America and West Indies: October 1700, 16-19

Pages 567-611

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 18, 1700. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1700

Oct. 16.
842. J. Burchett to William Popple. I send you the draught of the Bay of Bonavista (see No. 822), which I desire you'l return to me when it shall be copied. That of Trinity Harbour and of the Redoubt for St. John's, I will send when they come to my hands. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 16, Read Oct. 17, 1700. ¾ p. [Board of Trade. Newfoundland, 4. No. 18; and 25. p. 395.]
Oct. 16.
843. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Grey. We have received yours of March 23, April 20 and 27, May 10 and June 15. We have laid before His Majesty what you write relating to Scotchmen and their being put out of the Commission of Peace through Barbadoes, and you will have received His Majesty's directions for restoring them. As to your admitting of members into His Majesty's Council, you ought to have complyed with the directions given you in our letter of the 23rd of Jan. last, to which we still adhere, and expect you shou'd act accordingly. And you will find by the enclosed paper that His Majesty's Attorney General here is of the same opinion. We send you copies of two Representations that we have laid before His Majesty, the one relating to Tobago, March 28, the other to Dominico, June 12, upon which His Majesty not having given any directions, they may serve only for your own private information. We sent you, Aug. 1, a copy of their Excellencies' Order in Council, July 18, directing you to transmit an account of the method of proceedings in the several Courts. Having since found it necessary to make more particular enquiry, not only into that method, but also into ye execution thereof, and the practice of the respective Courts in pursuance of the ends of their Institution; we send you a paper containing some directions relating thereunto, upon which we desire you to take care that the several accounts and copies of Registers therein mentioned, be accordingly prepared, and to transmit them to us with your own observations and answers upon each head, as you shall understand to be necessary. Signed, Philip Meadows, John Pollexfen, Abraham Hill, George Stepney, Mathew Prior. Annexed,
843. i. Directions to Honble. Ralph Grey, Esq. (1) That you send a copy of the Register and Minutes of the Chancery, and of the Minutes taken, and business done, as a Court of Errors, since your arrival in that Island. (2) That you send a particular account and list of all causes that now stand entred in the Chancery or are depending there, and how long each of them has depended. (3) And specify each day of the month that a Court of Chancery and Court of Errors hath been held, and how many successive days that Court has at any time continued to sit since your arrival; in which account the proceedings of each day are to be severally set down, and the names of such members of Council as attended each day inserted. (4) An account how many final decrees have been made there, since your arrival, how many injunctions granted, how many dissolved, and how many remain still in force. (5) Whereas by an Act of that Island, 1661, the five several Courts of Common Law have certain days appointed for their sitting, it is expected that you send a particular account, how many of the said days each of those Courts hath sate, since your entring upon that Government, together with an account of the business they have done each day, copied from their minutes. All the forementioned accounts to be fully and plainly given by the Registers or other proper Officers of the respective Courts, and sufficiently attested. And it is further thought necessary that for the future you hold the Court of Chancery as often, and for so long a time as shall be requisite for dispatch of the several causes depending before that Court, and that an exact account be always kept of the names of such of the Council as do give their attendance during the sitting of the said Court, so that the Register or other proper Officer may be able to give a particular account thereof on oath from time to time, if the same shall be required. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 45. pp. 106–110.]
Oct. 16. 844. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York. An Act for the better payment of the Representatives, sent up, was read the first and second times and committed. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 845, 846.]
Oct. 17.
[New Yorke.
845. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My last letter, July 26, gave an account of my arrival here from Boston, July 24. The General Assembly were to have met the next day, but did not do so till the 29th, because six of the Members were not come down Hudson's River. In my speech to the Assembly I confined myself to the single point of preserving the Five Nations of Indians by settling Ministers among them, and building a Fort; but how well they comply'd with me, you will know in the sequel of this letter. The 31st the Representatives sent me six queres relating to the Fort 1 proposed to be built, to which I returned my answer in writing. Several Bills were offered me and the Council by the Representatives for our passing, but some we thought frivolous, and some had clauses inconsistent with the laws of England, which for those reasons we laid aside, and only passed three Laws, viz., an Act for appointing and enabling Commissioners to examine and state the public accounts of this Province; an Act against Jesuits and Popish priests; and an Act for the better securing the Five Nations of Indians in their fidelity to His Majesty. This last Act I gave the assent to with great reluctance, and I believe your Lordships will think the treatment it deserves is to be rejected by the King with scorn. The Council were unanimously against its passing, first because the sum of money to be raised thereby came short of what I proposed for building the fort; secondly because the manner of raising it would be a further clog upon trade, and therefore cause a considerable decrease in the present Revenue arising by Customes. All this I was sensible of, and more than that, I thought the bill derogatory to the King's prerogative, that the House of Representatives should take upon them to appoint Commissioners to direct in the matter of building a Fort. Yet I pressed the Council to consent to the Bill's passing, and if I may arrogate to myself one happy or prudent step since my being in the Government, 'twas that of procuring the passing of that Bill. I told the Council it signified not so much whether the end of the Bill were answered or whether the Representatives had behav'd themselves with that decency and respect to the King that they ought to do in a business of that weight, but the conjuncture of affairs was chiefly to be considered. I was (I told 'em) to meet the Indians in a few days at Albany, and if the Assembly should disagree to the building of a Fort, the enemies of the Government would not fail to represent to the Indians such disagreement with all the colours of malice, which might cause such discouragement among them as to make 'em without more adoe revolt to the French. This argument prevailed with the Council to pass the Bill.
I must acqueant your Lordships how the Representatives come to be so alter'd in their behaviour since the time they setled the Revenue for six years. It proceeds from two reasons, first that I have been tender of purging the Militia (except in this city) of the disaffected party, and of putting them out of the Commission of the Peace, which tenderness of mine has heightened the insolence of that party and extreamly discontented the Leisler party, who were the only men that voted the Revenue and the Act that pass'd for breaking some of Col. Fletcher's extravagant grants. Another reason is the many reports the angry party have confidently given out of their procuring another Governor to be sent from England, and what revenge they would then take of the Leisler party; one while they affirmed that Col. Fletcher was to come Governor again, another while Capt. Evans that commanded the frigat here in Col. Fletcher's time. The Leisler party, who had felt the weight of oppression for seven years together, were so frightened at these reports that one or two of 'em changed sides and gave into the passing this foolish money bill. The long respite or suspension of the 2,000l. Act from being approved in England, I mean the money which was given to me and the Lieut-Governor by the Assembly, and also of the Act which vacated some of Col. Fletcher's grants, were urged as undeniable tokens of my disgrace by the angry party, and I must own I thought so too; and the usage I have had in those two particulars has made me quite sick of these Governments. I am not to be shaken or discouraged in the least by the unreasonable opposition of the angry people here, but when I find my services slighted in England, I cannot but be troubled.
I imbarqu'd here for Albany, Aug. 10, as soon as I could prorogue the Assembly, and arrived there the 13th. I cannot expresse the melancholy I was in after I got to Albany, for the Indians, who I feared would have been there before me, made me wait a fortnight for their coming, so that truly I concluded them entirely lost to us. Some people fancied they were tamper'd with by some of the angry party at Albany. The interpreter, who was sent to hasten the Sachems, reported that their minds were so possessed with a jealously of my intending them mischief, as the French had suggested to them, that they were all that while deliberating whether to venture to meet me at Albany. My conference lasted seven or eight days, and was the greatest fatigue I ever underwent in my whole life. I was shut up in a close chamber with 50 Sachems, who besides the stink of bear's grease, with which they plentifully daub themselves, were continually either smoaking tobacco or drinking drams of rum. They seem'd sullen and out of humour at first, but by degrees I brought 'em to perfect good temper. I am told there never appear'd so many Sachems at any Conference as at this. There were above 200 men, women and children, and 'twas with some difficulty we could find 'em in victuals. I once intended to make some remarks on the heads contained in the Conference, but that would make this letter more troublesome than usefull. I shall only observe that the message I sent last Spring to the Five Nations was a most lucky step, and was, I may presume to say, the hindring the Indians from a revolt to the French. I had the good luck to be too nimble for Bruyas, the Jesuit, and M. Maricour, and by my present of a belt of wampum, I frustrated theirs, insomuch that upon their coming the Indians told 'em they were pre-engaged to me. What's contained about the Dowaganhas Indians coming to live near the Five Nations, and in amity with them, is very considerable; if it can be effected, it will be a mighty blow to the French. I asked our Indians what the number might be of those Dowaganhas that proposed coming to live near 'em; they answered they could not tell their number, but there were 16 castles of 'em, and there may be by that rule 3 or 4,000. My private Conference is so call'd because I intended it should not be printed with the rest; but our printer being sick, I can have neither printed, and I think the lesse those things we transact with our Indians are made publick, the better 'tis for us. You will find that the Indians presse to have bounds and limits setled between us and the French. I am in hopes of bringing the Eastern Indians to come and settle at and about Schackhook with our River Indians; 'tis a project I have formerly acquainted your Lordships with, which will be of very great use to strengthen our Five Nations, and annoy the French, whenever we have a war with France. You will find our River Indians make me an overture to that purpose; our Schackhook or River Indians were of those Eastern Indians, but were driven from that country by the people of New England 26 years ago in the war call'd King Phillip's war. Those Eastern Indians and our River Indians still retain their friendship and intermarry with each other. The Penicook and Eastern Indians were cunning enough to send 10 or 12 or their people to be present at our Conference at Albany to watch and observe whether the Five Nations were in good intelligence with me. One of 'em I remember'd to have seen at Boston, he speaks good English, and I discours'd him long: he told me the Jesuits made him and the rest of the Indians, his neighbours, believe the Five Nations were resolv'd to decline meeting me at Albany this time, and would revolt to the Governor of Canada. I was glad to hear the Mohacks tell those Eastern Indians that if they liv'd not peaceably with the English in N. England, they would look on 'em as their enemies and cut 'em off. And indeed that is an unanswerable reason for the King's uniting the Provinces of Massachusets and New York always under the same Governor, for otherwise the Five Nations can never be so managed as to suppress the rebellions of the Eastern Indians. I gave those Eastern Indians presents, and they seemed well pleased.
The memorial of Mr. David Schuyler, who was newly come from Canada, shews how many of our Indians the Jesuits have decoy'd from us. A few days before my leaving Albany, Samuell York, an Englishman, escap'd thither from Canada after a detention of ten years by the French. His memorial will give you some satisfaction; if the man be honest I hope to make good use of him. I have sent him with two or three of the Albany men and some of our Indians to the Dowaganhas and other remote Nations, to try to engage them in a trade with us; he has liv'd among 'em and speaks their language. Whether the Governor of Canada had a jealousie of my sending to those Nations, or had the intelligence thereof from Albany (for some people believe that Bruyas, the Jesuit, and M. de la Valliere staid not there so long last year to observe our poor and shameful fort there, but that they bestow'd some of that time in securing a pensioner or intelligencer) I know not, but 'tis certain that Governor has detached a Captain and 30 men to the Dowaganhas Country, and sent a pardon to a number of French hunters, (whom they call coureurs de bois) who have been in rebellion and refused to come to the Governor on his summons. Samuell York and also Jean Rosie, a Frenchman who lives at Albany and came lately from Montreal, assur'd me those coureurs de bois were very desirous to come and live under the King's obedience, and would bring a great store of peltry with them, but they fear'd our Five Nations would both rob and knock 'em in the head, which is the reason I advise the Indians in my Conference to give the French traders free passage through their country. If I can get those coureurs de bois to come to me. I make no question to draw the Dowaganhas to me; but if the French captain and his party meets Samuell York and his company (who are not above ten men), he will certainly knock 'em in the head. I sent Col. Romer to the Onnondages' Country to find out a proper place for erecting a fort. I send the muster-rolls of the four Companies. I had the two companies at Albany, viz. Major Ingoldesby's and Capt. Weemes's mustered before me there, and my own and the Lieut-Governor's Companies here since my return from Albany, which is the reason of the difference of their dates. I never in my life saw so moving a sight as that of the Companies at Albany; half the men were without breeches, shoes and stockings, when they muster'd. I thought it shameful to the last degree to see English souldiers so abus'd. They had like to have mutinied. Their petitions, complaining of the dearnesse and badnesse of their provisions, and their want of cloaths and fuel, go. I made a new order for the mustering the four Companies every two moneths.
While I was at Albany, I discovered a very unfair practice in the Commissioners I appointed there for management of the Indian affairs, in bringing in large accounts of expences for the Indians, and Col. Schuyler above all others was guilty of this. To prevent which great expence and inconvenience, I made some new Instructions, enclosed, wherein I have taken care to limit the Commissioners in their expences for the Indian service. I found at my going to Albany Aquendero, alias Sadegenohty, the Speaker of the Five Nations, with about 25 Indians more, had been maintained at Col. Schuyler's house, but at the King's charge, for two moneths. I found fault with that mismanagement, and calculated the forementioned instructions to prevent it. Col. Schuyler studies to make himself popular by that means. I should commend his so doing if he made use of it to serve the King, but when he does it to serve himself and gratifie his own vanity, I declared I could not approve of that. For instance, on the last day of my main Conference, Schuyler had instructed the Speaker to call for him, and he contriv'd to be absent on purpose; when the Speaker call'd for him and desir'd I would send for him, I thought it was fit for me to rebuke him: I told him I was the Governor, and that the King had entrusted me with the choice of his Councellors in this Province, and that it was at my election whether I would have Col. Schuyler continue one of His Majesty's Council or lay him aside. This was a foolish plot of Schuyler's, but such things do hurt, they perplex and distract the Indians, and tend to lessen the authority of a Governor.
