America and West Indies: March 1732, 1-15

Pages 78-86

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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March 1732, 1-15

March 1.
119. Governor Burrington to the Duke of Newcastle. I have the honour with this letter to address a representation on the affairs of N. Carolina to your Grace ; I am very sensible of my disability, and incapacity of writeing anything worth your Grace's reading ; beg leave to assure my Lord Duke, that if he is pleased to direct this province to be put upon the footing humbly recommended in the said representation, it will soon be much altered for the better, and become a countrey of trade and reputation. Your Grace I hope has not forgot, that I made bold to mention a suspicion I had of Coll. Bladen's ill intentions to me, nor the generous answer you were pleas'd to give (viz) that if I faithfully perform'd my duty I need not fear any man : I presume to mention this, because it was reported in London, I should very suddenly be turn'd out, the same has been constantly said here, and declared particularly by Mongomery the Attorney General the first day he came. I think myself bound in duty to inform your Gracethat Mr. Rice the Secretary, has neither attended the Council, nor his office. I do all his business except receiveing the fees. The Chief Justice and Attorney General of this Province ought to be men of understanding, and lawyers ; neither of the persons your Grace bestow'd these places upon ever knew law enough to be clarke to a justice of the Peace. That there are people will continue villanys in this country and can procure others to swear them, is notoriously apparent by an inquiry I lately made by order of the Lords of Admiralty upon a complaint made by Edmund Porter to them against several gentlemen and planters, for designing to murther him, this examination is sent to Mr. Fury for delivery to their Lordships. Part of my adversary s in this Government are subtle and artfull, others ignorant and hotheaded, the last I am certain will say, or swear anything the others direct, therefore, I humbly desire your Grace not to credit the inventions, or accusations of ill designing men against me, before I have an oportunity of justifyeing myself. Signed, Geo. Burrington. 2 pp. Enclosed,
119. i. Minutes of Council of North Carolina, 28th March—2nd Aug., 1731. Attested by Robert Forster. Signed, Geo. Burrington. Copy. 52 pp. [C.O. 5, 30S. Nos. 14, 14 i.]
March 3.
So. Carolina
120. Governor Johnson to the Duke of Newcastle. Testimonial in favour of Joseph Fox, who was Master in Chancery from 1728 till superseded by his Grace's Commission to Theophilus Gregory etc. Signed, Robt. Johnson. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 383. f 1.]
March 6. 121. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to 11 acts of S. Carolina passed Aug. 1731. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 8th March, 1731/2, Read Jan. 19, 1733/4. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 363. ff. 15, 15 v., 1S v.]
March 6.
122. Governor Belcher to the Duke of Newcastle. Announces death of Lt. Gov. Tailer, and " it being a favour commonly allow'd the King's Governours to name their Lieut.-Govnrs.," proposes Major Paul Mascarene in his place. As there is no allowance to the Lt. Gov. of the Massachusetts Bay, and the perquisites do not amount to £50 a year, he would not take the office unless he is allowed to hold his company in Coll. Phillips' regiment at Nova Scotia, or to sell, etc. Set out, Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll. 6th ser. VI, 103. Signed, J. Belcher. 2 pp. Endorsed, R. April 17th. 2 pp. [C.O. 5. 898. ff. 440, 440 v., 441 v.]
March 6.
123. Governor Belcher to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate, mutatis mutandis, of preceding. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 18th April, 1732. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 874. ff. 58, 58 v., 59 v.]
March 7.
124. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. An act was passed etc. in Carolina, 1726, for the better settling of the Courts of Justice. By this act the first process in civil actions was alter'd from a summons to a capias ; against which several objections were made to us, by Mr. Lowndes, Provost Mashal etc., with respect to the difficulty and danger that would attend the execution of the said capias ; and the merchants of London trading to that province did likewise represent this manner of process, to be lyable to many inconveniencies, both from the method of proceeding, and the expence that would attend it. Whereupon we did by our letter of 2nd April, 1731, acquaint Col. Johnson etc. with our objections to the said net. and recommended it to him to propose the passing another law to the Assembly, wch. might institute the summons instead of the capias, and re-enact those parts of the abovementioned law, to which we had no objection. But Col. Johnson having acquainted us, by his letter of the 13th of August last, that he is afraid the people of South Carolina, will never again consent to pass a law for instituting the summons ; and fresh application having been made to us by the merchants of London, humbly desiring that the law process in South Carolina may be as it was before 1726, by which means commerce will be put upon a more equal footing, than it is at present between the British merchants and the planters of that province, we therefore humbly lay the said act before your Majesty for your disallowance ; upon which the process by summons will again be revived in So. Carolina by virtue of an act of that Province pass'd in 1720, entituled an Act for the amendment of the law. [C.O. 5. 401. pp. 28­30.]
