Journal, February 1723
February 1st. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Plummer.
Their Lordships taking into consideration the two following
Acts, passed at St. Christophers in 1719, agreed, as is expressed
under each respective title, viz:—
An Act for settling a salary on William Nivine, Esq., agent
for the Island in London, during his agency.
An Act for raising an impost on liquors and to in able the
treasurer to demand and receive all arrearages, due for
liquors imported, for which any duty was payable by a
former Act, passed 19th February, 1714–15.
The Act repealed by an Act mentioned in the Minutes of the
February 5. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Act about quieting possessions.
Mr. Nivine attending, as he had been desired, in relation to an
Act passed at St. Christophers in 1719, and mentioned in the
Minutes of the 25th of the last month, entituled, An Act for the
general quiet of the inhabitants of St. Christophers in their estates
and possessions and for avoiding of vexatious law suits.
Mr. West summoned.
Their Lordships after some discourse with him thereupon,
particularly as to the words in the 2nd Clause being so general,
that they relate to the whole island, and consequently may include
the French as well as the English lands, ordered that Mr. West be
acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him thereupon
on Thursday morning next.
Hearing upon Act about Brown and Elliot, adjourned.
The Secretary then acquainting the Board, that Mr. Nivine
and Mr. Marsh had desired that their hearing, which was to have
been this day, in relation to Brown's Act, might be deferred till
Friday morning next, their Lordships were pleased to agree
thereto, and ordered that they be directed to attend the Board
February 6. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Plummer, Sir John Hobart.
The Board taking again into consideration the following Acts,
passed at St. Christophers in 1720 and 1722, as also Mr. West's
reports thereupon, agreed, as is expressed under each respective
An Act for raising a tax by the poll on all slaves in this island,
and also for raising five hundred pounds on the inland
trade of the same.
Passed in May, 1720. Has had its effect. No objection.
An Act for giving titles to inhabitants building houses up on
Passed in August, 1720.
No objection. To be confirmed.
An Act for employing negroes on the fortifications of this
island, and for rendering more effectual and explaining
an Act passed this year, entituled, An Act for raising a tax
by the poll on all slaves in this island, and also for raising
five hundred pounds on the inland trade of the same.
Passed in October, 1720.
No objection. Expired.
An Act to repeal a certain Act of the Council and Assembly
of the island of St. Christophers, entituled, An Act for
raising an impost upon liquors imported into the said island,
and for imposing certain duties upon wines, beer, ale, cyder
and other liquors hereafter to be imported into the same island.
Passed in April, 1722.
No objection. To be confirmed. [Vide Journal,
January 9th, 1723–4.]
Mr. Nivine. Hearing upon Act about Brown and Elliot, deferred.
Mr. Nivine attending, desired their Lordships would please to
defer the hearing appointed to be on Friday next in relation to
Brown's Act, till Mr. Thomas, who, Mr. Nivine acquainted the
Board, was capable of giving their Lordships some information
about the said Act, was come to town, of which he promised to
give the Board and Mr. Marsh, who appears against the Act,
timely notice; which their Lordships agreed to accordingly.
February 7. Present:—Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir John
Mr. West about Act concerning the general quieting possessions.
The Act to be confirmed.
Mr. West attending, as he had been desired, in relation to an
Act, passed at St. Christophers in 1719, entituled, An Act for the
general quiet of the inhabitants of the island of St. Christophers in
their estates and possessions and for avoiding of vexatious law suits,
but particularly concerning the words in the 2nd Clause, which
being so general that they relate to the whole island, and may
consequently include the French as well as the English lands;
their Lordships, after some discourse with him thereupon, agreed
that the Act should be confirmed.
An Act considered.
Their Lordships then read Mr. West's report upon the Acts
passed at St. Christophers in 1722, and also an Act entituled,
An Act for the continuance of such part of an Act for employing
negroes on the fortifications of this island and for rendring more
effectual and explaining an Act entituled, An Act for raising a tax
by the poll on all slaves in the island, as also for raising five hundred
pounds on the inland trade of the same, as relates to the employing
of negroes upon the said fortifications.
Expires in October, 1723.
February 8. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Plummer.
Mr. Partridge about a hearing concerning their boundaries.
Mr. Partridge attending, desired the Board would please to
appoint a day for hearing what might be offered in relation to an
order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, of 19th January,
1721–2, referring to the Board the petition of Joseph Jenks, Esq.,
and Richard Partridge, agents for Rhode Island, and the answer
of Mr. Dummer, agent of Connecticut, relating to the boundaries
between the two colonies, whereupon their Lordships resolved
to consider further thereof at their next meeting.
