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EvARTS BouTELL Greene, President

Charles Henry Rammelkamp, Vice-President

Otto Leopold Schmidt, Secretary

Jessie Palmer Weber, Librarian



James Alton James

Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin

William Augustus Meese

Edward Carleton Page

Charles Henry Rammelkamp

Clarence Walworth Alvord, ex officio










Edited with Introduction and Notes by


University of Illinois


Miami University

Published by the Trustees of the



Copyright, 1916


The Illinois State Historical Library

ffllf TLakeeilir ^rfsa
R. R. donnklley a pons company



List of Illustrations vii

List of Abbreviations ix

The Inauguration of the New Regime (Special Introduction) xi

Chapter I. George Croghan's Journals, February 28,

1765, TO October 8, 1765 i

Fraser and Croghan set out; negotiations with the Indians at Fort
Pitt; Fraser hastens ahead; the journey down the Ohio; description of
the country; attack by the Indians; negotiations with the western
Indians; arrival at Detroit; more negotiations; letter to Murray;
Croghan writes Benjamin Frankhn.

Chapter II. Occupation of Fort de Chartres, July 24,

1765, to November 16, 1765 65

The troops muster at Fort Pitt; Captain Stirling is chosen; Gage and
Johnson both write; the cession of Fort de Chartres; inventory of goods
at the fort; Eddingstone describes the country; Stirling sends an official
account; the Illinois people petition Gage for time; conditions too dis-
turbed for the transaction of business.

Chapter III. The Completion of the Occupation, De-
cember 13, 1765, TO April 6, 1766 123

Farmar makes a start; Stirling's first impression; St. Ange crosses to
St. Louis; Farmar arrives; Fort de Chartres becomes Fort Cavendish;
the aid of the Indians; Farmar tells his story; Gage and Johnson jubi-
lant; Aubry sends the news to France; Johnson sends some more
thoughts on Indian affairs; a proclamation; Baynton, Wharton, and
Morgan have trouble in shipping their goods; the first merchandise
under Jennings goes to the Illinois.

Chapter IV. Plans for a Colony, March 9, 1766, to

May 10, 1766 178

Gage anxious for Croghan to start; the Spanish arrive at New Orleans;
Croghan's expenses; Farmar descriljes the IlUnois; Johnson urges the
appointment of commissaries; the Illinois Company formed; Governor
Ulloa writes to Gage; preparations for trade; Gage instructs Croghan;
Fraser describes the country at length; Benjamin Franklin approves of
a colony.



Chapter V. Conflicting Plans, May io, 1766, to June 15,
1766 234

Barrington's plan for the West; Gage's criticism; trade on the
Mississippi; Major Rogers sent to Mackinac; reasons for establishing a
colony at the Illinois; the value of such a colony; Captain Gordon
starts for Fort Pitt; Johnson promises to assist the colonial plan;
Croghan's accounts; Phineas Lyman petitions for a colony; Lyman's
reasons for a colony on the Mississippi.

Chapter VI. The Rendezvous at the Illinois, June 18,
1766, TO JULY 18, 1766 290

Captain Gordon's journal; Croghan and Hutchins go with him;
description of the Ohio; Gordon's account of the Illinois; French getting
all the trade; Morgan writes of his experiences to his wife; the Jesuit
property again; Gage writes Farmar; Johnson recommends the colony;
Cole writes of his journey; the Mississippi undermining Fort de Char-

Chapter VII. The Trade and Colonial Plans Progress,

July 30, 1766, to October ii, 1766 343

Lagrange's creditors come to an agreement; the firm instructs Irmn;
Clarkson's diary; the firm excuses its illicit trade; B. FrankUn writes
of the colonial scheme; the opinion of the lords of trade; Croghan re-
ports; the Canadian traders object to the trade regulations; Cole's

Chapter VIII. A Chapter of Opinions, October 28, 1766,
TO November 27, 1766 401

Lyman writes of the navigation of the Mississippi River; the evi-
dence; Captain Bond's journal of 1699; Jackson's opinion of the plan for
Indian affairs; his criticism of Barrington's plan; he gives his approval
of the Illinois colony; Thomas Wharton writes Benjamin Franklin;
Winston's losses; a coiurt-martial at Fort de Chartres.

