America and West Indies: February 1720, 11-19

Pages 352-362

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 31, 1719-1720. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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February 1720, 11-19

Feb. 11. 555. (a) Extract from K. Charles II's Grant of New Jersey etc. to the Duke of York, 12th March, 1664.
(b) Extract from K. Charles II's Charter for Pensilvania to William Penn, 4th March, 1680.
(c) Query, Whither some small Islands lying in the River Delaware between New Jersey and Pensilvania are included in either of the two above extracts, and if not, whither the right of disposing thereof is not in H.M.?
(d) Mr. West's reply to preceding. I am of opinion that the Islands scituate in the River of Delaware are not comprehended within the expresse terms of either of these two grants and that therefore the Crown may dispose of them. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 10th March, 1719/20. Read 19th May, 1721. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 971. No. 89.]
Feb. 12. 556. Deposition of John Randall, apprentice to Dudley Woodbridge. Confirms No. 551. Signed, Jno. Randall. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 16th Feb., 1719/20. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 73.]
Feb. 12.
557. Mr. Popple to George Newport, merchant. An affidavit having been lodg'd here this day in relation to Mr. Lowther's trading to the French Islands in which trade you are named to have been interessed, the Council of Trade and Plantations desire to speak with you etc. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 57, 58.]
Feb. 12. 558. Deposition of William Gordon of the Island of Barbados, Clerc. In 1713 deponent with George Newport, then of Barbados but now of London mercht., and Othniel Haggat did purchase a cargo of negroes and flower to be sent to the French Islands from Barbados wherein deponent was interested one half, and Newport and Haggat one fourth each. The latter agreed with Governour Lowther that deponent should hold but one fourth, and that the Governor should have the other fourth in the name of Newport. In consideration thereof, the Governour undertook to protect, or screen from seizure any European goods that should be imported as returns from the French Islands, and to favour the sd. adventure so far as to make the quarter part as profitable to deponent as the half would otherwise have been. Deponent acquiesced and accordingly, when a few weeks afterwards ten hogsheads of claret, part of 40 imported directly from Martinique as returns for the sd. cargo, were seized by John Sharpe, Searcher, the Governour did, by his warrant, command the sd. wines from Sharpe, and they were soon afterwards redelivered to Newport or deponent, and one quarter of the nett proceeds of the adventure accounted for to Newport in trust for the Governour. There were other adventures to the French Islands to about the value of £3000 in negroes and other merchandize. About 30 of the said negroes were refuse negroes from the Governour's plantation, with his own coat of arms burnt on their breasts, which deponent was forc't to receive as part of one of the adventures, and to allow a very exorbitant price for, rather than disoblige the Governour. Of the returns made for all the cargoes, there was above £2000 in French brandy, claret, silks, soap and other European commoditys imported directly from the French Islands and sold in Barbados, and one quarter of all the nett proceeds accounted for as above and paid by Newport to the Governour, as he has frequently assured deponent, and as the Governour about three years agoe own'd to deponent at the marriage of John Lenoir, at the same time complaining that notwithstanding the great risque he had run, he had been a looser by the sd. trade, as he was assured depont. and everybody except George Newport, had been. Deponent has several times seen in the Treasurer's Office, and in the hands of Joseph Young, the Deputy Treasurer, several orders drawn by the Governour upon the Treasurer, payable to himself with exchange for 25, 30 and 35 p.c., amounting to £10,000, at 5 or 10 p.c. above the current rate of exchange. When deponent pointed out to Young that exchange had never been known so high as 35 p.c. since Lowther's coming to the Government, and asked how the Committee of Publick Accounts could allow such extortion, Young reply'd, Damn'em, they dare not dispute it etc. Signed, W. Gordon, Endorsed, Recd. Read 12th Feb., 1719/20. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 72.]
[Feb. 13.] 559. Major Bellenden to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Several of Col. Moody's houses at Placentia were taken up in Oct. last for work upon the Fort there etc. Signed, Robt. Bellenden. Endorsed, Recd. Read 13th Feb., 1719/20. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 75.]
Feb. 15.
Custom ho., London.
560. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. Collo. Rhett, Surveyor and Comptroller of the Customs in Carolina having sent the Commissrs. an accot. that the people of that Province have deposed their Governour and set up another, I am directed to send you a copy of the letter date 21st Dec. last etc. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 15th. Read 16th Feb., 1719/20. Addressed. ½ p. No enclosure. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 141.]
