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[Part 8.]

[Pages 241-266. Page numbers will appear in the text in brackets in bold print.]

[Transcription is Verbatim.]

[Footnotes appear in smaller font.]

Walpole Grant.
William Trent & Co.
Captain Trent
John Peter Salley.
Scheme for the New Settlement.



Samuel Wharton was a member of the mercantile firm of Baynton, Wharton and Morgan, extensively engaged in the Indian Trade, having storehouses at Fort Pitt and other places in the Indian Country westward. In 1763 the sudden outbreak of the western Savages, known as the Pontiac war, occurred; the Traders were plundered of their merchandise and other property; twenty-four of them lost goods valued at £85,916. 10. 6. New York Currency. Baynton, Wharton and Morgan were the heaviest sufferers.

To compensate the Traders for their loss, the Six Nations, at the Treaty held at Fort Stanwix (now Rome, New York), on May 3, 1768, conveyed to them by deed an immense tract of land bordering on the Ohio River above the Little Kanhawha, comprising about one-fourth of the present State of West Virginia. To their Grant the Traders gave the name of Indiana.

In 1769 a company was formed in London, consisting of Thomas Walpole, an eminent banker (brother of Horatio, Lord Walpole). Samuel Wharton, Benjamin Franklin, John Sargent, Governor Thomas Pownall,—and other gentlemen both in England and America,—for the purpose of buying from the Crown a portion of the vast country on the Ohio ceded to the King by the Six Nations the preceding year at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, and also to form a New Province or Government west of Virginia. The five persons above named were appointed a committee to manage the business. Mr. Wharton went to London to attend to it. Lord Hillsborough, President [242] of the Board of Trade, reported against the application for the grant. Dr. Franklin replied in an elaborate and able pamphlet, which was read, at a subsequent meeting of the Council, July 1, 1772; at the same time, as we learn from a letter to Sir William Johnson, written by an intelligent American (Letter of Rev. Wm. Hanna to Sir. Wm. Johnson.) who was present, "Mr. Walpole made some pertinent observations on the subject in general. Mr. Wharton spoke next for several hours and replied distinctly to each particular objection, and through the whole of the proceedings he so fully removed all Lord Hillsborough's objections and introduced his proofs with so much regularity and made his observations on them with so much propriety, deliberation and presence of mind, that fully convinced every Lord present, and gave satisfaction to the gentlemen concerned; and I must say it gave me a particular pleasure to hear an American and a countryman act his part so well before such a number of great Lords and such an august Board; and now I have the great pleasure to inform you that their Lordships have overruled Lord Hillsborough's Report and have reported to His Majesty in favor of Mr. Wharton and his Associates.—This is looked upon here as a most extraordinary matter, and what no American ever accomplished before. Indeed no one from America had so much interest and was so attended to by the great Lords as Mr. Wharton."

On the same day the Lords of the Committee of Council reported in favor of making the grant to the Honorable Thomas Walpole, Samuel Wharton and their associates.

The King in Council approved the Grant August 14, 1772. Lord Hillsborough resigned and Lord Dartmouth succeeded him.

