America and West Indies: October 1693, 2-14

Pages 167-183

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 14, 1693-1696. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1903.

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October 1693

Oct. 2. 590. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor's Commission to command the militia of Connecticut read. The Governor put it to the Council whether it would be needful for him to go to Connecticut. Order for examination of the assessment rolls of the penny per pound duty, the receipts from the same being of late much diminished. A Committee appointed to call on Mrs. Sloughter for her husband's accounts of certain sums received from the revenue. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 463–464.]
Oct. 2. 591. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Orders for sundry payments. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 432–433.]
Oct. 2. 592. Minutes of Council of Maryland. A former suspension and commitment of Sir Thomas Laurence being brought to notice, it was resolved that being now restored to Council, he be not excluded therefrom, but that as he is unable to attend through sickness, Colonel Blakiston shall preside. The Order in Council of 23 February, 1693, and the Attorney General's report of 2 November, 1692, as to Lord Baltimore were read, and orders thereon given. Orders for sundry payments. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 12. p. 5.]
Oct. 3. Sir Edmund Andros and six members present. New Commission for the Provincial Court signed, and Colonel Blakiston suspended. Mr. Cheseldyne received his commission as Commissary General. Proclamation of Sir Edmund Andros's assumption of Government. The members present signed the test. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 1–3; and 12. pp. 29–39.]
Oct. 3. 593. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Bill to appoint a controller of the liquor-duties passed. The Committee brought in heads, which were drawn into a Bill for rewarding freemen and slaves who behave well against the enemy, which was read a first time. Bill to appoint a committee of public accounts also read a first time. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 355–356.]
Oct. 3. 594. Acts of Barbados passed in 1693.
Act to present the Governor with £500.
Act to provide labourers for repair of fortifications.
Act to appoint a Controller of the liquor duties.
Act to appoint Commissioners to settle the accounts of the late expedition.
Act to supplement the Militia Act.
The whole of the foregoing dated 30 October, 1693.
[Col Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 403–408.]
Oct. 4.
595. The Secretary of the Treasury to John Povey. Forwarding Governor Fletcher's letter to the Treasury of 15 August (see No. 502). Signed. Hen. Guy. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 8 Jan. 1693–4. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 2. No. 62; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. C., p. 324.]
Oct. 5.
596. Order of the Privy Council. That the Admiralty order one of the frigates on the New England coast to take station at Piscataqua unless they see objections thereto. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 227.]
Oct. 5.
597. Order of the Privy Council. Referring the Attorney-General's report of 14th September, as to Sir Matthew Dudley's Company, to Lords of the Treasury for consideration. Signed. John Nicholas. ½ p. Enclosed,
597. I. Copy of the Attorney-General's report of 14th September (see No. 551). 5 pp. The whole endorsed with Minute to the effect that the Lords think it reasonable for the charter to be referred to the Government of New England. [Board of Trade. New England, 6. Nos. 84, 84 I.; and 35. pp. 38, 39.]
Oct. 5.
598. Order of the Privy Council. That extract of Governor Codrington's letter relating to the pay of Colonel Lloyd's regiment be sent to the Lords of the Treasury for their orders thereon (see No. 347). [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 44. pp. 128, 129.]
Oct. 5.
599. Order of the Privy Council. That extracts of Sir William Beeston's letter of 24 May respecting H.M. ships Guernsey and Mordaunt be sent to the Admiralty, who shall report what they do as regards the complaint against Captain Oakley. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 163, 164.]
Oct. 5.
600. Order of the Privy Council. That the appeal of Sir Richard White be admitted, on his giving the usual security, and that the necessary documents bearing on the case be ordered to be sent from Jamaica (see No. 490). [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. p. 167.]
Oct. 5.
601. Order of the Privy Council. Referring the report of the Treasury on Sir John Fleet's petition (see No. 580) together with all other papers on the subject to Lords of Trade and Plantations, for them to enquire therein and report. Signed. John Nicholas. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 21 Oct. 1693. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 7. No. 25.]
Oct. 5. 602. Order of the Privy Council. For enforcing the recommendation of Lords of Trade and Plantations in the case of John Hallett (see No. 555). Signed. John Nicholas. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 361, 362.]
Oct. 5.
New York.
