America and West Indies: November 1698, 11-15

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'America and West Indies: November 1698, 11-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905), pp. 537-559. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

. "America and West Indies: November 1698, 11-15", in Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905) 537-559. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

. "America and West Indies: November 1698, 11-15", Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 16, 1697-1698, (London, 1905). 537-559. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

November 1698

Nov. 11.
986. Benjamin Jackson to Council of Trade and Plantations. Mons. Villebon has lately written letters to this Government claiming the lands lying between St. George's and Kennebec Rivers, and forbidding the English fishery on that coast. This is an encroachment and very prejudicial to us, for that tract of country is accounted the best of all for the production of Naval stores, and if the French get it into their hands they will defeat the King's design as to Naval stores, destroy the rights of his subjects and lead to further encroachments. The bounds of the French Government (as we are informed) before the Treaty of Breda extended no further than the River St. Croix, but they obtained as far as the St George's River by the surrender of Sir Thomas Temple's patent. They now claim to the Kennebec, ten leagues further to west, but on what pretence is unknown, unless on account of the Indians there who joined them in the war and whom they call their subjects, and on account of some design to supply the French King with Naval stores. As one of the four Commissioners appointed to enquire into the matter of Naval stores, I have thought it my duty to report this matter, that the French claims may be opposed by the English Commissioners. Signed, Benjamin Jackson. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 19, Read 23 Dec., 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 41; and 37. pp. 74–77.]
Nov. 11.
987. Lieutenant-Governor Partridge and Benjamin Jackson to Council of Trade and Plantations. As two of the Commissioners appointed to report as to Naval stores in the Colonies, we report as follows. Mr. Bridger and Mr. Furzer were driven by heavy weather to Barbados, where the latter died, and Mr. Bridger was so long detained by sickness that we were obliged to defer our inspection until the fall. Meanwhile we employed our time with Mr. Bridger in viewing the forests of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. under a guard from New Hampshire, and have found vast quantities of white pine fit for masts of all dimensions, and of excellent white oak for timbers of all sorts. We have begun an experiment for making tar as in Finland without the hot quality which is the fault of tar in this country, and have prepared 140 pitch-pine trees for the purpose. We have also applied to the Government of New Hampshire to encourage the planting of hemp in that province, and the Assembly has passed an Act for the purpose. We shall make the same application to the Government of Massachusetts. We intend to cut timber this fall and send home specimens in the spring. We shall also inspect the Eastern parts as far as the French boundary to report as to the best places for timber, pitch, tar, etc. We should have done it this fall had not the Deptford been ordered home. We shall send a full report as to quantities and prices with the specimens. Signed, Wm. Partridge, Benjamin Jackson. 2 pp. An abstract inscribed on the third page. Endorsed, Recd. 19, Read 23 Dec., 1698. [Board of Trade. New England, 9. No. 42; and 37. pp. 78–81.]
Nov. 12.
New York.
988. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Council of Trade and Plantations. This is to give you additional information as to Colonel Fletcher's neglect of the frontiers. Mr. Graham, who is the most knowing in all affairs here, has delivered me the enclosed memorial, which with certain papers attached thereto will show you how little care he took of Albany and Senectady, the only frontierplaces since he abandoned the Half Moon and Canestagione. The enclosed certificate of two of the lieutenants will show you how Colonel Fletcher valued his engagement to the Assembly to keep the garrison at Albany up to 300 effective men. They had given him money in 1696 at the request of the people of Albany, who, fearing an invasion of the French that winter, earnestly solicited his presence among them. They expected to see the number of men that he had promised the Assembly for securing the frontiers, but instead of 150, which were wanting in the three companies, he carried up but eighteen men, and those of his own company at New York, besides 25 sent by Connecticut as their quota. There is clear proof that Colonel Fletcher had no design of keeping full companies in the fact that he rejected the bill for preventing the desertion of soldiers, of which I enclose a copy. The fact is fully recorded in the Journal of the Representatives. I think you will agree with me, after reading this bill, that it would have answered its end, but it seems by the amendments annexed to the bill and by what Mr. Graham (who drew it) tells me, that Colonel Fletcher so clogged it as if resolved that it should not pass, for he insisted on subjecting the militia to martial law. I confess that his conduct relating to the frontier is astonishing. It seems to me that he meditated nothing but enriching himself, and that the King's honour and the safety of the province were the least point of his care. Without troubling you with further proofs of his subject, I will give you but these two examples. The printed accounts of his great exploits among the French, which he published and sent to England, I cannot get hold of for love or money, and I am told that he made it his business to get up all the printed copies. This is an argument with me of his consciousness that he had imposed a romance instead of a true narrative, and I will undertake to prove that the French never attacked our frontier during his Government. They did indeed invade some of our Indians that lay next to Cadaraqui, which is very remote, but Colonel Fletcher failed the Indians in point of succour, which they "throw in his dish" in their conferences with me. The second example in the flattering address presented to him by the people of Albany at the end of his government, of which I have sent you a copy. Some of the subscribers owned to me, when I was at Albany, that they were heartily ashamed of setting their hands to so lying an address, which they were prevailed upon to do by Mr. Dellius, who terrified them with threats of Colonel Fletcher's revenge if they refused to pay him that compliment.
