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1 yet without abdicating his own overrul-
Chap. XXXVIII} 1768. Oct.
ing authority.2 This plan which could be but temporary, led the people under his rule themselves to refleet on the best forms of Government.

But Wilkins was chiefly intent on enriching some Philadelphia fur traders, who were notorious for their willingness to bribe;3 he reported favorably of their zeal for British commerce,4 and, in less than a year after his arrival, executed at their request inchoate grants of large tracts of land, of which one sixth part was reserved for himself.

The procedure contravened the explicit orders of Hillsborough, who wished to diminish, and, if possible, to extirpate the Western Settlements, and extend an unbroken line of Indian frontier from Georgia to Canada, as an impassable barrier to emigration. Repeated instructions5 had been issued for the completion of this boundary; and they were imperatively renewed.6 At the South, Stuart, who desired to fulfil his trust with fidelity, had already carried the line to the northern limit of North Carolina, and was now to continue it from Chiswell's mine to the mouth of the Kanawha. In this manner all Kentucky, as well as the entire Territory North West of the Ohio, would

1 [225] Gazetteer of Ilinois, 107. Brown's History of Illinois, 213. Monette's Mississippi Valley, i. 411.

2 Pittman's Present State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi, &c. 43.

3 Compare Messrs. Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan, to L. Macleane, Esq., Philadelphia, 9 January, 1767. In Lansdowne House Papers.

4 Lieut. Col. Wilkins to General Gage, Fort Chartres, 13 September 1768.

5 See the Record in American State Papers, Class VIII. Public Lands, II. 208.

6 Circular of 13 Sept. 1766; Shelburne to Stuart, 13 Sept. 1766. Same to Same, 11 Dec. 1766, &c. &c. Compare Shelburne to Gage, 14 Nov. 1767; Board to Shelburne, 23 Dec. 1767; Shelburne to Sir William Johnson, 5 Jan. 1768.

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