The Tract granted, comprised within its boundaries all that part of the present State of Kentucky, east of a line drawn [243] south from a point on the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the Scioto, and the western half of the present State of West Virginia. The price to be paid into the Royal Treasury was £10,460. 7. 6, and two shillings quit rent for every hundred acres sold or leased by the Grantees, payable yearly forever; to commence twenty years after the date of each sale or lease. The tract was usually known by the name of the Walpole Grant. It embraced within its limits the Traders' Grant, or Indiana, which was reserved to them. It also included the tract of five hundred thousand acres granted to the Ohio Company of Virginia, in 1749. The members of the Ohio Company were admitted into the new association, which was named the Grand Ohio Company. In compliance with the King's orders, the Council, on the 6th of May 1773, reported to His Majesty a constitution or form of Government for the New Colony, which they named Vandalia. It contained within its limits all of the Walpole Grant, with the addition of all the country westward to the Kentucky River. On the 28th of October following, the Lords of Council for Plantation Affairs, ordered "that His Majesty's Attorney General do prepare and lay before this Committee, the draught of a proper instrument to be passed under the Great Seal of Great Britain containing a Grant to the Honorable Thomas Walpole, Samuel Wharton, Benjamin Franklin and John Sargent Esqrs. and their heirs and assigns all the Lands prayed for by their Memorial." It was not, however, until the spring of the year 1775 that the draught of the Grant was finally prepared and ready for execution. The breaking out of the war of the Revolution occasioned a suspension of the business. Mr. Wharton returned home by way of France, after an absence of eight years. An extract of a letter from a gentleman in London, dated March 3, 1773, to his friend in Virginia appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette of that year, stating that [244] "I can inform you for certain that the new Province on the Ohio is confirmed to the Proprietors by the name of Pittsylvania, in honor of the Earl of Chatham. Mr. Wharton of Philadelphia will be appointed Governor in a few days; all other appointments to be made by the King. The seat of government is to be placed at the Forks of the Kenawha and Ohio rivers."



signed by Messrs. Walpole, Pownall, Franklin and Wharton, consolidating the two Companies by giving the Ohio Company 2/72 and Col. Mercer 1/72.

We the Committee of the Purchasers of a Tract of Country for a new Province on the Ohio in America, do hereby admit the Ohio Company as a Company Purchaser with us, for two Shares of the said Purchase in Consideration of the engagement of their Agent Col. Mercer, to withdraw the application of the said Company for a separate Grant within the Limits of the said Purchase. Witness our Hands this 7th day of May 1770.

Thomas Walpole
T. Pownall
B. Franklin
Saml. Wharton

The whole being divided into Seventy-two equal Shares; by the words "two shares" above is understood two Seventy second parts of the Tract so as above purchased.

Thomas Walpole
T. Pownall
B. Franklin
Saml Wharton



November 3d 1768 at Fort Stanwix the Sachems and Chiefs of the Six nations in full Council convened by his Majesty's order, and held under the Presidency of his Superintendant of Indian Affairs Sir William Johnson, in consideration of the great losses and Damages, amounting to Eighty five Thousand nine hundred and sixteen pounds ten shillings and eight pence lawful money of New York sustained by sundry Traders in the spring of the year 1763, when the Shawnese, Delawares and Huron Tribes of Indians, Tributaries of the six Nations did seize upon and unjustly appropriate to themselves the Goods Merchandize and effects of the Traders "The said Sachems and Chiefs did give grant Bargain and sell unto us our Heirs and assigns forever, all that Tract or parcel of Land.

Beginning at the southerly side of the South of little Kenhawa River, where it empties itself into the River Ohio, and running from thence North East to the Laurel Hill—thence along the Laurel Hill until it strikes the river Monongehela—thence down the stream of the said river Monongehela, according to the several courses thereof to the southern Boundary line of the Province of Pennsylvania.—Thence westerly along the course of the said Province Boundary Line as far as the same shall extend and from thence by the same course to the River Ohio according to the several courses thereof to the place of Beginning. And whereas we understand there are numbers of Families settled on the said Lands, We do hereby give Notice that they may be assured of [246] peacable Possession on complying with the Terms of our general Land Office which will be shortly opened for the sale of the said Lands in behalf of all the grantees, and that the purchase will be made easy."

Proceedings of the Grantees of Lands from the Six Nations Indians by Deed Poll dated Nov. 3d 1768 to the suffering Traders Anno 1763.

Pittsburgh September 2nd 1775.


