America and West Indies: December 1691

Pages 572-582

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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December 1691

Dec. 2.
James City.
1,920. nformation of Edward Pell. It was reported lately that a French man-of-war off Nova Scotia had taken a ketch of Boston with Mr. John Nelson on board, and taken bond from the master for her ransom. The same French ship had also taken a small privateer off Newfoundland. It was also reported that the French had recaptured Port Royal and held Mr. Tyng prisoner, also that the Indians had cut off some of the people at Piscataqua. The Boston Government seems to have done nothing, and there was great discontent. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 64.]
[Dec. 3.] 1,921. Representation of Richard Smithsend to the King. When Sir William Phips came before Quebec, I was a prisoner there, having been taken at Hudson's Bay, and remained a prisoner there from October, 1689, to May, 1691. When Sir William Phips came before the city it was in a very bad state for want of provisions. Wheat was a pistole the bushel, and I know that several people died of starvation. The place must soon have surrendered if the extremity of the weather had not prevented our army from assaulting it, for by reason of the frost our army could not lie upon the ground. Had Sir William come again with no more than a single ship the place must have surrendered, for it had received no relief from France. But since Sir William Phips came to England Colonel Duncan, then living at Boston, sent a brigantine to Rochelle with a message to the French King that we had no further design against Canada that year. I was told this by a credible merchant at Rochelle, and spoke with the mate of the vessel. Signed. Richard Smithsend. 1 p. In the margin. Order of the King in Council, referring the paper to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Whitehall, 3rd December, 1691. Signed. Rich. Colinge. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 209.]
Dec. 3. 1,922. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for certain payments. Order for ships to sail, when ready, for Europe, H.M.S. Hampshire to convey them as far as Deseado. Petition of William Moor for release from gaol and speedy trial rejected, as he designed to run away to Martinique and desert to the French.
Dec. 4. Commissioners appointed to inspect and report as to the most feasible way of improving the wharf of St. Michaels. Order for sundry payments. Address of the Council and Assembly to the King and Queen. (see next abstract). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 226–236.]
Dec. 4. 1,923. Address of the Council and Assembly of Barbados to the King and Queen. We have been so much denuded of men by help given to the Leeward Islands that when called to arms we have not Christian servants enough to protect us against the negroes. We beg you to give us a supply of white servants, the advent of which is greatly hindered by the Acts of Navigation, and until they can be obtained, to help us with five hundred men from one of your regiments. We have also been at great expense in finding the regiments for the Leeward Islands, in hiring ships and in building a new mole for the careening of vessels. The additional tax on sugar is therefore a heavy burden on us, and we beg relief from it. We beg also that our produce may be imported to your European dominions at moderate duties. Signed by nine members of Council and fifteen members of Assembly. Copy. Large sheet. [America and West Indies. 456. No. 35.]
[Dec. 5.] 1,924. Petition of Lord Baltimore to Lords of Trade and Plantations. To consider the question of his revenue in Maryland since the last troubles, great part of which is in danger of being lost by masters selling their ships, altering their voyages, etc., and to obtain an Order in Council for the same, on payment of which the bonds taken by John Coode and his party may be discharged. 1 p. Endorsed. Presented 5 Dec., '91. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 60; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 212.]
[Dec. 7.] 1,925. Petition of Thomas Offley to the King. For grant of the sole right to make pitch, tar, rosin and saltpetre in America for fourteen years. 1 p. In the margin,
Order of the King referring the petition to the Crown Law-officers for report. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 9.]
Dec. 8. 1,926. The King to the Governor of Jamaica. In deference to the petition from Jamaica merchants setting forth the loss to them from the detention of their ships, we authorise you not to hinder the merchant vessels from coming home with their convoys at their usual time of despatch, unless on very important occasions. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 147, 148.]
Dec. 8. 1,927. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for six captured Indians, supposed to be robbers, to be sent to James City and kept there till the General Assembly meet, and that meanwhile evidence be collected against them. Order empowering the justices to continue the rangers, if found necessary, despite previous orders. Order that the New York Government be informed of the capture of the six Indians, who are believed to belong to the Five Nations, that it may be ascertained what the Five Nations (who are wavering in their allegiance) mean by sending them over the frontier. Order for the inhabitants to take care that no strange Indians be harboured, and that the authorities appointed to examine the six prisoners do report if any of the inhabitants trade with strange Indians and if so in what goods. Order as to the militia and rangers renewed. Several commissions for officers approved. Order for all Sheriffs to report the receipt and execution of orders sent to them. Order for an embargo on all ships till the fleet sail, and for Captain Finch to stop all Maryland ships that pretend to be bound to other Colonies till it be ascertained that they are not bound for Europe. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 613–623.]
