America and West Indies: September 1698, 12-15

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1905.

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'America and West Indies: September 1698, 12-15', in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) pp. 420-444. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

September 1698

Sept. 12.
813. Governor Nicholson to Council of Trade and Plantations. I thank God I can report this province to be in a more peaceable state than when I wrote last. I send copies of the trials and condemnations of Slye, Clark and Mason and of my letter to Sir E. Andros concerning Coode, who I hope will be delivered up to justice here. I send also copy of a report of the Provincial Justices concerning the Pennsylvanian Act. Colonel Robert Quarry tells me that he has given you a full account of affairs in Pennsylvania. I hope to have another opportunity of writing at the end of this month. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 21, Read 22 Nov., 1698. Enclosed,
813. I. Opinion of the Justices of the Provincial Court that the Pennsylvanian Act for preventing frauds, etc., is repugnant to the Acts of Trade and Navigation. This is entered in Board of Trade. Maryland, 9. p. 365.
813. II. Copy of the trials of Coode, Clark, Mason and Slye. 42 pp. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. Nos. 55, 55 I.; and (without No. I.) 9. pp. 363–366.]
Sept. 12.
[New York.]
814. Edward Randolph to William Popple. Lord Bellomont is still indisposed with gout, which prevents him from going to Boston. I have observed here a great ferment among the trading people because His Excellency has endeavoured to suppress the illegal trade, which for many years they have carried on with great profit. It is not the person, but the customs long since imposed by themselves upon trade which dissatisfies them. That Act expires next May and will not be renewed. East and West Jersey are setting for themselves and will not accept Mr. Basse as Governor. He is laying down the Government and retiring to his plantation. I am at last going to Carolina, from whence, if I live and escape pirates, I shall send a report of its condition. Signed, Ed. Randolph. Holograph. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 30 Oct., Read 1 Nov., 1698. [Board of Trade. Plantations General, 4. No. 137; and 34. pp. 378–379.]
Sept. 12. 815. Memorandam of the receipt of the preceding letter. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 7. No. 93; and Proprieties, 2. No. 32.]
Sept. 12.
816. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lords Justices of England. We offer an additional instruction to Governor Nicholson for the payment of a yearly salary of £100 to Dr. Blair from the quit-rents of Virginia. Signed, Phil. Meadows, John Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. pp. 262–265.]
Sept. 12.
817. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices of England. Upon the various petitions and complaints of Mr. Edward Walrond we report as follows. He first sent some papers to Lord Bridgewater relating to Governor Codrington's conduct in the prosecution of Robert Arthur for scandalous words spoken of the King. This was sent to Governor Codrington, and we have received his answer thereto. Mr. Walrond had meanwhile come to England and has perplexed the matter by adding thereunto and intermitting such a confusion of informations that it is difficult for us to report thereon. We shall, however, deal with the matter of Robert Arthur first. Here the accounts given in the various documents are summarised, together with Governor Codrington's answer. Upon the whole, we think that the words spoken by Robert Arthur were highly criminal, that Mr. Walrond was in great fault for concealing them at first, and that the justices entrusted with the trial were guilty of some neglect, but that none of these things excuse Governor Codrington from omitting to do many things which his duty required of him. Next as to the subject of Mr. Edward Walrond's forfeited recognizance, we do not see in the papers before us that Governor Codrington had any just reason for proceeding against him as he has done, either in obliging him to enter into the recognizance or in forfeiting it. We think, therefore, that all further proceedings against him in the Leeward Islands should be stayed, and the money, if levied, repaid to him. We have not yet been able to make a report upon other matters laid before us by Mr. Walrond, but we think Governor Codrington should be directed to allow John Lucas to come to England and to suspend further proceedings upon the matter in the Leeward Islands. Mr. Lucas asks for a commission to take evidence, but looking to the passion on one side, the authority on the other, and the animosities on both, we do not think that we should obtain an impartial account of these things. Signed, Ph. Meadows, John Pollexfen, John Locke, Abr. Hill. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 45. pp. 256–277.]
Sept. 12. 818. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Depositions as to illegal trade carried on by Frederick Phillips of New York received (No. 794) and ordered to be considered with the rest of the New York papers.
Mr. Blathwayt presents addresses from New Jersey to the King upon discovery of the plot, etc.
Order in Council of 16 July on the petition of John Tucker and others received.
Mr. Duke delivered a packet from Rhode Island. The representations as to Mr. Walrond's papers and Mr. Blair's allowance were signed.
Sept. 13. A letter to the King in the Rhode Island packet was sent to Mr. Secretary Vernon.
Lord Bellomont's letters further considered, and order given for the preparation of additional instructions concerning his salary and perquisites.
Sept. 14. Order for the Secretary to write again to Mr. Blackborne for Samuel Roberts to attend the Board, and for the communication of all intelligence as to pirates.
The New York papers were further considered.
Sept. 15. A letter from Mr. Blackborne, saying that he had no further intelligence to give about pirates in the East Indies, was brought by Samuel Roberts, who gave information as to the harbouring of pirates in New York.
Mr. Hutcheson's letter of yesterday read.
Lord Bellomont's papers further considered.
Sept. 16. Lord Bellomont's papers considered, and further progress made. [Board of Trade. Journal, 11. pp. 206–217.]
Sept. 13. 819. Instructions to Francis Nicholson as Governor of Virginia. He may communicate to the Council such instructions as he thinks fit. On suspending a Councillor he is to transmit the reasons home and enter them in the Council-books. He is to see that all the laws are revised and send a complete body of them with his opinions as to the alterations required; to urge the substitution of a liquor-duty for the poll-tax; to propose to next Assembly a law empowering the Governor and Council to raise a tax for the support of Government; to account for all money to the King; to moderate the salaries of Assemblymen if he thinks advisable. Councillors who are also judges are to take the oath of judges; the old form for making Councillors amenable to civil process is to be restored; the clergy are to be looked after and parishes limited and settled; orders of Courts and of the Council are not to be entered unless first read and approved; the Governor is to have sole power of impressing seamen; grants of lands that have not paid quit-rent for seven years are to be void; arrears of quit-rents are to be reported, also the names of those persons who possess above 20,000 acres of land each; a new system of land-grants, founded on settlement rather than the importation of servants, to be proposed to the Assembly; a law is to be recommended for ascertaining the qualifications of jurors; the old appeal to the General Assembly is not to be allowed; towns are to be laid out at certain places and no ships to be permitted to load or unload except at these places; Collectors and Naval Officers are not to be the same persons; they and their deputies are to be sworn; the Auditor's place is to be made the subject of a report; quit-rents are to be sold by inch of candle; a report is to be sent in as to reform of the Secretary's office. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 37. pp. 266–303.]
