America and West Indies
September 1691, 1-15


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J. W. Fortescue (editor)

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'America and West Indies: September 1691, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 13: 1689-1692 (1901), pp. 527-542. URL: Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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September 1691

Sept. 1.1,721. Minutes of Council of Barbados. The Act concerning John Kirton referred to the Assembly to be redrafted. The Commissioners appointed to examine the accounts of Colonel Salter's regiment made their report. Orders for the payment of the amount due and for sundry other payments. The Assembly brought up bills to present the Governor with £1,500 and to defray the expenses of the Agents. Proclamation restraining excessive impressment of men by the King's officers. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 211–215.]
Sept. 1.1,722. Memorandum for the Earl of Nottingham. To signify the following orders of the Queen to the Admiralty, viz., to provide passage and victualling for five hundred recruits for the Duke of Bolton's regiment in the Leeward Islands, on board the men-of-war and merchantmen bound thither, and that surgeons be hired to take care of them on the voyage; and for the Admiralty to instruct the victuallers of the navy to send three months' provisions for the regiment. Draft with corrections. 1 p. Endorsed. 1 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 38.]
[Sept. 1.]1,723. A list of Councillors for Maryland recommended by Governor Copley. John Addison, John Coode, James Whitewood, George Rowbotham, David Brown, Henry Jowles, Nicholas Greenberry, Nehemiah Blakiston. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 1 Sept. from Colonel Copley's Agent. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 2. No. 49.]
[Sept. 2.]1,724. Petition of the Agents for Massachusetts to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We beg that Nova Scotia may be united to Massachusetts, also Maine, also New Hampshire, and that the territory disposed of by former General Courts or Assemblies may be thereby confirmed. We beg also that a clause may be inserted obliging Governors to give Councillors sufficient notice of the time and place of any Council; that no officer may be elected unless at least eleven Councillors be present; that seven at least be a quorum; that all Civil officers whatever may be chosen by the Governor and Council or by the General Assembly; that the first Councillors be continued until the last Wednesday in May, 1693; that the General Assembly be empowered to appoint Agents to represent to the Crown the case of the Colony, against the Governor as well as otherwise, the expense of the agency being defrayed either by Act or by public contribution. We beg also for a clause providing that the passing of the charter may not deprive the people of any of the rights, privileges and properties belonging to them. Signed. Increase Mather (by order from Sir Henry Ashurst); William Paterson. Large sheet. Damaged. Endorsed. Read 2 Sept. 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 183; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 293–295.]
[Sept. 2.]1,725. Sir William Phips to Lords of Trade and Plantations. In Piscataqua and Nova Scotia there are vast quantities of timber fit for naval purposes, white oak, ash, and such abundance of pines that were they well improved they would supply the whole Navy with pitch and tar, better and cheaper than in Europe. I beg sufficient instructions and authority to prevent the waste of this timber. 1 p. Undated. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 184.]
[Sept.]1,726. Queries as to Naval Stores. What pitch and tar can be made in North America and what naval stores, and at what rates, and by what means may such a trade best be settled and carried on?
Written below. In North America more tar can be made than will serve the three Kingdoms. Masts and yards may be had there in great plenty, particularly in New Hampshire, Maine and Pemaquid. Virginia, Maryland, the lower counties of Pennsylvania and West Jersey will produce abundance of good hemp. The best means for carrying on the trade will be by a Company. The whole. 1¼ pp. Undated. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 185.]
[Sept.]1,727. Memorandum by Sir Edmund Andros. The Northern parts of America can furnish any quantity of tar, pitch, resin. Fir and pine-trees abound for the biggest masts for ships; and the ground is suitable for flax and hemp. The inhabitants make only enough tar for themselves, which the seamen boil and make into pitch, using no other way, but it is not so good as in Europe. They cut no masts except as agreed for, and none of the biggest yet except at Piscattaway. Little or no hemp or flax is made by the people but for their own use, mostly woven with woollen yarn, to make linsey wolsey. If any quantity of naval stores is to be provided or improved it must be by Commissioners such as those that have been employed to provide masts and yards, some of them inhabitants and some from home, who may report when a beginning is made as to all particulars. Signed. E. Andros. 1 p. Holograph. Undated. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 186.]
