America and West Indies: September 1696, 11-15

Pages 99-112

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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September 1696

[Sept. 11.] 199. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands and Merchants trading thereto, to Council of Trade and Plantations. If we are restricted from sending as many ships to the Leeward Islands as we think necessary, we beg that the usual number of two hundred seamen may be allowed to us for such ships as we can provide. We will endeavour that these ships shall be at Gravesend before the 31st of December ready to proceed to the Downs and thence to the Leeward Islands, and no sooner. For sugar is not made until January or February, and no number of ships can be certain of their loading till April and May. We beg therefore that the convoy may be ready in the Downs on the first of January, and that the fleet may proceed direct to the Leeward Islands without touching at Barbados, to prevent any ill consequences from the French Islands that lie between them. Signed, Bastian Bayer, Jeff. Jeffreys, Joseph Martyn, Rd. Cary, and by sixteen others. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 11 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 6; and 45. p. 6.]
[Sept. 11.] 200. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands to Council of Trade and Plantations. The Leeward Islands and St. Christophers before the war were in a very thriving condition both of trade and of increase of inhabitants; but the population, especially of men able to bear arms, has since greatly decreased by mortality and by the several expeditions against the French Islands and for the recapture of St. Christophers, so that at present their chief security lies in being guarded by some ships of war against the attacks of French privateers and men-of-war, which not only from time to time invade and spoil the said Islands but destroy the trade outward and inward. We commend this to your serious consideration. St. Christophers was settled before any of the other Islands by the French and English, and was divided into four quarters, of which two belonged to each nation, while a peninsula with salt ponds upon it, running southerly towards Nevis, belonged to the French, though the salt was shared neighbourly by both nations until 1666. The French then took the two English quarters and kept them until 1671, when they were restored under the Treaty of Breda. So matters remained until the beginning of the present war, when the French again fell on the English, took the fort after some time of siege, drove them from the Island, destroyed most of their plantations, and held the whole until 1690, when Governor Codrington retook it and sent the French away. The whole Island therefore now remains in the possession of the English, inhabited by some of the former settlers and by others from other parts, who have received the plantations that formerly belonged to the French. But the uncertainty whether the whole Island will remain to the English after a treaty of peace hinders settlement at present, people being unwilling to bring property to lands which they have no certainty that they will enjoy. But if it be once known that the Island will remain wholly to the English, settlers will soon repair thither, the Island being famous for healthiness, fertility, and produce of indigo, sugar, ginger, etc. It is about thirty miles in circumference, able to contain many thousands of people, has a reasonable good fort, roads for shipping, and is well watered, with the advantages to make it the best and most considerable of all the Carribee Islands.
But if the French should be restored to their part of the Island and the settlers now in their plantations turned out, it will be a great discouragement not only to them but to the old English inhabitants and to all the Leeward Islands, which have ventured their lives for the capture of St. Christophers. The old English inhabitants will probably withdraw, having been already twice ruined, and will not run the like hazard again upon outbreak of war between England and France; preferring to abandon their plantations and carry away what they can rather than stay and endanger the losing of all, whereby the Crown will lose revenue and the nation trade. If on the other hand the Island be kept wholly for the English, the revenue and trade will probably become considerable in a few years. Moreover the restoration of the French might be of dangerous consequence to the other Leeward Islands, for Nevis is but three miles distant, and the Council and Assembly are so apprehensive, that they have urged us to make all possible application for St. Christophers to be retained wholly by the English. We beg therefore that you will represent the importance of this to the King upon conclusion of a treaty of peace. Signed, Bastian Bayer, Jeff. Jeffreys, Joseph Martyn, Rd. Cary. 2 pp. Endorsed, Read. 11 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 7; and 45. pp. 7–9.]
