America and West Indies: July 1731, 1-5

Pages 151-161

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 38, 1731. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1938.

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July 1731, 1-5

July 1. 264. Mr. Popple to Mr. Delafaye requesting his opinion concerning the proposed repeal of the Jamaica Act re negroes and Mr. Williams' memorial. Autograph signature. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 47. f. 100; 138, 17, pp. 315–6.]
July 1.
265. Order of King in Council. Approving Samuel Ogle appointed by Charles Lord Baltimore to be Lt. Governor of Maryland in the room of Benedict Leonard Calvert, provided he qualifies himself as the law requires and gives good security to observing the acts of Trade and Navigation and obeying H.M. Instructions. The Council of Trade and Plantations are to take care that such security be given accordingly. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 7th July, 1731. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 13, 13v., 18v.]
July 1.
New York.
266. Rip Van Dam to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract: — Montgomerie. As the first of H.M. Council, the government has devolved upon him etc. Printed, N.Y. Col. Doc. V. 921; and N. J. Archives 1st ser. V. 294. Signed, Rip Van Dam. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd Sept., Read 23rd Dec, 1731. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff. 202, 203v.]
July 1.
New York.
267. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. To same effect as preceding. Signed, Rip Van Dam. Endorsed, R. 3rd Sept. Addressed (via Boston). Postmark, ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 164, 165v.]
July 1. 268. Lt. General Mathew to the Duke of Newcastle. Arrived here on Saturday etc. Is prevented by a fit of the gout and remains of long sickness in the West Indies from waiting on His Grace to return thanks for his leave of absence etc. Signed, William Mathew. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 43. f. 149.]
July 1.
269. Order of King in Council. Ordering, upon preceding representation, a new silver seal to be prepared for New Jersey. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 10th, Read 11th Aug., 1731. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 972. ff. 225, 232v.]
[July 1.] 270. Governor Burrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Transmits report upon the state of the Province. Has acted in everything to the best of his capacity. Has been entirely left to himself since he entered upon the country's business and instead of help from the Council, they are a weight upon him. "There has been no foolery or vilany sett on foot that they are not concerned inn, which has increased since John Mongomery, the Attorney General, arrived." Has the whole force of his wisdom and three others to guard against. If he is wanting in his report, it is owing to their conduct, although he has endeavoured to serve. When he mentions the Council, he does not mean all, but complains of three principally, vizt., Mr. Ashe, Mr. Porter, whom he has refused to screen from several prosecutions for his violent and unlawful proceedings in the Court of Admiralty of which he is Judge, and Mr. Smith the Chief Justice, a weak hasty young man drunk from morning till night, set on work by the other two and some of the managers in the Assembly. He has resigned his seat at the Council Board, and is reported to be going home with complaints against the Governor. His own actions will speak for themselves, and he only demands not to be censured unheard etc. Printed, N.C. Col. Rec. iii, 140. Signed, Geo. Burrington. Endorsed, Recd, (from Capt. Straudwick in Denmark Street) 26th Oct., 1731, Read 7th June, 1732. 3 pp. Undated. Date (1st July) indicated in letter of 4th Sept. infra. Enclosed,
270. i. Governor Burrington's Report to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. He arrived 25th Feb. to find the country in the greatest confusion, "the Government sunk so low that neither peace or order subsisted, the General Court suppressed, the Council set aside a year and a half, and some of the Precinct Courts fallen. The Admiralty Court having no restraint began to draw all manner of business there, and proceeded in such an extraordinary manner as occasioned a general discontent and ferment among the people" etc. The Judge of that Court the chief actor in running the country into disorders. The late Governor being a very weak man was too easily put upon rash measures that have caused so many heats and divisions. Has done his best to allay them. Encloses addresses by the Grand Jury to H.M. and himself, gratefully acknowledging the same. Called a new Assembly which sat for 5 weeks from 13th April, but was then obliged to part with them, finding that the longer they sat the more their heats encreased, and less inclination to observe H.M. Instructions which he laid before them. On H.M. 19th Instruction a bill was formed for an act about fees and quit-rents. But instead of complying with H.M. instructions about the payment of these in Proclamation money, they pretended to allow the payment in that money or bills at four to one discount, but then endeavoured to reduce the fees four times as