Dec. 8.
1,928. Proclamation to prevent seamen belonging to ships in England from deserting their ships. 2½ pp. [America and West Indies. 637. No 68.]
Dec. 8. 1,929. Duplicate of the preceding. Endorsed. Recd. 29 March, '92. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 69.]
Dec. 8. 1,930. Orders of the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia to the sheriffs as to the militia; and for recovery of building stores, intended for the fort at Tindall's Point, York River, which have been removed. Copy. The whole, 3 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 29 March, '92. [America and West Indies. 627. No. 70.]
Dec. 9. 1,931. Relation of Messrs. Cobbet and Shute, touching New England. On the 15th October, 1691, or thereabout, at Kinsale, we were told by some New York men, who had been set ashore after capture by the French at Bantry Bay, that there was news of the French having landed on Block Island and plundered it, as also the eastern part of Long Island, likewise that they had landed on the Isle of Sholes and killed about a score of the inhabitants; also that about eight hundred French and Indians had moved upon Albany from Canada, and that four hundred men from New York had a pitched battle with them, in which the French were forced to retreat with loss of four hundred killed and wounded, while our loss was a hundred men. Signed. Tho. Cobbet, Mirock (?) Shute. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 11 Dec., '91. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 210.]
[Dec. 10.] 1,932. Petition of Lord Baltimore to the King. I have not received the one shilling impost and post-duties of Maryland for 1689 and 1690, though by your orders entitled to the same. I beg for an order that the ship's masters who have failed to pay it may not be cleared again from Maryland till they have done so. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Dec. 1691. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 61.]
Dec. 10. 1,933. Lord Baltimore to the Lord President. Enclosing the foregoing petition. Signed. C. Baltimore. 1 p. Endorsed as Colonel Copley's letter and so wrongly entered in the schedule. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 62.]
Dec. 11. 1,934. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Sir William Phips attended and pointed out the need of a ship to guard the coast of New England. Order for the Admiralty to report what ships are appointed for the convoys to New York and New England.
Colonel Copley's agent and Mr. Paggan called in, which latter offered to give bills for £800 to the Treasury to-morrow. The Lords advised £500 to be paid to Colonel Copley on account. Colonel Copley's answer to Sir Thomas Laurence's memorial read. Ordered that both parties attend next meeting of the Board.
An address from the Lieutenant Governor, Council and Assembly of Virginia, complaining of Captain Jennings, of H.M.S. Experiment, was read and sent to the Admiralty for proceedings against Captain Jennings. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 72–4.]
Dec. 11. 1,935. Memorial of Sir William Phips to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For a ship of war for the protection of the coast of Nova Scotia, the vessel at present employed in the service being a small French prize fit only to cruise among the shoals between New York and Cape Cod. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 11 Dec., 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 211.]
Dec. 11. 1,936. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Secretary of Massachusetts. Enjoining the despatch of quarterly returns. Signed. Carmarthen, President, John Lowther, H. Powle, H. Goodrick. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 404, 405.]
