America and West Indies
January 1732, 16-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1939

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8-25

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'America and West Indies: January 1732, 16-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 39: 1732 (1939), pp. 8-25. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72617 Date accessed: 26 October 2014.


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January 1732, 16-20

Jan. 16
Jamaica.
19. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. On the 10th of this month the Gosport arriv'd here which brought me the honor of your Grace's letter of the 16th of November last, with H.M. orders for the imbarkation of the two Regiments for Ireland, which Admiral Stewart has taken upon himself to expedite. Capt. Hicks arriv'd on the same day and brought me duplicates of the same. The two Independent Companys are compleated to their establishment out of the voluntiers of the two Regiments etc. Inclos'd your Grace has a copy of the encouragement offer'd by the Assembly to such of the soldiers as are willing to remain in the island, which were yesterday sent to them by persons deputed for that purpose to the two places of rendezvous Port Royal and Port Antonio, and I hope will be accepted by most of them. Our magazine of small arms being exhausted by means of our partys and of those lent to the King's ships, and the distructive rust of this climate ; I have ventured to give orders to the commanding officers of the two Regts. To leave behind, each 100 arms, seeing H.M. is so good as to permitt those as remain in the country's service to keep their arms ; and I hope your Grace will interceed with him for 500 more from the Tower for the magazine, which may indeed be soon wanted. Inclos'd your Grace has the several Addresses of the Council and the Assembly to H.M., which they most humbly beg may be dutifully presented to him etc. Since the deroute of our party we have had several desertions from of negroes from plantations, particularly a frontier plantation belonging to one Done, from whence seventeen went of in a body to the rebels with such arms as they could get, and a few from a neighbouring plantation belonging to one Passley with all the ammunition that was in the house ; twenty of Col. Nedham's best negroes had deserted (but before this misfortune) four of them were kill'd on the pursuit, the rest escap'd to the rebels. It is my opinion that the main use of regular forces in this island is to take post in the several passes between North and South side as well to prevent incurtions from these in rebellion and their correspondence with such as are not, as to deter them from meditating secessions or insurrections ; The barracks which had been built by the several parishes at a great expence serve these purposes in some measure which I hope may be kept in repair and guarded by them untill the Legislature fall upon some proper measures to do't. The Assembly have had several odd projects for the better peopling and defence of this island lay'd before them, some of which they seem to approve, but in a few days I hope they will fix upon something more solid and immediately necessary. I have had much trouble in keeping matters even and easie, between the Council and Assembly all along, the latter upon many occasions being apt to assume what does not belong to them, and the Council tenatious of their own rights ; a matter of this sort produced a repremand herewith inclos'd, which in duty and by the advice of the Council I was oblig'd to give on Fryday last, when they had leave to adjourn to Munday following, unto which I refer your Grace. I have been much indispos'd but am now better, and shall continue to lay out the little strength of mind and body that remains in my best endeavours for H.M. service, in the execution of the trust he has repos'd in me etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 25th March. 4 ¾ pp. Enclosed,
19. i. Duplicate of encl. ii following.
19. ii. and vii. Governor Hunter's Speech to the Assembly of Jamaica, 14th Jan., 1732. Your undutiful behaviour in keeping your doors shutt, and disobeying H.M. authority when I this day sent the Provost Marshal to command the attendance of the whole House instantly in the Old Council Chamber, is of so unprecedented a nature, that were it not for the present exigency of the publick, I would resent it in a more proper manner, it being an incroachment on H.M. royal prerogative, never before attempted or aimed at in any of H.M. Dominions. Copies. ½ p.
19. iii. Duplicate of encl. i. Following.
19. iv. and vi. Duplicates of encl. iv. Following.
19. v. Duplicate of encl. iii. Following. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 24–26,27 v., 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 33 v., 35, 36, 36 i., 38.]
Jan. 16
Jamaica.
20. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following and duplicate of 5th Jan. He has sent to the Duke of Newcastle (as preceding) the addresses of the Council and the Assembly to the King. Continues : The Assembly now sitting have order'd the Additional Duty bill for the ensuing year to be engross'd, having left out the additional impost on negroes complain'd of by the merchants at home ; they are indeed at a loss for ways and means, their exegencys increasing as their abilitys decline. They have had several projects lay'd before them for strengthening and peopling this Island, some of which they seem inclinable to close with, but these remedys being remote and the necessity imminent and immediate, I hope they will come to some more solid and requisite resolutions in the progress of this session etc. Has informed the D. of Newcastle of their apprehensions from the negros etc. Has completed the two Independent Companys with volunteers from the Regiments etc. continues; Deputys from the Assembly went yesterday to the two places of rendezvous Port Royal and Port Antonio, with the inclosed offers for volunteers for the Country service. The two Regiments, the remains of which are now under orders of embarkation for Ireland, posted in the barracks built for them in the several parishes at great expence were of use to the country, in preventing general secessions of negroes in plantations, and incursions of those in rebellion, tho' perhaps not so fitt for attacks and pursuits in the woods and mountains as others. I have been very much indispos'd, am now better and shall go on to do all my best for H.M. real service to the best of my ability, whilst it is his pleasure that I should remain here etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Reed. 1st April, Read 12th Sept., 1932. 2 2/3 pp. Enclosed,
20. i. Governor Hunter's reply to following. Is encouraged by this cordial address to proceed to the utmost of his strength in his endeavours for the public good and safety. Copy. ½ p.
