America and West Indies: July 1730, 21-23

Pages 200-220

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 37, 1730. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

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July 1730, 21-23

July 21. 343. Galfridus Gray to Mr. Popple. According to your order I am attending to speak to the affair of stoping the Spanish riches when we please a thing of the greatest consequence to the British Nation, with respect to the enlargment of our power and trade. Please to give me leave to speak to it, and I will shew how certain it is, also how easy it is to be done. Signed, Galfridus Gray. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 9. f. 46.]
July 21. 344. Order of Committee of Council. Upon reading representation of 23rd May etc., ordered that the Council of Trade and Plantations enquire of Lord Carteret what value he sets upon his eighth part of Carolina etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 28th July, 1730. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 361. ff. 142, 142v., 143v.]
July 21. 345. Order of Committee of Council. The Council of Trade and Plantations are to make the following alterations in the draught of Instructions for Governor Johnson: (i) Robert Wright to be a Councillor in lieu of Benjamin Schenckingh, (ii) the Governor is to be empowered in general terms to assent to a law for a new paper currency, with a clause suspending its execution until H.M. pleasure be known, (iii) No office to be executed except by H.M. or the Governor's Commission etc. Set out, A.P.C. III. No. 198. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 361. ff. 144, 144v., 145v.]
July 22. 346. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Refer to petition of Mr. Waldo and "the claim of the Massachusets Bay, that their Province is intitled by Charter to the government of the lands even to the River of St. Croix, though they do acknowledge that they have no power to make grants of lands there, without H.M. permission." Continue: —The title to the Government as well as to the property of the soil of the tract contended for, is of very great consequence, because lands in those parts in respect to their produce, harbours and fishery, are of more value than any others in that part of America, and will produce considerable quit-rents, if they do belong to H.M. Wherefore we think it both for the advantage of ye publick, and of ye particular persons claiming a right therein, that the title shou'd be ascertain'd with all convenient speed. But ye decision of this matter will intirely depend upon questions in ye law, relating to ye effect of certain clauses in ye Massachusets Charter, and likewise to the validity of divers antient grants from ye Council of Plymouth in ye reign of K. James I, and of purchases from the Indian inhabitants. We desire your Lordps. would be pleased to order your Sollicitor to attend us, that he may inspect ye sd. Charters, grants and purchases, and thereupon receive directions from us, for forming the state of a case to be laid before H.M. Attorney and Sollicitor General for their opinion in a matter of this consequence to the publick. [C.O. 5, 916. pp. 392–393.]
July 23.
347. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following, to be laid before the King. Annexed,
347. i. Same to the King. Representation upon Mr. Purry's proposal for settling 600 Swiss Protestants in S. Carolina, receiving for himself 12,000 acres free from quit rents. Continue:—Whereupon having consulted with Colonel Johnson etc., considering that the present quit-rents upon 12,000 acres of lands there would only amount to £18 sterl. per ann., we are humbly of opinion it might be for your Majesty's service, that ye sd. Purry's request in this particular should be comply'd with; that the sd. Swiss, or at least so many of them as are of a competent age for that purpose upon their arrival in Carolina respectively do take the usual oaths of allegiance to your Majesty. That after they shall have taken the said oaths, lands be assigned them by your Majesty's Governor, where they shall dwell together in one or more townships, in such place and manner as may be most for the security of the said Province. That the said Purry shall not be intituled to the 12,000 acres till the service undertaken by him shall be fully performed, and that it shall appear to your Majesty's Governor there, by certificates from one or more Officers of the Customs in that Province that the said Purry hath imported or caused to be imported into South Carolina 600 Swiss Protestants, including men, women and children, within the term of six years to be reckoned from Xmas Day next etc. Will prepare Instructions, if H.M. approves. [C.O. 5, 400. pp. 377–381.]
July 23.
348. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses acts and proceedings of the last session of Assembly, "which ended on the 9th of this month, with an answer to the several queries, and the old seal of this Colony." Continues:—But because the Biddeford man of war, in which they are designed, the Captain having stayed some time for them, is in hast to be gone, I shal without further preface go on to such remarks as I judge necessary to explain the occasion and scope of these laws etc. Continues:—No. i. In pursuance of H.M. 93rd Instruction to me, for providing a law for encouraging religion and morality, and discountenancing of vice, an act is passed whereby the former laws against sins and offences are more strongly enforced, and a more speedy remedy given for recovering the penaltys, and for bringing the offenders to punishment, by obliging the Churchwardens of the parishes to present offenders from time to time, and making such presentment of equal force to ground a prosecution, as an indictment found by a Grand Jury, there is also by this act a jurisdiction given to the General Court to take cognizance of marriages within the Levitical degrees, and to declare such null; and also to punish all persons who either by marriage or otherwise are guilty of incestuous copulations. This act being made in exact conformity to the statutes of England, and necessary to restrain such wicked practices which by no Court or Law heretofore established in this Colony were punishable, I doubt not will meet with your Lordships' approbation. No. ii. The act for amending the staple of tobacco and preventing frauds in H.M. Customs, was become so necessary, that without some measures for preventing the exportation of trash, and the scandalous practice of running tobacco in Great Britain without paying any duty, the people of this country must either have been obliged to turn their hands to some other manufacture or be entirely ruined etc. Refers to his former letters (v. June 29, 1729 etc.). Continues:—The condition of the planters is no way mended since that time, but rather grown worse: Wherefore I thought it became me to propose to this Assembly the scheme I, the last year, laid before your Lordships, and it has been so favourably received that an act is now passed, which tho' not in every article the same with my scheme, yet all the essential parts of it are the same, for, 1st, by this all tobacco is to be brought to publick warehouses to be viewed and approved by three sworn Inspectors, and to receive their stamp before it can be ship'd for exportation, or paid away for any publick or private debt. 2nd. All bad or unmerchantable tobacco is to be seperated and burnt, without suffering it ever to be removed from under the Inspector's view. 3rd. Bulk tobacco is prohibited to be waterborn even in the country; and the masters of the ships are to be sworne not to receive any such on board, but all tobacco must be taken on board in hogsheads casks or cases stamp'd at some of the warehouses. 