America and West Indies: September 1738

Pages 206-220

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 44, 1738. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1969.

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September 1738

September 2.
435 John Vanderplank to Benjamin Martyn, enquiring terms and conditions of settlement in Georgia. I can procure 10 or 20 servants and wish for 1,000 acres of land. Signed. P.S. If you have plan, map or printed account of the place, please forward it to me. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 172–173d.]
September 6.
436 President James Dottin to Council of Trade and Plantations transmitting public papers. Signed. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 21 November, Read 28 November 1738. Enclosed,
436. i. Accounts of duties on liquors and negroes imported into Barbados for two quarters, 13 December 1736—13 June 1737. Number of ships bringing liquors: 14. Number of ships bringing negroes: 7. Number of negroes imported: 333. Gross receipts of duties including sums bonded: 911l. 18s. 4¼d. 4 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
436. ii. Public account of Barbados for same period. Signed, John Bignall, Treasurer. 6 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 28, 25, fos. 68–76d.]
September 6.
437 Same to Duke of Newcastle, transmitting public papers. Signed. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 45, fos. 409–410d.]
September 8.
438 James Abercromby to Harman Verelst. By Mr. Whitefield I acquaint the Trustees with my being arrived here and having transmitted to Mr. Stephens what I had in charge from them. By enclosed Gazette you will see the exact time notice was given in this province as to public credit in Georgia. Mr. Whitefield will inform the Trustees in person as to the state of their affairs. Signed. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 174–175d.]
September 11.
Perth Amboy.
439 Governor Lewis Morris to Council of Trade and Plantations. On 26 August I received H.M.'s letters patent appointing me governor of New Jersey. I published them at Amboy on 29th and at Burlington a few days afterwards. The people are greatly pleased with being governed by a different person from the governor of New York. I have ordered writs for the election of an assembly to meet on 26 October; and if a judgment is to be formed from the general satisfaction that at present appears I am not without hopes of a good issue from their meeting. They have warm desires and are big with hopes of carrying on a trade directly with Great Britain instead of receiving European commodities from their neighbours of Boston, New York and Pennsylvania. I wish their success may answer the expectation, though I fear it will be a work of more time than they suppose. If they continue in the same mind when I know the methods they propose I shall communicate them to you for your further commands thereon. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 26 October, Read 31 October 1738. [C.O. 5, 973, fos. 111, 111d, 114, 114d.]
September 11.
Perth Amboy.
440 Same to Duke of Newcastle acknowledging receipt of letters patent [as preceding]. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 3 November. [C.O. 5, 983, fos. 92–93d.]
September 13.
441 J. Jones to Duke of Newcastle, renewing his request of 25 July last for a lieutenant's commission in one of the independent companies at Jamaica. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 31 December. [C.O. 137, 56, fos. 132–133d.]
September 3.
442 James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. We are now in the soundings off the coast of Georgia a good deal to the northward of our port Sir Yelverton Peyton in the Hector is going to leave us for Virginia and sends this letter. The officers, the men and their families are (God be praised) all well. Signed. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. 24 November 1738. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 176–177d.]
September 13.
443 Same to Duke of Newcastle. I take the opportunity of Sir Yelverton Peyton who is just going to separate from us in the Hector, he being bound for Virginia. The men are most in health and we have had a very happy passage to this place which by computation is about 30 leagues N.W. from Frederica, the port we are bound to. We have felt ground with the lead but have not yet seen the coast nor have heard news from thence. Signed. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 25 November. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 168–169d.]
September 14.
444Governor William Mathew to Council of Trade and Plantations. I send in a box recommended to Capt. Pipon's care duplicates of minutes of council of Antigua, 1 February 1736/7 to 26 May 1738; of minutes of council of Montserrat, 25 March 1738 to 24 June 1738; of minutes of assembly of Nevis, 15 July 1735 to 13 June 1737 and so onto 27 June 1738; and of minutes of assembly of Montserrat, 29 March 1738 to 17 June 1738. And to these I now add minutes [In another band: originals] of council of St. Christopher's, 9 February 1737/8 to 20 July 1738. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 7 December 1738, Read 10 January 1738/9. [C.O. 152, 23, fos. 169, 169d., 173, 173d.]
September 16.
New York.
445 Lieut.-General George Clarke to Council of Trade and Plantations. The enclosed accounts of numbers of people and of militia complete my answer to your queries. My son having signified to me your commands concerning the Bermudas petition against the Tonnage Act passed here in 1734, I have laid the matter before the council and assembly as it was an Act passed before I had the administration of the government; so soon as they furnish me with their reasons in support of that Act I will lay them before you. My speech to the assembly is enclosed. What they will do this year I cannot tell. But next year they must give H.M. such a revenue as former assemblies have given or suffer a large sum of their paper money to fall to the ground for want of a fund to support it. This is a staff which I now have in my hands and ought by no other means to part with than that of their giving such a revenue as I have asked; and unless a governor has now and then some advantage over these people he will find it difficult to bring them to reason and their duty.
