America and West Indies: December 1730, 21-23

Pages 397-410

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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December 1730, 21-23

Dec. 21.
New York.
620. Governor Montgomerie to Mr. Delafaye. Abstract. Refers to following, and asks for his support in the matter of the Indian trade and garrison at Oswego etc. Is afraid the Board of Trade will blame him for giving way to the Assembly of New Jersey in defraying the incidental charges of the government out of the interest money. But if he had not done so, that Government would now have been without any support, and in as great confusion as ever that of New England was in the height of their disputes with Governor Burnet, etc. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 134–135v.]
Dec. 21.
New York.
621. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. Encloses copy of letter of 20th Nov. to the Council of Trade. Continues: Your Grace having formerly approved of this manner of transmitting my informations, I shall not now repeat what is contain'd in the inclosed. The Assembly [of New Jersey] voted an Address to H.M., entreating him, that whenever he shall please to put a period to the government of the present governour, that then he will be pleased to bestow a distinct governour on that province, expressing at the same time their satisfaction with the present governour, etc. This adress they desired me to send to your Grace etc. to present to H.M. Continues:—I am told, that upon the rumour of this adress, some application has been already made by the government of New Jersey, but I think myself very safe, trusting to H.M. goodness, and your Grace's protection etc. Encloses copy of letter to Council of Trade (following), and the representation of the Council and Assembly relating to the Indian trade, and supporting the garrison at Oswego. Continues: The prosperity of this province depends so much upon the success of this representation, that I earnestly beg your Grace will countenance it, and promote the granting what is desired in it, etc. The enclosed letters from the Commissioners of the Indian affairs show that there is great reason to be jealous of the proceedings of the Governor of Canada. If some stop is not put to his measures, there is danger of losing the friendship of the Six Nations, and consequently the Indian trade etc. Printed, N.Y. Col. Doc. V. 913. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Endorsed, R. 3rd March. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
620. i.–iv. Duplicates of Letter to Council of Trade and encl. i–iii, following. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 132–135, 136, 137–145v., 147–154; and (copy of encl. iv, only) 5, 980. No. 48.]
Dec. 21.
New York.
622. Governor Montgomerie to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. He was disappointed of a ship, and therefore his letter of 20th Nov. will be delivered at the same time as this. Encloses acts passed the last session of Assembly of New York, (i) Act to revive the Militia etc.; (ii) continuing an act to farm the excise etc.; (iii) for the relief of insolvent debtors with respect to imprisonment etc.; (iv) for striking bills of credit for 3000l. to be exchanged for shattered, torn and defaced bills etc.; (v) continuing an act to amend the practice of the law etc.; (vi) continuing an act for regulating fences etc.; (vii) reviving an act for regulating and laying out highways etc.; (viii) for continuing the currency bills of credit issued in 1720 etc. The funds granted proved so far unable to sink those bills, occasioned partly by some extraordinary expences of the Government, and partly by the Members of Assembly receiving 10s. per day during that session, that another act was passed for raising 5350 oz. of plate etc., four thousand ounces whereof were applied to discharge the warrants of officers then unpaid etc. Out of another extraordinary levy 6630l. there was appropriated 2521l. to supply the deficiency of H.M. Revenue. The said bills of credit have therefore been continued to remain current till 1733 etc.; (ix) for the better preservation of oysters. A former act was effective, but since its expiration, the banks are almost destroyed etc.; (x) to prevent the levying on specialties more than the principal, interest and cost of suit etc.; (xi) for the better clearing, regulating and further laying out publick highways in Kings County, Queen's County, Richmond County and Orange County etc.; (xii) for the more effectual preventing and punishing the conspiracy of slaves and repealing acts relating thereto etc. This act is for removing doubts which have arisen on former acts etc.; (xiii) to defray the charge of victualling H.M. troops at Oswego etc. Continues:—By the Act past for this purpose in 1729, the victualling of the forces, and the regulation of the Indian trade at Oswego, were put into such a method, as gave great expectations, that the Six Nations of Indians would thereby be induced to come cheerfully and constantly to Oswego with their furrs and peltry, since they were to be taken into the protection of the officer posted there, who had orders to secure both their persons and effects, from the impositions of the traders who resorted thither from Albany to deal with them: nor did I hear that even the traders themselves complain'd of this act, for everyone of them had all the fair advantages they could expect from that trade, so that there seem'd to be an universal satisfaction in that part of the country, especially when they saw the Indians flock thither with their beaver