America and West Indies
April 1701, 28-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor)

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1910

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177-202

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'America and West Indies: April 1701, 28-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 19: 1701 (1910), pp. 177-202. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=71545 Date accessed: 17 September 2014.


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Contents

April 1701

April 28.
Barbados.
372. Governor Grey to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats substance of letter, April 15. Refers to enclosures. Acknowledges receipt of Commission for trying pirates. Concludes, I have vanity enough to believe that it is not in the power of any man justly to charge me with a breach of my duty. Should any more complaints come before your Lordships I shall beg you will do me the justice to suspend your opinion till I have notice given me and time to answer for myselfe. Signed, R. Grey. P.S.—Your Lordships will please per the next shipping to order some large paper rul'd for to send over the Acts and Minutes. Endorsed, Recd. June 19. Laid before the Board June 25, Read July 2, 1701. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
372. i. Method of Proceedings in the several Courts of Common Pleas in Barbados. March 13, 1700. Signed, James Colleton, Rich. Elliot, John Maddock, John Hooker, John Holder. Endorsed, Recd. June 19, 1701. 4 pp.
372. ii. Tho. Sadleir to Gov. Grey. March 14, 1700 (1701). Signed, Tho. Sadleir. 1 p. Enclosing,
372. iii. Account of the Method of Proceedings in the Court of Exchequer of Barbados. March 14, 1701. Signed, Tho. Sadleir. 1¼ large pp. Same endorsement.
372. iv. Account of the Method of Proceedings in the Court of Chancery of Barbados. March 11, 1701. Signed, Wil. Beresford. Same endorsement. 5½ pp.
372. v. Charles Buckworth to Gov. Grey. March 15, 1700 (1701). ¾ p. Enclosing,
372. vi. Account of the Method of Proceedings in the Admiralty Court of Barbados. Same endorsement. 1¾ large pp.
372. vii. Copy of the Proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. James and St. Thomas. Signed, Wm. Burnet, Aug., 1698–March 31, 1701. Barbados, April 8, 1701. Same endorsement. 109 large, closely-written pp.
372. viii. Copy of the Proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. Andrews and St. Joseph's. July, 1698–April, 1701. Certified and endorsed as preceding. 69½ pp.
372. ix. Copy of the Proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. Peter's, All Saints, and St. Lucies. June, 1697–April, 1701. Certified and endorsed as preceding. 112½ large, closely-written pp.
372. x. Copy of Proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of Christ Church and St. Phillip's. Aug., 1698–May, 1699. Certified and endorsed as preceding. 96 large, closely-written pp.
372. xi. Copy of the proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of Christ Church and St. Phillip's. Aug., 1698–Feb., 1700 (1701). Certified, Jno. Chase, Cl. Cur. Endorsed as preceding. 65 oblong, closely-written pp.
372. xii. Copy of the Proceedings of the Court of Common Pleas for the precincts of St. Michael's. Aug., 1698–March, 1701. Certified, Tho. Dodd, Ch. Cur. 103 oblong, closely-written pp.
372. xiii. List of causes now depending in Chancery in Barbados, showing how long each has depended. April 11, 1701. Certified, Wil. Beresford. Cl. Canc. 8 pp.
372. xiv. (1), (2), (3). Account of the Final Decrees made and Injunctions granted and dissolved since Gov. Grey arrived in Barbados till April 11, 1701. Certified, Wil. Beresford. Cl. and Regr. Canc. Endorsed, Recd. June 19, 1701. The whole, 10 pp.
372. xv. Minutes of the Orders taken in Chancery, with the Final Decrees and Injunctions dissolved, since Gov. Grey's arrival in Barbados. April 11, 1701. Certified and endorsed as preceding. 89½ pp. [C.O. 28, 5. Nos. 2, 2.i.–xv.; and (without enclosures) 29, 7. pp. 327–331.]
April. 28.
Boston.
373. Lieut.-Governor William Stoughton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Recapitulates letter of April 10, and insists upon need of warlike stores. I am fully assured that if the circumstances of this Province were set before your Lordships in a true light, you would agree with me that nothing can be more necessary for the safety of the same than that H.M. be rightly informed thereof, as well with respect to the poverty of his subjects, as their incapacity otherwise to make provision for the defence of his interests. Without the Royal aid we shall not be able to repel the force wherewith we may reasonably expect to be attackt from abroad, more especially when at the same time we shall be sure of being assaulted by the French in our neighbourhood, and the Indians joyned with them, on our Frontiers, which are of very large extent. My illness allows me not to enlarge further. Signed, Wm. Stoughton. Endorsed, Recd. June 16, Read 25 ditto. 3 pp. Annexed,
373. i. Abstract of preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 862. Nos. 49, 49.i.; and 5, 909. pp. 428–431.]
April 28.
Boston.
374. Lieut.-Governor Stoughton to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Recapitulates letter of April 10 and repeats request for warlike stores. Signed, Wm. Stoughton. Endorsed, R. June 16, 1701. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 862. No. 50.]
April 28.
Boston.
375. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Arrangements made with Capt. Andrew Belcher, of Boston, merchant, for the supply of stores of war voted by General Assembly, Feb. 12 last. 414l. paid to him.
The Lieut.-Governor laid the Commission for trying pirates before the Council. [C.O. 5, 788. pp. 45, 46.]
April 28.
Sessions
House,
St. George's.
376. Minutes of Council of Bermuda. The Governor declared Capt. Richard Penniston President of the Council, and with the rest of the Council took the oaths appointed and signed the Association. Proclamation ordered confirming all officers in their posts. [C.O. 40, 2. p. 33.]
April 29.
Whitehall.
377. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. There being a Bill depending before the House of Lords for reuniting to the Crown the Government of several Colonies and Plantations in America, and their Lordships having directed that Council be heard at their Bar to-morrow, as well in behalf of H.M. as of the Proprietors concerned, we offer that the Sollicitor of the Treasury may be directed to take care of that matter and furnish the necessary charge in assistance to Mr. Randolph, who has orders to follow that matter. Signed, Stamford, Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 1289. pp. 47, 48.]
April 29.
Whitehall.
378. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Bellomont. The letters we have received from your Lordship since ours of Feb. 11, are dated Nov. 28 and Jan. 2 and 16, besides some papers, etc., sent to our Secretary. As to the difficulties which your Lordship continues to say there will be in the experiment of making pitch and tar with the soldiers that are now at New Yorke for want of an extraordinary allowance of 4d. sterl. per day, we cannot but think we have already sufficiently intimated that, though it be not seasonable at present to propose any such establishment here, yet it is in your Lordship's power to recompense them, as may be necessary, out of the produce of their own labour: or if that also will not help in the first beginning, yet we conceive you may supply that defect and facilitate the work by what the Assembly may give, either for that or for any other service, wherein the soldiers are imployed and the Province receives advantage. So that we do not see, but notwithstanding this difficultie, the tryall desired may very well be made. And as to the other objection, which your Lordship sometimes makes, as if nothing at all could be done towards the production of Naval Stores, till the Act for vacating extravagant grants of land be confirmed, and other such-like grants vacated in the same manner, we cannot suppose it of such moment as to hinder an experiment; for whatever be determined about those grants hereafter, there is no fear of danger from cutting down such trees as shall be necessary for H.M. service, so long as they stand revoked. And besides also, trees are so plentiful in that country, that tho' a sufficient number for a tryal should even be purchased on the lands of private persons, the cost of them would not be so considerable as to discourage the attempt, or however what they should cost might be computed; and a judgment then made whether the design, in the manner your Lordship has proposed it, be fit to be engaged in or not. As to that Act, we have several times had it under consideration in order to report our opinion upon it, but we meet with difficulties; and especially the want of exact copies of all the grants thereby vacated is a great obstacle to our determination: for it would be very irregular for us to give any judgment upon the right of private persons without examining each of their particular titles. For which reason we desire your Lordship to send us copies of all those grants with what speed you can. And as for the Bills and Petitions, which you say were offered to you for the better enquiring into the titles of land, upon which occasion (as in many others) you complain of the want of a Judge and Attorney General from hence, those gentlemen being now upon their voyage, we hope you will shortly be enabled by their assistance to overcome the difficulties which obstructed your proceedings. And we desire you from time to time to give us an account of the ill practices that you discover, and the mischiefs arising from hence in relation to this whole matter of grants and titles. We have sent extracts of all that you write in these letters, relating to the masts you have provided, to Mr. Secretary Vernon, in order to H.M. pleasure about the payment and the sending for them. It is from the Lords of the Admiralty that you ought to expect directions, but as you write to us also, we do not omit to promote what we understand to be necessary in such methods as are proper for us. We heartily wish those masts, whenever they shall arrive, may answer expectations ; but meanwhile must observe that in the comparison you make between their cost and the terms of Mr. Taylor's contract there is a considerable mistake, for his price is for masts of such dimensions delivered here, but yours only of the cost there, which makes a vast difference, and besides also his conditions were to deliver such masts without any the least flaw, and upon very small flaws found in some of them, they have been turned upon his hands, which is a hazard we fear your Lordship cannot be well secured against by any inspection at New Yorke. And for these reasons we again advise you to be very cautious in bargains of this nature, or rather wholly to forbear any such, till you have positive directions. As for masts, timber, etc., to be had in New Hampshire, in order whereunto you conceive the trade to Spain and Portugal ought to be prohibited, having had occasion to lay some matters before the House of Commons, we have offered that amongst other things to their consideration ; and as for Mr. Partridge in particular, we refer you to what we writ you, Feb. 11, unto which we shall expect your answer. The appeal that you heard was refused in New Hampshire, has occasioned a petition to His Majesty, which is now under our consideration. We hear nothing yet of that appeal you mention to have been refused in the Massachusetts Bay, but this declining to admit appeals to H.M. in Council is a matter that you ought to watch against in all your governments. It is a humour that prevails so much in Proprieties and Charter Colonies, and the independency they thirst after is now so notorious, that it has been thought fit those considerations, together with other objections against those Colonies, should be laid before the Parliament, and a Bill has thereupon been brought into the House of Lords for resuming the right of Government in those Colonies to the Crown. Your Lordship's proposal for increasing the number of officers in the troops at New York does undoubtedly tend to the making those troops more useful upon any occasion, but it would be expensive, and the Parliament having yet given but 300,000l. for all services of that nature, the present establishment is calculated on that foot, and cannot therefore now be altered. If the Parliament shall hereafter enable the King to bear a greater charge, we shall be mindful of what you write on that head.
The settling of the Boundaries between New York and the Jersies is a matter which your Lordship must necessarily first inquire into and give us an account of the pretensions on both sides, and what you conceive to be the state of the case, before we can lay it before the King. We desire you therefore to do so, and we shall afterwards represent what may be necessary. We agree that your residing some considerable time at Albany would be a means to stifle the factions that you apprehend to be there, and to influence our Indians in anything that may be necessary for the security of those frontiers against the French. But when you mention that thought, we know you are sensible at the same time of the more pressing necessity of your presence some times at New Yorke and some times at Boston. And we can give no directions therein but that you reside in one or other place, according to the importancy and urgency of occasions that offer. This difficulty is one of the strongest reasons offered by some New York merchants, why that Government should not be in the hands of the same person who has the Government of the Massachusetts Bay, but we have answered their objections in a report to the House of Commons, by shewing that your Lordship did not remain long absent, but returned to New York in a short time after their petitioning in that manner, and that you have resided there ever since. And as anything else arises that may give a colour to their pursuing the same design, it behooves you to obviate it as much as possible; of which kinde we observe the allowance of your travelling charges from Boston by the Council of New York, tho' the Massachusets Government ought to bear their share thereof. We do not think the inhabitants of that Colony will be very forward in sending any Petitions or addresses hither to complain of your absence from thence. If they can manage their own affairs without controul, and make use of your absence as a reason to withhold the present, which they could not otherwise well refuse to make you, they will be very easy. But you say that for the obtaining of that present, having no other fixed allowance for that Government, you shall be obliged to return thither in the spring. That will again revive the clamours at New Yorke, but how to remove these difficulties on all sides is no easy matter. We are sensible of the reason your Lordship has to complain of the want of a fixed establishment, and we have therefore represented your case in that respect as was fit for us to do ; and are further endeavouring that salaries to Governors may be fixed, to prevent the inconvenience and clamour of presents.
We observe that you write of the hardships the Indians lye under in the Province of the Massachusets Bay, and of the averseness of the General Assembly there to establish such laws as might tend to their relief, but we hope your continued endeavours will in the end dispose them to protect and encourage the Indians in all their just demands. We have considered your observations upon the Trade of those parts under your government, and are well pleased to see your thoughts turned that way. Your Lordship is thereby best able to judge what encouragement is fit to be given to any new undertakings, and in which place each new design may be best promoted. But when all is done, 'tis the success that people may finde in those experiments that can only effectually ingage them to continue in such attempts. If the Narraganset Country be found proper for Mulberry Trees and Silk-worms, it will be very well. Those that have a mind to apply themselves to the production of silk there, may take information for their conduct from what has been done in Carolina, where that project has already been some years on foot. The French you speak of will easily judge, or in a short time finde, whether that country, or New York, or any other place in those parts be proper for the production of wines. The making of salt in New England would undoubtedly be of great use, and it ought more particularly to be incouraged as much as possible. We desire to know what effect has been found of the Act for a priviledge of making salt there. The advantage of a Fishery, wheresoever the seas and coasts are proper for it (as in the Eastern parts of New England) are so very great that it deserves the utmost incouragement, and your Lordship's thoughts can hardly be more usefully employed than in contriving ways to put the people upon it. If you judge that lessening of the Customs on Beaver would help in any good degree to advance that trade, a tryal may be made by taking off those duties at New Yorke (for a change in the Customs here will be difficult), but then also care must be taken that an equivalent be laid there upon something else. We are glad you find the Madagascar Trade and Piracy to be at a stand. We hope the Commissions for trying Pirates lately sent will tend effectually to their extirpation. And the Proclamation of March 6 will also have a good effect. However, a constant watchfulness against piracy and all manner of illegal trade will be always necessary. As to piracy, we enclose H.M. letter to you of the 14th inst.
