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America and West Indies: March 1737, 1-15

Pages 59-74

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 43, 1737. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1963.

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March 1737, 1-15

March 2.
Palace Court.
118 Minutes of Common Council for Georgia. Read a letter from Benjamin Berry dated 19 February 1736/7. [See No. 95.] Mr. Berry was acquainted that the expenses of his proposal were too great. Ordered, that another sawmill and 50 muskets and bayonets be provided for the colony. Resolved, that credit be given to Hugh Anderson of 12 bushels of corn and 200 lbs. of meat for himself and each of his servants for a year in case he may want it. Ordered, that Mr. Causton be directed to buy such gunpowder as is wanted in the colony. Referred Count Zinzendorf 's request to committee of correspondence to determine. Resolved, that Mr. Simond be desired to let Mr. Causton have a credit on his correspondents at Savannah in money or provisions not exceeding 500l. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 690,pp. 53–54.]
March 2.
Palace Court.
119 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received, a receipt from the bank for 30l. paid in by Richard Cookesey in discharge of so much advanced his son William Cookesey at Savannah. Received by Dr. Hales, 25 books called Mr. Law's Serious Call to a Devout and Sober Life, and 25 others called Mr. Law's Christian Perfection, benefaction of a lady who desires to be unknown. Received by the same, 10l. benefaction of Rev. Mr. Williams of Devonshire for support of missionaries in Georgia. Read, petition to House of Commons for a supply to enable the Trustees to provide for the further establishment and security of Georgia; sealed the same, secretary to countersign. Resolved, that the secretary sign a receipt to Sir Jacob Desbouverie, Bart., for 1000l. to be paid in by the said Sir Jacob to be laid out in the expense of servants for the benefit of Georgia. 2 pp. [CO. 5, 686, pp. 355–356.]
March 2.
Whitehall.
120 Alured Popple to Sir William Yonge enclosing extract of Governor Lee's letter of 25 September 1736 relating to the arms, ammunition and stores in the garrison of Placentia and to the company of Brigadier Philipps's regiment there being entirely unprovided with smallarms. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 195, 7, p 405.]
March 2.
Boston.
121 Governor Jonathan Belcher to Council of Trade and Plantations. My last was 28 December past. I kept the general assembly of this province sitting to 4th of last month and then prorogued them to 13 April; but before they rose I brought them into a proper supply of the treasury, in which bill they endeavoured to drop several of the King's forts and to reduce the quotas of men in the rest, but as I refused to sign the bill with those clauses they voted the pay and subsistence of all the forts (as they then stood) to 20 May next. They grow very uneasy about some of the forts and desirous to reduce the men in them all so that I can't say what length they may carry the matter at another session. Enclosed are journals of House of Representatives from the last sent to the close of the session and also answers to several queries lately received respecting the province of Massachusetts. The 5 th current I intend to my other government of New Hampshire where I have ordered an assembly to meet me on the 8th and shall there do everything in my power to advance H.M.'s honour and the welfare of that province. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 27 April, Read 29 April 1737. Enclosed,
121. i. Answer of Governor of Massachusetts to several queries received from Council of Trade and Plantations; Boston, 2 March 1736/7. (1) The situation of the province is on the Atlantic Ocean from whence in summer it is often refreshed by the easterly winds. The soil thereof very different. On the seacoast it is partly rocky, as at Cape Ann, Marblehead, Conahasset, and partly sandy, as at Cape Cod, Plymouth, Plum Island, etc., where the water is generally shoal. The climate is good and wholesome; oftentimes very cold in winter and hot in summer, but cooled with the sea wind as above and generally agreeable to Englishmen. The latitude is between 41 and 43 N. from exact and curious observations of skillful mathematicians; the longitude from London about 71 degrees by the observations of the best mariners. The most considerable places are Boston, the metropolis and a good harbour situate in the bottom of the Massachusetts Bay; Salem and Marblehead, good harbours; Ipswich, four miles from the sea; Newbury, on Merrimac river, six miles from the sea, a good harbour but barred, yet ships of 400 tons have been built within the bar; Plymouth, on the sea; Bristol, above Rhode Island and a good harbour. No Spanish settlement but at a great distance to the westward; the French to the northward and westward on Mississippi and Canada rivers.
(2) The boundaries by patent from Charles I are the Atlantic or Western Ocean on the east, the South Sea on the west, three miles north of the north part of Merrimac river and so as the river runs and continues, and from thence a due west line to the said South Sea: the boundary was settled in Charles II's reign anno 1677 on a dispute and hearing between the grantees of the province of the Massachusetts colony and the grantees of the province of New Hampshire and of Maine. The south boundary three miles south of the southernmost part of Charles river and thence a west line to the said South Sea. But after the conjunction of Plymouth colony to Massachusetts by a new patent (or charter) from King William and Queen Mary the bounds of Massachusetts on the south is by the sea until it comes to Pawtucket river and so up the same until it comes to the line aforesaid from three miles south of the southernmost part of Charles river. This boundary is in part controverted by Rhode Island, as is the northern by New Hampshire, though settled as aforesaid.
(3) The constitution is by a governor commissioned from H.M., a council of 28 persons annually chosen on the last Wednesday in May by themselves, and the representatives of the people who are chosen by the respective towns, one or two as they are for numbers (a town of 100 families may send 2, 40 families 1, and the town of Boston 4), which governor, council and representatives have power by the royal charter to make laws, rules and orders for the good government of the people, to grant land, erect towns and counties, etc. under the restrictions of the royal charter.
