America and West Indies: March 1731, 1-15

Pages 51-68

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 38, 1731. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1938.

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March 1731, 1-15

March 1.
Office of
in Scotland
71. Mr. Eden to Mr. Popple. Encloses remarks on Acts of Bahama Islands "delivered into yor. office some time since." (v. March 28, 1733). Signed, J. Eden. Endorsed, Recd. 1st March, 173 0/1. 1 p. Enclosed,
71. i. Remarks on 12 Acts of Assembly. Criticises some details, and objects especially to the Act for levying divers sums to defray the expence of the island, the taxes proposed being extravagant, and will be detrimental to trade etc. In the Act for better governing slaves, evidence of one black is not sufficient in cases of life etc., etc. 4 pp. [C.O. 23, 3. ff. 60, 61–62v., 63v.]
March 1.
72. Governor Belcher to the Duke of Newcastle. By all opportunities I have done myself the honour of transmitting to your Grace the account of my proceedings etc. Continues:— Since my last I have conven'd a new Assembly, which has been sitting near three weeks. Encloses Journal. They have still under their consideration the matter of the Govr.'s support and what they will finally do in it, I am not able to say. But according to the best judgment I can make, I don't expect they will do anything that will come nearer to the King's Instruction, than what was done by the last Assembly. As I have not been wanting to do everything in my power for the King's honour and service, so I am still determin'd to pursue my duty to the King in all the ways I possibly can etc. The Agent will wait on your Grace with the copy of the process of the Courts against the rioters mentioned 14th Jan. etc. Continues: I don't suppose Collo. Dunbar's pride and malice would stick at anything (whether true or false) he thought would hurt me, so I hope your Grace will prevent any orders to me for the future from anything Collo. Dunbar may write till I am serv'd with a copy to make answer etc. Repeats request for leave to sign Act of N.H. for emitting 6000l. etc., and asks that Benjamin Gambling, a gentleman of good vertue, estate and capacity, and perfectly well attacht to the King may be appointed to the Council in that Province. Signed, J. Belcher. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 82.]
March 1.
73. Governor Belcher to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats preceding, mutatis mutandis. Adds:— Hopes to send answers to the Board's Queries (10th June) by next conveyance etc. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, Recd. 21st April, Read 9th June, 1731. 3 pp. Enclosed,
73. i. Opinion of the Attorney of the Massachusetts Bay, 13th Jan., 1731, on the trial of Samuel Hamble, Thomas Lemont and two others, convicted for a notorious riot in Sept. last, having seized a schooner belonging to one Grover, who had put on board some staves cut on a place possessed and improved by Grover, his father and grandfather for 30 years, Lemont etc. on a written order from Alexander Hambleton, an officer under Col. Dunbar, who required him to stop all such timber as should be cut and transported from such a place without Col. Dunbar's permission. They carried the schooner and stores into Pemaquid harbour. Grover and his crew fled in fear of their lives owing to their threats. The vessel continued there till she was seized by Major Moulton, High Sheriff of the County of York, who apprehended the rioters etc. Agrees that this was not an act of piracy or a felonious taking, but a riot etc. Signed, J. Overing. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Wilks), 21st April, 1731. 6 pp.
73. iixvi. Papers relating to above trial. The rioters having been committed for trial at the General Court Sessions (25th Sept.—14th Oct., 1730), were on 5th Jan., 1731, sentenced to fines of 20l. to 15l. each and three months imprisonment, with costs, 233l. 14s. 6d. Endorsed as preceding. 21 pp. [C.O. 5, 872. ff. 180–182v, 183v.–186v., 187v., 188v., 189, 190v., 191, 192v.–194, 195, (with abstract), 196, 196v., 197v, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 206v. (with abstract).]
March 3.
74. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. In reply to 27th Feb., encloses copy of Mr. Leheup's memorial etc. Continues: My Lords Commissioners will be very glad to receive such further assistance from them, upon this subject as they shall think proper, for which reason their Lordships defer making any report upon the aforesaid law, untill they shall hear again from them. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 58, 59.]
March 5. 75. Order of Committee of House of Commons, appointed to consider the petitions concerning the Sugar Colonies, for a copy of a representation from Mr. Colden relating to the trade of Canada etc. Signed, J. Rushout. (fn. n1) Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 6th March, 173 0/1. 2/3 p. [C.O. 323, o. ff. 56, 57v.]
March 5. 76. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Feb. 19. I have reconsidered the acts of Antigua referred to, and am humbly of opinion that H.M. cannot by any instruction to his Governor vary or alter an Act of Assembly ratified by the Crown, nor can H.M. in my humble apprehension by virtue of an Instruction which the act of 1715 is observed prevent his Governor granting or dissolving injunctions in causes depending in Antigua whilst he is resident in any other island of his Government. Because as I am informed this practice prevailed long before the act of 1715 took place: and I take it that what was the usage in this particular before the act of 1715 is now by that act become a law of the island. It being enacted by that law that all injunctions, subpoenas and other process shall be granted signed and sealed by the Governour as hath been usuall and no otherwise, and I know no method of altering it, but by a subsequent law, and I begg leave to observe to your Lordships that all regulations and amendments of the law here have been made by Act of Parliament. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 9th March, 173 0/1. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 29, 29v., 30v.]
