America and West Indies
November 1738, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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K. G. Davies (editor)

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1969

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241-255

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'America and West Indies: November 1738, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 44: 1738 (1969), pp. 241-255. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72957 Date accessed: 21 November 2014.


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November 1738, 16-30

November 20.
New York.
508 Philip Cortlandt and Daniel Horsmanden to Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to H.M.'s commission of 3 June 1737 for reviewing a judgement given on a former commission in a controversy between the Mohican Indians and Connecticut, we acquaint you that the commission was published by the New York commissioners on 10 May last and the court opened; having taken steps for directing the proceedings, we adjourned to 20 June to meet at Norwich, Connecticut, near 200 miles from hence, a place near the lands in controversy and most commodious for the parties interested and a convenient distance for the Rhode Island commissioners.
We accordingly attended at that place at the day appointed and with the governor of Rhode Island and six of his assistants endeavoured to proceed on our duty and demanded the former judgement and proceedings to be laid before the court, but were opposed therein by the agents for the government of Connecticut who said they were summoned to appear there to answer the complaint of the Mohicans and moved that the chief sachem of the tribe might appear in the first place; for they urged that without him they had no adversary. And herein they were countenanced by the governor of Rhode Island and five of his assistants who were of opinion that, as the commission directed the chief sachem and the parties interested to be summoned in the first place, the chief sachem ought to appear before any other step taken. We were at a loss we must confess to know what the drift of the Rhode Island commissioners could be in giving so strenuous an opposition upon this point, for by an examination of the judgement and proceedings we apprehended we might be most likely to be informed who would be the proper parties to the suit. But in the process of the proceedings that matter was sufficiently cleared up.
However, demand was made of the officers to return their several summonses and as to the Indians the return was that the officer had summoned all the principal heads and all the Mohicans he could find. Hereupon counsel for the Indians represented to the commissioners that the tribe had no sachem, that they had of late years been much dissatisfied and disgusted with their sachems for that they had betrayed the tribe and sold or endeavoured to sell all their lands to the government, and they were determined to have no sachem at all. But whether they had or not, they urged to be no ways material to the present controversy, for that the lands in dispute had been long since conveyed by the sachems at several times with the consent of the tribe to the family of the Masons in trust as perpetual guardians for the preservation of those lands to the tribe for their planting and hunting grounds for ever (saving some advantage thereout provided by those deeds for the family of the Masons), and that these conveyances had been confirmed by several Acts of the legislature of the colony, that a survey of the boundaries of those lands had been made by order of the government and put upon the records of the colony, and that the legal estate therein was in the Masons and offered to produce the evidences themselves to manifest those assertions.
Here counsel for the Indians were interrupted by the agents of the government and told that they had no right to speak for the Indians, that they could have no authority for so doing; and of this opinion were the governor of Rhode Island and a majority of his assistants, though the facts alleged were not denied by the agents for the government. However that matter was waived for some time. But though an inspection into the former judgement and proceedings did now appear the more necessary, supposing what counsel for the Indians alleged to be true, vizt. that the legal estate in the lands in the controversy was in the family of the Masons, and we might therefore reasonably expect a satisfaction as to that particular by reviewing the former proceedings as directed by the commission, and, as we apprehend, if the fact should appear to be so, it would be immaterial whether the chief sachem appeared or not or whether the tribe had a chief sachem or not, as was observed by one of us and strongly insisted, to have the proceedings laid before the court. But we were overruled by the Rhode Island commissioners who gave their opinions that we must first have a chief sachem before us, that without him the tribe could not appear for that would be a body without a head.
Counsel for the agents for the government had intimated at the bar that they could produce a chief sachem; and the Rhode Island commissioners demanding of counsel for the Indians whether they knew of any chief sachem (who perhaps finding from what had fell from the bench as well as from the counsel and agents for the government that a chief sachem was become necessary as this case was conducted) they declared John Unchas the rightful sachem; and upon the question to the agents for the government, they declare Ben Unchas. Hereupon the Rhode Island commissioners ordered the chief sachem of the Mohicans to be called and they both answered and claimed the right. Upon this issue the Rhode Island commissioners proposed that the court should proceed to an enquiry into each of their pretensions and decide the right between them by the examination of Christian witnesses, and upon the question it was carried in the affirmative by all the Rhode Island commissioners; though we must observe to you that had the question been asked of the tribe who were present (as was proposed by their counsel) who might be thought to be the best judges of their own affairs they would soon have decided the matter and have spared us the trouble which we thought altogether unnecessary. But this the Rhode Island commissioners would not suffer to be done but endeavoured rather to amuse and divert us from the merits of the cause in order to impose a chief sachem upon the Indians against their inclinations the better to suit a purpose which at that time we could not be aware of or, if we had, could not have been able to have prevented. Many Christian witnesses were examined and some days spent about it, some testimony taken in writing and some orally. At last it was insisted by the counsel for the Indians that the tribe should be examined, but that was absolutely denied by the Rhode Island commissioners though at length upon further consideration they proposed that a number of them not exceeding six of a side should be admitted to give their testimony upon this point. And we must observe to you that in the event it came out that by the constitution of the tribe the sachemship was hereditary and that John Unchas was sachem de jure and Ben Unchas had been sachem de facto but had been twice solemnly deposed by the tribe for having been betraying them as far as in his power by taking upon him to dispose of their lands to the government of Connecticut, and to show that they had deposed and renounced him an instrument was produced and proved to have been signed by about sixty Indians. Though it was objected by counsel for the government that there were not in all above thirty Indians which were properly Mohicans, yet upon examination it was proved that allowing there were not above thirty of the tribe nevertheless there were eighteen of that number had signed that instrument. It seemed to us that some remnants of neighbouring tribes which had been broken and dispersed by the wars had at length been incorporated into the Mohicans and had signed this instrument as parties interested. But notwithstanding these facts thus notoriously apparent, the Rhode Island commissioners resolved and declared Ben Unchas chief sachem.
