America and West Indies: January 1691

Pages 375-384

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 1691

Jan. 1. 1,276. Proposals of the Agents of Massachusetts concerning a new Charter. (1) That the King re-establish the old Corporation with grant of all former lands and privileges; the Corporation to consist of such as were formerly, or shall be hereafter made, free, and to extend to Maine as well as to Massachusetts. (2) That New Hampshire also be expressly put under the Corporation. (3) That, looking to the increase of the Colony, which makes it impossible for all the freemen to be present at any Court or Assembly, a General Assembly of representatives may be constituted. (4) That the election of the General Officers of the Corporation be by majority of all freemen present or sending their votes. (5) That the General Assembly have power to erect Courts of Judicature, which, as to the province of Maine, is fully granted to Sir Ferdinando Gorges. (6) That the General Assembly being expressly empowered not to make laws repugnant to the laws of England, may also be expressly empowered to impose necessary taxes for the support of Government. (7) That the Admiralty jurisdiction given in Sir Ferdinando Gorges' grant be extended to the whole. (8) That increased powers may be given for raising militia, pursuing enemies and erecting fortifications. (9) That a clause be inserted confirming grants made to individuals in New England. (10) That the proviso for liberty of fishing be limited, with regard to the rights of owners of the soil. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 130; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 256–258.]
Jan. 1.
1,277. Order of the King in Council. Referring the petitions given in preceding abstract to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 258.]
Jan. 1. 1,278. Order of the King in Council. Report of Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have fully examined the case between the Convention of Maryland and Lord Baltimore. We recommend that the matters be referred to your Governor for report, and that Colonel Henry Darnell and Richard Hill may be discharged from their bonds. 22 December, 1690. Ordered accordingly. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 210, 211.]
Jan. 1.
1,279. Order of the King in Council. That Lord Nottingham prepare a letter to Colonel Codrington directing him to exchange French prisoners first against British subjects and afterwards for French Protestants. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 280, 281.]
Jan. 3. 1,280. The King to Colonel Codrington. Giving the orders issued by the Order in Council of 1 January (see preceding abstract) as to exchange of prisoners. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 281.]
Jan. 3. 1,281. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the commission for Governor Copley be referred to Lord Baltimore for his objections thereto, if any. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 207.]
Jan. 8.
1,282. Abstract of a letter from James Lloyd, merchant, of Boston. Sir William Phips with about 700 men went to Port Royal, which surrendered on terms; the cost of the expedition being £3,000 more than the value of the plunder. After Sir William's return Leisler's man-of-war made desolation there; and so Port Royal lies—not an Englishman there that we know of. In the summer we were alarmed by pirates, with three ships, who took and held Block Island for some days, and took Leisler's plunder from Port Royal which was on board two ketches. In course of time we sent men-of-war for their relief, but before they arrived Captain Pain and Major Gold of Rhode Island had moored their sloops under Block Island and drove them off with great loss. You may have heard of the expedition to Canada. Its history is this. At a meeting of persons from each Colony at New York it was agreed to send (I think) 500 English and 1,500 Indians to Montreal. They moved slowly but at length got to Albany. Jacob Milborne was appointed General by Leisler. Albany being divided against New York there arose a dislike thereof, to heal which who more fit than General Winthrop ? Accordingly he marches to Drowned Lands, and finds no preparation of canoes for so great an army, and the Indians pleading sickness. He therefore returned to Albany, where Leisler meets them and claps Winthrop in ward. The Indians at once released Winthrop, threatening to make a Jesuit of Leisler (i.e. to scalp him). Home come the Connecticut men; the General Court at Hartford approves of Winthrop's actions and votes him money, for which Leisler calls them traitors.
