America and West Indies: January 1689

Pages 1-4

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 13, 1689-1692. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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January 1689

Jan. 6.
1. Edward Randolph to Sir James Hayes. I have not forgotten my duties towards the Hudson's Bay Company though for nearly three years I have had nothing worth the telling. Sir Edmund Andros since New York was annexed to this province has sent several expresses to the Governor of Canada, the last of them by Major Macgregor, late an officer of the French service, who among other things can prove plainly that during the Cessation of Hostilities, one M. de Loviner, Lieutenant and Aide-Major of the French forces in Canada, went up the Great River towards Hudson's Bay and settled a garrison of fifty men at one of the places belonging to the English (Port Nelson as he believes) and returned privately to Quebec in October. Our Governor and Major Macgregor had known nothing of it, but that a French officer, one of the latter's acquaintance, told it to him for great news. Thus the French during the truce encroach on us, as in other places, under a notion of converting the Indians, to make themselves sole masters of the beaver trade. The truce is of advantage to the French but not to the English, for they enlarge their bounds and their protections by raising new and repairing old forts; and wherever a Frenchman hunts or sets up a wigwam it gives them a title to the land thereabout as far as he chooses to claim; whereas if we were not bound by the truce we should soon bring them to order; and had not Colonel Dongan been wheedled by a French priest from Canada, all their forts and towns had been destroyed by our Indians before the treaty arrived. The case was thus. One of the French forts among our Indians was much distressed for want of provisions, and it was not the season for supplying them. Some of our Indians had advice of it and begged leave to go a hunting, but the priest, before he went to Canada, pretending his fear of the Indians obliged Colonel Dongan to forbid the Indians to go abroad until the return of Dirick Wessels, who accompanied the priest to Canada. The priest and Wessels arrived there and Wessels wished to return to Albany, but was pressed to wait for the Governor of Canada's coming to town. The Governor meanwhile stayed abroad to fit out about three hundred canoes with provisions, which he despatched to the relief of the fort. When all danger of attack from Indians was past they sent Wessels home. Colonel Dongan kept about two hundred Indians at the King's charge in Albany, who were much dissatisfied at losing such an opportunity of revenge upon the French, who in time of peace had surprised eight and twenty of their choicest warriors and sent them in irons to France. The Indians complained of this to Sir Edmund Andros at Albany, where several of the Five Nations were present to congratulate. Among their complaints, that of the capture of their brothers was well described. Every nation has its particular speaker, who at the conclusion of his discourse lays at the Governor's feet a belt of wampum. The speaker of the Senecas told him that the memory of their captured brothers was as bright and lasting as the sun, and that the wrong would never be forgotten nor pardoned. They prayed the Governor to get them restored if he expected them to observe the truce; and so they presented their belt of wampum with twenty-seven small sticks of wood fastened to it. So you see that only the French profit by the truce, and that if the King would give us leave we should soon have them within bounds. Whilst I write I receive the sad news with which every vessel is laden from England. I heartily pray that all may be in peace and quiet at home, and that we may have our fair stroke at the French here, having a thousand Indians and more ready to loose upon them, besides ships and men to drive them from America. Some Indians have lately fallen upon our eastern parts; and done much damage, burning houses, killing, and taking prisoners. A priest was in council with them. They drive on their interest hard, but our Governor marched thither about two months ago and takes care to keep them from their hunting and fishing, and the French are ready to starve, since the last article forbids them to trade with them. Signed, Ed. Randolph. I do not accuse Colonel Dongan, for he is a great officer, so do not show that part of my letter. Holograph. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. Hudson's Bay, I. pp. 255–258.]
Jan. 7. 2. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for a letter to be written to Lord Howard of Effingham on behalf of a ship seized by Captain Rowe, she having no prohibited goods on board. Copy of the letter. Proclamation for all arms to be repaired and put in order, and for furnishing lists of the militia. Letter from Lord Baltimore dispensing Quakers from taking oaths. Proclamation appointing a day of thanksgiving for the birth of the Prince of Wales. Address of congratulation to the King. Proclamation of 6 October 1688, summoning the Assembly for the 12th November. Proclamation of Lord Baltimore for encouraging the introduction of wares of the manufactures of the colony into any port of the colony for sale or export. Dated, 23 July 1688. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., pp. 196–203.]
Jan. 7.