The government of Connecticut being thus possessed of a chief sachem according to their inclinations, counsel for the agents moved on behalf of Ben that three particular persons might be assigned him as counsel which was granted by the Rhode Island commissioners. This point being thus determined, counsel for the Indians moved that John Mason on whom the trust before mentioned had devolved might be admitted to be heard by his counsel as guardian and trustee for the Indians with respect to the lands contained in the judgement to be reviewed. Here the absolute necessity for the commissioners inspecting the former judgement and proceedings did in our opinions appear in the strongest light, for we could not but foresee that the counsel in support of this motion must of necessity open the merits of the cause; and though one of us insisted and demanded again and again to have them laid before us yet it was as constantly opposed by the agents for the government and overruled by the Rhode Island commissioners, but at length with the greatest difficulty a copy of the judgement was suffered to be produced. In maintenance of this motion the counsel for Mason and the Indians produced the several original conveyances from the Indians to the Masons and several Acts of the legislature of the colony approving and confirming them whereby the trust did most evidently appear to us. But notwithstanding these facts were so notorious, the Rhode Island commissioners overruled us and unanimously resolved not to admit Mason a party to defend the right of the Indians or to hear the counsel in their behalf whom Mason had brought thither a journey of 100 miles, by which means only we could expect to come at the merits of the case. We choose rather not to trouble you with mentioning the rudeness with which the governor of Rhode Island and some of his assistants treated us. But we cannot forbear observing their absolute refusal of an entry of some part of the proceedings in the minutes and our dissents thereon, their great impatience also which they all along showed at our offering in open court the reasons for our opinions on every point wherein we differed, and they would offer none of their own but summarily determine everything by putting the question and collecting the votes of the commissioners, of whom they seemed all along to have been assured of a majority.
The case having been thus conducted, we assured you we had no hopes of seeing justice done by an equitable and impartial examination and determination upon the merits of the case, but found it in vain to expostulate with the Rhode Island commissioners or to sit any longer amongst them after having spent ten days in many hours close attendance morning and afternoon to so little purpose. We therefore declared to them our dissatisfaction with their proceedings whereby a collusive defence of the Indians' title to the lands in controversy was suffered to be made and finally conducted by persons who plainly appeared to be members of the corporation and therefore adversaries of the tribe which manifestly tended to defeat the end of H.M.'s commission, and therefore we could sit no longer amongst them and so withdrew. As we were anxious of discharging the trust H.M. honoured us with to the utmost of our abilities, we were careful of taking notes of the proceedings as exactly as we could which has served to lay the facts particularly before you in a representation and certificate herewith enclosed. But we chose likewise to offer you this general account of them for the sake of saving your time, which however may be justified by reference to the particulars set forth at large in the representation if it may be thought of use which we submit. Signed. 6¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 January, Read 18 January 1738/9. Enclosed,
508. i. New York, 10 August 1738. Representation of same to same. [The substance of the greater part of the representation is the same as covering letter but in more detail] In the course of the evidence the following particulars appeared in full proof as well by the testimony of witnesses Christian and Indian as by writings, vizt. (1) By the constitution of the Mohicans from the time of Unchas called the Grand, chief sachem at the first arrival of the English colony in Connecticut, the chief sachemship was hereditary in the Unchas family from father to son. (2) John Unchas is next male heir to Mahomet who lately died in England. (3) Oweneco, second sachem since the memory of the English, had three sons, Joshua, Mahomet and Caesar. Joshua and Mahomet died in the lifetime of Oweneco, the former without issue, the latter left a son named Mahomet who died lately in England. This Mahomet being a minor of 10 years of age, Caesar (Oweneco's third son) was made chief sachem in confidence that he would resign to Mahomet when he came to manhood. Caesar dying shortly after, Major Ben Unchas (the fourth and youngest brother of Oweneco) assumed the sachemship and soon after died. (4) Counsel for the Indians produced an authentic copy of an Act of Assembly of 20 October 1692 declaring that Mahomet is and ought to be the next rightful sachem after the death of Oweneco. (5) On the death of Major Ben Unchas, there was an interval of some years without any chief sachem. About seven or eight years ago, the present Ben Unchas was appointed, but taking upon him to dispose of the lands of the tribe to the governor and company of Connecticut the tribe deposed him in September 1736 and set up Ann, daughter of Caesar, as head or queen, who married Sam Unchas, son of John now claiming the chief sachemship. (6) On 2 August 1737 an instrument was signed, following the intercession of the governor of Connecticut, restoring Ben Unchas as chief sachem. John Richards testified that the Indians fully understood the instrument, Jonathan Barber, missionary resident amongst the Mohicans, testified that they did not. (7) In March 1738 the greatest part of the tribe signed instruments again deposing Ben Unchas and likewise deposing Ann who had deserted her first husband to marry the son of Ben. (8) Ben Cachego an old Indian testified that Ann was made queen regent till Mahomet's return. By the stratagem of some agents for the government she was married to the son of Ben Unchas in order to make a stronger alliance with the blood royal.