low as they were before, and then took advantage of a division in the Council and the misbehaviour of the Chief Justice etc., so that he was obliged to prorogue them. They also evaded that part of the Instruction that required registering of lands, which is necessary for getting H.M. rent-roll, for want of which and of power in the Lords Proprietors there has been great difficulty hitherto in the collecting. There being no Receiver General there, the collection of the revenue is like to be more difficult. It will require an officer inmediately commissioned, and not a Deputy as is now designed. In respect to the pay- ment of quit-rents, they had ingeniously contrived (under pretence of not being able to pay this year) that it would be near two years before rents should be paid, and then the bill added they might be paid in tobacco or rice at 11s. per cwt. as an equivalent for Proclamation money, tho' neither are worth near so much. He could get no advice from the Council as to whether any equivalent at all could be taken instead of money, and now asks for H.M. directions. Money "is hardly to be raised in that Government, it being affirmed that there has not been cash eneugh at one time here to pay a year's rents, and the people have another plea that the Grand Deed to the inhabitants of Albemarle (the name this Government was then called) in 1668, under which most part of the lands are held, grants the lands to them on the same terms as in Virginia where the rents are paid in tobacco or money at the choice of the parties, and it is submitted whither it would not be a means of putting people on raising tobacco and thereby increase our European trade that so much wants encouragement" etc. In reply to xxth Instruction recounts history of the paper bills of credit. All the old bills have been called in and those now subsisting are by a pretended act made in Nov., 1729 after the King had purchased etc. By it the bills let out at loan on land security are re-issued as soon as paid in, and therefore made perpetual. For want of care in the valuation of the lands mortgaged, it is said there has been a great deal of fraud. Compares it with the Virginia currency and Proclama- tion money. The credit of the bills is much lower than stated in the Act and is declining from the breaking up of this Assembly. It is held by many that the act itself is void, as being made and ratifyed in the name of the Lords Proprietors when they had surrendered to the Crown, and also because the Government were not empowered to make such an act, without a clause therein not to be of force, till their assent was had etc. The present Assembly, however, are of opinion that the laws made in 1729 are not void, or at least ought to remain in force till H.M. pleasure be known therein (v. Journal, 28th April) the Bills have been found so necessary in facilitating payments, defraying contingent charges of the Govern- ment and as a medium of trade, that the destroying them wholly would be a great loss to the country. In obedience to Instruction xxv, sends home all the laws in force. He would have had them revised, if the Assembly would have done business. Some are obsolete, others need alterations, but in general they are a body of laws well adapted to the place etc. Forbears erecting a Court of Exchequer till he sees its necessity. At present there is no one capable of trying a cause in one. Prays one may be sent. On enquiry into com- plaints by and against Sir R. Everard. as directed by the 41st Instruction, he was not candidly dealt by the Council. At length they gave their opinion that there was nothing material in the complaint against him, only the words spoken against H.M., which were to be proved by Collector Gale now in England, and Col. Thomas Harvey some time dead. The Secretary was by the unanimous opinion of the Board discharged from Sir Richard's complaints against him. Mr. Porter having complained against several persons for an intended riot and combination to assassinate him, he was promised a day for hearing, if he would draw the complaint in form etc., but he having offered nothing further, concludes he has dropped it. Thinks there was no such riot or design intended. Has received a complaint against the said Judge of the Admiralty for many illegal and arbitrary proceedings in that Court, praying for his suspension. This he laid before the Council to be proceeded upon. Mr. Porter has hitherto made no reply. He laid the xliind Instruction before the Assembly and recommended it to them in his Speech, but nothing was done by them. To that part which relates to persons holding greater quantities of lands than their grants express, it was urged that they had a law already about resurveys in such cases. Asks for a form of patents. Thinks 50 acres to each person in a family too little to produce much pitch and tar, because 1000 acres of pine land of which 19 parts in 20 of the country consists, will hardly imploy one slave, so that, if not altered, this regulation will prove very detrimental to the revenue. In some places there are large plains called Savannas, these are boggy and as bad lands as the moors in the North. The pine lands are chiefly sandy barrens as improper for littage as the Savannas. "If people have so little land it will