America and West Indies: February 1700, 26-29

Pages 83-99

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

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February 1700

Feb. 26.
Philadelphia. 26th of the 12th month, 1699/1700
156. William Penn to Mr. Secretary Vernon. Honoured Friend. Thy letter to my Lieut. Gov. of Nov. 30 found me last night safe in Pensilvania, where I arrived in December. I forbear to be particular in many things, because I perceive, by a letter from the Lord Bellomont, the frigate Advice will be ready to sail by the time this comes to the hand of the Commander, and the Postmaster of New York that brought it is in haste to return; so shall confine myself to the King's commands and the two laws, I called an Assembly General to enact, against pirates and forbidden trade; though the season has been very rude for the members to travel, especially from the Capes being 150 miles. I have two pirates in hold, one was Kid's doctor, his name Robt. Bradinham, the other one Evans, who says he was cleared about two years ago at the Old Bailey, when Oldfield, etc. were condemned, as being forced off the Isle of May by Every: but because he only produced the printed account of his clearing and no other authentick voucher, my Lieutenant Governor thought fit to confine him. As for Bradinham, he pretends he came honestly by his estate, that it was his misfortune and not his crime that he ever had to do with Kidd, and that he quitted the ship as soon as he could after her Commander had violated his commission, or his share must have been much more. I have several times discoursed him and urged an ingenuous confession, as well who they are that trade with the pirates at Madagascar for the spoils they bring thither, by which they are supported, viz., provision and ammunition, as what were the most effectual ways to suppress that commerce. As yet he is not so plain in the first part. But the King will, by what he can discover, know where to lay the blame, and how to prevent those villanies. The treasure which has been taken, which he claims, I shall give an account of by the duplicate enclosed; the original I send to Lord Bellomont. I never yet fingered one piece of his silver, and all his gold that is taken is inserted in the paper, about 3 oz. and 14 dwt. as I take it. There was also some East India goods to the value of about 30l. sterling, which the King's Collector demanded as forbidden traffic, and had it condemned by Col. Quary, as Judge of the Admiralty, and each took their dividend, sending me a third, as the law provides. For my security, so soon as I came to Philadelphia, I sent for Col. Quary and the King's Advocate, one Moor, and in their presence first examined this doctor, who, before them, challenged no more treasure in money or goods than the enclosed note expresses. I confess I think my interest in these cases ought not wholly to be overlooked, who as Lord of the Soil, erected into a Seigneury, must needs have a royalty, and share in such seizures, else I am in much meaner circumstances than many Lords of Manors upon the sea-coasts of England, Ireland or Scotland. I think my grant very much superior and quite of another nature and privilege. And considering the province is equally beneficial to the Crown as if it were under a temporary Governor appointed by the King, and that the King is at no charge to maintain one, it looks with some hardship that casual profits and advantages should not be allowed me. Besides, I am to let thee know that 1,300 dollars of this money were not taken about him or in his chest or lodgings, but found by the great diligence of the Government in searching the woods. I do not write this to dispute any right with the King, resolving to obey his commands and submit myself to his further consideration. After two or three pirates had formerly made their escape, there was a very chargeable prison built, with a strong wall, grates, rings and chains, and an officer to attend, besides the charge of taking and guarding such offenders, which has not been inconsiderable, and we have no Crown Revenues out of which to deduct for them.
In the next place, whether our people were as guilty as they have been famed, or not, I resolved to call an Assembly to make two laws against the crying sins of piracy and forbidden trade, that I might prevent, what I could, those crimes for the future, if what were past or said to be so could find no punishment by the craft of the transgressors, and this was all they did, for I was not willing to stay so long as the 10th of the month called May, where a publick duty and service pressed a hasty remedy, nor to keep them longer, tho' my own affairs were urgent for it, since the winter was so severe and the time of usual sessions in a few months after. I shall say little in favour of our good intentions, and less for our abilities in composing of these laws, but I hope they may pass for an essay of our zeal and care to suppress and prevent those evil practices we have been taxed with. And as I have been earnest to have them enacted. I shall be as diligent to see them effectually executed, and if any idle and loose persons in this Government have been tardy at any time, the generality offer to purge themselves, as the Council and Assembly have, by an Address to me, upon the information they had received of the Government's being accused at home of not only being careless but of conniving at such base practices. I send their Address with the laws to the Lords of Trade, whose province the King has more particularly made it, leaving the Lieut. Gov. to make his own defence, which I presume he will by the first opportunity. He is very weak and at best but a cripple and prisoner to the gout. The prisoners shall, per first, go to New York and the treasure too (one of them is poor, and never had much, Evans). I perceive the prisoners cannot reach the Advice frigate, and therefore we do not post them away, and besides the Earl of Bellomont directs their going by a small frigate from New York when fitted. My passage was long, three months, but merciful, in that the North-Westers had purged this town from a distemper that had raged in it for two or three months, of which 215 died. We are now healthy, our river open, and the Spring looking towards us here. Here is a mighty improvement in town and country, and, if not unkindly checked, may prove a specimen of industry not inferior to any of this or former ages. I hope for thy friendship. My duty to the King, and let my old friends find my respectful and hearty salutes here. Signed, Thinking my own coppy not clean enough, I chose another hand, which may excuse, Wm. Penn. Endorsed, R. June 25, 1700. 8 pp. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. No. 17.]