[Sept.]1,728. Memorandum by Colonel Ledget as to naval stores in New England. All the shipping of England may be supplied from the American Colonies. In New England especially there is great plenty of timber and trees which produce tar, which industry has been no further improved than to satisfy the wants of the neighbouring Colonies and the West Indies. It is pursued by the inhabitants during their leisure hours, when they pick up the knots of trees long fallen and decayed and force out the moisture by fire. East New England and Maine abound in pine-trees with which the Crown has been served for masts and yards, though there has been great waste, trees being left to lie and rot, or being cut into deal boards if it has not exactly suited the scantling when fallen. A quantity of seventy-six trees has there been bought at the ship's side for less than £1,700, which now costs the Crown £5,400 in England. The season for the work is winter, but if there be frost and want of snow little can be done, for the ground is hard and the timber being brittle snaps. If the frost break the fallen timber cannot be drawn out of the swamps at any other season, unless the end of the next summer be strangely dry. Oak is abundant and has been imported for several purposes, also pine-plank and ash timber. A trade herein would increase shipping and seamen, keep much money from leaving the country and render us less dependent on foreign neighbours. I subjoin a list of recent prices. Many parts of the country are suitable for flax and hemp, which have not yet been cultivated but for the people's own wants. 1 p. Undated. Copy of the preceding. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. Nos. 187, 188.]
[Sept. 2.]1,729. Memorial of Samuel Allen to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Although you have appointed days for hearing my claim to New Hampshire, the agents for New England have failed to attend. I beg therefore that you will award me costs against them. 1 p. Endorsed. Read 2 Sept., 1691. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. No. 6.]
Sept. 2.1,730. Minute of Lords of Trade and Plantations. That the Lord President move in Council for the despatch of ordnance stores to the Leeward Islands. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 421.]
Sept. 2.1,731. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Agreed to move in Council for stores of war to be sent to the Leeward Islands.
Sir William Phips presented proposals in writing as to masts and naval stores that are procurable in New England. On the Charter of Massachusetts the following minutes were agreed on (1) that all former grants of land by the Governor and Council and all property legally vested in the inhabitants be confirmed; (2) that the Council have due notice of any meeting; (3) that a third part of the Council be a quorum; (4) that the Council or Assistants appointed by the Charter be continued till the last Wednesday in May 1693.
Sept. 3.Further minutes as to the Massachusetts Charter: (5) that all trees of the diameter of twenty-four inches and upwards at one foot from the ground be reserved to their Majesties for the Navy, on any land not already granted; (6) that the penalty for cutting such trees without a license be £100 for every tree; (7) that no grant of land between the Sagadahock rivers, the St. Lawrence, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the main sea, be made without the Royal sanction; (8) that New Plymouth be annexed to Massachusetts. Mr. Allen's and the Agents' Counsel were heard as to the propriety and boundaries of New Hampshire, and several papers on the subject were produced.
Agreed to recommend the despatch of military stores to the Leeward Islands. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 42–44; and (so far as relates to Massachusetts) Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., p. 295.]
Sept. 3.1,732. Earl of Nottingham to Lords of the Admiralty. To arrange for the transport of the recruits for Bolton's regiment to the Leeward Islands (see No. 1,722). [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 418–419.]
Sept. 3.1,733. Minutes of Council of New York. Report on Robert Livingston's accounts, also on Colonel Bayard's accounts for repair of fortifications before the late troubles. Order that Mr. Plowman be forthwith summoned to produce his accounts and account for his arrears. Order for disbursement of the sum sent for presents to the Five Nations by Virginia, on that object. Order for payment of Jabez Dickison for hire of his sloop. Thomas Clarke's claims made over for audit. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 281, 282.]
Sept. 4.
1,734. Proposals made by the Senecas and Mohawks. The Senecas spoke first. We are a nation scattered by the French as far as Onandaga but we keep possession of our true inheritance still. In our march here we learned that the Maquas had been defeated; but we hold fast to the old covenant. We hear that the bags of powder are very small, and that Virginia, Maryland and New England though bound to our covenant have done nothing. We are therefore to chide you. You must have been drunk in your understandings to go and fight with the Maquas in such small parties. Let us all go together, and then we shall be strong.
The Mohawks then spoke. The Senecas are right to chide us for going in so small parties. You ought to have called in the Oneidas. We have had some loss, but are ready to fight again; and let us all go together.
Answer to the Senecas. We grieve to hear that you have been driven from your land by the French, but rejoice to find that you are faithful to the old covenant. It is no fault of ours that powder is dear; it is due to the great war over sea, and the danger to ships. We marvel that you chide us for rashness. You forget that the Governor agreed that all the Five Nations should go out together, and he provided 120 men instead of the 60 that he promised and fitted out ships as well. Why did not one of the Nations go down Cadaraqui river, and why did you Maquas, that were to have marched with the Major, stay at home?
Answer to the Mohawks. We are astonished that you say we acted with haste. It was you that were slow. We regret the loss of our men and yours, but the enemy has lost also.
Propositions of the Senecas to the Mahekanders from Ottawa. 2 September, 1691. We thank you for your help and sympathy, and bewail your losses from small-pox. We shall fight the French again and invite you to fight with us. Certified copy. 4 pp. Printed in New York Documents III., 805. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 54.]
Sept. 5.
