America and West Indies: May 1737, 1-10

Pages 129-142

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 43, 1737. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1963.

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May 1737, 1-10

May 2.
260 John Brownfield to Trustees for Georgia, enclosing list of the lots and improvements in Wilmington tithing, Derby ward, with remarks and likewise copies of several leases which are referred to in the said list. I shall proceed after the same manner with respect to all this township and intend to transmit such lists and papers to you as fast as they are finished. If my method is defective I hope you will set me right.
Some time since I saw an English newspaper by which the colony of Georgia was represented in a very unjust though glaring light; and finding it nowhere contradicted I supposed you had permitted (if not ordered) the paragraph to be inserted. It does not at all become me to censure your proceedings and I believe that what I am going to say will not be understood in that sense. I rather hope you will judge of it as coming from one who by the injunctions you have laid upon him is under the strictest obligations to write truth. I have not the above-mentioned newspaper by me and it is upwards of a month since I read it, but yet I think I may safely venture to charge my memory with the following particulars. 'Three townships have been settled in Georgia the last year, viz. Frederica, Darien and Augusta'. Whereas the persons appointed to settle at the place designed for Augusta are still in Savannah: they are preparing to go up thither and may probably set out next week. 'Trade is like to flourish in Georgia'. I cannot conceive how it should till some product is raised or (at least) till the inhabitants of Georgia are able to maintain themselves in food, which they fall very short of at present. Indeed if cash was plenty amongst the people they might propagate a trade for some time notwithstanding the want of a product. But it may be said that the colony already produces lumber. However this is saying nothing unless we could supply the West Indies as cheap as our neighbours can, and that I believe we shall never do unless greater numbers of servants are sent over and those more fit for labour than the generality of ours are. It may also be said that the Indian trade is fixed here, but the province has received very little benefit from it, nor can receive more till we are able to furnish the traders with goods. This we have never yet done but in a weak and imperfect manner for want of proper sorts and quantities from England; and therefore the Indian trade is carried from us to Carolina.
'Several vessels have loaded from Savannah'. This gives mankind a great chimerical idea of our improvements. It is certain that two or three vessels have been loaded from hence and Mr. Williams who furnished lumber for that purpose can best inform you how much he lost by paying demurrage for two vessels which lay in our river whilst great part of the stuff was sawed. The loading vessels from Georgia with lumber is no proof of the improvement of this colony because a few pair of sawyers may do the same from any uncultivated woody part of America. I believe Mr. Lacy of Thunderbolt has furnished more sawed stuff for exportation than all the inhabitants of Georgia besides; his land bears excellent timber and lays very convenient for water carriage. He has 10 or 12 servants most of whom have proved good, but the greatest part of them will be out of their time this summer; and how can his improvements continue (I will not say increase) if he has not other men in their stead ? This will not be Mr. Lacy's case only, but that of several people besides. 'And gentlemen are settled throughout the colony at their own expense'. No one can deny the truth of gentlemen's being settled in different parts of this province. But I believe upon examination it will be found that very few of them can subsist independent of your support any more than some of the freeholders. An instance of this may be seen in the Scottish gentlemen named Sterlings, who have left their plantation upon Ogeeche River and taken a house in Savannah.
I have thus briefly mentioned to you the true state of this province with respect to the particulars above-mentioned and am not in the least doubtful of your finding every just report concerning the same agreeable to what I have here written. If the beforementioned paragraph was sent from hence (as I think there is great reason to believe) it must be written by some person who was willing to insinuate himself into your good opinion by representing the colony in an agreeable rather than a just light, but what such men can propose to themselves from deceiving you I am utterly a stranger to. Without dispute every man who has an interest here would be willing to see the colony fully peopled and in a flourishing condition. But the way to bring those great ends about is not by deceiving mankind with false accounts of the place and its improvements. Such proceedings may delude the ignorant but men of sense will suspect a fraud from them. The extravagant representations which some unthinking people have made in favour of this settlement were more hurtful to it than the scandalous reports of all the opposite party; for every untruth which is detected in the latter cannot but redound to the credit of Georgia whereas the least falsity on the other side must turn to its shame.
I cannot help thinking that I discharge my duty better by acquainting you with the real state of affairs here than I should do by making encomiums on the place which will not admit of one half the fine things that are frequently said. Nor does it deserve the aspersions that are thrown on it. I ought not to say that Georgia is now a place of great trade abounding with many improvements, but it may in time very well deserve that name. In my belief the colony was never yet so low as at this time. The necessities of the people are so very open that every stranger who comes hither must see them in the most plain undeniable manner. Public credit is indeed at a stand since your storekeeper has not cash to pay even the poor workmen who laboured on the fort. Your magazine has been a considerable time out of provisions and now I am afraid there is not a piece of meat left. The people's wants are so great that if a boat should come with provisions hither I believe the whole town could not purchase it, and I wish that hunger may not bring distempers amongst us more fatal than the sword of an enemy. Some of our best workmen are beginning to leave the place in order to get employment in Carolina and by that means prevent their families from starving.