[March 7.] 125. Copy of giant of lands in Virginia by James II to Lord Fairfax. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. J. Sharpe) 7th, Read Kth March, 1731/2. pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 22S. 229, 230. 231, 231 v.]
March 8.
[1st mo. ye 8]
Water Lace.
126. Mr. Partridge to Mr. Popple. Thine of the 7 inst. I have reed, and should with my nephew Belcher have attended ye Lords, but that my nephew is out of town, being gone to the Bishop of Lincoln's etc., and I am not so well acquainted in the business relating to Atkinson as he is etc. Will send word when he returns etc. I remain, Thy Friend. Signed, Rd. Partridge. Endorsed, Recd. Read 8th March, 1731/2. Addressed. p. [C.O. 5, 874. ff. 45, 50 v.]
March 9.
127. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 21st March, Read 20th April, 1732. 1 p. Enclosed,
127. i. Representation of John Vat to the Lord President of the Council. London. March 7th, 1731/2. On behalf of John Peter Purry and Swiss Protestant families designing to settle in S. Carolina, represents that on 23rd July, 1730, the Council of Trade recommended Purry for H.M. grant of 12,000 acres of land clear of quit-rents, in lieu of 48,000 acres granted him by the Lords Proprietors in 1725 for a settlement of Swiss Protestants. Purry, confident that such a grant would be made, set out with several other Swiss for South Carolina, and arriving in 1730 marked out a scituation for a town on the north side of Savanah River. The Governor Council and Assembly being sensible of the necessity there is for a settlement of white men on their southern frontier granted £400 sterling towards transporting of Swiss Protestants and a further sum towards tools etc., which provision, tho very considerable, with respect to the low condition of that province, yet in effect falls vastly short of the great charges necessarily attending such a settlement, since the very passage of 600 persons from England to Carolina amounts to £2400 sterl. To raise the sum necessary he applyed to several gentlemen in London, who promised to lend him money on 12,000 acres clear of quit rents ; but finding that the land intended as a reward of all his labour and expence was subject to the usual quit rents he could not prevail with them to advance the money. Notwithstanding which he is gone into Swisserland to prepare things for that design, which nevertheless will be rendered abortive unless H.M. shall be graciously pleased to grant him 48,000 acres subject to quit rents in lieu of the 12,000 acres clear of quit rents. He thinks he is more justified in this proposal since the grant of 12,000 acres clear of quit rents was in lieu of 48,000 acres formerly granted him by the Lords Proprietors, and without that quantity he hath no hopes of raising a sum of money sufficient to carry on this undertaking etc. He prays for grant of 48,000 acres subject to the usual quit rents after the expiration of 10 years, to be laid out contiguous to the said township called Purrysbourg on the great Yamasee Bluffe on Savanna River in South Carolina etc. Signed, John Vat. Copy. 2¾ pp.
127. ii. Copy of H.M. Additional Instruction to Governor Johnston for granting Purry 12,000 acres on terms. Cf. C.S.P. 23rd July, 1730. Copy. 2¼ pp. [CO. 5. 362. ff. 83, 84–85. 86–86 (a), 86 (b) v.]
March 9.
128. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of the Privy Council. Reply to order of 10th March, 1730/1, referring back representation of 8th Sept., 1730. We have several times discoursed with the Lessees [of the Bahama Islands] about the surrender of their interest etc. They do not entirely found their demand upon the value of the remainder of their release, which has near seven years yet to run, altho' they have a right to grant all the lands in the Bahamas in perpetuity under a quit rent of one penny pr. acre, and do alledge that they have hitherto granted few or none of them ; but they have represented to us that they did formerly pay £20,000 to the old Lessees of the Bahama Islands for the fortifications and other improvements made by them in the Bahamas ; that they have also employed upwards of £20,000 more in sending over inhabitants, provisions and stores to those islands, and that they have further expended great sums in dislodging the pirates who had settled themselves there, and in defending those islands from the attempts of the Spaniards. In consideration of these large disbursements, the Lessees hope, it will not be thought unreasonable in them to desire an allowance of the same sum that shall be paid by the Crown to the Lords Proprietors etc. ; which they think themselves the better entitled to, as these valuable islands would in all probability have been lost both to the Proprietors and to the Publick, had they not been preserved and defended at the expence of the Lessees ; and for 6000 guineas they are willing to surrender their lease to H.M., whereupon considering the importance of the Bahama Islands to the English Navigation in America etc., and how necessary it is that the lands and property thereof should be vested in the Crown as well as the Government, whereby people may be encouraged to settle there, when they know they can have a solid title and protection to depend upon : considering also the value of the soil which is capable of very great improvements : we do conceive it may be for H.M. service, and for the interest of his Kingdoms to comply with the demands of the said Lessees, by which purchase of the Bahama Islands to the Crown will be compleated, and if this should not (sic) be approved of, we would further propose that a demand may be made in Parliament for this purpose, and a bill brought in for making the said purchase effectual, agreeable to what has been already done in the case of Carolina. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. -209-212.]
March 11.
129. Lt. Governor Dunbar to Mr. Popple. Abstract. Did not expect to have to add to his letter of 12th (? 14th) Feb., but a printed report by a Committee of the House of Representatives at Boston having been sent to him by a friend, he thinks it his duty to say something to the Board upon it. Has been advised to print an answer at Boston, but prefers to submit himself to H.M. pleasure and the opinion of the Board. Comments on the language of the report. The framers of it do not rightly understand the meaning of the words they use, for they charge him with traducing and tempting people to come to this settlement etc. There is another word, purchasing lands from him, of which he hopes they endeavour to send some proof. If directly or indirectly he has ever asked or received one farthing for any lot of land yet assigned, he gives his free consent to be hanged for it etc. " I never had a thought like it, nor could any gripeing man, or that way inclin'd ever make any settlement here, the wildernesse, the Indians, bears, wolves, and catts like tygers, with ye great distance from any neighbours, are discouragements sufficient without asking poor people for money, to come and settle here; and yet if I had mett with no opposition, those discouragmts. would have availed nothing, and ten thousand people would have been here, who are unsettled and waiting indifferent provinces the issue of this place and the disputes about it. Now I presume they will take it for granted that this settlement will not go on, and so the Massachusetts people will gaine their ends " etc. Thinks Governor Belcher will hardly send the report to the Board, because, if he rightly apprehends the last clause of the Order in Council of 12th Nov., 1730, H.E. by suffering those proceedings, has acted directly contrary. He produced the order, and then the House printed it, and immediately proceeded upon that report etc. But Mr. Vaughan, son of the late Lt. Governor of N. Hampshire, who is come from Boston, says that the said last clause is there understood only to the forbidding of military execution against this place etc., and in any case they were under no obligation to obey it as long as the Charter subsisted etc. " If Governor Belcher has acted herein conformable to the said Order, he will be justifyed, but were I in his place I should not have been induced to have suffer'd it ; but he has been allways an opposer of any settlements to the Eastward of Mereinack river, I mean in the Province of Main, which joins on Kennebeck river, near to which' there was formerly a good settlement, a town named Augusta, and a fortification carried on by one Doctor Noyse who was married to a sister of Mr. Belcher's, notwithstanding which he was the chief occasion of breaking up that settlement and thereby ruined his sister and her family, and that country is yet a wilderness, and many miles about it, as is indeed