Description

    On Determining the Proclamation Line of 1763

    Thomas Penn, (1702 - 1775), son of William Penn and Proprietor of Pennsylvania, Letter Signed "Tho Penn", two pages with integral address leaf, 7.25" x 9", London, December 12, 1767 to Sir William Johnson. Thomas Penn, the son of the founder of Pennsylvania, acted as one of the proprietors of the colony. Here he writes to Johnson, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern District of British North America, concerning negotiations with the Iroquois over the location of the Proclamation line of 1763. The boundary was designed to separate Europeans from the Indians following the British conquest of French Canada at the close of the Seven Years War. This was an attempt to preserve both the peace and, more importantly, the lucrative fur trade. Penn advises Johnson on developments and advice from London: "I can truly assure that I have been an imfortunate [sic] solicitor, both on account of your own Grant, and that of the Indian Boundary. I was with Lord Shelburne and Lord Clare about them last week, and came... on Thursday expecting the orders about the Boundary would have been dispatched by this packet... I had just received a letter from W[illia]m Croghan and from W[illiam] Allen pressing the necessity of it very strongly and very speedily, which I gave Lord Shelburne coppys [sic] of to lay before the Council, and I really believe it will be done by next packet. Lord Shelburne desired I would express his regards for you and his desire to carry in to execution what you recommend he also gave all the assistance he could with regard to your land, and we hope to get a grant under the great Seal here on acknowledgment of a Beaver Skin or some such reservation, which will supersede all fees at New York of this I shall write to you by farther by next packet... I have to desire you will use your best endeavours with the Indians to grant us the land as high as they can be bought to agree to, between the west branch of the Sasquehannah [sic] and the River Delaware to prevent all possibility of the people from Connecticut giving us any more trouble there, and that they will covenant when they incline to sell the rest that they will sell it only to us as they have always done..." The situation in Pennsylvania was complex: not only did the colony have the question of a western limit of European settlement, they had a small-scale civil war brewing over a settlement in the Wyoming Valley by Connecticut. The effort to limit European settlement beyond the Appalachians became one of the significant issues that propelled the colonies toward complete separation from the British Empire in 1776. An important letter. Light toning from wax seal, else quite clean and bright and in very fine condition. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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