(4) The trade is in codfish sent to Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, etc., in whaleoil and bone, and naval stores, as timber, deals, tar, turpentine, etc., in building ships. The quantity of shipping cleared last year at the several offices was near 30,000 tons, 12,000 of which may have been built the last year in the province; many are owned by merchants in Great Britain and some here. There are besides 4–500 small vessels from 20–40 tons that coast from one colony to another and there may be about 3000 seafaring men in and from this province though not properly inhabitants. The trade in shipping and naval stores has increased considerably within 10 years past and the fishery has decreased. (5) The British manufactures brought hither are woollens of various sorts, as broad cloths, flannels, baizes, etc. about 50,000l. sterling; haberdashery and iron wares, 30,000l. sterling; canvas, twine and cordage, 15,000l. sterling; hemp, iron and India goods, about 25,000l. Total: 120,000l. sterling. This is generally judged to be the importation from Great Britain the last year. (6) Besides the trade to Europe as mentioned in 4th article, some small vessels go frequently to the Western Islands, to Madeira and to the Canary Islands from whence they bring wines in return for fish, beeswax, staves and other lumber they carry thither. Heretofore many vessels went to Surinam, Cayenne, St. Thomas, St. Eustatius, Curacao, and to other Dutch, Danish and French Plantations, which trades are now shut up by the Act of Parliament commonly called the Sugar Colony Act. (7) When any illegal trade is discovered the Acts of Parliament are observed in the prosecutions but the seacoast of the province is so extensive and has so many commodious harbours that the small number of Custom House officers are often complaining they are not able to do much for preventing illegal trade. Nor does the Sugar Act take any great effect; great quantities of foreign molasses are still brought into this province and much of it by way of Rhode Island.
(8) The natural produce of the province, staple commodities and manufactures are fish, whaleoil and bone, timber, masts, deals, staves, tar, turpentine, hemp, flax, shipping, the value of which in a year may be about 100,000l. sterling. As to bread and clothing there is not near enough raised in the province for the inhabitants.
(9) Great plenty of ironmines which may in some years supply iron sufficient for the demands of the province. There are also appearances of copper, lead and tin, but few or no undertakers in them at present through the dearness of labour and the want of persons well skilled in such affairs.
(10) and (11) There were of rateable male polls 10 years ago 22,000 and the last year 30,000. There may be females and not rateables, with those under 16, 4 to 1. In this province negroes (men, women and children) about 2000. The increase of the people must be attributed to the great healthiness of the climate and the long time of peace by sea and land.
(12) That I may make the more exact answer to this I have directed the colonels of the several regiments to return me lists without delay of the officers and men of each company which I shall transmit. (13) Castle William at the entrance of Boston harbour has 89 cannon mounted, in good condition, has but 45 men (including officers and centinels); Fort George, a small stone fort built in time of war, of 50 feet square, to hinder the Indians from fishing at a place called Pejepscut Falls in the province of Maine; Richmond Fort in Kennebec river about 20 miles from the fore-mentioned is a timber building and pallisadoed, built for the reception of soldiers in their marches after the Indians; a blockhouse built on George river about 20 miles from Richmond Fort. These two last mentioned forts have five or six small guns apiece with each about 15 men (including officers); they are now made use of for trading houses with the Indians and are in a wretched condition, ready to tumble down. Fort Frederick at Pemaquid, a poor place of defence, having nothing round the house and barracks but a dry, loose, stone wall, and the greatest part of it fallen down: it has six small guns and 15 men (with officers). A small blockhouse on Connecticut river with four guns and 15 men, in a poor condition, is used at present for a trading house with the Indians. There is another small fort on Saco river in the province of Maine with the like number of men and guns as the last and used as that is. The province lying under a heavy debt (the fruit of the late French and Indian wars) the assemblies begin to be uneasy at supporting these forts and made an attempt this last session to slight Frederick's Fort at Pemaquid and Fort George at Pejepscut, and to reduce the quotas of men in all the rest, and they are under an establishment no longer than to 20 May next. I shall still endeavour to withstand anything so derogatory to H.M.'s honour and so unsafe for the province; yet as the pay and subsistence is with the assembly to grant, if they finally withhold it to the whole or any part of the men, the forts will drop of course or be weakened.
(14) We have near 1000 Indians that live under the government of the province that are good Christians, sober and well-inclined, have churches and ministers settled among them; and there are about 300 in the eastern parts on the borders of the province, much Frenchified. (15) And in time of war with France they are cruel and barbarous enemies, quit their settlements, and repair often to Canada and there join with great numbers of other Indians and make incursions on the people of the frontiers.
(16) The French on Canada river to the north and north-west and indeed to the landward of all the British colonies on North America have forts and garrisons in the French King's pay and a strong city called Quebec, walled in, and a citadel with cannon and a battery near the water with large cannon. They have another city called Montreal 60 leagues south-west of Quebec, walled in all round and with large cannon, and on the lakes further south-west several fortifications, particularly Chambly Fort on the south side of the great river of Canada and 20 miles from Montreal, very strong, built with stone and laid in lime, 20 feet high and 10 feet thick, 44 great guns and 200 men. This fort stands on L'Acadie as the French themselves allow according to its ancient boundaries. The French government of Canada has in it upwards of 7,000 male inhabitants besides 22 foot companies in pay. At Cape Breton the French have very strong forts with great numbers of cannon and men. As to the Spaniards on the other side of the mainland, their settlements are unknown here. (17) The French settlements do in a great measure prevent that dependency of the Indians in America on the English government which they would otherwise necessarily have, and in time of war they greatly check the growth of this and the neighbouring province of New Hampshire and put these two provinces to great charge. And in case of a war (which God long avert) the French settlement at Cape Breton will greatly affect, if not totally ruin, the English northern fishery and the trade from Great Britain to these parts of North America.
