America and West Indies: November 1724, 1-10

Pages 247-250

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

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November 1724, 1-10

Nov. 6. 391. Wavell Smith to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Replies to Governor Hart's complaints that the office of Secretary of the Leeward Islands was let to Deputies at an exorbitant rent, and the Board's complaint that the Minutes of the Councils had not been regularly copied out. His brother acts as his deputy in Antigua since his departure. He merely continued the Deputy in Montserrat at the same rent £30 p.a. Has reason to believe the proceedings in Council are not fairly entered in the Minutes. As for instance, on the vote for the appointing a Committee to provide for the Governor's salary, the votes were equal, Mr. Hart voted himself and so carried it, but no notice is taken of this; it is merely stated that a Committee was appointed. His deputies at St. Christophers and Nevis are both very capable, and he refused a greater rent from persons whom he did not think equally qualified, etc. Continues: Upon my arrival I found several branches of my Office separated from it which did unquestionably belong to it by my Letters Patents, and found Mr. Hart was in no disposition to let me hold them otherwise than by Commission from himself etc., but as I refused, at last an expedient was fallen upon to grant me Commissions for those branches with a salvo therein of the rights I had by Letters Patents. Accordingly those branches were restored and I concluded there would be no further misunderstanding betwixt the Governor and me. But when I communicated to him my resolution of coming to Great Britain to lay the matter before H.M., that I might get the door shut to any such claim by any Governor for the future etc., I was startled by his sending up a paper from St. Christophers to Lt. General Mathews at Antigua containing some suggestions against me and ordering him to call a Council and require my answer thereto. He miscarried in his design of getting some resolution of the Council against me etc. Refers to enclosures. Has done all in his power to expedite the despatch of the Minutes to the Governor, and believes "the blame should fall somewhere else." Hopes for protection against Governor Hart's injustice etc. Signed, Wavll. Smith. Endorsed, Recd. Read 19th Nov., 1724. 6 ½ pp. Enclosed,
391. i. Peter Lee to Waverell Smith. Montserrat, 21st March, 1723/4. Confirms above statement as to Governor Hart's casting vote for his own salary etc. Signed, Peter Lee. Copy, 1 ¼ pp.
391. ii. Minutes of Council of Antigua, 8th and 10th April, 1724. After examination of Mr. Smith (–. supra), the Board resolved that they had never observed him behave otherwise than with respect to H.E. and this Board, and with great impartiality in the execution of his office. Signed, Thomas Morris, Will. Byam, Natha. Crump, Jno. Frye, Archbd. Cochran, John Yeamans, Copy. 9 pp.
391. iii. (a) William Smith, Deputy Secretary of Antigua, to Mr. Dasent, Chief Judge of Nevis. Antigua, May, 1724. I heard by the Lt. General in the Council that you offered before H.E. to take an affidavit and bring three persons more that would swear when I was last at Nevis I endeavoured to get complaints against H.E., and that my brother would represent them to H.M. That charge is villainous and false etc.
(b) John Dasent to Wm. Smith. Nevis, 20th May, 1724. The above report is entirely false etc.
(c) Extract of letter from Governor Hart to Wavell Smith. St. Christopher's, 13th April, 1724. In reply to letters from Wavell Smith, 11th April, expressing surprise at H.E. exhibiting such unjust suggestions against him, answers, "I had reason to write to the Lt. General in the manner I did when Mr. Dasent assured me your brother had been fishing out complaints against me in order to your reporting them at home; but as you assure me you have no such intention I shall pass it over, tho' that gentleman assured me he could prove it by three affidavits." The whole endorsed, Recd. Read 19th Nov., 1724. Copy. 3½ pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 361–365–., 367–371, 372–373–.]
Nov. 7.
New York.
392. Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 17th June. Continues:—I am very glad any accounts I have sent, have proved acceptable. And particularly that your Lordships approve my endeavours to assist the Government of Boston with the six Nations of Indians: tho I have not been able to effect anything material that way, except some messages from the six Nations to the Eastern Indians to perswade them to desist, which the Eastern Indians have answered evasively; and their answers have furnished an excuse to the six Nations for their declining to go to war with them. But the true cause of their backwardness is the interest the French and their friends among us, are secretly cultivating with the six Nations, and the fear they are in, that if the six Nations go to war, the road between Albany and Canada may prove dangerous, and so their trade quite interrupted, which now they carry on clandestinely even for Indian goods notwithstanding