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Purchasers from Settling them, nor can I, with Justice, take any steps to Restrain them.
These are difficulties which unavoidably obstruct Your Proposal.
“ Moreover, Gentlemen, you are in the Prosecution of a Claim which has long lain Dormant, and Surely that Claim ought to be established by proper Authority, before you can, with any Degree of Propriety, think of extending your Jurisdiction over a Country which hath been Legally Possessed, and where the regular Jurisdiction of another Goverment hath taken place long before your Colony had concluded to prosecute their claim to it.
"As I cannot, for the Reasons assigned, accede to your proposal * of a Temporary line of Jurisdiction, so neither can I forsee any
means that appear to me likely to effectuate Peace and order, and to prevent for the future such Violent Outrages as have been lately perpetrated in that part of the Country where the People of Connecticut are now settled, but their entirely vacuating the Lands in their Possession, untill a legal Decision of our Controversy may be obtained.
“ And when it is considered that this Possession was effected by armed Bodies of People in an hostile Manner, expelling from their lawful Possessions those who had purchased their Lands, and Settled them under the Sanction of this Government, and that this was done without any warrant or authority from the Collony of Counecticut, nay, long before that Colony had ever avowed a Claim to those Lands, I cannot but think it highly reasonable that such a tortious and unjustifiable Possession should be relinquished by the Colony at a time when they are pursuing a Claim on the Principals of Right, and in a legal way.
"Indeed, I cannot conceive, from the Measures that have been adopted by the Colony of Connecticut since they have made their Claim, that they can wish to avail themselves of a Possession extorted by such lawless and Violent Proceedings; or that they can imagine themselves under the least Obligation to support or abet a Set of People who have been capable of acting in so outrageous and unjustifiable a manner. I am, therefore, induced to llope, Gentlemen, that when this Matter comes to be coolly considered by your Government, if their Views are like mine, directed to a steady and Peacable Dicision of this Dispute, they will use all possible means to withdraw the People thus settled in the most expeditious and effectual Manner.
“ I observe, Gentlemen, you have not thought proper to say any thing in answer to that part of my Letter where I propose you should exhibit a Petition to His Majesty, and that, on the first Notice, the Proprietors would appear and answer such Petition, and expedite a Decision. I therefore think it necessary to inform you that, in case there should be any Delay on your part to exhibit such Petition, as your Colony have at length adopted, a Claim which they
have always heretofore declined, the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania will immediately make their application to his Majesty to take the Matter under his Royal Consideration. I am, Gentlemen, 5. Your most Obedient flumble Servant,
« JOHN PENN. "T. ELIPHALET DYER, WILLIAM SAMUEL Johnson, and JEDE
DIAH STRONG, Esquires, a Committee from the Colony of Connecticut."
Saturday 25th December, 1773.
The Governor this day received a Letter from Collo Dyer, D) Johnson, and Mr. Strong, the Connecticut Commissioners, dated the 24th Instant, which was ordered to be entered in the Council Books, and is as follows, Viz':
“PHILADELPHIA, 24th December, 1773.
"It is with great satisfaction that we receive the assurances contained in your favor of Yesterday, that you do not decline the Proposals we have made, of an amicable Settlement of the Controversy between the Colony of Connecticut and the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, or a joint application to the Crown to appoint Commissioners to decide it, with a view of protracting the time or enhancing the expence of a Decision. We can therefore, only lament that you see this affair in a very different Light from that in which it presents itself to our minds, as notwithstanding the additional Observations you have made, We are still clearly of Opinion that much time, Expence, and Trouble, might have been saved by a reference to Gentlemen in America, or a joint application to his Majesty, since with respect to the former, We do not apprehend that his Majesty will Determine a Controversy of this Magnitude and importance without first issuing a Commission to hear and examine in America, reserving an appeal to himself in Council, so that the whole expence and delay of soliciting such Commission, and of the subsequent appeal, (which must be very Great), would have been saved in the modé we proposed, and that both the Colony and the Proprietaries would have acquiesced in the Decision of such Referees, We cannot Doubt. In Point of Honor, neither of them could have receded from the Determination of impartial Judges of their own appointing; and with respect to the latter, We imagine we foresee Difficulties (unnecessary now to be mentioned), of Great and real Weight, which will attend an adversary Suit by either party, which would have been totally Obviated by a joint application.
“Your want of full powers from the other Proprietaries of the Province, we acknowledge, is a real Difficulty, which must have prevented an immediate Settlement of the Controversy. But were your desires to effectuate such a Settlement as ardent as those with which we are impressed, such is now the Facility of Communication between this Country and Great Britain, that the Delay which would attend the obtaining of full Powers would be of very short duration.
“We do not yet see that the admission of our Claim, whether just or imaginary, so far as to join in an Application to his Majesty for Commissioners to decide it, could in any Respect Prejudice the Proprietaries, and the Impropriety, or the implied acknowledgment you apprehend it would carry with it, seem to be founded in too narrow an Idea of the Powers to be applied for. We do not apprehend that the Commission to be issued upon this Occasion, should be simply to settle Boundaries, tho’ this too must be included, but a Commission Delegating a Complete jurisdiction to hear and adjudge the whole Controversy, in what ever Light it may present itself. To this purpose it is clearly enough, that the Colony claim as their Right a large Country wbich the Proprietors conceive belongs to them.