Mr. Newman's letter, a councellor recommended.
Answer to Mr. Newman.
A letter from Mr. Newman, agent for New Hampshire, of 6th
inst., with the extract of one from Colonel Shute, recommending
Mr. John Frost to be of the Council there, was read, whereupon
ordered that Mr. Newman be acquainted that, as there is no
vacancy in the Council at present, their Lordships cannot recommend Mr. Frost, as Colonel Shute desires.
Letter from Mr. Bampfield.
Act about boundaries with Connecticut.
A letter from Mr. Bampfield, agent for the Province of New
York, desiring the confirmation of an Act passed there in 1719,
entituled, An Act for running a division line between Connecticut
and that province, was read, and their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof, at another opportunity.
Act about the Militia.
Their Lordships then took into consideration an Act passed
at St. Christophers in 1722, entituled, An Act for regulating the
Militia of this island, to which their Lordships had no objection.
To be confirmed.
Memorial of the clerks about Acts and papers copied whilst with Mr. West, order thereupon.
A memorial of the clerks in the service of this Board, complaining that whilst the Acts of the Plantations, which are referred
by their Lordships to Mr. West, lye with him, his clerk has given
copies of some of them, was read. Whereupon ordered that Mr.
West be acquainted that the Board expect that his clerk should
not for the future give a copy of any Act or other matter, that
shall be referred to him from this office.
February 12. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Plummer.
Act about powder duty, etc.
Letter to Mr. Satur, to speak with him and other merchants thereupon.
Their Lordships taking into consideration an Act passed
at St. Christophers in 1722, entituled. An Act for raising of gunpowder and small arms upon the tonnage of vessels trading to and
with this island for the use of His Majesty's fortifications within this
island, ordered that an extract thereof be enclosed to Mr. Satur,
and that he be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him
and some other merchants trading to St. Christophers thereupon
any morning next week.
Hearing appointed about their boundaries.
Ordered that Mr. Jenks and Mr. Partridge, agents for Rhode
Island, and Mr. Dummer, agent for Connecticut, be acquainted
that the Board have agreed to hear what they may have to offer
by counsel on Friday morning next, at ten of the clock, in relation
to their petition about the boundaries of those two colonies,
referred to this Board by an Order of the Committee of 19th
January, and mentioned in the Minutes of 2nd March, 1721–2.
February 13. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr.
Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir John Hobart.
Their Lordships taking into consideration the following Acts,
passed at St. Christophers in 1722, agreed, as is expressed under
each respective title, viz:—
An Act for the good government of servants for ordering the
rights between masters and servants, for encouraging the
importation of servants, for directing a due performance
of contracts, and for payment of wages to artificers, workmen and labourers.
No objection. To lye by.
An Act for attainting several negroes therein mentioned, and
for the more effectual preventing negroes from running
away from their master's service, and for explaining and
rendring more effectual an Act entituled An Act for better
government of negroes and other slaves.
No objection. To lye by.
February 14. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Docminique, Sir John Hobart.
Letter from Lord Carteret, about Spanish effects and mines in New Jersey.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of 12th February, 1722-3,
with a copy of His Majesty's orders to the Governors for restoring
Spanish effects, and about gold and silver mines in New Jersey,
was read, and the papers, therein referred to, were laid before the
Papers referred to.
Copy of His Majesty's order for the restitution of the Spanish
effects of the Governors in the West Indies.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Burnet.
Governor of New Jersey to Lord Carteret, dated 12th December, 1722, relating to gold and silver mines in New Jersey.
Letter to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General.
Whereupon ordered that the aforesaid extract of Mr. Burnet's
letter be sent to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General for their
opinion in point of law, in whose right the said mines are.
Alteration in election of Assembly.
As also that Mr. Attorney be reminded of the Secretary's letter
of 14th June, 1722, in relation to an alteration proposed to be
made in the election of Assembly men in New Jersey.
Memorial from Mr. Sanderson to be heard if any complaints against Assembly.
A memorial from Mr. Sanderson, agent for the Assembly of the
Massachusets Bay, desiring to be heard, in case any complaint
should be made against them, was read.
February 15. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Plummer,
Sir John Hobart.
Hearing of Agents, by their counsel, about boundaries.
