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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire to John Stuart [Extract]
Downshire, Wills Hill, Marquis of, 1718-1793
July 03, 1771
Volume 09, Page 8

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[B. P. R. O. America & W. Indies. Vol. 275.]
Mr Stuart [Indian Agent] to the Earl of Hillsborough

Whitehall 3rd July 1771.

My Lord

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The want of a proper regulation for the Indian Commerce has long been the subject of very just Complaints and the source of disorders that cannot fail to have the most fatal consequences but as the King has thought fit upon the Ground of the Representations of the several Colonies that they were themselves the best Judges of what those Regulations should be to leave this matter entirely to them & to lay aside a Plan which the Board of Trade had with unwearied attention prepared for that purpose it is an evil that now admits of no other remedy but that of the several Colonies interested passing —— similar Laws in each Colony for that purpose and if the plan of which a Law was framed by you and communicated to the Governors of each Colony separately it might have the consequence to facilitate so desirable an object.

With regard to the Cession of Land proposed to be made to the Traders by the Indians in payment of Debts it is a Transaction that ought to be discountenanced as much as possible it will therefore be your duty to represent to those Traders who inadvertantly grasped at any proposals of this nature made to them by the Indians that his Majesty does entirely disapprove such proceedings and in case they shall persist therein you will not fail to give me the earliest notice of it in order that the necessary steps may be taken to put a stop to such dangerous and unwarrantable practices.

In the meantime I rely on your Attention that nothing of this sort is countenanced or carried on by your officers from any interested views of their own which I mention to you in caution as I observe that there has been some suspicion of this sort with regard to Mr Cameron.

I am &c:

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: This letter was actually written from Downshire to Stuart, not from Stuart to Downshire as indicated at the top of the document. A complete copy of the letter at the British Public Records Office begins with the salutation "Sir."