Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 26, 1711-1712. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
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§ 1. GENERAL.
Many matters of high importance in the sphere of Colonial administration occur in the ensuing pages. The handling of the situation in the Leeward Islands after the murder of Governor Parke; Col. Cary's rebellion and the Indian rising in North Carolina; the deadlock created in New Jersey by the opposition in the Council; the intransigent attitude of the Assembly of New York and the consequently contemplated action by Parliament; these and other such questions would by themselves render the year under review notable enough. They are overshadowed, however, by two other events of wider and more permanent significance; the failure of the Expedition against Canada, and the preliminary negotiations for Peace.
The Peace of Utrecht is one of the great landmarks of European History. Few transactions of like moment have given rise to controversy so bitter and so lasting. Whatever may be the merits or demerits of the case for entering upon that much debated Peace at that particular moment, it can hardly be disputed that the two weakest links in the vast and complicated chain of arrangements, territorial and commercial, known as the Treaty of Utrecht, were, from the point of view of the British Empire, those concerned with the Newfoundland Fishery and the French occupation of Cape Breton. "Against these substantial gains," wrote Lord Morley in his life of Walpole, after enumerating the advantages obtained by England, "were undoubtedly to be set the risks of some counterbalancing mischiefs. But the mischiefs never came to pass." The documents published in this series will show very plainly, on the contrary, that the mischiefs came to pass immediately, were the cause of enormous strife, and continued down to our own day.
Immediately after the signing of the Treaty, its authors were denounced as traitors to their country; and from that time onwards the belief has been widely held that the Cape Breton arrangement was the outcome of bribery. (v. for example, Douglass' Summary, 1760, quoted by Senator J. S. McLennan, Louisbourg from its foundation p. 1.)
That St. John gave more than he need have given, and took less than he might have taken, can scarcely be denied in view of the military position resulting from Marlborough's victories before the fall of the Whigs. But the suspicion that his concessions were bought is not, I believe, supported by a shred of evidence, and a document published in the present volume is to some extent evidence to the contrary. It fitts in with what we know of the negotiations for "Matt's Peace" as revealed by Prior's correspondence with St. John, the recently published Portland Papers, and De Torcy's accounts of the matter. The document referred to is No. 365. It demonstrates at least two things; first, that St. John acted with his eyes open, and secondly, that in approaching the problem of whether or not he should concede to the French "a general right to fish and to dry their fish in the Sea of Newfoundland and on that coast, as they have hitherto done, together with a liberty of settling and fortifying on the Island of Cape Breton," he acted openly and above-board. This was in April, 1712. It was then a question of bargaining amongst the Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht. The quid pro quo offered was that the French should make "an absolute cession of Nova Scotia with Annapolis Royal, and of the Island of Newfoundland with Placentia." It was also suggested "that all the fortifications in Newfoundland should be demolished, and that no others be suffered to be erected there, or in any of the adjacent islands." St. John (No. 365) asked for the opinion of the Board of Trade and Plantations upon this bargain, and asked for it "as soon as possible, it being necessary to write abroad upon this subject at the end of the week." The answer he received (No. 374) was a clear-sighted one, and can have left him in no doubt as to the value of the concessions which were eventually made. If the French retained the privilege of fishering on the Newfoundland coast and drying on the shore, they would have the same advantage in the trade of dry fish as His Majesty's subjects, the Board of Trade declared, "and the good end of our having New foundland restored to us would be defeated." As to Cape Breton, that Island had always been esteemed as part of Nova Scotia, and, considering its situation, the permitting the French to fortify and settle there would give them the like advantages as if they were allowed to dry their fish on Newfoundland or the adjacent islands. The Board of Trade concluded by stating the boundaries of Nova Scotia, "which ought to be so described for avoiding future disputes," and representing that the fortifications on Newfoundland ought to be maintained (No. 574).
The concessions which were eventually made were at least an error of judgement. But the procedure indicated above is hardly that which would have been pursued by statesmen or Plenipotentiaries about to sell their country.
The negotiations for Peace with France, begun through the agency of the Abbe Gualtier, had been continued by Matthew Prior, an ex-Commissioner of Trade and Plantations, on his secret mission to Fontainebleau in July, 1711. Of the preliminary demands of the British Government which Prior was then commissioned to communicate to the French Court (P.R.O. Treaty Papers, 15), those which most nearly concerned the Colonies were that the Asiento (the right of supplying the Spanish Colonies with negro slaves) "should be entirely in the hands of Great Britain; that Newfoundland should be entirely given up to the English; that the trade of Hudson's Bay should continue in the hands of the French and English, as they are now; and that all things in America should continue in the possession of those they should be found to be in at the conclusion of the peace."
Concerning these provisions, attention should be drawn regarding the first, that in Jamaica, where the Peace was eagerly welcomed (421), there was a demand for the recovery of the Asiento trade, which had previously brought great prosperity to that Island (345). As to the second, there was as yet no reference to fishing rights one way or the other. As to the third, the claims of the Hudson's Bay Company are not yet pressed. Although the depredations committed by the French in those parts had been stated by King William as one of the reasons for the declaration of war, the Treaty of Ryswick had left the Company worse off than they were before it. Before the Plenipotentiaries met at Utrecht the Company once more entered their claim, stating their case and demanding not only reparation for damages but also that the French should surrender all pretention to the Streights and Bay and abandon their settlements there (219 i.). They explained their demands in detail to the Council of Trade (300), who reported in their favour (326).
The last of St. John's "private propositions" involved not only the retention of the French part of St. Christophers, and of Nova Scotia and Annapolis Royal, but also, no doubt it was hoped, the retention of Canada, if the expedition under General Hill should meet with the expected success. The French, on the other hand, might be supposed to look for some compensation if the expedition under Duguay-Trouin against Brazil should prove successful. We once more catch a few glimpses of that expedition in these pages (pp. 15, 48, 49).
From other quarters the acquisition of Moville; as well as Montreal and Quebec, was enthusiastically urged (440).
When Prior had brought De Torcy to the necessary stage of agreement over these preliminary demands, the scene of negotiations was transferred to London at the end of July, and still with the utmost secrecy.
Peace Conference at Utrecht.
By the 17th September agreement had practically been reached. The preliminaries were on the eve of being signed, when the question of the Newfoundland Fishery was again raised. In haste to conclude the Peace, upon which all their hopes depended, Ministers decided that the question should be referred to the Congress, but they conceded to the French the right of drying their fish. Thus a sore was left open, which was to prove a source of trouble for two centuries. Before the end of the year the hand of the Tory Peacemakers was greatly strengthened by the publication of Swift's Conduct of the Allies. In December Marlborough was dismissed, and the creation of twelve peers gave to the Ministry the majority required in the Upper Chamber. In January the Plenipotentiaries met at Utrecht. The Council of Trade and Plantations soon called attention to the necessity of fixing the boundaries of Canada (Feb., 1712. Nos. 326, 385). It was in April that St. John consulted them about Cape Breton and the Newfoundland Fishery (365, 373 i., 374), and a fortnight latter he conferred with the Board upon the question of the New England Fishery. having himself proposed the attendance of Colonel Nicholson and the New England Merchants interested therein (386). At this time also the whole question of a Treaty of Commerce with France was referred to and considered by the Board of Trade (v. Journal, and Trade Books).
The Expedition against Canada and Newfoundland.
The advent of the projected expedition against Canada and Newfoundland was hailed with loyal addresses of welcome and gratitude from New York (47), New Jersey (21), Connecticut (93 i.), New Hampshire (40), and Massachusetts (45). The New Yorkers took the opportunity to complain of the burden of defence which they had to bear and the cost of their contributation to the abortive expedition of the preceding year. The quota required of them, was, they maintained, excessive, and they hinted at the superior lot of Proprietary Governments, whither "the little wealth this Plantation possessed and the best and most industrious of its inhabitants were being drained by the ease and indulgence of those Governments" (48, 96). However, the quotas of Colonial troops required for the advance by land upon Montreal were agreed upon by the Congress of Governors assembled at New London (71, 87 i., 95, 96, 97 iii.). Pennsylvania, in the event, failed to contribute a man (95); and Governor Hunter was obliged to complete the New York contingent by enlisting Indians and some of the German Protestant refugees. The Five Nations, however, impressed by the sight of the Armada at Boston, were induced to send 800 men. By the end of August these troops were on their way to Albany, whence they were to commence their march to Woodcreek, under General Nicholson (46 i., 61 i., 95, 95 ii., 96).
The Expedition at Boston.