[Sept. 11.] 201. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We would represent that the Leeward Islands have suffered much, both by land and sea, from want of ships of war to guard them against the French privateers. At present there are three ships of war in those Islands, of which two went with the last merchant-ships and are to continue there, while the third is ordered to convoy the homeward fleet. The safety of those Islands depends upon their sea-guard, and since it is necessary for those two ships of war to be relieved, we beg that a fourth-rate and a fifth or sixth-rate, good sailers, may be ordered thither as convoy to the outward-bound fleet, and to remain there for the protection of the Islands, while the two ships now there convoy the homeward-bound fleet to England. Signed, Bastian Bayer, Jeff. Jeffreys, Joseph Martyn, Rd. Cary. 1 p. Endorsed, Read 11 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 8; and 45. p. 10.]
Sept. 11. 202. Memorial of merchants and shipowners trading to Virginia and Maryland, to Council of Trade and Plantations. We have now several ships in the Thames and gone to the Isle of Wight, which will be ready to sail for Virginia and Maryland in ten days at farthest. We beg for convoy for the same, and the more particularly because we have the greatest fleet ever known to have gone to those plantations, being one hundred sail from the port of London besides other ports. Also, our fleet being retarded by the embargo until the 31st of May last, the Western ports had the advantage of us and fetched away the crop for which our fleet was designed, whereby it will be impossible to load our fleet until next crop which, with so large a fleet, will not be till February next. Before the fleet sailed we represented to the Admiralty that a limited order to our convoy would occasion our fleet to be divided and unable to come together, and we begged that the convoy might stay for such time as the exigence of affairs required. They answered they would do what should be for the King's service and ours, but would not give any time at large. We then advised our commanders to address the Commodore herein. They tell us that the orders given to him were 110 days, within which time it would be impossible to load, and that the Commodore said he should strictly obey his orders; and they ask us to get the order altered. We beg therefore to point out to you that unless some further instructions be sent, our fleet cannot be half laden, but we must either come empty, or be divided, part to come with the convoy, part to be left naked in the country. To convince you further, the 110 days will expire on the 1st of December, in which time it would be impossible to load above a third of the fleet. The fleet will arrive not only when most of the crop will have been shipped by the Western fleet, but also at a time when the worm in that country eats the ships, so that they will be obliged for six weeks to run up into fresh water to preserve themselves, in which time they can do little for their loading. The crop with which they are to be laden is all growing, and cannot be cured and packed ready for shipment until February at soonest, or if the winter be hard, very possibly later. We beg therefore that a convoy may immediately be provided for the ships now ready, which are the last designed to those plantations this year, and to meet the convoy there with such orders as may enable the fleet to be all laden and to come together, and that she may come with them, being so great a fleet, for better security. Twenty-three signatures. Large sheet. Endorsed, Read 11 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 6; and 37. pp. 5–7.]
Sept. 11. 203. Reasons offered by Major-General Winthrop, Agent for Connecticut, why Governor Fletcher should not have demanded, and why the Council of Connecticut refused last year, the dispatch of one hundred and twenty men to Albany. (1) It was impossible to raise so many soldiers proportionally out of the several towns, some of which are over sixty miles from others, and to send them in so short a time as was expected to Albany, which is over 200 miles distant. Also the provisions must have been transported to Albany by water, which is 400 miles. (2) About the time when Governor Fletcher made his application, the Government of Connecticut received advice of an invasion of their own borders by the enemy, several persons, both English and Indians, being slain and further dangers threatened. It was therefore necessary to send a company of men for their own defence and preservation, there being apprehensions that Connecticut was in greater danger than New York. (3) The supply was required by Governor Fletcher when the Colony was suffering from great want of provisions, the corn and grain being generally blasted and arms and ammunition being procurable only at excessive rates, viz. gunpowder at £15 per barrel. (4) The Government of Connecticut had reasons to conclude that the supply would have been useless, since by Governor Fletcher's advice the enemy were within a few days' march