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The Colonial Office Records of the British Public Record Office have for generations been the indispensable point of reference for scholarship on the American colonies. With this publication, it is possible now for scholars to enjoy immediate access to substantial selections of these invaluable documents. The correspondence in this collection has three basic levels: communications to the colonial governors from colonists of every rank and stature, including planters, merchants, seamen, local officials, and many others; letters and reports from the colonial governors to officials in Britain; and dispatches from Britain to the colonial governors outlining British policy. Part One contains information on the westward expansion of the American colonies. Documents highlight British-French, British-Indian, and British-Spanish relations as all vied for pre-eminence on the North American continent. Part One also contains correspondence from colonial Virginia officials to the Board of Trade and secretaries of state, and documents the political background of the French and Indian War. Part Two contains documents from the Board of Trade, which was appointed by King William III in 1696, and promoted trade in the American colonies and elsewhere. Part Two contains general correspondence and Board of Trade Entry Books on Proprietary Colonies. Part Three documents the French and Indian War and consists mainly of military correspondence with a small number of secretary of state dispatches. Part Three also covers the absorption of Canada by Britain and documents Indian negotiations in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maine.
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