603. Governor Fletcher to Earl of Nottingham. Sir William Phips is positive that he will give me neither men nor money. Connecticut answers with misty saying which I cannot understand, pretending an old charter, which they surrendered to the late King but have now reassumed. They are sending over Agents to obtain a renewal of it, after exercising arbitrary power these five years. The Government is a republic; they are enemies of the Church of England and no friends to monarchs. Jersey, thanks to Governor Hamilton, has done more for us than any of the Colonies. That gentleman deserves Their Majesties' trust. I have already reported what Virginia and Maryland have done for us. Mr. Penn's last letters to Pennsylvania have put some of them into a ferment, but nothing can be hoped for from thence for Albany, while their Assembly is composed of themselves [Quakers]. If Canada be not taken next spring I doubt lest our Indians will desert to the French, who bribe high. Sir F. Wheler's departure shook our Indians, though he was in no manner of condition to attempt Canada. If the Indians leave us, 1,000 foot will hardly secure our frontier. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. Holograph. 2½ pp. Endorsed, R. Dec. 21, 1693.
Duplicate of the above. [America and West Indies. 579. Nos. 36, 37.]
Oct. 5. 604. Abstract of a letter from Governor Fletcher to William Blathwayt. Governor Fletcher construed the royal order as to discharging all proceedings against Leisler as a warrant for opening the prisons, which he did, studiously endeavouring to allay all heats between the opposing parties. Several prisoners under sentence of death he advised to ask for a pardon, but they continue positive in not owning their release as a favour nor ceasing to justify their crimes. On the contrary some of them stood and were elected for the Assembly, which he could not suffer. They say this is arbitrary power; the other party say no less of this release. He hopes that he was warranted in what he did, and that the prisoners will either be pardoned or executed, for they will own no crime, but persist that all was done for King William and Queen Mary. The prisoners are six in number, including Abraham Gouverneur. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 12 March, 93–4. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. No. 29; and 48. pp. 90, 91.]
Oct. 5. 605. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Proclamation for a general embargo. Order for the complement of the hired sloops to be made up to seventy men each. Order for writing off bad debts to the revenue. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 258–260.]
Oct. 5. 606. Minutes of Council of New York. Chidley Brooke's accounts of the revenue for the first quarter of this year passed. Patent for land granted to Colonel William Smith. A committee appointed to enquire into John Van Comp's case. Orders for certain payments.
Oct. 6. The Governor reported the receipt of an account from Major Peter Schuyler of the probable designs of the French, and put it to the Council whether he should go to Albany direct, or take Connecticut on his way. Advised that he go by way of Connecticut. A letter from Governor Hamilton read, reporting opposition met with in Elizabeth Town to the furnishing of a relief to the detachment on the frontier, owing to the work of an independent minister, and complaining also of the stubbornness of the Quakers.
Oct. 7. Order for £100 salary to be paid to James Graham, and for other payments. Chidley Brooke's accounts passed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 464–468.]
Oct. 7. 607. Minutes of Council of Nevis. On the motion of the Council the Assembly ageed to hire cattle for hauling of great guns, and to renew the Act for an impost on strong liquors. The renewing Act was passed. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 281.]
Oct. 9. 608. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. The Assembly having been dissolved on the 7th inst., the following members were now returned, Joseph Littell, John Davis, Richard Bass, William Finch, William Frye (Speaker), Nathaniel Bass, Nathaniel Harris, William White. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XLVIII., p. 322.]
Oct. 9. 609. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order to permit the French flag of truce to return to St. Domingo. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. p. 260.]
Oct. 9.
New York.
610. Governor Fletcher to the Earl of Nottingham. I have received arms for two troops of dragoons, also your letter to Sir F. Wheler and my commission to command the militia of Connecticut. I am just informed that the French are making an attempt on our frontier, so am hastening to Connecticut to publish my commission and thence to Albany. Allow me to say that I have the greatest work and least wages of any Governor in these parts, but I am cheerful in my duty. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. Written at the close of a duplicate of his letter of 5 October. 1 p. Endorsed, R. Dec. 21, 1693. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 37.]
Oct. 9.
Fort William
New York.