The letter from the commissioners of Indian Affairs (copy enclosed) I received a few days ago and have sent it to the speaker to be laid before the house, desiring them to enable me to defeat the designs of the French. For if they possess themselves of the Wood Creek not far from which they built the strong fort mentioned in the letter at the Crown Point about five years ago, they will become masters of that part of the country, and in case of a rupture oblige all our planters to quit their habitations; and if they possess themselves of Tierondequat they will intercept all our western fur trade that centres now in Oswego and will by degrees become entire masters of the whole Six Nations. From hence you will perceive that these two posts are of the utmost importance to this and every other part of H.M.'s colonies in North America. I presume to think that these attempts of the French to settle on this side of the lakes and on any lands belonging to the Six Nations are no ways warranted by the treaty subsisting between the two crowns, and I fear that if some effectual method be not taken to obtain orders from the court of France forbidding the governor of Canada to pursue his intentions the little that this province will or can do may be ineffectual. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 26 October, Read 31 October 1738. Enclosed,
445. i. Commissioners for Indian Affairs to Lieut.-Governor Clarke, Albany, 30 August 1738. Capt. Cornelius Cuyler, lately returned from Canada, informs us that he has heard that the French design to settle several families on the Wood Creek about ten miles from our settlements next spring, that the governor of Canada has sent several farmers there, among which was Ilber, to view the land last fall and this summer as far as Fort Anne, and that he has heard a report that the land is granted to Ilber and others, which we believe to be true. Which settlements we conceive to be of very bad consequence and entreat you to prevent this encroachment of the French; for we are persuaded that they will soon, erect a fort at Wood Creek. We hope that more notice will be taken of this than of what we informed about the erecting of the French fort at Crown Point which is made as strong as any in Europe.
Some of the principal sachems of the Senecas are gone to Quebec, we fear, to make over Tierondequat to Governor Beauharnais who no doubt will take the first opportunity next spring to erect a strong building there; then we are enclosed on all sides. But we are yet in hopes the French may be prevented. We heartily wish that the limits between our crown and that of France were settled which might prevent their continual encroachments on us. Copy. Signatories; Philip Livingston, Mynden Schuyler, Rutger Bleecker, Abraham Cuyler, John De Geysler, Nicholas Bleecker, Dirck Ten Broeck, Johannis Lansing jnr. 1½ small pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
445. ii. Speech of Lieut.-Governor Clarke to Assembly of New York, 5 September 1738. I will assent to an Act to continue the excise for sinking bills of credit struck in 1714 and 1717 when at the same time you give H.M. as ample a revenue for supporting his government here and for as long a time as former assemblies have done. There is a standing order of the Plantation Board 'That no person be heard there in support of bills past in the Plantations unless he makes it appear that he be agent for the colony in whose behalf he applies'. Your bills will be liable to be rejected upon the application of any other colony who shall think themselves aggrieved thereby if no person be authorized to appear for you on such occasions. Care of defence and payment of agents in Indian country are recommended. Printed. 1½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
445. iii. Number of inhabitants, both white and black, within the province of New York taken in 1737. Separate figures given for New York City, Albany, and counties of Westchester, Orange, Ulster, Duchess, Richmond, Kings, Queens and Suffolk. Totals: white males over ten years, 17,393; white females over ten years, 17,518; white males under ten years, 8,347; white females under ten years, 8,238; black males over ten years, 3,551; black females over ten years, 2,714; black males under ten years, 1,397; black females under ten years, 1,279. Grand total, 60,437. Total in 1731, 50,289. Increase 10,148. 1 p.
445. iv. Statement of the militia within the province of New York, taken in 1737. Separate figures are given for the cities and counties named in No. 445. iii. Totals: officers, 423; other ranks, 7,888. Officers in the militia troops, 36; other ranks, 361. Officers in artillery company, 5; other ranks, 85. 1 p. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 1059, fos. 64–65d, 67–71d.]
September 16.
New York.
446 Same to Duke of Newcastle enclosing copies. I beg leave to remind you that this is a frontier province which only can restrain the French from making incursions in case of a rupture into all H.M.'s provinces to the westward of this. We have garrisons, but without an ounce of powder and very few other warlike stores, without a carriage fit for service to mount any of our guns upon. Nor have we had any stores sent us this seven and twenty years, too long a time for powder to remain good had the necessary care been taken to preserve it, but for want of that care great quantities have been trodden underfoot. I send you my speech to the assembly wherein I have told them the fate of a large sum of their paper money if they do not give H.M. such a revenue and for as long a time as former assemblies have given it. This is an advantage I have over them at present, which I think I ought by no means to part with. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 3 November. Enclosed,
446. i. Speech of Lieut.-Governor Clarke to Assembly of New York, 5 September 1738; As No. 445ii. Printed. 1½ pp.
446. ii Lieut.-Governor Clarke to Council of Trade and Plantations, 16 September 1738. Copy, of No. 445.
446. iii. Commissioners for Indian Affairs to Lieut.-Governor Clarke; Albany, 30 August 1738. Copy, of No. 445. i. [C.O. 5, 1094, fos. 68–74d.]
September 17.