and peltry. The Assembly likewise, I mean those who represent the counties remote from Albany, and make twenty of twenty-six which compose the House of Representatives, were well satisfied, that they had taken a method to subsist Oswego, without burthening their constituents. In this situation was this affair, when I heard that a petition was presented to your Lordships, in the name of some merchants of this place against that act; a petition, as I am since informed, drawn and signed by some of the people of Albany, long before that act past in 1729 etc. Sometime after I was informed, that the King's disallowance of the Act was at Albany, I sent thither to enquire after it, that I might lay it before the Assembly, whose meeting I had put off from time to time expecting H.M. disallowance of the Act would have been sent directly to me. When I had got it, and the Assembly met, I acquainted them with it. Refers to his Speech. Continues: Here I had various humours to contend with, ariseing from various causes, some were for supporting the garrison there by a land tax, others by impositions on the traders, others again of the Lower Counties thought it a place of no importance to them or those they represented, and these last made a great part of the House. In this disjointed state they continued some time, but at length they resolved to support it for one year only, and in the mean time to lay before your Lordships a representation, wherein they desired the Council to joyn with them. The ways and means they first agreed on for this support was (as your Lordships will see by their votes) of twenty shillings for every person trading with the Indians, and three shillings a head for every one who wears a wigg. On these resolves they drew a bill, which after much time spent, was rejected upon the third reading. This proceeded from my declaring to the Speaker, and some others of the Assembly, that I could not give my assent to any act which loaded the Indian trade in any way whatsoever, till I should receive H.M. permission: yet dreading the consequences of having Oswego neglected, I used my utmost endeavours but all in vain to perswade them to subsist that garrison by a land tax, or some other way, that might not only answer the end, but be also equitable in the proportion of the expence. They did however recede from the imposition they had before resolved on the trade, but would not depart from the wigg tax, the only means they could be brought to think of for the support of that place; In this tax the counties bear but a very small proportion, and the only prevailing inducement to this one year's tryal, was the expectation they had from their representation, that they might be allowed to make the trade bear the expence hereafter etc. From good reasons I am fully convinced that no arguments will ever perswade the Assembly to support it any other way, at the same time I assure you, that the withdrawing the garrison and deserting the place, will be attended with fatal consequences. The Albany members being sensible that Oswego must be deserted and their trade for ever lost, unless some other method were taken for the support of the place, were very zealous for the support of the Representation, "which was unanimously signed by the members of both Houses" etc., as the only means left them to preserve their trade, to protect their frontiers, and to keep the Six Nations of Indians in their allegiance. The Albany members and the most considerable traders, even those who were the principal petitioners against the acts repealed, are anxious for H.M. permission to erect a company for that trade, who are willing to be obliged by law to maintain the garrison at Oswego, for by this incorporation they will be put into a full possession of the trade and not subject to the penalties of which they before complained, nor, they say, will their correspondents in England, or the manufacturers of fur any longer feel the decay of trade caused by the highhanded and deceitful trading of traders under the act of 1729, whereby the Indians were in a great measure deterred from coming to Oswego and compelled to seek another market among the French etc. Insists upon the importance of Oswego not only as a trading house and a place of security to the frontiers, but also as a garrison, situate in the midst of the Six Nations, protecting them from the sudden attacks of the French in time of war and skreening them from their affronts, and designing machinations in time of peace. Emphasises the importance of the Six Nations as a barrier between Canada and all the Colonies from New York to Virginia. That the French have a just sense of their importance appears from the great expence they put themselves to, in keeping their emissaries among them, making presents to the principal men, inviting, entertaining and caressing them when they go to Canada, using all possible arts to ingratiate themselves, to magnifie their own power, and to depreciate ours etc. Canada has from a small beginning, rose of late years to a very great bulk. Refers to enclosed report from the Commissioners for Indian affairs, that the French "have employed an agent, who pretending himself to be a fugitive, has desired leave of the Sinnekes, to build a trading house between Oswego and Yagero, this is the first foundation of a garrison, and in the same manner they built that of Niagara and Kaderachque. In building Oswego this Government copied after them, the Indians being unwilling to grant liberty to build a fort or garrison, for this reason, the Assembly has always called Oswego a Trading House, though it was intended to be, has been, still is, and I hope ever will continue a Garrison" etc.; (xiv) An act to prevent swine running at large in counties named, etc.; (xv) An act for naturalising Herman Winkler and others; (xvi) for paying Richard Bradley 150l. and Henry Beckman 15l. 10s. etc., on account of prosecutions etc.; (xvii) to enable the city of New York to raise money to purchase two fire engines etc.; (xviii) to continue an act to prevent swine in Dutchess County and the manor of Livingston etc.; (xix) to prevent the destruction of sheep by dogs, in Albany and other counties etc. Acknowledges the new seal for New York and returns old one. The new seal for New Jersey was lost in the passage. