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No. 31. Royal Proclamation concerning America

October 7, 1763

THE principal objects of the royal proclamation of 1763 were, to provide for the government of the British possessions in America which had been acquired by the treaty of Paris; to define certain interior boundaries; and to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indians.

REFERENCES. Text in the Annual Register (1763), 208–213.

WHEREAS We have taken into our royal consideration the extensive and valuable acquisitions in America, secured to our crown by the late definitive treaty of peace concluded at Paris the 10th day of February last; . . . we have thought fit . . . hereby to publish and declare to all our loving subjects, that we have, with the advice of our said privy council, granted our letters patent under our great seal of Great Britain, to erect within the countries and islands, ceded and confirmed to us by the said treaty, four distinct and separate governments, stiled and called by the names of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada, and limited and bounded as follows, viz.

First, the government of Quebec, bounded on the Labrador coast by the river St., John, and from thence by a line drawn from the head of that river, through the lake St. John, to the South end of the lake Nipissim; from whence the said line, crossing the river St. Lawrence and the lake Champlain in 45 degrees of North latitude, passes along the High Lands, which divide the rivers that empty themselves into the said river St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the sea; and also along the North coast of the Bayes des Chaleurs, and the coast of the Gulph of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosieres, and from thence crossing the mouth of the river St. Lawrence by the West end of the island of Anticosti, terminates at the aforesaid river St. John.

Secondly, The government of East Florida, bounded to the Westward by the Gulph of Mexico and the Apalachicola river; to the Northward, by a line drawn from that part of the said river where the Catahoochee and Flint rivers meet, to the source of St.

Mary's river, and by the course of the said river to the Atlantic Ocean; and to the East and South by the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulph of Florida, including all islands within six leagues of the

sea coast.

Thirdly, The government of West Florida, bounded to the Southward by the Gulph of Mexico, including all islands within six leagues of the coast from the river Apalachicola to lake Pontchartrain; to the Westward by the said lake, the lake Maurepas, and the river Mississippi; to the Northward, by a line drawn due East from that part of the river Mississippi which lies in thirty-one degrees North latitude, to the river Apalachicola, or Catahoochee; and to the Eastward by the said river.

Fourthly, The government of Grenada, comprehending the island of that name, together with the Grenadines, and the islands of Dominico, St. Vincent, and Tobago.

And to the end that the open and free fishery of our subjects may be extended to, and carried on upon the coast of Labrador and the adjacent islands, we have thought fit . . . to put all that coast, from the river St. John's to Hudson's Streights, together with the islands of Anticosti and Madelane, and all other smaller islands lying upon the said coast, under the care and inspection of our governor of Newfoundland.

We have also . . . thought fit to annex the islands of St. John and Cape Breton, or Isle Royale, with the lesser islands adjacent thereto, to our government of Nova Scotia.

We have also . . . annexed to our province of Georgia, all the lands lying between the rivers Attamaha and St. Mary's.

And . . . we have . . . given express power and direction to our governors of our said colonies respectively, that so soon as the state and circumstances of the said colonies will admit thereof, they shall, with the advice and consent of the members of our council, summon and call general assemblies within the said governments respectively, in such manner and form as is used and directed in those colonies and provinces in America, which are under our immediate government; and we have also given power to the said governors, with the consent of our said councils, and the representatives of the people, so to be summoned as aforesaid, to make, constitute, and ordain laws, statutes, and ordinances for the public peace, welfare, and good government of our

said colonies, and of the people and inhabitants thereof, as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of England, and under such regulations and restrictions as are used in other colonies; and in the mean time, and until such assemblies can be called as afore said, all persons inhabiting in, or resorting to, our said colonies, may confide in our royal protection for the enjoyment of the benefit of the laws of our realm of England: for which purpose we have given power under our great seal to the governors of our said colonies respectively, to erect and constitute, with the advice of our said councils respectively, courts of judicature and public justice within our said colonies, for the hearing and determining all causes as well criminal as civil, according to law and equity, and as near as may be, agreeable to the laws of England, with liberty to all persons who may think themselves aggrieved by the sentence of such courts, in all civil cases, to appeal, under the usual limitations and restrictions, to us, in our privy council.

