334 | To Montague Wilmot

    Boston Feb 9th 1765


    In my first letter to you proposing a settlement on the East side of the River St. Croix,1 I had no other authority for my designations of that River but the information of the Indians now living there. Upon the receipt of your Letter of Decr. 16th.2 I conceived that your Surveyor General understands the River Passimaquoddy to be the River St. Croix: if so, he annihilates one river; for all authentick Geographers, that I have seen, distinguish the River St Croix from Passimaquoddy & place the latter west of the former. Capt. Southack who surveyed that Coast with much attention at the end of last Century, in his large Chart, lays down these two rivers in that manner, & describes them separately from his own observations on the Spot.3 Dr. Mitchell, who published his map under the Authority of the board of trade, lays down these two rivers in the same manner.4 Mr. Turner, who lately published a map of Nova Scotia, of not much authority, makes a River fall into that Bay, west of the River St. Croix, which he distinguishes from St. Croix & calls Pesmocadie; which name he picked out of Popples inaccurate map.5 Now there are four rivers which fall into that Bay, of which that Called ^by the Indians^ Passimaquoddy is the most Westerly: therefore According to these Geographers St. Croix must be one of the other three. To elucidate this Matter, I resorted to the fountain head, to the Voyages of De Mons who gave the Name of St. Croix to that River, & the Voyages of Champlain who accompanied De Mons in one of his Voyages thither.6 The former were written by L Escarbot, & are found translated in Purchase’s collection, the latter were written by himself & were published at Paris in 1632, I mean the Edition I have, wch. seems to be the first.7 They both agree in the description of the place so as to put it beyond all doubt that Passimaquoddy is not St. Croix: but Champlain is much more explicit & seems to me to point out plainly which is the River St. Croix. I send you an extract from Champlain with references to a map of the upper part of the Bay which contains all the rivers wch. fall into it; from whence it appears to me, That The River St. Croix is not that which the Indians lately pointed out, but another North West of it: and as for Passimaquoddy my Surveyors have gone thro’ it to Penobscot & it answers exactly to Champlain’s Account of the R. des Etchemins.

    I have no will or desire of my own which is or shall be deemed the River St. Croix: I dont expect that the Country between Penobscot & St. Croix will remain to this Province; but that it will be taken into the Kings hands, in some way or other; but then it don’t follow that it will be made part of the Province of Nova Scotia. If therefore my friends should take Grants on the west side of St. Croix, they might be hereafter impeached, for being under the seal of Nova Scotia and out of its Boundary.8 It is for this reason that I have been desirous of knowing the true River St. Croix; on the East side of which, whichever it is, I would have my friend[s]9 placed. Since I have consulted Champlain I find they may safely go as far as the River Deckwessit: I must therefore alter the Terms of the proposed boundaries, which I will do in a separate paper. This is, that if it is necessary to make an Immediate grant & a survey it may be done. But if you should think it proper to make an order in Council that the Surveyor General shall lay out these 4 Township’s on the East side of the River St. Croix, & suspend the Execution of the order, ‘till it is determined which is the River St. Croix, I should like it ^as^ well. And this probably will not lose much time; as I shall with my next packet send home the Map of the Bay with my observations thereon; & I shall at the same time communicate to the Grantees my thoughts upon this subject: and it is probable that about the end of July next, I shall have certain advices which may remove my doubts. In the mean time, if it is necessary for your surveyor to proceed to a survey he may regard the enclosed paper. I am with great Truth & regard Sr. your most obedient &c

    His Excelly Govr. Willmot.

    L, LbC BP, 4: 30-32.