be a very long time before all the country is settled, and if men are obliged to live so near one another they must make their own apparrel and hous'hould goods, because they cannot raise stock to purchase them brought from England. It is by breeding horses, hoggs and cattle, that people without slaves gain substance here at first, not by their labour. If but one half of the Province is inhabited, the produce of cattle etc will be but half" etc. As to any grants of land made since H.M. purchase, he has been moved by the Assembly to join in an address to H.M. to have them all confirmed, which he declined, but promised to represent the matter to the Lords of Trade fully. States case. Instruction xliii required that in all future grants the quit-rents should be 4s. But the people urge that they have an undoubted right by the Grand Deed upon the Lords Proprietors to hold their lands on the same tennure as in Virginia, which is at 2s. per hundred etc. If this Instruction be continued, it will prevent them taking up land. In reply to xlvith Instruction, gives an account of the Courts and Jurisdictions established. Desires directions as to the power of Assistant Judges, a great dispute having been raised by the Chief Justice and his two allies in the Council, who assert that the Assistants have no judicial power, but sit only as supporters. In that case no gentleman will accompany the Chief Justice on the Bench, and it will be erecting a single Judge of the Court of Common Pleas etc. As to the xlviith Instruction, he never heard that any officers in North Carolina held places under the Proprietors for life, but only during their pleasure, which are all now superceeded. The Assembly have always usurped power. Instances their choosing a Public Treasurer, now Edward Moseley, Speaker and Manager of the Assembly. Refers to debate in Journal. By the Assembly in 1729 a pretended act was passed con- stituting eleven precinct Treasurers, who were all in the Assembly and as they have the disposition of the publick money will be constantly chosen, which forms so great a party that they can lead the Assembly as they please. Is sure it will be for H.M. service and the quiet of the Province that a Treasurer for this Govern- ment be appointed by the Lords of the Treasury. In accordance with Instructions xlviii and xix, he ordered with the assent of the Council that all fees as they then stood should be received till further regu- lation, but they should not be compelled to receive them in Province bills unless at four for one according to the estimate made of them with respect to silver in the pretended act. Recounts dispute with Assembly on this matter. The Assembly was prorogued to 6th Sept., when by a law here the biennial election comes on. By the lvith Instruction he is commanded to appoint Courts of Oyer and Terminer yearly, at a charge not exceeding 100l. each session. If this money is to be paid in bills it will not suffice. Asks for directions. As to lxist Instruction, there is a law concerning juries already, though it has certain incon- veniences. The lxiiird Instruction he recommended to the Assembly in vain. His lxixth Instruction to countenance H.M. officers he strictly obeys, though it has made enemies of several of his former friends. The lxxvth and lxxvith instructions, concerning Churches, he laid before the Assembly, but could not observe much sense of religion among them, or that any notice was taken. The country has no orthodox Minister legally settled, those formerly here generally gave offence by their vicious lives. Each Parish has churchwardens and a vestry empowered to raise money by a poll-tax, which is applied to maintaining the poor or paying a minister to come out from Virginia, or readers etc. Several parishes by contributions have built chapels etc. lxxvth Instruction. There are already good and wholesome laws for punishing vice, but better framed than executed. Will recommend establishment of schools, so much wanted, when the Assembly is disposed to do business. As for laws for the conversion of Negroes and Indians, does not expect much will be done, when so little regard is had to promote publick worship. lxxvith Instruction. The Indians of late years are much diminished. There are six nations amongst them, who all live within the English settlements having land assigned them and choosing places most secure from attacks of foreign Indians. These are the Hatteras, Maremuskeets, Potaskites, Chowans, Meherrins and Tuscarora. None exceeds 20 families, except the Tuscaroras who now consist of 200 fighting men etc. There was lately complaints from the Government of S. Carolina of injuries done the white people by the latter, but they denying the facts are threatened by that Government with a war from the Cherokees and Cataubas. The King of the Tuscaroras is now with him to make some proposals, that the white people of S. Carolina may not come against him, because he says it may bring on a war with the English in general. He has only one Councillor to consult with, the rest being out of the Province or at a very great distance; will be obliged to fill up some of the vacancies. lxxviiith Instruction. There is a law for registering births and burials in each parish, but very little notice taken of