I send you a letter from Mr. Addington, Secretary at Boston, dated 24th ult., with translation of a letter from Mons. de Villebon, Governor of Acadia, to the Lieutenant-Governor. I shall not enlarge hereupon, for Mr. Addington tells me that the matter has been represented to you, but I think it strange that the French men-of-war disturb our fishery on these coasts at the same time when our men-of-war are recalled home from guarding them. I cannot but be troubled at these insults of the French in our own seas, but I hope that you will remedy so great a mischief. I also send copy of a charter granted by Colonel Fletcher to the Dutch Church here, which I think very extraordinary, for it is setting up a petty jurisdiction to fly in the face of the Government, as I have found from my own experience. Hearing that Colonel Fletcher had received a bribe for passing this charter, I sent to the Church-masters (who I suppose correspond to our Churchwardens) for a sight of their Church-book, wherein I was told that I should find an entry of the said bribe. They told me that they could not consent to my seeing the book till they had spoken to the minister, Mr. Selynus. I then sent to him to ask for a sight of the book, which he said that he could not do till he had called a consistory. This behaviour, I confess, provoked me and I resolved to have a sight of the book even if I should send my warrant to take it by force, but I thought it best first to try fair means and by fair winds obtained a sight of it from the minister. I enclose copies of the entry of the present and another extract. This is just such an institution as Colonel Fletcher made at Westchester. That city consists of about twenty houses and possesses greater privileges than any town in America, such as the choosing of their own Mayor, the power of life and death and the like. The majority of the inhabitants are felons upon record. Mr. Weaver will lay before you a copy of this charter. Three seizures of East India goods were made in several houses last week by Mr. Hungerford. I send lists of them, also of the packets sent by Captain Jeffers's ship, of whom I have suspicions, being a very stubborn, insolent man, who would have gone home without my packets had I not sent a warrant for him and forced him to take them. He was under the influence of Colonel Bayard, who took a passage to England in his ship. I must mention, as to Bayard, that his answer to my reasons for suspending him was not sent until ten or twelve days after he sailed, and as long after I had sent the said reasons to you. He has therefore transgressed the King's orders, though I had myself warned him that those orders were that I should send the charges and the answer thereto, in such cases, at the same time. His answers, which I enclose, are weak and frivolous, but I am content to leave them to your judgment. I have not had time to descant on them particularly, though I intend to do so by next opportunity, but I must remark on his reflections upon Dr. Staats and Alderman Lewis in the third article about piracy. These two have as good a character as any two men in New York, without exception; they are of substantial estate, and therefore the less likely to be tempted to forswear themselves. Bayard indeed is said to have obtained an estate by fraud, and were it worth while I could prove what I say. I must also clear away a reflection which he casts on myself, namely, that I came here prepossessed and determined to displace him and others from the Council. This I solemnly deny, for I do not know that I had ever seen or heard their names except in my instructions. I might have heard in England a general account of Colonel Fletcher's correspondence with pirates, and that a corrupt Council was joined with him in maladministration, but so far was I from suspending even Bayard (whom I knew to be my most inveterate and industrious enemy) that I employed Colonel van Cortlandt and Mr. Graham, his nearest relations by marriage, to bring him to temper, as they can bear witness. I sent him word by them that as he had been a most violent enemy of Leisler and his friends, he might be afraid if he saw any of them employed in the Government, but that if he would join me, I would undertake that not a hair of his head should be touched, and that I would reconcile the people to him; but he refused obstinately to listen to their arguments. This was but three or four days before the suspension of him and of the rest, and I would appeal to you to decide which of us has acted with charity and moderation. It is true that in the eighth article of his answer he would make himself a saint, and pretends to such a forgiving temper that he had sacrificed all his losses by Leisler and his soldiers to the public. I shall send you a certificate from Colonel van Cortlandt and Mr. Graham by next conveyance. To show you how perverse a man Bayard is and how void of principle are he and Nicoll, I must mention that both before and since I dissolved the Assembly these two have made it their business to prejudice the whole country, where they had any influence, against continuing the revenue to the King; and yet these same two men, in Colonel Fletcher's time, managed a conference with the Assembly for settling the present revenue, and stickled very much with the Assembly to vote it for the King's life, though the Assembly would only vote it for five years.
I formerly acquainted you with the case of William Simpson, a soldier who lies under sentence of death for murdering a Sachem, and for whom the Indians have interceded. Though I wrote to you that I thought he ought to suffer, I must now ask for his pardon, lest I should myself be brought into a præmunire myself. The matter stands thus. My commission forbids me to erect Courts of Judicature for criminal cases without consent of Council. To the best of my knowledge and remembrance I did acquaint the Council with the notice sent to me of the murder, and Colonel van Cortlandt and Mr. Graham are confident that I did so. A commission was sent up to Albany for trial of the murderer, but it seems that Mr. Jamison, late Clerk of Council, who lay upon the walk to betray me, has omitted to record the Council's concurrence in this commission, and I am told that this is to be made the ground of a heinous charge against me. However false such a charge be in itself, Jamison is capable of swearing anything. I have received several cautions against the man, both in England and here, but I was so secure in my own innocence that I feared not him nor anyone else. Mr. Clement had failed me; I had no one fit to put in his place, and here all people were strangers to me, so that I suffered Jamison to keep his place as best understanding the business, not because Colonel Fletcher recommended him to me as the honestest man in the world. Colonel Fletcher knew that he had been condemned to be hanged in Scotland, and had had his sentence mitigated to transportation, and knew also that he had two wives when he recommended him to me. Signed, Bellomont. Postscript.—14 November. I send copy of an address brought to me last week. I have not had time to count the signatures, but they seem to be about 1,500. The subscribers are the sort of people that Colonel Fletcher discountenanced, and I appeal to you whether there would be any prudence or justice in disobliging such a number of people. They are inhabitants of three contiguous counties, and the design was to make the address general throughout the province and to present it to me on the King's birthday; but the names of subscribers in remote counties could not be obtained in time, otherwise I am assured that there would have been many more signatures. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 30th Dec., 1698. Enclosed,
988. I. Memorial of the Attorney-General of New York to Governor Lord Bellomont. I make the following report on the state of the frontiers during Colonel Fletcher's government. He arrived here in 1692. The Assembly then sitting raised 220 men for securing the frontier at Albany till 1 May, 1693, and also 80 men in Ulster County to be continued during the time of greatest danger, which was reckoned to be from the 15th December to 1st March following. In September Colonel Fletcher visited the frontier, and on his return declared 100 men to be a sufficient garrison against all the strength of France, though the country had thought 300 men barely sufficient because, before Colonel Fletcher's arrival, it had been thought of great import to garrison the Half Moon and Canestagione to secure the out-settlements for the easier provisioning of the garrison. In January, 1693, the French invaded the Maquas' lands. Colonel Fletcher thereupon went up to Albany with some detachments of men, arrived there in February and in March advanced to Senectady, where he heard that the French had retreated after a skirmish with Colonel Ingoldsby's force. At that time the garrisons of Half Moon and Canestagione were withdrawn and never resettled. Colonel Fletcher returned to New York, and notwithstanding the invasion left no orders with the commandants at Albany nor took care to secure the inhabitants in the out-settlements, by replacing the garrisons aforesaid, but left them exposed to the fury of the enemy. For want of the said garrisons the people were carried captive by the French, many killed and scalped, the out-settlements laid waste, and the garrison at Albany much straitened by want of the fresh provisions which these out-garrisons had formerly secured for it.
