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1 and to hold the territory through the
Chap. XXXVIII} 1768. Oct.
friendship of the savages. But this design was obstructed by the actual settlements in Illinois and on the Wabash; the roving disposition of the Americans; and the avarice of British officers who coveted profit from concessions of lands. In this conflict of interests, the office of the Colonial Secretary was swayed by wavering opinions,2 producing only inconclusive correspondence, references, and reports on the questions, how to regulate trade with the Indians; how to ‘reform’ the excess in expenses; how to keep off settlers; how to restrain the cupidity of British Governors and agents.

The Spanish town of Saint Louis, on the west of the Mississippi, was fast rising into importance,3 as the centre of the fur trade with the Indian nations on the Missouri; but the population of Illinois had declined, and scarcely amounted to more than one thousand three hundred and fifty-eight, of whom rather more than three hundred were Africans. Kaskaskias counted six hundred white persons, and three hundred and three negroes. At Kahokia there were about three hundred persons; at Prairie Du Rocher, one hundred and twenty-five; at St. Philip fifteen; and not more at Fort Chartres,4 which the floods of Spring

1 [223] of the Board of Trade, 7 March, 1768. A copy is among the Broadhead Papers, vol. XLI. Hillsborough to Gage, 14 March, 1768. W. S. Johnson to Gov. Pitkin, 12 March, 1768.

2 W. S. Johnson to Gov. Pitkin, 12 Feb. 1767; Same to Same, 13 Nov. 1767. Same to E. Dyer, 12 Sept. 1767. Compare the Papers of the Board of Trade when Clare was its President, with those of Hillsborough. Compare also the Correspondence of Shelburne with that of Hillsborough.

3 Ensign Hutchins' Remarks on the Illinois Country, Ms. Pittman's Mississippi, 49.

4 State of the Settlements in the Illinois Country; in Gage to Hillsborough, 6 Jan. 1769.

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