Chapter IX. The Value of the Illinois Country, No-
vember 21, 1766, TO February 24, 1767 438

Morgan's journey down the Mississippi; French hunters on the
British shore; Lord Shelburne outlines a western pohcy; how to raise an
American fund; Croghan reports; Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan
offer to supply Fort de Chartres; a bribe; a census of the Illinois: Gage
thinks the Illinois of little value; Croghan reports his negotiations with
Illinois Indians; trade conditions; Croghan's expenses; distribution of

Chapter X. Discussion of the Indian Trade, March i,

1767, TO July 15, 1767 .516

The Mississippi Company's plans; Morgan returns from the Illinois;
religious conditions in the Illinois; instructions to commissaries; Lord
Shelburne opposes the plan of Charles Townshend; Governor Carlcton


discusses the fur trade; the difficulties of confining the trade to the
posts; Johnson and Gage write to Shelburne; the disposition of the
troops; reduction of expenses for America; Father Meurin and Bishop
Briand correspond; the Mississippi Company holds a meeting; letters
from Cole; the use of the Ohio River; Haldimand gives his opinion.

Index 599


Portrait of the Earl of Shelburne .... Frontispiece

Photograph of Farmar's Proclamation 153

Cantonment of Military Forces, 1766 200

Silhouette of Colonel George Morgan 311

Portrait of Samuel Wharton 464


A.A.,Q. = Archiepiscopal Archives, Quebec

AA.S. = American Antiquarian Society

A.C. = Attested Copy

A.D.S. = Autograph Document Signed

A.L. = Autograph Letter

A.L.S. = Autograph Letter Signed

A.N.,C. = Archives Nationales, Ministere des Colonies

A.P.S. = American Philosophical Society

A.S.,Q. = Archives du Seminaire de Quebec

Add. MSS. = Additional Manuscripts

B.M. = British Museum

C. = Copy

C.H.S. = Chicago Historical Society

CO. = Colonial Office

C.P.L. = Champaign Public Library

C.S. = Copy Signed

D.H.N.Y. = Documentary History of New York

D.S. = Document Signed

E. = Extract

f . = Folio

H.C.L. = Harvard College Library

I.H.C. = Illinois Historical Collections

K. MSS. = Kaskaskia Manuscripts

L.B.C. = Letter Book Copy

L.S. = Letter Signed

M.H.S. = Massachusetts Historical Society

N.Y.S.L. = New York State Library

P.C.R. = Pennsylvania Colonial Records

P.D.P.R. = Pennsylvania Division of Public Records

P.H.S. = Historical Society of Pennsylvania

P.R.O. = Public Record Office

S.P.jDom. = State Papers, Domestic

V.S.L. = Virginia State Library

[ ] = With italics: Editorial explanations witliin documents
or translations

[ 1 = With roman : Words supplied by editor in documents or
translations; letters suppUed, the omission of which
in the original was indicated by a tilde


Special Introduction


The transfer of sovereignty over the IlHnois country,
effected by Captain StirHng in October, 1765, inaugurated
an era of British control in the trans- Allegheny West which
continued until 1778. In the following pages will be found
numerous documents descriptive of the various problems
connected with the country and its governance during the
first two or three years of this regime. Reflected through-
out the volume is the problem of the adjustment of the
government of the region to the needs of the new subjects,
both French and Indian. This demanded, but did not
always call forth, the utmost adroitness and diplomacy upon
the part of the central government and its subordinates in
America. Interwoven with this is the ever-present question
of trade regulation and promotion. The larger political
question of the disposition of the West — whether it should
be carved into proprietary colonies, retained as an Indian
territory, or annexed to an older province — occupies no
inconsiderable space. ^

The question of the ultimate disposition of this region
and the relation subsisting between the Indians and the
colonists represent varying phases of the general imperial
problem confronting the ministry subsequent to 1763.
Numerous plans for its systematic colonization were evolved
by corporations and by individuals almost immediately

^ For a detailed discussion of the various problems connected with this period,
based mainly upon sources printed in this series, see C. E. Carter, Great Britain
and the Illinois Country, 1763-1774, passim.