Upon consideration of what you write to us and also to the Lords of the Treasury, relating to Mr. Weaver's accounts and salary, tho' we can give no directions in those matters, but must refer you to what the Lords of the Treasury shall themselves order thereupon, we enclose the copy of what we ordered our Secretary to write to Mr. Lowndes, which will show you our care so far as is fit for us to intermeddle, and withal our opinion that Mr. Weaver ought not to have any salary till he entered upon the execution of his place. As for your intentions to bring him into the Council of New Yorke in case he stay there, we only observe that his place of Receiver and Collector does not make that necessary. But if you judge him a fit person, we must leave it to your discretion till we receive a full account of the reasons for which you put others out, and of their answers to those reasons, together with the particular grounds of your choice of him, and those persons you shall put in, that we may lay the whole matter before H.M. for his confirmation. And to this end, we desire you, as directed by your Instructions, to send us frequently lists of the names and characters of six persons whom you judge best qualified to serve as Counsellors, altering the same from time to time, as you find cause, and accompanying it also with a list of the Counsellors then in place, that so the Council there may be regularly filled up to a competent number, and not left so uncertain as it has been. What you mention to the Lords of the Treasury relating to the prejudice done the Crown by the grants of vast tracts of land in New Yorke, which were made by Col. Fletcher and other Governors, has been upon several occasions not only represented to H.M. but also laid before the Parliament, and shall be further considered and represented as you shall enable us to come to a more determined resolution upon the vacating Act. As to Mr. Allen's Claim to New Hampshire, that is a point of Law which has been formerly under the consideration of two Cheif Justices of England, and a report having been made thereon, we cannot meddle in it. But the forementioned appeal, which is desired by him from a late sentence of the Superior Court of New Hampshire, will probably bring that matter again under consideration, and occasion some positive settlement in it. As for Mr. Bass, it was not in our power to hinder those proceedings of his about the Hester, but we did all that in us lay to defend His Majesty's right in that cause, tho' the success did not answer expectation. We observe what you write again about Col. Fletcher's accounts, and the expectation which the Commissioners of Accounts there gave you that considerable sums may be got from thence towards the Fortifications. When those accounts come with the vouchers, we hope they will be examined. In the meanwhile, since the Town of New Yorke stands so much in need of being better fortified and that toun is in so thriving a condition as to have built themselves such a noble Town House as you call it, they ought also, or at least the Province ought, to take care of their fortifications, which are the main thing necessary for their security. The sending over a skilful surveyor, as you desire, to draw correct maps would undoubtedly be of good use: but it would be chargeable: and till it may be convenient to propose such a charge, the Engineer ought to be put upon doing it, so far as he can; as we have formerly hinted. We have again acquainted Mr. Champantè with what you write about the clearings of the Companies, and must refer you to him for an account of that matter. As to your complaints against Mr. Graham, he may be prosecuted for anything he has done illegally. And now that you will have a Judge and Attorney General as desired from hence, those matters may be considered with them, and your Lordship may then proceed therein as you finde reasonable. We shall consider your answers to the observations we sent you upon those Acts of Assembly of New York, whereon we suspended our opinion, and shall in due time represent upon them as shall be fit. Divers complaints having been laid before us of irregularities in the Courts of Chancery in H.M. Plantations, and amongst the rest, that in some places the Governors and Members of Council, who compose those Courts, do sit and act therein without taking any oath to do equal and impartial justice between parties concerned in the causes that shall come before them, we have thought fit hereby to direct you (as we do other Governours) that in case there have been any neglect of this kinde in any of your Governments, you forthwith take care to remedy the same, as your Commission empowers you, by your taking in the first place a proper oath for that purpose, and afterwards administering the like oath to the Members of the Court of Chancery in that Province where you shall be residing at the receipt of this letter, and by your further directing the Lieutenant-Governours of His Majesty's other Provinces under your Government immediately to take the like care. My Lord, your Lordship's most humble servants. Signed, Stamford, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 1118. pp. 252–266; and (rough draft) 5, 1079. No. 69.]
April 29.379. Order of the House of Lords that William Popple, Secretary to the Committee of Trade and Plantations, do attend on Saturday with such books and papers as are in his custody, and may be useful in order to make out the allegations of the Bill depending in this House, "For reuniting to the Crown the Government of several Plantations and Colonies in America." Signed, Math. Johnson, Cler. Parliamentor. Endorsed, Recd. April 30, 1701. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1261. No. 2; and 5, 1289. p. 63.]
April 29.
Portsmouth.
380. Minutes of Council and Assembly of New Hampshire. Vote of the Representatives sent up, that an addition be made to the Act relating to vessels upwards of 12 tuns not belonging to the Province paying powder money, was read.
Vote of the Representatives that, whereas by the foresaid Act all vessels exceeding 12 tuns were obliged to pay one pound of powder or twelve pence per tun, for the better encouragement of trade within this Province, the Treasurer demand noe more than 12d. per thousand of every such vessel as carryeth lumber from hence, was read.
A Vote was sent up praying for an adjournment, "whereas the season of the year requires several of this house to be at home about their present necessary occasions for sowing and planting." The Lieut.-Governor summoned the Assembly and adjourned them till May 20. [C.O. 5, 789. p. 11.]
April 29.381. Minutes of Council of New York. Present as on April 1. A letter being produced from Capt. John Schuyler at Albany, April 21, and read together with the papers inclosed, the Council are of opinion that Capt. Schuyler do pursue the instructions received from the late Earl of Bellomont in relation to the Onnagongue Indians, and that he do immediately communicate to this Board all such news he shall receive from the said Indians, or relating to them, that he may receive directions from them, of which the Clerk of the Council is to give him notice.
Ordered that Capt. John Bennet continue his command of Col. Ingoldesby's company at Albany until further order.
Stores ordered for the Barge.
Payment ordered to Col. Abraham Depeyster for money laid out by him for the expedition of Roger Schermerhoorn, etc., this sum to be repaid when the money is sent from England to pay for the procuring of masts for ships.
Warrant ordered for payment of 30l. to Cornelia Depeyster on account of the money due to Jean le Chavalier, carpenter, for his work in the Fort. [C.O. 5, 1184. pp. 517–519.]
April 29.382. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter to the Treasury signed and delivered to Mr. Randolph.
Several letters from Col. Codrington read. Directions given in order to the further considering of some parts thereof.
Letter to Lord Bellomont signed and ordered to be sent.
Representation relating to presents made to Governors in the Plantations signed.
April 30.Letter from Col. Codrington, Jan. 17, read, and directions given for a Representation to H.M., and for the Secretary to write to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General for their answer to certain queries formed upon reading this and the letters read yesterday.
Warrant to Lord Bellomont, March 26, stopping Mr. Weaver's salary, was received from the Treasury and read. Copy kept, and the original transmitted to Lord Bellomont in a letter from this Board.
Petition of John Field, etc., read. Ordered that when the draught of the Maryland Act has been considered by this Board, a copy be given them according to their desire.
Order of Council, April 24, as to Mr. Allen's petition, read.
Order of Council, April 24, upon Mr. Partridge's petition, read. Representation thereupon signed and sent to the Council Board. [Board of Trade. Journal, 14. pp. 7–11; and 98. Nos. 76, 77.]
April 29.
Whitehall.
383. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Upon considering divers complaints relating to matters of Trade and Justice in your Majesties Plantations, we have reason to believe that the Governours receiving presents from the General Assemblies tends to render them precarious and dependent on the people there. Wherefore we humbly offer as expedient that the Governours of all your Majesty's Plantations be forbid the receiving of any presents or gratuities, and that for the better enabling them to support the dignity of the Government, an addition be made to the salaries of some of them, where it may be needful. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Mat. Prior. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 35. pp. 454, 455.]
April 30.
Kensington.
384. Minutes of King in Council. The preceding Representation was read, but nothing ordered thereupon. Initialled, E.S. (Edward Southwell). Endorsed, Recd. Read May 14, 1701. ½ p. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 5. No. 95; and 35. p. 456.]
April 30.
Whitehall.
385. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. We see no reason why your Majesty may not be graciously pleased to grant William Partridge leave of absence from New Hampshire for some short time. We humbly offer that during his absence and that of Lord Bellomont, the Government will be in the Council of that Province. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 909. pp. 403, 404.]
April 30.
Kensington.
386. Order of King in Council, granting leave to Lieut.-Governor Partridge, upon his petition, to be absent from New Hampshire for some short time for the settling of his affairs in this Kingdom. Mr. Secretary Vernon to prepare a warrant accordingly. Signed, Edward Southwell. Mem.—Representation from the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, April 29, upon Presents to the Governors, was this day read, but nothing ordered thereupon. E. S. Endorsed, Recd. Read May 14, 1701. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 862. No. 51; and 5, 909. p. 406.]
April 30.
Whitehall.
387. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor the Earl of Bellomont, enclosing Warrant, March 26, to stop Mr. Weaver's salary. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Ph. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Mat. Prior. [C.O. 5, 1118. p. 269; and 5, 1079. No. 70.]
April 30.388. John Feild and Theodor Eccleston, etc., to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Praying for a copy of the New Act for the service of Almighty God in Maryland, ordered to be prepared by the Board, and liberty to make their objections, if necessary, before it be transmitted. Signed, John Feild, Theodor Eccleston. Endorsed, Recd. Read April 30, 1701. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 715. No. 35.]
April 30.
New York.
389. William Smith, P. Schuÿler and Robert Livingston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The four Members of H.M. Council who were present in this place, March 5, when H.E. departed this life, have given us to understand that before our arrival they had given your Lordships, by way of Boston, an account thereof, as also that the Lieut.-Governor was absent at the Barbados. Immediately on his Lordship's death, the Gentlemen of the Council then present directed the Clerk of the Council by express to signify the same to us by transmitting to us such Minutes of Council as they had made immediately after my Lord's decease, by which wee were required with all expedition to repair to this place. Col. Smith, Eldest of H.M. Councill and President thereof, arrived here, March 11, and having mett with the four Members of H.M. Councill then in Town, did acquaint them that upon notice given him by their direction, he had with all expedition put himself on his journey for this place, and having observ'd by the Minute of Councell by them sent him that they allow'd him to be Eldest of H.M. Councell, and so consequently by H.M. Letters Patents to the late Earl of Bellomont invested with the powers and preheminences any President had exercised and enjoyed in any H.M. Plantations, and that since this Province never had been under the like circumstances of Government heretofore, that they might quietly proceed in the administration of the Government, he pray'd them to consider how such powers and preheminences had been executed in other H.M. Plantations under the like circumstances, to which they will give no answere, but desir'd him to give them his sense of that matter. He told them he was of opinion that Presidents in other Plantations had been allowed to convein and adjourn H.M. Council when he thought for H.M. service, and, without his presiding, the other Members of H.M. Council could not properly act as a Government; that if it were needful to execute the Legislative power, he believed he ought to have a negative voyce, with power of adjourning, prorogueing and dissolving the Assembly. On the 13th following he again mett the four Members of Council, who, upon their first sitting down at the Councill Board, immediately produced a resolve in writing, which they caus'd to be read, whereby they declared the said Col. Smith hath no more power than any other of H.M. Councill; that when the majr. part of the Councell thought fitt to meet as a Councill and act in the administration of the Government, that they would notify him; that if he refused to come upon such notice, they would act in the administration of the Government without him. The said resolve appeared to him a very odd way of proceeding, upon which he did exhibite a paper containing other reasons, to which also the four Members did give in their answer in writeing. From this way of procedure, and other discourse had at that time in Council, the said Smith had reason to suppose that it was expected by them upon publishing that resolve, he would have been disgusted, and so left them, but being earnestly intreated by a considerable number of inhabitants, and believing it for H.M. service, he thought fitt to continue to proceede among them under protestation, that such his concession should not bee understood to prejudice the right given him by H.M. Letters Patents aforesaid. Immediately after this the four Members of Council debated with him whether the Assembly, which by prorogation were to sitt on April 2, ought to sit at said time. Smith offer'd his opinion that it was very doubtful to him whether the Assembly was not actually dissolved by the Governor's death, they being called by writts under his Test, to consult and advise with the Captain General or Commander in Chief of this Province, and that there was no such person in this Government; that assuming they might properly sitt according to the tenure of the writ aforesaid, yet in the method they had resolved to act the administration of the Government, one Branch of the Legislative power, to witt the negative voice, must needs be lost, if all the Councill were of equall power. To which end he also exhibited his reasons in writing, which were twice read in Council, but refused to be entered in the Council Book. Refers to Instructions from Council of Trade, Oct. 30, 1700, "which did plainly prohibit us the exercise of the Legislative power unlesse warranted by the necessity" of the country. Upon which several reasons were offered by the Four Members to justify such a necessity, which Smith could not apprehend to be of that weight and moment as might warrant the passing any Act according to the caution aforesaid. He offer'd the Members then present, that if they would please to reduce their reasons into writeing, he would give clear answers to them, or be concluded by them, which they refus'd to do.
The arguments on this subject were managed with great heat. Smith had good reason to believe that those gentlemen meant to have many things transacted in said Assembly of which they made no mention to him, which he conceives would not have been for H.M. service or the peace and welfare of this Government. And he was the more confirmed in that opinion, that after a long debate, seeing they could not prevaile with him to act with the said Assembly, a Member of the Four then present was pleased to say as an inducement to him to concur with them in that opinion, that he did not know or doubted not, but if Smith would be easy in acting with the Assembly, that they would give him 500l. To which he replied that a much greater summe would not tempt him to swerve from the due discharge of his duty to His Majesty and this Province.
Being again mett in Council on the 14th following, the necessity of the Assembly's sitting was again debated by the five Members then present, and being put to the vote it passed in the affirmative but by one voice, immediately after which they had ready prepared several Proclamations ready wrote, requiring the Assembly to meet on the day they were prorogued to by the late Governor, which were offered to him to sign, but he not being of opinion there was any necessity for their sitting, nor that they could regularly or properly act in the method they had put the administration of the Government by their resolve aforesaid, thought he ought not to sign, but it being offered that the Assembly would meet without such Proclamation according to the former prorogation, and not knowing what necessity might happen before that time, and also hoping that before said time the other Members of H.M. Councill then absent would arrive here, and that the matter of their Resolve would in a full Councill be fairly and maturely considered, as also that in the mean time we should be better inform'd how the Legislative power had been exercised in other H.M. Plantations, who had been under the like circumstances, he suffered himself to be concluded by their vote of that day under his former Protestation, and so did sign several Proclamations. All matters before being issued, and Bills of Exchange signed, raising money for subsisting H.M. forces, having three days before given notice to the Council that his having left his family so suddenly upon notice of the Governor's death, he thought fit for some few days to return to his family, and pray'd them that if anything they thought for H.M. service fit for him to do before his departure, it might be dispatched in the two days he would yet stay in town.