The parties have been much divided about my building a fort at the Onondages', the Leisler party for it, and the others against it violently. There was an address to me from some of the inhabitants of Albany, wherein they desire that Albany and Schenectade may be fortified before the fort at Onondage be begun. The Mayor, Recorder and about two-thirds of the Inhabitants refused to sign the Addresse because they apprehended the General Assembly had approved of the building a Fort in the Onondage Country, and that was a good design for the service of the King and the Province. In my return from Albany and on Hudson's River, I met with your letters of the 11th and 19th of April and May 10 last, and with them I received the King's letter of the 28th of last March, and one from His Majesty to the Governor and Company of Connecticot, which I sent to that Governor and have his receipt for it. I was eight days and as many nights coming down Hudson's River in a little nasty sloop, which made my journy extreamly tiresome. Capt. Caldwell with the Advice frigat arriv'd the 17th of last moneth, and brought me your Lordship's letters of the 21st of last June and a 100 Recruits, tho' but part of the cloathing. Those expected from Ireland are not yet come. I am glad your Lordships have succeeed so well in fixing these souldiers and cloathing for the time to come, and in obtaining the presents for the Indians and 500l. towards building the Fort at Onondage. I shall be better able to satisfie you about that intended Fort when Col. Romer returns and has made me his report, but, according to my present idea of the country, there is an Isthmus on a vast Lake lying northward of the Onondages, which will be the fittest place for a Fort, and so the Indian Sachems agreed with me, for Col. Romer and I shew'd 'em the map, which they quickly comprehended. It will have a double advantage, first in securing some Rivers that run into that Lake, through which Rivers the French us'd to pass when they made war upon our Synek Nation in the year '87; a second advantage will be that the Dowaganhas and those other remote Nations will be able to come and trade at our Fort there in spite of our Five Nations, for they can come directly over that Lake in their Canoes, without passing through any part of the country, where our Five Nations inhabit. And notwithstanding all the fair promises of our Indians contain'd in the Conferences, to embody with those remote Indians and receive 'em into the Covenant Chain, they cannot be rely'd on altogether; they are apt to be perfidious, and 'tis much to be fear'd they will as often as they meet those Indians rob 'em of their peltry and then knock 'em in the head that they may tell no tales.
Mr. Lodwick arriv'd here the 19th of last moneth after a tedious passage of 15 weeks; he brought me the originals of your forementioned letters, also letters from the King of Feb. 10 and March 29, with letters also from the King to the Governors of Connecticot and Rhode Island, which I sent them. I desire your Lordships will please to send over two Ministers as soon as possibly can be, or we shall hazard the losse of our Indians; they presse for Ministers above all things whatsoever. They ought to be young men, or they will never be able to learn the Indian tongue; they must be men of sober and exemplary lives, and good scholars, or they will not be fit to instruct the Indians, and encounter the Jesuits in point of argument. I should advise their being both setled at the intended Fort, and for their incouragement they ought to have a 150l. a year salary apiece sterl. money. Without a Fort 'tis next to impossible to prevail with Ministers to live among the Indians: they are so nasty as never to wash their hands or the utensils they dresse their victuals with. Their food is (some of it) loathsome to the last degree. Tho' they eat great store of venison, pidgeons and fish; yet bears' flesh is a great part of their diet, and when they feast themselves and their friends, a dog is esteemed with them a Princely dish. The Corporation for propagating the Gospel, etc., are worthy Gentlemen, and I am confident will at your Lordships' desire order the salaries of the ministers out of the Corporation stock. I send you an account of the disposition of the stock in N. England. I have often told Mr. Stoughton, who is Treasurer, and the rest of the Commissioners that I thought that Province able enough to maintain their Ministers, and that the giving that mony to Ministers, that did not preach to the Indians in their tongue and were so lazy as not to learn it, was a misapplication of the Corporation-mony. I am a member of the Corporation myselfe, and we had some meetings at Boston to settle that business, but did litle in it. Mr. Grindall Rawson is the only Minister in the list that speaks the Indian tongue and preaches in it. Mr. Stoughton and I join'd in putting Monsr. Laborie into a plantation where are some French and Indians, with a salary of 30l. a year; he has undertaken to learn the Indian tongue and instruct and preach to the Indians. I was in great hopes you would have directed me to fall immediately upon fortifying at Albany and Schenectady. Those forts are not only scandalously weak, but do us unspeakable mischief with our Indians, who conceive a proportionable idea of the King's power and greatnesse. The inhabitants came all about me at my leaving Albany, and told me in plain terms that if the King would not build a Fort there to protect 'em, they would on the very first news of a war between England and France desert that place and fly to New York, rather than they would stay there to have their throats cut. Several of the inhabitants of Schenectady told me the same of their Fort. I sent Col. Romer to view it, and he reported to me that the gates of that fort were down, and that a cart might passe through the palisades, or rather stakes. I desire your Lordships will please to lay this matter before the King. That Forts should be built at those places is undeniably necessary, and should not have been thus long delay'd; and that the Assembly of this Province will not be at the charge of building them, I am as certain. I have often talked with some of them about it, and the reason they give is not without weight; they say tho' the city of New York be tollerably rich, and also Nassau Island, yet all the other parts of the province are poor, especially the City and County of Albany, and not at all able to pay any proportion of such a charge. There are half a dousin men at Albany who have competent estates, but all the rest are miserable poor. If the King would order me to begin to build Forts at those two places, and order me a credit on some of the Revenue-offices in London, I would draw for small sums at a time, till the King should be either assisted by the Parliament of England, or some way thought of to compell all the Plantations to contribute to the charge of these and all other necessary fortifications. I did not question but orders would have come for building Forts at Albany and Schenectady, and therefore I had 400 wheelbarrows provided, which have cost above 100l. This disappointment will be a caution to me hereafter not to be so hastily wise and provident for the King as to anticipate his orders. If those two places are not fortified, this and the neighbouring Plantations will be defencelesse and expos'd to certain ruin, if a war should happen between the two crowns. The French of Canada are, I doubt not, well inform'd of all our circumstances since the last war. I find that in '87 the Marquis de Dénomville, Governor of Canada, march'd at the head of 2,300 men against our Synek Nation. The French are said to be much more numerous now than they were then. They have, according to the information I have lately had, 200 officers, and are able to double their standing force at a day or two's warning, by obliging the burghers to enlist themselves. Then they are always provided at Montreal with magazines of all sorts to furnish 'em for an expedition against us or our Five Nations. Jean Rosie and Samuel York told me now at Albany they have been in the armory there, and that there are arms for 2,500 men with ammunition in proportion; that there are 250 small boats, as many canoes, and 1,500 pair of snow-shoes or raquettes, whereo I now send your Lordships a pair by Capt. Deering, who commands the Fortune. I find I had forgot to acquaint you of a petition of the Inhabitants of Suffolk County and another of those of Queen's County in this province, for the settlement of dissenting Ministry among them; they were deliver'd during that session of the Assembly wherein the Revenue was setled for six years. I gave no countenance to them then, nor will I recommend them now. I think the best way is to forget them.
I suspended Mr. Lancaster Symes, one of the Lieutenants to Major Ingoldesby's Company, on Dec. 22, '98, for neglecting to go to his post at Albany after two years' absence from thence; he has never applied to me to be restor'd, and deserves for many reasons to be broke, which I hope the King will be pleased to consent to. Major Ingoldesby has been absent from his post four years, and is so brutish to leave his wife and children here to starve. I was forc'd to lend her 30l., or she must have starv'd. I desire he might be commanded to his post immediately, or rather I could wish he were exchanged for some discreet honest gentleman that's a Captain in a Regiment in England. Ingoldesby is of a worthy family, but is a rash, hot-headed man, and had a great hand in the execution of Leisler and Milburn, for which reason, if there were no other, he is not so fit to serve in this country, having made himselfe hateful to the Leisler party. I suspended Parson Smith, Chaplain to these Companies, on Aug. 7, for affronting my Lord Bishop of London, and for living a scandalous life in neglecting his cure, parting with his wife and co-habiting with another woman. I suspended Mr. Augustine Graham (son of the Attorney General) from the post of Adjutant on the 14th of last moneth; he had 4s. per day for doing nothing. I saw him exercise three files of men (which made the guard here in the Fort) twice since my being in the Government. I thought his pay a superfluous charge, and his duty I will make the lieutenants do. Besides that, he is a most profligate man, often drunk, and then his common exercise is to break glasse windows and disturb all the town in the night. I admonish'd him against his disorderly course of life, but I believe he will become sober, when his father becomes honest. His father has plaid me a world of tricks, and I am heartily glad you are sending over an able, honest Attorney Generall, for Mr. Graham has often misled, but never assisted me, except in the charge I sent home against Col. Fletcher.
Your directions, Aug. 21, 1699, to send you my observations on the proposals made by the Proprietors of E. Jersey, will not now need to be complied with, since the Proprietors have carried the cause in Westminster Hall, and obtained freedom of Port for Perth-Amboy.
As to the Charter granted by Col. Fletcher to the town of West Chester, Mr. Graham, the Attorney General, gave me that character which I transmitted concerning its extravagance and illegality. I send a list of the present Council of this province, but am puzzled who to recommend for a supply of Councellors, unlesse I should send the names of Marchands. When Mr. Attwood and Mr. Weaver come over, we shall be pretty well reinforc'd.
I shall observe your direction in getting some large masts of ships brought down Hudson's River at as cheap rates as I can, and will give you timely notice thereof, that you may send for them, but as for making an experiment, as you direct, with some souldiers in the making of tar, 'tis not possible as the case stands, for the King has not an acre of land or a tree in this Province, unless the Act for vacating some Grants, which I sent home, be approv'd. I know the Act stands good, unlesse the King disapprove it: yet we are discouraged in the meantime from falling to work. Besides, the souldiers that work must be allow'd 12d. per day sterl., or we shall never get 'em to work. If your Lordship will get that Act approv'd by the King, and the pay for a 100 souldiers increas'd to 12d. per day English, I doubt not but to give you good satisfaction in that particular, and that very soon. I mean the pay of a 100 men only, to be so increas'd, during the time the experiment is making. I crave leave to renew my former request of having the 30l. per cent. taken off. If I were to consult my own interest singly, I would follow the example of him that went before me, I should then let the article of 30 per cent. rest as it does, and put (as Col. Fletcher did) the greatest part of it in my pocket. But I am for putting things on a foot that will be for the King's honour and the souldiers' ease. In plain terms, that deduction is an intollerable oppression upon the officers and souldiers, and unlesse it be taken off, we shall never be able to keep full Companies. This country is dear for diet, and, taking one thing with another, (that is the price of cloathing, with that of diet) 'tis full twice as dear living here as in London. A coarse pair of yarn stockings, that costs 9d. in London, costs 3s. 6d. English here; a pair of souldiers' shoes that costs 3s. 6d. in London, costs 7s. 6d. here N. York money; and so linen for shirts double the price it costs in London. And now I appeal to your Lordships, whether it be prudent or reasonable or yet honest, that this deduction be continu'd. To remove the objection that this proposition of mine will create a new charge to the King in paying the wages of a chaplain, storekeeper, surgeon, gunner, and matrosses, which us'd to be paid out of the 30 per cent., I will undertake to order the matter so as to pay those extraordinaries without any charge to the King, and that by the improvement I will make of the souldiers' pay in trade, which is the only way that's practicable to transfer their pay from England to this place. In a word the new recruits had like to have mutin'd at the sad provisions furnish'd by the victualer, so that I am now forc'd to pay 'em every Saturday duly their subsistence in money, and the same course I am going to take at Albany, where the souldiers have been worse us'd then here, to Mr. Livingston's only satisfaction and profit, he having pinch'd an estate out of the poor souldiers' bellies. I have been put to much trouble in this method I have begun of paying the souldiers' subsistence in mony weekly, the marchands in this town, finding I was forc'd to take up mony here and draw bills on the Agent in London, they combin'd together to traverse me all they could; at first they lower'd the exchange of the mony considerably, and what is worse they will now advance no money at all on my bills, so that were it not for one Dutch marchand and two or three Jews that have let me have mony, I should have been undone. This at once shews the wickednesse of these people, and the necessity of returning the souldiers' pay in trade, that so we may not be at the mercy of these marchands. Before these recruits came, we had very few men in the four Companies that were not fitter for an hospital than for service. The old disabled men staid because they could not otherwise live, and the young fellows deserted to the neighbouring Plantations, where they never failed of a welcome, and these men will do the like unlesse the 30 per cent. be taken off, and their lives made easy and comfortable. When I arriv'd here from Boston, I found Capt. Ogden, who had been come about 10 days, and had brought 50 barrels of powder and the number of beds mentioned in the following certificate. The powder I order'd to be open'd and view'd, and there were five barrels wanting in the measures, and great part drawn powder, with pieces of wadds and Carthrage paper, and decay'd powder that was clotted dust. The beds all old, rotten and broke and not pack'd up, but thrown loose into the ship, and so unfit for use that they are scarce worth the mending. I desire there may be a 100 good beds with covering and sheets sent over as soon as may be, for if the recruits come from Ireland, we have not a bed for them, and here the Inhabitants will not endure to quarter the souldiers. The recruits that are now come from England are very clamorous at their sea-pay, in regard they were put to short allowance in their voyage. I send their petition and desire your Lordships' direction what to do in it. I cannot, I tell 'em, answer the paying them, but from the day of their landing. There is great want of a Court of Chancery here, but nobody here understanding it rightly, I delay appointing one, till the Judge and Attorney Generall's coming from England. I sent you, June 22, '98, the yearly amounts of the Revenue of N. York under Mr. Brookes's collection and during Col. Fletcher's Government; I then took the medium of the five years' produce of the Revenue in Col. Fletcher's time, which to the best of my remembrance was no more than 3,300l. in one year, and to let your Lordships see what improvement has been made of the Revenue these two last years since Brookes's being out, I send the amounts of the said two last years; the year 1698 produces 5,267l. 11s. 2¾ d., and the year 1699 produces 5,400l. 19s. 6½ d. So that, deducting the said year's amount at a medium from the last year's amount of the Revenue, and it appears the increase is 2,100l. 19s. 6½ d. If I had an honest, active Collector to assist me, I will undertake to advance the Revenue to double whatever it was in any year during Col. Fletcher's Government. I believe Col. Courtland gives a just account of all the money that comes to his hands, but he is grown very crazy and infirm, and is a very timorous man. In a word, he has never yet made any seizure since his being Collector, and I believe never would, if he were 50 years to come in that post. The sales of the Fidelia seiz'd at Boston, which I forgot to send from thence, and of the Nassau and Adventure seiz'd and condemn'd here, are bound up together. The Nassau was commanded by Giles Shelley, who brought above 50 Pyrats and much treasure in her from Madagascar. There's a violent presumption that Mr. Graham was brib'd by Shelley, and so contriv'd his escape. The story will be long to trouble your Lordships with now, but another time I will acquaint you with it.