As evidence of the estate which the Masons have in trust for the Mohicans, the following evidences were produced. (1) Deed, 15 August 1659, whereby Unchas and Wawequaw, sachems of the Mohicans, granted to Major John Mason all the lands possessed by them. (2) Minute of proceedings of assembly at Hartford, 14 March 1660, noting that Major Mason had surrendered to the colony the jurisdiction over the said land. The laying out of the lands was left to Major Mason and the court ordered that the Indians should have sufficient planting ground at all times. (3) Deed, 20 May 1661, whereby Unchas, Oweneco and Attawanhood, sachems of the Mohicans, granted to Major John Mason all the lands belonging to them which should be sold or disposed to any person. (4) Deed, 14 December 1665, whereby the same sachems ratified the deed of 1661, confirming to Major Mason and heirs half the profit of all lands and woods, and bound themselves and their heirs not to sell or dispose of the land without consent of Major Mason. (5) Deed, 9 May 1671, whereby John Mason entailed to Unchas, Oweneco and Attawanhood, a parcel of land at Mashawtackuck. (6) Deed, 6 March 1683, whereby Oweneco passed over to the Masons his right in land between New London bounds and Trading Cove brook. (7) Deed, 6 June 1689, purporting to be a confirmation to Daniel Mason. (8) Acts of court of the colony, 13 October 1692 and 20 October 1692, confirming lands to Oweneco and his son Mahomet.
It was manifest to the commissioners, as we conceived, that the legal estate in the lands in controversy had from 1659 been vested in the Masons in trust for the Mohicans, and that although the first conveyance was an absolute deed yet the Indians had done nothing towards the disposition of those lands so as to part with their entire interest in them. The agents for the governor and company insisted that as the original conveyances were absolute to Major Mason and antecedent to the charter of Connecticut, and as Mason was a grantee of the charter, the king's subject having so purchased of aliens, the lands were thereby vested in the crown and consequently passed to the grantees of the charter. Yet these conveyances were all along understood by the Masons and the government of Connecticut to be in trust. Signed. 12¼ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 1269, fos. 31–44d.]
November 20.
Frederica.
509 James Oglethorpe to Ald. George Heathcote. I am here in one of the most delightful situations as any man could wish to be. A great number of debts, empty magazines, no money to supply them, numbers of people to be fed, mutinous soldiers to command, a Spanish claim and a large body of their troops not far from us. But as we are of the same kind of spirit these difficulties have the same effect upon me as those you met with in the City had upon you. They rather animate than daunt me. There is no doubt but that the debts due to the merchants and others for supporting the colony in the time of the greatest dangers ought to be paid for by the Parliament. Shall they who ventured their effects to prevent a colony's being swallowed up by a Spanish invasion be ruined for their public spirit? Shall the poor men who are here in garrison in the Trustees' service on the utmost frontiers of America starve for want of the pay which is due to them? I am persuaded the Commons of England will never think so. If the Trustees will but concert and apply to Parliament for a sufficient sum they certainly will succeed. It is the interest of the merchants who have the certified accounts to assist them. The Parliament ought to enable the Trustees to pay these debts for the following reasons. They granted 20,000l. for the whole expense of the colony but when they separated the military from the civil they granted but 8,000l. for the civil expense, supposing that a regiment would arrive there which would take off the military expense. But it was near a year before the regiment arrived all which time the Trustees' officers were obliged to continue the expenses for the defence of the province by maintaining the militia who were under arms, by paying the scout-boats, rangers and garrisons, and supplying the Indians with arms, ammunition and necessaries in order to keep them in readiness against the Spanish invasion. These measures occasioned debts, but these measures preserved the province and frustrated the attempts of the Spaniards from Cuba and Augustine, nay even prevented their daring to attack so much as one outpost. But supposing on the contrary the Trustees' servants here had not ventured to buy provisions on credit but had on the ceasing of the military establishment and before the arrival of the regiment abandoned the garrisons, the Spaniards might then have taken possession of them without so much as an hostility and the nation would have had no remedy but applying to commisaries or entering into a war. These measure therefore ought to be justified and the Parliament, if applied to, will doubtless enable the Trustees to pay those who so frankly risked their substance for the public service. I need not conjure you by your friendship to me for I know your own public spirit will make you animate our friends to apply to Parliament and push for such a supply as may pay the debts and continue to support the improvements of the colony. I shall add nothing more than to assure you that in whatever part of the world I am neither distance nor time can lessen the sincere affection I have for you. Signed. 5 small pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 225–227.]
November 20.
Frederica.
510 Same to Duke of Newcastle. On 8 October I wrote to you, since which I have been at Savannah to meet the chiefs of four towns of the Creek Indians who came down thither to assure me of their fidelity to H.M. and to give an account of the great offers the Spaniards had made to incite them to make war with the English, which they refused with great steadiness. Those soldiers who came from Gibraltar hither have mutinied. The king gave them provisions and pay at Gibraltar: he gave them but six months provisions here, after which they were to live upon their pay. On the expiration of their provisions they demanded a continuance of them and I not being able to comply with their demands, they took arms. One of them fired upon me; after a short skirmish we got the better of them. One of the officers was slightly and one of the mutineers dangerously wounded and five are secured prisoners to be tried by a court martial. We have strong reason to suspect that our neighbours have tampered with these men, many of them speak Spanish and some of their boats came up hither before my arrival. When the court martial is over I shall acquaint you with the event thereof. Signed. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 174175d.]
November 21.
Savannah.