of Albany, and the soldiers when raised could not march so far in less than eight or nine days, before which time it was very probable that the enemy would have retired or effected their design. Moreover the Government of Connecticut had notice that 200 friendly Indians had passed the lake to fall upon the enemy, which force the Government of Connecticut thought sufficient to divert them. (5) The circumstances of the Colony were such as to render it wholly unable to support the expense of so many soldiers at so great a distance for as long as nine months, before the end of which time the soldiers were not to be released. Had the supply been sent as requested the Colony would have been destitute of necessary and proper defence. (6) The Government of Connecticut received a letter from the late Queen declaring that Governor Fletcher had orders to ask for a quota not exceeding 120 men, when necessary, but with special directions to draw no larger proportion from Connecticut than he should draw from the other Colonies. The Government therefore conceived that they were not obliged to send 120 men, or their whole quota, since they had no advice that any part, much less the whole, of the quotas of other Colonies had been drawn out. If they had sent the men, as required, the other Colonies would have been freed and Connecticut would have borne the whole charge of assisting New York. (7) The Government of Connecticut have at all times been ready to help New York, and sent a company of soldiers to that province, of whom the lieutenant and others were killed. The cost was about £680. On other occasions the Government of Connecticut raised soldiers for New York which cost £100. In 1694 they sent Governor Fletcher £600, and in August of that year despatched at his request sixty soldiers to Albany, while he was treating with the Five Nations. The charge came to over £500. The Government was still ready in conjunction and proportion with the other Colonies to have assisted New York; but the quota being so great, and being demanded when the province rather wanted than could give assistance, and when it was labouring under great mischief, the Government thought they were not wanting in their duty when they refused to comply with Governor Fletcher's demand—a demand which had been made by no previous Governor of New York. The Government of Connecticut therefore submit that Governor Fletcher exceeded his instructions and that his demand was unreasonable, and they beg the Lords of Trade, of their wisdom and their sense of the great oppression of Connecticut in this matter, to give orders to restrain the present and future Governors of New York from making demands upon Connecticut, which will be very difficult and chargeable to comply with. 1½ large pages. Endorsed, Read 11 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 24; and 36. pp. 33–36.]
Sept. 11. 204. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The Agents for the Leeward Islands presented memorials on the subject of convoys (see Nos. 199, 201). Mr. Micaiah Perry did the like in respect of Virginia and Maryland (see No. 202). The Secretary was ordered to draw up a representation as to the latter.
Major-General Winthrop presented a memorial as to the quota.
Sir Henry Ashurst attending, said that Governor Fletcher's government was grievous to Massachusetts, and begged the Council to hear Leisler and Gouverneur concerning New York. He was then desired to draft instructions for the Commissioners to enquire as to Naval stores. The Agents for New York were desired to attend to-morrow.
Sept. 12. Mr. Brooke and Mr. Nicoll attended and gave an account of the arrangements necessary for an attack on Canada, also some account of the administration and condition of New York. The Secretary was ordered to write to the Admiralty as to the Virginia convoy. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp. 97–103.]
Sept. 12.
205. William Popple to William Bridgeman. Desiring to know the orders that were given to the convoy that left England for Virginia in May last, in reference to the time of their stay in that country. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. p. 11.]
Sept. 14. 206. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Account of expenses incurred for the King's stores brought up and referred for audit; and order given for an inventory of the stores to be prepared. Orders for payments on account of negroes lost by Captain Hanger while fighting against the rebellious negroes, on account of fortifications and for other items. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 79. pp.31–32.]
Sept. 14. 207. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order for Mr. Nelson to be summoned to attend the Board, as recommended by the New York Agents.
Mr. Littleton gave information as to the convoys to Barbados. The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered letters from Sir E. Andros of 27 June, from Governor Fletcher of 30 May, and from Colonel van Cortlandt of 29 May, all addressed to Mr. Blathwayt. [Board of Trade. Journal, 9. pp.103–106.]