The Naval and Military forces under Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker and Brigadier General Hill sailed from Plymouth on the 4th of May and arrived at Boston on 24th June. The incidents of the voyage are described (46 i., 61). The troops were disembarked and encamped on Nodles Island (45, 46 i.), whilst the necessary measures were being taken for the assembling of the Colonial contingents, selecting pilots, providing transport for the troops by sea, boats for the land expedition, and transport for the siege-train, as well as collecting fresh provisions from the neighbourhood and salt pork from Maryland and Virginia (46 i., 61, 94 i., 96).
The season was already late, and the arrival of Col. Nicholson, who had been sent ahead from England to prepare the several Governments, had been delayed till June 8th by adverse weather. There had been little time, therefore, for progress to be made with the necessary preparations before the Expedition actually anchored in Nantasket Bay (46, 61, 61 i., 96).
Meantime a French officer, M. La Ronde, had arrived at Boston from Placentia with the ostensible object of proposing a cartel for the exchange of prisoners. He was detained by Governor Dudley in order that he might not carry news of the preparations for the proposed attack upon Canada and Newfoundland. The detention of the French Agent was probably neither unforeseen nor undesired. For he was apparently instructed to make use of his opportunity to dissuade the Colonists from supporting the Expedition. As to tidings of the Expedition, both its objects and its strength were known in France and conveyed to Placentia and Quebec (94 i., 164).
According to the accounts given by Governor Dudley, not only was money voted readily and the quota promptly supplied by Massachusetts, but everything possible was done to secure an adequate quantity of provisions at a reasonable price, and to obtain all the competent and experienced pilots who could be found in the Province (44 i.–x., 45 i.–x., 164, 164 i., 165, 167). It is evident, however, (from the reports of General Hill and his Quarter Master General, Col. King), that considerable friction arose, and that great dissatisfaction was felt and shown at the delays they experienced and at the attitude of the Colonists both towards deserters and the provision of supplies (46, 46 i., 61, 61 i.). No one, Col. King declared, but a man of General Hill's good sense and good nature could have overcome "the interestedness, ill-nature and sourness of these people, whose Government, doctrine and manners, whose hypocrisy and canting are insupportable." There was nothing for it, he concluded, but to resume their Charters to the Crown, and so settle them all under one Government, "with an entire liberty of conscience" (46). It was just the fear of this result, he was finally led to suppose, which could alone account for the reluctancy and ill-nature of the people, whose object in delaying the Expedition could only be explained by their dread lest the conquest of Canada should lead to the establishment of one uniform Government of America, for the real good of the Colonies but to the loss of those who profited by their disorderly disunion (p. 48).
But for the dilatoriness of the Government, the Expedition might have sailed from Boston a fortnight sooner than it did. "But all has been done with indolence and indifference with a thousand scruples and delays" (46). Yet, notwithstanding losses from deserters, enticed away by the Colonists, and the lateness of the season, nothing, thought Col. King, but the difficulty of navigating the St. Lawrence or the arrival of a French force from Europe, could prevent their success (46, p. 48). He severely blamed Col. Nicholson, against whom he displays considerable animus, for not forwarding the transports with supplies for New York immediately upon his arrival (46, 46 i., 61, 61 i.). There were delays in delivering the fresh provisions required for the troops, and a determined effort was made by the New England merchants to exact an exorbitant price through the exchange (61). It was only when continual pressure had been put upon the Assembly that they were induced to take measures to fulfil their promises of support and their duty to their Queen. The details are given in the Journal of the Expedition written by Col. King for Brigadier General Hill (46 i., 61 i.), and the papers sent by Governor Dudley (44 i.–x.)
The disaster in the St. Lawrence.
The Expedition sailed from Nantasket harbour on July 30th, with high hopes of success (46 i., 61 i., 73, 87, 92). But a fatal blunder had already been committed.
The Colonial troops which accompanied General Hill were placed under the command of Col. Vetch, the original author of the scheme. After they had sailed, and before the fatal event, he wrote to St. John the following ominous warning:— "The getting up (to Quebec) by reason of the difficulty of the navigation I looke upon to be the difficultest part of the enterprise, being myself if not the only att least the best pilot upon the Expedition, although none of my province" (71). Yet, in the face of the well-known difficulty of navigating the St. Lawrence, and of the shortage of good pilots, Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker appears to have acted with almost incredible improvidence. Capt. Cyprian Southack, Commander of the Massachusetts Province galley, was well known as one of the most experienced and competent sailors in those parts. He had been particularly mentioned in the Instructions as a suitable pilot for the Expedition (164 i.). Yet, on the eve of sailing, he was dispatched to Annapolis Royal to pick up some artillery stores and marines from the Garrison there, which had already been sent for once, but which the Deputy Governor, Sir Charles Hobby, declared that he could not spare (46 i., 61). Nor was this all. The Admiral had brought with him from England a French pilot, whom Col. Vetch, after some experience, took occasion to warn him was both ignorant and a rogue (175, 175 i., ii., v.). Vetch was at first invited to show the way to the Fleet himself, with small vessels. But as he refused to go on board the Saphire frigate for this purpose, he was presently ignored. If that plan had been adhered to, he declares, the disaster could not have happened. As it was, he followed the Flag at a discreet distance, watching her course with surprise and foreboding (175 v.). We have several accounts of the catastrophe which ensued (92, 92 i.–iii., 94, 94 i., ii., 98, 175 v.). For Fate, so tempted, exacted the penalty to the full. On the night of the 22nd of August in a stiff gale nine transports were dashed to pieces on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, and the whole Fleet was within an ace of being involved in a similar fate among the shoals off the Isle aux Oeufs. 742 lives were lost, including 35 women. On the two following days the shattered remains of twenty six companies were rescued from the shipwrecks. (92, 94 i., ii.). On the 25th, three days after the disaster, a Council of War was held. The General and the army officers were apparently of opinion that they might still continue the advance (175 ii., v.). But the naval officers, after consulting a few of the pilots, unanimously resolved that "by reason of the ignorance of the pilots and the uncertainty of the currents" it was impracticable to proceed (92, 92 ii.). Col. Vetch protested, instancing the success of Sir William Phips' Expedition, which had navigated the river successfully at a much later season of the year, without the aid of a single man who had ever been there before. In response to a challenge, he expressed his own willingness to point out the way to the Fleet (175 v.). So dissatisfied was he with the pusillanimity of the resolution to retreat, that upon returning to his ship, he wrote a strong letter to the Admiral, begging him to hold another Council of War and to reconsider his decision, and urging that the navigation from that point to Tadousac presented no further difficulty (175 ii.). Sir Hovenden Walker ignored this suggestion, and there was now nothing for it but to send an express to recall Nicholson from his advance upon Montreal, and to retire to Spanish River, where the Fleet cast anchor on Sept. 4th (92).
The Expedition abandoned.
There still remained the possibility of reducing Placentia. Another Council of War was held on the 8th to consider whether the Instructions for an attack upon that place on the return from Quebec could be put into execution. A letter from the Governor of Placentia to M. Pontchartrain was intercepted and brought in at this juncture. It seemed to promise invaders a warm reception. The Council of War unanimously decided to abandon this design also, fear of bad weather combined with a shortage of provisions being given as the reasons. For, after the losses in the river, the provisions remaining in hand were found to be only sufficient for ten weeks on short allowance. But further supplies were being collected in New England, and three transports fully laden with salt provisions from Virginia were expected to join the Fleet from New York (92, 92 iii., 94 i., 175 v.). Together with their convoy, H.M.S. Faversham, these transports were eventually lost off Cape Breton, Oct. 7 (162). A detachment was sent to Annapolis Royal, to strengthen and relieve the garrison there; the remainder of the New England troops were sent home; and the Expedition returned ingloriously to England, Sept. 15th. Some of the troops intended for Annapolis Royal found their way to Boston and were there disbanded (92, 92 iii., 94 ii., 175, 175 iii., iv.). The document 175 iii. is obviously wrongly dated August for September. The evidence of the pilots was taken and sent home (165).
Addresses for its renewal.
The ill effects from the failure of the Expedition anticipated by Col. King (94) and Governor Dudley (165), were soon apparent. There was an outbreak of raids upon the frontiers of New England, New York and Nova Scotia (162, 175, 229, 296). It was feared, too, that the loyalty of the Five Nations had been shaken (296). Addresses for the renewal of the Expedition were forwarded from New York (162), Massachusetts Bay (123), and New Hampshire (147), with the hope that they would not again be required to supply a contingent.
Grant of stores of war and payment of bills.
