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certaining their Boundaries in due Time, was suffered to be claimed and possessed by an Enemy, from whom it was conquered by His Majesty's Arms, and by whom it was confirmed to Ilis Majesty in a Treaty, and consequently, that no Legal Title can be set up to any of that Territory, but under a Grant of the Crown subsequent to such Possession, Conquest, &ck.'
“Not to enter into a discussion of the Facts of claim, and Possession by an Enemy, and Conquest by His Majesty's Arms, and the Enemy's Confirmation, or the effect of them
upon the Rights of His Majesty's Subjects, which we think needless, we shall only observe that your Lordship's Argument militates equally against Virginia as against Pennsylvania, since there hath been no new Grant that we know of subsequent to such Possession, Conquest, &cm, and that, therefore, in our opinion, your Lordship ought not, upon your own principles, to have extended the Jurisdiction of Virginia to Fort Pitt and the Country thereabouts. Your Lord. ship seems to allow that there was a prior exercise of Jurisdiction on the side of Pennsylvania, and you urge that as a Reason for your Interposition, and are pleased to think that Virginia is entiiled to an Apology from the Government of Pennsylvania for thus exercising a Jurisdiction without the Sanction of the Crown's participation. Were it undeniably true that the Government of Pennsylvania had knowingly extended their Jurisdiction beyond the Limits of the Charter, we should be far from vindicating such a Conduct; and we are certain that if any of our Officers have acted officially beyond the known Limits of the Province, they will be censured rather than supported by the Government; But assured, as we are, that Fort Pitt must be within our Charter Lim. its, we cannot be induced to think that our Government were im. proper in exercising their Jurisdiction there, and we are inclined to be of Opinion that if your Lordship, when an Application was first made to you to take that place under the Government of Vir." ginia, had thought fit to have given the least Intimation of your Desigo to the Governor of Pennsylvania, much of the disagreeable consequence which has followed would probably have been prevented.
“We are really concerned to find that our Conceptions of the Extent of Pennsylvania are so very different, but we are not without hope that your Lordship will, upon re-considering the Subject, be of Opinion that your Construction is liable to the Objections we have made. And although we are satisfied that we shall be supported in ours, yet we are not so tenacious of our first Proposals as to adhere strictly to them, while we have any Hopes that a reason. able Departure from them will produce so desirable an Effect as the Settlement of Harmony and Peace between the two Colonies. And for that valuable Purpose, we shall be willing to recede so far from our Charter Bounds as to make the River Monongahela, from the Line of Dixon and Mason downward, the Western Boundary of Ju
risdiction, which would at once settle our present Disputes, without the great Trouble and Expence of running Lines, or the Inconvenience of keeping the Jurisdiction in Suspence. This, We assure your Lordship, is the farthest we can go in Point of Concession, and if your Lordship is determined to adhere to your Proposal of a Meridian Line, or indeed, to insist upon retaining the Jurisdiction of Fort Pitt, or the Lands to the Eastward of the Monongahela, we can treat no farther. But we cannot quit the Subject without expressing our Concern that your Lordship should entertain a Doubt of the sincerity of our Desire to settle all Disputes between Virginia and Pennsylvania, as we are not conscious of having done any Thing that could give your Lordship so unfavorable an Impression. And we beg leave to assure your Lordship that nothing less than a most sincere Wish and Desire to restore Peace and Harmony, and to settle our Disputes, with a due Regard to the just Pretensions of both Colonies, could have actuated our Government to send us hither, or could have induced us to undertake a Journey of such length and so very inconvenient to us. We think the Proposals we have made contain the most reasonable Concessions, and it will give us real Concern should your Lordship’s Ideas be so different from ours that the desired Accommodation cannot be effected. We thank your Lordship for your ready Consent to join our Proprietors in an Application to the Crown to settle our Bounds, and have the Honor to be, with Great Regard, "Your Lordship's most Obedient, " And most humble Servants,
« ANDREW ALLEN. * His Escellency LORD DUNMORE.
"Williamsburg, May 25th, 1774."
Letter from Lord Dunmore to James Tilghman and Andrew Allen,
“WILLIAMSLURG, 26th May, 1774. "Gentlemen:
“I perceive you have fallen into the Error, that from my having alledged the Reasons which induced me to think your first Proposal improper for me to comply with, I would enter into a discussion at length, of all the points of the Claim of the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, which I must assure you was in nowise my Design, nor can I by any Means consent to.
“I must, nevertheless, repeat here that I think, from the Words of your Grant, that a Meridian Line (which is sufficiently described in my Answer to your first Proposal,) the Line that should deter. mine your Western Boundary, and the Reason very plain, that this Meridian should be drawn rather from the North thu the South, because the Grant directs that the Survey shall begin at a Point on; the South part of the Boundary, and proceed Northward as far'as three and forty Degrees of Latitude, and it being ustal in like Cases, always to proceed, consequently from thence extend five Degrees of Longitude, and not return to the South Point to draw it from thence, which cannot any way be inferred, no more than it can be supposed that it was inconsiderately intended the Grant should extend five Degrees of Longitude from every Part of the River Dela, ware, which would make a Line so difficult, if not inu possible, to. trace upon the Land.
