America and West Indies: October 1735, 1-10

Pages 72-76

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 42, 1735-1736. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1953.

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October 1735, 1-10

Oct. 2.
120. Lt. Governor Gordon to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your Lordships' commands of the 17th of June, which reached my hands but eight days since, I do myself the honour to acquaint your Lordships, that there were no laws in force within this government on the 25th of March, 1731, nor have any since been passed by which any duties or impositions are laid on the trade and shipping of Great Britain; nor are there any duties or impositions whatsomever now paid or payable on the importation or exportation of negroes, wines or other kinds of liquors or on any goods, wares or merchandize or shipping, throughout this Government, which has been remarkably carefull to preserve its trade free from any country duties that might give it the least discouragement. On the retailing of wine, rum or other strong liquors by small measure there is an excise of four pence this currency each gallon laid for three years, by an Act of Assembly, of which lest the further knowledge should be necessary to the present enquiry, I beg leave to refer your Lordships to the exemplified copy transmitted, soon after the Act passed, to Mr. Paris the Agent for this Province in order to be laid before H.M. in Council; the produce of which excise, and the interest arising from the emission of our paper currency being the only funds established here for the support of Government. Signed, P. Gordon. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 26th Nov., 1735. 1 1/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 176, 176 v., 179 v.]
Oct. 4.
121. Warrant by the Queen, Guardian of the Kingdom, for appointing Samuel Wheatley Clerk of the Naval or Navy Office, S. Carolina, in the room of Joseph Fox deed. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 50. pp. 101–103, 524–5.]
Oct. 4.
122. Warrant by Same, for appointing Nathaniel Cruttendon Vendue Master, S. Carolina. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 50. pp. 103, 104, 526.]
Oct. 7. 123. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Is of opinion that "the forme of the grant as settled by the Attorney General of Carolina is extreamly proper, such reasonable conditions and reservations being made therein as are usually incerted in all the grants I have seen from H.M. to his subjects in that part of the world. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 8th Oct., Read 28th Nov., 1735. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 365. ff. 17, 18 v.]
Oct. 8. 124. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon 5 Acts of Jamaica, 1735. Has no objection to Acts imposing duty on spirits retailed etc., and to oblige the inhabitants to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white people etc. But as to the Act for raising several sums for subsisting the officers and soldiers etc., "it may in general be necessary for supporting the expences of the Government of this island. But the clause, which your Lordships have observed, which imposes a severe penalty upon the Officers of H.M. Forces there for inlisting recruits amongst the people of the island, is in my humble opinion both extraordinary and unprecedented, as it restrains the prerogative of the Crown by preventing the exercise of it in a point so essential for the security of the whole Government, nor can any political consideration with regard to this Island be any excuse for such a proceeding. For I apprehend supposing the facts mentioned by the Council as reasons for passing this clause were true, they shoud have represented them to H.M. or his proper Officers ; and it is certain that H.M. from His known care and concern for the good and ease of his subjects in all parts of His Dominions, would have given such proper directions for redress, as to have made this extraordinary method unnecessary. As to the Act for putting this Island under martial law etc., I can't forbear upon this occasion observing to your Lordships that this practice seems to be too frequent in this Island. How farr necessary it may be for the service of the Government your Lordships are the best judges : But this I beg leave to say, that it ought never to be made use of in a civil Government, unless upon some very great emergency etc. Has no objection to Act for enabling Mary Howell etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 22nd Oct., 1735. 2½ pp. [C.O. 137, 22. ff. 7–8 v.]
Oct. 9.
125. John Gregory, President of the Council of Jamaica, to the Duke of Newcastle. I take this first opportunity, according to my duty, of acquainting your Grace with the death of Mr. Ayscough, late President of the Council, which happened on the 29th September last. By his death the Government would have devolved upon Mr. Pennant as oldest Councellor, but he is so worn with age and infirmitys, as to be uncapable of acting, and has made a formal resignation of his pretensions to the Government, and his post in the Council, by which means the Government is come into my hand as next eldest Councellor. This advancement has been very unexpected and I assure your Grace undesired by me; I am sensible of my own insufficiency to be at the head of a Government, so full of disorder and confusion as this happens to be, occasioned by our late heavy taxes, our want of currency, and ill success against the rebellious negroes. It requires a person of experience and resolution, and one well supported by his interest in England, to restore this place to a flourishing condition. I presume your Grace has from time to time been made acquainted with everything material that passes ; nothing has lately happened of any consequence besides the death of certain gentlemen of distinction here, which has been a very great loss to us at this critical time. We still continue in possession of the negro town which formerly gave us so much trouble, it is a place by all accounts very uncomfortable, tho' healthy, and the expence and difficulty of supplying it with provisions is very great. The soldiers who were first put in possession of it quitted it upon pretence of wanting provisions, tho' as far as I could ever learn, without sufficient foundation. The Militia of the Island were afterwards sent to it and remained there upwards of six months, whilst the martial law subsisted. When that ceased, there was no power to detain them longer, and no money to engage them voluntarily, so that a party of soldiers have been again sent to releive them. I wish they may not desert it, if they should, the negroes, who are at no great distance from it, will probably be soon in it, and we shall have the work to begin. I can't say the Martial Law, tho' absolutely necessary at the time, did in all respects answer our expectations, the negroes indeed were dislodged from that fastness, and I believe it had the good effect of discouraging several of our plantation