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[33] Green Bay, and the Fox River, to the mouth of
Chap. XXVII.} 1766. Oct.
the Wisconsin.1 The tract was thought to contain sixty-three millions of acres, the like of which could nowhere be found. Benjamin Franklin favored the enterprise which promised fortune to its undertakers, and to America some new security for a mild colonial Administration. It was the wish of Shelburne,2 who loved to take counsel with the great philosopher on the interests of humanity, that the Valley of the Mississippi might be occupied by colonies enjoying English liberty. But the Board of Trade, to which Hillsborough had returned,3 insisted that emigrants to so remote regions would establish manufactures for themselves; and in the very heart of America, found a power, which distance must emancipate. They adhered, therefore, to the Proclamation of 1763, and to the range of the Alleghanies as the frontier of British settlements.

But the prohibition only set apart the Great Valley as the sanctuary of the unhappy, the adventurous, and the free; of those whom enterprise, or curiosity, or disgust at the forms of life in the old plantations, raised above royal edicts;4 of those who had nowhere else a home; or who would run all risks to take possession of the fine soil between the Alleghanies and the Ohio.5 The boundless West became the poor

1 From the Reasons, &c., section 8.

2 B. Franklin to his son, 11 Oct. 1766.

3 Franklin, IV. 235.

4 Lieutenant Governor Fauquier to the Lords of Trade, 22 May, 1766: ‘In disobedience to all proclamations, in defiance of law, and without the least shadow of right to claim or defend their property, people are daily going out to settle beyond the Alleghany Mountains. They flock there just now more than usual,’ &c., &c. Same to same, 4 Sept. 1766; Proclamation by Fauquier [in the summer of 1766] against making Settlements westward of the Alleghany Mountains.

5 Lieut. Gov. Fauquier to Shelburne, 18 Dec. 1766.

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