America and West Indies
October 1698, 21-25

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

J. W. Fortescue (editor)

Year published

1905

Pages

485-510

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: October 1698, 21-25', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 16: 1697-1698 (1905), pp. 485-510. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70983 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

October 1698

Oct. 21.Order for a proclamation for collecting the records dispersed at the late fire, and for sorting and listing them. The report of the Committee as to the causes of the fire was referred to the Attorney-General. Leave was given to William Randolph to resign the Attorneyship-General at the close of the present General Court.
Oct. 22.Richard Lee was sworn Collector and Naval Officer for Lower Potomac, and Gawin Corbin to be Collector for Rappahannock. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 142–146.]
Oct. 21.
New York.
914. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. My last were of the 14th and 21st ult. by the Henry, frigate, which sailed on the 23rd ult. On the 6th Captain Schuyler returned from Canada with a letter from the Governor. Copies of this, of Captain Schuyler's Journal and of the Minutes of a Council held at his return, are enclosed. You will see from these that the French have given over their design of invading our Indians for the present. I send copy of Colonel Van Cortlandt's information against the goods of Mr. Van Sweeten, formerly seized by my order, and Van Sweeten's confession of judgment thereon. This is further evidence that the ship Fortune was an unfree bottom bringing East India goods. I send also the deposition of Mr. Ludlow, as to a quantity of East India goods which were brought to him for concealment. This confirms former information that the Sheriff, Willson, was concerned in that concealment, goods to the same value having been in his house before I sent to seize Van Sweeten's, which was the reason why I could not trust him to make the seizure, and was obliged to send the Lieutenant-Governor and soldiers to rescue the search-party. You will observe how little Willson regarded his oath as Sheriff. Brooke, the late Collector, was, I am morally certain, privy to Willson's concealment of the goods aforesaid. I sent a certificate of several most extravagant grants of land by Colonel Fletcher, and a map of the province will be delivered to you by Lieutenant Hunt. It is the exactest yet made, I believe, and it shows the several tracts granted, with the grantees' names; from which you will see that in effect the whole province is granted away to about thirty persons, to the great prejudice of the Crown, for at that rate this province (the most considerable and which ought to be the best regulated on the continent) can never be well peopled. Men will not care to become base tenants to proprietors in this province when they can buy the fee-simple of land in the Jerseys for £5 per hundred acres and, I believe, as cheaply in Pennsylvania. I cannot find that Colonel Fletcher had any power by his Commission to sell lands in this province, yet it is certain that he took money for all his grants except for that of the Mohawks' land, which I cannot find out. Had he reserved a reasonable quit-rent to the Crown in these grants he had been less to blame, but I find that all the rents reserved in his grants are trifles. I beg pardon for bringing the matter of these grants again before you, but I think it of such consequence that I venture to remind you of it in the hope that you will find means to void these extravagant grants, to limit Governors to a certain number of acres in their grants, with a quit-rent of half a crown per hundred acres to the Crown, and to restrain them from selling the lands to the grantees. I should think 1,000 acres a sufficient quantity to grant to any man, for the clearing of the wood costs £4 10s. 0d. per acre all this country over, so that it would count a good purse to manage 1,000 acres, the whole country being under great woods. Yet you will see that Mr. Dellius, besides his share of the Mohawks' land, has at least 700,000 acres of land.
I hear that the gentlemen whom I have suspended from the Council are very confident of being restored, and among the rest Mr. Pinhorne. When the deposition of the Earles was taken and the Earles themselves confronted with Pinhorne there were two material circumstances omitted, namely, first, that they charged him, at the same time that he used scandalous words of the King, with saying that the King of France would save his troops, act defensively that year, tire out the Confederate army, and then come down with a mighty force and devour the King and his allies. This was so like the cant of the Jacobites in England at that time that I confess I was induced to believe this charge to be true. He looked very guilty at the time, and I was confirmed in my belief of his guilt by their accusing him of harbouring one Smith, a papist, in his house for about four months at that period, to which his reply was that the Jesuit had not been in his house above three weeks or a month. Mr. Nicoll, since his suspension for acting as broker between Colonel Fletcher and the pirates, continues to correspond with these profligate people, as John Williamson's depositions, enclosed, will shew you. You will observe also mention of scurrilous words spoken against me by the man and woman of the house, who, being absolute strangers to me, must probably have learned this from Nicoll. I hear that he has told them and others that by my discountenancing piracy I should impoverish and ruin the country. Another deposition of the same Williamson concerns pirates' money, but the most remarkable thing therein is the great care of Colonel Willett, formerly of the Council, to conceal that money from me. One Jones, formerly a pirate, endeavours to clear Colonel Willett, but as his is a negative oath and his character is bad in the country, I cannot credit him. I cannot find that Williamson was under any temptation to forge his accusation against Willett, which is confirmed in great measure by the evidence of others. The whole of the said depositions are enclosed.
On the 28th ult. I suspended Colonels Bayard, Minvielle, Willett and Townley and Mr. Lawrence from the Council, finding it absolutely necessary for the King's service. Though they were such sycophants as to comply with all parts of Colonel Fletcher's malad-ministration, they were always resty and perverse in anything that I proposed for the King's service in Council, while out of Council they were always caballing to make the Government uneasy. I send my reasons, with proofs, for suspending Colonel Bayard, but I have not yet received his answer. I think that these reasons are weighty enough to convince you that I am right in suspending him and the rest; I say the rest because all the accusations against Bayard are chargeable for the most part against the rest, as also against Brooke, Pinhorne and Nicoll. I must, however, exempt Colonel Townley from this. He formerly refused to be of the Council and has never come near it in Colonel Fletcher's time nor mine. He is reputed a Jacobite, and he resides constantly in New Jersey, so I do not know how he comes to be named as a Councillor in Colonel Fletcher's instructions and mine. Besides the reasons which I have given against Bayard and the rest, these gentlemen dissented from me when I proposed that the merchants of this town, when they sent four ships to Madagascar, should give bond not to trade with pirates there. This has made me sick of such Councillors, for how can I trust men who refused to join me in a thing so reasonable in itself and adequate to my instructions? The new Councillors whom I have appointed are Colonel Abraham Depeyster, Robert Livingston, Dr. Samuel Staats and Robert Walters. They are men of good estates and reputation and are well affected. The Government is under no small obligation to Mr. Livingston, for, but for him, the four companies would long since have deserted, there having been due to them £2,500 for their subsistence in Colonel Fletcher's time, which so discouraged the victuallers and others that I could find no one who would subsist them except Mr. Livingston. Purely to serve the Government and avert the disgrace and mischief of the soldiers' desertion he undertook the charge, and there is now almost £4,000 due for victualling, and I have not received any. Sir Henry Ashurst, whom I appointed Agent for the companies, writes to me that he had received no pay nor subsistence for the companies up to the 16th July. I must therefore beg your interest with the paymaster that these companies may be paid and subsisted with the rest of the Army in England, or I shall suffer in my reputation and Mr. Livingston will be discouraged from undertaking the service any longer. These four companies are on the same establishment as the forces in England, so I cannot think how they came to be neglected. I have written to Mr. Weaver to apply for the King's letters confirming the four gentlemen named above to the Council; please comply with this, and he will pay the fees. Mr. Phillips has resigned his place on the Council on the score of age, he being seventy-two; Mr. Lawrence also is superannuated, being eighty-two. Simultaneously with the Councillors I displaced Mr. David Jamison, the clerk of Council. He is a Scotchman by birth and was condemned to be hanged in Scotland for blasphemy and burning the Bible, but the sentence being mitigated he was transported to this province and sold as a servant. He is a profound Atheist and has two wives at this time, unless his true wife is not dead within the last twelve months in Scotland. This man was first above all others in Colonel Fletcher's confidence and favour, and he used to commend him to everybody for the honestest man he ever saw in his life. He has enriched himself by extortion in his office and other works of darkness, but above all by the sale of land-grants given by Colonel Fletcher, he having a share for brokerage. I had no sooner dismissed him than Mr. Clement, who was to come over as my secretary, disappointed me dirtily and stayed behind in England, so that I am unprovided with a Secretary, and found so general a corruption here that I knew not whom to trust. I have so many instances of disaffection to the Government that I shall very speedily send Commissioners all through the province to tender the oaths of allegiance, the test and the association to all people, by which means I hope to secure the fidelity of the wavering. It will also help me to know and discriminate the professed Jacobites, of whom the number in this province is said to be not small.