These are truths too severely felt to admit of any softening and it would be unpardonably base at this crisis to disguise our indigency or conceal it from you who only ought to be acquainted with it. If such great improvements have been made here and the colony is so flourishing as our public papers would persuade us, how comes this general want? Oh, may those who sent you that soothing paragraph feel the effects of it with us and not like wretches abandon a place which they have bestowed such fine speeches on. The fort is now left unfinished though abundance of time has been bestowed on it and the wood work is almost done; but there are no guns mounted nor is any trench dug round it. So that the place which was intended for our security against an enemy may now be made use of by the foe against us. Signed.3¼,pp. [C.O. 5, 639,fos.271–272d; duplicates at fos. 279–280 and 345–346; the last is endorsed, Recd. 21 September 1737.]
[May 3.] 261 Petition of Joshua Sacheverell in behalf of himself and others to the Council of Trade and Plantations, praying that they may be heard on the subject of their petition for a grant of land in Nova Scotia. [See No. 201 i.] 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 3 May 1737. [C.O. 217,7,fos. 223–224d.]
[May 3.] 262 Elisha Dobree to Trustees for Georgia. In our present circumstances there seems to be a dark cloud over us and most of our people are cast down at the thought of what they expect to be. I do all I can to strengthen the faint-hearts and those knees that are weak, to keep well and make them walk and I hope my endeavour will not be in vain. You may easily know that when people are driven to poverty, distress or expectations of etc. they will drink when they can get it to keep up their courage, for we always have observed that the people in England will either be quite forlorn without hopes or mad with liquor. Now to bring them to a proper medium would be to give them sound and strong reasons to hope for better times and by degrees to humour them with proper notions such as are the most useful to them. You may think what you please of me and though I have been obliged to drink both with the Darien and our people here I hope you will not be displeased with what I shall now say: that I hope you will endeavour to give greater encouragement for people to come here. Those at Purrysburgh do exceeding well there, and without negroes and something of the Carolina way we shall not do well here. Those that have experience are the best judges. We will endeavour to cultivate yearly cotton, and for which we are offered ready money by Mr. Ellis of Philadelphia: that and hogs (fish we have plenty) will be the staple commodity of this place, the next will be vines for which we have no plants, which we desire you would oblige us with what you can. I have no spare time to stay till to-morrow to write you in a sober way for our people are almost mad and I am obliged to drink with them in order to keep them up. Let me say only this, whether you will lose this colony for want of provisions or will you not support a people who are willing to support themselves by the help of those who have the power to help them. I am afraid of a mutiny and therefore am obliged to leave off. Signed. PS. I beg you would do something for my family and enable them to come here. I would not desire them to be here if I thought it would not be good for them. In all places we must meet with trouble and this world with its attendants has been and will always be a troublesome place, but we must endeavour to make it the best we can. I once more beg you would give all due encouragement to those that are industrious and endeavour to strive. I hope our labour will not be in vain and that you will, if you see that we are industrious, endeavour to help and forward us in so good and laudable undertaking. If people desire to be encouraged it is those that are the most industrious and I will venture to hope you will not discourage them. PPS. Since the above we are resolved to stay here as long as possible if you will please not to see us want. E.D. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 3 May 1737. [C.O. 5, 639,fos. 178–179d.]
May 4.
Palace Court.
263 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received, receipt from the bank for 10l. paid in last board by Mr. Burton. Mr. Paris reported that the Council of Trade and Plantations have appointed 12th inst. for hearing the complaints of South Carolina against Georgia and of the Trustees against South Carolina. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 687, p.15.]
May 4.
264 Alured Popple to Francis Fane enclosing six Acts passed in Barbados in 1736 and 1737 for his opinion thereon in point of law, vizt. Acts for further provision for the President's table; for encouraging Thomas Sainthill in his projection of a machine for skinning coffee; for better ascertaining the gauge and tare of cask; to prevent export of clay; to remedy hardships by forestallers, ingrossers and regrators; to enable assignees of debts to commence suits. Entry. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 29, 16, pp. 64–66.]
May 4.
Georgia Office.
265 Benjamin Martyn to Thomas Causton. The trustees named in the trust-grant are to put the bearer, John Warwick, in possession of a town lot Savannah. If none is vacant, they must give him 50 acres in the most convenient part of the province nearest to Savannah. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo. 16.]
May 5.
