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Weft Florida, to the high rich lands above-mentioned. Nor would this be even fettling any country but what the French had begun to fettle before; for a full proof of which fee Du Pratz. The spot whereon the French fort, Rofalia, was built, is the properest situation for a great fettlement on the Mifliflippi, as fhips may come up thither with the greatest eafe. As to the extent of West Florida it might run up the Miffiffippi as far as the end of the 33d degree of north latitude, and eastward two degrees of longitude from its western boundaries; and by taking in fo large a country, the expence of establishments would be no more than is now annually paid for the prefent Weft Florida, and there would be plenty of country left nevertheless for the Indians; but that tract, as it could not all be near wanting for many years, need not at firft be purchased of the Indians (where I mean the French had not bought before; for far to the north of Weft Florida they had, and confequently our right to it by the peace teok place) but by degrees, as the fettlements extend.
The tract of country on the Ohio is, in every respect, as excellent as that which we have defcribed; or, if we attend to the accounts of our own people who have traverfed it, still better. A part of this country, lying on the back of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, was what our colonists wanted fo much to poffefs before the laft war, for cultivating tobacco, hemp, filk, and flax in; and we cannot fuppofe that would have been the cafe, if it had not been more proper for thefe ftaples than their lands at home.
Such are the tracts of country confirmed to Britain by the peace of 1763, but which, by the most unaccountable policy, the has chofen to make no ufe of, at the very time when he wants them to the utmost neceffity. Now, the proceeding which is at prefent requifite to prevent the ill effects that are arifing in our colonies, is to ex tend Weft Florida in the manner I have propofed, and immediately to establish a new colony on the Ohio, on the back of Pennfylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Tobacco, hemp, iron, and fuch bulky ftaples would be fent from thence down the Ohio and Miffifippi, at a very finall expence.-Even fifty per cent. lefs than is now paid to a fea port from Buckingham, Charlotte, Augufta, Bedford, Halifax, Bottetourt, and Pittfylvania counties in Virginia; and Cumberland, Bedford, Northampton, and Berks counties in Pennsylvania. Flour, beef, and pork would be fent from the new colony to Weft Florida, and from thence to Eat Florida, Jamaica, &c. much cheaper, fooner, and in better order, than has ever been done from New-York, NewJerfey, or Philadelphia; and in cafe of a future Spanish or French war, the Floridas could be immediately fuccoured by the Ohio colony, or a great and speedy aid could be afforded from thence for the reduction of New-Orleans, the Havannah, &c.:-and as to filk, flax, and fuch light and valuable articles, they would be conveyed from the new colony, by a fhort and cheap land-carriage to Fort Cumberland, and from thence by water, down the river Potomak, to Alexandria. The hemp and iron from Ruffia are transported by a much longer, more expenfive and difficult inland navigation, than that of the Ohio and Miffiffippi, with the addition of a very confiderable land-carriage upon them. "The Ohio," fays a very ingenious writer," as the winter fnows are thawed by the warmth or
rains in the spring, rifes in vaft floods; in fome places exceeding twenty feet in height, but fcarce any where overflowing its high and upright banks. These floods continue of fome height for at least a month or two, being guided in the time by the late or early breaking up of the winter. The ftream is then too rapid to be stemmed upwards by failing or rowing, and too deep for fetting; but excellently fitted for large veffels going down; then thips of 100 or 200 tons may go from Fort Du Queine (now called Fort Pitt) to fea, with fafety. Hence in process of time, large fhips may be built on the Ohio, and fent off to fea with the heavy produce of the country."
'As to the benefits of extending the limits of West Florida, and forming a new colony on the Ohio, very little here is requifite to be inferted upon a point which all the preceding pages fo fully explain.. In the prefent ftate of our old ones, manufactures are every day taking the place of planting; and all for want of fuch excellent lands as are upon the Miffiffippi and Ohio. Our tobacco trade is upon the decline, and will foon be annihilated; for the lands in Virginia and Maryland having, for an hundred and fifty years, produced that exhaufting vegetable, are worn out, and daily converting into cornfarms, from which no benefit refults to Britain. This great want of fresh land in those plantations was felt many years ago; the inhabitants have been doubled fince: how much greater, therefore, muft that want be now! In the northern colonies, likewife, the inhabitants are drove to manufactures for want of lands to make staple commodities on. We are told, by one who knows their country well, that 200,000 people, bred to the culture of the earth, are there out of employment for want of land, and actually petitioned for the territory of Sagadahoc, to fettle in; which they would never have thought of, had the leaft idea of a colony on the Ohio been current.
