Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 10, January 1754 - December 1758. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.
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Journal, March 1758
Their lordships took into consideration the petition of the merchants and traders residing in Barbados and the Leeward Islands, praying for an alteration in the destination of the pacquets established for the service of the Islands in the West Indies; and the agents for Jamaica, Barbados and the Leeward Islands attending pursuant to notice given them for that purpose, they were called in, and severally acquainted the Board, that neither themselves nor any of the merchants or planters resident in England were at all apprized of this petition, or had received any instruction from their constituents or correspondents respecting it; and therefore the agents of Barbados and the Leeward Islands requested that the consideration thereof should be postponed until the arrival of the next pacquet, or some other ships, by which they would in all probability receive some instruction upon it; which being agreed to, the agents withdrew.
The draught of a letter to Mr. Secretary Pitt, with extracts of several letters and copies of papers received from the Governors of South Carolina and Georgia, respecting a settlement made by some of his Majesty's subjects to the southward of the Alatamaha River, having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of Thursday last, was agreed to, and ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty upon an Act passed in Virginia in 1749, for settling the titles and bounds of land, etc., having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of the 22nd of February, was agreed to, and ordered to be transcribed.
Their lordships took into consideration the letter from Mr.
Secretary Pitt, mentioned in the minutes of the 3rd of November
last, directing the Board to proceed to an enquiry into the conduct
of Mr. Reynolds, and the state of Georgia during his residence
there as Governor; and the Secretary laid before the Board the
following state of facts respecting the said Governor's conduct
and the state of the province, extracted from the representation
made to his Majesty thereupon on the 29th of July, 1756, and
other letters and papers which have been received since, prepared
pursuant to their lordships' orders, viz.:—
State of facts respecting the conduct of John Reynolds, Esquire, and the state of the colony of Georgia during his residence there as Governor thereof.
1. It appears from the Journals of the Council transmitted by Mr. Reynolds that many of the articles of his Majesty's instructions to him upon points, whereon he is directed to act with the advice and consent of the Council, have not been entered upon the Council books, as is usual in other colonies.
2. It does not appear from the Journals of the Council, that Mr. Reynolds did advise with the Council, as to the time, manner and place of delivering his Majesty's presents to the Indians, or that he afterwards communicated to them what passed at the conference with the said Indians, or acquainted them with the disposition of the money allowed to answer the contingent expences of this service.
3. It appears from the Journals of the Council, that a Committee was appointed at the Governor's request to attend him to that interview; but as the Governor has not transmitted the minutes of the proceedings with the Indians, it does not appear, whether this Committee was consulted with upon this occasion, or in what capacity the members acted; but it is alleged, as well by Mr. Kellet as by them in their private letters, that they were not consulted upon any particulars relative to the conference, notwithstanding some of them had been long resident in the colony and conversant in Indian affairs.
4. It appears from Mr. Reynolds's letter to the Board, dated the 5th of January, 1756, that notwithstanding there was a great number of material points in reference to disputes with the Indians concerning lands granted by them to private persons, in prejudice to his Majesty's rights, and other matters of great consequence to the colony necessary to be attended to and settled at this interview with the Indians; yet he returned from Augusta, the place appointed for the interview, leaving Mr. Little, his Secretary, to manage the conference with them, and deliver his speeches and the presents, although Mr. Little was an entire stranger in the colony, and could not be supposed to be well acquainted with the temper and interests of the Indians, and also stood accused of malversation in a variety of offices held by him, and as it is alleged, had been adjudged guilty of some of the charges brought against him, and removed from two of his offices.
5. It is alleged that Mr. and Mrs. Bosomworth were permitted to be present at this interview, notwithstanding they were known to be interested in points of dispute with the said Indians, and to have set up claims and pretensions prejudicial to his Majesty's rights and interests, against which Mr. Reynolds had been sufficiently cautioned.
6. It appears from an account of the expences attending this interview transmitted to Mr. Martyn by Mr. Little, that he was allowed to charge in his accounts five per cent. upon the original cost of the presents, as a commission to himself, over and above a variety of other charges for entertainments, etc.