511 William Stephens to Trustees for Georgia. My last was of 27 September with a supplement of 29th, copy sent herewith with my journal continued to this day inclusive, in which journal reference being had to my notes of 30 September and 9 and 16 October it will appear how unfortunate it proved that the packet I had then sent met with such unexpected delays, and by what ship it since went I have yet received no advice, which indeed has given me much uneasiness; but I assure myself the attorney-general has taken due care in it to whom by your orders I recommended it, well hoping now that the season being come again when ships will be more frequently going for England than for a while past we shall not again be so far to seek for opportunities as we have lately been. It was for that reason I suffered the time to pass to an unusual length since my last without writing, being well informed there was no prospect of any ship likely to sail till about this season. I am now to acknowledge the receipt of several letters and papers since come to hand, vizt. by Capt. Thomson on 15 October two boxes directed to me enclosing a great number of letters partly for the people of this place and partly for the south, which boxes the general being then in town were very rightly carried to his quarters where he readily found such as immediately appertained to himself; and such as were directed to me I took, the dates whereof were 4 and 11 August. And since, by the arrival of Capt. Reid at Charleston 17 October I had from thence two originals of 4 August whereof those I received by Capt. Thomson were copies. The accounts of provisions and necessaries received and credits given by Mr. Causton since midsummer 1737 came to hand also in duplicates by those two ships, Messrs. Crokatt & Seaman, partners, sending me from Charleston what came by Capt. Reid with a letter acquainting me it was directed to their care.
The present state of affairs here is such and so perplexed that it would require an abler pen than mine to give a full detail of it: wherefore out of great superabundance I must content myself with a few observations of what I apprehend more immediately requisite to offer for your consideration; and the enquiry now making into Mr. Causton's accounts drawing most people's attention to see what the issue of that will be wherein also I have your particular commands to learn as far as I can what reasons (if any) can be given for divers steps taken by him, as in your letter of 4 August is specified. I have diligently sought to discover what secret purposes might carry him such lengths as it appears he went in buying provisions for the stores to an uncommon degree and many things even to be thought not necessary, wherein though I cannot in my own private opinion vindicate his proceedings, knowing himself exceeding your orders, yet in common justice I am obliged to say that I have not been able hitherto to trace any marks of fraud or any collusion with the sellers of such provisions. But so far as I yet perceive it has been owing to an unadvised rash judgement of his own which (to speak plainly) he might err in the sooner for an overweening conceit of his superior discernment to others who perhaps would have been better advised before they had ventured so far. As I saw no likelihood of my coming soon at any further knowledge of this matter I believed it would not be amiss to attempt in a little free conversation with him how far any judgement might be formed from what answers he would give to such questions as I should put to him thereon which I would do as from myself though in substance the same as I received from you. I did so at a fit opportunity and soon afterwards put in writing, as far as I could comprehend what he meant, vizt. he told me that all the goods mentioned in the certified accounts as delivered to particular persons are charged to their respective accounts, by which the reasons for so doing will appear fully when those accounts are perfected; that he thought it necessary for him to buy what provisions came to market because we knew not how soon it might be out of our power to come at any, wherefore in keeping the stores full he kept the people together from dispersing till the king's forces arrived; that many of the goods supposed to be not necessary have been found so as well for discharging establishments in specie as also for issuing (with a reasonable advance in the price) instead of money to discharge the necessary expenses of the colony, whereby the people's wants have been supplied cheaper than from common hucksters.
These as near as I could collect them were such reasons as he thought proper to give for what I asked him in free conference betwixt ourselves; what weight those reasons carry with them I submit. As I must presume Mr. Jones will particularly inform you what loss may have been sustained by provisions that have proved not well when bought or been spoiled for having been kept too long in store, I would rather choose to leave it to him than send an imperfect account or such as I could not warrant. Some waste cannot easily be prevented in such quantities of many kinds, and some Mr. Jones called me to see when brought together appeared to be a considerable quantity of dried beef, tongues, hams etc. quite wasted. Among the woollen goods also some of old standing I observed had received damage from the rats and moth, but I conceive the loss in that article will not be very grievous or extraordinary. In the meanwhile the enquiry into those books and accounts is carried on with all the appearance of dispatch that may be and with uncommon rigour, Mr. Causton says, which he often complains of and of his being personally ill-treated by Mr. Jones. But I avoid as much as possible meddling in those contentions and only observe that Mr. Jones possibly might without prejudice to the public lay aside a little of that heat wherewith he sometimes appears to be actuated, and Mr. Causton may consider now whether in time past he has not given cause to others for the like complaint when his power was so extensive. Whatever be the event I truly think that in case he should appear culpable in breach of his trust he has shown no tokens of regard to the parable of the unjust steward by making friends with the unrighteous mammon: for I fear that but few would lament his fall in this place, so many has he disobliged in giving way to those tormenting passions of jealousy and revenge. This I say not out of any illwill, for in truth I bear him none, but I sincerely wish he may acquit himself perfectly to the satisfaction of his constituents and everyone else.
The cargo of foreigners which Capt. Thomson brought with him came at a very unlucky time to him when so few of the inhabitants were able to purchase servants. But through the general's favour in allowing credit to divers who are likely to make a right use of them about half are taken off the captain's hands here, and the remainder he hopes through the like kind assistance to dispose of in the south. Let me not offend if on this occasion I offer a poor opinion of my own relating to several importations of foreign servants into this province, which I presume to do from what I have been a pretty close observer of, and so far as concerns the public in what benefits the Trust are to expect from many of them, I am persuaded in myself that had they had their freedom the first day they came ashore with each of them a piece of land to sit down on and (add to all this) even some small allowance also for their support a little while out of your stores they would ere now have shown their industry in clearing and cultivating a good tract of land and found their labour well recompensed as well as the country been more improved abundantly. It is certain from experience they will work heartily for themselves and it is as certain and manifest that very few of them will take due pains for others or be driven by them, but like Hudibras's horse the more his master used the spur the less the sullen jade would stir. This I see daily verified with relation to the Trust servants, some few but very few instances excepted, and as for those who are in private service we hear continual complaints from one or other of their laziness etc. Nevertheless it must be owned there is much difference to be found in regard to the several countries they come from, and therein I must absolutely give the preference for sloth and stubborness to those people who came with Capt. Hewett last winter whom the Trust had so large a share of and have found so little benefit from whether in farming or domestic labour in the town. So far as yet appears it must be said these poor people that came now with Capt. Thomson are as promising for diligence as any I have seen among all that came before them, but I fear their labour will be hardly tantamount to the support of so many old women and children as are among them unless we can happily see such employed hereafter in the silk manufacture or such like, which there is good grounds to hope for.