[Governors of the three new continental colonies may grant land therein.]

And....we do hereby command and impower our governors of our said three new colonies, and other our governors of our several provinces on the continent of North America, to grant, without fee or reward, to such reduced officers as have served in North America during the late war, and are actually residing there, and shall personally apply for the same, the following quantities of land, subject, at the expiration of ten years, to the same quit rents as other lands are subject to in the province within which they are granted, as also subject to the same conditions of cultivation and improvement, viz.

To every person having the rank of a field officer, 5000 acres. To every captain, 3000 acres.

To every subaltern or staff officer, 2000 acres.

To every non-commission officer, 200 acres.

To every private man 50 acres.

We do likewise authorise and require the governors and commanders in chief of all our said colonies upon the continent of North America to grant the like quantities of land, and upon the same conditions, to such reduced officers of our navy of like rank, as served on board our ships of war in North America at the times of the reduction of Louisbourg and Quebec in the late

war, and who shall personally apply to our respective governors for such grants.

And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our interest, and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians, with whom we are connected, and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting grounds; we do . . . declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, that no governor, or commander in chief, in any of our colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume, upon any pretence whatever, to grant warrants of survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments, as described in their commissions; as also that no governor or commander in chief of our other colo- ́ nies or plantations in America, do presume for the present, and until our further pleasure be known, to grant warrant of survey, or pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or north-west; or upon any lands whatever, which not having been ceded to, or purchased by us, as aforesaid, are reserved to the said Indians, or any of them.

And we do further declare it to be our royal will and pleasure, for the present, as aforesaid, to reserve under our sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the said Indians, all the land and territories not included within the limits of our said three new governments, or within the limits of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay company; as also all the land and territories lying to the westward of the sources of the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and north-west as aforesaid . . .

[Persons who have inadvertently settled upon such reserved lands to remove. No sale of Indian lands to be allowed, except to the Crown. The Indian trade to be free to English subjects, under licence from the governor or commander in chief of some colony. Fugitives from justice, taking refuge in this reserved territory, to be apprehended and returned.]

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ALTHOUGH the Seven Years' war had left Great Britain with a heavy debt, the expense of protecting the English possessions in America seemed likely to increase rather than diminish. The direct advantages of the expulsion of the French had accrued mainly to the colonies, and it seemed proper to the ministry that a revenue should be raised in America for the support of the military establishment there. In connection with the plan for a colonial army, it was the desire to provide stronger support for the representatives of the crown, and to put an end to the widespread violation of the acts of trade. "February 23, 1763, Charles Townshend became first lord of trade, with the administration of the colonies, and he inaugurated, with the support of the ministry, the new system of colonial government. It was announced by authority that there were to be no more requisitions from the king to the colonial assemblies for supplies, but that the colonies were to be taxed by act of Parliament. Colonial governors and judges were to be paid by the Crown; they were to be supported by a standing army of twenty regiments; and all the expenses of this force were to be paid by parliamentary taxation" (Johnston). Grenville, who succeeded Bute in April as prime minister, was committed to this policy, and in May the Lords of Trade were called upon to submit a plan of colonial taxation. The duties prescribed by the Molasses Act of 1733 [No. 28] were prohibitory, and the statute itself had remained inoperative. To provide in part for the intended revenue, the act of April 5, 1764, known as the Sugar Act, was now passed, imposing duties upon certain colonial imports and exports. The Molasses Act was also made perpetual, but with a reduction by one-half of the duty on molasses and sugar. The extracts following give the important sections of the act, omitting technical and administrative provisions.

REFERENCES. Text in Pickering's Statutes at Large, XXVI., 33-52. The act is cited as 4 Geo. III., c. 15. On the act see especially Beer's Commercial Policy of England, chap. 8, and references there cited. An act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in America; for continuing, amending, and making perpetual . . . [the Molasses Act of 1733] . . . ; for applying the produce of such duties, and of the duties to arise by virtue of the said act, towards defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing the said colonies and plantations; for explaining... [the Navigation Act of 1672] . . . ; and for altering and disallowing several drawbacks on exports from this kingdom, and more effectually preventing the clandestine conveyance of goods to and from the said colonies and plantations, and im

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