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Set out, N.Y. Col. Doc. V. pp. 903–909. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Feb., Read 2nd April, 1731. Enclosed,
622. i. Indian Commissioners at Albany to Governor Montgomerie. Albany. Nov. 26, 1730. By the enclosed Minutes your Excellency will perceive what information we lately received from the Sinnekes country, that the French intended to make a settlement at Tiederondequat only 50 or 60 miles from our garrison at Oswego, in the passage of the Sinnekes from their hunting, and of the Far Indians from their country to us. Which attempt is, as we conceive, a manifest breach of the Treaty of Peace and Commerce etc., and if we must calmly submit to this incroachment to have our trade cut off at one blow we are a very unhappy people, (we are also informed that the French are to build a fort at the Crown Point at the S. end of Corlaer's Lake but 120 miles from this place) perhaps on pretence to intercept and prevent the trade of the Indians hither and to Canada, is also against said Treaty, which is not the only detriment and mischief we apprehend from it, but in case of a rupture between the Crowns it will be a very convenient rendesvouz and magazine for their Indians to make easie assaults on this county and New England and where they may at their leizure convey provisions etc. over the Lake and surprize this city. Pray H.E. to represent the matter to the Court of Great Britain etc. Continue: We being informed that the Governour of Canada has sent several French Indians a hunting towards Kaderachque, who used to hunt at the carrying place on our frontier, and that we daily hear such precarious accounts of the daily incroachments of the French on our Indian trade, and Captain Blood haveing received a pacquet wrote in French from Kaderachque by an Indian that he could not read which he to our great surprize enclosed in a pacquet for Capt. Holland for your Excellency, which at this juncture of affairs we conclude may be of pernicious consequence to this Province etc. Signed, Philip Livingston, Myndert and John Schuyler, Evert Wendell, Stevanus Groesbeck, Johs. and Abraham Cuyler, Nicolas Bleecker, Barent Sanders, Dirck Ten Broeck. Copy. 2 pp. Enclosed,
622. ii. (a) Minutes of Commissioners for Indian Affairs in Albany. 23rd Nov., 1730. Records Lawrence Claese's report that an Indian of the Six Nations had informed him that Jean Ceure, a French Officer and Interpreter, was in the Sinnekes Country and had some French soldiers with him, who represented that he had been whipped and banished from Canada, and was in treaty with the Sinnekes for permission to build a trading house at Tiederondequatt and keep some soldiers to work for him there. A gentleman of this Board had been told the same by another Indian. A letter from Abraham Wendell, Barnardus Hartsen and Co. from the Sinnekes country, 12th Oct. last, advised the Board that the nation of Indians called the Foxes had sent two red stone axes to the warring young men of the Sinnekes, who gave them to the Sachims, and they gave them to the Governour of Canada because he was at warr with them. Moreover, there was no request therein, as they said, but we are assured by the aforesaid letter that those axes were sent upon some request. All which Mons. Jean Ceure confirmed by telling our company there, that the Sinnekes Indians had given them two stone axes which the Foxes had sent to them requesting that they might live and settle among them, but Jean Ceure said that he had sent them to his Governour, and that he had told the Indians that if they should admit the Foxes to settle among them, the French and English together would come and cut off their castles while they were now united in one body, and further told our people that he designed to stay there this ensuing winter in the small castle upon the subject of the two axes. Whereupon it was resolved to write the following letter to Abraham Wendell and Co. now posted in the Sinnekes Country. Annexed,
622. ii. (b) Commissioners for Indian affairs to Abraham Wendell and Co. Albany. 