America and West Indies: May 1737, 16-31

Pages 155-173

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, 16-31

May 16.
292 Lieut.-Governor William Gooch to Council of Trade and Plantations. The late return of the surveyors sent to trace the course of Cohongarooten river and the necessary attendance at the general court have delayed the meeting of commissioners for settling the boundaries of Lord Fairfax's grant; so that it will be the end of July before I shall be able to send you their report with the proper maps and descriptions of the limits in controversy. About the middle of March last we were alarumed with expresses from South Carolina that the Spaniards were preparing at Havana a great armament for attacking Georgia; and all H.M.'s ships on the several stations being ordered to repair thither to their assistance, Capt. Compton in the Seahorse stationed here sailed about six weeks since. Yesterday I received a letter from that gentleman dated at Charleston the 25th of last month wherein he tells me that if the Spaniards had ever such a design (which I never believed) they had laid it aside. I shall send you by the next ships the annual account of our trade and manufactures. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 8 August, Read 14 September 1737. [C.O. 5, 1324,fos. 58, 58d, 61, 61d.]
May 16.
Palace court.
293 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Resolved, that directions be given to the magistrates to enquire into the state of Joseph Watson's mind, under confinement in Georgia for lunacy. Read, representation to Committee of Council in relation to Joseph Watson. Seal affixed to the same, secretary to countersign. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 687p. 18.]
May 17
294 John Brownfield to Trustees for Georgia, transmitting an account of improvements in Derby ward. I hope to make greater dispatch in the remaining part of the town for there are not so many leases amongst the rest as in that ward which I have gone through. To make this account more authentic I thought it necessary to have each person sign his name opposite to the respective improvements made by such person. Since I have finished the account of Derby ward and the references to it, Mr. [Houstoun] (fn. n1) told me of the enclosed agreement between him and Fitzwalter, and John Grady also mentioned the [lease] (fn. n1) between him and George Smith, memorandum of which is here enclosed. The reason of Walter Fox being signed over against lots 1, 2 and 4 in Jekyll [tithing] (fn. n1) is that 1 and 2 are vacant and 4 belongs to a child incapable of signing his own name (Paul Amatis is under the care of Catherine his mother and of Thomas Neale who was lately married to the said Catherine and is now improving the house lot for Paul Amatis). Walter Fox being the officer of Jekyll tithing I believe him a more proper judge of the improvements made in his own tithing than any person else, therefore he signed as is abovementioned and I shall observe the same method with respect to all [such] (fn. n1) lots.
The words 'small tenement' are meant to express a framed building less than a [house] (fn. n1) of 24 feet in length and 16 feet in breadth which are the dimensions specified in the deed of conveyance signed by Thomas Christie and William Calvert. The term 'large house' is used where a building [exceeds] (fn. n1) that of the said dimensions. 'A hut' is generally built of round poles and split boards without any framework and is commonly much smaller than a house. To express the form of each building, the [expense] (fn. n1) and all other particulars relating thereunto would take up abundance of time and I believe it could [not] (fn. n1) be of any extraordinary use. Much the greatest number of houses in Savannah are built of the common dimensions 24 feet long and 16 feet wide. I have endeavoured to be very exact in getting an account of the improvements upon garden and farm lots with the product thereof; and unless an actual survey was made of each person's land I am of opinion that this account is as near the truth as may be. It is my intention to send you every year an account of the same kind and I hope it will have a good effect, for [as each] (fn. n1) person signs to his improvements and is sensible that the account will be perused by you [it may] (fn. n1) perhaps induce some people to bestow more labour upon their lands than they would otherwise do. In the remarks and references I have been as particular as was in my power from the papers and informations that I have hitherto had. As here has been no register kept nor even remarks [of] (fn. n1) the time when several material things happened, such as the granting and exchanging of lots, I am at [present] (fn. n1) prevented from using that exactness which is requisite in things of this nature. But if you will establish any positive rules in these respects, I shall hereafter be able to proceed with [greater] (fn. n1) punctuality. And if anything should come to my knowledge more than is already set forth I will immediately acquaint you with it and the same shall be inserted in next year's account. One material article is not mentioned in the enclosed paper and that will very much [satisfy] (fn. n1) you of the ability and industry of the people: I mean a list of what servants each freeholder [has] (fn. n1) For though this account shows the respective improvements upon every lot yet that is not a perfect [picture] (fn. n1) of any person's industry unless it should be known by what help such improvements were made. I shall therefore send you a list of all the servants in this town as soon as the account that I am now [about] (fn. n1) is finished.
The lots which lie in swamplands and are overflowed cannot be improved without a considerable number of hands. I have only mentioned under this head such garden lots as belong [to] (fn. n1) men who would be both willing and able to improve them if they were upon dry land. John Wright [is the] (fn. n1) only person whom I have yet heard express a desire of keeping his swamp lot. I enquired of the [other] (fn. n1) men whose 5-acre tracts are in the same condition: why they did not begin to improve their [farms] (fn. n1) William Cookesey said that he heard the person formerly wife of John Samins was coming to claim the house and land and that therefore he was unwilling to make any more improvements till he should know your determination in that affair. I assured him the grant from Mr. Oglethorpe was a sufficient title and that he might safely begin to clear the farm but I am not certain whether he will as yet enter upon it. John Penrose told me that his was upon pine land and unless he could get a stock of cattle and so turn his farm into a cow pen for some time, it would not be worth planting, the land being very poor. Mr. Christie said that he could not prevail on the surveyor to show him his farm, otherwise great part of it should have been cleared long since. To this Mr. Jones says that he acquainted Mr. Christie of his going out on purpose to show several other people their farms but that Mr. Christie was busy and did not go. James Smith told me he did not know perfectly where his farm lay, but that some of his neighbours would show him the spot pretty near and he intended soon to begin upon it.
The general reason which is given by those who have done nothing or but very little upon their lands is the want of servants, and some who have made a tolerable progress in clearing and planting say they are also kept back through the same necessity. Another great reason why more land is not improved proceeds from the number of orphan children and from those who having lots here do not live in the colony. Of the first are John Goddard, Marmaduke Cannon, William Little, in Derby ward. And of the latter, John Grady, Frances Watt, Wood, Mary Cooper, James Willson, Peter Gordon, in ditto. John Grady and James Willson live chiefly in Carolina and the other four persons in England. Frances Watt's, Mary Cooper's and Peter Gordon's lots are under my care and I have let the houses but not the gardens or farms. Since I am now mentioning to you the reasons of lands not being improved I must set down one which seems amongst the people to be a principal reason, and that is their being debarred the privilege of leasing and also of leaving their lands to daughters, relations or friends. Wherever this opinion has prevailed I have endeavoured to show the necessity of male inheritance especially in the beginning of our settlement and have likewise spoken of the inconveniencies which would attend the leasing of lands. But they say 'Unless a man may leave his inheritance to daughters, relations or friends, there is but little encouragement for him to make improvements since a stranger may perhaps enjoy all he has been labouring for', that 'If a person is prevented from leasing his lands, when he may thereby get them well improved which his own want of help makes him incapable of doing, they cannot well be said to belong to him'. However weak these arguments are, I do assure you that the greatest number of people here are guided by them.
I should be glad to receive your commands with respect to the form which you would have me observe in registering the different lands of this province, such as townships, villages, gentlemen's tracts etc. And in order thereunto I shall endeavour to remit accounts of all the settlements in Georgia as soon as may be. The inhabitants of Savannah desire and several have asked me for grants of their lands to keep by them, they having at present nothing to prove their right but the old register book which contains only the deed of conveyance from Christie and Calvert with a plan of this town and tables of references. As I have no power to comply with their request I can only mention it to you that such a form may be sent over as you shall judge best.