March 5.
77. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Reply to 27th Feb. Continue:—We do not find anything in the papers your Grace has sent us, that shoud incline us to alter our sentiments upon this subject, for notwithstanding Mr. Belcher does in his letter deny that he ever had any intention to march with an armed force in order to demolish the fort at Pemaquid, and carry away the people prisoners from thence, yet he does not deny that he ever told Colo. Dunbar, that some Members of ye Assembly had such an intention, and he does likewise acknowledge that ye Sherrif of York County did march thither with his posse about that time, tho' upon a different occasion, which might very justly give Collo. Dunbar reason to be alarm'd, and he certainly would have been wanting in his duty to ye King, if in that situation, he had not apply'd to H.M. for an order to prevent hostilities till such time at least as H.M. title to that tract of land should be determined. It is not to be doubted but that Colo. Dunbar's Office as Surveyor of the Woods, as well as his Instructions for settling ye lands betwen Kennebeck and Croix must have rais'd him many enemies in ye Massachusets Bay, where it is but too evident that every man who does his duty to the Crown, makes himself liable to ye ill will of ye people; and therefore stands in need of all the support the Government can give him from hence, for which reason it was, that we first beg'd your Grace's favour on his behalf, and for ye same reason we now take ye liberty to repeat that request, as apprehending that ye employment of Lt. Gov. of New Hampshire, may give him a little more credit and authority, than he is at present possessed of. Autograph signatures. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 931. No. 20; and 5, 916. pp. 402, 403.]
March 8. 78. Order of Committee of House of Commons, appointed to consider petitions covering the Sugar Islands, for a copy of a representation by the Council of Trade concerning the state of the Northern Colonies in 1721. Signed, John Rushout. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 9th March, 173 0/1. 2/3 p. [C.O. 323, 9. ff. 59, 62v.]
March 9.
Port Royal.
79. Col. Hayes to [? the Duke of Newcastle]. Yesterday I lost my Major etc. Requests that his eldest Captain, Capt. Hely may be appointed to succeed him etc. I suppose you have heard of the defeat of the negros with an utter destruction of all their habitations by a party of the country people who attack'd them for an hour and a half without ever seeing one of them, att length enter'd the town and after plundering itt, laid itt in ashes, but took no one prisoner, this victory was obtain'd with the loss only of two men. I believe we may now naturaly conclude the war is over in this country. To-morrow the companies of the two Regmts. march to the several quarters alotted in the country, which I hear a miserable account of. I have reason to beleive in some of them their will be wanting both provisions and lodgings etc. The men now begin to be verey sickly and die verey fast. By the inclos'd list of the quarters etc., you'l find I have two companys quartered together, ownly, in one place, the rest are scater'd all over the island, some of them 200 miles asunder. When the Regiment is dispersed, I am certain I can be of no further use here etc. His health being very bad, asks for leave to return etc. Signed, Robt. Hayes. 2½ pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 326–327.]
March 10.
St. James's.
80. Order of King in Council. Referring to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report, seven acts of the Massachusetts Bay submitted by the Agent of that Province. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 17th March, 173 0/1 ¾ p. Enclosed,
80. i. Certificate by Governor Belcher that the following acts were passed Sept., Oct. 1730. (i) For granting H.M. several imposts and tunnage of shipping. (ii) for apportioning and assessing a tax of 8000l.; another of 240l. on several towns for not sending a Representative as by law they are obliged; and another of 2351l. 15s. paid the Representatives in 1729 etc. (iii) An act directing how rates and taxes to be granted by the General Assembly as also country town and precinct rates shall be assessed and collected. (iv) for erecting the north easterly part of the town of Woburn and the westerly part of Reading into a township by the name of Wilmington. (v) for supplying the Treasury with the sum of 13,000l. pounds in bills of credit on this Province. (vi) for the ease of prisoners for debt. (vii) in addition to an act for regulating fees. Signed, J. Belcher. 1½ pp.
80. ii. Printed copies of Acts enumerated in preceding. 27 printed pp. [C.O. 5, 872. ff. 61, 63, 63v., 65–78v., 79v.]
March 10.
St. James's.
81. Order of King in Council. Referring to the Council of Trade and Plantations the letter of Governor Belcher, with act relating to his salary, Dec. 10th, 1730, for their report thereupon. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 18th March, 173 0/1. ¾ p. Enclosed,
81. i. Copy of Dec. 10, Belcher to Newcastle.
