America and West Indies: July 1696, 11-20

Pages 38-41

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 15, 1696-1697. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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July 1696

July 11. 86. Minutes of Council of Nevis. The newly elected Assembly was sworn, and James Bevon approved as Speaker. The Association was signed by the Council and Assembly. The work of a joint Committee in drawing up articles of war was suspended for the present by the Council. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 352–353.]
July 11. 87. Minutes of Assembly of Nevis. The Assembly being sworn chose James Bevon for their Speaker. The Council refusing to swear certain members as not duly elected, the House passed resolutions that they, whose privilege it was to try such matters, decided that they were duly elected. The Council rejoined that one member, Walter Hamilton, was not qualified to sit in the Assembly. The Assembly retorted that he and two other members, also objected to, were qualified and ought to be sworn. The Council refused to give any further reply; but proposed a joint Committee to draw up articles of war. The Assembly declined to enter on such business till the three members were sworn. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 373–376.]
July 13.
New York.
88. Governor Fletcher to William Blathwayt. I have sent you two large packets by the ships of war that were to sail from Virginia at the beginning of this month, enclosing the Association signed by all the inhabitants of New York. Those from the Counties are not yet finished. There is likewise an address of congratulation from the Council, who were very hearty to join with me in appointing a day of thanksgiving. Duplicates have been sent of several documents that were lost. By the supply given by the Assembly I am able to recruit the companies for one year, which if continued from year to year will save the sending of recruits from England. I have only the three companies to depend on, not having procured a man from the neighbouring Colonies, though 500 men is in my opinion the smallest number requisite to secure the frontier. The vessel sent from Plymouth with the Royal orders is taken on this coast and the packet sunk, which is a great trouble to me. By chance letters from private friends I understand Mr. Livingston has exhibited an information against me. I know no particulars, but I hope that he will not be credited till I be heard. I have the Council and all the honest men in the Government ready to vouch for my behaviour since I came among them. I never meddled with a farthing of public money nor disposed of it without advice of Council. His brother-in-law, Colonel Van Cortlandt, is ready to testify that I owed him not a farthing when he left the place. I have several times advanced him money for victualling the companies before it was due, particularly at parting. Some public money that was raised by an additional duty for payment of debts contracted before my arrival were made use of by advice of the Council to answer some emergencies, as the expense of an expedition to the frontiers in February, 1694, when the French had invaded our Indian Country and burned their castles, etc. The Assembly now in these last sessions have taken care to refund the money by continuing the same duty. It is to be seen under his hand that if every Governor had paid him as well as I, it had been £1,000 in his way. I hope that Mr. Brooke and Mr. Nicolls are come to England. They can vindicate me against anything objected against me in this province. Signed, Ben. Fletcher. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. and read 30 Nov., 1696. Answered 1 Feb., 1696–7. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. No. 46; and 52. pp. 40–41.]
July 13. 89. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Bridges attended upon the matter of Governor Russell's present, and gave an account of the origin of such presents.
Petition of William Bowtell and Thomas Wenbron read, on the privilege whereby John Lear, of the Council of Jamaica, evaded his debts. Mr. Edmund Chilton was ordered to attend next meeting on the subject. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp. 14–16.]
July 13. 90. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. This day were read letters from the Lords Justices of England for the confirmation or disallowance of the Acts of 1692, and from the Privy Council stating the reasons of such repeal. The Lieutenant-Governor reported that he had ordered forty men to reinforce the garrison at Pemaquid. Order for the members of Council in Middlesex and at Salem to attend next Council to be informed of the orders received from England. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. p. 34.]
July 14.
91. Governor Nicholson to Lords of Trade and Plantations. My last was of the 12th of June. The Assembly broke up on the 10th inst., having addressed you on the 6th. I hope the address to the King and an Association being included in it will be approved by you, and that you will lay them before the King. I have ordered in Council that it shall be signed by the Provincial Court and grand jury of the province, by the justices, sheriffs and grand jury of every county, and by the militia officers. We are all very quiet at present, though we have had rumours of foreign Indians. Though we have a pretty many papists, yet the Assembly conclude it to be for the King's service neither to secure nor to disarm them, so long as they live peaceably and submit to the present government. But if they should be so wicked and foolish as to do other ways I shall take care to secure them and proceed against them according to law. The two last years have been very fatal to people's stocks and the harvest very ordinary, insomuch that several people are in great want, but at present, thank God, there is some prospect of a good harvest. The crops of tobacco have been but indifferent, and the fleet's not coming has been a very great disappointment, but the King's consideration in giving the reason for the embargo has given great satisfaction, as also your order for the speedy despatch of the fleet. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 21 June, 1697; Read 7 July, 1697. A short précis is attached. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 6; and 9. pp. 50–51.]
