America and West Indies: June 1691

Pages 460-479

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 13, 1689-1692. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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June 1691

June 1.
New York.
1,551. Proclamation of the Governor of New York. Forbidding the export of provisions from Albany. Copy. Large sheet. Endorsed. Read 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 30.]
June 1.
1,552. Propositions made by Governor Sloughter to the Five Nations in the City Hall of Albany. "Brethren," I am glad to meet you here. I should have come and summoned you long ago, had I not been employed by our Great King against the French. I found matters in great confusion at New York owing to the proceedings of its men, but have taken care for the execution of the two worst of them; and I am glad that these troubles have not affected the relations between us. I must repeat the commands of former Governors that you do not go to war with the common enemy but with my special order, the more so because the Jesuits are too subtle for you and always try to deceive you. I was distressed to hear when I was at Senectady that you had burned the deserted houses and killed the cattle of the distressed inhabitants. This must be inquired into and remedied. We know too much of the distress of the French and their Indians to expect that they will come this way. Here follows a list of presents. Copy. 2 large pp. Printed in New York Documents III., 773. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 8.]
June 2. 1,553. Answer of the Five Nations to Governor Sloughter's propositions. Names of the Sachems of the several nations. "Brother Corlaer," we are glad to see a Governor again. Many years ago a ship came containing Christians, with whom we concluded friendship. There have been sad troubles of late owing to the usurpation in New York. You have made a covenant with us, indeed, but when the danger is greatest the men who should help us go down to New York. We hope that peace may flourish, and that it may extend even to the Senecas. We beg that traders may be ordered to enlarge the bags of powder, so that ammunition may be had at a reasonable price. We have asked for this before, but no change has been made. We beg that, if our squaws come without money for rum for our captives and soldiers, it may be supplied them. Our smith at Onandaga has left us, and we want another to keep our arms mended. For our part we have always been dutiful and obedient. We are glad to hear that you have fitted out three vessels against the French to Eastward. Proceed and send two or more, if possible, to cruise off the mouth of the Canada River and destroy the French. We thank you for your great present yesterday. We will prosecute the war with all possible vigour, as you order us, and will keep Canada in perpetual alarm. We are but a weak people without you; pray write to the Great King to send great ships with great guns to take Canada, and then we can all live in peace. We are surprised that you say nothing of the help that we may expect from New England, Virginia and Maryland. Copy. 4 pp. Printed in New York Documents III., 774. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 9.]
June 2. 1,554. Copy of such part of the foregoing as relates to Virginia and Maryland. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 33.]
June 3.
1,555. Propositions made by the Skachkook Indians to Governor Sloughter. "Brother Corlaer," our number is small, for many of our men have died of smallpox. Former Governors have protected us; but in our decreased numbers we have moved from Skachhook nearer to Albany, and beg your help in building a small fort. We cannot bring you the trade that we once could; we plant now on the Christians' land at the Half Moon, and pay for the use and ploughing half the Indian corn; which is grievous for we cannot prevent our squaws from drinking rum, whereby the other half is consumed likewise. We are so poor that we cannot give you a suitable present. If any of our people desire to come and join us at the Half Moon, we beg that they may be allowed to do so. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 27 Feb., 1692. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 10.]
June 3.
1,556. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for credentials to be prepared for Joseph Dudley to treat with the Governments of New England for aid in men and money; or, if that fail, for the despatch of Commissioners to New York to consider the matter with the Governor. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 261, 262.]
June 3.
1,557. Alexander Hutcheson to William Blathwayt. On the 27th of March our fleet arrived at Mariegalante and on the following day the English regiment under Major Nott landed with some sailors from the frigates and merchantmen. The latter were re-embarked after three days, Captain Wright wishing to cruise about Guadeloupe, and the merchant ships were left at Mariegalante. On our landing the enemy immediately fled into the woods, abandoning several strong places which they might have held with ease and thereby done us considerable damage. All that remained to us therefore was "hunting-work" which employed the regiment for a week, during which time there were sundry skirmishes, and men lost on both sides. On Sunday evening, the 5th April, Governor Codrington arrived at Mariegalante with the militia, and next day, Captain Wright having returned from his cruise, the Governor sent the Governor of the Island a summons to surrender. On this he proposed a treaty, but on the following day the French King's lieutenant, Mons. d'Avaux, and 30 more, with the chief inhabitants among them were taken prisoners by a party of Bolton's regiment. The Governor, Chevalier Auger, gave His Excellency a list upon honour of the men of the Island, about 240 in all. Fifty had been killed, and the remainder, with the women and children, surrendered two days later. On Monday, 13 April, Governor Codrington sent part of the old men, women and children, to Guadeloupe, and part to Martinique, with the Governor and a few men. The remainder, some 170 men, were sent on board the fleet as prisoners. On the 14th Governor Codrington returned to the fleet leaving Mariegalante totally destroyed and dispeopled. The report mentioned in my letter of the desertion of the Island was brought in the day that our troops landed, and was due to the flight of the people into the woods. On Friday, 10th April, a Council of War was held, and Governor Codrington urged an attack on Martinique, using the arguments which I have already written to you (see p. 403) and adding that the hurricane season was approaching and that we ought to make the best of our land and sea forces while we could. The majority of the Council, however, was for immediately attacking Guadeloupe, and accordingly the troops were embarked and the Governor went on board Captain Wright's ship. There another Council of War to settle the details was held on Wednesday the 15th April, but owing to contrary winds we did not sail from Mariegalante till the evening of Friday the 17th. By the lists our land forces appeared to be 1,600 private centinels, including privateers, exclusive of the killed, wounded and sick. To them Captain Wright added a regiment of seamen, 400 strong, under Captain Kirkby, with Lord Archibald Hamilton for Lieutenant Colonel. Thus our force was from 1,900 to 2,000 men, besides officers.