(18) and (19) There is no revenue in this province arising to the Crown unless the annual tax for defraying the charge of the province is such, and may be about 9000l. sterling. (20) There are no certain establishments or salaries but the civil officers, vizt. judges, secretaries etc., are paid as the assembly pleases to allow from year to year and so are the officers of the forts and garrisons. The military officers are appointed and commissionated by the captain-general; some of the civil officers are appointed by the government with the advice of the council and others are chosen by the general court, as treasurer, impost officer, collectors of excise, public notaries etc. 12 small pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 135–136d, 139–145d.]
March 2.
Whitehall.
122 Order of Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs upon a report from the Council of Trade and Plantations on 26 Acts passed in Massachusetts. [See No. 67.] Ordered that the three Acts mentioned in the second paragraph of the said report be suffered to expire of themselves and that the Council of Trade and Plantations prepare the draft of a peremptory instruction to the governor of Massachusetts not to give his assent for the future to any Act of this nature without a suspending clause for preventing its taking effect until H.M.'s pleasure be known. Signed, James Vernon. Seal. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 5 March, Read 9 March 1736/7. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 133, 133d, 138, 138d.]
March 2.
South Carolina.
123 Samuel Eveleigh to James Oglethorpe. Yesterday arrived Capt. Nicholson from London and brought the agreeable news of your safe arrival and kind reception, and Dr. Adams assured me that it was the general vogue there that you might be governor here if you pleased. Yesterday arrived Capt. Symonds from a cruise (on board of whom my son George was a volunteer) who assures me that they cruised about two days off St. Augustine and were so near that they could discern the flag, the castle and houses, that a boat came out with eight oars and several sitters within gunshot of them but would not come on board, that they lay off Frederica some time, fired several guns and would have gone in if the wind would have permitted them, and that Walker in the Country schooner alias galley was there also, who being seen by some of the people of Frederica, Capt. Gascoigne dispatched an express to town (apprehending they were Spaniards). Col. Bull has written a letter to that governor importing that the Dog king had been at Ogeechee and assured them that (if the Spaniards came) he would come down with 60 of his people and more if occasion required. By letters and information from Savannah I am informed that the people there seem very resolute and are very brisk and attentive in building a fort and making other preparations, that the fort is in great forwardness and will in a short time be finished, and that the people are now all supplied with provisions out of the Trustees' store (I means all such as work on the fort).
By Oglatchee, king of the Tuckabatchees, and by letters from Savannah, I am informed that a party of Indians being out on their hunt somewhere about the Apalache Old Fields, being six men and four lads, met with a party of Spaniards and killed a Yamassee Indian, a mulatto, a negro and a Spaniard and took nine horses, two of which tiring on the path they killed, the other seven they brought to Yamacraw. And here I must remark that two of those Indians belong to the French at the Alabamas, one to the Upper Creeks and three to the Lower, and they took a gun that some time since belonged to an Indian that was killed by the Yamassees which provoked them to commit this murder.
About eight days since the Don Carlos, Capt. Fennell, with 25 men sailed to Havana to make discoveries. Last week 14 great guns were sent down from hence to Port Royal and this week eight more will be sent, which with eight they have there already will make up 30. Capt. Ferguson came to town two days since who advises me that they are very busy in finishing the fort and that half the negroes in that neighbourhood are now at work thereon. Craven's and Granvill's bastions will this week be finished and the guns mounted thereon. Yesterday being her majesty's birthday, the guns in Granvill's bastion were fired, five of which were new guns that carry a shot of 18 pounds weight. The assembly (as I am informed) are come to a resolution to raise a new company of rangers to consist of a captain and 20 men to range between Savannah river and Combehee. They are now very busy about the fort that is erecting on the White Point and is to be larger than was at first designed and to mount 30 guns. All this (as you may imagine) will amount to a very great charge, to defray which the general assembly have come to a resolution to emit 35,000l. in orders, which I doubt not will be very much exclaimed against at home who have not a right notion of our paper currency.
I did formerly and do now again offer my service to the Trustees to supply their province with beef, pork, corn, bread, molasses etc. and to do it upon as easy terms as any other and to be on a certainty for it (barring accidents by sea). Mr. Causton writes me now for beef which is not to be got and you may remember that last summer you were in great want of molasses and obliged to give great prices for the same, which is an inconvenience that may be remedied if I should undertake to supply the province with provisions and other necessaries. Signed. 2½ small pp. Endorsed, Communicated by Mr. Oglethorpe, 4 May 1737. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 97–98d.]
March 2.
Georgia Office.
124 Benjamin Martyn to Rev. John Martin Bolzius at New Ebenezer in Georgia. Mr. Vernon has delivered to the Trustees copy of a letter from Mr. S. Urlsperger dated Augsburg, 15 January 1737 (n.s.), to Henry Newman acquainting him that Mr. von Ploto had secured effects belonging to the Salzburghers to a considerable value. The Trustees therefore desire you will enquire if any of the Salzburghers at Ebenezer have left any effects behind them and if they have that you will send over a specification of their demands and a proper authority from them to the Trustees or whoever else they may think proper to receive them. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo. 7d.]
March 3. 125 John Sharpe, agent for Governor Mathew, to Council of Trade and Plantations, answering M. Hop's memorial. The governor by a general law of 1701 for preventing trade between English and foreigners had power to commission British subjects to seize vessels trading contrary to that Act. By another Act of Montserrat he has power to grant commissions to seize French ships coming within one league of the Leeward Islands and having actually traded with British subjects. He is also required by his instructions to put into effect the 5th and 6th articles of the Anglo-French treaty of neutrality of 1686 (fn. n1) and to prevent breaches of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. If the vessels mentioned in the memorial and annexed papers were not Dutch but French and the cargoes were not Dutch but French, then there is no foundation for any complaint from the States General or St. Eustatius; if the vessels were French and liable to seizure, though the cargoes were Dutch, the Dutch would have no sufficient ground for complaint.