1,735. The Government of Connecticut to Major Richard Ingoldsby. Yours of 24th August reached the Governor's hands on the 3rd of September. On the 4th the Council met and considered your request for a hundred men to be sent to Albany and paid by your Government at the English rate. We give you liberty to raise a hundred volunteers in the Colony provided that commanders of our own are appointed to them, that no minors be enlisted without consent of their parents, and they may be discharged at the end of six months. The danger of Albany may not be great considering the season and the strength that is already posted there, yet you see we are willing to gratify you. We thank God for Major Schuyler's success and condole with you on the death of Governor Sloughter. Signed. John Allyn, Secretary. Copy. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 55.]
Sept. 5.1,736. Memorial of the Agents for the Leeward Islands to Lords of Trade and Plantations. We are informed that the French are preparing a squadron of fourteen men-of-war for the West Indies which will far exceed the strength of the King's squadron in those parts. We beg that the King's squadron may be sufficiently reinforced and that fresh stores of war may be sent out, the greatest part of last year's store having been expended in the expedition to Guadeloupe. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Presented 5 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 39; and Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 421.]
Sept. 6.1,737. Draft Charter for Massachusetts. The second draft, comprehending the extension of territory, and with corrections interlined or, as on p. 18 (see. No. 1758) with alterations on a different sheet of paper stuck over the original. 35 large pp. Endorsed. Minute of the Attorney General, that the draft is agreeable to their Lordships' resolutions. Signed. Geo. Treby. Sept. 6, 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 189.]
Sept. 7.1,738. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Further minutes as to the Charter of Massachusetts; (1) that the boundaries of Massachusetts extend Eastward to the Merrimac river; (2) that Nova Scotia be added; (3) that four of the Council be inhabitants or proprietors of land in New Plymouth, and two inhabitants or proprietors in Nova Scotia. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. p. 45.]
Sept. 7.1,739. Memorial of the Commissioners of Transportation to the Committee for the affairs of Ireland. We have acquainted you that the ships to transport troops from Cork to Ostend have left Bristol, and, as we hope, have arrived safely, though we have heard nothing of them since their departure. Mr. Henley complains of great want of money. We have now received orders to provide passage and provisions for 420 men of Bolton's regiment to the Leeward Islands. We beg for money for the same. Ready money will be required, and not less than £3,000. 1 p. Endorsed. Sept. 7, 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 40.]
Sept. 7.1,740. Petition of Samuel Allen to Lords of Trade and Plantations. As I have manifestly made out my claim to the Northern part of New Hampshire I beg that you will erect it into a separate Government, of which I am ready to bear the expense, and not entrust it to Massachussetts. As to the southern part, although Massachussetts has encroached on it under colour of a void charter, whereas my right is, I submit, well made out, yet if you think not fit to restore it to me I beg that Massachussetts may not be countenanced in encroachment on the land between the Naumkeck and three miles north of the Merrimac, by any new grant. Having made out my claim, whereas Massachussetts has both in the past and at present failed to do so, I beg for the proprietary and Government as aforesaid. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 7 Sept., 1691. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. No. 7.]
Sept. 8.1,741. Warrant for the despatch of 1,000 firelocks, 300 bayonets and other military stores to the Leeward Islands. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 422, 423.]
Sept. 9.1,742. Memorial of the Committee for the affairs of Ireland. As regards the transport of recruits to the Leeward Islands, we find the owners and masters of the merchant vessels very unwilling to take the soldiers, alleging that the time is too short to make provision for them, that the men are unruly on board, that the ships are bound to Barbados where they expect the King's ships to be, that it will take a month to get back from the Leeward Islands to Barbados, and that if they take soldiers as far as Barbados only they will not charge less than £3, we finding provisions, bedding, brandy and surgeon's allowance. Other ship-masters engage to take them to Barbados at £5 and find provisions, and to be in time for the convoy; but as they go out in ballast and as it is said that there is little or no produce in the Leeward Islands, we doubt if they will take the men thither under £6 a head. The cost at £5 will be £2,488; at £6 the cost will be £2,908. P.S.—We have found masters to carry the troops to the Leeward Islands at £5, or at £2 10s. 0d. if the King find provisions. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 9 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 41.]
Sept. 9.1,743. William Blathwayt to Henry Guy. I enclose two memorials from the Agent to the Duke of Bolton's regiment for communication to the Lords of the Treasury. My Lords desire that the Agent may be enabled to provide clothes in time to sail with the convoy. Draft with corrections. ½ p. Annexed,
1,743. I. Copies of two letters from Peter Gery, Agent to Bolton's regiment. The Lords of the Treasury refuse money for Bolton's regiment, until they are certified from the Leeward Islands what pay they have received there; so the clothing cannot be sent by the present fleet to the West Indies.
The time for providing clothing is so short that I must buy it of several persons. This cannot be done without ready money; so unless the Treasury finds the money the clothing cannot be obtained. Rough copies. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 551. Nos. 42, 42 I.]