I do not find that the use of the crane, which you take notice of to me, has turned to much benefit of the public by appropriating the hire of such as worked at it for private uses to that end; for it has been usual with masters of vessels, great or little, who imported goods for private persons to work the crane with hands of their own, but as your expectations are now known I hope they will be observed. Your commands relating to Oakes, who is apprentice to Young the wheelwright, were obeyed carefully as you will observe in my journal of yesterday's date. I am sorry that in more places than one of that journal I thought my duty obliged me to take notice of the discord arisen betwixt Mr. Norris and Mr. Habersham, wherein I offered my poor opinion what I thought to be the real cause; and it is with perfect impartiality. Mr. Habersham's care of the school is unexceptionable, and I look on him as a diligent and useful man in divers capacities. Mr. Whitefield when here by his preaching and assiduously applying himself to promote piety had greatly won the hearts of his hearers, wherein I hope I did him justice by representing him to you in a due light at sundry times such as I thought (and still think) he deserved. But the misfortune seems to lie in this, that the fraternity (whereof if I am rightly informed he is one) seem to speak and think lightly of the generality of the clergy of the Church of England and condemn them for indolence etc. (not to say worse). In consequence of which they would be magnified as men of more zeal in religion which they are apt to carry to too great a length as I conceive and even to assume the power of opening and shutting the gates of heaven. Mr. Whitefield himself as I apprehend seems to pay no great compliment on his brethren of the clergy in his preface to a sermon preached at Bristol on the necessity of a new birth, and men of such sentiments ought the less to be wondered at if they dislike another who in some points of doctrine may not think altogether alike with themselves especially if such person happens to fill the pulpit which they would choose for their own, which I take to be in a great measure the case here, though Mr. Whitefield is absent, Mr. Habersham often professing in all conversation that they were formed into a society by the appellation of friends whom nothing in this world could separate and whatever one of them said the other would maintain; wherefore it is pretty plain from hence that Mr. Norris was to expect no quarter from them. As to myself, whilst Mr. Whitefield was among us, I was wanting in no due regard to him nor esteem for him; and now Mr. Norris succeeds, who is so well recommended and authentically appointed, I shall endeavour whilst he continues to behave as hitherto he has done to show him all the marks of friendship I can and do my utmost to see that he is well supported, which I think there is little appearance that he will stand in need of since he rises daily in the good opinion of most people of sense.
I purposed to have added a few other matters which my present thoughts suggested to me as proper to be laid before you, but am unhappily broke in upon by the arrival of Sgt. McKenzie with a large packet from your office containing various dispatches and letters as well for the general now at Frederica as others both in the south and north parts of the colony, among which I am now too truly informed of the certainty of Col. Horsey's death which before we were unwilling to give credit to. The loss of so valuable a friend demands a debt of nature which grief usually pays; and you will forgive me if at present I break off here and lay hold of the next first opportunity of addressing you farther. Signed. 5 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/8. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 229–232d.]
November 21.
New York.
512 Lieut.-Governor George Clarke to Council of Trade and Plantations, acknowledging letter of 19 August and favour shown to his son. I was sensible when I wrote to you about the Triennial bill that there was no great possibility of its passing at home, and what I wrote was purely on the pressing instances of the assembly. Although my interview with the Six Nations had not the effect I hoped for in their giving us some land to build a fort on at Tierondequat, yet in other things I succeeded pretty well; for I got them not to permit the French to erect a trading house there nor suffer them to take any other footing among them and to give what encouragement they can to the remote nations of Indians to bring their beaver to Oswego. Minutes of council and votes of assembly are enclosed. I was obliged to dissolve the assembly for their insolent attempts. I intend to call another in the spring who I hope will come together with better dispositions and a truer sense of their country's wants and interest. But however they are disposed I will keep the Excise Act in my power, for if they are not easily to be managed by that advantage which I have over them, without it they would be ungovernable. Refers to Tonnage Act in same terms as No. 483. Signed. 2½ small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 January, Read 10 January 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 1059, fos. 78–80d.]
November 21.
Jamaica.
513 Governor Edward Trelawny to Council of Trade and Plantations, acknowledging letter of 20 July. I am much obliged to you for your kind assurances in the latter part of it that you will always have a proper regard for those whose names I shall transmit to you in order to be of the council. I shall endeavour to deserve your esteem by promoting H.M.'s service here to the utmost of my power and by paying all possible deference to your commands. I am very sorry you had any reasons not to assist me in the recommendation of Messrs. Whitehorne and Garthwaite to be councillors in as much as I had given them hopes and had flattered myself that you would have concurred in it, without which assurance gentlemen are shy in consenting to my single recommendation. You may remember that when I attended at your board I set forth the inconveniences that might arise in the execution of my duty if my recommendation, especially the first, should fail; and I then understood that you gave me hopes it should not. Few gentlemen proper both upon account of their character and fortune are willing to accept of that post; several have refused me. If you would condescend so far as to let me know when you have an inclination to favour any persons, I shall be so far from recommending any others in their stead that I will upon the first signification of your pleasure transmit their names to the principal Secretary of State unless there should be such cogent reasons to the contrary (which I will communicate to you) as would induce you, if you were apprised of them, to withdraw your favour. It is impossible you should so well know the characters and dispositions of people here by the accounts which upon these occasions you must often receive from those who perhaps chiefly consider private friendship or recommendation as I have opportunity to do by seeing them in business and conversation. In the choice of councillors it is necessary for me to have public considerations in view, as it is with them principally I must concert most things relating to the due execution of my office. I hope you will think it reasonable in me to urge this point, because a successful obedience to H.M.'s commands as well as my own ease and quiet in the administration of this government greatly depends upon it. I have not yet had time enough to be sufficiently satisfied of the characters of twelve persons fit to be nominated to supply any vacancies in the council which may hereafter happen. The five following (but subsequently to Sir Simon Clarke, Bart., Samuel Whitehorne and Edward Garthwaite) I recommend as such to you, vizt. Richard Beckford, Hampson Nedham, Thomas Rodon, Thomas Fearon, Dr. Matthew Gregory. Signed, 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 13 February 1738/9. [C.O. 137, 23, fos. 2–3d.]