after the ownership of the region by Great Britain had been
confirmed by the treaty with France. The Mississippi
Company, prominent among whose members were
the Washington and Lee famihes of Virginia, urgently
petitioned for a large grant on the lower courses of the
Ohio River. Phineas Lyman had in mind a still more
extended scheme of colonization. General Charles Lee and
Sir Jeffrey Amherst likewise suggested plans for the coloniza-
tion of the country in the vicinity of the old French settle-
ments on the Great Lakes and on the Wabash and Missis-
sippi rivers. In the same year the colony of New Wales, to
be located on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, was sug-
gested.^ Although these proposals were not looked upon
with great favor by the ministry, their promoters did not
cease their efforts to push them. In 1766 a project for the
colonization of the West was proposed by a firm of Phila-
delphia merchants, Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan, who
with Governor Franklin of New Jersey, his famous father.
Sir William Johnson, and others formed a company for the
purpose of planting a colony to be bounded by the Wisconsin,
Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash rivers. There were many
other projects as ambitious as those suggested, and pam-
phlet literature was freely circulated which propagated
among the people of Great Britain the idea of the necessity
of immediate colonization and painted in most attractive
colors the opportunities to be found in the great valley.

The attitude of the ministry towards western expansion
varied according to the complexion of the predominant
factions comprising the government. As long as the ad-

^ Gentleman's Magazine, S3' 287-288. For a discussion of all these plans see
Aldcn, New Governments West of the Alleghanies. A more extended account of
these colonizing enterprises will be published by Mr. Alvord in a volume entitled,
The Mississippi Valley in British Politics; An Essay in Imperialism, which will
appear shortly after the publication of this volume.


ministration was in the hands of George Grenville and the
Duke of Bedford, there was an expectation of an orderly
and imperially controlled westward expansion.^ Under the
Old Whigs who followed the Marquis of Rockingham the
tendency in administrative circles was to adopt means to
close the area of possible settlement at the Appalachian
divide. To this period belongs the paper by Lord Barring-
ton who argued for the maintenance of a perpetual Indian
reservation in the great valley.^ With the advent of Chat-
ham and his progressive lieutenant, Lord Shelburne, all
reactionary and dilatory measures were swept aside and the
ministry favored a rapid movement of the settlement across
the mountains."'' The following pages contain many indica-
tions of these changing views in ministerial circles.

Although the general features of the West came to be
familiar in political circles through the heated arguments
aroused by the question of its disposition, the region was at
the beginning of the British regime little appreciated and
its topography almost unknown. Even officials charged
with the responsibility of pacifying the West were not
sufficiently informed about western topography to venture
the suggestion of any detailed program for its occupation.
"I cannot give you a Satisfactory Information of the Navi-
gation of the Ohio below Fort Pitt. The Acc*^ I could
collect from the Traders and the French being very imper-
fect, partly founded on hearsay, and often contradictory
concerning the Falls, or Rapids."* Thus wrote Colonel
Henry Bouquet to General Gage in 1764 in outlining his
plans for the military occupation of the western posts. A

^ See Plan for the Future Management of Indian Affairs, July lo, 1764, ante,

^ See document, May 10, 1766, post, 234.

' See numerous papers on Lord Shelbume's plans, post, v. 3.

* Ante, 1:252.


year later Colonel George Croghan observed in his journal :
"It is surprising what False information we have
respecting this Country some mention this Spacious and
Beautiful Meadows as large and Barren Savannahs I
apprehend it has been the Artifice of the French to Keep
us ignorant of the Country."^ These comments are illus-
trative of the geographical knowledge current at the time
of the cession of the trans- Allegheny region to Great Britain.
Its general character was, perhaps, vaguely understood by
students of political geography in England through the
writings of French authors. A few British colonial traders
and adventurers had, prior to the French and Indian War,
ventured as far west as the Wabash River, but the British
mind was illuminated only with the advent of the troops,
the Indian agents and merchants, who, soon after the close
of the war, penetrated to the farthermost points. Data as
to the contour, the soil and the chmate, the products and the
possibilities were soon made available by the reports and
journals kept by the leaders of the numerous military, com-
mercial, and Indian missions sent into the western wilder-

Pohtically affairs were in a chaotic state throughout the
greater part of the period. No provision had been made
by the British government for any sort of civil control o\'er
the distant French settlements. The royal proclamation of
1763, which provided for civil establishments in other por-
tions of the recent acquisitions, reserved the western coun-
try as a vast hunting ground for the Indians and interdicted,
temporarily at least, the immigration of white people into
the region. No provision having been made in this edict
or in any other way for a civil government, it consequently
devolved upon the military authorities, in conjunction with

1 Post, 34.


the officials of the Indian department, to preserve order in
the Indian country and to provide for whatever adminis-
tration the French inhabitants, who remained in their old
homes, should require.