447 Governor Edward Trelawny to Duke of Newcastle. Since my letter of 17 August I have received the French governor's answer to my letter to him. Copy enclosed. As Tristram's affair is to be decided at the court of France you will doubtless have been applied to before this reaches your hands on behalf of the owners. As to Bloom the declaration of Lawrence Payne (copy annexed) contradicts his protest so much that unless he can produce better proofs to support what he alleges in it I am afraid the people that have been sufferers will obtain no manner of satisfaction from the French. I intend to send a copy of so much of M. de l'Arnage's letter as relates to Bloom together with Payne's declaration to the governor of New York for him to get an answer to them from Bloom. And if I shall be of opinion upon receiving the said answer that there is room to make further application, I shall not fail to do it and acquaint you with my proceedings therein. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 December. Enclosed,
447. i. Governor l'Arnage of Hispaniola to Governor Trelawny; Leoganne, 3/14 September 1738. With regard to the first complaint in your letter, I have made Capt. Douglass clearly see the falsity of the protest which Daniel Bloom made at New York concerning a quantity of gold pieces which he claimed were plundered by the crew of the Vautour. Bloom did not complain of such a loss here. One Payne, an Englishman living here, acting as interpreter, has declared not only that neither Bloom nor his passengers complained of loss of money but that he (Payne) was witness that the English recovered all their gold and silver. Copy of Payne's declaration is enclosed; Capt. Douglass has the original. Whence you may judge that Bloom designed to rob the persons to whom this money belonged by falsely alleging that it had been plundered. As for the Elizabeth, Capt. John Tristram, taken by the Vautour at Cape Donna Maria and judged a prize at Leoganne, the edict of the French king of 1727 names the places where English ships may obtain wood and water and orders the seizure of ships found elsewhere on the coast. Cape Donna Maria is not one of the places specified and the king's ship was right to seize the Elizabeth. On the security of John Hide, merchant of Jamaica, the ship has been returned to Tristram; and he can seek remedy by taking his case to the French king. French. Copy. 4 pp.
447. ii. Leoganne, 28 August 1738. Declaration by Lawrence Payne concerning Daniel Bloom. I never heard either Bloom or his two passengers, John Bel of New York and Peter Valet of Jamaica, speak of any loss of gold or silver while they were at Leoganne. French. Copy. Endorsed, The original of this paper I have in my possession, W. Douglass, 1½ pp. [C.O. 137, 56, fos. 134–140d.]
September 19.
448 James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. I am arrived here and find things in a better situation than I heard in England: all the southern division of the province is in very good order. I have now told you the best; I hear that the northern division of the province has lost near threefourth parts of the people since I left it, some running away for fear of the Spaniards but ten for fear of debt, for the court of Savannah has taken upon them to imprison for debt, notwithstanding the people surrender their effects. I landed here and sent up Mr. Jones express to Savannah. I have been unfortunately forced to stay by an unfortunate difference between the lieut.-colonel and some of the officers of the regiment and for the landing of men. I can say nothing with certainty of what has been done at Savannah till I see with my own eyes. I have published the order forbidding all certified accounts etc. and shall reduce all expenses, but I fear if some of the people who have had misfortunes are not assisted with provisions the misery will be too great for description. I hope you will obtain another supply from Parliament and there is great hope, nay I may say no doubt, that both silk and wine will in a very short time come to perfection. I shall give you a further account when I have been at Savannah which will be in a few days. I must again mention that if there is not a supply from Parliament this year those brave fellows who stood the worst and who till the arrival of the regiment were forced to be almost the whole year under arms must starve with their families since they could not do the duty and work at the same time; from henceforward I shall ease them of their heavy guards and only keep such a watch or guard as will preserve the peace of the town which will be always necessary. I desire to know what establishment you will order, if any, that I may be able to prevent the storekeepers exceeding the allowance as I fear they have lately done. Signed. P.S. Capt. Burrish says the entrance and the harbour is very good and that much larger ships than his may come in with safety. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/9, Read to the Committee 14 March 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 182–183d.]
September 19.
Jekyl Sound.
449 Same to Sir Joseph Jekyll. I am now got to an anchor in a harbour and near an island that bears your name. God has given us the greatest marks of his visible protection to this colony. The Spaniards, though they had 1,500 men at Augustine and there was nothing in Georgia but the militia of the country, delayed attacking them till the regular troops arrived. We have had the finest passage and lost but one man out of the soldiers. The inhabitants are extremely cheerful and now hope that they have seen the worst over and that being no longer troubled with alarms they may go on with their improvements. We shall certainly succeed in silk and wine in case the planters are supported by the public in those attempts. This province bridles the Spaniards in America and covers the English frontiers. The poor people that are here have been so harrassed by their threats and so constantly under arms that they have not been able to make that provision for their subsistence which was necessary, though it was far from want of industry in them. They have been sometimes obliged to be two days out of five on guard notwithstanding which they have laboured their lands and made some improvements. It is the vigilance and courage of the militia that prevented the Spaniards from being masters of this province as well as Carolina, but they must in the end have been starved through want of time to follow their business if they had not been relieved by the regiment. These duties to the public service have thrown them so backward that unless the Trustees have the continuance of the parliamentary assistance, all that is already done will be lost, and what is already given thrown away. Besides, it will be the greatest inhumanity to send over people to settle a country and when they have behaved so well as to sacrifice their own affairs for the public service then to abandon them to destruction. I am persuaded therefore the Parliament will give the necessary supplies to the Trustees for the carrying on the civil government and the improvement of the country. I hope you will permit Mr. Tower and Mr. Archer to wait upon you on this occasion, that you will make my compliments acceptable to Lady Jekyll. Signed. 3 small pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 180–181d.]