Some people here are much enraged because Mr. Weaver passed for my friend and because on two or three occasions I employed him as counsel for the King. Willson, the late Sheriff, brought an action against him at the last Supreme Court for saying that Willson was forsworn in returning the members for the last Assembly. The jury, which was packed chiefly of the most violent people in the town, found for Willson with £500 damages. The reason was that, in the vacancy of the Sheriff, the jury was empannelled by the Coroner, one Clark, but counsel on Weaver's behalf have given in such reasons for arrest of judgment that it is believed that the suit is at an end. I could have put in another Coroner, but I thought it fairer not to do so, and I was curious to see how far the malice of the faction might go. They hate Weaver, who has argued smartly against the merchants for illegal trade and factious behaviour. Moreover, at my first coming, several of the merchants tried to bribe him, when he refused their offers with indignation. About three weeks since, the relations of Leisler and Milborne asked leave to take up their bodies from the graves near the gallows and give them Christian burial in the Dutch Church. I consented, partly because I thought the request reasonable, but chiefly owing to the language of the Act of Parliament for reversing Leisler's attainder, of which I enclose a copy. A third motive was that Colonel Fletcher refused to obey the Act by restoring the heirs of these two men to their father's estates, which treatment of it gave his party the boldness to call it a libel, a forgery, and a surreptitiously obtained Act, and even to go to the length of burning it. I, who am a hearty lover of English laws, and value no Englishman who is not, thought it right thus to assert this Act, in the hope of giving the people here a just idea of the English laws, that they bear the stamp of the highest authority and ought to be respected and sacred. There was great opposition made to the burying of these men by the contrary party, but I was resolved to give that satisfaction to their relations. I had no reason to apprehend any disorder from a meeting of Leisler's friends, for I have found them more obedient than the contrary party. There were twelve hundred people at the funeral, it is said, and would have been more but that it blew a rank storm for two or three days together. Signed, Bellomont. Postscript.—22 October. Captain Nanfan has just returned from a Conference with the Five Nations at Albany. I enclose his narrative. I find that several of my proofs against Colonel Bayard have been sent to you before, so I send a list showing which are new and which are old. I have not time to prepare a statement of the revenue and accounts for this ship. The owner is one of those angry men who was concerned in the ship Fortune; he will not oblige me by detaining her, and I am loth to compel him. I shall therefore send them by next conveyance. Eight closely written pages, with a sheet attached, inscribed, Recd. 19th, Read 20th Oct., 1698. Enclosed,
914. I. Copy of a letter from Count de Frontenac to Governor Lord Bellomont. Quebec, 1½1 September, 1698. I should have answered your former letter earlier, had it not been that the arrival of the ships from France was delayed. My despatches from the Court inform me (as I presume have yours) that the Kings, our masters, have resolved to appoint Commissioners to settle any difficult points as to the limits of their dominions. I think, therefore, that before addressing me in the tone of your letters of 13 and 22 August, just received, you should have awaited the decision of those Commissioners, and not have committed yourself to crossing a matter which is already begun and which is, as it were, domestic, since it concerns a father and his children whom the former is trying to lead back to their duty, first by gentle means, but with the resolution to employ measures of greater severity if the first should prove ineffectual. This is a thing which you should regard as wholly distinct from the Treaty of Peace lately concluded. You cannot approach that treaty without showing that, far from cultivating good relations between the two countries, you seem to seek pretexts to infringe upon it. I doubt if you are authorized hereto by the King of England. For my part, I wish to oblige the Iroquois to fulfil a pledge given to me before the conclusion of the treaty, for which they left hostages in my hands. I do no more than follow the way that I have chosen, whereas you desert that which you profess to have followed, for the purpose of preserving good correspondence between the two Crowns, by putting forward new and unfounded pretensions. For you must allow me to say that I am sufficiently well informed as to the sentiments of the Iroquois to be aware that not one of the Five Nations pretends or wishes to be under the dominion of England and that you have no proof to make good such a claim; whereas our evidence, when submitted to the Commissioners, will be so clear and incontestable as to admit of no reply. I am therefore resolved to pursue my way and I beg you to take no steps to cross me, because they will be useless, and all the succour and protection which you say you have given the Iroquois in the past and mean to continue to them, will not turn me from my purpose—rather they will bind me to hasten it. For any sinister consequences that may follow you will be responsible to God and your King, for you will be the only cause of bloodshed. I must tell you that you are misinformed as to outrages committed on the Iroquois by the French and their Indians. It is true that the Ottawas, and in particular the Algonquins, have struck a severe blow at the Onandagas, but that was because that nation as well as the rest refused to make peace with them. They brought back with them five prisoners, whom I took out of their hands in order to save their lives and restore them when their representatives arrive to make peace with me, according to their promise, and to secure peace the better between them and all the French Indians. I have reason to believe that if the Iroquois have not restored to me their prisoners, it is only because you opposed them when they were about to keep their promise. I will restore to them such prisoners as I have here. At the same time I am much obliged to you for your good treatment of the four last Frenchmen that you sent to me. I have given sufficient explanation in the subject of the Acadian Indians, and I have always been apprehensive that, unless their prisoners were returned from their treacherous detention at Boston, they would attempt some attack upon your Colony. I am none the less sorry for the murder of the two men at Hatfield, which you report to me, and I will send them a second order to make them cease from hostilities. But I beg you again to restore their prisoners, on which point you have given me no answer. I answer you with all the freedom and frankness of your own letters, but no one is more sincere than myself in the desire for good correspondence between our nations. Signed, Frontenac. French. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698.