The success attending the efforts of the British in or-
ganizing the affairs of the West was limited in large measure
by the rapid changes in the personnel of the staffs of the
military and Indian departments stationed in that region.
Captain Thomas Stirling, who remained in the Illinois
country but a brief period, from October 9 to December 2,
1765, had Uttle opportunity to develop an administrative
policy. In this time, however, some of the chief events in
the transition from French to British rule occurred.

The estabHshment of the machinery of military govern-
ment and the administration of the oath of allegiance to the
old inhabitants were accomplished without serious friction.
The acceptance of the new conditions on the part of the in-
habitants was facihtated by the terms of the proclamation^
issued by General Thomas Gage, the commander in chief
of the army. This defined the individual status of the in-
habitants of the Illinois country. One of the leading features
of this document was a clause granting to the French the
right of the free exercise of the Roman Catholic religion ' 'in
the same manner as in Canada," which was the fulfilij|ent
on the part of the British government of the pledge ^ven
in the fourth article of the treaty of Paris, which contained
the following clause: " His Britannic majesty agrees to grant
the Hberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants of
Canada; he will consequently give the most precise and
effectual orders that his new Roman Catholic subjects may
profess the worship of their religion according to the
rites of the Roman church, as far as the laws of Great

M«te, 1:395.


Britain permit."^ This provision appertained to the whole
western territory as well as to Canada proper. Prior to
the treaty of cession the Illinois and Wabash settlements
were subject to the jurisdiction of Louisiana, and approxi-
mately the country north of the fortieth parallel had been
within the limits of Canada. In the treaty, however, aU
the territory lying between the Alleghenies and the IMissis-
sippi River was described as a dependency of Canada. The
government was thus committed to religious toleration
within the whole extent of the ceded territory. This meant
that only the reHgious privileges of the church had been
secured, since the clause, "as far as the laws of Great Britain
permit," threw grave doubt on the extent of the liberty
which had been promised.

Other clauses provided that all the inhabitants of the
Illinois who had been subjects of the king of France might,
if they desired, sell their estates and retire with their effects
to Louisiana. No restraint would be placed on their
emigration except for debt or on account of criminal proces-
ses.^ This was also a fulfilment of the pledges made in the
treaty of Paris.' All the inhabitants who desired to retain
their estates and become subjects of Great Britain were
guaranteed security for their persons and effects and the
liberty of trade upon taking the oath of allegiance and fi-
delity to the crown.*

When Captain Stirling proceeded to Kaskaskia to post
the proclamation and to administer the oath of allegiance
as authorized by the commanding general, he was con-
fronted by an unexpected movement on the part of the

^Shortt and Doughty, Documents relating to the Constitutional History of
Canada, i-jsg-ijgi, p. 75.

* See anlc, i :396.

2 Shortt and Doughty, Constitutional Documents, 75.

* See ante, 1 : 396,


inhabitants. A petition was presented, signed by represen-
tative Frenchmen of the village, asking for a respite of nine
months in order that they might settle their affairs and de-
cide whether they wished to remain under the British
government or withdraw from the country.^ According to
the treaty stipulations the inhabitants of the ceded territory
had been given eighteen months in which to retire, the
time to be computed from the date of the exchange of rati-
fications." The limit thus defined had long since expired,
and it was therefore beyond the legal competence of Stirling
or of his superior, General Gage, to grant an extension of
time. Stirling, indeed, refused at first to grant the request.'
When he perceived, however, that unless some concessions
were made the village would be immediately depopulated,
he extended the time to the first of March, 1766,* with the
condition that a temporary oath of allegiance be taken, ^ and
that all desiring to leave the country should give their names
in advance.^ To this tentative proposal the French in
Kaskaskia agreed on condition that Stirling forward to the
commanding general a petition in which they asked for a
further extension.^ An officer was then dispatched to the
villages of Prairie du Rocher, St. Philippe, and Cahokia
where similar arrangements were made.^

The commandant of the British troops had, as already
suggested, no commission to govern the inhabitants; but
the machinery of local government under the French had
become so unsettled by the end of the war that he found

1 Post, 108.

2 Shortt and Doughty, Constitutional Documents, 75.
2 Stirling to Gage, October 18, 1765, post, 109.

« Ihid.
^ Ihid; Farmar to Gage, December 16-19, 1765, post, 134.