23rd Nov., 1730. Acknowledge their letter of Oct. 12th relating to Jean Ceure tampering with the Sinnekes and to the Foxes, ut supra. Continue: We desire you to tell them that we do not think it strange that those Indians have been endeavouring to get liberty to settle and shelter, themselves among the Sinnekes, and we are much more surprized that they have not encouraged those Indians to come to live among them, while they are a wise people and have taken much pains to go to war to take prisoners to strengthen themselves, and should they now refuse a whole nation of Indians to come and live in the Sinnekes country. And we think it very strange that they have delivered the two red axes to Jean Ceure in order to be sent to the Governour of Canada, while we expected that they should have sent the same to our Governour in which you may tell them that they have been much wanting in their duty. You may also tell the Sinnekes that as to what Ceure told them, that in case they should come and settle among them the French and English would come and cut them off, you must tell the Indians, what was the reason that the French did not assist the English when the Anogongaars Indians warr'd with them, while the English and French were in friendship, but instead thereof supplied the said Indians with powder and lead against the English, and therefore tell them that we desire that they will by all means invite the Foxes to settle among them, it being what constantly has been recommended to them by all Governours to invite and encourage as many Indians to settle among them as possible, for that is a means to strengthen them, and that we wonder since the French have so often deceived them with false stories that they cannot apprehend that the meaning of the French is to hinder the said Nation to come to settle among them, and by means thereof to keep the Five Nations low. And we cannot think that while they are sensible that we always have been one head, one heart and one body that they should suspect that we should joyn with any nation to do them harm, for on the contrary the Covenant Chain between the Six Nations and us is that we shall help each other when there's any necessity. And hereupon you must lay down a blanket strouds to renew the covenant etc. In the Governour's name we desire that you will heartily request it of the Indians not to grant Ceure any lands or suffer him to build, for they cannot but be sensible that a man who has been banish'd, cannot have soldiers under him, but on the contrary his design is under pretence of building a trading house, he will encroach so far on their land till he builds a fort as the French have done at Kaderachque and Tagera etc. We desire you will take good notice what Ceure does this winter etc. The whole endorsed, Recd. 27th Feb., 1730/1. Copy. 4 pp.
622. ii. Representation of the Council and Representatives of New York to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the occasion of the repeal of several acts relating to the Indian Trade (v. 11th Dec., 1729), represent the state of the beaver and fur trade. Since the peace very great quantities of strouds and other Indian goods of the manufacture of Great Britain and the East Indies have been sold to the French of Canada in return whereof their payments have been made in beaver and skins etc. Continues: Although the said trade with Canada continued to encrease, so that the bulk of its furr and peltry centred in this Colony, yet upon a mistaken prospect that the French could not at any moderate rates be supplyed with strouds but from Albany only and that without them they could not carry on any considerable trade with the remote Indians as also that if we could prevent their being furnished with them from hence those Indians would come to trade personally and directly with us, the Legislature passed the Act of 1720 prohibiting the sale of Indian goods to the French, etc. Continues: Strouds did thereupon rise to a very high and extraordinary price amongst the French at Canada, which tended only to the benefit of such as clandestinely and in contempt of the said laws supplyed them therewith, but it did at the same time put the French upon measures to procure those goods (if not equal to the English yet in imitation of and somewhat near them) from France and other parts if not directly from England, wherein they succeeded so effectually that their storehouses soon filled and they abounded in strouds and other Indian goods, after which they forbad this importation of them from and the exportation of furrs to this Colony etc. setting very strict watches upon their frontiers etc., whereupon that trade was diverted from its former channels and in danger of being ingrossed by the French etc. To retrieve and enlarge it, the Legislature found no means so proper as by erecting a tradeing house at Oswego upon a point of the mouth of the River Onondaga which there empties itself into the River Cataraqui by which point and very near it the remote Indians constantly pass as well in going to Canada as in coming to the Six Nations or to Albany. Upon the erecting of this house the prohibition by this Colony enacted was repealed, June, 1726, it being then conceived reasonable that our traders should be enabled to afford better pennyworths to the Indians than could be done by the French who labouring under other disadvantages besides the difficulty of their navigation up the River of St. Lawrence no longer practicable than in part of the three summer months and when their goods are arrived at Quebeck have a long and difficult passage to Montreal and from thence a rapid current against them for above 150 miles before they reach their fort or first trading house upon the Lake Cataraqui could not be supposed to afford them so cheap as our traders, our navigation being good and secure for nine months in the year as far as Albany distant no more than 16 miles from Schenectady through a smooth easy road from whence to Oswego we have a very advantagious navigation for canoes and battoos (three short and easy carrying places only excepted) and it was conceived that a moderate duty imposed by that Act etc. would still leave our traders room sufficient to undersell the French. The stone trading house was according built at Oswego etc., and an Act for the support of it and reducing former fines etc. was passed, exact care being also taken by the said act that as often