Sept. 13. 820. Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis. The Council proposed to the Assembly to provide £700 to purchase provisions in Barbados for the King's ships. The Assembly answered that it was willing to pay its share of expense with the other islands, and gave its opinion that the late Governor's authority had devolved on Colonel Gardner. The Council replied that Colonel Gardner was debarred by his suspension. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. pp. 476–477.]
Sept. 14. 821. Minutes of Council of Maryland. Court of Appeal adjourned. Proclamation for arrest of John Coode and prohibiting correspondence with him, and for Philip Clarke to be disbarred, though he may continue the actions he was concerned in till next Provincial Court. Address of the Provincial Court to the Governor pointing out the bad effects of late false rumours, and asking that a proclamation may be issued to disabuse men's minds and to order the arrest of Coode. Address of the Provincial Court and Grand and Petty Jury on the same subject. Orders for Naval Officers to bring in their accounts, for Councillors and Delegates to attend on the 26th of October, for notice to be given of the sitting of the Provincial and Appeal Courts, for lists of taxables to be returned. lists of the religious denominations of the people, and lists of seafaring men, also for returns of the subscriptions to the free schools, for county clerks to return their accounts, for returns of marriage-licences, and for all grievances of counties to be sent up by their delegates. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 626–634.]
Sept. 14.
New York.
822. Governor the Earl of Bellomont, to Council of Trade and Plantations. My journey to Albany last July was very unfortunate to me in respect of my health, but having appointed to meet the Five Nations I resolved to keep touch with them as near as I could, even to the hazard of my life. I embarked in the midst of a fit of the gout and having taken cold on the river was like to have died when I reached Albany. However, weak as I was, I made shift to manage a Conference with the Indians. I confess I was strangely surprised and discouraged at their behaviour during the first two or three days of the Conference, for they were so sullen and cold that I thought we had lost their affections, but some of the Sachems coming to some of the honest magistrates of that town revealed to them that they had been tampered with by Mr. Dellius, the Dutch minister, to whom, with Peter Schuyler, Dirck Wessels, and one Banker, Colonel Fletcher had committed the whole management of Indian affairs. Dellius, to serve the interest and design of Colonel Fletcher in creating all possible difficulty in that part of my administration, had possessed the Indians that the power of himself and these three people aforesaid was equal to mine, and insinuated that the affairs of the Indians, the treating with them and succouring of them, was their affair rather than mine. Dellius also inculcated that they must by no means impeach Colonel Fletcher of any neglect of them or of our frontiers during the late war. These practices of Dellius, as I afterwards discovered, were the true reasons of the coldness and doggedness of the Indians to me, but, as they are a people naturally of very quick understanding, they ascertained from several of the most substantial and honest men in Albany that I was the King's Governor and that Dellius had deluded them. Having discovered their error they became more free in declaring their grievances and complaints, as you will read in the printed account of the Conference herewith enclosed. The opening of the treaty was very melancholy to me and to all present that wished well to the King's Government, for there were all the marks imaginable of discountent and disaffection in the countenance and carriage of the Indians. Yet, to my unspeakable satisfaction, I managed them with that patience and gentleness and made them so good a present that I quite retrieved their affections, and, by the acknowledgement of all the magistrates and traders in Albany, they were never known to part with any Governor in so good humour as with me. This journey of mine does happen to be rather more expensive to the country than usual, amounting to about £1,200, New York money; but then it must be considered that all the commodities acceptable and useful to the Indians happened to be 50 per cent. dearer at the time of my going up to Albany than they were ever known to be during the course of the last war. I affirm this as a truth, having taken particular pains to ascertain the prices of all articles given to the Indians by myself and by the late Governor. Dellius was the more industrious to amuse the Indians and make them reserved to me, that they might not complain of the notorious frauds put upon the Maquas, chiefly by himself and the other three before mentioned, in obtaining a grant of their whole country from Colonel Fletcher. The villainy of this Dellius will be made clear to you by the perusal of my second enclosure, which relates wholly to the fraudulent bargain made between Dellius and six or eight of the Maquas, wherein he makes them believe that the land was only conveyed to himself and to the other three persons in trust for the use of them and of their posterity, and to hinder their land from being transferred to others who would probably dispossess them thereof. Yet he and his three companions with Mr. Pinhorne (whom I lately dismissed from all his places) obtained an absolute grant of all the Maquas' land from Colonel Fletcher. It is observable that the parties who were chief complainants to me and gave evidence against Dellius, are Maquas proselyted by himself to the Christian faith. Henry and Joseph he has taught to pray and preach in their language by means of a woman-interpreter. I know not how sincere converts they are, but they seemed to have no veneration for their doctor and apostle Dellius, whose juggle with them about that land has made him appear an impostor to them. The interpretress, a Maqua woman and his own convert, was also a witness against him, as you will see, though he had managed her and the other Indians by her for some years past. But being examined on oath before the magistrates and several other persons, she was frank in declaring her knowledge of the fraud put upon the Maquas by Dellius. This would have been printed with the other transactions, but I was willing, in tenderness for Dellius's ministerial functions, to conceal his fraudulent behaviour from all except you, to whom it is my duty to report everything. I have dwelt the longer on these Indian Conferences and Dellius's sinister practices, because I take it to be of the last consequence to these provinces that you should be fully informed as to our Indians; and certainly Dellius and his three fellows are not a little accountable for the dangerous and knavish artifices which they used to keep the Indians' report from me, which might have been fatal to the King's interest and have shaken the Indians' allegiance just when the French are most industrious to debauch them from us. You will see by perusal of the Conferences how much the Indians stomach Colonel Fletcher's neglect of them during the late war, particularly his omission to demolish the fort of Cadaraqui, which the French had deserted for a long time, but have since re-garrisoned. It is so seated to the disadvantage of our Indians and their hunting, that it is a cruel thorn in their sides, as they term it.