It is asserted by Mr. Reynolds in his letter to the Board of Trade, dated 5th January, 1756, that whilst he was absent at Augusta, and which was one reason of his returning to Savannah so soon, two transports arrived from Nova Scotia with 400 French inhabitants; it appears however from authentick papers produced by Mr. Kellet, that one of those transports arrived before Mr. Reynolds went up to Augusta to meet the Indians; notwithstanding which no mention is made thereof upon the Journals of the Council transmitted by the Governor; nor does it appear, that there was any communication of it made by him to the Council, or whether any or what orders were given with respect thereto (further than an order given to one Jones to forbid the pilot from bringing those which arrived in the second transport into the province), until after the Governor's return to Savannah; notwithstanding it does evidently appear from the papers produced by Mr. Kellet, that, upon the alarm which the arrival of these people, without any orders left by the Governor for the disposal of them, gave to the town of Savannah, the President of the Council summoned the members then present, and several councils were held and measures taken for preventing any bad consequences which might follow from the Governor's neglect; yet the Governor has not thought fit to transmit any minutes of those proceedings, or to enter them upon the Journals of the Council, nor has he transmitted any account of what became of those French inhabitants, many of whom are alleged to have perished for want, and others to have been allowed to build boats for themselves, and leave the colony.
It does not appear from the Journals of the Assembly, that they refused to admit the three members chosen upon the Governor's writs as alleged by him, or that these members ever applied or produced any qualification of their having taken the oaths, which is an essential circumstance necessarily previous to the taking of their seats; but admitting that the Assembly had refused their admission in the manner related by the Governor, yet it does not appear to have been such a misbehaviour or irregularity as not to have allowed of a discussion by way of address in answer to the Governor's speech upon that occasion, or to have required such violent measures as the frequent adjournments and at last the dissolution of the Assembly.
It does not appear, that Mr. Reynolds was authorized by his instructions to declare to the Assembly, that it was his duty by those instructions to take care, that the number of the members composing that House should neither be more or less than nineteen; and for that reason he had issued writs for two persons who had been appointed Councillors, and one for a person who refuses to serve; and that, unless they admitted them, he should not deem valid any thing they did; inasmuch as the instructions in respect to the number of Assemblymen, only direct him not to suffer any laws to be made by assemblies, whereby the number of the Assembly was to be augmented or diminished, but do not direct him by issuing writs during the intervals of sessions always to keep it complete, and not to suffer any business to be done till it is so.
It appears from the Journals of the Assembly, that the Council having charged Mr. Little with having secreted two bills, which had passed both houses; which fact is admitted by Mr. Little with respect to one of them; and the Assembly having, upon a motion, agreed to take this affair into consideration on the 5th of February, a message was thereupon immediately received from the Governor adjourning them for eight days, which is alleged to have been done in order to screen Mr. Little from that enquiry into his conduct which the Assembly was preparing to make.
It appears from the Journals of the Assembly, that the Governor has made an improper use of that confidence which the Board of Trade had thought proper to place in him, as well for the good of his Majesty's service as his own ease and quiet in administration, by applying to the case of the non-admission of the three members an observation what had been made to him in one of the letters from the Board of Trade upon some extraordinary resolutions of the Assembly of quite a different nature, which he was directed to use in the most prudent manner by convincing individuals of the impropriety of such proceedings, but not to lay it as a charge upon the Assembly in their corporate capacity.
It appears from the Journals of the Council, that Mr. Little was appointed by the Governor to the several offices of Secretary, Clerk of the Assembly, Clerk of the Crown and peace, Clerk of the general Court, Justice of Peace, Secretary and Commissary for Indian Affairs and Aid du camp to the Governor; that he was charged by the Council with malversation in every one of these offices, in a remonstrance printed by them, to which Mr. Little put in an answer, and both remonstrance and answer were entered upon the Journals on the same day; but that the Governor deferred the consideration of this matter till the return of one of the Councillors who was then absent in South Carolina; notwithstanding which it is alleged, that the Governor some time after and before that Councillor returned, directed an hearing to be had before himself, in which he sate in a judicial capacity, and a variety of evidence was heard on both sides; and that afterwards the Governor pronounced a verbal sentence, whereby Mr. Little was acquitted of some of the charges, found guilty of others, and displaced from two of his employments; but no such trial appears upon the Journals of the Council, as transmitted by Mr. Reynolds, nor has he given any account whatever to the Board of Trade of any such transactions.
