America and West Indies: June 1724, 16-30

Pages 112-126

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 34, 1724-1725. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


June 1724, 16-30

June 16.
210. Col. Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. If during the twelve years that it was a duty incumbent on me to render an accot. of my administration to your Lordships' Board, I never was faulted for any remissness or impertinence in my correspondence, but on the contrary had the good fortune to receive from your Lordsps. many signal approbations of my conduct, permit me now to offer this to your consideration, and as I continue no less devoted to ye service of my Prince and country, than when I ruled a Province, I may hope still to deserve the continuance of your Lordsps. just protection. Strange it may appear that I remain thus long abroad, without returning to give my Master an accot. of my stewardship; but I beg that may not be imputed to me for a crime, which happens to be ye unhappiest circumstance of my life; for here am I living under a vexatious impatience for some safe opportunity to get home, truly mortify'd to think that I am ye only person in these parts abridg'd of ye liberty of venturing to sea in any ships, but those of force, and yt. my eminent services, wch. brought me into this distress, have not merited the least care to relieve me out of it. Your Lordsps. will easily conceive my meaning, when you reflect on ye vigorous part I've acted to suppress pirates: and if those barbarous wretches can be moved to cutt off the nose and ears of a master for but correcting his own sailors, what inhuman treatment must I expect, should I fall within their power, who have been markt as ye principal object of their vengeance, for cutting off their arch-pirate Thatch, with all his grand designs, and making so many of their fraternity to swing in the open air of Virginia. Another way I have to account for my stay in these parts, if I may be allowed to make a virtue of necessity. Finding myself confined on this side the water until a man of war offered to give me a passage home, and judging it prudent for me to retire from ye seat of Government, to avoid all censure of my concerning myself with ye administration, I soon after my return from Albany, wch. is above a year and a half ago, took up my residence here in the wild woods, 140 miles distant from Williamsburg, which is as far as I could well go, being got to one of ye extream western settlements of all H.M. Dominions; and in this retirement, not enduring to spend my days in idleness, nor giving over ye thoughts of serving my Country, I assiduously apply'd myself to pursue the scheme, wch. I had laid while I was Governour, of raising in this part of the world all manner of Naval Stores: and I have now made such a progress therein, as I believe upon my arrival at home I shall be able to render your Lordsps. an agreable accot. of that undertaking; for ye ministry will find yt. I have been heartily labouring for ye publick good, and may perhaps say that a more generous spirit that way has rarely appeared, when I make them a free offer of all my possessions and improvements here, to be made use of and carried on as they please for the benefit of the Navy; contenting myself with ye honour of the first projection, if ever my plan succeeds, to lessen the dependance of ye British Nation on the Northern Crowns, and wholly relying on my Prince's favour to make any farther use of my faithfull services, or allow me a competent support for what I surrender. I hope I have now fully satisfy'd your Lordspps. as to the just occasion of my stay in these parts, and the sequel of this letter will shew how little allurements I have had to continue in them, and may serve to justify the extraordinary step I am going to make, when I am about taking a journey to try if I can pass incognito on board some ship to the norward (for I am too well known to all ye trade of Virginia) where neither master nor sailors know me, and so may possibly escape the knowledge of ye pirates, if I should have ye misfortune of falling into their hands. This hazardous step I am urged to by the grievous usage I meet with from my successor, Mr. Drysdale, who led by the counsels of my ever inveterate adversaries, seems to aim at nothing less than ye ruin of my character, and ye defeating of all my aforementioned undertakings. I thought indeed I had retired far enough out of the way of giving offence, but that I find impracticable, since the Governor has pitcht upon a base drunken infamous fellow, of this county, to bring him the characters of persons and the reports of transactions in this neighbourhood, and has been pleased to countenance and incourage him, even contrary to his word of honour given me the last year, when I waited upon him to make a formal complaint; setting forth that this same fellow, who had served me as a