September 19.
St. Simon's.
450 Extract of letter from James Oglethorpe to Thomas Archer. I think you are very well acquainted with some of the Lords of the Admiralty. I must desire therefore that you would use your interest that Capt. Burrish who commands the man-of-war that brought me over may be continued on the Georgia station. He is very zealous for the service and has showed it by standing directly to the southward up to the very noses of the Spaniards whilst all the others went into Charleston where they generally stay. If Capt. Gascoigne and Capt. Burrish were continued with their ships on this station and that one lies in Amelia and the other in Jekyll Sound they will cover this province by sea and keep open the communication between the garrisons where my regiment must be dispersed amongst the islands. If the communication is not kept open it may be of very dangerous consequence. Perhaps the Lords of the Admiralty may say the ships at Charleston may, if we are attacked, come up to our assistance, but if they consider that Charleston is near three degrees to the northward and Augustine not above half a degree to the southward the matter may be over before they come up. Besides that, the gulf of Florida sets with a rapid current to the northward so that it is very difficult to come from thence southward and the same wind that brings up the Spaniards from Havana hinders the ships at Charleston from coming down to us. Besides, how strange a thing is it that there should be no man-of-war stationed in a frontier port exposed to an enemy but that they should depend for their support upon those who lie in a port in the heart of a peaceable country above 100 miles distant. Mr. Wilmington and Sir Thomas Lyttleton are friends to Capt. Burrish and if you mention it to them they will give their assistance to the Trustees in obtaining a station ship for them. Copy. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 184–185d.]
September 20. 451 Lieut.-Governor William Gooch to Council of Trade and Plantations. By H.M.S. Seahorse, Capt. Compton, I have sent the journals of council in which there is but one remarkable occurrence that I judge deserves your attention. It is now about twelve months ago that at the earnest request of the Cherokee and Cattawba Indians, nations on the back of Georgia and South Carolina, I have endeavoured to negotiate a peace between them and the Indians under the government of New York, commonly called the Six Nations, who for a long time have harrassed them with continual incursions as they have all other Indian nations on the British continent who would not become tributaries or incorporate with them. At last I obtained from the lieut.-governor of New York a promise that the Six Nations should treat, and a day was fixed for the purpose which was to have been the 8th of last month, and in the meantime all hostilities should cease: but under the hard terms that the southern Indians should send their deputies 800 miles to meet the northern Indians at Albany, where and at no other place they would treat, and that this government should not only subsist the chiefs of the Six Nations during the treaty but furnish presents to them as usual on the like occasions, which I own I thought very unreasonable since Virginia had no other interest in the negotiation than what was common to all H.M.'s subjects, the protection of a people who by a solemn treaty made at your board had submitted to H.M.'s government and were thereby admitted, if not as subjects at least as allies, and ought to be considered as such by all that own the same allegiance.
However the Six Nations soon put an end to this treaty by a treacherous attack on the Cattawbaws during the cessation, which so exasperated that nation that they pursued their northern enemies as far as the river Cahongarooton and gave them a notable defeat. But the northern Indians that escaped, upon the retreat of the Cattawbaws, fell upon three families of the English inhabitants on the back of the mountains and barbarously massacred eleven of them. On notice whereof I immediately sent to the nearest towns of those Indians to demand the murderers, but they pretend to know nothing of the matter and endeavour to charge it on the French Indians from Lake Erie. But if it was the French, as I am very sure it was not, the Six Nations ought to be accountable since it must be them that taught the French the way to our frontier.
It will no doubt seem very strange that a nation of Indians supported by a British government at a very great expense to the nation should be suffered to employ their force to destroy other nations under the same protection with themselves and at the same time entertain an alliance with the French whose aim is to demolish both them and their protectors. But it is much more so to find a nation supported by English garrisons at the same time butchering English subjects and that no redress is to be had without applying to them at Albany. To explain this mysterious conduct in our neighbours it must be considered that the Dutch were the first possessors of the province of New York who, finding the skin trade very profitable, encouraged the Five Nations (as they were then called) to the subduing all other Indians that could possibly interfere with them in their hunting from which the profit of that trade did arise, teaching them at the same time to look on the people in the neighbouring colonies as strangers; which perhaps might be allowed a commendable piece of policy in the Dutch but very unfit to be practised now New York is a British province. For though the government is changed the people in this respect are still the same and the like arts to manage the Indians have been continued ever since. Thus this commerce of their's is under the direction of Dutch commissioners; their traders and interpreters are Dutch. By these those Indians are taught to esteem all the other governments as strangers, and it is no wonder if, according to their savage way of reasoning, they reckon all strangers enemies.