The want of roads is grievously complained of by almost every man here. Several people are obliged to go to their lots through swamps up to the middle in water which not only prevents their bringing any crop home but is the cause that men get violent illnesses in wintertime by being wet and cold as they pass through those deep swamps. A considerable quantity of corn which was last year bought of the people for your magazine cannot be brought to town but must lay and spoil upon the lands where it grew. Besides which, abundance of the freeholders' cattle will be lost to them for want of being drove home and it is impossible to drive either cows or calves up till roads shall be made. This makes several people uneasy because if cattle are out in the woods for a year and not branded by their owners they are seized in your name and marked as yours.
In looking over my letter of 10 February I find (amongst Mr. Jones's reasons for [the delay] (fn. n1) of surveying) this following mistake: 'And the money which Forde had for that work was [more] (fn. n1) than Jones himself could receive for surveying the whole township', whereas it should have stood [thus] (fn. n1) : 'And the money which Forde had for that work was more than Jones himself had received for surveying [the] (fn. n1) whole township'.
I am sorry that the colony in general seems so much dispirited. The want of provisions [has] (fn. n1) chilled men's endeavours extremely and I believe here are several who have hardly anything to [support] (fn. n1) nature. It will be an extraordinary blessing if this scarcity of food in the beginning of summer is not attended with a severe sickness in autumn. And I fear that at the end of three or four months there will not be abundance of cattle left alive near the town, some having been privately killed . . . (fn. n2) small distance in the woods and (it is supposed) by our own townsmen. Several of the people [are] (fn. n3) determined to leave the colony and return to England, others talk of going to Carolina and besides [others] (fn. n3) appear in suspense as being no way resolved. Amongst this number I believe there may be several who never will be able to support themselves by labour, others who are utterly unsatisfied with the constitution of the province and a few who wait only to see what time will produce, as being neither satisfied nor disgusted. The two first degrees of people cannot do much hurt to the colony by [leaving] (fn. n1) and the last can be only useful if the state of affairs should take a pleasant turn. However I [sincerely] (fn. n1) believe that here are a good number who would strive even in the roughest posture of affairs to live upon the fruits of their own industry: they only want to be cemented. For to speak truth we [have] (fn. n1) not a great deal of unity amongst us and consequently no imminent danger of strong parties. Here [seems] (fn. n3) rather to be a general caution (not quite amounting to distrust) but that is almost inseparable [from] (fn. n3) the minds of unfortunate men whose former distresses might probably have flowed from too [much] (fn. n3) credulity. Yet, alas, what can the best of people do without a little support. Several [men] (fn. n3) have bravely struggled with and overcome many difficulties, nay I may safely say that some [are able] (fn. n3) to do a considerable deal towards their maintenance; but scarce any can live without frequent [helps] (fn. n1) Signed. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 21 September 1737. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 355–356d.]
May 17.
295 Robert Ellis to James Oglethorpe. On 21st ult. I delivered to Richard White, storekeeper at Frederica, attested by William Horton, 70 pipes of Madeira wine according to agreement between you and me in March 1735/6; which wines are right good, and do not doubt but will give full content; they cost me 35 milreis per pipe; they were all delivered full as will appear by receipt enclosed to the Trustees, the amount of which with the charges of pilotage from hence is 915l. 5s. sterling, which sum I have desired the Trustees to pay to Capt. James Pearse of London, merchant, and that his receipt for the same shall be a sufficient discharge. I must beg you to befriend me in the affair; your absence from the colony when I arrived put me to nonplus, the store being out of cash, but I applied myself to my good friend Paul Jenys who very readily supplied me with what money I had occasion of and assured me that no friend of yours or the Trustees should want while he could supply them [Noted, Copy; but appears to be original or duplicate.] Signed. PS. I was very well pleased to see the industry of the people at Frederica, but some little misunderstanding happening amongst them I by the assistance of my worthy good friend Mr. Horton made up the breach and obliged them to drink and make friends; by [which] (fn. n3) I have got the goodwill of the people who style me fa[ther] (fn. n3) and maker-up of their breaches and promise to live in good harmony and concord for the future. You would have been agreeably pleased to have seen in what good order and posture of defence they put themselves on the rumour of the late intended invasion by the Spaniards, whom I am confident they would have opposed to the last man. 1 ¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 282–283d.]
May 17.
296 Same to Trustees for Georgia. Account for 70 pipes of Madeira wine delivered Richard White, storekeeper, at 13l. per pipe: 910l. Cash paid Gibson the pilot for pilotage to Frederica, 5l. 5s. Total, 915l. 5s. This is according to my agreement with Mr. Oglethorpe in March 1735/6. Richard White's receipt attested by William Horton is enclosed. Please order payment to Capt. James Pearse of London, merchant, whose receipt will be sufficient. The store at present being out of cash I was obliged to apply to Paul Jenys who has the colony much at heart and who has very readily furnished me with money on the credit of the Trust and is the only gentleman in the place who is ready to do any friendly offices to the new colony. Signed. 1 p. [C.O. 5,639 fos. 285–286d.]
May 17.
297 Josiah Burchett to Alured Popple. Capt. Lee of H.M.S. Falkland is under orders to proceed this year again to Newfoundland. As it is expected she will sail in a few days, the Council of Trade and Plantations, if they have any alterations to the heads of enquiry, will please send them hither. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 19 May, Read 24 May 1737. [C.O. 194, 10 fos. 52, 52d, 55, 55d]
May 17.
298 George Whitefield to Harman Verelst. I hear Mr. Oglethorpe intends setting sail for Georgia immediately after the parliament rises. Pray, is it true ? Or if so, when does the parliament rise, that I may know how to settle my affairs and when to come up to town? Are Mr. Wesley and I to go in the same ship and at the same time ? An answer to these queries would be very acceptable. Here are two pious honest skilful countrymen resolved to go with me if possible. Can they be settled with me at Frederica ? Or how can they be disposed of to the best advantage ? One of them will take 12l. Is it practicable for them to have a lot of land and to join together in manuring it? Are implements of husbandry provided at Georgia or must they take some with them ? Can they be employed and paid for day labour supposing they have not a lot of land ? I would willingly know all this before I let them go, for they both will leave very good places. They will be a blessing to the island.
A word or two concerning myself and I have done. Before I set sail I shall want many necessaries, also wearing apparel etc. Will not the Trustees furnish me with those? The same may be said of him that is to go as schoolmaster to Frederica. On Monday next (God willing) I set out for Bath to see what may be done about the collection. I should have been there a fortnight ago but have been detained here in serving a large country village near Gloucester on account of the absence of the present incumbent, a friend of mine, who continues in London longer than I expected by far. But I hope it is not now too late if the news about the Spaniards has not too much alarmed them. Be pleased to be as speedy in your answer as possible and direct for me at Lady Cox's in Queen's Square, Bath. Signed. PS. I thank you for your last. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639,fo. 248, 248d.]
May 18.