If the Commissioners, appointed by Act of Assembly to take and state the publick accounts of the Province, do not make a further examen into Col. Fletcher's accounts than that I formerly sent your Lordships (and I much doubt whether they be very capable or skilful in accounts), I cannot promise your Lordships a more exact audit than that I formerly sent. I for my part cannot attend a word of that labour, and we have not here so much as one man that has a talent for that sort of businesse, for that reason it was I was desirous of Mr. Tollet's being made Secretary of the Province. Your Lordships are pleased in your letter of the 19th of last April to caution me against obstructing the course of the law in the suit depending between Col. Allen and the inhabitants of N. Hampshire, wherein I have been so very careful that I have not concerned myselfe directly or indirectly, either by word or letter, in that affair, insomuch that my indifference has rendered me suspected by either side to be an enemy. Last post a gentleman writes me word from Boston that Mr. Partridge was come thither, and gave out to his friends that I privatly favour'd Col. Allen's pretension; your Lordships know how much truth there is in that surmise of Mr. Partridge's. You incourage my further inquiry into the use that may be made of turpentine and brimstone for paying ships' bottoms, which made me write to my author, Capt. Belcher at Boston about it, and the extracts of two letters I have since had from him on that subject are both enclosed. I have talk'd with Mr. Latham, an able ship-wright here, who wrought several years in the King's yards in England about that composition, and he is of opinion it will do extreamly well, and will resist the worm. As I get further Light into that Experiment, your Lordships shall know it.
The Fortune, which was thrown upon the King by the ignorance of Mr. Graham and some other concurring accidents, I now send to England full fraighted with ship-timber, under command of Col. Deering, who was Lieut. of the Arundel frigat, and was desirous to command the Fortune. The reports you have sent me from the Navy Board and the builders in the King's yards at Deptford and Woolwich upon the specimens of ship-timber sent by Mr. Bridger from Pescattaway have put me upon a nice and exact survey of the timber I now send (which is but a third part neither of that which I have provided). I send you the report of the principall shipwrights in this town, whom I ordered to survey it. The builders at Deptford and Woolwich preferring Eastland timber, I do not like. The word Eastland gives me a jealousie; it has an ill sound with it: we know very well the Eastland marchands are a wealthy body of men. If Mr. Bridger sent of the best timber, I must suspect the candor and ingenuity of those builders. When I call'd all the shipwrights before me, whose names are to the foremention'd Report, and asked their opinion of this timber in the Fortune and that which lyes on the wharf, they all (except Mr. John Latham) were positive that it is as good in every respect as any timber they ever saw or wrought on in England, but Latham seeming to yield a preference to English oak, I advis'd the rest to submit to his experience. The timber which remains behind I will send along with the masts, which you order me to send to England of the growth of this Province. I send an account of the charges I have been at in providing all this ship-timber, and desire you will please to take such order as that I may be reimburs'd this mony out of hand, most part of which I am debtor, and let me not be so hardly us'd in this as I was in the expences I was out for taking Gillam the Pyrat, and for my journy to Rhode Island, the account whereof I sent to England, but the Lords of the Treasury rejected it, and directed I should be paid out of the Revenue of the Province, their Lordships not knowing, I perceive, that the King has not a shilling of Revenue in the Massachusetts Province. This, and a great many other discouragements I meet with. As no interest or reward can possibly byas me against the good and interest of England, and the affection and duty I owe her, so I cannot but have a jealousy for everything that's for her advantage. The furnishing ship-timber from these Plantations (not only for the use of the Navy, but also for the use of the marchands) if it may so be order'd, is of the greatest moment and advantage that possibly can be thought of for England, and it will, I perceive, stand in need of your Lordships' utmost circumspection and care to support an inmate trade against an alien trade, which certainly no man that pretends to common sense or honesty will put in ballance. As to the arrear due to the Victualers of the Companies here, which I acquainted you, Feb. 28, was about 10,000l., I find in my Journal that Mr. Livingston told me so, July 29, '99, at Salem. He says now that he meant the whole arrear of subsistence due to the officers and souldiers amounted at that time to 10,000l. I find there is a year's subsistence due to the victuallers in Col. Fletcher's time, which makes part of the said sum. I have paid the Companies the nine moneths' subsistence, March 25, '99–Dec. 25, and given notice that the Agent had received the subsistence to the 19th of last June, besides eight moneths' clearings, which shall be paid out of hand, when the Captains and Victualers have made up accounts. I shall never be able to raise mony here for bills of Exchange on the Agent, as the marchands here combine against me; therefore I must be forc'd to instruct the Agent in London to invest the pay and subsistence in goods proper for this Country. I had lost my Credit with the officers and souldiers for want of mony to pay the nine moneths' subsistence, had it not been for the money the Collector had in his hands, which the Assembly intended a present for me, and which I was forced to borrow, to answer so urgent an occasion. I am almost tempted to throw up the Agency, and not meddle with it, but let the Lords of the Treasury order an Agent, for not being myselfe in London to take security of an Agent's faithfull discharge of that trust, I cannot but think I run some hazard. The Agent of the Companies ought to be a marchand of good skill and substance and should give good security in 6 or 7,000l.
The General Assembly should have met the first of this moneth, but staid for the Albany members ten days, those members having been almost so long in the River coming down. They have voted a repeal of the foolish Act they passed last Session for the building the Fort at Onondage, and giving a tax in lieu of that additional duty; so that I hope to have a good Fort built there and mann'd by the end of next June.
Last Sunday the souldiers that came last from England were about to mutiny, because they have not English pay. I got notice of it and put the Ringleader in irons. The people of this town are some of 'em so wicked as to excite the souldiers to mutiny, and some of the souldiers have confessed so. The three Lieutenants that came with these recruits are very uneasy, and told me, if they could not have English pay, they would go home. I hope the Government there is not bankrupt that the King should be under a necessity of putting a hardship upon officers and souldiers, that come to this dear country to serve him. I desire your Lordships above anything to get the 30 per cent. taken off.
As Col. Nicholson and Col. Blackiston were coming hither (for they would needs make me the complement of coming to N. York) they were both taken ill on the way; Col. Blackiston could come no further than Philadelphia, and thence return'd to Maryland. Col. Nicholson made shift to get hither, but was very weak with his feaver. He came here the 22th of last moneth, and return'd the 11th inst. With him came Mr. Penn and Col. Hamilton, Governor of the Jersies. Col. Nicholson, Mr. Penn and I had some discourse about these Plantations; the heads on which we discours'd were drawn up in short terms by Mr. Penn. Col. Nicholson's indisposition hindred us from putting these heads into better form; besides too Mr. Penn has forgot to take notice of the first head we talk'd of, viz., a method how to draw the remote Indians over to us. Mr. Penn's occasions call'd him hence the 4th inst. and Col. Nicholson seem'd to thinke Col. Blackiston's presence necessary for the observance of your Lordships' orders. We have determin'd to meet next spring at Philadelphia. The 6th and 7th heads in Mr. Penn's paper Col. Nicholson and I declared to him were not pertinent to our purpose, the first of which is calculated to people his proprietary Colony, and the next is already order'd as he has stated it by the King's Commission and Instructions to us that are Governors for the King. I shall hereafter offer some things to your Lordships' consideration upon these and the like heads.
I am advis'd from Boston that Mr. Benjamin Marston, a marchand of Salem, has sent away the planks for ships to Lisbon, notwithstanding I cautioned him against it; he declared there was no statute against so doing, and he would carry on his lawfull trade. Mr. Partridge has taught the country that trade, which he can never make amends for. 'Tis a most injurious trade to England, not only as it helps our Neighbours, (and how soon we may call 'em our Enemies we cannot tell) to build ships of war, but that lazy and gainful trade will quickly loose our fishing trade to the French. The very next letter I write to your Lordships shall treat of the trade of these Provinces and of the fishery among the rest. I expect Col. Romer every day from visiting the Onondages' Country, and we will then offer something upon the head of Forts, etc., on our Frontier.
I shall conclude with reminding you of a better salary for myselfe and some recompence for the time that's past. I have been out of England these three years and more, and if I were ask'd what I have done for myselfe and family, I could with truth affirm I have been nicely faithful to the King and have taken a world of pains to serve the interest of England, and come all this way to return in worse circumstances as to my fortune than I came. I am assur'd from good hands that the profits of the Governor of Virginia are 4,000l. a year, and those of the Governor of Maryland 2,500l. a year; 'tis true that those Plantations yield a great Revenue to the Crown, and that's a good reason why those Governments should be profitable. I believe too they are worthy gentlemen that are the Governors, yet all the Revenue of those Provinces depends on my care and a right management of the Indians, especially the Five Nations. There is not a man of truth in America that will not own that all our Plantations in America can subsist no longer than those Indians are our friends. Even Barbados and the rest of the Islands depend on it, for their constant supplies of provisions are from these Plantations. Some they have from England and Ireland, but that is casual.
I am lately advis'd that the marchands of N. York had petitioned the King that they might be put under a distinct Governor from the Province of Massachusetts Bay, but I hope you will oppose so dangerous a step as that may prove to be, and rather gratifie 'em in a new Governor who shall be Governor of both, as at present. Col. Nicholson and Mr. Penn endeavour'd to reconcile the parties here, and took pains to reconcile me and the marchands; I told 'em I had no advances to make to the marchands, unlesse it could be prov'd I had governed arbitrarily and oppress'd them in their trade contrary to law; that for my part I was in charity with them and all the world, but if they expected to be reconciled to me upon terms of my indulging them in unlawful trade and piracy, they should find themselves still mistaken, for I would be as steddy as a rock in those points. Till these grants of lands have had their doom, these people are irreconcileable, and 'tis the greatest hardship on me imaginable that the Act sent over for vacating some of Fletcher's grants has not been approv'd by the King in all this time. One Mountague, their Solicitor, writes 'em word hither confidently that the Act will be rejected by the King, which keeps up their rage and their insolence; and not only the Grantees concern'd immediately in that Act are angry and disturb'd, but also all the rest that have vast tracts of land granted by wholesale, and that which seems to me an absurdity is that four of the Council are of those Grantees, viz., Col. Courtland, Col. Schuyler, Col. Smith and Mr. Livingston, and tho' Mr. Graham be not one of them, yet he has been false to the King, notwithstanding the Representations he sent home to England, complaining of those extravagant grants and of their being ruinous to the Province, and plaid me many tricks to obstruct that Act's passing, which in spite of him did neverthelesse passe. So that Mr. Graham being also of the Council and a friend to the Grantees, they have five of the eight Councellors that are at present in the Province. I have been much troubled to find my name brought on the stage in the House of Commons about Kidd, 'twas hard, I thought, I should be push'd at so vehemently, when it was Known I had taken Kidd and secur'd him in order to his punishment, which was a sure sign the noble Lords concern'd with me, and myselfe, had no criminall design in setting out that ship. Another mortification I have met with is the losse of a rent-charge of a 1,000l. a year, which the King was pleas'd to give me upon an Irish forfeited estate, in recompense for the great losses I sustain'd by the Rebellion in Ireland. If I have serv'd the King and the interest of England here, I am sure I have been strangely rewarded there. Signed, Bellomont. P.S.—Mr. Champante having sent me the copy of some articles that were exhibited against me to the House of Commons last Session by one John Keis, a Scotchman, I had once a design of answering them, till reflecting that the greatest part of 'em are palpable untruths, and those that happen to be true are trifling and of litle moment, I thought it would be time mis-spent to answer such trash. For instance, I am accus'd of having remov'd Col. Young with others from the Council, and Col. Young was dead two years before my coming into this country. Dr. Carfbile, whom I swore of the Council, is call'd a Mountebank, whereas in truth he was a graduate Phisitian at Leyden, and a very learned and honest man. 'Tis a hardship on every honest man that serves the King to the best of his power to have his name and reputation torn and vilified by a little vagabond Scotchman, and I should think such a man is accountable to the House of Commons for abusing them with untruths. I hope you will settle and send over the Establishment for my increase of salary, very soon; otherwise I cannot possibly undergo the fatigue of businesse I have hitherto done. My part of the Conference was every word dictated by me, and all the orders I now send, and which at any time I use in the Government, I am forc'd to draw with my own hand, for want of a Secretary that's a man of businesse, and my pitifull salary will not afford my keeping a capable private Secretary. If I be not at Boston next May's Session of that Assembly (as perhapps the King's service may require my stay in this Province all next summer) I do not expect they will make any provision for me either by gift or salary. Therefore I desire your Lordships will ascertain my salary for that province, if that should so happen. 'Tis a mighty discouragement to a Governor to be so treated; and some reflection on the administration in England that a thing of that consequence should still be unsetled. Since I finished this letter, I have received from Albany the good news of the Eastern Indians' submission to the Five Nations. This is a most lucky thing, and the people of N. England have reason to blesse God that they are forever hereafter secure and safe from people that have been cruell thorns in their sides, and I may truly and modestly say that the King (as well as they) has some obligation to my labours and service herein. This submission proceeds from my management of them, when I was last at Albany. The Eastern Indians have renounc'd the Governor of Canada, and the French. I will, God willing, be at Albany in spring, and will in the meantime appoint some of the Eastern Sachems and some of every of our Five Nations to meet me there, and I doubt not but I shall be able to make a perpetual alliance and league of friendship between them. Enumerates enclosures. Holograph. 22¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 13 Dec., 1700. Enclosed,
845. i. Abstract of above, with marginal comments for reply. 7½ pp.
