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and the lakes and Mississippi on the other, would be facilitated and speedily executed, to the great increase of Englishmen, English trade, and English power.
The grants to most of the colonies are of long nar• row slips of land, extending west from the Atlantic to the South Sea. They are much too long for their breadth; the extremes at too great a distance; and therefore unfit to be continued under their present dimensions.
Several of the old colonies may conveniently be limited westward by the Allegeny or Apalachian 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, agreeable 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 Pensylvania 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 expence 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 intitled to a tract of acres for him. self, and acres for every poll in the family he carries with him ; and that every contributor of guineas be intitled 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 extraordinary 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 the 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 Connecti, cut 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 !o the amount of guineas be empowered to choose a treasurer to receive the contril,ution.
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, car
riages, riages, &c.for thesettlers; 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 directed, till the number of names of settlers entered, capable of bearing arms, amount at least to
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 expence of removing the little forts the French have erected in their incroachments on his majesty's territories, and supporting a strong one near the falls of Niagara, with a few small armed vessels, or half-galleys to cruize on the lakes.
For the security of this colony in its infancy, a small fort might be erected and for some time maintained at Buffalonic on the Ohio, above the settlement; and another at the mouth of the Hioaga, 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 Pensylyapia.
The river Siotha, which runs into the Ohio about two hundred miles below Loy's Town, 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 Hockkockin, at the head of the river; and another near the mouth of Wabash. Sandoski, 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 Kanhawa, where they might embark with all their baggage and provisions, and fall into the Ohio, not far above the mouth of Siotha. Or they might rendezvous at Will's Creek, and go down the Mohingabela 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 Cutava river, in case of any attempt from the French of 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 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 settlements, 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