Now as to the expedition by sea. Some thirty-two vessels were fitted out by private subscription, two of the ships of over 100 tons, but the rest poor, sorry things. Victuals for three or four months were collected, but ammunition scanty; only fifteen barrels on board the flag-ship of forty guns, and perhaps seventy in the whole fleet. About the 9th of August, contrary to expectations, they were pushed into the ocean, and after nine weeks arrived before Quebec. Young Thomas Savage was sent ashore to summon them to surrender to mercy or on conditions hidden in Sir William's breast. He was at once carried blindfold into a circle of martial men, who, finding a pumpkin fleet with the Union flag commanded by a man who never did exploit above water, told him their guns would answer for them. This startled our men, who had been "preached to other things." This happened on Sunday. On Monday about twelve hundred men were landed three miles below Quebec, with a river between them and the enemy. Some days were spent in considering what to do next, advancing now and then to small skirmishes. Meanwhile the whole country came in, also forces from Montreal, which our people feared would sally against them. So on Friday night they examined their ammunition, easily found it too scanty for an attack on the town and began to talk of returning. The notion no sooner entered their crowns than they hurried on board; and happy the commander who could seize his boat first. At length, after much confusion, all were on board, save five field-pieces and a drum, which they intended to fetch next day; but by that time the guns spoke French. All this while Sir William pelted the hills of Quebec night and day and shot away almost all his powder. Our men hurried on board without order of ships or of their number. Sir William's ship had a spring in her cable, and down they all fell thirty leagues below Isle d'Orleans. Here a storm of wind came on, and cutting their cables they hurried out to sea. The first ship that arrived had lost 65 out of 120 men by small-pox and fever; others had lost considerably, and now on the 8th of January there are still eight vessels missing, while three more have been cast away and burnt. Small-pox and fever were rife among them; and the men still die like rotten sheep, infecting the country, so that we fear within a twelvemonth that a quarter of them will be dead. This expedition is very costly and the burden falls on Massachusetts. It will mean £40,000 in rates. Subscribers being out of cash the present way of raising money is by bank-papers issued by the Treasurer to pass as money. Debentures are already sunk to half price. Since the revolution I judge that we have lost a thousand men by the Indians and I fear still more by the Canadian expedition. The money expended, debts, and money required may amount to £200,000. In fact I fear that we are almost run aground. Leisler has subdued Long Island; Rhode Island is almost destroyed by small-pox. When our fleet went to Canada the Eastern young Indians went to help the French. Meanwhile I think we have concluded peace with the old men till May. I know of no preparations for defence; you may imagine what condition the land is in. These Colonies would have all men of their own persuasion, Rhode Island all Quakers, New York all Dutch. In every one the oppressed party longs for England's Government, and stumbles at elections after the King's letter. If no French ships come on the coast, if no French and Indians come over the Lake, if the Five Nations prove true, if the young Indians of the East approve of the old men's sayings, and if we agree among ourselves, then the country will be safe and happy. If not—then the Indians have a saying, "Drive the pigs to the great sows Boston and New York, and they will suck her to death." 3½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 131.]
Jan. 10. 1,283. Bill in Chancery exhibited against Edward Davies and others, pirates who surrendered at Virginia, by Captain John Purvis. Copy. 6½ large pages. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 1.]
Jan. 11.
Charles Fort,
1,284. Colonel Thomas Hill to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Since the fleet has been ordered home I think it my duty to give an account of these Islands. They are in a very weak condition to receive an enemy, and should a fleet come from France and command the sea we should be still worse off for want of provisions, of which there is already a great scarcity. An addition to our misery is the almost total want of fresh provisions, which have been consumed not only by the army but by the sick people, who for nineteen months past have groaned under small-pox, spotted fever, flux, and fever and ague, by which we have lost the major part of our best men. I hope that recruits are coming in the fleet, which is daily expected. But if supplies be not sent, or unfortunately cut off, it is to be wished that we might trade with Porto Rico for fresh provisions, whereby many a life might be saved. I presume you are aware that nearly seven years' arrears are due to the King's two foot companies here. An order was sent in 1690 for the payment of one company from the funds of the four and a half per cent. duty, but I can obtain no money though I have often applied to the General for it. The fort too is but slenderly provided with stores of any kind. It was the want of such that made us surrender before, but we hope care will be taken that we be not forced to surrender a second time. I assure you that I have borne such a share of the scarcity here that the coarsest diet known among us has been welcome to me. Having no money and being consumed by much sickness I am now in danger of a further calamity. Signed. Tho. Hill. Holograph. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 21 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 1; and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 416–418 and 44. pp. 1, 2.]
Jan. 11. 1,285. Duplicate of the foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 3 April, 91. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 2.]
Jan. 12. 1,286. Order of the King in Council. That Lord Sidney represent the case of Edward Davies and others to the Spanish Ambassador and ascertain if he has any objection to the restoration of their goods to them. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 148.]
Jan. 14. 1,287. William Blathwayt to Lord Baltimore. Requiring him to return his answer to the office as to Colonel Copley's Commission. Draft. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 40.]
Jan. 15.
1,288. Order of the King in Council. That Lord Chief Justice Holt and the Attorney General settle the draft of Colonel Copley's commission as Governor of Maryland. Copy. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 5.]