845. ii. Lord Bellomont's speech to the Representatives, New York, July 29, 1700. Printed by order of the House. Signed, Abra. Gouverneur, Speaker. 1 p. Endorsed as letter.
845. iii. Congratulatory Address of the Representatives to Lord Bellomont, July 29, 1700. Printed by order of the House. Signed, Abrah. Gouverneur. 1 p. Same endorsement.
845. iv. Printed Copy of some Queries sent up to Lord Bellomont by the Representatives, July 31, 1700, concerning His Excellency's proposition of building a Fort, together with His Excellency's replies. Cf. Nos. 667–687.
845. v. Lord Bellomont's conference with the Indians at Albany, Aug. 26–Sept. 4, 1700. Present: Col. Peter Schuyler, Col. Abrah. De Peyster, Robert Walters of H.M. Council, Peter Van Brug, Mayor, John Bleecker, Recorder, John Schuyler, David Schuyler, Joannes Roseboom, Wessel ten Broek, Aldermen; Major Dirck Wessels, Capt. John Sanders Glen, Ryer Schermerhoorn, Justices of the Peace; Thomas Williams, Sherif; Capt. James Weemes, Col. William Romer, Mathew Clarkson, Secretary, Capt. S. Veitch, Mr. Dunckan Campbell, and the Sachems of the Five Nations. Interpreted by Jan Baptist Van Eps, Lawrence Claesen. Lord Bellomont said, Brethren, I am commanded by the great King to assure you of his protection and kindnesse. I have been much surprised to hear what artifices the French of Canada have us'd to seduce you. I have been advis'd from yourselves and from the Eastern Indians, that the French Jesuits have endeavoured to perswade you and them that the King my Master had formed a design to destroy all your Nations, by all methods imaginable, by disarming, that you may become a prey to the Dowaganhaes, Twichtwichs and other remote Nations, and by prisoning of you. They warned you not to come hither and enter into a conference with me, assuring you that I should meet you with a great armed force and cut you off, and that where that fail'd I should give you poyson to drinck in rum, but you shall find a treatment so contrary that you shall forever hereafter find them the greatest liars and impostors in the world. I have sent to England for Ministers to instruct you in the true Religion. For the present I shall settle Mr. Vreeman, an able, good Minister, at Schanechtade, to instruct you. He has promised me to learn your language, and doubts not to be able to preach to you therein in a year's time. I have another Minister, a learned, able young man, who I will also settle amongst you before winter. I doubt not but you will quickly perceive the vast difference between our Religion and that which the Jesuits corruptly call the Christian Religion, and then I hope you will encourage those of the Five Nations, whom the French Jesuits have seduced from us, to return to their obedience to the great King our Master, wherein you will also find your own advantage, for not only your friends and relations will come and live with you again, but you will be strenthened by them.
Aug. 27. Present: 50 Sachems of the Five Nations (names given). Speaker, Aqueendera, alias Sadegenaktie. We know the evil reports very well, which, you tell us, come from the French of Canada, but we do not regard their stories, but lay hold of the old Covenant chain. We will forbear keeping any more correspondence with the French of Canada, if the great King of England will defend our people from the Dowaganhaes, Twichtwichs and other nations over whom the French have an influence, and who have been encouraged by the French to destroy aboundance of our people ever since the Peace. The present Governor of Canada has not scrupled to own the same to some of us last spring. Your promise of Ministers to come and teach us is very acceptable and joyful news to us all. We were promised Ministers this Spring to instruct us in the Protestant Religion, and therefore refused the subsequent offer of MM. Maricour and Brouyas, tendering us by a belt Jesuits to instruct us. Now we are unanimously resolved to adhere firmly to Corlaer and be instructed in the religion which he and his people profess. The French have too often deceived us by their doctrine, and we are resolved we will be deluded no more by them. It is not altogether in our power to prevail with our brethren, who have been entic'd away to Canada by the French, to return to us. The Governor of Canada has many ways to draw and keep them; he feeds them when they are hungry and cloathes them when they are naked, for it is the French custom to cloath all those that are baptiz'd and received into their Church, which is a great inducement to our people to turn Papists. We doubt if our Brother Corlaer would put the King of England to that charge. But we will do our utmost. All we of the Five Nations are come to this conclusion, to have a Protestant Minister in Onnondage, as soon as ever your Lordship pleases to send one. We pray that, when our people come to Albany, they may be instructed by the Minister, as has been done formerly.
Henry the Maquase, speaking for the Protestant Maquase, said that they had now prevailed upon five of their people, that had designed to go and live at Canada, to stay in their country. His Excellency told them they should have no cause to repent it.
Albany, Aug. 28. His Excellency informed the Sachems that he was satisfied of their zeal for the Protestant Religion, which he would report to the King, as it would effectually engage His Majesty to support and protect them. He questioned not but in a short time they would be furnish'd with able Ministers to instruct them in the Protestant Religion. He would place one or two in the Onnondage Country as they desir'd, but, having discours'd with Ministers, found they were not willing to go so far off, until a Fort was built there, which the Assembly have voted. He would send the King's Engineer to view the properest place. He had written so effectually to the King about fortifying Albany and Schanegtade, that he did not doubt he would give some order therein very speedily, and resent all injuries done to them as to his own proper subjects. But whatever Forts might be made, the Beaver trade must be carried on at Albany. The trade being so carried on under the eye of the Government, the Indians would be less exposed to be overreached. He would take due care that the trade should be duly regulated, which was not then the case. The Sachems replied: The Dowaganhaes have had agents in our country this Summer, by whom they promised to come and settle at a place called Deganatiuchtiage on the other side of Cadarachqui Lake, but are not yet come. We will use all endeavours to prevail with them to come to us, and lay down a few hands of wampum, which they call a cord to draw them by. Our Indians, when they go out a hunting and have bad luck, go to Canada and the Governor cloaths them, by which meanes they are induced to turn Papists by the French charity and caresses. We pray that our desire for a Minister to be established at Albany as well as at Schanegtade be not forgotten. We agree that the trade be solely confined to Albany, but pray let there be a good regulation in it, and let us not be wronged as we have been, but let goods be as cheap as formerly, a fathom of Duffells for a Beaver skin, a fathom of Strowds for a Beaver, then we shall live as brethren and Christians together. Pray let us have good penniworths and that continually, and let not the Beaver traders go to the old trade again, as they will probably do in two days' time, for they used to take a peece of a stick as long as your arm (meaning an ell) and measure the cloath by that, and give us one of those sticks' length of cloath for a Beaver, and then they take that Beaver and puts it in a scale, and a peece of lead in the other scale, and if it does not weigh down that peece of lead, they scruple to take it. When our people comes here with four or five beavers and get but one coat for it, it must trouble us much. If it be possible, let these things be rectified, but if it be not, our Covenant Chain shall nevertheless remain firm and inviolable, altho' the trade was the first inducement of our agreement. We approve extremely of what your Lordship proposed to-day, to go hand in hand and stand or fall together, but let it not be said that if there be any misunderstanding or a thing done amiss by any one or a few men, that therefore the Covenant Chain must be broke, for it were unreasonable that the whole body of us should suffer for the faults of a few men, but we are willing that the offenders should make reparation. In reply to His Excellency who observed that Sadeganaktie, the Speaker, made no answer as to the Fort, the Speaker thanked his Lordship for it, and desired that it might be speedily begun. His Excellency then told them plainly that no Minister would go to the Onondage Country till a Fort was built. The Indians made apology for some Sinnekes taking one Charles Smith, an Englishman, of Virginia, and detaining him five years in their country. "Some of our young men are like doggs that snatch at a peece of meat when one's back is turned." They begged pardon for their offence and gave a belt of wampum, by which they prayed His Excellency to send him home to his relations.
Albany, Aug. 29. His Excellency replied: The French are at but a small charge to clothe their proselytes, who are few. But though your number be so much greater, I will give you all reasonable encouragement. But tho' it is the Jesuits' custom by bribes and rewards to purchase proselytes, we Protestants hold that those only are good Christians, who profess Christianity out of faith, and not upon the score of worldly interest. I will engage Mr. Lydius, the Minister of Albany, to take pains with you and to learn your language, and I hope in a little time to have the Bible translated into your language and to have some of your children taught to read. I wish you would send two or three Sachems' sons out of each Nation to be kept at school at New York, where they shall be well clothed and dyeted at the King's charge, and when they are perfect in reading and writing, return to you, and other boyes come in their places. The goods at Albany shall be afforded as reasonably as can be expected. I take it kindly that you have restored Charles Smith, but I must caution you never hereafter to suffer any of your people to commit the least hostility on any of the King's subjects. For the King will not hold himself obliged to relieve or protect you if you do any violence or injury to his English subjects. I desire that reparation be made for the cattle of English subjects lately killed above Schanegtadie. I desire you will send guides for Col. Romer, and that some of the Sachems may meet and advise with him in the Onnondage Country.
Aug. 29. At a private conference which Lord Bellomont had with two of the principal Sachems of each of the Five Nations and one of the Protestant Maquase, he proposed that a Trade should be fixed with the Dowaganhaes, in order that by their continual warring they might not totally destroy the Five Nations, but might in a short time be united in the Covenant Chain. He proposed that they should try to bring some of them to speak with him. He expected the Sachems to employ 200 of their Indians to work at the Fort for the same pay with the English. Their best way to be rid of the Jesuits, whom they owned they disliked, and all their contrivances, was to seize and send them prisoners to Albany, where they should receive 100 pieces of eight for each one.
Albany, Aug. 30. The same eleven Sachems waited on His Excellency, bringing with them one more from each Nation, alleging that all business of moment was to be transacted by the three ensigns that the Five Nations consisted of, to wit, the Bear, the Wolf and the Turtle, and therefore one from each of these tribes or ensigns in each Nation was to be present. In answer to the proposed seizing of the Jesuits, they were of opinion that it might hinder the proposed treaty with the Dowaganhaes and other remote Indians, and also hinder their own Indians from returning from Canada. But they would forbid them coming into their castles and would send them out of their country. The Sachems were consulting upon the other proposals. They promised to give His Excellency an account of the message M. Maricour and Bruyas, the Jesuit, brought from Canada to Onnondage this summer. In reply to His Excellency's proposal that in case of war, the garrison of Onondage Fort should consist of 200 men, of whom 100 should be Indians, the Sachems said they could not answer till they had consulted the young men, whose service it would be. The other Sachems announced that they would send twelve men from each nation to work at the fort, but as to sending their children to New York to be taught to read and write, that was a matter which related to their wives, who were the sole disposers of their children, while they were under age.
Aug. 31. Guides to conduct Col. Romer to Onondage were sent, and all assistance and dispatch in that matter were promised, as well as provisions for the workers and garrison at the fort.
His Excellency addressing the Sachems desired that a free passage through their country should be granted to Frenchmen, who desired to come and trade in Albany. He gave them the King's present, consisting of 200 fusees, 1,200lb. of powder, 2,000lb. of lead, 2,000 flints, 100 hatchets, 200 knives, 200 shirts, 80 gallons of rum, 63 hats, three barrells of pipes with tobacco.