common carpenter for wages, had had the insolence in his drink to lay violent hands on me, and collar me at my own door before my servants, and that tho' I had sufficiently corrected him for his insult, yet I hoped he (Mr. Drysdale) would in regard to the station I had been in, shew such a mark of his displeasure at the rude attempt, as that ye common people might not think they were to be incouraged by the present administration to affront me: But when after this application I see this very man ranting in the county with new commissions of profit and honour doubled upon him and his saucy son; drinking damnation-healths within my hearing; roaring out a Chew (for that's his name) or a Spotswood for the first man of the county; boasting (upon this behaviour of his) of the extraordinary countenance he meets with at Court; telling how ye Governor takes him by the hand and invites him to dinner; bragging of fifty pounds he has got for his late journeys to Court, and of two hundred which he is to have for his secret services; threatning all ye sober Justices, who shew'd their dislike of his drunken and riotous behaviour, yt. he would have them turn'd out of the Commission of ye Peace (wch. accordingly upon ye next journey of his we find actually done) running about with papers levelled at my character, and seducing ye illiterate vulgar to set their marks to they know not what, or drawing others in their drink to sign what they utterly deny when they are sober; stirring up ye people to petition ye Assembly to take away for town lands ye very spots of ground where I am building my wharfs and warehouses for shipping off my Naval Stores; prompting ye Surveyors of ye highways to mend no roads, nor repair any bridges wch. my carriages use; instigating my tennants to discharge none of their engagements to me, but to run with idle stories to this Governor, who will be sure to stand by them; and in short infusing into the people's heads yt. ye best way to obtain anything of ye new Governor is to do something to affront or prejudice ye old one: Now I say, My Lords, when I find myself so unfortunately placed under the administration of a Gentleman, who can be capable of hallooing ye vilest of fellows upon me to worry my character, I must think it high time for me to seek at all hazards another place of safety, as not knowing what length ye malice of such wicked instruments may go, when countenanced by the person who has ye power of life and death in his hands. But it might appear too much like meer railing, to affix harsh epithets to ye character of an adversary, without displaying other grounds than one's own resentment etc. Therefore 'tis fit to apprize your Lordsps. yt. if any remonstrances be handed to your Board, wherein ye testimony of Larkin Chew is used, I shall be ready to manifest that man's character to be answerable to my epithets; and truly to know ye instruments imploy'd in forming an accusation, may give the best light into the truth and honesty of it. However upon ye bare apprehension of a charge, I shall not presume to trouble your Lordsps. etc., especially since I am at a loss to guess where my enemies design to attack me, I being in the state of an invested fortress, cut off from all intelligence, and discovering only by extraordinary movements yt. ye trenches are going to be opened somewhere etc. Requests to be fairly heard when he can personally attend the Board etc. Concludes: But least ought should be already sent home, concerning the lands in the two new counties, and charging me with exorbitant possessions there (which I perceive is the strain they are now upon) encloses following, wch. is ye copy of a letter I wrote to ye Auditor here, upon ye subject of ye rights and quit rents, wch. he demanded from ye two new counties: it contains several arguments on that head, and gives a particular accot. of ye lands I have taken up etc. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd., Read 2nd Sept., 1724. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
210. i. Same to Col. Nathl. Harrison, Deputy Auditor of H.M. Revenue. Germanna, March 28, 1724. Your letter of 15th Feb., relating to the lands in the two new counties, is of such concern as ought to receive no slight answer from me, who have good reason to apprehend that aim has been taken at my possessions, by those who have first broached the notion that a restriction of lands, peculiar to these two counties, would be most for H.M. interest etc. Continues: In entering and surveying my land, I have strictly pursued the directions prescribed long before I had any thought of taking up a foot of land in Virginia etc. In patenting and paying the rights and quitrents, I have as punctually comply'd with the rules as any person in the Colony: and tho' other persons names have been used to take up the tracts wherein I was concerned, yet I appeal to the Members of the Council, whether I ever made a secret