914. II. Colonel Peter Schuyler's Journal of his mission to Canada. 27 August. Left Albany and came to Stony Arabia, where we got our birch canoe ready. 28th. Came to Saratoga. 29th. Got within four miles of the carrying-place, where a Frenchman wished to go with us, but having no pass was refused. 30th. Entered Wood Creek. 31st. Reached the little falls. 1 September. Got four miles into Lake Corlaer. 2nd. Reached Fort Lamotte. 3rd. Arrived at Chambly. 4th. Laprairie. 5th. Montreal, where M. de Callière entertained us very kindly and arranged for our passing to Quebec. 6th and 7th. Detained by bad weather. 8th. Embarked at noon. 9th. Arrived at Quebec and at once delivered Lord Bellomont's letters to Count de Frontenac, who, after reading them, seemed much displeased, saying "Lord Bellomont threatens me, but I am not afraid. "He claims the Five Nations, but they are none of his. "They call me father, and Lord Bellomont brother. "Shall I not chastise them? But if they come to me I "will be a father to them." 10th. Count de Frontenac asked me what was the strength of Lord Bellomont's Government. I answered that I believed he knew that very well, and that Lord Bellomont by common report could raise 100,000 men. He answered that he had always understood so. While we were discoursing, a number of disbanded troops came to apply for their passports to return to France. Count Frontenac asked why Lord Bellomont was so hasty in hindering the Five Nations to come and treat with him, since Commissioners were coming out to adjust the boundaries. I answered that I wondered what made him so hasty to force King William's subjects to come to him, if the said Commissioners were coming out. He replied, "How can the Five Nations be "King William's subjects? They call me father, and "a father is nearer than a brother. When we were at "Senectady in 1666 to fight the Indians, Corlaer "did not protect them, as he would have if they had "been his subjects. On the contrary he gave us meat "and drink and tended our wounded." I replied that there was no need to assist the Indians then, for they were strong enough of themselves, but that Corlaer, thinking it pity to see so many Christians knocked on the head by Indians, diverted the Indians to prevent the effusion of Christian blood and so enabled the French to escape. "Nor," I said, "do I think you can "controvert King William's right to the Five Nations. "It was declared long ago, and manifested in Colonel "Dongan's time by affixing the King's arms to all the "Indian Castles." To this the Count answered nothing, but said "If they do not come in I will pursue my "old method with them." I asked him to despatch me as soon as possible, and he said that he would do so. I then left him. About 2 p.m. he sent for my interpreter. I conjectured what the matter might be, having bidden some of my people drop information that the Lieutenant-Governor was come to Albany with three hundred men, and that 600 more were ready to join him on occasion, and this might have reached the Count's ears. I told the interpreter to go, and Count Frontenac or his cousin began to talk about Lord Bellomont's coaches and horses, etc., but at last asked him if the Lieutenant-Governor was at Albany with forces? The interpreter seemed to be surprised at the question, and asked the Count how he came to know it, since he had interpreted no such thing. The Count replied that he had heard it from an English prisoner, who had heard it in the interpreter's room (as I had designed); and the interpreter then told him the whole story. 11th. Count Frontenac invited me to dine with him next day. 12th. I dined with the Count. A great many officers were present, this being the day for proclaiming the peace. At table the Count gave King William's health, which was drunk by all the officers, whereupon I gave the French King's health; the Count then gave Lord Bellomont's health, and then peace was proclaimed with all possible acclamations of joy; the castle fired salutes, and the night ended with illuminations. When taking leave I asked that I might be despatched next day. 13th. Received my letter, but was unable to start owing to foul weather. 14th. Left Quebec, and on the 16th reached Trois Rivières, where we heard that the Sachems of the Five Nations were come to Montreal, which surprised us much. We were also told that Count de Frontenac designed to send the Sachems who came to treat with him as prisoners to France, unless they complied with him. I therefore resolved go to Montreal to hear what propositions they might make, in the hope of exerting some influence on them. This took me 36 leagues out of my way, as I was returning by way of Sorel. 18th. Reached Montreal and to my great joy found that the report of our Sachems' coming was quite false. Stayed three days, the weather being bad. 22nd. Got to Laprairie by land, and sent the canoe to meet me at Chambly. 23rd. Met the canoe on the way to Chambly. A French Maqua Sachem followed me and bade me tell the Five Nations that if the Governor of Canada attacked them none of their Indians would join him, and that they would give them warning if he should attempt it. 24th. Left Chambly. The French Maqua followed me in order to speak with me apart from the French officer who was sent with me. Indians were forbidden to come to my lodging at Montreal, but I found means while walking abroad to speak with them. The Maquas promised faithfully to return if Lord Bellomont would provide them with good teachers to instruct them in the Christian faith, that being the only inducement which drew them away to Canada. I was informed that the French had sent 100 men with live cattle to Cadaraqui. The merchants of Canada have received an order from the Governor for the recall of all the bush-lopers or Ottawa-traders. Eighty of them obeyed but sixty positively refused to obey, but persisted in their trade and resisted Count de Frontenac's messengers with arms in their hands. This order is obtained in favour of the merchants, so that the Ottawa Indians should come down to Montreal themselves to trade instead of the bush-lopers going to Ottawa to fetch the beaver. I found the French garrisons weakly manned, many officers and men having been dismissed. In Chambly Fort there were not above twelve. There may be between three or four hundred French inhabitants and soldiers in all Canada and about 1,000 Indians whom they can command. Certified copy. 2½ pp. Endorsed as No. I.
914. III. Copy of the Minutes of Council of New York, 6 October, 1698. As to the account given by John Schuyler and his interpreter of their mission described in No. II. 1 p. Same endorsement.
914. IV. Information of Stephen van Cortlandt. Giving evidence as to the illegal introduction of East India goods into New York by the ship Fortune and as to the foreign build of that ship. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698. Read 1 March, 1698–9.
914. V. Copy of bills of appraisement of the East India goods seized at Mr. van Sweeten's house. Total value, £130 15s. 0d. 1 p. Endorsed as No. IV.
914. VI. Deposition of Gabriel Ludlow, taken 15 October, 1698. As to the landing of certain East India goods from Long Island, which were accounted for and disposed of by Ebenezer Willson, sheriff of New York. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. IV.
914. VII. Account of certain grants of land made by Governor Fletcher. A grant to Godfrey Dellius of a tract measuring 86 miles by 12 miles; a grant to the same with four others of 50 miles by 2 miles. A grant to Peter Schuyler and one other of a tract of 20 miles by 4 miles. A grant to Henry Beekman of a tract of 20 miles by 4 miles. Grants to Caleb Heathcote of a tract of 20 miles by 5 miles; to John Evans of a tract of 45 miles by from 16 to 30 miles; to Nicholas Bayard of a tract about 40 miles square. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. IV.
914. VIII. Deposition of John Williamson, taken 10 September, 1698. As to threats of violence used in Long Island in case Lord Bellomont sent thither to search for contraband goods, and as to the consorting of William Nicoll recently with known pirates. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. I.
914. IX. Deposition of the same, taken 10 September, 1698. As to the sending of a barrel of gold, silver and plate by Thomas Willett to Thomas Jones in Long Island for safe custody, since Lord Bellomont was searching for prohibited goods. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698. Read 13 March, 1698–9.
914. X. Deposition of Benjamin Thurston, taken 12 September, 1698. That he had heard Williamson speak of the treasure sent by Colonel Willett as described in No. IX. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as No. IX.
914. XI. Deposition of Daniel Thurston, taken 12 September, 1698. As to having seen the barrel of gold and silver, alluded to in No. IX., in a waggon on the way to its destination. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as No. I.
914. XII. Deposition of Sheriff John Harrison, taken 14 September, 1698. That he had seen the same barrel of money on the ferry going from New York to Long Island, and had heard that it was afterwards shipped away. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. I.
914. XIII. Deposition of Anthony Walters, taken 14 September, 1698. That he carried this same barrel of money from the shore on Long Island to Thomas Jone's house. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. I.
914. XIV. Deposition of Daniel Whitehead, taken 15 September, 1698. That the barrel of money remained at his house one night, being brought and removed again by Anthony Walters. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as No. I.
914. XV. Deposition of Thomas Jones. 15 Sept., 1698. That Thomas Willett did bring him a letter, as testified by other witnesses, but that this letter had no reference to a barrel of money or to a search ordered by Lord Bellomont for prohibited goods. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed as No. I.