Mr. Partridge, agent for Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, attending, as he had been desired, with Mr. Pratt and Mr.
Wearg his counsel, as likewise Mr. Dummer, agent for Connecticut,
with Sir William Thompson and Mr. Bootle, the order of the
Lords of the Committee, of 19th January, 1721–2, referring to this
Board the petition of Joseph Jenks, Esq., and Richard Partridge,
and the answer of Mr. Dummer relating to the boundaries
between the two colonies, (mentioned in the Minutes of the 2nd
March, 1721–2), was again read, as also an account from the
said Mr. Partridge, of the boundaries of Rhode Island and
Providence plantation, (mentioned in the Minutes of 10th October
last) and Mr. Dummer's state of the controversy concerning the
government of the Narragansets country, which was this day read.
Mr. Pratt opens the case.
Mr. Pratt opened the case of the difference between the colony
of Rhode Island, Providence Plantation, and that of Connecticut,
in relation to their bounds, to the purpose following, viz:—
That in the year 1636, several of the inhabitants of the Massachusets Bay, who differed from the rest in religious matters,
were forced to leave their habitations there on that account, and
purchased of the Narraganset Indians lands now called Rhode
Island and Providence Plantation, and about the year 1643
obtained a grant of the same, from the Earl of Warwick and others
appointed for the government and inspection of the plantations,
which grant of lands was bounded as follows. "N. and N.E.
on the patent of the Massachusets. E. and S.E. on Plymouth
patent. S. on the ocean, and on the W. and N.W., inhabited
by Indians called Narroganneucks alias Narrogansets, the whole
tract extending about 25 English miles unto the Pequt River and
country." That after they had thus settled themselves, the
colonies of the Massachusets, Connecticut and New Plymouth
united their endeavours to remove them. And in 1660, the people
of Rhode Island deputed John Clark, their agent, to petition the
King for a charter of incorporation for the same; that the
inhabitants of Connecticut having, under a grant from the
Council of Plymouth, settled some land adjoining to Rhode Island,
deputed likewise John Winthrop, their agent, to apply to His
Majesty for a confirmation of the said grant. That during the
time the two agents (who were to agree the boundaries of the said
colonies respectively) attended the King and Council, the Connecticut agent, by misrepresentations, procured a patent, unknown
to the agent of Rhode Island, whereby Connecticut was bounded
"on the east by Narraganset River commonly called Narraganset
Bay, where the said river falleth into the sea. And on the north
by the line of the Massachusets Plantation. And on the south,
by the sea. And in longitude as the line of the Massachusets
Colony running from east to west (that is to say) from the said
Narraganset Bay on the east to the South Sea on the west part,
with the islands thereunto adjoining, together with all firm lands,
soils, grounds, etc.," in which patent is included all Providence
Plantation and the Narraganset country; of which the Rhode
Island agent being afterwards informed, complained to His
Majesty of this unjust proceeding in the other agent, and shewing
that there was no such river as that called Narraganset; His
Majesty ordered the grant to Connecticut to be called in and
rectified; but before the same could be done, the Connecticut
charter was dispatched away by their agent, to avoid being
examined. And by the King's directions arbitrators were
mutually chosen, who made an award in 1663, consented to by
both agents, where Paucatuck River was agreed to be the settled
boundary between the said colonies, and be called Paucatuck
alias Narroganset River. Whereupon a charter was given to
Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, granting all the
Narroganset Bay and parts adjacent, wherein the bounds were
ascertained as follows. "All that part of our dominions in New
England in America containing the Nayhautick and Nanhigganset
alias Narroganset Bay and country, and parts adjacent, bounded
on the west or westerly by the middle or channel of a river there,
commonly known by the name of Pacatuck alias Paucaytuck
River, and so along the said river as the greater or middle stream
thereof reacheth or lyes up into the country northward into the
head thereof, and from thence by a strait line drawn due north,
until it meet with the south line of the Massachusets Colony.