On Saturday morning we came up to Guadeloupe, coasted the windward side of it that day and on Sunday morning, 19th, passed by the chief town and port of Basseterre. We sailed within half cannon-shot of all their platforms but not a shot was fired until we were passing the platforms at Baylief, when our frigates opened fire, and a short cannonade was exchanged for an hour. What damage we did we know not; our frigates lost some thirty killed and wounded, ten of them on board the Mary. We then stood off the shore and by next morning (20th) were so far to leeward that none of the frigates could fetch the land till night and some of the duller ships not till next morning. On Tuesday 21st, at 10 a.m. we were about a league to leeward of a bay called Anse La Barque, our intended landing-place, whither we observed the enemy repairing. The wind failing, there was little hope of reaching it that night, before which time there was reason to believe that the enemy would be ready to meet us in force. Governor Codrington, being of opinion that further delay would be dangerous, thought it best to land in a little bay opposite to us, being of opinion that it was worth the fatigue of marching two leagues to gain the landing-place securely and a position where we could meet the enemy on firm ground. The signal for landing was accordingly made and about 11 o'clock the Governor got into his boat. It was the first to reach the shore, and he the first man to land. Major Nott and Lord A. Hamilton followed in the next boat and our men were quickly landed without resistance. Indeed the place was such, though it seemed easier to us from the sea, that they had no reason to apprehend the landing of a body of men there. As soon as the enemy saw where we had landed they quitted Anse La Barque, and having got about 200 horses, rode with all speed to the side of a deep gully about two miles and a half from our landing-place and there awaited us, having no time to stop our passage at the first hill above our landing-place, where 20 men could have stopped us. For the path up that hill was extremely steep and rocky and encumbered with loose stones; in many places the men only climbed up with difficulty, taking their arms from the men behind them. The path was so narrow that men could only pass in single file, and it was a full half hour's climb from top to bottom. It was lucky that we knew nothing of these difficulties, or we should probably have landed at Anse La Barque and sustained great loss. For the enemy had gathered a considerable force to oppose us behind an excellent breastwork, which would have been a surprise to us, for our guides assured us that there was no such thing, and we could not see it from the sea because of the underwood which grew before it.
Having got five or six hundred men to the top of the hill, the Governor after giving them a short rest, ordered Major Nott to march on with such of his regiment as were with him. Lord A. Hamilton followed and Colonel Williams with some companies of the Antigua and Marine regiments. The gully where the enemy had posted themselves was a long quarter of a mile from top to bottom, pretty steep. The path was winding, and wide enough for three men abreast. On each side of it was an impassable wood until within fifty paces of the top, where it was somewhat thinner on the left hand and could be passed with some difficulty. At the very top there was a breastwork fronting the path, where and along the grove of the gully the enemy was posted. As soon as our men reached the bottom of the gully and began the ascent of the other side, the enemy opened fire and maintained it very smartly all the time we were marching up. None of our people dared fire except a few of the leading files, for fear of hurting our own men. As soon as Major Nott was near the top, finding the wood thinner on the left hand, he ordered seven companies to extend on that side and to march up and flank the enemy, which was accordingly done by Lord A. Hamilton and some other officers. No sooner did they appear than the Monsieurs took to their horses, and ran away faster than wounded men could pursue. This hill being gained the Governor finding the next, about half a mile distant, more commodious, marched thither and encamped for the night. In this engagement men were lost on both sides. The French had two officers killed and we had three wounded, and among them Major Nott, who was hurt in the head just as the enemy took to flight, but, though obliged to return on board ship for a time, he returned as soon as his wound was dressed and lodged in the Governor's quarters that night.
On the morning of Wednesday, the 22nd, we marched on unopposed about three miles to a river called Rivière des Habitants, meeting in our way several breastworks, well situated, but abandoned by the enemy some on the night before, some as we advanced. On reaching this hill the Governor drew us up in view of the enemy, who were on a hill the other side of the river, about three hundred strong, which number was presently increased to five hundred. The two hills were about three quarters of a mile distant. From ours there was an easy descent to a small wood near the brow of the river, which was about a long pistol-shot from the enemy. From thence to the river the descent was steep, and by a path too narrow for more than two abreast. The path and ascent on the other side were much the same, and about half way up there was a very good breastwork across the path, where the enemy had posted a good force; the rest being spread all along the brow of the precipice and sheltered by rocks or heaps of smaller stones. As soon as our men were formed the Governor ordered a detachment of 250 men, drawn from all the regiments, to march down to the wood and shelter themselves behind trees, etc., to observe the enemy's position and the difficulties of the passage. As soon as they were posted they opened fire, which was returned, and so both sides continued for an hour and a half. The Governor then ordered a full detachment of two hundred men to join the first, being as many as the ground would admit of, and the fire was continued for half an hour longer. And so the French would have continued to eternity, for though they killed and wounded several of our men, we did them little damage. The Governor therefore ordered Colonel Williams to march with the remainder of his regiment to the left and find a passage over the river, if he could, higher up. This he did unobserved by the enemy and crossed the river before they perceived him, our detachments still firing to distract them, while our force on the hill remained drawn up as before. But as soon as the enemy saw Williams's advance there they abandoned their position, and our detachments in front pursuing them briskly killed some of them, but in general the French were too quick-footed. By the time that our whole force had crossed the river it was within an hour of sunset. The bulk of them encamped on the ground lately occupied by the French, while the Governor and 400 of the freshest men pushed on a mile further to the town of Baylief, and took up his quarters in an old castle close to the town. There was a very good wall round the castle; it commanded the road to landward, and there was a platform to seaward which had annoyed us on the previous Sunday, but the enemy abandoned it without resistance, spiking and dismounting their guns.
