“Life, Liberty, and Property” from the Fincastle Resolutions was amended to become “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the declaration of independence. Though property encompassed personal property because of experiences in quartering troops and furnishing supplies to the red coats during their deployments, the focus was upon real estate property. King George made peace with the French at the end of the French and Indian War in 1763. He was saddled with the equivalent in 2014 currency of $20b in debt for which he laid a tax upon the 2 million American colonists. He also faced the threat of more war expenses in America from French, Spanish, and native American occupiers in the west.
On October 7, 1763, King George outlawed settlement of the American colonies beyond the Atlantic watershed by proclamation. In so doing, he lost credibility of those who were already out of bounds. Fort Chiswell Virginia and the Austinville lead mines were in the New River Watershed. Fort Pitt was at the head of the Ohio. The king also lost the respect of influential land owners along the coast. The colonial governors of Virginia had made land grants for purchase by cash into the treasury or in payment of debts for various services. Edmund Pendleton, a Virginia planter and politician, as speaker of the Virginia legislature authored the colony’s declaration of independence. His land grant on the Holston River from the royal governor was devalued by the king. Similarly, Dr. Joseph Walker, the explorer and mapper of Kentucky and West Virginia, held Loyal Land Company grants which were out of bounds. To get even, some land speculators doubled their assets by posting surveys which divided the boundary measurements by the square root of two. 2000 acres on the ground became 1000 acres on paper. It could later swell back to double its land grant deed size when it was staked out and surveyed for subdivision.
Freedom from unwarranted search and seizure of property in our constitution originated partially from the Proclamation of 1763. The framers defined seizure to include freedom from unwarranted denial of use of property. Counties could deny construction of a mill on a stream. The feds had insufficient local knowledge to make a ruling and no power granted to do so. The states could deny private ownership of access to salt licks which they preserved for wild game.
French and Indian War related events:
(source for timeline: http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/frenchindian/timeline.html)
March 15, 1744-October 18, 1748: King George’s War The warm-up to the French and Indain War between France and England, also fought for domination over North America. Ends with the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and no clear victor.
1752-1753: Agitation grows Tension grows between France and England over competing land and trading claims. Minor skirmishes break out, particularly in rural areas.
November-December 1753: The message George Washington carries Virginia’s ultimatum over French encroachment to Captain Legardeur de Saint-Pierre at Riviere aux Boeufs. He rejects it.
May 28, 1754: The first battle Washington defeats the French in a surprise attack. His troops retreat to Great Meadows and build Fort Necessity.
July 3, 1754: The French take Fort Necessity
July 17, 1754: Washington’s resignation Blamed for Fort Necessity, Washington resigns. He will later return as a volunteer under British authority.
June 17, 1755: The British seize Acadia (Nova Scotia)
July 9, 1755: The Battle of the Wilderness British General Braddock’s forces are defeated near Fort Duquesne in Pennsylvania, leaving the backwoods of British territory undefended.
September 9, 1755: The Battle of Lake George British Colonel William Johnson’s forces win, making Johnson the first British hero of the war.
May 8-9, 1756: Declarations of War Great Britain declares war on France. France declares war on Great Britain.
August 14, 1756: Fort Oswego The French capture this fort on the banks of the Great Lakes.
August 8, 1757: Fort William Henry The commander-in-chief of the French forces, Louis-Joseph de Montcalm takes Fort William Henry. The infamous massacre occurs, later dramatized in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans.
July 8, 1758: The French take Fort Ticonderoga
July 26, 1758: Louisbourg The British seize Louisbourg, opening the route to Canada.
August 27, 1758: Fort Frontenac The French surrender this fort on Lake Ontario, effectively destroying their ability to communicate with their troops in the Ohio Valley.
October 21, 1758: British/Indian Peace The British make peace with the Iroquois, Shawnee, and Delaware Indians.
November 26, 1758: The British recapture Fort Duquesne It is renamed “Pittsburgh.”
May 1, 1759: The British capture the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean
June 26, 1759: The British take Fort Ticonderoga
July 25, 1759: A Slow Route to Victory The British take Fort Niagara; the French abandon Crown Point. After these two victories, the British control the entire western frontier.
September 13, 1759: Quebec The British win the decisive Battle of Quebec. Montcalm and Wolfe, the commanding generals of both armies, perish in battle.
May 16, 1760: French Siege of Quebec fails
September 8, 1760: Montreal Montreal falls to the British; letters are signed finishing the surrender of Canada.
(circa) September 15, 1760: The functional end of the war The British flag is raised over Detroit, effectively ending the war.
1761: The British make peace with the Cherokee Indians
September 18, 1762: French attempt to retake Newfoundland fails
February 10, 1763: Treaty of Paris All French possessions east of the Mississippi, except New Orleans, are given to the British. All French possessions west of the Mississippi are given to the Spanish. France regains Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia.
April 27, 1763: Indian Wars Pontiac, the Ottowa Chief, proposes a coalition of Ottowas, Potawatomies and Hurons for the purpose of attacking Detroit.
May 9, 1763: Battle of Detroit Pontiac’s forces lay siege to Detroit. That summer, his allies destroy forts at Venango, Le Boeuf and Presque Isle.
July 1763: Smallpox Men of the garrison at Fort Pitt infect besieging chiefs with blankets from the smallpox hospital. Soon faced with an epidemic, the Indians retreat.
October 31, 1763: Pontiac capitulates at Detroit Indian power in the Ohio Valley is broken.