Feb. 26.
157. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. Order of Council, Jan. 25, referring petition of Francis Broughill (Burghill) read.
Letter from President and Council of Nevis, Jan. 8, read. Col. Codrington summoned to attend.
Letter from Col. Quary, Oct. 20, 1699, read.
Feb. 27. Letter from Mr. Burchett, Feb. 23, desiring orders for the Commodore of the convoy to Newfoundland, read. Directions given for making some alterations in last year's heads of enquiries.
Mr. William Wallis, a merchant attending upon occasion of Lord Jersey's letter, Feb. 12, about a licence for cutting trees in New England for the navy, said he had entered into a contract with the Navy Board for bringing masts from New England, but by reason of a proviso in the Massachusetts Charter, it not being lawful for anyone to cut trees within the limits of that Province of the necessary dimensions, without His Majesty's special licence, he desired such a licence, and produced one formerly granted to Mr. John Shorter and himself, March 15, 169½. He spoke of great waste made in the woods for want of due care in the surveyor (Mr. Brenton), and desired that since he is so much in England, his Deputy, Ichabod Plaisted, who is every way well qualified, may have some larger allowance. He was instructed to draw up a memorial. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 386–389; and 97. Nos. 38, 39.]
Feb. 27.
27th of the
12th month
158. William Penn to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Noble Friends, I could not well omit this opportunity, tho' I have very little time allowed me from Boston, whence the man-of-war is speedily to be dispatched with Kid and such of his gang as are there, at Road Island and Conetticot, referring the rest in New York, the Jerseys, Pensilvania and Maryland to another passage, which the Lord Bellamont, to whose care I perceive the matter is left, will send by a small man-of-war now fitting at New York, and which will not be ready till the beginning of the month called May, by which I design to be particular.
I leave to those who have been so elaborate and elegant in representing the weakness and faults of the Province of Pennsilvania to give you an account of mine since my arrival; who, if they will do me justice, will have less to say to my disadvantage. I forbore resentment or trials, because the Earl of Bellomont is by the rigour of the winter and gout at so great a distance. But as the Lieut. Gov. is of course laid aside, so I have displaced the offensive Justice, otherwise an active officer, and called a General Assembly to pass two Bills against the crying sins of piracy and forbidden trade, and so return home till the Spring, which is our usual time of sitting in these parts. By them and the Proclamation you will perceive the uprightness of our intentions, as well as inexpert clerkship; you will, I hope, accept the one and excuse the other. It is an experiment of our zeal, and their exact execution shall be an instance of my care and duty to the King and Crown of England. Repeats part of No. 156. The General Assembly have addressed me in their vindication of the crimes they have been charged with, and hope that such an addition to the Empire of the Crown shall not be misunderstood, when so well meant, and without expences to or from the Crown. It will be much in your justice, wisdom and goodness to succour and protect us. I beseech it from you and that if my representation shall fall under any suspicion, you will take your information from the impartial, and such I hope my neighbours are, I mean the Earl of Bellumont and Col. Blackistan. If the laws I left behind me with your Board have not passed the King's approbation, they may, if you please, stay till our whole Body of Laws be transmitted from our next General Assembly, after which we design to have them printed, for the instruction of the people in this Government. In the meantime, I hope you will be pleased to consider the great and destroying difficulty we labour under, that where we are three to one in number, and in estate more superior than that, to be very modest in our computation, we may not want the privilege the wisdom of the King and Parliament have thought fit to grant our friends in England that are so small a part of the whole, viz., to register their ships without an oath, which the late Act of the 7th and 8th of this King has abridged us in, to be sure by no design in our superiors, and, I would charitably hope, at most a slip in those that promoted it to Parliament. In short, it destroys trade and discourages shipping, several being now ready to launch and others to go to sea, and are stopped by that difficulty. I beseech you let the enclosed be crowded into some Act or other, or one better expressed to the same effect, that we may no longer labour under the severity of making brick without straw or starve. Signed, Wm. Penn. Endorsed, Recd. June 25, Read July 26, 1700. 4 pp. Enclosed,
158. i. Abstract of above.
158. ii. Printed Proclamation, offering 10l. reward for the apprehension of any pirate. Philadelphia. Dec. 23, 1699. Signed, W. Penn.
158. iii. Address of the Representatives to William Penn, Proprietary of Pensilvania and Counties annexed. Feb. 9, 1699/1700. We are not unsensible of the reiterated complaints against us at home in reference to our countenancing piracy, encouraging unlawful trade, and opposing the establishment of the Courts of Admiralty. We have always had a just abhorrence of pirates. As to forbidden trade, the generality of the inhabitants are clear of that imputation. We desire the guilty may be detected and punished. As to obstructing the Officers of Customs and Court of Admiralty, we hope the Government is clear of it. We hope the Bills thou recommended to us, and which we have passed, will prove effectual. We desire thou would be pleased to represent to the King that the Surveyor General of his Customs, knowing that the greatest part of the people of this province cannot for conscience take an oath, did forbid the Collector here to suffer any Quaker to register vessels upon attest or solemn affirmation as is allowed in England by law and in Maryland and other Plantations where there is no such law, which has proved injurious to the King's interest and discouraging to trade. The charge that the inhabitants of this Government have greatly enriched themselves by forbidden trade and the spoils of pirates is utterly false. Our industry is well known. Signed, by the Speaker, Representatives, and Members of Council. 1 large p.