And on the north or northerly by the aforesaid south or southerly
line of the Massachusets Colony or Plantation and extending
towards the east or easterly three English miles to the east or
north east of the most eastern or north eastern parts of the aforesaid Narroganset Bay, as the said bay lyeth or extendeth itself
from the ocean on the south or southerly into the mouth of the
river, which runneth towards the town of Providence, and from
thence along the easterly side or bank of the said river higher
called by the name of Sea Cunk River into the falls called
Patucket Falls, being the most northerly line of Plymouth Colony,
and so from the said falls into a strait line due north, until it meet
with the aforesaid line of the Massachusets Colony, and bounded
on the south by the ocean. And in particular the lands belonging
unto the towns of Providence, Patuxet, Warwick, Misquammacock
alias Paucatuck and the rest upon the main land in the tract
aforesaid, together with Rhode Island, Block Island, and all the
rest of the islands and banks in the Narraganset Bay, and bordering upon the coast of the said tract aforesaid, Fishers Island only
excepted, together with all firm lands, soils etc." And this
charter further directs that Paucatuck River shall be for ever
after called Narraganset River, and be the easterly bounds of
Connecticut. That notwithstanding this matter was thus settled,
the people of Connecticut were continually encroaching beyond
their limits, pretending their charter bounded them on the east by
Narraganset Bay and not Paucatuck River. That to prevent
further disorders, the King in 1664 sent over commissioners who,
having fully heard the disputes between the people of Rhode
Island and Connecticut, in 1665 made a return in which the line,
run from Shaws Ford in Paucatuck River due north to the south
line of the Massachusets, is mentioned as the settled bounds
between Connecticut and Rhode Island, a copy of which return
was laid before the Board, as also an original letter from King
Charles the 2nd approving the same. That some years after this
the inhabitants of Connecticut begun fresh encroachments,
whereupon it was agreed to send commissioners of their own to
settle the bounds, who agreed by a writing under their hands that
a new line should be run from Ashway River to the south line
of the Massachusets as the boundary between the two colonies,
which was accordingly done in 1703. That he conceived the
point in question would be what should be understood to be that
head of Paucatuck River, from whence the west boundary of
Rhode Island was to commence.
To which he said that by the words of the charter, as Rhode
Island is bounded on the west by the middle or channel of Paucatuck River and so along the middle channel as the greater or
middle stream thereof reaching up into the north country northward unto the head thereof and from thence, etc., Shaws Ford
must be understood to be the head of this middle channel, because
it is impossible the pond should be head of Paucatuck River, since
the charter bounds Rhode Island by it no further than along the
middle channel so far as the greater or middle stream thereof
reacheth or lyes up into the north country northwards into the
head thereof, which head within the meaning of the charter must
be either where the great stream ceases or where the river turns
either to the east or west.
Mr. Wearg, counsel on the same side, after having spoke to the
same purpose as Mr. Pratt had done, observed further to their
Lordships, that the inhabitants of Providence Plantation have not
only improved but all along possessed the lands on the east side
of the first mentioned line, for proof of which he produced the
several affidavits of Thomas Nichols, John Spencer, John Rice,
John Lewis, Peter Crandal, Arthur Fenner and William Hopkins,
which were read. That he did not insist on the Rhode Island
grant of 1643 any otherwise than as it was a circumstantial
evidence of their long possession of those lands. And as for the
river in question he said he could not conceive by the charter
that it could be any boundary but during its northerly course.
For which reason he thought it was strange for the Connecticut
people to go so far east as the pond, which they alledge to be the
head of the river to find its northerly course.
Sir William Thompson, counsel on the other side, observed to
their Lordships that he conceived the question would be whether
the charter of Connecticut in 1662 did not contain that country,
which was afterwards given to Rhode Island by their charter in
1663. That this was a dispute of jurisdiction and not of private
property, because those particular persons, who had made
purchases from the Indians there, have not been disturbed in
their possessions by the Government of Connecticut. That in
the year 1675 the Indians having ravaged the whole country
sold it afterwards to Major Athertone and who possessed the same
till the year 1683, when new disputes arising, a commission
was issued directed to Edward Cranfield and others [New
England Entries Vol. 2 fo. 141] for inquiring into that matter
and a regular return made [New England Papers Vol. 3 fo. 332],
and Mr. Athertone permitted to keep possession of what he
enjoyed under his Indian grant by the Connecticut Government.
That in the year 1696, this dispute being revived, the whole matter
was referred to Sir Thomas Trevor, His Majesty's then Attorney
General, who determined the affair in favour of Connecticut, [New
England A. fo. 102] being of opinion that the grant to Rhode
Island was void in law, because the country of Narraganset Bay
was granted before to Connecticut, and that therefore the
Government of Narraganset Bay did of right belong to Connecticut
and not to Rhode Island. And in answer to what Mr. Pratt had
before observed in relation to both agents consenting to Paucatuck
River being called Narraganset, Sir William Thomson said
that Mr. Winthrop was an agent for a particular purpose, and had
no authority to act further than for the obtaining their charter.