[July 14.]
92. Minute of Governor William Markham (?) as to certain transactions with the Indians. 25 June, 1696. Last night Captain Cock gave information that last night an Indian came from Quanestagua (where our Indians live that removed from Schuylkill), and told him that an Indian and his wife were surprised by twenty strange Indians while working in their cornfield. The man was carried off and the woman scalped and sent back to inform her natives that they were Lavetawas (?) and would take all their men and scalp all their women. After the man was taken he called to his wife and said that he was a dead man, that he had a band of wampum which he had kept a long time, and bade her take it to the Pennsylvanian Indians and warn them to be on their guard. About three days before this Indian came, seven Indians from the Mohawk Country came in from hunting. They asked the other Indians if any of them had been out, who answered them, None. They said again that as they came down Susquehanna, about a day's journey off, they saw on shore a birchen canoe cut in pieces, and on going ashore found several bear-skins torn to pieces by wolves, and bear-grease spilled up and down, which made them conclude some had been killed. They searched about in the woods, but found none, though they observed several late footings that went several ways. About twelve miles lower down they again went ashore to boil the pot, when a little boy spied a strange Indian in the wood and ran to tell them what he had seen. They at once got into their canoe and paddled into the middle of the river, when they heard and saw several on both sides of the river. They did not go ashore again till they reached Quanestagua. The Kings then sent out Indians to give warning and enquire what Indians were missing, and finding three missing that belonged to the Schuylkill and went hunting, they concluded that they were killed. The Kings by their messengers desire that the Indians and Christians will open their eyes in time.
This narrative being given me by Captain Cock I sent for the most eminent men near at hand to advise with them. Having read it to them, I asked them to send for any in town whom they thought fit to advise with them, and sent for the Indian. On the next day, 26 June, the Indian appeared and confirmed Captain Cock's narrative, when it was resolved to send a messenger to Quanestagua, and Captain Cock was accordingly despatched.
On the 14th of July he returned the following account in writing. This day week we arrived at Quanestagua and were made very welcome by the Indians, who said that they were glad that the Governor took so early notice of their message. I told them that the Governor had sent me and gave them the belt of wampum which he had given to me as a present for them. Fifteen of the Schuylkill Indians were with me. One of them, on behalf of the chief King, who stayed at home, stood up and said: We thank you for sending us warning of our danger, and are come to assist you. We are still cousins, though we live further apart than we used. We are all brothers, and our Governor is William Penn's cousin and our head: Another Indian then spoke in the like manner on behalf of another king of the Schuylkill Indians. As we had done speaking the Susquehanna Indians rose up all together, and in a great shout cried "Very good, very good." They then sat in council for a little while, after which one rose up and said: "In the fall of the leaf we think some of us to come and see the Governor." They then stroked us and said, "We are very glad, very glad, very glad. We see now that what Thomas Lloyd said is true, that the Christians are the same in friendship now as then." The facts as to the scalping of the woman and carrying off of the man are true, but he planted alone, forty miles from any other Indian. 4 pp. [America and West Indies. 599. No. 26.]
July 15. 93. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Edward Randolph, attending, declared himself unable to give any information as to the privilege of Councillors in Virginia. Mr. Chilton confirmed the information as to the immunity of Councillors in Virginia from all action or process at law. Ordered that Mr. Bowtell shall, if he can, bring Colonel Hartwell to give further information on the subject. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp. 16–18.]
July 15. 94. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. The Orders in Council as to the confirmation and disallowance of the laws passed in 1692 were read. Order for notification of the repeal of the disallowed Acts to be made to the justices. Order for two good sailing shallops to be hired and fitted as scouts to cruise for six weeks and give warning of any French ships of war on the coast. Order for a Committee to take account of bills in the Treasurer's hands, as ordered on the 30th of April last. Orders for payment of £300 to the Lieutenant Governor, and of £250 to the Treasurer, for their salaries for last year, and of £204 to John Walley, he having over-charged himself with that sum by miscast of his accounts. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 35–38.]
July 16. 95. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antigua. At the Governor's request, quarters were appointed for some recruits of Holt's regiment. The Assembly sent two messages desiring that a copy of the Act for the Marshal and Secretary to give security may be furnished to their clerk, to be sent home. A reward granted by the Assembly for a capture of Indians was approved. The Governor desiring the Assembly to furnish its quota of sugar for the Agents, the Assembly answered that they would postpone it until the meeting of the General Assembly.
July 17. The Governor agreed to a proposal of the Assembly as to care of the wounded and disposal of French prisoners. Orders for payments. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 177–179.]
July 20. 96. Affidavit of Richard Thompson. That the copies of Mr. Burchett's letter of 18 January, 1695, and of its enclosure are correct, and that he was appointed store-keeper and muster-master in Jamaica by Commodore Wilmot. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 10.]
July 20. 97. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Governor represented to the Council the present state of the Island and required their advice thereon. The Council adjourned to consider.