[Sept. 14.] 208. Abstract of the accounts of the revenue of Virginia. The account of the 2s. per hogshead and port duties.
£ s. d.
Discharge [Payments] 4,862 6 6
Charge [Receipts] 1,527 0
Balance due to the Receiver 3,335 5
£4,862 6 6
Mem.—This revenue is usually worth £2,500 per annum, but the London fleet not arriving before the audit this year, it falls short.
Account of quit-rents of 2s. for every hundred acres.
£ s. d.
Charge [Receipts] 3,986 10
Discharge [Payments] 499 19
Balance due to the King 3,786 11 3
£3,986 10
No money can be issued from this revenue but by the King's warrant. 1 p. Endorsed, Sent to the Board by Mr. Povey. 14 Sept. 1696. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 7.]
Sept. 14. 209. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A bill for repeal of the Mole-money was amended and returned to the Assembly. Writs for the election of two Assemblymen returned, and the new members sworn. Order that none but General Officers hold two commission-offices in the militia at the same time.
Sept. 15. Order for stationing the guards of the late Governor's regiment. Order for Colonel Bishop, who has accepted a captaincy in the late Governor's regiment, to give up the colonelcy of his regiment of horse. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 140–141.]
Sept. 15. 210. List of the laws of Massachusetts sent to the Attorney and Solicitor-General on 15 September, 1696. Scrap. [Board of Trade. New England, 36. pp. 37–38.]
Sept. 15. 211. Endorsement of a copy of this list. Scrap. [Board of Trade. New England, 8. No. 25.]
Sept. 15. 212. Docket of a list of laws of the Leeward Islands sent to the Attorney and Solicitor-General for their opinion. Scrap.
The list of the laws sent is given in Board of Trade. Leeward Islands. 45. pp. 11–12. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 9.]
Sept. 15. 213. List of Laws of Jamaica, passed between 4 March and 1 August, 1695, and sent to the Law-officers for their opinion. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 1.]
Docket of the list aforesaid. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 8. No. 16.]
Sept. 15. 214. A list of several Acts of the Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Maryland and Massachusetts, which were forwarded to the Attorney and Solicitor-General on 13 September, 1696, for their opinion. 4½ pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 9; and 34. pp. 36–42.]
Sept. 15. 215. William Popple to the Attorney and Solicitor-General. Forwarding the Acts mentioned in the preceding abstract for their report. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 34. p. 36.]
Sept. 15. 216. Minutes of Assembly of Nevis. The Association for defence of King William was signed by the Council and Assembly, the former signing having been irregular. The Assembly sent messages as to framing articles of war, regulating alarm posts, and removing French prisoners, to which the Council refused to reply. A letter from Thomas Weaver, reporting his presentation of the Assembly's address to the Governor at Antigua was read. Thanks were voted to the gentlemen who presented it. The Assembly resolved itself into a Committee of the whole, to meet from time to time for the good of the country. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 386–388.]