The Assembly raised 300 men for the frontier for one year from 1 May, 1693, to 1 May, 1694, yet no garrisons were replaced in Half Moon and Canestagione; no orders were given to the Commandant to range the woods and watch the motions of the enemy, nor was any care taken to fulfil Colonel Fletcher's solemn promise to the Indians to help them to demolish Cadaraqui. Through this neglect the Indians were disgusted and the frontiers deserted, many people having been killed and captured. To secure the frontiers from 1 May, 1694, to 1 May, 1695, the Assembly raised 170 men, the King's forces arriving about the latter date. The Assembly also granted bounty-money, upon news of desertion of the soldiers, and at the same time passed an Act to prevent desertion, which was rejected by Colonel Fletcher. The Assembly also voted fourpence a day in augmentation of the men's pay, but still the companies were never full, nor were scouts sent out to range the woods, by which neglect our people were daily cut off and captured. In spite of the yearly damage that befel the inhabitants on the frontier, Colonel Fletcher never sent out scouts, nor left orders to do so, until at last the Assembly, who did not profess to be soldiers, raised money and appointed Commissioners to send out scouts, by which means the enemy's design to cut off Kinderhook was discovered, and all cut off. This was in 1696. In 1697 the Assembly did the like, by which all mischief was averted though the garrison was weaker than ever, Colonel Fletcher not having raised a man, although large sums voted by the Assembly were perverted by him. He values himself indeed upon the securing of the frontier and that he had not lost a foot of ground to the enemy; yet it is manifest that at his arrival the out-garrisons secured the out-settlements, and that the grounds were ploughed and the harvest gathered without danger, and that the garrison of Albany always had fresh provisions. When the out-garrisons were withdrawn the calamities followed, and though not a foot of ground was carried away yet whole families were destroyed, their plantations laid waste, and damage done to the value of at least £4,000 per annum. Signed, Ja. Graham. 2½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28 Dec., 1698.
988. II. Account of the stores of war in the frontier garrison of Senectady, commanded by Lieutenant Daniel Hunt, in June, July and August, 1696, when Count Frontenac destroyed the castles of the Onandagas and Oneidas. 8 guns and 4 patararoes, 28 1lb. shot, 6 4lb. shot, 1 barrel of cannon powder, part of a barrel of unserviceable musket-powder, 8 flints. Other stores in like small quantities. The garrison was one officer, and 32 non-commissioned officers and men.
Statement of Lieutenant Daniel Hunt. I was in command at Senectady, when the French destroyed Onandaga and Oneida. I forwarded by express all news that reached me to Colonel Ingoldsby (commanding on the frontier) who acquainted Colonel Fletcher, who, after the enemy was gone, came up to Albany without any forces. When I took over the command at Senectady and the enemy was marching towards us, I had only part of a barrel of powder and very little shot; but on my writing to Colonel Ingoldsby he sent me a barrel of powder and six cannon balls. Copy. 1¼ pp. Endorsed as No. I.
988. III. Report on the condition of Albany, 26 December, 1696. (1) The upper blockhouse on the south has two small guns and one patararo, of which the carriages are out of repair. (2) The platform of the gun that ranges the great gully needs repair. (3) The carriages of the guns in the centre blockhouse are out of order, shutters are wanting for the port-holes and the guard beds are defective. (4) In the lower blockhouse the carriages of the two great guns are out of repair, eight port-holes are without shutters or guns, and the floor is defective. (5) One of the mounts on the water-side is out of repair, and one of the gun-carriages broken. (6) The anglemount is defective. (7) The guard blockhouse has two guns and three port-holes below, two guns, one patararo and eight port-holes above. The floor wants nailing and the chimney is falling down. (8) The upper blockhouse on the north was locked up, so that we could not inspect it. (9) The platforms round the town need to be repaired and increased. (10) There are several gaps and passages in the stockades. (11) All the bridges over the gullies within the city need much repair. (12) All the blockhouses require locks and ammunition chests. (13) One of the bastions requires to be new planked, and the guard to be repaired. Certified as a true state of the garrison when taken over by (signed) Angus Graham. Copy. 1¼ pp. Endorsed as No. I.
988. IV. Copy of a letter from Colonel Ingoldsby to Lieutenant Hunt. Albany, 31 July, 1696. Advising him of the despatch of ammunition and stores. Has not had one word of orders from the Governor, but expects him with some force when it is too late. Copy. ½ p. Same endorsement.
988. V. Copy of a letter from Colonel Ingoldsby to Lieutenant Hunt. Albany, 1 August, 1696. I find that the Indians are likely to be gained by the French. Monsieur is not for destroying them, but for making them friends. I cannot understand why we hear nothing from the Governor, after many expresses, but I think he is detaching men to bring with him, which will be too late. If I hear that the enemy advances I shall come and keep you company. Copy. ½ p. Same endorsement.
988. VI. Account of stores in Senectady garrison, delivered over by Lieutenant John Riggs on being relieved by Lieutenant Charles Oliver, 15 March, 1696–7. This account shows little difference from that given in No. II., except that the garrison had been increased to 40 men. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
988. VII. Certificate of Lieutenants Daniel Hunt and Charles Oliver that in November, 1696, Colonel Fletcher reinforced Albany with his own person, 18 men of his company and 25 recruits from Connecticut, and no more. Copy. ½ p. Same endorsement.
988. VIII. Copy of an Act of New York to prevent desertion, passed by the Assembly but rejected by the Governor and Council, with extracts from the Minutes of Council of 3 July, 1695, showing the messages that passed between the two houses respecting it. 3 pp. Same endorsement.
988. IX. Memorandum of the receipt of the Journal of the House of Representatives of New York, enclosed in this letter of Lord Bellomont. Scrap.
988. X. Copy of a letter from Secretary Isaac Addington to Governor Lord Bellomont. Boston, 24 October, 1698. In obedience to your orders, Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton has been duly sworn to obey the Acts of Trade and Navigation. I return your commission, which was somewhat defaced by wet on its way here, the bearer having been forced to swim many rivers. I enclose a letter recently received by the Lieutenant-Governor from Mons. de Villebon, Governor of Acadia, claiming to extend the French boundaries into this province as far as the river Kennebec, and pretending to the sole right of fishing on those coasts. He forbids our fishermen to come thither at their peril, and a French man-of-war lately seized two of our fishingboats, detained them two or three days, and then dismissed them, thus interrupting their employment. The matter is of such importance to our trade and to our peace that the Lieutenant-Governor has reported it to the Council of Trade, praying for the King's intervention, hoping that these pretensions of the French may be set aside when the Commissioners of the two Crowns meet to settle differences about boundaries. We send you copies of memorials on the subject drawn up by Mr. John Nelson. The arguments therein against any concessions to the French are the best that can be given, and we have asked the Council of Trade to refer to them. We beg that you will second our application to the Council hereon. On consideration the Lieutenant-Governor has decided to defer the returning of your commission lest it should be still further defaced on the journey. Signed, Isa. Addington. 1 p. Certified as a true copy, but apparently mistranscribed at one unintelligible passage. Same endorsement.