Two days after his departure, Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston arriv'd at this place from Albany, and were the next day by the four Members aforesaid sent for to act in the administration of the Government, but the President being absent, they were of opinion they could not properly act untill he were present, for which reason they sat not in Council untill his return, and then finding that the four Members, for their not appearing, had caused it to be enter'd in a Minute of Councill that they had refus'd to act with them in the President's absence, and further alleadging that the sending for them was in order to find meanes to raise money for the subsisting H.M. forces, they thought themselves obliged to exhibite their reasons in writeing why they did not appear at that time. On April 2, eleven of the Representatives met according to Prorogation, but haveing almost every day satt in Councill no mention was ever made of anything fitt to be offer'd to the Assembly untill the 8th, and then there wanted the Members of two entire Counties, that at said time being then a full Council, the President did offer to the Board in writing several reasons, relating to the sitting of the Assembly as well as to several other matters of the present administration of the Government, praying they might be fairly considered and discoursed, and also entered in the Council Book, but after being read, the four Members being a majority, refus'd to have them entered. On the 9th inst., being again mett in Council, the four Members did produce a paper signed by them requireing the President to give them answer to diverse heads. He did the next day give answer thereunto, but being at the latter end of the week, the Council as well as the Assembly did adjourn untill the 14th inst., at which time the President did give in his answer in writeing, with the approbation and concurrence of Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston. Immediately after it was read, four Members produced a paper which they caus'd to be immediately read, and, without ent'ring into any debate, requir'd of us whether wee would concurr with them in sending it to the House of Representatives as the sence and opinion of the Government, which for the reasons just before by us given in the paper aforesaid, as well as for that it did contain several unjust reflections on the President, wee utterly rejected, but they immediately, having two copies thereof, left one with the Clerke of the Council and sent the other to the House of Representatives. Our answer we herewith transmit. On the 16th, seven of the Representatives not being satisfied with the method the four Members resolved to act in the administration of the Government, as well as for several other reasons exhibited by five of the then number in writing, left the House. We frequently satt in Council from the 14th to the 19th, yet we never received any messuage or saw any vote from the Representatives, who on the 19th adjourned to the first Tuesday in June. We are informed that a bare majority of said Representatives did in concurrance with the four Members of Council aforesaid vote that the President had given delay to the business of their sitting and that the Government was invested in a majority of the Council; that they gave thanks to Col. D'Peyster and Mr. Weavor for having advanced money to subsist the two Companies in the Fort for two or three weeks, when indeed they had Bills of Exchange signed by us all, by which they might have rais'd the money if they had pleased, but wee must humbly offer to your Lordships that this was only a pretence of those two gents. to justifie a necessity of the Assembly's sitting, and when the said two gents. acquainted us of their having advanced the money, pretending such money could not bee got upon such Bills of Exchange as had been signed by us, wee immediately procured the money from that time, and shall not faile of procuring so much as will subsist the whole forces, until it pleases God the Lieut.-Governor arrives.
From the proceeding of the four Members, and they are [? —their] so early and earnestly pressing the sitting of the Assembly, wee had great reason to believe they intended to have pass'd several Acts of private consequence to the public disquiet of this Province; that many of those reasons they first offered to the President as a necessity for the Assembly's sitting, they totally omitted in those they gave to the Assembly in writeing, and also added others of which no mention was at first made. We have had great regard to the caution your Lordships gave us, Oct. 30 last, and did believe it very conduceable to H.M. service as well as to the Peace and Wellfare of this Province, that no Acts of Assembly might passe to the prejudice of His Majesty and the General Disquiet of the people, who are exceedingly concerned to find them pursue a method of Government altogether different from what had been practis'd in any other Plantations under the like circumstances. We humbly observe the unhappy circumstances of this poor Province, by the unhappy differences, heats and animosities amongst the inhabitants, and recommend to your Lordships the consideration how very important it would bee as well to H.M. service as the Peace and Wellfare of this Province that your Lordships would so represent the same to His Majesty that due methods may be taken for the healing and composeing of those animositys and the uniteing H.M. subjects within the same, for wee are humbly of opinion that these heats and animositys, if a warr should again break out in Europe, it would be of very ill consequence as to the Peace and security of this important and otherwise so flourishing a Province. We also humbly offer that if Mr. Weavor had not been made of H.M. Council some little time before the late Governor's death, the administration of the Government at this time had been managed with great ease and quietnesse, but that, he being a stranger to the country, a person of a turbulent spirit, and very violent in supporting of one party against another, which he has always endeavoured from the time of his first arrival here, [that] he has solely been the cause of all the misunderstandings between the gentlemen of the Council since the late Governor's death. In all debates in Council he has solely manag'd the matter, and that with such heat and violence and loud clamour that our debates have been made publick to all that were nere the Council Chamber. We have been most credibly informed that during his abode in the Leeward Islands he gave great disturbance to that Government for which he was committed to prison by the then Governor Codrington, from whence he made his escape to Barbados, and from thence came with the late Governor to this place. During the little time of his being Collector here, he has occasioned great clamours of the Masters and Merchants for strangely delaying them in their dispatch by putting on them hardships impracticable in any other of H.M. Plantations, and gives this for reason the worse he is exclaimed against and complained of by merchants and masters of vessels, the better he shall bee liked by the Commissioners of the Customs in England.
By several vessels lately arrived from the Barbados wee are given to understand the Lieut.-Governor may dayly be expected here, which wee hope will put an end to all these misunderstandings amongst both Council and Assembly. Wee have most studiously endeavoured to keep all in peace, and trust in God the Lieut.-Governor will find all so on his arrival. We have thought it for H.M. service to order H.M.S. Advice, Capt. Collwall, to cruise for 21 days between Martin's Vineyard and the Capes of Delaware to seek after such Rovers as may happyly bee found, and after that to repair to Boston and there to creen', where is much better conveniency then in this place, after which, he is directed with all expedition to return again to this port. We are sorry wee must observe the great desertion of H.M. forces in this place, especially of those last recruits, since the Earl of Bellomont's decease, which wee cannot attribute to any neglect of the officers, who wee thinke have taken all due care to prevent their desertion, and both wee and they have us'd our utmost endeavours by Proclamation, Hue and Crys and sending their officers in pursuit of them, yet the Provinces contiguous to us being Proprietary Governments, wee fear such desertion is too much encouraged by the inhabitants concealing and employing such deserters, so that we have not been able to retrieve any one of them, and upon enquiry of the officers for what reason they have observ'd any discontent, they give us for answer the smallness of their pay and want of necessary cloathing. The number who have so deserted are neer 40 men. Wee transmit a petition the officers have layd before us relateing to that matter.
Your Lordships will be pleased to observe by the Minute of Council the method wee have taken for raiseing mony for subsisting H.M. forces here, wee humbly pray you will be pleased to direct the Agent in England that our Bills for that use be duly accepted and payd, wee haveing drawn Bills to this time for 600l., and must suddenly be forc't to draw more. We transmit an account of stores of war in H.M. Fort here, according to a survey taken by Col. Romer and the chief officers.
We are humbly of opinion that there are several other matters contained in such publick letters, etc., as your Lordships have transmitted to the late Governor, but tho' the President hath several times desired in Council that all such publick papers relating to such perticular things of which your Lordships might expect some account from us might be put into his hands to the intent he might draw therefrom the heads of such matters as he should thinke fitt to be layd before your Lordships, that the gentlemen of the Council might consider and consult what might be fitt to be don' therein, which have still been deny'd him, together with H.M. private Instructions to the Governor, so necessarie for our direction, by the four Members of H.M. Council, unless he would in all things concur and be concluded by them.
We thinke it our duty further humbly to represent to your Lordships the ill state of the Jerseys, who by the Proprietors' directions are under the administration of Col. Andrew Hamilton, who when he was formerly in that post did always influence the people to be convinced of their dutys to be assistant to the frontiers at Albany dureing the last warr, and was careful of re-mitting deserters from H.M. Companyes here, yet by the licentiousness of that people he cannot contain them within the decent and necessary boundaries of Government, by which those Provinces are like to fall into disorder and confusion. We doe therefore humbly offer whether it be not for H.M. service that His Majesty would be pleased to put those Provinces under such regularities that the publick peace may bee restored and H.M. Government of New Yorke may have the assistance of the Magistracy of the Jerseys to remand deserters and fellons that may shelter themselves there, which often happens, and by the convulsion of that people not in Col. Hamilton's power to remedy it.