it. There are no forts, garrisons, magazines or public arms or ammunition, ciii. Is procuring a map to be done very accurately. civ. As to boundaries, a river boundary would be much more certain and less expensive than a land line etc. The Santee river was the ancient boundary etc. cv. The duties are charged on imports or exports, except a powder duty, at first intended for pilotage and buoying out the inlets. Some attempts were made, but of late shame- fully neglected. The money is chiefly used for paying the Assembly men, who have received 10s. a day travelling expences. There is no law for their being paid, so he refused to sign a warrant at their late prorogation. Hopes for the future they will bear their own charges in North as they do in South Carolina. There are no duties on anything, and only a poll tax of 5s. each tythable bill money (and that by the pretended act in 1729 abolished) and a parish tax to be assessed by the Vestry not exceeding 5s. per poll, so that the whole tax cannot amount to above 10/s. a poll for rateable persons in bill money not exceeding 1s. 6d. sterling, and though the people are thus free from taxes or impositions beyond any people in all H.M. Dominions, they seem uneasy that the King's rents should be demanded in Proclamation money or anything else but bills, cvi, cvii. The African Company's trade here has hitherto been small. All encouragement will be given to it. Will endeavour to restore the country to order: it is capable of being made a flourishing colony, and yearly will increase by the coming of people from the Northern settlements etc. The good lands lying commodiously are long since patented, the remainder, the greatest part of the country, are far from navigable waters. For the increase of H.M. revenue and good of the Province, hopes to receive an order to grant lands at 2s. (instead of 4s.) per 100 acres. Has signed but one warrant for taking up lands since his arrival. The trade of this Government is now very miserable, except at Cape Fear River. The merchants on James River in Virginia supply most of the inhabitants on the north side of Albemarle Sound and Roanoke River with British commodities at unreasonable rates, being brought in by land or in little canoos in small quantitys; the people of New England send in sorry sloops which sail from river to river with West India goods and salt and carry away such things as cannot conveniently be transported into Virginia. The only method to put the traffic in a right way and make the trade advantageous to Great Britain is to settle a Custom House on Ocacock Island, where there is a good harbour for vessels of 300 tons etc., to be a port for the three districts of Roanoke, Currihick, and Bath Town, etc. Signed, Geo. Burrington. N.C. Col. Rec. III. 140. 22 ½ pp. Enclosed,
270. ii. Schedule of papers to be delivered to the Lords of Trade. Endorsed as covering letter. 2/3 p.
270. iii. Certificate that following papers are true copies etc. Signed, Geo. Burrington. 2nd July, 1731. 1 p.
270. iv. Drafts of a bill to ascertain fees and quit-rents, with proceedings of Council and Assembly thereon. 31 ½ pp.
270. v. Journal of Council, 25th Feb. — 22nd May, 1731. 63 pp.
270. vi. Journal of Assembly, 13th April — 17th May, 1731. 34 ½ pp.
270. vii. Journal of Council and Assembly, 13th April — 17th May, 1731. 52 pp.
270. viii. Copies of Acts passed in Nov. 1729, the validity of which is disputed (v. Report supra and Journals of Assembly), (i) Act for emitting 40,000l. public bills of credit, (ii) for the more quiet settling of the Meherin Indians' lands, (iii) to make Hyde precinct separate from Beaufort precinct, with power of erecting a Court- house and holding Courts. (iv) to appoint part of Albemarle County to be a precinct by name of Tyrrell etc. (v) for the more effectual and speedy putting in execution the act for settling titles and bounds of lands. (vi) to repeal the act for encouragement of tanning leather. (vii) an additional act to the act for the tryal of small and mean causes. (viii) for regulating vestries etc. (ix) to regulate the act for appointing indifferent jury- men etc. (with lists of Jurymen). 28 pp.
270. ix. (a) Copies of six confirmed laws, which are obsolete, and had been lost, but were found upon the refusal of the body of laws in 1715 etc.(b) Copies of the Laws of North Carolina. With marginal notes thereon. Endorsed as covering letter. 128 pp.
270. x. List of patents granted by Sir R. Everard, late Deputy Governor of N. Carolina, 1730. 20 pp. Totals: 147 Purchased patents, with quit-rents 6d. per 100 acres, = 167,611 acres; 222 common patents, at 2s. per 100 acres (not purchased, but taken up on the Grand Deed)=91,752 acres; 24 lapsed patents, = 30,532 acres. Total acres, 289,895. Governor Burrington adds that On April 10, 1730, a patent was signed to him by Sir R. Everard for 5000 acres which he had paid for 5 years before. He had possession of the land and paid near 20 years quit-rents. Sir Richard refused to give him a patent before he knew that he was appointed Governor. Signed, Geo. Burrington. 1st July, 1731. Endorsed as covering letter. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 293. ff. 28 to end of volume — 275v.; and (abstract with marginal notes for reply) 5, 327. pp. 2–18.]