Dec. 11. 1,937. Secretary of the Treasury to William Blathwayt. Forwarding a memorial concerning the erection of a college in Virginia, for report on the value of the revenues therein mentioned. Signed, Hen. Guy. ½ p. Annexed,
1,937. I. Memorial concerning a College in Virginia. The General Assembly begs the King's leave to erect a college at a central position in York river, to be called King William's and Queen Mary's College. They propose that it shall consist of three schools; a grammar school for Latin and Greek; a philosophy-school for philosophy and mathematics; and a divinity school for Oriental languages; each school to have two professors, with good salaries, and one of the professors of Divinity to be president. The Government to be entrusted to twenty persons, duly named, who desire power to fill any vacancy in their number, etc. (see No. 1,516). Subscriptions of over £2,000 have already been obtained in Virginia, and it is hoped that sufficient may be collected in England to defray the cost of building, salaries and other expenses. After seeing what the King will contribute the Government proposes to make up the deficiency (for the expenses will be £1,000 a year) from a tax on liquors. The Assembly instructed me so far, not thinking it decent to prescribe what the King should give, but the Lieutenant-Governor points out the following things which would be of great service to the College and are of little profit to the King. (1) There is about £2,000 raised from quit-rents in bank and unappropriated. (2) A tax of a penny a pound is levied on tobacco exported to other places than Europe. The King makes little by it, for it is almost eaten up by costs of collection, but if it were made over to the College the Governors would see that it was executed for the benefit of England and could raise £400 or £500 a year. (3) There is a large tract of unoccupied land south of the Blackwater swamp and another on Pamunkey Neck. It would be of great help were the King to grant 10,000 acres in each of those tracts to the College. (4) The office of Surveyor General is practically void. If made over to the College it would bring in £100 a year and help to advance mathematical students. (5) The King might bestow some escheats, or (6) the patronage of some churches on the College. (7) Besides the Charter the King is begged to grant leave to collect gifts. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. from the Treasury 11 Dec., 1691. [America and West Indies. 637. Nos. 71, 71 I; and Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 177–183.]
[Dec. 11.] 1,938. Another copy of the Memorial given in the preceding abstract, with corrections in the margin. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 72.]
[Dec. 11.] 1,939. Memorial of Jeffrie Jeffries as to the Church in Virginia. I am desired by the whole body of the clergy to lay before the King the miserable poverty of their condition. Their salaries are fixed by an old law at £80 a year, to be paid in tobacco at a shilling per cwt., which makes between 12,000 to 13,000 lbs. of tobacco. Formerly this was enough, but now tobacco is become a drag owing to the increase in planting, and owing also to the high duty, the salaries of ministers are fallen to one half. So that many of the better sort of ministers, who could afford to pay their passage, have left the Colony, and good men refuse to come out. It is also desired by the Lieutenant-Governor that a Commissary be appointed or some other person to be in authority over the clergy; and he would point out that the expenses of such an officer will be considerable. The Lieutenant-Governor and Council have recommended that the Commissary's salary may be paid from the quit-rents, of which between £700 and £800 remains unappropriated, while the balance could be divided among the ministers. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 73; and Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 200, 201.]
Dec. 11. 1,940. Duplicate of the preceding. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 74.]
[Dec. 11.] 1,941. Governor Copley to William Blathwayt. In reply to your letter of 19 November (see No. 1,912) Sir Thomas Laurence's apprehensions are groundless; for upon his early shewing me his temper by raising disputes with me on such imaginary suggestions, I told him that I was as great a stranger to the profits of the Secretaryship of Maryland as himself, but that the fees assigned to him by Act of Assembly must and shall be safe to him. For my own sake I shall never infringe any law of Maryland to hurt Sir Thomas or anyone else. Signed. L. Copley. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed. Read at Committee, 11 Dec., 1691. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 63, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 233, 234.]
Dec. 11. 1,942. Lords of Trade and Plantations to the Secretary of Maryland. Ordering him to furnish periodical returns. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 8. pp. 37–39.]
[Dec. 11.] 1,943. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the matter in dispute between Governor Copley and Sir Thomas Laurence as to the Secretary's profits in Maryland be examined at the meeting on the 15th inst. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 64, and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 234.]
Dec. 11. 1,944. Summons for Nicholas Sewall and others, Sir Thomas Laurence's witnesses, to attend the Lords of Trade and Plantations on the 15th inst. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 65.]
Dec. 11. 1,945. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. For the payment of £500 to Governor Copley on account, fresh orders having been issued since those of 15 October (see No. 1,839). [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., pp. 226, 227.]
Dec. 12. 1,946. Minute of Lord Howard of Effingham. At Sir Thomas Laurence's request I declare that, so far as I know, the places of the Clerks of the Counties in Maryland are disposed of by the Secretary and not by the Government, which is also the practice in Virginia. Signed. Effingham. ½ p. Endorsed. Read 15 Dec., 1691. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 66.]
Dec. 12. 1,947. William Blathwayt to Mr. Sotherne. Forwarding copy of the address from Virginia complaining of the behaviour of Captain Jennings (see No. 1,520), for the Admiralty to take proceedings against him. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 98.]
Dec. 12. 1,948. William Blathwayt to the Secretary for the Admiralty. Desiring to know what ships are appointed for New England and New York, and for the convoy to Virginia and Maryland. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 400.]
Dec. 13.