“ That you should think the Circumstances, which I cannot but be of Opinion must render the Parchment Boundary of Pennsylvapia, whatever it were, insufficient now to determine the Limits of the Province, needless to be considered, is a Point which must be perfectly indifferent to Me, for the Reason I have given in the first part of this Letter; but your Idea is a mistuken 01:e, that leads you to conclude that the same Circumstances miitate equally against Virginia as against Pennsylvania, there being no less important a Difference than that the one acts for the king, the other against him. The Jurisdiction of Virginia cannot be exercised over any Country but for the immediate Benefit, as well as Interest of His Majesty, to whom that Jurisdiction secures the Quit Rents, and every Advantage which His Majesty had proposed to draw from the granting of his unappropriated Lands, but which I presume, is not meant to be urged in vindication of the Encroachwunits of Peopsylvania.. But in the present Instance, however, Virzuia has interfered only, as you knew before, in compliance with the Request and formal Petition of a numerous Body of Inhabitants, who, thinking themselves, from the general Opinion, settled wiwin the limits of this Government, apply to the Authority thereof to be protected against the usurped Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, which Virginia did not think itself at Liberty to refuse, but which it granted, nevertheless, without the least Design of refusing Obedience to whatever Decision His Majesty may be pleased to make thereupon; the Tenour of which Attempt, Proceeding, and Determination, make another assential Consideration, and which renders, I am inclined to believe, the Case of Virginia in this Dispute impossible to be assimilated, as you would endeavour, to that of lennsylvania., Your Interpretation of my first Letter, to infer I have allowed there was a prior exercise of Jurisdiction on the Side of Pennsylvania, obliges me to recall to your View the Transactions in Governor Dine widdie's Time, and to inform you, if you are ignorant of it, of a requisition from General Gage to this Colony as that to which, by the Public Opinion, the Territory belonged, to appoint & Magistrate at Fort Pitt, where there then was done, and wbich Magistrate was
accordingly appointed, which, while it proves the prior exercise of Jurisdiction to have been, not on the side of Pennsylvania but on that of Virginia, as these were Acts of Public Notoriety, and undertaken under the Authority of public exigence. They prove also more the Impropriety of Pennsylvania's having exercised their Jurisdiction at all in that District without other Authority than their own Opinion and Motive, than their private Advantage, and the Title still stronger of this Government to an Apology for it.
“You proceed to intimate that you are certain if any of your Officers have acted Officially beyond the known Limits of the Pro. vince, they will be censured rather than supported, I really think I shall be justified in questioning this Assertion, for although much Pains, as is pretended, have been taken to ascertain your Boundary, It would seem very strange, I think impossible, that even this very Boundary is immediately unknowingly exceeded, I am war. ranted to say, by near a hundred miles, and yet I have not heard of the Dispensation even of that Gentle Punishment you mention, though we know of one of your Officers being supported and justi. fied in Terms not very decent, in a violent Act that has been the Cause of whatever Disturbances or Disputes subsist between the two Colonies. Nor can I think that, if I had upon Application first made to me to take the Country in dispute under the Gov. ernment of Virginia, intimated my Design to the Governor of Pennsylvania, (which I rather believe you mention by way of recrimination, it would have had the Effect you say, for there is surely as great a necessity for preventing all disagreeable Consequences now as there was then, and the pretensions of both parties were, I suppose, the same then as now; and what are your Proposals to reconcile them? Why in your first propose, that every Thing in dispute shall be given up to Pennsylvania, and in your second, that Virginia shall be content without having any Thing given up to it; at least I can find nothing given up by your proposal of the Monongahela, &c.; what else therefore, can I conclude from both the Proposals, but that no real Intention is meant to avoid the great and reciprocal Inconveniences of a doubtful Boundary, which otherwise would, I conceive, as it was not intended to be final, have been in a Manner that could justify this Government in general with the People for any Departure from the conceived Opinion of the Limits of the Colony, and myself in particular, with His Majesty, for entering into any agreement that may eventually affect his right.
“ I join with you in Concern that we should differ so widely in Conception of the Extent of Pennsylvania, as it affects Virginia, but must confess that your objections have not altered my Opinion of the Construction of your Grant, notwithstanding you are so confedent of being supported in yours. However, I am less anxious about the issue of these different opinions than I am about the Effects of them in the meantime. Your Proposals amounting in
reality to nothing, could not possibly be complied with, and your
“I am, Gentlemen,
“ humble Servant,
“ DUNMORE. "JAMES TILGUMAN and ANDREW ALLEN, Esquires."
Letter from James Tilghman and Andrew Allen, Esquires, to Lord
Dunmore. “My Lord :
"Since your Lordship is determined, as you are pleased to say,
“Your Lordship’s Most Obedient
" JAMES TILGHMAN.
" ANDREW ALLEN. “WILLIAMSBURG, May 27th, 1774. “His Excellency The Earl of Dunmore."
Tuesday, 28th June, 1774.
The Committee appointed to draw up the Letters agreed on Yesterday, laid their Draughts before the Governor, which being ap