20. ii. Address of the Council of Jamaica to Governor Hunter, 12th Jan., 1932. Return thanks for his Speech (v. 5th Jan., encl. i.). Nothing has been wanting on his part for the welfare of the country. Regret the recall of the two Regiments, in spite of their representation to H.M. of the necessity of continuing them. Will consider measures for the security of the country and for encouraging soldiers to settle. Acknowledge H.E.'s care and good conduct. There will come a time when all will be convinced of it. Even now he has the hearts and good wishes of all sincere lovers of the country etc. Signed, Jos. Maxwell, Cl. Concil. Endorsed, Recd. 1st April, 1732. Copy. 1 p.
20. iii. Governor Hunter's reply to following. Expresses satisfaction at their appreciation of his efforts for the safety of the country. Will employ the soldiers as they desire, if no other orders arrive from home etc. Copy. ½ p.
20. iv. Address of the Assembly of Jamaica to Governor Hunter. 6th Jan., 173 ½. Return thanks for Speech (5th Jan. end. i.). Abstract. Will endeavour to apply all suitable remedies and raise the necessary supplies for all exegencies. Express gratitude to H.M. for his care of them, in an additional supply of people from the two Regiments. Such of them as shall be inclined to settle, shall not want due encouragement. The defeat of the regular forces has given the inhabitants great uneasiness and put them under just apprehensions of a general insurrection of the slaves, as all or most of them want but a favourable opportunity to withdraw from their servitude etc. Continue: In this crisis we hope your Excellency will, with your wonted goodness, make the best use for our advantage of the two Regiments and the Independent Companys while they continue together, and order such detachments out of them as your Excellency will think sufficient to reduce the slaves in rebellion, particularly those in the North East parts of the Island, where by all accounts they have form'd themselves into formidable bodys etc. Nothing shall be wanting in us to second your endeavours in establishing the security of this Island etc. Signed, John Stewart, Speaker. Endorsed as covering letter. 1 large p.
20. v. Offers for Volunteers (v. covering letter) £4 a month toany soldier that will offer to go after the rebellious negros, besides £10 a head for every negro they take or kill. Provision will be made for the wife and family of such soldier whilst out, or if killed, and for himself if disabled. £5 bounty on engagement and a month's pay in advance before marching etc. £20 to every serjeant etc. If 20 soldiers will settle in a body every one to have 100 acres of land given him, a negro boy, a negro girl, three barrels of beef and a barrel of flower, and every woman that belongs to them and goes with them, three barrels of beef and a barrel of flower, and every man to have an acre of ground clean'd for him at the countrey's charge. At every settlement where 20 settle, there is to be built a strong house with flankers at the countrey's charge, with a gang of dogs, and a guard to protect them, out of the two Independent Companys of Spanish Town and Port Royal. Same endorsement.1 p. [C.O. 137, 20. ff. 44–46, 47, 48 v., 49 v., 50, 51, 52 v., 53, 56 v.]
Jan. 16.21. Address of the Assembly of New Hampshire to the King. Wee etc. humbly beg leave to remonstrate to your Majtie the great difficulty the poore people of this your Majtie's litle Province whom wee represent labour under, haveing none under Heaven to repaire to for reliefe but to our most gracious King whose shineing and distinguishing glory is in nothing more refulgent then in being the common father of his dutifull and loyall subjects and in redressing their grievances etc. The late long and tedious warr with the Indians to which this Province by its situation was peculiarly exposed, and the furnishing quotas of men and severall expeditions against Nova Scotia and Quebech by orders of her late Majtie. Queen Anne together with the rebuilding and repairing of your Majestie's Fort William and Mary etc. with the support of Goverment, involved this Province in a great debt etc., wherefore the Goverment were necessitated to emitt bills of credit, and made acts for calling them in by a tax on the inhabitants payable annually to 1742 etc., laying on every yeare as much as the poore people are able to pay, which has hitherto"been punctually complyed with etc., and every year is loaded with, so great sums as the inhabitants can possibly raise without adding thereto what may be necessary for the supporting the honer safety and defence of the Government. And H.E. our governor informs us that your Majesty's Royal Instructions forbids his assenting to any acts for postponeing the funds already enacted, or emitting any more bills of credit but what shall be repaid within the period of 1742 etc. Out of a just regard and concern for those wee represent, etc., supplicate H.M. royal leave to the Governor to assent to the emitting such summs to be repaid after the expiration of the period of 1742 as may be necessary for the honourable support of H.M. Government and theire safety and defence, who have always distinguished themselves by their loyall and dutyfull complyance with your Majesties Instructions, which wee hope will always recomend them to your royal favor, especially in gratiously granting this our humble request at this juncture when your Majestie's fort William and Mary on which the principle security and safety of the Province depends is so very much out of repaire and wholly destitute of ammunition etc., and our poverty renders us unable to repaire and supply otherwayes. Signed, By order of the House of Representatives, Andrew Wiggin; James Jeffry, Clerk. Endorsed, Recd, from Mr. Thomlinson. 2/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 10. i. 94, 94 i., 95 i.]