Feb. 16.
561. Governor Hamilton to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges letter of 29th Sept., which came to my hand at Nevis, where I immediately after communicated to the Council and Assembly what their Lordships commanded in relation to the hostages at Martinique, and to let their Lordships know what the Island has contributed towards the maintenance of them etc. A Committee of both Houses is appointed to draw up an answer to the Memorial of M.D' Iberville etc. I am now upon visitting the other Islands etc., and shall pay a due obedience to every part of your letter etc. I arrived here on the 20th Dec. last, the same day I had an account sent me from St. Christophers, that a Spanish privateer had that night taken an English sloop at the Salt ponds of that Island, and afterwards went to the Road of Basseterre, and there cut out an English ship commanded by one Mr. John Moulton; which ship was laden with sugar, and almost ready to sail for Brittain, as soon as I had notice of this, I sent the man of war in quest of them, but she is so dull a sailer that if she had met with any of them, could hardly have come up with them, and is but of little service, besides that she is a meer bauble, when it blows but any thing hard, is not able to carry out above four or six of her guns; so that if she should meet with anything of strength, it would expose the Captain (who I think to be a good and diligent Officer) and loose the King a ship; this I have formerly represented, but the same ship is still continued upon the Station, and has now been here near three years. I hear since that the Master of the forementioned sloop rose two days after he was taken, upon the Spaniards, recovered his sloop, and is arrived with her at St. Christopher's; that the ship was retaken by a New York privateer and sent to that port, and the same Spanish privateer was since cast away upon the Island of Berbuda, the Captain whereof and his men are now in prison at Antigua, and as there is no chartell settled betwixt H.M. subjects and those of the Crown of Spain and that I have no directions to settle any, or in what manner, besides that the Spaniards (especially in these parts) are a most treacherous people; for these reasons, I have ordered the Lieutenant Governor of Antigua, as oppertunities offer from that Island, to send them for Great Brittain, signifying to the Right Honourable Mr. Secretary Craggs in which vessell he sends them and the number; which conduct of mine I hope will be approved of. We have of late heard of several pirates that rove in these seas, particularly one of about thirty guns that had been for a considerable time upon the coast of Guinea where she had done a great deal of damage, afterwards took a Portuguese ship upon the coast of Brazile, which he brought to the Island of Cayon a French Island lying off of Surinam; and there plundered her of a vast booty, most in moidores, not valuing the rest of the cargo (which consisted of sugar, tobacco, and Brazile plank) would have set the ship on fire but meeting with a Rhode Island sloop, which they took and fitted out for their use, they gave the Portugueze ship to the master of the Rhode Island sloop, who with the Portugueze that were left on board, brought her into Antigua where I have ordered a merchant to take care of her, and what was remaining on board for the use of the owner, or owners. There are now five white men and one black in the goal of this Island, that were of the crew of that ship, which were put ashoar out of her at the Island of Anguilla, which pretend all to have been forced; I have sent to the Lieutenant Governor of Antigua to enquire of the Master of the Rhode Island sloop, his men, or the Portugueze, whether they know any of these persons to have been active amongst the pirates, in order that if any of them have been guilty of the piracy they stand suspected off, they may be proceeded against etc. I had last Sunday morning an account given me by Major Richard Holmes of Col. Richard Lucas's Regiment and one Mr. Thomas Ottley that as they were on their voyage to the Island of St. Eustatius and St. Thomas (whither they were bound, the first to look for some deserters that had run away etc.) they were informed that a pirate ship lay under the Island of St. Thomas, that most of the men were on shoar, they went to said ship and found her at an anchor, and was equipped in a warlike manner, and several pirate colours on board, and not being able to bring her up to any of the Islands (inhabited) of my Government they carried her to the Island of Santa Cruis or Sancta Croix, where they left her under the care of an Officer of the Regiment and some men, till the Major could inform me of the premises; whereupon I ordered Capt. John Rose Commander of H.M.S. Seaford forthwith to get ready to go down, to take the said ship under his care, and bring her up to this H.M. Island, or the Island where at his return he shall hear I then am, and to see that no embezzlement be made; who sailed yesterday with the Major on board etc. I have desired the Major to make a particular enquiry as to the conduct of the Danish Governor upon this occasion, for it has been of a long standing, and it's now to be too much suspected that the Danes give too much encouragement and countenance, nay even publick protection to that vermine, which makes our land and sea men so frequently desert, that being their place of refuge. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 25th April, 1720. Read 27th June, 1721. 3½ pp. with abstract. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 66v.]