most part of the Province of Main, except one line of townships along the seashore, and those onely extending eight miles back into the country etc. Refers to letter of Jan. 1730. This opposition of Mr. Belcher's to Eastern settlements will not seem improbable when it is known that the lands belonging to him in New England are to the westward of Boston etc. The people are much dispirited at this new report etc. Hopes that H.M. will order public satisfaction to be made to him for his treatment etc. As for the allegations in the petitions on which the report is founded, vows that in no town laid out by him has there appeared any sign of improvements or land formerly cleared except a very few acres about the fort, and at the town he has called Newcastle, formerly Shepscot. He never turned out one family or person, nor were there but two familys, and they twenty miles asunder between Arrowsick and George's truck house, which are 45 miles asunder, when he came, and they are where he found them etc. Repeats that he has reserved pine trees for the Navy on the west side of Shepscot river. But as the land was equally good on the east side, except that there were no large pines there, he offered to any of them as much as they would undertake on the King's terms. " Several accepted the offer, and I never made any distinction between them and English or Irish Protestants, tho' that is more than the New England people can say for themselves, H.M. European subjects are deemed' and called foreigners there ; notwithstanding all this, many of the said people have proceeded to cutt great numbers of pines and oaks on the west side, and in particular John Burt in the winter preceding this did imploy men to cutt 154 large white pine trees to build a logg house or fortification as they call it, and this was proved to me by three of the men imployed, but it was near 7 months after the fact was committed, so that by the Act etc. the penalty could not be recovered. I own that in September last I was at the said log house, but neither Roberts or Whittimore, petitioners mentioned in the report were there or near it as I could hear of. I found in it a poor family sent thither to keep possession, but were almost starved, they told me that they had lived some days on roasted or burnt feathers, they really looked ghastly and frightfull, and were rejoiced to be invited, not traduced to go and live among neighbours on the East side of the river; about 28 months agoe I found a number of people near the same place, left there by the petitioner Burt, and others, to cut white pines, I read the Act of Parliament and my Instructions to them, and forbid them to cutt any more, they were starveing, the last of their provisions haveing been then spent near 40 hours, I gave them some at my own cost, and being moved with their condition and complaints that they should loose that winter's work to the ruin of their familys, I gave them leave to cut some oak timber and assigned 'em a convenient place for it, and provisions which cost me £22 etc., for which they drew a bill on Mr. Burt their imployer, who refused to pay it, tho' he carried away the oak timber they had so cutt, and I am so much out of pocket to this day. Whilst I was at the logg house above: mentioned about Sept. last, there came in 2 men who lived in a little hutt by it, and being informed that they were some of those who had cut down the 154 large pines etc. I did tell them, and I believe might swear, that I would have them punished, and that the Judge of Vice-Admiralty for Nova Scotia was then at Fredericksfort before whom they should be tryed, and that nobody at Boston should protect them. I do not remember to have had any occasion to mention Mr. Belcher's name. If I did, it is very probable I might do it with indecency as they call it, and I believe any man that has heard how he has treated me, would be surprized I should speak of him otherwise ; his own flesh and bones, as he calls his countrymen, who are immediately under his command, do not give him a good word, except those who have allways opposed H.M. instructions, who, notwithstanding, are his chief favorites and Councillours, among whom Doctor Cooke is the principal; the names of the said two men I thus threatened were Patterson and Walcot, and I am credibly informed that the petitioner Roberts and Whittimore were at that time at Boston " etc. Encloses Burt's instructions for making a settlement, etc. As to his carrying armed men with him, he never goes into the woods without some, and a gun in his hand. He never took one of the soldiers from the Fort, they being too few to keep it. Continues : Had I more, I should certainly never go without some of them, and then the New England people would complain loudly, they never will be good subjects until they have a good number of them amongst them, their constant behaviour evinces this, and in my humble opinion the sooner the better ; they are a numerous people and growing, and is a common saying among them that they could live independent etc. Refers to former letters. By his taking no notice of other parts of the report, begs it may not be imagined that he passes by the words fraud and deceit wch. they apply to him etc. As to the woods, this has been the severest winter for many years, and more snow, wch. is the harvest for logging or cutting pine trees and drawing them to the saw-mills, and two of my Deptys. being almost worn out with