Robert Callender Thomas Smallman
William Trent Joseph Spear
John Gibson George Croghan
Joseph Simon John Ormsby
George Morgan  

At a meeting of several of the Grantees of Lands from the Six Nations Indians by Deed Poll dated November 31 1768 to the suffering Traders Anno 1763

Pittsburg Sep 21st 1775


Robert Callender George Croghan
William Trent John Ormsby
John Gibson Thomas Smallman
Joseph Simon Joseph Spear
George Morgan  

Mr. William Trent informs the Company present that his arrival in England Anno 1769 being advised by Doctor Franklin Lord Cambdin and others, that it was unnecessary to make application to the Crown or King in Council for a Confirmation of the above mentioned Grant but that all he had to do was to return and take possession thereof, and understanding that Lord Hillsborough was determined to oppose a Confirmation of the said Grant as will appear by his [247] Letters to Sir William Johnson, he declined making the said application for the same to be confirmed. This Mr. Trent recommends not to be made Public, as it may perhaps give an unfavorable Idea of our Right to the common People; but he thought it his duty to communicate it to this Company. He further acquaints them that soon after his arrival in England a Company of Gentlemen made a purchase from the Crown of a Tract of Land on the Ohio, which includes the Grant, of all the Tract given or Granted by the Six Nation Indians to the suffering Traders as aforesaid. That the said company of Purchasers Stiling themselves the Grand Ohio Company agreed in the Minutes of their proceedings to confirm and convey to the said suffering Traders all their Right and Title to that part of their purchase which includes the Grant from the Indians to the suffering Traders as aforesaid. And that he will furnish this Company with copy of the said Minutes. The Meeting then adjourned till tomorrow morning at 6 o'clock.

At the following meetings rules and regulations for the organized Company were adopted and the following letter addressed to Mr. Walpole

PITTSBURG Sep 22d 1775

A number of the sufferers by the Indian War in 1763, having met at this place to consult on the most proper method to dispose of their Lands granted to them by the Indians at Fort Stanwix in November 1768, and understanding from Mr. William Trent that that you have the Original Deed from the Indians for the said Lands; we request the favor of you to transmit the same to us or to your brother Thomas, in order that it may be recorded at Williamsburgh in Virginia as the jurisdiction of that colony is now extended and exercised as
[248] far west as the Ohio and Courts established &c. We think it our duty to Inform you as one of the Grantees, that many Difficulties are like to arise from any delay in taking Possession of the Lands, and that those Difficulties will double on us if we do not very speedily fall on some, measures to obtain Peacable Possession of them and Permission to proceed in their sales. Lands have been and are now surveying to Officers soldiers and others in Consequence of the Kings Proclamation of October 1763, in every part of this Country from hence downward as low as Scioto and indeed as far as Kentucke and the Falls. And you may be assured they have not hesitated to lay their Warrants in many parts of our Grant of which most of the Good Lands are already surveyed.

We are sir
Your most Obedient Servants
Names of Traders, Trent, Croghan &c.

Virginia declared by express legislative enactment in 1779, that all sales and deeds by Indians for lands within their limits to be void and of no effect.

Congress, by acts of the 16th and 18th of September, 1776, and others subsequent thereto, conferred grants of land to the officers and soldiers of the Continental army. Virginia, holding immense tracts of unappropriated land, very soon adopted the idea suggested by Congress of granting land bounties to her officers and soldiers both in the State and Continental establishments. To a Major-General 15,000 acres of land, and to a Brigadier-General 10,000.

For this purpose the lands surveyed by Christopher Gist were again surveyed, and the land not in the possession of settlers was so disposed of.



He was born in 1715 in Chester County. 1746, Governor Thomas of Pennsylvania appointed him captain of one of four companies raised in Pennsylvania, for an intended expedition against Canada. December, 1747, the time of his Company having expired, he was honorably discharged. 1749, he was appointed, by Governor Hamilton, a justice of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace for Cumberland County. 1750, he formed a partnership with George Croghan to engage in the Indian trade. 1752, he was commissioner to Logstown. 1753, he was directed by Governor Dinwiddie to build a fort at the Forks of the Ohio. February 17, 1754, he began the erection of the fort. April 16, the fort was surrendered to the French under the command of M. de Contrecœur. 1755, Captain Trent entered the service of Pennsylvania and was a member of the Proprietary and Governor's Council. 1757, he again entered the employ of Virginia. 1758, he accompanied Forbes' expedition against Fort DuQuesne, and by his knowledge or the country rendered important service. 1763, his large trading-house near Fort Pitt was destroyed by the Indians; he took refuge in Fort Pitt and was employed in military duties by the Commandant, Captain S. Ecuyer. At the Treaty at Fort Stanwix the Indians were induced to make a deed of land to Trent. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War Congress gave him a Major's Commission. His Journal of an expedition from Logstown to Pickawillany, a village on the west side of the Great Miami River, at the mouth of Loramies Creek, belonging to the Miami or Twightwee Tribe, has been published by the Western Reserve Historical Society. (Colonial Records.)




