America and West Indies: July 1730, 24-31

Pages 221-226

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, 24-31

July 24.
350. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Duke of Newcastle. The return of H.M.S. Biddeford from this station gives me the honour of paying my duty to your Grace, and the oppertunity of sending herewith the transcripts of the Journals of the Council and Assembly, etc., and the 29 acts passed in the last session which ended on the 9th instant. I shal not venture to take up your Grace's time with observing on the particular laws now made; but it is with a particular pleasure that I can now acquaint your Grace that I have obtain'd a law upon the basis of that scheme I, the last year, communicated to your Grace, with no other material alteration than that of appointing a great number of publick warehouses where the tobacco is to be viewed and weighed. But as no tobacco is to be exported except that which is strictly good and merchantable, and a great step taken towards preventing the stealing and running of tobacco in Britain by stamping the nett weight on each cask, I make no doubt but H.M. revenue will be very much increased by a greater consumption, and the provision made for securing of the duty, and a foundation laid for improving the staple of tobacco to the highest pitch it is capable of. But as it is impossible for the wit of man to frame a law which neither envy nor interest can find room to quarrel with, so if either the one or the other should attack this, I hope your Grace will have the goodness to screen it nevertheless from H.M. displeasure, until it has time to justifie itself, by displaying in its execution the advantages both to the Crown, and to the subject for which it is calculated. I am now to intreat your Grace's favour to a poor unhappy widow and three small children: one Edward Chambers of the County of Hannover planter, sometime since went out with his gun and was found dead in the woods, and by the Coroner's inquest it is returned that he murdered himself, whereby all his goods are become forfeited to the King, the whole amount of which, as valued by the persons sworne to appraise the same, is no more than £91 17s., Virginia money etc. Intercedes for remission of this forfeiture etc., and reminds his Grace of the case of Andrew Bourn, convicted of murder in killing a negro slave, and of Frances Green found guilty of concealing the death of her bastard child, recommended for H.M. mercy in former letters etc. Has sent enclosed address to Lord Orkney to be presented to H.M. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, R. Sept. 18th. 2 2/3 rd pp. Enclosed,
350. i. (a) A Proclamation by Lt. Governor Gooch for a Day of Fasting and Humiliation. "Whereas this Colony hath for these two years past been threatened with an unusual multitude of caterpillars and now again in a more surprizing manner by the visible increase of those destructive insects to the apparent hazard of the fruits of the earth, which impending calamity can only be averted by that almighty power who it is justly to be
feared has sent the same for the punishment of an offending people" etc. Williamsburgh, 1st April, 1729. (b) Proclamation proroguing the Assembly till 12th Nov. 19th April, 1729. (c) Proclamation proroguing the Assembly till 12th Feb. 22nd Oct., 1729. (d) Proclamation proroguing the Assembly till 21st May. 4th Jan., 1729(30). (e) Proclamation for publishing the repeal of the Act declaring how long judgments, bonds, etc. shall be in force. 15th April, 1730. (f) Proclamation notifying the Peace with Spain. 29th May, 1730. Copies. Signed, William Gooch. 4 pp.
350. ii. Address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Express joy of all H.M. subjects of the Dominion at the safe arrival of Frederick, Prince of Wales in Great Britain and the conclusion of peace with Spain, "wherein not only the wisdoms of your Majesty's councels, your constancy and steadinesse in pursueing the true interests of your people, but the weaknesse of those whose artifices and intrigues have so long opposed and obstructed this good work are sufficiently displayed to the world" etc. Acknowledge the advantages which will result to them, their trade and navigation etc., and their felicity under the rule of the Lt. Governor, whose abilities and good disposition, under H.M. great care and regard for his people, concur to support H.M. honour and to secure them everything they can wish for etc. Signed, in behalf of the Council, Robert Carter; in behalf of the Burgesses, Jno. Holloway, Speaker. 1 large p. [C.O. 5, 1337. Nos. 49, 49 i., 39.]