It is alleged, that the person appointed by the Provost Marshall in the room of Mr. Kellet, and whom he recommended to the Board to be confirmed by his Majesty in that office as a person every way qualified for it, was his menial servant; and that he also appointed Mr. Little's menial servant to be Searcher of the Customs.
It appears from the Register of the grants of land transmitted to the Board of Trade, that grants have passed the Great Seal to Mr. Reynolds, without leave of the Crown, of three thousand eight hundred and ten acres of land, over and above three lots, the contents of which are not expressed; but it does not appear from those records, or from the minutes of the Council, or any other papers transmitted by Mr. Reynolds, that he had a sufficient number of persons in his family to entitle him to so large a quantity, or, if he had, that he paid rights for the same agreeable to his instructions.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following papers,
which he acquainted their lordships had been delivered to him
this morning by Mr. Little, late Secretary to Governor Reynolds,
and Speaker of the Assembly of Georgia, viz.:—
Receipt from Mr. John Graham to William Little, Esquire, agent for Indian Affairs, for Indian presents, with a list of the same.
Bond given by Marten Campbell and others to William Little, Esquire, agent for Indian Affairs, for the safe carrying up the presents to the Chickasaw Indians, with a list of the same.
Certificate of David Douglass and Edward Barnard, Esquires, respecting the distribution of the Indian presents at Augusta.
Certificate upon oath of four Indian traders respecting the distribution of the presents to the Indians.
A general account of the Indian presents delivered by order of the Governor of Georgia to the Indians by Mr. Little, agent.
The humble address and remonstrance of the Assembly of Georgia to the Board of Trade upon certain points relative to the state of the province, and the government thereof.
Two resolutions of the Assembly of Georgia appointing Mr. Little agent to this Board for the affairs of that colony.
Mr. Little attending without was called in, and being asked the reason for his not delivering these papers in before, he said, that when he arrived in England, which was in July last, he found that the Board was adjourned for some time; and finding afterwards upon enquiry that a time would be fixed for the consideration of the affairs of Georgia, he did not think it necessary to trouble the Board with them till that time; Mr. Little then withdrew.
Mr. Reynolds attending without pursuant to notice given to him by the Secretary for that purpose, was called in, and their lordships having opened to him in general the several representations which had been made to them of the declining and disorderly state of the province under his administration, and also the steps which the Board had thought proper to take thereupon, he was acquainted that their lordships had ordered a state of facts to be prepared respecting his conduct and the state of the colony, which would be read to him, and to which it would be necessary that he should give very full and explicit answers; whereupon he moved, that he might have a copy of the said state of facts, which was agreed to.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated the 19th of December, 1757, referring to this Board the petition of several members of the Council of Jamaica suspended by the Lieutenant Governor, directing the Board to examine the same, and report their opinion.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated 19th December, 1757, referring to this Board the petition of John Scott, Esquire, suspended by the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica from his seat in the Council, and praying relief.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated 19th December, 1757, referring to this Board the petition of Philip Pinnock, Esquire, late one of the Council and Chief Justice of Jamaica, relating to his suspension from the Council and removal from the office of Chief Justice by the Lieutenant Governor, and praying relief.
Mr. Dinwiddie, late Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, attending without was called in; and their lordships had some conversation with him upon several points relative to the state of that colony. After which he stated to their lordships the improper practice, which the House of Burgesses there has of late years fallen into, by nominating their Speaker to be Treasurer of the country duties and revenue, and the inconveniences resulting from such practice, and proposed that some directions should be given to the Lieutenant Governor now going out, upon this point; Mr. Dinwiddie being withdrawn, their lordships ordered the Secretary to desire the favour of Lieutenant Governor Fauquier's attendance at the Board on Thursday next at twelve o'clock.
