America and West Indies: August 1689, 2-15

Pages 113-127

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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August 1689

Aug. 2. 314. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The Militia Bill read a third time and passed. The Lieutenant-Governor read a letter from the Speaker and Assembly of Antigua, asking for help in quelling the Irish rebellion in St. Christophers, which is openly countenanced by the French, Antigua having already done her best to help, being fully resolved to do no more. [Col. Entry Book, Vol. XIV., pp. 187–190.]
Aug. 3. 315. Address of the Protestant inhabitants of Maryland to the King and Queen. Congratulations on the success of your Majesties' arms. Every effort has been made to divert Maryland from her allegiance and to stifle the orders for proclaiming your Majesties, till we took up arms and without a drop of bloodshed rescued the Government from the hands of your enemies. We entreat your favourable consideration. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 140–142.]
Aug. 3. 316. A short account of the loss of Pemaquid Fort, New England, August 3, 1689. On the 12th of March, 1689, Sir Edmund Andros left in this fort, which is the chief strength of the Eastern parts, Captain Brockholes, Lieutenant Weems and two hundred soldiers. On the 18th of April, the people of Boston rose and seized the Government. On the 27th of April, Captain Savage and some others arrived with an order from the so-called Council of Safety to take possession of the fort and withdraw the forces, who thereupon all deserted except thirty, who being refused admission to the fort marched away. Brockholes and Weems, hearing of the Governor's condition were fitting out an old sloop to go to Captain Nicholson at New York for supplies both from New Dartmouth fort and from Pemaquid; but the soldiers had been corrupted by the people, and on the 10th of May, being stirred up by false news and by incendiaries from Boston, they seized Brockholes and Weems and carried them together with some other officers as prisoners to Boston. The townspeople of Pemaquid, doubting their own conduct against the Indians, kept Weems among themselves, declaring that he was no papist and that he should be their commander in the fort, and Weems having no orders from his General to leave his post thought it his duty to maintain it as best he could. He had no full command but acted as an adviser, the soldiers doing what they pleased, which was a great trouble to him. In three months they saw no Indians, which made the townspeople very confident and encouraged them to go back to their own houses. On Friday the 2nd August three or four hundred Indians came, caught one of the people in the woods and extorted from him a confession of the state of the town and fort. There were then sixteen men in the fort with the Lieutenant, and plenty of ammunition; but the townspeople were all in their houses or abroad at work. At nine o'clock in the morning the Indians attacked the town suddenly, cutting it off from the fort as much as possible. Twenty-nine women and children only escaped into the fort, many of them being wounded on the way. Half the Indians fell on the town, killing and destroying. The rest took the houses next the fort and kept constantly firing on every side until eleven o'clock next day. At the first onset the gunner and three more were killed and four more disabled; towards evening a barrel of gunpowder was accidentally exploded by the firing of a cannon, whereby the Lieutenant lost his sight all that night. He ordered hand-grenades to be fired in the night-time to scare the Indians from storming. The Indians several times summoned him to surrender and take quarter, but he answered only by firing. On Saturday morning he had the sight of one eye. The Indians then sent one of the townspeople, their prisoner, with a rope tied about him to ask the Lieutenant to surrender. The Lieutenant asked them what they were doing and what they wanted. They answered that they wanted their own country and meant to take it and the fort; that they would use the Lieutenant well if he surrendered, but that they meant to have it and had got another party ready to relieve them in the siege. Towards eleven o'clock, there being no Christian within a hundred miles of the fort, relief being hopeless, and the surviving men worn out with fatigue, the Lieutenant on their solicitations and those of the women and children, agreed to negotiate for surrender on condition of life. He found the Indians all well armed with new French fuzees, waistbelts and cutlasses, and most of them with bayonet and pistol, grey and black hats on their heads, and some of them with coloured wigs. It was agreed that the Lieutenant should march out of the fort with all the men, women, and children, every man with his arms and ammunition, and should have a sloop to carry him away; all of which was faithfully performed. The Indians told the Lieutenant that Sir Edmund Andros was a great rogue and had nearly starved them last winter, but that he was now a prisoner, and they "no care for the New England people; they have all their country by and by." 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. in a letter from Mr. Randolph, dated 8 Oct. Read 23 Feb. '89. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 27.]
Aug. 3. 317. Certificate, with thirteen signatures, to the effect that Mr. Richard Lloyd is a loyal subject, educated in the law and fit to perform the office of clerk of the Crown in Jamaica. 1 p. Endorsed. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 19.]
Aug. 4.