158. iv. Draft of clause enabling Quakers in the Plantations to register and clear their vessels by solemn attest or affirmation. ½p. [Board of Trade. Proprieties, 5. Nos. 18, 18.i. – iv.; and (without enclosures) 26. pp. 266–271.]
Feb. 27. 159. Copy of a licence to John Shorter and Wm. Wallis to cut trees in New England for His Majesty's Navy. March 15, 1691–2. Countersigned, Nottingham. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 27, 1699/1700. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. No. 20.]
Feb. 27. 160. Copy of Mr. Jahleel Brenton's Privy Seal for the place of Surveyor of the woods in the Provinces of Main and New Hampshire. Endorsed, Recd. Feb. 27, 1699/1700. 3 pp. [Board of Trade. New England, 10. No. 19; and 37. pp. 398–401.]
Feb. 27. 161. Minutes of Assembly of Barbados. (Adjourned from Feb. 20.) Bill for disposal of servants, sent down from the Council, passed.
Feb. 28. Ordered that 10 servants now in the possession of the Governor be presented unto His Excellency.
Bill for securing the possession of negroes, etc., passed with amendments. Salaries of officers of the House voted.
Bill to prohibit the exportation of Spanish money read and passed. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 466, 467.]
Feb. 27. 162. Minutes of Council of Barbados. It appearing that Mr. Skene was born in Scotland, it was unanimously decided that according to the Act for preventing frauds, etc., Alexander Skene was not qualified to act as Secretary of the Island. Bill for raising a levy read a third time and passed. Committee ordered to inspect the stores of the magazine. Petition of Francis Draycott, Capt. of the guards of the magazine, for the payment of himself and his men, granted.
Bill for the equal placing out of servants now belonging to the country and undisposed of, amended, passed and consented to by His Excellency. Bill for the peaceable possession of negroes, etc., passed with the omission of one clause. (Consented to March 2.) [Board of Trade. Barbados, 65. pp. 491–493.)
Feb. 28.
163. Governor Grey to the Council of Trade and Barbados. Mr. Alexander Skene, having obtained H.M. Patent for Secretary of this island, presented it to me in Council, Jan. 16th. It being objected that he was born in Scotland, in the end it was plainly proved that without infringing upon the laws and breaking the Acts of Trade, we could not dispense with him to act. Signed, R. Grey. Endorsed, Recd. Ap. 29, Read Ap. 30. 1 p. Addressed and sealed. Enclosed,
163. i. Certificate that the following papers dealing with the case of Mr. Skene are correct copies. Signed, R. Grey, Ed. Bedingfield, Sec. 1 p.
163. ii. Copy of Minute of Council of Barbados. Jan. 16–Feb. 27, 1700. 2 pp.
163. iii. Copy of a summons to George Payne, George Mackenzie, Enoch Gretton and Capt. Benjamin Holt, to give evidence as to the birthplace of Alexander Skene. 1¼ pp.
163. iv. Copy of summons to Mrs. Ellinor Skene for same purpose. 1½ pp.
163. v. Copy of summons to Alexander Skene to give evidence as to his qualifications to act as Secretary. ½p.
163. vi., vii., viii., ix. Copies of evidence of Enoch Gretton, G. Payne, G. Mackenzie, and B. Holt that Skene was born in Scotland.
163. x. Deposition of E. Chilton and Richd. Turner, H.M. Attorney and Solicitor General, as to the refusal of Alexander Skene and Mrs. Skene, his mother, to give evidence as to his birthplace. [Board of Trade. Barbados, 8. Nos. 45, 45.i. – x.; and (without enclosures), 45. pp. 50, 51.]
Feb. 28.
164. Sir Thomas Day to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Answer to the complaints against his son, Lt. Gov. of Bermuda. [See No. 23.] (1) Refers to Gov. Day's letter of May 18, 1699. The commitment of Mr. Randolph was legally made by and with the advice and consent of the Council. (3) Refers to Gov. Day's letter of April last. (4) Refers to the affidavit of Jonathan Ward, Keeper of the Stores. (5) Refers to an Act of the Justices of the Peace, May 18, 1699. (7) Refers to affidavit of James Browne, Richd. Craddock and John Harlove, Dec., 1699.
As to the charge of Mr. Brice, that before his departure hence Gov. Day gave away many of the books sent by Dr. Bray for the Church Library in Bermudas, respondent saw them packed himself and took great pains to secure their safe arrival. In a letter of Ap. 15 Gov. Day informed respondent that William Brice had procured the escape of a notorious pirate with ten men. Signed, Tho. Day. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 28, 1699/1700. 1¼ large pp. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 17.]
Feb. 28.
165. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Having several times already humbly laid before your Majesty and their Excellencies the Lords Justices such informations as we had then received of the ill conduct of Mr. Samuel Day in the administration of the Government of the Bermuda Islands we lay the matter before your Majesty as it now appears to us upon farther evidence. (1) Day has arbitrarily and illegally imprisoned and fined Mr. Edward Randolph, to the great obstruction of your Majesty's affairs under his care. (2) He has made several alterations in the Council, taking in and putting out members contrary to your Majesty's instructions, and without giving any account thereof. (3) He has displaced several other officers, as is suggested to us, upon unwarrantable grounds, but without signifying his reasons to us. (4) He has refused to allow depositions to be taken relating to differences between Col. Goddart and Mr. Richier, late Governors, by Commissioners which ought to have been nominated by them respectively in pursuance of the Order in Council Dec. 19, 1695. (5) He frequently exacts exorbitant fees or gratifications upon frivolous pretences, of which kind, besides the instance of a Jamaica vessel stopped by him and already represented to your Majesty, we have had depositions of his forcing Mr. Nicholas Trott to pay 50l. for his permission to remove from Bermuda to Carolina; of his illegally imprisoning Mr. Henry Pullen when he was ready to sail, and threatening to make him pay 40l. for his clearings, which was not due, and to avoid the payment whereof Pullen made his escape; of his forcing valuable effects from Jonathan Waterland, master of a ship belonging to Hull, who put in there occasionally to refit his vessel, before he would permit him to depart, though Waterland had the permit of the Collector and Naval Officer for the goods he had there taken in; and of his offering to discharge Daniel Smith and Benjamin Griffen, two persons imprisoned there upon suspicion of piracy, upon the payment of 100l. each, but for want thereof continuing them in prison without either bringing them to trial or admitting them to bail. (6) He solicited William Bryce, then Deputy Marshal, and Jonathan Ward, then Provost Marshal, to clip money, offering to furnish each of them with weighty pieces of eight for that purpose and to share the profit with them, and proposed that if they would engage certain other persons in the like practice and then inform against them, so that their estates might be liable to confiscation, he would not only secure but recompense the said Brice and Ward. We lay before your Majesty a copy of Brice's deposition, to which Sir Thomas Day attending us has objected that Brice is an outlawed person and otherwise a man of ill-fame. (7) For the covering of these and other misdemeanours, and for hindering proof thereof to be brought from thence, he obstructed the taking of depositions relating there-unto by persons in lawful authority there.
Upon all which we humbly offer our opinion that the irregularities and misdemeanours whereof Day appears to be guilty are such that it is noways for your Majesty's service that he be continued in the Government of those islands. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Phil. Meadows, Wm. Blathwayt, John Pollex- fen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 261–264.]
Feb. 28.
166. Mr. Secretary Vernon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Referring the enclosed petition for their opinion and the report of what advices are to hand from the Governor concerning the matter. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 4, 1699/1700. Enclosed,
166. i. Petition of John Smith of Bideford to the King. Petitioner equipped the Pearl for a fishing voyage in Newfoundland last April. She was seized by Bourke, an Irish pirate, and carried into Hispaniola. The English prisoners seized the ship by killing several of the pirates, and brought her into Port Royal, Jamaica. The Governor sold her and her goods for about 463l, though the first cost was upwards of 3,000l. Petitioner prays for redress. 1 p. Enclosed,
166. ii. Affidavit as to the cargo, etc., of the Pearl and the disposal of it by the Governor of Jamaica. 1 p. Signed, John Smith.
166. iii. Affidavit of the boatswain of the Pearl, as to the voyage and seizures of the Pearl. 1 p. Signed, Tho. Taylor. [Board of Trade. Jamaica, 9. Nos. 10, 10.i. – iii.; and (with first enclosure only) 57. pp. 16–19.]
Feb. 28.
167. Governor the Earl of Bellomont to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I was in great hopes I should have received your Lordships' commands before this time, having understood by marchand ships that left England in company of Capt. Foster and Capt. Mason, masters of ships belonging to this town, that they had packets for me, but they being not yet arrived we conclude 'em blown off the coast. We have had an ugly alarm of late of a general insurrection and rebellion of all the Indians in all these Provinces intended to be this next April or sooner, which has mightily frighted the English, especially those that live in the frontier towns and places, who are forced to be on their guard and in arms. What advice I have had by letter concerning the intended rising I herewith send. Col. Schuyler's letter telling me that things were well and quiet with our Five Nations, I sent Gov. Winthrop a copy of it, yet I do not at all like that part of it that the French at Cadaracque Fort are supplied with provisions from our Onondage Indians. I am against all manner of correspondence and commerce between the French and these Nations, especially the Onondages, who have a greater leaning to the French than any of the other Nations, which is supposed to proceed partly from the neighbourhood of Cardacque Fort, which is a terror to 'em, and partly from the pains the French missionaries take to proselyte (sic) 'em and at the same time engage 'em in the French interest. But that which most induces my belief that there is a general combination among them to make an insurrection upon the English, is what Mr. Sabin, who lives near Woodstock, about 70 miles from hence, has related. He came here this last week by night that it might not be known to his Indian neighbours. He was under great apprehension of the Indians. I got Dr. Cooke and Mr. Secretary Addington to discourse with him, who wrote what he told them from memory, for he would not suffer them to write any relation from his mouth for fear it should be known. I doubt not but the Indians that informed him of the plot meant the French Jesuits