Sept. 15. 217. Memorandum of the Council of New York. Robert Livingston tendered his commission, which was read, when several of the Council objected that the allegations on which he had obtained it were false, and that he is an alien born. The matter was then considered in Committee of the whole Council, and the following report was adopted. We have considered the King's Commission confirming Robert Livingston in his former offices and granting him a salary of £100 a year as Agent with the Indians. We would point out that as Collector of Excise, Town Clerk of Albany and Clerk of the Peace and Common Pleas Robert Livingston has been sufficiently rewarded by the fees and perquisites attached to those offices, insomuch that he has attained to a very considerable estate and has risen from nothing to be one of the richest men in the province. The office of Receiver of quit-rents has always been performed by the sheriffs. As to the office of Agent or Secretary with the Indians, there never has been any such agent or secretary, all treaties with the Indians having been conducted by the Governors in person, or in small matters by the commanding officer or magistrate at Albany, acting under special directions. All that Mr. Livingston can pretend to have done there is to translate from Dutch into English all that passed at the conferences, which for more than forty years has been the duty of the Town Clerk at Albany. Livingston was never put on any public message nor had even any power of agency to treat with the Indians, having no knowledge of their language nor influence with the Indians, and being therefore incapable of rendering any service in return for his salary, which amounts to three fourths of the whole revenue of Albany and will fall heavy on that poor province. The King's revenues are partly impaired by the present war, which has occasioned sundry extraordinary expenses, so that it will not now defray the contingentemergencies thereof and those moderate salaries settled on officers whom the Government cannot want and who are many of them in arrear. We would also represent that Robert Livingston is an alien, born of Scotch parents in Rotterdam, and no native born subject of any of the King's dominions, and is consequently disabled from holding any place of trust relating to the Treasury by the Act lately passed in England to prevent frauds and regulate abuses in the Plantation trade. We think that this report should be laid before the King, and that meanwhile Livingston should be suspended of the said salary and of acting as Agent with the Indians except as Town Clerk of Albany till the King's pleasure be known. Signed, S. V. Cortlandt, N. Bayard, Wm. Pinhorne, G. Minivelle, Wm. Smith, Caleb Heathcote, Fredryck Flypse. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 24th Dec. 1696. Annexed,
217. I. Answer of the Council of New York to the paper called the case of Robert Livingston, annexed to his petition to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. He Livingston, alleges that £561 is due to him for the victualling of two companies at Albany in the time of the late King James, and £200 more for support of the garrison at the time of the Revolution. He says also that the said £561 is included in Colonel van Cortlandt's order upon the additional duty. On examination we find but £491 so included; nor has Livingston actually disbursed that sum, great part of it being still owing to the brewer and others, to whom he always refused payment until he received it from the Crown. As for the £200 which he pretends to have ordered for the garrison at Albany, we are well assured that he has Major Schuyler's and Major Wessels's bonds for that money, he refusing otherwise to credit the Government, notwithstanding his pretended great disbursements. He then avers that the Governor has applied the whole of the additional duty otherwise than was appropriated by Act of Assembly, whereby Col. van Cortlandt remains unpaid and himself unsatisfied. Governor Fletcher as soon as he received orders for the payment of the officers and soldiers in 1688, recommended to the Assembly an additional duty to pay the debts of the Government; but the invasion of the Mohawks by the French in February, 1692–3, obliged him to embark for Albany in haste with 900 men, which notwithstanding the difficulty of the season he accomplished in two days. On his return the accounts for that expedition being brought in, wherein Mr. Livingston was chiefly concerned, Mr. Livingston was very pressing not only for that money but also for what was due to him on account of the fusiliers. As it was impossible to satisfy him by present payment he used his advantage to threaten to decline further victualling of the forces, knowing that the forces could not be otherwise provided for and that no money was in to be got into the Treasury. The Governor and Council were therefore, to prevent the sinking of the Government, obliged to pass an order that all the money in the hands of the Collector, for whatever purpose raised, should be used to supply the exigences of the frontier. This with the extraordinary charges of securing the Indians has run the Government £1,882 in debt to that duty, which is to be reimbursed as soon as the revenue is able. For Mr. Livingston's further satisfaction an order was passed empowering the Collector to reserve the arrears of taxes and account for the overplus, so that Mr. Livingston is very unfair in charging the Government with action which was forced upon it by his importunity. Nor has one farthing of this or any other money sunk into the Governor's pocket, as is by some alleged. We are witnesses that not a penny of his salary has been drawn from the Collector except publicly in Council; and such methods of examining the accounts have been observed since the Governor's arrival so as to make any imposition on the Government impossible. It has also been alleged that the Assembly could not view the accounts of the Government, whereas the Governor has repeatedly pressed them to examine every detail.
