America and West Indies
November 1720, 17-30


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'America and West Indies: November 1720, 17-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 32: 1720-1721 (1933), pp. 195-212. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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November 1720, 17-30

Nov. 17.
292. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Enclose copies of memorial and letters relating to the behaviour of the Spaniards at St. Augustine and to Capt. Hildersly and Col. Rhett, "which you will please to lay before H.M., with our humble opinion, that H.M. Minister at Madrid shou'd have directions, to make the most pressing instances at that Court, that immediate and effective orders be sent to the Spanish Governor at St. Augustine, to avoid such proceedings for the future. As to Capt. Hildersley and Colo. Rhett you will be pleas'd to observe, what is hinted by the Agents, relating to Custom House Officers, to which we take leave to add, that by the Statute of 20th of K. Henry VI Cap. 5th, which we presume is still in force, No Customer, Comptroller, Searcher, Surveyor of Searchers, or their Clerks, Deputies, Ministers, Factors or Servants shall have any ship of their own, use merchandize, keep a wharf, inn or tavern, or be a factor, attorney or host to a mercht. on pain of £40 etc. We have sent an extract to the Lords of the Admiralty of such part of this letter etc. as relates to Capt. Hildersley." Autograph signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
292. i. Extracts of letter from Col. Moore, Sept. 6th, 1720, and the Commissioners of Correspondence in Carolina. 1½ pp.
292. ii. Copy of letter from Joseph Boon and John Barnwell to the Council of Trade. (v. No. 283). 1¾ pp.
292. iii. Extract of letter from William Dry, Carolina, to Col. Barnwell, No. 283. i. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 382. Nos. 23, 23. i.–iii.; and (without enclosures), 5,400. pp. 137, 138.]
Nov. 17.
293. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extracts of papers relating to Capt. Hildersley etc. v. preceding. [C.O. 5, 400. p. 139.]
Nov. 17.
294. Same to Mr. Carkesse. Encloses extract of memorial relating to Col. Rhett trading with the Spaniards etc. v. preceding. Quotes Statute of 20th. Hen. VI. forbidding trading by Customs Officers etc. [C.O. 5, 400. pp. 139, 140.]
Nov. 21.
295. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers following for their report thereon. Signed, J. Craggs. Endorsed, Recd. 22d Nov., 1720, Read 28th Jan., 1720/1. 1 p. Enclosed,
295. i. Address of the Council and Assembly of Nevis to the King. Charles Town, 11th July, 1720. Implore H.M. most royal, gracious, and powerful protection against the most unjust demands comprised in the Memorial presented to H.M. Ministers in 1717 by Monsieur D'Iberville. Continue:—We have presented to Governor Hamilton to be transmitted to the Council of Trade and Plantations a full answer to that Memorial etc. proved by depositions etc., whereby it will appear, that the Convention whereon the demands of the French are founded, was extorted from the inhabitants contrary to the Law of Nations, and was even broken by the French themselves as soon as signed by them. Hope that H.M. will secure them from those extravagant demands, as Queen Anne, by Mr. Secretary Hedges assured them that she had it in her thoughts to do etc. This once flourishing and populous Island was reduced to the great weakness of not being able to defend itself (having at the time of the French invasion not 400 men able to bear arms) occasioned by the frequent assistances both of men and mony, which it gave in the two late French wars to the other Islands, and in particular St. Christophers which was twice reconquered from the French by the help of the inhabitants of Nevis, who yet in the time of their distress never recd. the least assistance from any other Island etc. Signed, Richd. Abbot, James Bevon, Law. Brodbelt, Mich. Smith, Robt. Eleis, Jno. Richardson, Jno. Choppine, Na. Bridgwater, Jno. Pinney, Joseph Symonds, Speaker; John Dasent, William Pymshirt, Richd. Brodbelt, Pecoq Walker, Carew Brodbelt, Jeremiah Browne, Robt. Pemberton, George Webb, Jos. Hobson, Michael Williams. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 13. ff. 44, 35–46, 47v.]
Nov. 21.
296. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Governor of New York. By the enclosed etc. you will see what is alledged against Capt. Crawcraft etc. It is H.M. pleasure, that, if the sd. allegations are found to be true, the sd. Crawcraft be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of the Law, so that not only the Petr. may have your utmost assistance in recovering his rights, but that the criminal be punished in such a mannner as his unparalel'd injustice and cruelty deserve. Countersigned, J. Craggs. Annexed,
296. i. François Jean du Clos of St. Malo to M. de Chammorel. 8/19 Nov. 1720. Memorialist is freighter of the Amitié of Dunkirk, Bertrand Virmontois, master. The ship carried a cargo from the Canary Islands to Curaçao, and having discharged it took on board a cargo for Amsterdam partly on account of memorialist and partly of some Dutch merchants. On her voyage she was seized by a New York privateer, the Three Brothers, Capt. John Craucraft, to whom Memorialist and Virmontois showed their French Admiralty passeport and papers. He however seized the ship, and plundered her, having first transferred her crew on board his own vessel. He applied torture to several of them, to whom he presented certain papers filled with lies, demanding their signatures. When they refused to sign, he had them stripped and tied to the tiller in the shape of a cross, till they were ready to die. After they had spent the night in this wretched condition without consenting to do what he desired, he caused them to be suspended by the arms to the rigging of the ship, and himself and his crew cruelly scourged them till blood was drawn. All this time the Captain and Memorialist were confined like criminals. Having at last extracted some words from these poor wretches by dint of torture, he brought the ship to Bermuda, 27th Sept., intending to get her condemned there. But the above facts having been sworn to, the Court of Admiralty there, 27th Nov. 1719, ordered restitution of the ship and cargo to be made, Memorialist being obliged to pay costs. The Court of Admiralty not being able to take cognizance of damages, Memorialist was advised to proceed against Craucraft in the Chancery Court. But as soon as Craucraft heard of it, without the knowledge and contrary to the orders of the Governor, he slipped away in the night, having found with the aid of some fishermen a passage hitherto believed to be impracticable. He has returned to New York, where he has given good security for his conduct, thus forfeited. Prays that instructions may be given to the Governor of New York to assist him to recover damages etc. Signed, Du Clos, Jean. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 19–22.]
Nov. 23.297. J. Boone and Col. Barnwell to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to summons to attend the Board in relation to the bounds of North Carolina, state what they know of that matter. Signed, Joseph Boone, Jno. Barnwell. Set out, N.C. Col. Rec II. 394. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd, Read 24th Nov., 1720. 2 closely written pp. [C.O. 5, 358. ff. 57, 57v., 58v.]
Nov. 24.
Annapolis Royal.
298. Governor Philipps to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of Sept. 26th and encloses duplicates, etc. Continues:—I have sent a company to Cansoe, to remaine there all winter, for the security of the stages and other conveniencys, till the returne of the fishermen in the spring, according to their petition inclosed. Encloses some late letters from the Indians, which shew the natural inclination of those people, to live in peace and friendship, with H.M. subjects, if the priests would let them. The duplicates and copys of what was sent, containe the true state and condition of this Government and country, with methods proposed for establishing the Kings authority therein, and bringing it under obedience to the Crowne of Great Brittain (which at present it is farr from being) which will be both an incouragement and help towards its settlement. So that there remains little to be said farther than that I see every day, more than other, the necessity for takeing such measures, as may convince the inhabitants, that this is an English Province, till which time they neither will swear allegiance or quitt their footing. The plan of the forts projected with the estimate of the charge of each, are transmitted by the Engineer to the Board of Ordnance; by which it will appeare that the whole projection of fortifications for the security of this country, will not exceed £3000, excepting what may be allowed for the seat of Government, when the scituation thereof shall be agreed on. I now most humbly take leave for this winter, hopeing your Lordshipps will be so good to overlook the infirmitys which are to be found in my letters, etc., and that I may be furnished in the spring with such Instructions, and supplys as shall be thought necessary (from the representations that have been made) to retrieve the affaires of this country. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 14th Feb., 1720/21. 4 pp. Enclosed,
298. i. Indian Chiefs of Passamaquadde to Governor Philipps. Return thanks for his letter, read to them by Mr. Gourdeaux, and H.M. promise of favour and protection; and his instructions to his Governors to show them all civility and kindness so long as they behave peacefully. "We desire to do so, for so long as our great King Louis of France shall be at peace, we shall be so too, being assured of his favour and protection. We can only obey his commands, he being our ally and having always protected us. You do us the honour of inviting us to visit you in the spring, which we hope to do etc. We have kept the peace and had no share in what the Micquemac did at Canso and Les Mines. We knew nothing of it till it was done and do not approve of it." Pray that M. Gourdeaux may be sent in the Spring to Passamaquadde with a conveyance for them to go and see the Governor etc. Passamaquadde, 23rd Nov. (N.S.), 1720. Signed, Pierbec Roy, Jouagate, Spuganti, nephew of Jouagate. Totem marks. French. Copy. 2 pp.
298. ii. François de Salle to Governor Philipps. On behalf of the Indians of St. Johns River. The trouble caused at Cansoe and Les Mines by the Micmac Indians, has prevented us from hunting, thinking that war was declared by them. We are your friends, and hope you are ours. If any trouble occurs elsewhere, we pray you not to impute it to us, as we always desire union and peace. Reminds him of his promised present etc. St. John's River, Nov. 10th (N.S.), 1720. Signed, Francois De Salle, his mark. French. Copy. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 14th Feb. 1720/21. 1¾ pp.