(Referred to in Col. Burwell's letter dated August 1, 1751.)

It may be necessary, before I enter upon the particular passages of my travels, to inform my readers that what they are to meet with in the following narrative is only what I retained in my memory. For when we were taken by the French we were robbed of all our papers, that contained, writings relative to our Travels.

In the year 1740 I came from Pennsylvania to that part of Orange County now called Augusta, and settled in a fork of James river close under the Blue Ridge of Mountains on the West Side where I now live.

In the month of March 1741/2 [?] one John Howard came to my house and told me that he received a commission from our Governor to travel to the westward of this Colony as far as the river Mississippi in order to make Discovery of the Country and that as a reward for his labour, he had the promise of an Order of Council for ten hundred thousand Acres of Land and at the same time obliged himself to give equal shares of said land to such men as would go in Company with him to search the Country as above. Whereupon I and two men and Charles Sinclair (his own son Josiah Howard having already joined with him) entered in covenant with him binding [254] ourselves to each other in a certain writing and accordingly prepared for our journey in a very unlucky hour to me and my poor family.

On the sixteenth of March 1742; we set off from my House and went to Cedar Creek about five miles, where is a Natural Bridge over said Creek reaching from the hill on the one side to the hill on the other. It is a solid Rock and is two hundred and three feet high, having a very large spacious arch, where the water runs thro'. We then proceeded as far as Mondongachate now called Woods river, (Now Kanawha.) which is eighty five miles, where we killed five Buffaloes, and with their hides covered the frame of a boat, which was so large as to carry all our Company, and all our provisions and utensils with which we passed down the said river, two hundred and fifty two miles as we supposed, and found it very rockey, having a great many Falls therein, one of which we computed to be thirty feet perpendicular and all along surrounded with inaccessible mountains, high precipices which obliged us to leave said river. We went then a south west course by Land eighty five miles, where we came to a small river and there we made a little Boat which carried only two men and our provisions. The rest travelled by land for two days and then we came to a large river, where we enlarged our Barge so as she carried all our Company, and whatever loading we had to put into her. We supposed that we went down this river two hundred and twenty miles, and had a tolerable good passage; there being only two places that were difficult by reason of Falls. Where we came to this river the country is mountainous, but the farther down the plainer, in those mountains we found great plenty of coals, for which we named it Coal river, where this river and Woods river meets the north mountains end, and the country appears very plain and is well watered, [255] there are plenty of rivulets, clear Fountains and running streams and very fertile soil; from the mouth of Coal river to the river Allegany (Ohio.) we computed to be ninety two miles, and on the sixth day of May we came to Allegany which we supposed to be three quarters of a mile wide, and from here to the great Falls on this river is reckoned four hundred and forty four miles, there being a large spacious open country on each side of this river, and is well watered, abounding with plenty of Fountains, small streams and large rivers; and is very high, and fertile soil. At this time we found the clover to be as high as the middle of a man's leg. In general all the woods over the Land is of great plenty and of all kind, that grows in this Colony excepting pine. On the seventh day of June we entered into the river Mississippi, which we computed to be five miles wide. In the river Mississippi above the mouth of the Allegany is a large Island on which are three towns inhabited by the French who maintain Commerce and Trade both with the French of Canada and those French on the mouth of the said river. We held on our passage down the river Mississippi. The second day of July and about nine o'clock in the morning we went on shore to cook our breakfast. But we were suddenly surprised by a company of men, to the number of ninety, consisting of French men Negroes and Indians who took us prisoners and carried us to the town of New Orleans, which was about one hundred leagues from us when we were taken and after being examined upon oath before the Governor first separately one by one, and then altogether we were committed to close prison, we not knowing then (nor even yet) how long they intended to confine us there. During our stay in Prison we had allowed us a pound and a half of bread a man each day, and ten pounds of pork per month for each man, which allowance [256] was duly given to us for the space of eighteen months, and after that we had only one pound of Rice Bread and one pound of rice for each man per day, and one quart of Bear's oil for each man per month, which allowance was continued to us untill I made my escape. Whilst I was confined in Prison I had many Visits made to me by the French and Dutch who lived there and grew intimate and familiar with some of them, by whom I was informed of the Manner of Government, laws, strength and wealth of the kingdom of Louisiana as they call it, and from the whole we learned that the Government is Tyranical. The common people groan under the load of oppression and sigh for deliverance. The Governor is the chief Merchant and enhances all the Trade into his own hands, depriving the Planters of selling their commodities to any other but himself and allowing them only such prices as he pleases.

