America and West Indies
November 1700, 26-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1910

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664-706

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'America and West Indies: November 1700, 26-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 18: 1700 (1910), pp. 664-706. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=71379 Date accessed: 20 August 2014.


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November 1700

Nov. 26.947. Mr. Crown's memorial, relating to the bounds of Nova Scotia and Penobscot, with the lands belonging to it, as expressed in Cromwell's Patent, and the deed of partition. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 26, 1700. 1¾ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 11. No. 27; and 38. pp. 329–331.]
Nov. 26.
Whitehall.
948. Mr. Secretary Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The King commands me to send your Lordships a copy of the agreement lately made by Capt. Munden and Consul Cole with the Government of Algiers. I likewise send you the Dey's letter to His Majesty on that occasion, as well for your information as that you may give such directions as you shall judge proper, to the end all the ships belonging to His Majesty's subjects may be duly furnished with passes before the end of Sept., 1701, to prevent the inconveniences that may otherwise happen to them. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read Nov. 27, 1700. 1 p. Enclosed,
Aug. 22.
Algier.
948. i. Dey of Algiers to the King. The reason of your Majesty's sending the squadron of ships, which arrived in this our Bay a few days since, is, we understand by the Commodore and your Consul, to have the time prolonged for supplying your Majesty's ships with passes. We grant twelve moons to come from this date, and promise in case any of our Captains should presume to molest or bring up any of your Majesty's subjects unprovided of passes before the termination of the twelve moons, that we will, on your Consul's appearing before us, deliver to him ships, men and goods, being previously resolved to maintain inviolably every Article of our Peace. In order thereto I promise for the future that none of our ships shall presume to infringe on the VIII Article of our Peace by going into your channel or otherwise, and if any of our ships now abroad shall have trespassed on that Article, on the Commander's return hither they shall be punished according to the severity your Consul shall desire. Which promise we hope will excuse us from anything heretofore acted by our predecessor contrary to the Articles between your Majesty and us. Dated at our Antient Palace in the Warlike City of Algier, the 17 of the Moon Moloote (Aug. 22). Signed, Mustapha Dey. Copy. 2½ pp.
948. ii. (1) Copy of confirmation of the Treaty with Algier (1682), and the additional articles, Aug. 17, 1700. (1) Confirms in particular the VIIIth. Article. (2) Declares that no passes shall be required from any of the English ships in any part of the world till the last of September, 1701. After that time, if any ship of England be seized not having a pass, the goods in that ship shall be prize, but the Master, men and ship shall be restored and the freight immediately paid to the Master to the utmost value as he should have had if he had gone safe to the Port where he was bound. (3) On the arrival of any of the King of Great Britain's ships of war, an officer of the Government shall immediately attend at the mould all the day time during their stay, to prevent any disorder or misunderstanding happening. Signed and sealed, in Algier in the year of the Haggira, 1112 (Aug. 17, 1700), Mustapha Dey, Mustapha Aga, Ali Pashaw. Copy. 2¾ pp. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. Nos. 76. 76, i., ii.; and 35. pp. 350–356.]
Nov. 26.949. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from the Board of Ordnance, Nov. 19, read. The papers therewith transmitted were laid before the Board. Mr. Edwards presented to the Board a supplemental report relating to Barbadoes in addition to his former report. In explanation of his draughts and reports, he informed their Lordships that he believed the Royal Citadel proposed by him, which he thought ought to be placed at the West End of Bridge Town, towards Bagnal's Point, might cost about 100,000l., and the Fort at Needham's Point, 20,000l. Those two forts, he said, would sufficiently defend Carlisle Bay. Yet he thought it convenient that some slight works should also be thrown up about the Bridge Town. Upon which their Lordships, considering the vast charge of those forts, and the little appearance that it could any wayes be complyed with, returned to him the draughts of the two forts, and desired him to draw others that might be of less charge. Ordered that copies be taken of the other draughts before they be returned to the Board of Ordnance.
Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General, having excused themselves by reason of the business of the Term, ordered that they be desired to call here on Tuesday morning. (See Nov. 21.)
Stationer's Bill and Post Officer's Bill passed and ordered to be placed to the Bill for Incidents, shortly to be laid before the Lords of the Treasury.
Memorial from Mr. Crown, relating to the boundaries of Nova Scotia and Penobscot, read.
Nov. 27.Letter from Mr. Secretary Vernon, Nov. 26, read. Directions given for preparing an answer, as likewise letters to all the Governors of Plantations with copies of the agreement referred to it.
Several letters from Governor Blakiston considered. Directions given for preparing an answer. Secretary ordered to write to Lord Baltimore to give instructions to his agents in Maryland (See Nov. 27, No. 950). [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 252–257; and 97. Nos. 208, 209.]
Nov. 27.
Whitehall.
950. William Popple to Lord Baltimore. The Council of Trade and Plantations having several times given directions to the Governor of Maryland and to Mr. Penn for running the division line between the Provinces of Maryland and Pensylvania in pursuance of the late King James' Order in Council, Nov. 13, 1685, and having lately understood from Col. Blakiston that your Lordship's agents there had declined to meddle therein for want of your orders about it, their Lordships have commanded me to mind your Lordship that you may be pleased to give directions by your agents for the finishing and settling of that so necessary business. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 10. p. 4.]
Nov. 27.951. Minutes of Council of New York. Daniel Toy, one of the land and tide waiters, informing the Council that he and William Sell, another land and tide waiter, had seized the sloop, Bachelor's Delight, John Roberts, master, for breach of the laws, at Oyster Bay, ordered to bring her down to New York for trial in the Admiralty Court.
50l. 10s. 3d., due to John Peterse Melott, blacksmith, for ironwork done in the fort, ordered to be paid to Nicholas Blank, his creditor.
Petition of John Crevitt read and referred.
Upon the petition of the officers in His Majesty's Fort, ordered that John Depeyster, Commissioner of the Customs, provide bedding for the soldiers there.
His Excellency produced the letter of the Council of Trade, Aug. 1, 1700, with the Lords Justice's Order in Council, whereof he had sent a copy to Col. William Smith, the Chief Justice, requiring him to observe it. Payments ordered to Benjamin Fennile, Aaron Bloom, blockmaker, Col. Abra. Depeyster, Isaac Brazier, carpenter, Samuel Phillips, smith, Nicholas Jemain, John Sipkins, — Bondett, Capt. Collvill, Fredrick Phillips, Barent Ryndersen, Isaac de Mill, Thomas Guest, Thomas Parcell, Richd. Willett, Francis Vincent, George Elsewordt, Isaac Depeyster, John Davie, Abraham Kipp, Samuel Staats, for work done and materials and provisions supplied for the Fortune, going for England with timber for His Majesty's Navy. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 386–393.]
Nov. 28.
Whitehall.
952. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Vernon. We are preparing letters to the Governors of all His Majesty's Plantations, with copies of the agreement received Nov. 26, and shall therein direct them to give due notice that all persons concerned provide themselves with Admiralty passes against the end of September. And in the meanwhile, as for merchant ships that may sail out from hence upon voyages where such passes will be requisite, we offer it to your consideration, whether it be not necessary that public notice be given of this agreement, either by proclamation or at least by an advertisement in the Gazette, that they may also furnish themselves with passes, according to their several occasions. Signed, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Math. Prior. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 357, 358].
Nov. 28.
New York.
953. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My last letter was of the 28th of last moneth in the Newport frigat, and gave you an account of the mutiny of the souldiers. The gate of the fort was but shut the moment they attempted to march in, led by Corporal Morris, since shot to death for his mutiny, and with him Robt. Cotterel, who had been an ensign in the late King James' Popish Army in Ireland. The Court Marshal (sic) condemned four to be shot; but I saved Richd. Fleming and Jonathan Wilford. Four of the Members of the Council made part of the Court Marshal, as the Act directs, which we passed this last session against mutiny and desertion; and they were so very timorous, that after they had try'd and condemn'd the above four men to be shot, they were afraid the sentence should be put in execution; and therefore addressed me that the execution should be respited, and at the same time deliver'd me a paper of Reasons. I asked them why they consented to the Act, since they were afraid of its being put in execution. But it seems some of the lawyers here had put it into their heads that in time of peace it was against the law of England to exercise Martial Law, and that they ran a hazard of being ruin'd, if the mutineers suffer'd death by their judgment. The lawyers here they knew very well, I told 'em, broke English laws every day and were disaffected to the present Government of England, and therefore they ought not to give credit to 'em. Besides, I told 'em I was sure those lawyers had no tendernesse towards the criminals, but they hop'd that an impunity to these men would quickly cause another (and a worse) mutiny, and to see the souldiers turn instruments of mischief and confusion, was what the Lawyers here expected and wish'd for. The Act for punishing mutiny and desertion, in accordance with the King's instructions, which we passed here in April or May was twelmoneth, was drawn by Mr. Graham, but when I would have try'd three deserters at Albany, I found it defective, for Mr. Graham has therein referr'd to an Act pass'd in England during the late war for the punishment of those offences, and he has not nam'd the year wherein it pass'd, and the Act for punishing mutiny, etc., in England having been renew'd every session of Parliament, and generally with some variations too, I would not venture to try those deserters by Mr. Graham's act. This last Act pass'd the last session was drawn by Mr. Gouverneur, Speaker, and myself, and we therein followed as near as we could the Act of the 4th and 5th of William and Mary. It was a happiness that it pass'd so seasonably to punish some of the mutineers. I send a list of the Acts we pass'd this last session. One repeals that wch I sent you by the Newport frigat and gives His Majesty a 1,000l. by a land tax, and there being 500l. raised by that wch I then sent home, the King will have the sum I demanded of the Assembly at my coming from Boston, wch was 1,500l. for building a fort at the Onondages' country.
I have not seen Mr. Graham these three moneths; he has been and still is at his house eight miles off, and pretends himself sick, but was not so sick but that he had like to have plaid me a trick, and have lost this mony Act, if I had not been very circumspect. Mr. Graham's talent is at a trick. He has endeavour'd to play me a great many, but I have been always on my guard wth him. If another Attorney General were not to come from England, I would have remov'd Mr. Graham some time since, for his neglect and falsehood, and doing no manner of service in his post for more than a year past. I will give Mr. Popple the trouble of an accusation against Mr. Graham by this conveyance, and if at any time there be an occasion for it he will be able to lay it before your Lordships.
In my letter of 24 Oct. I gave your Lops. an ill piece of news of my messengers being stop'd, whom I sent to open a trade with the Dowaganhas and other remote Indians, and that by our Five Nations, who were put out of humour by some of those Indians falling on and killing some of ours. The Newport was no sooner gone when there came a message to me from the French Coureurs de bois by John de Noyou and Louis Gosselin, two of their body. I acted cautiously with them, not knowing how sincere they were; but I am apt to believe they were sent by those hunters, because that at my first going to Albany Jean Rosie, a Frenchman, and Samll. Yorke, who both came from Canada at different times, told me some of those hunters had spoke to them and assur'd 'em they would come and offer me their service, and quit Canada for ever. These two men confirm'd to me the account I writ your Lops. of Capt. Courtemanche's going with 30 men to the Dowaganhas country to call home the French hunters, and offer them the Governor of Canada's pardon, but they assur'd me those hunters are firmly resolv'd not to trust that Governor, nor accept of his pardon, if they may be receiv'd and protected by me. If I could manage our Five Nations to my mind, I make no manner of question of fixing a trade with the Dowaganhas, Ottowawas and all those remote Nations, which the French have gained a trade with. But we have at Albany some men as angry and disaffected as any are in New York, and those men are industrious to the last degree to crosse all my measures with the Indians, but they do it so cunningly that I cannot prove it upon 'em. Mr. Livingston assur'd me that to his knowledge there was a pact or league between Col. Schuyler, Major Wessels, Mr. Dellius, the late Minister, of Albany, and as he thought one Banker made the fourth man, and some of the principal Sachems of the Five Nations, whereby those Sachems obliged themselves to transact nothing of business without the privity and approbation of those four men; and that they had made several presents to the leading Sachems at the King's charge. Those four men and one Pinhorn were they that Col. Fletcher granted the Mohacks' land to. But that which makes me mention Col. Schuyler and some of the rest of his faction in this place is the reason I have to suspect they have been infusing a jealousie into the Indians, insomuch that they are now grown averse to our building a fort at Onondage. Col. Romer is return'd from viewing that country, and assures me the Indians entertain him coldly and rudely, and the Chief Sachem of that Nation, Decanissore, caution'd him not to begin the fort till all the Five Nations were consulted in it. I send Col. Romer's account and Mr. Hansen and Mr. Van Brugh's Journal, these two last are Commissioners appointed by the Assembly to inspect the building of the fort. If Col. Schuyler and his party have been playing tricks with the Indians to put 'em out of conceit with our building a fort in the Onondages' country, as 'tis not doubted but they have, I thinke it the greatest piece of insolence imaginable, and may prove of very ill consequence to the publick; they knowing too, that the King has approv'd of a fort there, and that I have His Majesty's commands to build one. Col. Schuyler is brother-in-law of Mr. Nichols, who is the most sensible man of the party, and the hottest, and if Nichols's influence on Schuyler will push him on to put the Indians out of conceit with a fort, Schuyler will not fail to do it, who is said to be entirely govern'd by Nichols in everything. And after all, if the Indians be unwilling 'twill be impossible to build a fort anywhere in their country.
