PRE-STATEHOOD 19 colonists compared to almost 2 million in the English colonies, tried to form alliances with Native American tribes to even things up, but ultimately the British prevailed. Howell writes, “Louisiana was far removed from the struggle, but near the end of the war the colony became a pawn in the diplomacy of France.” When the war began going bad for the French in Europe, France and Spain signed the Treaty of Fountainbleu which gave Louisiana to Spain in exchange for Spain’s assistance in the war. The transfer to Spain was done in secret, and it remained a secret. The war ended shortly thereafter with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763.That treaty allowed France to keep Louisiana west of the Mississippi River but without revealing the transfer that had already been made to Spain. The secret was not made public until April 1764. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Spain got everything west of the Mississippi River plus New Orleans. Britain received from Spain everything to the east with the important exception of New Orleans. France was ejected from the North American mainland. After sixty-four turbulent, mostly fruitless years, they gave up Louisiana. As Howell said, in an understatement, “The French government did not mourn over its loss.” Under the treaty, the British Crown acquired overnight a huge expanse of land that tripled the size of its New World holdings. It added Canada along with that part of the continent across the Appalachians westward to the Mississippi River and southward to the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Key West. That part of the old Louisiana Colony east of the Mississippi River that comprised present day south Mississippi was then called British West Florida. Mississippians saw their capital shift immediately eastward from New Orleans to Pensacola. The British realized there was a pressing need to lay out the ground rules for governing this vast new empire, and on October 7, 1763, George III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 to do just that. Among the features of the proclamation having a particular impact on Mississippi were those that temporarily halted new white settlement in Native American lands beyond the Appalachians and southward to the head of the St. Mary’s River. The British did not want to deal with some land rush that would outrun the Crown’s ability to provide the settlers with military protection. Further, the Crown wanted to avoid rapid dilution of the seaboard colonial markets for English goods. It must be noted the prohibition on new settlement only applied to so-called Native American lands. West Florida was recognized as a “distinct and separate government,” likely because it already had certain rudiments of government in place. West Florida at the time of the proclamation comprised only the six counties of the boot heel of present-day Mississippi, that is, the land south of the 31st parallel. However, the British quickly realized that this line was south of the promising Natchez district and would thus exclude it from quick settlement, so they conveniently moved the line northward to 32 degrees 28 minutes. The east west line began close to the mouth of the Yazoo River near Vicksburg. Thus, following the amended proclamation, the southern half of Mississippi was in West Florida, open to settlement, while the northern was designated as protected Native American lands. With the framework for government of the new British territory thus in place, the British territorial officials took possession and began to settle in. The Spanish departed from Pensacola on September 2, 1763, and left with no problems. The British immediately began running West Florida under temporary military rule. British West Florida’s first governor was Captain George Johnstone, who arrived in February 1764, at Pensacola. He had an “aggressive, overbearing disposition,” and his arrival “was soon followed by a series of disputes and problems.” Within the first month, he and the military commander at Pensacola were fighting over who was in charge. Johnstone never did have good relations with the military officials, and complaints were often lodged with his superiors alleging “cruel and ‘tyrannical behavior’ in his association with the military personnel,” as written by Byrle A. Kynerd in “British West Florida” from A History of Mississippi Volume I. The new government’s relations with the Indians could not be put on hold during all the squabbling. In 1765, the British hosted two conferences in West Florida “for the purpose of establishing friendly relations with the Indians, putting their trade on a regular basis, determining Indian boundary lines and securing, if possible, additional cessions of land.” Of those agreements, Cecil Johnson, noted historian of West Florida, says the two conferences reached agreements “that contained all the elements” needed for cordial relations, but neither side “lived up to their Bienville saw little hope that the peace would last unless the British were expelled from Louisiana, but by 1741 he had grown older and was tired and just wanted to go back to France.