611. Governor Fletcher to Lords of Trade and Plantations. H.M.S. Richmond, Captain John Evans, arrived at Sandy Hook on the 1st inst., bringing me my commission to command the militia of Connecticut, and 120 arms for dragoons. I am advised that Count Frontenac has got 500 men and recruits of stores, artillery, etc., from France this summer, so I expect he will trouble us this winter with a greater force than in February last. Their design is at least to compel our Indians to a peace, who are lately become very weary of the war and indifferent to us. It is plain that they cannot continue long neutral. Sir Francis Wheler's coming to Boston and doing nothing has almost completely discouraged them. The French outbid us in presents, but have not yet prevailed. Our Indians upbraid our neighbouring Colonies with sloth and cowardice. The Mohawks are mostly destroyed by the war, and some of them have run over to Canada. A French Jesuit, Millet, who has long been a prisoner with the Oneidas has gotten such interest with them and with the three other natives that they cannot be persuaded to surrender him, though I have offered a sum of money and an Indian boy for him and promised not to hurt his person. That Jesuit has done much harm to our Indians, and I am resolved to move him if possible. This province is now hardly circumstanced. Our militia is small here—5,000 to 3,000 men—and more families are daily moving to Pennsylvania and Connecticut to be safe from taxes and detachments. The Assembly have provided 300 men for the frontier (too few by one half for safety) and £6,000 to pay the charge for one year up to 1 May next. The Revenue does not pay the expense of government. The war augments incidental charges, and Albany is supported by other funds, chiefly taxes. Since the arrival of Governor Sloughter the frontiers have cost this poor province £20,000, which lies heavy on the inhabitants. I have fixed the 4th of October for the meeting of Commissioners to settle the quotas of the several Colonies for defence of the frontiers. Sir William Phips has sent a refusal, as the enclosed correspondence shows. Sir Edmund Andros has sent one. None come from Maryland. Pennsylvania denies the carnal sword, nor will they dip their money in blood. They add nothing but trouble to us. Nothing will be done. Those who are here pretend that they cannot proceed to adjust a quota without the rest of the Commissioners. When it will be done I cannot divine, since some had the boldness to give denial to the Royal commands. A copy of the suggested scheme of quotas is enclosed. Virginia did send us 600l. (New York money) and Maryland 300l. before they knew of the royal order for 500l. and 250l. Sir E. Andros writes that he will make up Virginia's contribution to 500l. sterling. Colonel Copley wrote that he had exceeded the Royal orders, but the gift was by the free will of the people in assembly, and we have thanked them for it. New Jersey has sent us 100l. and 65 men, which I attribute to the good offices of Governor Hamilton. Connecticut, as Mr. Bulkeley's letter will show you, is preparing to resist the Royal commission for my command of the militia, which shall not move me from my duty. They have desired a tax of a penny a pound on the people for Major Winthrop, who is to go home, it is said, as their agent. I am told that the east end of Nassau Island goes with them herein and asks to be lopped off from New York and joined to Connecticut.
We cannot build a stone fort at Albany, though such a one, with good artillery and fewer men, would make a better defence than the present rotten and unrepaired one. The renewing of it will take much time. The wood in this country will not last like that in the Northern parts. This Province cannot hold out thus much longer. The different provinces are too much divided in government and circumstance from one another, and they drive their private interests. Though a numerous people we are weak and fit for no design; and it falls to New York's share to be in the first line of battle. I heartily wish that another expedition would come next summer and put an end to the matter. We are far more healthy here than the Leeward Islands. I beg you to procure for me the military stores for which I have asked, and twenty great guns more, and longer guns than those I brought with me. It seems that those last were never proved, for the first I tried split. I have selected a site for a new battery. It is so designed that, owing to the swiftness of the tide, no ship can ride before the town but must have her stem or stern towards it. Our powder wastes apace, as we are obliged to supply the troops and forts on the frontier from the King's stores. If Canada be not taken next summer I suggest the building of a stone fort at Albany and the sending out of four companies of Grenadiers, with pay, to ease our people; else they will all move into the neighbouring provinces, and if Albany be lost the whole of the Colonies are ruined. I beg that at least our two independent companies may be made up to 200 men. Our detachments come in slowly, and for the most part unarmed. May I beg you to send me 200 light fusils for the Indians, for they will not carry the heavy firelocks. I have lately called an Assembly, and though I failed to obtain the revenue for Their Majesties' lives I have secured it for five years longer. The people object that the Colonies on each side of them are free of Customs-duties while they are clogged; and that it will be a bad precedent and inconvenient for them if their neighbours are not made subject to the same duties. I have also got them to settle a ministry for New York and three other counties. I have within two days advice of the advance of the French to Albany. Mayor Schuyler's letters will show you what force I am despatching. I am bound first to Connecticut to publish my Commission and obtain assistance, and shall then march straight to Albany, if required. Mine is a difficult and troublesome post, yet I have a far less salary than the Governors of Virginia and Maryland. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. 1593. Read 27 Dec. Annexed,
611. I. Governor Fletcher to Sir William Phips. 31 August, 1693. I am glad to learn of your peace with the Eastern Indians. Let me remind you of my letter of 31 March, for I have not heard a syllable of the two hundred men you promised me. In yours of 20 April you told me that you had left directions for the men that I desired to march with all speed from Rhode Island and Connecticut, and that as soon as the quotas were fixed you would endeavour to be first to serve Their Majesties herein. I have written you several letters since, which Mr. Stoughton tells me were expedited to you, yet not a man is yet come to Albany from your Government, nor does it appear that any care has been taken for the same. A party of Indians have brought in two French prisoners from Canada. Major Schuyler redeemed one of them from being burnt, who reports the arrival of nine French ships, two of them of forty guns, with 500 recruits. Three more ships put back for repairs, the Chevalier D'Eaux being in one of them; and the French are very busy over the fortification of Quebec. I expect another French attack this winter and have every reason to do so. Our frontier is weakly manned, and without your help we cannot remedy this. Since you have made peace with your Indians I doubt not that you will exceed rather than fall short of the number of 200 men for our help, and that you will send a Commissioner to assist the others in fixing quotas for defence. Copy. 1½ pp.