Mr. Livingston was as active in opposing a fort in the Onondage's country as anybody, and was the man that pen'd the Albany addresse to me against it. Col. Romer is mightily discouraged because the officers of the Ordnance will not comply with the King's commands in allowing him 30s. a day as he had when he left England. He is resolved to go to England in spring, and there will be a necessity of sending over another engineer immediately; but if the Board of Ordnance send over such a one as they would have sent with me before they had the King's positive order to send Col. Romer, they had better send none. Col. Romer has got a rupture, which the Phisitians here say will kill him, if he goes not to England to be cur'd.
Your Lordships lately propos'd to me the trying to make tar with the souldrs; but you cannot believe that when they mutiny for English pay, and without working, they will be contented to work for lesse than English pay. 12d. sterl. per day is, I am confident, the very least reward that can be given 'em while they work. The people in New England are as penurious as any I have met with, and last May's session the Captain of the Castle was question'd by the Assembly why he had no better men in garrison. His answer was that no good men would serve for that pay, which was then 5s. per week for each private centinel, besides meat, drink and lodging. Whereupon the Assembly order'd 6s. per week for each private man's pay, besides meat, drink and lodging; and I was present when the agreement was made for their diet, viz., 3s. 6d. per week each man all summer, and 3s. 9d. all winter. Now take each man's weekly pay and subsistence together and it makes 7s. sterl. per week. I proposed but 6s. sterl. for each souldr. per week in my scheme. I desire your Lordships will consider this maintenance of the Boston souldiers, and then whether it be reasonable or honest to impose such a hardship on the officers and souldiers here, as a deduction of 30 per cent., or whether it can be expected they should work at that rate. Shall I venture to offer my advice how to put these four companies on a better foot, and that with little more charge than the King is at now ? The truth is we want more Captains to keep our souldiers in better order. 'Tis the wisest thing the French do in their whole military discipline, to have their regiments double and sometimes treble officer'd. I should humbly advise, then, that our companies were made eight, and regimented; the King may make me Colonel, or who else he pleases. The Lt. Col. I would have to be the Lt. Gov. of New Hampshire, and the Major made Governor of Albany, where the people are very lawlesse and unruly. There are a great many worthy gentlemen and good officers at half-pay now in England. Let some of the best of 'em be put into the posts I have been naming; then there will be room for a Lt. Col., a Major and two Captains. I would have a particular care taken in the choice of these officers, that they be men of good military skill, and sober, discreet men; and I would have the field officers and captains to be of the Council in this Province and New Hampshire. One of the captains I would have to be a good engineer. In case of such an establishment, there will be need of four Lieutenants more, and two of them I would have to be good master gunners for this fort and Albany. I believe this is so reasonable a proposal, that I fancie the King would easily consent to it.
The best course I could take for securing our Five Nations were to go and live a year at Albany, where I would watch the behaviour of Col. Schuyler and his associates, and let the Indians see that the King has entrusted me with the management of them, and not Schuyler and his friends, as I have been told he and they suggested to the Indians. I could by that means too prevail with them to let me build a fort in their country; and without a fort in the Onondages' Country I am clearly of opinion I shall never be able to ingage the remote Nations of Indians to come and trade with us; for our Five Nations will as often as the others bring their peltry towards us, intercept and cut 'em off, which besides the hindrance it will be to their trading with us, will maintain a constant hatred and war between those nations and ours, that in a few years will end in the total extirpation of ours, and the Governor of Canada will lend a helping hand to it. I must be so free with your Lordships as to tell you that unlesse care be taken to provide an honble. maintenance for me, and certain, I must go to Boston next spring to make sure of their annual present of a 1,000l. that money. I were to blame if, because I am neglected at home, I should neglect myselfe here.
I acquainted you that there was no attempting to make tar here, till the Act for vacating some of Col. Fletcher's grants were approved by the King. Nor can I cut one stick of timber for the King's use till then. The ship-timber I sent home in the Fortune was cut on the land granted to Capt. Evans by Col. Fletcher, and while it was shipping one Janeway comes from England (who had been purser of the frigate commanded by Evans and pretends himself Evans' Attorney) and threatens to arrest the timber and sue Mr. Latham, that cut it, for damages. Latham is so frightened that he hath been twice or thrice with me about it; your Lordships may judge whether I can be easy, when I am no better supported in the execution of the orders I receive from England. Certainly the Parliament who have not scrupl'd breaking thro' all the Irish grants last session, will not hesitate a minute to break all the grants made by Col. Fletcher. There's a world of difference between grants made immediately by the King and some not without a valuable consideration, I mean where the grantees have done faithfull services to the Crown, and grants of almost a whole Province by an upstart corrupt Governor. In my opinion that matter ought to be laid before the Parliament, and let them judge which will most import the Nation; to be furnish'd from hence and N. Hampshire with naval stores and shiptimber, or to justifie Fletcher's corrupt sale of three-quarter parts of the lands in this Province, and Col. Allen's pretension to all the lands and woods in N. Hampshire, and a good part of the Massachuset's Province. Mr. Penn, when he was here, told me that he was visited by Col. Bayard, who told him he paid Fletcher a 150l. for his grant. There are two or three grants by other Governors before Col. Fletcher, that are extravagant too.
I have made a bargain with two men for masts, incouraged thereto by your Lordships' direction; which if they perform, will prove the best bargain for the King that ever was yet made. The articles, bond and instructions, which I send, are of my own drawing, for I was forc'd to venture at the drawing them myself, to keep this design secret from some evil people at Albany, who are wicked enough to hinder the good effects of such a bargain by persuading the Mohack Indians either not to part with their woods to the King, or to hold 'em up at an extravagant rate. Some of the people at Albany, upon my sending Mr. Latham and these two undertakers last year to view those woods, began to practise with those Indians, and persuade 'em that each of those great pines for masts was worth 50 beaver-skins. Mr. Latham assures me there are pines enough in those woods on the Mohacks' River, to furnish the Navy with masts three thousand years to come. The 24 masts I have articled for will serve a first- and second-rate man-of-war. The biggest in Mr. Taylor's contract was 37 inches diameter. I have agreed for two masts of 40 inches diameter, which will be a rarity when sent home. These pines, I fancie, will be found to grow on Mr. Dellius's grant in partnership with Col. Schuyler, Major Wessels, Capt. Barker and Mr. Pinhorn. Therefore it behoves your Lordships to get that Act confirmed by the King, which vacated some of Fletcher's grants. I wish your Lordships, when you directed me to send masts from hence, had also propos'd a fund out of which they should be paid for. I have been forc'd to borrow some of the money from the Collector, which was granted by the Assembly for the Fort at Onondage, to advance to the undertakers for the masts. April 1 there will be 600l. N. York money paid to them, which will be about 400l. sterl., and for which I must draw bills on the Navy Board, which I will do at a moneth's sight, and enclose them to your Lordships that they may be surely answered. This bargain of mine for masts reveals the mystery you desire me to resolve you (April 19). For if I procure that the King shall have his masts from hence for one fourth, or near it, of the prices paid to Mr. Taylor, 'tis a sure argument that the King was not well us'd in the contract with Taylor, and that is the mystery I meant. I cannot but flatter myself that this bargain for masts is a very valuable service to the King and all his dominions, for here is a sufficient store for all, and I hope you will recommend it as such to the King. I believe I shall save the King 15,000l. a year in the articles of masts, boltspritts and yards, and more. I desire you will order a fly-boat or hag-boat of 1,500 ton to be here by the last day of April next, and I will load her with masts and principall shiptimber, that shall be worth to the King at the rates he now pays 4,000l. over and above all charges, if these undertakers furnish me with boltsprits and yards as well as masts, as they have promised to do, and I am myself to set the prices of the boltsprits and yards. Such a fly-boat that fair weather season may be sail'd with 20 hands. I find Mr. Bridge was out of the way in allowing 35 men to navigate a ship of 500 tons. They laugh at him here for it, as they do for valuing knee-timber and standards for a ship of war at half a crown a foot, when Mr. Latham and some other ship-wrights here are positive that knees and standards for marchd. ships never sell under 4s. a foot in England, and 5s. a foot for a man-of-war.
I send a list of the Militia in this Province, of which the officers have been so particular as to send me all the names of the private souldiers; but those in Massachusets have only return'd their own names with the number only of souldiers in each Regiment, and the same course those of N. Hampshire have taken. I much question whether the Militia in Massachusets be so numerous as 'tis return'd on the list. I send an Address of the Representatives last Session about the bounds between East Jersey and this Province, and desire your Lordships will please to give some order therein.
Last May's session at Boston we pass'd twelve Acts of Assembly, which I doubt not but Mr. Addington has long since transmitted. We were much applied to by the Indians, who I thinke are barbarously treated in many parts of that Province, but little was done for their relief. The Act passed for preventing abuses to the Indians has a specious name, but the House of Representatives left out the most useful clause in it. The Council were unanimously for this clause, but t'other House would not endure it. One remarkable fraud I must observe to your Lordships that was put on the poor Indians in Nantucket Island. The representative that served for that island (one Mr. Coffin), came to solicite me and the Council to pass an Act to restrain the Indians on that island from trading with Rhode Island; the Indians had before complain'd to me how hardly they were us'd by the English, and Mr. Coffin own'd the whole matter there, viz.: that the English had bargain'd with the Indians that half of the Island should be for the use of the Indians to sow Indian wheat on, but that when the crop is off the land, the grasse of that land is to belong wholly to the English. So that those Indians, now that they would keep cattle and live as the English do, are not able, or rather are not suffer'd so to do. This is such a circumvention and fraud as ought not to be suffer'd, and so I told Mr. Coffin before the Council, and I declared I would not give the assent to any Bill that should put a further hardship on those Indians. Nantucket Island is much commended for goodnesse of soil, and there is great store of sheep on it. 'Tis 16 miles long and 6 or 7 broad, the English there are 300 souls and the Indians 800, and said to be the soberest, best sort of Indians in America. There are, I fear, many such instances of harshnesse to the Indians in that Province, which is not the way to propagate Christianity among 'em. At my first going to Boston, a multitude of complaints were brought me by the Indians from all quarters of that Province. They call'd me the Great Governor and expected a speedy redresse of their wrongs, but I had not the power of doing 'em right. The better sort of people there are troubled for the Indians, but are not able to help 'em.
