America and West Indies: June 1732, 1-5

Pages 131-137

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 39, 1732. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1939.

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June 1732, 1-5

[? June.] 249. Governor Philipps to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to his previous memorials upon the bad condition of Canso etc, As the Board of Ordnance are now sending out a ship with stores to that garrison, proposes that "a person he sent over, from that Board in the said ship, to make his observations on the situation and condition of that place, with directions to report what is necessary to be done for its preservation, and the encouragement of the settlement and trade there." Without date or endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 39. f. 57.]
June 1.
250. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By expresses from Port Antonio I am advis'd that our partys sent out in pursuit of the rebel slaves have been oblig'd by the violence of the rains to return back again, but the weather having set in fair for some days past, Allen with his guide Sambo and the party tinder his command march'd out again in pursuit of those rebels on the 13th inst., since which time I have had no advice of him but expect good news, depending more on him and the little successfull party under his command than on Peters, recommended by the Assembly, who at the head of a much stronger party, and contrary to his Instructions, which were to pursue those rebel slaves, sat still in the negro town and slipt the opportunity of immediately improving the first blow, but the intrest he had with the volunteers and negroes under his command made it somewhat dangerous to remove him at that critical juncture, least they should desert the service, and he promising to make amends for his pass'd ill conduct, it was judg'd necessary to continue him in the command; and he is now marching out in pursuit of the rebels, whilst Capt. Morrison with a party of the soldiary inlisted in the country's service keeps possession of the negro towns lately taken, and the detachment from the Independent Companys the post at the Brest work to guard the provisions lodg'd there for the use of the partys, and the town of Titchfield from any surprize by the rebels etc. Transmits duplicates of acts, journals and minutes of Council and Assembly for the session ending 11th Feb., and will transmit those of the last session, ending 6th inst, so soon as they can be got ready. Encloses list of acts pass'd in it. Continues: The act for the better settling the East and North East parts of this island etc., is a very good one and much better calculated for the effectual reduction of the rebels and settling those parts than any one hitherto pass'd, which together with the act for continuing part of two acts etc. which obliges the several parishes to send out their partys in pursuit of the rebel slaves dispers'd, or that we hope will soon be dispers'd, will probably enable us to extirpate these rebels or reduce them to so low a state as to free us from the apprehentions of any mischief from them, if we can fall upon any methods to prevent our own negroes deserting the service which on all occasions they are apt to do and so impatient to visit their homes, and little plantations, that they are ready to risque any punishment the Legislature has hitherto thought fitt to lay on them, as slaves, for such their desertion; The other evil we labour under which has been, and I am afraid will be a great obstruction to this service is the want of money, our Treasury having been for some time quite exhausted, and the means for collecting the outstanding debts of our publick funds difficult, and will be (I doubt) tho' necessary somewhat grevious to the subject, taxes having fallen heavily of late, which however will be greatly lessen'd if the two acts before mention'd answer our expectations. P.S. Since I had the honor to write last to your Lordships I have reced. an account that a gang of rebels since the defeat of those at their principal settlements have fallen down on St. Elizabeths to leeward upon the plantation of Mr. Barclay kill'd six of his negroes and carry'd of eight and a child which they dash'd against a rock and left for dead but was found alive tho' much wounded by the country party which pursu'd them without success. Immediately after another party of them fel in upon Mr. Woodstock's plantation in the same parish carry'd off eight of his negroes and kill'd two. I have also reced. advice that Allen with the party under his command was after having pursu'd a body of the rebels for some days and taken one of them arriv'd at Plantain Garden River in his way to Morant where he Mill be with all speed recruited with fresh provisions and have orders to march out again. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 12th Sept., 1732. 4¾ pp. Enclosed,
250. i. List of Acts passed 6th May, 1732. (i) Act for continuing part of two acts for suppressing the rebellious negroes etc.; (ii) for keeping a nightly watch in Kingston and for the prevention of damage by fire; (iii) for the better settling the East and North parts of this island etc.; (iv) to prevent the landing or keeping of negroes infected with the small-pox in any of the three towns of St. Catherine, Port Royal and Kingston; (v) to enable trustees to dispose of land etc., late the estate of Thomas Tomlin, planter, decd. Same endorsement. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 20. ff. 71–73, 74, 74 v., 75 v., 76 v.]
June 1.
251. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. I have the honor to inclose your Grace an humble Address of our Council and Assembly to H.M., with a copy of H.M. orders signified to me in a letter from the Secretary at War, and also a copy of a message I reced. from the Assembly with a message I sent them some days after by the advice of H.M. Council here in answer to theirs, and on which the words solemn assurance mention'd in the Address is founded. I must beg leave (to avoid repetition) to refer your Grace for a more particular account of our present circumstances here to the inclos'd copy of my letter to the Lords of Trade etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 1st April. l½ pp. Enclosed,
251. i. Duplicate of encl. i preceding (No. i.).
251. ii. Copy of Hunter to C. of T. preceding (No. 250).
251. iii. Message from the Assembly to Governor Hunter, 12th June, 1731. Enquire for what time the provisions sent hither by H.M. order for the two Regiments was intended to subsist them. Copy,2/3 p.
251. iv. Governor Hunter to the Assembly. Message in reply to preceding. 15th June, 1731. Has received some dry provisions with a letter from the Secretary at War signifying H.M. pleasure that the same shall be issued for the use of the two regiments, and has advice of another ship ordered out with wet provisions for the same purpose, but has received no account for what time they were intended to subsist them. However, he will take care that by distributing them the countrey's additional subsistance shall be saved to the publick, during the time the said provisions shall last. Copy. ¾ p.
251. v. Sir Win. Strickland to Governor Hunter. Whitehall, 14th May, 1731. As etc. the Assembly of Jamaica hath provided for the subsistance of the King's troops there, it is H.M. pleasure that you sell the provisions lately sent to the best advantage etc. and reserve the money for H.M. service etc. Signed, Wm. Strickland. Copy. ¾ p.
251. vi. Address of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica to the King. 6th May, 1732. The indulgence your Majesty has always shewn to your unfortunate yet dutifull and loyal subjects of your island of Jamaica encourages us etc. to approach your royal throne with our humble supplication that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to alleviate the wants of this distressed Colony by bestowing on it the money arriseing from the sale of several provisions which through your Princely bounty were sent over for the subsistance of the two Regiments lately recalled. It was out of duty to your Majesty that the Legislature here raised a heavy tax for an additional subsistance for those regiments at a time when the island was groaning under several misfortunes which still oppress it and H.E. the Governor being very sensible thereof did give us a solemn assurance that he would take care that by distributing those provisions the country's additional subsistance should be saved to the publick during the time the said provisions should last. But as yet your subjects of Jamaica have not reaped the fruits of such your Majesty's intended benevolence according to H.E.'s promise who was afterwards restrained from performing the same by your Majesty's order etc. (v. encl. v.). Your Majesty's gracious condescention to our humble request will raise the drooping spirits of the inhabitants of this suffering island, who, however depressed and dejected, do incessantly send up their ardent prayers for the happiness and prosperity of your Majesty and your Royal Family etc. Signed, Jos. Maxwell, Cl. Concil.; Jno. Stewart, Speaker. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 74, 74 v., 75 v.–76 v., 78–80, 82, 84, 86, 88.]
June 1.
252. Governor Hunter to Sir. Wm. Strickland. Refers to Address and messages etc. (encl. iii-vi.), and repeats letter to C. of T. 1st June. Copy (probably enclosed in preceding letter to D. of Newcastle). 2½ pp. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 90–91.]
