« AnteriorContinuar »
mand and empower our governors of our said three new colonies, and other our governors of our several provinces on the continent of North America, to grant, without fee or reward, to such reduced officers as have served in North America during the late war, and are actually residing there, and shall personally apply for the same, the following quantities of land, subject, at the expiration of ten years, to the same quit-rents as other lands are subject to in the province within which they are granted, 'as also subject to the same conditions of cultivation and improvement, viz:
To every person having the rank of a field-offi.
cer, 5000 acres.
To every private man, 50 acres. We do likewise authorise and require the governors and commanders in chief of all our said colonies, upon the continent of North America, to grant the like quantities of land, and upon the same conditions, to such reduced officers of our navy, of like rank, as served on board our ships of war in North America, at the times of the reduction of Louisbourg and Quebec in the late war, and who shall personally apply to our respective governors for such grants.
And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians, with whom we are connected, and who live under our pro. tection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and terri. tories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by, us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting grounds; we do, therefore, with the advice of our privy council, declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, that no governor or commander in chief, in any of our colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume, upon any pretence whatever, to grant warrants of survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments, as described in their commissions ; as also that no governor or commander in chief of
our other colonies or plantations in America, do presume for the present, and until our further pleasure be known, to grant warrant of survey, or pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers, which fall into the Atlantic ocean from the west or northwest ; or upon any lands whatever, which not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, as aforesaid, are reserved to the said Indians, or any of them.
And we do further declare it to-be our royal will and pleasure, for the present, as aforesaid, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection and dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the land and territories not included within the limits of our said three new governments, or within the limits of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company; as also all the land and territories, lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and northwest as aforesaid; and we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our displeasure, all our lov. ing subjects from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking possession of any of the lands above reserved, without our especial leave and license for that purpose first obtained.
And we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatever, who have either wilfully or inad. vertently seated themselves upon any lands within the countries above described, or upon any other lands, which not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such set: tlements.
And whereas, great frauds and abuses have been committed in the purchasing lands of the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests, and to the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians; in order therefore to prevent such irregularities for the future, and to the end that the Indians may be convinced of our justice and determined resolution to remove all rea. sonable cause of discontent, we do, with the advice of our privy council, strictly enjoin and require, that no private person do presume to make any purchase from the said Indians, of any lands reserved to the said Indians, within those parts of our colonies where we have thought proper to allow settlement; but that if at any time any of the said Indians should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same shall be purchased only for us, in our name, at some public meeting or assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose, by the governor or commander in chief of our colony respectively, within which they shall lie: and in case they shall lie within the limits of any proprietaries, conformable to such directions and instructions as we or they shall think proper to give for that purpose : And we do, by the advice of our privy council, declare and enjoin, that the trade with the said Indians shall be free and open to all our subjects whatever : Provided, That every person who may incline to trade with the said Indians, do take out a license for carrying on such trade, from the governor or cominander in chief of any of our colonies respectively, where such person shall reside ; and also give security to observe such regulations as we shall at any time think fit, by ourselves or commissaries to be appointed for this purpose, to direct and appoint for the benefit of the said trade ; and we do hereby authorise, enjoin and require the governors and commanders in chief of all our colonies respectively, as well those under our immediate government, as those under the government, and direction of proprietaries, to grant such licenses without fee or reward, taking especial care to insert therein, a condition that such license shall be void, and the security forfeited, in case the person to whom the same is granted, shall refuse or neglect to observe such regulations as we shall think proper to prescribe as aforesaid. . And we do further expressly enjoin and require, all officers whatever, as well military as those employed in the management and direction of Indian affairs, within the territories reserved as aforesaid, for the use of the said Indians, to seize and apprehend all persons whatever, who standing charged with trea. sons, misprisions of treason, murders or other felo. nies or misdemeanors, shall fly from justice and take refuge in the said territory, and to send them, under a proper guard, to the colony where the crime was como mitted of which they shall stand accused, in order to take their trial for the same.
Given at our court of St. James, the seventh day
of October, 1763, in the 3d year of our reign.
[This proclamation has been inserted entire on account of its importance in relation to a variety of claims to public lands. It proves the invalidity of claims derived from pretended grants, by commanding officers at certain posts, and from purchases made by unauthorised persons from the Indians. Although it might be inferred, that the boundaries of Georgia were not, by the proclamation, extended beyond the sources of the rivers St. Mary's and Alatamaha, it appears by the following commission to the governor of Georgia, that the limit intended to be established, was the northern boundary of West Florida, as far west as the territories of Great Britain extended. That northern boundary of West Florida was at that time the 31st degree of north latitude, as established by the proclamation. Its subsequent alteration will appear from the ensuing documents.]
Commission to Governor Wright of Georgia.
George the third, by the grace of God, of Great 20th Jan. Britain, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth, to our trusty and well beloved James Wright, esquire, Greeting :
Whereas, we did, by our letters patent, under our great seal of Great Britain, bearing date at Westminster, the fourth day of May, in the first year of our reign, constitute and appoint you, the said James Wright, esq. to be our captain general and governor in chief, in and over our colony of Georgia, in America, lying from the most northern stream of a river there commonly called Savannah, all along the sea coast to the southward, unto the most southern stream of a certain other great water, or river, called Alatamaha, and westward from the heads of the said rivers respectively, in direct lines to the South seas; and of all that space, circuit and precinct of lands lying within the said boundaries, with the islands in the sea lying op, posite to the eastern coast of the said lands, within twenty leagues of the same, for and during our plea.
sure, as by the said recited letters patent, relation being thereunto had, may more fully and at large appear. Now know you, That we have revoked and de. termined, and by these presents do revoke and deter. mine, such part and so much of the said recited letters patent, and every clause, article and thing therein contained, which doth any way relate to or concern the limits and bounds of our said province as before described ; And further know you, That we, reposing especial trust and confidence in the prudence, courage and loyalty of you, the said James Wright, of our especial grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, have thought fit to constitute and appoint, and by these presents do constitute and appoint you, the said James Wright, to be our captain general and governor in chief, in and over our colony of Georgia in America, bounded on the north by the most north. ern stream of a river there commonly called Savannah, as far as the head of said river, and from thence west. ward as far as our territories extend, on the east by the sea coast from the said river Savannah, to the most southern stream of a certain other river called St. Mary ; including all islands within twenty leagues of the coast, lying between the said rivers Savannah and St. Mary, as far as the head thereof, and from thence westward as far as our territories extend, by the north boundary line of our provinces of East and West Florida. And we do hereby declare, ordain and appoint, that you, the said James Wright, shall and may hold, execute and enjoy the office and place of our captain general and governor in chief, in and over the colony of Georgia, limited and bounded as above described, together with all and singular the powers and authorities contained in our said recited letters patent, under our great seal of Great Britain, bearing date at Westminster, the fourth day of May, in the first year of our reign, except as are herein exa cepted, for and during our will and pleasure. In wit. ness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness, ourself, at Westminster, the twentieth day of January, in the fourth year of our reign. (By writ of privy seal.)
YORK AND YORK.