July 25. 351. A short state of Jamaica with respect to the rebellious and runaway Negroes. Jamaica labours at present under many disadvantages by its trade to the coast being altogether stopped, and of course many seafareing men who formerly inhabited there for that purpose have gone to the northern Collonies. Its number of white inhabitants is thereby much diminished, and the only spring from whence it had its current coin dryed up; so that it is with difficulty that even the richer sort of people can get of the clipped light, and current money (raised and bad as 'tis) sufficient to go to markett for the necessaries of life; cash is now become so scarce, that no considerable payments or contracts are made but for and in goods, as no doubt the merchants in England know by experience. At the same time our white people rather decrease than increase, which may be imputed to the intemperance as well of the meaner people new comers as of the climate, whereas it is better adapted to the negroe constitutions, and of course they increase as well by the
continued numerous import as by breeding, and as great numbers daily desert their masters, some through humour, some through ill usage, they have made themselves severall large plantations, towns and settlements, in the most fertile valleys among the midland and eastern mountains, which are by natural passes, and precipices almost inaccessible, and the country being all over well wooded, it is now become (I think) the most laborious service can well be undertaken to march against them; Our best woodsmen cannot march above five miles a day, and when they come upon the towns (unless by surprise which is very rare) they come fatigued with their march, their arms and ammunition frequently wett or spoiled, with their being obliged to ly nightly in those unsettled woods, exposed to the rains and the usual excessive foggs, and when they come into their plantations, they find they are not only artfully but securely laid out, and guarded by lanes of wood wherein the negroes hide, and shoot the men sent after them etc. Describes recent disaster (v. 4th July). Continues:—We are now fitting out another party of 300 men, which if defeated as (tho' God forbid) I really apprehend they will, we have nothing left but Marshall Law and a general march; the ill consequence of which is much to be dreaded, for who have we to leave in our own plantations to keep our own negroes in order. In our last Marshall Law (and our numbers are not since increased) wee found that in the whole Island we have not above 2,500 effective men, and six tenths of those being indented servants not to be depended upon against a foreign enemy, because it is their interest to get their freedom which no doubt an enemy would proclaim (and if they were faithfull) they are generally ignorant of the use of arms. Let it be considered of what service so small a number of men, even if good, can be in so extensive a country etc. The free negroes are in sympathy with the rebel negroes who get their supply of arms and ammunition from them etc. Nothing but numbers of white people can save us, and the Island have tryed methods both to bring over and encourage white people, but all ineffectual, what through our own inability, or party disputes. Who is then to be applied to but the Crown? But then it happens there's a headstrong, blind, positive Assembly who will not be either cajoled or persuaded nor even driven to apply for soldiers and of course, as 'tis said wont add to their subsistence if sent hither; soldiers, a standing army, bugbears and words, made use of to fright folks, as if everything is to be lossed rather than ask for such creatures to ride us etc. This is the phrase, but hard it is that other private people's rights etc. should be so precariously dependant on their caprice, and it is humbly to be hoped the merchts. will apply, and the Minister advise the King to send over at least one if not two thousand effective men, which I doubt not the country would rather provide for, and subsist, than want etc. Submitted by, a true and loyal subject and real
friend of Jamaica, who has a good estate in it etc. Endorsed, Recd., Read 8th Oct., 1730. Communicated to the Board by Mr. (H.) Popple. 5 1/3 pp. [C.O. 137, 18. ff. 104–106v., 107v.]
July 25.
352. Governor Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 20th May, and receipt of new seal, and returns the old one. Has no public papers to transmit, and nothing new to lay before the Board. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Sept., Read 13th Oct., 1730. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 18. ff 134, 135v.]
July 28.
353. Joseph Browne to the Council of Trade and Plantations. States his case (v. 14th July), with details of his own movements etc. Signed, J. Browne. Endorsed, Recd. 28th July, Read 13th Aug., 1730. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1267. ff. 211–212v., 213v.]
July 28. 354. Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Mr. Popple's letter etc. we are of opinion that in regard the place where the lands [granted to Sir N. Johnson by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina] lie is not described, nor any method provided by which the same may be ascertained, such grant of the two Baronys is by reason of the uncertainty thereof absolutely void in law. Signed, P. Yorke, C. Talbot. Endorsed, Recd. 30th July, Read 13th Augt., 1730. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
354. i. Copy of the second Charter of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Printed. 10 pp. [C.O. 5, 361. ff 150, 150v., 151v.–157v.]
