In the mean time you in Europe are cruelly mistaken, if you do not annex an idea of the highest consequence and value, to the matters of dominion now in dispute, between the crowns of France and Great Britain, between whom the war is in a manner begun, by the capture of the Alcides and Lys, and which, even without that circumstance, was inevitable. I know that our (French) government, is indeed fully sensible of the capital importance to it of its interest in these parts, and has proceeded in consequence. But it is not so, I find by your letters, and the reports of others, with numbers in Europe, who do not conceive, that the present object of the war is so considerable as it really is.
To say nothing of the vast extent of country that falls under the claim of the English to Acadia (Nova-Scotia) which alone would form an immence mass of dominion, greatly improveable in a number of points, its situation is yet of greater weight. By the English possessing it, Canada itself would be so streightened, so liable to harrassment, and especially to the comptrol of its navigation, that it would scarce be tenable, and surely not worth the expence of keeping. The country pretended to have been ceded is far preferable to it; and the masters of it would be equally masters of the sea all over North-America. Hallifax, for example, according to which of the nation’s hand it should be in, may be equally an effectual check on Quebec, or Boston.
You will then allow, that was there even nothing more in dispute than the limits of the cession of Acadia, or Nova-Scotia, together with its necessary dependence, that alone would form such a considerable object, as not easily to be given up on either side. The commissaries appointed by both crowns, then failing of coming to any agreement or regulation, it is no wonder to see the appeal lodged with the sword; especially when there is another point yet remains, of perhaps equal, if not superior, importance, depending on the issue of the war: and that is, the western inland frontiers of the English colonies. Should we ever command the navigation of the lakes and rivers, behind their settlements, you can easily figure to yourself, not only the vast advantages of preserving that communication of Canada, with New Orleans and the Mississippi, so absolutely essential to both these our colonies, but