988. XI. Translation of a letter from the Governor of Acadia to the Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts. St. John's River, 5 September, 1698. I send you this by Sieur Bassett, whom the King has pardoned for any act done contrary to his service on his engaging to establish himself in this country. I am sure that you will make no more difficulty than should I in the like case, in permitting his return and assisting him to finish his business. I am surprised that after what I wrote to you about our Indians you return me no answer, and persist in retaining them prisoners. I shall say no more, but refer you to my former letter of 27 June last. I am informed that you have divers fishermen upon our coasts and that you also permit your people to trade in the French settlements. You must expect that I shall cause all Englishmen caught trading or fishing to be arrested, and the rather since provision against this is made in the recent treaty of which you lately sent me a copy. Moreover, Mons. de Bonaventure, commanding a King's ship, has sent back to you some of your fishing vessels taken by him upon our coasts, with a message to say that if they return he will make prize of them. I have, on my master's behalf, to conform to the Treaty of Neutrality for America concluded between him and King James in 1686. I have also strict orders to maintain our boundary between ourselves and New England, which is from the source to the mouth of the Kennebec, the course of the river being open to both nations. I have no doubt that you will observe this and that you will forbear to treat the settlers there established as your subjects lest evil consequences should ensue. 1¼ pp. A very bad translation. Same endorsement.
988. XII. A copy of the charter granted by Governor Fletcher to the Dutch Church in New York. 11 May, 1696. 14 pp. Same endorsement.
988. XIII. Extract from the Church-book of the Dutch Church of New York. Payments on account of the charter. To the Attorney-General, James Graham, for drawing the charter, £15; to Mr. Jamison for the same, £15; for quit-rents and for two silver dishes for the Governor, £72; to the silversmith for making the dishes, £9. Total expenses, £112. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
988. XIV., XV., XVI. Three inventories of East India goods seized from William Taylor, John Potter, and Samuel Burt, on 2 November, 1698. Each ½ p. Same endorsement.
988. XVII. List of papers sent by Lord Bellomont to England in Thomas Jeffers's ship, on 30 October, 1698. 1 p. Same endorsement.
988. XVIII. Answer of Nicholas Bayard to Lord Bellomont's reasons for suspending him from Council. (1) I have always to the best of my ability done my duty faithfully as a Councillor. I did advise, with the consent of the rest of the Council and the advice of the Attorney-General, that dog-dollars should be made current. In that time of war, and even now, when coin was scarce, they were made current in many other Colonies at six shillings apiece. We fixed their value at 5s. 6d. after consulting all the ablest merchants; and the fact has not injured anyone's rights or property, for the dog-dollar is generally the most acceptable coin in the province. If any of them are received at a loss in the Treasury to-day I am ready to give other current coin for them. (2) I deny that I ever connived at the unlawful loading or unloading of foreign bottoms. (3) I am ignorant that Colonel Fletcher granted commissions to pirates and I never connived at it nor at any other of the misdeeds as alleged. I never acted as intermediary to procure protections for pirates from Colonel Fletcher, but I cannot answer a general charge which specifies no particular action. Lord Bellomont has misconstrued a certain act of kindness done by me to Mr. Leendert Lewis, a near neighbour of mine, and to Dr. Samuel Staats, so I will state that at Lewis's earnest request I was persuaded some years ago to write to Colonel Fletcher at Philadelphia in favour of his brother, Thomas Lewis, who had been rambling abroad, as was supposed privateering. Lewis, however, averred that his brother had done no unlawful act, but being desirous to wean him from the wild life of a seaman and deliver him from the danger of impressment for H.M.S. Richmond, prayed the Governor to grant him licence to trade in New York and at the same time asked the same favour for Barent Ryndert, brother-in-law to Staats, who had long been his companion. Governor Fletcher granted me the said licences, in the form generally called protections, and I gave them to Leendert Lewis and Staats, who asked what was to pay for them. I told them that the Governor had written to me that it was a principle with him never to make a bargain for any act of favour, whereupon they brought me of their own accord a bag containing rather over 100 dollars and asked me to present it to the Governor. This at first I refused to do, but they prevailed with me, and then they laid on the table a paper containing eighteen or twenty Arabian ducats and asked me to accept it for my trouble and expenses. I refused, saying that I done them no more than a neighbourly kindness, but they pressed me so hard that at last I said that I would throw it all into the bag, which I did (if I remember right) while they stood by. Wherein this is criminal and a compounding with the Governor for pirates I cannot understand, and must beg his Lordship to clear up the matter by letting Staats and Lewis be examined by some indifferent judge to see if the matter above related is not substantially true. They are both resident in New York, having each married one of Widow Leisler's daughters, and can say whether they are guilty of piracy or not. I must deny also that I ever advised or connived at the entry of a pirate ship into New York, or the acceptance by the Governor of rewards for giving protections to the pirates. (4) I disown that I ever advised Colonel Fletcher to frequent misapplication and embezzlement of public money. About six years ago, however, when the French had just invaded the province, burned the Maquas' castles and were advanced nearly to Senectady, I own that, for want of public money in the Treasury, I advised the borrowing of allotted public money in the Receiver's hands to beat the enemy back, which was done with great success. Moreover, I several times advanced money out of my private estate to pay the soldiers, and gave my bonds to Robert Livingston and others when they refused to trust the Government, to make good what the Government should fail to pay out of my private estate. (5) I am surprised to hear that the grant of unappropriated lands, which was the practice under all former Governors, has become a crime in Colonel Fletcher's time. I freely own that I obtained the grant of one tract of land for myself and others. It is the only grant that I ever obtained, and its extent is not one-tenth that which is alleged, unless hills, rocks, swamps, ponds and rivers not worth sixpence to any man. It lies forty miles above Albany, and can produce no profit except after long time, labour and expense. Several traders of Albany obtained a grant from Governor Dongan to purchase it from the natives, but thinking it not worth their money declined it, whereupon I obtained a grant to purchase it. No part of the land has been improved for many years, but rather laid waste; nor was this purchase ever complained of nor any disturbance given to the Maquas (as alleged), but only two or three of the meanest, who apparently had not their competency of the purchase-money, raised a clamour which, if entertained by the Governor, will lead to the questioning of all purchases of land from the Indians. I cannot answer the charge of advising the Governor to grant away several more large tracts of land because I do not know what they are, but I suppose that the grant of the Maquas' land is referred