On Thursday morning, the 23rd, the rest of the force came up to Baylief, and after a Council of War, Colonel Blakiston was detached with 400 men to observe Basseterre, which was about three miles distant. About an hour and a half after he left, and before we had received any account from him, the frigates sent ashore to report that he was engaged with the enemy. The Governor at once marched to him with the rest of the army, and found that the report was false. We then understood that the enemy had quitted the town and were none of them to be seen, except those in the fortification above the town, which fortification consists of an old castle surrounded by a strong wall of great thickness, and furnished with platforms both to landward and seaward. About a furlong further up, on rising ground, is a wall and a strongly built cavalier, also with platforms to landward and seaward. Between castle and cavalier is a line of communication making an angle. It is well built of stone on one side, and has on the other a ditch, breast-work and palisades, running just on the brow of a steep precipice, which descends into a gully. Into this gully is a path broad enough for one man in single file only; and this forms the communication between those who are in the castle and cavalier and those who are in the mountains. The Governor finding everything portable carried from the town except wine and brandy, and fearing the consequences if his men should get drink, encamped about half a mile from the cavalier, nearer the mountains, and ordered the town to be set on fire; and accordingly both portions of it (for it is divided by a river) were destroyed on that day and the next. On Friday, 24th, a flag of truce arrived from Martinique with 84 prisoners, which were exchanged against those we had taken at Mariegalante. The Marquis d'Eraingny, French Governor in those parts, proposed that all prisoners taken at sea should be well treated and at once returned, and that prisoners taken ashore should be disposed of at the conqueror's discretion. Nothing could be more advantageous to us, for the French have hitherto taken five prisoners to one at sea. On Friday, 24th April, it was resolved at a Council of War that before anything further could be done the fortification must be taken. Accordingly batteries were raised, some of the enemy's guns were drilled and mounted, and on Monday and Tuesday opened fire, but with little effect, the batteries being too far distant. On Wednesday, 29th, it was resolved at a Council of War that another battery should be raised within pistol shot of the cavalier; but looking to the size of the Island, the probability of reinforcements arriving from Martinique and our own losses, it was also resolved to apply to Barbados for help. I was selected to negotiate the affair, and accordingly sailed to Barbados on Friday, the 1st of May. From the 24th of April to the 1st of May we had every day skirmishes with the enemy, with loss on both sides. On the 6th of May I arrived here, and presented my letter (copy of which is enclosed) to Governor Kendall, who was speedily alive to the critical state of our affairs; but the difficulty appeared to be to make the Council and Assembly equally sensible of it. This was no easy task, but such was the zeal and prudence of the Governor that on the 14th an Act was passed to raise a regiment of six hundred men, with transport and provisions for six weeks. That very day the officers' commissions were signed and a joint Committee appointed to settle all further details. By the 29th the regiment was embarked, as likely men as I have seen anywhere, well clothed and well armed. The cost to Barbados was over £4,000. The Governor is empowered to send men to the assistance of the Leeward Islands without consent of his Council, but this power was of little use to him on this occasion and is unlikely to be of more use in the future, for he is not allowed to press men or arms, nor has he any fund to defray the expense. He was therefore obliged to fall back on the Council and Assembly. Colonel Salter, who commands the regiment, has been very active in raising it, and has at all times shown great zeal in promoting help to the Leeward Islands. He is very popular and therefore very capable of raising men. You will find him honourably mentioned in Governor Codrington's letter of 11 March, 1690. I doubt not you will on occasion mention these things to his advantage. So far my account is prosperous, but the next news is the reverse. No sooner was the regiment embarked than Captain Wright's squadron was sighted, which brought news that a French fleet had landed reinforcements at Guadeloupe and that Governor Codrington had thereupon retired. I can write you no further news with certainty. Signed. Arch. Hutcheson. 11 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 14 Sept., 1691. Annexed,
1,557. I. Governor Codrington to Governor Kendall. Camp, near Basseterre, Guadeloupe. April 30, 1691. We landed here on the 21st ult. Mr. Hutcheson will give you an account of our progress. We landed with 1,800 private centinels, 400 of them sailors. We have lost 200 killed, wounded and sick. Of the 400 sailors 170 are from hired merchant-men and two frigates designed for convoys, who will be discharged when the fort that we are now attacking is taken, which will reduce us to 1,400 men. Our accounts of the enemy represent them as little short of 1,200 men, of which 300 or 400 are in the fort now besieged by us, 400 or 500 at the top of the mountains called the Dordans, which they have fortified and to which the access is extremely difficult and dangerous. The rest of their men are dispersed in small parties, which sometimes annoy us. The Island including Grande Terre is near twenty leagues long and a great breadth. The paths are as bad as possible, scarce a quarter of a mile without great gullies and precipices, which have been industriously fortified. So impassable are the mountains that all communication is by water. On the whole it is an Island easier to defend and harder to attack than St. Christophers. The enemy have taken some prisoners from us, from whom they will doubtless obtain full information about us and thereby they will be stirred to more obstinate defence. We are afraid too of reinforcements being thrown in from Martinique by night, notwithstanding our cruisers. Of course if such reinforcements miscarry, there will be greater risk to Martinique itself, but not much greater, for even if beaten they may find shelter in so large an Island, and the fort could hold out till the arrival of a fleet from France. Should they succeed, they will preserve not only Martinique but Guadeloupe, which would be a blow that would weaken the Leeward Islands beyond resistance to the meanest force. At present our superiority in numbers does not counterbalance the advantages that they enjoy; and if they obtain help from Martinique, the balance would be against us. The best that I and my officers can hope for, with the forces at our command, is that our conquest of this Island must be bought at great expense of men and time. I conceive not only the Leeward Islands, but the English interest in these parts at large, to be concerned in my operations. The destruction of this Island would be a great blow to the French: the failure to destroy it not less fatal to us. We beg you therefore to send us the forces you have ordered to be raised for the expedition to Martinique. This will assure us victory, and despatch our business here at half the cost of men and time; indeed the arrival of such a reinforcement may so damp the courage of the enemy as to drive them to surrender. As to Martinique we shall be ready enough to take it in hand when this affair is ended; and doubt not of your help. It would be a pity to let the matter grow cool just now, when the French star is on the decline in America. The squadron's provisions are begining to fail. Pray make up the proportion that is lacking and send them down by this frigate. Also could you lend us a hundred barrels of powder? It shall be repaid from the next stores sent to us by the King. But if this cannot be done I have given directions for it to be purchased privately. Signed. Chr. Codrington. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 14 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. Nos. 25, 25I, and (without enclosure) Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 369–379.]