3. Count de Blenac to Sir Thomas Montgomerie. Thank you for your letters. If you continue to write I will let you know the news from France. You may take it as true that the Prince of Orange has been met by so furious a storm that he has lost several ships and nearly all his cavalry, and has returned to the Hague having accomplished nothing. The States have sent to assure the King my master that there was nothing intended. Maestricht is besieged by Marshal d' Humiegrave;res and by this time is taken; Philipsburg has been taken by the Dauphin, and all the new converts in France are disarmed. There are the best of relations between the two Crowns. As to your own governor, I long ago found out that he did not know what he was doing or saying. The King has approved my action towards him. Signed, Le Comte de Blenac. Copy, 1½ pp. Endorsed, with a long minute by Governor Stede. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4, No. 1.]
Jan. 8.
St. Christopher.
4. Deputy Governor Thomas Hill to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have received letters as to the taking of Crab Island by the Spaniards, and have forwarded them together with some depositions. They have also taken two French ships near Guadeloupe. Several of their piratical vessels have lately been seen near these Islands, so I have appointed guards, patrols, and grand rounds in case of an attack. They assaulted Anguilla by night, but were beaten off by Captain Abraham Howell. The two companies of the King's infantry are in extreme want of arms, clothes, and pay; their pay by next July will be six years in arrear, and provisions are very dear; beef, mutton, pork, and veal, sixpence a pound; butter, cheese, and bacon, ninepence to a shilling a pound. The fort is not furnished, and is in want of necessaries, as I have frequently reported to Sir William Stapleton and Sir Nathaniel Johnson. I have furnished the poor soldiers as far as I can with money or credit, and am now incapable of affording them further relief. I doubt not that you will intercede for them. Please send us a gunsmith or two with the first recruit. America and West Indies. 550. No. 1. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 395–396.]
Jan. 10.
5. Proclamation of Governor Sir Edmund Andros. Charging all officers civil and military to be vigilant and careful in their places, pursuant to King James's orders on the prospect of a Dutch invasion. Printed Sheet. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 10 May, 1689. [America and West Indies. Massachusetts, 561. No. 1.]
Jan. 11.
St. James's.
6. The Prince of Orange to the President of Jamaica. Announcing that he had taken on himself the administration of England; that he appoints Hender Molesworth Lieutenant-Governor; and orders all the officers to be restored as they were before the arrival of the Duke of Albemarle. All acts of the assembly since the Duke's death are cancelled; no assemblies are to be held and no fines or forfeitures to be levied till the Lieutenant-Governor's arrival. Countersigned, W. Jephson. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXXII., pp. 146–151.]
[Jan. 11.] 7. Petition of Planters and Traders of Jamaica in London to His Highness the Prince of Orange. We have lately set forth our sufferings under the arbitrary rule of the Duke of Albemarle to the King and the illegal election of Parliament, whereupon His Majesty indeed issued certain orders to cancel the proceedings of the Assembly and to restore things to their former state; but as the King has since withdrawn we fear that these orders may not be obeyed. We therefore beg that they may be confirmed by you. 1 p. Endorsed. Orders issued 11 Jan. 88/9. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 1.]
Jan. 12. 8. Circular. The Prince of Orange to the Governors of Colonies. Ordering all officers in the Colonies to be continued for the present. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., pp. 34, 35.]
To Barbados. [Vol. VIII., pp. 27, 28.]
To Leeward Islands. [Vol. XLVII., pp. 388, 389.]
To Bermuda. [Vol. XVIII., pp. 201–203.]
To New England. [Vol. LXII., pp. 41, 42.]
To Virginia. [Vol. LXXXIII., pp. 233–235.]
Jan. 19. 9. Minutes of Council of Maryland. The Council of Maryland to Lord Baltimore. The journals will show you the heats and debates in the Assembly over the oath of fidelity to you, which we insisted on the more strongly at this Assembly because it had been previously evaded. The Council complied readily, but the Lower House refused. Twice they refused to attend the Upper House, but at the third summons they came, when the President made them a speech and pointed out that to refuse fidelity was to refuse allegiance. They still held out for two days and then at last gave in, after a speech from the President, and took the oath, except a Quaker who was excused. Matters then went on amicably, but they would not settle the business about bulk tobacco and seemed inclined to diminish your dues of two shillings a hogshead by one third; but the payment of rents and fines in money will be of great profit to you; and indeed if money be made current as proposed it will be of great advantage to you. Still the payment in kind is convenient, for remitting is a difficulty; and we await your decision on the point. Meanwhile the Lower House will not hear of paying rents in money. We forward the Acts, among them one for an anniversary day of thanksgiving for ever for the birth of the Prince of Wales. Some private addresses to the King are also sent, as we thought they should pass through your hands. The country is peaceable and quiet. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LIV., pp. 203–208.]
Jan. 22. 10. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Lieutenant-Governor proposed that, owing to the expense, the guards of the fortifications should be furnished by the militia, and it was arranged that the regiments should take the duty in rotation. Order for writs for the election of an Assembly. Order for payment for a great gun, to be mounted in Charles Fort. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 109, 110.]