The propofed fettlements on the Miffiffippi and Ohio would yield hemp and flax fufficient to fupply all Europe, nay all the world. "The fhips that might be built at Louifiana, fays Du Pratz, would never be fufficient to employ all the hemp which might be raised on the Ohio and Miffiffippi, did the inhabitants cultivate as much of it as they well might." "The inland parts of America, fays another, are well known to be fitted for the production of hemp, flax and filk." "Such lands are described on the Miffiffippi and Ohio, fays a third, have a natural moisture in them, which is the very foil that both hemp, flax, and indigo delight in; and these are the three first commodities that the nation wants from the colonies. Upon fuch lands, hemp and flax may be made in quantities, as a staple commodity to fend to Britain: whereas, on the poor lands in our colonies and their small plantations, they can only make a little for their own ufe. The one would be the greateft fervice when the other is a prejudice to the nation. The climate likewife is as fit for thefe commodities. Here they might fow hemp and flax in winter, which is the only proper feafon for them in any part of North America. This would afford time for making another crop in fummer, which fhould be indigo. Now a crop of indigo, hemp, and flax, would be much more profitable than any thing that America produces, whether on the continent or the islands. Every labourer might cultivate two acres or more in hemp, and one or two in indigo, the produce of 6
which would be worth from 30 to 401. a-year. This would enable them to purchafe negroes, and to enlarge the British plantations beyond what they are otherwife capable of. Such plantations would be more profitable thau even fugar colonies, and fupply the nation with more valuable and neceffary articles. A hundred thoufand labourers, which might be eafily found in all our colonies, would at this rate of 281. a-head, make 2,000,000l. a-year; but fuppofe they make only one half of this, it is as much as all our colonies in North America now produce. By thefe means, the nation might get the trade both of indigo, hemp, and flax, and fupply all Europe with thefe commodities, as we now do with tobacco; which laft these lands are as fit to produce, and in much greater plenty and perfection than any other part of North America. And when our tobacco plantations are worn out, there are no lands to fupply their place in all the British dominions but thofe on the Miffiffippi and Ohio."
Seeing, therefore, that the propofed enlargement of West Florida, and the establishment of a new colony on the Ohio, are not only fo valuable in themselves, but fo peculiarly neceffary to this nation at this time, I would humbly propofe that they be immediately adopted. And if the whole was even to be done at the government's expence, it ought not, confidering the great importance of the measure, to be neglected: But no fuch matter would be neceffary; for the numbers of people in thofe colonies who are in want of fresh land are fo great, that the new fettlements, and efpecially that on the Ohio, would fpeedily be performed. There can be no greater proof of this, than the repeated petitions from all parts of thofe colonies, for leave to penetrate into the back country; and the many thousand families who have removed to, and fettled on the waters of the Ohio, notwithstanding the proclamation of October 1763.'
So far as we are capable of forming a judgment upon this delicate fubject, we must own this propofal of our Author's seems to be founded in good policy; and, if properly executed, capable of producing very beneficial confequences: and we frould imagine, fo far from being dangerous to government as it has been infinuated, that fettlers, with plenty of land to cultivate, in fituations fo far from the sea, muft, in all probability, be the moft peaceable and moft beneficial of all his Majefty's American fubjects provided a flavish policy does not at firft corrupt the principles of the establishments, and prevent the people from enjoying the bleffings of that conflitution which has exalted Britons above the condition of most other nations, and which will preferve their dignity, and exalt their natures, fo long as they have fpirit and virtue to preferve it; but if feudal establishments and military difcipline are to be adopted in our future fettlements, it is to be wifhed, for the happiness of mankind, that all attempts to extend our baleful influence may be frustrated.
