Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Circular letter from Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire to the American governors
Downshire, Wills Hill, Marquis of, 1718-1793
April 15, 1768
Volume 07, Pages 707-709

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind. Vol. 272.]
Earl Hillsborough to Governor Tryon

Whitehall April 15th 1768.


To the Governor of North Carolina &c

I have the satisfaction to acquaint you that in consequence of a report made to his Majesty by the Lords of Trade the Plan for the management of Indian Affairs adopted by the Superintendants has been fully laid before his Majesty.

Upon mature consideration of the present Regulations the great expence of the variety of Establishments far exceeding the value of the object and the difficulties which have attended the execution of the Plan in general for want of a due authority in the Superintendants His Majesty has thought fit that it shall be laid aside That the Regulations of the Trade shall be left to the Colonies whose Legislatures must be the best judges of what their several situations and

-------------------- page 708 --------------------
circumstances may require. That the office of Superintendants shall however be continued for such matters as are of immediate Negotiations between His Majesty and the Savages and cannot therefore be regulated by Provincial authorities and that the Boundary Line between the Indians and the Settlements of his Majestys subjects (every where negociated upon and in many parts settled and ascertained) shall be finally ratified and confirmed.

As the grounds and reasons for these several resolutions are in general set forth in the Report of the Board of Trade and as that Report will inform you what will be expected and required of the Colonies and what will hereafter be the nature of the office of Superintendant I have thought fit to send you the inclosed Extract of such part of it as relates to these objects and I have it further in command from his Majesty to acquaint you that in consequence of the Resolutions his Majesty has taken for the future direction of this Branch of his service he has given the necessary orders to the commander in Chief of his Forces for the reduction of all such Posts in the Interior Country as are not absolutely necessary for public Safety in general and for giving protection and facility to the commerce of his Subjects. But as the Forts of Magara the Detroit and Missilimakinac do not appear to his Majesty to fall within this Description his Majesty has thought fit that they shall be continued and that a proper Naval Force shall be kept up upon the Lakes.

The objects which upon this occasion will principally demand the attention of the several Colonies are to provide by the most effectual Laws for preventing any Settlements being made beyond the line that shall be agreed upon with the Indians and for the controll and punishment of those atrocious Frauds and Abuses which have been practiced by the Traders and have been one principal cause of the disaffection of the Savages.

It is unnecessary for me to use any arguments to shew how greatly both the Interests and safety of the Colonies depend upon a close attention to these Objects and as many of the regulations of the present plan of superintendency have evidently operated to the Benefit of the Trade and to the giving that satisfaction and content to the Savages by which alone the Colonies can hope to derive either immediate Profit or lasting Peace His Majesty trusts that they will be adopted as far as local circumstances and peculiar situations will admit always having regard to that freedom of Trade with the

-------------------- page 709 --------------------
Indians which his Majesty has graciously granted to all his subjects by his Proclamation of 1763.

As the Execution of the measures which his Majesty recommends to your attention will principally depend upon the nature and extent of the reduction which the Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Forces shall think proper to make of the Military establishments in the Interior Country His Majesty has given the necessary directions that he should communicate to you as soon as possible the arrangements proposed to be made in respect to these Establishments and his Majesty trusts that after such intimation no time will be lost in carrying his Royal Intentions into full execution.

I have the greatest satisfaction in communicating to you his Majesty's Directions upon this subject as I conceive that his Majesty's gracious condescention in committing the regulation of these important objects to the care of his Colonies cannot but be very acceptable to them

I am &c