America and West Indies: February 1737, 1-15

Pages 21-40

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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February 1737, 1-15

February 1.
47 Alured Popple to Francis Fane transmitting for his opinion thereon in point of law the following eleven Acts passed in South Carolina in May 1736 and one ordinance passed in June 1736, vizt. Acts to empower commissioners of high roads; for appointing commissioners to lay out a road; for making current 210,000l. in paper bills of credit; for raising 30,387l. 3s. 7d. for charges of government; for regulating market at Charleston; for preventing accidents by fire in Charleston; for repairing and building fortifications; for encouraging the raising of hemp, flax and silk; for relief of poor of St. Philip's, Charleston; for incorporating vestry of St. Thomas parish, Berkley County; for ascertaining public officers' fees; ordinance for asserting the right of H.M.'s subjects of this province to a free trade with the Creek, Cherokee and other Indians. Entry. 3 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 199–202.]
February 1.
48 Thomas Hals, one of the council of Jamaica, to Council of Trade and Plantations. I should have replied immediately to yours dated September, had I not been desirous that the other gentlemen to whom, as well as myself, it was directed should join in an acknowledgement. But as I have not found any inclination in them hitherto I can defer no longer. I do not doubt but the president has acquainted you of the resignation of the four gentlemen who formerly joined in some complaints to your board, and has sent you their reasons. But as they had not weight enough with me to enter into such measures I shall forbear further meddling. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 22 April, Read 26 April 1737. [C.O. 137, 22, fos. 119, 119d, 124, 124d.]
February 2.
Palace Court.
49 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received, a receipt from the bank for 288l. 17s. 7d. from S.P.C.K., whereof 287l. os. 1d. is the charge of 12 months provisions supplied the Salzburghers in Georgia over and above the three months provisions which they carried with them, and 1l. 17s. 6d. is for freight of copper halfpence, books and other things sent by the said society for the Salzburghers by the Two Brothers in June last. Resolved, that the heads of a letter to Duke of Newcastle which were laid before the board this day be referred to a committee to draw up a letter thereon, 1 p. [C.O. 5, 686, p. 350.]
February 3.
50 Richard Partridge to Alured Popple enclosing journals received from Governor Belcher who wishes to acquaint the Lords of Trade that he is making answers to their several queries and to their letter of 23 September last. Signed. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 8 February 1736/7. Enclosed,
50. i. Journal of House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 24 November 1736 – 9 December 1736. Printed. 23 pp. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 111–124d.]
February 3.
51 Alured Popple to Francis Fane enclosing ten Acts [titles not given] passed at New York in November 1736 for his opinion thereon. Entry. ½ p. [ C.O. 5, 1126, fo. 20d.]
February 4.
52 Lieut.-Governor John Pitt to Charles Delafaye. I wrote 6th November to the Duke of Newcastle desiring him to intercede with H.M. for leave to return home for the recovery of my health. For fear this and the duplicate have miscarried I beg you to speak to his grace for me that my leave may be procured as soon as possible. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 4 May. [C.O. 37, 29, fos. 69–70d.]
February 4.
53 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. 19 February, Read 24 February 1736/7. Enclosed,
53. i. Petition, dated 19 January 1736/7, of Trustees for Georgia complaining against the lieut.-governor, council and assembly of South Carolina for having opposed the execution of an Act for maintaining peace with the Indians in Georgia. [See A.P.C (Colonial Series), 172–45, pp. 511–512.] Copy, 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 365, fos. 192–194d.]
February 4.
54 Order of Committee of Council referring the following to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, W. Sharpe. Seal. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Wood, 29 November, Read 7 December 1737. Enclosed,
54. i. Petition to the King of the merchants of London trading to South Carolina in behalf of themselves, the merchants of Bristol and all other merchants of this kingdom trading to that province, praying that the Act passed in May last by the assembly of South Carolina for issuing 210,000l. of paper bills of credit should be disallowed, it being a discouragement to the trade of this kingdom and the better settling of South Carolina. Copy. Signatories, Samuel Barons, William Hodshon, Thomas Hebert, John Thorpe, Peter Simond, Thomas Smith, Peter Flower, John Radburne, John Carruthers, William Somervy, Owen and Chamberlin, W. Gerrish, Edwin Somers, Samuel Baker, William Wragg, George Morley, John Nickleson, William Baker, Lambert Lance, Elgar Smith and Bonovrier, Ralph Noden, Thomas Hyam, David Godin, Joseph Wragg, James Pearce, John Hewlett, Richard Shubrick, Samuel Bonham, Henry Lascelles, S. Wragg, Benjamin Bell, William Atkin, William Vaughan. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 366, fos. 24–26d.]
February 5.
