America and West Indies
December 1734, 11-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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1953

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332-341

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'America and West Indies: December 1734, 11-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 332-341. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72775 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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December 1734, 11-30

Dec. 11.
Whitehall.
411. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, 42 Acts passed in S. Carolina 1733 and 1734. [C.O. 5, 401. p. 117.]
Dec. 11.412. [? Mr. Sharpe to the Duke of Newcastle.] Quotes a notice served upon him by Mr. Ferdinand Paris that he is about to apply to the Committee of the Privy Council to issue the usual order for taking and exchanging proofs in New York upon the complaint of Lewis Morris against the Governor, and transmitting the same to their Lordships. Whereupon Mr. Sharpe observes that, though such an order has often issued where complaints have been made against Governours for breach of their Instructions, or doing arbitrary acts no ways warranted by their Instructions, yet he does not know of any instance where such an order has issued in a case where the Governor had had a power by his Instructions to do the acts complained of, and is by such Instruction required to transmit his reasons for doing it to the Secretary of State. In these cases, the truth of the facts alledged have been allways taken to be so, and whether those facts are sufficient to support the acts done is the matter H.M. will onely consider. The ill consequences arising from such an order are obvious; it would introduce great disturbance in the province, and would be putting the petitioner in some measure on an equality with the Governr. and be attended too with great trouble and expense. Endorsed, Rd. from Mr. Guerin. 1 2/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 305, 305 v., 306 v.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
413. Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. In pursuance of your Lordships' orders, dated the first day of the last month, we have considered the Memorial of Henry Cunningham Esqr., H.M. Governor of Jamaica, humbly praying, in regard to the great expence that Island has been att this many years past, in fitting out parties against their rebellions negroes, now grown more strong and audacious by the desertion of other slaves, and their success over the parties that have been imploy'd to reduce them, as also in consideration of the supply necessary to be raised for the current service of the Island and the many difficulties the people already lye under from their numerous and heavy taxes as well as the great want of currency occasioned by the loss of their trade in general to the Spanish settlements and the establishment of the trade carry'd on by the annual ship sent to those parts by the South Sea Company; that H.M. will be pleased to restore the legislation of Jamaica to the liberty of laying a small duty on the import and export of negroes, till they shall be in a condition by other methods to raise the necessary supplies for the exigencies of the Government and the support of H.M. forces ordered thither for the protection of the Island. We thought proper upon a matter of this importance, to communicate the purport of Mr. Cunningham's Memorial to the Directors of the South Sea Company, and to the private traders to the Coast of Africa and Jamaica, who having attended us thereupon, laid before us two papers containing their respective objections to the prayer of this memorial consisting chiefly of a deduction of several repns. made heretofore by this Board, the last of which bears date in August 1732, of the decisions made by H.M. in Council upon application from the merchants for the repeal of Acts imposing duties of import and export upon negroes, and of the instructions given thereupon to the Governor of Jamaica not to pass such laws for the future. And it was further suggested in the Merchants' Memorial, that the circumstances of the Island were not so much changed since the last Instructions upon this subject, as to demand any alteration therein, that the method of raising mony by duties of import and export upon negroes would be precarious, and that the necessary supplies might be more easily and effectually raised by a poll tax on the negroes of the Island; Issue therefore being in some measure joyn'd upon the present circumstances of the Island, it seemed necessary to enquire whether the circumstances of Jamaica were so much altered since the year 1732, as to make it reasonable for H.M. to depart from the tenour of His former Instructions upon this head; and we demanded of Mr. Cunningham, whether he was able to produce evidence to us of such a variation in the state of Jamaica since the year 1732. Hereupon the humble Address of the Governor, Council and Assembly to H.M. was read, setting forth, that they are so fully perswaded of H.M. tenderness and care for the support and preservation of his people, that they do with the greater assurance and hopes of success implore H.M.'s most gracious assistance in their present dangerous and distressed condition. That the danger they are in proceeds from their slaves in rebellion, that they have for several years pass'd been at an extraordinary and almost insupportable charge to suppress them, and whilst they had any reasonable hopes of succeeding, they declined being too importunate for relief; but that their attempts against the said negroes having been vain, they are convinced of their own weakness, which is so great that instead of being able to reduce the rebels they are not in a condition to defend themselves: That the terror of the rebels spreads itself everywhere, and the ravages and barbarities they commit, have determined several planters to abandon their settlements; that the evil is daily increasing, and ye success of the rebellious negroes has had such influence on their other slaves that they are continuly