Primary tabs

To Governour Browne


To Governour BROWNE:

SIR: As you are at the eve of leaving this Province, and returning to England, we, possessors of lands on the borders of the River Mississippi, take the liberty to make you our representations, requesting, Sir, you would be pleased to submit them to the British Government, and to take any steps in this affair you shall think convenient.

The River Mississippi is now well known; the very great advantages which would result from a settlement on it are likewise so. A very extensive and beneficial fur trade would inevitably fall into our hands. This object alone deserves the highest consideration; besides which the wholesomeness of the climate, and its natural richness, makes the planters certain of reaping a very great benefit from their industry. And notwithstanding all these advantages, we dare not undertake any settlement.

The want of a civil Government, supported by the military, is the only obstacle to this settlement, which would certainly be obviated by the assistance of a Court of Justice and one Regiment; which, if once granted, from that instant our unwearied zeal in settling on the borders of the River would manifest itself. And this is certainly an epoch which numbers of good subjects wish for with impatience, in order to come over to His British Majesty' s Dominions; as well those who have lands, as those who want to purchase, of whom there is a great number, would soon, by their industry and labours, render this a flourishing Province, and, in time, of great importance to England. The greatest part of the French, Acadian, and German planters are determined to free themselves from the Spanish yoke; this makes them very desirous to see our settlements on the border of the River in a condition fit for them to settle there with safety, and where they would find a place of refuge to cover them from the oppressions and evil treatment they daily experience from their new masters. Were it practicable for them to remove their effects, they would long since have fled to Mobile or Pensacola; but their flight would have been their inevitable ruin. Their taking refuge in this settlement is very different, as they can execute it without being perceived or molested by the jealousy and tyranny of the Spaniards. Certainly no like enterprise could ever meet with more favourable circumstances than these which offer; this settlement could not possibly be formed in a better time. For, besides what has passed between the French and Spaniards, which plainly proves with what reluctance the former bear the yoke of the latter, which they endeavour to shake off, it is to be considered that the Spaniards are detested by the savages, who will always continue sincere and faithful allies to the French, to whatever place they retire, which must strengthen the English alliance with the savages.

To all these considerations we shall add one, which does not seem to deserve less attention. The settlement in question once formed, we could erect warehouses, with goods of English manufactory, not only fit for the use of His British Majesty' s subjects, but likewise for that of the Spaniards themselves, or such inhabitants as should remain under their subjection, (French ships are no longer admitted, they are forced to set off without unloading,) who would certainly come to be supplied therewith. No dry-goods are allowed but such as are brought from Spain; this circumstance enhances the prices about ninety per cent. We could supply them much cheaper.

Your disposition to oblige and assist all those who request it, joined to the personal interest you have in common with us in this affair, assures us, Sir, that you will do all that lies in your power to procure the success of this settlement.

We most sincerely wish you a prosperous voyage, and a happy arrival at England. And we do assure you we should be rejoiced to see you Once more among us, and vested with new honours.

We have the honour to be, &c.

Signed — Pierre Rouchon, Pere, H˙ Lagautrais, Fils, Gerome Metulick, Jaques Durade, Jean Durade, D' Oraioire, E˙ Bernard, — Timmermans, P˙ Rouchon, Fils, — Lagoutry, Fils, — Bichie, Vincent La Combe, Dennis Du Faud, B˙ Boulomois, Joseph Milon, Jean Baptiste Cornillieu, — Fourdus, Charles Blanchard, Lagoutrey, Pere, Monsanto, Line, D˙ Milhet, J˙ Vincent, Locquet Delapommeraye, Vicenzo Corona, P˙ Aostion, Pere, Baptiste Olis, P˙ Hochoit, J, Monsanto, Freres, J˙ Monsanto, Freres.

To MOUNTFORT BROWNE, Esq˙, Governour of West-Florida, &c.