611. II. Sir William Phips to Governor Fletcher. Boston, 18 September, 1693. Already abstracted under date. See No. 570.
611. III. Estimate of the annual charge for the defence of Albany, and of the quotas to be furnished by the various Colonies. 600 men and officers. £16,800. Presents to Indians and contingencies £2000 Incidental charges £2,000. Total, £20,800.
Virginia has 6,000 men. quota, 120 men. £4,200
Maryland " 4,000 " " 80 " £2,800
Pennsylvania " 2,000 " " 43 " £1,400
Connecticut " 3,000 " " 60 " £2,100
New England " 9,500 " " 176 " £6,160
Rhode Island " 1,200 " " 24 " £840
New York " 3,000 " " 100 " £3,300
——— —— ———
Total 28,700 600 men. £20,800
New York by this scheme advances 40 men and £1,200 more than her quota proportionable to the other Colonies. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 December, 1693.
611. IV. Another copy of the preceding. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. 1693.
611. V. Gershom Bulkeley to Governor Fletcher. Weathersfield, 15 Sept. 1693. I have received yours of the 11th, and have seen a copy of the Queen's letter, which I confess sets a non plus upon my wit to know what to make of it. It is not directed to any person or persons particularised by name or office but to such as for the time being take care for the preservation of the peace and the administration of the law, etc. Now the question is who they are, for the gentlemen to whom it was delivered do nothing less than exercise the government without the royal authority, which is a high breach of the peace and violation of the laws. In what capacity they can or will think themselves enabled by this letter to act I cannot tell, but believe they are somewhat sick of this superscription, for I hear they are consulting about calling another General Court to advise what is to be done. The result of their present deliberation you will have heard from another source, and I shall not enter into it. For my own part I hope that the letter is but an introduction to something else, though I doubt not that they will take advantage of it by misconstruction to abuse the people and make them believe that the King looks upon their charter and government as good as ever—such notions begin to walk already. We had a fast-day kept last Wednesday, and this letter following so swiftly upon it may be looked upon as an answer to their prayers. If the letter were intended for them as in their present state, it is, as you say, a permission to connive at their present government, but all the world knows that a permission is no commission, and where then is our obligation to obey them? If a confirmation of this government should follow upon it, the best subjects here cannot do better than look for some other quarters for themselves, for three things have been given out plainly enough: (1) that the present rulers are resolved to crush those who comply not with their usurpation, right or wrong, they care not how; (2) that they would have the people kept in the dark that they may not know the law nor their lawful rights; (3) that if we must have English liberties they would as lief have no charter, and if that must be they will throw up their charter quickly. This was plainly declared by their great oracle and dictator but three weeks ago, when some of them were met in a special Court; and it is only yesterday that a dwelling-house at Hartford and a corn-house in this town were broken open vi et armis, and the owners carried before some of these worthies and bound over in £50 to appear before next Court for trial, or else they would have gone to prison. And all the cause is a surmise that they have taken away growing corn, whereas, if it be true, it was but taking corn that was growing on one of the men's own lands, of which he has never been dispossessed by law. But they would fain thrust him out by will and doom to his utter ruin. It is high time for Their Majesties to settle a Government, or it will be impossible for loyal subjects to serve them. So we long for the frigates that we may see what they will do for us. Copy. 2 pp.
611. VI. Peter Schuyler to Governor Fletcher. Albany, 3 October, 10 o'clock at night. Last Saturday night news came that an Indian was come from Canada to Oneida, and that the Sachems of the Upper Nations were to meet and consult there; that the messenger was arrived at Canada with the Jesuit's letter and that our prisoners in Canada were secured lest they should run away, for that a party was designed to make an attack somewhere this fall, though the Indian would not say where. I caused the guards to be doubled, viewed the men's arms, supplied every man with ammunition, and sent word to the farmers to be upon their guard this evening. This evening two Indian women came in, who reported that about three days ago a party of ten French and twenty Onnagongue Indians took a squaw prisoner near Tionondoge, the third Maqua Castle, and after keeping her half a day sent her under charge of two Indians to the Castle, bidding her tell the Indians there not to stir out, and that they would do them no harm but come and fetch them away. The two Indians, hearing shots fired in the Castle, were afraid to go in, but gave the woman a fathom of wampum to deliver the message, and withal cut off her hair as a sign (so they said) that they had been there themselves. The news quickly spread from the third Castle to the first and thence to us. While we were examining the woman news came from the flats that the waggon going thither with provisions had been set upon by the enemy, two horses killed and two soldiers taken prisoners, while the rest had escaped. The fort immediately fired two guns to alarm the farmers, and the express which bears this had orders to command all the farmers in and ask Colonel Beeckman to send us 100 men, we not knowing how considerable the enemy's force may be, since they have taken such pains to keep our Indians quiet. I have sent an express to the Maquas to order them to come in with their wives and children, and warned Oneida and Onandaga to be on their guard and to send us down some men. We luckily received 80 good men from you within these four days. We are all well and on our guard and do not fear a brush since we have so good warning. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. '93.
