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[41] Jersey. These appeals were to ‘tally with and accre-
chap II. 1748} Dec.
dit the representation from New-York.’1

Such was the aspect in which official records presented America to the rash and inexperienced Halifax. From the first moment of his employment, he stood forth the busy champion of the royal authority; and in December, 1748, his earliest official words of any import, promised ‘a very serious consideration on’ what he called ‘the just prerogatives of the crown, and those defects of the constitution,’ which had ‘spread themselves over many of the plantations, and were destructive of all order and government,’2 and he resolved on instantly effecting a thorough change, by the agency of parliament. While awaiting its meeting, the menaced encroachments of France urgently claimed his attention; and with equal promptness he determined to secure the possession of Nova Scotia and the Ohio valley.


The region beyond the Alleghanies had as yet no English settlement, except, perhaps, a few scattered cabins in Western Virginia. The Indians south of Lake Erie and in the Ohio valley were, in the recent war, friendly to the English, and were now united to Pennsylvania by a treaty of commerce. The traders, chiefly from Pennsylvania, who strolled from tribe to tribe, were without fixed places of abode, but drew many Indians over the lake to trade in skins and furs. The colony of New York, through the Six Nations, might command the Canadian passes to the Ohio valley; the grant to William Penn actually included

1 C. Colden to Clinton, 12 January, 1749. Compare too Hamilton's Speech to the Assembly of the Jerseys at Perth Amboy.

2 Letter of December, to Glen of South Carolina.

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