I shall now say something to the Trade of these Provinces, to shew the present loose ill management of it. But first I will explain my letter of June 22, where I say that these plantations are capable of imploying 1,000 ships and 20,000 seamen more than are at present imploy'd by England. I have thought of that position of mine very much, and I cannot but be of the same mind, that by due encouragement of Naval Stores and cultivating vineyards to furnish all the Dominions of the Crown with wines of our own growth, the proposed increase will be accomplished. On the subject of Naval Stores I will say not more than to put your Lordships in mind that Col. Nicholson and Mr. Penn believe that ship-timber may be sent to England from these Plantations with good advantage. My Lord Bacon in his Essay on Plantations expresses himselfe in such a manner as if he had in view England's being furnish'd with Naval Stores, timber, potashes and silk from America, and I am of opinion all those severall species may be plentifully furnish'd to England from these Plantations, if care were taken to encourage the design in the beginning. 'Twere rashnesse in me to declare this upon my own simple judgment, but men of the best experience and knowledge in these Provinces agree with me in opinion that what I have now offer'd is practicable. As to the propagation of wine in these plantations, to supply all the Dominions of the Crown, I can easily make that appear. In the first place nature has given us an index in these plantations that points to us what may be done in that by the help of art; there grows wild grapes in all the woods here in very great abundance. I have observ'd 'em in many places, but especially above Albany on the side of Hudson's River, where the vines all along twine round great trees and fair clusters of grapes appear sometimes above 30 foot from the ground. I have eaten of the wild grapes, which I thought were tastfull enough, only somewhat harsh as an effect of their wildnesse. In the next place experience tells us that good wine has grown in the Naraganset country, where severall French families seated themselves, and where (as I have been credibly inform'd by some Frenchmen) there would have been by this time above 500 French families, had they not been most barbarously persecuted and driven away by the people of Rhode Island. The French found the climate and soil in the Naraganset country proper for vineyards, and that dispos'd them to settle there; and I was told by some people at Boston that tasted of some wine that grew in that country, that they thought it as good as Bordeaux claret. I remember Major de la Valliere told me they had begun to plant vineyards and make wine about Montreal in Canada, and that it was a good table wine, but that the Court of France, fearing it might prove prejudicial to the wine trade of France, forbad their making any more wine in Canada, so that they were forc'd to bury their vines before they could destroy them. 'Tis to be observed that Montreal is at least five degrees more Northward than N. York. Mr. Bourn, a marchand at Boston, who came from Carolina last Feb. assur'd me he drank very good wine there of their own growth, that was as strong as any Lisbon or Port-wine he ever tasted. Without doubt South Carolina would produce wine that would equal any we have from Spain or Portugal, and these more Northern Plantations, as far as the Naraganset country, would produce a lighter sort of wine, such as Burgundy and Bordeaux claret. A litle before my leaving Boston, some of the French that had been routed out of the Naraganset country, came to see me, and among other things, they recommended the planting of mulberrie trees in these countries for breeding silkworms and making silk; they told me that improvement would quickly and easily be brought to passe, for that a mulberry tree of two years growth is fit for the silk-worms. The woods in all these countries abound with mulberry trees, that bear a luscious fruit that's long in shape, but they told me the leaves of these wild mulberry trees are so thick and hard that the silk-worms could not feed on 'em. Certainly, if raw silk could be furnish'd from these Plantations and manufactured in England, it would be a very useful commodity. I will next say something of making salt and pot-ashes, because I will trace my Lord Bacon in all his notions relating to the productions that these Plantations would afford, for the advantage of England and of the English Planters here. The Lieut.-Governor and near 20 of the most considerable marchands at Boston imploy'd a Frenchman to make a salt-work there; some hundred bushels of salt were made, but these countries being subject to much thunder and lightning, the thunder showers (which are very frequent) spoils and hinders their making salt, which could they make a quantity of, would be a treasure to that people. I have seen and tasted of it. It has qualities that no other salt has that I ever saw or heard of; it has a fragrant smell; it cures fish and flesh without hardening it as other salt does, neither has the fish or flesh that fiery, pungent saltnesse which is given by other salt. As to pot-ashes there have been some experiments made at Boston, and they pretend to the right art of making it, but the dearnesse of labour is the main impediment, for the woods are infinite. Some of the marchands were trying, when I came from Boston, to hire the Indians to the eastward, to work potashes for 'em, but the Indians are so proud and lazy, that 'tis to be fear'd they will not be prevail'd with to work. It concerns your Lordships in my humble opinion to promote and incourage all these trades I have been mentioning, for the mutual advantage of England and these Plantations; I think I have sufficiently shewn the faisibility of all or at least the chief of them, and if that be granted me, then I am sure my computation is not very wide of the truth, that a 1,000 ships and 20,000 seamen will be imploy'd more than are at present. And that trade, and the benefit arising from it, will for ever bind these Plantations in a firm dependance upon England. Then these people will find their account in being of a piece with England, and there's no bond of union so sure and lasting as that of interest. To my certain knowledge, the people of Boston Government and those here are very uneasy for want of returns to England, their imports of English goods do so over-ballance their exports of the commodities of these countries, that it makes 'em almost desperate. Last May's session at Boston somebody had laid a paper on the Council Table without any name to it, wherein 'twas desired that the Assembly would take notice of the decrease of trade, and thinke of ways to quicken and revive it. Some gentlemen of the Council were thereupon very warm, and express'd great discontent at the Acts of Trade and Navigation, that restrain'd 'em from an open free trade to all parts of the world; they alleg'd they were as much English as those in England, and thought they had a right to all the privileges that the people of England had; that the London marchands had procur'd those restraining laws to be made on purpose to make the people of the Plantations go to market to them. This happened June 25. A trade from these countries to England for ship-timber and such things as I have before propos'd would remove all manner of dissatisfaction and clamor from these people effectually, and would make 'em easy and happy. The beaver trade here and at Boston is sunk to little or nothing, and the market is so low for beaver in England that 'tis scarce worth the transporting. I have been told that in one year, when this Province was in the possession of the Dutch, there were 66,000 beaver skins exported from this town, and this last year there was but 15,241. 'Tis a sign of our Five Nations being mightily diminish'd, but that is not all. That commodity is grown almost quite out of use, which is of ill consequence to our Indians, for as it falls in price in England, it must necessarily do so here. A few years ago beaver skins sold in London at 14s. a pound, and then there the Custom was but 4d. per skin; now beaver is fallen to 5s. per pound in England, and pays 9d. per skin Custom here, 3d. per skin freight, and 12d. when 'tis unship'd in England, which is a mighty damp on that trade, and a great discouragement to our Indians. I believe it may be worthy your Lordship's consideration, whether it may not be proper to make beaver and all other peltry from this Province Custom-free both here and in England, both for the advantage of our Five Nations, and to draw the remote Nations to trade with us, but at the same time I can give good reasons why this Province alone should have that priviledge; first, this being the frontier Province, and where the Indians, as living in this Province must always be treated and manag'd for the interest of the Crown. And perhaps that method being us'd to keep up the price of beaver and other peltry here, may be a means of drawing the Eastern and other Indians to come and settle in this Province. Secondly, this being the only Northern Province that gives the King a standing Revenue, perhaps it were not amisse that the King shew'd that mark of his acknowledgment to this people to countenance an Act of Parliament in England and an Act of Assembly here to take off entirely the Customs here and there of all sorts of peltry exported from N. York, and to let the neighbour Provinces and Colonies see the difference the Government of England makes between a people that contribute largely to the support of Government, and those that do not contribute at all.
Last April I examin'd the registers of all the vessels in the three Provinces of my Government, and found there then belong'd to the town of Boston, 25 ships from 100 ton to 300; ships about a 100 ton and under, 39; brigantines 50; ketches 13 and sloops 67; in all 194 vessels. To other towns in that Province there belong'd then about 70 vessels of all sorts, whereof 11 were ships of good burthen. To N. York there then belong'd 6 ships above, and 8 under a 100 tons; 2 ketches; 27 brigantines and 81 sloops; to N. Hampshire at that time 11 ships of good burthen; 5 brigantines; 4 ketches and 4 sloops. I believe one may venture to say there are more good vessels belong to Boston than to all Scotland and Ireland, unless one should reckon the small craft, such as herring-boats.
Their staple in the Massachusets Province is the fishery; their codfish consists of three sorts, viz.: marchandable, midling and refuse. The marchandable is subdivided into great marchandable and litle. The great they send to Bilboa and Cales, the litle to Lisbon and Oporto. The median or midling fish they send to the Canaries, the Madeiras and Fial [? Fayal] and also to Jamaica; the refuse cod they send to Barbados and the Leeward Islands. They compute at Boston that they ship off 50,000 quintals of dry fish every year, about three-quarters whereof is sent to Bilboa. Last year the fish sold at 18s. a quintal on the coast where 'twas taken, and this year it has fallen to 12s. a quintal money of N. England. I ask'd the meaning of the fall of the price, and the marchands told me they knew no other reason, but that the French fisheries had glutted the markets abroad. Cod that's taken on the coast of this continent yields 2s. a quintal more at Bilboa than that which is taken off Newfoundland, because 'tis taken all winter, and in cold weather is better cured. There are other sorts of fish, which they salt and send to foreign markets, viz.: hake, hadock, and polock, and some mackrel, which are much larger than I ever saw in England. The marchands reckon upon 50l. per cent. by the returns they make for their fish from Bilboa to Boston, and when they return their money from Bilboa to London and there invest it in goods for Boston, they then reckon upon cent. for cent. profit.
Some fishermen have been sent this last spring and summer to try all the coast of this Province for cod, and the coast of Rhode Island, but could find none. I do not find there is any cod to be found to the westward of Cape Cod, which is in the Massachusets. So that if we make out our eastern bounds as far as the River of St. Croix, yet the French will have thrice as much of the fishing coast as we shall. They will have all the coast of Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fondi [Fundy] along the Isles of Cape Breton, Peru, and Antecosta and the Gulph of St. Lawrence. If these Plantations be not restrain'd from carrying ship-timber to foreign markets, it will mightily hurt our fishing, that breeds the hardy seamen. The Bostoners may be said to be the carriers to most of the other Plantations. They carry too from Boston horses and lumber to Barbados, Jamaica and the Leeward Islands. I indeavour'd when I was at Boston to find out one year's imports and exports, that I might compare the trade of that Province with this of N. York, and with N. Hampshire. But I found greater uncertainty in that of Boston than the other two. The Deputy Collector there is Commissioner of the Imposts. He told me that when ships come in the masters swear to the manifests, i.e., the number of parcels they bring, but the contents unknown. Then the marchand comes and produces an invoice, and whether true or false, 'tis left to his ingenuity. The Commissioner at my desire took an account of all goods imported from England to Boston from March 1, '98/9—March 1, 99/1700) and, according to the several invoices, those English goods in that year amounted to 120,000l. Boston money. He said he believ'd there came in bona fide about 30,000l. more. Col. Courtland tells me there was this last year imported at 2l. per cent. (which is the duty on English goods) here at N. York to the value of 60,000l., the duty having amounted to 1,200l. this money.
Pescattaway in N. Hampshire would in some years excell Boston in the fish trade, if they were denied the liberty of carrying ship-timber to foreign parts. They are much better seated for the fishery than Boston is. Some marchands at Boston, with whom I discours'd sometimes, about the trade of that Province, and what proportion it carried with the trade of N. York, and that of N. Hampshire, computed that Boston had four times the trade of N. York, and N. York four times the trade of N. Hampshire, but I afterwards examin'd the entries and clearings of all the three Custom-houses, and found that the trade of N. York was almost half as much as that of Boston; and the trade of N. Hampshire (except for timber and about 1,300 quintals of fish) not the tenth part of the trade of N. York from Dec. 25, '98—Dec. 25, '99.
If it were not for Col. Fletcher's intollerable corrupt selling away the lands of this Province, it would outthrive the Massachusets Province, and quickly outdo 'em in people and trade. The people are so cramp'd here for want of land, that several families within my own knowledge are remov'd to the new country (a name they give to Pensylvania and the Jersies). For (to use Mr. Graham's expression to me and that often repeated too), what man will be such a fool to become a base tenant to Mr. Dellius, Col. Schuyler, Mr. Livingston (and so he ran through the whole role of our mighty Landgraves), when, for crossing Hudson's River, that man can for a song purchase a good freehold in the Jersies? But Mr. Graham has since chang'd his note and turn'd tail. But his being false to the King, does not make the breaking all these grants lesse honest, or less necessary for the publick good. Now that I speak of the lands of this Province, I must acquaint your Lordships that Mr. Ranslaer's grant of 24 miles square, in the center of which stands the town of Albany, was not of Col. Fletcher's passing, neither was Mr. Livingston's, of 16 miles long and 20 or 21 miles broad. Mr. Nichols, I am told, has as extravagant grants as any, that his land reaches about 30 miles in length on Nassau Island, which is the prime part of this Province. I know no merit Mr. Nichols has except his being broker between Col. Fletcher and the Pyrats, and being disaffected to the Government, and the chief incendiary and author of faction here, may pass for vertues. Otherwise his grants ought to be look'd into as soon as any of the rest. If I am rightly inform'd here will be a world of corruption and fraud discover'd in most of these extravagant grants, not only in respect of their vastnesse, but because they have swallow'd up the lands of abundance of private families, who are thereby ruin'd. Some bills were offer'd me the two last sessions of Assembly (besides a great many petitions), which I refus'd giving the assent to, till the Judge and Attorney were come from England to make a strict inquiry into the titles of lands, and advise the best method for doing justice in that case.
