Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 7, January 1735 - December 1741. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.
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Journal, May 1736
Petition from Captain Burrington that the journals of Council and Assembly, whilst he was Governor there, may be delivered to him, whilst his petition to the king is depending before the Committee of Council, was read; it is ordered that he may have leave to inspect the said journals in this office, and make extracts from them, but that they be not delivered to him out of the office.
The Board took into consideration the draught of a representation, mentioned in the minutes of the 2nd ult., upon Mr. Jenner's proposal for settling 6,000 Swiss in North Carolina, and made a progress therein.
A letter from Mr. Holden, Governor of the Russia Company, dated yesterday, and informing the Board that he feared he should not receive from Petersburgh the papers he expected from Russia (in less than three weeks), upon the subject of Mr. Chitty's rhubarb contract, mentioned in the minutes of the 14th ult., was read; and the Board agreed to postpone the consideration of that affair to Thursday, the 27th inst.; ordered that Mr. Holden and Mr. Chitty have notice thereof.
Order of the Committee of Council, referring back to the Board their reports of the 12th of June and 4th of September, relating to the sending hemp seed to the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, was read, and the Board, finding no reason to alter their former opinion, agreed that the said order should lye by.
The Board take again into consideration the letter from Captain Coram, with his observations upon the scheme for settling a civil government in Nova Scotia, read the 4th inst., and desired Captain Coram to lay before the Board a list of such trustees, as are to be concerned in the settlement. [v. the 11th February, 1736–7.]
A letter from Mr. Clarke, President of the Council and Commander in Chief of New York, dated the 16th of March, signifying Colonel Cosby's, the late Governor's death, was read, and the several papers, therein referred to; and directions were given for preparing a letter for inclosing to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, a copy of the said letter and of several of the said papers.
The Board took again into consideration the letter and papers from Mr. Clarke, Commander in Chief at New York, read yesterday, as also the draught of a letter, for inclosing to the Duke of Newcastle, a copy of the said letter, and of several of the said papers, which letter was agreed to and signed.
Mr. Coope, agent for St. Christophers, attending, presented to the Board a memorial desiring the king would repair, or exchange about 200 small arms lately sent from thence, which was read; but the Board acquainted Mr. Coope that as those arms were purchased by the island, it would be more proper that the island should repair them at their own expence, and therefore resolved to make no report upon this memorial.
A memorial from Mr. Yeamans, agent for Antigua, relating to the increase of the French at Santa Lucia etc., was read; and Mr. Yeamans being gone from the office, the secretary was ordered to acquaint him, that the Board had fully represented this affair to the Duke of Newcastle on the 20th of April last.
The draught of an instruction, ordered to be prepared the 8th ult., upon the copper ore Act passed in New Jersey in 1734, was agreed to, and the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council thereupon, was ordered to be prepared.
An order in Council, directing an additional instruction to all the governors in America, for adding the Princess of Wales in the morning and evening prayers, was read; and the secretary laying before the Board at the same time, the draught of such an instruction, the same was agreed to, and a representation was ordered to be prepared, for laying the said instruction before his Majesty.
Letter from the Duke of Newcastle, with the copy of a letter from Mr. Shirley, dated at Boston, with a representation from the Chief Sachem of the Mohican Indians of Connecticut, complaining that their lands have been taken from them by that government, was read; and the Board resolve to consider further of it on Tuesday next, and that Mr. Wilks, agent for Connecticut and the said Sachem, should attend at the same time.
Letter from Mr. Bagshaw, Consul at Genoa, dated the 3rd inst., relating to the duties demanded there from English merchants, was read, and directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation upon the reference from the Duke of Newcastle upon this subject, read the 9th of March last.
Letter from the Duke of Newcastle, with the copy of a letter from Consul Cayley, relating to consular duties, from which the Spaniards and Flemings are exempted, was read; and the Board taking again into consideration the letter from his Grace upon this subject, read the 12th of March, gave directions for looking into any treaties between this kingdom and Spain, that may relate to this affair.
Letter from Lord Harrington, with several papers from Mr. Finch, envoy in Sweden, relating to our trade there, and the extract of a letter from Mr. Titley, concerning the new commission for trade at Copenhagen, was read, and orders were given for translating the French papers among them. [v. 13 inst. and 2 and 26 November, 1736.]
The letter from the Duke of Newcastle, read the 13th inst., with the representation from the Mohican Indians, complaining that their land is taken from them by the people of Connecticut, was again read.
Mr. Paris refers to the colony records for proof of the allegations in Sachem Mahomet's representation, who is great-grandson of Owenecoe, who petitioned Queen Anne upon the same complaint; desires a day may be appointed for seeing the proofs Mahomet has brought from Connecticut.
Mr. Mason says that upon several applications he made to the Assembly, they always put off the matter; that during his illness, the Colony of Connecticut made these Indians drunk, and then made a sort of a purchase of their land.
Letter from Mr. Corbet of the Admiralty, signifying Captain Towry being ordered to protect the Canço fishery, and desiring the heads of inquiry may be sent, was read; and orders were given for desiring Captain Towry to attend the Board to-morrow morning.