4th. The planters are now under no restraint, but are to make, rich and poor, as much tobacco as they can; and as the quantity is to be lessened by destroying the trash, thus far the act guards against the exportation of bad tobacco. 5th. Then for the better preventing of frauds in the Customs, which has been long practiced as well by carrying tobacco in parcels as by breaking the casks and running the tobacco whilst the ships are unlading; the nett weight of each hhd. of tobacco, and the tare, is to be stamped on the hhd. here by the Inspectors, so that by comparing the weight at the King's beam with that mark'd here, it may easily be discovered whether any or how much hath been pillaged in the voyage, which no doubt will be runn to save the duty, but besides this the master of every ship is obliged to deliver to the Naval Officer a manifest of his lading, with the particular weight of each hhd. on board as it is stamped, and this is to be annexed to his plantation certificate, and to be produced therewith to the Collector of that port where the ship unlades in G. Britain; and for a further security, a general invoice of all the tobacco on board every ship in the Colony is to be made out by the several Inspectors yearly, and transmitted by the Naval Officers to the Commissioners of the Customs in London. By this means, not only the masters of ships will be deterr'd from running the tobacco ymselves, but they will be more watchful to prevent its being done by the sailors; and if any such practices should be continued, the Collectors of the several ports will be able to call the masters to account for it; or if they should prove negligent in their duty, the Commissioners of the Customs will be qualified to discover the fraud, and know on whom it ought to be charged. So that I hope these regulations will effectually put a stop to that pernicious practice of running tobacco without paying the duty, which has been no less injurious to the fair trader, than prejudicial to H.M. revenue. And in order to render this trade more easy to the British owners, care is taken by the law that the tobacco shal be put on board by the country freighters for no greater allowance than four shillings pr. hhd., whereas it is generally computed that the charge of sloop hyre, men's wages and victuals for bringing on board the tobacco heretofore, and at this time, has amounted to six and sometimes seven shillings pr. hhd. etc. I must confess in my scheme I proposed but two shillings, intending thereby to ease the trade as much as possible; for if I had laid it at four which is very reasonable, the House of Burgesses, knowing the charge and trouble the ships are at present willingly exposed to for their lading, would most certainly made it six; when the bill passed the lower House it was at 5s. but by an amendment from the upper House, which was with difficulty obtained, it was brought to 4s. and I must say happily agreed to, besides, the ships' crews are freed from that intollerable drudgery they have constantly undergone of rolling tobacco from the planters' houses to their boats, frequently the occasion of sickness among them, and great delay of their voyages; for now the masters of ships have no other service for their men than to stow the tobacco as fast as it is brought on board, which will undoubtedly be an encouragement to sailors to engage for less wages, and will prevent their desertion to which they are often tempted by their hard service, and the oppertunity of being far distant from their ships. And as it is not to be questioned but that every freighter will get his tobacco on board as speedily as possible in hopes to have it at the market as soon as his neighbour, so it is certain, the ships will by this means meet with a much quicker dispatch in their lading, which besides preserving them from the worm, will save a considerable charge in wages and victualling. Another considerable advantage to the owners of ships is, that by this law all the hhds. of tobacco are to be of the just size, or otherwise not suffered to be ship'd. Great complaints have been made by the masters of ships, and not without reason, of the extravagant bulk of the hhds. which broke their stowage to that degree that in some voyages they could not carry so much by several tuns as in other voyages, yet, as these large hhds. belonged to considerable freighters, the masters durst not sue for the penalty for fear of losing their freight for the future; but now that the Inspectors are obliged on their oaths to reject as unlawful all tobacco pack'd in casks of larger dimensions than the lawful standard, no such loss or inconveniency can happen to the masters or owners during the continuance of this act. I know no objection that can be made against this law, except it be on the score of paying 4s. pr. hhd. for putting the tobacco on board, because it thwarts the interest of some masters of ships who have sloops and flats of their own, which they imploy to lade their ships, charging their owners what hyre they think fit and rarely at the lowest price: in like manner, where they are obliged to imploy other sloops, besides their own, they have, as I am told, I am loth to speak amiss of them, some advantage in paying the hyre here in the currency of the country, and receiving it again in sterling at home whereby they gain 15 or 20 pr. cent. Such men as these I am engaged to arm your Lordships against, because they may probably exclaim and oppose this allowance of 4s. as an extravagant charge; But let them produce their accots. of their sloop and boat hyre for their several voyages, and add thereto their men's wages and diet, and the wages of those supernumerary sailors they are often obliged to hyre in the country, and then it will appear that this allowance is abundantly less than they now pay for the like service; And if any such objection should be offered to your Lordships, I beg you will be pleas'd to call for the accots. of the charges of the Williamsburgh the last voyage; of the Amity, Capt. Wills; of the Gooch Capt. Pack; which will evince the truth of what I assert, that tobacco hath never yet been brought on board for so small a charge as is proposed by this act. Besides, I have spoken with many merchants and masters of ships, as well of London as the out ports and North Britain, who all agree that it is a very moderate recompence, and such as they would be always willing to give, and that their lading never cost them so little. I must not pass over another clause in this bill, which will shew your Lordships how much the Assembly have indulged the British merchants and adventurers, by allowing them all the liberty they had before of purchasing the planters' tobacco before it is carried to the warehouses, to transport it in their own boats and by their own seamen as well to their prizing houses, as to