June 4.
1,558. Lords of Trade and Plantations to Governor Codrington. To call a court and see that justice is done in the case of Mounteney Boncle. Signed. Carmarthen, P., Pembroke, Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 339, 340.]
June 4. 1,559. The same to the same. To cause the case of the heirs of John Lingham to be brought to speedy trial. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 342, 343.]
[June ?] 1,560. Proposal for destroying the French Plantations in America. There are at present in the West Indies five or six frigates. It is proposed to send a squadron of eight more ships and three fireships at once, so as to leave the Downs on the 1st of August, these ships or the merchantmen with them to carry 400 recruits for Bolton's regiment and two regiments more. The whole would rendezvous at Barbados, take what militia can be spared from thence and proceed to Martinique, some of the ships meanwhile always cruising before the Cul de Sac to cut off French supplies from Europe. The troops would keep on landing and destroying the Island, to harass the people and drive them to withdraw. It would be well if the Cul de Sac itself could be destroyed, which could best be done by landing a force and taking the fort in rear; but this will require skilled engineers and a good train of artillery. In any case when the Island is destroyed the fort will not hold out long. To this end the Governors of Barbados and the Leeward Islands should be advised of the design by despatch boat, and ordered to gather their forces, as numerous and as well provisioned as possible, at Barbados. Martinique having been destroyed, the expedition could proceed to Guadeloupe and the other Islands to destroy the plantations and forts and transport the inhabitants to Europe or the Main. As soon as the attack on Martinique is over the present squadron in the West Indies would return, being in a perishing condition. Six months' provisions should be sent with the shipping for the two regiments, and a Commissary should accompany the fleet to see the matter of victualling the forces generally. Tents and other stores should be sent under charge of another Commissary. When the service is performed some of the frigates might go with our regiment to Jamaica and picking up as many militia and volunteers as possible, attack Petit Guavos, Tortudas, and the French settlements on or near Hispaniola, the Governor of Jamaica being duly advised of the design. The Spaniards should be invited to co-operate. These expeditions should be carried on under a general officer sent from England (in the margin. The King thinks Sir Francis Wheeler) who if possible should command the fleet and all the Governors and Governments during the expedition. The expedition to Canada and Newfoundland should be despatched next summer, the shipping to be under sail on the 1st of February. Mem. If two regiments cannot be spared, one must suffice. Bolton's regiment wants 400 recruits. If the expedition be delayed more men will be required. In the handwriting of William Blathwayt. Draft with corrections. 6 pp. [America and West Indies. 540. No. 17.]
June 4. 1,561. Bill from Captain John Brooke against the King for stores and munitions delivered to Lord Inchiquin. Total, £1,147. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 6. No. 82.]
June 4.
1,562. Propositions made by the Maquas Sachems to Governor Sloughter. (The Sachems of all Five Nations were present.) Brother Corlaer, we come to inform you of what happened to our Indians through the Praying Maquas in Canada. The Governor of Canada welcomed them there, gave them a belt of wampum for the whole Five Indians and thanks for sparing his Praying Indians. I am willing that you, Corlaer, and all the Five Nations should be at peace with my Praying Indians. The Governor of Canada had a friendly conversation with one of our Indians lately. The Canada Praying Indians said that sundry of their men had been taken by the Senecas, and that they desired them to be released. The Governor of Canada is very anxious for an answer to his overtures, and we were to ask Corlaer's advice.
Governor Sloughter's answer to the foregoing. You must not admit any of the proposals of the French Indians. Those who were recently liberated returned and burned Senectady. Stick to the old covenant and prosecute the war with France with all speed and violence. I want to know how many of your warriors will join an armed party of Christians. I have already sent a messenger to New England, and shall shortly send to Virginia and Maryland.
Answer of the Maquas. We are glad that you have ended the troubles at New York. We will keep the French in alarm; but why not you also jointly with us? We must confess about the burning of houses and slaughtering of stock at Senectady, but it could not be helped, for we were returning from pursuit of the enemy and were nearly starved. Do not keep us from the war to give satisfaction for it. We have always told you to fortify, and you answered that the French are a Christian enemy. But see how they have treated you at Senectady. Now make the city as strong as a fort, and when our men go fighting send seven or eight men at night to make a noise, as though we were watching, and so save our women and children. Give us warning if you see the French before they see you. Pray stir up Virginia, Maryland and New England to help us.
Here there rose an Oneida Sachem, who declared his distrust of the French, and related how his nation had rejected their overtures.
On the following day (5th June) the Five Nations agreed to send warriors to join a Christian armed party, though the time was short. The Governor replied that he needed no more than two hundred men, and the Sachems replied that they would fit out as many of their own as they could, and send warriors down the Cadaraqui River as well, to annoy the enemy. 4 large pp. Copy. Printed in New York Documents III., 777. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 11.]
June 4. 1,563. Copy of that part of the Maquas' answer which refers to Virginia and Maryland. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 33.]
June 4. 1,564. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Edmund Jennings sworn of the Council. Resolved, in view of the fact that ships have sailed for Maryland, despite the Royal orders, and being captured have given information to the enemy, that the King be besought to enforce his orders in Maryland; also to represent that it will be well for all convoys ordered to Virginia to apply to the government to hasten the ships so as to be ready for departure at the appointed time. Henry Jenkins approved as master to take the ship Katherine and Anne to London, with orders to wait on Mr. Blathwayt immediately on his arrival. A new gunner appointed to Tindall's point.