[Jan. 17].22. Draft of a bill for recovering debts owing to H.M. subjects trading to the British Plantations. Abstract. Whereas many and great difficulties do frequently happen to H.M. subjects trading to the British Plantations in America for want of effectual power for recovering debts owing to them from the inhabitants etc., and whereas the trade and navigation of this Kingdom is greatly discouraged by reason the duties and impositions laid on the goods and ships of H.M. British subjects residing in this Kingdom and aceed those laid on the goods and ships of the inhabitants etc., be it enacted etc. that sworn accounts transmitted from Great Britain be admitted as evidence etc., and as the inhabitants of the Plantations have eluded their just debts under pretence that their lands, houses and negroes are real estates and not liable to the payment thereof, these shall be made so liable. Appeals hither from judgments touching any debts to be without any limit of sum concerned. All H.M. subjects of Great Britain trading to the Plantations shall be deemed residents in such Plantations and shall enjoy such rights as are enjoyed by the inhabitants thereof etc., and not be liable to any greater duties, taxes or customs etc. than what are paid by the natives, residents and inhabitants etc. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Wood) 14th, Read 18th Jan., 173 ½, 2 ⅓ pp. [C.O. 323, 9. ff. 87–88 v.]
Jan. 17.
London.
23. Capt. Coram to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. On occasion of the Address of the House of Commons for a representation on laws, manufactures and trade in the Plantations (5th May, 1731), suggests that the Plantations in America may be rendered much more useful and advantagious to and more immediately depending on Great Britain, by effectually hindering the Colonies falling into our manufactures etc. and encourage them to supply us as much as they can with such commodities as we are necessitated to purchas from foreigners with our money. Great quantitys of woolen manufactures are made in most of the Northern Plantations etc. Hats are already made in such quantitys that they export them, and the importation of beaver wool from thence is very much declined. Shoes are also made there with the leather of their own tanning, in great abundance. If those manufactures are permitted to go on for some years, it will be very difficult and may be thought a hardship to suppress them when very great numbers of hands are employd therein, whereas they are now but in their infancy, and may be easily restrained, or prohibited etc. The consumption of linnen of all sorts in the Plantations is amazingly great, and is supposed vastly to exceed the value of all the woollen goods exported thither. All such linnen is the manufacture of Germany and other foreign countrys, and consequently at the exportation of it from hence to the Plantations, draws back most of the dutys paid here at the importation thereof. The consequence is that the revenue is so much lessend, etc., and the Plantations have such goods much cheaper than the inhabitants of this Kingdome who even bear the burthen and charge of protecting the Plantations. Proposes that no drawback of customs on such linnen be allowed, which will encrease the revenue and promote the export of British and Irish linnen, thereby encouraging the inhabitants of Ireland to keep at home and be industrious etc. Proposes that the drawbacks on East India goods and foreign goods re-exported to the Plantations, which make goods come cheaper there than in Great Britain be no longer allowed. Allowance might be made in the case of Jamaica, if this prejudices her re-export trade with the Spanish Dominions. If the Northern Colonys think it hard to be prohibited manufacturing wool, hats, shoes, linnen etc., some ample equivalent may be given them by further encouragement to fall heartily in raising hemp and other commodities which we purchase from foreigners etc., and to permit their whalefinns and oyle to be imported here upon the same footing as from Greenland etc. As the inhabitants of S. Carolina will never be able to pay their arrears of 20 years quit rents, it may be supposed that they will be excused it, and in that case future quit rent should absolutely be paid in hemp fit for the use of H.M. Navy etc., and such of it as should not be applyd for that service to be sold there for the expence of building forts etc. This would put the inhabitants on raising hemp which they have not hitherto been prevailed to attempt, notwithstanding the encouragement given by Parliament in 1704, and would forever prevent the Russians from injuring this Kingdom with respect to hemp, as the Sweds did by their barr and pitch before the said encouragement was given by Parliament etc. There is annually imported from the dominions of Russia from 5 to 8000 tons of hemp, besides what is had from Poland etc. If the raising hemp were duly promoted, and some few foreign Protestants of divers nations well encouraged to settle in Carolina, they would quickly draw over to them abundance of their countrymen, " whereby that frontier Province would soon become a most noble, populous and beneficial country, greatly advantageous to the Crowne, by drawing of the inhabitants from foreigne countrys, without any considerable expence to this Kingdom " etc. Set out, N. J. Archives, 1st Ser. V. 308. Signed., Thomas Coram. Endorsed, Recd. 18th Jan., Read 1st Feb., 1731/2. 6½ pp. [C.O. 323, 9. ff. 89–92 v.]