81. ii. Copy of Act 1730 for support of H.M. Governmt. (v. Dec. 10, end. i). [C.O. 5, 1872. Nos. 80–83v., 85v.]
March 10.
St. James's.
82. Order of King in Council. Dismissing the petition of Lt. Gov. Armstrong for a moiety of the salary of Governor Philips during the time he carried on the Government in his absence, the Committee having reported that the pay of Governor Philips arising not from any salary or perquisites in Nova Scotia, but being founded on the establishment of the land forces, this case is not within the jurisdiction of the Privy Council. Cf. A.P.C. III. No. 226. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 10th, Read 11th Aug., 1731. 2 2/3 pp. [C.O. 217, 6. ff. 35–36v.]
March 10.
St. James's.
83. Order of King in Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report thereon. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 23rd March, 173 0/1. ¾ p. Enclosed,
83. i. Petition of John Ayscough to the King. Refers to his services as President of the Council of Jamaica. He was removed from the Council though a misapprehension of the Board of Trade that he was in England and did not intend to return. Being in hopes of recovering his health and returning to the island, requests that he be restored to his rank in the Council etc. Signed, J. Ayscough. Copy. 2½ pp.
83. ii. Order in Council, 26th June, 1729, superseding Mr. Ayscough for above reason. Copy. 1? pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 6, 7–8, 9, 9v., 11v.]
March 10.
84. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring back to the Council of Trade and Plantations their representation of 8th Sept., who are to discourse with the Lessees of the Bahama Islands about the surrender of their interest, etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 13th March, 173 0/1. ¾ p. Enclosed,
84. i. Copy of Board of Trade report of 8th Sept.
84. ii. Copy of Lords Proprietors letter of 11th April. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 217, 218–219, 220, 220v.]
March 11.
Custom ho.,
85. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. Explains how the Commissioners' report was framed without hearing Mr. Leheup. They reply to his memorial (22nd Feb.). (i) As to the dirt, rubbish which it is alledged the planters often mix with their tobacco which tend to depreciate its esteem in foreign parts, the officers in this port have met with no such instance, and if the planters should do so, it would be no prejudice to the revenue or any advantage to the importer, for it is liable to the same duty as good tobacco. (ii) As to the great discoverys of frauds that have been lately made here, for which great number of officers have been dismist and others transported, the Commrs. have good reason to believe that the prosecutions carried on have put a stop to those frauds, but if not they do not apprehend that a law passed in Virginia, which can be of no force here, can be any ways serviceable in preventing them. (iii) As to ordinary or mean tobacco, the Commrs. are still of opinion if by virtue of this law the importation thereof shoud be lessened it will be prejudiciall to the revenue, it paying the same duty as the best, tho' the revenue is not increased by what is shipt off, yet the trade is thereby increased with the Northern countrys they taking off great quantitys of this sort of tobacco. (iv) As to the ½d. per lb. which the Crown pays for all bad tobacco burnt here which charge Mr. Leheup says will by this act be saved, he is misinformed, for the ½d. by law is not to be paid for such tobacco as was damaged or unmerchantable in Virginia before it was ship'd here, but only for such tobacco as happens to receive damage by stress of weather or accident at sea etc., which damage on ship board the Commrs. apprehend will be increased by the Inspector's breaking the tobacco after it is first packed before the shipping it being impossible to pack it up again so close as it was at first. (v) As to the Navall Officer sending over the exact quantitys of tobacco each ship takes on board, there being no penaltys laid by this law as was observed in my former letter, the Commrs. do not see any service that can be to prevent the running of tobacco in Great Britain. The other parts of Mr. Leheup's memorial relating to trade in general, and not to this revenue, the Commrs. do not think proper to make any observations thereon, but have directed Mr. Fitzwilliams, Surveyor General for the Customs of Virginia and other parts of the Southern Continent in America, who has resided long in that country, and is an officer of whom they have a very good opinion to wait on their Lordships to answer such questions as they shall please to ask him relating to this law etc. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 12th March, Read 12th May, 1731. 4¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 110–112, 113v.]