266 Order of Committee of Privy Council for Plantation Affairs, referring the following to Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, W. Sharpe. Seal. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 May, Read 24 May 1737. Enclosed,
266. i. Petition of Alexander Skene and James Abercromby to the King, 19 April 1737. Petitioners were commissioned by the late governor of South Carolina to settle the boundary between North and South Carolina, which after many conferences was, through the friendly interposition of Governor Johnston of North Carolina, finally performed. The government of South Carolina thereupon appointed the petitioners to run a line pursuant to the articles agreed and to mark trees, the better to ascertain the boundary and to remove disputes that might otherwise arise in collecting taxes and quitrents. Petitioners made provision for the expedition in men and horses, with great expense to themselves. They proceeded to the mouth of Cape Fear river and continued for the space of seven weeks with extraordinary fatigue running the said line, most of that time through desert and uninhabited woods, in many places absolutely impassible until cleared; added to this many large and rapid rivers had to be passed by the assistance only of large trees cut down and dug for that purpose. The lieut,-governor and council of South Carolina, thinking an allowance of one guinea per day for each of the petitioners reasonable for their fatigue and personal services, their expenses in provisions, attendants and horses, allowed them besides, the whole amounting to about 300l., laid the same before the lower house of assembly; but notwithstanding many applications could procure only about 50l. for the whole, which did scarce more than make amends for the horses lost in the several expeditions. The governor having no fund at his disposal to satisfy petitioners, they are without relief and ask for directions that they may be given full satisfaction. Copy. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 365, fos. 211–214d.]
May 5.
267 Same, (1) referring to the Council of Trade and Plantations Lord Baltimore's petition; (2) referring back to the Council of Trade and Plantations in the light of Lord Baltimore's petition their report on the representation of John, Thomas and Richard Penn recommending George Thomas to be deputy or lieut.-governor of Pennsylvania and the three lower counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, for reconsideration; (3) referring to Council of Trade and Plantations a petition of the president, council and assembly of Pennsylvania relating to a boundary dispute with Maryland and complaining of several acts of violence together with Lord Baltimore's answer thereto. Signed, W. Sharpe. Seal. 2½ pp. Endorsed, (1) The petition from the president and council of Pennsylvania with Lord Baltimore's answer and with nine other papers were returned with the Board's report of 3 June 1737. (2) Recd. 11 May, Read 12 May 1737. Enclosed,
267. i. Petition of Charles, Lord Baltimore, to the King. The three lower counties, Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, are properly part of Maryland but since King James II's time have been governed by the governor of Pennsylvania. The people of Pennsylvania have surveyed and settled lands in Maryland contrary to an agreement made in 1723. An agreement in 1732 to settle the boundaries lapsed through nonperformance. Being fully convinced that it was to no purpose to make further treaties with the Penns, the petitioner sought royal confirmation of his title to the three lower counties. The Penns thereupon began a suit in Chancery now depending claiming that the agreement of 1732 was still in force. Last November a sheriff of Pennsylvania entered Maryland with 40 armed men to arrest Capt. Cresap and burned down his house, murdering, wounding or carrying off the inhabitants. The governors of Pennsylvania make a constant practice of taking up inhabitants of the three counties to Philadelphia to be tried in the courts there notwithstanding the counties have a separate legislature from Pennsylvania and ought to be subject only to their own laws.
The proprietors of Pennsylvania have lately petitioned for royal approval of George Thomas as deputy or lieut. -governor of Pennsylvania and the three counties. Petitioner prays that no one shall be appointed governor over the three counties on the recommendation of the proprietors of Pennsylvania but that till the dispute is settled an indifferent person be appointed or at least that if Thomas is to be governor of the three counties he shall be appointed by royal commission directly, that all matters arising in those counties be triable there and not in Pennsylvania, and that directions be given to prevent disturbances or molestations. Copy. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd, with the reference from the Lords of the Committee of Council dated 5 May. Recd. 11 May, Read 12 May 1737. [C.O. 5, 1268,fos. 282–287d.]
May 5
268 Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. We have considered Mr. Zouberbuhler's petition referred to us by your order of 26 January last. We have been several times attended by Mr. Zouberbuhler and he has produced the extract of his proposals to the lieut.-governor and council of South Carolina by which it appears that in 1735 he proposed to bring over 100 Protestant Swiss families and desired that one year's provision with the necessary cattle and tools might be allowed to the said families at their arrival as was granted to the people transported by Col. Purry. He further desired that the warrants, plots and grants might be given to his people gratis, that the township on which his people were to be settled might be shown to him at the charge of the province, and that he might have the liberty of choosing a township on Santee River. He likewise promised to bring over 200 families more without charge to the province when the first 100 should be settled and able to subsist from their own product.