55 Governor William Mathew to Council of Trade and Plantations, acknowledging letter of 8 October last. By what informations I can get, of which I have sent an account to the Duke of Newcastle, the French numbers rather increase on St. Lucia, but on Dominica and St. Vincent they increase daily to great numbers and those two islands are now become almost complete settlements for them, at least till upon the first breaking out of a war they shall rather choose to remove to the English islands. But as those islands are near Barbados and within that government, doubtless you can have more perfect accounts from thence.
I intended by my letter of 14 November 1735 a full answer to yours of 13 August 1735 by informing you how those islands [Anguilla, Tortola and Spanish Town] had been governed for 40 years past. But I find I omitted giving you my opinion whether that sort of government, by a deputy-governor in each island and one lieut.-governor over the whole and a council in each of six of the chief inhabitants, would be best for H.M.'s service. I really can think of no better method, with the addition of an assembly to be chosen in each island by writs issued in H.M.'s name directed not to the freeholders only, there being many controverted titles among them, but at first (at least) to the planters also, as mentioned in my commission. I am unwilling to delay sending thus far an answer to you on this head, though for want of answers to the questions I sent to leeward on the first receipt of your orders I shall not be able before the next opportunity to account fully to you as to those islands. But I can now add that all those islands have been from time to time parcelled out to owners, first by short warrants from the deputy-governors, afterwards confirmed by patents from H.M.'s chief governors of these islands. I have long been preparing a map of those islands to offer to you and am at last pretty forward in that design. What are extant, and even those manuscript maps I have seen done by directions of the Admiralty, are far from exact. I hope to mend my draft heretofore done. I have now a person actually engaged in getting me the soundings round those islands and I hope my endeavours will be acceptable to you.
The Spanish armament at Porto Rico had no consequences, but our poor inhabitants daily quit these islands to settle on the Dutch part of St. Martin's and on Sta. Cruz. I cannot prevent it.
The case of the murder committed by White cannot be put in use on every such occasion. White was able to pay a King's counsel to go down and prosecute himself at the rate of little less than 80 pistoles. The honest person that went down to preach a session sermon on that occasion was conscientious enough to accept but 20 pistoles for it and a refreshing fee of 20 more for having preached mercy into the judges. Few of those poor inhabitants can support such trials, and if no such courts can be held by their own laws among themselves criminals that are poor must be criminals with impunity.
I am heartily sorry I passed the Act of Montserrat to prevent the French trade without a suspending clause; and I will attempt no extenuations of that fault by pleading a zeal for H.M.'s service and the welfare of his subjects here when I find myself condemned by you, but wholly submit myself to your pleasure. But I pray you will observe that law passed both houses of the legislature of Montserrat unanimously; since that, it passed the council of St. Christopher's; it never was offered at Nevis. But the addresses I enclose show that all Antigua wished for such a one and would be greatly thankful to you if some such relief was obtained by your intercession with H.M. for them.
The prosecutions against the negro conspirators in this island are near a conclusion and then I shall transmit to be laid before you a continuance to the end of the account I have already sent of that conspiracy.
I enclose the list of the councils in each of these islands with the remarks on them as directed by you, whereby it appears the appointments by my order were always necessary to complete the number in each island of seven members present. And I have added to each list a fresh number of six persons who are in my opinion fittest to fill up vacancies.
The Spanish ship I mentioned to you in my letter of 17 June 1734 ran in the night on the Anegada Shoals and was lost, but all the passengers and crew and great part of a rich cargo were saved. The part of the cargo fell to the plunderers from Spanish Town and Tortola: some of these are dead, others now settled on Sta. Cruz. Among the passengers were the president of San Domingo and the present governor of Porto Rico, their ladies and families. It seems the ship, as I have been told, was greatly insured in Spain and the master suspected of a wilful want of care. The governor of Porto Rico once slightly mentioned it to me, but I am informed he dropped all formal complaint for that the people at Porto Rico had undertaken to do themselves justice and in truth an armament of above 400 of them attempted an attack on Spanish Town, but were shamefully kept from landing, though in their boats, by hardly more than the fire of smallarms from about 20 of the inhabitants. However, in obedience to your commands I will take care to get the best informations I can against such persons as were concerned. Signed. 5 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 March, Read 25 March 1737. Enclosed,
55. i. Address of Council of Antigua to Governor Mathew, 5 February 1736/7, acknowledging the wisdom and excellence of his government and particularly that no invasion or encroachment on trade can be offered by any rivals without retaliation, and doubting not that H.M. will either permit a law to be passed allowing retaliation or himself retaliate. Signed, Edward Byam, Vallentine Morris, Nathaniel Crump, John Vernon, Josiah Martin, Charles Dunbar. 2 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
55. ii. Address of Assembly of Antigua to the same, 1 February 1736/7, expressing concern at attempts in Great Britain to disadvantage Governor Mathew for passing the Montserrat Act. A law of this nature is absolutely necessary. Can a British spirit see the flagrant and repeated depredations committed by the French and not be inspired with the same just resentment that inspired you? Signed, Thomas Kerby, speaker. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
55. iii. State of councils in Leeward Islands, 5 February 1736/7.