[Sept. 9.]1,744. Draft of a clause proposed to be added to the Charter of Massachusetts. To safeguard the rights of John Mason and Samuel Allen in New Hampshire. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. from Mr. Allen etc., 9 Sept., 1691. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. No. 8.]
Sept. 9.1,745. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Order for transport to be provided for recruits for the Leeward Islands. Agreed to represent the necessity of sending a second convoy to the West Indies. The Agents for Bolton's regiment presented a memorial for necessaries for the recruits, which was referred to the Treasury.
Sept. 10.Part of the draft Massachusetts Charter read. The Virginia merchants reported that their ships could not sail by the 1st October.
Sept. 11.Draft Charter of Massachusetts continued. The boundaries of the Province to include New Plymouth, Maine, Kennebec, Nova Scotia and three miles north of the Merrimac river. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. pp. 46–49.]
[Sept. 10.]1,746. Answer to the memorial against Captain Francis Nicholson presented by Captain Blagge to the King. It is alleged that Captain Nicholson neglected the fortifications of New York with treacherous intent, whereupon certain of the citizens thought it their duty to seize the fort and city for King William and Queen Mary. This is wide of the truth, for care had been taken for the fortifications and the work was allotted in shares to the different companies of Militia. It is remarkable that Captain Leisler's company was far behind in its share of the work and did not finish it until three or four weeks after he had seized the fort. Captain Nicholson had called in other bodies of the Militia for the defence of the town, when Leisler stirred up the people, forced the keys from Captain Nicholson, expelled the garrison from the fort and so overawed the people. The Mayor and Aldermen had no instructions to proclaim their Majesties and could get no intelligence from Leisler on the point; but their loyalty is shown by their letters. It is untrue again that the Mayor and Aldermen were suspended lest they should proclaim their Majesties, as alleged, for they continued in office until the usual time. The inhabitants of the province did not understand the King's letter to be addressed to Leisler. The letter was not shown, and requests to Leisler that it might be shewn were rudely refused. There was no revolt against their Majesties' authority but only against the violence of Leisler and his faction. He is responsible for the disaster at Senectady and other depredations of French and Indians. Several loyal citizens were imprisoned in the fort and when their release was civilly requested, young Leisler and others answered by coming out with drawn sword and arms. As to the quartering and insolence of the country-people in the city, it was Leisler's doing and very grievous to loyal subjects. The motion of a Dutch plot cannot be applicable to Leisler and his faction, for the Dutch population is loyal. Leisler, a man of desperate fortune, usurped the Government, made a Broad Seal, instituted courts of justice so called, imposed grievous taxes, robbed, imprisoned, whipped and branded loyal subjects. When Major Ingoldsby arrived with the foot-companies, he made ostentatious preparations for a long siege. He refused to acknowledge their commissions, and when he was permitted to stay in the fort until Governor Sloughter's arrival, sent incendiaries round the country, and at last levied open war, firing several great shot, even red-hot shot to set fire to the town. Had not his adherents' hearts failed them he would, if he could, have cut off every soul; but the cheering at the Governor's landing discouraged them and after thrice refusing to yield he surrendered. Many of the people are debauched with strange tenets of government; and New England has had a great share in all this trouble. There will be still more trouble if an example be not made of such criminals. Certified copy. The memorial and answer being set forth in parallel columns. Four large sheets. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Sept., 1691. Printed in New York Documents III., 763. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 14.]
[Sept. 10.]1,747. Duplicate of the foregoing. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 15.]
[Sept. 10.]1,748. Another copy of the Answer only, without the charges. 5 pp.; the two last in the hand of Nicholas Bayard. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 56.]
Sept. 10.
1,749. Order of the Privy Council. For payment of the half of the two shillings a hogshead duty of Maryland to the Treasury. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 556. No. 11.]
Sept. 10.1,750. Minutes of Council of New York. On the petition of Johannes Van Burgh praying for release from the administration of a deceased man's estate, the parties were ordered to attend next Council. Order for payment of 12l. 18s. 9d. to Charles Lodowyck for two pieces of "blue plains" supplied to the Canadian expedition.
Sept. 11.Order for the Churchwardens to collect the arrears of the salary detained by his parishioners from Rodolphus Varrick, minister of Brocklin and New Kinsfort in King's County. Order for payments for hired sloops. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 283, 284.]
Sept. 11.1,751. Petition of Samuel Allen to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I learn that although I have made out my right both to the Northern and Southern parts of New Hampshire, you are inclined to place the Southern part under the Government of Massachusetts, and to erect the Northern part and Maine into a distinct Government. I beg to repeat my claim, and to request that the Northern part be kept distinct and not bound to Maine, of which the proprietorship is claimed by Massachusetts. Though Massachusetts has long encroached on the Southern part, you are pleased to leave me to go to law with them in their own Courts or respite your relief touching the same; and it is hard that I and my tenants should be obliged to assist them with lives and fortunes in defence of their pretensions to Maine. 1½ pp. Endorsed. 11 Sept., 1691.