Read a letter from Mr. West, Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, dated the 7th instant, signifying the desire of their lordships, that this Board would lay before the House of Commons an estimate of the charges of supporting and maintaining the colony of Nova Scotia for the year 1758, pursuant to an address of that House to his Majesty.
Whereupon their lordships took into further consideration the estimate of the expences of supporting the settlement of Nova Scotia for the year 1758, received with Mr. Lawrence's letter, mentioned in the minutes of the 20th of January last, and also their lordships' letter to Mr. Secretary Pitt, mentioned in the minutes of the 8th of February last; and the draught of an estimate, to be laid before the House of Commons, having been agreed to, was transcribed, and Mr. Oswald was desired to present it to the House of Commons.
Ordered, that the Secretary do transmit a copy of the said estimate, and also a copy of the Board's letter to Mr. Secretary Pitt of the 8th of February last, and of the account therein mentioned, to Governor Lawrence for his information.
Read a letter from John Reynolds, Esquire, Governor of Georgia, dated the 7th instant, acquainting their lordships that in order to give a full and explicit answer to the state of facts respecting his conduct and the state of the colony of Georgia, it will be necessary to have recourse to his Commission and instructions, and therefore desiring to have copies thereof, and also extracts of such parts of any papers transmitted to the Board, or received from them by him, as he shall think necessary.
Ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint him, that the Board does not think proper to comply with his request of having copies of his Commission and instructions, the making of which will take up a great deal of time, and interfere with other business in the office; but that he will be allowed the use of the office copies of them, and also access to such papers as he shall think necessary.
Mr. Fauquier, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, attending, as desired, was called in; and their lordships having acquainted him with the representation made to them by the late Lieutenant Governor of the impropriety of the offices of Speaker of the House of Burgesses and Treasurer being united in the same person, it was recommended to him to use the most prudent endeavours, and to take all such measures, as he should judge consistent with the good of his Majesty's service to put a stop to a practice, which appeared to them to be highly improper, liable to great inconveniences, and prejudicial to his Majesty's service.
Mr. Fauquier being withdrawn, a memorial of William Maynard, Esquire, one of the Council of the Island of Nevis, now resident in England by leave from the Governor of the Leeward Islands, was read, setting forth that his ill state of health and private affairs require his longer continuance in England; and therefore praying that he may have his Majesty's leave to be absent for two years longer from the expiration of his former leave; whereupon a letter to Mr. Secretary Pitt, desiring he would move his Majesty for the said leave of absence to the petitioner, was signed.
Read the following Orders of the House of Commons, viz.:—
Mercurii 8° die Martii, 1758.
"That there be laid before this House an account of the money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of his Majesty's colony of Nova Scotia from the 1st of January, 1756, to the 31st of December following."
"That there be laid before this House an account of the money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of his Majesty's colony of Nova Scotia from the 1st of January, 1757, to the 31st of December following.
The Secretary acquainted their lordships, that he was desired by Governor Reynolds to move them for leave, that he may have a copy of the memorial presented by Mr. Kellet to them in 1756, respecting the conduct of the said Governor and his Secretary.
Their lordships took into consideration the address and
remonstrance of the late House of Representatives of the colony
of Georgia, respecting the state of the said colony, mentioned in
the minutes of the 2nd instant; and after some time spent
therein, came to the following resolution thereupon, viz.:—
Resolved, that the address and remonstrance of the House of Representatives of Georgia of the 2nd of February, 1757, presented to the Board by Mr. Little, their Speaker, is a false and invidious representation of the state of the said colony, and contains indecent and injurious reflexions upon the conduct of those entrusted by his Majesty with the management and direction of the affairs of the said colony.
Ordered, that a copy of the said address and remonstrance, and of their lordships' proceedings and resolution thereupon, be transmitted by the Secretary to Mr. Ellis, Lieutenant Governor of the said colony of Georgia, with directions to lay the same before the Council and Assembly.
