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men of the Council of New York, and all the Commissioners, except Mr. Franklin, absent by his appointment in the morning.
The draught of the representation, &c. was read, and considered paragraph by paragraph, some amendments made, and the whole was agreed to, and ordered to be minuted as follows.
That his Majesty's title to the northern continent of America appears to be founded on the discovery thereof first made and the possession thereof first taken in 1497, under a commission from Henry VII. of England to Sebastian Cabot.
That the French have possessed themselves of several parts of this continent, which by treaties have been ceded and confirmed to them.
That the right of the English to the whole seacoast from Georgia on the south to the river St. Lawrence on the north, excepting the island of Cape Breton and the islands in the Bay of St. Lawrence, remains plain and indisputable. That all the lands or countries westward, from the Atlantic Ocean to the South Sea, between 48 and 34 degrees north latitude, were expressly included in the grant of King James the First, to divers of his subjects so long since as the year 1606, and afterwards confirmed in 1620; and under this grant the Colony of Virginia claims extent as far west as the South Sea; and the ancient Colonies of the Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut were by their respective charters made to extend to the said South Sea. So that not only the right to the seacoast, but to all the inland countries from sea to sea, has at all times been asserted by the crown of England.
That the Province of Nova Scotia or Acadie hath known and determinate bounds by the original grant from King James the First; and that there is abundant evidence of the sense which the French had of these bounds while they were in possession of it; and that these bounds being thus known, the said Province, by the treaty of Utrecht, according to its ancient limits, was ceded to Great Britain, and remained in possession thereof until the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, by which it was confirmed. But by said treaty it is stipulated that the bounds of the said Province shall be determined by commissaries, &c.
That by the treaty of Utrecht the country of the Five Cantons of the Iroquois is expressly acknowledged to be under the dominion of the crown of Great Britain.
held at Albany, in 1754.
That the lake Champlain, formerly called lake Iroquois, and the country southward of it as far as the Dutch or English settlements, the lakes Ontario, Erie, and all the countries adjacent, have by all ancient authors, French and English, been allowed to belong to the Five Cantons or Nations; and the whole of these countries, long before the said treaty of Utrecht, were by the said nations put under the protection of the crown of Great Britain.
That by the treaty of Utrecht there is reserved to the French a liberty of frequenting the countries of the Five Nations and other Indians in friendship with Great Britain, for the sake of commerce; as there is also to the English a liberty of frequenting the countries of those in friendship with France, for the same purpose.
That after the treaty of Utrecht the French built several fortresses in the country of the Five Nations, and a very strong one at a place called Crown Point, to the south of lake Champlain.
That the French Court hath evidently, since the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, made this northern continent more than ever the object of its attention.
That the French have most unjustly taken possession of part of the Province of Nova Scotia, and in the river St. John's and other parts of said Province they have-built strong fortresses; and from this river they will have during the winter and spring season a much easier communication between France and Canada than they have heretofore had, and will be furnished with a harbor more commodiously situated for the annoying the British Colonies by privateers and men of war than Louisburg itself.
That they have taken possession of and begun a settlement at the head of the river Kennebeck, within the bounds. of the Province of Maine, the most convenient situation for affording support and safe retreat to the eastern Indians in any of their attempts upon the Governments of New England.
That it appears, by information of the natives, the French have been making preparations for another settlement at a place called Coos, on Connecticut river, near the head thereof, where it is but about ten miles distant from a branch of Merrimack river, and from whence there is a very near and easy communication with the Abenakis Indians, who are settled on the river St. Francis, about forty miles from the river St.
Lawrence; and it is certain that the inhabitants of New Hampshire, in which province this Coos is supposed to lie, have been interrupted and impeded by the French Indians from making any settlement there.
That since the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the French have increased the number of their forts in the country of the great Lakes and of the rivers which run into the Mississippi, and are securing a communication between the two Colonies of Louisiana and Canada, and at the same time putting themselves into a capacity of annoying the southern British Colonies, and preventing any further settlement of his Majesty's dominions.
That they have been gradually increasing their troops in America, transporting them in their ships of war, which return to France with a bare complement of men, leaving the rest in their Colonies; and by this means they are less observed by the powers of Europe than they would be if transports, as usual heretofore, were provided for this purpose.
