The Contest for Louisiana
ONLY A YEAR before Champlain founded the town of Quebec, the English had planted their first permanent settlement at Jamestown. The charter given by King James to the Virginia Company in 1606 did not provide for a sea-to-sea grant. It merely divided the region into three parts and stated that when a colony was established, it was to have a tract of land extending for a hundred miles along the coast and a hundred miles into the interior of the country.
In 1609 this first charter was replaced by a second one, which provided new boundaries. Old Point Comfort was taken as the initial point and the company was given a grant extending two hundred miles north and two hundred miles south of this point, and "All that Space and Circuit of Land lying from the Sea Coast of the Precinct aforesaid up into the Land, throughout from Sea to Sea, West and Northwest."
No one can say with any degree of certainty exactly what this provision meant. Many years later the people of Maryland and some other colonies asserted that it meant that the northern boundary of Virginia ran due west from a point two hundred miles north of Old Point Comfort and the southern boundary extended northwest from its initial point on the coast. The Virginians declared that it could not mean this since the two lines would meet only a few hundred miles inland and so would