After having spent some time in viewing several places in consequence of this petition and having been taken ill, he found it impossible for him to transport to Carolina the said 100 families in the time he at first proposed and therefore in July 1736 he again presented a petition to the lieut.-governor and council explaining some parts of his former petition and praying that lands might be set out and reserved for 100 families of foreign Protestants which he was willing to import and settle in South Carolina provided that one year's provision and a proportion of cattle and tools should be allowed them at their arrival. And it appeared to us by an authentic copy of a minute of council of 17 July 1736 that the council granted the prayer of this petition, allotted the township of New Windsor formerly called Old Savannah upon the Savannah river for the reception of the said 100 families, and limited the time in which Mr. Zouberbuhler was to fulfil the terms of his petition to October next.
Some accidents which happened in Mr. Zouberbuhler's passage to England having, as he represents to us, occasioned the loss of so much time that it will be impossible for him to comply with the terms of his agreement in which, should he fail, the lands now reserved for the settlement of his people might be granted to others, he desires that the time wherein he is to make the proposed settlement may be prolonged for two years from October next and that the 48,000 acres of land which he has petitioned for as an encouragement for his service may be set out before 1st October next and that he may possess them free from quitrents for the first 10 years, at the expiration of which he is willing to pay the quitrents reserved by H.M.'s instructions of 4s. proclamation money for every 100 acres. He has likewise desired that the governor of South Carolina may be directed to recommend it to the assembly that when he shall have introduced the 100 families mentioned in his petition he may be allowed 2800l. Carolina currency as was allowed to Col. Purry in the like case.
As 100 families is an unlimited number we have desired Mr. Zouberbuhler to fix what number of persons he means thereby, and he informs us that he is willing to introduce the same number of persons Col. Purry did, vizt. 600 including 50 families which he affirms are already arrived there on his account in the space of two years from 1 October next provided H.M. will grant him 48,000 acres of land free from quitrent for 10 years and a recommendation to the assembly for 2800l. Carolina currency as mentioned in his petition.
As the safety of this province does only consist in the number of its inhabitants and as Mr. Zouberbuhler has offered to introduce in much less time the same number of persons Col. Purry did, we do not see any objection why H.M. may not grant the prayer of his petition except with regard to the 2800l. he prays for, provided the land in question be not already granted to any other persons. And if you shall be of the same opinion we propose: that the commander-in-chief of Carolina may be instructed that the township of New Windsor may be reserved for two years to commence from October next for the settlement only of such persons as shall be introduced by Mr. Zouberbuhler; that the 48,000 acres of land petitioned for by him may be set out as he desires, one half within the six miles to be reserved round the said township for the use of its inhabitants and the other half contiguous thereto but that no more of the said 48,000 acres be given to him before the completion of his proposals than in proportion to the number of persons he shall from time to time import. Entry. Signatories, M. Bladen, Richard Plumer, Orlando Bridgeman, Arthur Croft. 7½ pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 209–216; draft in C.O. 5, 381,fos. 240–245d.]
May 5.
Georgia Office.
269 Harman Verelst to Thomas Causton. The 29th of last month the Trustees received your letter of 10 February 1736/7 with the copies therewith and much approved of your answer to Lieut.-Governor Broughton's letter. On 3rd inst. they received your letter of 24 February 1736/7 with the copies and list of the tithings therewith enclosed. Your reasons for not sending into the Indian nation to invite the Indians down at this juncture are very well stated and very just and the Trustees are fully satisfied with your endeavours for the public safety. They have ordered the payment of those bills you drew on Mr. Oglethorpe after having heard your letter read for what they were drawn. The Trustees hope that the Spaniards' designs will not be executed but defeated by the early notice, the stationed ships and the people's courage, crowned with the Almighty Protection who has hitherto preserved so many embarkations and the colony itself from the many alarms it has heretofore been under. Entry. PS. Mr. Oglethorpe would have written to you but he is so much hurried he could not. Samuel Lacy's wife and family come by Capt. Coe. Let Mr. Lacy know it that he may fetch his wife from Charleston. He is to repay you the 15l. for their passage, the 10l. advanced her by his desire, and 2l. 2s. more on her going on board yesterday. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667,fo. 16.]
May 6.