thereof, and did not declare that my reason for so doing was, because I thought I could not be both the grantor and grantee: neither can it be alledged by any Surveyor that I ever offered to abate him one penny of his usual fee in surveying for me etc. My primary views in taking up land have not been to raise in this part of the world a mighty landed estate for my own proffit or pleasure; but that I have been first lead into the possession thereof, either by motives of charity, or by notions of securing the frontiers, or by a publick spirit in promoteing Naval Stores, or else I have been drawn in by some incidents or cogent circumstances to engage myself farther in those matters, than I ever intended at my first setting out etc. It cannot be fairly concluded that the prospect of my own interest was the original inducement to my taking up all the land I am now master of etc. No one will offer to say that either my circumstances or character at home, could make me think of seeking a retreat in the forests of America, or that any demerits in my Prince's service should make me dread to return to his Royal presence; nor could the expectations of a comfortable living induce me to lay the foundation of a Virginia estate; seeing that before I took up one acre of land I had been long enough among you to observe that your best estates are not to be preserved but by immense trouble and care: neither am I, nor ever was, in that state to be urged by wife or children to forgoe the ease of my own life, in order to make a future provision for theirs etc. Continues: The first tract that I became possessed of was that of 3229 acres called the Germanna tract from my seating thereon several families of German Protestants, to the number of 40 odd men, women and children, who came over in 1714, bringing with them a Minister and Schoolmaster in order to be provided for and setled upon land in these parts by Barron Graffenriede pursuant to an agreemt. he had made with them in Germany. But before their arrival the Baron being nonpluss'd in his affairs here, and forced to return to Switzerland, those poor people would have been sadly distress'd, and must have been sold for servants, had I not taken care of them, and paid down £150 sterling which remained due for their passage: and ye Council Journals of 28th April, 1714 will shew that to my charity for these strangers I joyned my care for the security of the country against Indian incursions, by choosing to seat them on land 12 miles beyond the then usual course of our rangers, and making them serve for a barrier to the most naked part of our frontiers: and so far from my thoughts was it, to take up the land for my own use, that during the six years they remained on the land I never offered to plant one foot of ground thereon. My next tract of 3065 acres which being contiguous, I thought fitting to take up, the better to accommodate those people when I found them grow fond of having their settlemts. enlarged, it having been concerted that I should convey to them by way of lease for lives, because as aliens their possessions would not descend to their children: but they being seduced away by some greater expectations elswhere, left the land upon my hands; and so I was first engaged to purchase servants and slaves for seating plantations in this Colony. Soon afterwards I was drawn into another land concern. In Feb. 1717 Sr. Richard Blackmore writes to Mr. Secretary Cock to engage me to favour a design, which he, with several considerable men at home, had to set up iron works in Virginia, and desires people might be imploy'd to find out the oar, and some thousands of acres taken up for yt. purpose. Accordingly I set my Germans to work to look for such oar, wch. search cost me upwards of three score pounds: But about two years afterwards I recd, a letter from Sr. Richard telling me he had at length considered that he was advanced in years, that his health was of late impaired, and that the undertaking was at too great a distance, and therefore he had determined to drop the project. Whereupon, rather than enter into a contention for my reimbursmts., I chose to joyn in with several Gentlemen here, who were willing to carry on the project, and bear their proportion of the charges I had already been at; and so the mine tract, consisting of 15000 acres of land, was in 1719 taken up by nine or ten Adventurers. About the same time I fell into another partnership of land etc. Mr. Robert Beverley having discovered some excellent land among ye little mountains, and made a survey thereof before the Proclamation issued in 1710, concerning the granting land, but not daring to seat lands so remote from all Christian inhabitants, and exposed to Indians, found it in vain to take out a patent for the same under the new terms of cultivation; until an oppertunity hapned of freeing a considerable number of German families imported in 1717, when he