March 12. 86. Mr. Fitzwiiliam to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to their commands has considered the Act of Virginia for amending the staple of tobacco, and conceives it "to be highly prejudicial to the British merchants trading to that country; that it lays the poorer sort of planters under such difficulties as in a short time must oblige them to leave off planting, and betake themselves to some manufacture; that it vests such a power in Inspectors as no sett of men ought to be entrusted with" etc. Explains at length. Mr. Leheup is wrong in saying that the 3s. for stamps and nailing etc. will be but a small expense to planters, for by the present custom of buying nearly 4 lbs. of the tobacco pays nothing in the country for weighing and nailing. Continues:—As to what is alledged of the planters being the best judges of what benefit will accrue to their own trade, if that be admitted, yet I presume they are not to be allowed proper judges of the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain etc. If we look back but a very few years, we may observe very extraordinary steps taken in the Governmt. of Virginia to lessen, as much as in them lyes, both the revenue, and the trade, by discouraging everybody from making tobacco, in order to gain a monopoly etc. In 1726 there was a law passed in Virginia for the more effectual preventing the bringing of tobacco from N. Carolina etc., which is an effectual prohibition on the people of North Carolina to plant tobacco. For that province has no ports capable of admitting ships of burthen, etc., and as Virginia has hitherto been the port from whence the tobacco of that province has been conveyed to Great Britain, the lessening of H.M. revenue must be the consequence of this prohibition. But what makes the act still more extraordinary is, that it is repugnant to an act of Parliament, notwithstanding which, penalties have been recovered contrary to this act of Parliament in the Courts of Common Law of Virginia, which has lessened the importation of tobacco betwen 2 and 3000 hhds. yearly etc. Refers to his letter of Dec. 1727. Continues:— Upon an application made to the Parliamt. last sessions, the law for preventing the importation of stemm'd tobacco, or tobacco stripped from the stalk, was repealed, whereby the quantity of tobacco usually stripped from Virginia was lessen'd at least 6000 hhds. more, as may appear from the Customhouse books, yet this indulgence, wch. consequently lessens the trade of Great Britain to that country at least 20 sail of ships yearly, had not satisfied them, but now in 1730 they pass this act of their own, in order further to lessen the quantity of this commodity, whereby they propose to raise the price by preventing the poorer sort of people from planting which must materially give them a turn to manufacturing etc. As to the Lt. Governor's interest in the act, besides his influence in settling the rent of the warehouses, which is near equal to giving an employmt., he will have the disposal of the new offices created by this act to the value of near 6000l. pr. annum etc. Concludes: It is generally computed that the execution of this act will cost the country between 10 and 12,000l. a year etc. The inhabitants have not yet been at any expense in building warehouses etc. for executing it. There was a law of this nature in Virginia called the Agents law, abot. 13 or 14 years agoe, which tho' not near so bad in its consequences, was repealed as being prejudicial to the trade of Great Britain. Signed, Rd. Fitzwilliam. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th May, 1731. 8 pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 115–118v., 119v.]
March 12. 87. Order of House of Commons that the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations do lay before this House what accounts they have received of the manufacturing of woollen, linnen and cotton cloaths in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pensilvania and Rhode Island, and what directions have been given to the Governours thereupon; and also an account of what progress they are informed any of the said Provinces have made in the planting of hemp and flax. Signed, E. Stables, Cl. Dom. Com. Endorsed, Recd. 13th, Read 16th March, 173 0/1. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 872. ff. 59, 60v.]
March 12.
88. Capt. Coram to Mr. Popple. I have understood there hath been some late enquirery about iron being made out of the oar in New England, and wrought there into the necessary tools and utensils of husbandry etc. of that country which I well know to be truth. Moreover in the year 1697, the convenian[c]y of the vast great planks of oak and fir timber, and iron oar which I found abounding at a place call'd Taunton, on a navigable river about 50 miles south of Boston by land, but much more by water, in some like manner as Winchester is from London; encouraged me to take some of my English shipwrights from Boston whome I had carryd. from hence thither thre years before for establishing shipbuilding in New England, and removed them to Taunton to build a ship of 140 tonns (the first ship or vessel that ever had been built on that river) and had all the ironwork or much the greater part thereof used in building her made out of the iron oar of that place and wrought into bolts and spikes and nailes etc., by an engenious fellow named Robert Crossman born at that place, and was since the Representative for the same many years in the General Assembly of the Massachusetts. I built several more and larger ships there soon after, and there has been built since above 500 ships on the same river, and I doubt not but with the ironworke for them, the natural produce of the same place wch. also produced good hemp and flax to those few who were industrious to take any care or pains to raise it etc. Signed, Thomas Coram. Endorsed, Recd. 13th March, Read 21st Oct., 1731. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 873. ff. 234, 235v.]
March 15.
