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by the French, and carry their prisoners to them, we can, by complaining, obtain no redress; as the
governors of Canada have a ready excuse, that the Indians are an independant people, over whom they have no power, and for whose actions they are therefore not accountable. Surely circumstances so widely different may reasonably authorise different demands of security in America, from such as are usual or necessary in Europe.
The remarker however thinks, that our real dependance for keeping “ France or any other nation true to her engagements, must not be in demanding securities which no nation whilst independent can give ; but on our own strength and our own vigilance*.” No nation that has carried on a war with disadvantage, and is unable to continue it, can be said, under such circumstances, to be independent; and while either side thinks itself in a condition to demand an indemnification, there is no man in his senses, but will, cæteris paribus, prefer an indemnification, that is a cheaper and more effectual security than any other he can think of. Na- . tions in this situation demand and cede countries by almost every treaty of peace that is made. The French part of the island of St. Christophers was added to Great Britain in circumstances altogether similar to those in which a few months may probably place the country of Canada. Farther security has always been deemed a motive with a conqueror to be less moderate; and even the vanquished insist upon security as a reason for demanding what they acknowledge they could not otherwise properly ask. The security of the frontier of France on the side of the Netherlands was always considered in the negotiation, that began at Gertrudenburgli, and ended with that war. For the same reason they demanded and had Cape Breton. But a war, concluded to the advantage of France, has always added something to the power, either of France, or the house of Bourbon. Even that of 1795, which she commenced with declarations of ber having no'ambitious views, and which finished by a treaty, at which the ministers of France repeatedly declared, that she desired nothing for herself, in effect gained for her Lorrain, an indema nification ten times the value of all her North Ameri can possessions. In short, security and quiet of princes and states have ever been deemed sufficient reasons, when supported by power, for disposing of rights: and such disposition has never been looked on as want of moderation. It has always been the foundation of the most general treaties. The security of Gerinany was the argument for yielding considerable possessions there to the Swedes : and the security of Europe divided the Spanish -monarchy by the partition-treaty, made between powers who had no other right to dispose of any part of it. There can be no cession that is not supposed at least, to increase the power of the party to whom it is made. It is enough that he has a right to YOL. III.
ransom of each of which they afterwards demand of us the price that is usually given for a slave in these colonies. They do this under the speci. ous pretence of rescuing the poor prisoners from the cruelties and barbarities of the savages ; but in reality to encourage them to continue their depredations, as they can by this nieans get more by hanting the English, than by hunting wild-beasts; and the French at the same time are thereby enabled to keep up a large body of Indians, entirely at the expence of the English,"
* Remarks, po 25.
ask it, and that he does it not merely to serve the purposes of a dangerous ambition.
Canada, in the hands of Britain, will endanger the kingdom of France as little as any other cession; and from its situation and circumstances cannot be hurtful to any other state. Rather, if peace be an advantage, this cession may be such tu all Europe. The present war teaches us, that disputes arising in America may be an occasion of embroiling nations; who have no concerns there. If the French remain in Canada and Louisiana, fix the boundaries as you will between us and them, we must border on each other for more than fifteen hundred miles. The people that inhabit the frontiers are generally the refuse of both nations, often of the worst morals and the least discretion ; remote from the eye, the prudence, and the restraint of government. Injuries are therefore frequently, in some part or other of so long a frontier, committed on both sides, resentment provoked, the colonies first engaged, and then the mother countries. And two great nations can scarce be at war in Europe, but some other prince or state thinks it a convenient opportunity to revive some ancient claim, seize some advantage, obtain some territory, or enlarge some power at the expence of a neighbour. The flames of war, once kindled, often spread far and wide, and the mischief is infinite. Happy it proved to both nations, that the Dutch were prevailed on finally to cede the New Netherlands (now the province of New York) to us at the peace of 1674; a peace that has ever since continued between us, but must have been frequently disturbed, if they had retained the possession of that country, bordering several bundred miles on our colonies of Pensylvania west
ward, Connecticut and the Massachusetts eastward. Nor is it to be wondered at, that people of different language, religion, and manners, should in those remote parts engage in frequent quarrels; when we find, that even the people of our own colonies have frequently been so exasperated against each other, in their disputes about boundaries, as to proceed to open violence and bloodshed.
[2. Erecting forts in the back settlements, almost in no ina
stance a sufficient security against the Indians and the French; but the possession of Canada implies every security, and ought to be had, while in our power.]
But the remarker thinks we shall be sufficiently secure in America, if we“ raise English forts at such passes as may at once make us respectable to the French and to the Indian nations*.” The security desirable in America may be considered as of three kinds. 1. A security of possession, that the French shall not drive us out of the country. 2. A security of our planters from the inroads of savages, and the murders committed by them. 3. A security that the British nation shall not be obliged, on every new war, to repeat the immense expence occasioned by this, to defend its possessions in America. Forts, in the most important passes, may, I acknowledge, be of use to obtain the first kind of security: but as those situations are far advanced beyond the inhabitants, the expence of maintaining and supplying the garrisons will be very great even in time of full peace, and immense on every interruption of it; as it is easy for skulking-parties of the enemy, in such long
roads through the woods, to intercept and cut off our convoys, unless guarded continually by great bodies of men.-The second kind of security will not be obtained by such forts, unless they were connected by a wall like that of China, from one end of our settlements to the other. If the Indians, when at war, marched like the Europeans, with great armies, heavy cannon, baggage, and carriages; the passes through which alone such armies could penetrate our country, or receive their supplies, being secured, all might be sufficiently secure; but the case is widely different. They go to war, as they call it, in small parties; from fifty men down to five. Their hunting life has made them acquainted with the whole country, and scarce any part of it is impracticable to such a party. They can travelthrough the woods even by night, and know how to conceal their tracks. They pass easily between your forts undiscovered; and privately approach the settlements of your frontier inhabitants. They need no convoys of provisions to follow them; for whether they are shifting from place to place in the woods, or lying in wait for an opportunity to strike a blow, every thicket and every stream furnishes so small a number with sufficient subsistence. When they have surprised separately, and murdered and scalped a dozen families, they are gone with inconceivable expedition through unknown ways; and it is very rare that pursuers have any chance of coming up with them*. In short, long experience
Although the Indians live scattered, as a hunter's life requires, they may be collected together from almost any distance; as they can find their subsistence from their gun in their travelling. But let the number of the Indians be what it will, they are not formidable werely on account of