Mr. Livingston then claims £388, New York money, advanced for the troops in 1688. It is well known that Governor Dongan took on himself the whole cost of that expedition, and, as we are informed, has since been paid in England. The £388 is consequently included therein and is no debt on this Government, and Mr. Livingston ought to account with Colonel Dongan and the officers for the same. And if this be all true (as we have reason to believe) the King is very much imposed on, not only in relation to this £388, but also because several of the troops included in Colonel Dongan's account were paid here by Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson in May, 1689, to the sum of £383; so that this sum has been twice paid by the Crown.
Mr. Livingston then claims to have advanced to this expedition of 1688 the sum of £2,172, New York money, for which he claims interest at eight per cent. We cannot understand how he could demand interest for that debt, Colonel Dongan's estate in Staten Island, which is worth twice as much, being mortgaged to him for the same. Having Colonel Dongan for his paymaster and his estate for his security, Mr. Livingston deals very unfairly with the Crown in requiring interest, especially at per cent. The legal rate of the province is but per cent. and his debt arises not for money disbursed but for goods sold at 50 per cent. profit, and great part of them taken up on credit and not paid for. Then fourthly, Mr. Livingston alleges that he subsisted (which means only victualled) the King's forces at Albany from the Revolution until November, 1694, and for this claims £900. We find that Mr. Livingston victualled the companies for that time, not alone but in company with Colonel Van Cortlandt, who assures us that Governor Fletcher discharged the accounts of victualling due to them in his predecessors' time, that the accounts have since been cleared punctually every six months, and that at Mr. Livingston's departure from the province there was due to him but £396, both for the King's companies and for the militia, which the Governor at his request paid to his creditors, whose receipts can be produced. A more unjust assertion than Mr. Livingston's could not be thought of, since Colonel van Cortlandt and he (as can be proved under his own hand) have often said that they never were so well paid by any Governor. Mr. Livingston's denial of receipt of that £900 is therefore, we are sure, untrue, and maliciously designed against the credit of the Government. As to his fifth assertion respecting the powder taken from him by Jacob Leisler, we are satisfied that it is true. But others suffered more than he, the total loss thus sustained in New York being £13,959; and in this time of war we cannot relieve them, and indeed are apprehensive that the precedent of satisfying him may multiply claims.
Mr. Livingston then asserts that he has acted as Secretary and Agent with the Five Nations, as is proved by the memorials of the negotiations with them, without salary or recompense. There has never been any such officer. All negotiations have been performed by the Governor in person, or in unimportant cases by the Commander-in-chief or Magistrates at Albany, under the Governor's directions. No such directions have ever been addressed to Mr. Livingston, he having no knowledge of the Indian languages nor influence with the Indians. We submit that a Commission to negotiate with the Indians is an affair of too great moment to be entrusted to any private hand, for the Indians are so fickle that the least breach, if mismanaged, might cause great inconvenience not only to New York but to all the Colonies. We are of opinion too that his salaries, amounting to £180, New York money, will be a heavy burden and will swallow up all the revenue of Albany, hitherto applied to repair of the fortifications. Nor will Mr. Livingston do any service for his salary of Agent. He has never done more than take the minutes of the negotiations, which has often been done by private persons with the Governor. Nor is his post of Town Clerk as despicable as he represents it. Many people have petitioned for it, and as good men as he could be found to discharge it without salary. He then sets forth that he has performed the offices of Collector of Excise and receiver of quit rents at no more salary than £50. The salary amounts to a fifth part of that revenue; we think it more than sufficient and have seriously considered the lessening of it.
