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[32] reported as a general rising against the execution of
Chap. XXVII.} 1766. Oct.
the Laws of Trade. But the chief reliance of the cabal rested on personal importunity; and the untiring Paxton, who had often visited England, and was known to possess as much of the friendship of Charles Townshend as a selfish client may obtain from an intriguing patron, was sent over as the representative of the colonial Crown Officers1, with special authority to appear as the friend of Oliver2 and of Hutchinson.3

We are drawing near the measures which compelled the insurrection of the colonies; but all the stars in their courses were harbingers of American Independence. No sooner were the prairies of Illinois in the possession of England than Croghan, a deputy Indian Agent, who from personal observation knew their value, urged their immediate colonization. Sir William Johnson; William Franklin, the royalist Governor of New Jersey; several fur-traders of Philadelphia; even Gage4 himself eagerly took part in a project by which they were to acquire vast estates in the most fertile valley of the world.5 Their proposal embraced the whole Western territory bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, a line along the Wabash and Maumee to Lake Erie, and thence across Michigan,

1 Candidus, in Boston Gazette, 9 Sept. 1771.

2 Compare Oliver to Whately, 7 May, 1767.

3 Hutchinson to R. Jackson, introducing Paxton; date not given, but evidently of Oct. 1766.

4 Gage to Secretary of State, 28 March, 1766, referred to the Lords of Trade in May.

5 Reasons for establishing a British Colony at the Illinois, 1766; Sir William Johnson to Secretary Conway, 10 July, 1766; Lords of Trade to the King, 3 Sept. 1766, before the above named papers were received; Letters of William Franklin and Benjamin Franklin, 1766; Franklin's Writings, IV. 233, &c. This plan for a colony in Illinois should not be confounded with the transactions respecting Vandalia, or as it has been called, Walpole's Grant, which was a tract south of the Ohio.

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