America and West Indies: December 1726, 1-15

Pages 180-188

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 35, 1726-1727. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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December 1726, 1–15

Dec. 4.
New York.
361. Governor Burnet to the Duke of Newcastle. Returns thanks for letter of 7th July. Continues:—I am now to lay before your Grace a complaint in which the Indians of the six Nations join with me against the French, for having built a fort at Niagara, on the land of one of the six Nations at the place through which they must pass to go to their own hunting country, which lyes between the three nearest great Lakes, and by which place all the far Indians must pass on account of trade with this Province. By means of this fort the French can hinder and molest these Indians when they please, which is directly contrary to the 15th Article of the Treaty of Utrect. Refers to correspondence with Commander in Chief in Canada, and conferences with Six Nations (v. following). Continues :— By these conferences it will appear to your Grace, that the Onnondages only, who have not the property of the land at Niagara, consented to the French building a house there. But that the Sinnekes, to whom the land belongs, have all along protested against it; and all the six Nations have unanimously begged me to interceed with H.M. to demand the demolition of this fort, as being contrary to the Treaty's, and intended as they beleive, to destroy the six Nations. Prays that strong instances may be made at the Court of France for this purpose. Refers to enclosures and deed of surrender by the three Nations adjoining the Lakes, etc. repeating part of following. Concludes: — "The Commandant's letter, which expressly denys the five Nations to be the subjects of Great Britain, is sufficient proof, how little regard the French in Canada shew to the Treaty. This is a matter of such consequence to H.M. Dominions in North America that I humbly rely on your Grace's obtaining redress etc. Encloses map, "wherein the places mentioned in the deed of surrender are markt red ink." Set out N.Y. Col Docs V pp. 803, 804. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed,
Rd. 6th Jan., 1726/7 4 pp. Enclosed,
361. i–v. Duplicates of Nos. 362, 362 i–iv.
361. vi. Map referred to in preceding. [C.O. 5, 1092. Nos. 51, 51 i–vi.]
Dec. 4.
New York.
362. Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses transactions with the Indians in September. Continues:—The chief subject of them, was the fortification the French have lately made at Niagara. As soon as I heard of that undertaking, I wrote to Mr. Longueil, Commander in Chief in Canada upon the death of Mr. de Vaudreuil, etc. At the same time I summon'd the six Nations to meet me at Albany, that I might find out how far they had consented to it etc. v. preceding. Describes proceedings. Urges that strong instances may be made at the Court of France for redress. Continues:—Your Lordships will observe, that I have undertaken for this, which I thought I might lawfully do, but that I have not offered to undertake for the success, for nothing has had a worse effect with our Indians than promising and not performing, they remember exactly what is told them from time to time, and have often complained that they have not been supported according to our promises, with I fear, too much truth and reason. It will give them very disadvantagious impressions of our strength and inclination to protect them, if they find that the French may do what they please, and that we give them no releif and can obtain no redress for them etc. I found that the fear they were in of the French, and the hopes they had of our protection, made it a fit time to perswade them to do more than ever was obtained of them before, which was to surrender and submit all the land they live in, by an instrument signed and sealed to H.M. The Maquas and Oneydes live nearest to us, and do not reach to the French Lake, and therefore there was no occasion to mention the matter to them, and if I had proposed it publickly to them it might soon have been known by the French, and have produced some new enterprize of theirs, so that I thought it best to do it with a few of the cheif and most trusty of the three Nations who border upon the Lakes. When I returned from Albany and met the new Assembly here, I represented to them the danger of the French encroachments, and the necessity of our preventing their going on with them, by taking post ourselves on the Lake side at the mouth of the Onnondaga River, to secure our trade there from any surprize, and to protect the Indians upon occasion; for which service they have provided £300, and with that I am early in the spring to build a fort of stockadoes at that place, and to provide it with an officer and 20 men. When this is done and we are fixt there, I intend to meet the Indians again, and then to get them all publickly to confirm the Instrument which some of them have signed, which I have no reason to doubt of their doing. Quotes M. de Longueil's letter showing that he denies that the Five Nations are subjects of Great Britain, and tacitly admits that his design is to hinder the other Indians from passing freely to trade with the English. Continues:—That is only a slight instance how little the conduct of the French is conformable to their engagements, but they are continually making use of all their art to set the Indians against us, even for those very reasons which should make the French do quite the contrary, for since the news is come of the late alliance between the two Crowns, they have filled the Indians minds with fears, that orders will come from both Crowns to their Governours to cut off the five Nations, and divide their land between us, and such reports are they perpetually spreading, that it is absolutely necessary that something should be done to convince them that they shall be protected, and never abandoned to the French etc. Acknowledges letters of 24th and 28th June just arrived etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 783–785. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 10th Jan., 1726/7. Enclosed,
362. i. Conference held between Governor Burnet and two Sachims each of the Six Nations, in Albany, 7th–14th Sept., 1726, relating to the French having built a fort at Niagara. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 786–800. Endorsed, Recd. 6th Jan., 1726/7. 38 pp.