And with respect to Religion, there is little to be found amongst them, but those, who profess any Religion at all, its the Church of Rome. In the Town are nine Clergymen, four Jesuits and five Capuchin Friars. They have likewise one Nunnery in which are nine nuns. Notwithstanding the Fertility and richness of the soil, The Inhabitants are generally poor as a consequence of the oppression they meet with from their rulers, neither is the settling of the Country, or Agriculture in any measure encouraged by the Legislature. One thing I had almost forgot Viz. we were told by some of the French who first settled there, that about forty years ago when the French first discovered the place, and made attempt to settle therein, there were then pretty many English settled on both sides the river Mississippi and one twenty Gun Ship lay in the river; what became of the Ship we did not hear, but we were informed that the English Inhabitants were all destroyed by the Natives at the instigation of the French.

[257] I now begin to speak of the strength of the Country and by the best account I could gather I did not find that there are above four hundred and fifty effective men of the Militia in all that Country, and not above one hundred and fifty Soldiers under pay in and about the Town of New Orleans; tis true they have sundry Forts in which they keep some men, but they are so weak and dispicable as not worth taking notice of, with regard to the strengthening of the Country, having in some of them only six men, in others ten men. The strongest of all those places is at the mouth of the Mississippi, In which are thirty men, and fifty Leagues from thence is a town called Mobile, nine Leagues from the mouth of a river of the same name, in which is a Garrison that boasts of seventy Soldiers. After I had been confined in close prison above two years, and all expectation of being set at liberty failing, I begun to think of making my escape out of prison, one of which I put in practice, and which succeeded in the following manner. There was a certain Frenchman who was born in that Country, and had some time before Sold his rice to the Spaniards, for Which he was put in prison and it cost him six hundred Pieces of eight (A dollar.) before he got clear, he being tired with the misery and oppression under which the poor country people labour, formed a design of removing his Family to South Carolina Which design was discovered, and he was again put in Prison in the dungeon, and made fast in Irons, and after a formal Tryal he was condemned to be a Slave for Ten Years, besides the expense of seven hundred pieces of eight. With this miserable Frenchman I became intimate, and as he was an active man, and knew the country he promised, if I could help him off with his irons and we all got clear of the Prison, he would conduct us safe until we were out of danger. We then got a small file from a soldier [258] wherewith to cut the irons and on the 25th day of October 1744 we put our design in practice. While the Frenchman was very busy in the Dungeon in cutting the Irons, we were as industrious without in breaking the door of the Dungeon, and each of us finished our job at one instant of time, which had held us for about six hours, by three of the clock in the morning with the help of a rope which I had provided beforehand, let ourselves down over the prison walls, and made our escape, two miles from the town that night, where we lay close for two days. We then removed to a place three miles from the town, where one of the good old Friars of which spoke before, nourished us four days. On the eighth day after we made our escape, we came to a Lake seven leagues from the Town, but by this time we had got a gun and some ammunition. The next day we shot two large Bulls and with their hides made a boat, in which we passed the Lake in the night. We tied the shoulder Blades of the Bulls to small sticks, which served us for paddles and passed a point, where there were thirteen men lay in wait for us, but thro' mercy we escaped them undiscovered. After we had gone by water sixty miles we went on shore, we left our boat as a Witness of our escape to the French.