As to the paragraph setting forth his large disbursements for the Crown, and that, his public employments not affording him subsistence, he was forced to make a voyage to England, we are amazed that he can make such statements. When he first came to the Colony he was in such a condition that had he not obtained the place of Town Clerk at Albany he would have been forced to enlist as a private. Having served for some time as Town Clerk he received the posts of Collector and Receiver, and as he had the payment of all incidental expenses on the frontiers and paid them not in money (as he received it) but in goods, he had a considerable advantage. Colonel Dongan then confirmed him in his offices with the addition of victualling and paying the forces at Albany, by which, as he did so in goods, he much improved his fortune. The Governors also have from time to time given him valuable tracts of land. On Governor Sloughter's arrival he retained all his former offices and was further appointed a Commissary with a salary of £45 10s. 0d., with the advantage of paying all incidental expenses on the frontiers. This he did in goods at such extravagant rates as occasioned general complaint, so that in 1694 the Governor, in justice to the soldiers, issued a proclamation that the Captains would give the men tickets for any necessaries that they wanted before their pay became due, to such shops or merchants as they wished. Vast sums of money have passed through Mr. Livingston's hands since Governor Sloughter's arrival, amounting in all to £10,284, one tenth of which was paid not in money but in goods at thirty to fifty per cent.? advance. It is not difficult to calculate his profits, so that he is believed to be one of the richest men in the Colony, both in real and personal estate. Much of his fortune he has made through the favour of the Governor and in particular of Governor Fletcher, in whose time he has had no arrears to demand, but has always been paid in full. He is therefore not only ungrateful but unjust in alleging that he has been reduced to great straits by his large disbursements for the Crown. He would never trust the honour of the Crown, but would always have private security for his advances to the public, as is abundantly proved. As to his petition that £761, with interest, may be paid him out of the additional duty, the Assembly has already made provision for the payment of all debts in proportion that are charged on that fund, so that preferable payment to Mr. Livingston will absolutely defeat the intent of the Act. Nor can interest be paid him out of that fund, as no provision has been made for it, and it would be a bad precedent. We have much greater claims for services done to the Government than Mr. Livingston's. The claim for £388 we have already dealt with, having proved that it has already been once paid. We have also dealt with the £1,670 advanced by him to Colonel Dongan, as also with the remainder of his claims. Thus we have answered Mr. Livingston's petition, and we hope that the King and the Lords will consider that the burden of his salary and interest may be removed, as it will be a great discouragement to gentlemen who have done greater services than Mr. Livingston to the Government, not only by daily labouring in the King's service but by travelling to all parts at great expense to themselves as well as by advancing money to the Government, without consideration of interest, and engaging their estates to Mr. Livingston and others without the least expectation of advantage. Mr. Livingston has never rendered any services that we know of or heard of, which did not tend to the advancement of his own fortune. Signed. N. Bayard, S. v. Cortlandt, Caleb Heathcote, John Lawrence, G. Minivelle, Wm. Pinhorne, Wm. Smith, John Willett. 9½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th Dec. 1696. Read 24th.
217. II. Petition of Robert Livingston to the Governor and Council of New York. Having represented to the Lords to Trade and Plantations that the following sums were due to me for disbursements on behalf of the Government, viz. £527 for money advanced to the troops in the late King's time, £233 expended for the garrison at Albany at the Revolution, £388 advanced for the troops in 1687 —the Lords ordered that those sums should be reimbursed to me, preferably out of the revenue received under the Act of 1693 for paying the public debts. I produce the vouchers, and beg that they may be examined, and that warrants may be issued for payment to me according to the orders from Whitehall. I am informed that a further sum of £900 claimed by me has been paid to the Treasurer since my departure, so I say no more as to that.