318. Extract from a letter of information. Yesterday the Fortune, laden with sugar from St. Christophers, came into port and reported that we are in danger of losing the Leeward Islands through the subtlety of the French in tampering with inhabitants there. The last news from Derry is not confirmed. The troops are all ready by the waterside to be shipped off, and we expect they begin to move. Copy. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 23.]
Aug. 5.
New York.
319. Frederyck Flypse and Stephen van Cortlandt to William Blathwayt. By our last of 10 June we sent you a full account of all our transactions by the hand of Captain Francis Nicholson, who we hope has represented our condition to you. The Indian Nations above Albany hearing of war between England and France are gone to fight the inhabitants of Canada. The Indians about Pemaquid, since the Bostonians have seized Sir Edmund Andros and disbanded his army, have destroyed two towns and killed several people, so that that fine country is like to be deserted. The Court of Hartford has sent two Commissioners to the Captains that took this fort from Captain Nicholson, brought with them a printed proclamation and proclaimed their Majesties on the 17th of June. Then with the assistance of the Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council, they sent for the collector, Matthew Plowman, dismissed him as being a papist and obnoxious to the people and appointed Nicholas Bayard, Pant Richard, John Haines, and Thomas Wenham to be receivers of the King's revenue. These people being accordingly in the Custom house doing their daily duty were violently turned out by Captain Jacob Leisler and a number of armed men; and Peter de la Noy put in in his stead. This man accordingly clears all vessels, and the captain on guard in the fort signed the passes. But since then they have chosen a Committee of Safety of some counties (for several counties will not join them) and have appointed Captain Leisler to be Commander of the fort, who now signs the passes of all vessels. He has now raised a company of about fifty soldiers in the fort. The people are very unruly and daily commit many unlawful acts. None pay duty but those who choose, so that without speedy orders from England the whole revenue will fail. All is in confusion. The magistrates are threatened and hindered to do their duty; and those that endeavour to prevent mischief and promote peace and quiet are called papists and suspected persons. We therefore beg again that you will represent our condition forthwith to the King and procure us speedy relief. Signed. Frederyck Flypse, S. v. Cortlandt. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Read 28 Oct. 1689. Printed in New York Documents, III. 608. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 37.]
Aug. 5.
New York.
320. Nicholas Bayard to Francis Nicholson. Letters from New York make me fear that unless speedy orders arrive from the King some great mischief will befall, for the abuses of Leisler and his rabble increase daily, threatening to imprison, plunder and massacre all who do not submit to them. We hear from Boston of fifty Christians killed by Onnogonges Indians about Piscattaway, and about six days ago the Maquas brought the same news, adding that these Indians had sent four messengers to treat with them and asking instructions how to treat them. The Magistrates ordered them to be sent here bound, intending to send them to His Excellency at Boston for the purpose of obtaining a better peace, etc., but it appears that the messengers were, owing to some difference among the Indians, dismissed. The Maquas however have acquainted the Magistrates that the Onnogonges asked them to join them in taking up the axe against the Christians in the continent, since the Christians had made a compact to exterminate the Indians, and asked further for some ammunition. The Maquas replied that they would only take up the axe against the French and their allies, and that they could spare no ammunition. The Maquas said also that they did not believe in the compact of the Christians for their destruction; that they had resolved to send eighty men to guard their castles, and that they could not spare men to pursue the Onnogonge messengers, as they were already late on their march to Canada. This answer reassured the people here. It is credibly reported that the French in Canada are the chief promoters of this massacre. They will never desist from their efforts to entice our Indians against the English, to make use of other measures to clear themselves out of the war, and secure the Indian trade for themselves, to the utter ruin of the English settlements. The English Colonies will never be safe until Canada is subdued, which might be accomplished with some little help from England, by water from New York and by land from hence. We could bring Indians against them if they employed Indians against us. The King should be informed of this, for it would not only secure all the Indians for us, but the conquest would be of great advantage to the trade of England. We have serious reports of the declaration of war between England and France, in which case next spring would be the time for the enterprise. Signed. N. Bayard. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 23 Oct., 1689. Printed in New York Documents, III. 611. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 38.]
[Aug. 5.] 321. Rough abstract of the foregoing letter by a clerk in the Plantations office. 2 pp. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 39.]
Aug. 5.
New York.