270 Extract of letter from Rev. Samuel Urlsperger to Henry Newman. By yours of 1 February and the enclosed copy from Mr. Martin I observe that the Trustees can send no more Salsburghers to Georgia at present and that the Society is not able to engage themselves for a new transport and therefore they acquainted me with the resolution that once for all they would send to me 40l. sterling to be employed for the service of the Salzburghers as in their letter to me directed. Although the Salzburghers in Ebenezer wish very much for a new transport of 100 persons and that the number of 300 might be near completed especially to the end that they might have more single women to marry, yet because of the resolution for reasons mentioned we ought to acquiesce in hopes that when God pleases to send more money the Trustees as well as the Society will resolve upon a new transport. I wish very much the Trustees had answered something in favour of the succession of the female sex concerning the lands. And I beg if the Society approves of it to recommend it earnestly for my sake again to the Trustees. I beg the Trustees that are members of the Society to return my thanks to the whole body of Trustees for all their favours hitherto shown to the Salzburgh emigrants and to give me leave to intercede still for them that they may be provided with all spiritual and temporal necessaries and be looked upon constantly as children of our heavenly father exiled from their temporal habitation, according to my promise given in the name of the Trustees and the Society to all three transports, the one as well as the other; likewise that the third transport may live with the two former in one town and share alike with them as they have been promised here.; and that the two first transports may still remain particular objects of extraordinary pity and charity in every respect as their faithful and (as I hope) approved ministers, Mr. Bolzius and Mr. Gronau, by their letters have acquainted the Trustees and the Society with their urgent necessities and will do for the future as occasion requires. Reading lately in the newspapers that the Parliament has allowed 20,000l. anew for the benefit of Georgia I was so much the more glad of it because I certainly believe that my Salzburgh children at Ebenezer will partake of it; and if they get some of it, which I doubt not, it will bring a blessing upon all other colonists since they and their ministers do earnestly pray for the colony and for the Trustees and God's word doth not lie which says 'The fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much'. Copy, examined by Henry Newman. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 348–349.]
[May 6.] 271 Petition of William Shirley to the King in same terms as No. 60. 2 pp. Endorsed, (i) Referred to Council of Trade and Plantations, Whitehall 6 May 1737, Holles Newcastle, (ii) Recd., 13 May, Read 17 May 1737. Enclosed,
271. i. William Shirley's commission to be advocate-general in the vice-admiralty courts of the provinces named in No. 60 above. 26 September 1733. Copy. Signatories, Samuel Hill, register, William Browne, deputy register, John Drake, clerk to Mr. Paris. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd, from Mr. Paris, Read 18 May 1737. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 146–149d.]
May 7.
Palace Court.
272 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Mr. Paris attended with the Trustees' representation to the Committee of Council on the petition of sarah Watson as settled by the Attorney-General, which was read. Resolved, that Mr. Paris procure the Attorney-General's opinion whether by this representation the Trustees subject themselves either in this or any future complaints from Georgia to be considered as parties to such complaints, and whether this representation from the Trustees is introductive of the admitting appeals in criminal cases from Georgia. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 687, p. 16.]
May 7.
273 (fn. n1) William Horton to Thomas Causton. I should think myself guilty of a crime which I abhor, that is ingratitude, if I do not always acknowledge the great friendship you have shown me in your last letter. My life for two months past has been a continued scene of uneasiness and every stranger that has been here must think of this place just in the light that Martin represented it. It is certain that some of the freeholders have threatened to nail up the guns, to seize the periaguas, to put the storekeepers in chains; nor has one day scarcely passed in which both Mr. Auspurgur and myself have met with the greatest abuses.
In a former letter I told you in how friendly a manner Capt. Gascoigne had behaved towards the inhabitants of this town in offering a supply of four months' provisions in case the communication between you and us should be cut off or upon any other occasion whatever to assist us to the utmost of his power, for which he has been very heartily abused, even threatened to be knocked down as he was going into his boat. Upon a letter which I received from Capt. Gascoigne soon after the first accounts you sent us of the Spaniards' intentions, telling me he could not be ready to sail till I could supply him with a periagua or some large boat to carry off his provisions, I asked Mr. Lawley if his boat could be spared (no other boat of any kind being here at that time). He told [me (fn. n2) ] he had no use for her but was ready to go in her himself upon any service that I should think proper [to (fn. n2) ] send her: upon which I ordered her down to Capt. Gascoigne where after he had used her but two [days (fn. n2) ] she was caulked and refitted, new oars put into her and sent up again to this place, for which I have had a great deal of Billingsgate language from Mr. Wilson and his wife and was the only motive I could find out why Mr. Hawkins would call a court. He was prevented in his first design by Mr. Delegal ordering him down to the fort to attend one of his men but on 25th of last month whilst [I (fn. n2) ] was at Jekyl he called a court which was opened with a charge of felony against me for having stolen Mr. Wilson's boat. Mr. Lawley hearing the charge affirmed he had a half share in the [boat (fn. n2) ], that he had lent the boat, and at the same time advised Wilson of it; upon which the court pleased not to pass sentence upon me as a felon but am informed ordered the matter to be referred to two men to settle the damages I was to pay.
I was last night informed by a late adherent to Mr. Wesley that letters have been lately sent by him to some of the freeholders here advising them to be steady and abide by what [they (fn. n3) ] had said of me and to be sure to prove it when called upon. He wrote me word sometime since that he should demand justice from the Trustees against Wm. Horton, Esq., Commander of Frederica. As to what the formal fellow says or writes about me, I despise; but he may gain his ends in keeping this place in a continued scene of uneasiness if his stuff is suffered to pass current among people, many of whom are ready to mutiny without any sacerdotal assistance.