We travelled thirty miles by land to the river Shokaré where our Frenchman's father lived. In this journey we passed thro' a nation of Indians, who were very kind to us, and carried us over two large bays. In this place we tarried two months and ten days in very great danger, for search was made for us every where both by land and water and orders to shoot us when found. Great rewards were promised by the Governor to the king of the Indians (mentioned above) to take us which he refused; and in the mean time was very kind by giving provision and informing us of our danger from time to time. After they had given [259] over searching for us and we having got a large vessel and other necessary things for our voyage, and on the 25th of January our Frenchman and our negro boy (which he took to wait on him) and another Frenchman, and we being all armed and well provided for our voyage; we set off at a place called the belle Fountain (or in English fine spring) and sailed fifty leagues to the head of St. Roses Bay, and there we left our vessel and traveled by Land thirty Leagues to the Fork Indians, where the English trade, and there we staid five days. The Natives were to us kind and generous, there we left the two Frenchmen and Negro boy, and on the tenth of February we set off and travelled by land up the river Giscaculfula one hundred and thirty-five miles, passing several Indian Towns, the Natives being very hospitable and kind and came to one Finlas an Indian Trader who lives among the Uchee Nation. On the first of March we arrived at Fort Augustus in the Province of Georgia. On the nineteenth instant we left Fort Augustus and on the first of April we arrived at Charlestown and waited on the Governor, who examined us concerning our Travels &c and detained us in Charlestown eighteen days, and made us a present of eighteen pounds of their money, which did no more than defray our expences whilst in that town. I had delivered to the Governor a copy of my Journal which when I asked again he refused to give me, but having obtained from him a pass we went on board of a small vessel bound for Virginia. On the thirteenth of April, the same day about two of the clock we were taken by the French in cape Roman and kept prisoner till eleven of the clock next day, at which time the French after having robbed us of all the Provision we had for our Voyage or Journey, put us into a Boat we being twelve men in number, and so left us to the mercy of the seas and winds.

[260] On the fifteenth instant we arrived again at Charlestown and were examined before the Governor concerning our being taken by the French. We were now detained three days before we could get another pass from the Governor, we having destroyed the former when we were taken by the French and then were dismissed, being in a strange place; far from home, destitute of friends, clothing money and arms, and in that deplorable condition had been obliged to undertake a journey of five hundred miles, but a gentleman who was commander of a Privateer and now lay at Charlestown with whom we had discoursed several times gave to each of us a gun and a sword and would have given us ammunition but that he had but little. On the eighteenth day of April left Charlestown the second time and travelled by land, and on the seventeenth day of May 1745 we arrived at my house, having been absent three years two months and one day from my family, having in that time by the nicest calculation I am able to make, travelled by Land and water four thousand six hundred and six miles, since I left my own House till I returned Home again.



[261] SCHEME

For the Settlement of a New Colony to the Westward of Pennsylvania, for the Enlargement of his Majesty's Dominions in America, for the further Promotion of the Christian Religion among the Indian Natives, and for the more effectual securing them in his Majesty's Alliance.

That humble Application be made either to His Majesty or the General Assembly of Connecticut, or to both, as the Case may require, for a Grant of so much Land as shall be necessary for the Settlement of an ample colony, to extend from the Western Boundaries of Pennsylvania one Hundred Miles to the Westward of the River Mississippi, and to be divided from Virginia and Carolina by the Great Chain of Mountains that runs along the Continent from the North Eastern to the South Western Parts of America. That humble Application be made to His Majesty for a Charter to erect the said Territory into a separate Government, with the same Privileges which the Colony of Connecticut enjoys, and for such Supplies of Arms and Ammunition as may be necessary for the Safety and Defence of the Settlers, and that his Majesty would also be pleased to take the said New Colony under his immediate protection.