Read a letter from Henry Ellis, Esquire, Lieutenant Governor
of Georgia, to the Board, dated 25th November, 1757, relating
to Indian Affairs, and inclosing:—
Minutes of the proceedings of the Lieutenant Governor and Council at an interview in the council chamber with the Upper and Lower Creek Indians.
Treaty of peace and friendship entered into between Lieutenant Governor Ellis and the Council of Georgia with the Upper and Lower Nations of Creek Indians, the 3rd November, 1757.
Mr. Parker, acting as agent for Nova Scotia in behalf of Mr. Kilby, attending without, pursuant to notice given him by the Secretary for that purpose, was called in and presented to the Board an account of money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of his Majesty's colony of Nova Scotia for the year 1756, prepared pursuant to their lordships' order of the 21st of February last.
Mr. Little, late Secretary to Governor Reynolds, and Speaker of the last Assembly of Georgia, attending without, pursuant to notice given him by the Secretary, and also Mr. Martyn, agent for the affairs of the said colony, they were called in; and the resolution of the Board upon the address and remonstrance of the said Assembly, presented by Mr. Little, and mentioned in the preceding minutes, was read; Mr. Little then acquainted their lordships, that he had drawn up a paper to be presented to their lordships, if they thought proper to receive it, respecting the silk culture in Georgia; and their lordships having informed him, that they were ready to receive and give all due consideration to it, whenever he should think proper to present it, Mr. Little then withdrew.
Their lordships took into consideration the account of money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of Nova Scotia for the year 1756, mentioned in the preceding minutes; and Mr. Oswald was desired to present the same to the House of Commons pursuant to their order, and to report to the House, that their order made upon Wednesday last, "that there be laid before this House an account of the money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of his Majesty's colony of Nova Scotia from the 1st of January, 1757, to the 31st of December following," cannot be at present complyed with, by reason the proper officers in the said colony have not transmitted any accounts of the expenditure or any vouchers for the payment of money for the year 1757, but that as soon as the accounts and vouchers shall be received, the account shall be made up with all possible dispatch, and laid before the House.
Read a memorial of Mr. Wright, agent for the province of South Carolina, praying their lordships to take into consideration, and report upon an Act passed in that province in 1743 for regulating publick officers' fees.
Read a memorial of John Rutherford, Esquire, Receiver General and one of his Majesty's Council in North Carolina, setting forth that he has been suspended from his said offices by Governor Dobbs, and praying that he may have a copy of the complaint against him, in order to answer the same.
Read a memorial of James Murray, Esquire, one of the Council in North Carolina, setting forth that he has been suspended from the said office by Governor Dobbs, and praying, that the Board would direct an enquiry to be made into his case, and grant him such redress as they shall think proper.
Ordered, that the said memorial do lie by for further consideration, when the Board shall have received from Mr. Dobbs his reasons for the suspension of the said officers, with the proceedings of the Council thereupon.
Their lordships took the said Act into consideration, and the Secretary having acquainted the Board that Mr. Walton, a solicitor in behalf of the parties concerned in the said Act, had desired him to move their lordships for a report in favour of the said Act, and also that Richard Combes, a solicitor in behalf of Messrs. Sydenham and Hodgson interested also in the said Act, had entered a caveat against any proceedings being had thereupon without notice given to him and an opportunity of being heard upon it, their lordships postponed the further consideration thereof to Tuesday, the 11th of April, and the Secretary was ordered to give notice thereof to the parties concerned.
Mr. Abercrombie and Mr. Wright, agents for the provinces of Virginia and South Carolina, attended, and submitted to their lordships' consideration several reasons against the application made to Parliament by Mr. Morris, respecting the making of salt in the Plantations.