611. VII. Peter Schuyler to Governor Fletcher. Albany, 5 October. 5 o'clock in the afternoon. On the night of the 3rd another party of the enemy on the Eastern side of the Hudson River fired six shot at a canoe coming down, but hurt no one. This makes me believe the party is divided into small troops to annoy the farmers. We sent two parties out yesterday to range the woods, but they saw nothing, and to-day another party is gone as far as Canastagione to range the woods on this side the Maquas River, and they of Senectady are to meet them there. The farmers whom I sent out to range on the east side of our river fear lest some skulking parties may go as far down as Kinderhook; but in my opinion the only way to find out if it is a great party or not, and whether they will settle themselves at Lake St. Sacrament or on this side the Great Lake, is to send scouts as far as Crown Point. I am about to procure such, but know not how to pay them, having neither money nor goods, public nor private, in my hands, and being unable to find anyone who will advance any more to the public. I long for an answer from our Indians. I declare that I never so much suspected their fidelity as now. The Maquas seem but little concerned at all this news. It is as if they were disposed to join the enemy as soon as they come. They are weary of the war, and we can have no service of them without ready pay, which I cannot give them. They say they will stay in their castle and hold it when the French come, and keep good watch; but it is no sign of watchfulness when the enemy have now twice reached the gates of their castle undiscovered and tied bundles of reeds at the very doors. I have dissuaded them from staying in their castles if an army comes, but have bid them keep out good scouts towards the lake and, as soon as they spy the enemy coming with a great force, to warn us and retreat hither with their wives and children for protection. I expect the 100 men from Esopus to-morrow and shall keep them till I am satisfied there is no army on this side the lake. It will be no great inconvenience to them, for their land is sowed. I can hardly believe the French will venture so late in the year with any great force; they send but parties to keep us in alarm and meantime endeavour to gain our Indians. As soon as I have the least certainty of an army I shall send you an express. Our Indians all think these parties the fore-runners of a great body. I shall keep good watch and if they come shall give them as good a reception as I can. Our men are all brisk and well. I have ordered them to be furnished with ammunition on account of their pay, so they are now all fitted, for they had none of their own, nor is there any of the public's to give them. I am sorry that the New Jersey men will be relieved this year, for they are disciplined and brisk men. If they are, please send up money and pay them here, for several have bought arms from the inhabitants with which they cannot fit themselves so well at home. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. '93. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. Nos. 30, 30 I.–VII.; and (without enclosures) 48. pp. 59–66.]
Oct. 10.
New York.
612. Governor Fletcher to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have been stayed from proceeding to Albany and Connecticut to-day by the capture of the captain of a French privateer on the north side of Nassau Island, whom I have examined this morning. I find him to be a French Protestant, naturalised an inhabitant of this province eighteen months ago. His name is John Reaux. In a voyage to Boston, being master of a sloop, he sunk his vessel and ran away with £600 or £700 in money and was imprisoned. He broke gaol in Boston, and with some of the prisoners of war got to Canada, and from thence to France. He came from Rochelle three months ago with a bark of 4 guns and 35 men, and he says that he has a commission from the French King. On his way he took a ketch belonging to Boston, and on the 6th took a sloop from Rhode Island. He says that he might have taken more, but wishing to take his wife and children on board, took his ship into the sound, went ashore and was discovered. I have sent after the vessel and hope that by this time she is taken. Several whom he has defrauded have urged me to have him tried and executed at once, but with the Council's advice I have resolved to keep him close prisoner till the King's pleasure is known. He denies any knowledge of designs from France against this province. I shall start for Connecticut and Albany to-day and stay at Albany for the whole winter if necessary. Signed. Ben Fletcher. P.S.—The prisoner avers that 700 recruits were sent to Canada this summer. Second P.S.—I observe that I am not allowed to leave this province without permission. I had a special warrant to go to Pennsylvania, but none for going to Connecticut. However as I have the great seal for the command of the militia and as I cannot well command the militia without seeing them, I beg for a favourable construction of my action. Signed. Ben. Fletcher. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec. 1693. Enclosed,
612. I. Confession of John le Roux, made to a French Protestant minister, when under the expectation of death. When I was in France in February last Monsieur Gabaret, the Lieutenant-General of the French forces by sea, asked me if there were any easy method of attacking New York with the squadron of ten men-of-war and six fireships commanded by Mons. de Pales. Having received the offer of conducting the squadron thither I pointed out the difficulties of the enterprise, the strength of the fort, the number of inhabitants in the adjacent country, and the dangers of the navigation at the entrance to New York; which having heard they laid aside the enterprise. As to Canada, the Governor and all the forces are gone to Montreal; from what I could gather they design to stand on the defensive. About 700 soldiers have left France for Canada this year, mostly boys and all newly raised. The French fleet has taken or burnt a great part of the Smyrna fleet. They came before Cadiz and levied a contribution on the town. There is no news from Flanders. I beg the Governor and Council to take compassion on my desolate family of five children. French. So much faded as to be hardly legible. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec. '93.