invited me to become a sharer in the land, and at the same time admitted in some others partners, to the end we might all joyn our abilities to make a strong settlement with a body of people at once. Accordingly I came into the proposal, as judging it no ways unbecoming me, in the station of Governor, to contribute towards the seating H.M. lands; and paying down the passage-money for 70 odd Germans, we settled them upon our tract as freemen (not servants) in 20 odd tenements, all close joyning to one another for their better defence, providing them there with a stock of cattle and all other things necessary for their support, without receiveing (even to this day) one penny or penny's worth of rent from them. This tract then consisted of about 13000 acres, but afterwards understanding that many others of the Germans, who had been sold for servants in this Colony, designed when the time of their servitude was expired, to come and joyn their country-folks, we thought it needful to inlarge the tract; and I finding, by the care which the Lords Commissioners of Trade took to send over the methods for making hemp and tar, that the Ministry at home was for encouraging the Plantations to raise Naval Stores, judged it convenient to take in a large quantity of piney lands, which lay contiguous and fit for tar and masts; and so it was increased to a tract of 40,000 acres. And considering the number of free people we have seated upon it (with whom we agreed to allot them out of it sufficient lands for their lives, and who are now about 100 Germans) it will not appear such an exorbitant possession as some persons have been pleased to represent it. And if I am now become possessed of both this and the Mine tract without any sharers, I have been brought into that circumstance more by necessity than choice; for it is well known here that two of my principal partners dying, the executors of the one, and the heir of the other positively refused to go on with the design; and that a third fell under such encumbrances as obliged him to give it over, and all the rest growing less sanguine upon the under taking, than they were at first, I found myself reduced to the dilemma of either seeing an hopeful project (which I firmly believed would prove a publick good) miscarry, or of taking the whole adventure upon myself, which last part I chose to act, and so reimbursed everybody the utmost penny that they had expended etc. I have another patent for 28,000 acres (passed 27th July, 1722 in the name of Richard Hickman) which appears not upon the rent-roll you sent to the Sheriff of this county etc. The same is not all new taken up land, but is a patent containing several former grants, and some of the above-mentioned tracts are included. The main inducemt. to the inlarging my tracts by taking in the interveening lands, and adding some others contiguous to the Mine tract was to accommodate several families of people, whom we have imported, and must still import more, in order to carry on so grand an undertaking as that of raising all manner of Naval stores: and the agreemts. I make with the persons whom I imploy, will manifest that I have not taken up the land to sell it for their gain, but only expecting a moderate reimbursement of my charges, appropriate a great part thereof to the setleing people near to the works they are skill'd in. I am apt to think, from this tract not being in your rent roll, that it may not also appear upon the records of the Secretary's Office, and probably that may proceed from the directions I once gave the Clerk to forbear recording it, until I could be better satisfy'd as to some error wch. I apprehended to be in the survey. As to the tract adjoyning to the Christanna Indians lands, wherein you desire my directions about closing the survey; I entred for the same with no other view than to support the Charity School which I had there set up for the Indian children, and since I have been forced to give over that design, I shall e'en let the land drop with it: for ye settlement I have made there being scarce ye fiftieth part of ye charge I have been at on that account, I esteem as a trifle, and nothing in comparison of the concern it has given me to see miscarry, merely by an envious opposition, a pious design wch. was in less than three years time brought to that perfection, as for me to behold in school at once 78 children, led thither by their heathen parents, in order to be initiated in the principles of ye Christian Religion; besides the 11 hostage children, wch. then came 400 miles to be kept at the same school. But this may not be the only sacrifice of land I shall make; for if I am to struggle with the same opposition in the public spirited design I have of raising Naval Stores in this part of H.M. Dominions, I shall throw up ye greatest part of my possessions, and strive to set narrower bounds to that fond humour I have ever had to render my country