I enclose a memorial sent to me by Colonel Pyncheon and Mr. Patrigg about the murder of two Englishmen by Indians in Hatfield, New England. My examination of the Skachkook Indians on page 14 of the printed Conference will inform you of that matter. I have also resented that barbarous action in a letter to the Governor of Canada, of which copy is enclosed, having reason to believe that the murder was committed by Canada Indians. You will see on page 10 of the printed Conference that the Five Nations have interceded for the pardon of William Simpson, a soldier of Albany, who murdered an Indian Sachem and wounded two others. He was tried soon after my arrival and lies under sentence of death. My answer to this is on page 14; and I have reprieved the man till the King's pleasure is signified to me. He is said to be a great villain by nature, and the fact was so desperate and bloody that I confess that, if it were left to me, he should suffer death. The other murderer mentioned on page 10 was tried while I was at Albany, but having many relations in the town was acquitted, the Grand Jury throwing out the bill. In the address of the Magistrates of Albany on page 16, three things are observable. First, there is a wrong implied to be sustained by the inhabitants of Albany by the grant by Colonel Fletcher to Henry Rensselaer of a great tract of land on the Hudson above Albany, the situation of which gives Rensselaer the advantage of intercepting the beavertrade with the Indians from the town of Albany. As they come down the river in their canoes he, sometimes by fair means and often by a kind of force, makes them take rum and other commodities for their peltry. This complaint was made to me by some of the inhabitants by word of mouth, though it is only hinted at in the address, the reason whereof I take to be that Rensselaer himself signed it. The rest of the magistrates touched the matter but gently for that reason, and because Rensselaer and his eldest brother have the largest tracts of land about the town, and are related by marriage to all the best Dutch families. His eldest brother's land, I am told, measures twenty-four miles square, Albany standing in the centre of it. The next thing observable in the address is their thanks to me for restoring the management of Indian affairs to all the magistrates of the town, which seemed to me to be the fair and honest way both for the Indians and the inhabitants and Albany, for I could not approve of Colonel Fletcher's system of confirming it to four persons, whereby they indeed profited, but the town and the whole province suffered prejudice in the Indian trade. I discovered while at Albany that the grant of the Maquas' land was not the sole price paid by Colonel Fletcher for the flattering address to him from the people of Albany, which I formerly sent you. I told you that the address was carried on and solicited by Dellius and the other grantees; but Colonel Fletcher thought that it would palliate the corrupted part of administration—the total neglect of the frontier. My scheme for the management of the Indians and their trade will be found in my instructions to Colonel Schuyler (on page 18 of the printed Conferences) which I was forced to draw up with my own hand, ill as I was, having no Secretary nor anybody belonging to me there who could write good English. The third thing observable in the Address is the building of a fort at Albany, as to which and the intended fort at Senectady I intend to write my thoughts by Colonel Romar, who to my amazement is ordered home by the Board of Ordnance and will sail in H.M.S. Deptford about three weeks hence. By that conveyance I shall write also on other subjects which my health does not permit me to deal with now. On my return from Albany I was met by a crowd of business, before I had well recovered of my sickness there, which has given me a relapse into the gout, so that I am forced to dictate this letter. I must conclude with that which is printed on page 20 of the printed Conferences, which is an alarm sent hither by the Five Nations that the Governor of Canada designs a sudden inroad upon them unless they go immediately and beg a peace of him. On this I took every measure to keep our Indians in heart and to succour them, by sending up the Lieutenant-Governor with all the soldiers that I could spare from hence. His instructions are enclosed. I also sent Mr. Dirck Wessels, Mayor of Albany, to a general meeting of the Five Nations; see his instructions enclosed. This alarm also caused me to write a second letter to the Governor of Canada, copy of which, together with my instructions to the bearer, are enclosed. Signed, Bellomont. Postscript. 16 Sept., 1698. Mayor Wessels has returned from his meeting with the Five Nations and has delivered me the enclosed account of it. I forgot to mention in my letter a discourse which passed between Mr. Dellius and myself on the day of my arrival at Albany, which I have added to my second enclosure. It will show you his strange prevarication and doubleness. I have advanced nothing against him in that narrative which I cannot swear to the truth of. I can prove by good evidence several immoralities in his life, his disaffection to the King's person and other matters with which I will not now trouble you. You may wonder that I entrusted him with my first letters to Canada and that in my letters to the Governor of Montreal I gave a character of him so different from that which I give now. But I had not then seen him, and I consented to his going on Colonel Schuyler's advice, who told me that he could speak French well. I have also had advice from Albany that the magistrates and inhabitants have bought Rensselaer's grant of land on the Hudson River, so that there is an end of that grievance. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Read 31 Oct., 1698. Read again, 16 Nov. Enclosed,
822. I. Propositions made by the Five Nations to the Earl of Bellomont at Albany, 20 July, 1698. The mayor, aldermen and borough officials of Albany were present, also James Graham, Attorney-General, Colonel Abraham Depeyster, and several others. Arnout Cornelis Vielle, interpreter, and Helletie van Olanda, interpretress, were publicly sworn.
A Sachem of the Onandagas stood up first, and spoke as follows. We are overjoyed at your coming. We have sustained great losses in the late war, but with the tidings of peace we wipe sorrow and grief from our eyes; though we grieve to hear of your illness. They gave ten beaver-skins.
The Governor replied thanking them, and saying that in spite of his indisposition he was willing to hear any more that they had to offer. To this they replied that they had no more to offer at present.
21 July. The Governor addressed the Indians as follows. I am come on purpose to visit you, and heartily lament those of the brethren who have fallen in the war. My King has constrained the French to an honourable peace, and I have sent to the Governor of Canada to announce it, and to require of him the return of all prisoners. If you have any proposals to make I am ready to hear them. Here he gave five bunches of white strung wampum.
The same Sachem of the Onandagas stood up, and answered that they would make their proposals when the Governor was in better health.
Four of the gentlemen were commissioned by the Governor to meet three Praying Indians of Canada, and to offer them welcome if they would return to live among their kindred, forgetting all that might have occurred during the way. The said three Indians, after some pause, answered that they could give no satisfactory answer, except their thanks, as they were young men, and had none of their elders with them.
22 July. A Sachem of the Mohocks [Maquas] stood up and spoke as follows. A great misunderstanding has lately arisen among us Maquas concerning a writing given by some of our brethren about Maqua land, a matter which will affect the whole Five Nations as well as ourselves. We desire that this writing may be abolished, and that we who are the right owners may be masters of our own land. We are all of one covenantchain and ought not to wrong one another.
The same Sachem of the Onandagas then rose and spoke as follows. We rejoice at the making of peace. Secretary Livingston, observe well and write what we say. Brother Corlaer, since the peace was concluded we have lost ninety-four men. We have lain still, observing the peace, but the French have violated it and killed our people. Our dependence is only on you, and we live in terror, being daily exposed to fresh assaults. Now as to our covenant-chain, which we formed many years ago and have always kept firm. We shall never depart from it, but keep it inviolable. All our confidence is that you will take us under your protection. This has been our comfort in former times, and Peter Schuyler has always been the instrument for assuring this comfort to us. We cannot forget that Virginia, Maryland and New England have often desired and have accordingly been linked into this great covenant-chain. We all sit under the tree of your protection. Brother Indians, let us keep the covenantchain firm and bright. Brother Corlaer, give us protection. If the French do us further injury, we look to you for justice. You would do well to sell your goods and merchandise cheaper here than they are sold in Canada. This would bring back our young men whom the French have seduced to Canada. Another thing that troubles us is that we live far from here, and that when we break a hatchet or a gun we have to wait a long time and pay a great price for the mending of them. Pray remedy this grievance. We urge you most seriously to require the surrender by the French of all prisoners taken from us during the late war. Also we must tell you that no greater evil could have befallen the Five Nations than the resettlement of Cadaraqui by the French, which is a constant thorn in our sides.