as the Indians came to Oswego they were at liberty to trade with whom and for what they pleased which gave them so universal satisfaction that it afforded a fair prospect that most of the remote Indians would thereby be prevaild upon to bring their furrs thither especially since they could not purchase at so easy a price from the French etc. But upon the report of H.M. disallowance of the acts beforementioned which foreran the arrival of it many of our young traders no longer under the restraint of the laws looked upon the Indians and their goods as no longer under the protection of the officer placed by H.E. for that purpose at Oswego (and till then acting by virtue of those laws) did with a strong hand take the beavers and furrs which the Indians had brought thither carrying them to their own hutts and setting their own prices upon them which surprizing behaviour coming to the knowledge of other Indians then upon their journey to their former safe and good market they immediately returned and disposed of their effects to the French etc., and as the ill usage of the Indians can no otherwise be prevented than by legal and strict regulations we are under very melancholy apprehensions of the consequences which may very soon spring from this licentious conduct etc. Express their loyalty and gratitude to the King for his many princely favours etc. and lay before the Board proposals for the fur trade. Though unacquainted with the particulars which prompted the repeal of the said Acts, they apprehend that complaints against them were formed upon jealousies which have "by designing men been infused from hence into certain merchants and manufacturers in England as that these late duties and regulations had thrown the furr trade into foreign hands" etc., those complainants not considering that a moderate duty on Indian goods is not an obstruction to that trade, and that without it probably it may at some time hereafter be found impracticable to support that house and garrison absolutely necessary for its preservation. The Six Nations are by it secured from surprize and look upon it as a reward for their fidelity, a sanctuary in any unexpected distress, and a pledge of H.M. resolution to protect the distant bounds of his territories etc. Enlarge upon its effect upon the Indians. Continue: If we of this Colony who are the first that animated them etc. shall upon any motive whatsoever suffer a suspicion to prevail that we cannot or will not support Oswego the French emissaries who have long since foretold its fall will impute it to cowardice weakness and poverty, and spare neither pains flattery or rewards to incline them to revolt etc. The French fortress at Jagara situated on the South West as Oswego is near the East end of Lake Cataraqui and two armed barks of considerable burthen constantly maintained thereon would be more than sufficient to intimidate a people by fact convinced that they are deserted and forsaken by their friends etc. Continue:—Suggest that H.M. permission be given to support this trade by a duty either upon the goods or persons of those who receive the sole benefit and advantage thereof, or to erect and incorporate a company who should have the sole benefit of the said trade and of selling Indian goods at Oswego for a certain term of years and in consideration thereof pay an annual sum sufficient for the support of that house and garison etc. The Legislature (with the most humble and respectful submission to what they apprehend from the disallowance of their acts to be H.M. will and pleasure) has in this session determined to defray the expense of that house and garison by a general tax for one year least the abandoning of a place of so great consequence should for the reasons above recited render us mean and contemptible in the eyes of the Indians etc. and the valuable manufacture of peltry suffer any diminution etc., but fear future Assemblies will hardly be inclined to burthen their constituents in order to uphold this place and the trade depending upon it from neither of which they can be said to receive any sencible advantage etc. Conclude: If your Lordships are pleased to consider the general situation of this Colony we hope that these our apprehensions will not appear ill grounded; Nassau or Long Island which is the most populous and wealthy part of this Government (the citys of New York and Albany only excepted) and containeing King's, Queen's and Suffolk countys is peopled by husbandmen little or not at all concerned in any trade or navigation its nearest distance is 150 miles from Albany and more than 400 from Oswego, Richmond County or Staten Island the same, and the countys of Ulster Dutchess Orange and Westchester under equal disadvantages as to any benefit or profit arising from the beforementioned Indians or their correspondence, and these counties send seventeen members of twenty-six which compose the House of Representatives, and we intreat leave to assure your Lordships that for these reasons no tax or imposition but what can be levied upon the persons or goods of those only to whom so great and manifold advantages and considerable fortunes and estates arise by the support and establishment of Oswego and the trade depending thereon can probably in many years become so popular as to afford any reasonable and sufficient security for its continuance etc. Signed, 11 Members of Council, Ad. Philipse, Speaker, and 24 Members of Assembly. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Feb., 1730/1. 3 large pp. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff. 155–165v., 166v, 167, 168, 169, 169v.]