more than ordinary service. Yet this step you are not to expect that I will make, before I have had ye oppertunity to lay before my Prince, or his Ministry, the drift of my undertakings, and meet with discouragements at home from pursuing my designs. In the mean time I am ready to pay whatever be the demands of this Government upon me, but hope under such submissive conduct I may, without offence to the present authority, expostulate with you upon your construction of the Lords Justices' late order for remitting the rights and quit-rents of the two new counties etc. By your rent roll and instructions to the Sheriff the royal bounty extended to the whole county of Spotsylvania for 3 years amounts to no more than 28s. etc. The Ministry would not have spent their time over such a trifling sum etc. To wrest and force the meaning out of the Lords Justices' order (quoted), that all patents whatsoever bearing date before 1st May, 1721, and all tracts containing more than 1000 acres, tho' taken up before the King's pleasure was known, should be excluded from H.M. bounty, I fear is but too certain an indication of the further discouragements we are like to meet with in prosecuting ye design of securing the Passes in the Mountains. For my part I am not ashamed or afraid to own that I first set it on foot, how uncourtly or injurious soever it may be for me, under the present influence of affairs in this Colony, to confess or be known to have had an hand in anything: and if I who have been at the expence and fatigue of going in person to the discovery of the Passage in the Mountains; if I, who first drew the people out to seat this county by the strong frontier settlements I made for their protection; if I, who led the way to take up large tracts of those long neglected lands called Poisoned Fields; and if I, who have been at the trouble and expence of seating about 300 people upon lands in this county, must by a forced construction be excluded from the King's bounty, I have only to regret the pains I have taken etc. Argues the case at length. Signed, A. Spotswood.
Endorsed, Recd., Read 2nd Sept., 1724. 11 pp. [C.O. 5, 1319. ff. 190–191v, 192v–198v]
[June 16]. 211. Col. Vetch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having considered the Board's suggestions, Petitioners propose to improve 8000 acres in 4 years from the date of the grant, and in order to prevent this grant being made a Bubble, that noe proprietor shall have liberty to sell or assigne his share untill he shall have been actually six months possessed of the same, or under such other limitations as your Lordspps. shall think most fitt. Signed, Sam. Vetch. Endorsed, Recd. Read 16th June, 1724. 2/3 p. [C.O. 217, 4. ff. 247, 248v]
June 16.
212. H.M. Warrant to Governor Hart for admitting Peter Soulegre to the Council of St. Kitts, in the room of George Milward, decd. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. p. 72.]
[June 16.] 213. Mr. Drummond's observations on the Sugar trade. Dutch exports from Surinam to Holland have increased from 4000 in 1700 to 36,000 to 50,000 hhds. of 800 lb. Their sugar has improven much in quality and is now equal to Barbados. The French have encreased their sugar plantations, especially in Martinico and St. Domingo, "in the later they gain greatly on the Spaniards and become very powerfull, for besides the sugar, they have advanced much in the planting of indigo and coco-nut, their indigo is not only sent in very great quantitys to France etc., but I observe very great quantitys of Martinico and St. Domingo indigo come hether from Jamaica and Barbados," etc. Remarks on the sugar trade. The consumption of sugar in England by the great use of tea and coffy is very much encreased of late, especially by the cheapness of tea etc. If the Government give up the 4 p.c. duty taken in kind in the Sugar Plantations and allow a drawback of the entire duty to exporters, the public may find their loss by a moderate excise on loaf or refined sugar etc. Report upon European tobacco. Continues: The only way to support our plantations and their product is to ease them of burdens, dutys, and taxes as much as can be, that the support of their labouring people and consequently labour itselfe may become cheap, that no duty be imposed on black or white servants at their introduction into the plantations, and that the Guine trade be well supported that the traders may be able to supply the plantations with negroes at moderat rates which can never be done if the Guine company's settlements should either go to decay, or fall into the hands of other European powers, etc. Represents "a very growing evil in our Plantations by an immence trade of sugar begun of late years by the Dutch East India Company from Batavia or Java" to Moca and Europe etc. Described. Endorsed, Recd (from Col. Bladen) 16th, Read 24th June, 1724. 8 pp. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 142.]