That they have taken prisoners, divers of his Majesty's subjects, trading in the country of the Iroquois and other inland parts, and plundered such prisoners of several thousand pounds sterling; and they are continually exciting the Indians to destroy or make prisoners the inhabitants of the frontiers of the British Colonies, which prisoners are carried to Canada, and a price equal to what slaves are sold for in the plantations is demanded for their redemption and release.
That they are continually drawing off the Indians from the British interest, and have lately persuaded one half of the Onondago tribe, with many from the other nations along with them, to remove to a place called Oswegatchie, on the river Cadaraqui, where they have built them a church and fort; and many of the Senecas, the most numerous nation, appear to be wavering, and rather incline to the French; and it is a melancholy consideration, that not more than one hundred and fifty men of all the several nations have attended this treaty; although they had notice that all the Governments would be here by their Commissioners, and that a large present would be given.
That it is the evident design of the French to surround the British Colonies, to fortify themselves on the back thereof, to take and keep possession of all the important rivers, to draw over the Indians to their interest, and with the help of
such Indians, added to such forces as are already arrived and may hereafter be sent from Europe, to be in a capacity of making a general attack on the several Governments; and if at the same time a strong naval force be sent from France, there is the utmost danger that the whole continent will be subjected to that crown. And that the danger of such a naval force is not merely imaginary, may be argued from past experience; for if it had not been for the most extraordinary interposition of Heaven, every seaport town on the continent, in the year 1746, might have been ravaged and destroyed by the squadron under the command of the Duke D'Anville, notwithstanding the then declining state of the French, and the very flourishing state of the British navy, and the further advantage accruing to the English from the possession of Cape Breton.
That the French find by experience they are able to make greater and more sure advantages upon their neighbors in peace than in war. What they unjustly possessed themselves of after the peace of Utrecht, they now pretend to have a right to hold, by virtue of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, until the true boundary between the English and the French be settled by commissaries. But their conquests made during the war they have been obliged to restore.
That the French affairs relative to this continent are under one direction, and constantly regarded by the crown and ministry; who are not insensible how great a stride they would make towards a universal monarchy, if the British Colonies. were added to their dominions, and consequently the whole trade of North America engrossed by them.
That the said Colonies being in a divided, disunited state, there has never been any joint exertion of their force or counsels to repel or defeat the measures of the French, and particular Colonies are unable and unwilling to maintain the cause of the whole.
That there has been a very great neglect of the affairs of the Iroquois, or, as they are commonly called, the Indians of the Six Nations; and their friendship and alliance has been improved to private purposes, for the sake of the trade with them, and the purchase or acquisition of their lands, more than to the public service.
That they are supplied with rum by the traders in vast and almost incredible quantities; the laws of the Colonies now
in force being insufficient to restrain the supply; and the Indians of every nation are frequently drunk, and abused in their trade, and their affections thereby alienated from the English. They often wound and murder one another in their liquor, and to avoid revenge, flee to the French; and perhaps more have been lost by these means than by the French artifices.
That purchases of lands from the Indians by private persons, for small trifling considerations, have been the cause of great uneasiness and discontents; and if the Indians are not in fact imposed on and injured, yet they are apt to think that they have been; and indeed they appear not fit to be intrusted at large with the sale of their own lands; and the laws of some of the Colonies, which makes such sales void unless the allowance of the Government be first obtained, seem to be well founded.
That the granting or patenting vast tracts of land to private persons or companies, without conditions of speedy settlement, has tended to prevent the strengthening the frontiers of the particular Colony where such tracts lie, and been prejudicial to the rest.
That it seems absolutely necessary that speedy and effectual measures be taken to secure the Colonies from the slavery they are threatened with. That any further advances. of the French should be prevented, and the encroachments already made removed. That the Indians in alliance or friendship with the English be constantly regarded under some wise direction or superintendency. That endeavors be used for the recovery of those Indians who are lately gone over to the French, and for securing those that remain. That some discreet person or persons be appointed to reside constantly with each nation of Indians; such person to have no concern in trade, and duly to communicate all advices to the superintendents.
That the trade with the said Indians be well regulated, and made subservient to the public interest more than to private gain.
That there be forts built for the security of each nation, and the better carrying on the trade with them. That warlike vessels be provided sufficient to maintain his Majesty's right to a free navigation on the several lakes. That all future purchases of lands from the Indians be void, unless made by the