I believe no part of the King's dominions is under so loose a management as these Provinces are, or that practice unlawfull trade so much. I have some reason to believe that all their returns at Boston from Spain and Portugal for the fish they send thither are not hard pieces of eight as they would persuade the world, and they will not want the product of those countries the shortest and cheapest way, which to be sure is not by the way of England. There is a great trade between Boston and Newfoundland, and I have been told there is a constant trade between St. Sebastian and Newfoundland, and that there is great store of French and Spanish wines and Spanish iron in Newfoundland. If the marchands of Boston be minded to run their goods, there's nothing to hinder 'em. Mr. Brenton, the Collector, is absent and has been so these two years; his deputy is a marchand, the two waiters keep public-houses, and besides that, that coast is naturally shap'd and cut out to favour unlawful trade, as well as this of N. York. The town of Boston for want of a due regulation is also contriv'd for that purpose. I sent Mr. Shanon, the Naval Officer, to take an account of the wharfs or landing-places in Boston and Charlestown, which is opposite, Charles River running between; and he brought me a list of 63 wharfs in Boston and 14 in Charlestown. 'Tis a common thing, as I have heard, to unload their ships at Cape Ann and bring their goods to Boston in wood-boats. There is also a constant trade carried on between Boston and Quebec, Port Royal, Fort St. John, and Penobscot River, where one M. de St. Castin lives. I have more than ordinary reason to believe this, a certain marchand at Boston having made me the compliment to offer me a partnership with him in that trade, which he said would be very beneficial, but I refused to be concern'd. He afterwards own'd to me he had 2,000l. worth of English goods proper for the market in Canada, and when I was last at Albany, some Mohack Indians revolted to the French, brought some peltry with 'em from Canada to truck for duffles and strowds, but complain'd of their dearnesse, and said that English woollens were much cheaper at Quebec and Montreal than at Albany, and that they would carry their peltry back to Canada, which for ought I know they did. The Governor of Canada has no such complaisance for us. The peltry trade is prohibited under a great penalty. That Government had guards a great way within our bounds this year to prevent it. And to give a further proof of that Governor's caution therein, I send your Lordships the copy of his passe to L' Espérance, a Frenchman, who came to look after a brother of his taken prisoner during the late war, wherein he is forbid to bring away any peltry from Canada.
Here at N. York the marchands run all the goods they can, and too much unlawfull trade there is. That from Madagascar seems to be at a stand at present, and I thinke piracy too is in its wane. The marchands here are very angry at my ordering both the frigats this last summer, if they met any ships in their cruise coming from Madagascar, to search 'em, and if they found any pyrats or their goods on board to seize and bring in the ships to this port. At that time there were three Madagascar vessels expected, and least the frigats should meet 'em, their owners sent out, as I am told, no lesse than nine sloops to cruise without the frigates, to give their ships notice, which put 'em to a great charge. Soon after, the news came that one of the Madagascar ships (belonging to Frederick Phillips) was taken by one of our East India ships, and two others by pyrats; this put our marchands a madding, and their rage redoubled against me, as if I had been the occasion and means of that and all their losses, and 'tis said they curs'd me plentifully. I have watch'd the ships trading between this place and Holland as nicely as I have been able, but never could find they traded thither or from thence hither without touching and clearing in England as the law directs. Therefore I am apt to believe Dr. Davenant is mistaken (and his author too, Sir Josiah Child, whom he quotes in the 2nd part of his discourses on the Revenue and Trade of England, in what he there advances of an unlawful trade carried on between the Menades and Holland; Menades is the French name for this island of N. York, taken, I suppose, from the Indian name Manhattan. There is a considerable trade, I know, from hence to Curacao and Surinam for flower, pork, peas and other provisions; and the vessels that carry them to those places pretend always to return in ballast. There is a town call'd Stamford in Conecticot Colony on the border of this Province, where one Major Selleck lives, who has a ware-house close to the sound or sea that runs between the mainland and Nassau Island. That man does us great mischief with his ware-house, for he receives abundance of goods from our vessels, and the marchands afterwards take their opportunity of running them into this town. Major Selleck receiv'd at least 10,000l. worth of treasure and East India goods brought by one Clark of this town from Kidd's sloop, and lodg'd with Selleck. I can have no account of them. Clark was a prisoner here on that account, and gave security that he would make an ample discovery on oath how all that treasure and the goods were dispos'd of. But I have not seen him, and whenever he appears he is suppos'd so profligate that he will not value what he swears.
I send an estimate of Col. Romer's of the charge of fortifying the frontier of this Province, and of the country that lies eastward of Massachusets Province. How necessary those fortifications are, and how the money is to be had for building them, must be submitted to your Lordships. Pescattaway is a most noble harbour, lying full upon the main sea; the entrance into it is 14 fathoms deep at low water, and 19 fathoms deep in some places within the harbour, and up at the town of Portsmouth the biggest the King has will lye against the bank of the town. So that, if ever England should thinke it a good point of husbandry to build ships of war cheap, Pescattaway will be the properest place for it. I know that at Boston they pretend to build marchand ships 40l. per cent. cheaper than they could be built in England, and why the same proportion should not hold in ships of war, I cannot conceive. King Charles II having complemented the French King with the draughts of our best ships, and thereby given vent to that precious secret, there will no objection lye against building ships of war at Pescattaway, but more of that hereafter. The reason why Col. Romer and I agreed it would be necessary to bestow more cost than ordinary on the fort at the River of St. Croix, and at the extremity of our frontier in this Province nearest to Canada, was because those two forts will be the most exposed, and more especially that at St. Croix, because thither a fleet can come and help to attack the fort. The harbour of N. York ought to be well fortified, or 'tis odds if this town be not laid in ashes the next war we have with France.
Last session of the Assembly at Boston the enclosed petition was delivered me and the Council by the ministers of the Church of England and vestry men. Your Lordships will best judge whether the prayer thereof was reasonable. The Council would give it no countenance. They said that the Act against incestuous marriages was found to be good and usefull, and that the King had been pleased to approve and confirm it in England, and they did not see cause for breaking in upon a good law to please the humours of a few men. The truth is, I have been inform'd, some loose people have sometimes come from England, and married in N. England, though they had left wives behind them in England, and this law was calculated chiefly for prevention of such marriages. If a minister of the Church of England will be at the pains of going to any town or place to marry people, nobody will hinder him.
If it be intended that Naval Stores and masts shall be sent from these Plantations, there ought to be a quick and a vigorous course taken to vacate all these extravagant grants of Fletcher and other Governors, and to destroy Col. Allen's pretension to N. Hampshire and part of the Massachusets Province. I am made very uneasy and kept at bay here with the angry party by the want of spirit in the administration at home. For the ministers sending me orders, and afterwards not standing by those orders, and not quickening the execution of them, is a most cruel thing. 'Tis very unhappy, too, that the Judge and Attorney General are suffer'd to loyter so long in England. Things are either contriv'd, or fall out crossely to make me uneasy. I am sure I would not stay an hour here, if I could be certain there were any contrivance to make me so. I have paid the four companies fifteen moneths' subsistence, March 25, '99—June 16, 1700. Ever since the arrival of the Advice frigat with the recruits, I have been forc'd to pay all the officers and souldiers their weekly subsistence in ready money, which I find gives 'em much better content than formerly, when they were in the hands of the victuallers. I send the copy of my letter to the Treasury, wherein I submit Mr. Weaver's bill of exchange and his account to their Lordships, and the same I do also to your Lordships, and desire you will please to direct whether I with the Council of this Province shall allow his account, especially that which relates to his salary as Collector of this Province during all the year and a half that he has staid away from his duty. My said letter will acquaint you with the state of that matter. Enumerates other enclosures. Mr. Armstrong's letter I have newly received. He is Naval Officer of N. Hampshire. You will there find how Mr. Partridge, the Lieut. Governor, proceeds in the trade of ship-timber to Portugal, notwithstanding I sent him a copy of that paragraph in your letter of April 19. He writ me word he was sorry he had given any offence to your Lordships, which by what I now perceive he meant as a jeer. I desire you will consider whether it will not be proper to recommend the passing an Act of Parliament this session to prohibit that trade in all the Plantations. And by all means I am humbly of opinion Mr. Partridge ought to be remov'd from that station, which is too honourable for him and he no way qualified for it. I could easily send the frigat that's here to Pescattaway and stop his two ships, but then I shall be liable to be su'd by Partridge and the marchands in London that are his correspondents, since there's no statute to justifie me. I must undeceive you of a wrong suggestion in the petition of those correspondents. Mr. Crouch and Mr. Tatem were the petitioners to the King in Council, and in their petition, to induce the King to approve of that trade to Portugal, give for a reason that the ships, when they have unloaded their timber in Portugal, then load wine, etc., for England. But 'tis well known that the vessels that carry fish to Spain and Portugal drive that trade of carrying wines and other commodities to England as often as they can light on freight thither. And I hope there's no comparison between the advantage England receives by the fish-trade to those countries, and this new trade, which will prove hurtful to England on many accounts, as I have before observed. I desire you will please to direct me how I am to behave myself with Mr. Partridge, and it were worth while to dispatch away a small frigat or advice-boat with your orders, that they may overtake Partridge's two ships before they sail. We shall never be able to turn a trade to England for ship-timber so long as that trade of Mr. Partridge (and of others by his example) is suffer'd to Portugal, where to be sure ship-timber must bear a much greater price than in England, because Portugal is not a wooded country. I remember I rebuk'd Sir Henry Ashhurst in the privy garden at Whitehall for procuring Mr. Partridge to be made Lieut.-Governor of N. Hampshire, who is a carpenter by trade and a sad, weak man. I told him his genius had a strong byass to Carpenter-Governors, for he it was (with Mr. Mather) that got Sir William Phipps made governor of N. England. In the year '95 the marchands of Boston were incourag'd to send over a ship-load of severall sorts of ship-timber for an experiment. I was at the pains, when I was at Boston, to inform myselfe particularly of that matter. The ship, St. Joseph, of 300 tons, was loaded, but met with all the rubs and stops that could well have happen'd. First she lay three moneths loaden wayting for a convoy; then she had a very tedious passage and was forc'd by contrary weather into Milford Haven, where she waited five or six weeks for a wind. At last getting into the river as far up as Deptford or Woolwich, she lay five weeks there, before care was taken to unload her. 'Tis plain the misfortune and delay that attended her voyage is not wholly imputable to the management of the officers belonging to those yards, because a great part of it is owing to chance, but I believe you will be of opinion with me that five weeks was a very long time for a ship to lye loaden so near two of the King's yards. I have a copie of the master of the ship's journal, and of the invoice of the timber, and the owners told me there was all the contrivance that could be by the officers of the yard, which received the timber at last, to disparage it and discourage any further undertaking of that kind. All this I have reason to believe to be true, in fact to be proper for me to acquaint your Lordships of.
The old part of the house in the fort here is falling down, and so is one of the souldiers' barracks, and how to repair 'em I cannot tell. The Revenue is so clogg'd with anticipations, that we can apply no part thereof to those uses. The Indians are a great and constant charge to us, as you will see by the enclosed list of warrants for payments of the Revenue ever since my coming to the Government. The 30l. per cent. will in time answer some part of the charge of the Government, if it be continu'd, which I hope in God it will not, for the King's honour and good of the officers and souldiers. With my first or second letter I writ to your Lordships from N. York, I sent the report of Col. Courtland and Col. Bayard of the necessary repairs of this house and fort, which they then estimated at 1,500l. Col. Fletcher was then here, who told me he had applied the 30l. per cent. to the repairs of the fortifications, which was a most impudent untruth. The 30 per cent. amounted to about 2,300l a year, as I take it, and I could never yet discover that he laid out 500l. a year of all that money for the King's service. The minute of Council, July 29, allows of the charge I was at in my remove from Boston to this place, which was about 92l. N. York money, or 70l. sterl. There are precedents for it in both Sir Edmond Andros's and Col. Fletcher's time, who never remov'd or travel'd but at the King's charge. Besides my appointments are so narrow that I must have taken that course or not have remov'd. I intended the Collector, Col. Courtland's, Michaelmas books of entries and clearings by this conveyance, but the poor man died the 25th inst. after a short sicknesse, before his books were perfected.
I hear Col. Allen was refus'd an appeal to the King in Council by the Lieut.-Governor and Council of N. Hampshire upon the judgments being given against him at the last Superior Court in August. Mr. Partridge has not thought fit to give me any account of this, but I heard it from Boston by accident. I hear too that an appeal has since my coming from Boston been refus'd to one Mrs. Lydget by the Superior Court there, in a cause wherein she was plaintiff and Mr. Usher and Mr. Saffin defendants. I doubt not but your Lordships will be applied to in both cases, and that you will make an inquisition why appeals were refused.
The French have mightily impos'd on the world in the mapps they have made of this Continent, and our Geographers have been led into gross mistakes by the French mapps to our very great prejudice. It were as good a work as your Lordships could do to send over a very skilful surveyor to make correct mapps of all these Plantations, and that out of hand, that we may not be cozen'd on to the end of the chapter by the French. And for saving charges, if that surveyor be a sober, honest man, perhaps it were best to make him Secretary of the province. I have not displac'd Mr. Clarkson, for there's nobody here fit for that post. One thing is very material for your Lordships to know, which perhapps you are not yet inform'd of. The only good beaver hunting lyes in that part of the country where the Dowaganhas and those other Nations live, and thither our Five Nations are forc'd to go a beaver hunting, which is one reason of that perpetual war between those Nations and ours; and that reason makes our building a fort in the Onondages' country necessary, whither I believe those Nations by careful management might be brought to trade with us, and in a litle time gain'd from the French. The country I speak of is commended for a most noble country by Samuell York and the French hunters that were here t'other day; it lyes by their description west and north-west of this Province. There are Savannas, or plains, of a 100 miles long, the soil very rich and well water'd, abounding with wild cattle, deer and wild turkies, so that the Indians have plenty of provisions without any trouble scarce to look after them. Signed, Bellomont. P.S.—I send duplicates of the three Acts of Assembly we pass'd last August. Endorsed, Recd. 18 Feb. Read 29 do. Ended, 12 March, 1700/1. Holograph. 24 large pp. Enclosed,
953. i. Abstract of preceding. 12½ pp.