November 21.
Whitehall.
514 Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council, pursuant to order of 26 October last referring back representation proposing repeal of the Act for trial of John Coteen and Thomas Winthorp. The information which we had received concerning the proceedings upon that Act arose from a discourse with the agent of Antigua when the Act was under our consideration; for we neither then had nor have since received any notice from Governor Mathew of the said proceedings. We have again discoursed with Mr. Yeamans, agent for Antigua, who has acquainted us that although he had no notice from his constituents of the said proceedings yet he is well informed by conversation with several gentlemen lately come from that island that Winthorp and Coteen having been brought to trial, the first was acquitted and the other convicted on such evidence only as had been qualified by the Act and would not otherwise have been admitted as legal. Entry. Signatories, M. Bladen, A. Croft, R. Plumer. 2 pp. [C.O. 153, 16, fo. 77, 77d.]
November 22.
Frederica.
515 James Oglethorpe to Harman Verelst. I cannot yet get Mr. Causton's balance of account nor can I be sure of the debts due in Georgia: every day fresh demands come in. By my best guess there is above 8,000l. due in Georgia besides the certified accounts. The expense here of the year for the improvements of the colony, the civil government and presents to the Indians cannot be brought under 5,000l. for the year. The Trustees' stores will be no assistance at all towards it since they have been ordered to be issued in payment of debts at Savannah. I have desired Mr. Jones to draw out a particular of all the expenses that are absolutely necessary. I hope therefore that the Trustees will apply to Parliament for a sum sufficient to pay the certified accounts, the debts incurred here, and to provide for the charges of the year. They will be the best judges how much that sum must be. I reckon the military expense of the year, between the ceasing of the military establishment and the arrival of the regiment, might amount to 12,000l. I reckon therefore the debts certified and uncertified that are unpaid must amount to near that sum and the expense of the year from my arrival this November to 1st of next November will be 5,000l. If the Trustees think that the sum of 17,000l. is more than they can obtain from Parliament they will do what they think best. But if the Parliament does not pay the debts it will not only be impossible to support the colony at all but the misery of the poor people who came upon their own expenses and trusted their little fortunes upon the public faith will be inexpressible. The clamour also of the merchants who furnished provisions etc. in the time of the Spanish alarm upon seeing the necessity of supporting the colony will be very great. I should therefore move the Trustees to insist upon a sum sufficient to pay the debts and support the colony and I am so persuaded that the Parliament will grant such a sum that I venture upon paying all the necessary expenses here out of my own pocket without drawing on the Trustees or charging them with any debt till I hear of the determination of Parliament, which I fear will be near six months, and in which time I fear shall have expended (though I shall use the utmost economy) near 2,500l.
I have paid 100l. pursuant to the Trustees' order to Lyon to enable him to carry on the vineyards. I sent you by my last letter his receipt and I have secured the other 100l. to him. I have paid at Savannah about 400l., part in purchasing provisions for the supplying of the most necessitous people, part for making up presents to the Indians, four kings of whom with great numbers of warriors and attendants, 80 in all, came down there to meet me and to assure me of their fidelity to H.M. and that they had rejected the Spanish offers. I have ordered the account of the issues of the Indian presents to be made out and sent to you. I have sent also an acknowledgement signed by the officers who arrived with the first part of the troops of their having boats furnished to them and boarded huts for them at the Trustees' expense, which is demandable from Parliament. I have not been able to get in yet the particular account but the whole must amount to above 1,000l. for the regiment and all the persons belonging to them amounted to above 1,000 and the huts and boat-hire for them and such a quantity of stores as came over cannot be reckoned at less than 20s. charge per head, one with another. I have delivered the yawl to the pilot to be pilot-boat according to the Trustees' order. I have ordered copies of the waste book kept at the store in Frederica to be made out and sent over to you every month from the time of my coming over. There is not hands to post up after the Italian manner of book-keeping but I suppose if you have a waste book sent over you may do that in London. I hope if the Parliament makes a grant that the Trustees will immediately send sola bills for what they intend should be the expense of the year. Signed. P.S. Enclosed I send you an account of the mutiny at St. Andrew's and a letter to Mr. Holland which if he is not in town you may open and read and communicate to the Trustees. 3½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 15 February 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 233–234d.]
November 22.
Savannah.