Report of the Council of New York on the foregoing petition. We have examined the allegations in Mr. Livingston's petition. For the sum of £527 he shows a certificate under Colonel van Cortlandt's hand, which will be paid as soon as he receives it. For the remaining £37 he produces bills and bonds from Lieutenant Sharp and some of the soldiers to the value of that sum, which were debts bought of them after Governor Sloughter's accounts had been made up and passed. The Lieutenant and soldiers having already orders for their full pay, some of which are assigned to others, this sum cannot be allowed to Mr. Livingston. As to the sum of £233 it seems that he has the sum of £200 in the Albany accounts, which will be paid to him as the Act directs. The £33 appears to be a debt bought from another party, and is likewise included in the Albany account. He shows an order from the King that he shall be paid preferably to all others if his allegations be true. In our opinion the said allegations are not all true, and since warrants are already granted to sundry officers, in which the said sums are included and part of the money already paid, and since the Act made in April last sets forth in detail under special rules the sums which are to be paid out of that fund, we are of opinion that the Governor cannot legally derogate from the rules but should submit the matter for the King's further consideration. As to the £388, he produces vouchers and certificates signed by several officers for that sum; but since Governor Dongan took upon him the whole charge of that expedition, and £1,016 was paid to him in that account, and £383 more paid to the troopers and soldiers, and part or the whole of the remainder has (as we are informed) been paid to Colonel Dongan in England, we think this article cannot be allowed without further examination, and that it should be recommended to the consideration of the Assembly. As to the £900 which Mr. Livingston now acknowledges to have received, we find that only £396 was due to him at his departure, and £544 to Colonel van Cortlandt. We also find that at his departure the Governor undertook to pay the same to one of his creditors and to Colonel van Cortlandt, which was accordingly done. So that when Mr. Livingston claimed that £900 there was not one farthing due to him for victualling from Colonel Sloughter's arrival until that time. We beg that this report may be forwarded to the King and to the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Signed, N. Bayard, Frederyck Flypse, Caleb Heathcote, G. Minivelle, Wm. Pinhorne, Wm. Smith, S. v. Cortlandt. 4¼ pp. Endorsed as No. I.
217. III. The Council of New York to Lords of Trade and Plantations. 2 August, 1696. Having been acquainted of several depositions taken against Governor Fletcher, we beg to certify as follows. Since his arrival we have had frequent and weekly meetings in Council with full freedom of debate. He established a new method for payment of public moneys by warrant passed in Council; and all accounts of incidental expenses are examined by a committee before the warrants pass. He has at all times taken our advice in the adjourning, proroguing and dissolving of the Assembly, and in many other things wherein our consent is not required. We do not know that he has been any ways concerned in the choosing of members of Assembly except by recommending us to use our influence to persuade the people to choose honest and well-affected men, who will regard the security of the frontiers and be instrumental in raising a sufficient fund to ensure it. He never in the least urged anything upon the Assembly for his private advantage, and we must justify him in the disposition of all public money by our advice and consent. We can give many instances of his care and vigilance for the defence of the Province, especially on the frontiers. He has made many repairs for the forts, and when the funds voted by the Assembly for erection of the chapel in the fort at New York proved insufficient, he advanced over £300 from his own pocket and declared that he would have neither interest nor profit. He has by all our observation been an encourager of virtue and discountenancer of vice. By his encouragement an English church of stone, with a steeple, is erecting by voluntary contributions: we have had none in the Province hitherto. He has always been as easy of access to the poor as to the rich, early and constant in business, regular in his life, observant of his promise, punctual in all payments for the necessaries of his family and the victualling of the Companies, so that the tradesmen make interest for his custom and employment. He has taken much pains to unite the people and remove the heats and animosities of parties. He had the disadvantage of coming to a province which gives him abundance of care and business, being the frontier to Canada; where the revenue was much anticipated, the fortifications much out of order, many old debts to pay, and the people harassed with detachments and levies for defence of the frontier. The people are the more backward and uneasy, since their neighbours, who share with them protection, will contribute nothing to our defence but grow by our calamities, having got great part of our trade and people. We are thankful to the King for appointing a gentleman of Governor Fletcher's worth and honour, and we pray that we may be believed in this declaration, which is from our hearts. Signed, N. Bayard, G. Minivelle, Wm. Pinhorne, S. v. Cortlandt, Caleb Heathcote, John Lawrence, Wm. Smith, Thomas Willett. 3 pp. Endorsed as No. I. [Board of Trade. New York, 6. Nos. 57, 57 I.–III.]