Mr. Martin, secretary to the Georgia office, desired the Board would please to consider the petition from the trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia, for stores, mentioned in the minutes of the …, and the Board resolved to reconsider that petition at a proper time.
The secretary informing that Board that Captain Towry, who was desired to attend this morning, was at Sheerness, the Board took into consideration his answers to queries relating to the Canco fishery, read the 10th of December last, as also Mr. Corbet's letter, read yesterday, and gave directions for preparing the draught of heads of inquiry for the said Captain Towry to send his answers to, at his return this year from Canço.
The draught of heads of inquiry for Captain Towry, who is appointed to protect the fishery at Canco this year, ordered yesterday to be prepared, was agreed to and ordered to be sent to the Admiralty Office, to be forwarded to Captain Towry.
Ordered that a letter be wrote to Mr. Burchet, to desire he will move the Admiralty Board that for the future, notice may be sent to this office, as soon as the convoy is appointed for Newfoundland or Nova Scotia.
The Board take again into consideration the letter from the Duke of Newcastle, read the 13th and 18th inst., referring to the Board a complaint from the Mohican Indians in Connecticut, against that government, for depriving them of their land; and Mr. Paris, solicitor in behalf of Mahomet the Sachem, acquainted the Board that the Indian district, claimed by them, had been laid out for them by a commission of the general Assembly, and confirmed to them by an Act of the Assembly; but that notwithstanding such determination, the people of Connecticut had at times taken their land from them, and reduced them to so narrow a compass, that they were obliged to complain to Queen Anne, who in 1704 sent over a commission, under the Great Seal of England, to enquire into and determine the matter in dispute; that when the said commissioners opened their commission, and summoned all parties to attend, the Connecticut people did attend, and at their request had a copy of the said commission delivered to them, but they refused to plead; that they protested against the legality of the commission and court appointed by it, and never reinstated the Indians, according to the judgment of that court, and that finding no redress, many of the Indians are already gone away, and others are going.
Mr. Sharpe, solicitor for the agent of Connecticut (Mr. Wilks) says, that admitting Connecticut has not complied with the said judgment for thirty years, is admitting a thirty years' possession, which is a right in law; that since that time, there may have been agreements made with the Indians upon this subject; that had the Connecticut people appealed against this judgment, it would have been allowing the legality of the commission; Mr. Sharpe then desired time to send over the complaint to Connecticut for their answer.
Mahomet by his interpreter, Mr. Mason, says: that when the English first settled in Connecticut, his great grandfather Uncas received them kindly, and assisted them in their wars, particularly against the Pequot Indians, although related to the said Uncas; that the English offered him wages, but he would receive none, saying he fought for his own land; that in the Narraganset War, his great grandfather and grandfather assisted the English; that wages were again offered, and refused for the same reasons; but that the English found them in ammunition; that his ancestors have assisted the English during the war against the French Indians, in the last French War, and had wages given for them, but the English officers often cheated them of their wages; that he has heard his grandfather say, that the Indians had formed a plot against the English, and that his grandfather had received a present from the French to join with them, but that he had discovered it to the English, and the Indian, the most active in the plot, was transported by the English; that notwithstanding their good usage of the English, their land has been taken from them; that it was a great hardship to them, having nothing to subsist upon, but their guns; that many of them are gone away, and others are going; that he has spoke to them to return, but that they will not, unless their land is restored, and that more would have gone, but that he promised them to come over to the great king to complain; that the English have desired he would prevail on his people to receive the Gospel, but they say they cannot live upon praying, and won't receive it unless their land is restored; that every year they are more wronged; that it is a great undertaking to come over; that he has no money, fears the small pox, and desires to return home.
These gentlemen being withdrawn, and the Board, taking this matter into consideration, ordered the draught of a representation to be prepared, proposing that orders should be sent to Connecticut, directing them immediately to put the aforementioned judgment into execution, or forthwith to send over their reasons for not complying with it.
Letter from Mr. Corbet, assistant secretary to the Admiralty, signifying that the heads of enquiry sent to the Admiralty the 20th inst., were given to Captain Towry, appointed to protect the Canço fishery; and that the same convoy went this year to Newfoundland, that was appointed the last, was read.
Mr. Coope desires a day may be appointed for hearing Mr. Smith, secretary to the Leeward Islands, against the two following Acts of St. Christophers, passed in 1732 and 1733–4; the one for reducing the fee of 3s. taken by Smith as clerk in Chancery, the other granting a poll tax on slaves etc., for paying salaries to publick officers; and the Board appointed Thursday, the 3rd of June, and ordered that all parties should have notice of it. (v. Minutes of the 1st of June.)
Letter from Mr. Holden, Governor of the Russia Company, signifying that the company have received no further information from Russia about Mr. Chitty's rhubarb contract, mentioned in the minutes of the 7th inst., was read.
The Board had some conversation with these gentlemen upon the subject of the said contract, but observing from Mr. Holden's letter that Prince Cantimir, the Russian Ambassador, was to state this affair in a memorial to the Lord Harrington, ordered that a letter be prepared to his Lordship, to desire a copy of any such memorial, when delivered.