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Letter from Alexander Spotswood to the Board of Trade of Great Britain [Extract]
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
May 20, 1720
Volume 02, Pages 382-383

[From the Spotswood Letters. Vol. II. P. 336.]

May ye 20th 1720

To the Board of Trade:

My Lords:

As to what yo'r Lord'ps are pleased to require in y'r Letter of the 7th of Aug'st, relating to the Boundarys of the Colony, and what Encroachments have been made thereon by the Subjects of any fforeign Prince, I humbly take leave to inform Your Lord'ps that I find here a Charter granted by King James ye 1st, dated ye 23d of May, in the 7th year of

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his Reign, whereby there is given to the Company of Adventurers for ye Colony of Virginia, all that Tract of Land from Cape Comfort, two hundred Miles Northward along the Sea Coast, and extending from Sea to Sea, West and North West, w'ch w'll comprehend all that Tract from the Bounds of the Carolina Charter to some part of Pensilvania, and consequently include most of the Lakes and great part of the head Branches of Mississippi. In w'ch Space Westward of Us, I don't know that the French have yet any Settlements, nor that any other European Nation ever had, neither is it probable that the French, from their new Plantation, will be able in some Y'rs to reach the Southern Boundarys mentioned in the Charter of Virginia. As to any Encroachments from the Canada side, since the Grant of Pensilvania extends 5 Degrees Westw'd from Delaware River, if the ffrench have now any Settlem't on the Lake Ontario, it is probable these w'll fall within ye Limits of ye Pensilvania Charter, w'ch being of a later date than the ffrench Discoverys in Canada, may admit of some dispute; but I am humbly of Opinion that the Charter Granted to the first Inhabitants of Virginia, being long before the French had any footing in America, may be justly insisted on to exclude them from any pretension to the Territory comprehended in that Grant. The greatest danger of Encroachm'ts is on the side of South Carolina; The ffrench Settlements on Mississippi being expressly within the Charter of that Province, and their apparent design being to extend themselves towards the Inhabited part of that Country, seeing the last Advices I have from thence say that the ffrench have formed a Settlement at ye Habbamalas, w'ch w'll greatly strengthen the people of Carolina in their Indian Trade, and may in time prove more dangerous to them in case of a Rupture w'th the Crown of France. This has so alarmed that Province that it is pretended to be the principal ground of that Revolution there, w'th w'ch, I presume, Yo'r Lord'ps are by this time fully acquainted; and tho' I can't think Subjects are to be indulged in the practice of throwing off a Lawfull Authority and setting up a new frame of Government for themselves, and for that Reason have declined answering the Letter Colo James Moor sent me notifying me of the People's Election of him for their Governor. Yet if, (as they allege,) their Proprietors are unable or unwilling to protect them, it w'll deserve the attention of his Maj'ty's Ministers to preserve so considerable a Province from falling into the hands of a fforeign Power.