612. II. Translation of the preceding. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. '93.
612. III. Major Ingoldsby to Governor Fletcher. Albany, 23 August, 1693. A party of our Indians has brought in two French prisoners from Canada, a Monsieur Crévier and his servant, the former a man well known and of considerable fortune. He is at present very ill from hard marching and barbarous usage. Major Schuyler and myself only with difficulty saved him from being burnt. I have examined him but found him disinclined to say much. I desire your orders what to do with him on his recovery. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. 1693.
612. IV. Peter Schuyler to Governor Fletcher. We saved Mons. Crévier with much difficulty, paying forty or fifty pounds for his redemption, which he promises to repay us. His nails are bitten off, and he has been sick in bed ever since he arrived. Pray send for him as soon as he recovers, for it is not convenient that he should stay here, for several French prisoners desire to speak with him, but I allow no one to come at him. His examination has been sent to you. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. 1693.
612. V. Godefridus Dellius to Governor Fletcher, 1693. Mons. Crévier died last Sunday. He wrote to his wife that we had redeemed him from the Indians. I have examined his servant, who gives me the following intelligence. Here follows an account identical with that given in No. VI. below. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20. Dec. 1693.
612. VI. Examination of a French prisoner taken 12th September, 1693. There is a detachment of 55 men at Chambly, and eight companies of 30 men each at Montreal. There are twenty small forts in Canada with garrisons of 10 or 12 men. The party that came to the Maquas' Castles last winter consisted of 650 Christians and Indians, of which 5 men were detached from each company and the rest were inhabitants. Four died of starvation on the journey home. The soldiers are so hardly treated in Canada that they would desert but for their fear of Indians. Over 100 bateaux were made last summer, for what purpose is unknown. The forces in Canada, soldiers and inhabitants, number 3,000 men. The French keep their designs so secret that the officers themselves do not know them until the orders are opened after the first three or four leagues' march. Copy. 1 p.
612. VII. Journal of Dirick Wessels, sent envoy to the Five Nations to prevent them from concluding a peace with France. Aug. 5. Left Albany and arrived at Senectady. Aug. 6. Reached the first castle of the Maquas, where I was told of one Maqua and four Indian women who had deserted to the French. Aug. 7. Passed the second castle and came to the third; where I delivered the Governor's letter to the Sachems. They answered as follows. We think that the Upper Nations should have rejected the proposals of Canada without answer, and that there should be no general meeting at Onandaga; for our parts we will go to no such meeting. As to Milet we think it well for two of our Sachems to go with you with a belt of wampum, and ask for him to be delivered up according to promise. Having no belt of wampum ready they asked me to wait whilst they sent for me, and while tarrying one day I understood by their discourse that they had inclinations towards the meeting at Onandaga, which I opposed, reminding them that I had their answer already and waited only for the belt to show in the meeting that by their advice Milet ought to be delivered to Governor Fletcher. Aug. 9. Left Oneida, and on my way met two messengers coming to summon the Maquas to the general meeting. They told me that the Senecas and Cayonges were already there. I turned them back and took them with me. Aug. 10. Reached the first castle of the Oneidas. Aug. 11. Reached the second castle of the Oneidas, summoned the Sachems, and made them a speech, telling them that the Maquas would not attend the meeting, and advised the surrender of Milet. They bade me, in reply, tell the Governor that the Senecas had sent for them or they would not be going, and that the priest was going up with them. This, however, I forbade, and the priest's master among the Indians forbade him to go up. The priest answered, "What would they have of me? I have no papers except private letters from my relatives." Aug. 12–13. Journey from Oneida to Onandaga, where the Sachems welcomed us with 14 bands of wampum. I then began to speak, when they would have put me off till the general meeting next day, but I said that I must speak with every nation severally. An Oneida Indian who had been in Canada said that he had seen Count Frontenac, who gave him an account of great armaments coming from France, and offered peace to the Five Nations, which if they refused, he would destroy them, adding that the French King had forced both English and Dutch to peace over the sea. I told them that our Maquas from Canada knew nothing of this, that our King had 800 ships ready to transport 80,000 men to France, which did not look like peace. I added that the Indians in custody in New England had been released, and that we had taken a large French privateer. Aug. 14. I communicated the Governor's letter to the Onandagas, Senecas and Cayonges, who all