Copy of the foregoing. [Board of Trade. New Hampshire, 1. Nos. 9, 10.]
Sept. 11.1,752. Order of the Queen for the despatch of an able engineer with gunners and guns to the Leeward Islands. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 423.]
Sept. 11.1,753. William Blathwayt to Sir John Tippetts. Asking by what denominations naval timber is described, that it may be protected in the new charter of Massachusetts. Draft. ½ p. Endorsed. 11 Sept., 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 190.]
Sept. 12.
Navy Office.
1,754. Sir J. Tippetts to William Blathwayt. The trees most suitable for ship building are. 1. Beech or elm; fit for keels or four-inch plank. 2. Oak; fit for beams, footwaling, wales, clamps, cheeks for masts, floor timbers, foothooks, top-timbers, knees, four-inch plank. 3. All trees, from the greatest to the least are fit for masts, yards and bowsprits. Signed. J. Tippetts. 1 p. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 191.]
Sept. 12.1,755. William Blathwayt to Mr. Sotherne. 420 men are to be drawn from the garrison at Portsmouth to recruit Bolton's regiment. The Lords request the Admiralty to order 150 of the men to be embarked at St. Helens in the convoy for the West Indies, and to be victualled during the voyage. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 419.]
Sept. 12.
1,756. Governor Codrington to the Lord President. I received in February a letter from you of 24 November, referring a petition for suspending the settlement of St. Christophers to my determination. I had before its receipt given allowance to the settlement of the Island, and I anticipate no ill consequences therefrom. I have indeed differed from the opinion of the General Councils and Assemblies of the Leeward Islands, with whom I thought it very fitting to advise in a matter of so great moment, but as I could not comprehend the weight of their reasons I think I should not have been honest if I had deferred to them against my own judgment. Finding at the close of our last meeting that we could not agree I told them to send home their views to their agents, and that I would do likewise, for the King to decide between us. I have accordingly done my part, and beg your serious perusal of it. If the dissettlement of St. Christophers be finally concluded the instructions to me need not be long; but if the encouragement of a speedy settlement be preferred, many things will need careful consideration, as to which I send you a memorial. Whatever the King commands I shall punctually obey, irrespective of my own feelings. In February I received a letter from Sir Timothy Thornhill that the King had granted him 2,000 acres of land in St. Christophers; but a gentleman to whom he shewed the grant told me that as yet he had received only a letter from Lord Nottingham saying that in course of time such a grant might be procured. By the memorial you will see that 2,000 acres is a fourteenth part of the land taken from the French, and a ninth part in value, if he be allowed to choose. My memorial will shew you how prejudicial such a grant would be to the speedy settlement of the Island. It is no pleasant office to object against another's merits, but no deserts can pretend to gratification at the public inconvenience. The distribution of land has hitherto been left to the Governors in Chief as best qualified to deal with it. I believe the system to be a good one, and if the King propose to change it, I think it would not be amiss to know first what the Governor has to say; for then the King will not be misled nor deceived in his grants. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 11 Jan. 1691–2. Annexed,
1,756. I. An account of Governor Codrington's proceedings as to the Settlement of St. Christophers. Soon after the reconquest of the Island most of the English inhabitants addressed me for leave to resume their former habitations. With the consent of the officers then present I agreed, and reported the matter to the Lords of Trade. (2.) At the beginning of January 1690 the Barbados regiment returned home, except 100 men who wished to settle in St. Christophers. To these I granted ten acres apiece. (3.) Of the former inhabitants there were not then 130 remaining in the Leeward Islands. Of these in January aforesaid ninety returned, making with the Barbadians nearly 200 men. (4.) About the 20th February I received the order to report on the petition as to the settlement of the Island. (5.) It then became a question whether to let the new settlement to continue and increase, or to move the 200 settlers and lay the Island waste. (6.) On the 15th of March I communicated the petition and reference to the General Assembly of the Leeward Islands at Antigua, who addressed me in agreement with the petition for suspending the settlement and laying waste the Island. (7.) This being against my opinion I answered that I would consider the matter till my return from Guadeloupe, not knowing how events there might bear upon their opinion. I then gave the Lieutenant-Governor of St. Christophers an account of the matter, that the settlers might not be taken by surprise, all of which he published in the Island. (8.) On my return from Guadeloupe I summoned the Council again, which repeated its former advice. (9.) Neither of the Councils desired the destruction or desertion of the fort of St. Christophers, and we agreed that it should be occupied by some companies of soldiers to uphold the King's sovereignty; so that the matter in difference between us was whether the rest of the Island should be destroyed, and all inhabitants removed except the garrison. Differing from them as to the expediency of dissettling the Island I issued a proclamation on the 10th of August, setting forth that the inhabitants of Nevis, Antigua and Montserrat were for dissettlement, whereas the former inhabitants of St. Christophers were for resettlement, forbidding all inhabitants of the three first Islands to move to St. Christophers during the war but allowing former inhabitants, the 100 Barbadians, and settlers from any other quarter, to come and to remain. (10) At the end of July I received a letter from the Agents for the Leeward Islands declaring in favour of dissettlement, which I