[Jan. 17].24. Council of Virginia to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Whereas we have received advice by a letter from the Agent of this Colony to H.M. Lt. Governor, that a petition is prepared and designed to be presented by sundry British merchants to the next session of Parliament, praying that an act may pass to hinder any law from being made in the Plantations that may affect the Trade or Navigation of Great Britain : that the lands here may be made liable to the satisfying all kinds of debts : and that appeals which are now limited to £300 may be allowed for any sum not under £100. And having seen the extract of a late letter from H.M. Lt. Governour to your Lordships, [v. C.S.P. July 10th, 1731], containing many just exceptions against the passing any such act, we beg leave also to lay before your Lordsps. our reasons against every part of that petition. (i) That an Act of Parliament in such indefinite terms forbidding the Plantations to pass any law that may affect the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain, will in effect deprive them of the most valuable privilege granted them by the Crown as an encouragement of their first settlement ; because our whole employment as well as interest bears so near relation to our Mother Country, that it will be almost impossible to frame any law that may not be construed some way or other to affect the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain. We can't, for example, lay any tax for the support of H.M. Government : we can't confine our coopers to a reasonable guage in the setting up tobacco hogsheads : nor can we make any provision for the improvement of our staple commodities ; for preventing the making or false packing of unsound and unmerchantable tobacco pitch and tarr ; or for the just payment of debts in good and valuable commodities (in all which the interest of the British merchants is equally concern'd with our own) without violating so general an act of Parliament. There is already a very positive and full Instruction from the King to all the Governours of his Plantations, to suffer no such law to take effect till it shall be assented to by his Majesty. 'Tis therefore very strange that the merchants who have the happiness to be much nearer the throne than the planters are, and are commonly sent for when any such law appears, should so far distrust H.M. paternal care in this particular as to petition for an act of Parliament to relieve them. Besides, it seems to be more for H.M. service, and for the interest of Great Britain, to prohibit the passing all such laws by a roiall Instruction, than by an act of Parliament, because the King, by the advice of his Council, will from time to time be perfectly able to judge of the expediency of any such particular law ; while it will be hardly possible to form an act of Parliament that will distinguish every ease etc. Continue : It is possible that a law may pass in the Plantations equally beneficial to, the British and Plantation Trade and Navigation in general, which may yet thwart the private interest and conveniency of particular persons ; and yet it would be injurious, even to the petitioners themselves, to prevent the passing such a wholsom law, by an act of Parliament, or condemn it when made, only because it concerns the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain ; with which, it seems, petitioners do not intend the Plantation Assemblies shall in any case intermeddle etc. Continue : We presume the petitioners don't intend to exclude the King from judging how far the laws made in the Plantations shall be conformable to such act of Parliament (for 'tis certain there must be some judicature to determine the controversy) and if so, what greater effect could such an act of Parliament have than H.M. Instruction hath already etc. As the laws heretofore made in this Colony, which in any degree affect the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain, have always allowed a reasonable time before their commencement for the merchants to make their objections, and for H.M. consideration of the justness and usefulness of them, we hope the interest of our Mother Country is so fully secured thereby, that there is no need of such an act etc.. but that we shall still be indulged the same privilege in the making laws for ourselves, as this Colony hath enjoyed from it's first establishment ; and that such laws shall be allowed to continue in force until H.M. shall see fit to signify his disapprobation thereof etc. (ii) As to making lands in the Plantations subject to the payment of debts, it would make too severe a distinction between H.M. loial subjects here, and those in Great Britain, by subjecting the lands of the planter to the demands of the British merchant, at the same time that the merchant's lands will not be liable to the demands of the planter. Our lands here are held by the same tenure, and are under the protection of the same laws, as the lands in England are : and seeing, in the course of the Plantation business, the factors are as often in the planter's debt, as the planter is in theirs ; for this reason, if he hath not an equal remedy against them, it would be against Justice, which always holds the scales even. And therefore the consequence of so partial a distinction must necessarily tend to create uneasiness in the minds of a loial people, when they find they have not equal Justice with the rest of their fellow-subjects ; especially since it can't be denied even by the petitioners themselves, but they are as dutiful to H.M. and as useful to their Mother Country etc. (iii) As to appeals, the expence a planter must of necessity be at in going to England to support the judgment he has obtained here, and the damage he must sustain by being absent from his business and family, can never be valued at less than £100 : It should therefore seem a little absurd to desire that appeals may be for so small a sum as can hardly be supposed equal to the charge of recovering or defending it. Besides the reducing of appeals etc. will open a door to very great injustice and oppression by sacrificing the poor to the rich : a man in low circumstances must in such cases submit to give up his right to a more powerful adversary, rather than be dragg'd to England for so small a value, where he must spend more in pursuing his claim than it can be worth. And lastly, in appeals between the planter and the British merchant, the latter will always have the advantage of living upon the spot, and consequently of prosecuting his claim at a much smaller expence ; he may therefore afford to appeal for so inconsiderable a sum as £100, at the same time that the planter who has the misfortune of living at a great distance from the fountain of Justice, must be a great sufferer by it. This makes the planter's case very compassionate, and lays him under a manifest disadvantage with respect to all appeals between him and the merchants at home ; and more particularly where the sum appealed for is so small as an £100. For all which reasons, we humbly hope that no such law may pass etc.