The bills for the expences of the Expedition were paid with remarkable promptitude. Lord Dartmouth, in announcing the decision of the Treasury, expressed the hope that such punctuality would be an encouragement to everybody to show their zeal for the good of their country. At the same time the small arms and ammunition which had been designed for the Expedition were presented to the Governments of New England and New York, and Lord Dartmouth communicated this "mark of H.M. concern for her subjects in the Plantations" to the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (308–311). Frequent and urgent demands for supplies of stores of war for the Plantations had given rise to some discussion at home.
The Board of Ordnance, in response to an enquiry about the demand of arms and stores for the Leeward Islands, represented that they had no grant from Parliament to enable them to satisfy it. If the Islands could no longer pay for their own arms, then, the Board suggested, they ought to apply direct to Parliament (63, 69, 194, 194 i., ii.). The Council of Trade thereupon made a representation, recommending that an annual sum should be voted for providing stores for the defence of the Plantations (313). Virginia, threatened with an Indian war, was practically destitute of ammunition (204, p. 113). But when the request for arms and ammunition for that Colony came to be considered (382 i., 383, 387), it was objected that there had been grave abuses in connection with the distribution of such stores, and that it was "a common practice to sell arms etc. to those very Indians against whom they were intended to be employed." The Council of Trade were asked to consider, therefore, what steps could be taken to prevent such frauds (387, cf. 120). In reply they pointed out that by the Act of 1684 every Virginian Militiaman was obliged to provide himself with arms, and also that when arms were sent from England in 1702 directions were given that they should be paid for. This had not been done. It was suggested that, if arms were now sent to supply the urgent need of the Dominion, they should only be delivered to such persons as should pay for the same, and also that the Militia Act should be put in force (417).
The Navy in the West Indies.; Friction between Governors and Naval Commanders.
Apart from trouble arising from the protection of deserters from the Navy, and the difficulty of replacing them, to which frequent reference is made in the accounts of the Canada Expedition, there is evidence of considerable friction between Governors of Plantations and some of the Commanders of the Naval ships detailed to act as guardships in the West Indies. Thus Capt. Norbury in the Leeward Islands, when requested to take home for trial some officers concerned in the rising against Parke, objected that he was not under the command of the Governor (63, 81, cf. 120). The Governor of Barbados reported that the great losses of the shipping off the coasts of that Island from enemy privateers were largely due to the "little regard the men of war paid to the orders" of the late President (77). Capt. Constable presently refused to send a ship to England with French prisoners whom the Government wished to convey there, (318, 318 viii., 378 xii.). He also refused to convey the merchant fleet upon the General's orders (318, 318 viii., 378 xii., 434, 434 i., iii.). By their Instructions Governors were directed not to exercise any authority over the Captains of the men of war, unless they had a commission from the Admiralty so to do (63, 77, 434).
Trading by ships of war.
Another grievance was set forth in a petition by the leading merchants of New York, who complained that the trade and navigation of that city was much diminished by the men of war which, in cruizing to and from the West Indies, carried cargoes of merchandize and entered into unfair competition with ordinary traders and shippers (433 i.). The Council of Trade represented that this was a dishonourable practice which ought to be strictly forbidden (438).
Capture of Spanish Galleons.; Spanish prisoners detained for exchange with English at Lima.
The Naval Squadron under Commodore Littleton, stationed at Jamaica, was constantly on the watch for an opportunity to pounce on the Spanish galleons which were reported to be ready to sail from Cartagena. It was also hoped to intercept the French Squadron under M. Ducasse, which had been sent to convey them (18, 25). Littleton was partly successful. For he captured some of the galleons, and with them a Spanish Vice-Admiral. But Ducasse, with the plate, eluded him (37, 75, 76, 82). The prizes were therefore not so rich as had been expected. The Spanish Admiral had been killed, but the Vice-Admiral was captured. He with the other prisoners was detained by the Governor of Jamaica in order to secure the release of the English prisoners at Lima (25, 76, 83). The Governor of the Spanish coast of St. Domingo, who was captured shortly afterwards by a Jamaican privateer, was similarly detained (125, 267).
French ships captured.; Exchange of prisoners refused.
Besides many prizes taken by privateers on either side (18, 77 i., 82, 94 i., 186, 378 xi., 335 i., 418, etc.), Windsor and Weymouth captured the French man of war Thetis and two rich merchantmen in July, 1711, after a sharp fight (18, 28). In May, 1712, the guardships of Virginia and Barbados acting in concert made a rich haul, taking twelve out of a fleet of seventeen sail of French merchantmen with stores and ammunition bound for Martinique, whilst Enterprize captured the man of war which was convoying them (319, 418). Cartels for the exchange of prisoners were proposed to several Governments by the French. They were generally refused on the grounds that such interchanges gave opportunities both for spying and illegal trade, whilst, in the case of those returned to Martinique, where, the Governor of Barbados declared, the people lived entirely by piracy and privateering, such returned prisoners were back at their trade on the English coasts within a week (77). We have seen that the officer sent from Placentia to Boston, ostensibly to propose a cartel, seems to have been sent really as a spy and French agent to dissuade the Colonists from supporting the Expedition against Canada.
St. John's proposal for uniformity of Government.
A very remarkable passage occurs in a letter from the Governor of New York. In reply to some enquiries by St. John, who had asked for his views upon the state of affairs in the Plantations, Col. Hunter declared outright that the "British interest in these parts … is in a bad state, of which the frequent tumult in all parts, and the general aversion to the support of Government in most, are sufficient indications." St. John had hinted at the desirability of putting all North America under one uniform scheme of Government (it will be remembered that it was the fear lest the conquest of Canada would lead inevitably to a uniform Government throughout America which, in the opinion of Col. King, prompted New Englanders to attempt to prevent it (p. xi.). Such a consummation as St. John proposed would, Col. Hunter agreed, be a sure remedy, but unfortunately it must be a slow one, and more urgent measures were necessary. In the Proprietary Governments, the Councils were a mere cipher, having no share in the Legislature, and the Governors, being dependent for their daily bread upon the goodwill of the Assemblies, had been obliged to make such concessions, that the Crown would pay dear for much trouble and no dominion if they were purchased and continued upon the present footing. The neighbourhood of Colonies in which the Assemblies were almost all-powerful stirred the ambition of those which were under the more immediate Government of the Crown. They took the "Connecticut scheme" as their model, and by starving their Governors, refusing adequate supplies, and endeavouring to restrict the powers of the Councils, were aiming at establishing themselves on the same basis as those Chartered and Proprietary Governments which, they conceived, were better off than themselves. They had but one short step to take then towards complete independance. Hunter concludes:—"A greater assertor of Liberty, one at least that understood it better than any of them, has said, that as Nationall or Independant Empire is to be exercised by them that have ye proper ballance of Dominion in the Nation, soe Provinciall or Dependant Empire is not to be exercised by them that have the ballance of dominion in the province, because that would bring the Government from Provinciall and Dependant to Nationall and Independant. Which is a reflection that deserves some consideration for the sake of another from ye same person to wit, that ye Colonies were infants, sucking their mother's breasts, but such as if he was not mistaken, would weane themselves when they came of age." (pp. 103, 104, No. 250). (fn. 1)
Hunter, of course, in writing thus was thinking more particularly of New York and New Jersey, where he was in the thick of a critical constitutional struggle.
Elsewhere, as for instance in Carolina, the evil effects of the chaos and confusion resulting from incompetent Proprietary government were sufficiently evident to the inhabitants to render them anxious to exchange such chartered freedom for the greater security of the neighbouring Dominion of Virginia (p. 221). But, in general, the same motives may be assumed to underly the same manoeuvres, which were being executed by the Assemblies in other Governments, not only on the Continent, but also in Barbados, Jamaica and the Leeward Islands. The records printed in this Calendar demonstrate that the progress of political ideas, whether inspired by the writings of Sir Harry Vane or another, marched with equal steps in America and the West Indies.
Reaction of political ideas and events.; Cornbury and the German Protestant Refugees.