298. iii. John Calley to Governor Philipps. Cansoe, Oct. 1st, 1720. Returns thanks for sending "so good a gentleman as Major Lawnce. Armstrong to espouse our grievances and settle affairs among us, which he has done to and for the good of his crowne and country, the honr. of this Goverment and to the intire satisfaction of all the present inhabitants of Canso. And for proof of our hearty desire for the good and settlement of this place notwithstanding our great losses and misfortunes have voluntarily and freely combined ourselves to a subscription for conveniences as much as we are able to shelter this winter 70 or 80 men for the preservation of this H.M. Plantation and the security of H.M. subjects which we hope yr. Excellcy. will dispatch with all convenient speed possible, it being so fine a place for fishery, that it cannot be parrelized no not in all America," etc. Asks for instructions, and proposes to return from New England in the spring with a considerable number of vessels if the place be settled this winter etc. Signed, John Calley. Same endorsement. Copy. 3 pp.
298. iv. Receipt for five French prisoners, brought to Governor Philipps from Canso, to be returned thither and set at liberty. Signed, Richard Piek. Nov. 21st, 1720. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
298. v. Commanders of ships, inhabitants and people interested in the Fishery at Cansoe to Governor Philipps. Pray H. E. to represent the case of their being plundered by the French and Indians home to Great Brittain. "Notwithstanding these misfortunes we are still endeavouring to defend H.M. land, and are building a lodgment for military men, which will be finished by 1st Nov., which shall be a tight and warm lodging and defensable enough for this winter. We humbly hope by the return of these vessells that military forces will come. But if unfortunately they do not, we shall be forced to leave this place to be destroyed which it certainly will be this winter if troops come not, and then must bid this place farewell." Signed, John Calley and 32 others. Copy. 2 pp.
298. vi. Account of fish, tackle and goods belonging to H.M. subjects plundered and destroyed at Canso, 7th–14th Aug. by Filibert de Arquibel, Massy, Harrembourg, La Boue, and many other French subjects assisted by Indians etc. 28 owners. Total losses, £9086 14s. Endorsed as letter. Copy. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 217, 3. Nos. 19, 19. i.–vi.; and (without enclosures), 218, 1. pp. 512–514; and (abstract of letter), 217, 30. p. 13.]
Nov. 26.
St. James's.
299. H.M. Additional Instructions to Governor Nicholson. Relating to the passing of money bills. Same as 27th Sept., q. v. Signed, G. R. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 23, 24.]
Nov. 26.
St. James's.
300. H.M. Warrant for a Commission to Governor Nicholson etc. for trying pirates in South Carolina. Countersigned, J. Craggs. Copy. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 24–26.]
Nov. 26.301. H.M. Commission for trying pirates to Governor Nicholson, the Council and other officers of South Carolina. Copy. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 387. No. 15.]
Nov. 26.
N. Providence.
302. Governor and Council of the Bahama Islands to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Governor Rogers having no letter from you dated since July 1719, and none from the Board of Trade since his arrival, gives him and us great uneasiness lest this poor Colony should be no more accounted as part of his Britannick Majesty's Dominions: Indeed we have various accounts from other Colonys that there is an intended care for us in England, but if another war should suddenly happen between Great Brittain and Spain, we should be the first people the numerous Spaniards from Cuba and other parts would attempt to dislodge, then all the good designs at home would come too late; And it may be presum'd if the Spaniard should overcome us, no sett of people under the Brittish Government after so many discouragements would adventure to resettle these Islands, if they are not preserv'd now when they may be done with so little charge. The Governour['s] bills being yet refus'd everywhere, he has been oblig'd to sacrifice his utmost fortune and credit to maintain the garrison, and knows not when, and how this difficulty will end; for Captain beauchamp who sayld in July last from England bound hither with recruits is not yet arriv'd, which makes us doubt his safety, and the trouble which our hardships has given Governour Rogers, has occasioned in him a great decay of health, which has induc'd him to go for So. Carolina wth hopes to recover himself, and in his absence has appointed Mr. Fairfax Depty. Governour, with whom is left all H.M. powers and Instructions etc. As the Governor designs to write you himself from So. Carolina to enclose this, we shall only add our humblest supplications for your continued care of us, and if it is our hard fortune that sufficient succour should not be departed from England before this reaches your hands, that you'l be pleased to use your interest for our preservation by dispatching what force shall be appointed for us without farther loss of time etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers, W. Fairfax, Richard Thomson, Na.ell. Taylor, Andrew Rowan, William Spatchey, Tho. Barnet, Saml. Watkins, Peter Current. 2 pp. Enclosed,
302. i. Minutes of Council of Bahama Islands 8th Feb.–Nov. 21st, 1720. 46pp. [C.O. 23, 13. ff. 55–80.]