The privilege these northern Indians claim of treating with H.M.'s governments only at Albany owes its original to the same cause and might be proper to be insisted on then when under a distinct nation, but a very great indignity at present to H.M.'s other provinces whose governors have been obliged to purchase peace at the expense of truckling to servile attendance on their sachems at Albany, than which nothing can create a greater contempt of them in the minds of their Indians.
It is much more easy to expose the inconveniences arising from the present method of managing the Indians than to offer proper remedies, which would without question be obstructed by all those who find their account in engrossing to themselves the Indian trade. New York especially would be much alarmed at any new regulation to render the Indians less dependent on them and to facilitate an intercourse with their neighbours. But since it is very reasonable that if H.M.'s other Plantations are to be excluded from any benefit by the Indian trade they should be secured from all injuries, the people of this country would be contented to quit the small share they have of the one from the northern Indians if they could be freed from the danger of the other. For which reason I would propose that the several nations of Indians may be confined in their hunting and only range within the limits of the respective governments to which they belong, allowing them as far westward as they please provided they do not enter into any confederacy with the French or Spaniards; and that each government be answerable for the behaviour of their own Indians; and if any body of Indians should go out of the bounds assigned them it shall be no breach of good correspondence to fall on them, destroy or transport them.
As the determination of the dispute about the boundary of the Northern Neck is of the utmost importance to this country, you will excuse me if I recommend the dispatch of it. For, as great numbers of people are already settled in the controverted part and many more waiting to settle there, especially if it falls into the king's hands, no time should be lost to encourage the seating of it; for it would soon become a very formidable barrier against the French and Indians and in a few years enable us to gain possession of the Lakes. Signed. 3½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 27 November, Read 28 November 1738. Enclosed,
451. i. Proclamation by Lieut.-Governor Gooch proroguing the assembly of Virginia, 16 December 1736, with memorandum of six further prorogations, last dated 15 June 1738. Proclamation prohibiting export of grain or flour, or meal made of the same, 5 August 1737. Proclamation continuing prohibition of export of Indian corn or meal made of the same, 26 October 1737. Copies. 3½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 1324, fos. 137–142d.]
September 21.
452 Governor Jonathan Belcher to Duke of Newcastle, enclosing journals of the last session of House of Representatives of Massachusetts and report of conference with Indian tribes. [In substance same as No. 433.] Signed. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 November. Enclosed,
452. i. Report of conference of Governor Belcher with Penobscot and Norridgewalk Indians, 28 June-6 July 1738. [See No. 433. i.] Copy, certified by Simon Frost. 15 pp. [C.O. 5, 899, fos. 343–353d.]
September 21.
453John Vanderplank to Harman Verelst acknowledging letter of 9 September. The terms of settlement in Georgia are such, especially in regard to female inheritance and restrictions on servants, that I have almost laid aside the thoughts of going thither especially this winter. Signed. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 186–187d.]
September 26.
454 Lieut.-Governor William Gooch to Duke of Newcastle, transmitting journals of council by H.M.S. Seahorse, Capt. Compton. Sir Yelverton Peyton in H.M.S. Hector arrived here the 23rd after parting with Col. Oglethorpe in the Blandford man-of-war and five transports the 13th inst. about 15 leagues from the coast of Georgia. Signed. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 November. Enclosed,
454. i. Copies of proclamations. See No. 451. i. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1337, fos. 200–203d.]
September 27.
455 Governor Alured Popple to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since my last, the council and assembly met again to address H.M. and thank him for the stores, which address I enclose. Although I could not put my name to it on account of the public compliment the council and assembly were there determined to make me yet I beg to add my reasons in support of their request for some additional stores. These islands are very well fortified: yet there are several places where ships and vessels may come in, but these places are protected by forts and batteries. As therefore it is necessary to divide the stores that remain in these islands in so many different places no one of these forts or batteries has a proper supply.
The situation of these islands is such that all homeward-bound vessels must pass within twenty or thirty leagues of them, very frequently within sight, as I have found since my being here. It is for this reason therefore that these islands are of such consequence to Great Britain, for should they ever for want of protection fall into the hands of the French or Spaniards, the trade carried on between Great Britain and H.M.'s colonies in America would be rendered very precarious, if not entirely dependent upon the possessors of Bermuda, for with the assistance of five or six light frigates the trade abovementioned may be intercepted. I could say much more upon this subject but that I am fearful of taking up too much of your time. However, I cannot avoid mentioning in favour of the request now made to H.M. through your means of a further supply of stores of war that upon a thorough inspection now made of the several forts and batteries in Bermuda a general repair is begun, and I assure you that the expense thereof and of mounting several guns that are useless for want of carriages entirely disables the inhabitants from purchasing such stores as are absolutely necessary to render these forts and batteries defensible when repaired. These repairs are left to my directions as you will see by the minutes of council and I assure you that I will employ my utmost care and diligence to see them completed.
