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[506] seating themselves on the New River and the Green
Chap. LII.} 1774. Feb.
Briar, on the branches of the Monongahela, or even making their way to the Mississippi; accepting from nature their title-deeds to the unoccupied wilderness. Connecticut kept in mind, that its Charter bounded its territory by the Pacific. Its daring sons held possession of the Wyoming Valley; and learned already to claim lands westward to the Mississippi, ‘seven or eight hundred miles in extent of the finest country and happiest climate on the Globe. In fifty years,’ said they, ‘our people will be more than half over this tract, extensive as it is; in less than one century, the whole may become even well cultivated. If the coming period bears due proportion to that from the first landing of poor distressed fugitives at Plymouth, nothing that we can in the utmost stretch of imagination fancy of the state of this country at an equally future period, can exceed what it will then be. A commerce will and must arise, independent of every thing external, and superior to any thing ever known in Europe, or of which a European can have an adequate idea.’ Thus the statesmen of Connecticut pleased themselves with pictures of the happiness of their posterity; and themselves enjoyed a vivid vision of ‘the glory of this New World.’1 Already the commerce of Philadelphia and New-York had outgrown the laws of trade; and the Revenue officers in those places, weary of attempts to enforce them, received what duties were paid almost as a favor.

Nor was the spirit of independence confined to the western woodsmen; the New England people

1 From letters written in February, 1774.

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