America and West Indies: February 1720, 22-28

Pages 362-369

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, 22-28

Feb. 22. 572. Thomas Smith to Joseph Boone. A description of Pansecola, Mobile, and the River Missisippi. Concludes: The French at the taking of Pansecola had 600 Indians all gun men to assist them there are many people at the bottom of Moble River going to settle neare the mines at the Ellunoise. One of the French garrisons is but 14 leagues from the Spanish garrison. The French not above 20 men in it. The French have also a garrison at Albama of 30 men at most, 3 or 4 small swivel guns in it etc. If the mines prove good at the Ellunoise the French in a short time will have the whole Maine etc. If the French can have trading goods fit for the Indian trade from Britain they living so convenient to the greatest Nations of the Indians to the Southward will have all those Indians at command which are 15 or 20,000 fighting men all good guns men. I have taken this account [from Captn. Byrchall and Mr. Owen], that you may let the Government at home know that if a French warr should happen unless wee that are frontiers are well provided with men and fortifications to oppose so formidable an enemy we may expect the beginning of such a warr to be in the hands of the enemy etc. Signed, Thos. Smith. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Boon. Read 23rd Aug. 1720. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5. 12. ff. 1, 1. v.; and 5, 358. ff. 23, 24, v.]
Feb. 23.
573. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Anthony Corbiere, heir to his father James, having debts due to him from Peter Soulegre now settled in St. Christophers, you are to procure him speedy justice, he having complained that he has been some years without so much as hearing from said Soulegre, etc. Signed, J. Craggs. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 265, 266].
Feb. 23.
St. James's.
574. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers following for their report. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd. (from Mr. Joshua Gee) 24th, Read 25th Feb., 1719/20. 1 p. Subscribed upon,
574. i. Petition of George Skeffington, Inhabitant of Indian Bay in Newfoundland, to the King. Prays to be confirmed in the enjoyment of houses, stages etc. he has made for taking and curing salmon in two or three rivers to the northward of Cape Bonavista, he having improved the same for about 12 years past and cleared lands near 40 miles up the country, etc. The whole, 1 p. [C.O. 194, 6. Nos. 76, 76. i.]
Feb. 25.
575. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Reply to 8th Jan. Of the several complaints against Governor Lowther therein referred to, the complainants have thought fit to confine themselves to two points, (i) his receiving large presents from the Council and Assembly and (ii) his having permitted a Spanish vessel to unload in Barbados. We have made the best enquiry we were able, and do find that several sums amounting to £23,290 money of that Island were voted at different times to be paid to Mr. Lowther. And it dos appear as well by a certificate under the hand of Mr. Cox, Chairman of the Committee of Accounts in Barbados, as by the affidavit of William Gordon, Clergyman, two of the complainants, and by Mr. Lowther's own declaration and letters to the Board, that the sums so voted, or the greatest part of them, were receiv'd by him, or for his use. And altho' he and his Agents have alledged, that these sums are less in proportion than have been given to former Governors, that they were free and voluntary gifts, voted for several services and different occasions, as in the Minutes of the Assembly is more particularly specify'd, and that the money was publickly receiv'd by Mr. Lowther, who had no design to conceal the same, as not believing himself blameable for treading in the steps of his predecessors; yet we are clearly of opinion that Mr. Lowther hath acted herein contrary to H.M. Instructions, whereby it is expressly provided, that he do not receive any presents whatsoever from ye Assembly or other persons, upon pain of H.M. highest displeasure and of being recalled from that Government. As to the complaint concerning an illegal trade, carry'd on by the Spanish vessel (Mary of Cumana), it appears by the Minutes of Council 19th Dec. 1718, that Pablo Planes master of the ship in question, was upon his landing in that Island, particularly examin'd by the Governor in Council, and acknowledg'd the vessel to be Spanish, mann'd with Spaniards, the loading thereof consisting of a little turtle-shell, four bags of cocoa nutts, two bags of snuff and a small quantity of hides, being the growth and produce of ye Spanish West Indies, which he was directed, by the Governor of Cumana, to barter for provisions; Whereupon Mr. Lowther and the Council came unanimously to ye following resolution, That the Spaniard shou'd be permitted to dispose of his cargoe there. Mr. Lascells, the Collector of the Customs in that Island, hath made affidavit that no such