Jan. 15. 1,289. Lord Baltimore's answer as to the draft Commission to Governor Copley. The draft contains several clauses prejudicial to the privileges granted me by my charter. I give four instances. For this reason I cannot sign the Commission, and I hope it will not be taken amiss if I insist on my rights by Patent, viz. to nominate such deputy as I think fit to govern the province, though I am willing to appoint a Protestant, and to entrust the militia and military stores to Protestants. Signed. C. Baltimore. 1 p. Endorsed. Read in Council, 15 Jan. 1690/1. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 41; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 208, 209.]
Jan. 15. 1,290. Minutes of Council of Virginia. The Lieutenant-Governor communicated letters from several gentleman in New England as well as information of masters of vessels as to the late expedition to Canada, and danger from French and Indians, and from the disorders of neighbouring Colonies. Ordered that copies of the depositions and letters be sent to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, begging for an early settlement of the neighbouring Colonies. Suggestion was made of the expediency of establishing regular posts through the Colonies. Order for the Commanders of the forces at the head of the four great rivers to appoint an officer and eleven men to range from river to river once a week, as a security against Indians, until further order; that on the least alarm of Indians the nearest officer raise the militia and give immediate notice to the Commander-in-Chief of the County; and that the several Commanders in the Counties prepare a fitting number of men to reinforce the rangers, if needed. The Board made representations as to the claim of Lord Culpeper's heirs to Northern Neck, and requested the Lieutenant-Governor to ask the Lords of Trade to deal finally with the whole matter. Representations also were made as to the lack of ammunition, the defective state of H.M.S. Dumbarton, the scarcity of clothing owing to the failure of shipping from England; and the Lieutenant-Governor was requested to communicate them to Whitehall. Order for the coast of Lower Norfolk County and the Eastern shore to be watched. The value of tobacco for purposes of the penny duty, fixed at one penny per pound. Proclamations to appoint anchorages and to forbid people from boarding ships that have not first reported themselves ashore, ordered. Representations as to the abuse of his power by Colonel Philip Ludwell, as Deputy to Alexander Culpeper, Surveyor General, and as to the expediency of the surveyors being appointed by the Government of Virginia. Order for a force to be always ready to go to the assistance of Tindall's fort. Resolved that no more letters be written to Maryland since the last remain unanswered. Resolved that the ships for England, being few, be allowed to sail separately. Order for the last proclamations to be communicated to North Carolina and Maryland together with the orders as to ranging. Order for the Collectors to collect salt at the rate of twenty-five bushels a man and secure it for the use of the country. Order for the Council to meet on the 18th February, and that those who cannot be present send their opinions in writing. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 419–439.]
Jan. 15. 1,291. Extract from Minutes of Council of Virginia. Resolved that in view of the peril from French and Indians, copies of the depositions of several masters of vessels as to that peril be sent to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, in the hope that the Government may be speedily settled in the neighbouring Colonies. Copy. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 2.]
[Jan. 15.] 1,292. A collection of depositions, on which was founded the resolution given in preceding abstract. Deposition of John Swindall. 14 Jan., 1691. A meagre account of Sir William Phips's expedition against Quebec, and of its failure. Deposition of another ship's master as to rumours of French reinforcements in New England. Same date. Deposition of Bartholomew Greene. As to the arrival of French reinforcements in Canada and the failure of Sir W. Phips's expedition. Deposition of another ship's master in confirmation of Bartholomew Greene. 15 Jan. Deposition of Henry Gravenraedt. As to the disorders consequent on Leisler's proceedings at New York and the danger of an attack on Albany. 16 Jan. Proclamation of the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, for the strict enforcement of the laws in every branch of administration. Circular of the Lieutenant-Governor to the sheriffs of the various counties in furtherance of the proclamation above-mentioned, and asking information as to militia, the promoters of education, etc.* Proclamation of the Lieutenant-Governor, forbidding the sale of arms and ammunition to the Indians, except as provided by law, and appointing ports which alone trading vessels shall enter. 16 Jan., 1691. The whole, 23 pp. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 3; and (as far as*) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 449–464.]
[Jan. 15.] 1,293. Duplicate of the foregoing, so far as the fourth deposition. 8½ pp. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 4.]
Jan. 15. 1,294. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Assembly attended and were reminded by the Governor of the necessity for an Act of Excise, which they brought up, passed, in the afternoon. Order for sundry payments. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 156, 157.]
Jan. 15. 1,295. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. After attending the Governor the Assembly decided to revive the existing Excise Act. Address to the Governor asking for payment of the Clerk's salary. Order for a bill to appoint a committee of public accounts. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 260, 261.]