and from the publick warehouses. Whereas the planters and gentlemen of Virginia who send their own tobacco home on freight are not permitted to make use of the boats or seamen belonging to any of the ships, tho' the masters of the ships would often be willing to carry it gratis to the Inspectors for the sake of the freight. But herein the Assembly chose to lay an unequal restraint on the people of the country, rather than any of the ends proposed by this bill should be defeated; leaving the merchants and factors to manage their purchased tobacco in their own way, with no other restriction than that it must at last pass under the view and approbation of the Inspectors, before it be put on board for exportation. The advantages proposed to the people of Virginia by this act, are, the preventing the pillaging their hhds. by the sailors, and an honest delivery of what is ship'd here; a just payment of all publick dues to the clergy, publick officers and creditors; and the raising the value of their staple by suffering no tobacco to go to the markets at home, but what is really good, to which the precautions for preventing the fraudulent running to deceive the King in his Customs will not a little contribute, for since it is found by experience that good tobacco will always fetch a good price, if the market is not clogg'd with that which is bad; so when none but good tobacco is sent home, and all men are on an equality with respect to the payment of the dutys, there will be no encouragement to undersell one another. To conclude, the interest of the Crown is so interwoven with that of the parties concerned, by the regulations established in this bill; and the trade and shipping of G. Britain render'd so easy, and all founded on the principles of justice and honesty, that I am in hopes it will meet with no opposition from the Virginia merchants or any other: but if any objections are made to it before yr. Lordships I beg your Lordships to give me leave to explain them, for which there will be no want of time, since it is not to take place until the first of August, 1731. And tho' no scheme can at first be made so perfect as that no inconveniency can happen in the practice, yet I hope your Lordships will excuse me when I say, that I am perswaded, the longer it is known etc. the better it will be liked by all persons concern'd, for 'tis a most excellent law. But if in its execution any faults should be discovered, the same may be remedyed by a future Assembly, and made so agreeable to all interests, that this law may be renewed for a longer time than its present continuance of four years. No. iii. The next act I shal mention (tho' it pass'd the first of the Session) is that for repealing the former tobacco law, which prohibited the tending above 6000 plants for each tithable; this regulation was sett on foot about 5 or 6 years ago, and was renewed and continued in 172? but upon enquiry into the manner of its execution, I found it a useless law, which only laid a burthen on the people to support a number of persons to count the tobacco plants, but made no change either in the quality of the tobacco, or prevented the frauds in packing and paying away the trash. And indeed it seemed only calculated to discourage the taking up of new land, where the number of 6000 plants will yeild in weight not much more than half of what the like number will produce in old manured grounds. These with many other reasons had the good fortune to prevail, and so well it answered what I intended by it, a more easy reception to my scheme etc. The act now mentioned, besides the repealing clause, has in it many beneficial clauses for preventing the tending of seconds (as they are called) which is cultivating a second plant of tobacco from the same stalk after the first hath been cutt of, and is ever accounted trash as growing too late in the year for the sun to ripen it. Upon the whole, there could not be a better method devised for the advantage of both King and People, than by allowing every planter to make as much tobacco as he can, and destroying the trash to lessen the quantity and mend the quality, which are some of the good things provided for by the new law. No. iv. An act to prevent the malicious burning of tobacco houses etc. This is to supply the defect of the common law which only makes the burning of dwelling houses felony; But as the setting fire to storehouses for goods, tobacco houses, or other houses built for securing the annual product of people's labour, are equally destructive to the property of the subject, and often more easily accomplished, it was thought fit this offence should be subject to punishment with the burning of dwelling-houses. In this act also is contained a means of trying accessarys to felonys, tho' the principal felons be not taken and convicted; a very necessary law in a country which is so much crowded with convicts, and who after they have committed a crime may easily be concealed by their abettors, until they find means to escape into another Government. No. v. An act for ascertaining damages on protested bills of exchange etc. This is part of that law passed in 1705 which was lately repealed: but is now clear of all the clauses to which your Lordships took exception. The damages on the protested bills which by the repealed law were 15 pr. cent, are now reduced to 10 pr. cent. pr. annum, nor is that to exceed eighteen moneths without the drawers own fault. Provision is also made herein to advance the credit of bills of exchange, by giving them the same dignity as a judgment against the estate of the drawer after his death. Here is also a more speedy remedy given for the recovery of debts due on promissory notes, and for making notes, bonds and obligations assignable. All which are very necessary for the carrying on trade and commerce where a sufficient currency of ready money is wanted. No. (vi) is the act for continuing the duty on liquors etc. The duty of three pence a gallon on wine, rum and other distilled spirits imported from any place (Great Britain excepted) is continued for three years from the 10th of June, 1731 etc. There are in this act many concessions more favourable to the merchants than in the former act; of which I need not trouble your Lordship[s] with the particulars, since the design of this act is the same as the other, the lessening the tax or levy by the poll conformable to the Royal Instruction, and that many acts of the like nature have from time to time been approved of by your Lordships. No. vii. An act for the better regulating the payment of the Burgesses wages is so agreeable to common justice, that nothing can be objected to it: for as no Burgess is to be paid but when he attends the service of the House, that discontent which often has been raised among the people on being obliged to pay their Representatives whilst they remained at home about their private affairs, or perhaps in pursuit of their pleasure, will be now removed. And on the other hand, whenever it shal be found necessary (for easing the levy by the poll) to pay them out of the publick money, they are then to receive no more than 10s. a day instead of 13s. at which their wages was formerly computed and paid; but no such payment is to be allowed, unless there be left in bank after all wages and other publick charges