deserting to them in great numbers, and the insolent behaviour of others gives them but too much cause to fear a general defection, which without H.M.'s gracious aid and assistance must render them a prey to the rebels. They humbly beg H.M. to believe their danger as great at last as they represent it and that this may possibly be the last opportunity they may have of applying for help etc. Mr. Cunningham likewise produced several persons of good substance in Jamaica who acquainted us that in their opinion the Island was in a much worse condition than in the year 1732, or at any time before, and for which they assigned the following reasons. That the rebellious negroes were grown more numerous and formidable than they had formerly been, by the frequent desertions of plantation slaves, and the acquisition of arms and ammunition from the defeated parties, which had been sent out against them; that their frequent success over these parties, one of which, upon application to Sr. Chaloner Ogle, had been joined by a detachment of two hundred sailors, and made altogether a body of five or six hundred men, had so raised the courage of the negroes and depressed that of the white men, that whereas five of the latter would formerly have frightened fifteen blacks, the case was at present so much reversed, that five negroes would be able to frighten fifteen white men. That Port Antonio was in a manner blocked up, insomuch that in March last no person durst stir out of the town; that the knowledge of this had such an effect upon the temper of the plantation slaves, that in some parishes their masters durst not correct them for any faults, for fear of creating mutinies and of their desertion to the rebels; That in the three lower parishes of St. Elizabeth, Cabarita and Hanover, the inhabitants were molested to such a degree, that they were forced to erect barracks and maintain constant guards, but that notwithstanding this precaution, they durst not carry their cattle to market by the common roades, but were forced to drive them through ill and round-about ways, very much to the prejudice both of the planter and the chapman, and that these parishes had been at the expence of cutting new roades to avoid the ambushes of the negroes, one of which was seven miles long and 100 foot broad. That to defray the charges of equipping parties against the rebels, poll taxes were frequently laid, and sometimes twice in a year, of one shilling on every negroe, and sixpence on every head of cattle, which with the other taxes for supporting the exigencies of the Government were so great a load upon the midle sort of inhabitants, that the constables were very frequently forced to distrain their effects for non-payment of the taxes, insomuch that it was to be feared common people would desert the Island: And a considerable planter who was present at this examination, added, that in the present exigency he was doubtfull whether it might not be most prudent for him to sell off his stock as well as he could, and abandon his estate. Lastly, it was represented to us, that there was very little currency in the Island, and no sums of mony to be had but for bills of exchange upon England, and that as to the state of publick credit the Receiver General had offten offered 12 1/2 pr. cent for mony on publick securities for the sums necessary to defray the charge of the parties, without being able to raise the mony. Whereupon we take leave to observe to your Lordships, that in our opinion Mr. Cunningham has made good the allegations of his Memorial with respect to the present distress of the Island, and altho in general it hath been the judgment of this Board that it was not reasonable to permit the people of our Colonies to impose duties upon the trade and navigation of this kingdom, yet it is possible some emergency may arise, which ought to induce the Mother Country to depart for a time from this rule: And as the present circumstances of Jamaica seem to be very deplorable, and that the people of that Island are not able to support themselves without some new assistance, the poll taxes upon their negroes and cattle having by experience been found unequal to the charge of their parties, and no new fund having been suggested which might supply that deficiency it should be considered what may be properly done in this great emergency. With regard therefore to the present circumstances of Jamaica, there seems to be an absolute necessity of giving them some assistance, and if the question be, whether, that aid should come from this kingdom in general, or from those who carry on the trade to Africa, Jamaica and the Spanish West Indies, and are consequently the most imediate gainers by the commerce of this Island, we think that it ought in point of justice to be drawn from the latter, because the nation has already been at a very considerable expence by sending six Independant Companies to Jamaica, and by keeping a squadron of men of war constantly stationed there for their protection, besides the charge of ten thousand pounds pr. annum, which for some years past hath been given by Parliament towards the maintenance of the British forts and settlements belonging to the Royal African Company of England on the coast of Africa, whereby the traders in general to that coast are better enabled to carry on that trade. But notwithstanding the difficulties the people of Jamaica labour under, and the evident necessity there is of giving them some immediate relief in their present circumstances, yet being willing to adhere as nearly as might be to the tenour of your Majty.'s last Instruction upon this subject, bearing date the 10th day of December 1731, we would humbly propose that such small duties as shall be laid upon negroes imported, should continue to be paid by the purchaser, and not by the importer; but that the Governr. of Jamaica may be allowed, during the present exigencies of the Island, to give his assent to the laying a small duty upon the export of negroes, which have been actually sold in the said Island, altho such negroes should not continue there during the time prescribed by H.M. said instructions. [C.O. 138, 18. pp. 3–12.]