Nov. 26.303. Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. The session of Assembly, ended 19th inst., has fully answered his expectations, and provided as completely for the support of government as ever was done in Brigadier Hunter's time. This was owing first to the good impressions Governor Hunter made on them, and next to their desire to be continued etc. Explains his reasons for not summoning a new Assembly (cf. Sept. 24), which could not have met till the spring and there would have been no money to defray the charges of government. The deficiencies are now provided for, and the revenue continued for five years longer, till July, 1726. This is the main act passed this Session and is exactly in the form of that passed by Hunter. "The next in importance is to enable me to repair the fortifications and build new ones, and for other incident charges of government. This they could not be brought to find any expedient for, but laying a duty of 2 per cent. on European goods imported" etc. It has a suspensory clause, till confirmed by H.M. The former act laying the same duty for the same purpose has expired. It is hoped that the urgency of the service provided for will be thought sufficient reason to confirm this act without delay that he may receive it back next spring and set to work to renew the fortifications which are quite decayed at Albany, Schenectady and Fort Hunter, which are only wooden forts, whereas the French have several stone forts in their country in very good repair. He intends to build a new fort at Niagara and a small one at Onondaga. A third act is to prohibit all trading with the French for Indian goods, which the French sell again to the Indians and thereby have the supplying all the far Indians with our goods, who would otherwise come to us for them, and hence our own Indians justly say, the French build forts with our goods. This trade was so much practised by the leading men here, that the Assembly could never be brought to prohibit it till now, but finding the use the French made of our easiness to them, they have made a severe law against it etc. The French will now have to get such goods as strowds, derfles etc. from Boston or Europe at a great disadvantage in the price and with the risque of going up the river of Canada to Quebec, which is above 100 leagues further from our Indians than Monreal etc., and Monreal will sink to nothing which now flourishes by its trade with Albany etc. Will send these and several other acts of this session. From these two last acts he expects no less than restoring our influence over the Five Nations and drawing new nations of Indians through their means to trade with and depend on us. "For this reason I will do my endeavour in the spring without committing any hostility to get our Indians to demolish a trading house or block house that is made musket proof with port holes for firing with small arm, which the french have set up near the fall of Niagara in the Sennckees country. This is in open defiance of the King's right, the Sennekees having granted that land to the Crown of Great Britain before the French had ever been there. This place is of great consequence for two reasons. First because it keeps the communication between Canada and Micessipi by the River Ohio open which else our Indians would be able to intercept at pleasure, and secondly, if it should be made a fort with souldiers enough in it, it will keep our Indians from going over the narrow part of the lake Ontario by this only pass for the Indians, without leave of the french. So that if it were demolished, the far Indians would depend on us by means of the goods which they want of us, and which the french cannot afford to supply them with, unless they get them from this province. I value this act the more for breaking the neck of this trade now, because I observe in the last mapp published at Paris with privilege du Roy par Mr. de Lisle in 1718 of Louisiana and part of Canada, that they are making new encroachments on the King['s] territories, from what they pretended to in a former map, published by the same author in 1703 of North America, particularly all Carolina is in this new map taken into the french country, and in words there said to belong to them, and about 50 leagues all along the edge of Pensilvania and this province taken into Canada more than ever was in their former map, whereas really the nation called Sonnontonors in that map and marked near the fall of Niagara, is no other than the Sinnekees, one of our five nations etc., and the other nations there named the Goyogouen, Onontaque, Oneit and Amniez, are the Cayouges, Onondages, Oneides and Mohocks, who are the other four nations, who have long since submitted to the King's Government" etc. Calls attention to the dispatch and unanimity with which matters of such importance have been carried in one month. Every member of the House concurred in the address to him and in every part of the public business, except one, absent from infirmity, and another whom they expelled for affronting the House. This has been the effect of adhering firmly to Brigadier Hunter's friends, and not giving way to a party that has gathered strength by his absence, and may be quite silenced by what he now proposes. "The Assembly being hearty and zealous, my whole difficulty lay with the Council, and there I found the President, and six more firmly combined together to have a new assembly, which design having been frustrated by Mr. Secretary Craggs letter before my arrival, they thought now there was a necessity for its taking place, and then they were secure of a majority depending on themselves. This made them own to me in a free conversation, not at the board, that tho' I had shewn them the arguments and precedents, which I have sent to your Lordships and hope you have received, yet they could not consent to act with this assembly. I told them at that meeting, after I had heard all their sentiments except one who was absent, that they would do well to consider whether scruples in which they did not pretend to be certain justified their stopping the ordinary maintenance of the officers of the Government who could not otherwise expect a shilling, for nine months to come, their neglecting an immediate remedy to the disaffection of the Indians occasioned by the practises of the French, and their preventing a provision for repairing the fortifications which unless now made, the work could not be done next year. So that by their means we should be two years in a defensless state. This could be prevented by concurring with the present assembly, and could not be done any other way, they knowing that the season would not permit calling a new assembly, which if it had I saw no reason to part with so faithfull and