June 5. John Page sworn Collector of Upper James River District. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXXIV., pp. 565–571.]
June 4. 1,565. Copy of the Minutes of Council of Virginia, relating to the sailing of the convoy for England and the case of the ship Katherine and Anne. 7 pp. Annexed,
1,565. I. Deposition of John Cruchee that Abraham Depeyster and Jacob Leisler were part owners of the Katherine and Anne. Scrap. Endorsed. Read 10 Sept., 1691.
1,565. II. Account of the lading of the Katherine and Anne, authenticated by Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson. 1 p. Endorsed as No. I. [America and West Indies. 637. Nos. 34, 34 I, II.]
June 5. 1,566. Peter Beverley to Lords of Trade and Plantations. Forwarding duplicates of the Journal of the House of Burgesses at the Assembly begun in 16 April. ½ p. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Sept., 1691. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 35.]
June 5. 1,567. Duplicate of preceding. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 36.]
June 5.
1,568. Minutes of Council of New York. Order for enlistment of a company of volunteers to join the Indians in an expedition against the French. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., p. 262.]
June 6. 1,569. Reply of Governor Sloughter to the Skachkook Indians. (See No. 1555.) I lament for the loss and decreased numbers of my children. I know that you have suffered from the war and there is therefore the more necessity for you to prosecute it with vigour, that the enemy may be destroyed. I am fitting out a number of Christians and Indians for that purpose now, and expect you to consult among yourselves what number of stout men you can spare to join us fourteen days hence. Since you are obliged to live in the Christian's land you will do well to agree with them as cheap as you can, and I will order them to help you to make a fort. Meanwhile persuade your wives and young men to abstain from rum till the war be over. Any Indians that come among you may remain, if they behave themselves, and shall be treated as yourselves. I am glad that you brought home scalps and prisoners from your last attempt on the enemy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 579. No. 12.]
June 8. 1,570. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. The petition of Sir John Hoskins for the grant of Ascension and other Islands to be laid before the Queen.
June 8. Draft Charter for New England presented by the Attorney General. Mr. Blathwayt to prepare the comparative abstracts of this and the former charter for the next meeting. Copy of the answer of the New England Agents to Mr. Allen's petition, to be forwarded to Mr. Allen. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. p. 21.]
June 8. 1,571. Draft of a Charter for Massachusetts presented by the Attorney-General. The first draft with certain passages marked for alteration. 38 pp. Endorsed. Presented by Mr. Attorney-General, 8 June, 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 166.]
[June.] 1,572. Copy of the preamble of the Charter of Virginia of 1676, with corrections to suit a draft Charter for Massachusetts. 2¼ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 167.]
[June.] 1,573. Fragment of the draft relating to the constitution of the General Assembly. 4 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 168.]
[June.] 1,574. Proposals offered by the New England Agents for perfecting the Charter of New England. (1) That the Deputy-Governor be chosen by the Council with the Governor's assent, and have the Governor's power during the Governor's death or absence. (2) That there be an elected Assembly. (3) That the Assistants be elected by the freeholders and freemen and that the Governor have no vote in such elections. If in London the Aldermen were chosen by a Common Council subject to the Lord Mayor's vote, their charter would be no charter; and we are sure that such provision would be very grievous to Massachussetts. (4) That the Assembly meet once a year. (5) That the appointment of judges, etc., lie with the General Court, without veto of the Governor. (6) That the word freemen be added everywhere to the word freeholders. (7) That the Senior Member of Council preside in the default of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor. (8) That votes may be sent as well as given in person, or the remote towns will be exposed to Indian attack during elections. (9) That the Assembly have power to erect Courts. (10) That probate matters be not in the hands of the Governors and Council. (11) That in appeals the security be equal to the value in dispute. (12) That the time of the King's confirmation be determined by eighteen months. (13) That the Governor's veto extend to laws only and not to elections and other Acts. (14) That the power of the Militia and Martial Law lie with the Governor and Council, but that inhabitants be not moved outside the Colony without the consent of the Assembly. (15) That all the Admiralty rights may be preserved to the Colony as in the old Charter. 1½ pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 169.]
[June 8.] 1,575. Petition of Edward Davies and others to Lords of Trade and Plantations. For despatch of their business and restoration of their property. 1 p. Inscribed. Recd. 8 June, 1691. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 39.]
June 8.
James' City.
1,576. The Secretary of Virginia to the Earl of Nottingham. Forwarding the proceedings of the Council and General Assembly, copies of the Acts, and requesting his good offices for the Colony. Signed. William Cole, sen. 1½ pp. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 37.]
June 9. 1,577. The same to Lords of Trade and Plantations. To the same effect. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 10 Sept., '92. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 38.]
June 9.
1,578. Copy of a letter from Sander Glenn to Governor Sloughter. Reporting the massacre of twenty-three of the British Indians by the French Indians and the arrival of reinforcements at Canada. 1 p.
Here follow copies of Robert Livingston's letters of 22 June and 2 July, for which see under those dates. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 40.]
June 9. 1,579. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Return of the elections for the Assembly :—
Thomas Sutton
Charles Boucher
Henry Lowe
John Favell
Richard Witter
Michael Holdesworth
St. Elizabeth.
James Banister
David Masters
St. Dorothy.
Thomas Ballard
Richard Lloyd
John Dove
St. Catherines.
Henry Ward
Nathaniel Perry
St. George's.
James Bradshaw
John Bathurst
St. James's.
Andrew Langley
John Bathurst
St. Mary's.
John White
John Abraham
St. Ann's.
Edward Stanton
Symon Musgrave
St. Thomas.
Modyford Freeman
Robert Compere
St. David.
Edward Harrison
Peter Robinson
St. Andrew.
Symon Musgrave
Anthony Stoddart
James Risby
Port Royal.