23 July. The Governor spoke as follows. What you said as to writing concerning the Maqua land was so darkly expressed that I must ask you to be plainer and tell me the whole truth. Then I shall take care to do you justice. I am glad that you so faithfully observe the peace. If the French do you any hurt, inform me at once, that I may require satisfaction. In order to continue good correspondence with the French, do not suffer their priests to abide with you, but bring them here at once to receive my orders. You may be confident that all English are lovers of the Five Nations. I lament your losses since the peace, and I fear that you have not been watchful enough. You knew that there was war between you and the Dowaganhaes before the war between England and France. If you are not strong enough to reduce that Nation of Indians to your own terms, it may be worth while to try to make an advantageous peace with them. I rejoice that you remember the origin of the covenant-chain, and will keep it inviolate. I am particularly pleased that you ask for the protection of the King of England. You shall have it to the fullest, and in the name of all the King's subjects in each and all of the Provinces I renew the covenant-chain. As to the dearness of goods, your grievance cannot be remedied at once, since the peace is but just made, but it will very soon disappear as trade becomes regular again. I will give orders that the smiths and others in Albany shall yield to your request as to repair of arms. I will take care that the prisoners of your nation shall be sent for from Canada, and you must give me lists of the French prisoners in your hands, that they may be returned. On no account enter into any negotiation of any kind with the French in Canada, for that is a a breach of the covenant-chain. See by these rich presents the affection which the King of England has for you. Here were given 247 yards of duffles at 7s. 6d. a yard, 5 pieces of Stroud waters cloth at £12 10s. 0d. a piece, 150 shirts, 25 kettles, 25 blankets, 10 dozen pair of stockings, 1 barrel of knives, 5 dozen hats, 60 gallons of rum, 400lb. of roll-tobacco, 1 barrel of tobacco pipes, 700lb. of powder in 150 bags, 1,500lb. of bread, 50 guns, 500 flints, 1 barrel of cider, 120 loaves of bread, besides private presents of a coat, shirt and hat apiece to twenty-five Sachems.
The Canada Indians came to the Governor to thank him for their presents and to say that they would come again in the fall, which he encouraged them to do.
25 July. The Skachkook Indians addressed the Governor as follows. We rejoice at your coming. We have not seen the sun for nine years past, having been engaged in a bloody war, and having lost many men. We have been a strong people, but see, Father, to what a small number the war has reduced us. It is long since we have lived in peace, but now we shall return to the shelter of your protection. We are but the least and youngest of the Indians, but we are part of the same chain with the Five Nations. We intend to return to our old settlement at Skachkook, and we beg your protection that we may not be disturbed. It is an evil practice, which may endanger our settlement, that when our young Indians return from hunting, the Christians at once come to us, and, under pretence of our being in their debt, take not only our furs, but also our guns, etc., so that we must always run into new debt to obtain guns. If we were allowed to come to market, like other Indians, we could pay our debts and have enough over to supply ourselves.
The Five Nations then addressed the Governor as follows. We come to speak to you of a matter which is a concern of the devil. One of the Maquas has been killed by one of your people, but we understand that the murderer was drunk. Yet another of us, a Sachem of the Senecas, was killed by one of your people, whom we had kindly entertained. Now to show our esteem for the covenant-chain we forgive these men and ask you to pardon them. Here they gave seven beaver-skins and a belt of wampum. We now speak of the resettlement of Cadaraqui by the French. You seem to charge it as our own neglect, but this is not right. At the beginning of the war we drove the French from it and acquainted Colonel Fletcher how advantageous it would be that the fort should be demolished. He promised to help us with men, but the promise was delayed. Two years later we told him the French designed to resettle it; and he again promised us help. We went home and made great preparations, but not a man came from him. The failure of the design, therefore, is your fault, not ours. Think how faithful we have been to the covenant-chain during the late war. Our scouts and spies always gave Colonel Fletcher sufficient notice of any design to enable him to recruit us with men, but the French generally came and burned our castles before he sent any relief. All the succour that we had in the war was from Colonel Schuyler, who marched against the French into our country with a few men and forced them to fly. Colonel Fletcher and the forces with him never came to Albany in all the invasions, till the enemy was fled. He often promised us that if we gave him the least notion of the enemy's motives he would come in person with 500 men. We asked him once for 300 men, but could not procure one. You must not be angry if we tell you that before the last invasion of the French into the Onandagas' Country we gave timely notice to Colonel Fletcher, but it was not regarded. When the enemy was half way on their march against us with 1,500 men we again asked him for help, but in vain; as the enemy drew nearer we again appealed to him, but there came not a man. We were then obliged to desert our castles, and the French having burned them, destroyed our corn and done us all the mischief they could, returned home. After their retreat Colonel Fletcher came to Albany, but with only thirty men instead of five hundred. We cannot understand how you can charge us with want of vigilance. You sent us an express to say that peace was made, and we should have had no need to be as watchful in peace as in war. It was not our want of viligance, but the treachery of the French. Your charge, that we shall have no negotiation with the French and suffer none of their priests to abide with us, is very good. Please write to the Governor of Canada to prohibit such persons from coming among us. As to interchange of prisoners, pray inform us if there be any treaty to that effect with the French. Be sure that we will never break the covenant-chain. Here they gave 38 beaver-skins, 6 caps, 9 otter-skins. The number of our prisoners detained in Canada is 27 men, 42 women.
26 July. The Governor addressed the Skachkook Indians, promising them protection and redress of their grievances, and exhorting them to avoid intemperate drinking. He then gave them a large present (including 12 gallons of rum) and received their thanks.
The Governor then addressed the Five Nations as follows. When I told you to be on your guard against the Dowaganhaes, I meant that, as you were at war with them before the war began between England and France, you cannot expect them to be influenced by the peace. On the contrary, the French will doubtless stir them up to war. Defend yourselves manfully; and if the peace just made be violated you may rely upon my assistance. But I recommend you, if you can, to make a peace with the Dowaganhaes and win them to your covenant-chain. If there be any formal treaty as to exchange of prisoners, your Sachems shall be present. I wish to know what moved you to enter into negotiation with the French without my King's consent. I cannot pardon the murderer who is condemned, but I will reprieve him till I know my King's pleasure. The second murderer must be tried, and you must produce your evidence. So far, 14 pp.
Here follows an examination of the Skachkook Indians, taken on 15 July, as to the murder of two Englishmen at Hatfield, New England. At the close of it the Governor exhorted the Skachkooks to have nothing to do with the Eastern Indians, and not go to hunt near New England, where the people were jealous that the Skachkooks had injured them. They promised to observe the Governor's orders herein. pp. 14–15.