[Dec. 12. ]414. Abstracts of Governor Hunter's letters, Feb. 22, 1734 and Dec. 24, 1733. 5 pp. [C.O. 137, 55. ff. 3–5 v.]
Dec. 12.
Cape Fear.
415. Governor Johnston to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My Lords, your orders to Mr. Burrington of the 30th of May last relating to the naval stores and the other products of the continent of America came to my hands but a few days agoe. Tho I have some reason to be afraid that my answer may come too late to fall under your Lordships' consideration, before you make your report to the House of peers, yet I take this affair to be of so great consequence to H.M. Colonies, in America, that I cannot forbear informing your Lordships of what I have observed since my arrival here. There is more pitch and tarr made in the two Carolinas than in all the other provinces on the Continent, and rather more in this than in South Carolina. But these two commodities (tarr especially) bear so low a price in London (1000 barrels scarce clearing £20 sterlin.) that I find the planters are generally resolved to make no more. I believe that it is principally owing to their own conduct, that the tarr of this country is of so small a value, for in order to make a larger quantity, they make so large and violent fires, in their kilns, as forces all the coarse juices of the lightwood along with the tarr which gives it so hott a quality, that masters of ships have observed it frequently burns their ropes, which makes them very shy of meddling with it. Now if by a gentle fire they would attempt to make nothing but cool tarr, tho the quantity would fall short by one-third, yet in quality they all agree it would equal East country tarr, if not exceed it, for their materials for this manufacture are excellent and in great plenty. But as the loss of one third of a kiln would fall very heavy upon them, they can't pretend to sett about this method unless the Crown will be so good as to allow them the old bounty of 10s. per barrel. If your Lordships approve of this, I humbly propose that the planter in person be obliged to attend the kilns and see that it is cool drawn, and to make oath before the Govr. that it is so, with heavy penalties in case of frauds etc. Tho the publick has allowed so handsome a premium for hemp of the growth of the Colonies, I was surprized to find that there were none raised in this country, tho there are large tracts of fertile land so proper for producing it. I have prevailed with some of the principal men on this river to make an experiment of it against next spring, and hope in a few years large quantities of that usefull product will be sent home from this country. The inhabitants of the southern parts of this province, particularly of the two branches of this large river (which is the best navigation of any between Chesapeak Bay and Cape Florida), are a very sober and industrious sett of people, and have made an amazing progress in their improvements since their first settlement, which was about eight years ago; as a proof of this I find by the Collectors' books forty-two ships went loaded from this river within these twelve months last past. There are now several of them who are planting of mulberries for raising of raw silk, and cultivating vines for producing wine, in which they seem very expert; some few are likewise making attempts for oil from the olive and from divers sorts of nutts and seeds which grow almost spontaneously here, for all which both climate and soil seem wonderfully adapted. I heartily wish your Lordships could prevail on the Legislature to grant some encouragement for the three abovenamed usefull commodities, being persuaded they would be of great service to the trade of Great Brittain, as this part of North Carolina may justly be called a new country, it is easy to direct the industry of the inhabitants into what channels you think proper. But if their first attempts to raise such products as England pays ready money for to forreigners are not favoured in the beginning, I am afraid they may at length fall into such manufactures as may interfere with, and be prejudicial to, those at Home. As the ship by which I send this sails to-morrow, I shall defer to send your Lordships an account of the state in which I found this country upon my arrival here, till next opportunity. Signed, Gab. Johnston. Endorsed, Recd. 26th Feb., Read 3rd Sept., 1735. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 294. ff. 187–188 v.; and (duplicate, endorsed, Recd. 6th March, Read 3rd Sept., 1735.) ff. 192–193 v., 194 v.]
Dec. 16.416. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Four reports signifying that he has no objection to 20 out of 21 Acts of New York of 1732. But upon the 21st, to repeal an Act and cancel bills of credit etc., observes that, "a very high duty is laid upon the importation of negroes into this Colony, which I apprehend to be contrary to the Governor's Instructions and very detrimental to the trade of this Kingdom." 1¼, 1¼, 1¾ and 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1057. ff. 13–16 v.]
Dec. 17.
Custom Ho. London.
417. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. Mr. Peagrum the Surveyor General of the Northern part of the Continent of America having by his letter dated the 28 Octor. last acquainted this Board that the Assembly of New York have passed an Act etc. to lay a duty of tonnage on vessels for the term of six years to commence from the 1 July last, wherein there is a clause subjecting the Officers of the Customs to penaltys in case they clear any vessels before the said duty is paid. And the Sollicitor being of opinion that the Officers ought not to refuse to clear a ship where the Master hath complied with the Acts of Parliament, and that, if he does refuse that, the Master may bring an action against such officer etc., requests copy of said Act. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 20th Dec, 1734. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 105. ff. 3, 8 v.]