The Sachems in reply promised to cleave firm to their resolution to be instructed in the Protestant religion and the Covenant Chain, hoping that the English would keep up their friendship and not use their proselytes so severely as the Jesuits in Canada do, who whip their proselytes with an yron chain, cut the women's hair off, put the men in prison, and when they commit any filthy sin, the priest beats them when they are asleep. In token they give nine bever skin, and nine more in token that they would encourage and allow the French traders that come from the remote Indians to bring their trade to Albany. They desired the bounds with the French might be settled, and that goods might be cheap. They gave nine bevers as a token that they would endeavour to live in peace with the Dowaganhaes and other remote Indians. They desired that a smith and a missionary might come to live at Onondage and gave nine bevers. They agreed to fix the trade at Albany, "for when your people comes to our country, we must pay a bever skin for a few spoons full of rum, and a bever for a pair of children's stockings; we hope your Lordship will forbid peoples coming to trade in our country. We give nine beavers." They promised to keep a good correspondence with the English and gave nine bevers. They gave thanks for the present of powder, but asked where they should put it, (meaning that they had had no duffells given them), and gave nine bevers. Many of their people were killed when a hunting this spring, by the perfidiousness of the French. They recommended the messengers his Lordship sent to his favour. His Excellency told them that they were paid, and that the King always rewarded those that did him service. They said that the Rondax or French Indians of Canada had killed many of their people since the peace and the Dowaganhaes continued to do so. They begged to be granted the benefit of the peace and gave nine bevers. The Jesuit Bruyas said to the Sachems of the Five Nations at Onondage this summer that he was glad some of them were come to Canada, notwithstanding Corlaer's strict prohibition, and that he was sorry for the loss of their people that were killed by the remote Indians, wip'd off the blood and gave a belt of wampum; that the Kettle of war that had boyl'd so long, which would have scalded and consum'd all the Five Nations, was now overset and turn'd upside down, and a firm peace made; he planted the tree of Peace and Welfare at Onnondage; he recommended them to keep fast to the Covenant Chain with Corlaer, but wondered why they should be forbidden to correspond with the French. He demanded the French prisoners in their castle and promised to restore their prisoners at Canada, and gave a belt of wampum. He proposed to come and live at Onnondage, instruct them in the Christian faith, promising to banish all sickness out of their country, and gave them a belt, which they refused, saying that they had accepted one this spring from Corlaer to be instructed by the ministers he should send. Dekanissore added that they had once been deceived by the Jesuit and his doctrine, for when they were learning the Christian religion, the French came and knocked them in the head. The Jesuit had a belt of wampum from the Rondax Indians to release two of their Indians that were prisoners at Onondage. He said that he would not have proposed to come and instruct them if he had known that Corlaer had already sent a belt for that purpose. The four Sachems at Canada were gone to bring back their prisoners. "We have stayed two years to see if you could get them back, but were necessitated to do it ourselves." Bruyas said it looked as if Corlaer would have warr again, by hindring them to correspond and trade with the French; and that Corlaer kept the Five Nations in the dark as to what passed between the Governor of Canada and him, but their Governor concealed nothing from his Indian children. The Governor of Canada did not claim a right to their land as Corlaer did; he left them to their liberty, but Corlaer pretended a superiority over them.
The Maquase Indians thanked my Lord for vacating the grants of Dellius.
Proposals made by the River Indians. We give a bever and an otter to welcome our Father and Mother (Lord and Lady Bellomont). We are come to renew the Covenant Chain, and give three bevers. It is 26 years since we were almost dead and left New England; we are unanimously resolved to live and die under the shadow of the tree that was then planted at Schakkook. "Your treatment to all Indians is so ravishing and agreeable that the far Eastern Indians are desirous to be link'd in our Covenant Chain." They gave three bevers. Though their young Indians might go out a hunting they will always return. They gave three bevers. They desired that two prisoners from the French Indians might be set at liberty, and gave three bevers.
His Excellency replied to the River Indians, thanking them and bidding them invite the Eastern Indians to come and settle with them. It would be infinitely more pleasing to him than any compliments, if they would become Protestants. To convince him of their affection, they must renounce all sort of correspondence with Canada and the Jesuits and all trade with the French of Canada or French Indians. They must reclaim or disown Hawappe, one of their Sachems who was false to the King's interest. He would do what was reasonable with regard to the prisoners. He gave them the King's presents; 40 guns, 240lb. of powder, 400lb. of lead, 500 flints, 20 hatchets, 40 knives, eight kegs of rum, 40 shirts, 20lb. of tobacco, one cask of pipes, one dozen hats.
Albany, Sep. 4. His Excellency's reply to certain proposals of the Sachems of the Five Nations, Sep. 3. Upon your producing the belt of wampum sent to the Five Nations by the French praying Indians of Cachanuage, and your owning that they desired I might not know of their message and belt, I perceive the message was only to amuse and deceive you, that under pretence of a friendly correspondence between the praying Indians and the Five Nations, the Jesuits and other creatures of the Governor of Canada might have the better opportunity of seducing you from your obedience to the King our master. I thank you for your sincere dealing, and give you a belt of wampum in exchange for that of the praying Indians, which you give me up. It is to be a pledge of our friendship and a caution to you not to hearken to any proposition that comes from Canada without my consent. Leave was granted to them to reply to the praying Indians, an interpreter to be present. The whole, 39¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 13th Dec., 1700.
845. vi. David Schuyler to Lord Bellomont. Albany, Aug. 17, 1700. When at Montreal at the beginning of the month he ascertained that the number of praying Indians in the castle at Kachanuage, about four miles from Montreal, consisting of those who had deserted the Five Nations, was now grown to 350. He was told that they came like wolves round about the castle and begged the priests to take compassion on them, and give them some light in the Christian faith. Jean Rosie informed him that the people of Canada were reduced to great straits, there being a great scarcity of provisions there. Schuyler in going to Canada this spring met the French guards, sent out from Canada to prevent the transportation of beavers from thence, with a canoe within the bounds of this Government at the Otter Creek, 18 miles on this side of Rodgio, the great Rock in Corlaer's Lake, but, having no beavers and being stronger than the French, had no dispute with them. The ardent desire of the Indians to be instructed in the Christian faith is such that it will be impossible to keep them firm to the Covenant Chain without ministers to instruct them. In that case the experience of the last war shows that, when another ensues, the inhabitants on the frontier will not be able to resist the French joined with our Indians, who will overrun this Province and open the way to Virginia, Maryland and all other His Majesty's Governments on this Continent. Copy. 5 pp. Same endorsement.
845. vii. Samuell York, Carpenter, to Lord Bellomont. Albany, Sept. 2, 1700. Taken prisoner at Casco Bay in 1690, I was carried to Canada, whence I escaped last July. I was employed in cutting masts for the French Navy; 90 great masts are shipped yearly from the Bay of St. Paul to France. I have often heard that M. de Callière has pretended a right to the Five Nations, and I was once present in Council, when there was an embassy to the Governor by some of those Indians, and then heard him tell them that the King his master had an undoubted right to the Sinek, Onondage and Oneide Nations, and that he would have them, let it cost what it would. I have been about three years at several times in the Ottowawas country a hunting with the French, where they had two palisado'd forts. I have been round Le Lac des Hurons, and another called the Meshigans. I know the Ottowawa country and language. Several of the French hunters are there at this time and refuse to obey the Governor of Canada's orders to come to Canada and are in a sort of rebellion. They are very desirous to come and trade here with the English, only fear the Five Nations will not suffer them to pass through their country. They have desired me to try to make their terms with your Lordship, and they will come and settle under your Government somewhere near the Five Nations, and would endeavour to invite the Ottawawas to settle there with them. I have often heard the Ottawawas express a longing desire to trade with the English in these Plantations. The French of Canada are not able to furnish those numerous people with goods, and they are impatient of being confined to that narrow trade with them. The French have a few Jesuits among those Nations, but they seem not to be fond of them. The present Governor of Canada is very severe, and not at all beloved by the French or Indians. The people of Canada are all divided into factions, and a general discontent among 'em. And there has been a very great scarcity of all provisions, especially of bread all last winter and this summer, insomuch as few of the better sort of people have tasted any bread during that time. MM. Bruyas and Maricourt with several others were gone to visit the Five Nations and took with them a good quantity of dry goods as presents. The companies are increased to thirty-two, but are very defective. Recruits were daily expected. Copy. 3¾ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 18th Dec. 1700.
845. viii. Lord Bellomont's instructions to Col. Romer, to prospect the Onondage country and reassure the Indians. "You are to go and view a well or spring, which is eight miles beyond the Syneks' farthest castle, which they have told me blazes up in a flame, when a light coal or firebrand is put into it; you will do well to taste the said water and give me your opinion thereof and bring with you some of it." Albany, Sep. 3, 1700. Copy. 1¼ pp. Same endorsement.
845. ix. Muster Rolls of the four companies at New York, Sept. 1700. Lord Bellomont's company, signed, Bellomont, Peter Mathews, John Bulkley. The Lieut-Governor's company, signed, John Nanfan, John Riggs, Charles Oliver. Major Ingoldesby's company at Albany, signed, Matthew Shanke. Capt. Weemes' Company at Albany, signed, James Weemes. In all, 6 pp. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1700.
845. x. Petition of His Majesty's poor soldiers at Albany to Lord Bellomont. Humbly setteth forth the poor and miserable case of Petitioners to live here as it were in a wilderness for nothing or litle pay, and that like to be taken away from us; for we understand that Mr. Livingston exacts of us a halfe penny a day for provision, which is a thing never known, to give more as five pence a day, and a great deal of that provision we had not worth a penny a day. If it must be so, we cannot subsist, and if your Excellency will not right us, we must be forced to do that which otherwise we would not do. Copy. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
845. xi. Petition of same to same. Representing their poor naked condition, how hard it is to be twelve months bare-footed and bare-thighed, and never a rag to put on, and little or no bedding to preserve them from the cold. And another hardship attends petitioners, that was never put upon this garrison before, to be forced to burn pine wood or any trash that could be picked up, whereby they became almost blind in the winter, and all their victuals spoiled, their rags themselves so black as soot; neither have they bowl, platter, dish, or spoon to eat out of. Copy. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
845. xii. Order of Lord Bellomont for mustering the companies and returning muster-rolls every two months. Sept. 14, 1700. Copy. ¾ p. Same endorsement.
845. xiii. Lord Bellomont's instructions to Col. Peter Schuyler, etc., Albany, Sept. 3, 1700. You are upon all emergencies to give me notice at New York, and your advice what you think most proper to be done. Upon any message from the Indians Mr. Livingston is to summon the Commissioners for Indian Affairs that are in town and make a minute, in a fair bound book to be kept for that purpose, of the Commissioners' opinion thereupon. To avoid superfluous charge, the Commissioners are to signify to all the Nations that they send hither no more than three Indians at most on any message. The messengers to be allowed 3s. per day each for three days only, to be paid by Mr. Livingston, and nothing more, whereof Mr. Livingston is to take note. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 18th Dec. 1700.
