America and West Indies: March 1696

Pages 34-38

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Addenda For 1688-1696. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1969.

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March 1696

March 110. Copy of correspondence between the Governments of New York and Maryland from Sept. 1694 to March 1696. The first 6 papers are already calendared in Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 1693–1696, No.1426.
Nine members of the Council of New York (named) to Governor Nicholson. 1 March 1695. A letter believed to be from you with a vote of the Burgesses and the result of the Council in Assembly has been received by the Governor of New York. This defeated our hopes of assistance and referred to the Indians and the vast sums in arrear, etc. Your government is indebted to ours to the extent of 153l. due on protested bills of exchange, as appears from the annexed copy of the protested account etc.:
(1) Attested copy of a bill of exchange (at 30 days sight) for 362l. 8s. 0d. drawn by L. Copley on Richard Hutchinson of London in favour of Benjamin Fletcher, Governor of New York, and endorsed by him to John Blackhall or order for account of Abraham de Peyster and Nicholas Bayard; to this is annexed an instrument of protest, 28 Sept. 1693, by Porton Paul, notary public, on behalf of John Blackhall of London, merchant, against Lionel Copley, drawer of the said bill refused by Richard Hutchinson. (2) Account, dated 4 Jan. 1693/4, for 458l. due from the Province of Maryland. 1½ p.
The Council of Maryland to the Council of New York. Anne Arundel, 18 May 1695. Yours of 1 March received. We send a duplicate of Governor Copley's letter, that you say was unsigned, and the enclosures therewith. Your letter and enclosures were sent to the House of Burgesses; their answer is likewise annexed. Nothing is entered in the Journal of the Council as to the indebtedness of this Province to yours and we therefore look upon that affair as Governor Copley's private act. We shall always be ready to aid your Province at their Majesties' command. Annexing: A letter from the Burgesses of the Assembly of Maryland to the Governor in Council. The House knows nothing of Governor Copley's bill of exchange, mentioned in the letter of the Council of New York, which was not drawn at its request nor by its consent. 2/3 p.
Memorandum: Among the Council proceedings of August and October 1695 are the rest of the letters etc. that have passed between New York and Maryland since the arrival of Governor Nicholson.
Continuation of the correspondence during the intervals of Councils. Governor Fletcher to Governor Nicholson. New York, 5 Oct. 1695. Yours, with the bill of exchange for 133l. 8s. 7d., received through Mr. Perry. I have ordered the collector to return the money and enter it in his book that it may be applied to alleviate the charge of the Province. By our situation we are a frontier to the French of Canada, and since their Indians are in open war, frequent incursions are made on both sides. Count Frontenac keeps 500 men at Fort Royal and has put 50 men and a year's provisions into Cadaracqui opposite the middlemost nation of our Indians, whence he harrasses them, so that they beg help from me. As I cannot give this they may be forced to a peace, when it will appear that they are nearer to Virginia and Maryland than New York. I hear your settlements are scattered. If this defection should happen it will be of ill consequence to Virginia and Maryland. I have been lately to Albany and have given the Indians presents but less than is necessary for their encouragement. Cadaracqui diverts them from hunting, so that they depend wholly on us. I shall not be wanting in my duty. From Newfoundland we hear that Admiral Russell has taken 15 French ships and done much damage to Marseilles. ½ p.
Governor Nicholson to Governor Fletcher. Annapolis, 29 Nov. 1695. Yours of 5 Oct. received. I hope for more good news from England, but no vessel has come to us thence this fall, nor apparently to Virginia. I am not aware of any neglect of my duty to assist you, but I cannot force Assemblies. The only real quarrel I had with them was about assisting the government of New York. I must not hazard the peace of this Province. I am sorry you cannot beat the French from Cadaracqui, but Mr. Tasker recently brought us by your order a copy of a letter from the Governor of Virginia to you concerning the dispatch of a quota of men to Albany by 1 May next, so that then you will be stronger by 240 men. I hope the Assembly will meet in the spring when I shall lay your letter before it. I hope meanwhile our three hundred odd pounds may be useful. I hope the mission of William Nichols and Chidley Brook will be a success. 2/3 p.