516 William Stephens to Harman Verelst. The packet I received yesterday which was sent by Sgt. McKenzie; wherein I found your letter of 25 August with a copy of the Trustees' letter of 11 August and the copy likewise of the bill of loading of sundry goods consigned to Messrs. Crokatt & Seaman at Charleston which came by Capt. Nicholson etc. What other letters and dispatches were contained in that packet due care will be taken of. But unhappily there I found also the fatal news confirmed of my good friend Col. Horsey's death, to which what can I say ? Leves loquntur curae, ingentes stupent, so said a heathen philosopher from the light of nature. But a greater than he who was divinely inspired had said on the like occasion, I became dumb and opend not my mouth for 'tis thy doing. We are forbid to repine at the dispensations of Providence but surely we may grieve lawfully when nature prompts reasonably: why else was that passion implanted in us ? Indeed I cannot but lament his death, the man whom I loved and whose neighbourhood in this part of the world I pleased myself often in imagining might conduce to our future comfort. Such is my loss but when I read his son's letter which I am favoured with in the same packet my heart is ready to bleed at the thoughts of how much greater a loss his mournful family sustains which he left behind. Be so good when you see them to present my respects in the most tender manner, letting them know that as I truly condole with them so I shall always be ready to testify the same goodwill to the family as when my worthy friend lived by all the little offices I am capable of. Gen. Oglethorpe is at present in the south; as soon as he returns hither, which we expect will be in a few days, I shall ask his leave and advice about going for Charleston in order to promote what Mr. Horsey has requested of me, wherein I wish greatly that success may attend my endeavours as effectually as they will be undertaken heartily. Then I shall write to him; till then words alone bring little relief.
I had it in my thoughts to have troubled you now with a story concerning my own affairs, but this melancholy occasion made me lay aside to another time when I shall not hesitate to unbosom myself to you in a few particulars, whom you have taught me to esteem my true friend and so I sincerely do. Please present my duty to Lord Egmont: his kind remembrance and notice of an old, depressed man, gives me fresh vigour when I read it. I wish I were capable of serving him in anything. The potter has the model from his lordship of the flower pot and the coffee pot from his countess both before him, which he has been chewing upon some days, but has not yet fully told me what can be done in it. I hope in my next to acquaint you how far he is capable of performing. Signed. P.S. The little boy that you sent for a servitude here was delivered me by the Sgt. of whom more hereafter. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 29 January 1738/9. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 235–236d.]
November 25.
Ebenezer.
517 Salzburghers in Georgia to Rev. Senior Urlsperger. None of us is any poorer, all have received enough since last harvest for necessities. We wish our fellow-countrymen were here; they would profit by our experience. The land is cultivated. Arrangements are now made for cattle-breeding: we have 200 head of cattle besides pigs and poultry. We enjoy complete Christian freedom in religion. Gen. Oglethorpe has lately granted that no one shall settle here without our consent. It would be pleasant if more of our people could come over. Persons who would be specially welcome are named; they are from Lindau, Memmingen, Nordlingen, Augsburg, Leutkirch, Ulm, Liebrach, Kaufbeuern, Kemten, Regensburg. Unmarried women are needed. German. Copy, Signatories, Simon Steiner and 39 others with German towns of origin given. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 237–238d.]
November 25.
Jamaica.
518 Governor Edward Trelawny to Duke of Newcastle. Mr. Greenhill who was the commanding and only commissioned officer since Lieut. Campbell's suspension belonging to the late Capt. Harris's company being dead, I shall immediately give orders to Mr. Hill, the oldest lieutenant in this island, to take command of that company and shall give a warrant to James Long to act as lieutenant in the room of Mr. Hill. He is the gentleman I recommended to you for a commission some time ago together with William Newton and George Bird; and I renew my request for them that they may receive commissions according to the order I then recommended them in. I beg to add to my former recommendation Robert Hodgson and James Hamilton to whom I have given warrants. Signed. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. February. [C.O. 137, 56, fos. 156–157d.]
November 25.
Bermuda.
519 Governor Alured Popple to Council of Trade and Plantations. A sloop put in here from North Carolina to refit, bound for London, gives me an opportunity of writing to you which I did not expect before the spring. I have not time at present to get transcripts made of my last letter of 2nd of last month (fn. 1) nor of Acts and papers transmitted 21 August.
I have an instruction that gives much uneasiness here, notwithstanding the governors here I believe have always had it. It is the 73rd. By that instruction I am directed to take care that all ships and vessels arriving within my government shall with the first opportunity of wind and weather come and lie at an anchor either in the Castle Harbour or in St. George's Harbour, and I am not to permit the said ships or vessels to land or unload any goods or merchandise in any other port or harbour. That you may be the better judge of this instruction, I will endeavour to state to you what may be said both for and against it. Most of the gentlemen of this country live on the great island notwithstanding the seat of government is held at St. George's and that all public business is transacted here. These gentlemen are all concerned in the sloops trading to and from Bermuda and have their warehouses on the great island, which is here called the Country. If therefore these sloops load and unload in St. George's Harbour or the Castle Harbour, the gentlemen concerned must be at a great charge to remove their goods to their own warehouses in the Country and to bring to town what goods they intend for exportation. If their sloops should be permitted to load in the Country (unless they are permitted to clear there) an easterly wind will as soon carry them to the continent of America as bring them to this harbour to clear. During the hurricane months (August and September) all vessels bound hither endeavour to make the first land they can; and if from the continent a westerly wind will first carry them to the Country, the same wind will afterwards bring them to this harbour. But if it changes easterly they are confined to the Country and according to my 73rd instruction can neither enter nor unload until a change of wind can bring them to this harbour.
On the other hand the Custom-house is here in town where the collector, naval officer and searcher constantly reside. If therefore vessels are permitted to enter in the Country a door is opened to illegal trade unless Custom-house officers were likewise settled there with salaries sufficient to keep them above bribery. The Bermuda sloops frequently trade with the Dutch at St. Eustatius; and as the Dutch trade with the French, commodities may clandestinely be imported into the west end of these islands unless as I said before Custom-house officers were settled there; and that this is sometimes the case I have reason to believe. But the many opportunities sloops coming in at the west end of these islands have of running such goods on shore before an officer could be sent from hence makes it impossible for me to say more than that I am certain goods (especially liquors) are run; and I wish I could say it was in my power to prevent it. Vessels coming in at the west end never want a plausible reason such as distress in some shape or their making land so late in the evening that they were obliged to come in or stand out to sea again and such vessels (if their intention was to run anything) have landed what they proposed to run before any officer from hence can prevent it.