It is a fact very notorious that there is an illicit trade daily and publicly carried on between the English and French by means of the Dutch at St. Eustatius to the great prejudice of H.M.'s sugar colonies. To prevent this and to execute the aforesaid laws and treaties, it is apprehended the governor may empower vessels to visit ships suspected of illicit trade; at least under the Montserrat Act he is authorized to grant commissions to visit French ships within the descriptions of that Act and it is impossible to know whether a ship is French until she is first searched. All the seizures pretended to have been made are four, vizt. St. Anthony, Two Sisters, Catherine and Dolphin. The St. Anthony was immediately discharged without a trial. As to the Two Sisters, there is no evidence that the ship was Dutch property; on the contrary it seems to be granted that she was a French ship. There is no evidence that the cargo was Dutch, except Robert Stewart's affidavit that persons at the trial offered to testify that it was. As to the Catherine, there is no affidavit that mentions this ship or any part of her cargo to be Dutch. And with regard to the Dolphin, though several of her sailors made affidavits, none said that the ship or cargo was Dutch: from the trial it appears she was French, all her mariners being French and her colours French. One of the claimant's producing a Dutch let-pass, it appeared that the name therein was the Three Friends and not the Dolphin. There is not one syllable of evidence attempted to be given that any part of the cargo was Dutch property; so that on the face of the proceedings it appears plain that this ship and cargo were French. As for the contradictions alleged between the evidence of William Hawkins and William Wilkinson, one says the Dolphin was taken within 1½ miles and the other within 2½ miles of the shore; take it upon the evidence of either, she was within one English league of the shore, and there is no contradiction.
The true state of the case, as far as I am able to judge from the papers annexed to the memorial and the best information I can get, is as follows: since the passing of the Montserrat Act the French, being disabled from illicit trade with the English at St. Eustatius, have prevailed on the Dutch there to furnish them with Dutch names for their captains, Dutch let-passes, Dutch clearances, and even to lend them the name of Dutch owners. If seized, they pretend the whole is Dutch property. I apprehend that what the traders in St. Eustatius aim at is to have general orders given to Governor Mathew so that they may evade all the laws and treaties against illicit trade.
As to the words reported to have been used by Governor Mathew, they are very general ones; and when he spoke of ruining their trade, I apprehend it can only be understood their unlawful trade with the English. The enclosed paper shows the violent measures taken even by H.M.'s own subjects of Rhode Island, who openly armed and joined the French to protect this illicit trade.
This is the best answer I can give at present; if the nature of the case admits of adjourning until I receive the governor's answer, I am sure he would fully justify his conduct to you. Signed. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 3 March 1736/7. Enclosed,
125. i. John Harris to Governor Mathew; St. Christopher's, 25 September 1736. While cruising between St. Christopher's and St. Eustatius on 24th inst., with a commission as garde-cote, I encountered a large sloop which came out of St. Eustatius under the command of Caleb Godfrey of Rhode Island, manned by 32 men at St. Eustatius, in company with a French ship which also came out of St. Eustatius. Godfrey ordered me to follow him and had his guns ready; he abused me with gross language, as did another who my mate is ready to swear was Andrew Audain, son of Dr. Audain of Sandy Point. Having only 18 men and 6 swivel guns I made off and outsailed Godfrey. Copy, certified by William Mathew. 2 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 152, 22, fos. 298–301d.]
March 4.
Savannah.
126 John Wesley to [Trustees for Georgia (fn. n2)]. When the account of the mission expenses commencing 1 March 1736 and brought down to the end of November was delivered to me, I was much surprised to find it amount to (in Carolina currency) 666l. 17s. 0½d. which reduced to sterling is 90l. 2s. 4d. A day or two since I received a second account brought down to 1 March 1737 which being added to the former the total expense of the year was 726l. 7s. 3½d. (98l. 8s. 1½d. sterling). But upon reading over both I observed as you will be pleased to do: (1) that of the sum above-mentioned 191l. 19s. 6½ d. was paid Mr. Quincy partly for a bed, hangings and furniture, partly for making a cellar, building a hut, and improvements by him made in and about the house; (2) that 86l. 6s. 9d. has been since expended at several times for necessary repairs of the cellar (which was fallen in), the house and the fences round it and the garden, a great part of which fell down being quite decayed; (3) that 98l. 10s. 9d. was expended in three journeys to Frederica, twice by water and once by land, whither not my own pleasure but the desire of some of that desolate people and the need of all called me; (4) that 26l. 1s. 9d. was expended at several times in clothing for Mr. Ingham. These particulars together amounting to 402l. 18s. 9d., the expense of Mr. Ingham's food for two or three months and of mine and Mr. Delamotte's subsistence from 1 March 1736 to 1 March 1737 amounts to 323l. 8s. 6½ d. currency, 44l. 4s. 4d. sterling. I thought before I left England that from the little knowledge you had of my manner of conversation you would not easily have believed me capable of embezzling your's any more than my own goods. But since it is otherwise, since you have sent orders to limit my expenses to the Society's 50l. a year, be it so: I accept it and (during my stay here) desire to have neither less nor more.