Thomas Ayscough
Fulke Rose
St. John.
John Hilliard
John Walters
St. Thomas in the Vale.
Peter Beckford, Receiver-General, delivered his accounts.
Petitions for compensation for damage done by the French referred to some of petitioners' neighbours for valuation. The Assembly was sworn and presented Thomas Sutton as their Speaker, who was approved. The Governor recommended bills to satisfy the creditors of persons bankrupt in England, and to raise £300 a year for solicitation of the Island's affairs.
June 10 The Assembly sent a message desiring that one of the members and their clerk, John Gay, might be sworn. News writs ordered for the parishes of St. Thomas and St. James.
June 11. Petition from the Commander of the ship St. Jago de la Victoria for payment for eight guns taken from his ship. Order for the Clerk to enquire into the matter. Orders for assessment of damages done to a petitioner by the French, and for payment for work done to the fortifications.
June 12. No business. Adjourned. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 80–85.]
June 9. 1,580. Minutes of Council of Barbados. Order for all merchants' ships bound for Europe to be ready to sail at the end of the month. Order for a proclamation that masters use no hardships to servants who enlist for the Guadeloupe expedition, that merchant vessels receive no men from the Island without lawful tickets and that all seamen repair to their ships. Orders for sundry payments. The Governor recommended to the Assembly bills to amend the Militia Act, to ascertain qualifications of jurors, to restrain inhumanity of masters to Christian servants, and to provide for the defence of the coast.
June 10. The Assembly brought up a bill to raise labourers for the defence of the coast, and said that they considered the qualifications of jurors already sufficiently provided for. The Assembly addressed the Governor touching certain reports about Admiral Wright. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 194–198.]
June 9. 1,581. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. The bill concerning John Kirton considered. The House waited on the Governor (see preceding abstract). The House considered a bill to raise labourers for the defence of the coast, and the papers bearing on the amendment of the Militia Act.
June 10. The bill to raise labourers passed. Resolved to prepare a bill to keep a standing force to guard the forts. Addresses to the Governor concerning Captain Wright. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 283–286.]
June 9. 1,582. Warrant of Queen Mary. For granting to Sir Michael Cole the forfeited estate of Terence Macdermott, an Irish papist, in Nevis, in compensation for the ruin of the castle and fortress of Inniskillen, his mansion house. Countersigned. Nottingham. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 43. pp. 343–345.]
June 10.
James City.
1,583. The Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia to Lords of Trade and Plantations. I have duly received Lord Howard's commission. The Journals of Council and Assembly have been forwarded to you. The Assembly went away very well satisfied. The Act for Ports is agreeable to the Royal Instructions; but as it is done at the country's request I hope that it may be confirmed. If the merchants oppose it I beg that our side may be heard. The Act for planting flax and hemp was only to content the burgesses for the time, for if ships arrive from England with clothing and take our tobacco, the people will plant nothing but tobacco. But if neither ships nor goods arrive they must abandon tobacco-planting, which for the sake of the revenue I hope never to see. If at least thirty ships be not admitted to come here before next summer, I beg that some comfortable account may be sent to keep the people in hopes of shipping and clothing, for the merchants would prefer to have only ships enough to export half of the tobacco, in which case the planters must sell it at the merchants' price. The merchants will sell it very dear, but the revenue will lose considerably, for either the tobacco will be spoiled in the country, or will lose a quarter of its weight when shipped. If the petitions of the Council and Burgesses, and of the Burgesses alone, cannot be granted, I beg that at least they may be kept in hopes and receive no absolute denial, so long as New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the Carolinas remain unsettled ; for they may be a fatal example by encouraging the mob. Even now they harbour debtors and slaves. I hear that at South Carolina one Mr. Sothell, who was banished eighteen months ago by the mob from North Carolina, now heads the mob there, so that they are in great disorder. Pennsylvania being in the hands of Quakers and having few or no militia for defence if attacked by an enemy, may be a retreating place for them : and if they be of William Penn's pernicious principles they may hold correspondence with the French and Indians by land and with the French by sea, for all the provinces correspond much together. But I have issued a proclamation about them and shall be very watchful of them and of all the loose Governments.
The Act which I got passed for the defence of the country will, I hope, be so managed by me that their Majesties shall be at no extraordinary expense even if we be invaded. H.M.S. Dumbarton is broken up. I hope for the arrival of a frigate or two and a fireship to do her work. There is no place in the country deserving the name of a platform ; but after the fleet is sailed (which I hope may arrive safely and pay £200,000 to £300,000 to the revenue) I mean to visit the coasts and the heads of the rivers, see that the rangers do their duty, and exercise and look to the better equipment of the militia. Messrs. Lee, Allerton and Armistead from scruple of conscience refuse to take the oaths, so there are but eight Councillors whereas there should be nine. I have appointed Mr. Edmund Jennings, Attorney General of the Colony, and son of the burgess of Parliament for Ripon, Yorkshire. I beg that he may be confirmed. The usual number of Councillors was twelve, so that three are wanting; but I beg that more may be added, for the Councillors live so far apart that I have great difficulty in collecting a quorum and have sometimes failed. I recommend Mr. Charles Scarborough, Mr. Christopher Robinson, Mr. Hartwell (all of them burgesses and loyal men), and Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Johnson, a very good man. Colonel Thomas Milner, Speaker of the Burgesses, has behaved very well, but his estate is too small for a Councillor. I beg that he may have the promise of some place of profit in the government. A ship from Barbados brings the good news of the capture of the greatest part of Guadeloupe and of further designs on Martinique. Signed. Fra. Nicholson. 3½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 12 September, 1691. Read 12 October, 1691. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 41; and Board of Trade. Virginia, 36. pp. 79–82 and 89–94.]
June 10.
James City.