Feb. 16.
Crutched Fryars.
562. George Newport to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to 12th Feb. As to myself (the accusation being off an illegal nature) I hope your Lordships will excuse me from makeing any answer. As for Mr Lowther, he never concern'd himself in any clandestine trade with me and I doe belive with no other. If I was, I should indeed blush to own what that pious divine sticks not to sware, out off malice and envy to a good Governour etc. Asks for copy of Gordon's affidavit, if a further answer is required. Signed, G. Newport. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16th Feb., 1719/20. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 74.]
Feb 16. 563. Henry Lascelles to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Describes his sale of the "piraiticall slaves" brought in by the Charlotte. "I never understood that they belonged to any particular person" etc. etc. v. 13th Jan.. Signed, Hen. Lascelles. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16th Feb., 1719/20. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
563. i. Account of sale of negroes brought into Barbados by the ship Charlotte. Branson Oulson (Hoalson) Commander. Sept. 11, 1719. Signed, Hen. Lascelles. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 75, 75. i.]
Feb. 17.
Boston, N. England.
564. Governor Shute to Mr. Popple. Encloses following to be laid before the Board. Continues:—I cannot get the queries relating to New Hampshire well answered untill I go to that Province which will not be till the latter end of April, by which time I believe the map of the Province will be finished, so that I shall be able to send the queries answered with the map of New Hampshire by the first ship that shall sail in May. The 73rd Article of my Instructions (quoted) has been notifyed to all the Printers, yet Nathaniel Boone has not only printed a book without licence but has even ventured to print what I have absolutely forbidden; upon which I summonsed the Council and acquainted them with H.M. Instructions, who told me they could not find out any method to punish the printer because there was no law against it. I afterwards applyed myself to the King's Attorney General who advised me to acquaint the Lords of Trade and Plantations with this breach of H.M. Orders and to get further directions from them in this matter. I desire you will let me have a line in answer as soon as possible to assure me that this letter came safe to you. Signed, Samll. Shute. Endorsed, Recd. 19th April. Read 3rd Aug. 1720. 2 pp. Enclosed,
564. i. Governor Shute's Answers to Queries relating to the Massachusetts Bay (v. 4th June, 1719). (i) Inhabitants, 94,000. Militia, 15,611. Besides which there are of the Indian natives who are civilized, and make some profession of the Christian religion, and dwell in several parts of the Province in perfect friendship with the English improving their own lands etc. to the number of 1,200, men, women, and children. Slaves, negros or Indians (but most negros) about 2000. Within this three years last past there have come from Ireland a considerable number of familys and persons to settle the Eastern parts of this Province, and elsewhere to the number probably of 5 or 600 men, women and children. White servants imported and sold June 29, 1717–1718, 113 males, 13 females; negro slaves, 37 males, 16 females (details given). No great difference for 7 years last past. At the entrance of the Harbour of the Town of Boston there is Castle William, a regular fortification and in good condition, 80 great guns mounted, a Captain with other officers and a company of 30 men. There are also in the town two small batterys, but of no use, wholly out of repair. At Salem and Marblehead there are two small forts both gone to ruine and not supported in a time of peace. In the County of York there's a small stone fort at Brunswick with 15 men and an officer, a pretty good defence against the Indians. At Winter harbour, a small fort in a poor condition with ten men and an officer. (ii) In the neighbourhood of this Province to the North East or towards Nova Scotia there are two tribes of Indians, the Kennibeck Indians, 100 fighting men, who live chiefly at Neridgiawack within a sort of fort made of wood and is a small chappell and a Jesuit. There are two or three other settlements of Indians that may make out in all 50 fighting men at Pennicook Amarasgogin and Pegwoket. One other tribe called Penobscot Indians lying up the River of that name 150 fighting men, both tribes too much inclined to the French interest thro' the influence of the Jesuists who have allways one among them, and during the late warrs they have been bloody enemys to the English; at present they are pretty quiet; but there is no depending on them. To the westward near Albany there are several nations or great tribes of Indians that are in alliance and friendship with the English Government of New Yorke, but are so far distant, that we have scarse anything to do with them. Northwest and towards Canada there are some tribes of Indians, but their situation is so near the French settlements that we call them the French Indians and they are perfectly under their