One thing farther I desire, that whenever I am accused to you on this or any other head (and it is necessary that offences should come) you would allow me the justice due to a common criminal, the knowing my accuser (which I must insist upon before God and man) and the being heard before I am condemned. I cannot but acknowledge the readiness of the magistrates here, Mr. Causton in particular, in assisting me so far as pertains to their office both to repress open vice and immorality and to promote the glory of God by establishing peace and mutual goodwill among men. And I trust their labour hath not been quite in vain. Many ill practices seem to lose ground daily and a general face of decency and order prevails beyond what I have seen anywhere else in America. My prayer to God for you is that you may with one heart and one mind glorify God our Saviour in all things, that neither open nor covert opposition may ever be able to disjoin your hearts or weaken your hands, but that you may calmly and steadily pursue his work even though men should therefore cast out your names as evil. And the God of glory shall accept your service and reward everyone of you sevenfold into his bosom. Signed, 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 207–208.]
March 5.
Charleston.
127 Paul Jenys to Harman Verelst. The several letters and packets addressed to our house for the colony of Georgia have been forwarded. The sundries shipped per Capt. Keet for account of the Trustees came safe to us except one of the tubs of bamboo plants which was washed overboard on the passage. As you in a particular manner recommended the cask with seeds and papers to be forwarded by a safe hand I on the arrival of the Brooke advised Mr. Causton of what was addressed to us from the Trustees and desired that he would inform me how I might with safety convey them to the colony. On which he directed me to commit the cask with the other things to the care of Mr. Grant in a boat belonging to the colony, which I accordingly did, and the letters for Mr. Oglethorpe also, expecting that that gentleman had given some directions to Mr. Causton concerning what letters might arrive after his sailing. Had the cask you mention in yours of 13 January been in my possession I would have forwarded it as the Trustees direct, the square box packed therein. But I sent all without loss of time to Mr. Causton to whom I shall convey your letter just now received per Mr. Braithwait. Enclosed is the letter directed to Col. Stephens which you desire me to return.
I congratulate you on the safe arrival of Mr. Oglethorpe. It gives me the utmost concern to find in the Commons House of Assembly so many members so much out of temper and irritated against a gentleman who has given many instances of his good inclination to serve this colony. But I expected this from some who, influenced by private views only, think it their interest to oppose him and from others who could find no other way to gratify their resentment for the opposition that gentleman made against them when last in England. I am as deeply concerned as the Trustees can be that any disputes should arise between the two colonies and used my utmost endeavours to promote a reconciliation though to little purpose. I never doubted but the Trustees would have accommodated all our differences and very readily have redressed the grievances complained of with respect to the navigation of the Savannah river and the free trade with the Indians upon our transmitting to them a just state of the matters in dispute; but this method was rejected and nothing would do but a public application to H.M. I am not a little troubled that my endeavours to promote the welfare of both colonies should have created me many enemies in this, but I am the less concerned as I am conscious I have nothing more at heart than the safety and success of both.
We have no certain advices of any preparations now making at Havana to invade Georgia and I am inclined to believe no acts of hostility will be committed. But if any attack should be made against your colony, notwithstanding the late disputes, this government will use their utmost strength to support and defend Georgia. This you will know more fully by the assurances this province has given the Trustees in a late letter. Signed. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 204–205d; duplicate at fos. 201–202d.]
March 7. 128 Extract from unsigned and unaddressed letter from St. Christopher's. Most of us wish for a change of general. Our great man has lately been at Antigua quelling rebellious negroes. He fawns on the dregs of the people and trembles for what he has done out of dread that his captures will be restored. His prize, the Fleuron, now called the Fitzwater, is loading for London; I hope she will not be permitted to enter. If the Montserrat Act is not rejected and satisfaction made for the Fleuron, the French in their reprisals will not stop at the Guineaman they have taken. They are waiting only for the event of their solicitations at home to send out privateers. It surprises me the merchants vindicate this law; I never heard of any loss they sustained by the French in these parts till this Guinea ship. Mr. Coope's behaviour is disapproved by the whole island except Col. Burt. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 44, fo. 91, 91d.]
March 7.
Georgia Office.
129 Benjamin Martyn to Thomas Causton, by Peter & James, Capt. George Dymond. The Trustees have received your letters of 26 November and 14 December and expect you will now go on in sending them regularly a state of the colony by every ship. They are very much concerned to find by your letters that many of the people do not think yet of planting and that either through idleness, employing themselves too much in building, hiring themselves to labour or living upon their credit in town, they entirely neglect the improvements of their lots. They therefore require you to inform all the people that those who will be first entitled to their favour will be such as are industrious in cultivating their lands and to put them in mind of the terms and conditions of their several grants. The Trustees are persuaded that the proper employment of the people in their several plantations will be the surest means to remove all the contentions which you complain are amongst them. They are sensible of the many ill effects that must attend the great credit that is given in the province and they will very soon send over their particular orders for regulating the same and the suing for debts. They are likewise preparing a law for regulating the watch and till this can arrive they recommend it to you to avoid as much as you can all disputes relating thereto and keep everything as quiet as possible, and they hope and expect that a proper obedience will be paid by everyone to the civil power established there.
You take notice in your last letter of several letters which have been sent from Charleston to private hands in order to lessen the credit of the colony and that the people thereupon are very uneasy. Surely they cannot be affected by any advices from thence, they must be sensible, from the jealousy that has been shown, that no arts will be wanting, no arts unemployed to create uneasinesses in Georgia; and at the same time they may be assured that the Trustees who are so attentive to the welfare of the colony in every other particular will be careful of its credit in the first place, and they must know that their industry in their several plantations as it will considerably diminish the ex penses of the colony will enable the Trustees to support its credit the better. The Trustees are apprehensive that the negligence of Mr. Jones the surveyor has been of great prejudice to the colony; they therefore expect that you call upon him from time to time to do his duty. You must enquire what surveyors there are in Georgia and whether any of these will undertake to survey at Savannah on the same terms that Mr. Jones did, and in case Mr. Jones will not go on you must employ such of them as you shall find necessary within the county of Savannah to run out the lands within the said county immediately that the people may not suffer for the future by any delays in surveying their lands, and you must enter into written agreements with them upon the same terms as Mr. Jones's.