loyall an assembly as this had been ever since the Kings accession on which they were chosen. I further told them they knew what unwarrantable proceedings I could charge some of them with in defiance of H.M. instructions, and that they might depend on it, the Kings business should not suffer through neglect of any powers lodged with me to that end. This had the effect to make the President and four more desire leave to go into the country, which I granted them and which they asked that they might reserve themselves, to oppose me on other occasions. I have therefore brought matters to bear without any violent measures, but must earnestly recommend to your Lordships for the quiet of the province and the effectual discouragement of such attempts in another interval of like kind to dismiss two persons from H.M. Council viz: Peter Schuyler and Adolphus Philips etc.; first because Schuyler being eldest Councellour and President, did immediately after Brigadier Hunter's departure make several alterations in the officers of the government and threaten a dissolution of the assembly, for which he was reproved and forbid to proceed by a letter from Mr. Sceretary Craggs, and all this he did by the advice of Adolphus Philips who is known to govern him, and with whom it is here notorious that he trusted the keeping of the great seal during the time of his administration. 2ndly, Because Schuyler with the advice of Philips did grant away several tracts of land contrary to the King's instructions No. 101 by affixing the great seal to patents before the land had been set out by at least three of four officers named in H.M. instructtions etc., whereas he granted land under the great seal, without any person having signed the certificate of setting it out but himself, and then affixed this certificate to the patent in one label, by which means the Great Seal was affixed to a blank, it being mentioned in the certificate that the four beforementioned officers have certified the setting out of the said land, and there being but one subscriber to it, and one of these patents is now in my possession. 3dly. Because the said President Peter Schuyler did with the assistance and concurrence of the said Philips, after having received the Secretary's letter, continue to alienate the minds of the people from Brigadier Hunters administration and discountenance his friends in a publick manner, and it is well known here that the enemy's to King George, have been the Brigadeers greatest enemys. 4thly. Because if I should dye or be removed, the province would again come under the same administration, and be in the utmost confusion. The President being a weak ignorant man but easily prompted to do wrong things by Philips, who has been always an indefatigable enemy to Brigadier Hunter, and has capacity sufficient to bring about his purposes which have always tended to sour the minds of the people against a support of Government." Proposes in their stead Cadwallader Colden, and James Alexander, the first of which H.M. has lately appointed Surveyor General, and the latter a gentleman of good estate in the province, and who has served two years as deputy Secretary with great approbation from Brigadier Hunter. Continues:—Tho by the 12th Instruction I could have suspended these Councellours, yet I am glad that I have time to have it done directly from home, for I shall always be tender of using power farther than is absolutely necessary. This alteration will secure a number of well affected persons and who are always at hand to attend in Council. Of those that have opposed me, one is come over to me, and the other are less stirring and conspicuous so that I would not desire a further alteration than is just necessary to keep matters easy on the happy foot they now stand, for as this assembly is now gone in the best temper ever an Assembly were known in, I hope to meet them in the same in the spring, and if the country finds I am encouraged and supported from home, they will loose all thoughts of a new election, all our heats will be quite buried. I have remitted the five per cent. on whale fishing during my time, but require licences during pleasure to be taken, which is asserting the Kings right tho' I neglect my own profit, for the encouragement of that trade, and this has had a very good effect in the country etc. I cannot forbear laying before your Lordships a favourite project of my own which if approved, I have no great doubt of accomplishing. When I get the Kings presents to the Indians which I hope will be dispatched, I propose to go into the Indian country through the five nations, and give them these presents at their own homes, when I come among the Sinnekees, I will propose to them my design to build a fort at Niagera, and I leave a whole company of souldiers to guard it, and be a defence to the Indians against the french, and to make this succeed the better I intend to give land to the officers and souldiers and to the palatines and all others that will settle there. By this means in a year or two the country which is very fruitfull will maintain it self and be the finest settlement in the province because it is seated in the pass where all the Indians in our dependance go over to hunt and trade with the far Indians, it will likewise make it practicable to have another settlement above the fall of Niagera where vessels may be built to trade into all the great lakes of North America with all the Indians bordering on them, with whom we may have an immense trade never yet attempted by us, and now carryed on by the french with goods bought from this province. The map will show the vast extent of this trade if once settled and the fort at Niagera will secure us from being interrupted by the french in it. What makes this project most feasable is that this land about Niagera was solemnly given to this province by the Natives, but as we have made no use of it, the french have often molested the Indians there and kept them in awe. It will also be necessary to have a small fort at Onondaga, which is half way between Albany and Niagera to secure the communication between them. There occurs no objection to me against carrying on this undertaking, but that it may disoblige the french, but I think that is answered when I consider how they are always attempting to draw away our Indians from us, and even to set their own Indians on destroying our plantations, as I suppose your Lordships have had a late account from Governour Philips of their contriving the disaster of Carso in Nova Scotia. This has no remedy but being as active as they in drawing Indians into our interest, which our ability to furnish them with European goods is alone sufficient to do, if we can but come at them, and prevent the french from interrupting us. Besides