communicated to the General Assembly, and told them to write their views, as I would write mine, for the King to decide. (11.) My reason for my action is that I think resettlement not prejudicial but beneficial to the King's interest. (12.) The only reason urged against resettlement is that it will weaken and endanger the rest of the Leeward Islands. This, if accurate, would be unanswerable, but it is not the case. (i.) All turns upon mastery of the sea. If we have it, our Islands are safe however thinly peopled: if the French have it, we cannot, after the recent mortality, raise men enough in all the Islands to hold one of them. So the argument has no solid weight. (ii.) All the former inhabitants of St. Christophers in the Leeward Islands do not exceed 130. So small an addition will not help to defend the Islands, nor so small a subtraction to endanger them. (iii.) But dissettlement of St. Christophers will not profit the Islands. I confess that for a time I hesitated as to my answer to the petition. I wished to do two things, viz.: to do the former inhabitants all the justice and charity that I could, and yet to prevent them defrauding the army of their pillage. The inhabitants seeing my hesitation pointed out that they could not purchase land in other Islands, that all that was left them had gone in getting themselves subsistence and could not last much longer, and that if denied to return to their old land, they would go at once to Jamaica and the Main. Indeed they said they would have gone before then, but for the hope of being restored, and that they thought it very hard that they should now be forbidden. This carried great weight with me and the officers present with me. I wrote to St. Christophers to ask if there were any hope that the settlers would go to any other of the Leeward Islands. On publication of my letter Captain Tyrrell at once went to Jamaica with his family, and the rest answered that they would follow his example immediately if the Island were dissettled; pointing out the injustice that they should be the only sufferers by their loyalty to King William. I put these considerations to the General Assembly who stuck to their opinion, though they confessed that if the Island were dissettled, the people must be left free to go whither they would. When pressed by me to state the danger of resettlement to the other Islands, they instanced the migration of the poorer classes to St. Christophers, which, as I pointed out to them, is forbidden by my proclamation. Now as to the arguments for re-settlement. It is against the King's honour to quit an Island which he has conquered. Next, the King is bound in honour to have some consideration for those who were the first to proclaim him and have suffered for their loyalty. Next, if the fort is to be held, the more inhabitants there are, the fewer the soldiers that will be necessary. Next, the increase of any one Island without diminishing any of the rest is a gain and an additional strength to the whole. There are 250 people in St. Christophers now, and would have been double but for my hesitation. I am confident that, if the King approves my action, the Island will have 500 fighting men in a year's time. Next, many of the poorer people would move to the Main but for their hope shortly of being able to settle at St. Christophers; so dissettlement far from strengthening the Leeward Islands would weaken them. Long continued droughts have made many on this Island anxious to move. Such was their destitution in 1687 that 130 went to Crab Island and were captured by the Spaniards. They would gladly go to St. Christophers. Next, St. Christophers will grow every year a greater strength to the Leeward Islands, and if it be well filled at the close of the war, the King will be more likely to retain it. And if the war in Europe warrant it, it would be well to keep St. Christophers in its entirety. It is the biggest of the Leeward Islands; it is well watered and has seasonable weather. No crop has ever been wholly lost by drought, and in an hour after the heaviest rain you may walk anywhere without being dirty. Though so long settled the soil is as fresh as ever; the mould is good for a vast depth, and so good and tender that even light rain penetrates to the root of the canes, which is not so in the other Islands. I believe that the same amount of produce can be produced at St. Christophers at half the expense that it would cost in Barbados. Next, the Island is very healthy; and I believe that if thoroughly peopled it would produce more than the three other Islands put together. Next, the Island is easily defensible, the landing places being few and easily fortified. Even as the French had intrenched it we could not have landed but for our stratagem, which, though full of hazard, was successful because it was unexpected by the French. Next, as the keeping of the island will be a gain, so the quitting of it will be a loss, and if the French part be surrendered again it will be difficult to uphold the English settlement which has been twice ruined within twenty-three years. The abandonment of St. Christophers would also be a damp to the Leeward Islands generally and would encourage them to dissettlement. Such is the general sense of people here, and speaking as the largest proprietor in the Leeward Islands I personally should move if the French part of St. Christophers were surrendered to them. To me therefore it seems expedient to resettle St. Christophers with all despatch. It next remains to be considered whether resettlement can make progress during the war and whether it is prudent to encourage it. I answer that if resettlement be delayed all the men will be lost, the roads will become impassable, and the face of the country wild; which will make the work ultimately more tedious. Above all there is no timber in the Island, so that to burn the buildings that survive would check resettlement. At present half the town remains undestroyed, and the buildings are better than the common. I will engage, when peace comes, to raise a fund from the houses in Basseterre and from the plantations to pay the salary of the Governor-General and a genteel allowance to the Deputy-Governors, which latter would be a great advantage.