There is no doubt but his Majesty's fubjects beyond the Atlantic would be as loyal, as peaceable, and as happy, as his fubjects on this fide, provided the ridiculous fears and narrow apprehenfions of MINUTE STATESMEN were difcarded, and they were
both governed by the fame principles. The King ftands exactly in the fame relation to his fubjects in Britain, as to those in America; there is no difference but what is merely geographical; and therefore there ought to be none in policy, or adminiftration, but what that geographical difference requires; and the defect that arifes from this circumftance is remedied in the best poffible manner by the Governors, or King's representatives, thro' whom his Majefty hath as much conftitutional power there as he has in England: and whoever aims at more than this, aims at the establishment, not of lawful government, but of tyranny.
Our Author's humanity was certainly not awake, while he wrote and defended the latter part of the following prefcription: Purchase all fuch ftaples as the northern colonies can fupply, and fell the manufactures of Britain fo cheap throughout them as to ruin all their own manufactures.' And this is to be done by means of factors, to be established by government, in the chief towns of America, with goods purchafed by government, to be fold at fuch prices as would immediately ruin all the colony manufacturers, and confequently multitudes of other factors, who have established houfes there for the fale of British goods, which they must have purchased at the common market price.
Bounties gradually given upon the exportation of all the Britifh articles in which the Americans are likely to rival us, we humbly presume, would be a much safer, less exceptionable, and more effectual mode of counteracting the American manufactures than that which our Author propofes; and efpecially a large bounty upon pig-iron would have a very good effect in counteracting the impolitic encouragement given, fome years ago, to American bar-iron, would tend to clear the grounds in America, and to preferve the woods in England: what our furnaces might fuffer by this encouragement would be amply made up in the advantage gained to our forges, and to our home manufactures in every branch of the iron trade. And we are well informed many perfons largely concerned in the British iron trade acknowledge, that it is to their difcouragement of the American pig-iron, and the fmall price they combined to give for it, fome years fince, that we may chiefly attribute the rapid progrefs of the Americans, of late years, in making bar iron, and in confequence of that, other iron manufac
Inftead of the above harfh propofition, fuppofing the new eftablishments to have taken place, and that the Americans have land enough for cultivation, we apprehend it would be better to fay: Encourage all fuch Staples as any of the colonies can fpply by effectual bounties, or free uninterrupted importation into Great Britain:" and inftead of laying duties abfurdly upon our con manufactures, to preferve an unconftitutional authority
of one British parliament over other British parliaments, ging bounties, and gradually increase them, upon fuch articles of British manufactory as the colonies have been impoliticly induced to rival us in, until the Americans are brought into a plan of employment fuitable to their peculiar advantages, and moft fubfervient to the emolument of the whole British empire. Thus by making their raw materials dear to the Americans, and our manufactures cheap, we shall effectually establish that fort of dependence which is the grand object of colonization, and the European and American Britons, receiving mutual advantage from the connection, would live in perfect harmony, reciprocally fupporting and defending each other. And we beg leave to add, that the free and conftant importation of CORN and RICE from America, to Great Britain, under proper regulations, would be one of the most important and effectual parts of this fyftem of improvement; as, at the fame time that it would be a great encouragement to American agriculture, and confequently to the confumption of British manufactures, it would greatly promote fhip building and navigation, and enable this nation to fupply a great part of Europe with the moft neceffary article of life. Nor, if well confidered, can this be a proper object of jealousy to the land-owners and farmers in Great Britain; for if conftant importation and exportation of corn are allowed, the demand will be immenfe, and the price pretty uniform, as in that cafe it must always be near the average price of Europe. Every body knows that sugar was not cheaper either in our islands or in Great Britain when the French fugar iflands were in our poffeffion.
The price of commodities depends upon the proportion between the quantity demanded and produced; and upon the fame principle, if all the corn in Europe was to be brought to England, and exportation was free, the price of our own corn would not fink while all Europe must be fupplied from us, or die for want of it. But we should gain a very profitable trade, and be fure to feed our own people fomething cheaper than others were fed; as they would have the expences of exportation and carriage against them.
There are many other fentiments and propofals in this and the following Effay that require examination, or merit praile, and efpecially what the Author has advanced upon the Expe diency of forming new Colonies; and upon the British Commerce with the East Indies: but for fatisfaction on these, and other interesting fubjects, we must refer the inquifitive Reader to the work itself, which may with truth be confidered as a very valuable compilation of materials concerning the prefent State of the British Empire; accompanied with many judicious hints and propofals for improving our fyftem of political economy: and, con
fequently, well deferving the attention of the public. But