953. ii. Copy of proceedings of the Court Martial held at N. York, Oct., Nov. 1700, for the trial of several soldiers for mutiny. Oct. 30. The Hon. John Nanfan, Lieut.-Governor, said that understanding the 28th inst. that divers of the soldiers were inclining to make a disorder, and to prevent them from breaking out into mutiny and that they might not be ignorant of the law here lately made, he commanded the two companies belonging to the Earl of Bellomont and himself, with the detachment designed for Albany, to be drawn up behind the fort next the North River, and then rides to them, and after having given them commands and exhortations to obey he read loudly to them the Act for punishing mutiny, etc. The prisoners with others, having heard the Act read, showed great insolence and contempt of the same. Upon which Captain Nanfan commanded them to march several times, but they all denied, breaking their ranks, falling into disorder and crying out "Halt, halt! We will not march until we have our sea-pay, English pay and clothes," with diverse other insolent and seditious expressions. Lieut. John Riggs said that the souldiers in great numbers coming up in a mutinous manner to the Fort Gate, with a design as it appeared to surprize the garrison, he heard Corporal James Morris, amongst others, say "Let us secure the Fort, secure my Lord and then secure ourselves," and thereupon attempted to get into the Fort, which was prevented by shutting the gates. Other corroborative evidence against the individual mutineers. Barnes Cosens, Clark of the Council, said that after the Act was read "he plainly perceived a mutiny amongst them, they crying out 'One and all! Dam'me don't stir a man!'" whilst the officers cried out March, March!, but they refused except only a few, who followed Lieut. Holland out of the center. Meanwhile, Richard Fleming, a souldier on guard within the Fort, cried out, exhorting them not to move until they had their pay. His Excellency affirmed that upon his ordering Fleming to be committed, William Davis, another souldier, cried out, "Then you had as good commit us all." Some pleaded not guilty, and others guilty, and threw themselves on the mercy of the King and Committee. On Nov. 2 Corporal James Morris, Robert Cotterell, Jonathan Willford and Richard Fleming were condemned to be shot to death behind the Fort at the place where the mutiny began. William Davis and Peter Morris were condemned to be kept in the hole in His Majesty's Fort William Henry for a month on bread and water, and to be whiped twice a week on the naked back at the relief of the guard. Edward Short was condemned to be picketted for an hour for six days and imprisoned in the hole in the Fort on bread and water for a month. Alexander Macashlan condemned to same imprisonment and to run the gauntlet twice. On Nov. 6, after being severely addressed by the Advocate General (Paroculus Parmyter) the rest were discharged. The four condemned were taken out to be shot, and when on their knees, and two files of musketeers were ready to discharge against them, Fleming and Willford were reprieved. Signed, B. Cosens, Clark of the Court Martiall. 56½ pp.
953. iii. Address of the Court Martial, referred to in preceding, to Lord Bellomont, praying for a reprieve of those condemned to death until His Majesty's pleasure be known. Signed, Robt. Walters, Peter Mathews, Cha. Ashfeild, Hen. Holland, S. V. Cortlandt, President, A. D. Peyster, Robt. Livingston, Par. Parmyter, Judge Advocate, B. Cosen. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. Copy. 1 p.
953. iv. Copy of reasons offered by the Judges of the late Court Martial to Lord Bellomont for the reprieve of those condemned to death. The King has no Attorney General at present, and the Act under which they are condemned has not yet received His Majesty's consent. The Act was made but a day before the offence was committed, and though it was read to some of the souldiers, many of them were too intoxicated to understand it. Same endorsement. 1 p.
953. v. Copy of an additional Instruction to Lord Bellomont, May 31, 1699 (q.v.) to obtain the passing of an Act to punish mutiny, etc. Same endorsement. 1 p.
953. vi. List of Acts passed at an Assembly of New York, Oct. 26, 1700. Acts for punishing mutiny and desertion; repealing the Act for securing the Five Nations; declaring the town of East Chester a distinct parish from West Chester; appointing Commissioners of Public accounts; for encouraging the brewing of beer and making of malt; and for the encouragement of seamen. Same endorsement. ¾ p.
953. vii. Jean de Noyou and Louis Gosselin to Lord Bellomont. We come to place ourselves under the protection of your Excellency, in the hope that you will allow us to live and trade in Albany and grant us the rights and privileges which the others enjoy. In that case we are commissioned by our comrades to assure you that 22 "braves jeunes gens" will come to Albany next February, and in September we promise to bring thither 30 stout men, all laden with peltry. And we undertake to bring in Sept., when we return from hunting, 10 or 12 of the principal Chiefs of the Nations of the Ottowawas. Signed, de Noyou, L. Gosselin. New York, Oct. 26, 1700. Note in Bellomont's handwriting;—The French call all those Nations to the West and West-north-west of us Ottowawas, as we give 'em the general name of Dowaganhas. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p. French.
953. viii. Journal of Col. Romer's Expedition to Onondage, with Mr. Hansen and Mr. Van Brugh. Onnondage, Oct. 5, 1700. Laurence Claessen, Interpreter. A shorter version of the following. Same endorsement. 3½ pp.
953. ix. Journal of the same. On Sept. 13 we left Albany, and arrived by way of Schenactade and Jacobus Peek at the first Castle of the Maquas, called Ogsadago, on the 15th. On the 16th we came to the second Castle called Canaedsiohore, whence four Indians carried our baggage to Decanohoge, where the Sachem Onoronorum lives. Here two of the Indians were unwilling to proceed. It rained till the 20th, when we departed with two Indians and two squaas provided by Onoronorum; 23rd we came to Oneyde and were friendly treated by the Sachem Hanagquaindi, but they made excuses for not making us a canoe at the carrying-place against we came back for Col. Romer to come down in. At which the said Sachem was dejected and said "You know that I have appointed to-morow to go to fight with my people to the Southward where the flat-heads live, otherwise I would go with my people and make a canoe." 26th we came to Onnondage and heard that Decanissore and some other Sachems were abroad and were sent for to hear what news the Indians brought from Canada. At last on the 30th, after many delays, the Sachems that had been in Canada came home and reported what had befallen them by the French. They said that when they came in Canada nigh the Castle called Cachenuage, where the praying Maquass live, the latter invited them into their Castle to eat, asking why they always passed by their Castle when they went to the French, as if they could not abide the smoake of that Castle. When they had eaten, they went for Mont Reall, and were saluted with seven or eight cannon shot and treated very well with victuals and drink. Next day some Ionondadese Indians came and told them they had always lived in a misunderstanding together, pretending that they came to fight against them, but it was not true, but those people (to) whom they had given belts to the last year, come and fight you, so that your owne belts kill you.
The Governor of Canada said that he had now sent a priest to Ottawawa to fetch their prisoners and to deliver them to them in Canada next spring. A priest told them they should desire the Governor of Canada to send a smith at Cadarachquin to mend their guns and axes, and to send a great deal of trade and merchandise there, and to sell it as cheap there as at Mont Reall. The Governor agreed and told them to bring their skins thither to trade, for that he liked them, and their Beavers to their Brother Corlaer at Albany for he fanys them, as I do other skins, and you shall have as much for them there as at Mont Reall, for he would not suffer that they should buy so dear as they had don last spring in Cadarachquin, and that he had imprisoned the man that had sold them so dear then. The Priests thereupon moved them to insist for his release, but the Governor refused, but would put him to death or send him for France. When they were on their return they saw several Frenchmen with their goods going up to Cadarachquin by order of the Governor to trade with them.
On Oct. 1 Decanissore came in obedience to our summons and assembled the Sachems. Col. Romer desired them to make a canoe for him to go to Schenectade, and a canoe or two to lend us now to go in Canainda Lake, as far as where the River comes in that comes out of the Lake of Oneyde, and two of their men to look for the best place to build a Fort. He asked when their people would be ready to work at ye Fort. Next morning Decanissore told us that the Sachems of Oneyde were come to hear what news from Canada, and desired our presence. The Governor of Canada's propositions to our Indians. (1) Children, I thank you that you treated my people, the Priest and M. Marricour so well, for wch I embrace you, and laid down a chain of wampum. (2) I have heard that your people would have you out a fighting, but through the priest and M. Maricour the axe was laid down, for wch I thank you, and laid down a Belt. (3) Children, now you are here, and it is a long while agoe I acquainted you to come, for it is your own fault there is so many of your people killed, for the Waganhaes have yet had the sword in their hands, and then threw down a belt and said, Herewith I wipe your teares. (4) Now Children, I thro' the axe to the Devil in a hole and lay a stone upon it as bigg as all Mont Reall, that no man may take it up again, and laid down a belt. (5) It is now Peace all over, and I release all prisoners, and have sent a Priest to Ottawawa to fetch all the prisoners, and in the spring you may see and speak with them, and try if they will go with you, and laid down a great belt. (6) We plant a tree of peace whose roots reach all the nations round about us, yea even to Heaven, and if any person comes to cut one of the roots, wee'l all consult about it, and he laid down a Belt as long as a man. (7) You Children Sinnekes, it is now Peace, and if any will fight with the Waganhaes must tell it to me, and what damage they do, they shall repay it themselves, and if they do it a second time, we will all together fall on them, and if I do commence the war again, you may all fall on me, and eat my flesh off my body, and if your brother Corlaer should do it, let him answer for it, and laid down a belt. Neither I nor he are masters of Peace or War, but the Kings of England and France. (8) I'll bring goods at Cadarachquin to trade with you, and send a smith to mend your axes and guns. I know your brother Corlaer loves Beaver, but I fancy other large skins. Therefore you may sell the skins to me, and bring the Beaver to Corlaer, and if the Five Nations have a mind for Corlaer's goods, they may go and trade there. I'll not hinder them, and laid down a belt. (9) Relation of the Praying Indians of Cachanuage. Now brethren we hear that our Father Nondio has spoken, we also speak and assent to what he has told you, and let it be Peace for ever, and laid down a belt. (10). Relation of the Jimondadese (or Jenosathese) Indians. Brethren, just now we have heard that Nondio has made peace. You know that the sword wherewith I killed you in the war was put into my hands by Nondio, and now I return it to him that gave it to me, and laid down a belt. As did the Mahikandey Indians, the Wagahaes, and those of Canossadage, the Indians about Mont Reall.
When the Sachems that had been in Canada had done speaking to us by the mouth of Decanissore, he spoke by a little chain of wampum; "Brother Corlaer, you and I always speak together and tell one another what we know. We have one breath, one soul. It is not good that anything should be spoken among us and the other not know it. (Brethren), when you go to Canada, I can know but little of it, for which I am sorry." The canoes, etc., we required to go up and down the river were ready, but they begged for pay. On the 3rd we went for Canainda, and so thro' the Lake of Canainda until a river that runs out of the Lake of Oneyda, but found no fit place to build a Fort. So on the 6th Decanissore and Sinnicquanda, both Sachems for Quehook, went with us to Kachnawarage on the River Quehook, near the Lake of Oneyda, where we saw a very fit place and good wood to erect a Fort. Next day on returning to the Castle, we heard that our people that had a passe to go to the remote Nations of Indians were come thither, and they said they were wholly discouraged to go further. Because a few days ago some of the Sinnekes were taken prisoners, they looked on them as dead who went thither, and refused to go further. Whereupon Col. Romer resolved to depart for Oneyde. The Sachems of Onnondage were not well pleased about that passe, because my Lord had not acquainted them therewith, and said that our people had run a great hazard of their owne people, for those that were a hunting knew not of any of Corlaer's people being abroad, and therefore feared that our own people would kill them. Whereupon those people that were to go to the Far Nations resolved to return home.