1,949. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. Repeating the orders of Nov. 16 (see No. 1,904), as to mustering the regular troops in the Leeward Islands, and extending them to the Lieutenant-Governors as well as the Governor-in-Chief. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 3–4.]
Dec. 14.
1,950. John Whetstone to William Blathwayt. I enclose the Acts for presenting Governor Kendall with £1,500, and for entrenching the Island. The letter may be called for in connection with Colonel Hallett's suspension from the Council. The sickliness of the times has prevented us from having much public business. Signed. John Whetstone. ½ p. Endorsed. [Board of Trade. Barbodos, 4. No. 72.]
Dec. 14.
James City.
1,951. Information of John Twitt. It is generally reported in Maryland that half the crops of corn and tobacco failed, and that of fifty or sixty ships only two or three will be ready to sail in less than three months' time. Little tobacco is on board, and little tobacco stripped owing to the dryness of the season. Deponent saw a man who was reported to have brought £3,000 worth of goods direct from Holland. The masters of ships complain much of his being permitted to trade, and that it is supposed that some of the collectors were bribed. Clandestine trade is easy, as the collectors live far up country. All is quiet in Maryland, but there is great murmuring against the Government and desire that the King will send a Governor. Copy. 1 p.
Another copy. Endorsed. Recd. 19 Mar. 9½. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 66, and Virginia, 5. No. 4.]
Dec. 15. 1,952. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The Admiralty reported that the Conception, prize, is appointed for the convoy to Virginia and Maryland, and to go from thence to New England, and H.M.S. Aldborough from there to New York, wherein the Lords remark that New England will be left defenceless and desire the matter to be represented to the King.
The case of Colonel Copley and Sir Thomas Laurence was heard, and the Lords' decision given in favour of Sir Thomas. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 75, 76; and (so far as relates to New England) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 400, 401.]
Dec. 15. 1,953. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson. Forwarding copies of the papers relating to Lady Culpeper's petition (see No. 1,514) for his answer thereto. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. p. 100.]
Dec. 15. 1,954.Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. To advise the King that it appears that the appointing of the Clerks of the County Courts belongs to the Secretary in Maryland and that their places ought not to be sold, but that, since the Secretary is to give security for their good behaviour, he may be allowed a fee of one-tenth of one year's value of those clerkships, the value to be estimated by the Governor and Council on a vacancy. Draft. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 67; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LII., p. 235.]
Dec. 15.
1,955. J. Sotherne to William Blathwayt. A convoy has been appointed to take the merchant-vessels to Virginia and Maryland. H.M.S. Conception will then go to New England, H.M.S. Aldborough to New York, H.M.S. Archangel will sail from New York to Virginia to join H.M.S. Assurance, and the two will then convoy the home-ward-bound fleet. I am to ask you when the troops from Scotland will be ready to embark for Flanders. Signed. J. Sotherne. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 75.]
Dec. 17.
1,956. Order of the King in Council. For the Admiralty to supply at once a fourth and sixth-rate frigate for the coasts of New England and Nova Scotia, or if they cannot be spared, one ship of strength; also that they examine whether the Archangel be fit to sail from New York to Virginia and thence to England. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 401, 402.]
[Dec. 18.] 1,957. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the Council and Magistrates of South Carolina. We were much pained to hear of the sufferings of North Carolina through Mr. Sothell's misconduct. We have appointed Colonel Philip Ludwell governor in his place, and shall strive always for the welfare of the people. Signed. Craven, P. Colleton, Carteret, Ashley. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 201.]
Dec. 18. 1,958. The same to the Council and Magistrates of North Carolina. Ordering the suppression of scandalous papers published in Albemarle County against Colonel Philip Ludwell. Signed as the preceding. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 201.]
Dec. 19. 1,959. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Peter Beckford presented the accounts from 25 March to 29 September, 1691. Order for payment of the Governor's salary and for other payments. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 110–113.]
Dec. 22.
1,960. The Secretary of Virginia to William Blathwayt. Advising the despatch of the proceedings of Council, duplicates and other documents. Signed. William Cole. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 29 March, '92. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 76.]
Dec. 26. 1,961. Governor Copley to William Blathwayt. I am informed that Mr. Attorney can give no directions as to a commission of enquiry without a signed Order in Council. I beg for such an order and for the passing of the commission. Mr. Attorney must have the articles preferred by Maryland against Lord Baltimore that he may see what breaches to assign. Pray order the great and small seal to be brought to you. Signed. L. Copley. Holograph. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 68.]