the greatest part of these Indians are either yet unknown or at least independent and too distant to be treated by them or us any other ways than upon the square by a fair trade for their furrs in exchange for our woollen goods." Urges for this purpose, confirmation of the Act for repairing and making fortifications, etc. Asks for a sign manual "for Philip Levingston Esq. to be Secretary of the Indian Affairs for the reasons assigned in the inclosed memorial, from Robert Levingston his father, who has enjoyed that office under King William and Queen Anne, by virtue of their sign manual, etc., and this I am the more earnest in, because Robert Levingston is Speaker of the Assembly, and has been always serviceable to Brigadier Hunter, and has now been of the greatest use to me, both in the assembly, and in laying open the true state of affairs with the Indians which others endeavoured to conceal from me, that they might continue the profit they make by this pernicious trade, so that this act prohibiting it is cheifly owing to the Speaker." Urges dispatch of presents to the Indians, stores to the forts and the instruction he desired, which will make any assembly tractable. P.S. Nov. 27. Since I finished my letter the Secretary brought me the Act to lay a duty of two pounds on every hundred pounds value prime cost of all European goods imported into this Colony etc. The duty there laid of 2 per cent. on European goods was the main support etc. Refers to Acts of 1691, 1692, 1693, 1699 and 1702, which continued the duty till 1709. Continues: I know of no reason why this Act has not been continued since, but that my Lord Clarendon made so ill a use of the publick money by misaplying it and squandering it away that the Assembly would not repose that trust and confidence longer in a governour, and indeed would not give any revenue for four years after Brigadier Hunter arrived, and then but a scanty one. Whereas now his prudent and just administration has brought the Assembly which he left into a better temper, etc. Hopes no objection will lie against it, it being an easy trifling duty on the importer and of the greatest service to the province. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 576. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 18th Jan., 1720/1. Holograph. 15 pp. Enclosed,
303. i. Petition of Robert Livingston to Governor Burnet. New York, 17th Nov. 1720. Appointed Secretary of the Indian affairs and town clerk and clerk of the peace and common pleas in Albany in 1695, petitioner has only received two years salary since the death of King William. Prays that his son who has acted as his deputy to the general satisfaction for 14 years, may be granted H.M. commission for those employments with the allowance of £100 out of H.M. quit rents etc. Signed, Rt. Livingston. 1 p.
303. ii. iii. Patents of Robert Livingston as in preceding, 1696, 1705. Copy. 2¼ pp.
303. iv. Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to the King. Recommend R. Livingston for a salary of £100 as above. 2nd Jan. 1696. Copy. 1 p.
303. v. Order of King in Council. 16th Jan., 1696. Granting £100 salary to Mr. Livingston. Copy. 1 p. The whole endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 18th Jan, 1720. [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 129–137, 138–139; 140, 141, 142v.; and (extract from letter) 5, 1092. No. 16.]
Nov. 28.304. Col. Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following, lately received from Maryland. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 29th Nov., 1720. 1 p. Enclosed,
304. i. Extract of letter from Mr. Dixon, Collector of Customs for the district of Potomack in Maryland, 28th Aug. 1720. The affidavits taken by ye Govr. of Providence concerning ye French's having made themselves masters of some of the silver mines near Mexico, and of their being so formidable in those parts by the accession of great numbers of the Indian Nations as to put the Spaniards upon their guard to defend that metropolis. 'Tis even said that they frequently pass and return to and from their settlements to the northward. If they do get a footing so near the fountain head of New Spain, 'twill turn to much better account than planting tobacco in the Missisippi Country; but if any such thing is to be apprehended our Ministers at ye Congress 'tis to be hoped will forbid ye bands. ¾ p. [C.O. 323, 8. Nos. 16, 16. i.]
Nov. 29.
305. Mr. Popple to Governor Burnet. Encloses copies of petitions of Palatines (20th and 28th July) and Brigadier Hunter's letter thereupon (26th July). Continues: The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you will acquaint them with ye true state of the several settlements of the Palatines in your government, and endeavour to settle those among them who behave themselves with dutiful submission to H.M. authority, and are destitute of means of subsistance, upon such convenient lands as are not already disposed of. Encloses copies of Governor Spotswood's letter to Col. Schuyler relating to the behaviour of the Five Nations and the answer of the Council of Trade, 14th July. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. 581;[C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 241, 242; and (corrected draft) 5, 1079. No. 120.]
[Nov. 29]306. The Case of William Penn Esq; Proprietary Governor of Pensilvania, and of Joshua Gee, Henry Gouldney, Silvanus Grove, John Woods, and others, Mortgagees under the said William Penn. In 1708, to clear a debt which he contracted for the settling and improving the lands granted to him (described) Penn borrowed of said mortgagees £6600. For the securing whereof, with interest, he mortgaged the said Countries, and all his powers of Government, to them: And the principal money, and some interest, is still unpaid. Refer to negotiations for purchase of his Governments by the Crown, he demanding £20,000. The report of the Lords Commissioners for Trade was referred to the Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury, and soon after an agreement was made with him, for an allowance of £12,000, to be paid him at several payments (whereof £1000 was paid) in consideration of a surrender of his Governments; and a draft of such surrender, and of an instrument of H.M. acceptance of it, was, by Her Majesty's Order, prepared by Her then, and now Attorney General. But before those instruments were executed, the said William Penn being seized with an apoplexy, which disabled him to perfect the same, H.M., in Council, order'd the said agreement to be compleated by Act of Parliament. Note in M.S.:—The £1000 was paid by warrt. 9th Sept. 1712 which is entred at the treasury Chambers. Endorsed, Recd. Read 29th Nov. 1720. Printed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 152.]