322. Stephen van Cortlandt to Francis Nicholson. The people being much against papists, Mr. Plowman was put out of the Custom house and four commissioners put in. Leisler came with several armed men and turned the commissioners out, Colonel Bayard narrowly escaping with two cuts in his hat. Peter de la Noy and George Brewster are now in charge of the Custom house, and Leisler as Captain of the fort signs the passes for ships. Several counties are against the Committee of Safety, as Albany, Ulster, Suffolk and nearly all New Jersey. Leisler has raised a company of soldiers with Churcher for lieutenant and Stoll for ensign. They have made a new well, using the plank we provided, and have made platforms and carriages just as we had ordered it. They are now providing stockades and have made a battery on the flat rock to Westward. All this, they say, should have been done by you. I observed that it would have been done ere now, if they had not taken the fort. They have lost three men, one accidentally shot and two drowned, one of them being Will. Cox, who had gone to proclaim their Majesties in New Jersey. He was buried in great state, the whole town invited, everyman and woman with gloves, all the ships' flags at half staff, and all of them firing when he was carried to the grave. The King's flag at the fort was at half staff, all the men at the fort in arms, the drums beating mournfully, the guns firing continually till he was in his grave. His death is much lamented by them as being a man who stood up for the liberty of the people and the protestant religion. All letters are taken and opened; some sent to you from Boston and Bermuda they have in the fort. The Committee called Plowman into the fort, who, like a madman, gave them an account of the money there, whereupon they opened it, and called me to account also for the taxed money. I told them that it was for Plowman to account for it, but they said I must refund it as it had been unlawfully raised, and that if I did not they would fetch it. I answered that if they had lawful power I should be ready to obey their Majesties' orders and no other. They threaten me every day, so that I resolved once to absent myself, but I have kept at home till now, intending to go up to Albany for two or three weeks in the hope that orders may come in the meantime. Their threats, lies, and violence are such that unless orders arrive speedily from England many of the inhabitants will leave the city and go to live in the country for fear of life or estate. They imprison whom they please, and release those imprisoned for debt. They take people's goods out of their houses and, if hindered by justices of the peace, come in great numbers and plunder the justice's house by force. They do what they please, for their captains have no control over them. It troubles them that they did not imprison you and seize your papers, for then they would have proved the reason. For you are a papist and so is Dr. Innes, as several witnesses have sworn. But time would fail me to tell you everything. The Five Nations started a month ago against Canada. The Indians to Eastward have destroyed a town and massacred fifty persons. Men are raising at Boston but are hard to be obtained, so that I fear that fat country will be deserted. I wrote to Sir Edmund of your departure, but have had no answer. He is in the Castle; West and Randolph in the common prison. The news of war between France and England has caused great alarm, for we have no head to command us in case of an attack, everyone being Captain. We hope for speedy orders from England. Pray tell Mr. Blathwayt of my condition and of my readiness to serve their Majesties. Signed. S. v. Cortlandt. 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. from Capt. Nicholson, 22 Oct. '89. Printed in New York Documents III. 609. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 40].
Aug. 26. 323. Pass for John Riggs to New England and New York. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXIX., pp. 195, 196.]
Aug. 7. 324. Printed paper giving a brief account of the Revolution at Boston and of the presentation of the addresses of the Revolutionary Government of May 20 and of 6 June (see Nos. 138, 182) to the King at Hampton Court on 7 August. Copies of the addresses. The whole, four printed pages. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 28, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 144–151.]
Aug. 7.
325. Phineas Bowles to William Blathwayt. Enclosing a letter from Sir Robert Robinson to the Lords of Admiralty. Signed. P. Bowles. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 14.]
Aug. 8. 326. Memorandum of the stores of war requested by Sir Robert Robinson for Bermuda. A few lines. [America and West Indies. 477. No. 15.]
[Aug.] 327. Memorandum. For the despatch of flags sufficient for the forts in Bermuda. Draft. ½ p. America and West Indies. 477. No. 16.]
Aug. 10. 328. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Addresses from New England and New Plymouth read. The Merchants of the Leeward Islands attended and presented a letter of June 10 from Mr. Crisp, which was read, together with the merchants' proposals. Agreed to lay the whole matter before the King. Memorandum of documents received. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. CIX., pp. 247–253.]