89. Lt. Governor Gordon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Was disappointed of an earlier conveyance etc. Signed, P. Gordon. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Sept., 1731, Read 4th Oct., 1732. 1 p. Enclosed,
89. i. Answers of the Lt. Governor of Pensylvania to the Board's Queries. (i) Describes situation and boundaries of grant etc. of Pennsylvania and the Three Lower Counties. (ii) The boundaries are nowhere fixed but on the East by the River Delaware. On the North there has never yet been any occasion to fix the 43rd degree, which 'tis conceived extends to the settlements of the Five Nations now supposed by the Government of New York to belong to that Province. Nor have any attempts been made to measure off the five degrees of longitude (which is the breadth of the Province by the King's patent, and would make about 265 miles) to the westward, but by the exactest French maps yet given us, particularly De L'Isle's, the Northwest corner by these degrees of longitude and latitude will fall on their Lakes etc. The French in their said maps extend their Louisiana as far East as the River Susquehannah which runs into the head of Chesapeak, by which the Eastern and Western shores (as they are commonly called) both of Maryland and Virginia are divided, and therefore they leave to Pensylvania a breadth only of about 60 Eng. miles. It is also remarkable that the Editors of a volume of Geography published in a very large folio anno 1721 by subscription from many of the Nobility and great Officers of Britain as well as others called A New General Atlas, the maps in which are engraved or revised by Senex, have, to the scandal of the Nation, unadvisedly inserted into it that Map of Louisiana as a proper description of that country, without any alteration or restriction, by which, as far as the authority of that book can contribute, they give up to the French all their exorbitant claims to the greater part of these British Dominions, which whether it may deserve the notice of your Honourable Board is humbly submitted, but it cannot but give those who have considered the mistake and have any concern for the honour and interest of the Crown of Great Britain a very just resentment. The boundary of Pensylvania to the Southward is a circle about Newcastle at 12 miles distance so farr as that reaches, and from thence a line running directly west is to divide it from Maryland. This line in the Royal grants for both Provinces is called the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude, which occasions a very high dispute, for it is most evident by both patents, that at the respective times of the grants, it was not conceived, that what is commonly understood by the 40th degree of latitude would extend near so far northward on the land, as it is now found from later observations by more exact land instruments. Maryland in the patent to Lord Baltemore seems positively limited to Delaware Bay which ends somewhat to the southward of Newcastle etc. The whole tenour of that grant appears to bound it by the heads of the Bay of Delaware and Chesapeak. It can also be clearly proved, that the first grantee of Maryland understood his province to be bounded by the head of Chesapeak Bay, and about 1683 not much above one year after Mr. Penn first arrived here with his people to settle his Colony, the then Lord Baltemore being himself in these parts thought fitt to run a line a few miles above the head of the said Bay, to which line he formally made his claim, and to that boundary as allow'd on the part of Maryland this Province has ever since extended its settlements, and great numbers of families near 50 years since sate down and laid out their substance in improving the said lands, and raising estates, which have descended to their children etc. Yet now from the later discoveries that have been made of the latitude, Maryland would extend their countrey much higher and take to themselves a considerable part of those estates: But our inhabitants have hitherto held their possessions. The claim nevertheless on the part of Maryland still subsisting occasions great uneasiness amongst the people. And tho' the respective Governors, who live in a good understanding with each other, have hitherto shewn, and still continue to use, such moderation and caution on both sides, as that no violences, by the countenance of either Government, have been committed, yet it is of vast importance to the publick peace and security of H.M. good subjects, as well as for the interest of the Proprietors, that this dispute should with as little delay as possible be effectually ended. (iii) Describes Constitution and Courts. (iv) The shipping annually cleared from Philadelphia, Newcastle and Lewes, the three ports of trade within this Government, are computed to be about 170, and as they consist chiefly of sloops and small briganteens they cannot be reckoned one with another to exceed 60 tons with a complement of 7 men to each vessel etc. For these last ten years the shipping are encreased one full third. (v) As this with all other of the American Provinces are limited to trade only with Britain, and H.M. Colonies, and no goods from Britain pay any duties, there is therefore no occasion to have any such entries made as can enable us to render an exact account of the quantities, but the sorts are generally such dry goods as are consumed in Great Britain vizt. woollens, linens, silks, habedashry etc. necessary for apparell, ironware and other necessaries for husbandry building and furniture of houses. (vi) There is no considerable trade between this Government and any foreign Plantations; what there is, is chiefly with the Dutch vizt. three or four small vessells in a year to Surinam, perhaps one to Curaçoa, and sometimes one to St. Eustacia, but none to any French or Spanish Plantations. Our exports thither are bread, flour, staves, butter and some horses, and our returns are chiefly melasses, some little rum and sugar. Our trade to Europe is but casual, and according as there is demand for grain, in which case, as in the late scarcity of wheat in Europe about 40,000 bushels were shipt from hence to Ireland, Lisbon and the Streights, but when there are plentifull crops we ship little or none. To Madeira there is shipt annually between 15 and 20,000 bushels of wheat, some Indian corn and bread, in return for which we have their wines. We now also sometimes import salt from Portugal or Spain, tho' rarely, most of it being brought from the