all our Acts against it. Refers to enclosed Minutes of Conference. Continues: From the same Minutes your Lordships will observe the progress that is made in carrying on the trade with the far Nations, to which end I have got leave of our Indians to build a trading house in the most convenient place for that trade, at the mouth of the Onnondages River, on the side of the Lake Cataraqui or Ontario. Tho' the Indians were tampered with to make objections to it, yet as I detected those practises, they went away fully resolved to do as I desired them. I am much obliged to your Lordships for your kind and generous protection against the groundless insinuations of the merchants, of which I have still a fresher instance in your Lordships report on their petition etc. I have laid them before the Council here to report their observations on them, as a part of the Legislature, and they have vindicated themselves as well as me in a manner that I doubt not will be fully satisfactory to your Lordships, and will expose the merchants as they deserve, which report I now enclose to your Lordships, with a map. A meer inspection of this map is indeed sufficient to confute them, for our Indians are there visibly adjoining close to us in a continued chain, no French of [or?] french Indians at all between us, but really we and our Indians are in the direct way between the Far Indians and the french, which is so surprizingly the reverse of all which they alledge, that I hope your Lordships will not think it amiss, that the Council and I have resolved to print the petition, the extract of their allegations, your Lordships' report, and the observations of the Committee of Council here, upon them, with the map, to make the whole as plain as possible. I thought printing these papers was the best way, to consider ourselves only as partys, and to make the publick here judges, since truth and reason are so evidently on our side, and against the petitioners, and this I apprehend will be of great use to prevent any attention to persons who have risked their own credit, and attacked our character in so indiscreet and indecent a manner. I had in August last ordered my Agent to present a Memorial to your Lordships in case there was such a petition of the merchants as was then reported here, but without certainty, and I then furnished him with several reasons for these Acts, which, in case they should not yet have been presented to your Lordships, I have enclosed, tho' the substance of them is contained in the Committees report. I am very much concerned at the last clause in your Lordships' letter, tho not conscious to myself of having ever fail'd in that particular, whereby it appears that the authentick Acts in due form with the Seal of the Province, and the usual certificates in parchment, did not come to your Lordships' hands. Thomas Fitch, Master of the Samuel, who carried them, is not yet returned, but I have enclosed the affidavit of the Deputy Secretary who prepared the Acts, with two of my domesticks who made up the packet, and saw them put in it; nor do I conceive how the printed Acts and my letter of 16th Dec., could reach your Lordships' hands, without the engrossed Acts, since they were all in one parcel, directed to Mr. Popple, and it being the last ship in the year, I beleive I neither did nor could send duplicates, as I generally do. I am hopefull that upon an enquiry it will be found, that these Acts have been mislaid by some of the clerks in Mr. Popple's office. But since they may perhaps not be found, I shall by the next ship transmit to your Lordships another set of them etc. I shall likewise with some of the ships this fall transmit the authentick Acts for the present year of the Assembly, which broke up in July last, with my observations thereon. Encloses to Mr. Popple, Naval Officers' accounts for N. York and East New Jersey. Recommends Philip Livingston for the Council of New York in the room of, Gerardus Beckman lately deceased; "the gentleman I recommend is now Secretary for Indian Affairs, and a very deserving person." Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Dec, 1724, Read 15th April, 1725. 6 pp. Enclosed,
392. i. (a) Proceedings at the Conference of Governor Burnet and the Sachims of the Six Nations of Indians. Albany, 14th-20th Sept., 1724.
(b) Proceedings at the Conference of the Commissioners of the Massachusetts Bay and the Sachims of the Six Nations. The whole endorsed as covering letter. Printed, N. Y. Col. Docs., V., pp. 713–725. 24 pp.
392. ii. Report of Committee of Council of New York upon the Merchants' petition, referred to in covering letter. Same endorsement. 22 pp.
392. iii. Governor Burnet's reasons for passing several Acts prohibiting sale of goods proper for the Indians to the French. Same endorsement. 4 pp.
392. iv. Deposition of Isaac Robin as to the dispatch of Acts of 1723, referred to in covering letter. 7th Nov., 1724. Signed, Is. Robin. Same endorsement. ¾ p.
392. v., vi. Similar depositions by John Haskoll and Christian Kocherthal. Same endorsement. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1053. ff. 228–244–., 245–.–256–., 257–.–260, 261–262–.]