ship did ever enter or clear in the Custom-house there; But we are informed by a letter from Mr. Woodbridge, late Agent for the South Sea Company, that the said Planes did dispose of the said cargoe, and take in another in Barbados, being directed (as Planes told him) to clear there in the Secretary's Office only; and John Randal, Clerk to Mr. Woodbridge, hath made oath, that he saw goods publickly unloading from on board the said ship, and that at the request of one Capt. Clark, he did translate out of English into the Spanish tongue for the use of the said Planes, an invoice of goods bought in Barbados and loaden on board the said vessel for Cumana, consisting chiefly of flower and other eatables, which leaves us no room to doubt that the Spanish vessel did either by express permission or connivance trade in Barbados, which is directly contrary to H.M. Instructions to ye said Mr. Lowther and a plain breach of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. And whereas it is most apparent from what has been offer'd to us, as well upon this, as upon other occasions, that an illegal trade is carry'd on between H.M. Plantations and those of other Nations in America, by which means the French Plantations are greatly supported, and the sale of their commodities encreas'd, whilst our own planters are discouraged, and ye consumption of our native commodities is diminish'd; We are therefore obliged to offer it as our humble opinion upon this head, that the laws of this Kingdom, as far at least, as they relate to the transporting and importing of goods to and from the French and Dutch Colonies, may be explain'd and enforced; But it is submitted, whether it wou'd not tend to the encrease of trade, to permit Spanish ships, under proper regulations, to import into the British Islands, such commodities of the growth of the Spanish West Indies, as do not interfere with the products of our own Plantations. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 62–66.]
Feb. 25.
576. Mr. Popple to Mr. Joshua Gee. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire to speak with you and Mr. Skeffington upon his petition etc. [C.O. 195, 7. p. 3.]
Feb. 25.
577. Same to Mr. West. Asks for his opinion whether the prayer of Mr. Skeffington's petition does any way interfere with the Act for encouraging the trade to Newfoundland. [C.O. 195, 7. p. 4].
[Feb. 25.] 578. Jeremiah Dummer to the Council of Trade and Plantations. There being a near prospect of a peace with Spain, I lay before your Lordpps. two articles of very great importance to the Plantations and trade of Great Brittain: one of which we hold precariously, and the other we are wholly excluded from by the Spaniards, and pray that they may be taken care of when a treaty shall be on foot. I mean, the liberty of cutting logwood at Campeache and Hundoras and fetching salt from Tertudas. I need not say how necessary the first is to our woolen manufactures, and how beneficial a medium of trade it has been to the Nation, we having always exported what was more than sufficient for our own consumption to Holland, Hamborough, Venice and Leghorn etc. But since the peace of Utrech the Spaniards have at several times fallen upon our people whom they found cutting wood in the Bays beforementioned, and seiz'd their ships, whereby we have lost that trade; and the mariners who were employ'd in it to the number of 3000, have since turn'd pirates and infested all our seas. The Spaniards have also made prizes of our ships fetching salt from Tertudas, tho' they have not any right to that Island, nor ever possess't it etc. Refers to former correspondence.
I have receiv'd from the General Court of the Massachusetts enclosed affidavits, that divers popish priests are continually stirring up the Kennebec Indians to revolt etc. I humbly pray in behalf of the Province that H.M. will use his instances with H.R.H. the Regent of France that no popish priests may be suffer'd to reside among the Indians within H.M. Territories. Encloses affidavits relating to Mr. Bridger and his quarrel with Elisha Cooke, received from a Committee of the House of Representatives. My Instructions being to receive no commands from the General Court, and this being without the concurrence of the Governour and Council I have hesitated to lay these papers before your Ldshipps etc. Signed, Jer. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Feb., Read 30th March, 1719/20. 2¼ pp. Enclosed,
578. i. Deposition of Lewis Bane, of York, Esq. Boston, 2nd Dec., 1719. Whilst he was in command of a detachment last summer at the Eastward new Settlements, there were some threatning speeches and unfriendly actions of the Indians. Deponent understood by them that one chief cause was, that the French fryar Sebastian Rayleé (?Raillié) stirred them up so to do, telling them that if they suffered the English to go on in setling those parts in two years they would be so strong that they would not be able to remove them, and that then the English would take away Meridgawalk from them. Signed, Lewis Bane. 1 p.