professed themselves glad to hear his wisdom. In the afternoon the Oneidas complained to the other three nations that I had hindered Milet from coming to the meeting. I defended my conduct, and after some consultation the Oneidas were answered in the negative. There was an alarm of the enemy this day, and some French prisoners taken at a little distance were killed. Aug. 15. All this day there were consultations as to Governor Fletcher's orders and Count Frontenac's proposals. Aug. 16. The Sachems were all assembled, and a chief of the Oneidas rose and shewing the belt sent by Count Frontenac asked them to accept or reject it. I then went to the Chief Sachem of the Onandagas, and asked him how he thought the Nations were inclined. He answered that all that were not weak were wavering. The capture of Canada had been promised five years ago, and though the present Governor had behaved himself like a soldier, New England, Virginia and Maryland did nothing to help him. Aug. 17. I advised with the same chief as to delivering the Governor's orders to the general meeting. He was inclined to have it done, but answered that the Governor should object to a general meeting. In the afternoon the meeting was held, and this chief gave his advice against trusting the French. I then repeated the Governor's orders and exhorted them not to break the Covenant. Aug. 18. The Sachems met to consult, but gave me no answer. Aug. 19. A chief in the presence of eighty Sachems made answer as follows. Tell Governor Fletcher we will keep our covenant and reject the overtures of the Governor of Canada. We will tell him that if he desires peace he must go to His Excellency who is our master. Do you tell His Excellency that we think the business of an attack on Quebec should have been better managed; that our people ought not to be imprisoned, as lately happened in New England, on light suspicion; and that we hold him still for our master. I replied that he seemed to be no longer their master since they disobeyed his orders in sending a messenger to Canada, and would not give up the Jesuit and his papers, as he had expected. An old Sachem then said that they would say no more to the Governor of Canada than to tell him to address himself to Governor Fletcher, adding that the owners of the Jesuit, in spite of much pressure put on them, refused to give him up. Copy. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 20 Dec. '93. [Board of Trade. New York, 5. Nos. 31, 31 I.–VII.; and (without enclosures) 48. pp. 67–69.]
Oct. 10. 613. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor reported that a French privateer was at anchor off Nassau Island, and that her captain going ashore had been arrested and had been found to be a naturalised subject of New York, who had deserted to Canada. He reported also that he had sent a vessel to seize this ship and was waiting to hear further of her before he went to Connecticut. He then announced that in view of the danger from the French he would winter at Albany, moving thither with what men he could collect in Connecticut, and particularly recommended to the Council all preparations for building the new battery, so that it should be begun in the spring. The prisoners belonging to the French privateer were then examined and remanded to custody. It was resolved that the captain be kept close prisoner till the King's pleasure be known. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 468–470.]
Oct. 10.
614. The Queen to Governor Kendall. Directing the execution of Order in Council of 5 October (No. 602) relative to John Hallett. Countersigned. Nottingham. Note. The like letter was signed by the King and countersigned by Mr. Secretary Trenchard, 19 November, 1693. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 363, 364.]
Oct. 10. 615. Journal of House of Burgesses of Virginia. List of the Burgesses. Such burgesses as were present were sworn, but the Governor sent a message that he would not meet them until there was a fuller attendance.
Oct. 12. Thomas Milner elected Speaker, who was approved; and a copy of the Governor's speech was asked for and received. A Committee of Elections and Privileges was appointed.
Oct. 13. A new writ requested for York County, Daniel Parke having elected to sit for James City. William Sherwood's petition against Mr. Parke's election dismissed. Committees of grievances and of public claims appointed, and the usual orders as to the same made. The Governor was asked for a copy of the reports of the Commissioners of Customs on the Ports Act.
Oct. 14. Address to the Governor asking for the appointment of William Drummond to be messenger; which was granted. Petition of London merchants against exportation of bulk-tobacco read and referred to the Committee of grievances. On the report of the Committee of propositions, there were ordered bills to continue the Rangers Act and to encourage manufacture of linen cloth. Order for an address to the Governor praying for withdrawal of the restraints on settlement south of the Blackwater. The question of amending the Tanners Act referred to a Committee. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 1064–1077.]
Oct. 10. 616. Minutes of General Assembly of Virginia. Councillors appointed to swear in the Burgesses.
