They don't deserve so much attention.’
Chap. XLVII.} 1772.
agree with you,’ rejoined Hillsborough; ‘a regular Government for that District would be highly improper.’
The people of Illinois
, weary of the shameless despotism which aimed only at forestalling tracts of land, the monopoly of the Indian
trade, or the ruin of the French
villages, took their cause into their own hands; they demanded institutions like those of Connecticut
, and set themselves inflexibly against any proposal for a Government, which should be irresponsible to themselves.
In 1771, they had assembled in a General Meeting
, and had fixed upon their scheme; they never departed from it; ‘expecting to appoint their own Governor and all civil Magistrates.’1
The rights of freemen were demanded as boldly on the Prairies
as in Carolina
or New England
Towards the people at Vincennes
was less relenting; for there was no Spanish shore to which they could fly. They were, by formal proclamation, peremptorily commanded to retire within the jurisdiction of some one of the Colonies.2
But the men3
were as unwilling to abandon their homes in a settlement already seventy years old,4
as those of Illinois
to give up the hope of freedom.
The spirit of discontent pervaded every village in the wilderness; and what allegiance would men of French origin bear to a British King
who proposed to take away their estates and to deny them liberty?
The log cabins having been planted,