As it is a duty enjoined by my instructions to acquaint you with everything I may judge for the safety and defence of these islands, I beg to mention the addition of fifty men to the independent company now here as a matter of the greatest service in that particular for these reasons: although there are several places where vessels with good pilots may enter yet there are but two considerable, each defended by two forts. In the King's Castle, one of the two forts at the entrance into Castle Harbour, there are four matrosses but never more than two at a time; and at Pagett's Fort, one of the two forts at the entrance into St. George's Harbour there are but two matrosses, one of which is constantly there; at the other two forts there are none except at an alarm or in time of war when what strength can be spared from the militia is sent to the several forts. But as the inhabitants of these islands (who are all of the militia from 15 to 60 years of age) are generally seafaring men the major part of this militia must often be off the island so that upon any review the militia under arms are not above half the number of those who are on the muster rolls, and if the several forts are to be manned out of the militia their families would suffer in time of peace, and in time of war the body of men that would remain would be very inconsiderable. Whereas was the independent company increased to 100 men the four forts at the entrance of the two harbours might be manned and regularly relieved by the company, and yet a body of the king's company remain in town and at the platform for further service. The militia might be disposed of in proper places in the country where boats may land men, and then I am of opinion these islands may with ease be protected from such dangers as at present they lie exposed to. I have given orders for a general review of the militia that I may do the utmost in my power towards the discharge of every branch of my duty. But the militia has been so much neglected, not having been reviewed but once in nine years, that I found it very difficult to prevail with those gentlemen who had formerly served to take commissions again. I have written to the Duke of Newcastle to the same purpose. But if you favour these proposals, I hope you will represent the same to H.M. Signed. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 December 1738, Read 10 January 1738/9. Enclosed,
455. i. Address of Council and Assembly of Bermuda to the King praying for a further supply of warlike stores. Copy. Signatories, (for the assembly) Cornelius Hinson, Peasly Hare, Joseph Dill, Benjamin Harvey, John Spencer, Nicholas Spencer, Jeremiah Peniston, Jonathan Outerbridge, Thomas Outerbridge, Stephen Paynter, Robert Hutcheson, Samuel Burtt, Thomas Smith, Stephen Judkin, Nathaniel Bascome, speaker, John Harvey, Thomas Gilbert, Joseph Darrell, George Gibbs, Henry Tucker, Peter Mallory, Richard Mathelin, James Jauncey, Ephraim Gilbert, William Riddell, Paul Trimingham, William Morris, Thomas Dickinson; (for the council) Andrew Auchinleck, Francis Jones, John Butterfield, Nathaniel Butterfield, Leonard White, Robert Dinwiddie, Samuel Burrows. 3 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
455. ii. Report of committee appointed to survey the fortifications of the east end of the Bermudas to Governor Popple, 23 August 1738, setting out number of guns, of what size, number of shot, quantity of powder etc. at each fort. Total: 79 guns of which 68 are fit for service, 2,330 shot etc. Absolutely wanted for supply of these forts: 20 guns, 1,000 shot etc. Copy. Signatories, (of the council) Leonard White, Robert Dinwiddie, Samuel Burrows; (of the assembly) Robert Hutcheson, Stephen Judkin, Benjamin Harvey. 1 large p.
455. iii. Same on west end of the Bermudas, 25 August 1738. Total: 14 guns of which 10 are fit for service, 52 shot etc. Wanted: 20 guns, 20 barrels powder, 1,000 shot etc. Copy. Signatories, (of the council) Francis Jones, John Butterfield, Nathaniel Butterfield; (of the assembly) John Harvey, Henry Tucker, Peter Mallory. Certified by Samuel Smith, clerk to the said committees. Sealed and Signed, 30 September 1738, Alured Popple. 1 large p. [C.O. 37, 13, fos. 67–68d, 70–73d.]
September 27.
456 William Stephens to Trustees for Georgia. My last was of 26 August by Mr. Whitefield. On 11th inst. I received a letter from Mr. Abercromby, attorney-general at Charleston, together with a packet which came by Capt. Percy wherein I had your commands by Messrs. Martyn and Verelst in their letters of 19 and 20 May and 12 and 14 June. Your further commands which came under the same cover for Messrs. Causton, Parker and Anderson, were immediately delivered to them as other letters also enclosed were to whom they were directed. Your determinations at this juncture are of so great moment that as they consist in a great measure of matters requiring strict observance in the future execution of them I conceive it at present only incumbent on me to assure you that nothing shall be wanting on my part to see your pleasure fulfilled, wherein I must hope for the ready assistance of those whom I am appointed to co-operate with.
It may not be improper however to touch upon a very few particulars at present in transition which probably a little time may occasion me to be more explicit in, and if so they will scarcely pass unobserved in my journal hereafter, where I presume it has hitherto appeared my thoughts (such as they are) have been delivered with simplicity, even such as I could not well warrant were it not that I had it as a particular injunction to do it without scruple or hesitation. But though I can easily assure myself that I lay nothing before you as fact which has the least untruth, yet I am sensible in offering any opinion of my own it may be very erroneous and will need your pardon. I wish I could as easily prevail with others to recede from their former sentiments relating to the tenure of their lands who now appear pretty much chagrined upon my acquainting them with your determination on that affair, and stories filled with rancour and illwill are buzzed about to create jealousies and raise a general disaffection as far as the authors of them are able, who cannot so far conceal themselves but that they may be shrewdly guessed at, all arrows out of that quiver being pretty well known. I hope this flash of passion may quickly disappear, and shall think it my duty to be a close observer of what passes, which if it appears to be attended with any ill consequence shall surely be laid before you.