“In the Idea you Inculcate, That it is not at all material at this time to enter into the Merits of the Dispute, any further than Respects the most eligible mode of deciding it, We very fully Concur. If we have done more, we very freely acknowlede it was totally improper, and we beg leave to assure you, that we should have said Nothing upon the Merits of our Claim, had not the Settlement in 1661, seemed to have been understood by you as being of so decisive a Nature, as absolutely to preclude all further Controversy, and been stated in your Letter as a Conclusive Objection against your entering into any Negotiation upon the Subject. It was therefore necessary for us, if we hoped to succeed in any measure on the Negotiation with which we were charged, if Pos. sible to remove that Objection. In this Light, and in this purpose only, it was that we took the Liberty to Submit to your Consideration the short Hints we threw out upon that Subject, sensible that the full discussion of it must be referred to another time and another Occasion, before a proper Forum.
“ It is for the like reason only that we will not upon this Occa. sion make any Strictures upon the other Objections you have hinted at, to the Connecticut Title, To all which the most satisfactory answers may be given.
“It were easy to observe that the purchases from the Indians by the Proprietaries, and the sales by them made, were they more ancient than they are, could add no strength to the Proprietary Title, since the Right of Pre-emption of the natives was by the Royal Grant exclusively vested in the Colony of Connecticut, and consequently, those purchases and Sales were equally without any legal foundation. They could neither acquire any right by the one, or Transfer any Title by the other. But that both the one and the other have been too recent to be the Ground of any argument, since we are advised that the Proprietaries made no purchase of the Natives of any Consequence to this dispute, pryor to the treaty at Fort Stanwix.
" That the actual Occupation under the Connecticut Title of the Contested Lands, was as early, and in some parts of the Country Prior to that under the Proprietaries; That the imagined Impractability of exercising Jurisdiction by the Colony, over so extensive a Country, is a Question of Policy, not an objection to the Right, and can have no more weight against the Colony Title than the Impropriety and ill policy of Vesting so Large a Territory as that of Pennsylvania in a single subject, will have against that of the Proprietaries, and are considerations both equally Improper to be mentioned on either side; That of the same Nature is the supposed Difficulty of the Intervention of another Province between our seat of Government and the Country over which we thus Claim Jurisdiction, which is also a Question of Policy, and yet has, in fact, in one instance at least, in America, been found to be attended with no difficulty of any Consequence; That the Acquiescence of the Colony under the Grant of Pennsylvania is of no more force than the Acquiescence of the Proprietaries under the Grant to Connecticut, and can have little weight on either side, since till very lately, the Indians refused to give up the Country to either, and neither can be considered as having suffered their claim to have lain culpably Dormant, under the Particular Circumstances of the case, and the situation of the Country, and especially that this cannot be imputed to Connecticut, whose Grant was expressly for the Purpose of Settlement, but without Limitation of Time, and they had not, till within a very few years past, settled the Country to the Eastward of New York, and consequently could not, upon any proper Grounds, sooner pursue their claim, ör attend to the actual Settlement of this Western part of the Colony; But these and many other Circumstances and Considerations, tending to elucidate and to establish the claim of the Colony beyond all Contradiction, We will make no mention of, as proper only to be explained and enforced before a Tribunal Competent to the Determination of the whole Controversy.
“But as the application to such a Tribunal, whether on the part of the Colony, or, as you propose, by the Proprietaries, (to which we have no objection,) will necessarily take up much time, we are extreamly sorry to find that you cannot agree, in the mean Time, to the Methods we have proposed for preserving peace and Good Order among the Inbabitants in that part of the Country, neither to that of a Personal Distinction, for the purpose of Jurisdiction of the Claimants under the several Titles, by entering their names in some proper office, which we offered at the Conference with you
on Saturday last; nor that of a Temporary line of Jurisdiction, which we proposed in our Paper of the 18th Instant; and that nothing Less will satisfie you than a Total evacuation of the Coun: try by the Settlers under Connecticut.
“This is a measure which we do not think ourselves authorized by the Colony to Consent to, and which we have no Imagination that they will adopt.
“We consider, therefore, our Negociation with you as at an End, and have only to Console ourselves that, whatever happens, we have on our part faithfully endeavoured not only to terminate the Controversy with all Possible Dispatch, but also to provide for the quiet of the Country while the Dispute shall be depending. Give us leave, however, at parting, to remark, in answer to the reasons you'mention for not acceding to our Proposals, that we never imagined that it was in your power, by your own authority, to Controul the Jurisdiction erected in that part of the Country, or to Probibit or restrain the Purchasers from Settling, under the Grants Actually made to them under this Province, but we did Imagine, and of this we have yet no Doubt, that the Legislature of the Colony, of which you are a part, would, at your desire, have added the Sanction of their authority to any agreement you had thought Proper to have come into for preserving the Peace of the People; your want of Power in your personal Capacity, or as one of the Proprietaries of the Province, can therefore, with us form no Objection why you should not have accepted one or the other of our Proposals, since we are Perswaded the Assembly of the Province would have given every Aid in their Power to so salutary a Design.
" It is with much concern that we find your attention so strongly turned Towards the Proceedings of the Susquehanna Company, in settling under the Connecticut Title, and that you have conceived so ill an Opinion of those Proceedings.
“ This is a Subject which we were not instructed to Discuss, and which we waived entering into, particularly in our former papers; but since you recall our attention to it in the manner you have done, We cannot forbear observing to you that the primary Possession of the People under Connecticut, was taken at a time when the Country was entirely a Wilderness, under an Indian Purchase, approved of by the Colony, and made under their title of Pre-emption from the Crown, when there was no person upon the Land, much less any Body holding under the Proprietaries, and of Course could not be attended with any Force or Violence. This Possession was interrupted by the Indians of the Far Nations in open War, and again without force resumed in 1762, And was only suspended while the Matter could be laid before his Majesty, in Consequence of a Letter from the Earl of Egremont, one of his Majesty's prin. cipal Secretaries of State, founded upon representations made by the Governor of this Province, transmitted by $' Jeffery Amherst, Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's forces in North America,