578. ii. Deposition of John Minot. Boston, 27th Nov., 1719. The French Jesuit. Rale, incited the Indians at Narantswalk, promising them French aid, and telling them King George was not the right King etc. Signed, John Mihot. Endorsed as letter. 1 p.
578. iii. Deposition of Joseph Roberts, of Dover. 21st May, 1718, that Mr. Bridger hindered his cutting timber in the lands belonging to the town of Berwick etc. (b) Mr. Bridger's deputation to Elisha Plaisted. (c) Deposition of Elisha Plaisted that in 1717 Mr. Bridger ordered him to demand 6s. of every team that went a-slogging in the township of Berwick. (d) Deposition of Archibald Macpheadris. John Smith, John Cooper, James Grant, Timothy Wentworth, Joseph Hill, Oliver Noyes, Jonathan King, James Saunders, Christopher Bartlet, Ephraim Roberts, Joseph Emerson, Elisha Plaisted, Joseph Abbott, William Lord, Walter Abbott, John Heard, Daniel Emery, Edmund Goffe, Elisha Cooke. John Leighton, as to demands and payments for leave for cutting wood as preceding. The whole, 13 pp.
578. iv. (a) Mr. Bridger's Commission and Instructions to Elisha Plaisted to be Deputy Surveyor of the woods of the little River, 26th Jan., 1709. (b) Mr. Bridger's permit to Mr. Michel to cut trees not fit for masts, on payment of £30. Two masts to be cut and watched down the River, etc. 7th March, 1718. (c) Mr. Bridger to Mr. Willard, secretary. Boston, 15th April, 1718. Reply to H.E.'s letter of 27th March, and Mr. Cook's letter to Mr. Speaker. I am not guilty of any exactions or anuthing contrary to the privileges of the inhabitants. Those townships are so large, that they never go out of them to cut logs, nor did I ever receive any sum at all from any person of that Province. Nor can any person produce my order for receiving 40s. a team or any other sum etc. Signed. J. Bridger. The whole, 4 pp.
578. v. Deposition of Richard Kimball and John Sanders. Boston, June 25, 1718. (a) Confirm iv. (b) supra. (b) Deposition of John Wadleigh. Boston, 25th June, 1718. About five years ago he paid £5 to Mr. Bridger for leave to cut white pine timber up Merrimack River. Bridger empowered him to mark such trees as were for the King's use where he went, etc. (c) Deposition of John Sanders. 25th June. 1718. Last winter John Foot, Mr. Bridger's Deputy Surveyor, told him that Mr. Bridger had ordered him to demand 40s. a team from those who were going into the woods to cut pine for logs etc. (d) Mr. Bridger to Mr. Mitchell. Boston, June 2, 1718. I was in hopes to have heard from you concerning the five masts, which I expect by the first oppertunity after you receive this and the forty shillings etc. Signed, J. Bridger. (e) Memorial of 7 Representatives to the Governor, Council and Assembly. Boston, 23rd June. The inhabitants of the towns we represent have been imposed upon by Mr. Bridger, and made to believe that they may not go into the woods belonging to the several townships without purchasing leave from him or his deputies. Demand an enquiry of this matter complained of last sessions, Signed, John Lighton, Lewis Bane, and five others. (f) Report of the Committee of the Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, June 25, 1718. The allegations against Elisha Cooke by John Bridger are not supported by the papers before us. Bridger hath obstructed the inhabitants of this province in their just rights and priviledges of logging by his arbitrary and unwarrantable demands of money of them for liberty to improve their rights as aforesaid. The Committee are of opinion that some effectual care be taken by the Government to secure both H.M. rights in trees fitt for masts for his Navy according to the reservation in the Royal Charter, and the aforesaid priviledges and just proprietys of H.M. good subjects of this Province from future invasions. Sent up by the House of Representatives for concurrence, Dec. 4, 1718. (g) Receipt by John Foot for £10 from Andrew Mitchel on accompt of Mr. John Bridger. 12th March, 1718. (h) Andrew Mitchel to John Bridger. Amsbury, 12th March, 1718. I have paid Capt. Foot £10 and have ingaged to pay him 40s. more etc. (i) Deposition of Esreal Hodson, of Dover. Mr. Bridger obliged him to pay 30s. for two masts he had cut. (j) Deposition of Joseph Roberts, of Dover. Samuel Plaisted, Feb., 1718, seized some trees felled by him within the town bounds of Berwick and compelled him to come to terms for them on behalf of Mr. Bridger etc. 6 pp.