Mr. Bootle, counsel on the same side, said that it was necessary
strictly to adhere to the description laid down in the several
patents, and that it would not be material to the petitioners if it
did not appear that the land in question was thereby granted to
Rhode Island. That the main point was what was meant or
to be understood by the middle stream running northwards to the
head thereof, which he insisted upon to be the pond, as it lay
north of the mouth of Paucatuck River, although there may be
several turnings therein to the eastward, and admitting this, the
land in question was certainly within the bounds of the
Connecticut charter. That he conceived the several commissions
which were granted to the particular persons appointed to settle
the boundaries were to be taken as evidence no further than they
were duly executed, and he particularly observed that the return
to the commission granted in 1665 to Robert Car, George
Cartwright, Samuel Maverick, and Colonel Nichols could not be
of any force or validity, not being signed by Colonel Nichols,
who by the said commission was appointed, always to be of the
quorum, and that the other commissioners, who have signed the
said return, have not acted in pursuance to the said commission.
And that supposing the return to be valid it could be of no
consequence, not fixing the bounds, and as to King Charles's
letter produced by the other side, as approving the said return,
he said that it was only a letter of thanks from the said King
Charles to the inhabitants of Rhode Island for their civil reception
of his commissioners. That in the year 1683 King Charles the
2nd [New England Entries Vol. 2 fol. 141] granted a commission
to Edward Cranfield, Esquire, etc., empowering them to examine
into the respective claims of all persons or corporations to the
government as well as propriety of the Narraganset country,
who, upon enquiry, declared the right of government [New
England Papers, Vol. 3, fol. 332] to be in the Colony of Connecticut.
Mr. Pratt, in reply, observed that the other side had produced no
proof of their having been in possession of the lands in dispute,
but that, on the contrary, the several affidavits which have been
read proved the people of Rhode Island having not only possessed
for many years but also received taxes for the lands in question.
And Mr. Wearg said in relation to the Attorney General's
opinion in 1696 concerning the two charters, that Paucatuck
River never was called Narragansets before the charter to Rhode
Island in 1663, and that if it had been so, it was incumbent on the
adverse party to make it appear, which they had not done, and
that it being at best but an uncertain boundary, if any at all,
the grant to Connecticut in 1662 might for that reason be deemed
invalid, in which case the Rhode Island patent in 1663 would of
consequence take effect. For which he hoped their Lordships
would make their report special.
February 20. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr.
Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir John
Minutes about boundaries considered.
Their Lordships taking into consideration the Minutes of
Fryday last, in relation to the boundaries of Connecticut and
Rhode Island, made a progress therein.
February 21. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Plummer.
Letter from Lord Carteret. Petition of Rhett.
Memorial from Mr. Young against Rhett.
A letter from Lord Carteret of 14th February, 1722-3,
referring to the Board the petition of William Rhett, Esqr.,
Surveyor General of His Majesty's Customs in South Carolina,
as also the memorial of Mr. Yonge, agent for that province, with
several papers relating to the complaint against the said Rhett,
was read. And the papers, therein referred to, were laid before the
Papers therein referred to.
Memorial to Lord Carteret concerning the Surveyor and
Comptroler of the Customs in South Carolina, etc.
Petition of Colonel Rhett to His Majesty, relating to the
complaints against him.
Several affidavits and papers relating to the complaint
against Colonel Rhett.
February 22. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr.
Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Draft of representation of hearing about boundaries.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the order of
the Lords of the Committee of Council, of the 19th of January,
1721–2, referring to this Board the petition of Joseph Jenks,
Esquire, and Mr. Richard Partridge, agents for Rhode Islands,
and the answer of Mr. Dummer, agent for Connecticut, relating to
the boundaries between the two colonies (mentioned in the
Minutes of the 15th instant), and ordered that the draught of a
representation to the Lords of the Committee be prepared
February 26. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Boundaries, draught of representation on hearing.
Their Lordships taking into consideration the draught of a
representation, ordered to be prepared the 22nd instant, in relation
to the boundaries between Rhode Island and Connecticut, made
a progress therein.
February 28. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr.
Boundaries, draught of representation on hearing.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the draught of
a representation (mentioned in the Minutes of the last meeting)
in relation to the boundaries between Rhode Island and
Connecticut, and made a progress therein.