July 28. 355. Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of Montserrat, 1729, for establishing a Court of King's Bench etc., that by the first clause the Justices of the Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas are authorised to determine all suits etc. according to the laws and usage of the realm of Great Britain etc., and by the third clause it is enacted that the said Justices shall have as full and ample power and jurisdiction etc. within the said island as the Judges of H.M. Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas at Westminster have within Great Britain etc. "There is an ambiguity in the expression [the laws and usages of the realm of Great Britain] since that includes Scotland as well as England, and if it were strictly confined to England, yet it is capable of being construed to extend all the laws and statutes of England to the Island of Montserratt, which construction may be the more strongly supported from the provision of the third clause" quoted above. Continue:—By the eighth clause in certain cases not exceeding the value of fifteen pounds current money, the oath of the plaintiff, if the Court shall think fit, is made to be
sufficient evidence of his debt or demand, which is not agreable to the rules of Justice, and may be attended with inconveniencies. Altho' there are many other provisions in this act which do not appear to be liable to any objection, and if they stood alone might be very fit to be approved, yet for the reasons abovementioned we are of opinion that this act is not proper to be confirmed etc. The first clause of the Act of settlement and limitations for avoiding suits at law is very incorrectly and obscurely penned, so as to be almost unintelligible, but as that relates only to writs of formedon, a kind of action hardly ever used in the Plantations, and as the other parts of the act appear to us to be very usefull and beneficial to the Island, we think it may be fit to be confirmed. Signed, P. Yorke, C. Talbot. Enclosed, Recd. 30th July, 1730, Read 3rd Dec, 1735. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 22. ff. 6–7v.]
July 29/Aug. 8.
356. Mr. Hintze to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Asks for credit for £30 and repeats request for a letter confirming his instructions. Signed, Danl. Hintze. Endorsed, Recd., Read 4th Aug., 1730. Addressed. Postmark. Seal. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 5. ff. 205, 206v.]
July 29.
358. Mr. Delafaye to Mr. Popple. It being impossible for us, considering ye multiplicity of business and copying work in haste that we have at present to make a copy of the report of your Board upon ye affair of Sta. Lucia, My Lord Duke of Newcastle has resolved to send away the original to the King's Ministers at ye French Court by the first Messenger that goes thither, and to depend upon your friendship for a copy to be kept in his Office. As one should be as correct as possible in ye vouchers annext to it etc., calls attention to what looks like a misquotation from Du Tertre I.8. as to the amount subscribed by the Seigneurs of the Compagnie des Isles de l'Amérique, and desires to be informed whether it is so, or not etc. Signed, Ch. Delafaye. Endorsed, Recd., Read 30th July, 1730. 2½ pp. [C.O. 28, 21. ff. 70–71v.]
July 30.
358. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of Privy Council. In obedience to Order of 21st inst. have made the alteration therein directed in Governor Johnson's Instructions. [C.O. 5, 400. p. 382.]
July 30.
359. Mr. Wheelock to Mr. Delafaye. In the absence of Mr. Popple acknowledges letter of yesterday. Continues:—My Lords Commissioners have thereupon ordered me to get another copy of their report upon Sta. Lucia for my Lord Duke of Newcastle; their Lordsps. are obliged to you for your remark upon the Acte d'Association des Seigneurs de la Companie des Isles de l'Amérique. The observation you make upon that is
certainly just; the quatre vingt mille ought to have been vingt quatre; but it is a mistake in the original from whence it was copy'd, and for that reason was left as it is, without any observation upon it, because my Lds. Commrs. do not quote this Act of Association for the sake of the precise summ which that Expedition cost the French, but to mark the time when this Association was first form'd, and to prove as well by that, as by the Cardinal de Richelieu's Comn. to Messrs. d'Enambuc and Rossey (No. 5 in ye Appendix) that the French were not then acquainted with Sta. Lucia. [C.O. 29, 15. p. 177.]
July 30.
360. H.M. Commission appointing James Sutherland Captain and Commander of Fort Johnson in South Carolina. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 232, 233.]
July 30. 361. Thomas Smith to the Duke of Newcastle. Being informed that a petition from New Jersey is soon to be presented to the King for a separate government there, prays to be appointed Governor. Concludes:—My services being in a great measure known to your Grace incourages me very much in this my application, as well as the inherent pretensions I claim to your Grace's patronage and protection from having been honoured with the like in a perticular manner by your Grace's uncle John Duke of Newcastle etc. Signed, Thomas Smith. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 983. ff. 19, 19v.]