Thus I have met the objections to the immediate resettlement of St. Christophers, nor can I see any other objections except in view of a mutual restoration of all captures at the peace, when it might profit us to diminish the value of the French part as much as possible. To this I answer: (1.) That there may be no such restoration, and that it is imprudent to destroy our own property on the supposition. (2.) Even if such restoration be as likely as not, why should we not run the hazard, for there is no advantage to us in the preservation of it or damage to the French in the destruction which we shall not equally have in any case. We shall have the advantage of the inhabitants and of the cultivation; but these will not be of the least advantage, but rather the contrary, to the French. (3.) Peace will not be concluded without some warning, and it will be time enough to lay the Island waste when we know what is going to happen. I am not sure indeed that the surrender of the French part to us may not rather discourage the former proprietors from settling in the English part; and this is an additional reason for encouraging resettlement at once. Signed. Chr. Codrington. Antigua. Sept. 12, 1691. 13½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 11 Jan., 1691–2.
1,756. II. Propositions for the settlement of St. Christophers without cost to the English Exchequer. A. (1.) The whole Island, excluding the mountains which are unsettled, includes about 60,000 acres, of which 32,000 are the English part and 28,000 the French. (2.) The first necessity is a sufficient number of men. (3.) To this end the distribution of land must be carefully attended to, that proprietors may not receive more land than they can improve, from which the Island has suffered much. (4.) The strength of the Colony must lie in servants or settlers. Settlers are far the better, as servants are mutinous and dangerous in times of disturbance. (5.) One fourth of the Island might therefore be disposed of in small plantations of from five to twenty, but not more than twenty, acres. At this rate 15,000 acres would support 1,500 settlers; and to prevent engrossment of their small estates, which has been very prejudicial to the Island in the past, alienation should be forbidden without licence. Major Crisp's plantation which formerly supported a full company of foot, had on it only two or three white men at the outbreak of the present war. (6.) The rest of the Island could be disposed of according to their ability; 100 to 200 acres apiece is the usual size, and large enough for the capacity of most. Plantations should not be too large, and every planter should be bound to keep one white man for every twenty acres. They would thus furnish 2,200 men. (7.) All to whom houses are granted in Basseterre should be bound to furnish from one to three men, and builders of houses elsewhere one man. (8.) The Island when fully settled would thus furnish 4,000 to 5,000 men, exclusive of traders and the like. The mountains would then become valuable, which would support hundreds of families. (9.) If we have but 3,000 men the Island will be defensible, for the landing places are few and easily fortified. (10.) Due time must be allowed for the settlers to fulfil their conditions, for white servants are not at present procurable; and (11) longer time to former than to new settlers. (12.) Former proprietors who owned larger tracts than they could cultivate, should not be allowed to retain them. It is a disadvantage to the public and no good to them. (13.) This may be thought a hardship. But the public comes before all private interest; it is no loss to proprietors to be deprived of what they cannot cultivate; and the security thereby gained will enhance the value of the estates which they do cultivate. (14.) Proprietors should be allowed to select what portion of their estates they will keep, if any part should be taken from them, and to dispose of the rest to such people as they prefer. Thus the Island will grow wealthy and prosperous and will be a security to the whole of the Leeward Islands.