Tho' we have to our great satisfaction seen by the printed votes, that the bill which was prepared last session of Parliament on the sollicitation of the gentlemen of Barbadoes and the other Sugar Islands, came to be rejected in the House of Peers, yet we are still apprehensive new endeavours will be used to obtain a law which gives the Sugar Colonies so great an advantage over all H.M. Plantations on the Continent. We entreat your Lordships to permitt us to add our reasons to the many judicious remarks on, and just exceptions to the subject matter of that bill contained in a late letter to your Lordps. from H.M. Lieutent. Governor, which he has been pleased to communicate to us. Such a bill as is proposed, must in a great measure discourage all the Trade and Navigation of all H.M. subjects on the Continent, and prove the ruin of many families, who now subsist comfortably by the sale of their provisions to the merchants trading to the West Indies. For, 1st, tho' the bill as it was last prepared lays no restraint on the carrying provisions to the forreign Plantations, yet the prohibiting the importation of rum, sugar or molasses from thence, doth as effectually restrain that trade, as if provisions had been particularly mentioned ; since those foreign Plantans. afford no other returns than such as by this bill are entirely forbid to be brought thither, (ii) Much of the land now possess'd on the Continent, is unfit for the production of any commodities that are suitable for the British market, and yet are very proper for pasturage and Indian corn : It seems therefore extremely hard to take from the possessors of such lands the means of their subsistence, by restraining the export of their commodities only to H.M. Sugar Colonies, which cannot consume one half of the provisions which the people on the Continent can well spare, (iii) As the Sugar Colonies have been constantly supplied with provisions, lumber and horses, and may be so still at a reasonable price, and very often for less than those commodites cost at the place of their first purchase, can it be reasonable to hinder the British subjects on the Continent from disposing of their commodities elsewhere, when the Sugar Colonies are overstock'd and have no need of them ? (iv) If by the bill proposed the British Sugar Islands are to have a monopoly of all the lumber and provisions exported from the Continent, and the people there only to be supplied with rum, sugar, and molasses from the said British Islands, the consequence is very apparent ; They will have it in their power to exact what prices they please for their own commodities, and to depretiate those on the Continent ; besides enhancing the price of sugars sold to the British merchts. trading to those Sugar Islands, For since at this time sugar and rum are at a very extravagant rate in all the British Sugar Islands, it is easy to conceive that the prices must be considerably encreased, when all supplies from the forreign Plantations shall be prohibited. Lastly, we are humbly of opinion that if the proposed bill should pass as it was prepared last Session of Parliament, it would no wise distress the French or Dutch settlements ; because those forreign Colonies would still be supplied with lumber, horses and provisions from H.M. Sugar Plantations : and there seems to be a door left open for such kind of commerce, as that bill was then fraimed. For the penalties are only on the British and Plantation vessels, and masters carrying horses or lumber to the forreign Colonies, but no provision made for the punishment of such as shall furnish those prohibited commodities to forreign vessels hovering upon the coasts of the British Sugar Islands : And since it is well known that the Island of Barbadoes lyes so near to Martinico and St. Lucia and the Leeward Islands contiguous to Guardaloupe and other French settlements, and to the Dutch Islands of Saba and Eustatia, sloops or other vessels from either of those forreign islands may in one night's time take in and safely land in their own ports both horses and lumber without the danger of seizure by any of the Officers of H.M. Customs : and in the same manner may the sugar and molasses of forreign islands be clandestinely run into H.M. Sugar Colonies, and when mix'd with their own native product can scarce be distinguished the one from the other, nor liable to condemnation where no evidences are to be found but negros : So that the people of the Continent will still be furnished with forreign sugars and molasses, but at double the price they now have it. Upon the whole, we humbly submit to your Lordships whether it is fit altogether to prohibit a trade which encourages the sealing of lands that without it would remain as a desart, which employe so many of the British subjects in the Northern Colonies and the Island of Bermuda, in transporting the produce of the labour of many of our inhabitants, and often affords such returns as enables them to purchase negros for enlarging our tobacco manufacture : which furnishes our neighbours who have few native commodities of their own, with beneficial remittances to Great Britain ; and withall encreases the export of the British Sugar Colonies to their Mother Country for the supply of the European markets at the same time that it lessens that of the forreign Sugar Islands. We are far from desiring a licence to transport to the forreign Plantations any of the commodities already prohibited by the Acts of Trade, nor any other whatsoever prejudicial to the Trade and Manufacture of our Mother Country : But as for all other products of our labour which no way interfere with the British trade, and which neither the people of the Continent have occasion for, nor the British Sugar Colonies can possibly use, such as, all kinds of provisions and lumber, and even horses too (when neither the one can employ nor the other desire to purchase them) it is humbly hoped H.M. subjects on the Continent shall still be allowed the liberty of sending them to such markets where they are most vendible ; especially when it is considered that whatever is gained by this commerce must at last centre in Great Britain, or be laid out in the purchase of British commodities.