How and on what labour the Trustees' servants are employed (or have been I presume is meant) I should be glad to give a more ready answer to than I am capable of at present, it being a knot not easy to unravel but entangled with variety of frequent alteration which I shall try to pick out by degrees. In the meanwhile I think I may venture to write negatively what has not been done which I dare say those people were sent for. If we look into the farm work under Mr. Bradley's care there is little appearance of anything more than a few ordinary huts which they set up a little while since and about half an acre of land partly cleared by them (as Mr. Bradley's son informed me when I last viewed it) but never cultivated and planted; so that what number of acres there are improved (which I sent an account of) it seems they had no hand in but has been the work of other servants since Mr. Bradley's first beginning. How many of these foreigners Mr. Bradley employed at the spring season of this year about his son's lot near the town may be hard to come at the true knowledge of. But I saw a pretty many myself and took notice of it in my journal of 14 February, near about which time or soon after, upon Mr. Bradley's using some severities towards a woman whom he caused to be corrected (very justly for aught I know), a general discontent spread soon among all of them; and it being industriously (I think) at the same time propagated that any who within six weeks could either pay or find friends to pay 6l. 5s. for them as the cost which the Trustees were at for their passage might claim their discharge, many of them took that course. And divers people of the town at the same time wishing to be supplied with servants, they were easily induced to change their masters and turn themselves over into private hands where some of them (I fear) have since found cause of repentance, Mr. Causton upon payment of the sum required having discharged them from Mr. Bradley's service under the Trust and delivered them to such new masters, whereunto he was the rather moved from their not being usefully employed where they were desired.
This, however, Mr. Bradley made great complaint of and it heightened the animosity at that time subsisting betwixt Mr. Causton and him. Before the bulk of these people was delivered into Mr. Bradley's care Mr. Causton had made choice of 13 of them to serve the Trust in work at the stores, the crane or the public garden, as occasion might require more or less at either place; and if from them a true judgment could be formed of the whole I think a more lazy, obstinate and dissatisfied people can scarcely be found. This has been notorious to all who cannot but see it daily. How many Mr. Bradley has now remaining with him I have not yet learnt nor the particular work they have from time to time been employed about for several months past. I will endeavour to come at it if possible but I would not enquire at the wrong place. I know well that it has taken up no small time in cutting out and making a wide road from the town's end to the Trust farm, which labour I apprehend might very well have been spared as well as expense that has attended it, for he was obliged to make a bridge of good timber work through a large swamp, whereas had he been contented to have made use of a way already made on the left hand going out of town there was Colliton Bridge ready made, or on the right hand there was another way would have answered the purpose as well, both those roads meeting in a point just in the line which he had in view. But he chose rather to find a third way betwixt them which I know not how to represent better than by the figure of a broad arrow. I should not have said thus much and been obliged to end imperfectly at present had it not appeared something was expected from me concerning it by being particularly recommended to my enquiry. But I would not write injuriously of any man by prejudging of him.
The notices sent me with directions to affix them to the storehouse doors relating to future credit I took care was immediately done by affixing one at this store and sending the other to Mr. Horton at Frederica within few days after for him to do the same. Mr. Gilbert upon hearing of your promoting him to the magistracy took occasion to let me know his thoughts concerning it, wherein he expressed a grateful sense of the kind opinion you were pleased to entertain of him but at the same time declared that he thought himself by no means capable of discharging the duty of such an office forasmuch as he could neither read nor write his own name and was not willing therefore to bring himself into contempt among his neighbours with whom he now lived in peace and quiet; and indeed I take him to be an inoffensive man without any ill designs, but of what weight his reasons shall be allowed for excusing his taking that office upon him I shall not presume to judge. The part I took in it was to advise him to consider further of it and lay his thoughts before the general when he came, whose approach we hoped was so near that such a short suspense could produce no ill before it was determined.
Your final decision of the affair concerning the claim of grand juries to administer oaths must put a happy period to any future contention on that head. Divers other matters which you have observed in those letters I now received will call on me to write particularly of, which I shall endeavour to do in due order of time as I can well be informed. At present I must be forced to break off here, a boat just arriving from Frederica wherein came Mr. Jones who brings us the good news that the general with the man-of-war and all the transports arrived happily at St. Simon's on Monday sennight, 18th instant, after an easy passage and that they were all in perfect health, so long has this joyful news been finding its way hither. I do not find that I have any letter of any kind by him but presume the original packet whereof I had copies by the way of Charleston may be yet under the general's care who will order the delivery of it when and by whom he sees proper. I do not find that Mr. Jones can give us any certain intelligence when we may expect the general in these parts. Without doubt his time is sufficiently taken up with matters of most importance where he is. Signed. 4 small pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 188–189d]
September 29.