Governor Fletcher to Governor Nicholson, New York, 13 Dec. 1695. Yours of 29 Nov. to hand. No further news of Admiral Russell's action. The Council is as sensible to your endeavours to strengthen us as I am. The money sent is gratefully received, applied to the proper use and a fair representation thereof made to the Lords of Trade. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Nicholls are to report upon our position with regard to the French of Canada and the assistance we have from adjacent colonies. I cannot depend on the quota from Virginia as Sir Edmund Andros, like yourself, dares not hazard the peace of his province. (The copy of his letter was sent only at the request of Mr. Tasker.) The French are trying to debauch our Indians and the repossession of Cadaracqui may force them to a compliance. But we must support the Five Nations, whose services cannot be performed by Christian troops without a great increase of cost, which this province, already in debt, cannot bear. The English Indians are very numerous and have many bows, the enemy, it is said, only 300, yet `these infidels' increase daily. I hope your next Assembly will consider their neighbours' hardships and the dangers of French encroachment. Annexing: An authenticated copy of intelligence from Governor Haughton of New England. Boston, 25 Nov. 1695. Since my last Matthew Carey has sent further information, derived chiefly from M. De Laragterie, captain of the marine detachment, who also told him of his resolve to go to England to give an account of the state of the country. A list of prisoners belonging to New York in the hands of the French and Indians is also enclosed. Annexed to the foregoing: An authenticated copy of a letter from Matthew Carey to Governor Fletcher (25 Nov. 1695) containing information received from French Protestant officers and soldiers at Quebec, and a statement of the grievances of disaffected persons with proposed remedies. 3 pp.
Governor Nicholson to Governor Fletcher. Annapolis, 4 Feb. 1695/6. Yours of 13 Dec. received. By an account which I had from London and Bristol in November, Admiral Russell had arrived in England and Sir George Rooke had gone to command in the Straits. I enclose a letter from Messrs. Perry and Lane that you may see `the alteration about guineas, gold, silver and trade, and particularly what concerns ours'. I hope for letters from Whitehall in a ship which I am expecting from London. I take every opportunity of sending home the whole proceedings relating to this Province with copies of our correspondence. If you do not depend on the quota from Virginia then I was misinformed. If Sir Edmund Andros only sends money then this province has been in advance of Virginia. Let me have an account of the money sent by Virginia to you (it was I think two hundred odd pounds in my time) and I will lay it before the Assembly which will meet when I hear from Whitehall. We are likewise in debt, but I hope military successes will increase trade and so bring us out of these unhappy circumstances. Postscript: Perry is to give you the printed news. 1 p.
Governor Fletcher to Governor Nicholson. New York, 19 Feb. 1695/6. Yours of 4 Feb. received. The `public papers' have come by a brigantine from Bristol. I acknowledge the money. It is far short of the charge of 160 men (the quota of your province) which at 12d. a day with other provision would amount to 4000l. a year. Col. Copley's protested bills were a disappointment and a charge on us. There are the best reasons for supporting the Five Nations. It costs us 2000l. a year besides the maintenance of garrisons. I am informed that 700 French came to Canada with 17 ships. Court Frontenac is still trying to debauch our Indians. I shall do all I can to protect the frontiers, but my resources are so meagre that I cannot put them in such security as I desire. I beg for further help. Inscribed: Read in Council 3 March 1695/6. 2/3 p.
Governor Nicholson to Governor Fletcher. Annapolis, 3 March 1695/6. Yours of 19 Feb. received. Your last two letters and mine to you of 4 Feb. have been communicated to the Council and shall be communicated to the Assembly when it meets on 30 April. I may be hindered in dealing with Governor Copley's three hundred odd pounds, as you have not told me how much money Virginia has sent you. ½ p. The whole 14 pp. sewn together. Copy authenticated by Tho. Brooke, Deputy Secretary, Hen. Denton, Clerk of the Council. Endorsed: Duplicate. Recd. 26 Aug. '96. [C.O. 5/517 ff.105–113]