That application be made to the Assemblies of the several British Colonies in North America to grant such Supplies of Money and Provisions as may enable the Settlers to secure the Friendship of the Indian Natives, and support themselves and Families till they are established in said Colony in Peace and Safety, and can support themselves by their own Industry.

That at least Twelve Reverend Ministers of the Gospel be [262] engaged to remove to the said New Colony with such members of their respective Congregations as are willing to go along with them.

That every Person, from the age of fourteen years and upwards (Slaves excepted) professing the Christian Religion, being Protestant Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, and that will remove to said New Colony with the first settlers thereof, shall be entitled to a sufficient Quantity of Land for a good Plantation, without any Consideration Money, and at the annual Rent of a Pepper-Corn. The Plantation to contain at least Three Hundred Acres, Two Hundred Acres of which to be such Land as is fit either for Tillage or Meadow.

That every Person under the Age of Fourteen Years (Slaves excepted) who removes to said Province with the First Settlers thereof, as well as such Children as shall be lawfully born to said First Settlers in said Province, or in the Way to it, shall be entitled to Three Hundred Acres of Land when they come to the Age of Twenty-one Years, without any Purchase Money, at the annual Quit-Rent of Two Shillings Sterling for every Hundred Acres; the Quitrent arising from such Lands to be applied to the Support of Government, the Propagation of the Christian Religion among the Indian Natives, the Relief of the Poor, the Encouragement of Learning, and in general to such other public Use, as shall be judged by the Legislature of the Province to be most conducive to the General Good.

That every Person who is entitled to any land in the Province, shall be at Liberty to take it up when they please; but when taken up shall be obliged to clear and fence at least Fifteen Acres on ever Farm of Three Hundred Acres, within Five Years after the Appropriation of said Land, and also to build a Dwelling House of at least Fifteen Foot square with good Chimney on the Premises within the said Term on Pain of forfeiting said Land.

[263] That the said Plantation shall be laid out in Townships, in such Manner as will be most for the Safety. And Convenience of the Settlers.

That in order to prevent all Jealousies and Disputes about the Choice of said Plantations, they shall be divided by Lot.

That as soon as possible after a sufficient Number of Persons are engaged, a proper Charter obtained, and the necessary Preparations are made for the Support and Protection of the Settlers, a Place of general Rendezvous shall be appointed, where they shall all meet, and from whence they shall proceed in a Body to the new Colony; but that no Place of Rendezvous shall be appointed till at least Two Thousand Persons able to bear Arms are actually engaged to remove, exclusive of Women and Children.

That it be established as one of the fundamental Laws of the Province that Protestants, of every Denomination who profess the Christian Religion, believe the Divine Authority of the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the Doctrine of the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead, and whose Lives and Conversations are free from Immorality and Prophaneness, shall be equally capable of serving in all the Posts of Honor, Trust or Profit in the Government, notwithstanding the Diversity of their religious Principles in other Respects. But that none of any Denomination whatsoever, who have been guilty of Prophaning the Name of God, of Lying, Drunkenness, or any other of the groser Immoralities, either in their Words or Actions, shall be capable of holding any Office in or under the Government till at least one Year after their Conviction of such Offence.

The Christianizing the Indian Natives and bringing them to be good Subjects, not only to the Crown of Great Britain, but to the King of all Kings, being one of the most essential Designs of the proposed New Colony, it is a Matter of the [264] utmost Importance that those poor ignorant Heathen should not be prejudiced against the Christian Religion by the bad Lives of those in Authority.

That Protestants of every Denomination who profess the Christian Religion, shall have the free and unlimited Exercise of their Religion, and shall be allowed to defend it, both from the Pulpit and the Press, so long as they remain peaceable Members of Civil Society, and do not propagate Principles inconsistent with the Safety of the State.

That no Member of the Church of Rome shall be able to hold any Lands or Real Estate in the Province, nor be allowed to be Owners of, or have any Arms or Ammunition in their Possession, on any Pretence whatsoever, nor shall any Mass-Houses, or Popish Chappels be allowed in the Province.