845. xiv. Humble address of the principal inhabitants of Albany to Lord Bellomont. Aug. 24, 1700. We welcome your visit to the frontiers, which are in a most deplorable and languishing condition. The City and County of Albany has laboured under the greatest hardships during the late long war, when they were exposed to inexpressible dangers, being barbarously murdered, scalp'd and carried captives by the French and their merciless Indians, which forced many to remove to other parts of the Province. We had hoped to participate in the blessings of a joyful peace, but find our trade more decayed than formerly, by reason of the French and their missionaries daily deluding and debauching of our Indians, sometimes causing them to be killed by the far Indians, and at other times seducing them to live at Canada to be instructed in the Christian faith, and where these prevail not, they raise factions in their castles, and take off by poison those that cannot be so seduced, by which artifices they have increased the Castle of praying Indians at Mont-reall from fourscore fighting men, Indians that had deserted the Five Nations before the war, to above 350, and daily grow more and more, so that if a war should break out they would totally overrun these frontiers, and thereby facilitate their passage to destroy Virginia, Maryland and the rest of the Plantations, their method of fighting being in skulking parties, so that they may easily infest the whole Continent, the Plantations and houses generally lying straggling, and more particularly in Virginia and Maryland, in such manner that it will be wholly impossible for the inhabitants thereof to cultivate their land. This will be no hard matter for them, considering how well the French have fortified themselves ever since the peace, with more vigour and diligence then in any time of the war, having continually had supplies of men and money from France. On the other hand our fortifications are quite gone to decay, our soldiers daily deserting, having neither cloths, nor pay nor any care taken to defray their subsistance, soe that the victuallers are wholly discouraged; having contracted considerable debts on account thereof, and are now threatened to be prosecuted for the same, by which means many of our inhabitants are great sufferers and the people in general being soe much impoverished by the war, that they cannot assist in fortifying as they often did when they were in a thriving condition. We pray your Excellency to lay our deplorable condition before His Majesty, and beg that he may cause a stone fort to be built here, sufficient to receive both the inhabitants and Indians, before the fortification be erected at Onnondage, which will be very chargeable, and, if better care be not taken to maintain and subsist the same than has been of the garrisons in this Province during the late war, we fear it will fall into the hands of the French and so inevitably lose the Five Nations. We intreat you to intercede that recruits be sent over and duly subsisted, clothed and paid, which might not only defend the frontiers, but offend the enemy, and to inform His Majesty the absolute necessity of having good Protestant Ministers here to instruct the Indians. We pray your Lordship to take some effectual care, either by a law or otherwise, to secure the Indian Trade to this city, which was the ground of the inhabitants settling here at first, and which hath always been very advantageous to H.M. revenue, but now of late wholly gone to decay, and the small trade that comes is snatch't away by the inhabitants of Schenectady and others in the County, who not only sell all sorts of goods, but rum and other strong liquors to the Indians without paying any excise. The Inhabitants of this city, if not secured with sufficient forts and men to defend them from the enemy, are unanimously resolved, immediately on a declaration of war, totally to abandon it, which will be of most pernicious consequence to His Majesty's interest. Signed, Harmanus Wendell, Fredrick Harmysse, Corn. Bogardus, Joseph Janse (his mark), Keenraet Ten Eyck, John Kidire(?) (his mark), Ahasuerus Marselis (his mark), Maes Cornelis, Jacobus Schuyler, B. Corlaire, Johannes Beeckman, Livinus Winne, Hendrick Douw, Andries Jante, Jan Syn (his mark), Anthony Bries, Johannes Groenendyck, William Vanalen, Hendrick Hansinch, Jacob Bogaert, Tomas Harmenson, John Car, Thomas Milinton, Johannes Luykassen, John Gilbert, Evert Wendell, Reyer Mynderse, Anthony Coster, Jan Vanhaeghen, Johannes Oothout, Elbert Gerritse, Direck Wessells, J.P., Johannes Abeel, Robert Sandersse, Johannes Cuyler, Abraham Schuyler, Myndert Schuyler, Johannes Harmenson, Direck Mingel, Stephanus Grosbak, Warnaer Karstensen, Wm. H. Hogin, Johannes de Wandalaer, Adrian Quackenbos, Cornelis van Schelluyne, Abraham Kip, Direck Vanderheyden, Phillip Schuyler, Anthony van Schonck, Haac ver Planck, Gerrett Roosiboom, Gerrett Saycar, Paulus Merrey, H. V. Dyck, Jean Rosie (his mark), Antho. Brat, Reyer Gerritson, Daviell Brat, Melgert Vanderpool, Gysbert Marcelis, David Schuyler, Alderman, Johannes Rooseboom, Alderman, Wessel Ten Broeck, Alderman, Albert Ryckman, Alderman, Jacob Risch, Assistant, Hendrick Gothout, Assistant, Lucas Gerrits, Assistant, Johannes Bleecker, Assistant, Gerrett Van Nes, Assistant, Johannes Myngeel, Assistant, Robert Livingston, junr. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 4 pp.
845. xv. Account of the charge of His Excellency's Expedition, etc., to Albany, Sept. and Aug. Total, 797l. 5s. 2d. Same endorsement. 1 p.
845. xvi. (1) Account of the stock of the Corporation for the Indian work, where placed in bonds and mortgages. June 1, 1700. Total, 2,428l. 5s. 3d.
845. xvi. (2) List of those who receive salary for preaching to the Indians. May 13, 1700. Rev. Saml. Treat of Eastham, Capt. Thomas Tuper of Sandwich, Peter Thacker of Milton, Daniel Gookin of Sherburn, John Weeks of Elizabeth's Island, Grindall Rawson of Mendon, Saml. Danford of Taunton, Experience Mayhew of the Vineyard, Mr. Minor of Woodbury, Conn., Eliphalet Adams of Little Compton, Japheth, Indian Pastor at Martha's Vineyard, M. James Laborie of Oxford. Total salaries=297l. Same endorsement. The whole, 1½ pp.
845. xvii. List of the Eight Members of H.M. Council of N. York. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1700. ⅓ p.
845. xviii. Copy of deposition of Tho. Ogden, Commander of the Thomas and Elizabeth, that the beds and blankets to be carried from London for the garrison at New York were not new, but had served the army in Ireland. Aug. 6, 1700. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Dec. 20, 1700. ¾ p.
845. xix. Copy of deposition of Thomas Ogden, Commander, Joseph Fletcher, Doctor, John Small, mate, and John Chapman, gunner and boatswain of the Thomas and Elizabeth, that the powder brought for the King's stores was delivered as received. Same endorsement. ¾ p.
845. xx. Copy of Petition of the recruits newly come from England to Lord Bellomont, begging consideration for their long voyage on short allowance and their lack of shoes and linnen, so that they are ashamed to appear at arms. Petitioners pray for their sea-money and short allowance. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1700. 1 p.
845. xxi. Account of H.M. Revenue in the province of New York. Totals:—June 8, 1698–June 24, 1699, 5,267l. 11s. 2¾ d.; June 24, 1699–June 24, 1700, 5,400l. 19s. 6d. Signed, S. V. Cortlandt, Commissioner. Same endorsement. 1 large page.
845. xxii., xxiii., xxiv. Copies of accounts of the sales of three condemned ships, the Nassau, the Adventure and the Fidelia, at New York in 1700. ¼ p. The whole endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Dec. 20, 1700. 3 pp.
845. xxv. (1) Andrew Belcher to Lord Bellomont. Boston, Sept. 23rd, 1700. Reporting favourably upon the quality of pitch, tar and turpentine in Carolina, Virginia and Massachusetts. Copy. 1 p.
845. xxv. (2) Same to Same. Boston, Oct. 6, 1700. I have been with sundry of our carpenters, who are of the same opinion with myself that it is as good stuff as any to pay a ship's bottom and the seams of the upper work. Copy. ¾ p.
845. xxvi. Andrew Belcher to Lord Bellomont. Boston, Oct. 14, 1700. I have made an experiment and find turpentine will serve to pay the seams of the upper work as well or better than pitch. The only difficulty is in boyling of it, mixed with brimstone it does better than rozin to make stuff for ships' bottoms to keep out the worm. Copy. 1 p. Nos. xxv. and xxvi., endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1700.
845. xxvii. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to some shipwrights, instructing them to examine and report the ship-timber on board the Fortune. Fort William Henry, Oct. 5, 1700. Copy. ¾ p.
845. xxviii. Report of the shipwrights, New York, Oct. 5, 1700, that the timber in the Fortune is choice good timber, better than Eastland and nearly equalling any English grown. Signed, John Latham, John Littlemore, John Diggens, Wm. Haylockers, Clement Elservert, Saml. Loveredge, Isaac Brasher, Edwd. Cox, Daniel Latham, Joseph Latham. Copy. 1 p. Nos. xxvii. and xxviii., endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1700.
845. xxix. (1) Invoice of the ship-timber shipped for England in the Fortune. 1 p.
845. xxix. (2) List of timber remaining on the wharf at N. York. 1 p. The whole, endorsed as preceding.
845. xxx. Account of the money disburst by Abraham Depeyster for cutting ships' timber about the Highlands on Hudson's River. Signed, John Latham. Endorsed as preceding. 2¾ pp.
845. xxxi. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Lords of the Admiralty. New York, Oct. 15. I have received your letters with the Passes enclosed, which I am dispatching accordingly. The Newport frigate goes home according to your order, and the Fortune laden with timber. I believe if the Builders in the King's Yards do this timber right, they cannot find fault with it. I send a copy of the shipwrights' report about it, and also invoices of the cargo of the Fortune and the timber which she is forced to leave behind. I am sure it will be abundantly cheaper than that which Mr. Bridger sent home, and I hope to furnish it yet cheaper, at the Merchants' risque, but must first receive your directions. Sending timber from the Plantations will save England 100,000l. per annum, secure the trade, which is at present precarious, and increase shipping. The Eastland Merchants will oppose this design, which will stand in need of your Lordships' care to support against their artifices. The Arundel and Newport frigates have been on three cruises apeice this spring and sommer, but they had not the luck to meet with anything. The Advice is laid up till next Spring. Mr. Livingston has heard that Mays, a pirate, and another came with two ships to the east end of Nassau Island the latter end of last winter, and had to the value of halfe a million between 'em, that they sent privately to this town to know whether they might come in with safety and be pardon'd, but that some men of the Law frightned them away, by telling them there would be no quarter for 'em, if they fell into my clutches. He says some of the angry men triumph much at their disappointing me, for, say they, "the matter might have been so ordered that the Governor might have got 100,000l. honorably, and the Province been enriched, but we owe him not that kindness." I cannot persuade Mr. Livingston to name his author.
Some Scotchmen are newly come hither from Carolina, that belonged to the Rising Sun, who tell me that on the 3rd of last month a hurricane happen'd on that coast, as she lay at anchor within less than three leagues of Charles Town, with another Scotch ship, the Duke of Hamilton, and three or four others; that the ships were all shattered in peices and all the people lost, and not a man saved. The Rising Sun had 112 men on board, 15 of whom had gone on shore to buy provisions and so were saved. Two other of their ships they suppose were lost in the Gulph of Florida in the same storm. They came all from Jamaica, and were bound hither to take in provisions in their way to Scotland. The Fortune stands the King in 588l. 19s. 0½ d. N. York money, which makes about 408l. sterl. She will sell in England at near 600l. sterl. I desire your Lordships will order me 327l. English for the timber I have provided. Capt. Deering, Lieut. of the Arundel, commands the Fortune home, whom Capt. Crow commends for a good officer. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read Dec. 19, 1700. Copy. 3¾ large pp.
845. xxxii. Heads of several things proper for the Plantations and fit to be recommended home to England, drawn up by Mr. Penn. (1) For the more easy and certain commerce of the Northern Colonies in America, it would be convenient that there would be one standard or coin, or that money were of the same value, for in Boston for that piece of 8/8 6s. goes in New York for 6s. 9d. in Jersey, and in Pensilvania 7s. 8d., in Maryland 4s. 6d., Virginia at 5s., and in Carolina. (2) It would be much for the dispatch for trade and business, if a Mint for small silver to the value of 6d. were allowed in New York, for prevention of clipping and filing as well as wearing, which is very troublesome. (3) For the encouragement of returns it would be very expedient that due encouragement were given for the exportation of timber from hence for England by an impost on foreign timber. (4) Great caution should be observed to adjust the bounds northward with the French Commissioners, or the losse will be great and irreparable. We take the south side of the river and lakes of Canada to be our just and reasonable boundarys soile and trade with the Indians being much concerned therein. (5) For prevention of runaways and rovers and fraudulent debtors coming from one Province to another for shelter, it should be recommended to all the Governments to make a Law with the same restrictions and penalties, as if the whole were but one Government. (6) Foreigners coming daily of diverse nations, especially Dutch, Sweads and French, 'tis humbly offered that a General Law of Naturalization pass in England, that such foreigner[s] that come to inhabit in any of the King's colonies that are by Act of Assembly declared freemen in the said Provinces, shall injoy the rights and liberties of English subjects, except being masters or Commanders of vessels and ships of trade. (7) It should be signified to the respective Governments, for prevention of vexatious and litigious practices, that no appeal for England should be admitted under the real value of 300l. (8) That not only charges in apprehending of Pyrats, but a proportion of the prey, may be assigned to such as shall take them for the encouragement of their apprehension. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 7, Read Jan. 10, 1700. Copy. 1¾ pp.
845. xxxiii. Submission of the Eastern Indians to the Five Nations. Memorial given by Henry and Cornelius, the Mohack Indians, of the propositions made by the Onnagongues Indians to the Five Nations. Albany, Oct. 7, 1700. Brother Corlaer, it's in ye late proposition concluded that all the news that comes to ear must be made known by the one to the other. The five Sachems of Onnagongue said to the Sachems of the Mohacks' Country:—We desire to join with you into the Covenant Chain, not only as brethren, but like children under you. We desire to settle under your tree of welfare, which extends with its branches to the utmost of the Five Nations. The Governor of Canada hath long been our father, and we his children, and alwayes gave us fair words, but now we find he is false, have therefore closed up the path in cutting trees cross over it, so that none of us can go thither. We take you as fathers, and desire that the bounds of the Five Nations may be reckoned from the outermost of our Five Castles. The Sachems of the Mohacks' Country replied:—Children, we accept your proposal, and doubt not but our brother Corlaer will accept you for brethren also. You must join with him into the Covenant Chain, as wee and ye Indians of Shaahkooke are, given them four belts of wampum by the Mohacks (sic). Children, you tell us of a path which you have shut up at Canada; you have another path from your Castles to Quebecke; let that likewise be shut up, and lead your path hither, so that your backs be turned to them, and your faces shewn this way. We must tell you concerning our religion, and how kind our Brother Corlaer is in causing us to be instructed in learning much exceeding the learning you receive in Canada. Therefore we desire you to come and participate with us in our belief, so that thereby we may become one flesh and blood. Gave one belt of wampum, and here's three beaver skins. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1¾ pp.
845. xxxiv. List of ships registered in the province of New York, Dec. 25, 1699, to June 25, 1700. One ship (50 tuns), two brigantines, ten sloops and one pink, built at New York, Connecticut, Barmudas, Rhode Island, East Jersey, Albany, Bristol and New Rochelle, 1693–1700. Owners' names:—Aert Albertse, Benjamin Funeil and Jacob Ratier, Lucas Kierstead, Robert Lurtin, Lawrence Reed, Steph. Delancy, Wm. Morris, Brand Schuÿler, Wm. Holborn, Andrew Gravenraet, Robert Watts, Robert Burges, Math. Clarkson, Robert Allison, Ebenezer Wilson, John Morris, Benj. Funeil, Benj. Bull, Rip van Dam, Samuel Bayard, John Rodman, Wm. Birkly, Rich. Willett, Thomas Burroughs, Peter Burton. Signed, Paroculus Parmyter, Naval Officer. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 9, 1700. ¾ large page.