to. I answer therefore that those who understand the true interest of the province have always held it for the advantage of the Crown, the province and the neighbouring Colonies to enlarge the boundaries as far into the country as possible by purchasing lands from the Indians and making Christian settlements near and among them. The Indians themselves desire it, and by that means the Five Nations could be much more easily brought to embrace Christianity, which they are so fond of that merely for want of it many are gone to Canada, simply, as they admit, for the sake of instruction. Apart from religion, it would produce a great benefit to educate the Indians further to Christian habits and manners. This would save them from the intrigues of the French and keep them from defection from us, which would undoubtedly prove very hurtful to all the Colonies. The chief obstruction to the setting forward of this work (from my own observation) has been that in time of peace some few traders of Albany have had so much influence, by their clamours of rights and privileges, as to prevent people settling above them lest they should cut off their trade. Like the dog in the manger they will not settle the land themselves nor suffer others, as if it had been their privilege that the Five Nations should bring all the benefits of their huntings to the very doors of these traders at Albany. These have given the French the greatest advantage to send their emissaries among the Indians, and make settlements as far up the country as Cadaraqui, in the Ottawas' country, and even to the back side of Carolina, where a leader with some eighteen or twenty men has built a fort in a pass and obtained great influence with several tribes of Indians. (6) I utterly deny that I advised Colonel Fletcher to go in the field to overawe the elections. Though present, he did not name any representatives, but urged the people to agree in a peaceable manner, without any abusive or threatening language. Finding his advice slighted he left the field before the election. (7) I must do Colonel Fletcher the justice to say that he has done his utmost to preserve the frontier, so I cannot admit that I connived at his neglect of them. This and the foregoing articles are aimed at him and no more affect me than the gentlemen who still are kept in the Council and voted as I did in these matters. (8) I never gave my advice for printing and publishing scandalous pamphlets, but only for the printing of a letter from one gentleman to another as to the troubles at the time of the Revolution. It contained nothing but truth (as can be proved, if necessary) and was only intended to give a true account, which had not before been in print. Lord Bellomont has been misinformed as to the persons whom he applauds as the most active in the late Revolution, for I can prove that no man was more active and zealous than myself, consistently with the peace of the province. There was no more need to alter the constitution here than in Virginia, Barbados, Jamaica and other places without orders from England, since all the Colonies must of necessity have been concluded by the orders of the Crown, nor could it forward the Revolution. Yet Lieutenant-Governor Nicholson and the Council of their own accord altered the form of Government in a convention of the Magistrates and Military Officers to advise how the peace of the province should best be secured until orders came from England. An express was sent to the Secretary of State long before Leisler's party began to thrust themselves into power by force, not by the advice of a General Assembly, as has been alleged. That was brought about by the violent passions of some few hot men for their own ends, who inflamed the people with tales of Jacobites and Papists, though there were hardly ten such in the province and none of them in power. It is this that occasioned all the disorders which, though of late nearly extinguished, are now again inflamed, not by the printed pamphlet, but by other means, as I and others have endeavoured to convince Lord Bellomont. It was necessary to print the letter, first, because some months before Lord Bellomont's arrival several of Leisler's party boasted publicly that he would espouse their cause, as he had in England, and would displace the Council; secondly, to undeceive those who were prepossessed by false information. As to Lord Bellomont's charge that I had an implacable malice against Leisler's party, I answer that all men of probity, justice and religion here will give my behaviour a very different character, and will testify that since the disorders it has been full of moderation. I have never asked nor received the least satisfaction for all the injuries I suffered. My estate was robbed and plundered; I was myself first driven into exile and then for fourteen months kept in a nasty gaol, part of the time in fetters, though my friends offered bail for me in £10,000, or more—and all for no cause that has been assigned to this very day. I can prove that for several years past, and even before Lord Bellomont in Council, I have stated that I had sacrificed all losses and sufferings for the peace of the province, had forgiven all the past and had striven as a Christian to return good for evil. Signed, N. Bayard. New Jersey, 17 October, 1698. 5½ closely written pages. Endorsed, Recd. 28 Dec., 1698. Read 19 Jan., 1698–9.
988. XIX. Address of several inhabitants of New York to Governor Lord Bellomont. We beg you to lay before the King, from those of us who thought it our duty to imperil their lives for freedom from tyranny and popery, our thanks for appointing you to be Governor. The glorious Revolution could not be effected in this province without extraordinary measures by those who could have withstood it; yet we will be bold to say that it was managed here with the strength of affection, and if that did transport some beyond rules, yet we ask for a favourable construction, for the neighbouring provinces did not affect their Revolution without greater damage than was sustained by any person here. We thought that this affectionate management deserved better reward than that the leaders should have been arraigned, convicted and executed to gratify the malicious rage of a few persons. We bore this patiently since it was under the King's authority, and we have since submitted dutifully to all the oppressions and arbitrariness of the late Governor, waiting for deliverance. But we have been greatly surprised that those in high places and holding the greatest trusts in the Government should give themselves up to their rage and project a disturbance by ordering, just shortly before your arrival, the printing of a fictitious letter, raking up the ashes of the late Revolution and renewing the heats of the people, so that only prudence averts a rebellion. Not satisfied with this they put false constructions upon your moderation, and are so filled with fury because you administer the government according to the laws, that they have combined to turn you out of the Government for the satisfaction of their unreasonable appetites. We lay our services before you, and beg you to employ us against any seditious or rebellious conspirators. In testimony of our sincere affection we think nothing so dear to us as the support of the King's Government by the establishment of a revenue by Act of Assembly. Large sheet. Copy, with ten pages of copied signatures, the great majority of them Dutch.
988. XX. Copy of a charter granted by Governor Fletcher to the town of Westchester, 16 April, 1696. 18 large pages. Endorsed, Recd. 28 Dec., 1698, from Mr. Weaver. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 23, 23 I.–XX.; and (without enclosures) 53. pp. 193–204.]
Nov. 12. 989. Abstract of the preceding letter of Lord Bellomont. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 24.]
Nov. 18.
Cadiz Bay.