That no Person shall be obliged to pay any Thing towards the Support of a Minister of whose Congregation he is not a Member, or to a Church to which he does not belong.

That the Indians shall on all occasions be treated with the utmost Kindness, and every justifiable method taken to gain their Friendship; and that whoever injures, cheats, or makes them drunk, shall be punished with peculiar Severity.

That so soon as the Province is able to support Missionaries, and proper Persons can be found to engage in the Affair, a Fund shall be settled for the Purpose, and Missionaries sent among the neighboring Indian Nations; and that it shall, in all Time coming, be esteemed as one of the first and most Essential Duties of the Legislature of the Province, by every proper Method in their power to endeavor to spread the Light of the glorious Gospel among the Indians in America even to its most Western Bounds.

That, as the Conversion of the Indians is a Thing much to be desired, from the weightiest Considerations, both of a religious and political Nature, and since the Colony during its [256] Infancy will be unable to provide the necessary Funds for the Purpose, some proper Person or Persons shall be sent to Europe, duly authorized from the Government, to ask the Assistance of such as desire to promote that great and good Work.

To the Honourable the Governor, Council and Representatives of the Colony of the Connecticut, to meet in General Assembly, on the Eighth Day of May, 1755. The petition of the Subscribers, being Inhabitants of His Majesty's Plantations in North America,

Humbly Sheweth

That your Petitioners having taken the foregoing scheme for settling a new colony into their most serious consideration, and having deliberately weighed the various parts thereof, cannot but most heartily approve of a design, which, when duly executed, would be attended with such happy and extensive consequences to the Crown of Great Britain, and all His Majesty's colonies in North America and which would at the same Time open the most effectual Door for carrying the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ among the numerous Tribes of Indians that inhabit those inland Parts; and being for our Parts desirous to embark in so important a Cause, if the Scheme takes Effect, and to remove with our Families and Fortunes to the proposed New Colony, when Providence has prepared the Way for us, we are naturally led to wish Success to the Undertaking; but however ardently we wish Success to the Scheme or how sanguine soever our Inclinations may be of engaging in the Affair, common Prudence forbids our Removal till such a Foundation is laid as will afford, not only a rational Prospect of present Protection from the Enemy, but of handing down both Civil and Religious Liberty, as well as private Property, to our Posterity; and since it is necessary that such Foundation be laid in Part by Your Honorable House, [266] we are constrained to make our humble Application to You, and we do it with the greater Cheerfulness, as the known Zeal of New England for His Majesty's Service gives us the greatest Reason to hope for the Countenance and Assistance of Your House in an Undertaking that has so direct a Tendency to promote His Majesty's Interest by securing the Friendship and firm Alliance of the Indian Natives, and thereby preparing the Way for the actual Settlement of those remote Parts of the British Dominions, as well as for Preventing the Encroachments of the French. We, therefore, Your Petitioners do most humbly pray, That You would be pleased so far to aid the Design, as to make the proper Grant of so much Land as shall be necessary for the proposed new Colony, which we humbly conceive ought to extend as far as the Scheme proposes, that is to say, From the Western Boundaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, One Hundred Miles to the Westward of the River Mississippi, and that it should be divided from Virginia and Carolina by the great Chain of Mountains that runs along the Continent from the North Eastern to the Southwestern Parts of America.

And also, That Your Honorable House would be pleased to make Application to His Majesty for a Charter to erect the said Territory into a separate Government with the same Privileges which the Colony of Connecticut enjoys. And we beg Leave, with all Humility to add That as the Charter by which Your Province holds both their Land and their Privileges expressly declares, That the Christianizing of the Indian Natives was the principal End which King Charles the Second proposed by granting such extensive Territories and Privileges, so we cannot but hope, that the same Motives will have their proper Weight with Your Honourable House, to grant the Prayer of your Petitioners, and we, as in Duty bound, will ever pray.

To this petition were affixed more than thousand names.


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