Their lordships took into consideration the memorial of Mr. Wright, agent for South Carolina, respecting the Act for regulating officers' fees, mentioned in the minutes of Tuesday last; and the Secretary having acquainted the Board that the late John Sharpe, Esquire, solicitor in behalf of the officers of the Crown in South Carolina, had some time ago entered a caveat against any proceedings being had upon the said Act without notice and an opportunity given to him of being heard upon it, their lordships agreed to postpone the consideration of the said Act till Tuesday, the 17th of October next; and Mr. Wright was directed in the meantime to give publick notice in South Carolina of his intention to solicit the confirmation of the said Act.
Their lordships took into further consideration the letters and papers received from the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, and also an Act passed in that colony in February, 1755, for stamping and emitting seven thousand pounds in paper bills of credit, having a clause suspending its execution until his Majesty's pleasure could be known; and the Governor of Georgia attending, as desired, was called in; and being asked, whether any or what part of the said bills of credit had been emitted, he said, that the Commissioners named in the said Act had emitted some part of them, but that they did it without his consent or authority. Being asked, whether he took any measures to prevent the exercise of so illegal an authority in the Commissioners, he said, he had not, as money was much wanted, and it was hoped the Act would be confirmed, and also for other reasons, which he would, if their lordships desired it, put down in writing. Being asked, if he had taken any part of those bills in fees, he said he had at first refused them, but afterwards received them. Mr. Reynolds being asked, if any proceedings had been had in any of the courts in Georgia upon Mr. and Mrs. Bosomworth's claim to the Islands of Sappelo, Aussebaw and St. Catherine's, and the lands between Pipemaker's Creek and Savannah, he said, that Mr. Bosomworth had brought actions against some persons settled upon those lands by allotments from the late President and Court of Assistants, but that the matter had not yet been brought to a final hearing. Being asked, if there was any negotiation with the Indians upon this subject at the interview held with them at Augusta in December, 1755, he said there was not, and that he had given directions to Mr. Little not to agitate any matter of this kind at that meeting. Mr. Reynolds being withdrawn, the Secretary laid before the Board a report made by the said Governor upon that part of Mrs. Bosomworth's case under the consideration of the Board in December, 1754, respecting her claim of reward for services done the said colony, amongst the papers annexed to which there was an abstract of Mr. Little's proceedings with the said Indians in December, 1755, containing a conference with them respecting Mr. and Mrs. Bosomworth's claims to the said lands. Whereupon Mr. Reynolds was called in, and the said paper being read to him, he said he did not recollect it, and that if Mr. Little had agitated this point, he had acted contrary to his orders. Mr. Reynolds then withdrew.
Their lordships, upon consideration of that part of Mr. Ellis's
letters relating to the claims of Mr. and Mrs. Bosomworth,
ordered, that the Secretary do transmit the following questions
to his Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General for their opinion
thereupon, and answer thereto, viz.:—
1 Question. Whether a person born in any of his Majesty's colonies in America, whose father was a subject of the Crown of Great Britain, but whose mother was a savage Indian, is or is not to be deemed a British subject ?
2 Question. Whether a British subject can legally possess lands within the express limits of any of his Majesty's colonies in America, in virtue of a grant of such lands from the savage Indians obtained without leave from his Majesty, or any persons acting under his Majesty's authority; and whether such possession would be valid against the possession of any other British subject claiming the same lands, or any part of them under a grant of conveyance from his Majesty or any person acting under his authority; if not, what will be the proper method of supporting the rights of the Crown in such case, and proceeding against such illegal possession ?
Their lordships took into further consideration the several
Orders of Council referring the petitions of the members of the
Council of Jamaica suspended by the Lieutenant Governor, and
also the letters from the said suspended councillors, mentioned
in the minutes of the 8th instant, and came to the following
resolution thereupon, viz.:—
That the said suspensions were irregular and inconsistent with the terms of his Majesty's instructions, and that the said members ought to be restored.
The Secretary then laid before the Board a draught of general instructions and also a draught of those for the observance of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, prepared for the Governor, of Jamaica, pursuant to their lordships' order of the 31st of January last; and the said draughts having been agreed to, were ordered to be transcribed, and a representation to his Majesty thereupon, containing also their opinion with respect to the suspension of members of the Council by the Lieutenant Governor, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.