From the treatment wee have received from the four Members aforesaid, wee may expect to be misrepresented to your Lordships, but wee humbly hope it will clearly appear to you that wee could have no interest or design, but purely H.M. service and the good peace and wellfare of this Province. They have had such prevalency over the Clerk of the Council that they have made such Minutes as they have thought fit, casting all the reflections on us, hoping thereby to render us obnoxious to your Lordships. But we have great reason to hope your Lordships in your great wisdom will discern that wee have in all this affair acted with great modesty and temper, tho' wee have very often by Mr. Weavor been highly provok'd and scurrelously treated. If any misfortune should happen to the Lieut.-Governor (which God forbid) wee have great reason to fear what might be the consequence, and must therefore pray your Lordships will be pleased to give such directions as shall seem meet. Signed, William Smith, Pr., P. Schuyler, Rt. Livingston. Endorsed, Recd. July. 8, Read 9th ditto, 1701. 10 large, closely-written pp. Enclosed,
389. i. Abstract of preceding. 3¼ pp.
389. ii. Copy of Minute of Council of New York, March 5, 1700 (1701). 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. July 8, 1701.
389. iii. Copy of Minute of Council of New York, March 13, 1700 (1701). 2¾ pp. Same endorsement.
389. iv. Col. Smith's reasons delivered into Council, against the Assembly sitting, unless the administration of the Government be vested in him as President. March 14, 1700 (1701). According to the letter of the Council of Trade, Oct. 30, the Government should have devolved upon a President and Council, and even had this been the case, there is nothing of so pressing necessity as to warrant the calling of a General Assembly and passing any Act. But in the method they have now put the administration of the Government, Col. Smith cannot be of opinion they have power to pass any Act at all. If it be understood the Legislative power devolve upon the Council and Representatives of the people by the death of the Governor and a bsence of the Lieut.-Governor, the power of adjourning, proroguing and dissolving, and a negative voyce must devolve upon the first in nomination of H.M. Council, or is lost, and so no laws can be past for want of the third branch of Legislative power, which is the chief and gives birth, being and sanction to our Laws. Signed, Wm. Smith. Endorsed as preceding. 2¼ pp.
389. v. Minute of Council of New York, March 15, 1700 (1701). Same endorsement. 1 p.
389. vi. Minute of Council of New York, March 15, 1700 (1701). Same endorsement. ¾ p.
389. vii. Reasons of Col. Schuÿler and Mr. Livingston for not sitting in Council in the President's absence, read in Council, New York, March 31, 1701. Upon news of the death of Lord Bellomont they immediately repaired to New York, and were given to understand that Col. Smith, Eldest Councillor and President of the Council, was absent, and that his return would be very suddenly. Judging from the clause in Lord Bellomont's Commission (quoted), they are of opinion that Col. Smith is President of the Council and ought to act as such, and that without his being present the rest of the Members cannot sit and Act in the administration of the Government, whilst he is alive and within this Province. And whereas Four Members of Council, in his absence, did send the Messenger of the Council that they were met and desired their attendance, the President being absent, whom they always must believe to be coram unus, and that no Act of the Government can or ought to be executed without the said President's presiding, they could not apprehend to what end they should sitt, unlesse he was present; that they had not signified to them any particular matter of necessity they intended to treat of. And whereas upon the President's arrival and upon notice given them from him they did meet and sitt in full Council, it was objected by some Members of the Council that the sending for them to meet before the President came to town was in order to find out means to raise money for the subsistence of the Forces, they do declare they were ignorant of any such want, they having been told in town that the President before his departure had with the rest of the Members then present signed such Bills of Exchange as would be sufficient. They have always had a great regard to H.M. service, and think it their duty to make it known to this Board, that they are ready to expose their credit and fortunes in conjunction with the President and the rest of the Council for H.M. service in the support of the Forces or whatever else shall appear to be for H.M. service and the peace, good and welfare of this Province, and they do pray that this their Remonstrance may be entred by the Clerk of the Council in the Council Book. Same endorsement. Copy. 3 pp.
389. viii. Copy of Col. Smith's reasons against the Assembly sitting unless the Government be vested in him. Delivered into Council, April 8, 1701. Recapitulates events as at the beginning of letter. Continues: Now there is a full Council present, he thinks fit further to offer that Col. Dudley, who some time since acted as President of H.M. Council of the Massachusetts Bay, did enjoy all powers in as full a manner as any Lieut.-Governor could have done. He hath produced to this Board an instrument signed by President Bond late of Barbados, who of his own authority, without any power from the Council, signs himself as President, a public Instrument in writing, etc. The Governments of Massachusetts Bay and Pensilvania have directed their letters for this Government to the President and Council. Having asked the gentlemen of the Council what power and preheminencies they did allow him as President, a Member there present was pleased to answer: onely to sit at the upper end of the table. He must suppose himself quorum unus, and whilst he is alive and within this Province, the rest of the Members of H.M. Council cannot act in the administration of the Government without him. He conceives that unless the President be allowed to have a distinct power from and beyond the rest of the Council, the Government would be imperfect, for that whensoever the Council were equally divided, the Government as to that matter would cease. Money being wanted to support the Forces, men of business who are best able to supply that want seem unwilling to advance money on the credit of the Government, which they are not satisfied persues the powers of H.M. Letters Patents, but if the Government were put into a right method, no money should be wanting to that end. Whereas the Representatives are now met, and it may be expected that the said Smith should in conjunction with the rest of the Council concurr in exercising the Legislative power of this Province, he is humbly of opinion that unless they will allow him to execute and enjoy the powers and preheminences he thinks he is entituled to, he cannot think any Act they can make to be regular. Prays that these his reasons may be entered in the Council Book. Same endorsement. 3½ pp.
389. ix. Paper signed by Four Members of Council. New York, April 9, 1701. Whereas the House of Representatives are now met, and for these five days passed have been a full House and have dayly sent messages to the Council to acquaint them therewith, and whereas H.M. Council have not yet been able to act with the Assembly for H.M. service by reason that Col. Smith doth give delay by several papers given in by him and by his dayly disputes with the Council, we therefore, the Major part of the Council, desire that he will finally declare himself, whether or no he will at present acquiesce and submit himself to be advised, directed and concluded by the sense, opinion and judgment of the Major part of the Council, in which he can only preside; and also whether or no he will permit the sense, opinion and judgment of the Major part of the Council to be communicated to the House of Representatives as the sense, opinion and judgment of H.M. Government of this Province; that H.M. affairs and the public peace may be no longer disturbed, H.M. Council abused, and the Representatives affronted by these his practices. And this our desire wee do order the Clerk to enter in the Minutes of Council, and to make a record of whatever answer Col. Smith shall now make after so great a delay and loss of time occasioned by him. Signed, A. D'Peyster, S. Staats, R. Walters, T. Weaver. Same endorsement. 1¾ pp.