Jan. 20. 1,296. Abstract of Lord Howard's case against Edward Davies and others, pirates, who surrendered in Virginia. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Heard in the Treasury, 20 January, 1690/1. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 5.]
Jan. 21. 1,297. Draft Commission to Lionel Copley to be Governor of Maryland. This differs in no essential particular from that issued to all Colonies immediately under the Crown At the end. Minute approving the draft. Signed. J. Holt, Geo. Treby. 21 Jan., 1691. Endorsed. Warrant signed 14 Feb., 1690/1. Great Seal. Dated 27 June, 1691. 32 pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 42, and 8, pp. 1–17.]
Jan. 21. 1,298. "A modest and impartial narrative of several grievances and great oppressions that the peaceable and most considerable inhabitants of . . . New York . . . lie under by the extravagant and abitrary proceedings of Jacob Leisler and his accomplices." Printed pamphlet. 26 pp. Printed in full, with a facsimile of the title-page, in New York Documents III. 665. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 132.]
Jan. 26./Feb. 5. 1,299. Extract from the Paris Gazette of 5 February 1691. 3 Feb. 1691. Count Frontenac being gone to the side of Montreal, where the French have gained several advantages over the English, heard that the English had entered the St. Lawrence with thirty four sail to attack Quebec. He arrived at Quebec on the 15th of October, where next day he was summoned by Sir William Phips to surrender the town to King William. He answered that he knew of no King William, that the Prince of Orange was an usurper, that his officers would never allow him to trust a traitor, who had been false to his true king, and that his cannon would answer for him. On the 17th the English landed 2,000 men. The whole of the country had flown to arms and the English had hardly marched half a mile before they had been beset by several little detachments and had lost a number of men. Four of their largest vessels approached the town, but the cannon almost totally dismasted the flag-ship and handled the rest so roughly that they were obliged to sheer off and repair damages. Two days later the English advanced to the little river, as if designing to pass it, and Count Frontenac called out all his regular troops to dispute the passage. For some hours there was skirmishing, always with loss to the English, who retired to their first camp and re-embarked with precipitation under cover of night. Their loss was five hundred men. 1¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 133.]
Jan. 26./Feb. 5. 1,300. Another copy of the same. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 134.]
Jan. 26./Feb. 1,301. Translation of the same. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 135.]
Jan. 26.
James City.
1,302. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. About the middle of November last some English while hunting about twenty miles above the Plantations on James River were two of them killed and two of them wounded by the Indians. The Indians were pursued but could not be overtaken. I am told that some English are killed every year while hunting or trading, but as such hunting and trading are now forbidden I hope that this mischief will cease. I think it would be well to send instructions concerning the Indian trade. Were it entrusted to a Company, and were anyone, whether here or in England, allowed to subscribe, money could soon be raised to carry on the trade, increase the revenue and check Indian incursions. We are apprehensive at reports from Pennsylvania. If directions have been sent to them to act as they are said to intend, and if they carry on correspondence with the French and Indians (as they very well may) then the consequence will be fatal to most of these Colonies, for they have a great correspondence with each other in all the provinces. I shall do my best to stop any evil designs; but if the King do not send out a Governor I hope we shall have orders about Pennsylvania.
The people are much inclined to go upon the linen and woollen manufactures, being fearful that few ships will arrive from England this year. Goods will then be very dear and the tobacco will be left in the country and will run the risk of being spoiled. They say the merchants care not if half the tobacco in the country be spoiled, so they get but the other half into England, for then it would fetch more than if the whole were sent home. I hear that 10,000 hogs-heads were left in the country last year, and there is a good crop now. So I heartily hope that ships enough may arrive to carry it to England, for the sake of the King's revenue. I must represent the delay that may happen to the King's service owing to the distance at which Councillors reside from this place and from each other. If it should be necessary to call the Council together in winter (as recently it was) not above three or four can come together. They live upon different Necks, and in most winters there is no passing the rivers sometimes for eight or ten days together when the messenger goes to summon them, while they may be hindered for as long in coming. Colonel Lee and Colonel Allerton live nearly a hundred miles off, and Colonel Custis on the Eastern shore is often hindered by wind and weather. The rest, except three that live on this neck and Colonel Bacon (who ought to have his quietus by the first ship), live at least ten miles from hence and have a river to cross. If four or five of the Council lived close together I would abide in that part, or if residing one or two hundred of miles away could meet them, it should be done. It is good that gentlemen living in different parts of the province should be of the Council, for they are all men of the best estates; but I beg that Councillors enough for a quorum may be made of residents upon one of the necks, especially now in time of war. Captain Rowe of H.M.S. Dumbarton is very sick, and it is feared that his ship will not be fit to cruise, but I shall bring her condition before the Council in February. Signed. Fra. Nicholson. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 23 March, 1690–1. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 6; and Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 37–39.]