June 16.
214. Stephen Godin to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Cf. 30th May. Urges enforcement of Act for ascertaining prices of coins in America, and for manning of vessels with British sailors. Building timber and dying wood should be enumerated, to prevent the trade from New England and Newfoundland in fish, corn and timber, to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Algiers, returning with manufactures of those countries. "It will turn more to our advantage to sell ships ready wrought to strangers then to find them timbers as cheap as wee can gett it ourselves. In strickness corn of all sorts should be enumerated when designed to Europe etc. It may be esteemed a complesance beyond reason for Great Britain which is at so vast expences to suport and protect its self and Colonies, and which abounds in corn, and may raise more suficient for all Europ, should countenance in its Colonies a growth wch. alone interferes wth. its product, and so much as to undermine it, by ye adventage the Colonies have of paying no taxes, and having a good new land for nothing etc. Signed, Steph. Godin. Endorsed, Recd. Read 21st July, 1724. 3 pp. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 151.]
June 17.
215. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Burnet. Acknowledge letters of 29th May, 25th June, 16th Sept., and 16th Dee. Continue:—We thank you for the several accounts you have therein sent us. We approve of the consent you and the Council gave to proposals of the Government of New England to treat with the five Nations of Indians at Albany, which we hope may prove effectual for their service, and as you seem truly sensible of the great utility the five Nations are to the British interest in America, so we do not doubt, but you will continue to pursue the proper methods to prevent their being seduced from their dependence on the Crown of Great Britain. As to the Act for laying a duty of 2 p. cent prime cost on the importation of European goods, H.M. has thought fit to repeal the same; and you will shortly receive an additional Instruction not to pass Acts upon any pretence whatsoever for laying a duty upon importation of European goods: For which reason we hope you will find some other fund for building the Fort intended by the said Act. We are glad to find that so good effects have arisen from the Act passed by you, for the encouragement of the Indian trade, and particularly to hear, that the strength of the five Indian Nations is encreased by the accession of sevl. of the far Indians to their body: and altho' we have had some complaints made to us by the merchants trading to New York, against this Act; Yet it carries so great an appearance of advantage with it, you may depend upon it we shall duly consider their objections before we discourage so fair a beginning. H.M. has been pleased to confirm the Act for running a division line between Connecticut etc.; We hope this Act will have it's desired effect. We cannot give our opinion of the Act for raising 5350 ounces of plate etc., till we shall have received the same in an authentick manner; And our Secry. did some time since, acquaint you by our Order, that printed Acts, without the Seal of the Province, and proper certificates annexed to them, are not agreeable to your 19th instr. However in general we must acquaint you, that bills for encreasing of paper credit will meet with no encouragement hence. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 340–344; and (rough draft) 5, 1079. No. 137.]
[June 18]. 216. Mr. Worsam's account of disadvantages the Sugar Plantations lie under through defects in the Acts of Trade and Navigation. When British ships laden with foreign sugars, which are cheaper than in British Plantations, are allowed to go with them directly to a foreign market or to the Northern British Colonies, where great quantities are consumed, and the rest either sent home or to other foreign markets without touching in Great Britain, which occasions a diminution of the exports from Great Britain. Our ships also carry foreign sugars into Ireland, whither British subjects in the West Indies are not allowed (23d. Car. II.) to send the produce of their plantations. The 4 1/2 p.c. pd. at the time of shiping sugar in Barbados being given for the uses of the said Island, it would be a great encouragement if the same was applyed accordingly, and that the Sugar Plantations were likewise freed from the duties payable by 25 Car. II. when shipped from one British Plantation to another, and that they might as formerly carry their sugars directly to Ireland, paying the same duties as in Great Britain, which might be eased and drawbacks allowed etc. Signed, R. Worsam. Endorsed, Recd. 18th (from Col. Bladen), Read 24th June, 1724. 2 pp. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 143.]