The reaction of the Colonies to political developments at Home was also remarkably close and immediate. Attention has been called to this phenomenon in the Preface to the previous volume. In the present one we have fresh instances of it. The sudden change of the Ministry induced the Assembly of New Jersey, according to Dr. Coxe (pp. 9, 10), to withdraw an address which they had prepared representing their grievances against the late Governor, Lord Cornbury. Cornbury himself, now third Earl of Clarendon, entered once more into the arena of Colonial affairs. He was given office in the new Tory Ministry as First Commissioner of the Admiralty, and was invited by Harley, the Lord High Treasurer, to report upon Governor Hunter's estimate of the sum required for the subsistence of the German Protestant Refugees whom he had settled in New York. Hunter had suggested that £15,000 a year for two years would be needed before the Palatines could make their own living by manufacturing naval stores. Cornbury, of course, seized the opportunity to torpedo the whole scheme and to embarrass his successor. To continue their subsistence for two years would, he suggested, merely encourage the Palatines in laziness and enrich Livingston. He also threw doubt upon Hunter's boasted economy (193, 193 i.). The replies made on Hunter's behalf, together with his accounts, enabled the Council of Trade to urge the continuance of the scheme upon the basis he had proposed. Hunter had pledged his own credit deeply in order to carry on the settlement of the Palatines in accordance with the Instructions he had received. He was as good and honest a Governor as Cornbury had been a bad and corrupt one. But Hunter was a Whig, and Cornbury apparently had the ear of the Tory Minister (206, 210, 290).
The Board of Trade.
We have now reached the beginning of a period when enormous delays are revealed in dealing with the dispatches of Colonial Governors by the Council of Trade and Plantations. The reasons for such delays were, it may be suggested, twofold. In the first place, the elaborate and intricate commercial questions which arose in the course of the negotiations for the Treaty of Utrecht were usually referred to the Board of Trade. The whole case for a Commercial Treaty with France was explored by them during the months now under review (v. Board of Trade Journal). The solution of these problems involved the Commissioners and their small staff in an immense amount of urgent business, to which the volumes of the Colonial Office Records relating to Trade matters at this period, now preserved at the Public Record Office, bear most ample and interesting testimony. Plantation business was therefore necessarily postponed. A second cause will presently begin to operate. This was the uncertainty of the political issue. For before long, when Bolingbroke was manoeuvring towards a Legitimist restoration, the substitution of "honest" men for those of Hanoverian principles began. It was not only in the army that officers of the "right" principles were appointed by the Tories to military posts of importance on the eve of the coup d' état which they never struck, but a similar substitution also began, or was prepared, in the case of Colonial Governorships, and civil servants, of the Commissioners of Trade and their capable and longtrusted Secretary, William Popple. The effect of such uncertainty of status would naturally be paralysing.
Case of David Creagh and witnesses sent home.
A case in point is a letter written by Lord Archibald Hamilton, Governor of Jamaica, in which reference was made to the case of one David Creagh. Merchant and supercargo of a sloop from Barbados he had been committed on a charge of High Treason for trading with the Queen's enemies, and sent to England for trial. The witnesses against him were not sent home at the same time owing to an oversight on the part of the Commodore of the Jamaica Squadron who carried them off with him on a cruize (423, 423 vi.). This letter was not read at the Board of Trade till twelve months after its receipt, a delay which led to some confusion.
In the course of correspondence with the Treasury, the Secretary of the Board states that, in spite of frequent reminders, Governors of Plantations on the Continent had wholly failed to make returns to the Council of Trade of the public revenue and expenditure. They had, he declared, received "only some few from Jamaica." This was certainly an over-statement of the case. He refers for further information to the Auditor General, William Blathwayt. Students of Colonial History wish that they could follow his advice. But what has become of the papers of that industrious official ? (84, 99).
Replies to instructions demanded; Acts of Parliament to be published.
A circular letter was presently dispatched to Governors, requiring their observance of the Article requiring them to render half-yearly accounts, as well as other articles of their Instructions which they had omitted to fulfil (132–142). At the same time copies of two recent Acts of Parliament affecting the Colonies were forwarded for publication,—the Act for the encouragement of trade to America, and the Act for the preservation of white and other pine-trees.
Salary of the Board in arrears; New Commission.
The salary of the Commissioners was two and a half years in arrears by Lady Day, 1712 (159, 367). The Board suggested that a lump sum of £400 should be paid to their Secretary annually for defraying the incidental expenses of the office, apart from postage (217), but this suggestion was not adopted in the new Commission (281).
Delay in transmitting Acts.
The Attorney General drew attention to the delay which sometimes occurred in transmitting for confirmation Acts passed in the Plantations (390). In the event of repeal, such delay was bound to cause unnecessary trouble (394).
§ 2. THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
North Carolina. Col. Cary's rebellion.
Whilst Edward Hyde was being duly appointed and approved at home as Lt. Governor of North Carolina, (13, 57), he was engaged, through no fault of his own, in a serious struggle with Col. Cary and the Quaker party, who broke out into open and armed rebellion against his authority and that of his Council and Assembly. We have here accounts of the matter from the Council, the Assembly, Hyde himself and Col. Spotswood, Lt. Governor of Virginia (42, 42 iv., 78, 78 i.). From these we gather that Col. Tynte, Governor of Carolina, having died before he had given Hyde his commission as Lt. Governor of North Carolina, the latter, on his arrival in the country, found himself without proper credentials. He was able, however, to demonstrate that the Lords Proprietors intended him for Lt. Governor, and he was accordingly unanimously invited to administer the country as President of the Council until his commission should arrive. Col. Cary had himself joined in this invitation. But he presently proceeded to obstruct the Government, protesting that Hyde had exceeded his powers in summoning an Assembly, which he probably perceived to be inimical to himself. The Assembly thereupon ordered him and some of his chief supporters into custody, and passed some Acts directed against him, in retaliation for his previous misdemeanours. In this Col. Spotswood thought they showed themselves both vindictive and indiscreet. Cary soon escaped from prison and, defying the authority of the Assembly, raised a revolt. First he fortified his house and shut himself up in it. Then, finding that the Government was powerless to capture him, he passed to the offensive. Fitting out a brigantine and some other vessels, he declared himself President, and sailed to attack Hyde and his Council. Hyde thereupon appealed to Virginia for help. Col. Spotswood at first endeavoured to mediate between the two rival factions. But Cary insisted upon an appeal to arms. Moreover, he and his supporters endeavoured to incite the Tuscarora Indians to rise and massacre their opponents. Failing in his attempt to seize Hyde and his Council, Cary withdrew into the recesses of the country, where it was not practicable for the Virginian militia to pursue them. For Spotswood had raised his militia when Cary and his Quaker supporters had rejected his attempts at mediation. The Commodore of the convoy of the Virginian trade fleet had refused to help him with men and boats, "judging it the least part of his duty to do any service to this country." But Spotswood dispatched some marines from the guardships to Carolina. Upon their appearance, the leaders of the rebellion disperded. Cary and some others fled to Virginia. There they were apprehended by order of Col. Spotswood, and sent to England for trial (55, 60, 78, 78 i.).
Massacre by Tuscarora Indians.; Emigration to Virginia.; Lords Proprietors' directions.; Campaign against the Tuscaroras.
The troubles of North Carolina were not, however, at an end. Unsettled by the intrigues of Cary and his supporters, and emboldened by the evident weakness and division of the country, a party of Tuscarora Indians rose and massacred the inhabitants of the frontier plantations, "killing without distinction of age or sex about sixty English and upwards of that number of Swiss and Palatines, besides a great many left dangerously wounded," and burning the plantations. Even in the face of this deadly meance, Hyde was unable to rouse the province to make a united resistance. Col. Spotswood, however, fully aware of the danger lest the conflagration should spread over the borders of Virginia, called out his Militia, and summoned to a conference both those Tuscarora Indians who had remained loyal and the other tributary and bordering tribes. He at once put a stop to all trade with the Indians, "finding they were better provided with ammunition than ourselves," and demanded the release of the Baron de Graffenried, the head of the Swiss and Palatine settlement, who had been taken prisoner by the raiders and was being reserved "to be tomahawked and tortured at their first public war dances" (120). In this he was successful (177). Graffenried was released after being obliged to conclude an agreement of neutrality with the Indians, on behalf of his Palatines, seeing that he could rely upon no help from the distracted people of North Carolina. Such, indeed, was the condition of the country that both he and other settlers were anxious to migrate to Virginia (301, 408). In these circumstances Col. Spotswood urged the necessity of orders being sent from home directing Virginia, Maryland and Carolina to assist each other in case of either being attacked (p. 222). The Lords Proprietors wrote to the Council and Assembly recommending the Lieutenant Governor and urging the passing of a Militia Act. They required the quit-rents to be paid in silver, and whilst commending to their care the establishment of the Church, promised to contribute £200 towards the building of a church (306). They also expressed their thanks to Col. Spotswood (339). More effective aid was rendered by the Government of South Carolina. At the beginning of 1712 a body of 700 Indians under British officers was sent to the aid of the Northern Province. Their first attack upon the Tuscaroras met with success, but this was followed by a check. The preliminary success encouraged the people of North Carolina to elect a new Assembly and raise a fund for carrying on the war. But they could not enlist a sufficient force. For the Quakers who had fought against Hyde's Government would not carry arms against the Indians. Another appeal for aid was made to Virginia. It was readily granted. For there seemed good reason to believe that the whole Tuscarora nation was in sympathy with the outbreak. The conditions to which they had agreed at their Conference with Spotswood had not been fulfilled; evidence had come to light that they were endeavouring to induce the tributary Indians to join them; and the repulse of the force sent from South Carolina had excited their warriors' ardour. It was recognised that to send Virginian troops to Carolina was a prudent measure of defence for their own frontiers. The Council of North Carolina, however, refused to undertake any responsibility for the payment of the Virginian troops or for furnishing them with provisions. Before they were ready, and without the knowledge of Lt. Governor Hyde, the Commander of the troops from South Carolina made a hasty peace with the Indians "upon very unaccountable conditions, at a time when he had reduced one of their most considerable forts to the last extremity." With such an object lesson of the weakness and disunion of the Carolinans, it was not thought likely that the Tuscaroras would be content for long to keep the peace so hastily made (408). (See also under Virginia).