914. XVI. Reasons given by Lord Bellomont for the suspension of Nicholas Bayard from the Council. (1) In breach of his trust and oath he advised Governor Fletcher, contrary to the Royal Instructions, to permit alteration of the value of coin in the province and to proclaim the currency of dog-dollars, a base and foreign coin. (2) He connived at the illegal loading and unloading of several ships at New York. (3) He connived at Governor Fletcher's grant of commissions to notorious pirates who made no secret of their designs, compounded with Governor Fletcher for grant of protection to pirates, receiving a reward for the same, obtained permission for pirate-ships to enter at New York and connived at Governor Fletcher's acceptance of a present of the pirate-ship in consideration of the same. (4) He advised Governor Fletcher's frequent misapplication and embezzlement of public moneys. He accepted extravagant grants of land, part of it being the property of our staunchest Indian allies, the Maquas, and (5) connived at the grant of other extravagant grants of land. (6) He advised Governor Fletcher to take the field to overawe elections and nominate representatives, using threatening language to accomplish the end. (7) He connived at Governor Fletcher's neglect to defend the frontier. (8) He advised the printing of a scandalous and malicious pamphlet concerning the troubles at the Revolution, designing to stir up sedition and abet Governor Fletcher's wicked designs against those that were active in the Revolution. (9) He confederated with several disaffected people to address Colonel Fletcher, soon after Lord Bellomont had issued his warrant for the seizure of the ship Fortune, to thank him for his administration, and upbraided Lord Bellomont for discouragement of trade. (10) He conspired against Lord Bellomont's government by raising reports of false charges against him, to the disturbance of the Government. Signed, Bellomont. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698. Read 12 Jan., 1698–9.
914. XVII. Extracts from the minutes of Council of New York, 23 and 25 March, 1693. Containing orders for altering the value of coin and giving currency to dog-dollars. Copy. 1 p.
914. XVIII. Extracts from the Minutes of Council of New York, 28 September and 29 November, 1693. Containing orders as to the purchase of provisions by a Dutch ship. Copy. 1 p.
914. XIX. Copy of a letter from the Attorney-General of New York to Governor Lord Bellomont, 28 April, 1698. After enquiry as to Edward Coates's ship from the Red Sea, I find that after hovering some time about the east end of Long Island one Edward Taylor was landed, who through the mediation of Mr. Nicoll obtained access to Governor Fletcher and permission for the ship to come in to New York. It was afterwards arranged that Governor Fletcher, for certain gratuities, should give such of the crew as remained his protection. The ship was fitted from this port in Leisler's time. Signed, Ja. Graham. Copy. 1 p.
914. XX. Copy of another letter of the same to the same, of 4 May, 1698. Testifying to the encouragement given by Governor Fletcher to the pirates Tew and Hore. 1½ pp.
914. XXI. Deposition of John and Hannah Hutchins. Already abstracted. See No. 860 I.
914. XXII. Extract from Minutes of Council of New York. 2 February, 1693. Containing an order for granting Governor Fletcher £1,300 from the revenue in reinbursement of the expenses of his passage from England. ½ p.
914. XXIII. Extract from Minutes of Council of New York. 6 September, 1692. Containing an order appointing Daniel Honan Accountant-General of the province, with salary of £50 a year. ½ p.
914. XXIV. Extract from Minutes of Council of New York. 13 and 19 October, 1692. Containing orders for a new election for New York city and county, and the Council's advice for the Governor to be personally present at the election. ½ p.
914. XXV. Deposition of Peter Bockhout. 2 June, 1698. As to Governor Fletcher's interference with words and blows in the election at New York in 1692. ½ p.
914. XXVI. Deposition of Jonas Tomes, a centinel of Colonel Fletcher's company. 2 June, 1698. To the effect that he and several other soldiers were brought into the election-field by Governor Fletcher's order to intimidate the electors at an election in New York. ½ p.
914. XXVII. Extract from Minutes of Council of New York. 4 March, 1698. Containing an order for the printing of a pamphlet with an account of the late transactions in the province. ½ p.
914. XXVIII. Copy of the address of certain inhabitants of New York to Governor Fletcher, thanking him for his administration. 1 p.
914. XXIX. Certificate of James Graham and Robert Livingston that Nicholas Bayard was privy to certain accusations against Lord Bellomont. 27 October, 1698. Copy. ½ p.
914. XXX. Copy of the Act of Parliament for reversal of Leisler's attainder. Printed. 2 pp. Endorsed as No. IV.
914. XXXI. Minutes of a Conference held by Lieutenant-Governor Nanfan and others with the Sachems of the Five Nations at Albany, 8 October, 1698. An Onandaga spoke first, as follows. Some time since, the Governor of Canada sent us two messengers calling upon us to send each nation a Sachem with our prisoners to Canada, in order to receive back our prisoners from them and to conclude a peace. We answered that peace had already been concluded between England and France, and that we had renewed our covenant with the Governor of New York. We also sent messengers with this intelligence to New York, who brought us an order to hold no correspondence with the French. We then sent word back to Canada that we should not come by way of Cadaraqui but by way of Albany, and we have accordingly appointed our messengers except the Maquas, who are still unresolved, and we have brought with us six French prisoners. We beg the Governor to appoint a fit person to go with us to Canada to witness our proceedings, for we have not yet decided what proposals we shall make there. We told our messengers to Canada to await us at Montreal, as we would not go to Quebec. The Senecas have resolved not to go out against their enemies the Dewogannaes until the return of the Sachems.
Answer of the Lieutenant-Governor. You have done well to bring in your prisoners and to hold no correspondence with Canada. Captain Schuyler is returned from Canada to New York and will bring the Governor's instructions here within three days. Then I will tell you further, and meanwhile do not be terrified at the threats of the Governor of Canada, but rely on the protection of our Great King.
Further Conference held on the 15th October, 1698. The Lieutenant-Governor told the Indians that, considering the length of their journey and the bad weather, he would detain them no longer than to hear Captain Schuyler's account of his mission to Canada. Captain Schuyler then described to them, confirming it with a band of wampum. The Lieutenant-Governor then dissuaded them from a journey to Canada, contrary to their late agreement, saying that the Governor would soon force Count de Frontenac to restore the Indian prisoners, whom they would probably find arrived on their return to their castles. He then said that he would take the French prisoners into his custody and condoled with the Onandagas for the loss of two principal Sachems.
Renewed Conference of 17 October, 1698. One Sachem spoke on behalf of all the Indians, as follows. We are well satisfied with your advice and with Captain Schuyler's report, and we deliver our French prisoners to your custody. We shall now return home, holding firm to the covenant chain and throwing ourselves wholly upon you. If any of our young men are gone out to avenge our warriors who have been killed since the peace, are we to recall them?
The Lieutenant-Governor applauded their resolution and bade them recall any young men who had gone out on the war path, as Lord Bellomont would exact satisfaction from Count de Frontenac for any hostilities committed by the French since the peace. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698; Read 1 March, 1698–9. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 12, 12 I.–XXXI.; and (without enclosures), 53. pp. 121–134.]
Oct. 21.915. Abstract of Lord Bellomont's letter of this date. 2¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 13.]
Oct. 21.916. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Order for a day of public thanksgiving for the abatement of the late sickness and disquiet in the province. Thomas Tench appointed Admiralty Judge of the eastern as well as the western shore, and the commissions of the officers enlarged accordingly. Order for arrest of James Brains for reflections cast on the Government. Order for arrest of the Reverend George Tubman for bigamy. The Governor proposed that the proceedings against Philip Clarke at the late Provincial Court be communicated to the House of Delegates to warn them against him. Agreed to lay the Council of State's letter of 21 March, 1698, and the Jamaica Act for pirates before the Delegates. William Dent appointed Attorney-General in place of George Plater resigned.