[Aug. 10.] 329. Representation by the planters and merchants of the state of the Leeward Islands, in order to their present and future security. The Islands are distinct and remote from both Barbados and Jamaica and are intermixed with the French Islands. On some of these Islands the French have a strong force of armed men besides soldiers in garrison ready at all times to attack their neighbours as they did in 1666, when they ruined all the English Islands except Nevis, which was protected by Sir John Berry's squadron. The like ruin may be expected now unless the Islands be speedily succoured by a naval force. To secure the Islands effectually it will need ten ships of war with eight hundred or a thousand soldiers. A supply of arms and ammunition will also be wanted, for the Islands are valuable and will be ruined past re-settlement if destroyed by the French, and if the negroes be carried away. August and September are the hurricane months, so that if the ships and men leave this by the middle of August the hurricane season will be past by the time they reach the Leeward Islands. It is probable that the French will make some attempt on the Islands as soon as the hurricane season is passed, if not before, so that the English force should be there at that time. Portsmouth would be a convenient rendezvous, as the merchant-ships from London may repair thither on their way, call for the West Country ships, and sail direct to Barbados and thence to the Leeward Islands. Arrived there both sea and land forces should be placed under the Governor-in-Chief. The convoy appointed to bring the ships home from Barbados may conveniently call at the Leeward Islands and may bring home any ships from thence. 2 pp. Endorsed. Read 10 August, 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 24, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 413–417.]
[Aug. 10.] 330. Petition of the inhabitants of St. Christophers to Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Island is in the nature of a frontier to the other Leeward Islands, so that its security is essential for theirs. It is presumed necessary that a sufficient number of men, provisions and arms be sent to the Island, together with clothes, etc. for the garrison. The soldiers are very necessitous and out of heart for want of their pay, now six or seven years in arrear. The fort at Cleverly Hill is at present very ill provided and should be supplied. The General should be ordered to make that Island or Nevis his residence to encourage the people by his presence. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Aug., 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 25, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., pp. 417–418.]
[Aug. 10.] 331. Memorandum as to stores required at Nevis. Five sacker guns of fifteen feet to be fixed at Long Point; three hundred good firelocks; fifty barrels of powder, match, rammers, etc. in proportion. Two tons of cannon shot. Other stores in proportion for the other Leeward Islands. ½ p. Endorsed. 10 Aug. 1689. Prepared by the merchants at the Committee. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 26, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVII., p. 418.]
Aug. 12.
332. Commission to the magistrates administering the Government of Massachusetts for the time being, to continue in their places. Countersigned. Shrewsbury. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 561. No. 3, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 127.]
Aug. 12.
333. Christopher Codrington to the Earl of Shrewsbury. In the absence of Sir Nathaniel Johnson, who left his Government for Carolina on 25 July last, having first given me a commission as his Lieutenant General, I received yours of 15 and 23 April. The news of a large squadron bound hither was exceedingly welcome and has encouraged us much. There was no possibility of sending notice of it to St. Christophers, the French having a fleet between this Island and that, and being masters of the Island except the fort, which itself on the 5th inst. was forced to surrender from want of ammunition. The prisoners arrived here stripped of all they had; but our greater fear is that they may cause a famine in this island, which is very slenderly stocked with provisions. The French have eight men-of-war now at St. Christophers and expect four more, with twenty-four fresh companies of men; but I hope the timely arrival of the King's ships will put a speedy stop to the enemy's proceedings. We have promises of help from Barbados and have expected them for thirteen days. I suppose they wait to come with the fleet, which I hope may be here in a few days. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 27.]
Aug. 12. 334. Duplicate of the foregoing. [Ibid. No. 28.]
Aug. 14.
335. Phineas Bowles to William Blathwayt. In reply to your letter of 29 July as to the transport of Colonel Kendall and his goods to Barbados in one or more of the King's ships bound to the West Indies, I am to inform you that the ships are not only much filled with their own stores but are designed also to carry soldiers thither, so that their honours think he had better hire a merchant ship to sail under convoy of the men-of-war, as has been the usual practice. Signed. P. Bowles. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 19, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., p. 152.]
[Aug. 14.] 336. Extracts from divers letters written from New England in July and August.
James Lloyd to Thomas Brinley. Boston, 10 July, 1689. Already abstracted under date, No. 242.
Francis Brinley to Thomas Brinley, Newport, Rhode Island, 15 July, 1689. The Indians have destroyed thirty families on the Piscataqua. We are in great confusion and without any government but what some have assumed by the help of the mobile. Do what you can to get us a good settled Government, for if the Government of old times be restored there can be no living here for sober men. To be governed among ourselves by some chosen from among us is nearly anarchy.
Benjamin Davis to Edward Hull. Boston, 31 July, 1689. We have only rumours of a war with France or of an action of Admiral Herbert against her fleet. All is confusion here. I am afraid that this people is so unruly that nothing but an immediate Governor from the King can rule them. They expect Mather with a charter. If it pleases them— well; if not, they will despair, for they are not afraid to say that the Crown of England has nothing to do with them. I wish my country as well as any of them, but I hate rebellious actions. The pulling down of Sir E. Andros's Government has done no good, but the contrary, since they called home the army; and the Indians have since made great slaughter and destruction. I enclose the charges against Sir Edmund and his officers. They are very badly dealt with in not being admitted to bail. Mr. Dudley was bailed out for £10,000, but the rabble led him back to gaol like a dog.