Governmt. and at 3 or 400 miles distance from us; their numbers not very great. (iii) Describes Quebec and Montreal as elsewhere. Continues:—From Canada it is that in a time of warr, the French influence and actually imploy their Indians to annoy and destroy the English settlements both of this Province and Connecticut and sometimes New York. This Province have had two fair towns destroyed in two years successively in the last warr by a party of 200 Indians headed by French Officers from Canada. And it is dificult, considering the vastness of the frontiers to know how to prevent such incursions in a time of war, unless the two Crowns should agree never to imploy the Indians on either side against each other even in case of a warr. As to Cape Breton refers to Governor Phillips etc. Continues:—They have yet no regular fortification. But in case of a war between the two Crowns the French would certainly be very troublesome to all the English Plantations. It is generally thought that it might be of service to H.M. and a security of the trade of his subjects if there were a small fort built at the Isle of Canso, and another between that and Annapolis Royal etc. It hath been of the last mischief to H.M. Government and people of these countreys to suffer the French Jesuists to reside among the Indians that are under the English protection and particularly at Kennebec and Penobscut both of which are within H.M. territory. This is what I have had the honour to represent once and again to your Lordships. (iv) The trade of the Province has been of late years under great discouragements occasioned as is judged by the most thinking people chiefly by the want of silver and gold for a medium of trade in lieu whereof the Government have made and issued out £200,000 in bills of credit. The fishery of this Province (which indeed is the best and chief article of their trade) is much increased since the cession of Nova Scotia. Refers to Governor Phillips. Continues: (v) To prevent illegal trade I do my utmost indeavours to put the laws now in force relating to the trade of the Plantations in execution; and also take all imaginable care that the King's officers may be protected in doing their duty. And I am also of opinion farther to prevent illegal trade, if two fishing shallops were imployed, under the inspection of the Surveyor General or principal officer in each port (the charge of building which would be about £300 sterl.) to be manned and victualled by the station ship as there may be occasion and a Custom House officer on board, would be of great service. But if this is not thought practicable the appointing more waiters in each port as four at least in this port (whereas there is but two) which I believe might answer the end and very much prevent the running of counterband goods. (vi) According to the best inquiry and information I find belonging to the Massachusetts Province and mostly built in it nearest 190 sail of ships and other vessels being in all nearest 8000 tunns and navigated with about 1100 men. Besides about 150 boats with 600 men employed in the fishery, (vii) As to manufactures, the inhabitants in some parts of the Province work up their own wool and flax and make an ordinary course cloath for their own use without exporting any. But the greatest part both of woolen and linnen cloathing that is wore in the Province is imported from Great Britain, and sometimes linnen from Ireland; and considering the excessive price of labour the mercht. can afford what is imported cheaper than what is made in the countrey. There are also a few hatters set up their trade in the maritime towns. And the greatest part of the leather used in the country is manufactured among themselves. There has been for many years some ironworks in the Province that have afforded the people iron for some of their necessary occasions. But the iron imported from Great Britain is esteemed much the best, and the shipping wholly use that which is imported. And besides the ironworks of the Province are not able to supply as to the common use one twentyth part of what is wanted. (viii) [The annual produce is about] £220,000 this country currency, which is about £100,000 sterling according to the present course of exchange. (ix) The trade of the Province is principally to Europe by codd fish to Spain Portugall and the Mediterranean the produce whereof is remitted chiefly to Great Britain either pr. bills of exchange or gold. Great part of the trade of this place is directly to Great Britain by whale oyle, finns, furrs, turpentine and other Naval Stores. Trade from hence to any foreign Plantations is inconsiderable, except that to a Dutch Plantation called Suraname which is carried on mostly by exporting small wild horses not fit for service here, nor saleable in our English Plantations, for which is brought back in return chiefly molasses, in which trade may be employed 12 or 15 small vessels. As to the trade we have with Barbados, Antego etc. refers to accounts of exports and imports remitted yearly. (x) The French Plantations in our neighbourhood are the Country of Canada and the late settlement at Cape Breton. Canada is a vast tract of land lying on each side the great river