I sent to the magistrates, constables and tithingmen and asked them if any complaint lay before them or what other reasons they had for calling a court at a time when we had reason to expect we should have business enough upon our hands to deal with the Spaniards. They knew [of (fn. n2) ] no complaints but Mr. Hawkins said he did not doubt but they should have business as well. . . (fn. n3) they had at Savannah.
Mr. White informs me that Mr. Hird, Cannon and four or five more of the freeholders intend to go to you to know the reason why they were not better supplied; White asked them what they were in want of, they had 6 lbs. of beef every week and a full allowance of rice instead of corn and molasses in proportion. It appeared Mr. Cannon wanted shoes but could not find one thing more to complain of. The whole allowance of all provisions will be given out in less than six weeks. I therefore will as soon as Capt. Gascoigne returns off his cruise to the southward, which I fancy will be in a week or ten days, wait upon you for one day to show you the accounts of this place and Darien and to be advised in what manner the people are to be supported. They all promise very fair and will I hope perform as well. Capt. Gascoigne had a letter from the Trustees' secretary full of compliments and Mr. Vernon in a letter to his son tells him he will be soon removed into a bigger ship. Stewart has 20 pipes of wine on board and will set out for Savannah to-morrow. Smith is taking in some timber which is to be sent to Mr. Delegal's; when he returns he shall have 20 more put on board him. We have no beef in the store but the cattle are in good order; we have upwards of 20 steers fit for killing. I have not had any beef out of the store upwards of three months for my people, I can get enough for myself from Capt. Gascoigne but the scout-boats will want very soon. I know not how to form any judgment of the alarm that happened at Darien. It is certain a shot was fired in the night and that everyone of Mr. Mackintosh's people were within the fort at the time, the sentries affirm they saw seven men, four of whom went under the cover of the bushes one way and three another. Several shots were fired from the fort and one of the Scotsmen told me he believed he wounded one of them. They could not distinguish whether they were white men or Indians. Copy. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639,fo. 351, 351d.]
May 8.
274 William Williamson to [? Harman Verelst]. I should have thanked you earlier for the trouble you took in my behalf before I left England; but finding after my arrival here that you were very much deceived in the account you gave of the state of this province I chose to defer till I had seen a little further into the nature of this place and become better acquainted with men and minds. First, then, in regard to the boy or servant you procured me, he has been of little or no service to me; and as to the employ for which he was intended, clearing of land, you may for the future assure any person who is inclinable to come to this province that the lands are exceeding kind and profitable yet at the same time please remind them that they require not only industry but also strong and able working hands to clear them, which (if not servants) are excessive chargeable here. Had I not known better how to handle a pen than an axe I and my boy might have starved. Further, in regard to the allowances made to me by my friends for provisions and building which (if I mistake not) were calculated by you and said to be such and of the same value with most people's in this province: though the building of the first 40 houses was rated at no more than 20l. sterling, they are now reckoned worth much more and no one will build the like under 40l. As to provisions, I find them such as the Trustees generally allow to their servants. I have not yet had to make use of either allowance.
I do not repeat these things to upbraid you and I know your intention to keep luxury and idleness out of the colony. If for the future you made a small difference in calculating provisions between master and servant the obligation of the master would be the greater. On asking my sister in London why she had provided me with such ordinary linen, bedding etc., she told me if the linen was finer Mr. Oglethorpe would take it from me; and as to bedding it was as good as the parson had (the last mistake is on the right side for the parson being a strict primitive lies on the ground): I think she said you were her informant. I trouble you with my trifling affairs to enable you to give a more perfect account of this place to others. Signed. PS. I beg you send the enclosed to my sister. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 353, 353d.]
May 9.
New York.
275 Lieut.-Governor George Clarke to Council of Trade and Plantations. The assembly, having entered into the consideration of the deficiencies of the revenue, came on 27 April to some resolves, short of the sum, foreign to former practice and very injurious to H.M.'s just authority, which obliged me on 28th of the same month with the unanimous advice of the council to prorogue them to 3 May, the council having before adjourned to the 2nd, and then by the same unanimous advice to dissolve them. The method they took was thus: after having examined the treasurer's accounts and a list of the warrants unpaid that had been drawn on him, and having computed what they supposed would become due on 1 September next, they then mentioned such warrants as they would pay and such sums for future services to 1 September as they thought fit, and then resolved that those and those only should be paid and ordered a bill to be prepared for that purpose. By those resolves a warrant unpaid to the auditor-general for auditing the treasurer's account from March 1733 to September 1735 amounting to 281l. 17s. 6¼ d. is wholly rejected; no provision is made for the clerk and doorkeeper to the council, as they now sit as a distinct house, and but one half of the governor's salary provided for.