Dec. 21.
New York.
623. Governor Montgomerie to Mr. Popple. Refers to preceding etc. and concludes as to Delafaye supra. Set out, N.Y. Col. Doc. V. p. 913. Signed and endorsed as preceding covering letter. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff 180, 180v., 181v.]
Dec. 23. 624. Extract from letter from Adolph Philipse, Speaker of the Assembly of New York, to Peter Leheup. What I conceive will further convince the Ministry that the supporting our fort at Oswego deserves their serious attention is the following account we have had since. First that the French are about erecting in the Sinnekas country what they pretend a trading house though the design seems rather a fort because the person sent to manage it is said to have a good number of soldiers to assist him in that undertaking. And next that they design to build another fort at the Cryn Point, etc. Refers to Governor Montgomerie's letter and encl. Dec. 21. Continues: As to the first place westward, it is amongst the most numerous and considerable nation of all our Indians, who possess the finest and richest lands in this Government and Tiederonquat (the place pitched upon) hath always been deemed naturally to afford all the conveniencies requisite for a fortification of importance. And as to the second northward, it is situated at the south side of Corlaur's or Champlain Lake, from whence they can march by land to Albany, and of course to any other part of this or the neighbouring colonies. Upon these considerations it is hoped that means will be found to dispose the Court of France to put a stop to any attempts of that kind by their people in these parts, at least untill the limits between the two Crowns are settled by Commissioners pursuant to the Treaty etc. For should the French be permitted to compleat these fortifications, they would soon bring the Six Nations under their subjection, and in process of time be able to drive H.M. subjects on this Continent into the sea; which doubtless would affect us first. For their schemes are generally attended with very distant views. They already encircle most part of the British Dominions in North America etc. When I reflect on the situation of these affairs, it gives me very melancholy apprehensions. And though no fatal consequences may result from them in my days, give me leave to conjure you not to omit any sollicitation to back what H.E. our Governour hath represented on these heads etc. Endorsed, R. from Mr. Leheup, 3rd March. Copy. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 155–157.]
Dec. 23.
625. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. Since the last that I had the honour to write to your Grace of the 12th instant, the Council has drawn up an Address to H.M., setting forth the present state of this Island, and have order'd Mr. Webster Clerk to the Council, to transmit it to Mr. Sharpe as their Agent, in order to have it presented to H.M. I have transmitted to your Grace joyntly with this an authentick copy etc. By the inclosed Minutes of the Assembly of the 18th instant, your Grace will find that the Assembly have petitioned H.M., praying that H.M. will be graciously pleased to order the Members of his Council here, and H.M. Governour, to concurr with them in passing an Agent's bill, upon which the Council yesterday drew up some reasons in justification of their conduct, enclosed, and I must add one, why I could not give my assent to it, if the Counsellors had not rejected it, wch. they have a right to do without being answerable to the Assembly for their actions, that they are now actually employed in solliciting a petition to H.M., the prayer of which is directly contrary to my 96th Instruction. I am really at a loss to know what the Assembly mean by their desiring that an Agent's bill might be passed in the usual manner; upon my arrival here, and every year since when Agents were appointed, I recommended to some of the Council, and Assembly the Gentlemen I thought were fit to be our Agents, and before the bill was brought into the Assembly they were agreed upon, and therefore the bill passed unanimously, and I am told that in Mr. Lowther's time they were chosen in the same manner, and thus any dispute that might otherwise have arisen about the persons appointed is avoided. Your Grace will find by the inclosed Minutes that the Gentlemen of the Assembly have been so good as to make up my account, but they ought to have let the world know that 'tis Barbadoes money, which is 30 pr. cent. lower then sterling. I am obliged to them for owning what I shall be entituled to the 19th of the next month, and I hope they will be so just as to find out the means of paying it. However 'tis some satisfaction to me that they can't charge me with getting anything but what every one knows I have a right to. Your Grace will be pleased to observe that of 22 Assembly men, there were but 13 present when they passed the petition to H.M. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, R. 30th March. 3 pp. Enclosed,
625. i. Council's reasons for rejecting Agent's Bill etc. 1½ pp.