It remains that we humbly offer to your Lordships some few considerations in relation to the vote of the Honble. House of Commons of the 5th of May last, for laying before that House a state of H.M. Colonies in America, with respect to their laws, manufactures and trade, which may affect the Trade, Navigation and Manufacture of Great Britain. And herein, permit us to inform your Lordsps., that nothing but inevitable necessity will ever induce the people of this Colony to go upon any kind of manufactures interfering with those of their Mother Country. When tobacco bears but a moderate price, every planter can be supplied with all the necessaries he wants, out of the produce of his crops, at much easier rates than he can furnish himself by any home manufacture : But the price of tobacco having been continually declining for divers years past, it is not to be admired, if many poor people no longer able to gain cloathing for their familys, by their crops, have tried to raise cotton and flax, and to make a kind of coarse cloth and linnen wherewith to supply the wants of their indigent familys. This is a shift they have often been put to upon the like occasion, and will, no doubt, have the same duration as it had then : for no sooner did tobacco begin to rise in value, than all these new fangled manufactures vanished ; and the land which before had been used for cotton and flax, immediatly converted into tobacco grounds ; and so it will again, whenever we shall be so happy as to see our staple commodity rise to its former value. This is the only kind of manufacture at present in this Colony ; and the principal means to divert the people from it, is, as has been said before, to advance the credit and value of our staple ; towards which a very good law pass'd last Session of Assembly, and is now ready to be put in execution : and if that has not the effect which is hoped for, we know no other way of enabling the people to subsist, than by some abatement of the high duties on tobacco, which are at present very burthensome both to the merchant and planter. In the mean time it is impossible to propose any means to prevent people's endeavouring to cloath themselves, when they have nothing to purchase the same ; and no choice, but to make it themselves, or go naked, a condition which we are persuaded His Majesty would not wish the worst of his subjects to be reduced to. As to new trades set up here, we know of none, except four ironworks now employed in the runing of pig iron, which is all exported to England, there being no attempts hitherto made towards setting up forges for making it into barrs ; nor if it were, is there any probability of it's being manufactured into any utensils, which cannot be had at a much cheaper rate from Great Britain. Besides these, there are now some copper mines lately discovered, not without a probability of success : but these are of so late a date that besides some parcels of ore sent home to England for experiments, little else has hitherto been made of them. These are all the manufactures or trades set up or discovered in this country ; and as we hope the one will administer no occasion of jealousie to our Mother Country ; so there is no doubt the other may with due encouragement add considerably to its wealth and conveniency. We should not have troubled your Lordsps. with so long a representation, had it not been to obviate the misinformations of those who endeavour to acquire advantages to themselves, at the expence of their fellow subjects ; and give your Lordsps. the best lights we could, in relation to those enquiries, which seem to be intended in the next Session of Parliament. For the rest, we beg leave to referr your Lordsps. to what Capt. Isham Randolph shall have the honour to lay before you, in relation to the several matters herein mentioned, who having gone from hence to London fully instructed as to what relates to this Colony, with the trade and circumstances whereof he is perfectly well acquainted ; and withall a gentleman of great probity ; we entreat your Lordsps. will be pleased to give him a favourable hearing.in all such matters wherein he shall have occasion to apply to your Board. And as it is our unhappiness to have no Representative in the British Parliament, we beseech your Lordships to take us under your protection ; and to lay our case in so favourable a manner before His Majesty, that the loial inhabitants of this British Colony may still continue to enjoy those privileges which have been granted them by the Crown from the time of their first settlement; and may be indulged the same liberty of trade as heretofore ; and protected in their estates equally with the rest of H.M. subjects. Signed, Robert Carter, James Blair, W. Byrd, John Grymes, [?] W. Dandridge, Jno. Custis, William Randolph, Hen. Harrison, Cole Digges, Joh. Robinson, John Carter. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 18th Jan., 1731/2 9 large pp. [CO. 5, 1322. ff. 194–198, 199 v.]
Jan. 18.
Whitehall.
25. [? Duke of Newcastle] to the President of the Council of Barbados. I send you herewith H.M. Order, in pursuance of an agreement made with the Court of France, for the reciprocal evacuation of the Islands of Sta. Lucia, St. Vincents and Dominico, and a duplicate of the French King's Order to the Governor of Martinico for the same purpose. This duplicate coming too late from France to be sent to Mr. Worseley, who was upon his voyage home, they were both intended to have been put into the hands of Mr. Chetwynd his successor in the government of your Island; but as the ill state of his health has delayed his departure, His Majesty is unwilling that the execution of these orders should be deferred any longer, and has commanded me to transmit them to you, and to signify to you His Majesty's pleasure, that as soon as you have received them, you give notice of it to the Governor of Martinico, and send him the duplicate of his most Christian Majesty's order, which is directed to him, and acquaint him, that you are ready to concert with him the proper measures for putting it in execution ; and as you will observe, that this evacuation, and the abstaining on both sides to touch at those Islands, except it be for wood and water, is to be mutual, you will take care to act in the same manner as the French Officers shall do in this respect; and you will also, in obedience to His Majesty's commands, send me, by the first opportunity, a full and exact account of your proceedings, and those of the French in the execution of these orders, and also inform me, from time to time, how the agreement is observed on both sides for abstaining from the navigation to those islands ; that I may lay the same before His Majesty. Corected draft. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 201, 201 v.] Annexed,
25. i. King of France to the Marquis de Champigny, Governor and Lt. General of the French Windward Islands, at Martinique. 26th Dec. (N.S.) 1730. Described in preceding. French. Copy. [C.O. 34, 36. pp. 301– 306 ; and (corrected draft, without enclosure), 28, 45. ff. 201, 201 v.]
Jan. 18.
Whitehall.
26. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, four private acts passed in Virginia, 1730 (enumerated). [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 83.]
Jan. 18.
Whitehall.
27. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend John Taylor Esqr. for the Council of Virginia, in the room of David Bray, decd. [C.O. 5, 1366. p. 83.]
[Jan. 19.]
28. Isham Randolph, Agent for Virginia, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Insists on the several observations and reasons already offered by the Northern Colonies to the prohibition desired by the Sugar Islands, so far as the same are applicable to Virginia. Refers to Lt. Governor Gooch's letter and other papers (v. C.S.P. Sept. 8 and Nov. 5, 1731), to show how prejudicially such prohibition must affect that very considerable Colony, and prays the Board not to report in favour of it. Endorsed, Recd., Read 19th Jan., 1731/2. Without date or signature, ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 214, 215 v.]