negroes from joyning them, but the rebells lost very few of their number that we have any certain account of. They divided themselves into two bodys for the better conveniency of subsistance. One of the bodys consisting by the best information we could gett, tho' that very uncertain (for negroes don't know how to express themselves by numbers) of 300 men, women and children, marched from the Eastern parts to the Western, near 150 miles through the country without receiving much damage, tho' attackt twice or thrice in their march. This may seem strange, but their marches are so surprizingly expeditious over vast mountains and through thick woods, to which they are perfectly inured, that it is almost impossible to pursue them with any success. They have of late been pretty quiet but by the intelligence we have gained by one or two we have taken, they have joyned with another large town in the Western parts, where they are fixing themselves and planting provisions for this additional increase, and I am very apprehensive we shall quickly hear of some sudden and dangerous irruption. The soldiers have not yet been so serviceeable against them as might have been expected, but doubtless the appearance of them has kept our plantation negroes in order. Many of the soldiers are dead, I beleive not one half remaining, having received no recruits since their arrival, three out of the five Captains that came with them are dead, several of the Lieutenants, in two of the Companys but one officer commissioned by the King alive, and he uncapable of acting by some disorders in his head, so that to keep the company from falling into confusion, warrant officers have been made here, by which they are entitled to twenty shillings p. week this country pay. I am in hopes the country have lately come into a scheme of making them more usefull, and preserving their healths by keeping them out of the reach of strong liquors ; an Act has been pass'd for the building of twelve barracks in the places most infested by the rebells, and roads directed to be cut across the Island to open a better communication, this will be a work of much time and expence, and when perfected it will be difficult to provide men to barrack them unless the Companys are compleated, and in my humble opinion if two Companys of Highlanders were added to these it would effectually secure us against intestine enemies. Before I finish I must beg leave to observe to your Grace that there are but eight Gentlemen of the Council in the Island, to make a quorum requires five, and as they live remote from one another it is difficult to make a Council. I take the liberty of recommending one to your Grace, my brother Matthew Gregory, a man of integrity and good understanding, otherwise my partiality to him as a brother would have had no influence over me, when H.M. service is concerned. Your Grace will be so good as to excuse my taking up so much of your time, as this was my first letter I was the more circumstantial etc. John Gregory. Endorsed, R. 20th Jan. 3 pp. [C.O. 137, 55. ff. 209–210 v.]
Oct. 9. 126. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Belcher. Being inform'd, that Sr. Thos. Prendergast has a demand of near two thousand pounds on Mr. Auchmuty, Chief Judge in New England, by decree of the Court of Chancery in England ; and that Mr. Auchmuty, not being able to pay the mony, at the time of the decree, was permitted to go abroad by Sr. Tho. Prendergast's guardians ; and now refuses payment of it; I am to beg the favour of you, to countenance Sr. Thomas Prendergast's agents, in carrying on the suit against Mr. Auchmuty, for recovery of this debt, as far, as shall be agreeable to law, and justice. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 899. f. 203.]
Oct. 10.
127. Duke of Newcastle to Governors of N. and S. Carolina, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Bahama I. and Virginia. Mr. Oglethorpe, a member of Parliament and one of the Trustees appointed by H.M. Letters Patent for settling of a Colony of H.M. subjects on the borders of Carolina, having already been there to inspect its first establishment, and intending to return soon thither to encourage the further progress of that undertaking and to promote its success wch. must be of great advantage to the Trade and Navigation of this Kingdom, as well as a considerable addition to the strength and security of H.M. Colonies in America, I must desire you will give him all the assistance in your power, and any personal acts of friendship and civility that you shall do him will particularly oblige me, who am with great truth and regard. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. p. 527.]
Oct. 10.
128. Same to Lt. Governor Broughton. I am to acknowledge the favour of your letter of——with an account of the death of Col. Johnson. I doubt not but that as long as you shall continue in the administration of that government, you will do everything in your power that may be for H.M. service and the interest of the Colony. I take the opportunity of Mr. Oglethorpe's going to Carolina to suggest to your consideration, by H.M. commands, some points, which, if they can be brought about, H.M. thinks may contribute to the security and welfare of the Colony, which is at present committed to your care. H.M. thinks it proper that the Independent Company should be removed to the southward, and quartered upon the Island of St. Simon, and the Queen would have it be considered, whether it may not be for the service of the Colony that you should recommend it to the Assembly to give their assistance towards fortifying that Island, and to send down 200 negros to work for one year upon building a fortress there. And that you should also recommend it to the Assembly to pass an Act for contracting with persons of substance and ability for settling the townships, and to give such person or persons such parcels of lands within the townships and within the six miles round the same, and such other encouragements and authority as the Assembly shall find necessary for the better peopling of the townships ; provided always that the Contractor or Contractors shall be obliged to settle 600 white men, women and children in the township for which they contract, within six years of the date of the grant; and in case that the Contractor or Contractors shall not within six years settle the whole number of 600, then to forfeit so much of the lands contracted for, as shall be proportionable to the number deficient, and also to forfeit all such parts or parcels of land as he shall not pay quit rent for, when the said quit rent becomes due. Mr. Oglethorpe, who will be upon the spot, has so true a knowledge of the nature and constitution of the Colony, and so much zeal and concern for the interest of it, that H.M. is persuaded lie will be able to give you very usefull lights, whenever you shall consult with him in matters relating to the safety, defence and improvement of Carolina. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 528, 529 ; and (draft) 5, 383, ff. 25–27 ; and 5, 388. ff. 129–130.]