389. x. (1) Copy of Minute of Council of New York, April 14, 1701.
x. (2) Col. Smith's answer to preceding Paper. The greater part recapitulates what has already been stated by him above. In answer to the demand of the Four Members given above, as to whether he will permit the sense of the major part of the Council to be communicated to the Representatives as the sense of the Government, he answers, that having already declared that he is of opinion that unless it be allowed that the three Branches of the Legislative power be allowed to be distinctly exercised agreable thereunto and according to the practice of other H.M. Provinces in America, which seems to be contradicted by the resolves of the four Members, March 13, he conceives that neither Council nor Assembly can regularly perfect any Act, so that consequently that question doth not at present properly require any other answer. Col. Smith thinks himself obliged to observe to this Board as a hardship that the four Members have taken upon them to order and command the Clerk of the Council to enter in the Minutes of Council the paper signed by them the 9th inst., and have positively forbidden him to enter such reasons as have been offered in writing for H.M. service to this Board by Col. Smith, Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston, and have not without great uneasiness suffered the same to be read. Appeals to them maturely to consider the reasons by him offerred. Since there is great probability of the Lieut.-Governor being speedily here, it would be highly conduceable to H.M. service and the peace and welfare of this Province, that all matters relating to the Assembly may be deferred for 6 or 8 weeks; that an Assembly may be at any time called upon any emergency, when H.M. service doth so require. As to that great matter of supplying and supporting H.M. forces here and at Albany, wherein is pretended so great difficulty, Col. Smith hath farther informed himself from the men of business, who do assure him they have that great zeal for H.M. service, that if the Government be put in that method that they are given to understand hath been practized in other Plantations, under the like circumstances, so that they can have hopes that H.M. and the Government at home will approve of the administration here, and that the peace of the Province may be secured, tho' money at present be exceeding scarce, yet that they will be sure to supply weekly such money as shall be necessary for H.M. service, in the support of said Companies, taking bills on the Agent in England upon the credit of the President and other Members of H.M. Council, as has been hitherto done, and that when the Lieut.-Governor shall arrive, they will continue to supply him in the same manner, and that this matter may be putt beyond all question, Smith as President, together with Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston, Members of Council, will on such condition be obliged that the said Merchants shall and will supply the wants aforesaid, so that the want of that supply can be no reason for the holding of any Assembly at this juncture of time, nor indeed is he sensible of any other necessity. Signed, Wm. Smith.
x. (3) Paper delivered into Council by Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston, expressing concurrance with above. Wee doe further certifie that since our being present in Council that the President hath manifested to this Board his readiness to issue all matters for his Majesty's service, as well as for the peace and welfare of this Province, which came properly before this Board; that he hath been so far from giving delay to anything that hath been such, that he, as much wee think as in him lay, avoided all disputes and controversies relating to his powers and preheminences as President, as also in relation to the present Assembly, and has several times prayed that this Board would proceed to determine all such matters before them, that had no relation thereunto. We pray that this our opinion may be entered together with the reasons offer'd by the President. Signed, P. Schuyler, Rt. Livingston. Same endorsement. The whole 17¾ pp.
389. xi. Copy of a Paper signed by Four Members of the Council of New York, relating to the administration of the Government, and by them sent to the Assembly. April 14th, 1701. Whereas the House of Representatives have been a full house met in General Assembly now for the space of twelve days last past, and whereas H.M. Council (in whom the Government of this Province is invested by H.M. Letters Patents) hath not been able to communicate. joyn and act with the Assembly by reason that Col. Smith hath not allowed that the sense, opinion and judgment of H.M. Council or the major part of them should be transmitted to the Assembly as those of H.M. Government of this Province, but hath claimed the sole power of calling H.M. Council and the highest powers of a Captain General, contrary to H.M. Letters Patents and expressly contrary to Col. Smith's concession, recorded in the Council Book, that upon the Council's admittance of his protestation desiring a salvo te to what rights and powers belong to him as President, he was contented to preside in Council and be directed and concluded by the major vote of them, and pursuant to the said concession, Col. Smith even against his own vote, by Order of the Council did actually putt his name to the several Proclamations published by the Council requiring the present General Assembly to meet at the day they were prorogued to. That by the said prevarication of the said Col. Smith H.M. affairs may be no longer delayed and neglected to the great hazard of the safety and peace of the Province, and in discharge of our oaths and duty, we the major part of H.M. Council, that no further delay may be given to the pressing necessity of the affairs of this Province, do offer to the consideration of the House of Representatives the extraordinary reasons and necessity of their present meeting. (1) The Fort of Onnondage is to be built, and money already raised by Act of Assembly, and now is the time of year proper to begin it in, but the Earl of Bellomont, being appointed the Chief Manager, it lay in his breast where it should be built, and his death preventing the determination of that point, it is absolutely necessary, if that work goes forwards, that the present Assembly do determine the place and method of proceeding in it. (2) The Sachims of the Five Nations have been appointed to be at Albany the latter end of this April, and we believe it absolutely necessary to contrive to continue them in unity with the Crown of England, so that we offer to the Assembly to consult of fitt persons to be appointed to do it, and to give proper instructions for proceeding therein, which is of the greatest consequence to the Province, either if peace should continue or if a war should break out, and which is earnestly recommended to us at this juncture by the last letters from the Government of New England, who are in fear of the Indians falling off. (3) An account being given us by the Agent in England that he constantly receives the subsistence of the forces in pay here, but hath not been able to procure Bills in London to return it constantly, by which means there are no moneys here at present to pay the forces, who are weekly subsisted, nor can the Council at present procure any money on Bills given by the Government on the said Agent, and although some of the Council have procured money on Bills for 300l. signed by the Gentlemen of the Council in their private capacities, for which their private estates are lyable, yett they find it very difficult to procure more, so that they had been left unpaid for these three weeks past, if Col. Depeyster and Mr. Weaver had not subsisted them out of their private estates, who are not able to continue to subsist them, unlesse money can again be procured on bills, but it is very improbable soe much can be this way found as to support the forces, till money can be sent from England. It is therefore absolutely necessary that the Assembly should consider of a way to support the said forces, that they may not disperse and leave the garrisons unguarded after H.M. hath been graciously pleased to be at so great a charge to send them hither, besides the great danger by discouraging our Indians to make them fall off, and other dismal consequences. (4) The soldiers in pay of the garrison of New York, although they have received their constant subsistence and have had greater incouragement from the Council than formerly, yett since the Earl of Bellomont's death near forty have deserted out of two Companies, but for what cause and how to be prevented for the future requires the immediate consideration of this present Assembly. (5) The forts at Schenectady and Albany are so decayed that they are not tenable, the bastions being fallen down and the guns dismounted by the defect of their carriages, as likewise the barracks so intirely ruin'd that the souldiers cannot lodge in them, but lyable to the hardship of all weathers, as appears by Capt. Weemes' memorial, ready to be laid before the Assembly. This will absolutely require the consideration of this Assembly, and the charge of making them capable of defence will be so great and requires that dispatch, that nothing but an immediate Sessions of the Representatives can procure. (6) Lord Bellomont hath made a most advantageous bargain for masts and other timber for H.M. Navy, which are now preparing ready to be sent for England, but although the Earl made the agreement with the undertakers solely for H.M. use and for no benefit to himself, yet he engaged his own private estate for the payment of the money and gave his bond amounting to about 1,100l. to be payd at severall payments, and at this time about 700l. is become due. But the said Earle not having left estate here sufficient to answer the same, and without the said payments the undertakers not being able to perform their bargain, which is so beneficial to H.M., and whereas we are informed that a Mast ship may speedily be expected from England hither, according to the desire of Lord Bellomont, which charge will be likewise lost to H.M. if the masts be not provided, we therefore think it absolutely necessary for H.M. service that the Assembly should find out some way that soe noble a design may not fall. (7) Since the administration of the Government is in the present Council, yett the same is soe much disputed, we believe it most absolutely necessary for the peace of the Province that the Representatives now met should, together with H.M. Council make a publick declaration, whereby H.M. subjects of this Province may be rightly informed and commanded to obedience to those to whom H.M. hath intrusted the administration. Signed, A. D'Peyster, S. Staats, R. Walters, T. Weaver. Same endorsement. 7 pp.