July 1.
271. Governor Burrington to the Duke of Newcastle. To same effect as preceding covering letter. Adds: "The Province notwithstanding the artifices that have been used is in a peace- able and quiet condition." No good can be expected from an Assembly till he receives his Grace's commands etc. Will take care never to give him cause for displeasure etc. Signed, Geo. Burrington. Endorsed, R. Oct. 29. 3 pp. Enclosed,
271. i.–vii. Duplicate of preceding encl. i, ii, v–vii, and x.
271. viii. Address of the Grand Jury of North Carolina to the King. Edenton. 1st April, 1731. Nothing could be more joyfully recieved than the certain news of our being immediately under the Government and direction of so mild, so just, and so indulgent a Prince whose glory is the ease and happiness of his people, whose remotest regions feel the influence and are made happy under it and whom no distance can seperate from the good and wellfare of his subjects etc. Continue to same effect as Address supra, May 22. Signed, John Lovick, foreman, James Milliken and 17 others. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 308. Nos. 12, 12. i – viii.]
July 2.Hampton
272. Minutes of Privy Council. Capt. Dent and Mr. Bladen were called in (v. 2nd June). Capt Dent was asked as to the health and condition of the 2 Regimts. [in Jamaica], wch. he said was very bad, but he beleived it was greatly oweing to their own irregularity. That ye regimts. were dispersed all over ye island, some att 100 miles distance. As to ye use of ym for destroying the rebellious negroes, he thinks they may be of use to hinder them coming down, etc. but cannot follow them into ye mountains and destroy them there, wch. he thinks was the original design of sending them thither. He thinks the rebellious negroes more insolent and dangerous than formerly. He does not think, in case of any attempt upon ye island, they ed. be of any use to ye enimy except that of being guides. He was asked whether he thought these regimts. necessary for ye defence of ye island in case of an attempt from an enemy. He says ye island is in a very defenceless condition, and can hardly [?] raise 1000 white men, that as the Regt. are dispersed it would be 8 or 10 days before they can be gott to- gether, and yt. must be done by shipping. Mr. Bladen agreed wt. Capt. Dent in opinion as to ye little service the 2 Regiments would be for ye suppressing ye rebellious negroes, or following them into ye mountains. That his opinion was, and that of ye Board of Trade, yt. 2 Independant Comps. should be compleated out of ye Regiments, and then one or both of them might be brought home. Upon the variety of opinions relating to ye necessity or use yt. these two Regimts. may be of att Jamaica, their Lordships determined to referr this matter to ye Board of Trade for their opinion thereupon. The Duke of Newcastle's letter ("my letter") to Lord Waldegravc of the 1st was read; and it was proposed that my Lord Lieutenant of Ireland should send directions for the regiments to be in a readiness, in case there should be occasion for them; and also to write to Mr. Keene to acquaint him with what has been done here; and that it shall make no alteration as to the sending the fleet, which shall be there at the time proposed. (Original draft of transactions of the Privy Council). 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 36. ff. 12–13.]
July 2. 273. Fair copy of above Minutes. 2 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 36. ff. 14–15.]
July 2.
274. Michael Smith, President of the Council of Nevis, to the Duke of Newcastle. Lt. General Mathew did on 23rd April, on his departure for Great Brittain resign the Government of these Islands to me, as eldest Councellour of Nevis etc. Has given orders for securing the effects of the Catherine sloop, as directed by his Grace, Jan. 27 etc. Signed, Mich. Smith. Endorsed, R. 8th Sept., 1731. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 151– 152v.]
July 3.
275. H.M. Warrant appointing Governor Cosby Captain of an Independent Company at New York. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. p. 320.]
July 5.
New York
276. Mr. Bradley to the Duke of Newcastle. Announces deaths of Governor Montgomerie and Mr. Walter and begs to be appointed to the Council in place of the latter. Continues: — My late good Ld. Bp. of Durham signifyed to me, that yr. Grace had promised his Lordship for me, the first favourable vacancy etc. I have been upwards of 8 years here in an office that has subjected me to a general odium, as I am to prosecute all offences agt. the Crown, wch. has proved the utter destruction of my family etc. (v. 24th Dec. 1730). Signed, R. Bradley. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 166, 166v.]