362. ii. The Indians' Deed of Surrender of their lands in pursuance of the agreement of 19th July, 1701. Albany, 14th Sept., 1726. Signed, with Totem marks. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 800, 801. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 3 pp.
362. iii. Governor Burnet to M. de Longueil. Amboy, 5th July, 1726. Abstract. Has learned that about 100 French were beginning to erect a fort at Niagara, with the object of shutting in the Five Nations, and preventing other Indians from going to and fro freely to trade with us as they have been accustomed to do. Expresses surprise at an undertaking so opposed to the Treaty of Utrecht. The Five Nations will always maintain that the lands at Niagara belong to them. "If the fortifying at Niagara is continued, I should be obliged to represent the matter to my Court, for the orders of the Court of France thereupon, as I have heard it, has already expressed its disapprobation of the part M. de Vaudreuil took in the war of the Abenaquis against New England" etc. Recommends the bearer, Philip Livingston, etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. p. 802. Endorsed, as covering letter. Copy. French. 2 pp.
362. iv. M. de Longueil to Governor Burnet. Montreal, 16th Aug., 1726. Reply to preceding. It is not my intention to shut in the Five Nations, and I do not think I contravene the Treaty of Utrecht in executing the orders I have received from the Court of France as to re-establishing the post at Niagara, of which we have been the masters from all time. The Five Nations, who are neither your subjects nor ours, ought to be much obliged to you for assuming an uneasiness which they have never felt, seeing that, so far from thinking that the establishment of Niagara can bring them any trouble, they have unanimously agreed to it, and again confirmed it in the last Council held at Niagara July 14th. The Governor General, who is coming from France this year, will be able to inform you of the decision of the Court of France. I have no knowledge that the Court disapproved of M. de Vaudreuil's actions etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 802, 803. Signed, Longueil. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. French. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 39–42v., 43v., 45–63v., 65v.–69v., 70v.]
Dec. 4.
New York.
363. Mr. Colden to Mr. Popple. As Surveyor General of lands encloses following to be laid before the Board, explaining the motives and proceedings of the Assembly and the possible consequences of repealing the Act for the easier partition of lands held in common etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 805, 806. Signed, Cadwallader Colden. Holograph. 3¾ pp. Enclosed,
363. i. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. States his objections to the above bill and the reasons against it which he urged in Council. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 807–809. Signed as preceding. The whole endorsed, Recd. 10th Jan., Read 10th March, 1726/7. Holograph. 4½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 154–158v.]
Dec. 5.
364. Lt. Governor Dummer to [?]. My Lord, I have the honour of your Lordships Ire. of the 29th of August wch. mentions something inclosed but I received nothing besides the letter. Some few dayes before I received a letter from the owners of the snow Elizabeth referring to your Lordship's and I should have been very glad of such an oppertunity of shewing the regard I have for your Lordship's commands by doing service to the owners of that vessell. The ship and goods were adjudged in the Court of Vice Admiralty while I was in the Easterne Country to ratifie the peace with the Indians, the goods to lye a year and a day for the owners claim, and the vessell to the King, both subjected to the charges of the tryal and condemnation etc. of ye pirates, and tho' I was sorry to finde on my returne most of the goods (as well as the ship) were sold wch. it's possible the owners might have made something more of, and if I had apprehended before I went out of towne any such intention in the Judge I should have advised him to the contrary yet that being his buisness it would not have been proper for me to have interposed any further. However the powder and armes amt. to £497 being by my advice to the Judge lodged at Castle William for the security of them did by that means escape being sold, and the Judge having since decreed the produce of the goods to the owners, I have order'd these to bee deliverd to their Agent free of all charges. The produce of the vessel after all the charges paid out by them is £92 6s. wch. I have wrote to the Duke of Newcastle for H.M. directions about agreeable to my instructions. I shall bee glad to hear that the Governour getts well through his affaires, I have not had the favour of a letter from him etc. Signed, Wm. Dummer. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 39.]