1,584. Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson to [the Earl of Nottingham?] I have only just learned that I am under your orders. You will see what we have done by the Journals of Council and Assembly. Here follows a duplicate of the preceding letter, with the following postcript. I hear that the Spaniards have beaten the French quite out of Hispaniola, killing five hundred men. I expect our homeward bound fleet to number 120 ships. The whole, 4 pp. The postscript is copied in the entry of the preceding letter. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 42.]
June 12.
1,585. The Secretary of Connecticut to Governor Sloughter. We quite agree with your project for Virginia, New York, New England to unite in an attempt to capture Canada. We shall concur so far as our ability permits us in such arrangements as may be made for general advice and assistance, but to this end Commissioners must be appointed. Meanwhile we fear that the summer is too far spent for operations this year. The Assembly will meet shortly and we will do our best to persuade them. We congratulate you on your success with the four nations. We had prepared men for your frigate as we requested, but she was gone before they came. Signed. John Allyn. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 31.]
June 18.
1,586. The Governor of Massachusetts to Governor Sloughter. The hostile Indians met us in conference at Wells and promised to restore all captives and to keep truce pending our proposals for peace; but they have so far failed to appear or restore the prisoners. This gives ground for suspicion that they are under French influence, so we have strengthened the out-garrisons and are keeping rangers constantly on the frontier against surprise. The effectual subduing of this treacherous enemy is the best security for future quiet, for there is no reliance on them further than their interest binds them. We should be glad to know if you propose to settle a garrison at Pemaquid or elsewhere in the County of Cornwall, and what further steps you contemplate against the Indians. The French privateer on this coast has lately taken three of our vessels inward bound. Captains Kidd and Walkington lost an opportunity of taking her, though she is reported to be worth £10,000. We tried hard to agree with them to cruise here for some days, but they would not despite the prospect of their own advantage and of service to the King. We are informed that at their departure they carried away men-servants and fugitive negroes, and took many men out of merchant-vessels and coasters by force, besides seizing those who were passing in boats. We hope that such conduct may be strongly reprobated. Since the above was written we have received yours from Albany as to your conference with the Maquas. The Indians with whom we were in negotiation have without any provocation assaulted the garrison at Wells. They had four Frenchmen with them. Providentially a fresh party of men had arrived just before the assault and made a good defence. Small bodies of Indians alarmed other places also and surprised and killed two or three men abroad. This breach has closed all former overtures, and our present concern is a vigorous prosecution of that treacherous enemy. The disadvantages of woods and rivers to Eastward have rendered our expeditions thither less successful than they might have been, though the numbers of the enemy have been considerably weakened. Our efforts in the King's service have been a vast expense to us, and the renewal of the attack and our own preparations make it impossible to give any help to Westward. We are equipping two ships to cruise on the coast and raising forces, which latter will take many men from husbandry and cause great difficulties. We are sorry that we have no power to help you, being as willing as ever. Copy. 2½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 32.]
June 18. 1,587. Minutes of Council of Barbados. A committee appointed to enquire and report as to the allegations made concerning Admiral Wright. The Council amended the Assembly's bill for paying a certain number of officers and soldiers to keep guard. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XII., pp. 198–205.]
June 18. 1,588. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Colonel Abel Alleyne chosen speaker. Bill to provide a standing force read thrice and passed. Petition of masters of ships for an increase of rates of freight rejected. The bill providing for a standing force, as amended, was thrown out. Address to the Governor praying that Admiral Wright may not command the homeward-bound convoy.
Here follow transcripts of the Barbados Acts of 1690, viz.: An Act for a present to the Governor. An Act to encourage artificers to take apprentiees. An Act for the better recovering of bonds forfeited by master of ships. An Act to ascertain the bushel weight for grain. An Act to regulate the exorbitant rates of freight in shipping. An Act to continue the Excise Act. An Act to confirm the lease of Fontabelle. An Act to appoint a Committee of Public Accounts.
Here follow transcripts of the Acts of 1691, viz.: An Act to repeal the Act relating to the Monmouth rebels. An Act for a levy on Mills. An Act to raise labour for fortifying the Island. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XIV., pp. 287–314.]
June 18. 1,589. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. The Council met on the 16th and 17th, but adjourned, there being no business. Order for assessment of damages done to John Hanger by the French. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 85–86.]
June 18. 1,590. Earl of Nottingham to Governor Codrington. A petition has been presented to the Queen on behalf of the sisters and heirs of Captain John Lingham, in respect of an estate of his in Antigua. You will cause speedy justice to be done to them. Copies of petitions and of a certificate on behalf of petitioners are enclosed. Signed. Nottingham. ½ p. Copied on the back. Certificate as to the identity of petitioners. 1 p. Annexed,
1,590. I. Petition of John and Sarah Earle, and Thomas and Elizabeth Ellet to the Queen. Praying that orders may be given to Governor Codrington to do them justice in respect of the estate of their deceased brother, John Lingham. Copy. 1 p. [America and West Indies. 551. Nos. 26, 26 I.]
June 22.
1,591. Robert Livingston to Governor Sloughter. I send examinations of some Indians lately come from Canada, and some intercepted letters. You will see by the letter to the Jesuit in Oneida that the French still impatiently expect an answer to Laurence's treaty in the spring. We have examined Symon Groot, who was given to one of the Indians by the Praying Indians, but he knew nothing of the ships from France. Provisions were very scarce. Not above 300 men at Montreal, and fifty at Prairie, which our people design to attack. An Indian arrived from Canada yesterday who says that the canoes are made and the Ottawas and Dionondados arrived at Cadaraqui. Several Praying Indians want to leave Canada, but the French guards are strict. This Indian was warned by another not to go towards the Senecas and asked to warn the Maquas not to go thither, for the French design to destroy them and await only the Maquas' answer. Three squaws with him saw ships from France come up from Quebec. The Maqua has sent away part of his company to-day and follows with the rest to-morrow. I have distributed provisions to them. The Mohawks are not come down yet. I shall send provisions to Senectady to keep them from sotting and drinking there. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. Annexed,
1,591. I. Examination of a Maqua Indian from Canada. 20 June, 1691. Deponent has been in Canada since the spring, and finds the French deceitful and false, so left them. The French are making 200 birch canoes at Montreal, and deponent found out that an expedition is designed against Onandaga. Seven ships came in from France with men and provisions, and all hands were set to work to make canoes. He was warned not to go to Onandaga, as it would be a heavy stroke.