under the words "cunning men." Without all doubt their missionaries are endeavouring to debauch our Indians from us, and I question not but M. de Bruyas, the Jesuit that was sent to me by M. de Callière, and a great many missionaries besides, are at this time among our Five Nations and practising to alienate them. I sent you a copy of this Jesuit's letter, Nov. 29 last. He seems cunningly to ask my consent to go among the Mohacks and Onondages, and, to induce me to it, quotes Sir E. Andros' great civility to him and the rest of the missionaries in that respect: he never told me while he was with me at Rhode Island the least syllable that he had been among our Five Nations or intended to go among 'em. His letter bears date Oct. 13 from Albany, and came not to my hands till Nov. 22. Probably there was a design in the slow conveyance of the Jesuit's letter, that it might not be in my power to prevent him. The first account I had of the Indians intending to rise was from an Indian that came from New Roxbury, a plantation lying towards Connecticut, and it was so little regarded by the Council that he went away without any reward or the least thanks for his pains. I well remember that he told me there was a rumour spread among the Indians that exasperated them above all other things, that our King had ordered all the Indians in these Plantations to be disarmed, in order to a total extirpation of them. This has made me reflect on what is given in command to the Governor of Canada by the French King, March 25, and to me by His Majesty, April 4, about disarming our Indians. I confess I thought it a very unhappy step when I first read His Majesty's letter, and it then ran in my thoughts that the French would most certainly improve that part of the King's letter to our disadvantage, and to be sure they would not be such fools as to discover to the Indians that their own King had sent the same orders, but our King's letter, I believe, they have made it their business to make known all these provinces over. Your Lordships may consider whether the Indians would submit to be disarmed, when 'tis by their guns they maintain their families with food and provide the several sorts of peltry which is their only trade, and that alone by which they furnish themselves and their families with clothes: there is a third reason most prevalent of all with them, the extreme delight they take in hunting, to kill beavers, and others beasts, but especially deer and moose. The delight they take in it cannot be better conceived than by the vast range they take in the country, which is all, generally speaking, covered with thick woods, and they frequently go 7 or 800 miles on the stretch in their hunting season. I believe an Indian has a greater passion for hunting than for wife or children, and whoever talks of disarming them will set 'em all in a flame. If a speedy and effectual course be not taken, we shall lose the Five Nations irrecoverably. The French never applied themselves so industriously to debauch them from us, and we have nothing nor do nothing to keep 'em in good humour. The forts at Albany and Schenectady are so weak and ridiculous, that they look liker pounds than forts. Our soldiers who ought to be 400 men are not above 180, and not half of those would be suffered to muster in a regiment in England, and this for want of recruits. Such weakness makes us contemptible to the Five Nations above all other things: they know such pitiful forts and a handful of ragged, half-starved soldiers will not be able to protect 'em from the French. It falls out too very unluckily that Col. Schuyler and Mr. Livingston, who are the men of best figure in Albany and are most popular with our Five Nations and the principal men in managing them, are at this time in the highest discontent imaginable, and truly not without reason, for they had good estates, but by victualling the companies they are almost broke. I believe they cannot have disbursed less than 7,000l. between 'em, besides what Col. Cortland has disbursed at New York, which I believe is 3,000l. by this time. If those three men knew what Sir W. Ashhurst writ to me, it would make 'em quite desperate, but I dare not let them know a word of it nor yet any of the officers. I appeal to your Lordships whether it be possible to be in worse circumstances than I am, to defend these countries, if another war should happen. I have been informed that the Paymaster General neglected to put the four companies at New York into the estimate he laid before the House of Commons, though he was put in mind of it several times and though they have been for several years upon the establishment with the army in England, so that he could not pretend an oversight. Our Five Nations are the barrier at present between the French of Canada and Virginia and Maryland as well as New York. If the French can seduce them, Virginia and Maryland will be quite destroyed and with the greatest ease. Three hundred of those Indians with their usual rapidity would not leave a Planter or Plantation in those Provinces in two months, for the Planters there live scattered, and there is not a town in either of them. Jamestown, the only place called a town in Virginia, has not above twenty houses. If those two Provinces are destroyed everybody knows what a considerable revenue will be cut off from the Crown. If I were not so pinioned for want of orders, soldiers and money, I would have sent a message to the Five Nations immediately upon the first of this alarm to meet me at Albany in the middle of May. The messengers should have been ordered to suggest to 'em that I intended 'em a good present. I would meet with 'em with good presents and give 'em a greater quantity of fire-arms and powder and lead than ordinary to make the report of our King's order appear a French fiction. I would agree with the Onondage Nation that a fort should be immediately built where their castle stands and would send Col. Romer out of hand to mark out the ground for it and 100 soldiers should fall to work. Col. Romer is of opinion that a good fort well stockaded may be made for 1,000l. or 1,200l., that would be a good defence for the Onondage Nation against the French. There I would have 100 soldiers constantly in garrison and employed in making tar and pitch, which would have a water carriage all the way to New York, down the Mohack's river and so into Hudson's River. A fort built there would draw some English families, and a minister might live there to instruct those Indians as desired. By money or extraordinary presents I would engage the Sachems of the Mohack and Onondage