Jan. 26. 1,303. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson to the Secretary of State. A duplicate of the preceding except for a very few superficial variations. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 7.]
Jan. 26. 1,304. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Colonel John Lear appointed to inquire into the truth of alleged kidnapping of Indians. A survey of H.M.S. Dumbarton ordered. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 440–443.]
Jan. 27.
1,305. The Secretary of Virginia to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I forward the proceedings of the Council, from which you will gather the measures taken by the Lieutenant-Governor and Council. Signed. William Cole. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 23 March, 1690–1. [America and West Indies, 637. No. 8; and Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 40.]
Jan. 27. 1,306. The same to the Secretary of State. A duplicate of the preceding with a trifling variation of language. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 9.]
Jan. 29.
1,307. Order of the Privy Council. That Governor Copley's commission be not passed until Lord Baltimore's objections be heard, and that the hearing be fixed for the 5th of February. Copy. ½ p. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 6.]
Jan. 30.
James City.
1,308. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson to the Secretary of State. H.M.S. Dumbarton has been surveyed; copy of the survey I have sent to you. I shall lay the matter before Council in February, but I hope to have the assistance of a frigate or two before long. I suppose the best and cheapest way would be to send her men and what is saved of her home in the frigates. Signed. F. Nicholson. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 23 March, 1690/1. Annexed,
1,308. I. Survey of H.M.S. Dumbarton. 29 Jan., 1691. Her bottom is so unserviceable that she cannot be repaired here; her timbers are dry-rotten, her outside planks as bad. She can only be repaired in dock, when the expense would be as great as that of a new frigate. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 23 Mar., 1690–1.
1,308. II. Account of the fortifications of Virginia. James City. Six guns mounted; thirteen more spiked during Bacon's rebellion. All stores wanting except powder. Fort James, York River. Ten guns mounted, eleven unmounted; not all serviceable. No stores except powder. Nancymond. Six guns mounted, two spiked in Bacon's rebellion. No stores except powder. Squire Wormeley's platform, Rappahannock River. Five guns and a mortar mounted, and one mortar unmounted; a few shot, grenades and small arms. Carrotowman, Rappahannock River. Twenty-four guns are lying in the sand and are mostly spoiled, as the tide flows over them; 150 shot for the said guns. Yeocomico, Potomac River. Six guns buried in the sand. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 29 Jan., 1690–1.
1,308. III. Duplicate of the preceding. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Feb., 1690–1. [America and West Indies. 637. Nos. 10, 10 I–III.; and (without enclosures) Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 57.]
[Jan.?] 1,309. Extract of a letter from New England to John Usher. We have had a trial over the £15 due for malt. Mrs. Stebbings's daughter appeared and said that her mother bought so much malt of you as Treasurer, and that it was the country's malt. We pleaded that though it had been once, yet now the property was altered; the debt was your own and you had accounted for it. The bench said that if you would not pay the country's debts you must not sue for what is owing and so threw it out of Court. We expect to have our Charter, especially since the King has bidden M. [?Increase Mather] come to him to sign it, and troubles himself no further when it is drawn up. I suppose when our Great Mogul arrives here there will be nothing wanting, as a letter to his wife says that he has but to ask, to obtain all he pleases. You have heard of the Canada Expedition; it has been a sad thing for the country, for which we may thank M.; and now, to cheat the men, we have paper-money of which you may buy £20 for £13 in cash. Sir William Phips is gone to England, M. says that he may have what he likes from the King and Queen both for himself and for the Country. Mr. D. [Danforth?] has been with the young pope M. [Cotton Mather ?] who has absolved him from whatever has been amiss, so that now he is a very good man. ½ p. Copy. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 136.]
[Jan. ?] 1,310. News from New England, "the author of which is a person of great esteem and repute in that place," viz:—That this people of God was never in such distress nor its counsels so clogged by delay. There has been alarm of a fresh attack from Canada. God is come forth with an axe and soon every root is likely to receive the stroke, etc. Extract. ½ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 137.]
[Jan. ?] 1,311. Address of the Grand Jury of Jamaica to the King and Queen. Loyalty and gratitude for the appointment of Lord Inchiquin. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 10–12.]