Oct. 22.Thomas Meryweather made his report of his late journey with letters to Sir E. Andros, when Sir Edmund evaded giving him any answer. Arrangements made for the reception of Governor Blakiston. Captain James Brains was brought up, and the depositions against him were read; when he denied using the words attributed to him, saying if he did use them he was in drink. The matter was referred to the law-officers. Thomas Tench and the officers of the Admiralty Court were sworn. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 639–644.]
Oct. 22.917. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. The House met, having been prorogued for want of members on the 18th; and the Speaker and Delgates attended the Governor, who made them a speech, appointing a day of thanksgiving for the abating of the sickness and the end of the late commotions. He then delivered several papers, including letters from the Council of Trade, papers relating to the cool springs, and copies of Coode's and Slye's articles against him. He then said that he could not understand why they wanted to have their Clerk sworn to secrecy, and that it was very unparliamentary for them to order their Speaker to keep a journal, though they might themselves transcribe the proceedings at their pleasure; he was, however, willing that both Council and Delegates should be sworn to secrecy, to prevent false stories and reports. Finally he asserted that all his endeavours had been for the good of the Colony. Two Councillors produced a commission for Christopher Gregory to be Clerk, upon which he was sworn and admitted. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 297–300.]
Oct. 22.918. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. Petition as to Rangers considered. The Governor proposed to the Delegates that Christopher Gregory should be their Clerk; of whom they approved, but refused to swear him until he should have taken the oath of secrecy. Speech of the Governor to the Delegates. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 347–352.]
Oct. 22.919. Minutes of Council of New York. Robert Livingston's and other accounts from Albany and Colonel Romar's accounts were referred to a Committee. Sundry petitions dealt with. Order for payment of £20 to Augustine Graham for making a map of the province. Order for inspection of the beds of the soldiers of the Lieutenant-Governor's Company. The Lieutenant-Governor produced his conferences with the Indians at Albany, which were approved. The Governor and Council gave him their thanks. Sundry petitions dealt with and accounts referred to a Committee. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 156–158.]
Oct. 23.
Barbados.
920. Governor Grey to Council of Trade and Plantations. I should earlier have reported my arrival and what has passed since, had not indisposition, due to the change of climate, disabled me from meeting the Council and Assembly as often as I intended. I adjourned them, at their own request, for longer than I should have, owing to a distemper in the town. Hence little business had been done beyond prolonging the Excise Act for two months, passing an Act to ascertain the privileges of the Assembly, and another Act for the printing of the laws, which for that purpose have been collected and supervised. I send states of the stores in the magazine and forts, and as soon as corn-harvest and caneplanting is over I hope to take a general review of the forces. Mr. Sharpe, the Commissioner of Customs here, complains to me that European goods, not from England, and foreign enumerated commodities are frequently run into bays and creeks here, where no officer is provided, also that vessels, cleared from the Custom-house here with little or no cargo, lie off the island and are further loaded by small vessels with goods which are carried to foreign markets. Since there is but one small wherry and four watermen allowed to the Custom-house here, they cannot always be out to prevent it. What we need is a light vessel of twelve or fourteen guns, to be always ready upon any intelligence of such attempts. This would contribute to the advancement of the Customs and would trebly pay the charge of the vessel. Signed, R. Grey. P.S.—I omitted to say that Mr. Sharpe has been very vigilant in discovering the landing of prohibited merchandise, and though he may thereby have gained the ill-will of some merchants here who find their account in such unlawful practices, yet I think he should be countenanced. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 20th Dec., 1698. Enclosed,
920. I.–II. Accounts of Stores in the Magazine at Barbados, 22 August, 1698. 4pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698.
920. III. Account of the Ordnance, arms, stores, etc., in the forts at Barbados. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. Nos. 71, 71 I.–III.; and (without enclosures), 44. pp. 228–232.]
Oct. 24.
New York.
921. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. This is to give you an account of the state of the frontier and fortifications. Colonel Fletcher when he was here valued himself very much to me on the defence of our frontiers. It was happy for him and the province that the frontier was never attacked, and one would think that the Governor of Canada was not aware until lately of the weakness of the garrisons. If by Providence last winter had not been the severest within the memory of man, the French had certainly destroyed both Albany and Senectady. I am well informed that they were prepared for it at Montreal, having in readiness 1,500 pair of raquettes or snow-shoes, 140 small boats and 250 canoes, but the snow being deeper than the height of a man, they dared not execute their design. Albany and Senectady are equally defenceless, having only a single row of stockades without ditch or wall, so that any hardy enemy may come and single out with their muskets such men as they please, for I observed many spaces in the stockades, and they are even with the surface of the ground. If the French had attacked Albany last winter with half the number of men that they had provided at Montreal, they could not (humanly speaking) have failed to take it, though I do not think they would have thought it worth keeping. The plunder they would have had, but it was not that but the Five Nations that were their object, and it is more than probable that those would have revolted to them upon such a loss and disgrace. God be thanked for the province's escape. You will have seen two addresses, printed together with the conferences with the Indians, which were presented to me by the inhabitants of Albany and Senectady. Therein they earnestly desired the building of good defensible forts. Colonel Romar has been at great pains to view both these places and prepare estimates for two stone forts with barracks, and he reckons the charge for both at £9,000. He is returning in H.M.S. Deptford, and will submit his plans to you, as they were projected if he had not been recalled. When the £9,000 will be obtained I know not, for the Assembly will never be brought to continue the present revenue and raise this sum for forts in addition. This city and country are rich, as is Long Island, for they lie convenient for trade, but the inland parts of the province are poor. In my next letter I shall propose a fund for building these forts, and I beg you to obtain orders for them to be begun next spring. Pray also let Colonel Romar be sent out again, for I have a high opinion of his honesty, and I shall do my best that neither he nor anyone else shall "make a hand of building those forts." It is wonderful to me that he is recalled when he has scarce had time to view the frontiers, and had made yet no report home of their condition. If such forts are built and well garrisoned the French will never make any impression in the province, and it would be the surest way of securing the Five Nations to us, for they are as sensible of our weakness as we are. Good forts as retreats for them and for us would animate them and engage them to us. There have been formerly two or three forts more advanced towards Canada than Albany and Senectady, but in my opinion they are superfluous. If these two places were fortified it would be enough. They are well situated, Albany for covering the provinces from attack from the side of Canada, Senectady for doing so likewise in part and for covering the Indians, being commodiously seated on the Mohawk River and far more pleasantly than Albany. When I speak of the advanced forts as superfluous, I mean, of course, in time of peace. In time of war it would be most necessary to fortify Canestagione and the Half-Moon with sod-works and stockades; but that can be done upon occasion. Signed, Bellomont. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 20th December, 1698. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 14; and 53. pp. 138–141.]
Oct. 24.
Boston.
922. Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton to Council of Trade and Plantations. In a letter of 25 July last I advised the agents of the pretensions of the French to the fishing ground in the high seas about the coast of Acadia or Nova Scotia, which have even from the discovery and first settlement of this country been used by the King's subjects as their just right and privilege until this time, when the captain of a French ship-of-war meeting with some of our fishermen on the coast signified to them that he had orders from the French King to guard that coast and to make prize of all English vessels fishing in those seas. Our agents were instructed to acquaint you hereof and to secure for the King's subjects the benefit of the fishery as heretofore, which I presume they have done. I have since received further information on the matter, and as to the peremptory challenge of the French to the right of this fishery, as also to extend their boundaries in the mainland to the Kennebec, as the enclosed letter from Mons. Villebon to myself will show you. It is the Council's advice that this matter, being of so great importance, be laid before you forthwith, this being, presumably, the season for asserting our ancient boundaries and rights of fishery, against the meeting of the Commissioners of the two Crowns to settle the rights and pretensions of both parties to the places situated in Hudson's Bay. Mr. John Nelson, a gentleman of great knowledge and experience as to Nova Scotia, its past history and the utmost bounds to westward claimed by the French, has communicated to us some memorials which he has laid before you. He particularly represents that the utmost boundary of the French to westward never extended beyond the eastern bank of St. George's river, and that only by the Treaty of Breda, before which all the country was in possession of the English. He also sets forth the ancient right of the English to the fishery. Copies of these memorials are enclosed to you, and we beg your particular attention to that dated from Paris, 26 January, 1698, shewing the fatal consequences of any concession to the claims now advanced by the French. The arguments seem to be very weighty, and it may be added that if a large part of the province now claimed by the French be yielded to them, many English subjects will lose their ancient rights and settlements, acquired both by grant from the Crown and by purchase from the natives, which they have improved at great labour and expense, building several towns thereon. There are moreover so many large and commodious harbours on that coast that in case of an eruption with France, the French would have great advantages to annoy if not ruin the navigation of this country. It would also deprive the King's subjects of their fishery here, on which they have so great dependence. I have acquainted Lord Bellomont of this application to you and have asked him to second it, which I hope he will do by next ship, and I hope that you will take early care to assert our rights and to resist the pretensions of the French. We cannot expect to enjoy peace and quiet while the French are so near and persist in these unjust pretexts. Signed, Wm. Stoughton. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd Dec., 1698. Enclosed,
922. I. The French Governor of Acadia to Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton. St. John's River, 5 September, 1698 (N.S.). I send this by Mr. David Bassett whom I have detained here since last year, and whom the King has pardoned for all that he has done against us on condition of his settling here. I am sure therefore that you will allow him to return and let him make an end of his business without molestation, as I should do in a similar case. I am much surprised, in view of my request as to our Indians who are prisoners in your hands, that you have made no answer, and persist in detaining them. I shall say no more of it than to refer you to my last letter on the subject. I am told that you have several fishermen on our coasts, and that you allow your people to trade with the French settlements. I warn you that I shall order all English engaged in such fishery or trade to be seized, for you have no ground for not knowing that this is absolutely forbidden by the Treaty which you yourself sent me, the more so since Mons. de Bonaventure has already this year sent back to you some of your fishing boats, with information that if they return to the fishery and trade aforesaid they will be made prize. I have orders from my King to observe the Treaty of Neutrality concluded in 1686. I have also special instructions to maintain the boundaries between ourselves and New England, that is to say from the Upper Kennebec to its mouth, the course of the river being free to both nations. I doubt not that you will conform thereto and will forbear in future to treat the Indians settled there as your subjects, in order to avoid regrettable consequences. Signed, Le Ch?lter de Villebon. Original. French. 2 pp. Translation on the opposite page. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698.
922. II. Copy of John Nelson's memorial to the Council of Trade, of 2 November, 1697. See No. 21.
922. III. Copy of a letter from John Nelson to Council of Trade and Plantations. Paris, 26 January, 1698. What I have learned since my stay here confirms me in my opinion of the necessity for asserting our rights as to the fishery off Nova Scotia and of inserting special clauses to safeguard them. The French will endeavour, and will entrust their Commissioners, to claim the Kennebec as their boundary with New England, on pretext that, the river being the largest and best known in these parts, they will be able to restrain the Indians from passing such a boundary to make incursions on us. To concede such a claim would be as fatal to the prosperity of our Colonies as the surrender of Nova Scotia by the Treaty of Breda. The Indians referred to, being our greatest enemies, will be encouraged against us rather than otherwise if made over to the French, for they will interpret the concession as due to weakness on our part. If the French wish to restrain the Indians, nothing is more easy than to keep them within their former limits, namely St. George's river, the ancient boundary fixed in Sir Thomas Temple's patent. If the French claim be conceded, the following will be the consequences. (1) We shall lose four or five of our best fishing-harbours. (2) The river, being much larger than Piscataqua, will furnish a perpetual supply of naval timber after Piscataqua is exhausted. (3) The goodness of the land and the convenience of the situation render it advantageous for us to re-establish the settlement. We could then regain the Indians, for we give them better prices for their peltry and supply them cheaper than the French; indeed, we should never have lost the Indians but for the mismanagement of some among us, which gave the French an advantage and enabled them at last to stir the natives to war against us. I say that they can be regained, for they understand their own interest as well as other people. As to the fishery off Cape Sable, the French will obstruct us if they can, and nothing but a vigorous assertion of our rights will save us. But I shall not repeat what I have said on this point. I hope to be in London three weeks hence. 2¼ pp.
922. IV. Deposition of John Swaty and another. While fishing off Cape Sable we were driven by weather into Chebucto, where we found a French man-of-war. They sent a boat aboard us, brought us off, rebuked us for daring to fish in French waters, and after forty-eight hours' detention dismissed us on 24 September, warning us that if we came again our vessel should be forfeited. Sworn 24 October, 1698. Copy. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Dec., 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. Nos. 37, 37 I.–IV.; and (without enclosures II., III., IV.), 37. pp. 64–73.]
Oct. 24.923. Minutes of Council of Massachusetts. The letters to the Council of Trade (see preceding abstract) and to the Agents respecting the encroachments of the French were read and approved. [Board of Trade. New England, 49. pp. 177–178.]
Oct. 24.924. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Order for supply of provisions to H.M.S. Essex. The report on the revision of the laws was promised for to-morrow, and the report on the draft Ports Act was ordered to be ready at the same time. William Byrd was appointed to be Agent for the Colony in England.
Oct. 25.The Committee drew up their report on the revision of the laws, to the effect that the collection made by the Governor was as effectual and full as could be made.
Oct. 26.The above report was presented. Order for all tobaccos shipped in Virginia to pay Virginia duties, whether brought from other ports or not. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 53. pp. 146–148.]
Oct. 24.925. Journal of House of Delegates of Maryland. A sheriff was sent for to account for the detention of Mr. Philip Clarke in prison, who informed the House that Clarke was under an execution at the King's suit. Resolved to address the Governor on Clarke's behalf.
Oct. 25.Adjourned till to-morrow.
Oct. 26.Address to the Governor. Philip Clarke is detained from the service of this House, which we find by precedent that he ought not to be except for treason-felony or denying surety for the peace. We beg therefore that he be permitted to take his seat. Message from the Governor summoning the House to attend him, when the Governor caused the above address to be read, and then said that he would now see who was for the King and who against him. He then told the House that Clarke had been found guilty of divulging false news under an Act of Assembly, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment; and that whoever tried to deliver him from prison was a rebel. Then saying that he admired how the House could say the prayer in the Litany against sedition and yet act so seditiously, he dismissed them. Moved that the House ought to resent the Governor's words in distinguishing who were for and who against the King, and his words as to the Litany, and resolved that a committee be sent out to show in modest terms the House's resentment thereof. Committee appointed to consider the prosecution of Mr. Clarke's enlargement.
Oct. 27.The House attended the Governor at his summons. The Governor then said that he admired that he had received no answer yet to his message of yesterday, and prorogued them till the following day. The Speaker then prorogued the House.
Oct. 28.The House attended the Governor at his summons, who recommended to them (1) certain letters from the Council of Trade, (2) the matter of rangers, (3) Indian affairs, (4) the Indians at the head of the bay and Lord Bellomont's account of the Indians, (5) concerning the cool spring, (6) the state of the public accounts and his willingness that half of the money in bank should be devoted to easement of the country-dues. Committee appointed to consider as to Mr. Clarke's enlargement, and another committee to examine the whole body of the laws of the province. The committee upon Mr. Clarke's business presented a report, on which it was resolved to present the following address to the Governor. We must again insist upon our privileges and claim the release of Philip Clarke. If you determine and adjudge that a member of the House of Commons in the like case would not enjoy privilege of Parliament, then for the present we will acquiesce, but if not we claim his privilege for him, and deprecate any displeasure of yours at our petitioning for his attendance.