Dec. 17,
Whitehall.
418. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Harrington. Since our representation of the 5th instant etc., we are informed that about fourscore of the said Swiss are already arrived; we therefore desire your Lordship will be pleased to receive, as soon as may be, H.M. directions upon our aforesaid representation etc. Autograph signatures. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 383. f. 19; and 5, 401. p. 117.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
419. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representation upon petition of inhabitants of S. Carolina, complaining of the Governor obstructing them in obtaining grants for land they had surveyed pursuant to warrants granted for that purpose. Quote opinion of Attorney General with which the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury concur etc. Conclude:—As we agree etc., we would humbly propose that your Majesty's orders should be given to Colo. Johnson, the present Governor of S. Carolina, in conformity to the Attorney General's opinion etc. But humbly submit whether it may not be reasonable that the several claims and pretensions, whether legal or equitable, should not be examined and adjudged by the Barons of your Majesty's Court of Exchequer in S. Carolina, lately erected by Governor Johnson, in a summary way, with as little expence as possible to the suitors etc. [C.O. 5, 401. pp. 118–126.]
Dec. 19.
St. James's.
420. Order of King in Council. Confirming Act of Montserrat, 1734, for providing an honourable support for H.E. etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 31st May, Read 12th June, 1734 [sic=1735]. 1 1/3 pp. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 30, 30 v., 31 v.]
Dec. 19.
Whitehall.
421. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of the Privy Council. Pursuant to order of 1st Nov., enclose following. Annexed,
421. i. Draft of H.M. Additional Instruction to Governor Johnston. ("Given at our Court at St. James's the 13th day of Feb. in the eighth year of Our reign") Colonel John Peter Purry of Neuxchatel in Swisserland, who, by our permission, hath undertaken the settlement of a certain number of Swiss families in a township marked for that purpose in Our Province of St. Carolina, now known by the Name of Purrysburgh, and has made considerable progress therein, having, by petition, humbly represented to us, several matters relating to the welfare of the said settlement; we have taken the same into Our Royal Consideration together with the report of the Lords of the Committee of Our Council and of Our Commissrs. for Trade and Plantations thereupon and being graciously disposed to grant Our protection to the said settlement, for the better encouragement thereof, We have thought fit to declare Our Royal Will and Pleasure thereupon, and you are hereby directed to cause the lands within the compass of six miles round the township of Purrysburgh on that side the river where the said township is situated, wch. were originally intended by Our Royal Instructions to you for the bounds of that township, and set apart for that purpose by the Proclamation published in our name on the first day of Sept. 1731, to be forthwith surveyed, notwithstanding any surveys which may have been made thereof since the place for the sd. town of Purrysburgh was pitch'd upon and marked by the said Col. Purry, which lands so set apart, shall be reserved for the use of the said town, and for such Swiss or other foreign Protestants as the said Col. Purry or his Agents have, or shall transport to Carolina, in order to settle and occupy the same; as also to answer the intended grant of forty-eight thousand acres of land to him; and whereas some of the most substantial and prudent inhabitants have been or may be employed in directing and assisting others to make their respective settlemts., it is Our Will and Pleasure, that in consideration of their charges and trouble they be allowed, and you are accordingly to grant to them respectively, such additional quantities of land within the limits of the aforesaid six miles round the said township of Purrysburgh, as you shall think an adequate reward for their services, provided always that the additional lands, so to be granted to any one single person, shall not exceed three hundred acres, and that their services be first certify'd to you by the said Col. Purry. You are likewise hereby directed to grant to such of the inhabitants whose lotts of land are situated on the rivulet which runs through Purrysburgh, double lotts of land in the said town in consideration of their extraordinary charges and labour in cleaning the said rivulet and draining a swamp or morass situated within that town, which is become necessary both for health and convenience; and as several foreign Protestants well skilled in the production of silk and wine, who have been obliged to fly their country in Germany and other parts of Europe for the sake of their religion, are willing to go and settle at Purrysburgh, it is Our Will and Pleasure, that they be reputed, and you are to receive them amongst the number of Swiss Protestants which Col. Purry hath obliged himself to carry or cause to be carryed to that place, in order to entitle him to the forty-eight thousand acres of land which We have been graciously pleased to allot him in Our said Province of St. Carolina in consideration thereof. Signed, G.R. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 494–497; and 5, 401. pp. 128–132.]
