Proclamation of 1763
From the letter we learn that Washington wants Crawford to secure some piece of land for him, but in secrecy. It was within this timeframe that the Proclamation of 1763 had been passed. From how Washington writes, one can tell that he did not worry much about the Proclamation’s rules. He says, “I can never look upon that Proclamation in any other light (but this I say between ourselves) than as a temporary expedient to quiet the Minds of the Indians and must fall of course in a few years (Founders Online).” What this means is that he did not believe the Proclamation will last long.
Washington knew that the land he yearned for would not lay there idle with an owner for eternity; he, therefore, wanted to grab it as soon as possible. He was ignoring the set rules and taking matters in his hands to get himself the land in Pennsylvania because he knew sooner than later the Proclamation of 1763 would be no more. In Washington’s letter, he emphasizes Crawford to keep their dialogue a secret. His main fear was that if his plot were known, many others would try doing the same- which would inconvenience him. Moreover, if the word in the letter were to be known, it would tarnish his name.
Washington did not want other people to think of the Proclamation the same way he did. According to him, it (the Proclamation) was not a smart idea, and despite the effort that was put to effect it, it would soon become futile. Therefore Washington wanted Crawford’s help in getting the land a time when they would not have to scramble and struggle for it.
Founders Online. “From George Washington to William Crawford, 17 September 1767.” Founders Online, 2019, founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-08-02-0020. Accessed 3 Nov. 2019.