Nations to deliver me up all the Jesuits they have among 'em, who I would send prisoners to England, for without doubt they have been tampering to debauch our Indians from obedience to the King, and such a discovery of their ill practices which would naturally follow from the Sachems, would very well justify my sending those vermin to England to be punished as they deserve. The Jesuits would never trust themselves again among those Nations, and it would create an eternal implacable hatred between our Indians and them. I proposed the building of a sod-fort at the Onondage's Castle in my letter of Nov. 29, but I doubt if you approve of it, yet your order may come so late that this summer will be lost, and then I fear the consequence of such a loss of time. The truth is, the great distance between England and these Provinces, and the necessity which that causes of my waiting for orders upon all occasions is very discouraging. I should think a discretionary power ought to be allowed a Governor upon emergencies, but under such restriction as that if he could not give very sufficient reasons for his proceedings, then to be accountable to the King. There ought in my opinion to be an order from the Treasury Board giving me credit for a sum limited, and then I draw for money as the necessity of the service requires, taking up the money of the marchands of New York, and giving them my bills on the Treasury Board. In that case, there would be a necessity at this juncture of time of drawing for about 1,300l., 800l. to be laid out in presents for the Five Nations and 500l. for beginning the immediate building a fort: the rest of the money to be drawn for as the work advanced, for the Revenue of New York is so small at present and so clogged with debts, that there is no money to be had there nor credit with the monied men. There is a concurrence, I think, of ill accidents to cross my measures. The Board of Ordnance have sent Col. Romer an order to return. For my part I do not think fit to part with him till I receive your orders upon my letters about the forts. I do not dispute that Board's right of appointing an Ingineer, but as to the expediency of his continuance here I think they would do well to consult your Lordships. Col. Romer is mightily disturbed how to behave himself between their order and my injunction. Their retrenchment too of 10s. per day off his allowance troubles him. I hope you will please to obtain the King's order for his stay here. Notwithstanding my former proposition about making tar and pitch at New York, or the tar there and the pitch in England, and of the King's sending soldiers thither to make up 1,000 in all, yet I would not advise the sending all the soldiers at once, because I would not engage the King in so great an expense at first, till I can satisfy His Majesty demonstrably that my proposition is practicable. I therefore desire that for the present 250 recruits may be sent to complete the four companies, and that two new companies of 100 men each may be also sent, who will not only be useful for work, but also an encouragement to our Indians to see that care is taking to strengthen our frontiers. The three forts should be begun out of hand. I am in hopes the Assembly of New York will give a tax for the materials of the forts at Albany and Schenectady, which would be about one-third of the charge, and if I have a good Judge and Attorney General from England, I hope so to improve that Revenue as to make it answer the rest. Let it be considered that each of these forts will require the work of 100 soldiers, which will hinder their working at tar and pitch a considerable time. If the arrears of pay and subsistence be not paid to the four companies, I know not how any part of this design can be carried on. The victuallers should be paid in the first place, and our companies being so defective as they are, the pay and subsistence that would otherwise have been due will answer the charge of the 250 recruits now required and of the transportation of the two new companies proposed. Mr. Livingston lately writ from Albany that the Governor of Canada has been fortifying Montreal this last summer. I send over Lt. Hunt this second time for recruits, and at the same time he has in charge the pirates' effects now sent over in the Advice frigate. I entreat you to honour him with your favour and protection. If he performs this trust faithfully I hope he may be thought to deserve a company of foot, if there be any new ones raised for New York, for he has served the King honourably these several years as Lieutenant. I send you minutes of Council of New York for Oct., Nov. and Dec. last, and the muster-rolls of the four companies at New York. My L. G. has altered the dates of the Rolls of his company and mine to make them agree with the date of the muster-rolls sent from Albany of the two companies quartered there. I know no hurt in it but that it makes an ugly blot. The L. G. and I are put to great straights for want of the present made us by the Assembly of that province, which we meddle not with till we have the King's leave. I hear the faction have sent a petition to England signed by 5 or 600 hands wherein, among other grievance, they complain of that 2,000l. tax, but they could formerly submit to Col. Dongan's having 1,600l. and Fletcher's having a penny in the pound upon all estates, which I have been told would have amounted to 2,000l., but that Col. Fletcher by his greediness so mismanaged the collection of it that he lost the greatest part. I remember he told me at my first going to York that he received but 600l. of the country's benevolence, and he railed very scurrilously at a marchand that he had entrusted with the collection of that money, but was deceived by him. I am informed their petition was sent from England and intended for Parliament. The signing, I hear, was managed by Bayard, Nichols and a club of such men, and to encourage people to sign they reported confidently that I was to be superseded and named the man that was to succeed me. I send you the printed laws of this Province. Signed, Bellomont. All things are in a miserable condition in this Province as well as New York, should there happen a war. There are not in this whole province fourty barrels of powder. There is a necessity for clothes for the soldiers at New York against next winter, as well as for the recruits and new-raised companies. I send the Naval Officer's Registry and book of Entries of ships at New York from Midsummer to Christmas. Endorsed, Recd. April 13. Read April 17, 1700. Holograph. 9 pp. Enclosed,
167. i. Abstract of above. 2½ pp.
