312 | To Montague Wilmot

    Boston Octr. 26. 1764


    I have just now received from London 4 orders of Council for grants of lands of 20,000 acres each, to 4 Gentlemen namely, Richard Jackson John Mitchell Thomas Thoroton & Thomas Pownall Esqrs.1, to be granted in the Government of Nova Scotia. The three first of these Gentlemen are Members of Parliament, the last is the Late Governor of this province. They are all particular friends of mine, and depend upon my assistance and advice in the chooseing & settling their lands. They propose to act as partners; & therefore desire to have the whole quantity of their lands laid out together. And altho’ the necessary forms will require the grants to be separate, yet as they are really to be in common, if they are all laid out together, it will not be material tho’ One Lot should in point of situation be preferable to another.

    The Place I have recommended to them has been on the East side of the River St. Croix: and I believe it is in dependance of obtaining their lands to be laid out there, that they have taken out their Warrants. I have had a particular occasion to be acquainted with this River: last Winter the Assembly empowered me to fit out surveying parties to reconnoitre the inland Country of the Eastern parts of our Province. One of these parties I sent last spring to survey the River Passimaquoddy & explore the passage from thence to the River Penobscot thro’ a chain of numberless lakes. They arrived at Passimaquoddy so late that they could not proceed in their inland passage by reason of the rivers growing dry & the Black flies getting out. They therefore filled up their time by making a more exact Survey of the Bay of Passimaquoddy with its Islands & of the River St. Croix which we esteem the boundary of our province.2

    It is from this survey that I am enabled to make a proposal for a particular allocation for these Gentlemen. The River St. Croix is not navigable for above a course of 4 miles about East, when you come to falls which puts a stop to the Navigation, above the falls the River runs about north for 10 miles & more. It is in the length of this River after it becomes unnavigable that I propose the inland line of these grants to run which being continued to the sea will make about 15 miles in length. I understand that it is a rule that all grants are to run 3 times as much inland as they do along the shore. According to this, 20,000 Acres ought to have about 9 ¾ miles length inland & 3 ¼ line of sea shore and therefore all these grants joined together would make a tract of 9 ¾ inland line & 13 miles sea shore line. Now as the Western side or length of the proposed tract is computed at 15 miles length it is not probable that the breadth or sea shore line will amount to so much as 13 miles; & therefore it must be within the rule. This will appear more plainly from a map I shall accompany this with, with an explanation in writing at the bottom of it.

    It is possible there may be a doubt with you which is the River St. Croix; tho’ I can Assure you that there is none among the Indians, who live there & know all the Rivers perfectly well. If so, as it is by no means my desire to gain the least prejudication by surprize, The River may be other wise described as, the River next above harbour le tete, or referred to in the map: for I cannot learn that it has any other Name among the Indians than St. Croix.

    As I shall wait for a very safe Conveyance to send the orders by, it is probable you will receive this letter without them. In such case I shall be obliged to you for information what steps are to be immediately taken if they can be favoured with this particular Spot. I must also beg that if it is not appropriated at present, you will be so good as to reserve it for this purpose. I will also if you think it proper compleat this Survey & carry it along the Coast so much further that the whole Tract may be fully designed & the plan of it so perfected as to make the work of the provincial Surveyor more easy. But as the winter is coming on, all surveying must be postponed to the Spring: only I should be glad to have so much done at present as may be necessary to secure this tract to the Gentlemen aforenamed. The favour you shall be pleased to show to them will confer an obligation upon me, which I shall be always glad to acknowledge.

    I am with great truth & regard Sr. your most obedient &c

    His Excellency Govr. Willmot.3


    I should have mentioned before that as these Gentlemen propose to settle these lands in the most expencive manner, by importing foreign Protestants, It will be necessary for their encouragement that they should have a tract of land with some prospect of Advantage belonging to it. I therefore wish, that this, Which I ^can^ recommend ^to them^, may, if it can well be, be assigned to them.

    I have ready a rough map of the land as far as ’tis known to me: a Description of the tract shall be in a seperate paper.5

    L, LbC BP, 4: 21-23.