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[472] Dartmouth, with the purest intentions, adopted the
Chap. L.} 1773. Nov.
policy of his predecessor. He censured ‘the ideas of the inhabitants of the Illinois District with regard to a civil Constitution as very extravagant;’ and rejected their proposition to take some part in the election of their rulers,1 as ‘absurd and inadmissible.’ A plan of Government2 was therefore prepared of great simplicity, leaving all power with the executive officers of the Crown, and Gage had been summoned to England to give advice on the administration of the Colonies, and especially on the mode of governing the West. It was on the fourth of November, that the fathers of the Commonwealth of Illinois, through their Agent Daniel Blouin, forwarded their indignant protest against the proposed form, which they rejected as ‘oppressive and absurd,’ ‘much worse than that of any of the French or even the Spanish Colonies.’ ‘Should a Government so evidently tyrannical be established,’ such was their language to the British Minister, ‘it could be of no long duration;’3 there would exist ‘the necessity of its being abolished.’ The words were nobly uttered and were seasonable. The chord of liberty vibrated on the Illinois, and the sympathy of the western villages with freedom was an assurance that they too would join the great American family of Republics.

The issue was to be tried at Boston; its teaships were on the water; the Governor himself under the name of his sons was selected as one of the consignees;

1 Dartmouth to Gage, 4 Nov. 1772; Gage to Dartmouth, 6 Jan. 1773; Dartmouth to Gage, 3 March, 1773.

2 Sketch of Government, &c. &c. for Illinois.

3 Daniel Blouin to Lord Dartmouth, 4 Nov. 1773.

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