Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 3, March 1715 - October 1718. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.
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Journal of the proceedings of Her Majesty's Commissioners for promoting the trade of this Kingdom, and for inspecting and improving her plantations in America and elsewhere, from the twenty-seventh of November, 1717, to the thirtyfirst October, 1718.
Journal, November 1717
The following letters from Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New Jersey and New York, relating chiefly to New Jersey, were read; and the papers therein respectively referred to, were laid before the Board, vizt.:—
Another letter from him to the Secretary, of the 27th May, 1717, with the copy of a minute of the Council of New Jersey, relating to a Petition to His Majesty, containing articles of complaint against the Brigadier.
A letter from Brigadier Hunter to Mr. Philips, Agent for New York, dated in July, 1717, in answer to the complaints against the former [fo. 105], was read; and the papers therein referred to, were laid before the Board, vizt.:—
Mr. Christopher Stoddard attending, together with Mr. William Fenton and Mr. Samuel Lilly, in relation to the said Stoddard's petition [fo. 13], mentioned in the minutes of the 20th instant, praying to be re-instated in a plantation at St. Christophers, whereof he has been lately dispossessed. Mr. Stoddard was asked several questions concerning that matter; whereupon he said, That he had at present no grant of the plantation which he held under Captain Mitchell, mentioned in his said petition, but had been three years in possession thereof, after Captain Mitchell's death, Col. Smith, the Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, having, upon application to him for a grant, assured Mr. Stoddard, that he should not be molested till the pleasure of the Crown were known concerning the late French lands:— that he improved and built a Sugar-Work on the said plantation, hoping that in consideration of his former services and sufferings, as well as the charge he was at in clearing and improving a plantation, which had not been before cultivated of above twenty years—he might have an equitable right to the said plantation:—that General Hamilton, when he told the petitioner, he had granted the plantation to Mr. Milliken, assured the petitioner, that satisfaction should be made him for the expence he had been at; but it was so far from it, that Mr. Milliken's agents did in August last, after the petitioner's coming for Great Britain, turn his wife and family out of his house, and by seizing everything on the plantation, have left them destitute of a habitation, or wherewith to subsist, as he was informed by several letters which he produced to the Board, from his friends in St. Christophers; and he appealed to Mr. Fenton now present, to certify as to his services, and the expences he had been at; whereupon Mr. Fenton said, Mr. Stoddard was his neighbour in St. Christophers, that he knew him there, both before and since the invasion of St. Christophers in 1706, by the French; that in 1714, he knew Mr. Stoddard had planted and remained ever since on the plantation formerly of Monsr. Lambert, and had built a boiling-house and mill.
Mr. Stoddard was then desired to attend the Board again on Monday morning next; and directions were given for acquainting Colonel Smith abovementioned, that their Lordships desire to speak with him at the same time.
Mr. Rowland Tryon, Mr. Nivine, Col. Jory and Mr. Duport attending, they were asked what they knew concerning the case of Mr. Stoddard abovementioned; whereupon they said, they had no information about it.
Mr. March attending, sent in a letter to their lordships, desiring a copy of the Lord Archibald Hamilton, late Governor of Jamaica's order by his secretary William Cockburn, to Francis Fernando, to pay to Thomas Bendysh one third part of the effects, etc., taken from on board a Spanish sloop; which letter was read; whereupon the secretary was directed to ask Mr. March, whether he writ the said letter, (which he afterwards owned, he did) and to deliver him the following message:—
That the Board expected, Mr. March would have given some reasons for his request, and that he would have shewn what right he had to demand the extracts from the minutes of council; but does not find that he is either agent, solicitor or party concerned in the dispute: wherefore, as the Board are far from discouraging proper applications on business; yet they cannot think themselves obliged to comply with frivolous requests, urged with so little reason and respect.
Sir Nicholas Lawes attending, as desired, as also Mr. Elliston lately arrived from Jamaica, their Lordships had some discourse with them, concerning the duty on negroes in that island [fo. 15], complained of by the directors of the South-Sea Company; whereupon Sir Nicholas said, That upon a conference with several of the said directors, he had already presented to this Board his thoughts on that subject in writing; he further acquainted the Board, that Sir James Castile, who in King Charles the Second and King James the Second's reigns, had the assiento to himself and Company, always paid the said duty, now complained of; and that it had at different times been laid by additional Duty Bills for these twenty years. That he paid as well for those negroes that were brought only for refreshment, as others:—that the same duty was paid by the inhabitants of Jamaica themselves, even when they carried negroes to New York, or any other of the plantations belonging to Great Britain:—that this assiento takes away the best negroes from Jamaica to the Spaniards, leaving only the worst for the use of His Majesty's subjects, unless they give as high a price as the Spaniards, which puts Jamaica under inconveniencies in their planting; and therefore Sir Nicholas said, he hoped, the Board would not think it advisable to deprive that island of this part of the means for supporting the charge of their government:—that if the South Sea Company carried their negroes to any other place, they were welcome, but he believed, they would not find their account in it.
Col. Long attending likewise, and being asked what he knew concerning the foresaid duty on negroes; he said, that ever since he can remember, an additional duty bill in Jamaica, as that island had more or less occasion to raise money for their publick charges; a duty of about twenty shillings per head was laid on all negroes exported to all places, and that even private traders always paid it, though they seldom landed their negroes.
Their Lordships taking into consideration several representations made by this Board, relating to the producing of naval stores in the plantations for the use of this kingdom [fo. 83]; the representations of the 5th December, 1709, the 8th of January, 1710, and the 28th of March, 1717, were read.
The copy of a letter from Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York (Bundle Bb. No. 33), to the Earl of Stair, relating to the hardships of his case on account of the poor Palatines, sent to the said Province, as mentioned in the two former of the said representations, was likewise read; whereupon ordered that the draught of a letter to Mr. Secretary Addison be prepared, in order to his laying before His Majesty the importance of giving further incouragement for importing naval stores from His Majesty's plantations into this kingdom, and to represent the sufferings of Brigadier Hunter on account of ye publick.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that Mr. Vernon had informed him, that upon reading yesterday in Council their Lordships report of the 16th October, 1717, upon some laws of Antigua and St. Christophers, Mr. Attorney and Solicitor-General [fo. 19] had affirmed that they had not given their opinions upon those laws; whereupon the said representation was laid aside. Ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared on that subject, to the Right Honble. the Earl of Sunderland.
Their Lordships took into consideration the Act passed in New Jersey the 11th of March, 1713, entituled, An Act that the solemn affirmation and declaration of the people called Quakers, shall be accepted instead of an oath in the usual form, and for qualifying and enabling the said people to serve as jurors, and to execute any office or place of trust or profit within this province;—and made a progress therein.