Maryland. Need of a Governor. Report upon Lord Baltimore's petition.
The Governorship of Maryland still remained vacant. Lord Baltimore had petitioned that he might now be allowed to exercise again the Proprietor's right of appointing a Governor. The Attorney General and Council of Trade, however, reported that the circumstances which had rendered the appointment of the Governor by the Crown necessary and desirable still obtained, and were likely to do so at least so long as the war lasted (38 i., 50). Complaints came to hand as to the administration of the law by the Roman Catholic party. The need of a Governor was emphasised (101, 101 ii., 314). The Council of Trade, in a further representation, made a suggestion of their own for filling the vacant Governorship (349). But their suggestion was ignored.
New England; Massachusetts Bay statistics.; Paper money.; Church taxes.
Preparations for the Expedition against Canada, dealt with above, form the greater part of the public business transacted in New England. The replies which Dudley sent home in response to the enquiries of the Board of Trade into the administration of New England, contain a good deal of statistical information (135, 375, 375 i.). A list of causes tried in Massachusetts Bay is given (230 viii.–xvii.). Issues of paper money had now resulted in driving out of circulation all coin, foreign or other, in accordance with the well known monetary law (167). A considerable amount of heat was engendered by the laying of a tax upon the inhabitants for building a new meeting house at Newbury and the maintenance of Ministers, whilst several of the inhabitants and freeholders of that town, some of whom had recently become members of the Established Church and had begun to erect a church for themselves at their own cost, were ordered by the Assembly to desist. Mr. Bridger, the Surveryor General of Woods, took up their cause, and an appeal was made to Lord Dartmouth (291, 291 i.–iii.).
Waste of woods.; New Acts of Parliament.
Bridger found himself powerless to prevent the waste of the Crown woods by the contractor to the Navy as well as by the inhabitants (85, 163, 292.) Hopes, however, were entertained of the new Act for the preservation of white and other pine trees, the publication of which was specially ordered, together with the Act for the encouragement of the trade to America (132 ff., 142, 292).
Mining Company's Prospectus.
A prospectus was issued by the Society of Mines for the development of iron and steel works in New England and of copper works in Connecticut, with a pamphlet directed against the "base and scandalous stockjobbing" of an "upstart Company of Mine-Adventurers" (439 i.-iii.).
Governor Hunter's Conference with Five Nations.
Governor Hunter found his hands full with the affairs of New York and New Jersey (95). His instructions for the preparations for the Canada Expedition reached him as he was returning from a Conference with the Five Nations at Albany. This Conference followed upon Col. Schuyler's mission to counteract the French influence at Onondage. The Five Nations renewed the Covenant and presently contributed about 800 warriors to the Expedition (96, 95 ii., 97 iv.).
Raids by enemy Indians, who traded at Albany.
The failure of the Expedition had its natural repercussion in an outbreak of frontier raids. There is evidence that these raids were sometimes combined with the trading at Albany which New York merchants carried on with enemy Indians (162, 401).
Presents etc. to the Five Nations.
Following upon resolutions by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, orders were given for making presents to the Five Nations, the dispatch of a Missionary and interpreter, the settling of a garrison in the new fort, and the furnishing of the Chapels, etc. (359, 361).
Hunter's struggle with the Assembly.
Hunter carried on his struggle with the Assembly of New York throughout the year. He was at length compelled to declare that it was hopeless, and that nothing but strong measures by Parliament could save the situation. A new Assembly came back on the popular cry of economy almost identical with the old. It could not therefore be expected that it would prove any readier than the last to make adequate provision for the support of the Government (p. 97).
The Representatives soon showed, indeed, that they would not abate one jot of their pretensions. They maintained their attitude of denying to the Council the right to make any amendment to a money bill, and in order not to lose their vote for the Canada Expedition, Hunter was obliged to resort to a subterfuge by which to secure a necessary amendment. "They will be a Parliament," he comments (pp. 97, 100). In a letter written to St. John in Sept., 1711, to which we have already referred (§ 1), he warns him that unless some speedy and effectual remedy is applied, "the disease may prove too strong for the cure." For the Assembly was already claiming all and more than all the powers and privileges of the House of Commons, and, should the Council follow suit and claim the rights of a House of Peers, there would then be established a body politic independent of the Great Council of the realm. To keep them within bounds, whilst the Revenue bill was being passed through Parliament, he urged that they should be reminded by a royal letter that they held their privileges by favour from the Crown and only so long as they used them for the Queen's interest and the support of her Government (pp. 103, 104, No. 162). A few months later (Jan. 1st, 1712) he again wrote both to St. John and Dartmouth, as strongly as it was possible to write, appealing to them to remedy the desperate condition of the Queen's Government in that Colony. He had done everything in his power, but the mask was now thrown off. The Assembly was deliberately challenging the position of the Council and the powers granted by Royal letters patent. "They have but one short step to make toward what I am unwilling to name." Officers of the Government were being starved and treated as enemies, and the expenses of the administration were defrayed by the Governor's credit alone (250, 252). The details of the situation are given in his letter to the Council of Trade of the same date, and in an Address by the Council complaining of the proceedings of the Assembly (251, 251 i., 389).
Hunter supported at home.
The Council of Trade gave Hunter their full approval and support. Writing in Nov., 1711, they informed him that, upon their representation, a bill had been ordered to be brought into Parliament for settling a Revenue for the support of the Government in New York. It was probably merely intended as a threat, and Parliament rose before it could be proceeded with. But in view of the continued obstinacy of the Assembly, the Board of Trade recommended the re-introduction of the bill (169, 170). At the same time they confirmed Hunter in his attitude concerning amendments to money bills and the disposal of stores at Albany. They directed him to remind the Assembly that they sat merely by virtue of the Queen's Commission to himself (169). Upon receipt of Hunter's abovementioned letters in April, they repeated their recommendation that Parliament should make provision for a revenue at New York, and supported the Governor's suggestion that the Queen should signify her disapproval of the undutiful proceedings of the Assembly. "If the Assembly of New York is suffered to proceed after this manner" they added "it may prove of very dangerous consequence to that Province, and of very ill example to H.M. other Governments in America, who are already but too much inclined to assume pretended rights tending to an independency on the Crown" (250, 251, 389). They also wrote again to Hunter repeating their strictures upon the Assembly's infringements of the Royal Prerogative, and warning them that proper remedies would be applied unless his next letters brought news of their having changed their behaviour (444). It is evident that great reluctance was felt in using the extreme measure of Parliamentary authority. But such warning and forbearance had so far but little effect. In June Hunter reported that he had been obliged to accept a quite inadequate Act for the support of the Government, whilst the Assembly made it clear that they were ready enough to relieve the intolerable difficulty of his personal position, if only he would concede to them the Royal Prerogative of appointing and paying officers (454).
Objection to the Census.
In collecting statistics for replies to the queries of the Board of Trade (454, 454 i.–viii.), Hunter encountered an objection to the Census, "the people being deterred by a simple superstition and observation, that the sickness followed upon the last numbering of the people" (454).
No registers kept.
Analogous instances of this superstition based on the same fear of the "sin of David," have been collected by Sir James Frazer (Folk Lore in the Old Testament, Pt. III., Ch. V.). Hunter hoped, however, to complete his census, having devised a new method of securing returns (p. 301). As to births and burials, no registers had ever been kept, nor could they be, until the counties were divided into parishes. Great numbers remained unchristened for want of Ministers (454).