Dec. 8.
365. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, 16 Acts of New York, 1726, enumerated. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 395–398.]
Dec. 10. 366. Representation of Assembly of Pennsylvania to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to letter of 11th May, laid before them by Lt. Governor Gordon at their first meeting etc. The tenderness you so generously express for the persons into whose hands the bills of credit may have passed, has laid those people under the deepest obligations by us the Representatives to return you our most humble thanks and acknowledgments, for your great goodness and compassionate regard to them herein. But that you may be more fully and clearly apprised of the regular procedure of the Legislature in establishing that currency, the necessity that led into it, the advantages that not only this Colony but those who deal with us as well in Britain as elsewhere daily receive by it; and the security that guards it against those inconveniences that might be apprehended from it, we humbly beg leave to represent our case as follows, vizt. That gold and silver being acquired principally by our trade to the West Indies, which depending on contingences that are not in the power of man to direct, we therefore at divers times had less or more of those species in proportion as our commodities were in demand. But by the general damp that was given to trade in 1720 and the great fall of our produce, about the same time we were in 1721 and 1722 so effectually drained of our coin, which for want of other returns was generally shipt off to Britain; that the inhabitants of every degree were reduced to the greatest straits: debts could not be discharged, nor payment be made, the rents of houses fell, many whereof were deserted, and the value of all lands and improvements sunk considerably: families who had lived well could scarce find means to purchase necessary provisions for their support, and therefore both artificers and traders were obliged to quit the country in serch of employment and sustenance elsewhere: But above all our ship-building, by which the most advantageous returns for Britain had been made was so generally declined that our yards appeared almost empty, and all trade discouraged: such was the distressed condition to which this country was at that time unhappily reduced. That in 172/3 the Governour and Assembly moved by the petitions, and complaints of great numbers of the inhabitants of each county, thought themselves obliged to take into their serious consideration the distressed circumstances and sufferings of the people, through that extreme want of some kind of currency for pay. Divers expedients were thought of to remedy the grievance, and particularly the proposal to make the produce of our country a lawfull tender in payments was considered; but being found too bulky, and soon subject to decay was rejected: They were therefore after a most anxious search fully convinced there was no other safe method left, than the scheme, that upon the maturest deliberation they fell into, which was to strike a quantity of bills of credit to be emitted out of a Provincial Bank, on the security of real estates in fee simple, to be pledged in double the value of the sum lent, and accordingly bills were in that manner issued for £15,000 of our American money. These bills being emitted their effect very sensibly appeared in giving new life to business, and raising the country in some measure from its languishing state but at the same time it was also manifest that tho the method was effectual in its kind yet the currency fell short in quantity, and was in no wise proportioned to the occasions of the people nor sufficient to circulate the bulk of our trade. Therefore the Legislature in the next ensuing year, being enabled by the first experiment to form a more exact judgment of what the circumstances of the country and our commerce would require, found it necessary to strike £30,000 more on the like security of real estates etc. Refer to Acts. Continue:—These bills may it please your honours being put into the Bank, the country began to feel a general relief, debtors who lay under the heavy pressure of obligations that they could not before discharge, and such as by securing their estates on mortgages were in hazard of loosing them, now found an easie method of relieving themselves, and answering their just debts, by taking up the money at a low interest, to be gradually repaid in parcells, and in a manner they could easily comply with: such also as had lands or other real estate, and wanted stock were on the same terms supplyed; the whole quantity that was struck being thus in a very short time emitted, and diffused into the people's hands, the face of our affairs appeared entirely changed. Traders exerted themselves, the produce of our country came into demand and bore a price, whereby the people were better enabled to pay the Proprietors quit rents and answer other demands, our City fill'd again with inhabitants, artificers found employmts., our British trade encreased, and strangers from the encouragement of finding a ready pay resorted to us. Shipbuilding was vigorously carried on, and both our ship-wrights' yards and our port were fill'd with shiping insomuch that this present year, as appears from the list of registers double the number of vessells have been built at Philadelphia, that had been in any year before a paper currency, and by the Naval Officer's books we find that the tons of shipping cleared at the same port in 1722 amounted to no more than 3531, whereas this year there have been already cleared 6655 tuns besides several large vessells yet in port that are to sail before the year expires. But another vast advantage that has accrued to the Publick from these bills and which very nearly concerns us as an Assembly is this, that at the time of striking