Dec. 26. 1,962. Order of the Privy Council. Referring the petition of Edward Davis and others to Lords of Trade and Plantations for the examination of Captain Rowe and for report. Signed. Rich. Colinge. ½ p. On the back,
Petition of Edward Davis and others to the King. We give a list, as desired, of the goods taken from three of us, but we cannot say how it is now distributed since its seizure by Captain Rowe. We beg for an order for the restoration of all our goods to us. 1 p. Inscribed. Recd. 27 Oct., '91. Read December 26, 1691. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 77.]
Dec. 26. 1,963. Order of the King in Council. Referring the report of the Solicitor-General on Thomas Offley's petition to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. Nottingham. The above is written in the margin of,
Report of the Solicitor-General to the King. I see no objection to the grant of Thomas Offley's petition, but if a grant be made I think a clause should be inserted requiring him to begin work within a certain time, or otherwise the grant to be void. Signed. J. Somers. 19 Dec., 1691. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 10.]
Dec. 28. 1,964. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Draft instructions to Sir William Phips approved. A memorial from the New England Agents read and referred to the Treasury.
Petition of Dirck Wessells (see next abstract) to be referred to Governor Fletcher for report. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. p. 76.]
[Dec. 28.] 1,965. Petition of Dirck Wessells to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For payment of £74 18s. 0d. disbursed by him for the public service. 1 p. Inscribed. Recd. 28 Dec., 1691. Annexed,
1,965. I. The account for the sum above-named for expenses of his journey and presents to Indians. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. Nos. 68, 68 I.]
Dec. 29. 1,966. Order of the King. Petition of Sir John Molesworth to the King. My brother Hender Molesworth, deceased, was bound over in recognisances to the value of £100,000 to answer concerning certain treasure taken from a wreck. In October 1688, on arriving in London he obtained discharge from that security from the late King, and the Duke of Albemarle was ordered to deliver up the recognisance; but the Duke being dead before the King's orders arrived the recognisance was not vacated. I pray for an order under the Privy Seal that the recognisance be vacated. Ordered that the Lords of Trade and Plantations report thereon. Signed. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 25–27.]
Dec. 30. 1,967. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. Forwarding the memorial of the New England Agents as to a mint in Boston, for consideration of the Lords of the Treasury. (see No. 1,893.) [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 398.]
Dec. 30.
1,968. The Officers at Albany to the Commander in Chief at New York. We should have written before, but were daily expecting news from the upper natives as to the success of their men on the Cadaraqui River. We hope that it may be better than that of the Maquas. Our last news was that 200 Onandagas and 100 Cayonges went down the river, but we know nothing of the remaining 400. We are much grieved for the loss of brave Maquas in Canada. Twenty of them and eleven Oneidas went nine miles below Chambly to attack some praying Indians, killed five of them and took sixteen prisoners. Three of the enemy escaped and told the French the news; and after five days' march homeward our Indians found tracks of pursuit. At nine o'clock the French and Indians fell upon them and destroyed the whole party except four who were left in rear. The party that attacked them were so numerous that none could well escape, yet they fought to the last man, only three of them being taken prisoners. Thus all the principal captains of the Maquas and Oneidas are dead, to the great grief of us all. We have not one leading man of their Castles now that we can depend on. These were men of courage and conduct in their way. They died valiantly, for when all their powder and shot was spent they would not yield. You may judge of the consternation among the Indians at this news, which we sent immediately to the five nations. We have since endeavoured to get other scouts and have got four Skachkooks to go as far as Dionondorage, four miles this side of Crown Point, which is the beginning of Corlaer's Lake, thirty-nine leagues from hence; but we cannot depend much upon them, and Christians are not to be had without money. They will not stir a foot unless some particular men engage for their payment; and we are so bare of money that we cannot do what is necessary for the King's interest. The Maquas are always loth to go out; this great loss has put them quite out of heart. They reckon that the Maquas and Oneidas have lost ninety men in two years. All the three Maqua Castles make but 130 men. We must condole with them by giving them whitestrung wampum to wipe off their tears. This is an important matter; most of our praying Indians are now killed, and the fifteen that we most trusted are lost. We learn that the French are making all possible preparation for a great attack. We are vigilant with such men as we have, but seventy out of the 250 raised by the Assembly are wanting. We have made all arrangements for alarm posts, word and countersign, and have sworn to keep them secret. We have also sent for the River Indians and some others. We propose to send the Maquas to Senectady. The fusiliers are in want of swords; we have ordered hatchets and spears to be made for them instead. We also want sponges and ladles for the guns in the blockhouses. There are so many things wanting that we grieve to think of it, not knowing how he who supplies them will be reimbursed. Men should be sent to strengthen the fort. A room has been cleared to hold forty, but we cannot spare so many, and if we had we have no bedding for them. We wish that our position were better, but we hope to be prepared for the enemy when they come. If they do not surprise us, we fear them not; if we have but a day's warning they will be loth to venture the like journey. We design to get fifty farmers from the town, and fifty men from two companies of Militia. We are building another blockhouse at the Strand. Signed. M. Shanke, Geo. Bradshaw, Pieter Schuyler, John Tudor, Dirck Wessells. "The Scribe prays to be excused, the ink freezing in his pen." Copy. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 27 Feb., 1691–2. Printed in New York Documents III., 814.