Oct. 29.Yesterday's address sent to Council. Order for preparation of a private bill. Committees of accounts and grievances appointed. Order for sixteen members and the Speaker to be a sufficient number to make a house. Message from the Governor and Council. We cannot immediately give you our opinion as to the privileges of the House of Commons, without mature consideration. We recommend your attention to business, for you cannot be ignorant of the vast expense to which you have put the country. Further message from the Governor, submitting a treaty made with the Indians at the head of the bay and asking as to the desirability of writing to the Governor of New York respecting them. On this the Delegates are of opinion that the Shawanoe Indians have nothing to do with New York, and the Susquehannah Indians are supposed to lie outside the boundaries of Maryland. On a further question the Delegates were of opinion that the Royal Instructions as to liberty of conscience have not been violated by the Roman Catholics in the province. Joint Committee appointed to examine the public accounts, and certain instructions given to them. Petitions of the Rangers postponed until the officers come to town. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 15. pp. 300–315.]
Oct. 24.926. Minutes of Council of Maryland in Assembly. The Governor pointed out that in the charges of Coode, Slye and Clarke it was objected against him that the Roman Catholics had a chapel at St. Mary's, and that he would lay the Royal instruction as to liberty of conscience before the Delegates for their opinion thereon.
Oct. 25.Order for Samuel Watkins's accounts to be sworn to, with the remark that he had made a short entry of a cargo of negroes.
Oct. 26.Message from the Delegates as to permitting a post-entry of the said negroes, agreed to. Address of the Delegates concerning Philip Clarke, on which the Governor remarked that the Speaker had not the manners to wait upon him, though he waited on Clarke, a criminal convicted by a jury. He then summoned the House, which had adjourned, but afterwards attended, when the Governor read the Act on which Clarke was convicted and the depositions against him, told them that he should consider any attempt to procure an illegal release for Clarke as seditious, and discharged them.
Oct. 27.The Governor noticing that the Delegates persist in their heats and broils and will not attend to business, prorogued them for a day. Advised that, if they will not attend to business, they be prorogued and that the Councillors and Rangers be paid.
Oct. 28.In view of the division of the Delegates the Governor recommended but few matters to them (see preceding abstract). Instructions to the Joint Committee on Accounts. Regulations as to marriage-licences to be drafted into a bill. The Governor asked the Council's advice as to the best course to be pursued with the Delegates.
Oct. 29.The Delegates' address as to Philip Clarke received and an answer sent to them. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 14. pp. 352–363.]
Oct. 24.927. Minutes of Council of Maryland. George Plater sworn Naval Officer of Patuxent. Order for the former Naval Officer to deliver the records to him. On the case of Thomas Lovett, whose ship was condemned for breach of the Acts of Trade, it was ordered that if he produce the ship and cargo he may be allowed to buy them at the appointed value, which offer he thankfully accepted. Order for public notice to be given that any informer of a breach of the Acts of Trade shall have a tenth of the prize if condemned. The Governor remitted his share to Lovett on condition that he paid £30 to the poor at the cool springs.
Oct. 25.Petition of James Brains, making his submission, whereupon the Governor, though saying that he was not to be taken by a few fair words, said that he would remit the prosecution. Gerard Slye appeared, as required by his bond, when the Governor said that he complied neither with human nor divine obligations, but that as this was the day of thanksgiving he should be discharged from his bond.
Oct. 26.Order for seizing a pinnace, supposed to belong to one of the King's ships, and for arrest of the men in possession of it. The Attorney-General's draft commission approved. Order for deferring the Court of Appeal.
Oct. 27.Orders as to transcription of the Journals; when, the Journals of the Delegates being produced, it was noticed that the Speaker had prorogued the House after its prorogation by the Governor. The Clerk, on examination, said that the Speaker had moved the House to show their resentment of the Governor's words yesterday concerning disloyalty, sedition, and taking Philip Clarke out of prison. Order for Richard Smith to be brought before the Council. On his coming, he said, in reply to questions, that he was Lord Baltimore's Surveyor-General, whereupon the oaths were tendered to him and he refused to take that of allegiance. He was thereupon fined forty shillings, and committed to custody until payment thereof. Order that the oaths be tendered to all of Lord Baltimore's officers.
Oct. 28.The Reverend George Tubman was brought before Council, when being charged with bigamy he confessed that he had no wife in England, though it was true he had asked for leave to go to England to fetch his wife. The Governor then handed the matter over to the clergy then in town, who reported as follows. There is a woman in England whom Tubman owned as his wife, but he says that he was never married to her. He admits that he has frequented horseracing and has been guilty of drunkenness. We recommend that he be suspended. His suspension was served on him accordingly. Robert Smith summoned to the Council-board.
Oct. 29.Edward Batson was sworn as Clerk of Appeals. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 644–657.]
Oct. 25.928. The case of Nicholas Trott, the elder, late Governor of the Bahamas, in the matter of the ship Fancy alias Charles, Every alias Bridgeman, commander. The said ship anchored 20 leagues from Providence in April, 1696, and sent a message, in the name of Bridgeman of the ship Fancy, for leave to come into Providence, being quite out of provisions, adding that they had done nothing for which they would not answer, and were willing to surrender themselves to the Government. (2) The Governor then called the Council, and it was agreed that the ship should be admitted on every account, nothing being known against her. There were 113 of them besides negroes, and there were not above 60 men in Providence at the time. (3) Even if the people of Providence had been stronger, it would have been necessary to have invited the ship in, for on the 4th April the French had taken the chiefest of the salt-ponds and were meditating an attack on Providence, had they not heard of the arrival of this ship, which had 46 guns. (4) The pirates, after landing, pretended to have been on the Guinea Coast as interlopers, and the people of Providence, knowing nothing of such people, saw no reason to disbelieve them. (5) They kept their own counsel and behaved very well, so that it was only possible, on the suspicion aroused by their plenty of money, to take bond for them on the best security on the Island. No sooner were strangers come who recognised the ship than the Government caused one or two persons, who were said to have information, to be examined, but they could give no information. (6) Seven months after their arrival the Governor of Jamaica wrote that they were Every and his crew, but gave no proof; however, Governor Trott issued a warrant for the arrest of all that could be found. (7) The matter was then referred to the Council, who thought that the bonds already taken were a better security than Providence prison. However, no sooner did the Lords Justices' proclamation appear than the ship was seized, and as many as possible of the men were arrested in the hope that evidence might be found before the Assizes. (8) Meanwhile the owners of the ship, knowing Trott to be a man of some estate, hoped to make up their losses sustained by the said ship, and brought the following charges against him. (i) That he accepted £1,000 from the pirates to admit them. Answer. No time, place or person is specified, so it is impossible to answer such accusations, but Trott absolutely denies the truth of it. The two men upon whose evidence the charge rests were both notorious pirates, one of whom was executed and the other saved his life by turning informer. Their affidavits are inconsistent, contradicted by other witnesses, and in themselves incredible. (ii) That he knew these men were pirates. Answer. How could he know it; and how could he have secured 113 men on suspicion? Supposition is not proof. (iii) That he supposed them to be interlopers. Answer. He did. (iv) That in that case there was no occasion to make a treaty, unless they were pirates. Answer. They were afraid of arrest by an Agent of the African Company. (v, vi) That an interloper would have gone to Europe with her cargo. Answer. She was short of provisions and unsound owing to the worm.