West Indies. (vii) At Philadelphia there are a Naval Officer, a Collector and Comptroller, at Newcastle and Lewes a Naval Officer and Collector each, who guard the trade, and all proper care is taken to prevent any illegal practices therein, so that notwithstanding the vigilancy of the Officers, there are but very few forfeitures on that score. (viii) The produce of this country and staple commodities are wheat and Indian corn for exportation, rye, barley, oats and buckwheat enough for home consumption, but very little exported. Wheat manufactured into flour and bread, barrell'd beef and pork in a reasonable proportion to suit the cargoes of bread and flour for the West Indies, hogshead and barrell staves in great quantities are shipt off annually to the West Indies, Madeira, Lisbon etc.; skins and furrs (which are purchased of the Indians in exchange of woollens, linens, shott cutlery etc. all from Britain) with some pigg iron annually are shipt off for Great Britain, also ships built here make a considerable return, and our exports in the whole may be computed at about 70,000l., or 80,000l. sterl., but make less or more according to the markets they meet with. In return to our exports to the W. Indies we have litle else than rum in but too large quantities, with melasses and sugar which are consumed in the country. Divers undertakers here, in hopes of making large returns by iron, have to theire very great cost erected furnaces, but the low price of pigg iron in Britain for these two years past has proved a very great discouragement and disappointment, so that some of these furnaces are like to fall. Great endeavours have also been used, with a bounty from the Government, to promote the raising of hemp, in expectation of making a return by it to Britain, but very litle as yet has been exported. We have also hopes that the raising of silk, which has been tried with some success, may in time be pursued by the inhabitants, our climate and soil very well agreeing with the silkworm, and mulberry tree. (ix) We know of no mines as yet but iron, and some litle copper, of which last in this Province no discoveries have as yet been made that countervail the trouble and charge. (x) This Government has not hitherto had occasion to use any method that can furnish us with an exact estimate, but as near as can at present be guessed there may be about 45,000 souls of whites and 4000 blacks. (xi) The inhabitants have been exceedingly encreased within these last ten years by means of their continued resort hither from Great Britain, Ireland, Germany etc. from which two last we have of late had great numbers, and 'tis beleived within these ten years the inhabitants have encreased above one half of what they were before (xii, xiii). This being an inland Province no forts have been built, nor is there any formed Militia in it. (xiv) The number of Indians inhabiting this Province is very much decreased, and those which remain scarce exceed 600 men, excluding the five Nations etc., and at the first settlement of this Colony such measures were taken with them by Mr. Penn, which are still carefully continued, that they have lived in perfect peace with the inhabitants, and they are very well affected to the British interest. (xv) As to the strength of the neighbouring Indians, encloses a paper drawn up in 1718 by Mr. Logan, a gentleman of good literature and large experience, who having been himself engaged in the Indian trade, from the informations he collected from some who had long and often travelled through Canada, and the country about Missassippi, drew up at the request of Sir Wm. Keith then Governor of this Province an account of the French trade, their routes and their Indians, etc., to be transmitted to your Board in answer to some queries then sent him. How Sir William might transmitt it I know not, but as it appears to me curious and valueable, with that gentleman's leave, who has lent me his original draught, I here give you an exact copy etc. (xvi, xvii). All claims of the Spaniards lye so remote, that no occasion has been given us to have any knowledge of, or concern about, them. The French of Canada are much nearer neighbours, but fall principally under the notice of H.M. Government of New York, from whence undoubtedly the best informations may be had: yet Mr. Logan's paper may give your Lops, considerable information. (xviii) Revenue: By the emission of a paper currency, an annual interest arises thereon amounting to near 3000l. this currency, which with a small excise on spirits not amounting to 1000l. yearly raise together a sufficiency to answer all the present exigencies of this Government. (xix) By order of the Assemblies annually there is generally paid to the Governor about 1200l. pr. annum besides perquisites ; some further allowances are likewise made to the Provincial Judges, Treasurer, Attorney General and Trustees of the Loan Office, the bounties also and charge of Indian Treaties take a part but generally at the end of the year the accounts are near a balance. (xx) There are no establishments here, for there being no Militia, there is consequently no military one, and the Officers of the Government have either such annual allowances made to them as the Assemblies think proper, or the fees of their offices as established by our laws, and generally they hold their places by commission from the Proprietor or his Lieutenant during pleasure. Signed, P. Gordon. 13 pp. Enclosed,
89. ii. Paper drawn up by Mr. Logan in 1718, referred to in preceding. The memorial of which the Lords Commissioners have transmitted a copy etc. appears well-grounded. 