are satisfied £1500 at the least, for answering any sudden exigency of the Government. Now H.M. Instruction requiring me to get a law pass'd for reducing the sallery of the Members of the Assembly within the bounds of moderation, I hope this wch. makes so great a reduction of the publick charge of Assemblys will be the more acceptable, as it is the only one of that kind that has ever been attempted since the original of that Instruction (the 14th) which, as I am told, has been repeated to every Governour for these fifty years past. No. viii. is the act to prevent losses to executors and administrators etc., and is explanatory of some former laws concerning the management of dead men's estates, and much more agreable to the laws of England than any that hath been enacted heretofore on that subject. I need say no more of it than that by reading the title your Lordships will observe there is nothing in the bill but what hath been established by several late statutes of England, an example which the Plantations will not be blam'd for copying after. No. ix. The act to enable the sale of goods distrained for rent etc, is also taken from the several acts of Parliament made in the reigns of K. William and Q. Anne on the same subject, which are modells worthy our imitation. No. x. The Act to disable any Sherif or other person to sett as a Member of the House of Burgesses, who shall accept any place of profit after his election etc. hath nothing to be offered in its favour, except that it is an imitation of the laws of England made for securing the freedom of Parliament: but in my humble opinion this country is yet too young for so refined a regulation. Places of profit are indeed but few, but men of capacitys for the discharge of them do not much more abound; therefore either the Government must be ill served, or the House of Burgesses meanly filled, if men of capacity and integrity must be shut out either of the one or the other. The Burgesses fondness for this bill, and my desire to keep them in good humour, while matters of greater moment were under their deliberation, prevailed with me to assent to it, knowing how soon it may be made void if your Lordships disapprove thereof, to whose judgment I shal submit etc. No. xi. is an act for encouraging the making of linnen cloth, but the execution suspended until approved by his Majesty. It is more calculated to amuse the people than to supply their wants: for tho' it is certain they suffer exceedingly this year through the small supply of goods sent in from Britain, yet, experience (they say) has shew'd that whenever their tobacco advances in its price, which always produces plenty of goods, they can purchase linnen at a cheaper rate than it can be made here, even with all the encouragement given by this act. But 'tis in your Lordships power to recommend it to H.M., or to lay it aside. And if the last be its fate, as I told them it would, it will be no disapointment, nor create any uneasiness here. No. xii. is an act for restraining the taking of excessive usury, the title whereof fully speaks the contents of the bill, and all that is in it, is to settle the interest of money at 6 pr. cent. No. xiii. An act to exempt the inhabitants of any county wherein ironworks are or shall be erected from clearing the roads leading to and from the same etc. This bill is of small account being only an alteration of part of an act of last session for encouraging adventurers in iron works, whereby their roads were to be made by the people of the countys; now they are to be made by the undertakers, for which the works are free from all tobacco taxes for seven years; and some other inconveniencies are removed to render the carrying on of these works the more easy. No. xiv. An act to revive the act for supply of certain defects found in an act prescribing the method for appointing Sherifs. This act hath been sundry times revived and continued, and is now made perpetual. No. xv. is the usual act pass'd each session for raising a publick levy to defray the public charges payable in tobacco; such as the prosecution of criminals, killing of wolves, maintenance of prisoners, and many other ordinary expences, which are established by divers acts of Assembly, and are increased in this levy very considerably being now tenn pounds and a half of tobacco per poll amounting in all to 500,000 lb. of tobacco. I shall not take up your Lordships' time with observing on the other acts, pass'd this session, which are of two sorts; one, such as are framed for particular purposes, and such as have been prepared on the petitions of private persons. Of the first kind are the acts for dividing Stafford County; for erecting a new parish in Stafford; for dividing the parish of St. George; for the sale of land belonging to the Church of Westopher; for selling lands given for a free school in Elizabeth City County; for appointing justices and constables to weigh hemp; and preventing swine running at large in the town of Hampton; and the exempting some German Protestants from parish levys. All which are necessary laws for the convenience and benefit of the people interested therein; and have nothing disagreeable to H.M. interest or Instructions. Of the other kind are the five private bills herewith sent for the conveying of entail'd lands, which are to receive H.M. approbation, before they are to take effect; and will be more particularly enlarged upon by those who are to sollicit H.M. assent thereto etc. I shall next take notice of other transactions in the Assembly etc. The first is a petition to the King in behalf of the inhabitants of the Northern Neck. This contains a long enumeration of exceptions against the legality of the grant of that territory of which I don't pretend to be a proper judge: But as to the boundarys claimed by the Proprietor, it seems very clear that the grant can extend no farther than so much of the rivers of Potomack and Rappahannock as were known at the date thereof. It is almost certain that unless the boundarys be settled, or the grant resumed in the King's hands, there will be a continual dispute between the people who take up lands under the Crown, and their neighbours claiming by grants from the Proprietor etc. Refers to former letter. Continues:—I find the people of the Northern Neck under great uneasiness that they should be distinguished from the rest of the Colony as persons excluded from the favour of the Crown, and who can expect no remission of any forfeitures they happen to incur, let the case be never so deserving of compassion. The Governour can pardon an inhabitant of that Colony as to his life, but the Proprietor has granted away to his lessee all escheats and forfeitures of lands or chatties, and there's no power to shew any favour in that case, whereby the innocent children may be punished for the crimes of their parents, without any hopes of that mercy and indulgence which the Crown has on many occasions extended to the people in the other parts of the Colony etc. If by purchasing the grant H.M. should take that tract into his own hands, it would prove not only great satisfaction to the people, but a large addition to H.M, revenue of quit-rents, for it is now farmed by the Proprietor at £450 pr. annum and it is supposed to be worth £700, besides that 'tis still encreasing by