A negro conspiracy Hunter's humanity.; Invalid soldiers.
A murderous outbreak by some negroes, who sought revenge for cruel usage, caused something of a panic at New York. Those conspirators who were seized were brought to trial before the Justices under an Act for dealing with such emergencies. Exemplary but savage punishment was inflicted on those found guilty. More, indeed, were executed than were known to have taken an active part in the insurrection. Hunter endeavoured to moderate the vengeance of the Colonists and reprieved some of the prisoners (454). He also found time to champion the cause of the invalid regular soldiers in the Independent Companies at New York. They amounted by this time to a quarter of the whole strength of the establishment. Upon his representations it was arranged that they should become out-pensioners of Chelsea Hospital (96, 231).
The settlement of German Protestant Refugees.
In the autumn of 1711 Hunter was able to report that, after his quelling of the mutiny, the German Protestant Refugees were settling down to work, and that they were now well on the way to produce Naval Stores. Some of them, as we have seen, were drafted for the Canada Expedition (95, 96). The question of their subsistence was, however, causing the Governor great anxiety (v. § 1).
Shipbuilding at New York.; Complaints against the Clergy.
Other matters referred to in Governor Hunter's correspondence are Col. Heathcote's proposal for shipbuilding at New York (335, 335 ii.), and complaints against the factious behaviour of some of the clergy of the Province (337 ff.).
New Jersey. Opposition of the Council.
In New Jersey the position was the reverse of that in New York. Here the Assembly and the Quakers supported the Governor, whilst half the Council were bitterly opposed to him and them. A long letter from one of the opposing Councillors, whom we may presume to have been Daniel Coxe, gives their point of view, that of the Anglican or Jacobite party and supporters of Cornbury (14 i. cf., 436, 443, 449). News of the change of Ministry at home, it is said, led the Assembly to suppress a representation they had drawn up against Cornbury's administration and those Councillors who had supported him (p. 10). But they took measures against those who had championed Cornbury and his administration, expelling two members, who were, however, again returned by the counties for which they sat. The Assembly refused to allow them to take their seats. They passed and sent up several bills which the obstructive Councillors promptly rejected, being especially horrified by a bill to qualify Quakers for serving on all juries and holding office, and another to make the English bankruptcy laws current in the Colony (14 i). A petition against the former bill and the activities of the Quakers as enemies of Church and State was presented to the Queen (58 i.). Another grievance of the Councillors was that they were governed from New York, and by officers who resided in that Province, whilst of those who resided in New Jersey "all the North Brittains that can be found, though never so scandalous, are preferred, and next to them the Quakers" (p. 11). This complaint was an echo of Mr. Sonmans' indecent demonstration at the Middlesex election, when he had declared against a North Britain Government (p. 6). It was, of course, an attack upon Hunter. The Governor, meanwhile, had come to the conclusion that the experiment of appointing an equal number of representatives of both parties to the Council had proved a disastrous failure. The six obstructive Councillors were determined to stir up strife and interfere with the administration of Justice. One of them had now started an agitation against the payment of taxes (249, 249 i.). Nothing was required to secure the peace and goodwill of the Province but the removal of these Councillors from office. That done, he could promise an entire settlement of the country. Till that was done, everything was in suspense (249).
Hunter's reading of the situation was confirmed by the Proprietors of New Jersey in London, who referred to their former representations to the same effect, and submitted the names of more desirable Councillors (156, 156 i., 413).
When Col. Vetch left Annapolis Royal to take up his command of the Colonial troops on the Canada Expedition, he appointed Sir Charles Hobby to be Deputy Governor in his absence (71). The French Indians had made an attempt upon the fort after their successful ambush, but without effect. Vetch reported (July, 1711) that the place was safe, and some troops and stores could be spared from the garrison (46 i., 61). These were requisitioned by General Hill. Sir Charles' refusal has been referred to above (§ 1). Lively fears were entertained as to the effect of the failure of the Canadian enterprise. It was expected that an attempt would be made by the French to recover Nova Scotia (175, 247), and intercepted letters seemed to point to a possible attack upon Annapolis Royal by sea (92, 94 i.). In these circumstances dispositions were made both by orders from home for the protection of the place (247), and by Governor Vetch and General Hill to strengthen the garrison. A detachment of New England troops and a company of Mohawks were ordered to their relief. Stores and an engineer were also sent there, and, for the sake of discipline, Major Caulfield was appointed Lt. Governor (92, 175, 175 iii., iv., 253). At the end of the year he reported that the place had by then been rendered strong enough to resist any force that could be brought against it, and that the inhabitants, who had suffered some hardships, were well satisfied since the publication of the Royal Proclamation (62, 92, 208, 457).
References are made by both sides to the severe treatment which had been meted out to the French inhabitants (46, 46 i., 94 ii., 208). Governor Vetch is blamed for this by Capt. Vane, the Engineer (403), who also charges him with trading on his own account to the detriment of the inhabitants, the garrison and the Treasury alike. Vetch, on the other hand, had good grounds of complaint, and was subjected to strong temptation (402). It often happened at this period that Governors were ordered to undertake certain enterprises, involving more or less heavy outlay, without any care being taken to provide for their financial necessities. So Vetch at Annapolis Royal found himself without means or salary, and the bills he had drawn for the provision of the garrison were not accepted at the Treasury (84, 304, 452, p. 165).
Col. Vetch sent in a report upon the resources of the country and the measures which he deemed necessary for its development (192).
Pennsylvania. Penn's surrender.
The Attorney General reported upon William Penn's proposed surrender of his Government (331). The question of the amount of compensation to which he would be entitled produced an account of the Revenue of the Province (298, 298 i).
Affirmation Act repealed.
The affirmation Act, which enabled Quakers to give evidence in criminal cases, and against which protest was entered from New Jersey, was repealed (58 i., 203, 221).
Virginia. The Assembly.
In Virginia, Lt. Governor Spotswood found the Assembly recalcitrant. They renewed their quarrel with the Council and still refused to provide for the payment of the public debts, although they approved of the services for which they had been incurred. They were ready, indeed, to raise money by imposing a duty upon British manufactures, but this could not be admitted (301, 408). But as to laying a tax upon the country, the received opinion of the populace was that "he is the best patriot who most violently opposes the raising any money, let the occasion be what it will," and upon this cry at the elections members calculated to retain their seats (301). Spotswood therefore dissolved the Assembly on Jan. 31st. No provision had been made for carrying out the terms of the Treaty with the Tuscaroras, and the Government was left without any fund wherewith to meet any emergency that might well arise in the unsettled condition of the frontier (301, 408). Spotswood declared that there was no personal difference between himself and the Burgesses or the country. He expected a reaction against the parsimonious policy of the late Assembly, but determined to await sure signs of it before holding another election (301).
Virginia and the Indian War.; Quakers and Conscientious objectors.
Upon hearing news of the massacre in North Carolina, (cf. See p. xxiii.), in which some at least of the Tuscarora Indians were involved, Spotswood at once put a stop to the Indian trade, mobilised the Virginian militia, and summoned the Tuscaroras and the neighbouring Indians to a conference. Impressed by the appearance of the Militia, the Sachems expressed their desire for peace and their concern that any of their tribe should have taken part in the massacre. Spotswood suggested that they should take a share in the punishment of the assassins, offering them rewards for so doing, and he obtained the release of Baron de Graffenried. He also demanded that two children of the chiefs of each town should be sent to be educated in Virginia and held as hostages for their good behaviour. This scheme he welcomed as a step towards the conversion of the Indians to Christianity. At the same time, by offering to remit their tribute, he induced some of the Chiefs of the tributary Indians to send their sons to be educated at the College, hoping that the Assembly would supplement the fund left by Mr. Boyle for that purpose, (177). Several of the Council agreed to advance the money which the Assembly refused to supply for making good the treaty with the Tuscaroras. But the situation remained very anxious. The good faith of the Tuscaroras was doubtful; the Senecas were threatening to take revenge for the killing of one of their Chiefs by a Virginian; and there was a danger lest the French should succeed in uniting all the neighbouring Indians with those subject to them in an attack upon the frontiers of the English Colonies (382 i.). It was not long before Carolina again appealed for help. Spotswood prepared to send it, but, as we have seen (p. xxv.), a peace with the Indians was patched up before the Virginian troops crossed the border (408). Unmoved by the dangerous nature of the situation, the Assembly persisted in their refusal to provide for the defence of the country. When, in the previous summer, there was reason to apprehend an attack by the French squadron in the West Indies, they had refused to vote supplies for the fortification of a province which could not boast a single palisade or mounted gun, "the expense," Spotswood observed "appearing to them much more immediate than the danger." He had, however, persuaded them to revive a law for the defence of the country in emergencies, and under the powers conferred by this Act he made some progress in the fortification of the mouths of the chief rivers. In this task, however, he was impeded by the attitude of the Quakers. They refused to work themselves or to allow their servants to work on the fortifications, affirming their consciences would not permit them to do so, or even to supply provisions for the workers, though they would feel obliged by their religion to feed the French, should they come. Spotswood sardonically contrasted this attitude with that of the Quakers who had been the most active in taking up arms against the Government of Carolina. He decided to put what pressure he could upon them under the existing laws, deeming it "absolutely necessary to discourage such dangerous opinions, as would render the safety of the Government precarious, since everyone that is either lazy or cowardly would make use of the pretence of conscience to excuse himself from working or fighting when there is greatest need of his service" (pp. 113, 114).
