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[93] to form plans for an American civil list and a new
chap. IV.} 1752.
administration of the colonies. They were resolved to attach large emoluments, independent of American acts of assembly, to all the offices, of which they had now acquired the undivided and very lucrative patronage. Their continued subordination served to conceal their designs; and the imbecility of Holdernesse left them nothing to apprehend from his interference.

But in the moment of experiment, the thoughts of the Board were distracted by the state of relations with France.

Along the confines of Nova Scotia, the heat of contest began to subside; but danger lowered from the forest on the whole American frontier. In the early summer of 1752, John Stark, of New Hampshire, as fearless a young forester as ever bivouacked in the wilderness, was trapping beaver along the clear brooks that gushed from his native highlands, when a party of St. Francis Indians stole upon his steps, and scalped one of his companions. He, himself, by courage and good humor, won the love of his captors; their tribe saluted him as a young chief, and cherished him with hearty kindness; his Indian master, accepting a ransom, restored him to his country. Men of less presence of mind often fell victims to the fury of the Indian allies of France.

At the same time, the Ohio Company, with the express sanction1 of the Legislature of Virginia, were forming a settlement beyond the mountains. Gist had, on a second tour, explored the lands southeast of the Ohio, as far as the Kenhawa. The jealousy of the

1 Laws of Virginia, February, 1752. 25 Geo. II., c. 25. Report of Lewis and Walker to Lord Botetourt, 2 February, 1769.

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