On the importunity of the owners, however, the Proprietors removed Trott from his Government and ordered Captain Webb, his successor, to report on the whole matter. Captain Webb has written to them accordingly, and his letter is so full of justification of Trott that it is here set out in full. Here follow copies of the letter and of a survey of the ship Fancy alias Charles. The whole, 12½ pp. Endorsed, Communicated by Mr. Hill, 25 Oct., 1698. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 2. No. 37.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
929. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. Yours of 8th, 18th, and 25th May, 22 June and 1 July, with their enclosures, have been received, also papers delivered by us to Mr. Weaver. We have been much troubled to hear of your difficulties and commend your zeal. Your advices as to pirates and illegal trade are very useful; we entreat you to continue them. You may pardon Samuel Burgess and Edward Taylor. Notwithstanding Governor Fletcher's protections (which promise only the protection of the law) you will prosecute all pirates against whom you have evidence. Wherever the law enables you, proceed against pirates and suspected pirates. We sent a new Act lately passed concerning a New East India Company, which will resolve your doubts as to trade with Madagascar. As to the settlement made there by Mr. Baldridge, he is one of the most mischievous managers of the pirates' trade; he should be punished if evidence can be procured. We have information that the settlement in Santa Maria was cut off by natives in 1697. Endeavour to ascertain the truth from Baldridge, Moston and others. We enclose you a deposition which may enable you to prosecute Captain Knot, of the New England ship Swift, for illegal trade; also a deposition of Humphrey Perkings as to the voyage of a New York ship, owned by Colonel Depeyster, to Curaçoa. Perkings was master of the ship Frederick, belonging to Frederick Phillips of New York and lately employed in trading with pirates, and he is said to have been himself a pirate. We send you an additional instruction as to the Lieutenant-Governor's salary (see No. 903), also a letter to the Governor of Rhode Island respecting the favour there shown to pirates, which you will forward to him, and the like to the Governor of Connecticut. A copy is enclosed for your information. We have made a representation to the Lords Justices of the State of New York, founded on your letters and enclosures, and shall inform you of the particulars when we receive their orders thereon. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 36–42.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
930. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governor and Council of Connecticut. We have received yours of 27 January last, also Major-General Winthrop's of 1 July. We must repeat our request for authentic copies of your laws, which it is absolutely necessary should be before us. As regards pirates, we observe that in most places execution is needed more than laws. We therefore recommend to you vigilant care for the punishment of such persons, for we observe that they shift from place to place where they think themselves most secure. Many sorts of illegal trade have a great connection with piracy, notably the connivance at the introduction of East India goods, piratically taken, from Madagascar. The resistance to an attempt to seize such goods in Stanford in July last makes us believe that Connecticut is not wholly guiltless of this traffic. You will furnish an exact account of this transaction to us. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 250–252.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
931. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Governor and Company of Rhode Island. We have received yours of 8 May last in reply to ours of 9 February, 1697. We cannot but take note of your delay in replying, since we know by the receipt of one of your officers that our letter remained in your hands for some months unanswered. You send us copies of acts and proclamations in defence of your conduct in relation to pirates, and seem to say that Rhode Island has never countenanced them, adding that William Mayes was cleared from your Custom-house for Madagascar, with a lawful privateer's commission. All this is very well, but for your further justification against aspersions that have been and still are cast upon you, we desire to have copies of all private commissions granted by your Governors or Deputy-Governors during the late war, as also of the bonds given by the said privateers on receiving the said commissions. You report that you have seized two persons, Robert Munday and George Cutter, and their money, and meant to bring them to trial. We wish that you had also seized the other six of their comrades, who were under the same suspicion, and the goods and money that they had with them. You will, however, send us authentic copies of all the proceedings in respect of these two men, from first to last, omitting no particulars whatever, and we expect this from you speedily, for your further justification. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 252–256.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
932. William Popple to Governor Basse. I have communicated yours, dated April, to the Council of Trade. Your proposals for suppression of illegal trade will, I suppose, come under the consideration of the Commissioners of Customs. Your proposal to equalise all duties on commodities in the Colonies by Act of Parliament is too weighty for me to give an opinion on; but knowing that the suppression of pirates is absolutely necessary for the welfare not only of England but of all honest men in the Colonies, I cannot but commend the zeal which you have expressed and feel confident that you will omit nothing which will contribute thereto. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 25. pp. 256–258.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
933. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. The name of Richard Lillington was by mistake written in Governor Grey's instructions as one of the Council of Barbados. It should have been George Lillington, who by reason of this error is incapable to act as Councillor. We recommend that he be reinstated by your authority in his former rank in the Council. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 44. pp. 223–224.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
934. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. That a letter be written to Governor Grey to swear George Lillington of the Council of Barbados and re-admit him to his former precedence therein. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1 Nov., 1698. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 7. No. 72; and 44. pp. 225–226.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
935. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. On the claim of Sir Thomas Laurence to £150 (see No. 863) we report as follows. On the death of Governor Copley on 12 September, 1693, the administration of the Government devolved upon the Council, of which the senior member ought to have presided. Sir Thomas Laurence was the senior member, but at the time lay under suspension, which was taken off by order in Council some months later, as illegal and arbitrary. Upon Governor Copley's death, Sir Thomas was admitted to sit in Council, but Sir Edmund Andros, by ill-grounded use of his commission, took upon him the government of Maryland for the time being, and after a fortnight's stay appointed Colonel Nicholas Greenberry, the fourth in seniority in the Council, to be President. About April, 1694, some time after notice of the annulling of Sir Thomas Laurence's suspension, Sir Edmund Andros came again to Maryland, and staying there a week carried away, by consent of the Council, £500 on account of his salary as Commander-in-Chief, and directed £150 to be paid to Colonel Greenberry as president. On the arrival of Governor Nicholson in July, 1694, the Assembly, to avoid disputes, passed an Act confirming all Sir Edmund's proceedings, except his disposing of the revenue voted for support of government. Thereupon Sir Edmund voluntarily refunded most of the money which he received, and Colonel Greenberry has since given security to refund his £150 when ordered. In strictness, however, Sir Thomas Laurence has no more right to the President's salary than Colonel Greenberry, but considering the injustice of his suspension and that, but for it, he would probably have received the money, we think that in disposing of the money the Governor and Council may regard his claims favourably. Signed, J. Bridgewater, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. pp. 304–309.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
936. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Approving the proposals of the Council of Trade in their representation of 19 October (No. 904) as to the suspension of Councillors, suppression of pirates and annulling of land-grants, and referring back that part which refers to the state of the forces in New York to the Council of Trade for their recommendation of remedies. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26 Oct., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No 15; and 53. pp. 43, 44.]
Oct. 25.
Whitehall.
937. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Referring back the representation of Colonel Fletcher's illegal practices to the Council of Trade, that Colonel Fletcher's defence may be heard, and a report submitted upon the whole matter. Signed, Wm. Bridgeman. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 5th. Read 7th Nov., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 16; and 53. p. 89.]
Oct. 25.938. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Littleton and Mr. Povey attended upon the business of the denizenation of foreigners by Governors.
Three letters and two representations signed.
A paper called the Case of Nicholas Trott was presented (No. 928).
The following letters were received and read: one from Captain Norris of 31 August, two from Mr. Addington of 26 May and 12 July, one from Mr. Usher of 20 June, one from the President and Council of Barbados of 12 July, and three from Sir Edmund Andros of 5 June and 8 July.
Acts of Massachusetts further considered.