578. vi. Memorial of Elisha Cooke to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay. Boston. Feb. 6th, 1717. Complains of Mr. Bridger exacting 40s. per team as in preceding. This grievance was sent up to the Governor and Council, Feb. 14th. Copy. 4 pp.
578. vii. Memorial of Elisha Cooke to the Governor, Council and Assembly. Boston, June 14, 1718. Complaint against Mr. Bridger, ut supra. Denies his accusations against himself. A joint committee of enquiry was appointed June 1st and 16th, 1718. Copy. 4 pp.
578. viii. Memorial of John Bridger to Governor Shute. Complains of the audacious bold declarations of Elisha Cooke in the Province of Main, denying his power over H.M. woods without the townships, and telling the inhabitants they may cut where and what logs they please, etc. Urges his removal from the Council. Without date [? 1718]. Copy. 1½ pp.
578. ix. Memorial of the Governor Council and Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay for their vindication against the suggestions and insinuations of any who may accuse them of harshness and severity towards such as are of different perswasions from us in matters of Religion. [? May 20, 1708. v. Minutes of Council and Assembly]. Copy. 3½ pp.
578. x. Report of a Committee of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay. 24th June, 1719. Exonerate Elisha Cooke and find Bridger guilty of exacting through his deputies 6s. for every team that went a logging etc. Signed, Oliver Noyes, Timo. Lindall, Willm. Throope. Upon the recommendation of the Committee it was ordered, 30th June, 1719, that copies of above papers be sent to Mr. Agent Dummer to vindicate the justice and honour of the House in this affair etc. Copy. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 867. Nos. 59, 59 i.—x.]
Feb. 26.
Boston, New England.
579. Governor Philipps to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The ship by which I had the honour of writing to your Lordships (? 3rd Jan.) being detained allmost two months gives me a fresh oppertunity of laying the enclosed before your Lordships etc. (cf. Jan. 3rd). I waite your direction etc. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Recd. 19th April, Read 13th May, 1720. 1 p. Enclosed,
579. i. Petition of Proprietors of the tract of land called by the Indians Remobscus but by the English Mary Town, adjoining to Misconcus River and near Smelt Cove, to Governor Phillips. About 50 men have already laid out lots in the sd. tract with intent to settle themselves and their familys there, the sd. lotts being given them upon that condition. Memorialists propose speedily to settle more familys there, and to build houses for a township etc. In order to their good government, pray H. E. to commission a Justice of the Peace to reside there etc. Boston, Feb. 26, 1719(20). Signed, Richard Peirce(?), James Pitts, Jonathan Putnam, John Putnam, George Whitehorne, Andrew Sigourney, James Bown, John Headelk, Daniel Johonnos, John Compton. 1 p.
579. ii. Copy of conveyance by Indian Sagamores to Richard Perse, Carpenter, of Remobscus, of a tract of land about 12 x 12 miles, adjoining Round Ponds Falls, along Pemiquid River. Jan. 9th, 1641. Signed, John Sumerset, Sagamore, Easey Gall, Sagamore, and Dick Swaeki, Sagamore. Their marks. Richard Pears papers recorded in ye records att Pemiquid. Note, There never was an office of record att Pemaquid. Endorsed, Recd. 19th April, Read 13th May, 1720. 1½ pp. [C.O. 217, 3. Nos. 2, 2 i, ii; and (without enclosures) 218, 1. pp. 454, 455; and (abstract of letter) 217, 30. p. 10.]
Feb. 28.
St. James's.
580. Order of King in Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Tem. Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Jan., 1720/1, Read 5th July, 1722. 1 p. Enclosed,
580. i. Certificate that petitioner (following) is a deserving object of H.M. charity, etc. Signed, Ste. Duport and four others. ¾ p.
580. ii. Petition of Katherine, widow of Peter Assailles junr., to the King. Prays that as H.M. has granted to her younger sister ⅓rd part of the estate in St. Christophers enjoyed by her late father, Peter Assailles, so he will grant ⅓rd to her etc. Enumerates her father's sufferings as a French Protestant etc. Endorsed, Rd. 23rd Feb., 1719, Refd. 28th do. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 136, 137, 138–139v., 141v.]