Dec. 20.
Whitehall.
422. Council of Trade and Plantations. Offer for H.M. disallowance Act of New Jersey for the better enforcing an ordinance made for establishing fees, and for regulating the practice of the law, "as the same is of an extraordinary nature, containing many absurd clauses and provisions, that vary from the law of England, and tend to weaken the security of the creditor, and as this Act has not a clause therein for suspending the execution thereof till your Majesty's pleasure thereupon should be known" etc. [C.O. 5, 996. pp. 369, 370.]
Dec. 20.
Whitehall.
423. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. An Act was passed in your Majesty's Province of New Hampshire on the 3rd day of December 1730, entituled An Act for removing three of the Courts of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace and Inferior Court of Com. pleas from Portsmouth to Exeter, Hampton and Dover. We have considered this Act, and can see no reason for removing the abovementioned Courts from Portsmouth, which is the capital of New Hampshire and much more populous than any other town of that Province. And should the Courts of Justice be established at Exeter, Hampton and Dover where there are a great number of law tryals, we apprehend this might give great encouragment to the destruction of your Majesty's woods, because these towns being the chief seats of the loggers or wood cutters, it would be very difficult, if not impracticable, to find a jury there who would give an impartial verdict betwist your Majesty and the offenders; for which reasons we humbly take leave to lay this Act before your Majesty for your disallowance. [C.O. 5, 917. pp. 105, 106.]
Dec. 20.
Antigua.
424. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Duplicate of 26th Nov., with addition:—I am to add to the above duplicate, that Francis Carlisle Esq. dyed in this Island the 26th November, by his death there is a vacancy in the Council of Antigua. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 30th July, 1735. Holograph. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 98–99 v.]
Dec. 20.
Whitehall.
425. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. The Act of New York, requested 17th instant, has not yet been transmitted to this Office etc. [C.O. 5, 1125. p. 320.]
Dec. 24.
Whitehall.
426. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses for their report copy of letter from Governor Mathew and of a "treaty concluded, in July last, by the Governor of Martinico and the Dutch Governor of the Island of St. Martin, by which it is agreed, that not only a neutrality shall be observed between the French and Dutch inhabitants of the said Island, if a rupture should happen between France and Holland, but that they shall assist each other, when either is attackt etc.; the like conditions are thereby also stipulated for St. Bartholomew, an island possessed by the French" etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Dec., 1734, Read 2nd Jan., 1734/5. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
426. i. Governor Mathew to the Duke of Newcastle. Antigua, Sept. 14, 1734. The Dutch and French, our next neighbours, have concluded a treaty of Neutrality for the islands of St. Martin and St. Bartholomews, that inevitably in case of a war cuts off all communication between Montserat, Nevis and St. Christophers, and Great Britain and Ireland for ships bound hence and thither. Encloses copy "sent to me by the Dutch Governor of Sta. Eustacia, upon my sending to him for it." Prays His Grace to hear the Agent upon it etc. Signed, William Mathew. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
426. ii. Treaties of Neutrality between the Dutch and French in the West Indies relating to (i) St. Martin, and (ii) St. Bartholomew, 14th July, 1734. Article (i) provides that the inhabitants of St. Martin, both Dutch and French, in case of a war between France and Holland, will remain neutral, and in case of attack by any nation whatsoever, will render each other mutual assistance. Or if the French or Dutch inhabitants are attacked (Art. ii and iii) the said inhabitants, both Dutch and French, shall be permitted in time of war to have two vessels each commissioned to bring supplies of munitions of war and provisions without hindrance. (iv) No person of any nation shall in time of war be permitted to send to St. Martin any negroes or other effects to save them from the enemy, except those who shall take refuge here in order to settle and remain with their families etc. (v) The same neutrality shall be observed by the inhabitants of St. Bartholomew etc. Signed, Richart (Marquis) de Champigny, Governor of Martinique etc., and Nicholas Salomon, Dutch Plenipotentiary appointed by the Governor of St. Eustatius and Lt. Governor of St. Martin. Same endorsement. French. Copy. 6 pp. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 168–169, 171 v. –174 v., 175 v.]
Dec. 25.427. Petty expenses of the Board of Trade, Michaelmas to Christmas, v. Journal. 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 80. ff 115, 116, 117, 118–119.]
Dec. 31.
Whitehall.
428. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose accounts of incidental charges of the Office, Michaelmas to Christmas, and request payment of quarter's salaries now due. v. Journal. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 358, 359.]