[June 18.] 217. Tobacco merchants etc. to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to queries of May 14. (i) The excess of the imports of tobacco is due to the increase of people in Virginia and Maryland, the diminution of the imports is due to bad seasons. The consumption in England is much the same, (ii) The Act of Parliament by which the duties on tobacco are collected provide an incouragement for such who pay those duties with ready mony, and we do not know of any incumbrances at the places of its growth, (iii) The price varies according to the quantity made in Europe and imported from America, (iv) Tobacco of Spanish, Portuguese and French plantations in America, are chiefly used in Southern Europe, and is generally better esteem'd than tobacco of the British Plantations: German and Dutch is cheifly used in Northern Europe, and comes nearest to the British tobacco in the esteem of the consumers, (vi) It would much encourage our tobacco trade both at home and abroad, that the coast of America be well guarded from pyrates, and that H.M. should interpose with all Princes in Europe that Brittish tobacco may be brought into their dominions on as easie terms as that of any other growth etc. Signed, Micajah Perry, E. Randolph and 21 others. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Perry), 18th, Read 24th June, 1724. 1 large p. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 144.]
June 18. 218. Account for wood and coal for the Board of Trade. £33 Is. 5d. Endorsed, Reed. 1st, Read 8th July, 1724. 3/4 p. [CO. 388, 78. ff. 99, 100v]
June 18.
South Carolina.
219. Governor Nicholson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicate of 22nd May. Continues:— Our Assembly is now ended according to our law for three years. The Commons House of Assembly as they stile themselves have for ye most part acted very strangely and in my opinion arbitrarily if not illegally, and as soon as the Journals of H.M. honble. Council and theirs are finished which I hope (God willing) will be in a fortnight I shall transmitt them and then yor. Lordps. will be best judges whither they or H.M. honble. Council and myself have behaved most loyall and dutifull to H.M. Royall Instructions and I should fail in my duty to his most sacred Majty. if I did not observe to yor. Lordps. the very great trouble and concern I have to find the spirit of Commonwealth principles both in Church and State increase here dayly and (as supposed) partly by the influence of the New Englanders. I have observed that a great many of the natives of this Continent are very variable in their polliticks both Church and State wch. may be partly caused by the uncertainty of the weather both in respect of heat and cold. I find that great industry is used to influence the people by insinuating that the Lords Proprietors will have ye Government again. This hath been a topick greatly made use of since I have had the honour to be here and underhand managed by the late Rhett and Mr. Trott and supposed now to be carryed on by the said Trott with the present Mr. Rhett and Mr. Roger Moore and Eliazer Allen (who marryed two of old Rhett's daughters) and Joseph Blake Esq. one of the twelve Proprietors, who some time before the Assembly mett told me that he had an accot. that the Lords Proprietors intended to bring the affair of the Governmt. to an issue which I most heartily wish was done but this might be like some other insinuations before Assembly.
P.S.—Our late Commons House of Assembly would not agree to have the Honble. Francis Yonge Esq. continued our Agent or any other appointed tho' they were very much pressed to it by H.M. honble. Council and myself, and the Comittee of Correspondence ceaseth but they send to Mr. Yonge some papers etc. Refers to Journals. Col. Chicken will send to Mr. Yonge the proceedings we have had of late with two partys of Creek Indians and I shall write to Mr. Yonge to wait upon your Lordships with them etc. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Aug., Read 29th Oct., 1724. 3 pp. [CO. 5, 359. ff. 201–202v]
June 24.
220. Mr. Popple to Mr. Balam. Requests despatch in reply to letter of 5th May. [CO. 389, 28. p. 157.]
June 24. 221. Petty Expences of the Board of Trade (£69 7s. 2d.) from Lady Day to Midsummer, 1724. ?. Journal of Council. 4 1/2 pp. [CO. 388, 78. ff. 89, 93–94v., 97, 98v.]