625. ii. Address of Council of Barbados to the King. 'Tis an inexpressible concern to us that the occasion of our throwing ourselves at your Majesty's feet at this time should put us under the necessity of making such a representation of the present state of our country as must greatly reflect on the behaviour of many of its inhabitants etc. But while a strange and unaccountable spirit of opposition prevails so far amongst us, as even in a manner to be a defiance to the Sovereign Authority whereby all laws made here are either confirmed or repealed, it would illy become us silently to look on etc. Narrate case of the Act for supporting the honour and dignity of the Government, and the attempt made to evade the Order in Council declaring it to be in force "by working up those who had already been delinquents but now inclined to a better temper still to refuse giving in the numbers of their negroes to the Assemblymen, by a joynt resolution of many of the Assemblymen themselves not to give in their own, or to return lists of the defaulters: by terrifying people from bidding for effects sold at outcry on the Treasurer's executions, and at length by influencing the Treasurer to forbear levying the penalty's and forfeitures pursuant to the said law; by all which and the like artifices there has been a large deficiency for two years last past, in the collection of the tax, and consequently the user for which it was granted could not be sattisfyed" etc. Continue: Altho' many very loyal subjects have constantly and freely paid the tax etc., yet they cannot but be uneasy when they reflect that others, who are equally able and no less bound, are discharged thereof, which in truth everyone is against whom the Treasurer does not issue his warrants four months after the time of payment etc. This is often objected to us, and we find ourselves at some loss to give a satisfactory answer etc. Continue: The poverty of the people and the debts of the country have been of late plausibly alledged as some excuse for the greatest outrage on authority that we believe ever was committed. Yet we cannot say that we have hitherto been sensible of the former any otherwise than may have been occasioned only by personal extravagances, and as to the latter, it is a notorious fact that many thousand pounds of the publick debts have actually been paid out of that very fund, which so bold an effort has been made to destroy etc. If the amount thereof for the two last years had been equal to those preceeding, which it well might, the whole wou'd before this time have been discharged, inclusive of what is due to Francis Whitworth Esq. and the Lord Viscount Micklethwaite etc. The difficulty which has been made about these last seems to owe its use to the old exploded aim at assuming a power of approving accounts previous to the issue of any orders for money (in derogation of your Majesty's prerogative and contrary to the constant usage) rather than to a principle of publick parsimony, notwithstanding, the same attempt was recently censur'd by your Majesty's disallowance of the drawft of an Excise bill drawn up according to that unreasonable and preposterous scheme. And why the Governour and Council which constitute the Supream Court of Judicature here, and as such determine all contests with regard to private property should not also be thought as competent in matters of that nature, as any set of men chosen by the people, we are apt to believe no good reason can easily be assign'd. Testify to the "steady prudence" with which the Governor has has conducted affairs etc. "We are truly sensible of our happiness under the Royal Commission and Instructions" etc. Signed, Wm. Webster, D. Clerk of the Council. 1 large p. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 163–164v. (without enclosures); and (enclosures only) 28, 40. Nos. 8, 9.]
Dec. 23.
Barbadoe s.
626. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate, mutatis mutandis, of preceding covering letter. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 20th May, Read 22nd Sept., 1731. 3 pp. Enclosed,
626. i., ii. Duplicates of encl. i, ii preceding. Same endorsement.
626. ii. Petitioner of George Culpeper to Governor Worsley. Ralph Weeks, Sheriff, rejected the votes of several freeholders at the election of vestrymen for St. Philip's parish, whereby petitioner was not returned. Prays for a hearing of his case before the Governor and Council. Same endorsement, ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 109–112v., 113v.–114, 115v.]