167. ii. Governor Winthorp to Lord Bellomont. New London, Jan. 29, 1699/1700. A few days ago one of the Council (Capt. Mason) informed me that Owaneco, Sachem of Monhegan, told him that the Five Nations, the Shachkook and Eastward Indians had agreed upon a design to cut off the English, and had sent him wampom. which was their letter, to engage him in it. His account makes our farmers a little uneasy, as yet very sensible of the calamities of the former war. I cannot reasonably think that the Five Nations or Shachkook Indians would break the least link of their Covenant Chain, or the Eastward Indians the peace which your Excellency has so lately made with them, but 'tis rather to be doubted a design of our former enemy Indians to make an adventure upon our Upper Plantations, whose guilt in the murther of many of our people makes them keep at a distance. One Toby, who is reported as the principle instigator to this design, had a particular hand in killing one Johnson. I have sent out a principle Indian to find out Nanaquabin, who brought the wampom to Owaneco, and, if possible, to bring him in, of whom I hope to hear further concerning Toby. Signed, J. Winthorp. Copy. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. April 13, Read April 17, 1700.
167. iii. Information of Owaneco, Sachem of Monhegan, given to the Governor and Council of Connecticut, New London. Jan. 22, 1699/1700. About two months ago a Dutchman at Albany had persuaded the Mohawks to buy 20 barrels of powder from him by telling them that King William had ordered all the Indians to be cut off, and that the English and French had letters about it. The Canada Indians, having heard the same, came over presently and held a great Council with the others against the English. An Indian, Toby, that lives at New Roxbury and had a hand in killing one Johnson near there in the last war with the Indians, told them that, if they did but draw off the friend Indians, they might easily destroy the English. Whereupon they sent him with presents to the Nipmug or Wapaquassett Indians and to the Mohegans to draw them off from the English. About a month since he heard that the Mohawks and the Nowonthewog, or Eastward Indians, had combined against the English, and that they had agreed to send wampom to the Seewonkeeg, or Western Indians, and that they had sent a girdle of wampom to the Wapaquasset, or New Roxbury Indians. A week after, Nanaquabin, a principle Indian among the Wapaquassets, told him of the design and gave him a part of the girdle of wampom, which he had delivered to Capt. Mason. He tried to persuade him to draw off from the English. Copy. 3 pp. Same endorsement.
167. iv. Information of Black James, Feb. 1, 1699/1700. Whilst hunting near Massomuck he came upon Toby and a party of Indians with Mohawks' wampom plotting against the English. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
167. v. Information of Spuna, an Indian Squaw, about the Indian plot, Feb. 3, 1699/1700. Toby and a Sachem of the Pennicooks induced the Wapaquassets, when a hunting last fall, to be ready to fall upon the English this February. They agreed that Norwich in Connecticut was a good place to begin with, and resolved to kill any that should make a discovery. 1 p. Same endorsement.
167. vi. Col. John Pynchon to Lord Bellomont. Feb. 5, 1699/1700. Gives information as to the movements of the Wapaquasset Indians, gone eastwards to the enemy, probably to the Pennicook Indians. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
167. vii. L. G. of New Hampshire to Lord Bellomont. Portsmouth, Feb. 20, 1699/1700. Capt. John Tuttle of Dover informed me yesterday that the Indians late converging at Cochecha were suddenly withdrawn. They have of late narrowly viewed the houses at Dover, and given occasion of suspicion that they design mischief. The Indians that appeared at Cochecha are believed to be both Albany and Eastern Indians. I pray your directions, and meantime have ordered watches and wards to be kept in the out towns to prevent a surprize, but so that if any Indians still come in they may be treated as before without discovering anything of our suspicion of them. Signed, Wm. Partridge. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
167. viii. Information of John Waldron of Cochecha, Feb. 19, 1699/1700, as to the departure of the Indians. Account of an Indian Squaw's warning to Nathaniel Hird's wife at Cochecha. Copy. 1 p. Same endorsement.
170. ix. Col. Schuyler to Lord Bellomont. Albany, Feb. 1, 1699/1700. I shall endeavour to prevent the exportation of horses to Canada. Here is news that the settlement at Cadaracque by the French are so much in want of provisions that they must be supplied by the Onnondages and Sennecks, and as far as I can understand is very scarce in Canada. Signed, P. Schuyler. Copy. ¾p. Same endorsement.
170. x. Copy of information of John Sabin of Woodstock. Feb. 20, 1699/1700. More than half a year since some of the friend Indians hinted to him that there was great likelihood of a rebellion against the English through the instigation of the Governor of Canada, who had sent his cunning men among the Indians to insinuate that the King of England designed to cut them off. He has since discovered that the plot has made progress and was concerted for the end of April, near Pennicook, but that now, having understood that their design is since disclosed, they design it for this month. The Sachem of Penicook boasted that he had the longest bow that ever was in New England: it reached from Penobscot to the Mohawks' Country, meaning that all the Indians throughout the country were engaged in the design: the Mohawks and others of the Five Nations were already fixed not to engage on the side of the English, and they hoped to engage them actually against them: the Governor of Canada's cunning men had made them understand that in case of a breach between the English and the Indians, he would invite the Indians to him and protect them; the peace between the French and English would not last long, and then the French and Indians would be all one, for the French Governor loved the Indians. Copy. 2¼ pp. Same endorsement.
170. xi. Copy of an Order from the Board of Ordnance for recalling Col. Romar. Nov. 10, 1698. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. April 13, 1700.
170. xii. Memorandum of Minutes of Council of New York, Oct. 4–Dec. 20, 1699. ½p.
