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member I this day told you so, that same spirit of freedom which actuated that people at first, will accompany them still—but prudence forbids me to explain myself further. God knows I do not at this time speak from motives of party heat; what I deliver are the genuine sentiments of my heart. However superiour to me in general knowledge and experience, the respectable body of this house may be, yet I claim to know more of America than most of you, having seen and been conversant in that country. The people, I believe, are as truly loyal as any subjects the king has; but a people jealous of their liberties, and who will vindicate them if ever they should be violated—but the subject is too delicate-I will say no more.”
Hezekiah Niles, Principles and Acts of the Revolution ... 1775 (Baltimore, 1822), 19-20.
20. Commercial Possibilities of the
Mississippi Valley (1765)
A traveler and observer whose results have been questioned, but his view of the future of the Mississippi Valley is amply justified.
The countries that lie between the great lakes and River Missisippi, and from thence fouthward to West Florida, although in the midst of a large
continent, and at a great distance from the sea, are so situated, that a communication between them and other realms might conveniently be opened; by which means those empires or colonies that may hereafter be founded or planted therein, will be rendered commercial ones. The great River Missisippi, which runs through the whole of them, will enable their inhabitants to establish an intercourse with foreign climes, equally as well as the Euphrates, the Nile, the Danube, or the Wolga do those people which dwell on their banks, and who have no other convenience for exporting the produce of their own country, or for importing those of others, than boats and vessels of light burden: notwithstanding which, they have become powerful and opulent states.
The Missisippi, as I have before observed, runs from north to south, and passes through the most fertile and temperate part of North-America, excluding only the extremities of it, which verge both on the torrid and frigid zones. Thus favorably fituated, when once its banks are covered with inhabitants, they need not long be at a loss for means to establish an extensive and profitable commerce. They will find the country towards the south almost spontaneously producing silk, cotton, indigo, and tobacco; and the more northern parts, wine, oil, beef, tallow, fkins, buffalowool, and furs, with lead, copper, iron, coals, lumber, corn, rice, and fruits, besides earth and barks for dying
These articles, with which it abounds even to profusion, may be transported to the ocean through this river without greater difficulty than that which attends the conveyance of merchandize down some of those I have just mentioned. It is true that that Miffifippi being the boundary between the English and Spanish settlements, and the Spaniards in possession of the mouth of it, they may obstruct the passage of it and greatly dishearten those who make the first attempts; yet when the advantages that will certainly arise to settlers, are known, multitudes of adventures, allured by the prospect of such abundant riches, will flock to it, and establish themselves, though at the expence of rivers of blood.
But should the nation that happens to be in poffeffion of New Orleans prove unfriendly to the internal settlers, they may find a way into the Gulf of Mexico, by the river Iberville, which empties itself from the Missisippi, after passing through Lake Maurepas, into Lake Ponchartrain.
It is however necessary to observe, that before these settlements can be established, grants must be procured in the manner customary on such occasions, and the lands be purchased of those who have acquired a right to them by 'a long poffeffion; but no greater difficulty will attend the
completion of this point, than the original founders of every colony on the continent met with to obstruct their intentions; and the number of Indians who inhabit these tracts being greatlyinadequate to their extent, it is not to be doubted, but they will readily give up for a reasonable confideration, territories that are of little use to them; or remove for the accommodation of their new neighbours, to lands at a greater distance from the Missisippi, the navigation of which is not effential to the welfare of their communities. ...
I need not repeat that all the spots I have thus pointed out as proper for colonization, abound not only with the necessaries of life, being well stored with rice, deer, buffaloes, bears, &c. but produce in equal abundance such as may be termed luxuries, or at least those articles of commerce before recited which the inhabitants of it will have an opportunity of exchanging for the needful productions of other countries.
As it has been discovered by such as have failed into the northern parts of the Pacific Ocean, that there are many inlets which verge towards Hudson's Bay, it is not to be doubted but that a passage might be made out from that quarter, if it be fought for at a proper season. And should thefe expectations be disappointed, the explorers would not be in the fame hazardous situation' with those who set out from Hudson's Bay, for they will always be sure of a safe re
Charles Carroll of Carrollton treat, through an open sea, to warmer regions, even after repeated disappointments. And this confidence will enable them to proceed with greater resolution, and probably be the means of effecting what too much circumspection or timidity has prevented. ...
Jonathan Carver, Travels, Appendix (Boston, 1797), 303-311 passim.
21. Doubts of the English Consti
Member of a wealthy Maryland family and later a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Ye mistaken policy of England, as I observed before, will force us to be industrious: our inability, while loaded with oppressive taxes to purchase your manufactures, will oblige us to manufacture for ourselves: the worst of evils this, that can possibly befall England, the loss of liberty excepted: that indeed seems already lost, or near expiring
The preamble of ye Stamp Act is as alarming as ye Act itself; the sole reason given for passing it is because such and such duties had been granted to his Majesty ye preceeding Sessions; thus they may go on ad infinitum: allow