John Legg to John Browne. Marblehead, 14 August, 1689. We have had an alarm of Indians and have been up all night. There is a press for men but few will go, as the Government is not settled. Pemaquid is fallen, and the Indians have slaughtered many on the Piscataqua. Copies. The whole, 3¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. from Mr. Brinley and read 25 Feb. '89–'90. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 29.]
Aug. 14.
337. John Legg to John Brown. Another copy of the extract given in preceding abstract. Endorsed. Recd. from Mr. Usher, 12 December, 1689. Read 7 January, 1689–90. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 30.]
Aug. 14. 338. Deposition of Thomas Mollenax. That he had heard an Indian Sachem say that Sir Edmund Andros gave him large presents to be ready at Manhattan's Island in April.
Deposition of Richard Shute. To the same effect, that Sir E. Andros had hired him to destroy the Christians.
Deposition of Barent Witt. To the same effect.
Sworn before Gerard Beckman. The whole, 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 20 Feb., 1689–90.
339. Duplicate of the above. Endorsed. Recd. 10 April, 1690. Printed in New York Documents, III., 659. [America and West Indies. 578. Nos. 41, 42.]
Aug. 15. 340. The King to the Governor of Massachusetts Bay. We hear that Captain George has been put under restraint, and his ship disabled by your taking away her sails and countenancing her crew against her commander; whereby he is prevented from preserving the coasts from pirates and from enforcing the Acts of Navigation; and this although assurance had been given you by the principal merchants of the town of his loyal behaviour. You will restore the sails and other furniture forthwith and enable the ship to be made fit for her duties at sea. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 128, 129.]
Aug. 15. 341. List of stores of war desired by the Leeward Islands. 18 cannon, 1,050 firelocks, and ammunition and stores. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. Aug. 15. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 29.]
Aug. 15. 342. Order of the King in Council. For the officer of Ordnance to provide certain guns and stores of war for the Leeward Islands. List annexed. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. C., p. 67; and Vol. XLVII., p. 423.]
Aug. 15. 343. Order of the King in Council. For the Commissioners for victualling the Navy to prepare provisions for 930 men, to be made use of by the regiment appointed for the Leeward Islands after its arrival there. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. C., p. 68; and Vol. XLVII., p. 424.]
Aug. 15. 344. Order of the King in Council. For the Admiralty to provide shipping for the carrying of stores to the Leeward Islands. [Col. Entry Bks., Vol. C., pp. 68, 69; and Vol. XLVII., pp. 424, 425.]
Aug. 15.
345. Lieutenant-General Codrington to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Since my last I sailed for Barbuda to put the Island into a state of defence, understanding that the Irish had shewn signs of imitating the example of St. Christophers. I arrived on the 2nd inst., settled the Government and disarmed the Irish, and was about to return hither, when on the point of my departure two sloops arrived with about two hundred French and Irish to sack and spoil the Island; but by God's help and the courage of the men in my sloops joined to about thirty Islanders, after a vigorous resistance of two hours we put them to flight, and chased them three or four leagues. We lost two men killed and twenty wounded. Had not ammunition failed we should have captured both sloops. On the 7th inst. I arrived here and found a French ship of sixteen guns that had been surprised and captured by the English. She was formerly a privateer manned by a hundred and thirty English and French, but mostly French. All but twenty of them made a descent on St. Christophers, leaving the ship at anchor at Basseterre with twelve French and eight English on board. The last named set upon the French, soon overcame them without the loss of a man and brought the ship in here. She is now fitting for the King's service, her captain being William Kidd. This vessel with my two sloops is all our strength at sea, very inconsiderable in comparison with their fleet. So far my account is pleasing, but I must now turn my pen another way and inform you with regret of the surrender of the fort and English part of St. Christophers. On the morning of 17 July eighteen French sail passed by Nevis, six of them men of war, and within two hours of anchoring at Basseterre, the French inhabitants and the Irish forced the frontier guards of the English into the fort and laid the Southern part of the Island in ashes. They then began to entrench themselves before the fort, though for some time prevented by sallies; but they were three thousand and we not four hundred fighting men and very ordinarily armed, so the English were forced to retire into the fort and leave them masters of the open field, though Colonel Thomas Hill was wanting neither in encouragement nor example.