Nov. 30.
307. Mr. Secretary Craggs to the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Complaint having been made to H.M. that notwithstanding the signification of his pleasure to you, 31st Dec. 1718, you have granted to James Ward 30 acres of a plantation in the possession of John Douglas Esqr. or trustees for him etc. encloses petition and order of 31st Dec. 1718, that it may be effectually obeyed; and it is H.M. pleasure, in case you have not complied therewith, that you give me your reasons, why you have forborn to put the same in execution. H.M. likewise is pleased to order, that you give an account, whether you have granted to others than the actual possessors, part of a small piece of land in the town of Basseterre, mentioned in the petition, and if you have, for what reasons you have made such a grant. Signed, J. Craggs. Annexed,
307. i. Petition of John Douglass to the King. Petitioner having the whole substance of his family advanced in the settlement of a plantation, which he has legally possessed since 1711 in the late French part of St. Christophers etc., James Ward endeavoured to disturb him in the enjoyment of 30 acres thereof, against whom petitioner obtained a judgment. But upon Ward's petition to reverse, the Governor ordered John Davis the President of St. Kitts to give him possession; which order Col. Davis did not think proper to comply with, as judging it contrary to law. Petitioner was soon after favoured with H.M. order, June 25, 1718, to quiet him in the injoyment of his lands, yet is still deprived of the benefit thereof, the Governor having given a grant for the abovementioned 30 acres to Ward, altho' he had received H.M. positive order to the contrary. This proceeding gave Ward a handle to renew his suit at Common Law, and the Judges being uncertain by what authority they are to take cognizance of matters in controversy relating to the late French part of St. Christophers, tho't it most advisable not to contradict the Genl.'s grant and gave Ward possession of the 30 acres etc. There is also a small piece of land in the town of Basseterre, formerly granted in petitioner's younger brother's name, Mr. George Douglass, very necessary for a storehouse for petitioner's plantation, which tho' there was a general Order not to dispossess any present possessors, the General gave grants for great part of to others. Prays for redress etc. Copy. [C.O. 324, 34. pp. 26–29.]
Nov. 30.
New York.
308. Mr. Heathcote to Lord Parker. Refers to enclosures "of the greatest moment and importance." [? Possibly memorials of 23rd Aug. and 14th Sept. Ed.] Concludes: I should conclude my self guilty of the highest ingratitude and disloyalty to my Royal Master as well as injustice to my country to be silent when all H.M. Plantations in America are at stake which without a very speedy remedy I dare venture to say on the first irruption with France will be most certainly ruined and destroyed etc. Signed, Caleb Heathcote. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 17.]
Nov. 30.309. Col. Hart's replies to the Queries propos'd by the Council of Trade and Plantations in relation to Pensylvania. (i) Pensylvania is situated on the western side of the River Delaware etc. The soil is various, towards the river it is of a light, and seemingly barren sand, but valuably improvd by the industry of the inhabitants: Further from ye water the richer the soil, of a deep black mould, and produces by nature what the most fruitful parts of that continent does; and by art whatever is necessary for life. Delaware River is one continued harbour and very commodious for navigation, the months of Dec. and Jan. excepted, being then frozen up—other rivers there are none of consequence to trade. The climate is more agreeable to Brittish constitutions, than ye Southern colonies. Longitude, Latitude from 40 to 43 northern. (ii) Quotes boundaries by Charter. (iii) The Constitution. Cf. Charter. Adds. The greater part of the inhabitants being Quakers, some of their judges, and most of their Council, Burgesses, Justices of the Peace and other officers are of that people. (iii) The trade which centers in the city of Philadelphia, grows considerably. The bulk of their commerce is to the West Indies and Madera, with lumber, beef, pork, wheat and flower: and have in return from ye West Indies rum, sugar, mollosses, cotton and Spanish money: and from Madera wine and bills of excha., which last are sent to London. They likewise build many brigantines and sloops on purpose for sale to the West Indies etc. (v) The inhabitants wear the same cloathing, and have the same utensills in their houses, as is in use in Great Britain from whence they have them; and it is computed the annual consumption of British manufactures is from 50 to £60,000. (vi) I know of no trade carry'd on to foreign Plantations except the Maderas. In Europe they trade to Lisbon, Cadiz and Alicant, where they send pipe staves, plank, timber, wheat, and fish purchased from New England: At Lisbon they frequently dispose of their shipps with the cargoe, and have their returns by the way of London or Bristol. Some return to the Isle of May and load salt, others to the Madera's for wine wch. they dispose of in the west Indies. (vii) Besides the Royal Instructions given to the Lieut. Governor, H.M. has three Collectors of the Customs in that Province to prevent illegal trade; and I do beleive the same is effectual. (viii) Their staple commodities are