June 2. 253. Lewis Morris, President of the Council of New Jersey, to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. He communicated to the Council what he wrote to the Duke upon their Address, in order "to remove any umbrage of suspition they might possibly have had, that I was not altogether so sanguine on the account of a seperate governour as themselves." Continues:—It is verry true that a seperate governour is the warm desire of the greatest part of the people; but it is as true that many are indifferent about it; and those of the inhabitants in the neighbourhood of New York (which are not inconsiderable) I believe are against it, and many of them would rather choose to be anexed to New York then to be as they are. The foundation for trade in this Province is of the same nature with that of New York, but the produce it yields is chiefly sent to New York and Pensylvania in returne for the goods they are supply'd with from those places. They ship off some wheat and pipe staves to forreigne markets; and this is owing to an act of the Assembly here that lays a great duty upon those commodities if carried to any of the neighbouring plantations. But this wheat etc. is chiefly bought by the inhabitants of New York who send their ships down to Jersie to load for ye transportation of it to forreign markets, the inhabitants of New Jersie not being as yet capable of doing of it themselves, but think if they had a governour of their own seperate from that of New York many of the merchants of New York and Pensilvania would be layd under a sort of necessity to come and dwell among them. What that may do I cannot tell, but at present New York and Pensilvania has much the advantage of them with respect to trade; and how fair it may be consistant with H.M. service to indulge them in their desires of a distinct governour is what I dare not take the leberty of giving any opinion of with H.M. expresse command. I believe the persons appointed governours of New York have when in London thought the addition of the government of New Jersie of much more vallue then they have found it to be in America; the expences of their attending on it generally amounting to as much as the proffits arising from it, and sometimes more; of which I have heard Mr. Montgomerie complaine with some acrimony. The rendring governours and all other officers intirely dependant on the people is the generall inclination and endeavour of all the Plantations in America, and nowhere pursued with more steadinesse and less decency than in New Jersie, and were they indulg'd with a seperate governour before they had made a propper provision for his support and that of the officers of the government, he must be a man of verry uncommon abillities who will be capable of working them up to their duty etc. The Province is divided into two divisions, and was under seperate government under the Proprietors, and would be again, if the inhabitants modelled it according to their own inclinations. In neither is there any house set apart for the Governour; each of the divisions are desirous of fixing his residence among them, which may possibly be attended with a suitable provision in both; but it is not unlikely that to defeat each other, there may be no provision in either etc. Gentlemen of the Council live very remote from each other, and most of them from the capitals (which consist of about 200 houses) each taking some outhouses into the account, and. The Assembly can never be prevailed on for making any provision for the expences of their meeting unlesse at such times when they attended the meeting of an Assembly and even then but five shillings this money (about 3s. 4d. sterl.) per diem, so that it is almost impracticable to get a sufficient number of them together. Two are dead and one almost superannuated. Submits names for filling vacancies, and particularly recommends for the Eastern Division Richard Ashfield, as being one of the general Proprietors of the soil and one full 24th part of the Eastern Division belonging to him. The Militia is in a very bad condition. The late act makes the penalty so small, etc. that people choose to pay rather than appeare; and the inhabitants seem so little fond of millitary honour that he can hardly find a man willing to take a commission etc. Has been told that his Grace has expressed willingness to recommend him for the Government, in case a distinct Governor is appointed. Was not vain or ambitious enough to ask for it. Recalls his services in inducing the Proprietors to surrender the government. But having left England before the surrender, Queen Anne's kind intentions towards him on that account were diverted by the much superior interest of the then Earl of Rochester, in favour of his nephew the Lord Cornbay etc. Encloses Minutes, and hopes H.M. will approve his conduct, being done with a view of promoting the publick good and H.M. service" etc. Set out, N. J. Archives, 1st Ser. V. 314. Signed, Lewis Morris. Endorsed, Recd,. R. 2nd Augt. 4 large pp. Enclosed,
253. i. Minutes of Council of New Jersey, 7th July—30th Nov., 1731. Copy. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 983. ff. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 25 v., 35, 36 v.]
June 5.
254. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd, (with Mr. Wood's letter of 15th July) 17th, Read 18th July, 1732. 1 p. Enclosed,
254. i. Petition of the Society of Merchants Adventurers of Bristol to the King. Governor Hunter, in defiance of his Instructions, 10th Dec, 1731, and the report of the Board of Trade, has passed an act laying a duty on negroes imported and exported etc. (v. 15th July). The better to colour his acting thus in defiance etc., he has transmitted an Address of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica (v. 31st May, No. 245). Petitioners conceive H.M. said Instruction is founded on the highest reason for encouraging the trade of H.M. subjects and increasing the British Settlements in America, and that there is not any one thing offered in the said Address which has shewn the contrary etc. Petitioners hope it will not be judged reasonable that the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdom shall be taxed because the South Sea Company's carrying on the Assiento Contract may be of prejudice to Jamaica or because the Island must necessarily be at an expense of £2000 a month to reduce the rebellious negroes and £20,000 for the intended settlements etc. (v. 31st May), since the value of the commodys produced in Jamaica is much greater than at any time heretofore etc. Pray that the act may be immeadiately disapproved and the Governor directed to adhere to his Instruction of 10th Dec, 1731. Copy. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 20. ff. 10, 1–12 v., 13 v.]