On the 22nd the French began to throw bombs at the fort from the land, while the ships of war being strengthened by four sail more, three of which came direct from France and the other from Martinique, fired upon us from the sea. Then by throwing up a trench of circumvallation from sea to sea, and keeping three or four ships continually riding at anchor before the fort, they prevented all possibility of communicating with or relieving the besieged. What was worse, the fort was short of ammunition, there being not powder enough for one day's firing after standing a siege of three weeks. The French then threw up a battery within pistol-shot of the wall, which overlooked the fort, and mounted ten great guns there; so that the besieged, seeing no prospect of relief and being short of good ammunition, some within it told Colonel Hill that they would not fight and urged him to surrender, which he did, though much against his inclination, on the 5th inst. By the capitulation the English were at liberty to embark for Nevis. Several are arrived here and four sloops with Count de Blenac's pass go down for the rest, among whom is Colonel Hill. This is the second time in the course of a week that we have been forced to quit our advantages for lack of ammunition. I gave you an account of Montserrat. The Governor picked out the ringleaders of the Irish and sent them to me, and I was forced to bring them to Nevis. There I learned from the master of a ship which had been taken by the French that they declared they would attack the rest of the English Islands, being assured that the Irish would rise at the sight of their fleet. I have therefore disarmed all the Irish here and sent them to Jamaica. Colonel Hill, who is very ill through the fatigues of the siege and an attack of gout, has just arrived with the residue of the prisoners and the surviving soldiers of the King's Companies. These men have lost what little they had. They behaved very well during the siege, but as soon as they arrived here they refused to bear arms, saying that they were naked and bare, and in want of everything, that their pay was six years in arrear, and that they would serve no more till they had received it. After much persuasion and speaking of their pay arriving in the fleet which we expect every day, together with a present supply, I wrought upon them to remain in the King's service and have posted them in the two chief forts of the Island. About eight hundred men arrived at Antigua yesterday from Barbados under Sir Timothy Thornhill. As St. Christophers is lost I shall keep them there, and with their help hope to keep the rest of the Islands safe. The enemy's force is very strong, for they have eight frigates here already and daily expect four more. I beg you to represent our wants to the King and procure us a further supply of arms and ammunition if sufficient be not already sent. I beg also that the poor soldiers may have some pay sent to them. It would be well too if recruits were sent to fill the vacancies in the two companies, for there are not above seventy men in the town, and most of them superannuated. Signed. Chr. Codrington, 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 1 Nov., 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 30, and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43.pp. 148–155 and pp. 171–177.]
Aug. 15. 346. Duplicate of the foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct, 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 31.]
[Aug. 15.] 347. Memo. The places of Captains Crook and Overton, lieutenants to Colonel Hill, given by Colonel Codrington to Hen. Barrell and Tho. Harvey. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 32.]
348. John Netheway to the King. On the 17th July twenty two sail of French ships, including six men of war, arrived before St. Christophers and landed their men without opposition, burnt in company with the Irish all the houses of the English, and besieged the fort, to which the English were retired, by sea and land. They fired sixty-six bombs and 1,240 cannon shot, and the besieged after a vigorous defence were obliged to surrender. The French have blocked up all the roads and creeks so that no help could be sent them, but the garrison would have held out for some time longer had not the French drawn a circumvallation round them and mounted guns theron. Count de Blenac has given out that he means to reduce the rest of the Islands and particularly this Island of Nevis, and has sent to Canada for a frigate of forty guns and twenty-two companies of rieux corps which were sent there under M. de Lomesnil to suppress the Indians. I am doing my best to prepare for defence and am fitting out a fireship and a French man-of-war, which deserted during the siege and was brought in by seven Englishmen. We expected succours from Barbados but now they will be too late, so that it remains only to implore you for a fleet to regain St. Christopher and defend us. Signed. Jno. Netheway. 1 p. Enclosed,
348. I. Articles on which the fort of St. Christophers surrendered. Aug. 5/15, 1689. Copy. 1 p.
348. II. Narrative of the siege of the fort of St. Christophers. A journal of the siege from the 17th July to 5th August, a few lines to each day. 2½ pp.
348. III. Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct., 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. Nos. 33, 33. I.–III].