new settlements. The Council and Burgesses have prepared a congratulatory Address to H.M. on the arrival of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and the conclusion of the Peace with Spain etc. Refers to Burgesses' Journal. Has sent the original to the Agent to be presented to H.M. by Lord Orkney. Continues:—The Burgesses having upon consideration of the extraordinary increase of their publick levy in tobacco, resolved to ease the people in the poll-tax, by paying their own wages out of the money arising by the duty on liquors, sent up the resolve to the Council where on the 8th of June it also passed with little opposition; but Mr. Fitzwilliams having entered his dissent thereto with his reasons, which severely reflected on the whole country, it gave great offence to the House, who two days afterwards sent a message to the Council for a copy of their Journal wherein that gentleman's dissent was entered: and having obtained the same, referr'd it to a Committee, who on the first July made a report to the House and the same was there agreed to, and contains a justification of their proceedings, with some other expressions in answer to and censuring of Mr. Fitzwilliam's reasons: but by my interposition the last part of the report for addressing H.M. to remove him was left out, tho' not without great difficulty carried in the House. This administered occasion of much discourse and many reflections on the Gentleman's conduct; he was represented as a person of a turbulent spirit unfit for Society, with many other harsh sayings, all which had been remonstrated to H.M., had not I taken great pains to mollify their resentment. And now as to the matter: it is certain that the duty on liquors was raised in order to lessen the levy by the poll, and by one of H.M. Instructions, the Governour is expressly directed to propose the laying a duty for this very purpose; It is also clear that the application of the money arising by that duty is left in the Genl. Assembly, and seeing it cannot be more properly applied than to the easing the people of that heavy charge of paying their Burgesses which in a long session is in many of the smaller countys upwards of 20 lb. of tobacco pr. poll, it cannot be said but that the Assembly were very justifiable in paying the burgesses out of the publick money, when the tobacco levy run so high as it did this session, and when also there appeared a prospect of a mean crop of tobacco. And I must confess to your Lordships that these considerations together with my desire to oblige the Burgesses who were passing so good a law, for it was then depending, as is that for amending the staple of tobacco, prevailed with me to pass, at the end of the session, the resolve for paying them in money, for which I hope I shal not incur your Lordps. censure. I shan't trouble your Lordships with my sense of this gentleman's behaviour; and therefore have but one thing more to add in relation to the proceedings of the Assembly, and that's the claim Mr. Spotswood laid before them, to upwards of £600 for his expenses and services in 1722 on the Treaty with the five Nations of Indians at Albany. The Burgesses to whom he made his first application, (having examined some other accotts. that they had long since called for from him, brought him in debt to the Government above £230 allowing him at the same time £100 for his trouble) mett with this extraordinary demand, on which they pass'd a resolve, on 6th July, that the House of Burgesses having given the sum of £1000 to enable Col. Spotswood to discharge that Treaty in aid of the revenue of 2s. pr. hhd. they were not engaged to consider his expences beyound that sum. After which he gives in a memorial to me in Council, in which he sets forth many things to which, as I told him, I was an entire stranger, but seems to conclude that the vote of the Burgesses points out to him that his payment must come from the King's revenue, since they say, they gave that money in aid of that revenue (but I must not conceal it from your Lordsps. he did use his endeavours beyound the implication, but they would not come into it). Now forasmuch as this claim is of long standing, and never till now demanded from the Government here, I told the Council, and they advised me to it, that I would wait the directions of your Lordships and the Lords of the Treasury, before I concerned myself with a demand of so ancient a date. Encloses copy of memorial and account etc. Continues:—I shal be glad to receive yr. Lordships' commands therein, because, the payment of his rights for his lands, and the money he stands engaged for to the General Assembly are postponed until some determination be made in this demand etc. It seems agreed that the £1000 given was all expended, in paying the gentlemen with him, their expences and presents to the Indians, and that about a moneth before his return he was superseded from all the profits of the Government by Mr. Drysdale's arrival, and he offers his oath that he was out of pocket the sum mentioned in his accot. etc. Continues:—There is one particular in the Council Journals of 29th Aprill wch. for my own sake I must not pass over. Upon my receipt of H.M. warrant for discharging the expences of running the boundarys between this Colony and Carolina, I called for the accot. of what had been advanced and paid for provisions and the necessary attendants on that service; and having from the £1000 first deducted that, and considered of a proper allowance to the Surveyors, I found I could not better distribute the rewards to the Commissnrs. than by paying them so much pr. diem according to the respective times they were employed in that service from their setting out to their return; and as far as the remaining money would go, I according made the distribution which was approved in Council, I may say by every gentleman in the Colony. But Mr. Fitzwilliams, who left the other Commissioners about six weeks before they finished the line, seemed much dissatisfied that he was not equal in reward with the other two; It was in vain to urge that he had the same allowance as they had, for every day he was on the service, and that it would be unreasonable to pay him who came home and received the pay as a judge in the General Court, while the others were toiling in the woods, and had no other profit; he would not rest satisfied but insisted that the distribution was unjust, and that the money ought to have been equally shared amongst them as they were all equall in commission, and that being once put into that Commission he was entitled to his dividend if he had never gone out on the service at all; and at last concluded that when the Carolina Commissioners refused to proceed, he had no business there, (tho' their orders were to go on without them) for all that was done afterwards was void; arguments which I thought very strange ones, and am no ways convinced by: for when money is given for particular service, he that leaves that service, comes well of, if he is rewarded for what he did, and in my opinion has no reason to complain. Besides, for a person commissionated to act in behalf of the King, according to what shall be agreed by the majority of the persons joyned in commission with him, to separate from them and chime in with the Proprietors' Commissioners, with whom he had no concern, is no very just execution of his trust; for by the same logick if the Carolina Commissioners had refused to go above tenn miles on the line, the whole service must have been disapointed, if his dissent from his colleagues must make their future proceedings void. But I hope this gentleman will be better advised by his friends than to bestir himself to seek a greater share of the money than what is his right, or to complain of me for not injuring the other Commissioners to gratifie him. As he went for England before the session of Assembly was ended, all I mean here is to sett this matter in its true light, that if the gentleman should complain of my distribution, your Lordships may judge with how little reason it is that he is offended. It is my constant endeavour so to demean myself on all occasions that I may have some reason to hope your Lordships will not be displeased with my conduct etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 30th Sept., 1730. Holograph. 13½ pp. Enclosed,