990. Commodore Norris to Council of Trade and Plantations. I enclose particulars of such information as I could obtain in Newfoundland. I think that if the merchants adventurers have the preferable encouragement before the planters and boat-keepers it would make the trade most beneficial for England, they making yearly returns of their labour. For, if the planters and boat-keepers should have encouragement to induce them to reside in Newfoundland, they would have such an advantage of the shipping that in a short time the shipping, instead of making their voyages themselves, would be forced to buy, and instead of a return to England the country, like other Colonies, would be of little use but to itself. But if the yearly Adventurers were encouraged I think that the shipping would increase; for some of the planters and boat-keepers have told me in discourse that if the shipping should be encouraged before them, they must endeavour to be masters of ships themselves, and you know best which is most advantageous for England. I had some doubts as to sending you a letter herein copied, on account of its compliments to myself, but I do so on account of its giving a relation of a part of Newfoundland seeming very advantageous for England. Signed, Jno. Norris. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 2 Jan. Read 6 Feb., 1698–9. Enclosed,
990. I. Answer to the Council of Trade's heads of enquiry as to Newfoundland. (2) The Colony cannot subsist itself, for it produces nothing. New England supplies it with rum, molasses, some provisions and tobacco; great quantities of liquor have lately been imported from Spain and Portugal and this year also from France; all of which liquor has been very prejudicial to the Adventurers by debauching their men, so that they could not make the voyages which they would have made owing to the drunkenness of their people. To prevent this and for the general good of trade all ships making voyages to Newfoundland should be obliged to clear from England, and not bring more liquor than should be thought fit to allow for each ship. Of late several ships have come from Spain and Portugal to make voyages, and pretend all to have English owners, but as they make foreign ports their place of clearance at every voyage, by paying off their men there and laying out all the expenses of their voyage there, it deprives the Western ports of England of the benefit of that outlay and prevents the seamen from returning to England. Therefore it would be most for the good of England that all ships trading to Newfoundland should be obliged to make their outset from England each voyage. (3) The inhabitants are destructive to the Adventurers by pulling down the stages in winter and staving the boats, so that the shipping cannot be so forward in the fishing as they. (4) The boat-keepers remain in the country to keep possession of the most convenient room, and are destructive. By keeping their constant stages they encroach (sic) most of the room near the water-side, so that the Adventurers are forced to work behind them, which puts them to the expense of one man in five, or at least to hire stage and room from them. This could be prevented by an order that all boat-keepers should be obliged to return yearly or not fish next year, and this would put them on an equal footing with the Adventurers who cannot possess a stage or room except yearly as they arrive. (6) The boat-keepers are wholly supplied with their craft and clothes from England, and most of the provisions are brought from England and Ireland. (7) The country affords no subsistence to the planters but a few fowl in winter, and at Bonavista they have a small gain in furs. (8) This is answered in No. 2. (9) See the annexed list. The inhabitants sell at the same price as the Adventurers. (10) The people of New England never exercise the fishing-trade, but generally sell their cargo for money and bills, which makes 25 per cent. to them in New England; but if they cannot get them they buy refuge (? refuse) fish and go to the West Indies. (11) Adventurers, while in the country, victual mostly in fish, and at sea give about the same manner of allowance as in other voyages. The men's wages are generally regulated by the shares, which is one-third of the fish and train divided among them. (12) See the annexed list. (13) Those that come passengers to fish generally pay about £3 for their passage out, and a third or a half less for the passage home. (14) The rules of the Western Charter have in some measure been broke into on all sides. It would be a benefit to the Adventurers if they were revived, to prevent any people pretending an inheritance to the stages and room.
Here follows, Copy of a letter from William Cock to Commodore Norris. Bonavista, 1 September, 1698. I am heartily glad that so wise, knowing and judicious a person as yourself has been entrusted with the Government of this country, and I wish you all success. Kindly inform me whether the bread which you spared me last year has been paid for or not, for you may command payment from me. Lieutenant Leigh, who bears this, has been for some time settling the affairs of this harbour which were in confusion, but by his prudent management all is adjusted to general satisfaction. On the north side of this bay are many extraordinary harbours and better fishing. One William Wyng has fished for some years fourteen leagues N.W. by N. of this place, and has still exceeded the inhabitants of this considerably. This year one Nevill has been that way and has more fish for his two-men-boats than those here for shallops, so that next summer several inhabitants of this harbour design to remove thither, as also the masters of ships that have fished here this year, for it is certain that the fewer the boats that are kept in a place the better is the fishing. I tell you this that the power of those whom you send this way to settle affairs may extend as far as Cape Frills, that being the northernmost cape of this bay. If a draught of that place were drawn it would greatly encourage shipping to fish this way, there being many secure harbours and roads, and room for 500 sail. Letter ends.
My emissary to Placentia arrived there on 4 September. Walking round the fort he counted thirty-six guns, chiefly eighteen pounders, all facing the harbour's mouth, where he saw also a chain and boom. The inward part of the fort has no guns, being protected on the land side by a fort on the hill, in which he saw eight guns facing to the sea; but one of their soldiers seeing him brought him back to the lower fort and he was not permitted to go to it afterwards. At Bluff Head on coming in are mounted eight guns in two tiers. On the 6th he saw the soldiers mustered and exercised in the fort and counted them to be about eighty, which some of the inhabitants told them was their number. There was a French man-of-war of about fifty guns and about thirty sail of merchantmen; the inhabitants said that about twenty more had gone to market, the catch being 300 quintals or upwards to a boat, which is about what our ports have made this year. The man-of-war was bound to the Fogo, which is to the northward of our plantation, to sail with their ships; and the French report that there were as many ships fishing to the northward as at Placentia. These ships generally sail from St. Malo. The French had fourteen sail that fished at St. Peter's Island, three at little Placentia, two at Collonet, five at St. Mary's, and four at Trepassy. They sold their fish at Placentia for twenty-four rialls per quintal. The ships make their voyages with boats and people as we do, which people generally return with the shipping. There are about twenty-nine families of planters at Placentia, and about 160 people remained there in the winter; at little Placentia are twelve families, and (according to the information of one who had lived in Placentia) there were with the soldiers about 300 people in the winter. This year every ship was obliged by the King of France to bring one hogshead of lime for every boat they were to keep, for the building of works at Placentia. He saw about 200 hogsheads of lime by the fort of Placentia. The French do not cultivate their land; their trade, like ours, being wholly fishing.
Thomas Barrington, master of a Boston ship, was stranded close to one point of Placentia bay, and getting off anchored afterwards in the bay in August. He saw thirty sail of merchantmen and heard of twenty more already sailed. The rest were expected to be ready to sail at the end of September. They gave over fishing on the 3rd of August. He was told that in Placentia Fort were thirty guns, and in the fort on the hill eight guns, but was not allowed to go to them. There is another fort on the hill which, he thinks, had no guns. On the point on the larboard side are eight guns. There were two mortars in the fort and a bomb-vessel riding in the harbour. He believes there are about 150 soldiers and 200 inhabitants that remain in the winter. They make their voyages as we do, and some pay by the share and some by the voyage. Dated, 12 September, 1698.