Address of the Mayor, Aldermen and Assistants of Albany to Governor Lord Bellomont. We welcome your arrival and the news of peace, after much suffering and grievous losses during ten years of war. We have constantly been obliged to give free quarter to officers and soldiers, and have been forced at our own charge to fortify the city twice with stockades and to build five block-houses. We find ourselves also engaged to acquaint you that formerly all Indian trade was con-fined within the walls of Albany, that by our charter trade with the Indians is granted to this city only within this county, and that all negotiations with the Five Nations were usually transacted in this city in the presence of the magistrates. We rejoice that you have taken the affairs of the Indians into your own hands. Since you are visiting the frontier, we would point out to you the weakness of our wooden fortifications and the need for a stone-fort, which will not only be a sound defence, but will relieve us from the burden of quartering soldiers.
The Governor replied to this address on 2 August, as follows. I congratulate you on your deliverance from the perils of the late war. It was God's mercy that you were not cut off like your neighbours of Senectady, considering how poor a defence your fort is and how little pains were taken to keep the companies in garrison complete. You have seen the trouble that I have had in reconciling the Five Nations, owing partly to their sense of the neglect of the late Government, partly to the foolish artifices of some in the town. I shall take all just measures to foster your trade, and I will ask the King to consent to the building of such a fort as you require.
Address of the inhabitants of Senectady to Governor Lord Bellomont. At the beginning of the war we were subject to a grievous inroad of the French, who laid our habitations in ashes, killed many of the people and carried away twenty-eight captives. We have been twice constrained to build a fort at our own charge for lodgment of the inhabitants and soldiers, all of which has brought us to great poverty. We beg for remission of quit-rents and taxes for some years, and for a fort to be built for our security at the charge of the King or of the province. Eight signatures, all of them of Dutchmen. pp. 17–18.
The Governor answered that he would do what he could for them.
Instructions to Peter Schuyler, to the Mayor of Albany and to Robert Livingston, Secretary for Indian affairs. (1) To discourage factions and parties in Albany. (2) To take the speediest measures to help the Indians if they complain of acts of hostility, sending soldiers if necessary. (3) To encourage the Indians by all fair means. (4) To report to New York on all emergencies, at the same time giving advice as to the best remedy for any mischiefs, and to apply for money for all contingent charges to Robert Livingston. They are to consult with the borough authorities of Albany and the commanding officer of the garrison whenever any negotiations are transacting with the Indians. Dated, 1 Aug., 1698. pp. 18–19.
Extract from the Minutes of Council of New York, 15 August, 1698. Recording the report of the proceedings at Albany, on which the Council complimented the Governor. pp. 19–20.
Message from the Five Nations to Governor, Lord Bellomont, delivered to the magistrates at Albany, 14 August, 1698. We would tell you what happened before your arrival at Albany relating to the prisoners of our nations in Canada. Hearing that Colonel Schuyler had returned without those prisoners, we resolved to try what we could do by means of the Praying Indians; and sent two of them (who had lived a year with us) with a belt of wampum to the said Indians desiring them to intercede with the Governor of Canada. They did so, but the Governor answered that the belt was from Onandaga only, that he had tried for six years to make a peace with the Five Nations without effect, that the Government of New York had always obstructed it, and that he would not receive the belt, nor release the prisoners. The Praying Indians besought him not to decline these fair offers, and reminded him of the courtesy of the messengers from New York. The Governor thanked them for their advice, and said "Go "to the four nations and try what you can do with them, "but have nothing to do with the Government of New "York, nor with the Maquas." Finally the Praying Indians and the Governor of Canada agreed to send two belts of wampum to the Senecas, Cayouges, Onandagas and Oneidas, the first belt to bid them send a sachem to treat with them in Canada, the second to bid them bring all their French prisoners in with them, on which he would return their prisoners and make a firm peace with them; but if they denied or refused to come at the appointed time he would come with the hatchet and compel them. Now, Brother Corlaer, we will not hearken to the Governor of Canada. You tell us there is peace between France and England; let us reap the benefit of it. Please send a Christian back with us to Onandaga to attend our general meeting in this emergency.
The gentlemen at Albany replied that the message should at once be sent to New York by the Mayor, and that they might go with him if they pleased. Meanwhile they must return no prisoners to Canada.
Extract from the Minutes of Council of New York, 20 August, 1698. Giving an account of the proceedings on the reception of the above message; on which it was resolved to send Major Dirck Wessels to the meeting at Onandaga, and a letter to the Governor of Canada. pp. 20–22. The whole, 22 printed pages. Inscribed, Recd. 31 Oct., Read 10 Nov., 1699.
822. II. Depositions of Henry and Joseph, two Maqua Indians, 31 May, 1698. We are part owners of the Maqua land where the Maqua castles are seated; there are six principal proprietors besides ourselves. We have not sold the land to William Pinhorne, Peter Schuyler, Dirck Wessels, Godfrey Dellius and Evert Banker, nor to any other person. There are thirty-nine houses in the Maqua tribe, some containing one family, some two. When we put our mark to a bill of sale dated 8 July, 1697, we never intended to alienate the soil. We were deluded by the pretended purchasers, who told us that in time of war it would be best for us to appoint them our guardians and trustees. We did not agree with them altogether, but with each of them separately. We said, before we signed the paper, that all the persons concerned ought to be present, but we were answered that the purchasers would keep our land for us, and protect it against encroachment, and that, as long as any of the Maqua natives lived, it would be our property. We beg, since we have been deceived, that the deed may be voided, and that, to discourage such ill-practices in future, the King will give us a patent for our land with a limitation that none of the English may enter upon it while we or our posterity are in being, unless the King desire to erect a fort thereon. We further complain that about three years ago, while we were fighting the French, six idle drunken Maquas sold a very large tract, for the value of 30 beaver-skins in rum and other goods, to Arent Schuyler for Nicholas Bayard. We complained to the Magistrates of Albany, but Colonel Bayard obtained a patent for the land from Colonel Fletcher. We complained to Colonel Fletcher, who promised to void the grant, but did not. We beg that the Christian religion may be propagated among us, and that a minister may be appointed to reside among us. Copy. The totem marks of Joseph and Henry are copied. 2pp.
Minutes of a Conference of the Maquas with Lord Bellomont at Albany, 25 July, 1698. Henry, a Maqua, said that Mr. Dellius was angry with him because he had reported to Lord Bellomont the abuse of the fraudulent purchase of Maqua land. Dellius had called him a liar, and had said that Janse Bleeker, Recorder of Albany, had filled his head with inventions and lies; wherefore he asked for investigation of the matter. Lord Bellomont thereupon put questions to Henry and the rest of the Maquas present, numbering twenty-five; which they answered to the following purport. We never sold our lands to Dellius, Schuyler, Wessels, and Banker. Some few of us were once summoned to meet them at Dellius's house, when the interpretress asked us if we would let the said gentlemen have a certain tract of land to keep it in trust for us, as certain persons were asking the Governor for a grant of it. We signed the paper, constituting them trustees accordingly.