348. i. Lt. Governor Gooch's Replies to Queries by the Council of Trade, (i) Describes boundaries in Charter of 1606. Continues:—But the boundarys of Virginia, as it is now circumscribed, are, E. and S.E. the main Atlantick Ocean; S., a due west line from the mouth of Corrotuck Inlet which lies in the latitude of 36°.30'. divides Virginia from No. Carolina; and N. a line from the sea through that Isthmus called the Eastern Shore to the Bay of Chesapeak opposite to that point of Potomack River called Watkins Point, and thence the said River of Potomack divides this country from Maryland, unto the true meridian of the first fountain of Potomack, which is the utmost boundary of Maryland westward, and then Virginia resumes its ancient breadth, and has no other limits to the westward than what its first Royal Charter assigned it; and that is to the So. Sea, including the Island of California. But accounting its breadth from the West line which divides it from Carolina on the South to the first fountain of Potomack on the North, it will extend on the back or western side of Maryland as far as the Lat. of 39° North, etc. Describes soil and situation, capable of the same productions as the finest countries in the world. "With little labour, and little manure, everything is propagated which the planters have hitherto attempted etc. The air is temperate, rarely exceeding 30 days of extreme heat in the summer, nor the like number of very cold in the winter etc. As to its longitude, no observations have yet been made thereof, and the relations of masters of ships concerning their westing on their voyages hither differ widely etc." But, long before the Board's queries were received, he had given orders for proper instruments for ascertaining the true longitude. Continues: —As this western boundary is at present little known, nor much probability of its being fully discovered in many ages, it may suffice to describe that limit which is now well known, and in divers places inhabited; and that is the great chain of mountains, which at 200 miles distance from the sea runs along the back of Virginia from N.E. to S.W., from Potomack River to James River. Here many late settlements have been made up to the foot of these mountains, and great quantitys of land daily taken up there; and this is like to be the first limits of the inhabited part of this country for some years, unless a discovery of some rich mines among those mountains tempt people to extend their settlements more westward; in which case, there is another natural boundary not far distant which will put a period to their excursions, and that is the Lakes Eri, Huron and others, etc. described in the travels of Hennepin, Lahontan and other French writers. Whenever this Colony shal have extended its settlements thus far, it is probable there may be some contest with the French about that boundary, but at present we have none as to its limits, since that with No. Carolina has been lately settled and marked out as far as the great mountains, and the Proprietor of Maryland seems contented, (iii) Describes the constitution of the Government. Continues:—There is in each county a Court held monthly by persons commissioned by the Governour, who have not only the power of Justices of the Peace, but have cognizance of all suits of what value soever arising within their respective jurisdictions both at common Law and in Chancery, except only such criminal offences as are punishable with loss of life or member. For the City of Williamsburgh there is also a Court of Hustings held monthly before the Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen for all suits at common Law arising within the town, and not exceeding the value of £20. These are the inferior Courts in the Government, and from their judgments an appeal lyes to the General Court, the appellant giving security to prosecute the same. The General Court consists of the Governor and Council etc. Describes jurisdiction etc. For preventing of long imprisonments for matters criminal there are two Courts of Oyer and Terminer held yearly etc. The Judges here are the Members of the Council, and sitt by the Governour's Commission, pursuant to H.M. Instruction. For the punishment of slaves committing capitol crimes, a commission of Oyer and Terminer is issued by the Governour directed to the Justices or other principal inhabitants of the county where the offence is committed to try the offender on proof of the fact by witnesses, without any jury; and upon conviction the Commissioners award execution, and sett a value on the slave, which valuation is afterwards paid to the owner by the General Assembly, as an encouragement to the people to discover the villainies of their slaves. Describes jurisdiction of Admiralty Court and Commissary's Court and constitution of Council etc. (iv) The trade, exclusive of that which is carried on in Brittish shipping, is not considerable. It consists of one ship, six brigantines, and sixteen sloops, seafaring men may be computed at 8 each etc. As to the small shallops which are constantly employed in the Bay and in transporting the country commoditys from one river to another, their crews can't properly be termed seamen, being for the most part planters with negroes etc. (v) The people are supplied from Great Brittain with all sorts of woollen manufactures, such as broad cloth, kerseys, duffeils, cottons, crapes, rugs, blankets, norwich, and other stuffs and stockings; with all sorts of linnen as well of Germany, Holland, as of British and Irish manufacture; and all manner of household furniture and wearing apparel, as callicoes, Persians, taffatys and other East India silks; with iron ware, such as locks, hinges, nailes, carpenters, joyners and smiths' tools, axes, hoes, small anchors, fire arms and in general with great part of our wines, with our spices, fruit, loaf-sugar and other necessarys for families, the value of which has been computed at £200,000 pr. annum, but I am satisfied 'tis almost half as much more, in such years as their staple commodity hath enabled them to purchase without running in debt, but at present the trade is so low that the people are forced to content themselves with bare necessarys, the importation from G. Britain this last year, being chiefly in protested bills. I am