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and many more, it would be better to bear them than submit to parliamentary taxation. We might still have something we could call our own. But, under the power claimed by Parliament, we have not a single sixpence.
The author of this pamphlet, Dean Tucker, has always been haunted with the fear of the seat of government being soon to be removed to America. He has, in his Tracts on Commerce, some just notions in matters of trade and police, mixed with many wild and chimerical fancies totally impracticable. He once proposed, as a defence of the colonies, to clear the woods for the width of a mile all along behind them, that the Indians might not be able to cross the cleared part without being seen; forgetting that there is a night in every twenty-four hours.
Some time after Dr. Franklin went to England on his second mission, as agent for Pennsylvania, a project was formed in America, originating with Sir William Johnson, Governor Franklin, and others, for settling a new colony in the Ohio country. They wrote to Dr. Franklin, requesting him to use his influence to procure a grant from the crown for this purpose. A company was formed, at the head of which was Mr. Thomas Walpole, a banker in London, and hence the tract of land solicited by them went under the name of Walpole's Grant.
The following extracts are from letters written by Dr. Franklin to his son on this subject. The copy, from which they are printed,
was found among Sir William Johnson's papers. It has been sur· mised, from vague expressions in Franklin's published correspond
ence, that this was some private affair, in which he was seeking the interest of himself and his son. These extracts will show such a suspicion to be perfectly groundless. The truth is, he had no more concern in it, than any other proprietor. The grant was to be divided into seventy-two shares, owned by a large number of persons. The petitions were made publicly to the Board of Trade, and to the King in Council, by Mr. Walpole and his associates. The project encountered much opposition, and met with delay; but it was finally approved, and the grant ratified in the year 1772. The revolutionary troubles, then coming on, defeated the execution of the plan. In the progress of soliciting the grant, Lord Hillsborough wrote for the Board of Trade a Report against it. Dr. Franklin's answer to this Report is one of the ablest efforts of
See the paper, entitled Settlement on the Ohio River, in the present volume; and Washington's Writings, Vol. II. p. 483. – EDITOR.
May 10th, 1766. I like the project of a colony in the Illinois country, and will forward it to my utmost here. August 25th, 1766. I can now only add, that I
will endeavour to accomplish all that you and our friends desire relating to the settlement westward.
September 12th, 1766. I have just received Sir William's
open letter to Secretary Conway, recommending your plan for a colony in the Illinois, which I am glad of. I have closed and sent it to him. He is not now in that department; but it will of course go to Lord Shelburne, whose good opinion of it I have reason to hope for; and I think Mr. Conway was rather against distant posts and settlements in America. We have, however, suffered a loss in Lord Dartmouth, who, I know, was inclined to a grant there in favor of the soldiery, and Lord Hillsborough is said to be terribly afraid of dispeopling Ireland. General Lyman has been long here soliciting such a grant, and will readily join the interest he has made with ours, and I should wish for a body of Connecticut settlers, rather than all from our frontiers. I purpose waiting on Lord Shelburne on Tuesday, and hope to be able to send you his sentiments by Falconer, who is to sail about the 20th.
A good deal, I imagine, will depend on the account, when it arrives, of Mr. Croghan's negotiation in that country. This is an affair I shall seriously set about; but there are such continual changes here, that it is very discouraging to all applications to be made to the ministry. I thought the last set well established, but they are broken and gone. The present set are hardly thought to stand very firm, and God only knows whom we are to have next.
The plan is I think well drawn, and I imagine Sir William's approbation will go a great way in recommending it, as he is much relied on in all affairs, that may have any relation to the Indians. Lord Adam
Gordon is not in town, but I shall take the first opportunity of conferring with him. I thank the Company for their willingness to take me in, and one or two others that I may nominate. I have not yet concluded whom to propose it to; but I suppose our friend Sargent should be one. I wish you had allowed me to name more, as there will be in the proposed country, by my reckoning, near sixty-three millions of acres, and therefore enough to content a great number of reasonable people, and by numbers we might increase the weight of interest here. But perhaps we shall do without.
September 27th, 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, but he found it did not quadrate with the sentiments of people here;* that their objections to it were, the distance, which would make it of little use to this country, as the expense on the carriage of goods would oblige the people to manufacture for themselves; that it would for the same reason be difficult both to defend it and to govern it; that it might lay the foundation of a power in the heart of America, which in time might be troublesome to the other colonies, and prejudicial to our government over them; and that people were wanted both here and in the already settled colonies, so that none could be spared for a new colony. These arguments, he said, did not appear of much weight, and I endeavoured by others to invalidate them entirely. But his Lordship did not declare whether he would or would not promote the undertaking; and we are to talk further
* I fancy, but am not certain, that his Lordship meant Lord Hillsborough, who, I am told, is not favorable to new settlements.
I communicated to him two letters of Mr. Croghan's, with his journal, and one or two of yours on that subject, which he said he would read and consider; and I left with him one of Evans's maps of the middle colonies, in the small-scale part of which I had marked with a wash of red ink the whole country included in your boundaries.
His Lordship remarked, that this would coincide with General Lyman's project, and that they might be united.
September 30th, 1766. I have just had a visit from General Lyman, and a good deal of conversation on the Illinois scheme. He tells me, that Mr. Morgan, who is under-secretary of the Southern department, is much pleased with it; and we are to go together to talk to him concerning it.
October 11th, 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 here, the treasury being alarmed and astonished at the growing charges there, and the heavy accounts and drafts continually brought in from thence. That Major Farmer, for instance, had lately drawn for no less than thirty thousand pounds extraordinary charges, on his going to take possession of the Illinois; and that the superintendents, particularly the southern one, began also to draw very largely. He spoke, however, very handsomely of Sir William on many accounts.
November 8th, 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