Duplicate of foregoing. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. Nos. 69, 70.]
Dec. 30. 1,969. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for the Attorney General to draft a letter to the Secretary of State, stating the number of troops sent to Albany, and the abuses of the neighbouring Colonies in furnishing no men.
Dec. 31. Order for allowance of seven shillings a week to Hendrick Gerritse, a wounded fusilier, till next Session, when the Assembly will provide for him. Order for payment of sums due to the Collector. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 293, 294.]
Dec. 31.
1,970. Dirk Wessels and L. Van Schaick to the Speaker of Assembly of New York. We have heard from you of the success of the French to Eastward, since which they have been fortunate in killing and taking the best of our Maquas and Oneidas. These last went to Canada in three parties, thirty men in all, attacked the French Mohawks at Sorel with success, killed five of them, relieved two of our Christians taken at Senectady, and took fifteen prisoners, all with loss of one killed and one wounded. Next morning they found they were pursued, so left four men as a guard behind them and marched on with their prisoners. Presently these four men heard fighting in front and seeing that our men were overpowered made their escape in two different parties. They had lost their clothes and threatened to desert unless more were given them. On going to the place of the fight they found fifteen of ours dead, some of the best warriors among them. They found tracks of a boy who escaped, but doubtless died by the way, and four great fires where the enemy had burned their own dead. From their prisoners they learned that the French intended to come with an army as soon as the ice was strong, and that there was a great number of Eastern Indians in Canada. Doubtless some great design is in preparation. We have sent for the Mohawks with their wives and children, and have promised them corn, lodging and firewood. The Skachkooks are nearly all gone hunting and will not return before spring. Five or six hundred Senecas are gone out to Canada and are reported to be between Onandaga river and Cadaraqui, making snow-shoes, with intent to attack at the end of December. This may fail, as the French may be informed of it through their prisoners. News has come that the French at Port Royal have captured three ships from New London. It is a great shame that such a handful of men should make such resistance to all our Governments and Indians. We hope that speedy orders may come from England for all the Governments to combine, else, if this war continues, most of the inhabitants will leave this place, for they have no revenue and many burdens. The provisions for the soldiers are scanty and bad, and they brought little or no bedding, which defect must be supplied by the inhabitants. We are now in great trouble raising our proportion of taxes, £315. Copy. 2 pp. Printed in New York Documents III., 817. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 19.]
Dec. 31. 1,971. Two duplicate copies of foregoing; one of them endorsed. Recd. 25 April, 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. Nos. 71, 72.]
Dec. 31. 1,972. Instructions for Sir William Phips as Governor of Massachusetts. Ten guns and 200 barrels of powder are sent with him, and he is to aid other colonies in distress if applied to. The value of current coin is not to be altered and the press is subjected to a licence. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 365–394.]
Dec. 31.
1,973. Order of the King in Council. For a warrant for the delivery of St. Eustatia to the Dutch. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. p. 4.]
1,974. Petition of John Papin to Governor Codrington. For payment of money due to him for brandy supplied for the King's service, as by order of the Council of War in July 1691, and for interest on the principal sum. Copied below. Resolution of the General Assembly of the Leeward Islands that Papin ought to be thankful to obtain the principal without the interest and directing payment accordingly. The whole. 1 p. Annexed,