As the lots at New Ebenezer are not yet surveyed the Trustees have ordered that the first and second transports who were removed thither shall have the reduced allowance (particulars in Mr. Verelst's letter) continued to them up to September next and you must not require anything of them for repayment, but you must compute the crop which they took with them from Old Ebenezer as part of the said reduced allowance. The Trustees have ordered that the Salzburghers of the third transport shall be provided with the same quantity of tools and utensils and other necessaries for settling themselves as the former embarkations were. They have likewise ordered that the third transport shall be provided with swine and poultry (the particulars Mr. Verelst will tell you) for which there is a particular benefaction. The house for the ministers of the Salzburghers is to be built, for which there is a particular benefaction of 16l., and you must enquire whether any of the Salzburghers employed by you in building the house of the ministers at Old Ebenezer are unpaid; and if they are you must pay them what is due to them upon that account. You must likewise pay the 50l. for the salary of Mr. Bolzius, Mr. Gronau and Mr. Ortman to 1 November last and what expenses they have been at in borrowing money for want of payment of the same before. Entry. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 667, fos. 8–9.]
March 7. 130 Petition of Trustees for Georgia to House of Commons, setting forth the achievements of the colony and praying for assistance. Entry.1½ pp. Enclosed,
130. i. Account of residue of money granted in 1735 remaining on 2 March 1735/6. 1 p.
130. ii. Account of how the money granted by Parliament in 1736 has been applied.1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 670, pp. 300–303.]
March 8.
Whitehall.
131 Order of Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs on a report of Council of Trade and Plantations concerning the complaint of Mahomet, Chief Sachem of the Mohican Indians, of deprivation of lands; Council of Trade and Plantations is to prepare draft commission of review. Signed, James Vernon. Seal. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 March, Read 11 March 1736/7. [C.O. 5, 1268, fos. 254–255d.]
March 8.
Savannah.
132 Thomas Causton to Trustees for Georgia. I omitted in my last to acquaint you that about a fortnight before the receipt of the advices of the Spaniards' intentions one Butler stole a passage in one of our pettiaugoes to Frederica. When he went from this town he pretended to take passage in one of Mr. Williams's ships to St. Christopher's which then lay in this river about four miles below the town, and when he got on board he pretended to be very poor and unable to pay his passage; but seeing the pettiagua come by he made pretences that he wanted to speak with Capt. Gascoigne (as being well acquainted) and therefore took passage therein. When he arrived at Frederica he was observed to be very inquisitive about the fortifications and the number of the people there, and though he pretended to be acquainted with Capt. Gascoigne he did not so much as know him. They therefore suspected he had no good intention and took him into examination, and finding he could give no good account of himself or how he came by his passage, Mr. Hawkins in the absence of Mr. Horton sent me advice that he had confined him. Mr. Horton was then with me here and promised to give me a more particular account when he got home. Upon the alarm we began to recollect how this man had behaved when here and everyone who had conversed with him agreed that he wanted neither money nor sense but could not recollect any other particulars. However lest he should be the D'Tombe mentioned in Commodore Dent's advices or some such agent I desired Mr. Horton to examine him again very strictly. Upon this examination he wrote me that he could find nothing material but a letter of which the enclosed is the copy he sent. He added that he had sent for Mr. Dyson to explain the letter and that he answered very evasively so that no further discovery could be made; but he intended to confine Butler and had prevailed with Lieut. Delegale to confine Dyson. In my answer to this I acquainted him that I thought both men had no good designs and that the contents of the letter were sufficient for a close confinement. To this he replied that Capt. Gascoigne had taken Butler with him as a foremastman, he being kept close on board. As Mr. Horton makes no particular mention of Dyson I apprehend he has acquainted you with the matter and depends upon your orders.
Mr. Horton advises me in the same letter dated 28 February that the Darien people have entrenched themselves and are determined to defend themselves to the last extremity and not to quit their lands but with their lives; that the day before the date a schooner fitted out from Charleston with 40 men commanded by one Walker came into Jekyl Sound, had been as far as Augustine bar to discover what vessels were in their harbour: she saw but three, one brigantine and two small vessels; that Walker said he was chased by a sloop which by her coming up with him he believed had oars but he lost her in the night; that Capt. Symonds in the Shark lay before Augustine two days without showing any colours; that a Spanish launch appeared but thought proper to run back again.
Copy of letter just received from lieut.-governor of Carolina with my answer enclosed. Mr. Eveleigh advises me by his letter of 2nd inst. that the French are fitting out a fleet at Brest with a number of men on board who are to go to New Orleans and thence to destroy the Chickesaw nation. These are all the material occurrences that can be depended on, but the alarms that the people are under in Carolina are every day bringing in many inconsistent accounts which have proved false. The people are all in good health and, being informed by letters from Carolina of Mr. Oglethorpe's safe arrival in England, they are just now rejoicing round a bonfire, and I have given them a barrel of beer. Signed. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 222, 222d.] Enclosed,
132. i. 5 February 1737. E. Dyson to Mr. Butler at Mr. Bennet's in Frederica. Since we shook hands last I have found people's pulses very irregular and am at a loss how to act; therefore cannot pretend to understand the cause for want of more experience. But that time may discover and I improve. Your wifflers and weathercocks I shall always despise. I hope an opportunity will offer for a free conversation. Copy. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 149.]