These resolves will appear more extraordinary if it be considered that by the King's instructions and by the Revenue Act too, all the money arising by it is to be issued by warrant signed by the governor with advice of the council; for they would now even break through a law of their own making and take upon them to appropriate the revenue by bill, they would deprive H.M. of his just right of having his revenue accounted for to him, and the auditor-general of his fees established above forty years ago and ever since paid, and subject the governor and every officer in the government to dependence on them. This is what they formerly attempted in 1710. But neither Governor Hunter nor the council would submit to any such appropriation, so that the government remained for two or three years without any support. And I do assure you that I will starve ere I give in to things so derogatory to H.M.'s honour and so injurious to his interest and service. The crown officers are already but ill looked on by the people and hardly escape censure in doing their necessary duty; and if ever they should be subjected to the power of the assembly the government will have but little good to expect from their services. I have ordered writs to be issued for a new assembly to meet 15 June. I send you the resolves mentioned.
What the next assembly will do is not at this distance to be guessed at, I hope the best. If they come with dispositions to consult the interest and prosperity of the province, they must come too with resolutions to support H.M.'s government in the like manner that it has hitherto been supported; for I have told them they must go hand in hand; then they may expect from me all things that by H.M.'s instructions I am allowed to grant them. More than that I cannot do. I presume you will be of opinion that if I have anything in my power that I may make use of to bring the assembly to reason, I may do it when I have the opportunity and they give me occasion. On this supposition I beg leave to acquaint you that in 1714 and 1717 two Acts were passed to pay the debts of the government and paper money issued for that purpose. To sink that paper money, the excise on strong liquors was given and appropriated to 1739, at which time the Act expires and there will then be about 20,000l. of that money unsunk in the hands of the people and without any fund to sink it. They must therefore give the excise for a considerable number of years more or find some other fund, or the bills will be a dead loss to those who have them. The Act cannot pass without my assent, and I hope that you will think that before I assent to it I may very reasonably insist on their making good the full deficiencies of the present revenue and on their giving a further revenue for a competent number of years. As yet this is a thing unthought of, at least not talked of by the assembly, it being at the distance of two years, and I hope in the meantime they will come to a sense of their duty.
I am now going to Albany to meet the Six Nations, the expense whereof must go out of my own pocket as all my other expenses have and must do, for I have not received a shilling from the treasury since Governor Cosby's death; nor shall I till the deficiencies of the revenue are made good. There is a necessity for my meeting and giving them a large present at this time, both to renew our treaties and to keep them from suffering the French to build a trading house or rather a fort in the Senecas country, which they are now attempting to bring the Six Nations to consent to. I have already sent to forbid them to meet the French emissary on his summons, and to require them to meet me at Albany 21 June. I have the pleasure amidst my distresses to see quiet restored to this late distracted province and that there is a great appearance that the ensuing elections will be carried on without reviving past animosities and with no other than the usual struggles on such occasions. Signed. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 June, Read 7 September 1737. Enclosed,
275. i. Minutes of Council of New York, 28 April and 3 May 1737. Copy, certified by Frederick Morris, Deputy Clerk of Council. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 June 1737. [C.O. 5, 1059,fos 24–25d 27, 27d, 32, 32d.]
May 10 276 Duke of Newcastle to Governor Jonathan Belcher. As I am informed that Sir T. Prendergast's suit against Mr. Auchmuty is still depending in the courts at Boston I repeat my request that you countenance the agents of Sir T. Prendergast as far as is consistent within bringing it to a conclusion and assist them towards the recovery of a debt which, as I am informed, has been determined to be due by a decree of the Court of Chancery here. Draft, 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 980, fos. 120–121d.]
May 10.
277 Council of Trade and Plantations to Duke of Newcastle enclosing extract of letter of 25 March last from Governor Pitt desiring leave to come home. Entry.Signatories, Fitzwalter, T. Pelham, M. Bladen, R. Plumer. ½ p. [CO. 38, 8, p. 184; original in CO. 37, 26, fos. 204–206 with extract from No. 172.]
May 10.
278 Alured Popple to Francis Fane enclosing five Acts [titles not given] passed in Bermuda in 1735 and 1736 for his opinion thereon in point of law.Entry ½ p [C.O 38 8 p 184.]
May 10.