Lord Bellomont then asked Dirck Wessels before the whole company what he understood the bargain to be between himself and the Maquas; who answered that the land should be conveyed to him and the others in trust for the use of the Maquas. Lord Bellomont then told the Indians that if he was satisfied with the truth of their statement he would endeavour to have the deed vacated, for it was not a deed of trust, but an absolute grant.
Godfrey Dellius was then summoned, when Lord Bellomont charged him with a fraudulent act in obtaining a grant of the Maqua land from Governor Fletcher, after cheating the Maquas out of it; and enlarged much on the nature of the crime and its heinousness in a minister of religion. In reply, Dellius said the whole deed was interpreted to the Indians, that the Maquas had sold the land outright, and that the Governor had as much right to make a grant of it as former Governors to give 1,000 acres to the city of Albany, which had also been Maqua land. Thereupon two of the Maquas again insisted to Lord Bellomont that they signed the deed on the understanding that it was a deed of trust.
Mr. Dellius was then ordered to withdraw, lest he should overawe the interpretress, Helletie. She, on examination, declared that the Indians had signed the deed as a deed of trust only, signifying that only when the Maquas were extinct should the land go to Dellius and his partners. The eight Indians who signed the deed were not the sole owners of the land in question, which belonged to the entire tribe. They were not authorised to sign it and they signed it separately at different times and places. The Maquas number 100 fighting men.
Henry, a Maqua, deposed that the rest of the Maquas knew nothing of the deed. He had signed it himself on his return from fighting, because Dellius told him that it was for the good of all the Maquas.
The rest of the Maquas present also said that the tribe at large had no knowledge of the knowledge of the transaction; and the signatories of the deed said that they had received nothing for the land, so that they did not sell it, that they had not given it away, and that they were not drunk when they signed the deed.
The Governor then said that unless the grantee surrendered the grant he would use his interest to get it vacated; and he recommended the Indians in any future difficulty to apply to Peter Schuyler and Robert Livingston. The whole, 7 large pages. Endorsed, Recd. 31 Oct., Read 14 Nov., 1698.
822. III. Account by Governor Lord Bellomont of what passed between him and Godfrey Dellius on 2nd August, 1698. Mr. Graham had informed me that Mr. Dellius, upon my reproof to him for his fraudulent dealing with the Maquas, desired to make his submission to me and to resign his interest in the Maquas' land as Peter Schuyler and Dirck Wessels had already done. I had answered that if Mr. Dellius would express contrition I should heartily forgive him. Accordingly, on the 2nd of August, he came to see me. We sat about half a quarter of an hour together during which he spoke not a word, when seeing the pride and insolence of his nature (for he is the proudest fellow I ever knew) I could not forbear laughing, and told him that Mr. Graham had led me to expect submission from him, otherwise I would not have consented to see him. He then complained that he had been misrepresented to me as having refused to pray for the King at the time of the Revolution. He acknowledged that he did not pray for the Prince of Orange when commanded by Leisler, for he did not think it safe until intelligence came that he was secure on the throne. This was such a slip that I could not help laughing at it. As to the Maquas' land he said that he was very sorry to give me any offence, that he had no ill design in it, and that the obtaining of the grant could not be attributed to covetousness, for he had a great deal of land and no children to provide for; but that the Bishop of London had a project for applying the land to charitable purposes. I answered that I did not believe the Bishop would be concerned in any project for deluding poor people out of their lands, but that I thought Colonel Fletcher's grant was void, since but eight Maquas were parties to it instead of the whole tribe. I then asked him where was the instrument of resignation which I had been led to expect from him; to which he made some frivolous answer that he had not provided it. I told him that, in that case, he must not expect me to have a tolerable opinion of him, since my view of the fraudulent nature of the transaction was unchanged. I then suggested that he should apply himself less to the affairs of the world and more to the preaching of the gospel of peace, since I was informed that there would be no divisions in Albany but for him. I added that I was sure the King would so resent the foul practice of his partners, himself and Colonel Fletcher in respect of the grant of Maqua lands, that he would certainly cause the grant to be vacated and the parties to be prosecuted for fraud and for disturbing our friendly Indians, who venture their lives daily in our defence. Colonel Schuyler and Major Wessels did so frankly and genteelly resign their part in the grant that I told them that I would report it so as to redound to their reputation; and I told Mr. Dellius that he had not enabled me to do likewise for him. Signed, Bellomont. 2½ pp.
822. IV. John Pyncheon and Samuel Partrigg to Governor Lord Bellomont. Northampton, 26 July, 1698. When the long war with the French was ended, we had hoped to live in peace; but contrary to our hope we are still attacked by the Skachkook Indians, four of whom (as we suppose) entered Hatfield Meadow on the 15th inst., killed two persons and carried away two more. Though nominally subjects of England, ostensibly friendly and frequently entertained in our towns, these Indians during the last ten years have committed several acts of hostility, sometimes alone, sometimes in conjunction with our enemies; and we have lost more men in this country by the treachery of these counterfeit friends than by the assaults of open enemies. In August, 1688, they slew six persons in Northampton. In June, 1693, they murdered six persons at Deerfield and scalped another, who is not thoroughly cured to this day. In July, 1694, Brookfield was attacked, seven persons killed and two captured; at least one of these bloody men was a Skachkook Indian. In 1695 six persons were shot at while riding in the highway in Deerfield meadow, and one of them died of his wounds. In September, 1696, these Indians, among others, came to Deerfield, killed two persons, wounded three, and carried four into captivity. In the next month some of these Indians slew a man in Hadley woods, for which two of them suffered death. In June, 1697, they slew a man who belonged to Hatfield and sold his scalp in Canada. These Indians have plainly declared themselves to be a body of thieves and murderers, and if at any time they have given us assistance to destroy our enemies, it has not been from obedience or friendship, for at other times they have been ready to help our enemies to destroy us. It is indifferent to them whether they destroy. French or English so they gain their prey and satisfy their bloodthirsty spirit. Sometimes they live at Skachkook, sometimes to eastward, intermarrying with the Eastern Indians, sometimes in Canada; and they live like beasts of prey upon the destruction of others. Governor Fletcher several times forbade them to come to these parts, but in contempt of his orders they have not only intruded themselves into our towns but have shed the blood of war in peace. They insinuate themselves, speak fair, promise much, yet they ever renew their bloody practices. We have nourished vipers that eat into our own bowels. They have made many fatherless, widows and widowers, and some families they have broken in pieces. Besides our own calamities, other tragical actions in remote districts are to be ascribed in part to them. Outrages are seldom committed wherein fewer or more of them have not a hand. We have no prospect of quietness in future, unless extraordinary methods be taken to procure it. We are kept in bondage by them. Our burden of watching and warding is so heavy that we dare not work in our fields or live in our lands a little remote from our towns. This country is put to great charge to maintain soldiers for garrisons and for pursuit of the Indians when they have done hurt. If they should solemnly promise better behaviour in future, our incredulity must be excused. They have never wronged themselves by keeping promises, though they have often wronged us by unfaithfulness. To heed their promises is to give them further opportunity for mischief. We appeal to you for protection, and that you will not allow these Indians to remain in a position to molest us. Signed, John Pyncheon, Sam. Partrigg. Copy. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 Oct. Read 14 Nov., 1698.