fatigue and unable to do their duty, I have been obliged to imploy others out of my own pocket, they write to me, that, in contempt of all authority more wast has been committed this winter than for many years, the people are encouraged by Coll. Byfield's acquitting 42 masts seized by my order last summer, and upon it granted execution against 2 of my Deputys for ye Court fees, and even for double what he ought to receive etc. Recounts case of Col. Byfield. Had hoped he would have been removed, there having been many complaints against him to the Admiralty. As long as he continues, it will be in vain to bring any offender before him, nor do his deputies care to venture being taken on his executions for costs of Court. Until some other is appointed, and the Act made stronger against offenders, he cannot do the service to H.M. which is expected of him. Fears that a sloop by which lie wrote to Lord Westmoreland in January has been lost. Having no assistant, cannot keep copies of his letters, but remembers he begged his Lordship to recommend to the Board to represent the necessity of some soldiers in these parts. Two or three companies might be drafted from the regiments in Ireland without additional expence until the place was able to maintain them, etc. He could then send detachments of 20 men to cover each new town for one year, which would encourage the people, many of whom and their wives have terrible apprehensions from the Indians, who never yet offered any disturbance, but now show some uneasiness for want of presents, which he thought he had power to promise them etc. Thinks he could maintain the soldiers on English pay without the additional 2d. allowed in other places abroad etc. Truth will never stand in the way of Mr. Belcher and his party to ruin him etc. Continues : I have more friends in New England than he now has, but his interest will be now backed in England by the Quakers in whose favr. he has procured an act, and for ye Independents, well. I believe my Lord Bishop of London's Commissary, there, complains to his Lordship has been refused to the Members of the Church of England, and I suppose he writes to his Ldsp. about the platform of their church discipline which I inclosed you in my last " etc. Fears his letters are tedious and confused. He wrote to Lord Westmoreland that if some new hemp and flax seed was sent every year, by April, he would hope to send large quantities to England to employ English spinners etc. Likewise, if 2 or 3 potash-makers from Poland and Russia were allowed an encourageing sallary to come hither, they would be able to send enough of that commodity too, and so keep the money at home that now goes abroad to purchase it. The consumption of the wood wch. it would require would be a help to clear the land. Will endeavour to promote no manufactures, but what shall be to the advantage of England. If he could afford it, he would do these things himself, but the case is so far otherwise, that he never lived so hard in his life, and now is destitute of money or credit. " If I had any additional sallary I would send upon an assignment of it for 500 good serviceable armes all of one bore, and would disperse them among the settlers, who would pay me in hemp and flax, tho' I am persuaded H.M. upon their Lsps. recommendation would send so many and amunition for them, and if 50 or 100 blunderbusses were added, they would be usefull in defending houses or little garrisons in the country. If H.M. intends to carry on this settlement, I do not doubt but orders will be sent for building this fort and some artillery sent for it. Some gentlemen from N. Hampshire came hither lately to see me, and desird when I wrote to you to acquaint you that the Massachusets Genll. Court have lately, as you will see by their votes, sold a township within their Province near Pennecook, wch. they apprehend the Massachusets ought not to do until the boundarys between them are adjusted etc. I beg of you Sir to lay this before my Lords as soon as possible and favour me with their opinion and orders etc. Signed, David Dunbar. Endorsed, Recd. Read 12th May, 1732. Holograph. 17¼ pp. Enclosed,
129. i. John Burt to James Cristy. Boston. 30th Sept., 1731. Instructions to build him a log-house outside the township, w. of Sheepscut river etc. Signed, John Burt. Endorsed as preceding. Copy, certified by, James Cristy. 1¼ pp.
129. ii. Votes of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, Jan. 11-15, 1731/2. Same endorsement. Printed, by Thomas Fleet. 10½ pp. [C.O.5,874. .ff.99–114 v.]
March 11.
130. Governor Pitt to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I do my selfe the honour to acquaint your Lordships, that a certain schooner belonging to Boston in New England, haveing some time since arrived here, and been discovered to have illegally taken on board in Maryland, a considerable quantity of tobacco which was clandestinely landed here, has occasioned a seizure, and condemnation of the said vessell and her cargo, in the Court of Admiralty of these islands, etc. Encloses copy of proceedings, which he hopes will meet with their Lordships' approbation. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, Recd, 5th June, Read 12th Sept., 1732. ¾ p. Enclosed,
130. i. Copy of trial of the sloop Rebecca, referred to in preceding. St. George's. 24th Feb., 1732. Same endorsement. 17 pp. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 105, 106 v.–115, 116 v.]