of the same name, beginning at the mouth of St. Lawrence extending up to Quebec from thence to Monreal, from thence up to the great Lakes and so to Messasippi River as the French pretend in all which vast country they have not above 1500 effective men and about 5000 souls. They have 30 compas. as they affect to reckon, but I'm very credibly informed they don't make 12 men one company with another. The Government of the country is like other French Governments despotick and mostly military. Mr. Vaudrevil the Governour has the character of a very good officer. They have also an Intendant General who manages the civil affairs and is a sort of check upon the Governour. Quebec is the principal town in Canada a handsome well fortyfied town but small etc. Their next best settlement is Monreal etc. There lives the [Lieut.] Governour of Canada Major Ramsey a Scotchman. The trade of Canada consists chiefly of beaver and some other furrs which is managed by a Compa. who are supplyed by the Indians and French hunters as far almost as Messasippi River and some even from Hudson's Bay; tho' by what I can learn there are but few Indians in those parts it being a desart cold country. The value of the furrs exported from thence to France annually may be computed at £60,000 sterling; they also export to the French West Indies some flower pease and lumber to the value of about £20,000 sterl. annually. If the furr trade of Canada should fail the country would be but of little worth, for it does not afford English grass, cattle, corn equal to other countreys that lie more southward and hardly any fruit at all. The navigation up that river is very inconsiderable except once a year when the ships comes to Quebec. As to Cape Briton, the French have there a very considerable fishery for these two or three last years having in the season from 60 to 80 sail of ships besides small craft loading with fish etc. Endorsed as letter. 10½ pp.
564. ii. Copy of Queries No. 216. ii. [C.O. 5, 867. Nos. 66, 66 i, ii.]
Feb. 17.
565. Mr. Popple to Governor Hunter. The Council of Trade and Plantations have appointed this day sennight to hear Capt. Evans etc., (v. Dec. 14, 1719) at which time they desire the favour of speaking with you also. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 127; and 5, 1079. No. 113.]
Feb. 17.
566. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Enclose copy of Mr. Rhett's account, referred to 15th Feb., "giving an account that the People of Carolina have deposed their Govr. and Council, together with all the other officers there, both civil and military, and appointed others in their stead. We thought it proper to give you ye earliest notice thereof, that you may lay the same before H.M." [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 231.]
Feb. 18.
567. Same to Same. Enclose copy of letter from "the new pretended Council and Assembly of Carolina" to be laid before H.M. etc. [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 232.]
Feb. 18. 568. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon two parcels of Acts of Antigua. States objections to Acts (i) Declaring the qualifications of voters. (ii) for raising a tax of £5000. (iii) for establishing a Court of King's Bench, etc. (iv) for laying a powder duty. (v) for confirming the title of George Thomas to certain lands. Has no objection to other Acts named. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 18th Feb., 1719/20. Read 19th July, 1721. 21½ pp. Enclosed,
568. i. Observations upon Mr. West's objections to the Act of Antigua for establishing a Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas etc. No signature or date. 3½ pp. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 262–274v., 275v.]
Feb. 18. 569. Mr. West to Mr. Popple. Concerning the Commissioners' powers to administer an oath (v. 5th Feb.). Enquires whether the power has ever been exercised etc. Signed, Richd. West. Addressed. Endorsed, Recd. Read 18th Feb., 1719/20. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 77. No. 73; and 389, 37. pp. 172, 173.]
Feb. 19.
New Hampshire.
570. Mr. Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. It would be very much for H.M. service if orders were sent to the Governor of New Hampshire to hold an enquiry as to what time the Surveyor General has spent in the woods, for the preservation of the King's timber etc. Signed, Rot. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 14th April, Read 4th Aug., 1720. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 867. No. 69.]
Feb. 19.
571. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Reply to 13th Jan. Messrs. Sitwell and Chamberlaine have produced letters which leave us no room to doubt of their right to the negroes; But they do allow that two of the slaves dyed before they were exposed to sale; and having discours'd Mr. Lascells he acknowledged that they were seized and sold as effects of pirates; that he had the money in his hands and had charged himself with it in his accounts now lying before the Lords of the Treasury, that he was ready to pay the same whenever their Lordships shall give him an order for that purpose. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 60, 61.]