June 24.
222. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 24th June, Read 2nd July, 1724. 3/4 p. Enclosed,
222. i. Extract of letter from Mr. Blakeway, Judge of the Vice Admiralty of S. Carolina, to Mr. Burchett, 9th May, 1724. About a fortnight since arrived in this harbour a French sloop belonging to the Missisippi Company, which about 10 French soldiers had obliged the Master to bring in here, (v encl.) This is the second desertion from the French Settlements to this place by sea, tho' it often happens by land from their forts. I find the reason is, that it is a country of misery, where there is neither money, nor provisions, that they are promised wonders before they go over, and find them in nubibus, and that the constraint there is upon the people makes them take any method to get their liberty, for when a man once gets amongst them, nothing purchases his freedom, for he can never get leave to return to France etc. They have fallen on a method of making Naval Stores, and for three years have made pitch and tarr, and have resolved to improve such usefull commodities, and have already setled four Plantations, with 50 negroes on each to carry on that work, of what consequence this may in time be to Great Britain is humbly submitted to their Lordships' consideration. Copy. 1 1/2 pp.
222. ii. Deposition of J. Lazou, Master of a vessel belonging to the Compagnie des Indes. I was compelled by six soldiers I had on board to make for Charleston etc. 27th April, 1724. French. 2 3/4 pp. [CO. 5, 359. ff. 21, 22–24, 26v]
June 25.
223. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General. Encloses for their opinion in point of law draughts of Acts of Jamaica, (i) granting a Revenue to H.M., and (ii) augmenting the salary of the Duke of Portland etc., upon the success of which Acts, the continuance of the Jamaica Laws, upon which they have made their report, will depend etc. Encloses papers on the subject (4th March, etc.) [CO. 138, 16. pp. 470, 471.]
June 25.
224. Same to Mr. West. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, ten Acts passed in Jamaica, 1723, 1724. [CO. 138, 16. pp. 471–473.]
June 25.
225. Lt. Gov. Sir W. Keith to the Duke of Newcastle. It being wholly by H.M. royal favour and appointment that I have acted these few last years as Governour of this Province, and understanding that some late applications have been made by Mr. Penn's family for surrendring the Government into the hands of the Crown: I thought it my duty to acquaint your Grace, that some material informations may be had from hence in order to render such an agreement very serviceable to H.M., and at the same time suitable to the interest of Mr. Penn's family; But considering myself in my present station only as a servant accountable both to H.M. and to the Proprietors' family, it will not I presume be expected that I should officiously offer anything particular on this subject until it be called for, etc. Signed, W. Keith. Endorsed, R. Augt. 21. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1234. No. 3].
[June 26] 226. Leeward Islands Merchants to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to queries of 12th May etc. Similar to replies of May 31–18th June. Conclude: The French still making their claims for the payment of the ransom exacted from Nevis, many on that account have left the island. The stipulation in the Treaty of Utrecht that restitution should be made for the raid on Montserrat, "did incourage the inhabitants to resettle, but finding no releife thereby, notwithstanding the many sollicitations for the same, the greatest part of them have since deserted the said island" etc. Signed, Jos. Jory, Edwd. Chester, W. Gerrish, and 24 others. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Gerrish) 26th., Read 30th June, 1724. 3 pp. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 146.]
June 26.
New York.
227. Governor Burnet to the Duke of Newcastle. I do myself the honour by the first opportunity to wish to your Grace all manner of satisfaction and success in the Office which your Grace has lately received from his Majesty etc. Compliments. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, R. Aug. 21. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 30.]
June 30.
228. Mr. Popple to Mr. Scrope. Encloses copy of Revenue Bill of Jamaica and papers thereon (v 4th March), for the opinion of the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury thereon as soon as possible. [CO. 138, 16. pp. 473, 474.]