History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 3

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXV.
THE KING AND PARLIAMENT AGAINST THE TOWN OF BOSTON.
HILLSBOROUGH SECRETARY FOR THE COLONIES.

OCTOBER 1768–FEBRUARY 1769.

AGAINST the advice of Shelburne, and to the great joy of Spain, every post between Mobile and Fort Chartres was abandoned. The occupation of the country between the Allegha nies and tho Mississippi was opposed by the British government. John Finley, a backwoodsman of North Carolina, who, in 1768, passed through Kentucky, found not one white man’s cabin in all the enchantiug wilderness. Gage even advised the retirement from Fort Chartres and Pittsburg. But this policy encountered difficulties from the existence of French settlements in Illinois and on the “Wabash, the roving disposition of the Americans, and the avarice of British officers who coveted profit from concessions of lands.

The Spanish town of St. Louis was fast rising into importance, as the centre of the fur-trade with the Indian nations on the Missouri; but the population of Illinois had declined, and scarcely amounted to more than one thousand three hundred and fifty-eight, of whom rather more than three hundred were Africans. Kaskaskia counted six hundred white persons, and three hundred and three negroes. At Kahokia, there were about three hundred persons; at Prairie du Rocher, one hundred and twenty-five; at St. Philip, fifteen, and not more at Fort Chartres. To Hillsborough’s great alarm, the adult men had been formed into military companies. vincennes, the only settlement in Indiana, had rapidly and surprisingly increased. Its own population, consisting of two hundred and thirty-two white persons, ten negro and seventeen Indian slaves, was

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