sure not £100,000 worth of goods brought into the country: this is a barter that well deserves to be taken care of. (vi) There is no trade from hence to any part of Europe except from Great Britain. Some attempts were made to export wheat to Portugal about three years ago, but the Adventurers mett with so little encouragement that they soon gave over the thoughts of prosecuting that commerce any further. There is a pretty large export of wheat, Indian corn and pease, and of wax to the Island of Madeira, in return for wine etc. To the Plantations of foreigners in America this country hath no commerce, except to Surinam, from whence there hath been brought hither the last year about 130 hhds. of melasses, and the commoditys carried thither were Indian corn, pease, and pork. The like trade hath formerly been to Curassoa another Dutch settlement, and to Martinico and Guardaloupe, but that has for some years past been discontinued, (vii) For preventing illegal trade, the only methods that are or can be used is the diligence of the Naval Officers and Collectors in their several districts strictly to inspect the cocquets and certificates of the several vessels trading here, and to examine what commoditys are landed out of them. Many ships and vessels have been seized by this means and condemned, and this will still prove effectual to prevent great frauds: but after all 'tis impossible altogether to prevent the running of small quantitys of prohibited goods where there are so many landing places remote from the inspection of any officer, and the country people ready on all occasions to assist the offenders in the concealment thereof. Riding surveyors and searchers along the Bay of Chesapeak, especially in that part which lyes nearest the Capes would be of great use to guard against such illegal trading; but even that security which was once established by a Surveyor for Linhaven Bay and between Virginia and No. Carolina has been of late taken away by the suppression, as I am told, of that Officer, at lest there has been none for some years past to do the duty of that office. (viii) This country produces all manner of timber fit for building of ships; masts, yards and boltspritts; clapboards and shingles fit for houses; pipestaves and heading; of these there are exported to H.M. Plantations in the West Indies to the value of about £1000 pr. annum. Pitch and tar before the bounty was taken away in England were made in great abundance, and 'tis hoped the same work will again revive on the encouragement of the new bounty. Pork is one of the principal exports of the country of which there is carried out communibus annis about 3000 barrils, worth in sterling money 25s. pr. barril, and of late the people have begun to raise stocks and to export beef, but this being but just entered into, no certain judgment can be made how much may be spared for exportation. The quantity of wheat and Indian corn exported is very great, of the former from 10,000 to 20,000 bushels in a year, and of the latter double the number etc.; but 'tis difficult to ascertain the value, since the greatest part of both is exchanged for rum, sugar, salt and melasses brought hither by the people of New England and Bermuda; but taking one year with another the price of wheat is 2s. 6d. pr. bushel and of Indian corn 1s. 6d. There are other productions of the Colony exported, such as bever skins, buck and doe skins, otter, raccoon etc. to the value of £1500 pr. annum; besides, black walnut plank, snake root, sassafras bark, myrtle wax, beeswax, tallow of which no certain computation can be made. The making of hemp is begun with good hopes of success, but the want of skilful persons in the management of it has retarded its progress. (ix) Mines of iron oar are found in many places, and five furnaces for melting of it are already sett up. Three copper mines are already discovered, two in the Northern Neck, and one in the county of Spotsilvania; the oar is very encouraging; on one they are at work, and will very soon begin with the other two. There are also many signs of lead, tin and antimony in the places near the great mountains, but for want of men skilled in these and other richer metals may for many years remain undiscovered. (x) The rule for computing the number of inhabitants is by the list of tythables on which the publick tobacco taxes are laid; these are all white male persons above sixtenn years of age, and all blacks male and female above the same age. Of these there are now about 51,000, and of them about 30,000 may be reckoned blacks. Women and children are reckoned as treble these numbers etc. (xi) The inhabitants are greatly increased within these last ten years, since the number of tithables have in that time increased upwards of 12,000, tho' for two or three years of that time there happened a very great mortality through a malignant fever and pleurisy, which raged in most parts of the country in the winter of those years. But the great numbers of negroes and white servants imported since 1720 together with the early marriages of the youth, and prolifick temperament of the women both white and black, must necessarily occasion a great increase of people in a country free from much luxury, and where Nature has been so bountifull as to furnish the conveniencies of life with less labour and anxiety than in many places of the world, (xii) Militia, Troops and companies given by counties. Total, 91; 128, or 4550 horse and 7680 foot. Continues:—This Militia is made up of all free male persons above 21 years of age and under 60 etc. Enumerates officers. There hath been lately an Adjutant, whose business is to instruct both officers and men, and he has made a good progress therein etc. The ordinary people want a good deal of polishing, and on that account, too, these regular exercises will be of great benefit etc. (xiii). There are no forts in this Colony, nor any places of defence, except some batterys of great guns at the mouth of the great rivers, which can only serve for a protection to the merchant ships against pirates or privateers, but no ways tenable against an enemy that has force enough to attack them by land. These batterys being erected in 1721 on platforms of wood, are not like to last long; besides the carriages begin to decay and must speedily be supplied with new ones. The battery at the mouth of James River is entirely gone, the guns lying in the sand on the beach, of which I gave an account to the Board of Ordinance, but have received no answer. It is much to be wished that the Colony was in a condition to build forts of more durable materials than these batterys are; but the charge of regular fortifications, together with the expence of maintaining sufficient guards therein, without which they would become rather a snare than a defence, is an undertaking too great for the small funds the Assemblys here are allowed to raise. (xiv) The Indians tributary to this Government are reduced to a small number, the remains of the Makerin and Nansemond Indians are by running the boundary fallen within the limits of No. Carolina. The Saponies, and the other petty Nations associated with them being disturbed by the Tuscoruroes, are retired out of Virginia to the Cattawbaws. So that there remain only the Pamunkeys on York River, and they not above tenn