[Aug.] 349. John Netheway to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have written to the King to report the loss of St. Christophers, the English having been compelled to surrender for want of ammunition after a close siege of three weeks. I have also reported that the French design the speedy reduction of all the Caribbee Islands, which they will undoubtedly effect if we have not a prompt supply of men and ships. I have thought fit to acquaint you hereof as you may hasten the despatch of a fleet by demonstrating the danger of delay, for the French are always quick in motion; therefore I beg you to be pressing. The preservation of the English interest in America now depends wholly on the success of arms, and the French are masters of the sea, exceeding us both in ships and number of men ashore. Eight hundred men are just arrived from Barbados, but this will signify nothing to our relief unless they be succeeded by a fleet. Signed. Jno. Netheway. 1. p. Endorsed. Recd. 22 Oct., 1689. [America and West Indies. 550. No. 34; and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 156–158.]
Aug. 15.
New York.
350. George Mackenzie to Francis Nicholson. I arrived from Albany at New York at eleven o'clock on the night of the 11th in a sloop, and landing above the windmills saved my letters from being broken open. Next morning, when my landing there was known, I was told that Mr. Leisler stormed very much and sent to one of my fellow passengers for letters, who said he had none. So far they did not trouble me, but next morning one of his soldiers (as they call them) knocked at my door and told me roughly that I must go and speak with the captain of the fort (which is Leisler's title). I told him I had no business there, but that if Mr. Leisler desired to speak to me he might come to me, with which answer the fellow left me, and I, judging what must come next, shut my door. Shortly afterwards a serjeant and two musketeers knocked hard at the door; I would not open, but went upstairs and asked them from the window what they wanted. They told me in a threatening tone, "You must go along with us." I told them I would not, and bid them show their warrant. They held up their muskets, which I said was not satisfactory to me; whereupon they called me the greatest rogue in the whole country, and threatened to pull down the house. As I took no notice the sergeant said he would bring a warrant and left sentinels at both my doors; but he returned without a warrant, only brought witnesses to the fact that I refused to go with them; at which I smiled and told them that I would be at the bridge in half an hour. I was as good as my word, walking most of the day in the most public places, but they laid no hand on me, till next day, when I was walking in the broadway, they saw me and told Mr. Leisler. By his order I was forced away to the fort and taken to the chamber where you were lodged. There the Captain and Committee were assembled, having Thomas Clark before them for writing the paper "Why Thomas Clark, free-holder of New York, would not watch and ward." At my entry I asked why I was brought there in so rude a manner, and he said he would tell me by and by, and bade me go into the next room. There Leisler and two of the Committee came to me, said they wondered that I had not come, and asked me whether I knew that that skipper (who went to Esopus that day) had taken any powder with him. I told them their messengers were at fault, for instead of smooth words they had called me rogue and threatened me, which made me suspect that they might deal worse with me in the fort; and I answered that I knew nothing of the powder or anything else. They then began to talk of a letter of mine to Colonel Hamilton, which they had intercepted, in answer to one of his, in which he asked if the report of the people's threats against him were true. Delanoy showed me the letter, which I acknowledged to be mine. My letter was severe, saying that I had heard of no such threats, only David Moody reported that Leisler threatened to send down a company to fetch him, and "in that case," I said, "I said, "I should advise you not to come up or to ask his leave, or you will seem to confess yourself in fault; or if he should grant you leave, don't trust his word, for I would not take it over much smaller matters." Having read this Leisler asked what wrong he had done me that I should thus write of him; for if he had done me any wrong he would beg pardon. I told him that if I did him wrong I would beg his pardon, but that I was provoked by his calling me a papist as was reported. He answered that it was a lie, for he had never said so; but after a little pause he put on a more angry look, and said he knew I was popishly affected. "I am as much a protestant as you," I said. "Why," says he, "haven't I heard you call Father Smith a very good man?" "Yes," I said, "and I do so still, but not because he is a papist. In all my six years at New York I never had the curiosity to look into their chapel." He told me I kept with Dr. Innes and went to hear him and pray with him and that he was a papist. I denied it. He replied that some one had sworn it. I said it was a lie, if ten people had sworn it. At last after a great deal of discourse, in which not a word was said of you, he said that I might call him what I pleased, he would always pray God bless me. I then prayed God to bless him. We continued these holy sort of compliments for a time, when he said he would never do me any prejudice, and I answered as before. So I was dismissed very civilly, which surprises me, for he treated Vandenburgh, who was one of the troopers, very differently, telling him if he saw him on horseback, he would shoot him down. Me both he and his committee treated with strange civility, for he has handled others roughly. It was reported that he bragged afterwards of my submissiveness to him, but I found it to be untrue, so that I hope he has done with me. Sir E. Andros has escaped and been recaptured, and it is reported that Colonel Dongan is also a prisoner. He went to Rhode Island at about the same time to sell Martin's Vineyard, upon which ridiculous reports were raised of their joining together with I know not how many men to take the fort, etc. Signed. Geo. McKenzie. 2½ closely written pages. Endorsed. Recd. 23 Oct., 1689, from Captain Nicholson. Printed in New York Documents, III. 612. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 43.]