170. xiii. Muster-roll of Governor Lord Bellomont's Independent Company of Fuzileers at New York, Nov. 18, 1699. 1 large p. Same endorsement. Signed, A.D. Peyster, D. Provoost, mayor, Peter Matthews, John Bulkley, lieutenants.
170. xiv. Muster-roll of the L. G.'s Company of Fuzileers at New York. Signed, A. D. Peyster, D. Provoost, mayor, John Nanfan, John Riggs, Charles Oliver, lieutenants. 1 p. Same endorsement.
170. xv. Muster-roll of Major Richard Ingoldesbye's Company of Grenadiers at Albany. Signed, Pa. Schuÿler, Robt. Livingstone, Pieter Van Brugh, mayor, Matthew Shanks, lieutenant. 1 p. Same endorsement.
170. xvi. Muster-roll of Capt. James Weemes' Company of Fuzileers at Albany. Signed, James Weemes, Pa. Schuyler, Robt. Livingstone, Pieter Van Brugh, mayor. 1 p. Same endorsement.
170. xvii. Memorandum of Naval Officer's Account of ships entered at New York, June 26–Dec. 23, 1699. ½p.
170. xviii. Memorandum of Naval Officer's list of ships registered at New York, June 24–Dec. 25, 1699. ½p. [Board of Trade. New York, 9. Nos. 16, 16.i. – xviii.; and (without enclosures) 54. pp. 165–194; and (abstract) 45. pp. 75–79; and New England, 37. pp. 442–467; and (Memoranda of above letter and some of the enclosures), and Board of Trade. New England, 10. Nos. 21, 21.i. – ix.; and (No. xii. only,) New York, 72. p. 289.]
Feb. 28.
171. Journal of Council of Trade and Plantations. The Earl of Stamford said that the Mr. Crips mentioned Feb. 8 was no relation to the Crips mentioned in a Jamaica Act, and had no objection to it. Representation to lay the Acts of Jamaica before His Majesty ordered.
Col. Codrington said that the reason why he delayed his departure to the Leeward Islands was that he could not obtain payment of the arrears due to his father. He promised his answer more fully in writing.
Sir Thomas Day presented his answer to the complaints against his son. The Board did not find anything now offered of weight to obstruct the presenting the representation signed Feb. 15 to His Majesty, but ordered these words "To which Sir Thomas Day attending us has objected that the said Brice is an outlawed person and otherwise a man of ill-fame" to be added, and the date of the representation to be altered.
Representation upon the petitions for the Government of the Bermuda Islands ordered to be laid before His Majesty. Mr. Burghill desiring the favourable report of the Board upon his petition, their Lordships found the terms proposed by him very unfit to be allowed and directed a representation accordingly.
Mr. Brenton, being informed that complaint had been made that the allowance given by him to his Deputy Surveyor was insufficient, he said that his own salary being 50l., he was willing henceforward to allow him one-half of it.
Order of the Committee of the House of Commons, Feb. 28, that the Secretary lay before them the entry of the Instructions from the Government of New York to Col. Palmer and the Agents here about 1685–1687, as also an authentick draught of the country of New York and Hudson's River, read. Directions given for laying before the Committee several papers and the map of the Province of New York lately received from the Earl of Bellomont.
Feb. 29. Representations relating to Bermuda sent to the Council Board.
March 1. Col. Codrington presented his answer and desired that it might be laid before His Majesty by the Earl of Jersey. Letter ordered accordingly. Signed and sent. [Board of Trade. Journal, 12. pp. 389–394: and 97. Nos. 40–42.]
Feb. 29.
172. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Upon the petition of Francis Burghill and your Majesty's Order in Council, Jan. 25 (q.v.), we humbly report that it is by no means fit that the maintenance of a Governor should be made dependent on his success in the discoveries of forfeited lands, which will occasion suits at law, in the determining of which he himself as Governor will be judge, and therefore do not conceive it for your Majesty's service that the petition be granted. Signed, Stamford, Lexington, Phil. Meadows, Jon. Pollexfen, Abr. Hill, Geo. Stepney. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 29. pp. 265, 266.]
Feb. 29.
173. Order of King in Council. Copy of the report of the Council of Trade and Plantations concerning Gov. Day ordered to be given to Sir Thomas Day. Sir Thomas or his Council to be heard at this Board on March 7. Signed, John Povey, Mr. Popple to get all papers relating to Gov. Day since beginning of July in readiness to be laid before His Majesty in Council. Endorsed, Recd. Read March 4, 1699/1700. 1 p. [Board of Trade. Bermuda, 4. No. 18; and 29. pp. 266, 267.]
Feb. 29. 174. Christopher Codrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. If a long fit of sickness had not hindered me, I should not have stayed for your Lordship's summons but should have waited on you myself. I am very desirous to be gone to my Government; my private interest suffers very much by my stay here, and the money I so justly and have so long expected from the Treasury will not compensate the losses occasioned by these delays. My right to what I demand from the Treasury is incontestable. viz., four years' salary due to my father, and I cannot possibly leave England till I have received it. After that I am prepared to go on board at two days' warning. Your Lordships will be pleased to lay this paper by my Lord Jersey before the King. Signed, Christ Codrington. Endorsed, Recd. Read Feb. 29, 1699/1700. 2 pp. [Board of Trade. Leeward Islands, 6. No. 57; and 46. pp. 35, 36.]