299 Thomas Causton to James Oglethorpe. Agreeable to the liberty you granted me before your departure hence, I have drawn bills of exchange on you of this date in favour of Charles Purry or order for 50l. sterling, having received of him the like value in cash, which, with bills dated 10 January last and 10 February last, makes together 180l. sterling in part of the 200l. you agreed to, the better to enable me to settle my farm. Signed. 1 p. Annotated: 27 Sept. 1735, Mr. Causton drew on Mr. O. for 50l., on 10 Jan. 1736/7 for 50l., on 10 Feb. for 50l. and 30l., on 18 May 1737 for 50l. Total: 230l. Note: 16 July 1735, 40l.ordered the storekeeper, 10l. to Mr. Causton, the 2nd Bailiff, 10l. to Henry Parker, 3rd Bailiff, 10l. to Thomas Christie the recorder, 10l. each to John Vanderplank and Noble Jones, constables. Total: 90l. 29 April 1737, the 130l. ordered in part of the 200l., Mr. Oglethorpe acquainting the Common Council the first 50l, ordered was not taken credit for by Mr. Causton. 1 p. [C.O.5,639 fo. 358,358d.]
May 19.
300 Council of Trade and Plantations to Duke of Newcastle enclosing representation on the petition of William Shirley, Advocate-General in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, etc. Signed, Fitzwalter, T. Pelham, James Brudenell, Arthur Croft, R. Plumer. 1 p. Enclosed,
300. i. Petition of William Shirley to Council of Trade and Plantations, praying for post of Collector of Customs at Boston. Signed (for the petitioner), Francis Shirley. 1 ½ pp.
300. ii. Representation of Council of Trade and Plantations to the King, proposing that the said petition be granted. Signed, as covering letter. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 752, fos. 291–293d, 298–299d; entry of covering letter and representation in C.O. 5, 917, fos. 97–99d; draft in C.O. 5, 897, fos. 142–146d.]
May 19.
St. James's.
301 Order of King in Council approving report of Committee for Plantation Affairs on petition of Murray Crymble and James Huey for lands in North Carolina. Surveyor-General in North Carolina is directed to lay out and survey 1,200,000 acres of land on the heads of the Pedee, Cape Fear and Neuse rivers, grants of which are to be made to the petitioners and their associates. Copy, certified by W. Sharpe. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 8 July 1737. [C.O. 5, 295,fos. 88–89d. Order of same date directing Governor of North Carolina to pass the grants at fos. 87, 87d, 90, 90d.]
May 20.
Georgia Office.
302 Harman Verelst to Thomas Causton, by Two Brothers, Capt. Thomson. The Trustees have received a certified account for 218l. 7s. 5d. sterling dated 29 December last stated to be due to Messrs. Minis & Salomons to whom the 27th January following you paid 215l. in sola bills unissued by Mr. Oglethorpe for another certified account. As both these accounts came to the Trustees' hands together from Mr. Levi, and, if they were both sent from Georgia by the owners of them together, it is a wonder sola bills were not required for both. The Trustees have received no account from you of the above 218l. 7s. 5d. In your letter of 24 February last you mention that you believe the people you shall buy provisions of will take the sola bills as they are and that in such case you will certify the goods bought. But if they should not do so, Mr. Montaigut and Mr. Jenys are both willing to let you have Carolina currency for them at 650l. per cent, advance. To prevent double payment the Trustees are obliged to continue postponing payment of your certified accounts. They received a letter from Robert Ellis dated Charleston, 21 March 1736/7, acquainting them of a certified account of goods delivered amounting to 372l. 19s. 2 ½ d. sterling but there is no letter from you assigning a reason why you did not pay for them. The said letter mentioned that the Frederica sloop is gone to Philadelphia for another load of provisions: I hope the 1000l. sola bills by Capt. Dymond will reach you in time to pay for that load.
Enclosed is invoice and bill of lading of what was shipped in London on the Two Brothers, Capt. Thomson. Mr. Hossack will send you an account of what shall be shipped at Inverness where Capt. Thomson is going for 40 menservants for the Trustees to be employed in public work and several of them must be set to sawing timber and boards for which purpose there are saws and files put on board. Olive oil, emery and sandpaper are for cleaning the muskets and guns. The two boxes are for Mr. McLeod, the Scots minister at the Darien, which please forward with the clothing for Capt. Massey's company. The two tubs of vines came from Mr. King's vineyard and are for planting in Georgia. The indentures for the 40 menservants, Mr. Hossack will send you; the Trustees will pay their freight. Col. Stephens has sent you a letter about employing six menservants he has written to Scotland for to come by this ship, being part of ten he intends to have for himself and to settle in Georgia on a grant of 500 acres of land lately granted to him. Enclosed are indentures signed by John Younghusband and William Colthred, endorsed by George Foster to whom they were bound and who is to pay you their freight of 5l. each and 8d. a day each from their being shipped to their sailing from Inverness; Foster goes by this ship to settle on a 50-acre lot at Frederica. Indentures of all other servants on board are endorsed to the captain to secure the freight and charges of them which the owner sends at his own risk and has ordered the captain to wait one month to receive 10l. apiece for them. But if any of them should not be paid for at the expiration of the said month of 30 days from the ship's arrival at Savannah the captain has leave to deliver them to you for the Trustees' use to be employed in the public work. You are to make a list of such (if any) and give the captain a receipt. Enclosed are articles under the seal for John Pye, sent to be a clerk; by this ship the Trustees have sent you another clerk, Samuel Hurst, and also one for the store at Frederica named Samuel Smallwood.
The people at Darien are to have the refusal of servants which the captain is to receive the money for, they coming from Scotland. Mr. Hossack has been directed to buy and consign to you tartan, 12 spinning wheels, wool, hemp or flax. Capt. Thomson has directions to get two menservants for Charles Wheeler at his mother's expense; said Wheeler is to have credit up to 10l. payable by his mother here if he absolutely wants it. Mr. Warwick goes on this ship at his own expense to settle on a 50-acre lot. Mary Jones, a servant, is to be delivered to a good family. The widow Warrin, who married Wood, is dead; care must be taken that her son Richard has the house and land, the father-in-law having no right thereto now his wife is dead. Let Mrs. Stanley's husband know that the Trustees have let her have 2 guineas more which he is to repay you. Entry. PS. Mrs. Francis Watts, widow of Mr. Cox, has sent you letter of attorney to receive the rent of her house, here enclosed; the Trustees have paid her 20l. in part of what you are to receive. Tell Mr. Haselfoot that the charges of the servant sent to him by the Peter & James is a loan to him from the Trust at the request of his wife. 3 ½ pp [C.O. 5, 667, fos. 17d-19.]
May 20.
303 Samuel Urlsperger to Trustees of Georgia, enclosing the following. If the Trustees take compassion on these people I would beg that at a proper time the number of the 300 Salzburghers be completed and the Palatines be not intermingled with the Salzburghers. German. Signed. 1 p. Enclosed,
303. i. Extract of letter from John Peter Hek, late town-clerk of Pfeddersheim in the Palatinate to the senior Urlsperger, 12 March 1737. Born of a Roman Catholic father and brought up as a Catholic I became convinced of the errors of popery and finally professed the Lutheran religion in 1723. In 1734 I was deprived of my employment as town-clerk after 26 years' service. My case is that of many, 40 or 50 masters of families and unmarried artificers and peasants, making in all 300 persons. I have been informed that by means of the S.P.G. and the assistance of Mr. Oglethorpe such persons may find refuge in America, and we hope for the same benefit as the Salzburghers. German. Copy, 2 pp.
303. ii. Extract of letter from same to same, 24 April 1737. By your letter I received the unwelcome news that your power extends only to 300 and those Salzburgh emigrants. But I understand there be hitherto only 200 Salzburghers admitted and I beg we may make up the number with 100 or at least my poor and distressed friends and relations consisting of 48 persons. German. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 269, 238–9; English translations at fos. 360–363d.]