'Tis well known that ever since the expedition of the Sieur La Salle, the French have claimed all the lands to the northward and westward of the British Colonies, from Canada along the Lakes and Messassippi River, in which they further strengthen themselves, by alledging, that the Article in the Treaty of Reswick, by which all lands or rivers in America of the mouth of which either nation were then possessed are conceded to that nation as high as the first sources of those rivers, is a full cession of all that tract of land to the French: tho' it cannot be probable that it was ever so intended, because 'tis not only inconsistent with the ancienter grant from the Crown to the Proprietors of Carolina, but with the security of all the British Colonies on this Continent of America. From the time of their first discoveries of Missassippi they have with great care settled a communication between Canada and the Southern countries on that river, for which they have three different routes all of which are the same as far as Lake Erie. They sail in canoes from Montreal abt. 3 leagues to the fall of St. Louis, where they have a portage or carrying place by land of about half a league, then they reimbarque row up the stream about 60 leagues to fort Frontenac on the north side, and at the beginning of Lake Ontario; In this fort is a small garrison consisting of one or two companies in the King's pay, from thence they proceed on the Lake Ontario generally reputed to be 80 leagues in length to those dreadfull Falls of Niagara, which oblige them to land, the portage is about three leagues, after reimbarquing, they goe up the Strait about 6 leagues, after which they enter Lake Erie which they call 130 leagues in length. The shortest passage from hence to Missassippi by water is to goe up the river of the Miamies or Oumamies that enters Lake Erie on the Southwest about 150 leagues, they then come to another carrying place of about 3 leagues, where the highest land is, and from hence the waters divide their descent between Missassippi and that lake, there they imbarque on a small shallow river called La Rivière de Portage, down which they row 40 leagues, to the River Wabash or Ouabache, and on that river according to the traders reckoning 120 leagues to the river Ohio, into which the other falls, then 80 leagues down Ohio to Missassippi and thence 350 leagues to the Bay of Mexico. Some call both these rivers by the same name, and generally Wabache, but they ought to be distinguished, because the head of Ohio comes much more easterly, extending even to the Government of New York towards Virginia or Carolina, and among divers other large streams it receives the River Peresippi on the south side, not far from the mouth of Wabache, which river of Perisippi is said to rise in the mountains of Virginia and Carolina. The other two passages are both prick'd down in Hennepin's map, according to the accounts given are thus. From the North-west of Lake Erie they sail 8 leagues to a fort on Lake St. Claire called Erie Pont Chartrain where there is a settlement of the French, and often 400 traders meet here, then along the Lake 7 leagues, thence to the great Lake Huron about 10 leagues, on this lake they proceed to the Straits of Missilimakina 120 leagues, here is a Garrison of about 30 French, and a vast concourse of traders, sometimes not less than a thousand besides Indians, being a common place of rendezvous. At or near this place are the Outawas settled. From Lake Huron they pass by the strait Misilimakina 4 leagues being 2 in breadth, and of a great depth to the Lake Illinois, thence 150 leagues on the Lake to Fort Miami situate on the mouth of the River Chigagow. This fort is not regularly garrison'd, from hence came those Indians of the same name vizt. Miamies, who are settled on the aforementioned river that runs into Erie. Up the River Chigagow they sail but 3 leagues to a portage of a quarter of a league, then they enter a small Lake of about a mile, and have another very small portage, and again another of 2 miles to the River Illinois, thence down the same 130 leagues to Missasippi. The third is from Misilimakina on Lake Illinois to the Lake des Puans 90 leagues, thence to the River Puans 80 leagues, thence up the same to a portage of about 4 miles over to the River Ouisconsing, thence 40 leagues to Missassippi. From the mouth of Ouisconsing to the mouth of the River Illinois is reputed about 150 leagues on Missasippi, and from thence to the mouth of Ohio 70 leagues etc. These distances are as the traders reckon them, but they appear to be generally overdone, which may be owing to those people's coasting along the shores of the Lakes, and taking in all the windings of the rivers. The French use their utmost endeavours to bring over all the Indians into their interest, the Iroquese or five Nations have stood chiefly in their way, but by their Jesuites and other means they daily debauch them from the English. The number of the whole is not now above 2000 fighting men, of which the French have drawn over 700 to inhabit amongst themselves, vizt. 400 seated at the Fall of St. Louis on the south side of St. Laurence and 300 on the north side, the rest of them are planted chiefly along the Lake Ontario at some distance from it. There are no Indians in the French interest on this side of St. Laurence nearer than the Miamies or Twechtwese as the Iroquese call them who are about 2000 seated chiefly on the aforementioned river Miamis flowing into Lake Erie and on or near the branches of Oubache. The Illinois are about 3,000 men on and near the river of that name. The Misilimakinaes or Outtawas were formerly 3000 but now are scarce 500. The Nokes 100, the Fellesavoins 200, the Sakes 200, the Puans 600. All these joyned with the French against the Iroquese, and all of them except the Mimaies are seated about or near to the Lake Illinois, which is now commonly call'd by them Mechegan, and on the rivers that run into it, and on Lake Puans and the River Illinois. There are also divers other nations between Mechegan and Missasippi, as the Renards or Foxes, Massekobins, Kikapous, but these being further off, did not joyn the French against the Iroquese. On Missasippi and the branches of it there are many great Nations, especially to the West as the Missouris, Ozages, Acansias, who are different from those of Acansa on the East, with many more, not less as is affirmed, than 60,000 men, with all of whom the French have peace and some alliance. On the other hand all the English to the northward of Carolina have not 1500 men in their interest excepting the Iroquese. In New England and Connecticut they have very few. In New York they have only the River Indians besides the Iroquese. In Jersey and Pensylvania their own or home Indians called Delawares are exceedingly decreased, and being in subjection to the Iroquese take their rules from them. In Maryland and Virginia there are very few, excepting those whom Colonel Spottswood with great industry has lately established there. Those of Carolina and the nations lately in friendship have been very numerous. But the Iroquese, whether prompted by the French, or from what other cause is not yet known, have of late years made great inroads upon them, and cannot as yet by any endeavours of the English be diverted from it. But of all these people the best accounts will naturally come from Carolina.