822. V. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Count de Frontenac. New York, 13 Aug., 1698. I have just arrived at the frontier, where, among other matters, I have held a conference with the Five Nations, who have begged me with great urgency to be continued under the protection of the King my master, and have protested inviolable fidelity to him. They complained of outrages committed upon them by your Canadian Indians, in breach of the treaty of peace, wherein they hold themselves to be comprehended as subjects of my King. They also complained to me that your people have killed and captured ninety-four of theirs since the publication of peace, which surprises me the more in that the Five Nations have always been regarded as English subjects, as may be proved by authentic and solid evidence, though your letter of 8 June last makes such proof useless, for you tell me positively that your orders on the subject of the Five Nations are so exact that you cannot exceed them without further orders. Messrs. Schuyler and Dellius, who brought me that letter, also assured me that you expressed yourself verbally to them in the same terms as in your letter. You are aware that the inroads and hostilities committed by your people upon our Indians before the last war were the principal reasons for my King's declaration of war against France, as the declaration sets forth; and I am astonished that you should continue war against our Indians, for it is a manifest infraction of the treaty. Thank God, my King has too great an insight into affairs and too high a spirit to renounce his rights, and for my part I hold his interest too dear to permit the least insult from your Indians to ours, much less to treat them as enemies. I have therefore ordered our Indians to be on their guard, and if they are attacked to retaliate upon all, whether French or Indians, and I have promised to give them help whenever they need it. Moreover, to enable them to defend themselves and repel those who attack them, I have given them ample supplies of arms and ammunition. You will observe that I make no concealment of my measures in respect of our Indians, feeling sure of the support of my King therein, conformably to right reason and the Law of Nations, which sanctions the meeting of force by force. To show you how lightly the Five Nations regard your Jesuit missionaries, I must inform you that they have repeatedly entreated me to remove those gentlemen from among them, protesting at the same time that they were burdened and worried by them against their will, and that they desired Protestant missionaries instead of yours to instruct them in the Christian religion. This I promised them, and you would be well advised to forbid your missionaries to interfere with them any more, unless they wish to incur the penalties prescribed by the laws of England, which I shall assuredly enforce upon any of them that fall into my hands; for the Indians have promised to bring their prisoners to me. If you do not put a stop to hostilities on your side they shall be retaliated upon, and the world will judge whether you or I are the more to blame, you for rekindling the war, or I for defending our Indians from your attacks and reducing your people to reason, being driven thereto by your infraction of the treaty. Our Indians are ready to surrender to me all the prisoners taken by them from you in the last war, numbering over one hundred by their account, on condition that I assure them the release of the prisoners of their nation detained by you; but I was unwilling to take this upon me until I had again ascertained your intentions thereupon. I did indeed restore to you four French prisoners which they brought into Orange (this was the name which Albany bore in Dutch days) with my passport for their conduct to Canada. If you consent to mutual exchange of prisoners, you would oblige me by so informing me, in order that I may collect such of your prisoners as are in the hands of our Indians. I am apprised from New England that your Indians have killed or scalped two Englishmen near the village of Hatfield about the 15th ult., when the poor men were busy over their harvest, unarmed, relying on the security given to them by the peace. One cannot hear of such barbarities without horror, and it is believed that your Indians are incited to them by your offered reward of fifty crowns (écus) for every scalp. I trust that you will excuse me for saying that this seems contrary to Christianity, and for expressing myself with some warmth and bitterness on the subject. There are certain matters wherein one cannot be too zealous in one's master's service, particularly when his crown and the peace of his subjects are in question. Signed, Bellomont.
The same to the same. 22 August, 1698. I was informed yesterday by two of our Onandaga Indians that you had sent to them two renegades of their tribe to inform the Five Nations (the Maquas excepted) that if they did not come to Canada within five and forty days to solicit peace, they must look for you to invade their country and constrain them thereto by force. I for my part have sent my Lieutenant-Governor this very day with the King's regular troops to oppose your intended expedition; and if need be, I will arm every man in the provinces of my Government to repel you and make reprisals for any injury that you do to our Indians. These, briefly stated, are the measures that I shall adopt, and this is the resolution which I have made; and I have thought it proper hereby to apprise you of the same. Signed, Bellomont. Copies. The whole, 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 Oct., Read 16 Nov, 1698. Entered in Board of Trade. New York, 53. pp. 67–72.
822. VI. Instructions of Lord Bellomont to Captain and Lieutenant-Governor John Nanfan. Intelligence has been received that Count de Frontenac has threatened to attack the Five Nations unless they come within forty-five days to sue for peace. You will repair with your company to Albany and there await news that the French are actually on the march against the Five Nations or have invaded them, in either of which cases you will march with the whole of the forces in the King's pay at Albany and Senectady, and as many of the train-bands and militia of Albany and Ulster counties as you can collect, to join the Five Nations and fight the French. You will report all intelligence to me, and you will be particularly careful to encourage and cherish the Five Nations, and to see that they are not insulted by the soldiers or inhabitants. Copy. Dated 22 August, 1698. 1¼ pp. Endorsed as No. v.
822. VII. Instructions of Governor Lord Bellomont to Major Dirck Wessels. You will repair with all speed to Albany, taking the Onandaga messengers with you, and thence proceed with all haste to the meeting of the Five Nations at Onandaga, taking the interpreter with you. There you will thank the Indians for their message and tell them that I have sent you express to them. You will then use every argument to dissuade them from any treaty with the French and urge them for the future to receive no messages from them. You will assure them of the King's protection, and tell them that I have sent express to Canada for our prisoners and that if they are not restored I shall complain to our King. If the French invade them, they are to attack them if the French be inferior in force; but, if not, they are to fall back on Albany, where I will succour them and endeavour to invade the French. You will do all that you can to keep them firm to us, and you will forbid them to hold any communication with the French except through me. Copy. Dated 22 August, 1698. 2¼ pp. Endorsed as No. V.