Aug. 15.
Fort William,
New York.
351. Instrument of the Committee of Safety appointing Jacob Leisler Commander in Chief of New York. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 20 Feb., 1690/1, in a letter from Capt. Leisler to the Bishop of Salisbury.
Duplicate of the above. Endorsed. Recd. 10 April, 1690. [America and West Indies. 578. Nos. 44, 45.]
Aug. 15. 352. Abstract of the proceedings of the Committee of Safety of New York from 27th June to 15 August. 27 June. Members of the Committee of Safety.
Samuel Edsall
Peter Delanoy
New York City and County.
Thomas Williams
Richard Panton
Westchester County.
Gerardus Beckman
Myndext Coerten
King's County.
Richard Betts
Matthew Harvey
Queen's County.
William Lawrence
Tennis Roelosse
Hackinsack and Tappan Inhabitants.
Henry Lyon
John Curtis
Elizabeth's Town.
Jaques Puillion Staten Island.
Abraham Gouverneur appointed clerk. Credentials of the members from their several places registered. Peter Delanoy chosen to be moderator. Agreed to invite Major Nathan Gold and Captain James Fitch of Connecticut to be present at the sitting, who accordingly came in, when Captain James Leisler laid several papers before them. Resolved to raise fifty soldiers to secure the fort, and that they be raised in proportion from the several counties represented, with pay of thirty shillings a month besides provisions. The French at New Rochelle promised to contribute towards the expense of the fortifications and the militia. The Agents of Connecticut promised their good offices. A committee appointed to report on the state of the fort. Order for his arms to be taken from Captain Webb, a reputed Papist. 28 June. On report of the dismissal of Matthew Plowman from the collectorship of Customs, it was resolved that the action of the merchants in putting in commissioners is void, and that Peter Delanoy do succeed Plowman. Order continuing the Captains of Militia in their commands, and appointing Jacob Leisler Captain of the fort. The 17th of July appointed as a day of thanksgiving. Declaration that the seizure of the fort is solely for the King's service. Resolved to send an agent to England, and that the King's dues received since 1st June be devoted to the strengthening of the fort, 29 June. William Churcher appointed Lieutenant, and Joost Stoll ensign of Captain Leisler's company. It being reported that the records of New York were being carried to Boston, Captain Leisler announced that he had written to Boston to have them secured. The Committee appointed to inspect the fortifications brought up their report. Peter Delanoy appointed to be Collector of Customs. Adjourned to 9 July. Adjourned to 22 July. Testimony of Peter Godfree against Alexander Innes heard. 23 July. Resolved that Matthew Plowman make over to the Committee the King's money in his hands. Order for completion of Captain Leisler's company to its full numbers. There being certain news of war between England and France, ordered that the repairs of the fort be completed, good account being kept of the expenses. Orders for constitution of a council of war. Stephen van Cortlandt summoned to account for the money received by him for a tax lately imposed. 24 July. Stephen van Cortlandt's business continued. Order for Jacob Leisler and Peter Delanoy to keep account of the money found in the fort. Abraham Gouverneur and George Brewerton appointed to make an examination of the Secretary's records. Mr. John Johnston of Jersey brought into the fort, who excused himself from proclaiming King William in Jersey. 25 July. Colonel Bayard made a claim for money spent on the fortifications, which was disallowed. Order for examination of Matthew Plowman's accounts. Members of the Committee required to ascertain and state the grievances of their respective counties. Complaint being made against Brant Schuyler, Jacobus van Cortlandt and George Mackenzie, it was thought fit that they be excluded from the troops of horse. Seven members appointed to be a quorum of the Committee in future; after which the members adjourned to their several counties. 13 Aug. Order for continuing the work in the fortifications. 14 Aug. Depositions of Thomas Mollenax, Richard Shute, and Barent Witt against Sir E. Andros, and of Daniel Le Clerk against Stephen van Cortlandt. Thomas Clark was brought in to answer for a paper reflecting on the Committee and was secured. 15 August. Captains Leisler and Henry Cuyler appointed to superintend the work in the fortifications. The garrison soldiers sworn to allegiance. The deputies of counties discoursed of their grievances, the oppression and slavery imposed by the late Governor and Council. Resolved to send Ensign Joost Stoll as messenger to their Majesties. 32 pp. [America and West Indies. 578. No. 46.]