845. xxxv. Memorandum of Collectors' Lists of Ships entered inwards, Dec. 25, 1699–June 25, 1700. ¼ p.
845. xxxvi. Memorandum of Collectors' Lists of Ships entered outwards, Dec. 25, 1699–June 25, 1700. ¼ p.
845. xxxvii. Memorandum of Naval Officer's Lists of Ships entered inwards and outwards, Dec. 25, 1699–June 25, 1700. ¼ p.
845. xxxviii. Memorandum of Minutes of Council of New York, April–June, 1700. ¼ p.
845. xxxix. Memorandum of Minutes of Council of New York, July–Sept. 1700. ¼ p.
845. xl. Memorandum of Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York, July 25–Aug. 9, 1700. ¼ p.
845. xli. Memorandum of three Acts of Assembly of New York, July 29, 1700. ¼ p. [Board of Trade. New York, 11. Nos. 1, I.i.–xli.; and (without enclosures) 55. pp. 16–60; and (abstract of letter, with marginal notes for reply by the Board), 45. pp. 98–114; and (duplicates of v.–viii., x.–xiii., xv., xvii.–xx., xxvii.–xxx., and xxxiii.), America and West Indies. New York, 580. Nos. 32–48; and (duplicate of xxxii, undated and unendorsed), New Hampshire, 572. No. 5.]
Oct. 17.
Royal College
of William
and Mary.
846. Minutes of Council of Virginia. Upon the report received from Lt.-Col. Nathaniel Littleton of Northampton County of a pirate ship hovering near, Capt. Passinger was ordered to cruize in the bay, and the Commanders-in-Chief of the Militia were ordered to appoint look-outs.
Mr. Benjamin Harrison was appointed Attorney General to prosecute criminals now on trial pro hac vice. [Board of Trade. Virginia, 55. pp. 27–30.]
Oct. 17. 847. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Letter from Mr. Burchet, enclosing a draught of the Bay of Bonavista, being read, ordered that the draught be copied and returned to him.
The Acts of the General Assembly of Nevis, Aug. 1699 and Jan. 1699/1700, were read, together with Mr. Solicitor General's report. Directions given for a Representation wherewith to lay them before their Excellencies.
Oct. 18. Letter from Governor Blakiston, with enclosed papers, read. Ordered that Mr. Bradshaw, who brought hither the first complaint of Capt. Munday's being robbed, etc., have notice given him of the information here contained.
Representation ordered, recommending Mr. Lawrence for the Council of Maryland.
Representation upon the Acts of Nevis signed. [Board of Trade. Journal, 13. pp. 207–210; and 97. Nos. 185, 186.]
Oct. 18.
848. Col. Fox to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have been petitioned by Capt. Will. Mead, Commissioner of H.M. Customs in these Islands, for the calling of a Court of Exchequer that His Majesty might recover his dues from the several parties that had defrauded him thereof. He had solicited the President and Council of Nevis, before my arrival, to little purpose, nor had the Common Law done His Majesty right, so I issued a proclamation to the several Islands for the holding of that Court and a Court of Escheat at St. Christopher's. My reason for the latter was that there is several lands forfeited to His Majesty by the Irish rebels taking up arms in the beginning of the late war and assisting the French to drive the English out of St. Christopher's. I being petitioned by virtue of several grants to put people into possession of these lands, and there being people I found possessed of some hundred of acres that had no right to them, they having taken 'em without any authority, for the late General Codrington had given many large promises and to several people under his hand for the same, neither had he taken, as I conceive, the right way of disposing of these lands, for men that are charged with rebellion must by some Court or other be convicted, after which their lands fall of right to His Majesty and then may be disposed of to his deserving subjects, on which I thought no Court so proper as that of Escheat, I ordered the Court of Exchequer first to be held that I might go through that part of His Majesty's rights, there being a bond taken by the same Mead from one Lambert for 2,000l. in lieu of negroes that had been landed on St. Christopher's contrary to the Acts of Trade. Upon the first holding of the Court of Exchequer, the Speaker and Assembly of St. Christopher's opposed it, urging in two addresses to me that the holding of these Courts was contrary to law. I send copies of these with my answers, that you may be judges what grounds they have for such proceedings, the estates of most of them belonging of right to His Majesty, which oppositions, with their lawyers pleading for more time upon pretence of their not being prepared, have caused that Court to be adjourned from time to time. I have given my directions to the Attorney General to allow of no more delays, they being to sit to-morrow, and if this ship doth not sail before I have an account of it from St. Christopher's, I will give your Lordships the account of it. or by the next that sails from thence. President Burt, being Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and several of the Council judges his assistants, upon several complaints of their unregular proceedings in their frequent adjourning of the Courts from quarter to quarter, which kept people out of their rights for several years, I desired that His Majesty's Order for preventing the frequent adjourning of the Courts for the future should be read in Council and recorded and the aforesaid President and Judges declining and excusing themselves from continuing in their offices, I was obliged to give out new Commissions, to James Bevon, as Chief Justice, Tho. Belman, William Ling and Richard Tovey as Judges, his assistants, all gentlemen of the Assembly, as thinking them the most capable and the least in debt that I could find in this place. I have given to Mr. John Cole a commission to be H.M. Attorney General for Nevis and St. Christopher's, who is very fit for that employment. Upon Col. Michael Smith's death, who was one of the Council of this Island, I have sworn the aforenamed Bevon in his place; and, seeing by the disposition of the people, that when I ordered the Council to meet, when they knew there was something to be agitated concerning the King's interest, very often some excuse or other detained them at home, which was a disappointment, and made me add one to that Council, who is Col. Spencer Broughton. The Council of St. Christopher's having addressed me for adding one to their number, in consideration of Capt. Mead being one and seldom being there, his residence being most upon this Island, on their recommending to me Capt. John Davis, a member of that Assembly, I had him sworn to that purpose, and there having been no law open in that Island since the war, and they soliciting me for the appointment of their several Courts to be held, I have appointed Col. Joseph Crisp to be Chief Justice and others of the Council of that Island to be Judges, his assistants, and the Court of Common Pleas to be held Dec. 3. Signed, Edw. Foxe. Since my letter was written, having been credibly informed that one Tempest Rogers, who formerly ran away with a merchantship of London and turned pirate at Madagascar, came about eighteen months ago into these parts and lived at St. Thomas's, whence he came to St. Eustatia in order to settle there, I sent Capt. Doyley with H.M.S. Deale Castle with a letter to the Governor of that Island to demand that man from him, as having been a pirate and being one of His Majesty's subjects; but Capt. Doyley return'd hither, as he went, only brought me an answer from that Governor, who pretends that he knows nothing of Tempest Rogers, but that he would order him to be secured, if he could be found, which is a frivolous excuse, the informers having assured me that he had several times been seen upon that Island. Being also informed that there is a great many of those pirates settled at Carisso, another Dutch Island, I desire your directions therein. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 23, 1700, Read Jan. 14, 1700/1701. 3¼ pp. Enclosed,
848. i. Abstract of above. 2 pp.
848. ii. Petition of William Mead to Col. Foxe. On Sept. 28, 1698, petitioner seized 50 negro slaves in St. Christopher's and accepted security of Michael Lambert for them, to avoid the incumbent charges till trial could be had. A decree was obtained May 29, but the negroes are still detained. Samuel Brown stood security for Henry Bolton, late Collector of Antigua, in 500l., who at his removal from office was in arrears to His Majesty near that sum. John Esdaile, late Collector of St. Christopher's, stands indebted to His Majesty by account under his hand 40l. 13s. 3d. Whereupon petitioner prays that a Court of Exchequer may be held in this Island. Same endorsement. 1 p.
848. iii. Address of the Assembly of St. Christopher's to Col. Foxe. Nothing conduceth more to the happiness and welfare of this country than a right understanding and entire confidence between your Honour and the people, which can no way be so firmly established as by protecting us in our rights and liberties. The ready compliance lately expressed to the passing several Acts gave great satisfaction; it is not less unspeakable concern to us that any Court of Exchequer and a Court of Escheat, never heretofore held in this Government, should now be erected, contrary to former practices and received customs. These Courts would be an innovation; contrary to custom and Magna Charta and would take away the liberty of juries, the grand liberty of all Englishmen. Signed, Jed. Hutchinson, Speaker. Copy. 1¼ pp.
848. iv. Second address from same to same. In the perusal of your Honour's answer we observe that you admire that we should remark your erecting the Courts of Exchequer and Escheat, that they are illegally constituted. As to the Court of Exchequer, we find it is required in H.M. Instructions that it should be erected "by the advice and consent of H.M. Council and established by some law of this Island." As to the Court of Escheat we find in the said instructions you shall not erect any Court or Office of Judicature not before erected without a special order from His Majesty, as also to take care that no man's life, member, freehold or goods be taken away or harmed in any of the Islands under your Government but by established and known laws, not repugnant to the Laws of England. And wheras it is the misfortune of this Island that we have not established laws and that these Courts are erected contrary to the King's Commission and the consent of His Majesty's Lieutenant Governor and Council, whereby we do affirm the illegality of such Courts, and your advisers and promoters thereof are adjudged by this House disturbers of the peace and quiet of His Majesty's good subjects of this Island, therefore, that the King may have his dues and the subject a fair trial, we humbly pray there may be a stop put to such proceedings, until the said Courts be legally constituted by established laws by the Government of this Island. Signed, Jed. Hutchinson, Speaker. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
848. v. (1) Col. Foxe to the Assembly of St. Christopher's. Answer to the first Address above. I cannot forbear to admire your taxing me with bringing in innovations. Why shall not justice be done to the King as well as the subject ? It is His Majesty's express command in his Instructions that a Court of Exchequer be held from time to time, of which you may have a copy, if that will satisfy you. How can you think it hard that persons should be compelled to pay their debts to His Majesty ? The Court of Exchequer is not only a Court where the King can recover, but all persons may be redressed and righted, if wronged. The proceedings are exactly the same on the plea side with other Courts at Westminster, and is as ancient as any of the rest. As for precedents, there was a proclamation about 1696 to hold a Court of Escheat on Nevis before H.M. Escheator, where a certain tenement of one Widgmore for want of heirs was on the oaths of twelve men or more found to escheat to His Majesty. As for precedent I shall follow none but those that are warranted by the known Laws of England, and I have not so soon forgot the late Act of Parliament, whereby I am answerable at the King's Bench Bar for all my proceedings that don't exactly square with the Laws of England as well as the Laws of the Colony. I take it very kindly of you that you remember me of Magna Charta. How well this has been performed by those that were in authority, I leave you to consider, when illegal imprisonments, without any presentments as the law provides, and divers of His Majesty's subjects illegally disseized of their freehold and the same given away in His Majesty's name, when there was no office found for the King, whereby he might be entitled to take the same, as well as to grant it. Give me leave to cite for law to you my Lord Coke, and there you will find the Courts are no innovations on you, but absolutely necessary for every Englishman in any English Government.
848. v. (2) Same to Same. I thought I had shown you that the Courts of Exchequer and Escheat are neither illegal nor novel. You are plainly mistaken in alleging that they must be erected by consent of the Council and established by some laws. My instructions say that wherever His Majesty's service should require the holding of a Court of Exchequer, I should do it. Pray, gentlemen, mark that and don't let any litigious person run you into any dilemmas, and you make no distinctions between erecting new Courts and holding the ancient Courts of England; for the English laws follow every Englishman in an English Government all the Plantations over as naturally as the shade doth the body. I thank you heartily for your so candid advice for His Majesty's service as that you are willing he should have his dues and the subject a fair trial; but, if I take you right, that is by stopping the proceedings of the Court of Exchequer, as it His Majesty could recover his dues elsewhere, which if you would inform me he could, I should take time to advise. St. Christopher's, Sept. 10, 1700. Signed, Edw. Foxe. Same endorsement. Copy. 3½ pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 7. Nos. 5, 5.i.–v.; and (without enclosures) 46. pp. 143–148; and (Addresses of the Assembly only), America and West Indies. Leeward Islands, 551. Nos. 92, 93.]
Oct. 18.
849. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Justices. We have considered the Acts past in Nevis, Aug. 1699 and Jan. 1699/1700. As to the Act to ascertain the value of foreign coins to pass currant in this Island, Aug. 14, 1699, and the Act renewing the same, Jan. 30, 1699/1700, we humbly represent that the coins therein specified are made currant if they have only a visible stamp on either side, without any regard to their weight, which we conceive may be a great encouragement to clipping. The eighth part of a Peru piece of eight being in proportion to the value of a whole piece but sevenpence halfpenny, and having accordingly been there so-called, it is by these Acts made currant at 9d., which is contrary to the tenour of H.M. Instructions to the Governors in Chief of all H.M. Plantations and particularly of the Leeward Islands, forbidding all the said Governours to permit any order to pass in their respective Governments, whereby the price or value of currant money should be altered without His Majesty's particular leave or direction. For which reason we humbly offer that these Acts be repealed. And as for all the remaining Acts (enumerated) we see no objection why your Excellencies may not be pleased to approve the same. Signed, Ph. Meadows, Jno. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney, Mat. Prior. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 46. pp. 107–109.]