132. ii. 2 March 1737. Lieut.-Governor Thomas Broughton to Thomas Causton. Yours of 17 February came to hand 28th. I have put the forces of this province under such regulations that upon the first notice of an alarum they are to march directly away to the southward parts of this government where I propose to be myself to give the necessary orders that nothing may be wanting for the effectual defence of the colony of Georgia which I have very much at heart. Copy. ½ p. [C.O. 5,639, fo. 210.]
132. iii. Savannah, 8 March 1737. Reply to preceding with thanks for kindness expressed: the contents of that letter convince me you have the safety of Georgia at heart. I have just now received advices from Frederica that the people in all the southern settlements behave extremely well and in particular that the Highlanders at the Darien have entrenched themselves and are determined for a defence to the last extremity. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 211.]
March 8.
Whitehall.
133 Council of Trade and Plantations to Duke of Newcastle, enclosing the following. Entry. Signatories, Fitzwalter, Thomas Pelham, Arthur Croft, R. Plumer. 1 p. Enclosed,
133. i. Representation of Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have considered the memorial of M. Hop, Envoy Extraordinary from the States General, complaining of damages and acts of hostility committed by the English against the Dutch at St. Eustatius and that Governor Mathew had granted commissions to several persons to cruise on the coast of that island who took ships and carried them to Montserrat where they were condemned. We have been attended by the agents for the Leeward Islands who offered nothing upon this complaint. But Mr. Mathew's agent offered us that by virtue of a general law of the Leeward Islands passed at Nevis 8 December 1701 to prevent any trade with the French or other foreign plantation by the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands the governor has authority by warrant under his hand and seal to grant a power to any of the subjects of this kingdom to seize vessels trading contrary to that Act; and that by the Act passed at Montserrat in June last entitled an Act for the more effectual preventing all trade in those parts between H.M.'s subjects and the French (on which we reported to you 17 December last) the governor has a power to grant commissions to seize any French vessels coming within a league of the shore or sailing anywhere within the extent of the government of the Leeward Islands and having actually traded with your subjects. The agent likewise takes notice of the 5th and 6th articles of the Treaty of Neutrality between this kingdom and France in 1686 forbidding all trade between your subjects and those of the French King in America, and of your instructions to the governor of the Leeward Islands directing him to take care that these articles and the several Acts of Trade and Navigation be duly observed. And after setting forth that an illegal trade is carried on between the English and French by means of the Dutch at St. Eustatius and that the vessels whose seizures are complained of in M. Hop's memorial were really French vessels and not Dutch, he submits whether Mr. Mathew does not stand justified for what he has done.
The Act of 1701 was intended only to prevent an immediate trade between your subjects of the Leeward Islands and the neighbouring foreign islands. It does not appear to us that any of the vessels mentioned in the Dutch memorial to have been seized by sloops commissioned by Governor Mathew were in any way concerned in trade to or from the Leewards. We are of opinion they were not within the meaning of that Act. Their condemnation under the Montserrat Act cannot be justified because an actual trade with some of your subjects must have been proved to make them liable to confiscation, which does not appear to us. We think it immaterial with regard to the legality of the seizure and condemnation whether these vessels were Dutch or French. With regard to the sloop Dolphin in particular, whose trial and condemnation we have considered, we cannot but observe that supposing her condemnation had been legal there was no pretence of confiscating her cargo by virtue of any clause in the Montserrat law. We mention this because the said sloop and cargo were both condemned under pretence of that law, in which provision is only made for con demnation of such vessels as transgress the same. Your subjects on the continent of America carry on a trade with the Dutch at St. Eustatius, and we do not know of any treaty or law that forbids the same. But if in exchange for such commodities as they carry to St. Eustatius they take foreign rum, molasses and sugar in return and import such manufactures to any of your American Plantations, they subject themselves to the duties imposed by Act of Parliament passed in the 6th year of your reign entitled an Act for the better securing and encouraging the trade of H.M.'s sugar-colonies in America. These complaints and those from France on which we reported 17 December last are occasioned by your governor of the Leeward Islands having taken upon him to explain the general law of the Leeward Islands of 1701 in a different sense from what it does import, and to his having passed the Montserrat law of June last contrary to the directions of your instructions. We have received no accounts from Governor Mathew in relation to his proceedings and conduct under colour of the Montserrat Act of June last since the passing thereof. Entry. Signatories, as covering letter. 1 pp. [C.O. 153, 16, fos. 44d-48.]
March 9.
Whitehall.
134 Same to Committee of Privy Council, enclosing draft of additional instruction to Governor Belcher forbidding him to assent to any Act for issuing new bills of credit except as allowed by the 16th article of his instructions, or for continuing the currency of bills for a longer time than is limited by the Acts for emitting them unless there is a clause inserted in such Act to prevent its taking effect till H.M.'s pleasure be known. Entry. Signatories, Fitzwalter, T. Pelham, O. Bridgeman, R. Plumer. 1 p. Enclosed,
134. i. Draft of the above instruction. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 917, fos. 93d-95d; draft of letter and enclosure in C.O. 5, 897, fos. 138d-141d.]
March 9.
Georgia Office.
135 Benjamin Martyn to Thomas Causton. The Trustees have ordered that you send up from Savannah to Frederica a boat and guard with the recruits which the bearer of this, William Tolson, ensign, carries over with him for the independent company under Capt. Massey. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo. 8.]
March 9.
Water-lane,
Tower-street.
136 Richard Partridge to John Courand. I have lately lodged a petition to the King in Council at the Council Office relating to some disturbances at New Jersey, of which I enclose a copy and pray you would lay it before the Duke of Newcastle. I have written to Governor Belcher for the seeds. Signed. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 983, fos. 77–78d.]
March 9.
Whitehall.