The methods that may be proposed to prevent the designs of the French seem to be these, (i) To use all reasonable endeavours to preserve the Iroquese, tho' the English of Virginia and Carolina are very much incensed against them, and the French endeavour to animate all the other English to the northward in the same manner, as being a bloody, barbarous and imperious people, at the same time that they themselves cajole them, and endeavour by all means to make them their own. Yet their preservation seems to be of vast importance to us. (ii) To encourage the Government of Virginia to extend their settlements beyond the mountains, over which the present Governour has happily discovered passes, and to build some forts on Lake Erie with the concurrence of the Iroquese settled not far from thence: Colonel Spottiswood had this in view, till discouraged by the repeal of their act for the Indian trade, the consequence of which act 'tis doubted was not clearly enough understood. (iii) To encourage and support the trade of South Carolina who have very good opportunities of making alliances with all the Indians to the southward of the Lakes, and to the east of Missasippi. To which their grant from the Crown gives them a very good claim. (iv) To give such orders and instructions to the Governours that they take special care of the commerce with the Indians, that while they endeavour to promote the trade of their own people, they shall do nothing to weaken the interest of other Colonies to which traders are too subject; gain being their only view. By these means all the Indians, with whom we have any commerce, may be very much united to the British interest, for the Indians being supplied generally with better goods (excepting fire arms, powder and some trinketts) and at easier rates by the English than the French, they will choose to deal with us rather than with them, and their interest in this is commonly the strongest tie upon them. The French indeed seem to exceed us in industry, and in accommodating themselves to the humours of those barbarous people, and they have now a vast number of bold expert traders whom they call coureurs de bois, who generally are as capable of the fatigues of long journeys and fighting by ambush in the woods, the common way of making war amongst them, as any of the savages: Yet some of Virginia and Carolina have shewn that they are scarce to be exceeded that way. Endorsed: Recd. 28th Sept., 1731. Read 4th Oct., 1732. — pp. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 99, 100–102v., 103,104v–111, 112v.]
[March 15]. 90. Petition of inhabitants of Newfoundland to the King. Represent their sufferings during the late war, when many lost their lives or substance by famine and the sword etc. Continue: —Since the Peace, by your Majesty's great goodness and paternall care over us, we have been able to gather together a few straglinge pence to support our lives in this cold remote and desolate land, and the unhandsome usuage of a great many masters of shipps by our letters between us and our correspondents in England. They have broke up or otherwise destroy'd, so that we are not able to have our goods at the first price but are obliged to buy them of such masters at an extravagant price etc., otherwise we might have been able to have made other improvements in this land, had the light of your Majesty's countenance shone upon us. For there is a great part of this land by industry might be cultivated and improved, and might be able to produce flax and hempe. Pray that it may be sent home freight free so as to be sold as cheap as that from other nations etc., and for H.M. "Letters Patents in Great Britain and Ireland by a brieffe that we might be able to aske the charitable almes of all etc. for erecting churches and maintaining clergyman in this great uncouthed and solitary wilderness, that we might be the better able to praise and magnifie the name of our great and gloriouse Creator etc." 77 signatures, mostly marks. Oct. 30, 1730. 3 pp. gummed together. [C.O. 194, 23. No. 41.]
March 15.
91. Duke of Newcastle to Lt. Col. Armstrong. Encloses King's Order following. Continues: I am to signify to you H.M. pleasure, that upon the receipt hereof you forthwith repair to Nova Scotia, and that as soon as you arrive there you deliver H.M. Order to Col. Philips; and you are upon his leaving that Province, to take upon you the Government of it during his absence etc. You are to observe his Instructions as if they were directed to yourself. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Copy. 1 p. Annexed,
91. i. The King to Governor Philips. St. James's. 15th March, 1731. Whereas it has been represented unto us by Our Board of General Officers, that there are great debts owing to the Officers of your Regiment by yourself and the late Agent, and that in order to adjust and satisfy those demands it is necessary, that you should come home, Our will and pleasure therefore is, that upon the receipt hereof you return unto Our Royal presence ; and for the good Government of that Our Province during your absence, We have directed Our trusty and well-beloved Lawrence Armstrong, Our Lieut. Govr. thereof, forthwith to repair thither ; and We do hereby require and command you to put into his hands Our Instructions etc. to you etc. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 265, 266.]


  • n1. Sir John Rushout.