familys; and the Nattoways on the south side of James River, whose strength exceeds not fifty fighting men. Both these Nations are seated in the midst of the English settlements, and hitherto have maintained a friendly correspondence with them. (xv) We have no Indian nation of any strength nearer than the Five Nations etc., and the Cattawbaws and Cherokees in the limits of Carolina. Both of ym. near 400 miles from the inhabitants of Virginia. (xvi, xvii). Virginia is so remote from either the French or Spanish settlements that there is no communication between us etc.; the nearest is the French, if at this time they have any settlements on the Lakes: But if they only possessd what they some years ago abandoned, their Fort on Lac St. Clair, they are yet 200 miles distant from our frontier plantations; nevertheless it is certain that their traders between Canada and their new settlement on the Messisippi make their rout annually near to the frontier settlements of Virginia. Since crossing the Lake Ery which lyes about 60 or 70 miles west of our mountains, they ascend the river Meamis in their canoes, and thence by a short land carriage pass into the great river Occabaike, and with its stream are carried into the Messisippi not far from their new Colony. So that in this passage they make use of two rivers, which have their sources in the Virginia mountains; and it is reasonable to believe that whenever they have more people on that side the mountains, the natural curiosity of that Nation, or indeed any other, will lead them to a discovery of these mountains to which the course of these two rivers will soon guide them, and from thence they may easily perceive the manner of our places of abode, dispersed and defenceless, except what the difficulty of passing over such a large ridge of mountains affords; and what effect such a discovery may have in case of a rupture between the two Nations, is not hard to foresee, (xviii–xx) The revenue is 2s. sterl. on every hogshead of tobacco exported, abating an allowance of 10 p.c. to the masters of the ships for paying in bills of exchange; 15d. pr. tun on all ships and vessels trading here, commonly called port dutys; 6d. an head for every passenger imported; fines and forfeitures, for breaches of the penal laws, etc., contempts to Courts of Justice, breaches of the Peace or convictions for felonies or trespasses, freights for taking up land, which is 5s. for every 50 acres. The three first branches of this revenue are appropriated by the act of Assembly for raising the same, as are also forfeitures for breaches of the penal laws, for and towards the support of the Government, and its contingent charges, and for maintaining forts and fortifications. The casual fines and forfeitures in the 4th branch were first appropriated to the support of the Governmt. by warrant from K. Charles II, and have continued so ever since. The last branch of the rights was established by order of the Governour and Council in 1699 to supply the defect of importation rights, on which only people were then entitled to take up land, and since that time has made a very considerable addition to the revenue. All these several branches amount one year with another for these tenn years past to 4000l. pr. annum or near that sum. The ordinary expences of the Government, including the Governour's, the Council's and all other the established officer's sallerys, amount to 3104l. pr. annum. The extraordinary expences is not easy to be computed, because it rises and falls as the exigencys of the Government require; But if it be demanded, what the casual expence may amount to, when no extraordinary accidents happen, it is answered, that the charges of expresses and messengers, of repairing the Governour's house, and other incidents come to £300 pr. annum; but on extraordinary occasions, such as alarms of Indians by land, or forreign enemies by sea, the repairing of batterys, removing of great guns, ammunition etc. from one place to another, dispatching orders to the militia, these and such like services have cost double that sum. Gives list of officers' salaries as above. Continues:—There is also a revenue of 3d. per gallon on all liquors imported from any place, Great Britain excepted, which was to continue for five years from 10th June, 1726, and one penny more from that time for and during 21 years. This is appropriated to such uses only as the General Assembly think fit, for lessening the levy by the pole, and is applied towards paying for negro criminals condemned and executed, for defraying the charge of the officers of the Assembly; keepers of the magazine and gaol etc., and 200l. to the College of William and Mary. The officers belonging to the General Assembly have no standing annual sallery, but are paid proportionably to the length of the session. This revenue brings in about 2100l. pr. annum, for from 10th June 1726–1730 it amounts to 8521l.1s.10½d. and has and is to discharge the following demands: the Assembly in Mr. Drysdale's time, 1726, Burgesses' wages, 1300l.; slaves and repairs of the Capitol, 506l.; officers of that session and charge of prisoners, £758; Assembly in Mr. Gooch's time, March, 1728, slaves, £741; officers and prisoners, work and repairs, £948; College and town land, £716. The Burgesses were not paid, but they gave to him, £500. Assembly ended July 9, 1730:—Payments for slaves, officers, printing the laws, weights and scales wth. the College, £4000; Burgesses' wages about £2,200, Total, £11,669. July 25, 1730. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Sept., 1730. 12 pp.
348. ii. Address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Express joy at safe arrival of Frederick Prince of Wales etc., and their felicity under Lt. Gov. Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Sept., 1730. Copy. 1½ pp.
348. iii. Memorial of Col. Spotswood to Lt. Governor Gooch. July 7, 1730. Governor Drysdale promised to lay before the next Assembly the £600 by which the expenses of memorialist at Albany etc. fell short of the £1000 voted. Nothing being done in that behalf, memorialist applied by petition in England, but was answered he should first apply to the Government here. States resolve of Burgesses etc. as in covering letter. Signed, A. Spotswood. Same endorsement. Copy. 2¼ pp. Enclosed,
348. iv. Account of disbursements of the Albany Treaty, 29th July—26th Oct., 1722. £1602 16s. 3d. Signed, A. Spotswood. 1 p.
348. v. Proclamations by Lt. Gov. Gooch. (i) (ii) Duplicates C.S.P. 1729. Nos. 796 encl. iii (d) (e). (iii) Proroguing Assembly till 21st May, 1730. Jan. 24, 1730. (iv) Proroguing Assembly till 12th Feb. 1730. Oct. 22, 1729. (v) Publishing repeal of Act declaring how long judgments, bonds etc. shall be in force. 15th April, 1730. (vi) Proclaiming Peace with Spain. 29th May, 1730. Signed, William Gooch. The whole endorsed, Recd. 14th Sept., 1730. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 51, 52v.– 66v., 68–73v., 74v.–75v., 76v–78, 79–80, 81, 82, 83, 84–84v. (with abstract).]
July 17
& 23.
349. Memorial of loss and damage sustained by the crew and shippers of the Parthenope of London, taken by a Spanish privateer off Malaga, on a voyage from Newfoundland to Naples, Gallipoli, Messina and London, 7th April, 1727. 14 pp. [C.O. 388, 90. ff. 53–55, 94–97v., 168, 169, 170.]