them the funds for support of Government raised by imposts on shipping had proved so deficient for several years before, that in 1722 the Provincial Treasury was found to be near £3000 in debt and this debt every year encreasing; yet by means of this currency we have been enabled to sink that debt by the appropriation of a moderate excise on retailed liquors, reserving for the support of Government, and defraying the charges attending it a yearly income of £1800 arising from the easie interest of 5 p. cent, on the principal money lent out of the publick bank etc. We have now a fair prospect of being able to supply Britain with large quantities of pig-metal, from the furnaces and works already erected or carrying on, which without this currency would have been impracticable to most of the undertakers, and these 'tis hoped will be followed with returns also of hemp and silk, towards the raising of which some considerable advances have been made. We may therefore with great truth assure your honours that this currency has been so far from proving a detriment either to this Province or the British trade that it has been evidently beneficial to both. But the annual sinking of our bills as the Acts direct did so sensibly lessen the quantity that in all probability this Province would soon have been reduced to the same straits and difficulties it had been under some time before. Which induced the Legislature in 1726 to pass an Act for re-emitting the annual payments of the principal sums for the term of six years thence next ensuing, yet with this provision that the sums to be re-emitted yearly, should be duely sunk, and within the same time as is provided for sinking the original sums struck by virtue of the said former Acts. Now altho' this Act at first view may in some measure seem to interfere with your honours' directions in your Secretaries letter, which was not only received but wrote several months after the last mentioned Act was passed; and put in execution; we again beg leave to assure you that from the experience we have had of it and the great relief it gives to borrowers it will not only contribute highly to the ease and benefit of the country: but it is so far from lessening the credit or value of our bills that the discount they some time since bore with gold and silver is now reduced to less than half of what it was when that Act was published, and in some little longer time we hope they may come entirely to a par, which can be said of very few other bills of credit now in being in America. As to those of Carolina and the ill consequences attending them in your Secretaries letter, it would be a presumption in us to inform your honourable Board, whose station gives you so perfect a knowledge of the state of all H.M. Colonies: on how different a foundation they are established from these of ours, as appears from the Acts themselves etc. Theirs were struck to raise great sums for the use of the Government in the time of the greatest pressures from their enemies to be sunk by a paymt. of taxes in succeeding years depending on vast uncertainties, while ours have the solid basis of real security subject to no casualties unless from the greatest publick calamities, against which no estates can be secure. Pray the Board to recommend the last Act, as the former, for H.M. approbation. Signed, Dad. Lloyd, Speaker, By Order of the House, this tenth day of the 10th Month, 1726. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Perry) 15th March, Read 25th April, 1727. 6¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1266. ff. 247–250v.]
Dec. 12.
367. Lt. Governor Gordon to the Duke of Newcastle. The American Provinces being more imediatly under your Grace's care and protection, I could not be so much wanting in my duty as not to apply myself to your Grace in behalf of the people of this Collony who are justly apprehensive of the many ill consequences that may attend the transporting here from Holland the great numbers of Palatines that dayly arive in these parts etc. Has written fully "to the Earl of Ila, who I am hopefull will inform your Grace more particularly of our circumstances here," etc. Signed, P. Gordon. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1234. No. 9.]
Dec. 14.
368. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of New York, 1726, to vest in Thos. Hicks, of Flushing in Queen's County, Gentleman, in fee simple certain lots of land whereof he now stands seized, in fee tail, and to enable him to sell the same etc. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 399.]
Dec. 14. 369. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to 11 Acts of Jamaica submitted to him 27th July. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec, 1726, Read 26th Feb., 1728/9. 2½ pp. [C.O. 137, 17. ff. 137–138v.]
Dec. 14. 370. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to Acts of St. Kitts submitted 8th July. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec, 1726, Read 23rd April, 1729. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 17. ff. 51, 51v., 52v.]
Dec. 15. 371. Same to Same. Has no objection to Acts of Antigua, Barbados and Bermuda referred to him 8th and 29th July. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 17th Dec, 1726, Read 24th Feb., 1726/7. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 308, 308v., 309v.]
Dec. 15.
372. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Enquires whether they have any objection to George Lillington who is proposed for the Council of Barbados etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 20th Dec, 1726. 1 p. [C.O., 28, 18. ff. 316, 817v.]
Dec. 15.
373. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In reply to 29th Nov., have no objection to Benedict Leonard Calvert as Lt. Governor of Maryland, provided he give the usual securities etc. [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 404.]