Oct. 12. James Sherlock sworn Clerk of the General Assembly. The Burgesses attending, the Governor made them a speech, of which he afterwards sent them a copy, and approved their Speaker.
Oct. 13. New writ issued for York County; and a copy of the report of the Commissioners of Customs sent down to the Burgesses.
Oct. 14. William Drummond appointed messenger to the Burgesses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXV., pp. 1003–1007.]
Oct. 12. 617. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for the King's letter, with the report of the Commissioners of Customs on laws passed in Virginia, to be referred to the Burgesses. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 829.]
Oct. 11.
618. Lords of the Admiralty to Lords of Trade and Plantations. As to Governor Kendall's request for five frigates to be sent to Barbados in October, it is impossible to comply without taking ships from other necessary services. Signed. Falkland, J. Lowther, H. Priestman, R. Rich. Countersigned. J. Sotherne.
Mem. This report being read in Council on 12th October, no order was given thereupon. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. VIII., pp. 373, 374.]
Oct. 11.
619. Lords of the Admiralty to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We have examined Captain Oakley as to the complaints of Sir William Beeston against him, and finding after strict enquiry that he did not do his duty as to the conveying of the homeward bound merchant ships, we have dismissed him from his command. Signed. Falkland, J. Lowther, H. Preistman, R. Rich. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 53. pp. 164, 165.]
Oct. 12.
620. Order of the Privy Council. Referring a report of the Admiralty of 11th inst. to Lords of Trade and Plantations for report. Signed. John Nicholas. ½ p. Annexed,
620. I. Minute of the Lords of the Admiralty. On the suggestion that the frigate from Boston should be sent to protect the masts at Piscataqua, we are of opinion that it would be better for the frigate to remain at her station and for Piscataqua to be protected by soldiers from Massachusetts, as before. Signed. Falkland, J. Lowther, H. Preistman, R [illegible], J. Sotherne. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Read 6 Dec. 93. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. Nos. 28, 28I.; and (without enclosure) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXVII., p. 227.]
Oct. 12. 621. Minutes of Council of New York. The Governor announced that the French privateer had escaped, having outsailed the vessel that he sent to take her. Order for Nathaniel Cole to be suspended from the commission of the peace, for not giving the Governor information of the presence of the privateer in Oyster Bay, where she might easily have been surprised and taken. Agreed that the new battery should be begun without delay, and that the justices of the adjacent counties be required to order the inhabitants to cut stockades for the same. Orders for sundry payments. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 471, 472.]
Oct. 12. 622. Report of the Solicitor General on the Acts of the Leeward Islands. (See No. 517.) I conceive all these laws to be agreeable to law and justice except that taking away benefit of clergy for stealing negroes or slaves, wherein a clause orders execution to be done within forty eight hours after receipt of the warrant, any reprieve or pardon notwithstanding. This is an infringement on the prerogative of the crown; so the clause should not be confirmed. I am doubtful also how far the Act for encouraging importation of white servants may tend to encourage the "spiriting" away of white servants to the plantations without their consent, a practice which is very frequent and known by the name of kidnapping. Signed. Tho. Trevor. The whole (including list of the Acts) 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. No. 21; and 44. pp. 138–141.]
Oct. 12. 623. Speech of Governor Sir Edmund Andros to the Assembly of Virginia. I have received the royal orders for the Acts for ports and for encouraging manufactures to be suspended until further considered by you. I am also to recommend to you a law to prohibit the exportation of bulk-tobacco; and I need not remind you of the necessity of providing for the defence of the Colony. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 28 Mar. 94 from Mr. Randolph. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 5. No. 34.]
Oct. 14. 624. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for remission to Thomas Cock of the King's share in his ketch, condemned in the Court of Virginia. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., p. 830.]
Oct. 14. 625. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for the fees of the Clerk to remain unaltered, and that the Secretary make the usual allowance for transcription of Acts, public ordinances, etc. In consequence of the appointment of Catholic surveyors in several counties by persons acting under pretence of Lord Baltimore's authority, ordered that the surveyors appointed by the Government continue in their places, pursuant to proclamation. Report as to the condition of the State-house read, and repairs ordered. On the application of Sir T. Laurence Mr. Llewellin was summoned, and promised not to leave the Colony until he had perfected the records of Talbot County. As to his acting as Notary Public, of which Sir T. Laurence complained, his commission from Governor Copley was held to be sufficient. On a letter from Colonel Darnall showing authority from Lord Baltimore to open a Land Office and asking for facilities for the same, Sir Thomas Laurence complained that this would be an infringement of his rights, as all these matters ought to pass through his office. Ordered that the Land Office is in the right of the Secretary, Sir Thomas Laurence, and that no one presume to encroach thereon. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 12. pp. 5–8; and pp. 40–49, and 13. pp. 3–7.]