I hope you will consider what I have written and either propose some alteration in my instruction or send me peremptory orders to put it punctually in execution. For when my commission was first published the people here seemed extremely pleased that powers were given me thereby to make new ports and harbours. But when I showed them my 73rd instruction they then said they hoped I would do as my predecessors had done and allow them the liberty of entering and clearing in the Country which necessarily must imply loading and unloading out of the Castle or St. George's Harbour, which is quite contrary to my instruction. Since I have been here I have obliged all vessels to come into this harbour and enter excepting a very few who were really disabled. But they have come down when refitted. My abovementioned 73rd instruction is so very particular with regard to loading and unloading in this harbour or the Castle Harbour that the punctual execution of it in order to prevent the ill-practices of some must impose very great inconveniences and charges upon others who I dare to believe would be no way concerned in illicit trade. I must therefore once more beg of you to consider my instruction and what I have written and as soon as possible favour me with your resolutions for some people here think my power of making new ports much stronger than the restriction in my instructions, the first being under the broad seal. But neither their opinion nor any example of my predecessors shall prevail on me to act contrary to my instruction. Signed. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 19 January 1738/9. [C.O. 37, 13, fos. 74–76d.]
November 27.
Antigua.
520 Governor William Mathew to Council of Trade and Plantations, enclosing duplicate of minutes of council of Nevis, 12 November 1736 to 12 May 1738, register of burials, marriages and christenings in parishes of Trinity Palmeto Point and St. Thomas Middle Island in St. Christopher's for year ending 30 October 1738, and duplicate of minutes of council of Montserrat for quarter ending 30 September 1738 and of minutes of assembly of that island for the same time. [Note in another hand: all duplicates of what have been already received.] I am honoured with your commands of 10 August last and in obedience thereto I enclose a list of members of the council of each island and shall regularly send such a one every six months instead of mentioning all deaths and alterations in my letters, as I have always hitherto exactly done; but you now signify your choosing to have such halfyearly lists. Signed, 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 16 March, Read 23 March 1738/9. [For enclosures of registers and lists of councils, see No. 534.] [C.O. 152, 23, fos. 199–200d.]
November 28.
Whitehall.
521 Council of Trade and Plantations to Duke of Newcastle transmitting draft of commission for James Glen to be governor of South Carolina and lieut.-general of the forces in South Carolina and Georgia, together with representation thereon. Entry. Signatories, M. Bladen, James Brudenell, Arthur Croft, R. Plumer. 1 p. Enclosed,
521. i. Same to the King, 28 November 1738. The draft of the commission for James Glen is the same as that for Samuel Horsey, deceased. Entry. Signatories, as preceding. 1 p.
521. ii. Draft of commission for James Glen to be governor of South Carolina. Entry. 20 pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 306–327; drafts of covering letter and letter to the king in C.O. 5, 381, fos. 303–304d.]
November 30.
St. James's.
522 Order of the King in Council. Whereas the petition of Francis Wilks, agent for Massachusetts, against a report of the Council of Trade and Plantations concerning the boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was found by the Committee for Plantation Affairs to be frivolous and vexatious, it is ordered that the Committee do not proceed on any petition against any determinations of the Council of Trade and Plantations on matters referred to them by H.M. in Council or by the Committee, on which the Council of Trade and Plantations have heard the persons concerned, unless the petitioner gives security to pay such costs as may be awarded by H.M. in Council. Copy, certified by James Vernon. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 May, Read 8 June 1739. [C.O. 323, 10, fos. 147–148d.]
November 30.
St. James's.
523 Same, approving report from Committee for Plantation Affairs and directing that commissioners be appointed from neighbouring provinces to determine the boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island and that the petition of Francis Wilks, agent of Massachusetts, be rejected. Copy, certified by James Vernon. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 May, Read 8 June 1739. [C.O. 5, 881, fos. 87–88d.]
November 30.
St. James's.
524 Same, repealing an Act of Antigua passed on 13 April 1737 entitled an Act for the trial of John Coteen, a free negro man, and Thomas Winthorp, a free mulatto man for an intended insurrection to destroy the white inhabitants of this island and declaring the same to be high treason. All proceedings in consequence of the said Act are to be transmitted to H.M.; and if Coteen and Winthorp have been tried and convicted for the said insurrection and any persons produced as evidence in the said trial who would not have been a legal witness if the said Act had not been passed, Coteen and Winthorp are to be admitted to bail till H.M.'s pleasure be signified. Copy, certified by James Vernon. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 May, Read 8 June 1738. [C.O. 152, 23, fos. 216, 216d, 219, 219d.]
November 30.
St. James's.
525 Same, disallowing an Act passed in New York in December 1737 for the frequent election of representatives to serve in general assembly and for the frequent calling and meeting of the general assembly so elected. Copy, certified by James Vernon. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 May, Read 8 June 1739. [C.O. 5, 1059, fos. 83, 83d, 86, 86d.]
November 30.
St. James's.
526 Same, repealing an Act made in South Carolina in August 1731 for establishing the method of drawing juries by ballot. Copy, certified by James Vernon. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 May, Read 8 June 1739. [C.O. 5, 367, fos. 28–29d.]

Footnotes

1 Not found. Should perhaps be 27 September. See No. 455.