May 20.
304 Paul Jenys to Trustees for Georgia. No doubt you have been long since informed that Mr. Oglethorpe before he left Georgia contracted with Robert Ellis for provisions and necessaries for Frederica, the greatest part of which have been already delivered. Pursuant to his agreement some time last month were landed 70 pipes of Madeira wine from on board the snow Martha, which after filled up were delivered into your store at Frederica. As these were received on a contract made by Mr. Oglethorpe before he went for England and the sola bills all emitted and expended for the use of your colony before Mr. Ellis arrived, it was some disappointment to him that the storekeeper at that place had it not in his power to make him any part of the payment, and the more as he wanted some money in this province. Mr. Ellis applied to me on this occasion and on the credit of Mr. White's certificate I readily furnished him with what Carolina currency he stood in need of, which I was the more inclined to do as our house has had the honour to do some of the colony's business and have always desired any opportunity to serve your settlement. I am fearful that in the absence of Mr. Oglethorpe the colony (unless furnished with some bills or credit from you) will shortly be distressed, for I find many of our inhabitants that in time past have furnished your settlements with provisions cold and indifferent and some I hear are resolved to send thither no more cattle or provisions of any kind; but to prevent any distress of this kind I have written to Mr. Causton that I am ready to join with him in any contract for what provisions the colony stands in need of. Nothing has given me so great a concern as the disputes between the two colonies and while in a public capacity none was more zealous to effect a reconciliation which would have prevented a public application to H.M. and saved this province a great expense and you the trouble of appearing at the Board of Trade to support the measures of your chief magistrates and to defend the proceedings of a gentleman who created himself a set of enemies only for his zeal to serve this colony and who is still well esteemed by those unengaged in the Indian trade. We are at this time under no apprehensions of an invasion from the Spaniards. Signed. Seal. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 July 1737. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 300–301 d; duplicate at fos. 291–292d.]
May 20.
305 Same to James Oglethorpe. It was with much pleasure that I hear of your safe arrival in England after a dangerous passage. The death of my partner and the situation of my own affairs obliged me to decline all public business on which account it has not been in my power to serve my friends in any public affairs. The present assembly have taken such steps with relation to the dispute between the colony of Georgia and this province as I apprehended they would; nor am I at all surprised at the report of the committee. I expected it would be very personal and pointed at the man it is as soon as I knew who were on that committee. I am fully persuaded that the general assembly would have done the province more service if they had taken different steps and I assure you this is the opinion of many of our most wealthy inhabitants; and though much art has been used to prejudice many against you, many on the first advice we had of the invasion were under some concern at your departure from Georgia and would have rejoiced at your safe arrival at this port. By my late advices from Savannah I hear that they are in great want of money which I fear will be attended with some ill consequences unless the Trustees give some new credit to Mr. Causton or some other person. Mr. Ellis has applied to me for some Carolina currency on the credit of his account with the colony of Georgia which I have readily supplied him with, and which he has transmitted to Capt. Pearce who (I suppose) will lay it before the Trustees, and I make no doubt but they will take care to discharge it. I should be glad to congratulate you on your safe arrival in America. Duplicate. Signed. Seal, 1 p. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 288–289d.]
May 21.
St. James's.
306 Royal licence of absence to Lieut.-Governor John Pitt for six months. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 324, 37, p. 66.]
May 21.
Georgia Office.
307 Harman Verelst to Thomas Causton. Thomas Upton, the bearer, has a grant of 150 acres of land to settle on at the southward and his friends intend to pay the Trust 30l. for that value in provisions in Georgia. The Earl of Egmont recommends Mr. Upton and his wife to your assistance till this credit is sent. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667,fo. 19.]
May 21.
308 Archibald MacBean to Harman Verelst. I wrote you this day sennight how matters stand here for the interest of the Trustees and have now to add that I have got four servants since, but they lie a heavy charge on the Trustees since Capt. Thomson has not arrived; for was he here I could put the whole of them on board in 24 hours. It would very much satisfy the gentlemen who stand friends for the Trustees that Capt. Mackay's sayings and writings should be confuted by the public prints. He has written to the two brothers as he did in his former in answer to my letter 16th current that he would come to this place and make good what he writes if anybody would bear his charges; but though that were promised he cannot adventure here. The newspapers and the captain's behaviour very much hurt the undertaking so that it would be well done to put a stop to both. Signed, A.M.B. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 639,fo 246, 246d.]
May 23.
South Carolina.
309 Samuel Eveleigh to Harman Verelst. Herewith you will receive all the Carolina Gazettes that have been issued forth since my last, as also several letters from Georgia to the Trustees, Mr. Oglethorpe, etc., which desire you will deliver or cause to be delivered. I wrote Mr. Oglethorpe a letter last week via Topsham and several letters before by sundry conveyances but have not been so happy as to receive one line either from him or you. The Rose, Seahorse and Shark men-of-war are now at Sullivant's Island waiting for a fair wind to go over our bar. I am told they design to cruise to the southward off of St. Augustine and to return here again in a few days. I desire you will acquaint Mr. Oglethorpe that I am positively informed by a trader lately come down from the Upper Cherokees that there are four gangs of Indians gone from thence down the Mississippi River, consisting of 175 stout men, in order to intercept the French in their going up and down that river, and that he heard before he came out of the lower nation that there was another gang gone out for the same purpose from thence. I received a letter this morning from the lieut.-governor importing that he was grown so weak that it was with difficulty he could walk from one end of his hall to the other. This is all the material news I can at present think of. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 20 July 1737. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 294–295d.]
May 24.
310 Lieut.-Governor John Pitt to Council of Trade and Plantations, transmitting duplicates of journals of assembly, treasurer's account and powder account; also treasurer's account to 4 April 1737 and answer to their lordships' queries. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 16 July, Read 7 September 1737. Enclosed,
310. i. Copy of No. 172 iii. 6 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
310. ii. Account of duty on liquor, 1735–37. Receipts, 536l. 16s. Signed, Nathaniel Butterfield. Audited, 3 May 1737, Andrew Auchinleck, Leonard White, Robert Dinwiddie. Passed the council, 3 May 1737, John Pitt, Andrew Auchinleck, Francis Jones, Leonard White, Robert Dinwiddie. Certified, 24 May 1737, by John Pitt. Seal, 9pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 37, 13,fos. 3–4d, 6–15d.]
May 24.
311 Same to Duke of Newcastle transmitting duplicates of journals of assembly sent 25 March last. Signed. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 29,fo 77.]
May 24.
312 Same to Alured Popple informing him of dispatch of documents mentioned in No. 310. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 16 July, Read 7 September I737. [C.O. 37, 13,fos. 2, 2d, 5, 5d.]
May 24.
313 Same to Charles Delafaye transmitting to Duke of Newcastle duplicates of journals of assembly sent 25 March last. Signed. 1 small p. [C.O. 37, 29,fo.75.]
May 24.
314 Thomas Christie to Trustees for Georgia, enclosing extract of proceedings of the town-court of Savannah since 30 November last. You will thereby see they begin to decrease on our hands, which has been chiefly occasioned by a timely stop put to an extravagant credit. You will receive a petition from me to which I beg your attention. I must likewise crave your instructions in the following affair: in 1734 I rented a house from the trustees for orphans belonging to infant Goddard at 18l. a year. In June 1735 one of the trustees, Mr. Jenkins, agreed with me that if I would lay out 50l. in improvements they would try to get a lease from you to subsist till the infant came of age or as you judge equitable. There is no agreement other than verbal and I left it entirely to your discretion. I have laid out upwards of 80l. sterling. I received little or no rent the first two years but now it is let for 42l. a year. The arrears of rent will be 63l.sterling at Easter next and I desire to resign the said lot for the benefit of the infant (who now lives with me) in consideration of being released from these arrears. As to public affairs I have only to confirm the advices Mr. Causton gives you from time to time, being a fellow-labourer with him. Signed. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 297, 297d.]