Oct. 18.
N. York.
850. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to Mr. Sec. Vernon. The Advice frigat brought me the favour of your letter of June 26. I am heartily sorry for my Lord Sommers's being remov'd from his employment, and wish it may be as worthily fill'd by a successor, and the King as well and faithfully serv'd by another as he was by him. I am also extreamly troubled for the Duke of Shrewsbury's indisposition of health that has forc'd him to resign his imployment. Refers to his conferences with the Five Nations and success in bringing the Eastern Indians to declare for a subjection with them to the King. This I cannot but thinke a very valuable service to England; but for ought I see, I must set a value on my services and recompense 'em myselfe, for any care that's taken of me at home. I send you all the writings I have that any way relate to Kidd. The original articles are written with Mr. Livingston's own hand. There's no intricacy in all that matter. The design of the owners of that ship I have reason to know was very honest, and the successe I believe had been very fortunate and serviceable, had we not been persuaded by Mr. Livingston to put the ship under the command of a most abandon'd villain, for we were all of us strangers to Kidd, but imploy'd him upon Mr. Livingston's recommendation of his bravery and honesty, but he broke articles with us at the very first dash, for instead of sayling to those seas which pyrat ships frequent, he came hither directly to New York and loyter'd away severall moneths, and Mr. Livingston, who was got hither from England before me, told me at my arrival here that there was a private contract between Col. Fletcher and Kidd, whereby Kidd obliged himself to give Fletcher 10,000l., if he made a voyage. Mr. Livingston told me this was whisper'd about, but he could not get such light into it as to be able to prove there was such a bargain between 'em. That it was so, is probable enough, because Col. Fletcher suffer'd and countenanc'd Kidd's beating for voluntiers in this town, and taking with him about a 100 able sailors, which is a losse to this country to this day. I must say in justification of the noble Lords concern'd with me, that I do not believe any of 'em ever saw Kidd; and for my own part I never saw him above thrice, and Mr. Livingston came with him every time to my house in Dover Street. The whole matter of the outset of that ship was transacted between Mr. Livingston and me.
The 100 recruits which the Advice frigat has brought are very good, but the officers and souldiers mighty uneasy for want of full English pay, which I desire you will please to obtain the King's consent to; otherwise I must be forc'd to resign these Governments. 'Tis really a great wrong and oppression to them to have a deduction of 30 per cent. struck off from their pay in a country that's full twice as dear to live in as London. If I were capable of pocketing almost all the 30 per cent. as Col. Fletcher did, I would not urge, as I do, the depriving myself of so beneficiall an article, to give it to the officers and souldiers. In plain English, 'tis a great abuse, and much to the King's dishonour it should be continu'd; it has the air of a trick and a fraud upon the poor souldiers, and I will wash my hands of it and of the Government too, unlesse they have full English pay. I desir'd you about a year and half ago to order Major Ingoldesby to his post; his company is at Albany, and he has been four years absent and taking his pleasure in England. Your taking a short memorandum of such a thing were not amisse. 'Tis an unpardonable neglect in that man to be away so long from his duty. His wife and children are starving at Albany, and he is so inhumane as not to look after or supply 'em in the least. I wish you would please to get him exchang'd for some honest, sober Captain in one of the Regiments in England, for he is a very rash indiscreet man, and had a principall hand in the execution of Leisler and Milburn. I hope you and the rest of the Ministers will move the King in my favour, that I may have some compensation for the 1,000l. a year the King was pleas'd to bestow me of the Irish forfeitures, and which the Parliament have depriv'd me of, by the Act which resumes that and other grants of those forfeitures. Repeats news of the loss of the Rising Sun, etc. I have a parcel of the swearingest and drunkenest souldiers in my company that ever were known in the world, and 'tis not possible it should be otherwise; both the Lieutenants Fletcher left me keep tap houses; one of 'em has the King's Commission and t'other Fletcher's. I know 'tis against the articles of war that officers should keep publick houses, but really till now very lately that the King pays the companies here again, I could not avoid winking at the Lieutenants taking that ill course for a livelyhood for them and their families; but the ill habit of it I find remains with them, and I cannot break them of it. But what is yet worse I cannot look on them as friends to me, or any design of mine for the King's service. The Council of Trade direct me to make an experiment in working some naval stores here with the souldiers. I cannot go about it with such officers, who, I believe, would rather traverse me in such a design than further it, and would I fear stir up a mutiny among the souldiers, if I should propose to 'em the working at Naval Stores for the King. I am not for breaking these Lieutenants, but exchanging them for honest good Lieutenants in some of the regiments in England. My first Lieutenant's name is Peter Mathews, bred up from a child with Col. Fletcher, and 'tis at his house that the angry people of this town have a jub and hold their cabals. My second Lieutenant's name is John Bulkeley. There is also another Lieutenant in Major Ingoldesby's company, whose name is Mathew Shank, a most sad, drunken sott, and under no good character for manhood. I desire also he may be exchanged for a better man from England. I beg you will not forget this exchange of the three Lieutenants and of Major Ingoldesby, otherwise I have no businesse to stay in this country; and, to be plain with you, I would not stay a week here, were it not that I have a mind to accomplish the designs I am upon, for the service of England, viz., the securing the affections of our Five Nations and drawing new nations of Indians under the obedience of his Majesty, building the fort in the Onondage's country, and furnishing the navy and all the King's dominions with Naval Stores and ship-timber. All which things, it I can bring 'em to bear, may I hope passe for essential services.
I give a very good reason in my letter to the Council of Trade for taking off the 30l. per cent., the present deduction from the souldiers' pay, for I offer to pay the extraordinarys, as chaplains, surgeons, gunners, matrosses and storekeeper's pay out of the profits I shall make by turning that money in trade, which I desire you to use as an argument to move the King to consent to full English pay for these officers and souldiers. I desire you will please to deliver my inclosed letter to the King. 'Tis not so much a letter of businesse as complement; I send you a copy of it, for your own perusall alone. Signed, Bellomont. Endorsed, R. Dec. 9, 1700. Holograph. 6 pp. Enclosed,
850. i. Duplicate of preceding. Endorsed, R. Dec. 20, 1700.
850. ii. Copy of Articles of Agreement between Richard, Earl of Bellomont of the one part, and Robert Livingston and Capt. Wm. Kidd of the other part. Oct. 10, 1695. and Feb. 1695/6, as to the fitting out of the Adventure for the seizure of pirates and the King's enemies, with stipulations as to disposal of the prizes, etc. 2 large pp.
850. iii. Copy of Mr. Livingston's bond for the performance of above articles. 1 p.
850. iv. Copy of Capt. Kidd's bond in 20,000l. for the performance of the above articles. 1 p. The three documents witnessed by Martha Brehen, John Maddock, John Moulder.
850. v. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the King. New York, Oct. 19, 1700. I have taken great pains since my coming to America to do you all the faithful service I have been able, and your Ministers can best satisfie you whether my labours have been successfull. The liberty that some former Governors took to abuse your Majesty and indulge the people of New York in the two ill practices of unlawful trade and piracy, has created me much trouble in the discharge of my duty, and the restraint I have put on them in these points has made them turbulent, and seditious, but I am not to be discouraged from the steddy performance of my duty. Your Majesty has a glorious Empire here in America, which would be vastly serviceable to England under a good management. Your Council of Trade are in the right methods of making these Plantations useful and glorious to your Majesty, and I am labouring to second their worthy endeavours, etc. I humbly beg leave to acquaint your Majesty that my appointments for these Governments are so poor and inconsiderable, that I cannot live on them; and yet these Governments are a mighty trust; for the welbeing of all your Majesty's Plantations in America depends entirely upon a right management of the Indians that live within my Governments, and your great revenue by tobacco from Virginia and Maryland, and by sugar and other productions of your American Islands, must and will always owe its continuance to the faithful care and vigilance of a Governor of New York and Massachusetts Bay. I humbly hope for an allowance adequate to the importance and trust that attend my present station. I have lately had the mortification of loosing the Irish grant of 1,000l. a year, which your Majesty had the goodness to bestow on me, and that by the Act of Parliament pass'd this last session. Copy. 3 pp. [America and West Indies. New York, 580. Nos. 30, 30.i.–v.]
Oct. 19.
New York.
851. Extract of a letter from Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Secretary of the Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Smith, the chaplain whom I dismis'd, had ye impudence to come the other day and question my power of dismissing him. I forgot to acquaint their Lordships with an arch piece of villainedom by Smith whilst I was at Boston. He come to ye Lieutenant Governor and desires him to signe a blank licence, pretending the persons to be married were desirous to have their names conceal'd. The Lieut. Governor refusing, Smith brings a licence filled up with the name of Adam Ball and the maiden name of a married woman; he afterwards adds a sillable to ye man's name in ye licence, after ye Lieut. Governor had signed it, and then it was Baldridge the Pirate, and the woman was the wife of Buckmaster, a pirate who escaped out of ye gaol of this town, and who had come in Shelley's ship from Madagascar. Being asked why he married Baldridge to another man's wife, he answered she had made oath to him that she was never married to Buckmaster. He could not say by what authority he administer'd an oath, being not in ye Commission of ye Peace. Since that, it appears Buckmaster was married to the woman by a J.P. in one of the Jerseys, which is their way of marrying there. My Lord of London having writ to Mr. Vesey, ye English Minister of this town, to submit himself to me, and to me to accept of his submission, I have complyed therewith, and have promised Mr. Vesey to become his friend provided he demean himself peaceably and discreetly for ye future. I have newley recd. a l're from Sir Wm. Ashhurst, wherein he tells me ye Corporation are willing to allow 80l. a piece to five ministers for the Five Nations for three years, provided they be taken out of Cambridge Colledge in New England. But (1) I do not approve that the allowance should be temporary, wch would discourage ministers. (2) I do not so well like ministers bred there, as Church of England ministers, for in New England the ministers pray ex tempore and mightily decry set forms of prayer, insomuch that they never use the Lord's Prayer at any time. The best way in my humble opinion is for their Lordships to send to speak with Sir Wm. Ashhurst and the members of ye Corporation, which is the way to come to a right understanding in that matter. There ought to be very great care taken in the choice of ministers, that they be not such debauched, loose men as come to America, who indeed give great scandal, instead of inviting people to be of our Church Communion. They ought to be rightly well principl'd for his present Majesty's Government, and Englishmen rather than Scotchmen. My Lord of London is fall'n into a vein of preferring Scotchmen to be Chaplains to ye King's ships. I can only say that all ye Scotch in these Plantations (who are pretty numerous) are very angry since their loosing Caledonia. I should desire of the Corporation but 300l. sterling a year for the present, for two ministers to be settled at our intended Port at Onondage, and 70l. sterling to be divided between the two Dutch Ministers at Albany and Schenectady. I desire you will acquaint their Lordships that the House of Representatives have given a Land Tax in lieu of the Additional Duty, which I sent home and have so much complained of; and they give the full 1,500l. I demanded of them last Session for building the Fort at Onondage. The Leisler party have taken heart again, and I could do any reasonable thing with this Assembly for the King's service, if the Judge and Attorney General were come over. 'Tis a great misfortune that they are so long delayed in England. Signed, Bellomont. Copy. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9th Dec. Read 13 Jan. 1700. Enclosed,
851. i. Abstract of preceding. 1½ pp.
851. ii. Extract of a letter from Sir William Ashhurst to the Earl of Bellomont, July 2, 1700. We had a meeting of the Corporation last month and ordered 650l. sterling to be remitted to New England. Upon reading your letter it was ordered that the 60l. per annum formerly allowed to the itinerant ministers be made up to 80l., New England money, for three years. We durst not order this additional sum for longer. We ordered that your Lordship have power to choose such a number of itinerant ministers as you shall think necessary for the work out of the Colledges in Cambridge. [Board of Trade. New York, 11. Nos. 7, 7.i., ii.; and 55. pp. 92–97; and, (abstract, with marginal notes), 45. pp. 115, 116.]
Oct. 19. 852. Minutes of Council of the Massachusetts Bay. Proclamation for a day of Public Thanksgiving, Nov. 21st, ordered.
Joseph Grant, shipwright, of Boston, granted leave to build a shed for boat-building against his own house. [Board of Trade. Massachusetts Bay, 2. pp. 17, 18.]
Oct. 19. 853. Minutes of Council of New York. William Lawrence stated that there had long been a difference between him and one Hallet in Queen's County concerning a title of land, which now is referred to a jury of enquiry, and Augustine Graham, the Surveyor General of this Province, is a man not to be depended on. His Excellency, declaring his opinion that Mr. Graham is not fitt to be sole Surveyor, and that he believes it for the King's service and for that of the publick, that there should be several Surveyors allowed, that are sober, honest men, and of good skill in the art of surveying, ordered that Pieter Cortilean be a sworn Surveyor of this Province. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. pp. 370, 371.]
Oct. 19. 854. Minutes of Council in Assembly of New York. An Act for declaring the town of Eastchester in the county of Westchester a distinct parish from the town of Westchester, sent up, was read the first and second times and committed. [Board of Trade. New York, 72. p. 846.]