Proposal for combined defence of the Colonies.
In the face of these difficulties and dangers, the Lieutenant Governor urged that he should be allowed to make use of the quit-rents as an emergency fund; he made repeated appeals for a grant of arms and ammunition, of which the country was almost bare (see p. xv.), and, in view of the critical nature of the situation, he suggested that speedy orders should be given for Virginia, Maryland and Carolina to assist each other in case an attack should be made upon any one of them, and that the regulation of such assistance should be defined and not left "to the precarious humour of an Assembly" (p. 222).
Boundary with Carolina.
The settlement of the boundary between Virginia and Carolina still hung fire, no instructions to that end having been given by the Lords Proprietors to the Governor of North Carolina (90, 408, 418).
Immigration to Virginia and Carolina.; Mines and royalties.
Whilst the terms of grants of land and the collection of quit-rents in Virginia were being made more strict, the more advantageous terms upon which land could be taken up in Carolina were tempting settlers to cross the border into the Proprietary Government. The unsettled state of that country, on the other hand, led others to wish to move from the Indian frontier to the greater security of Virginia (408, 418). The latter movement was checked by doubts as to the proprietorship of lands in the fork of Potomac (p. 280); the former was further encouraged by the fact that whilst in the grant to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina the amount of the royalty to be paid to the Crown upon the working of mines discovered there was definitely declared, the royalties reserved by the Crown in Virginia had not been stated. A good deal of prospecting for gold and silver in the mountains was now in progress, an enterprise in which Spotswood himself was taking great interest. He therefore pressed for a definition of the "due share in all the mines" claimed in grants of Crown lands (418).
Virginia an island.
Virginia is again described as an Island in an Order of Council (222).
§ 3. THE WEST INDIES
Barbados. Delay in transmission of Acts.; Governor Lowther and Patenetn Officers
In recommending the repeal of a private Act of Barbados upon the ground of its injustice to one of the parties, the Attorney General drew attention to the ill consequences which might arise from the omission on the part of Governors to obey their Instructions as to remitting Acts for approval by the first opportunity (390, 394). The new Governor was soon in trouble. Lowther found occasion to suspend both the Attorney General, Carter, and the Secretary of the Island, Skene. The former he had at first refused to allow to act as deputy to Mr. Hodges; the latter complained that the Governor had encroached upon his office (80, 211 i., 228, 318, 318 vi.–viii., 378 i., vi., vii., 393 i.). The Council of Trade were directed to enquire into Skene's case, and also to consider the general question whether it was desirable that Governors should suspend Patent Officers without orders from home (393).
The Governor and the Navy.
Another source of trouble was the relation of the Governor with the Commanders of H.M. ships appointed to that station. Naval Officers refused to take orders from the Governor. Their refusal to cruise according to his directions or to convoy the Trade Fleet as required was the occasion, it was said, of the severe losses experienced at the hands of enemy privateers (77, 77 i., 319 vi., 378 xvii., 434, 434 i., iii.). Capt. Constable refused to send a ship home with Thomas Kerby, one of Parke's murderers, who had been arrested by the Governor in Barbados. Lowther asked for powers under his ViceAdmiralty Commission, to call Naval Officers to account for disobeying his orders (318).
Complaint by Clergy.
The Assembly was much incensed by a complaint of the Clergy as to the provision made for them. It was claimed that they were very generously treated. The Clergy, pleading their poverty, had applied for a grant of escheated lands to add to their glebes, and for the settlement of Col. Codrington's donation (228, 228 i., iii., 378 xv.).
Complaint against Lowther. Addresses in his favour.
Discontent with the Governor's actions found expression in a complaint which was surreptitiously sent home. Such discontent, he suggested, was not unconnected with his right enforcement of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, as in the case of the ship Oxford. He countered the complaint, whatever it might be, with Addresses in his favour by the Council, the Assembly and the Grand Jury (318, 318 ii.-vi., viii., 319 viii., 378, 378 i. ff., 395, 395 i.).
Exchange of prisoners refused.
He gave good reasons for sending French prisoners to Europe, and refusing to comply with their request to be exchanged for English prisoners at Martinique (77). The Board of Trade approved of his decision (186).
Trade returns Barbuda.
An account of exports is given (378 ii.).
The Island of Barbuda was the subject of a petition by William Codrington and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts (441 i., 463). In 1710 the Island had been plundered and the fort destroyed by the French. As beneficiaries under the will of Christopher Codrington, the petitioners represented that they had, at their joint expense, re-occupied and re-stocked the Island and rebuilt the fort. The original grant by Charles II had been for fifty years only. The Queen was now petitioned to make the grant permanent, in which case it was arranged that the Society should become possessors of one quarter of the Island. It is described as a nursery of horses and black cattle, and capable of being planted with cotton, ginger, etc.
Bermuda was mildly plagued by measles and a privateer (143). The appeal of the Secretary, Edward Jones, was dismissed, the Council of Trade representing him as unfit for H.M. service (212, 334).
Jamaica. French attack feared.
The movements of the French fleets under Ducasse and Duguay-Trouin and preparations at Martinique caused uneasiness lest a descent upon Jamaica should be designed. A proposal for the reinforcement of the garrison was submitted by the planters and merchants (22, 22 i., p.48).
Arrival of the new Governor.; Claims by the Assembly.; Right to adjourn denied.
The new Governor, Lord Archibald Hamilton, arrived on 11th July, 1711 (18, 28). On the eve of relinquishing his government, General Handasyd had been obliged to dissolve the Assembly. They were pursuing the same tactics as those followed by the Assembly of New York. On the one hand they quarrelled with the Council over the right of the latter to amend money bills, on the other hand they claimed the right to adjourn themselves (18). Upon the latter point Lord Archibald asked for a ruling by the Council of Trade (82). The Board replied that the Assembly being called and sitting by virtue of the authority of the Crown, vested in the Governor by Commission under the Broad Seal, could have no power to adjourn themselves without his leave, for longer than de die in diem (187).
The new Assembly.
The new Assembly, which Handasyd had summoned, was described by him as one which promised to be the least inclined to faction he had known. This result may have been due in part to the influence of the Councillors in the election. They had promised "their best endeavours that such persons should be chosen as should shew their duty and loyalty to Her Majesty and their zeal for the good and welfare of this Island" (18). Their first session was amicable enough. The Act for quieting posessions was passed in the amended form required, and provision was made for the Regiment and support of Government for three months (82). Thanks were returned for the recent relief from the duties on prizes and prize goods by which privateering had been discouraged, and the cancelling of bonds entered into for the payment of such duties was requested (75, 124, 124 i., 345).
Unsatisfactory condition of the Island.
Lord Archibald found the Treasury empty, the accounts of public funds much in arrear, and the state of the fortifications "ill-contrived and out of repair." Government House and the public buildings were in a ruinous condition (82, 267). The amount of the annual expenditure was double that of the revenue. There was also a great scarcity of provisions (p. 204). The last deficiency was soon rectified by a plentiful harvest, and the arrival of supplies from Europe (345, 421, 423). The repair of the fortifications was at once taken in hand, and with the help of Capt. Hawkins, the Royal Engineer, a new fort at Port Morant was begun, and a new line of fortifications at Port Royal was undertaken. For this work stone had to be imported from England (82, 267, 423, 423 vii.). The deficiency of the revenue was made good for the time being by a vote of Assembly (267).
Returns and statistics.; Registers not kept.
Lord Archibald presently returned answers to the series of queries put to Governors of Plantations by the Board of Trade concerning the administration of the Colonies (345). Returns of imports and exports are given (267 i., ii., 423 viii.). But a return of births, christenings and burials it was found impossible to make, registers not being kept for reasons which throw a vivid light upon the conditions of life at that time (423).