315 Alured Popple to Josiah Burchett. The Council of Trade and Plantations, not having had time since receipt of your letter of 17 inst. to propose any alterations in the heads of inquiry, desire the governor of Newfoundland and the captain who goes to Canso may be directed to answer the last instructions; and that for the future notice may be sent to this office as soon as the convoy is appointed for Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. Entry. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 195,7,pp 406–407.]
Palace Court.
316 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. It appearing that the rice sold to Mr. Duffield weighed 1 cwt. more than was paid for, Mr. Duffield has paid 15s. more. Received, receipt from the bank for 41l. 15l. 6d. paid in by Adam Anderson. [See No. 282.] Received, same for 1l. is. paid in by Thomas Upton being the consideration money mentioned in his grant. Read, letter from Thomas Morse of 14 May 1737. [See No. 290.] Resolved, thanks of the Trustees to be given to Mr. Morse and that he be desired to pay the ten guineas to Philip Percival in Dublin, brother to the Earl of Egmont. The board drew up a letter of directions to the magistrates at Savannah to enquire into the state of mind of Joseph Watson. 2 pp. [C.O. 5,687,pp. 19–20.]
May 26.
317 President John Gregory to Council of Trade and Plantations, transmitting the Acts passed last session, the journals of assembly, and the journals and minutes of council. I hope the Acts will meet with your approbation: two of them, the Additional Duty bill and the Deficiency bill, met with some objection. The first I should scarce think worth mentioning but as there is a dissent entered against it in the journals of council I shall just answer it. The clause complained of is because there is a reflection and some restraint on the soldiers. I could have wished to have had it left out, and endeavoured it, but could not prevail. And indeed there was this foundation for it: the soldiers quartered in this town had been disorderly and killed some cattle belonging to the inhabitants. (They had no pretence of necessity to excuse them, being punctually paid every week their king's and country's subsistence.) Some of the cattle belonged to Mr. Needham, the speaker of the assembly. Upon his complaint to their officer, Capt. Harman, he did him all the justice in his power and the men were severely punished. This had not a proper effect but inflamed them and made them more insolent: six of them went into the speaker's bedchamber with their arms in their hands and insulted him. They were observed when they went in by some of the neighbourhood who followed them and prevented any mischief they might have intended. The speaker complained to me and told me he was in danger of his life, that he should be obliged to quit the town and could not attend to do his duty as speaker unless the company was removed out of the town. I complied with his request, removed that company, and brought another in their place. After such an insult I do not think the clause is so exceptionable; and being mulcted of their country's pay is no extraordinary piece of severity, especially when left to the direction of the governor.
The objection against the Deficiency bill is of consequence because H.M.'s instruction is concerned in it. It was an instruction to Mr. Cunningham which I had communicated to the board. You will observe in the minutes of the council the dissent which is entered against that bill. Before I would take upon me to pass it I asked the advice of the council and their reasons in writing (which are entered in the council minutes, of which the enclosed is a copy) which I hope will be sufficient to justify me in what I have done. On this occasion I beg you will indulge me with the liberty of speaking my sentiments with some freedom. I have a very just regard to H.M.'s instructions and believe them calculated for the good of his people. But as it is impossible at this distance to forasee or guard against all contingencies there is certainly something left to the discretion of the governor. This liberty is indeed to be used with great caution and upon great necessity, but in such cases I presume there is a latitude allowed him. For if by adhering too strictly to the letter of an instruction any great damage should happen to a country I am afraid his obedience would not greatly recommend him. His obedience indeed might excuse him, but his judgement would be called in question.
The four gentlemen who withdrew from the council still persist in that resolution. I have not required their attendance, being the easier without them. They have not resigned their places in form, and yet I am told they are making interest to get themselves in the assembly. This may be consistent with the rest of their conduct; and as they have not been able to hurt me as councillors they are willing to try what they can do in the other house. Indeed I have had great disquiet in the administration, and I must confess I am not proof against clamour and artifice. The honour or profit does not recompense the trouble. A governor here is obliged to act in three distinct capacities, as governor, chancellor, and ordinary. It is difficult enough to succeed in any one, but it requires uncommon abilities (such as I do not pretend to) to give satisfaction in all. I came into the government by accident, I have made no application since to be continued in it, and therefore if I have been faulty I hope it is the more pardonable.
As to the state of the country in respect to the rebel negroes, some of those who were formerly distressed and went to the leeward part of the country are again returned to windward. I had some intelligence of their design and took all the precaution I could to prevent it; but their march was so silent and expeditious and my orders so ill-executed that I did not succeed. They have hitherto been pretty quiet there and in the other parts of the country, from what cause I cannot judge unless they may want ammunition. The barracks are finished in some places and proceeding upon in others. It will be an immense charge to the country and difficult to maintain them after they are built. They will no doubt be of use to the country but I am afraid not effectually answer the purpose unless we could constantly keep parties from thence to range in the woods. The soldiers are not fit for that service, and none but negroes can bear those fatigues in this country. I see little hopes of success unless we could bring them in by treaty: I have often recommended it to the legislature but they do not yet seem inclinable to such measures. Signed. 2 ½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 August, Read 7 September 1737. Enclosed,
317. i. Proceedings of the council of Jamaica, 19 February 1736/7. The president asking the advice of the council whether he should consent to the Deficiency bill for obliging the inhabitants to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white people or to pay certain sums of money and laying before them the additional instruction to Governor Cunningham entered in the minutes 19 March last, the council advised him to give his assent. Three councillors desired that the reasons for such advice might be entered. (1) The Act of 1704 has become impracticable. (2) The penalties being only in case of refusal of servants to be placed by the Receiver according to the deficiency in that Act, we see nothing in it more to compel persons to keep white men in such proportions as is therein directed. (3) The former Deficiency Act having expired, many persons have discharged numbers of servants. (4) We think it necessary to prevent our being left defenceless. (5) This Act provides that the money arising be used to encourage settlers, there being no fund appropriated for that use. (6) There is nothing in this Act that suspends the Act of 1704; if it is practicable it may be put in use along with the present Act. Copy. Signatories, John Campbell, Richard Mill, Mathew Concanen. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 137, 22,fos. 131, 131d, 133, 133d, 135–136d of letter at fos. 141, 141d, 144.]
May 26.
318 Governor William Mathew to Alured Popple, sending in a box in Capt. Conway's care a duplicate of the Nevis Militia Act. The duplicate Montserrat Negro Act is not come to hand. I send also Acts of Antigua for attainting and banishing negro conspirators and for the trial of two freemen concerned in the conspiracy. There is also a list of all the conspirators tried and executed, and minutes of assembly of Montserrat ending 24 March last. Pray present these and the enclosed letter to Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 8 August, Read 10 August 1737. Enclosed,
318. i. Same to Council of Trade and Plantations, same date and address. Though my friends at home could not tell me what report you have made in relation to the French seizures I have made, yet they ventured to give me hopes that you had therein kindly given some cover to the breach of my instruction by favourable sentiments in behalf of my intentions. But they have now thrown me under the greatest concern by the apprehensions they send me they are under that what you have reported to H.M. on M. Hop's memorial condemns me as guilty of what the inhabitants of St. Eustatius without regard to truth or justice have been pleased to complain of. I hope I am not too late in making the following apology for my behaviour in both cases, and that it will have some weight with you whom I never wilfully offended since H.M. honoured me with this government.