137 Alured Popple to John Scrope, enclosing extract of letter from Governor Fitzwilliam dated 12 November last relating to the estate of a deceased mulatto and to treasure found at Providence. Their lordships desire you will lay the enclosed extract and copy of Mr. Fane's report thereof before the Lords of the Treasury. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 24, 1, fo. 161, 161d.]
March 9.
Palace Court.
138 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received, receipt from bank for 10l. benefaction of Rev. Mr. Williams paid in at the last board. Received by Dr. Hales, 10l. 10s. benefaction of a gentlewoman towards the support of the missionaries in Georgia. William Tolson, ensign to the independent company in Georgia, attended to desire the Trustees' boat and a guard from Savannah for the recruits he is carrying over in the Peter and James. Ordered, that a letter be given him to Thomas Causton for that purpose. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 686, p. 357.]
March 10.
Whitehall.
139 Alured Popple to Francis Fane enclosing n Acts passed in Massachusetts in 1735 and 1736 for his opinion in point of law, vizt. Acts for regulating private trade with the Indians; for support of ministers; for more effectual collecting of excise on liquors; to explain an Act to relieve poor prisoners for debt; to prevent counterfeiting bills of credit; to empower collectors of taxes to require aid; to prevent unnecessary petitions; to prevent the destruction of fish called alewives; for granting to Rowland Houghton of Boston the sole privilege of making and vending the new theodolite; for granting 3000l. for support of the governor; for altering the time for holding courts. Entry. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 917, fo. 96, 96d.]
March 11.
Newbern.
140 Governor Gabriel Johnston to Alured Popple. Having acquainted their lordships with the state of this province I take this opportunity (which I have met with beyond expectation) to beg you to solicit them for a speedy answer under cover to some of the governors of the northern provinces and by them to be forwarded by express to Edenton. It is a peculiar hardship to the gentlemen who serve the Crown in this colony that it never was before brought under any order nor subject to the regulation of the laws, that there is not a place in the whole government fit to keep any one office in, nor any gaol nor effectual law for raising the militia. So that if we have not the countenance of H.M.'s ministers and boards at home it is really impossible to carry on business. And Mr. Burrington has had the address to persuade the people that H.M. neither wants quitrents to be paid nor any of his instructions to be observed; so that if I do not soon receive orders from my Lords of Trade in consequence of my last letter I must sit still and suffer matters to go on in the same confused, irregular manner as formerly.
It is now almost two years since the Lords of Trade referred the case of the blank patents to the Attorney-General. I immediately ordered all proceedings to be suspended until we should have so good an authority to direct us. It is a great misfortune that we have never yet been favoured with Mr. Attorney's opinion for the proprietors of these patents have really endeavoured to excite the people to a rebellion because we distrain upon a few of them who refused to pay their quitrents, which is an unheard-of practice in this part of the world. I have now fairly and without prejudice sent my opinion which of these patents ought to be vacated (by the prosecution of the attorney-general of this province) and which of them ought to be allowed of; and if I don't hear speedily from their lordships I hope, if any bad consequences should happen, they will not be laid to my charge.
I was obliged to prorogue last assembly at Edenton which at first promised very fair to settle this country by enacting some good laws. But an emissary from the late governor who arrived here during their sitting did amuse them with so many representations that it was impossible to do business with them. According to the last prorogation I met them here on 1st current and recommended to their consideration the present miserable case of the province. But instead of minding that, the first thing they attempted was to take the officers who distrained for H.M.'s quitrents during the time of collection into custody, upon which I dissolved them by the enclosed proclamation. I hope you will lay before their lordships what I have now wrote to you in a very great hurry. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 17 August 1737, Read 8 February 1737/8. Enclosed,
140. i. Proclamation by Governor Johnston dissolving assembly of North Carolina for seeking to intimidate H.M.'s officers in the execution of their duty: 4 March 1736/7. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 295, fos. 102–104d.]
March 12.
Whitehall.
141 Alured Popple to Attorney-General Dudley Ryder desiring him to prepare draft of a commission of review in the case of the dispute between Connecticut and the Mohicans. Copy of commission issued in 1706 enclosed. Entry, 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1294, pp. 98–99.]
March 15.
Whitehall.
142 Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We have lately considered an Act passed in South Carolina for ascertaining the public officers' fees. It does not appear to us that there was reason for complaint against any of the patent officers nor does the preamble accuse them. The governor and council are empowered to regulate fees. As this Act affects the property of your patent officers there ought to have been inserted a suspending clause. We lay the Act before you for disallowance. Entry. Signatories, Fitzwalter, Thomas Pelham, Orlando Bridgeman, James Brudenell, R. Plumer. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 202–204; draft in C.O. 5, 381, fos. 235–236d.]
March 15.
Whitehall.
143 Same to Lords of Committee of Privy Council. We have considered the petition of the patent- and warrant-officers of South Carolina against the Act for ascertaining public officers' fees. [Continues as preceding.] We have therefore represented to H.M. for the repeal thereof. Entry. Signatories, as preceding. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 205–207; draft in C.O. 5, 381, fos. 237–239d.]
[March 15.] 144 Petition of Augh Quant Johnson of the tribe of Mohicans to Council of Trade and Plantations. Petitioner came over last year with Mahomet and Major Mason, guardian of the Mohicans; these two are now dead. He prays that in the commission of review on the Mohican complaints no commissioner of Connecticut or Massachusetts be nominated but good men of New York and Rhode Island; and further that Samuel Mason, Major Mason's son, may be the guardian of the tribe. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15 March 1736/7. [CO. 5, 1268, fo. 257, 257d.]

Footnotes

  • n1. 1680 in MS. Compare No. 133i.
  • n2. See No. 343.