Petition of the masters in Newfoundland to Commodore Norris. We daily see great abuses and encroachments of inhabitants and boat-keepers on ships' fishing room, especially in this harbour. We beg you to give the necessary instructions to the inhabitants, and to make such a representation to the Council of Trade that the Adventurers may enjoy free liberty of fishing in this country without interruption. (1) The small boat-keepers of our parts fitting out for Newfoundland have the advantage of the Adventurers by taking the choice of the ablest fishermen and shoreman, and before they have made up their complement of men it is very difficult to engage an able fisherman or shoreman, the reason being that they live somewhat easier with them, not being obliged to do any ship-work, but only to do the labours of the voyage, and so rest in time when it is not weather to work about the fishery. Frequently when we have brought a landman with us a voyage or two, we find that they engage themselves with the bye-boat-keepers, whereby they seldom or never become sailors, neither we nor our officers having any command over them on the passage. (2) These bye-boat-keepers in England generally choose the best sailing-ships so as to gain their passage sooner, and if they reach the country early they place themselves in the best and most convenient places by the water-side, whereby later ships are often obliged to hire both stage and room from them and to carry their fish so far backward that we are forced to allow a man more to every boat than they, besides the inconvenience in making our fish, the disadvantage to our owners and the discouragement to our crews. (3) These boat-keepers are so numerous "that when as we would go on for the keeping a con-"siderable quantity of boats in order for the catching "our ship's lading, we often pass with a great deal less "number of men, by which means instead of catching "our lading we are obliged to make use of our owners' "credit to buy our lading from the boat-keepers, other-"wise must go dead freighted." (4) This present year many of the boat-keepers have resolved to stay in the country, and if this be tolerated we must expect the best places for stage-room in this harbour to be possessed by them, so that we cannot expect to find convenient room for our ships another year. Commonly when they leave the country they make sale, as they call it, of their plantations, and so pass them from one to another as their own land. So likewise the likeliest young men for the King's service, when there is most occasion for them, absent themselves in the woods till the men-of-war are sailed and so remain in the country or go to New England, where they bestow themselves most out of the way for serving their country. This is chiefly occasioned by their masters, the boat-keepers, to save the charge of their passage home, though the cost is never above half or two-thirds of a passage outwards. (5) The people who stay in the country for the winter always take care to build their stages and houses much larger than is really necessary for the crews they keep, and so make their advantage on the later comers by exacting in the highest degree. We have known from £5 to £15 given this year for a boat's room in this harbour, which we believe to be no other then selling the King's land, to the great abuse of the Merchants-Adventurers. (6) "Some here are passing by the name of Planters "now in possession of room as they would have called "Patent-room, although contrary to our ancient charter, "which room although cannot occupy themselves yet "yearly make encroachments further which they set "out to hire, making great benefit thereby to the cost "of our employers in England, for prevention of which "no liver ought to build a stage on any ship's room "but ships' crews only." (7) Traders from New England are constantly bringing great quantities of liquor from thence and from the Caribbee Islands, whereby our men are debauched and are encouraged to steal and embezzle from their masters much of our fishing craft and other necessaries, to our great loss and hindrance. By such means, too, men extravagantly spend great part of the money which should support their families in England. (8) We beg that for the future all unfree ships may be debarred from trading in Newfoundland, for in justice to our nation, traders to these parts should not only be free ships but such as are like to clear and fit out yearly from England, which will much promote our fishery. King, merchant and tradesman will then wholly reap the benefit of our labours and not foreigners and unfree ships, as we now yearly see. At least one-fourth of the ships here come from Spain and Portugal, supplying the land with all manner of necessaries, selling them cheaper than our owners can afford and returning with their cargoes of fish, and glutting the market abroad. Their merchants living on the spot can generally undersell our Merchants-Adventurers, whereby our owners are much discouraged. To prevent this, no ship whatever ought to make a second voyage to Newfoundland without returning to England to clear. Signed by fifteen masters.
A Relation taken by Captain Norris from people who had fished to the Northward. Thomas Weymouth, who was taken prisoner by the French in 1693, deposed to being carried to a port called Grand Callery, when the French told him that in time of peace they had from eighty to one hundred sail that made fishing voyages between Charles Straits and Cape Frills. They carry boats and people with them and leave no inhabitants behind at the end of the season. In this bay there are thirty-two places where they fish and ride their ships, all open to the sea except Flower de Luce, which has a narrow entrance and a very fine harbour with room for two or three hundred sail. The ships never try to be there before the 1st of June, as the ice lasts longer there than elsewhere, and leave on the 1st of September. Their fishing is very plenty and lies nearer to the shore than in many of our ports.
Thomas Mitchell, master, was taken by the French and carried into White Island, about sixteen leagues north of Cape Frills, in 1697. There were no more ships in that place, but there were accounts of thirty or forty sail making fish in the several ports. The Frenchmen arrived on 27 June, and left about 10 September, with a cargo of 3,000 quintals. The French said that in time of peace they used to fish about sixty sail annually in those ports. They left no inhabitants behind them, partly for fear of Indians. Signed, Jno. Norris. The whole, 9½ pp. Endorsed, Read 2 Jan., 1698–9.
990. II. List of ships, with their landing, trading to Newfoundland in 1698. Total number of ships, 252; tonnage, 24,318; crews, 4,244; passengers, 935; boats, 532; fish made, 114,770 quintals; fish bought, 157,848 quintals; loaded for return voyage, 265,198 tons; unfree ships, 18. 18 pp. Endorsed as No. I. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 3. Nos. 126, 126 I., II.; and (without enclosure II.) 25. pp. 263–276.]
Nov. 14. 991. Memorial of Colonel Collingwood to Council of Trade and Plantations. My regiment being ordered to the Leeward Islands the Lords Justices recommended me for that Government, being now vacant. I beg for your favour herein if the matter come before you. Signed, F. Collingwood. Holograph. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. Read 14 Nov., 1698. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 5. No. 125.]
Nov. 14.
New York.
992. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to William Popple. I admire that I receive no orders from your Board. It is a great discomfort to moil in business here and send such information to the Council of Trade and receive no return all this time. For want of orders I have not been able to go to Boston; I beg you to inform their Lordships that I shall not know how to move thither in the spring for want of a man-of-war. There is no going by land, and I am not willing to hazard, except in a stout ship, a voyage upon a coast so dangerous for north-west winds that often carry a ship far out to sea. Let me advise your sending packets either towards winter or towards the end of winter by way of Barbados and Virginia, as was done in Sir Edmund Andros's time here. Except in the dead of winter sloops come here from Barbados every month in the year, and two or three months in the beginning of the year ships come from England to Boston or to this place. Signed, Bellomont. Postscript.—I send copy of a letter which reached me yesterday. Please show it to the Council. It shows the madness of the people because I look sharp after their trade and pirates and pirate-ships. Smith is the pirate whose treasure was seized in Boston last summer to the value of £2,300. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 30th December, 1698. Enclosed,
992. I. Copy of a letter from Thomas Jones to Jacob Jones. I am heartily sorry to hear of your great loss of money, but trust in God and He will help you. As to the money you left with me, to buy land, I have paid the money and got a bill of sale for you. Our Government is turned upside down. Bellomont plays the devil with all them in commission. Colonel Willett and Mr. Harrison are both out of place. Bellomont has had most part of the country up over the barrel of money. I have been up before him and likely to be in trouble about it. 1 p. Enclosed, Recd. 28 Dec., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. Nos. 25, 25 I.; and (without enclosure) 53. pp. 208–210.]
Nov. 15.
993. William Popple to the Agents for Jamaica. The Council of Trade desires you to submit the names of some few persons whom you judge most proper to fill vacancies in the Council of Jamaica, and in particular to give them some opinion of the qualifications of Colonel Charles Sadler. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 56. p. 240.]
Nov. 15.
994. John Povey to William Popple. The letter copied below has been sent to Secretary Vernon by Mr. Blathwayt, and is now sent to you for the information of the Council of Trade. ½ p.
Copy of a letter from the Attorney-General of New York to William Blathwayt. New York, 19 Sept., 1698. The seeds of strife which Lord Bellomont found sown among us to render his Government uneasy are grown to such maturity that they threaten its dissolution. All the old loyalty and well affection of the province are extinguished; and the humour now running among the most eminent of our people and which has overspread the whole province is that nothing could be more advantageous to it than the abolition of the revenue, the pretext being the hardships under which New York lies, whereas the adjacent provinces are free. This doctrine is very taking with the people in regard of the advantages gained by some of them since the bolting of flour was taken from New York city, and the mercate thereof placed at every planter's door. They therefore infer that if the revenue were extinguished there would be no need of a port at New York and that thus they would be able to pursue their unlawful trade and reduce the Government to anarchy. Lord Bellomont discourages these pernicious principles with great prudence and courage, but cannot prevent the clamour of the people, who look upon his strictness in suppressing unlawful trade and piracy as an injury, The pride of some who have enriched themselves by these means has generated such stubbornness and rage that they have taken upon themselves to misconstrue Lord Bellomont's actions and by false glosses endeavour to embody their misconstructions into malicious charges against him, valuing themselves mightily upon their influence at Court. You will have received Lord Bellomont's report of his measures for the peace of the Government, which I doubt not will be approved by the King. Colonel van Cortlandt has considerably improved the revenue by his care and diligence, for owing to the late negligence it had become of little value notwithstanding the sensible increase of trade. I accompanied Lord Bellomont to Albany, who though much afflicted with the gout resolved to undergo all misery rather than lose touch with the Indians. He found them at first very sour and much concerned for the loss of ninety-four of their people by the French Indians since the declaration of peace; but by prudent management he soon reclaimed them, so that though weary of the war and much frightened by the threats of the French they have promised only to treat with the French at Albany. Count de Frontenac contends that they are not included in the peace and will not admit them to be English subjects; but the King has the same title to them as to New York. They have always been esteemed his subjects and have fought manfully for us, but if the French prevail to make them acknowledge their sovereignty this and the adjacent Colonies will be in great danger of ruin. It is therefore of great import that the French be required to desist from their pretences, or a standing force will be necessary to repel any attempt of theirs to reduce the Indians to allegiance. Lord Bellomont has sent Captain Schuyler express to prohibit the French motion into the Onandaga country, which they have threatened to invade; and report goes that Count de Frontenac has advanced as far as Montreal with a considerable force. I hope that the express may meet him and prevent his further advance. I had hoped on my return from Albany to have found that those gentlemen, who had been misguided from their duty to the King, would have repented and returned to their former loyalty, but I am told that on the contrary they have herded together against the Government and composed some false representations to injure Lord Bellomont at home; but I cannot believe that they will be able to stain his reputation by such articles. He has found such coldness and disaffection among those whom he found in commission that I apprehend he will have to supersede them by others of greater loyalty. The contagion of disaffection and disloyalty is so great that without such a reform it will be impossible to continue the revenue and restore the people to their former good affections. The change in the revenue will show you the extent of the late corruption, the receipts for six months since Lord Bellomont's arrival being equal to those of a year before. He has acted with caution and justice and nothing has moved him to censure but downright disloyalty. I shall not be wanting to do all in my power to further his objects. Signed, Ja. Graham. 2½ pp. The whole Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 16th Nov., 1698. [Board of Trade. New York, 8. No. 26; and 53. pp. 91–96.]
Nov. 15. 995. Minutes of Council of Montserrat. A runaway negro, having been recaptured after three months, was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered; compensation of 3,500 lbs. of sugar being paid to his owner. The new Assembly, eight members, presented John Scott as their Speaker, who was approved. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 64. p. 596.]
Nov. 15. 996. Journal of Assembly of Barbados. Order for preparing a new bill as to provision for white servants. The bill for a duty on imported liquors considered and passed. The Controller's fees fixed at 1½ per cent. Thomas Sadleir elected Treasurer. Resolved that the arrears collected by the late Provost Marshal be taken for the public use. Order for a bill to be prepared empowering the Treasurer to sue for and recover debts though the Excise Act shall be expired. Two petitions for rebate of duty. The Supplemental bill for provision of white servants passed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 322–324.]
Nov. 15. 997. Minutes of Council of Maryland. A letter from Sir Edmund Andros was read to the following effect. If your warrant for apprehending Coode were in force, why was he not arrested when he was with you last spring? Your proclamation seems to be like one of the watch-houses on the Barbary shore, to give notice when the Christians are coming to take them. Order for disbanding the Rangers. Order for a list to be prepared of the officers who have not paid the imposition laid by the Assembly on their offices. Order for the fines levied on Slye, Clark and Mason to be applied to payment of those who brought them to justice. The Attorney-General to report whether Quakers, popish priests, etc., can marry persons without banns or licence, and whether they are not obliged to register births, marriages and deaths. Order for the vestries to see that the laws relating to them are strictly enforced. [Board of Trade. Maryland, 13. pp. 661–663.]
Nov. 15. 998. Journal of General Assembly of Massachusetts. Adjourned owing to thin attendance of Representatives.