies appeared faster, and now not only in America but in Great Britain as well. A pamphlet was published in London urging the "Advantages of a Settlement upon the Ohio in North America."? In the same year there appeared in Edinburgh a pamphlet recommending "That Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania be terminated by a bound to be fixed thus: From Lake Erie, up the river Miamis 3 to the Carrying-place, from thence down the river Waback to where it runs into the Ohio, and from thence down the Ohio to the Forks of the Mississippi. The author of the pamphlet further recommends "That the country betwixt the Mississippi and the fresh-water Lakes, extending northwest from this proposed bound, be formed into a new Colony, which might be called Charlotiana, in honour of Her Majesty, our present most excellent Queen." It was urged that this location was the most fertile and healthful in North America, and a town at or near the "Forks of the Mississippi" would become "the common Emporium of the produce and riches of that vast continent." A colony located there would give the British “the entire command of that Continent", secure the Indian trade, and defend the country and the old colonies from hostile French
1 Draper Collection. Draper's MS. Life of Boone, III., 266, citing Maryland Gazette, January 12, and March 22, 1759. For “King David's soldiers' see I Samuel, XXII, 2.
2 Draper's MS. Life of Boone, III., 266.