Jan. 19.
St. James's.
29. Order of King in Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd., Read 21st Jan., 1731/2. 1 p. Enclosed,
29. i. Petition of the Planters, Merchants and Traders to the Island of Jamaica. Great sums of money are annually carried out of this Nation for the purchase of coffee etc. By late experiments made at Jamaica and divers other of H.M. Sugar Colonies it appears that both the soil and climate of those countries are very apt and fit for raising that commodity in quantitys not only sufficient for our home use, but also for supplying European foreign markets, and in case equal encouragements were given to British planters etc. as are given to encourage the planting of hemp and flax in H.M. Northern Colonies, either by a bounty on inportation or by an abatement of excise after importation etc., there is no reason to doubt but that great numbers of coffee plantations would be immediately begun upon, and successfully carried on, and that without any the least prejudice to our Sugar Plantations etc. For the planting of coffee will be chiefly carried on by the midling sort of people, who are not able to bear the great expence necessary for erecting and carrying on a sugar plantation, or for raising of indigo, cotton and ginger, but also will be easily capable of making and carrying on plantations of coffee as being a commodity that may be planted at a very easy and small expence, two negroes being sufficient to make a beginning, and the same would be chiefly made upon such ground as is at present of little or no use, and no ways employed in the producing of either sugar, indigo, cotton or ginger, of which vacant ground there are very large quantitys in Jamaica ; and your petitioners upon this account submit whether the encouraging coffee plantations is not the most likely way to promote the settling of Jamaica in a very few years, which will be the effectual means of destroying the rebellious negroes, who have been, and are the cause of so great a charge and expence to the Nation and Island etc. Hope for H.M. countenance and encouragement, " more especially when it is considered that for these ten years past there hath been a very considerable progress made in this commodity both by the Dutch at Surinam, and the French in their Sugar Colonies." Continue : By H.M. encouragement, his Sugar Colonies will in a short time produce such quantitys of coffee as will not only save to the Nation the export of above £100,000 pr. ann. which weannually pay to foreigners, but will be able to furnish them etc. Signed, J. Ayscough, Harrison Townsend, John Totterdell, Jno. Gibbon and 40 others. Copy. 3pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 98, 99–100, 101 v.]
Jan. 19.
St. James's.
30. Order of King in Council. Approving estimate for stores of war for St. Christophers and ordering their dispatch (v. 23rd Dec, 1731, and A.P.C. III. No. 255). Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Reed. 15th Aug., Read 7th Sept., 1732. l⅓ pp. Enclosed,
30. i. Estimate by the Board of Ordnance of charge of ordnance and stores required for St. Christophers, 23rd Dec, 1731. In detail. Total cost, including freight, £3931 11s. l1d 2 pp. [C.. 152, 19. ff. 137–138 v., 142 v.]
Jan. 19.31. Mr. Yeamans to [? Mr Popple]. Encloses following: " The copie has committed some blunders wch. occasions a few blots in the paper wch. I hope will be excus'd." Signed, John Yeamans. Endorsed, Reed. 26th Jan., Read 2nd Feb., 1731/2. | ¾ p.Enclosed,
31. i. Mr. Yeamans to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply offered in behalf of the Leeward Islands and Jamaica to a paper intituled Some short Observations on and reasons in answer to the three Representations from the Assemblies of Barbadoes, Antigua and St. Christophers etc. Abstract. The Northern Colonies have not been in the like degree of advantage to Great Britain, from its trade and navigation, as the Leeward Islands and Jamaica. Virginia, Carolina and Maryland are little concerned in this dispute, chiefly concerning themselves in planting tobacco and naval stores etc. In this paper it is admitted that New England etc. supply Virginia with rum. The admitting that the ballance of trade between Great Britain and the Sugar Islands is in favor of the Sugar Islands, but that between Great Brittain and the Northern Colonies it is in favor of Great Brittain, is, if fully considered, the strongest argumt. than can possibly be brought in favour of the Sugar Colonies against the Northern Colonies, and entirely overthrows what is advanced in this paper, that the Sugar Islands stand not in any degree of competition for advantage with the Northern Colonies. This would have been a right method of arguing were the Sugar and the Northern Colonies forreign countries etc., but as they are intirely dependant upon Great Brittain, or ought to be, and as all that the Sugar Islands produce more in value annually than they take from their Mother Country, is not paid to any forreign country, but expended in this kingdom, or laid up in it, it is so far from being an argument in favour of the Northern Colonies, that by so much as the ballance of the trade between the Sugar Islands is in favour of the Sugar Islands, more than the ballance of the trade between the Northern Colonies and Great Brittain, is in favour of the Northern Colonies, there is so much more advantage to Great Brittain by the one than the other. If is further advanced that in the exportation from hence of our Brittish manufactures the exports to Barbados and the Leeward Islands bear no manner of proportion on the exports to the Northern Colonies ; This may be true; but it is not the right state of the question ; for that is, whether the exports to Jamaica, Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, or to New England, New York, and Pensilvania are the most considerable ; and it appeared by the valuation of the reports for the 5 last years the valuation has been made up to, that the exports were near double to the Sugar Islands to what they were to these Provinces; But however the contrary to this is insinuated in this paper it is well judged to admit, that only the Tobacco and Rice Plantations require negroes of all the Northern