I thought these islands lay under two grievances: the first was the cruel execution of the French king's extraordinary edict, the second was the constant barefaced evasion of the intent of the Act of Parliament which certainly was to prevent (by impositions equal to prohibitions) all trade for sugar, rum and molassess especially between the northern colonies and the French. As to the first, relating to my endeavours to get the French edict recalled by a behaviour to them such (but not quite so severe) as they many years had exercised against us (and that that was my only intention, not for lucre as falsely suggested by my enemies, appears throughout my whole conduct and especially in the condition of the bond I took for the Fortune) all this has been most sufficiently already laid before you. But as to my struggles against the northward trade at St. Eustatius with the French, which I find has occasioned strange groundless complaints from that island, I pray leave to explain fairly to you. Whatever may have been H.M.'s determination on my seizure of the Fleuron, such I presume must it be from the parity of the cases as to the three French sloops and their cargoes which the Dutch at St. Eustatius have taken upon them to claim most falsely as belonging to Dutch owners. I can aver to you my garde-côtes never brought to or searched a single vessel under Dutch colours. There are not six sloops in all belonging to all St. Eustatius, a poor beggarly place with not two in it of the rank of a gentleman.
Mr. Heyligger in reporting the conversation he had with me at Antigua has forgot that one of the captains of my garde-côtes was then present, that he (Heyligger) asked me whether my captains had orders to search Dutch sloops, that I told him no, and that each captain of my garde-côtes had given not to exceed his orders where he or anyone might find a remedy if any Dutch vessel was injured. And my answer to their letter declared my intention was only to break through the illicit trade carried on at St. Eustatius between the English and the French but yet to give no let or hindrance to legal navigation; and the captain of the garde-côtes then present (Welch) averred to his face that he searched only such vessels as would show no colours at all (that is, French who dared not own who they were), for as he knew almost every vessel belonging to St. Eustatius, if any Dutch vessel would but show Dutch colours and own to him who she was, he never should attempt to stop or search her, nor had he any orders or instructions from me to search or stop any Dutch vessel that would own itself to be such. As to my being short in language to them, I may be excused as this captain had but just before brought me an account of my son's death. But upon the whole of my conversation with Heyligger and Ellis, as I did not understand Dutch, I knew not the contents of the letter they brought me or the character they came with. It is true I threw it on the table and made the observation that as we had hardly a single person in Antigua that could translate Dutch and everybody almost in St. Eustatius (as I well know, having been twice there) speaks English, I thought it a ridiculous stiffness in a president or undergovernor appointed by a trading company not to write in English to a king of England's captain-general. He himself speaks English better than Dutch and his brother is my deputy-governor of Spanish Town. My giving Heyligger the Act of 1701 was in no relation to the seizures M. Hop mistakes it but to give them fair warning what by law I was impowered to do; and I further told him and made Major Leslie, his correspondent, afterwards write him so, that it was cruel usage for the sake of a little money spent in punch-houses by sailors in their island, or I might have added even for the petty duties to the company, for them to encourage a trade destructive to their English neighbours, their only protection in case of war, and this in favour and to aggrandize the power of the French here, our common enemy. But indeed these good neighbours when a war was likely entered into a treaty of neutrality with the French and even offensive against us for their island of St. Martin's. I thought all this was over and only slightly mentioned some part of it to Mr. Coope: had I had any notice they would have made such a story of it at home, I had said then as much to him as I do here and given him directions to lay the whole before the Duke of Newcastle and you.
I pray you to consider the intention of the Act of Parliament and whether the saving these colonies from ruin and keeping the French in due bounds as to their plantation-produce does not absolutely require a breaking through the northern trade with the French for their rum and molasses, which then they must throw away. Another thing: if we could have an importation of all the produce of the French islands into London, then London would be the mart for sugar to all Europe and the benefit would be very great; but if from St. Eustatius (to St. Christopher's especially) only so much is imported as serves to glut our British markets and ruin the sale of our own sugars and the French who have beaten us out of all foreign markets must also be let into a share of our own British markets, is it hard to foresee what miserable plight the English sugar planter is daily reducing to? I hope Mr. Yeamans laid before you how Hamilton was used at St. Eustatius: are H.M.'s subjects to have no protection from the government there?
As to the French complainant, Sagran, he dare not own at Martinique that he calls himself a Dutch citizen of St. Eustatius. He is and has been for several years no other than the French agent there to manage their illicit trade. I will know of M. Champigny whether this Frenchman who goes often to Martinique owns himself a Dutchman there. But as he is only a French factor, how is a sloop he is owner or pretended owner of more a Dutch sloop or her cargo Dutch than if an English factor at Lisbon should have a ship with a cargo from London of his own and should to serve a turn pretend from his residence there that she with her cargo was Portuguese ? They are pleased to aver I had six garde-côtes out and modestly called them pirates, though fitted out to protect our trade and were never to go out of my government or to meddle with any but French as directed by the Montserrat law; they never dared call a French garde-côtes by that name. But the fact itself is false. When I determined to sell my own sloop to obviate any reflection that I only sought advantage to myself, I only gave commissions to three very small vessels, one to attend St. Christopher's and Nevis, one for Montserrat, and one for Antigua, as the French have one for Martinique and one for Guadeloupe; and these I have called in and taken the commissions from seven months ago, but yet the French think illicit trade can be prevented but by garde-côtes and for that purpose have them. Had I sent these three prizes to M. Champigny, he and his intendant would have had no difficulty to have proved them French bottoms and French cargoes and probably in discharge of his duty he not only would have confiscated them but sent captains and sailors to the galleys.
Now after all, Sagran complains but of losses to the value of 4191 pieces-of-eight, which is 1257l. 6s. this currency, or reduced at 60 per cent, the present exchange, 785l. 18s. sterling, and this for goods valued at a monstrous rate. They do not even pretend the sloops were Dutch, else their value would have been added, a mighty sum this whereon to complain that the company's revenue was reduced to nothing and a whole island was destroyed etc. But in truth not a farthing of it was Dutch that I can find. But it may be asked, if these sloops were French why did not the French complain? The reason is plain: they were carrying on an illicit trade and were rather forced to hide their loss than own it in fear of the edict which sent them to the galleys. And besides, Thomas Kerby of Antigua being at Martinique a few months afore in discourse with the general and intendant was supposing to them I should seize some of their illicit traders to St. Eustatius, to which they answered they should be very glad of it and never would reclaim them. This gentleman is coming home and will, if called up, support the truth of this.
Indeed, as to one Germa, a Venetian and settled inhabitant of St. Eustatius, who came to me with Heyligger and Ellis, he told me his story so movingly that I could not forbear writing in his favour (though to no effect) to the judge of the Admiralty at Montserrat on 14 September 1736 in these words, and gave him the letter to carry: 'I have had some Dutch gentlemen and one George Germa, a Venetian settled at St. Eustatia, with me. This Germa declares and says he can prove the sloop to be wholly his. If so, she is Dutch, and I think you cannot meddle with her, and there seems to be somewhat of charity speaking in favour of this George Germa, and I therefore recommend him, in case the sloop and sugars be really his, to you'. If after this the court of Admiralty on proofs that she and cargo were all French and taken within a league of our shores condemns her and cargo, why am I that had no share of the prize to be answerable for it? Let them recover on the 1000l. security bond given by the garde-côtes and in my custody, which they may at any time have recourse to and the benefit of. These remonstrants affirm my utmost endeavour is to ruin St. Eustatius. But how have they, joined with the French, for several years past been working the ruin of the English sugar-planter, and because I endeavoured to stand in the gap I am charged with wrongs done them which they neither prove nor have the least grounds for. I have hurt none but French, and they richly deserved it by a long series of injustice and barbarous usage of the English here.