1,756. B. Next as to the support of the Government. The King's Government should be properly supported, for what is more dishonourable than that the King's Governors should be yearly beggars, and often to no purpose, as in Nevis for four years past? Few who have estates are willing to contribute to the public service. Governors are too likely to descend to practices beneath them if dependent on the public benevolence; and it is not and ought not to be expected that they will serve the King with integrity on such terms. Proper salaries could induce competent men to be Lieutenant-Governors. This is an old evil, and calls loudly for redress. (2.) Sixpence an acre rent should be reserved on all the French lands, to be paid to the Crown. The burden would be trifling and the revenue would amount to £700 a year. (3.) Three-pence an acre should be reserved on English lands, which would bring in £400 a year. (4.) Undestroyed houses in Basseterre should be rented at half the yearly value. This will bring in £1,200 a year. (5.) All who re-build houses in Basseterre should pay some yearly rent to the King, if no more than £1 a year. (6.) The salt ponds should be reserved to the King. Persons to whom liberty to gather salt is granted should pay one penny for every bushel exported, which trivial impost would bring in some hundreds of pounds yearly. It would be of great profit to the King to purchase slaves and make salt, but I do not advise it, for the land round the salt ponds is barren and the salt alone attracts poor people there; so if the privilege were withdrawn the district would be deserted and two or three good companies of men lost. These reservations would bring in £3,000 a year, a sum sufficient to pay the salaries of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governors and the contingent expenses of Government. (8.) Two of the best plantations near the town should be set apart for the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. This has been altogether neglected in the Islands, for there is no home or plantation set apart for them, which is a great inconvenience to visitors from England, for house-keeping is dear in these parts. (9.) These plantations would greatly lessen the expense of living, and would in time be more valuable than the yearly presents. Thus the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors would live well, without any dependence on the people. (10.) To bring their plantations to perfection would require a hundred good working slaves for the Governor and fifty for each Lieutenant-Governor, with cattle and all other matter; so that the King must for the present continue the Governor's salary. The increase of value will of course be slow, but the people will help in so good a work, as it will free them in time from all expense in the Governor's account. (11.) These Plantations should be demised by the King to the Governor and Deputy-Governors for the time being, with obligations inserted to repair defects. On the entrance of a new Governor a valuation should be made, and the Council should have instructions to see the valuation made good annually. (12.) Convenient buildings for the Council, for a gaol and for other purposes should also be built in Basseterre.
1,756. C. (1.) Next as to the encouragement of God's service, and the promotion of works of charity and piety. (2.) The Island should be divided into five parishes, a place should be appointed for a church, when the inhabitants can build it, and 80 or 100 acres of land near it should be set apart for glebe, which the minister can work or let as he thinks best. (3.) But if the parishoners advance four or five years of their annual gifts to the minister and purchase slaves or works to be annexed to the glebe, the parish would be free from all burdens on the minister's account. (4.) The Friary at Capesterre being a convenient building should be set apart as a free school, and 175 acres of land annexed to it, not only for stock and provision, but for a plantation, which, with help from the Assembly or inhabitants, would soon become an endowment. (5.) The profits of this plantation should go for payment of masters in English and French (for the encouragement of French Protestants), Latin and Greek, arithmetic and navigation. (6.) Only poor children should be educated there gratis, that the masters may require smaller salaries and a larger sum be at hand for the maintenance of poor children. (7.) A house should be set apart at Basseterre as a hospital for sick or wounded soldiers, strangers or others that cannot maintain themselves, and twenty acres of land should be annexed to it, to be farmed by some fitting person who will keep the hospital in good order. (8.) Such a hospital would probably receive donations from the charitable. (9.) These provisions will not only be good for St. Christophers, but an example for all other Islands, who will, for instance, probably copy the system for maintenance of the Lieutenant-Governor. Nor do I think that the Assemblies would quarrel with the arrangement if proposed by the King, with the assurance that their grant should be appropriated to that service only. There still remains the question of the establishment of Courts of Judicature, but this lengthy subject I defer for the present. I have only to add that it would be of great service if the King would consent to confirm an Act exempting the people from all suits for debt for three years, except in cases where the creditor can prove himself to be a greater object of charity than the debtor. Signed. Chr. Codrington. 12 Sept., 1691. 9 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 11 Jan., 1691. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 4. Nos. 5, 5 I. II., and 44. pp. 30–43, and 52–95.]
Sept. 15.
1,757. William Blathwayt to the Commissioners of Transport. 150 of the recruits for Bolton's regiment are to be embarked on the convoy for the West Indies, so passage for but 270 will be required on board the merchant vessels. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. p. 420.]
[Sept. 15.]1,758. Criticism of the Agents for Massachusetts on the draft Charter of 6 September (see No. 1,737). On p. 18 grants of land defective as to form are confirmed to private persons only. This will upset the whole Colony, for most of the towns have been erected by such conveyances. On p. 22 occurs the expression "corporal oath." In New England people have scruples as to swearing on the book. Their custom is to swear with uplifted hand. On p. 29 it is begged that a clause may be added empowering the General Court to incorporate schools of learning. On p. 31 the power to grant lands in Maine is taken away by a clause forbidding land to be granted between Piscataqua harbour and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which is within those limits. Either the restraint may be omitted altogether, for it will retard the settling of Nova Scotia, or the limitation should be begun at Kennebec River instead of Piscataqua harbour. On p. 36 the imperfect clause as it stands would render New England incapable of building ships and would rob many of their property. There is timber enough to build navies on unappropriated land. It is proposed that the names of the first Governor, Sir William Phips, or at least of the first deputy Governor, William Stoughton, and of the Council and Secretary may be inserted. 1¼ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 15 Sept. from Mr. Mather. Read 16 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 192; and Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXII., pp. 296, 297.]