wheat, beef, pork and lumber. Manufactures none. (ix) Iron in abundance, but no other mines that I have heard of. (x) The annual produce of the commodities, including the whole trade of the Province, is computed at more than £100,000. (xi) The number of the whites are said to be 60,000; black about 5000. (xii) The inhabitants are greatly increased of late. By importation of great numbers of Palatines; By many families from the north of Ireland, and by servants and artificers from Great Britain. (xiii) The inhabitants being eight in ten Quakers, the doctrine of non-resistance has too much prevail'd where they have had the power, as in effect that has been from ye first settlement of the Province, so that if there is any Militia, it is a late establishment. (xiv) There is an old ruin'd Fort at New Castle with 6 useless iron gunns near it; If this Fort (which I am informed was made by the Dutch) were put into good condition, it would effectually secure the navigation of Delaware, the channel of that river lying within musket shot of ye Fort—other forts none. (xv and xvi) The number of Indians cannot be certainly known, for that they live remote in ye woods; But I have been inform'd by the freind Indians of Maryland; that there are many great Nations beyond the river Susquehanagh, which are the neighbouring Indians of Pensylvania: If their strength be known it is to the Indian traders, who out of a covetous disposition, generally conceal what discoverys they make. Onestogo is the principal Indn. towne and fort on Susquehanagh, where the Governor of Pensylvania, usually goes onct in the year to renew ye Peace with the Indians. The Indians during my residence in Maryland seemd to be very well inclind to the English; But I am inform'd they begin to threaten war with Pensylvania; and as these menaces do not affect that Province alone, it is the general opinion in the Plantations, it is done at the instigation of the French: and I am perswaded the conjecture is founded on good reason; For the Indns. towards the Lakes, have a constant correspondence with the French traders, nor woud they quarrel with ye English but on ye prospect of greater profit from the French now those savages have no sense of gratitude, and tho' they may have receiv'd the kindest treatment from the English, yet if the French can perswade ym, it is their interest to destroy our Plantations they will endeavour to effect it. (xvii, xviii) The French settlements have, as yet, no other effect, on H.M. Plantations, then by debauching the Indians in freindship with us to their interest: By which they will always have it in their power to disturb our outward settlemts. and so put the several colonies to an excessive charge to guard their frontiers. By this unfair method (during the Peace) the French will carry on, their so long projected scheme, without interuption, of securing an intercourse on the back of our Plantations from Canada to Mississipi. And if the accounts I have be true, that the French have actually possessed themselves of some of the silver mines near Mexico, and that their veiws are a conquest of New Spain.—In such a case, I am humbly of opinion, the acquisitions of the French in America would have the same effect on H.M. Plantations there that their conquest of Flanders and Holland, would have on Great Britain in Europe. (xix) The Revenue arising in that Government is by an excise on beer, ale and other liquors made in the country, by a duty on rum from ye West Indies, and on wines of European growth. By the fees of the Seals of the Province. By a duty, instead of tonnage, called a let-pass; all which are apply'd for ye support of the Governor; and other exigencies of Governmt. (xx) The ordinary expences of the Governmt. are very frugally managed, and amount to an inconsiderable sume. The expences extraordinary I take to be to the Governour, which as Mr. Keith has inform'd me, do not amount to more than £1200 current money of ye Province, which makes about £800 sterling. (xxi) The establishment for ye civil affairs of ye Governmt., are, besides the Governor and Council, for ye administration of justice, the six Cheif Justices, who hold their Courts four times in the year at Philadelphia, which Courts discharge the dutys of ye Kings Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, and I am lately informd the Governor has erected a Court of Chancery there. Each separate County has their Quarter Sessions held by ye Justices of the Peace, and have Sheriffes and conestables as in England. The city of Philadelphia is govern'd by a Mayor and Aldermen, who hold their own Courts to determin affairs within their own jurisdiction. Military establishments none. I know of no officers that hold by patent from ye Crown. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Nov., 1720. Read 7th Sept., 1721. 7½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1266. ff. 17–20, 22v.]
Nov. 30.
310. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Enclose extract of letter from Maryland (v. 28th Nov.), relating to the attempts and strength of the French in America etc. [C.O. 324, 10. pp. 290, 291.]
Nov. 30.
311. Mr. Popple to Horatio Walpole, Auditr. General of H.M. Plantations. Encloses, as requested, H.M. Instructions to the Govr. of New York relating to the Revenue and grants of land, and extracts of letters from Lt. Governor Spotswood relating to some pirates' effects (22nd Dec. 1718, 26th May 1719). [C.O. 324, 10. p. 291.]