Give faith to everything I aver in this letter: on my conscience I believe it all true and I am ready to attest on my oath that the transcript I have inserted of my recommending Germa to the judge of the Admiralty of Montserrat and the following one are actually faithful transcipts. This following is a fair refutation of Sagran's false suggestion as to his being pretended owner and therefore that the sloop and cargo commanded by J. de Meyere was Dutch. At the time she was seized, M. Fauchier from Martinique was with me treating about the Fleuron. This Meyere then wrote to him to intercede with me for this release and Fauchier pressed me not to inform the French general this Meyere was thus caught carrying on to St. Eustatius an illicit trade, and that one Chevalier de Cressonville was discovered by me in the same fault. And as I found this sloop was not returning from St. Eustatius freighted with English commodities bought there of the English but only was going thither from the French islands loaded for that trade, I ordered her to be released. Fauchier prevailed on me, and then Meyere from Montserrat wrote him as follows. I have the original of which these words are a true faithful copy, vizt. 'To M. Fauchier in Antigua; Montserrat, 27 August, O.S. I do not know what compliment to make to his excellency the general. I beg you to supply my inadequacy, to give him my respectful thanks and to beseech him as a favour not to do me the harm with our general which it is in his power to do. I implore the same favour for M. le Chevalier de Cressonville as for myself. J. de Meyere'. [In French.]
Mr. Sharp I find endeavoured as well as he could and I should have hoped pretty sufficiently to justify me; but with great sorrow I find by my letters from home my friends are in great apprehensions that you have thrown me out of your former favour and some of them observe that you take my silence to you on these occasions very much amiss. I had by my friends laid my controversy with the French before the Duke of Newcastle, and I never imagined I had any controversy with the Dutch. I was misled by thinking I ought to apply to a secretary of state chiefly as to an immediate dispute with a foreign nation. But had I known your sentiments my application by myself or by my friends should have been to you also. The pretence of the Dutch buying of the English and then selling to the French is a mere fallacy. The produce of all St. Eustatius is not above 500 or 600 of our hogsheads of sugar a year. But where is a need of these intermediate traders and giving them an advance on the first price ? The English and French vessels meet there and deal together as principals, or they have their agents, Steward and Sagran, for the purpose. The Dutch have no concern but to receive the company's duties.
I send to Mr. Yeamans to lay before you or the Lords of the Council the trial and condemnation of the sloop Catherine (which they did not think fit to produce, though they did the trial of the sloop Dolphin). This they claim as a Dutch sloop, but by this trial it appears the master and mariners themselves declared her to be a French sloop belonging to Guadeloupe and disowned their having been trading (as it was proved they had) with the northern Rhode Island men at St. Eustatius. And yet against this declaration in court of both master and crew of said sloop, the French factor Sagran calls her, at least her cargo, his and Dutch. What can be more barefaced? Thus I have proved, I think beyond contradiction, that the two sloops Dolphin and Catherine and their cargoes were not Dutch but entirely French. As for Meyere's, which they own was released, I think still I have proved from his own letter she and cargo were French. There remains only out of all the false suggestions to disculpate our garde-côtes on the seizure of the sloop Two Sisters. As I had no concern in any of these seizures, except a poor matter out of the Catherine, I know not how that seizure and condemnation of the Two Sisters were. I have therefore sent to Montserrat for a transcript of the proceedings, and if I get them in time I shall transmit them to Mr. Yeamans by this opportunity or by the very next to lay before you or where this matter, if not wholly determined against me, may be to be finished.
I have only to add that as to their evidence Steward, as Sagran is agent for this illicit trade from the French islands with the Rhode Islanders etc., so Steward is agent and spy to carry on a trade from these islands with the French at St. Eustatius. This is notorious, and yet all this faithful Briton says is that in conversation he had heard me declare I would find means to destroy the English commerce at St. Eustatius, which could only mean the illicit trade carried on there between the English and French. As for any trade with St. Eustatius, the island itself from the pitiful poverty of the inhabitants and its own scanty produce we can have no trade with. All we may have from thence is now and then a little spa-water or a few Dutch hams from Holland, a trade I never could be imagined to think worth my notice. I own a trade between the Rhode Island men and the French is not against the Act of Parliament, but as it is notorious hardly fewer than 100 sloops from the northward trade at St. Eustatius yearly for French rum and molasses and the king receives little if any duties granted by that Act on the importation of these goods, this proves the whole trade illicit. These are the real facts.
I now send to your secretary the two Antigua Acts I was disappointed in sending with my last, the first entitled an Act for attainting several slaves who abscond and have fled from justice and for the banishment of others concerned in the late conspiracy. Acts for attainting runaway negroes or for inflicting punishments on negroes are so frequent in these parts and the Act itself fully explaining the occasion of its passing I need not take up your time with any explanations upon it. The other is entitled an Act for the trial of John Corteen, a free negro, and Thomas Winthorp, a free mulatto man for an intended insurrection to destroy the white inhabitants of this island and declaring the same to be high treason and rebellion in the said John Corteen and Thomas Winthorp, and making the testimony of slaves evidence against them but respiting sentence of death and awarding execution against them until H.M.'s pleasure shall be signified and made known. This is an Act of an extraordinary nature as the lives of two free men are concerned, and I at first was doubtful how such an Act could pass without the suspending clause or sending it home first for H.M.'s approbation. But here lay two very great difficulties upon the island. These free men were to be convicted by proofs of their guilt from ten or more negro evidences. The maintaining these evidences for many months till H.M. should please to approve the Act or allow my passing it would have been a very great expense to an island already exhausted by the vast charges and loss brought on it by the conspiracy as well as losing nine-tenths of this year's crop by blast and drought. The other reason was that these evidences themselves were all of them principal conspirators and it was high time to rid the island of such dangerous villains by immediate banishment, the discoveries they had made having saved them from the punishments of death. For these reasons I passed the Act but still with a reserve in it that whatever should be the sentence of the court it should not be pronounced until H.M.'s pleasure should be known on the Act. And thus I hope you will think I have consulted as well my duty and obedience to H.M. as the good of the island on an unforeseen but extraordinary as well as necessary occasion.
List enclosed of negroes executed, their trades, owners, and time and manner of execution. At my coming away the legislature applied to me to return as soon as possible and I have always kept myself ready at an hour's warning since my recovery to return thither. The execution of the commission for confirming the French lands which had long been delayed by my absence made me take the first opportunity of the island's being in tolerable safety to come down hither. One of the negroes that was outlawed has since been taken and pretended to make some fresh discoveries of a new insurrection to revenge the deaths of those that were executed. I have not yet heard what weight there was in this discovery. Transcript of minutes of assembly of Montserrat to 24 March 1737 enclosed. Signed. 17 small pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
318. ii. List of negroes executed at Antigua for the late conspiracy, their trades, owners, and the date and manner of execution. Total executed, 20 October 1736–18 February 1737:88,vizt.broken on wheel,5;gibbetted alive,6;burnt, 77.A list of negroes to be banished: total 36. A list of negroes that are evidences: total 13. A list of free negroes: total 3. Endorsed, as covering letter. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 23, fos. 20–34d.]