''Post, no, III.

8 Stirling to Gage, October 18, 1765, post, 109.


himself confronted with conditions which made immediate
action imperative. Practically the only civil officials
Stirling found were Joseph Lefebvre, who acted as judge,
attorney general, and guardian of the royal warehouse, and
Joseph Labuxiere, who was clerk and notary public.^ These
men retired, however, to St. Louis with St. Ange and the
French soldiers.^ This brought the whole governmental
machinery to a standstill, and the British commander was
forced to act. He determined to appoint a judge; and after
consulting the principal inhabitants of the village, selected
Lagrange who was instructed ' ' to decide all disputes . . . Accord-
ing to the Laws and Customs of the Country," with liberty
of appeal to the commandant in case the litigants were dis-
satisfied with his decision.^ The captains of militia seem to
have retained their positions under the British, their duties
being practically the same as in the French regime. Each
village or parish had its captain who tried petty cases, saw
to the enforcement of decrees and other civil matters as
well as to the organization of the local militia.^ The ofhce
of royal commissary was also continued and James Rumsey,
a former officer in the British army, was appointed to this
position.^ But who was to assume the duties of the old
French commandant with both his civil and military func-
tions? Obviously the most logical person was the com-
manding officer of the troops stationed at the fort, with the
difference that the French official held a special commission
for the performance of these duties, and the British com-
mandant had no such authorization. A further and more
fundamental difference lay in the fact that formerly the

1 Stirling to GaRC, December 15, 1765, post, 124.

2 Ibid.
" Ibid.

0* Ibid.
* Stirling to Gage, October 18, 1765, post, no.


French had the right to appeal to the superior council at
New Orleans, while apparently no such corresponding right
was given them by the new arrangement.^

Stirling did not long retain command of the post,^ for,
on December 2, he was superseded by Major Robert Far-
mar,^ his superior in rank, who arrived from Mobile with a
detachment of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, after an eight
months' voyage.^ Their arrival was exceedingly welcome to
Stirling and his men, who were embarrassed by lack of pro-
visions, ammunition, and presents for the Indians.^ When
they left Fort Pitt in August, it had not been deemed neces-
sary to take more than sixty rounds of ammunition, inas-
much as Fort de Chartres was supposed to be well stocked,
and both Gage and Stirling believed that Croghan, with
his cargo of supplies, would be awaiting the arrival of the
troops at the fort.*' Neither expectation, however, was

'Carter, Illinois Country, ii.

^Monette {History of the Mississippi Valley, 1:411) says that "Capt. Stirling
died in December; St. Ange returned to Fort Chartres, and not long afterwards
Major Frazer, from Fort Pitt, arrived as commandant." The statement is wholly
incorrect. Stirling later served in the Revolutionary War, and lived until 1808.
The " Major Frazer" referred to was doubtless the Lieutenant Fraser who preceded
George Croghan to the Illinois country early in 1765. He never commanded in
Illinois at any time, nor is there the slightest evidence that St. Ange, the last
French commandant at Fort de Chartres, ever returned. This tradition of Stir-
ling's death and of the succession of Fraser has been perpetuated in Reynolds,
The Pioneer History of Hlinois, 55; Blanchard, History of Illinois, 35; Billon,
Annals of St. Louis, 1:36; Dunn, History of Indiana, 76. Blanchard in his Dis-
covery and Conquest of the Northwest (p. 170), after repeating the story, states that
"both Peck and Brown erroneously give this commandant's name as Farmer. It
should be Fraser, the same who first advanced to the place from Fort Pitt." For
sketch of StirUng's career, see post, 81, n.

^ For sketch of Farmar's life, see atite, i : 264, n.

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