Examination of a second Indian, 21 June, 1691. A party of Indians attempted to surprise a French fort below Montreal a fortnight before, but were repulsed with loss. French Indians had arrived at Montreal, where the Governor called upon them to go with him and fall upon all the Five Nations in turn and then upon the Christians in Albany. Fifteen sail of French ships had arrived at Quebec with soldiers' stores, and eighteen English fishing boats captured on the way. The French were trying to exchange two Indian boys for a Jesuit prisoner at Oneida. 2½ pp. Printed in New York Documents III., 781–783. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. Nos. 33, 33 I.]
[June 22.] 1,592. Duplicate copy of the enclosure to the preceding. Endorsed. Recd. 13 Jan., 1691/2. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 43.]
June 24. 1,593. The Governor of Rhode Island to Governor Sloughter. I have communicated your letter of June to the Council and Assembly, but we apprehend that you had not then received our answer to your former letter, which we shall not repeat. Block Island has been assaulted and plundered by a French privateer, which, leaving the Island speedily, in a short time captured three vessels. Prisoners returned from one of them tell us that two ships of considerable strength are designed to attack Rhode Island. Far from giving help, therefore, we rather expect it from our neighbours. We hear that the French and Indians have made an attack near Wells and have killed six persons and their cattle. Thanks for your information as to the Five Nations. We heartily wish our power to help you were commensurate with our good will, but we cannot raise money owing to disloyal and discontented people among us. We daily expect orders from the King. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed. Recd. 6 Sept., 1692. [Board of Trade. New York, 4. No. 34.]
June 24. 1,594. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Order for assessment of damages done to John Bathurst and others by the French invasion. The assessments for compensation so far were brought in, amounting to £2,440. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 86, 87.]
June 25. 1,595. Journal of Lords of Trade and Plantations. Colonel Kendall's letter of 4 April read (see No. 1384). Recommended that his bills for victualling the squadron be taken up. [Board of Trade. Journal, 7. p. 22.]
[June 25.] 1,596. Abstracts of the Old Charter and the draft of the New Charter of Massachusetts, arranged for comparison in parallel columns. This paper was prepared for the meeting of the Committee on 25 June. See No. 1750. 14 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 170.]
June 26. 1,597. Minutes of Council of Jamaica. Nicholas Richardson was returned as member for St. Thomas.
June 27. Reginald Wilson, Deputy Auditor, reported that he could not present the Accounts owing to a confusion in the commision charged by the late Receiver General. Order for adjusting the commission between him and his successor. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 77. pp. 87, 88.]
June 29. 1,598. Minutes of Council of New York. The Council sat again at New York. Order for the towns of East Jersey to raise fifty men to join the company of fusiliers, and that they be armed and present at New York within ten days. On the news of designs of a French invasion from Canada, ordered that West Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania be called upon to furnish 375 men, fully equipped, for defence, the proportions to be, Virginia and Maryland each 150 men, Pennsylvania 50, West Jersey 25, and the whole to be complete in arms by the 10th of September. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. LXXV., pp. 262, 263.]
June 29. 1,599. Copy of the foregoing, misdated 9 June. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 13 January 1691–2 from Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson. [America and West Indies. 637. No. 44.]
[June 30.] 1,600. Sir William Phips's proposal for the conquest of Canada. For the expedition against Canada and the security of Nova Scotia there are needed (1) One third rate or very good fourth rate ship, well fitted. (2) A hundred cannon to plant on an Island a league and a half from Quebec and so to command the passage of the river. (3) Four good mortars, with shells in proportion ; for there is a hill from which the enemy cannot hinder us, and this will so annoy them that the conquest will be easy. (4) 1,000 barrels of powder and two thousand small arms. If these matters be granted speedily and the people of New England restored to their former rights and privileges so as to enable it to raise men and money, I have little doubt of success. I served in both of the two last expeditions and have come over on purpose to give an account of our proceedings against Quebec and Nova Scotia. If the cannon requested cannot be supplied then I beg for ten field-pieces and as many cannon and mortars as can be spared. 1 p. Endorsed. Recd. 30 June. Read in Commmittee 1 July, 1691. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 171.]
June 30. 1,601. Petition of Sir William Phips to the King. Last year I commanded an expedition fitted out at great expense in New England. I succeeded in reducing Nova Scotia, which would be well worth while for the Crown to keep, as it has plenty of masts and naval timber as well as copper and other rich mines. But it will be impossible to hold Nova Scotia without a frigate and a quantity of warlike stores. If you would supply these, we undertake to raise ships and men enough not only to preserve Nova Scotia but to reduce Canada; and in that case I beg a commission to command the expedition. 1 p. Endorsed as the preceding. [Board of Trade. New England, 5. No. 172.]
June 30. 1,602. Sir Peter Colleton to the Surveyor-General of Carolina. Ordering him to measure off fifty acres of land for Mrs. Rebecca Cox. [Col. Entry Bk., Vol. XXII., p. 186.]
June. 1,603. Bill of the Signet Office, appoint Rowland Williams Clerk of the Peace and Naval Officer in the Leeward Islands. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed. June, 1691. [America and West Indies. 551. No. 27.]
[June.] 1,604. Memorandum from Samuel Crisp. Praying an order to the Governor of Barbados to admit him to the Council, he being on his way to the Island and having large estates there. ¼ p. For date see Robert Chaplain's petition of 8 October, 1691. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 4. No. 65.]