As in the case of Barbados, a cartel with the French at St. Domingo for the exchange of prisoners was refused, and the refusal approved (82, 187, 267).
The appointment of Councillors.
It is noticeable as a matter of procedure that Lord Dartmouth consulted the Council of Trade before making an appointment to the Council of Jamaica. This was in the case of two well known Jamaicans who had been recommended to him (108, 459). Lord Archibald urged the Board not to support any application of the kind without his knowledge and approval (p. 81).
The activities of the Jamaica Squadron have been indicated above (§ 1).
Leeward Islands. Governor Douglas and the murder of Governor Parke.; Defence of islands.; Rebels and Loyalists.; H.M. regiment.; Arrest of officers.; Lt. General Hamilton suspended.
The new Governor of the Leeward Islands, Major Walter Douglas, arrived at Antigua on July 10th, 1711. His Instructions were to enquire into the circumstances of the murder of Governor Parke, to proclaim a general pardon and to arrest and send home for trial, if need be, half a dozen ringleaders of the rebellion. His first report emphasised the necessity of proceeding slowly and cautiously. The inhabitants were under arms. An invasion from Martinique was daily expected, and the island was on the verge of civil war. The minority of Loyalists, or supporters of Governor Parke, were terrorised by the majority of the Planters, who, banded together under the title of the "Association," had risen against him. With one solitary exception, every member of the Assembly had taken arms against Parke, and the feeling of the majority was demonstrated by their re-election. Col. Jones's regiment was on terms of friendly intimacy with the rebels, and their cause was supported by the active sympathy of the Commanders of H.M. ships upon the station. In these circumstances, Douglas decided to proceed with caution, "believing it were much the same thing to lose a thriving Colony to the publick enemy or by a civil war" (36, 81, 302, 305, 355). In view of the imminent danger of an attack by the French, he first applied himself to putting the islands into a state of defence, repairing fortifications, revising the discipline of the militia, and restoring order and discipline in Col. Jones' regiment (36, 39, 63, 194, 302). He had soon come to the conclusion that without naval and military forces upon which he could rely for support, it would be worse than useless to attempt to arrest any of the ringleaders amongst the inhabitants. "Upon the least motion I should make to apprechend any of the planters," he writes to Lord Dartmouth's Secretary, "the Island would be in an Insurrection, and the Loyalists being the weakest, exposed to certain ruin and destruction" (81, 302, 305). He set himself, therefore, to divide the leaders of the Association, and at the same time to select and discipline about 200 men of the Queen's regiment who should obey him in any action he might take. He arrested and sent home three officers of that regiment who had taken part in the rebellion, to be tried for high treason (63, 81, 160, 225, 302 iv., 305). His next step was to suspend Walter Hamilton, the Lt. General of the Islands, whom he describes as an enemy of all chief Governors and an aider and, abettor of the rebels both before and after the murder of Governor Parke.
The grounds for this action are given in addresses by the Councils of St. Kitts and Antigua (302 i.-iii., vi.) and evidence (154 ii.–vii.).
Question of the Lt. General's membership of Councils.
Hamilton had obtained leave to return home, but on his voyage was taken prisoner by the French (332, 422). In relation to his position as Lt. General of the Leeward Islands, a constitutional question had been raised and settled. Doubts were raised by the Lt. General, by Governor of Antigua as to whether the Lt. General, by virtue of his office, was entitled to sit in and preside over the Councils of the several Islands. It was decided that he was (26, 36, 195, 226).
Five ringleaders arrested and sent home.
As soon as Douglas felt that his position was sufficiently secure, he published the Royal Proclamation of a general pardon with a few exceptions, and caused five of the ringleaders of the rebellion to be arrested (279, 302, 350, 355). One of them, Thomas Kerby, who had field to Barbados, was there seized in Codrington's house (318). Both in Barbados and the Leeward Islands the Commanders of H.M. ships objected to taking orders from the Governors to convey the Prisoners home for trial (63, 81, 318, 355).
Dissatisfaction with Douglas' measures.; Blackmail alleged.
In the mean time the relatives and executors of Governor Parke had grown impatient at the delay in punishing his murderers. Upon their petition, enquiry was ordered to be made as to how far Governor Douglas had carried out his instructions (225, 260). The dissatisfaction and disappointment felt by the supporters of Parke in Antigua are expressed in two letters, in which the complaint is made that after a show of coming firmness, "the mountain produced a mole," and Douglas is plainly charged with blackmail. He compelled, it is said, those who had been implicated in the murder of the Governor, to purchase immunity according to their means, extracting £1600 from one and a cow from another, and amassing a fortune thereby "fitter for a noble than a brevet major" (350, 355). It is, of course, possible that, whilst Douglas' estimate of the situation was correct and his procedure wise, he made use of the occasion at once to frighten and punish the rebels and to feather his own nest.
Drought in Antigua.; Defence of the islands.; St. Kitts.; Census of St. Kitts.
In addition to intestine political troubles and dread of invasion, Antigua was suffering from the effects of a severe drought (36, 39, 355), which extended to Nevis (313). We have further accounts of Capt. Bourn's action in defence of Antigua and Montserrat (30, 39). Another attack upon Montserrat was expected (194). Douglas spent some time in regulating the affairs, reviewing the militia and organising the defence of the four Islands. He encouraged the settlement of the former French parts of St. Kitts, and restored the routine of the Courts and administration which had been allowed to lapse (194). Robert Cunynghame, an ex-speaker of Assembly, whom he describes as "a turbulent disturber of the Assembly," was imprisoned under his warrant. Cunynghame appealed against the Governor's arbitrary exercise of power (194, 392, 392 i., ii.). Returns from St. Kitts were hampered by the destruction of records by the late invasion and the great hurricane, but a census is given (65, 65 iii.).
Dutch at Eustatia.
Douglas complained of the action of the Dutch at St. Eustatia and St. Martin's in harbouring deserters and asked permission to make reprisals (194). He announced the passing of several useful bills at Antigua and St. Kitts (36, 194).
The grant in and of Nevis and St. Kitts.
In distributing debentures to sufferers in pursuance of the grant in aid of Nevis and St. Kitts, it was found necessary to have a clear interpretation of the meaning of "resettlement" required in the clause of the Act (102104, 137, 179, 201, 213, 368 i., 397 i.).
Stores of war requested.
The correspondence upon Douglas' request for stores of war and more frigates for the defence of the Islands has been referred to above (63, 69, 194, 194 ii., v. p. xv.).
Capt. Walton renewed his application for permission to settle the Virgin Islands (86, 316, 316 i.).
Newfoundland. Capt. Crowe's report.; Failure of Fishing Admirals.
Commodore Crowe's replies to the usual heads of enquiry relating to the Newfoundland Fishery were returned in October, 1711. He commended the industry of the Lt. Governor, John Collins, who had succeeded in repairing to some extent the fort of St. Johns. He himself had organised the inhabitants for defence, and it was hoped that they would be able to stand secure that winter. But for the future he recommended the appointment of a resident Governor and the establishment of a garrison of 200 men, 150 of whom should be at St. Johns, as the more convenient harbour, and 50 at Ferryland. The reduction of Placentia would be the surest as well as the cheapest method of rendering the Island secure and prosperous (10, 11, 149, 149 ii.). Col. Lilly, the engineer, stated his views upon the fortifications required (330 i.). Crowe corrected several abuses in connection with the Fishery. The Fishing Admirals, it was found, neglected the duties entrusted to them, having "so much business of their own that they cannot find time to do justice for others. "The inhabitants and fishermen therefore turned to the Commodore and Captains of men of war for the settlement of their disputes. A list of the regulations for the better ordering of the settlement and fishery, made by Capt. Crowe after cousultation with the chief inhabitants and Captains of merchant ships, is given, as well as the price and quantity of fish caught during the season (149 ii.-iv.). The strength of Placentia and Quebec is described (149 ii., v.).
The fate of the intended Expedition against Placentia has been seen (§ 1). The possession of that stronghold was destined to be won not by direct assault but by the arms of Marlborough in the West.
Sole right to the Fishery demanded.
The policy of acquiring the whole of Newfoundland and the sole right of the fishery at the Peace Negotiations was pressed by those most nearly concerned (234, 373 i., 388 i., and see § 1.).
Some indication of the traditional as well as the modern pronunciation of Newfoundland is afforded by the spelling in these documents. In one place it is Newf'nland; in another New-found-land. Quebec, (p. 92), again, is sometimes spelt Quibec, sometimes Queebec, which is the local pronunciation at the present time.