389. xii. Col. Smith's Reply to preceding. New York, April 18, 1701. As to Art. (1), he believes it is highly reasonable that no resolution be taken therein until the arrival of the Lieut.-Governor or that H.M. pleasure be further known, for that it is a matter of great consequence; that the manner of building the said fort his Lordship designed to have been of sod-work, and Col. Romer, who has lately been in that country, gives an account that no sods fit for such fortification are to be found within 200 miles of Onnondage Country. The Indians of the Five Nations are not yet agreed upon the place where the said fortification is to bee erected. Col. Romer believes it must be made of brick, stone and lime; the place according to such description as has been given him by others he believes to be a neck of land, which puts down between two rivers who discharge themselves in the Lake of Cadarachqui, but that the said Ingineer had never been upon the place, and so could not be senceible whether any stone fitt for building or burning into lyme, or clay fit to make bricks were there to be found. By the remoteness of the place, which he is informed is 270 miles from Albany, he is of opinion that supposing such materials is (sic) neer that place to be found, yet the expense of such a fortification will greatly exceed any computation that has been made. As to Art. (2), Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston are of opinion that no Sachims will come unless they are sent for by this Government, and since the matter chiefly proposed to be treated of with them is the time and place of building the fort, he thinks a Messinger ought to be sent (as he has already proposed in Council) to acquaint them that the Lieut.-Governor is daily expected in this Province, upon whose arrival a messinger shall bee sent to acquaint them what time he will be pleased to meet them at Albany. Art. (3). 600l. sterl. has been already raised on Bills of Exchange signed by himself and the other Members of Council on their perticular credit as private persons, and so soon as he and Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston was acquainted with the difficulty pretended in procuring money on such bills, they themselves immediately took care to supply that defect, and have procured such money as has been wanting since, and are ready to procure so much more as will be sufficient for that service, until it please God the Lieut.-Governor do arrive here. As to the Soldiers' desertion, he cannot see what remedy can be hoped for from anything the Assembly can do. He cannot learn anything that makes them uneasie, but that their pay is less here then in England, and that victuals and cloaths are here much dearer, the latter of which these last recruits are in great want of, altho' the late Governor was pleased to spare some cloaths sent out of England for the old men to supply the necessities of those new comers. Repeats gist of Lord Bellomont's past correspondence upon the subject of the Forts necessary to be erected at Albany and Schenectady. It can never be hoped that so great a charge can ever be supported by this Province, and unless a warr should break out between England and France, he cannot see any necessity for repairing these shattered fortifications, which will be with very great expence and to very little purpose, unless they could effectually be don' as has been proposed. As to the 7th Article, relating to Lord Bellomont's bargain for masts, Col. Smith has never seen any such contract, nor is he sensible of the perticuler condition thereof. He is informed such masts as have been by the undertakers gott down to the River do not hold out the dimentions as were agreed for; that they had omitted in the spring when the River was high to float them down so neer to the Falls as to have experimented whether it were practicable to float them down those cataracts; that where they now are it will be impossible to convey them by land to this side of the Falls, it being a great distance, and the way such as will not admit of their being brought by land carriage. He is very much of opinion that such an undertaking ought to have all the countenance and encouragement this Government can give it, but that it ought well to be consider'd whether the masts be according to agreement, as also whether it be possible to transport them from whence they now are. But since the Lieut.-Governor is so suddenly expected, he is of opinion that matter ought to rest, until it please God he arrives. Quotes case of the Jamaica Assembly under the presidentship of Sir Francis Watson. He can see no necessity at present of the sitting of Assembly. Signed, Wm. Smith, President. Same endorsement. 5¼ pp.
389. xiii. Reasons of Five of the Representatives against the proceedings of Council. New York, April 16, 1701. We declare our opinion that by reason of ye death of ye Earl of B., to whose assistance we were chosen and returned, ye Assembly is of course dissolved, and that justly and regularly without a new call and choice by some person commissionated by His Majesty for that purpose, a Sessions of Assembly cannot be held. There appears no absolute necessity to force an unwarrantable proceeding in regards the present support of H.M. forces, for which is alleadged as the most pressing and urgent cause, is referred to be supplyed by several of the merchants in town, upon the President's giving his bills on the Agent in England for any money, they will advance it. The Lieut.-Governor will in all probability in a few days return, when a new Assembly may be called. Until we can be made sensible that either we are lawfully called to join in a Sessions of Assembly, or that there is that eminent danger or necessity impending on the country, which we may justifie such our actions, we offer these for our reasons of not joining to impose any new law upon ye Province. Signed, Mathew Howell, Danl. Whitehead, R. V. Renslaer, Henry Peirson, John Jackson. Same endorsement. 2½ pp.
389. xiv. Petition of the Commission Officers of H.M. four foot companies of soldiers in New York in behalf of the said Companies, to the Council of New York. It is the custom of all Nations in Europe to proportionate the pay of their infantry to the hire and wages of a labouring man. The companies here are established upon the fund sterling raised in England, but are paid in New York money, which is 30 to 36 per cent. worse then sterling. The necessity of life, clothing and victuals are upwards of a cent. dearer than in England. The tradesman and labouring man in this Province have from 2s. 3d. to 5s. per day. The common soldiers are thereby induced to desert, and the officers are obliged to live amongst the inhabitants inferior to their quality and honour of their stations. They pray that their case may be represented to the Council of Trade and Plantations to be laid before the King. Signed, P. Mathews, Joh. Riggs, Ch. Ashfeild, Ch. Oliver, Guÿn, James Weemes, J. Bennett, M. Shanke, Henry Hollan, Rich. Brewer, J. Buckley. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
389. xv. Copy of Minute of Council of New York, March 13, 1700 (1701). Same endorsement. 1½ p.
389. xvi. Account of Stores in Fort William Henry, New York. Signed, Wolfgang Willm. Romar, Peter Matthews, John Riggs, Charles Atfeild. Same endorsement. 7 pp. [C.O. 5, 1046. Nos. 12, 12 i.–xvi.; and (without enclosures) 5, 1118. pp. 307–329.]
April 30.
Whitehall.
390. William Popple to Sir Thomas Trevor and Sir John Hawles. The Council of Trade and Plantations having received information from Col. Codrington that Capt. James Norton, Lieut.-Governor of the English part of St. Christopher's, has been notoriously guilty of breaches of the Acts of Trade, for which, according to the Act for preventing frauds, he is to be removed from that Government and to forfeit 1,000l., desire your opinion where and how he may be best convicted and how that forfeiture is to be applied. And whereas they have been also informed that a certain ship has been seized in the Leeward Islands, upon pretence that the Master is not an Englishman, but only a Frenchman endenized, upon which some doubts have arisen, they further desire your answers to the following queries. (1) Whether an endenized foreigner, being Master of a ship trading to the Plantations, is to be accounted English within the meaning of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. (2) Whether the mariners of such ship, being foreigners endenized, are to be acocunted English within the meaning of the said Acts. (3) Whether a Scotchman, who has no family nor residence in England, is to be accounted English within the meaning of the Acts? [C.O. 153, 7. pp. 166, 167.]