[May 26. (fn. n4) ] 319 Address of congratulation to the King by the governor and both houses of assembly of Maryland on the occasion of the marriage of Frederick, Prince of Wales Signed, Samuel Ogle, Benjamin Tasker, president, James Harris, speaker. 1 large p. Endorsed, Recd. 31 October 1737. [C.O. 5, 720, fos. 256–257d.]
May 27. 320 Order of Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs referring seven Acts passed in Massachusetts in July 1736 to Council of Trade and Plantations for examination and report. Seal. Signed, W. Sharpe. ¾ p. Endorsed, Recd. 4 June, Read 7 June 1737. Enclosed,
320. i. The following are the titles of the Acts: for apportioning and assessing tax of 29,953l. 7s. 6d.; for granting H.M. duties of impost and tunnage of shipping; for granting 3000l. for support of H.M.'s governor; concerning the surviving trustees of the first 50,000l. loan; to prevent multiplicity of lawsuits; to enable overseers of the poor to take care of idle and disorderly persons; for rebuilding Miles Bridge. Printed. 19 pp.
320. ii. Certificate by Jonathan Belcher and J. Willard, secretary, that the above are true copies. Seal. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 156–169d.]
May 27.
Georgia Office
321 Harman Verelst to Thomas Causton, by the Seaforth man-of-war, Capt. Scott. Capt. Thomson sailed with the Two Brothers on Saturday last for Inverness to embark 40 menservants which Mr. Hossack was written to to engage for the Trustees and whose indentures Mr. Hossack will enclose to you. The charges of these servants to the Trustees amount to 7l. 5s. sterling each for engaging, clothing, bedding and freight of them. But such of them that are shipped before the day of sailing from Inverness the Trustees pay 8d. a day for their victualling from the day of shipping to the day of sailing; and towards the voyage to Inverness the Trustees also pay 15s. each being 30s., they having contracted for 40 to be shipped, which makes the whole 8s. sterling each besides victualling before sailing. If a lesser number than 40 are shipped, they are also to pay the further sum of 40s. for each of the 40 short shipped. These servants are to be sent to Lieut. Moore Mackintosh at the Darien with a list of them, and you are to acquaint him that he is to offer to each freeholder of the Darien that was there when Mr. Oglethorpe left the place (beginning by the oldest) to take one of the said servants and give security by bond for repaying the Trustees the sum of 8l. sterling in twelve months from that time. One servant is to be delivered to Alexander Cameron. Remaining servants are to be set to work by Lieut. Mackintosh at sawing timber into 1 ½ inch and featheredge boards, saws being sent by this ship. Those remaining servants are each to have four lbs. of meat a week, a bushel of corn and 2 ½ lbs. of butter a month and 7 lbs. of cheese a quarter. MacBean has nothing to do with the disposal of these servants, being shipped by Mr. Hossack. The indentures of the other servants, shipped for persons who had desired MacBean to get them servants, will be endorsed to the captain to secure the money he is to receive for them; where the people of Darien can pay him for any (over and above the said loan of one to each freeholder) they should have the refusal as coming from their own country. You are to recommend a kind usage to the servants thus brought and be civil to MacBean.
Affidavits should be sent over of the acts of lunacy Watson has committed [see No. 293], as painting himself, running about naked, threatening to bring down storms and showers of blood, and saying Mrs. Musgrove had bewitched people.
Enclosed is a copy of what was made up at Savannah by Mr. Oglethorpe and yourself relating to the charge of the colony, wherein you must be careful not to exceed in anything. But you are to take care that Mr. Horton and the people at the southward and the people at Darien are supplied with provisions. You are to send up Indian guns for all the servants at Darien to be delivered to their masters for them, and the Indian guns for the servants there who remain for the public, vizt. one for each, are to be delivered to the care of Lieut. Mackintosh. I believe Mr. Oglethorpe will be soon setting out for Georgia with the commission of captain-general and commander-in-chief of the king's forces in Carolina and Georgia and a regiment of 600 men under his command. I have written to Mr. Hossack to send to you by the Two Brothers 150 pairs of what the Highlanders wear on their feet. You are to pay to Rev. John MacLeod, minister to the Scots' settlement at New Darien, 41l. 15l. 6d. in sola bills, the same having been received from the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge. Entry. 3 pp. [CO. 5, 667, fos. 19d-20d.]
May 28.
Georgia Office
322 Same to Messrs. John Hossack & Co. at Inverness. I have received Archibald MacBean's letters of 7th and 14th inst. with Mr. Alve's letter to Mr. Richie and the copies of the letters relating to Capt. Hugh Mackay. As to MacBean's of 7th relating to Duncan MacDonald there will be no application for his discharge. MacBean is very much to blame to take upon him to call persons names and reflect upon the persons Capt. Mackay carried over with him when Capt. Mackay was employed by the Trustees. You are desired to rebuke him for such behaviour, the Trustees having had no complaints of any of those persons Capt. Mackay took over with him, and they have been very well pleased with his services in Georgia.
As to the abovementioned letters concerning Capt. Mackay, I shall lay them before the Trustees when they meet, but in the meantime think it necessary to acquaint you that the Trustees troubled you with the commission of employing persons to engage the 40 menservants they want and desired your employing MacBean or whom else you thought proper for that purpose, and you are to draw for the engaging money and the other charges attending the clothing and the furnishing and shipping what the Trustees have desired to be sent by the Two Brothers which sailed from London for Inverness 21st inst.
I have further to desire your getting 150 pairs of what the Highlanders wear upon their feet but the name I cannot remember; they are not dear, and if I am not mistaken they are about 8d. a pair, but please get them as cheap as you can and pack them with the tartan or other proper package.
As to that part of MacBean's letter hoping for an indulgence from the Trustees to ship for his own account three servants, please acquaint him that the Trustees cannot pay engaging money which he under you may earn and the passage of servants for him too. The owner has contracted to allow him his passage and servants in proportion to the number of those he shall ship for his countrymen in Georgia over and above the 40 you were desired to get engaged for the Trustees, and in that case he possibly may be supplied with passage. But if by any unforeseen accident MacBean should not be in a condition to earn of the owner or pay his own passage, I have written to Capt. Thomson to take him on board to return to Georgia. Entry. PS. I have troubled you with a large packet for Capt. Thomson, charge postage to the Trustees. 1 ¼ pp [C.O. 5, 667,fos 20d, 21.]
May 28.
323 Archibald MacBean to Harman Verelst. I wrote you 21st. I now have on hand upon a heavy charge (to a few) the complement of servants for Trustees. They begin to mutiny and challenge a guard of ten men. I can now say I have them but cannot promise how long I can keep them. Duncan McDonald, of whom I advised 7th current, was to be delivered to me yesterday by Major Cunningham, commander Fort George, Inverness. But early in the morning he leaped over the ramparts and is gone off. I have employed two soldiers of the independent company lying in this place to go in search of him and will advise their success in course. Signed, A.M.B. ½ p. [C.O 5, 639, fo. 244, 244d.]


  • n1. Edge of page torn; supplied from Georgia Records, Vol. 21, pp. 465–471.
  • n2. Edge of page torn.
  • n3. Edge of page torn; words in square brackets are editorial suggestions.
  • n4. Arch. Maryland, Vol. XL, p. 26.