279 Governor Jonathan Belcher to Council of Trade and Plantations, acknowledging letter of 18 February received 22 April, and copy of Order in Council of 9 February regarding the disputed boundaries between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. An assembly of this province is (in conformity to the royal charter) to meet 25 May when I shall lay your letter with the copy of H.M.'s Order in Council before them and carry every particular thereof so far as the same may lie in my power into execution. I am ignorant what direction you have sent to Col. Dunbar with a copy of the Order for him, in case of my absence, to carry the same into execution in New Hampshire although he sent me what he said were copies of a letter from you and of the King's Order; and to show you the sense I have of his sending me those copies, I enclose to you the copy of Col. Dunbar's letter to me with the copy of my answer on that head. The vexatious dispute he has been making from the time of his commission for lieut.-governor, as to my absence from New Hampshire when at Massachusetts, is lying before the King and on which I am waiting H.M.'s pleasure and shall be glad to receive it. Although I take no regard to the copies from him yet I shall pay the utmost obedience to what you have sent me; and as I find in the King's Order sent me for Massachusetts these words: 'Their lordships beg leave farther to propose that letters be likewise wrote by the said Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire', and being governor of New Hampshire as well as of Massachusetts, I shall take effectual care that H.M.'s service does not suffer in New Hampshire through Col. Dunbar's hardiness in detaining from me your letter with the King's Order. I am further to observe to you that the packet from your office directed on H.M.'s special service to me as governor of Massachusetts was sent me from New Hampshire by Col. Dunbar, which you must think to be very extraordinary that the ship which brought it arrived and belongs here and yet that the governor's packets must go to New Hampshire (and so be detained from him a week) in order to come to him. This I suppose to be done in the way of his little crafts purely to insult the King's governor and his superior. I am sure you would by no means suffer anything so subversive of order and government that came within your knowledge. It is now about six years ago that I informed you of my having appointed Richard Partridge Esq., of London, and my son, Mr. Belcher, of the Temple, to be my standing agents and to which end they have my commission to act for me jointly and separately. I therefore pray you would give orders that all your letters for the future to me be committed to the care of those gentlemen. Signed. 4 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 6 July, Read 8 July 1737. Enclosed,
279. i. Lieut-Governor David Dunbar to Governor Belcher; Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 20 April 1737. I have received two packets directed to you as governor of Massachusetts which I am desired to take care that they be delivered by a safe hand. A third packet came with my name upon the direction, I send you a copy of it, and notwithstanding the difference in the superscription from those directed to you in Massachusetts I desire to know whether you yet persist in your being always present here because I may govern myself by your answer before I embark which certainly will be next week. One of the two packets relates to Mr. Greaves of Kingston against whom I am informed there are executions from the court in the County of Essex; a little time or delay may be that poor man's ruin. I am desired to ask your receipt for this and to get an affidavit when and where the other was delivered, wherefore I have desired Mr. Waldo to wait on you or to get a notary public to do it; either will convey any letter from you. PS. Upon receipt of these letters I should have called a council, had not you and they deprived me of my just power. Copy, certified by Jonathan Belcher. 1 p.
279. ii. Governor Belcher to Lieut.-Governor Dunbar; Boston, 25 April 1737. Mr. Waldo brought me your's of 20th present, and I wish I could omit remarking on your presuming to blot packets with your scralls directed on H.M.'s especial service to his governor. By what means you intercepted these packets you best know. I assure you I take no notice of the copy of one you have sent me but now demand of you the original if there be such, for you must excuse me from giving any faith to your attestations; but if I should, yet you have nothing to do with packets primarily directed to me for the King's service while I am either at Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Sure you can't be so silly and ignorant as to think the direction on a letter can countermand the royal hand and seal. I heard you had some time since a letter directed to H.E. David Dunbar, Esq., Governor etc., which I suppose you took as a gross affront upon you, though I heard you said upon it you had received a letter worth 600l. a year; this I didn't wonder at neither. These little thin artifices you find are not to be practised with me; and why do you worry yourself since I told you years ago that nothing less than the royal hand that gave me my authority should take it from me ? And should I be in any other way of thinking I should highly abuse the goodness and honour H.M. does me and justly forfeit the trust he has reposed in me. You say you certainly embark this week; but I'm told the gout has got hold of your toe. I hope you won't let it prevail to stop your (talked of) voyage. I say this because I find in your's to me of December last you were willing I should have hindered it; and I took the main design of your humble complaint to the house of representatives of New Hampshire against the governor to be that they might desire you to stay. Instead of which you doubtless thought them very incomplaisant upon your offer of service saying If you believe I can do anything to serve your interest in England and will be pleased to tell me wherein, you will find a grateful return from me, (fn. n1) that they should think you not capable of doing anything to serve their interest which appears in their lean answer To thank His Honour for his kind offer. (fn. n4) Methinks they might have wished you a good voyage, but perhaps they didn't believe you was going. Yet you have carried the jest so far that I don't see how you can well avoid it. You don't want the province's nor my good wishes for their happy riddance, but I have had so many letters from you in six years past saying you was resolved to go home, go home, (fn. n2) that I shall not believe it till some vessel tells me they have met you to the eastward of George's. Copy, certified by Jonathan Belcher. 2 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 879,fos. 192–198d.]


  • n1. Sent by T. Causton to Trustees for Georgia and read 24 November 1737. (Egmont Diary, II, p.449.)
  • n2. Edge of MS torn; supplied from Georgia Records, Vol. 21, pp.459–60.
  • n3. Document torn.
  • n4. Underlined in MS.