822. VIII. Instructions of Governor Lord Bellomont to Captain Johannes Schuyler. You will carry my letter with all despatch to the Governor of Canada, press for his reply and return with all speed to me. You will ask the Governor if he is making any preparations against the Five Nations, and you will sound such of those nations as are in Canada as to their readiness, upon encouragement, to return to their old homes. Do your best to ascertain the posture and numbers of the French, and what number of our Indians they have debauched from us. If on your arrival you find that the French are preparing to invade the Five Nations, you will send me information at once. If David Schuyler be not started for Canada, you will obtain from him my former letter to Count de Frontenac and deliver it. You will make your preparations for departure immediately on receipt hereof. Copy. 1 p. Endorsed as No. V.
822. IX. Account of the negotiations with the Five Nations at Onandaga on 22 August, 1698, by Dirck Wessels. 27 August. I arrived at Senectady from Albany. 28 August. Went forward and lay that night at the second Maquas' castle. The Sachems accompanied me to the third castle, where two deputies were appointed to accompany me. 29 August. Left the third castle; encamped in the woods, continued our journey next day, and on 31 August arrived at Oneida at night, where the deputies of the Oneidas were appointed to join me. 1 Sept. Arrived at Onandaga, where the Senecas and Cayouges were, but the deputies of the other tribes did not join us until the 3rd. 4 Sept. The Sachems of all Five Nations attended me, when I made them the declaration prescribed in my instructions. They seemed displeased when I spoke of their possible retreat to Albany and said "If we must war again, of what profit "is the peace made by the great King?" I answered that I believed it would not come to war, but that it was a law of nature to repel invasion, and that I thought one cause of their fear was that they had refused to give up the French prisoners as required by Lord Bellomont. They answered that their messengers had twice gone from Albany to Canada, but that none of their prisoners were returned, therefore they thought it necessary to go to Canada themselves to see to it. I answered that Johannes Schuyler had already been sent by the Governor to see to it, and that if the Governor of Canada would not return the prisoners, he would be looked upon by the Great King as a breaker of the peace. They answered that this was no answer but mere words, but that they would consult, and in the evening of the 5th they returned me the following answer:—
Brother Corlaer, we have been considering the message from the Governor of Canada. We have resolved to obey your orders that none of us nor any prisoners shall go to Canada by way of Cadaraqui, but in eighteen days we will bring to Albany all of our prisoners that are inclined to go, and then with our whole house we will go all together to Canada to speak there face to face; for we keep firm the peace made by the Great King. We will accept no messages from Canada nor allow any Jesuits to come among us. We will hold fast the covenant-chain lately renewed at Albany, and we will send back the messenger for Canada without anything. But if meanwhile the enemy should fall upon us, you must bear the shame if any hurt come to us, since you hinder us from going to Canada now.
They afterwards asked me whether I thought this would please Lord Bellomont or not, since they promised all that he desired. I told them I believed not, because I could not persuade them wholly to desist from going to Canada, but that I would inform the Governor and obtain his orders. I told them, however, that they must not expect that anyone should go to Canada before Johannes Schuyler's return. I then waited until the 7th, when I saw them make the following answer to one of the messengers from Canada, viz., that they would return no prisoners by him, but would take them in eight days to Albany. I found, however, that one of the messengers had before my arrival taken one French woman back to Canada, and I found also some prisoners lately brought in by a small company of the Five Nations, which had been out nearly a year, and I learned that on the lake they met a canoe with four French, three Indians and a squaw. One of the French they shot, as he would not surrender, and the rest they brought in. One was at Onandaga, one at Oneida and the rest with the Senecas. These prisoners will be brought into Albany. They told me that they carried letters from the Governor of Canada to call in all Frenchmen from among the Five Nations, but that they had thrown the letters overboard. On the 7th I set out for Albany and arrived there on the 11th of September. Copy. 4 pp. Endorsed as No. V. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 1, 1 I.–IX.; and (without enclosures), 53. pp. 54–56.]
Sept. 14. 823. Abstract of the preceding letter of Lord Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 2.]
Sept. 14. 824. Archibald Hutcheson to William Popple. Mr. Edward Walrond, in all the papers laid before you and in his petition to the King and to the Lords Justices, has been very careful to say that the motive of his action was zeal for the common good. I have lately received information which may throw light upon this. The Justices before whom Captain Arthur's trial came on had power to adjourn or defer it, and they knew it, for they did actually defer another trial at the same Sessions. Mr. Walrond was one of the justices at these Sessions, and his remonstrance was not written upon Arthur's trial, but brought by him ready written and delivered before the petty jury had brought in their verdict. He knew that material witnesses were absent and that depositions would be insufficient evidence, for he was senior justice and gave his opinion that they were not sufficient evidence. This seems to me to prove that Mr. Walrond has little real regard for the King's honour or the public good. I would go so far as to say that he hoped for Arthur's acquittal in order to found therein an accusation against Governor Codrington. But what places the matter beyond dispute is this. Before Arthur's trial Walrond showed his remonstrance to Mr. Blake (who is lately arrived in London) saying that here was a fair opportunity against the Governor, if Arthur were acquitted, and that he should not fail to seize it. Walrond being a client of Blake's, Blake did not betray this but for the use which Walrond has made of his contrivance. I need not go into Mr. Walrond's further complaints against the Council of Trade of the ruin to which their delay subjects him at Governor Codrington's hands. His account of the affair of his recognisance is a prevarication. He did not, as he alleges, answer the objections against him satisfactorily, and for that reason he was bound over. He insinuates that he was bound for words spoken by him as a justice and because he sent him complaints against the Governor, but the real reason was that he was guilty of scandalous defamation of the Governor. He has now forfeited his recognizance for that reason and no other. Signed, Arch. Hutcheson. P.S.—Mr. Walrond not only intends to petition the House of Commons against Governor Codrington, but is trying to engage the Spanish Ambassador in a prosecution against him. 3½ closely written pages. Endorsed, Recd. Read 15 Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 118.]
Sept. 15.
825. Nathaniel Blakiston to William Popple. To excuse myself from any backwardness in proceeding to Maryland, I must explain that a clause of my commission was referred by the Lords Justices to the Attorney-General and Sir Charles Hedges to be adjusted, and I cannot find any way to get these gentlemen to meet about it. The paragraph has been before them five weeks, and if I am detained longer than the end of this month I shall submit it to the Council's orders, whether they will think it reasonable to send me at a season when I shall encounter nothing but storms, and very likely be driven to Barbados or Jamaica as Lord Bellomont was. As for myself I have little or nothing to do, and would ask to be despatched before the time of year is spent. I have hired a ship, which by contract is to sail within fourteen days. If she be delayed, the charge for demurrage will be insupportable to me. Signed, N. Blakiston. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 19 Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 3. No. 56.]
Sept. 15.
826. Order of the Lords Justices of England in Council. Approving the draft of an additional instruction to Governor Nicholson, and ordering it to be prepared for signature. Copy. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 19 Sept., 1698. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 6. No. 64; and 37. p. 265.]