Colonies. If the reports are greater to the Sugar Islands, then it will follow that it is not a fact that the Northern Colonies are the occasion of imploying a far greater number of tradesmen in Great Brittain etc.; This and as the importations from the Sugar Islands are more than ten times the value of the importations from New England, New York and Pensilvania, it must be far from the fact that the number of ships and sailors imployed by these provinces exceed those imployed by the Sugar Islands etc. The interest of the Sugar Islands and the interest of the Northern Colonies is equally the concern of Great Brittain, and they are equally united in interest ; but the advantages which may be made to arise from the one, can never arise from the other, unless they are restrained from setting up manufactures interfering with the manufacturys of their Mother Country and in carrying on trades injurious to the trade of this Kingdom, and only employ their hands in producing commodities not interfering with the commodities which are of the growth and manufactury of Great Britain (except provisions and other necessarys to supply themselves, the Sugar Islands, the Azores or Western Islands, and Spain and Portugal). There can never arise any such apprehension from the Sugar Islands (as is even admitted may arise from the Northern Colonies by having unreasonable restrictions laid on the trade they now carry on) tho' they were laid under never so great a restraint of making manufactures which may interfere with the manufactures of Great Brittain. Argues that the improvement of the French settlements is due to their trade with the Northern Colonies and cannot be imputed to the Barbadians prohibiting the importation of French sugar into that island and thereby drove them to the foreign markets, as is suggested. Nor would prohibition of the trade with the Northern Colonies lead them to find horses and lumber elsewhere or to manufacture their molasses into rum, for they would find no market for it etc. That trade is unquestionably contrary to the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality with France. Its prohibition would not, as alledged, be of the most fatal consequence to the Northern Colonies, for even if they should want a vent for their lumber and provisions by the British Sugar Islands not taking from them the same quantity as the French and Dutch now do, yet their land now employed in this trade may be much more beneficially employed as well for themselves as their mother country by the planting of hemp, flax etc. and producing pitch and tar. And there is no doubt but that the Sugar Colonies are able not only to supply the Northern Colonies with rum and molasses necessary for their own occasion but to furnish the Newfoundland Fishery, since by a prohibition of this trade it is reasonable to conclude greater quantities of rum would be made and molasses produced in our Sugar Islands, (not by lessening the quantity of sugar, as is ridiculously suggested, but by improving more land), and much less quantities imported into this Kingdom in prejudice to our sugar refining houses, and the malt and other spirits distilled in Great Brittain with which the Fishery at Newfoundland may at all times be easily supplyed directly from this Kingdom as formerly etc. Nor would this prohibition oblige the Northern Colonies to sell their lumber and provisions to the Sugar Islands in exchange for rum and sugar at their own rates. It may indeed be a great prejudice to the distillerys erected in the Northern Colonies, but can never make the Northern Colonies any more than they are at present entirely dependent on the Sugar Islands nor disable them from paying for their British manufactures. The Northern Colonies will not then no more than now deal with the Sugar Islands to certain loss etc. ; but both parties will receive reciprocal advantages by trading one with the other etc. To suppose that such prohibition will greatly diminish the consumption of the Brittish woollen manufactures and the shipping and navigation of their kingdom etc. and a vast rise in the price of rum and sugar etc. and' throw the whole foreign sugar trade into the hands of the French and Dutch etc., is not only entirely without foundation but contrary to the aim and intention of all who are attempting it etc. 8 large pp.
31. ii. Computation of charge in making and sending to Great Britain a cask of muscovada sugar of 1300 Ib. of neat sugar. Duty 4½ p. cnt. 5s. sterling ; cash, 12s. ; custom, 3s. 4d., after allowing for waste, £1 15s. ; freight at 3s. 6d., £1 16s. 9d. ; insurance 4s. ; petty charges and factor's commission, 12.9. ; =£5 5s. 0d. Charge of negroes in making same, £4 = £9 5s. 0d. (rum and molasses paying for the charges of cattle, mills, stills, copper and utensils). Sugar sold at 21s. = £11 0s. 0d. Showing gain of planter in a hogshead of sugar =£1 15s. 6d. In addition to above duties to the Crown, the molasses produced by refining produce 50 gallons of spirits, which pay I2d. pr. gall, excise = £2 10s. 0d. Thus the hogshead pays the planter £1 15s. 6d., and the Crown £4 10s. Od. Every shilling sugar lowers in price falls on the planter and amounts to 10s. per hd. If it falls anything from what it is at present, the planter cannot long maintain his plantation. 1 large p. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 104, 105–109, 110 v.]
Jan. 20.32. Mr. Randolph to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Some observations on the case of the merchants of London etc. The first instance alledged as to Virginia is a complaint against the Legislature for observing the royal Instructions etc., for it is a positive instruction from the Crown that no act shall be passed by any Plantation Legislature which the Crown have once repealed etc. As to the several acts mentioned, requests to be allowed time to look into them etc. Signed, Isham Randolph. Endorsed, Recd. Read 20th Jan., 1731/2. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 216, 217 v.]
Jan. 20.
Whitehall.
33. Mr. Popple to Mr. Scrope. In reply to Jan. 13th, encloses copy of a case tried at Boston, 9th May, 1730, and of the act of appeal thereupon to the High Court of Admiralty. [C.O. 5, 917. p. 31.]