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limited westward by the Allegany or Appalachian mountains, and new colonies formed west of those mountains.
A single old colony does not seem strong enough to extend itself otherwise than inch by inch. It cannot venture a settlement far distant from the main body, being unable to support it; but if the colonies were united under one governor-general and grand council, agreeably to the Albany plan, they might easily, by their joint force, establish one or more new colonies, whenever they should judge it necessary or advantageous to the interest of the whole.
But if such union should not take place, it is proposed that two charters be granted, each for some considerable part of the lands west of Pennsylvania and the Virginian mountains, to a number of the nobility and gentry of Britain ; with such Americans as shall join them in contributing to the settlement of those lands, either by paying a proportion of the expense of making such settlements, or by actually going thither in person, and settling themselves and families.
That by such charters it be granted, that every actual settler be entitled to a tract of
acres for himself, and
acres for every poll in the family he carries with him; and that every contributor of guineas be entitled to a quantity of acres, equal to the share of a single settler, for every such sum of guineas contributed and paid to the colony treasurer; a contributor for shares to have an additional share gratis ; that settlers may likewise be contributors, and have right of land in both capacities.
That as many and as great privileges and powers of government be granted to the contributors and settlers, as his Majesty in his wisdom shall think most fit for their benefit and encouragement, consistent with the general good of the British empire; for extraor
dinary privileges and liberties, with lands on easy terms, are strong inducements to people to hazard their persons and fortunes in settling new countries. And such powers of government as (though suitable to their circumstances, and fit to be trusted with an infant colony,) might be judged unfit, when it becomes populous and powerful, these might be granted for a term only; as the choice of their own governor for ninety-nine years; the support of government in the colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island (which now enjoy that and other like privileges) being much less expensive, than in the colonies under the immediate government of the crown, and the constitution more inviting.
That the first contributors to the amount of guineas be empowered to choose a treasurer to receive the contribution.
That no contributions be paid till the sum of thousand guineas be subscribed.
That the money thus raised be applied to the purchase of the lands from the Six Nations and other Indians, and of provisions, stores, arms, ammunition, carriages, &c., for the settlers, who, after having entered their names with the treasurer, or person by him appointed to receive and enter them, are, upon public notice given for that purpose, to rendezvous at a place to be appointed, and march in a body to the place destined for their settlement, under the charge of the government to be established over them. Such rendezvous and march, however, not to be directed, till the number of names of settlers entered, capable of bearing arms, amount at least to thousand.
It is apprehended, that a great sum of money might be raised in America on such a scheme as this; for there are many who would be glad of any opportunity,
by advancing a small sum at present, to secure land for their children, which might in a few years become very valuable; and a great number it is thought of actual settlers might likewise be engaged (some from each of our present colonies), sufficient to carry it into full execution by their strength and numbers; provided only, that the crown would be at the expense of removing the little forts the French have erected in their encroachments on his Majesty's territories, and supporting a strong one near the Falls of Niagara, with a few small armed vessels, or halfgalleys to cruise on the Lakes.
For the security of this colony in its infancy, a small fort might be erected and for some time maintained at Buffalo Creek on the Ohio, above the settlement; and another at the mouth of the Tioga, on the south side of Lake Erie, where a port should be formed, and a town erected, for the trade of the Lakes. The colonists for this settlement might march by land through Pennsylvania.
The river Scioto, which runs into the Ohio about two hundred miles below Logstown, is supposed the fittest seat for the other colony; there being for forty miles on each side of it, and quite up to its heads, a body of all rich land; the finest spot of its bigness in all North America, and has the particular advantage of sea-coal in plenty (even above ground in two places) for fuel, when the woods shall be destroyed. This colony would have the trade of the Miamis or Twigtwees; and should, at first, have a small fort near Hochockin, at the head of the river; and another near the mouth of Wabash. Sandusky, a French fort near the Lake Erie, should also be taken; and all the little French forts south and west of the Lakes, quite to the Mississippi, be removed, or taken and garrisoned by the English. The colonists for this settlement might assemble near the heads of the rivers in Virginia, and march over land to the navigable branches of the Kenhawa, where they might embark with all their baggage and provisions, and fall into the Ohio, not far above the mouth of the Scioto. Or they might rendezvous at Will's Creek, and go down the Monongahela to the Ohio.
The fort and armed vessels at the strait of Niagara would be a vast security to the frontiers of these new colonies against any attempts of the French from Canada. The fort at the mouth of the Wabash would guard that river, the Ohio, and the Cutava River, in case of any attempt from the French of the Mississippi. Every fort should have a small settlement round it, as the fort would protect the settlers, and the settlers defend the fort and supply it with provisions.
The difficulty of settling the first English colonies in America, at so great a distance from England, must have been vastly greater, than the settling these proposed new colonies ; for it would be the interest and advantage of all the present colonies to support these new ones; as they would cover their frontiers, and prevent the growth of the French power behind or near their present settlements; and the new country is nearly at equal distance from all the old colonies, and could easily be assisted from all of them.
And as there are already in all the old colonies many thousands of families that are ready to swarm, wanting more land, the richness and natural advantage of the Ohio country would draw most of them thither, were there but a tolerable prospect of a safe settlement. So that the new colonies would soon be full of people; and, from the advantage of their situation, become much more terrible to the French set.
tlements, than those are now to us. The gaining of the back Indian trade from the French, by the navigation of the Lakes, &c., would of itself greatly weaken our enemies, it being now their principal support. It seems highly probable, that in time they must be subjected to the British crown, or driven out of the country.
Such settlements may better be made now, than fifty years hence; because it is easier to settle ourselves, and thereby prevent the French settling there, as they seem now to intend, than to remove them when strongly settled.
If these settlements are postponed, then more forts and stronger, and more numerous and expensive garrisons must be established, to secure the country, prevent their settling, and secure our present frontiers; the charge of which may probably exceed the charge of the proposed settlements, and the advantage nothing near so great.
The fort at Oswego should likewise be strengthened, and some armed half-galleys, or other small vessels, kept there to cruise on Lake Ontario, as proposed by Mr. Pownall in his paper laid before the commissioners at the Albany treaty.
If a fort was also built at Tirondequat on Lake Ontario, and a settlement made there near the lake side, where the lands are said to be good, much better than at Oswego; the people of such settlements would help to defend both forts on any emer