457 Same to Trustees for Georgia. Mr. Jones having the charge of divers letters with him (some from the general) which he must dispatch to Charleston without loss of time and for which service we must hire a boat from hence, I could not have wished for a fairer occasion of sending what I wrote of 27th that otherwise I might have waited long for an opportunity of doing, and you will please to allow my adding this in the nature of a supplement to my other herewith. The continuation of my journal accompanies this together with duplicate of my former of 26 August, and to carry on my list of the freeholders of this town as far as it would go I have picked out some to be added to those planters last sent who I conceive are worthy of the next rank and may be looked on as useful inhabitants in some degree; to whom, if we add all minors and orphans from whom some future good may be hoped, I fear I must close the account of freeholders there, the next class consisting partly of vacant lots and partly of such as if we say no ill of, I doubt little good especially in planting may be expected from. Mr. Jones having now delivered me the packet sent from you, I am to acknowledge receipt of eight papers. [Particulars given.] Signed. I small p. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/9, Read to the Committee 14 March 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 190–191d.]
September 29.
458 Same to Harman Verelst. You will be so good to pardon me for the freedom I take in saying to you as to a friend it is very amazing and shocking to me to think that neither in the packet which came by Capt. Percy nor in the last which came with the general I could find any one letter from any mortal except what Mr. Martyn and you wrote me by order of the Trustees. What the meaning of it is God knows, indeed it is a melancholy consideration. But I must bear these evils as well as I can and I had need to summon what fortitude of mind I am able when I see so many crosses daily to discourage me. By my journal you will see what a sad condition we are fallen into with our servants and were I inclined to dwell on such a dull theme I might have scope enough. But I shall wait with patience in hopes of better things and at present waive saying any more till I see how it will end. I fear my son is falling ill, too, which would add grievously to the weight of my misfortunes. But to come to the affair in hand, fearing that I suffered an error to escape me in copying the last list of planters sent I must beg it may be corrected. It is at No. 117, Francis Delgrass, a shoe-maker by trade, I find in my original to have planted 5 acres. If therefore he is added to that list with his planting and one Richard Turner, No. 135, though a planter (of one acre only) struck out thence and left to be ranked among the least deserving at the latter end of all, it is justice due to both. It is fit I should give you some account of what this present packet contains too, besides my journal and duplicate of my last letter, and this list of freeholders who I apprehend have some merit to distinguish them from the least deserving. The large flat parcel was brought me from Mr. Christie who told me nothing of the contents, but I guess it is chiefly the proceedings of the courts. There is also a small bundle of letters which came from the general at Frederica and was delivered me by Mr. Jones. I have written so on the back of the paper I enclosed those letters in. What others you find were brought me at different times from sundry people who committed them to my care. But there is one particularly of my own directed to a son of mine in the East Indies who has been there many years and I have not scrupled to put it under cover in this letter to yourself assuring myself that as you are frequently in the City you will be so good to put it into such a sure way of conveyance that it may go safe. I forbear giving you any more trouble now. By the time that I write next probably I may have occasion to be more copious. For I take this to be a kind of crisis here when we may expect to see great alteration in many things ere long. Signed. P.S. Here is a report that our good friend Col. Horsey is on his way to his government. I wish it proves true. P.P.S. Though the misfortunes of so many sick servants falls heavily on me yet I would not have it inferred from thence that the town is become very sickly. On the contrary it is as healthy as generally we find it at this time of the year and though fevers and agues are pretty common very few died of late. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 192–193d.]
September 30.
459 Thomas Christie to Trustees for Georgia enclosing copies of records. Pardon me if they are any way defective. I do assure you I have in my station greatly laboured to reconcile things within this colony and I have hitherto spent almost all my time therein. I met with one difficulty which perhaps you are unacquainted with, that is an insupportable pride in my fellow labourer Mr. Causton, which has given me more attendance and taken up more of my time than all other my avocations put together. His business was too much taken up in the storehouse and now I am afraid will be with settling his accounts. Give me leave to congratulate you on the safe arrival of our general. Signed. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 194–195d.]
[No date.] 460 James Oglethorpe to Duke of Newcastle. I arrived off this coast 14th inst. and made Amelia which is our frontier garrison towards the Spaniards. The fort there returned our signals and one of the officers came off to me; he gives an account that the Spaniards landed a great body of troops at Augustine in April last but that before they were ready to begin the invasion the orders which you obtained from the court of Madrid arrived, forbidding them to act till further orders, since which all things remained quiet till lately when they sent up a party to the Apallachee Old Fields and but a few days since they fired at a boat belonging to his fort. I got into this harbour yesterday, the entrance is very good and as I am informed by several persons who understand it 40-gun ships can come in.
Pursuant to H.M.'s instructions I am putting the forts into a condition of defence; though I have no fund to pay, I have prevailed with the soldiers to work on the fortifications with hopes that they will merit H.M.'s gracious favour. As I was apprehensive of the intentions of the Spaniards I have desired the Blandford man-of-war that is now here to stay till we can get the works repaired or till I can have an answer of the intention of the Spaniards from the governor of Augustine to whom I design to send in a few days. It would be very necessary to have always a man-of-war here since it is near the frontiers, a good air, and a safe port, and I should be very happy if the present ship was continued here since they already know the entry. That part of my regiment which had the happiness of seeing you drank your good health on their arrival and gave their prayers in America for your generosity to them at Clermont. The expenses have been very great upon us, we are now above our complement for I brought over a good many supernumeraries for fear of death. Signed. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 188–189d.]