Decanissore desired us to make known to the Maquase on our way home, what the Governor of Canada said. They would not say where the best place for a Fort would be, because the Cayouges and Oneides were not there to consult. The Indians were a hunting and would not be able to help us, if we went soon to work in the spring. They did not wish the Fort to be begun before they came to Corlaer, when the trees began to bud, and they would take counsel together, for all the Nations must be consulted. He laid down a Beaver skin and desired we would tell it to the Oneides, which we promised to do, and thanked them for telling us the news of the French, inviting them to tell us if they expected this fall any French or Priests. We gave a match coat. Decanissore said, Brother Corlaer, if any French and Priests should come hither, do not only send John Baptist, but also a great officer or two, that they speak together. We told them that Corlaer had always forbid them to go to Canada to speak of Peace, for Peace was made by the Kings, and now that they had been there it availed them nothing, but they had merely humbled themselves before the Governor as a Conqueror, and he would boast that they were forced to come and make peace with him. We took leave of them and presented them with a gun. We visited the Oneidas and Maquas and the Carrying-place. 18th returned to Albany. Signed, Peter van Brugh, Hendk. Hansen, Laurence Claesen, Interpreter. Same endorsement. Copy. 7¼ closely written pp.
953. x. Articles of agreement between Ryer Schermerhoorn of Schenectady and Hendrick Beckman, carpenter, and the Earl of Bellomont, for the delivery of twenty-four masts, to be cut in the Maquas' country. Nov. 14, 1700. Signed, Ryer Schermerhoorn, Hendrick Beckman. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18. Read 26th, 1700/1. Copy. 2¼ pp.
953. xi. Copy of Mr. Schermerhoorn's and Mr. Beckman's bond for performance of preceding agreement. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. 1 p.
953. xii. Lord Bellomont's Instructions to Ryer Schermerhoorn and Hendrick Hansen. You are with all convenient speed to treat with the Mohack Indians and get their consent that the King shall now and at all times hereafter have the sole property in all the woods lying within their country, with free egress and regress for men, horses and other cattle necessary for bringing away the same. You are to tell them that the trees are for the use of the King's Navy, and to make the agreement in as open and fair a manner as may be before Mr. Freeman, the Minister at Schenectade, and as many other creditable witnesses as you can get together. You are to make strict enquiry whether Hille the Interpretess have yet removed to Albany to dwell, as she undertook to do, and if not, discharge her, giving me notice concerning her the first opportunity. You are to use your utmost diligence to find out from time to time how our Five Nations stand affected to His Majesty, and whether any ill-disposed persons do tamper with 'em, and give me notice by the first opportunity. You are to encourage the Indians to have a Fort built in the Onondage country. Fort William Henry, Nov. 12, 1700. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, Read 26th, 1700/1. Copy. 1¼ pp.
953. xiii. Prices of masts for His Majesty's ships. Those of Mr. Taylor, Mr. Bridger and Lord Bellomont contrasted, amounting respectively to 152l.; 82l.; 38l. 10s. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. 1 p.
953. xiv. List of the Officers of the Militia of the Province of New York. The number of men total 3,182. Same endorsement. 8¼ pp.
953. xv. Memorandum of List of Officers of the Militia in the Massachusetts Bay. ¼ p.
953. xvi. Memorandum of List of the Militia in New Hampshire. ¼ p.
953. xvii. Address of the House of Representatives of New York to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. Whereas some differences do arise between the County of Orang within this Province and the Province of East New Jersey, they therefore humbly pray your Excellency to take into your consideration the setling of the bounds between this Province and East New Jersey. Signed, Abrah. Gouverneur, Speaker. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. 1 p.
953. xviii. Memorandum of a clause proposed to be inserted in ye Act for preventing abuses to the Indians. ¼ p.
953. xix. Copy of the Governor of Canada's Pass to one L'Esperance, etc. Duplicate of No. 770. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. French. 1 p.
953. xx. Estimate of the charge of building Forts in the Province of New York. At Albany a Fort, 4,000l; at Schenectady a Fort, 4,000l.; at Rudgio a Fort, 6,000l.; at Sheractoge a redoubt, 1,000l.; at Canestigogione a redoubt, 1,000l.; at the half-moon a redoubt 1,000l. East of Boston; at Pescattaway a Fort, 4,000l.; at Ste. Croix a Fort, 7,000l.; on Kenebec River a strong redoubt, 1,500l. Note in Bellomont's hand:— The Fort at Onondage and repairs at New York are not considered, nor the fortifications requisite to defend the harbour of New York and to preserve the town from bombardment. Rudgio is suppos'd our northernmost between the Province of New York and Canada, as Ste. Croix is our most Eastern boundary next to N. Scotia, which is the reason Col. Romer thought those two forts would require more strength and cost than the rest. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18. Read 27th. 1700/1. 1 p.
953. xxi. Memorandum of petition of Ministers at Boston for a clause to be added to the Act against incestuous marriages. ¼ p.
953. xxii. Earl of Bellomont to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. New York, Nov. 23, 1700. Mr. Champante informs me that he has lent Mr. Weaver 425l. of the money he received from the Pay Office and taken Mr. Weaver's Bill of Exchange, drawn on myself and the Council for that value. This has been a trouble as well as a surprise to me. I must either throw up the Agency or desire you will take good security—the sum should be 10,000l.—of the person that shall be presented to you by Sir John Stanley or Mr. Secretary Popple for Agent of the Four Companies of this Province. I enclose copies of Mr. Weaver's Commission and Accounts. shewed his bill and accounts to the Council, who smiled at it, that he should pretend to a year and half's salary for taking his pastime in London, while another that does the duty of the place will without all peradventure be paid the full salary, so that, should Mr. Weaver's pretension be allowed, the King will be at the charge of paying two salaries instead of one. I desire your directions in that matter. I wish, in all Commissions for places of trust in these Provinces I am concerned in, there were a particular clause that the persons should not be entitled to any salary or profits, but from the time of their entring upon the execution of those places or imployments, and that would be a spur to 'em to hasten over and not loyter a year and a half in London. The Commissioners of Accounts we have appointed by Act of Assembly here will never pass Mr. Weaver's account without a positive order from your Lordships. The Council seem'd to think some other articles in Mr. Weaver's account pretty extravagant too. The trade both here and at Boston is under all the ill management your Lordships can imagine. It seems to me a thing extraordinary that Mr. Brenton and Mr. Weaver should be suffered to stay so very long from their posts. Mr. Brenton has been in England above two years. I believe a full third part of the Trade of Boston and this place is directly against Law, and if your Lordships will not keep a strict hand over the Collectors, the Trade of England must suffer exceedingly. 'Tis not possible a Governor should do his own duty and the Collectors' too. Refers to Col. Fletcher's ill-management. I desire to be reimbursed the 71l. 17s. 3d. New England money, I laid out on my journey to and from Rhode Island, and 60l. I laid out for apprehending James Gillam, a pyrate since executed in London. The Commissioners of Accounts will never allow it shall be paid here, and the King has no Revenue in the Massachusetts Province, where the money was expended. Signed, Bellomont. P.S.—Upon report to me and the Council that the Excise of Albany had fallen from above 400l. a year to 100l. since Mr. Livingston has had the collection thereof, 50l. of which he receives for his own use by way of salary, and that by virtue of a Commission he obtained in '95 in England to be Secretary of the Indian affairs at 100l. a year sterl., as well as being Town Clerk, County Clerk and Clerk of the Common Pleas, we directed to set the Excise to farm. The Commissioners of Accounts, too, have enter'd a caveat against his pretension to 800l. due by the Province, for which he obtained an order in England. They have not yet told me their objection.
Mr. Bass has had great good fortune, in his tryall upon the account of my seizing the Hester at Perth Amboy, to have recovered such great damages of the King. The ship was sold by inch of candle, and there was no sort of partiality shewn by me in that matter, as Bass has most falsely told the world in a printed paper he dispers'd last session of Parliament among the members. Never did I get a shilling directly or indirectly by the sale of that ship after condemnation; but all the money she sold for was applied to the payment of the master's and sailors' wages. She was much out of repair and had no sort of merchandize but 28,000 pipe-staves, which were all sold by one Wooley, who was Basse's Agent to Col. D'Peyster. Basse was reckoned to have been happy in my seizing that ship by all people here. The discourse was among the Merchands here that he had imbezil'd his brother-in-law, Mr. John Lofting's cargo, which that ship brought from England, valued at 800l., and by that means Mr. Lofting became bankrupt. The ship lay at Amboy near a year before he could freight her, and then only with a paltry loading of pipe-staves worth not much more than 70l. sterl.
A most violent storm that happen'd here, Nov. 29, at night, drove all the vessels in this harbour from their anchors, and damnified most of them, and this ship among others which carries my packets, which gives me the opportunity of sending Col. D'Peyster's affidavit, which will satisfy you as to the many falcities alledg'd about the value of the Hester. Col. D'Peyster is a very honest, upright man, and Basse, on whose credit that trial was chiefly engaged into by the Proprietors of the Jerseys, is a known profligate fellow, and remarkable for lying. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18. Read March 7, 1700/1. Copy. 5¾ pp.
953. xxiii. Copy of Mr. Weaver's Bill of Exchange referred to in preceding. London, June 25, 1700. Signed, T. Weaver. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. ¾ p.
953. xxiv. (1) Copy of Mr. Weaver's Patent for the place of Collector and Receiver of New York. March 4, 1699. Countersigned, Cocks. 1½ pp.
953. xxiv. (2) Copy of Mr. Weaver's account, including a year and a half's salary as Agent and Receiver. Total, 619l. 7s. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1.
953. xxv. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Commissioners of Customs. New York, Nov. 23, 1700. Your letter of Aug. 18 lay here in Mr. Ashfield's trunk three weeks before I received it. He bears a very scurvy character here. I am told that he pretended to break here for 1,200l. and yet carried off 600l. and went to England with Col. Fletcher. He is said to be much given to gaming, and is of that party that has given me trouble in the just discharge of my duty. Besides, he is of this country as being married here, and I have always found just reason to except against such men in offices of trust under the King; they having litle interests and friendships to gratifie, which do not at all consist with the King's service. I appeal now to you whether Mr. Ashfield can be thought qualified for a place of so great trust. I wish the Collectors were not suffered to loyter in England as they do. Complains of the absence of Mr. Weaver and Mr. Brenton. Mr. Brenton was away, I am told, three years together in England once before. I am sure so long absence does not argue the honesty of a Collector, and the loose management of the Revenue here is a reflection on the management at home. Whatever is got in these Plantations by unlawful trade, is a wound to the trade of England. At Boston Mr. Brenton's Deputy is a Merchand. I cannot say anything against the man's honesty. He seiz'd about five weeks ago a brigantine richly loaded, and has taken security of the owners that they shall stand trial, and so has let go the ship and cargo. I hear he took that course because the Judge of the Admiralty was not in that country at that time. The two waiters keep public-houses, which is not an honest calling. There ought to be two arm'd sloops to guard the trade of Boston and one here. Both that country and this are naturally cut out and seated for unlawful trade, both abounding with creeks, and islands and lurking-places for vessels to run their goods in. Signed, Bellomont. Same endorsement. Copy. 2¼ pp.
953. xxvi. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Lords of the Admiralty. New York, Nov. 23, 1700. I have made an agreement with two honest substantiall men in this country for 24 masts. I drew the articles of agreement myself, because the lawyers here are not of a principle to be trusted with anything that's for the King's service. They would put notions in the Indians' heads (who are the jealousest people on the earth) to make 'em either not consent to the King's making use of the woods at all, or not consent under an extravagant price. You will see the difference between Mr. Taylor's prices and mine. I call 'em mine, but I am not to get a shilling, directly or indirectly by it. I dare undertake to furnish the King with all his masts, bowspritts and yards at such rates as will save him at least 15,000l. a year. And the persons I sent to view the woods assure me there are trees enough to serve the King's Navy with masts for a 1,000 years. I desire you will send a fly boat of 500 ton so as to be here by the last of April next, and I will load her with those masts and timber. I can supply the King and all his dominions with Naval Stores, except flax and hemp, from this Province and New Hampshire, but then your Lordships and the rest of the Ministers must break through Col. Fletcher's most corrupt grants of all the lands and woods of this Province, which I think is the most impudent villainy I ever heard or read of any man. Details. I desire you to order 230l. 17s. and 359l. 10s. 6d. sterl. to be paid to Sir John Stanley for my use, being the amounts I am advancing to the undertakers for these masts, and have paid for ship-timber, partly sent home in the Fortune. First essays of this kind are always more chargeable. If you order me to provide more timber, I do not doubt but to furnish what quantity and of what scantlings you please at least 30 per cent. cheaper than this I have sent in the Fortune. Endorsed, Recd. 18th Feb., Read 12th March, 1700/1. Copy. 3 pp.
953. xxvii. Copies of the Muster Rolls of the Four Companies at New York and Albany, Oct. and Nov., 1700. 6 pp. Same endorsement.
953. xxviii. Memorandum of Mr. Armstrong's letter to Lord Bellomont. Nov. 8, 1700. ¼ p.
953. xxix. Memorandum of a list of warrants issued since Lord Bellomont's being Governor of New York. (No. 954.) ¼ p.
953. xxx. Amounts of the warrants issued by order of Council since the accession of Lord Bellomont, under heads (1) Canada 580l. 18s. 3d. (2) Due to the Revenue, 321l. (3) Indians, 3,156l. 8s. 10½d. (4) Fort in New York, 2,156l. 12s. 11½d. (5) Incidents, 4,045l. 19s. 9½d. (6) Albany, 862l. 1s. 2½d. (7) Souldiers, 1,375l. 2s. 1¾d. Total, 12,498l. 3s. 2¾d. Same endorsement. 1 p.
953. xxxi. Memorandum of Naval Officers' List of ships entered and cleared at New York, June 25—to Sept. 27, 1700. ¼ p.
953. xxxii. Naval Officer's List of ships registered in the Province of New York, June 25, 1700—Sept. 29, 1700. Thirteen brigantines and sloops, of which one brigantine and three sloops were built in New York in 1700. Same endorsement. 1 long p.
953. xxxiii. Memorandum of Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York, Oct. 2—Nov. 2, 1700. ¼ p.
953. xxxiv. Memorandum of Acts passed at a General Assembly at New York, July 29, 1700. ¼ p.
953. xxxv. (1) Extract of a letter from Lord Bellomont to Mr. Popple, Nov. 29, 1700. I will give you a short account of Mr. Graham's endeavour to circumvent us in the last money bill. He is either sick or sullen, and comes not from his country house. Capt. Provoost, the late Mayor, went to him to know how a Common Council might be called for ordering the affairs of ye city, since by the Charter the Recorder, who was then Mr. Graham, is always to be present or they cannot hold a Court. Mr. Graham gives ye said Mayor a Deputation to be his Deputy Recorder, which I take to be wholly inconsistent, that one man should be Mayor and Recorder at ye same time. The Mayor telling him the City were in want of money to carry on their Town-house and other works, Mr. Graham in the same paper as his deputation advised the City's taxing the flower that should be brought out of ye country at 3s. per ½ barrel, which I take to be treason, to levy money on the subject without an Act of Parliament, or of an Act of Assembly. This tax so enraged the country members of the House of Representatives, who were four to one, this last session, that they protested no money Bill should pass till the Ordinance were recalled. The City members were as obstinate for maintaining their ordinance, so that the money Bill was very near miscarrying, if I had not with much difficulty prevailed with the City members to revoke their Ordinance. That revocation could not be neither, till I had named a new Recorder. About a week after, I sent for the Town-Clerk and made him search for Mr. Graham's Commission. At first he brought me word there was no such Commission entred with him, but on a second search he found it. I take it to be illegal, there being no power in the King's Commission to Col. Fletcher or me, nor yet in the Charter of New Yorke, which warrants the Governors giving any officer whatsoever a Commission during good behaviour. Another fault I find with his Commission, it was not entred in the Secretary's office, which is the proper office where Letters Patent or Commissions are entred. Besides all that, it appears plainly the charter of New York is not a legal Charter, for the original I have lately seen is sealed with the Duke of York's seale, and neither the Great Seal of England nor seale of the Province, yet it bears date the second year of King James, so that the whole foundation is wrong. In strictness this is no city, and all the judgements that have been passed in their Mayor's Court are void. Yet Col. Dongan, I am told, and Mr. Graham got a good sum of money for this Charter. I gave the Lords in one or two letters to understand I had a jealousy of Mr. Graham's taking a bribe from Shelly. The grounds you will perceive from enclosed papers. You may observe a plain trick of Mr. Graham's wording the Minute of Council. Where I have marked with a line, there he has cunningly left out Giles Shelly and put in ye words [the said crew]. The apology made for Mr. Graham by the Lieut. Governor in his letter of April 29th, about the bond taken for Shelly, is as I have told the Lieut. Governor, instead of an apology, a severe charge against Mr. Graham, whose duty it was alone to draw the bond himself, as the King's sole Council in the law within this Province. I send the Mittimus to imprison Shelly, drawn by Mr. Graham, and the Bond drawn by one Antill, who was Attorney for Shelly and Mr. Gouverneur, who was therein outwitted by Antill. It would be endless to tell you the lies and tricks of Graham and his endeavours to circumvent me. But I was always on my guard with him, so that he was never able to take the least advantage of me. He has sometimes gone to his country-house, and from thence writ to me how the Assembly were to be manag'd that Session wherein they settled the Revenue, and about the election of members, on purpose to ensnare me, and entice me to write to him about those matters. But I always waved writing to him on those subjects. I will next tell you how he used the King. You know what memorials I sent the Lords of ye Board from Mr. Graham, setting forth how ruinous Col. Fletcher's wast grants of land were to the Province. Yet was this man so double and impudent as to oppose with all his might the passing of that Act I sent home for vacating some of Fletcher's grants. He opposed it to myself, witness the notes I writ down in my table-book from his own mouth, and which I am able to swear to. He was so false to ye King and to me that Session when he was Speaker, and that the Revenue was settled for six years, as to come and perswade me to accept of the Revenue for three years. It was upon that villanous motion of his that I first writ home for a Judge and Attorney, for I found he was so rank a knave there was no trusting him. Several corruptions can be proved against him in his Recorder's place and that of Attorney General. He has at this time the fate that all false, tricking men have, to be hated and despised by men of all parties. I do not finde he has a friend in this Province but Mr. Livingston, who has not quite so much cunning as he. I send you these papers, that in case Mr. Graham makes any complaint to the Lords of Trade for my having him out of his Recorder's place, they as evidences may be produced against him.
953. xxxv. (2) Extract of another letter from same to same. I desire you will solicit the Lords of ye Board to support my demand of the money I have advanced from ye Admiralty or Navy Board. For want of a particular account of the clearings due to the four Companies from Mr. Champante, I have not been able to pay them. He sent me an abstract, but the officers and I are wholly at a loss wt. is due to each company. Mr. Hungerford, tho' my near kinsman, has plaid the fool and worse, while he was one of the Collectors. I send some evidences against him. His father, Sir George, is of the House of Commons, and I hear is so weak as to take it ill I turned his son out of that employment, which I protest I would have done to a son of my own. My cousin Hungerford made it a common practice to make seizures and compound for them, without lodging them in the Custom-House, or giving any account of them to the Government. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, Read Feb. 24, 1700/1. Copy. 3¼ pp.
953. xxxvi. Copy of Mr. Graham's Deputation to David Provost, Mayor of New York, to be his Deputy Recorder, together with his opinion that it is in the power of the Common Council to levy an imposition on flour imported into the City and not bolted therein. Sept. 13, 1700. Signed, Ja. Graham, Recorder. Same endorsement. ¾ p.
953. xxxvii. Ordinance of the Mayor and Common Council for levying a tax of 3s a. upon each half barrel of flower and 12 pence upon each hundredweight of bisket imported into New York. Sept. 24, 1700. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. Printed copy. 2 pp.
953. xxxviii. Minutes of Council of New York. Oct. 26, 1700. (See under date.)
953. xxxix. Copy of Mr. Graham's Commission to be Recorder of New York. Sept. 3, 1692. Same endorsement. 1 p.
953. xl. Printed Copy of the Charter of the City of New York. April 27, 1686. Same endorsement. 10 pp.
953. xli. Minute of Council of New York, July 5, 1699. On consideration of the letter from Lord Bellomont at Boston to the Lieutenant Governor requiring him to commit Capt. Giles Shelley together with his whole crew, without baile or mainprize, the Council were unanimously of opinion that there being no piracy or any other crimes charged against the said crew, who were sailors, and as such obliged to perform the commands of their master, that it is not warrantable in the law to commit them without bail or mainprize, and therefore cannot advise the Lieutenant Governor so to do. 1 p.
953. xlii. Minute of Council of New York. Oct. 11, 1699. (Sic, but see Oct. 11, 1700.) Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700 (1701). 1½ pp.
953. xliii. (1) Extract of letter from the Lieutenant Governor of New York to Lord Bellomont, June 5, 1699. I send you a copy of a letter from Col. Bass, which came this morning, by which you will see that either thro' want of intelligence or an apparent neglect in the Custom-House, what a booty has been lost. Shelley from Madagascar has been hovering off, and, as I am since informed, came into the Hook on Saturday. Here was rumour that night of a ship's being below, and supposed a pyrate, and yesterday about noon came a sloope out of the sea, who told me he saw a vessell within the Hook with boats by her side. I immediately sent several times the whole town over, but could not find Mr. Hungerford. I also spoke to Cortlandt, who set a watch last night of land waiters. Mr. Hungerford, as he tells me since, was out a walking and knew nothing of the matter at eight at night. I saw a sail in the narrows standing this way at one in the morning. Mr. Hungerford sent to desire his boat's crew, which I ordered him, but some hours before that, as I am told, she was run ashore purposely within red hook, without any man or goods on board, etc. Signed, John Nanfan. Copy. 1 p.
953. xliii. (2) Extract of Letter from Lord Bellomont at Boston to the Lieut. Governor of New York. June 12, 1699. I believe you ought to commit Shelley and the pyrates come with him without bayl or mainprize. If the Attorney General will be sincere, he can advise you what's best to be done, and I think 'twere not amiss if you consulted Mr. Parmyter. Signed, Bellomont. ½ p.
953. xliii. (3) Extract of a letter from the Lieut. Governor of New York, to Lord Bellomont, June 12, 1699. In the morning the Attorney General being just come to town and knowing not that Shelley was come in, on my shewing him Basse's letter he was clearly of opinion that there was sufficient evidence for commitment of Shelley to gaol, and that he ought to be sent for before the Council, examined and committed for his transporting and landing so many pryates with their ill-gotten treasure. We could not meet with him in the morning, he absconding, as I believe, till some of his friends had seen and mollified the Attorney, who in the afternoon was clearly of another opinion, and that we could not touch Shelley, though I pressed him a dozen times to tell me how far the Law would support me, and what I could doe, he after a long pause gravely tells me I could not do anything, unless I had witnesses to prove him a pyrate, or to that purpose, and that he believed Shelley would at all times be forthcoming. I broke up the Council and he went that night to his farm. Before Shelley and his brother-in-law were called in, I desired the Attorney to draw up a proper list of questions, which he did, but they had their lesson so perfect, that indeed I thought they had known before what I would have ask'd them. Signed, John Nanfan. 1 p.
953. xliii. (4) Extract of letter from Lord Bellomont to the Lieut. Governor of New York. Boston, June 23, '99. I would advise you by all means to send and examine Shelley and one Van Horn (who I hear came with him) before the Council. Examine them apart and very carefully, and then commit 'em to gaol without baile or mainprize, which I am positive you can legally justifie, and there's no removing them by Habeas corpus, for there is no such law in force in any of the Plantations. Signed, Bellomont. ½ p.
953. xliii. (5) Extract of letter from Lord Bellomont to the Lieut. Governor of New York. Shelley and all his crew you may commit to gaol without bail or mainprize without all doubt. I advised with Council here, and I am so satisfied of it, that I will secure you harmlesse, and I advise you by all means to secure him and the rest immediately, and search his house very narrowly, and 'tis odds but you'll find treasure and East Indian goods. Signed, Bellomont. ½ p.
953. xliii. (6) Extract of letter from Lieut. Governor of New York to Lord Bellomont. July 3, '99. Mr. Attorney told me last week positively that we can do no more to Shelley and his crew than we have done, and that he has the last post given you a particular account with his reasons, so that I know not what to do, but will send for the Attorney (who is at his farm) and the Council, and advise with and shew them what your Lordship directs. This is Mr. Parmyter's advice to me. Signed, John Nanfan. ½ p.
953. xliii. (7) Extract of letter from Same to Same. April 29, 1700. I am as much concerned for Shelley's absconding as your Lordship can be. I have done what in me has laine to retrieve him, by writing to the neighbour Governors, and will still persist. I will ever set the sadle on the right horse. Capt. de Reiner, the late sherriff, as you will see by the enclosed Mittimus and Bond, has him in custody. Myself and the Attorney General (who, I must do that justice) cautioned him that in case Shelley should require baile, to take care how the bond was drawn, and not less than 4,000l., but he goes and advises with his friend Mr. Gouverneur, and Antill, who was Shelley's Attorney (and I think a very ill fellow) took a bond or rather no bond drawn by them, which when I saw since Shelley's absconding, not before, really it surprised me, as indeed it did everybody else, but I will advise what is proper to be done in this matter, and use all legal means, tho' if twenty pirates should escape, the fault lyes on the officers, who had them in charge, not me, for I cannot have my eyes everywhere, I am not defective in my duty, I think not. Signed, John Nanfan. ¾ p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700 (1701).
953. xliv. (1) Deposition of Samuell Staats and Robt. Walters. members of Council of New York, Oct. 11, 1700. On July 5, 1699, in Council the Attorney General gave his opinion that it was not warrantable in Law to commit Giles Shelley and his crew without baile or mainprize. Upon which the Lieut. Governor desired him to dictate the Minute of Council thereon, which he accordingly did by directing the Clerk of the Council what he should write. Copy. 1 p.
953. xliv. (2) Deposition of Barne Cosens, Clerk of the Council. The Minute in question was dictated to him in the Council Chamber by James Graham. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd Feb. 18, 1700 (1701).
953. xlv. (1) Copy of Mittimus by John Nanfan, Lieut. Governor, directing the sherif of New York to keep Giles Shelley in custody. New York, June 23, 1699. 1 p. On back, By virtue of this warrant I took Giles Shelley, and took his bail June 23. 1¼ pp.
953. xlv. (2) Copy of Bond in 5,000l. for the appearance of Giles Shelley. June 23, 1699. Shelley, Matthew Ling, merchant, and Roger Baker, vintner, bind themselves to pay 5,000l. to Isaac de Riemer. "The condition of this obligation is such that if Shelley shall make his personal appearance at the next Supream Court of Judicature or sooner if required, to answer what in his Majesty's name shall be objected against him relating to the matter of fact alleged in the warrant of June 23, then this obligation to be void, else to remain in full force." Signed, Giles Shelley, Matther (sic) Ling, Roger Baker, his mark. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700 (1701).
953. xlvi. Notes of what pass'd between Mr. Graham and the Earl of Bellomont about the Bill for breaking some of Coll. Fletcher's extravagant grants of land. May 4, '99. Mr. Graham was call'd up by me after dinner to my writing room, where, telling him how Col. Smith had seem'd this morning in Council averse to comply with the King's order to break Dellius's two grants, etc., he advised me against it, telling me it could not be done, 'twas an original right by vertue of the Great Seal of England and the public faith of England, which was surprizing to me, because he had not only often told me it was destructive to the Province that such great grants should be made, but also drew up a Representation of it to be sent to England. He told me the people were in a greater ferment than ever, and that the marchands had sent to Virginia to hire a ship to remove themselves and effects to England, and offer'd a 1,000l. for it, but that the master or owner stood upon 1,200l. He told me with tears in his eyes that he had been threatened, and that a woman had been with him this morning in his chambers, and told him there was no safety for him, that it was past mediation and reconciliation, etc. May 5, Mr. Graham told me that yesterday he found a quarter of meat laid across the threshold of his lodging and said 'twas a menace that he was to be quartered. I laughed at his fear. Signed, Bellomont. Same endorsement. 1 p. Holograph.
953. xlvii. State of the clearings for the four companies at New Yorke from March 26—Dec. 24, 1699. Copy in Lord Bellomont's hand. Same endorsement. 1 p.
953. xlviii. (1) An account of goods seized by Mr. Ducie Hungerford on Nassau Island, July or August, 1699. Copy. 1 p.
953. xlviii. (2) Deposition of John Parmyter. Nov. 13, 1700. Some time last fall Mr. Hungerford desired him to go along with him to the Custom House to fetch some goods from thence which he had seized. He was going to take the goods out of the window. Deponent objected. He has heard that Edward Antill has one of the carpets so taken out. Thomas Mountague, apprentice to Thomas Wenham, was assistant to Mr. Hungerford in taking the elephants' teeth out of the Custom House, as Mr. Hungerford informed deponent. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700 (1701).
953. xlix. (1) Account of goods seized by Mr. Hungerford at Capt. Lawrence's house, Robert Hincksman's house and at a house in the woods in Nassau Island. Signed, Daniel Toy, Robert Cranill (Land and Tide-waiters). Copy. ¾ p.
953. xlix. (2) Deposition of Daniel Toy and Robert Cranill that the above mentioned goods were seized in their presence, Daniell Toy adding that they were carried to Mr. Hungerford's lodging. Signed, Robert Cranill, Daniel Toy. Copy. ½ p. The whole endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700 (1701).
953. l. Copy of petition of Engelbert Lott, late High Sheriff of King's County, to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. Having been ordered by special warrant from the Lieut. Governor and Council to secure all pyrats and their goods he could find within his bailwick and to give notice thereof, whilst he was gone with a list of the goods secured by him in his house to the Governor, when he was ordered to bring them in the Custom House, in the meantime Ducie Hungerford took the goods out of his house and brought them in the Custom House, pretending that he was the seizer and informer thereof. The last supreme Court ordered that these goods were fallen to the King one third part, to Lord Bellomont one third and to petitioner one third, and appointed Isaac de Reymer, our present Mayor, and Robert Sincler to appraise them. It then appeared Mr. Hungerford had brought them out of the Custom House and disposed of them without order of Governor and Council or any order of Court. Petitioner got a warrant upon Ducie Hungerford, who gave no security to the sheriff to appear, and then broke out of prison. Petitioner prays to be helped to his right. Same endorsement. 1¾ pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 11. Nos. 18, 18.i.–1.; and (Nos. 953, vi., xxii., xxv., xxvi., xxxv. only) 55. pp. 137–210, 217; and (Nos. 953, ii.–iv., vi.–xiv., xvii., xxiii., xxiv. (1) bis, xxiv. (2), xxx. only), America and West Indies. New York, 580. Nos. 49, 49.i.–xvii.; and (abstract of letter with marginal comments for reply) Board of Trade. New York, 45. pp. 120–137; and (duplicate of No. xix.), America and West Indies. Canada, 485. No. 1.]
Nov. 28.954. List of warrants issued by Order of Council since the accession of Lord Bellomont to the Governorship of New York. (See No. 953, xxix., xxx.,). One long roll. No date or signature. [America and West Indies. New York, 580. No. 49, xviii.]
Nov. 28.955. Clause in the Bill proposed for the restraining and punishing privateers and pyrates. Endorsed, a true copy, Bellomont. ¾ p. [America and West Indies. New York, 580. No. 49. xix.]
Nov. 28.956. Memorandum of Letter from Lord Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. No. 953. ¼ p. Enclosured,
956. i. List of the officers of the Militia, Massachusetts Bay, June 29, 1700. Totals of the 14 Regiments—9,304 men. 20¾ pp. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1701/0.
956. ii. Duplicate of preceding.
956. iii. List of officers of Militia, New Hampshire. Total, 750 men. Same endorsement. 1 p.
956. iv. Paragraph proposed to be inserted in the Act for preventing abuses to the Indians, passed by the General Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay, July, 1700. "All bargains, sales, gifts or leases of any lands appropriated by the Government to the particular use of the Indians heretofore made by any person of that shall hereafter be made, without licence first had from the General Court, shall be void." Same endorsement. ½ p.
956. v. Duplicate of preceding.
956. vi. (1) Petition of the Ministers, Wardens and Vestrymen of the Congregation of the Church of England in Boston to Lord Bellomont, praying for a clause to be added to the Act to prevent incestuous marriages, altering the clause which provides that no Minister shall marry any persons but such as one or both of whom are resident in the town where he is settled in the work of the Ministry. Signed, Samuel Myles, Chris. Bridge, Ministers; William Hobby, East Apthorp, Wardens; Tho. Newton, Fra. Foxcroft, Benj. Mountfort, Giles Dyer, John Indecott, John Cooke, Savill Simpson, E. Lyde, Thaddeus Macarty, Jno. Nelson.
956. vi. (2) Minite of Council, Massachusetts Bay, July 8, 1700, refusing such a Bill, as unnecessary. Signed, Isa. Addington. Same endorsement. 1¼ pp.
956. vii. Duplicate of preceding.
956. viii. Three letters from Capt. Andrew Belcher, to Lord Bellomont, Boston, Sept. 23, Oct. 6, Oct. 14, 1700, dealing with the uses of tar, pitch and turpentine. Copy. 3 pp. (See Oct. 17, Nos. xxv., xxvi.)
956. ix. Robert Armstrong to the Earl of Bellomont. Newcastle, Nov. 8, 1700. There is a considerable quantity of plank, both oak and pine, sawed in this Province; since I received your Excellency's orders, here is two ships come to load with plank from Lisborn. They are making great preparations to saw a considerable quantity of plank this winter, in order to transport for Lisbon next spring. Signed, Robt. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 18, 1700/1. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. New England, 11. Nos. 28, 28.i.–ix.; and (memoranda of preceding only) 38. pp. 384, 385; and (duplicate of No. ix.). America and West Indies. New Hampshire, 572. No. 4.]
Nov. 28.
Whitehall.
957. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Draught of a circular letter to the Governors of Plantations, relating to the late agreement with Algiers, ordered to be transcribed.
Letters to Mr. Secretary Vernon, upon the same subject, signed.
Letter from Mr. Addington, Sept. 12, with a Minute of Council of the Massachusetts Colony, Aug. 7, enclosed, read.
Nov. 29.Draught of a letter to the Governor of Maryland ordered to be transcribed.
Letters of Governor Nicholson considered, and directions for preparing an answer given. Secretary ordered to write to Mr. Perry. (See Nov. 29, infra.) [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 259–261; and 97. Nos. 210, 211.]
Nov. 29.
Whitehall.
958. William Popple to Mr. Pery. Col. Nicholson, having signified his desire to the Council of Trade and Plantations that such French refugees as may be desirous to be transported to Virginia should apply themselves to you for their passage, and their Lordships having signified the same to some persons concerned in promoting that design, they have commanded me to desire you to let them know whether any such refugees have applied to you accordingly, and what numbers are now preparing to repair thither. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 38. p. 58.]
Nov. 30.959. Copy of a Privy Seal for the establishment of the Commission for promoting Trade. Order to the Treasury to pay the arrears due to the Commissioners, and their salary of 1,000l. a year henceforth quarterly, as also to William Popple, senior, (500l. a year), and the other officers appointed 1697. Payment is also to be made to William Popple, senr., for such extraordinary charges incident to this business as shall be attested by the accounts thereof, to be signified by any five or more of our Commissioners. Signed, John Tench, deputy to Tho. Gosling. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 6, 1700. 6 pp. [Board of Trade. Miscellanies, 1. No. 43; and 11. pp. 86–94].
Nov. 30.960. Memorial of some persons concerned in Barbados to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Act for the better securing the liberty of His Majesty's subjects, and preventing long imprisonments, passed Nov. 3, 1697, is of very great importance to the island. We humbly offer the reasons which induced the Legislative Authority of Barbados to pass it. The General Assemblys there having had importunate and perpetual applications made to them, by those whom they did represent, to be relieved from arbitrary and illegal commitments and from long confinements in prison, which some of 'em had suffered, and all were very much concerned for, and apprehensive of, unless a timely remedy were provided to prevent those great mischiefs for the future; the General Assembly therefore taking into their consideration the weight of those grievances, did upon enquiry find the matters, which were complained of, to be true, and that the reasons of such unjust proceedings were; First, a power which some Governors and the members of the Council there had assumed to themselves, to punish what they thought was misbehaviours offered to ym., by committing the parties, whom they were displeased with, without any trial or examination had of the offence, or any cause assigned in the warrant for their comittement, or without any limitation of time expressed therein; so as the imprisonment lasted as long as to force the prisoner to a submission and confession of a fault, right or wrong, or until he was utterly ruined. Secondly, the long delay of holding the Sessions, which sometimes have been put off for three years (they being called and adjourned at the will and pleasure of the Governor), though at the same time many poor prisoners, who upon trial were acquitted, were unjustly detained, and others miserably and mercylessly died without trial, to the utter ruin of their familyes. Thirdly, the refusing to take baile, because no writ of Habeas corpus was admitted, and the delay of trials were not only productive of the aforesaid mischiefs (which have been all avoided since the foresaid Act past), but also of divers others. For thereby persons, who were legally committed for small crimes have dyed in gaol, whereas, had they been tried in due time, punishments suitable to their crimes might have been executed upon them, and they and their families preserved, or if they had been bailed according to the Common Law, such ruin had been prevented. And these proceedings hath not only been injurious in respect of smaller criminals, but several also, who have been committed for great crimes, as murders, fellonys and perjuries, have not been brought to publick punishments, but sometimes escaped, and often dyed in prison, to the great encouragement of such villaines. Fourthly, because they did conceive it was their right as Englishmen, to have the benefit of the writ of Habeas corpus, as others of his Majesty's American Colonies enjoyed, and because the welfare of the said islands depends mostly upon trade and credit, and that before the said Act past, the said right was denied, and the judges being under no penalty for refusal, the Legislative authority thought it their duty, in consideration of what was done in the like case in England, to declare the right of the subject by a Statute Law and to prevent for the future the oppressions, which several in that island had unjustly suffered. Signed, Mel. Holder, Tho. Maxwell, Wm. Allamby, Wm. Cleland. Endorsed, Recd. Read Dec. 6, 1700. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. No. 62; and 45. pp. 177–180.]