St. Christopher's. In Mr. Mathew's instructions: Gilbert Fleming, Joseph Estridge, Sir Charles Payne, all present; John Garnett, in Carolina above two years and not expected back, without my leave; William McDowell, several years ago settled in Scotland, and Peter Soulegre, several years ago settled in London, I suppose both by H.M.'s leave; Charles Pym, present; Edward Mann, several years ago settled in England, I suppose by H.M.'s leave; John Douglas, Abraham Payne, Joseph Phipps, all present; William Mathew, dead. Appointed since by H.M.: John Williams, present; Charles Dunbar, resides almost entirely at Antigua. Six persons proper to supply vacancies: Drewry Ottley, Daniel Mathew, Richard Wilson, John Greatheed, William Woodley junior, Ralph Payne.
Nevis. In Mr. Mathew's instructions: Gilbert Fleming, resides almost constantly at St. Christopher's; William Hanmer, in England, I suppose by H.M.'s leave; Michael Smith, present; Charles Bridgewater senior, dead; James Symonds, present; Michael Williams, resigned; James Brown, present; William Pym Burt, resides for many years past chiefly at St. Christopher's; Richard Abbot, dead; Cary Brodbelt, present; Thomas Butler and Daniel Smith, both in England many years, I suppose by H.M.'s leave. Appointed since by H.M.: Charles Bridgewater junior, present; Charles Dunbar, resides constantly at Antigua. Appointed very lately by Mr. Mathew to make up the number seven: Thomas Pym and William Clark, both present. Six persons proper to supply vacancies: Thomas Herbert, Edward Abbott, John Woodley, John Williams junior, Roger Pemberton, Josiah Webb.
Montserrat. In Mr. Mathew's instructions: Gilbert Fleming resides almost constantly at St. Christopher's; Thomas Digges, many years in England, I suppose by H.M.'s leave; William Frye senior, dead; George Wyke and Richard Cooke, both present; Anthony Hodges, many years in England, I suppose by H.M.'s leave; Nathaniel Webb, in England on a year's leave from Mr. Mathew but expected back; Rev. James Cruickshank and John Dayly, both resigned; John White, never at the board, supposed to be intended for Michael White; John Roberts, in England, I suppose on H.M.'s leave; William Lyddle and John Bramley, both dead. Appointed by H.M.: Charles Dunbar, wholly at Antigua. Appointed by Mr. Mathew: Simeon Bonveron and George Wyke junior, both present; John Roynon, dead; John Osborn and John Webb, both present, appointed very lately to make up the number seven, and Simeon Bonveron from an apoplectic fit hardly able to attend now or ever. Six persons proper to supply vacancies: Michael White, Peter Lee, Nicholas Daniel, (fn. n1) ——Earl, Charles Daly, James Watson.
Antigua. In Mr. Mathew's instructions: Gilbert Fleming, resides almost constantly at St. Christopher's; Edward Byam, present; Sir William Codrington, Bt., in England, I suppose by H.M.'s leave; Valentine Morris, Nathaniel Crump and John Frye, all present; Archibald Cockran, in England on one year's leave from Mr. Mathew; George Lucas, in Carolina by leave from Mr. Mathew for eight months but now returning; George Thomas, in England on one year's leave from Mr. Mathew; Francis Carlile and John Morris, dead; John Duer, for almost a year past at Montserrat without leave; John Vernon, present. Appointed by H.M.: Josiah Martin and Charles Dunbar, both present. Six persons proper to supply vacancies: Samuel Byam, Thomas Kerby, Edward Chester, Jacob Morgan, Richard Oliver, Henry Lyons. 4 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 152, 22, fos. 325–334d.]
February 5.
56 Same to Alured Popple, enclosing Act of Antigua for continuing Mr. Yeamans agent and Act of Montserrat for further restriction of slaves. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, as preceding. [C.O. 152, 22, fos. 335–336d.]
February 6.
57 Lieut.-Governor Thomas Broughton to Duke of Newcastle. The enclosed is copy of a letter I received two days ago by Capt. Fox, commander of H.M. sloop the Drake, dispatched hither by Commodore Dent at Jamaica, by which you will discover the designs formed by the Spaniards to invade and unsettle the colony of Georgia and to excite an insurrection of the negroes of this province. The general assembly being now sitting, I communicated the contents to both houses and have with their concurrence prepared instructions to be sent by express to the agent of this province among the Creek Indians to use all effectual means to engage them in the interest of Georgia and this province; which I find the more immediately necessary by an account I received yesterday from an Indian trader just arrived from thence who informed me that some Spaniards and French were lately among them and made them presents and that some of their warriors were invited lately to St. Augustine with a view, I presume, to seduce them to the Spanish interest. The general assembly have directed presents now to be made them without reserve as our agent there shall see necessary to confirm their adherence to H.M.'s subjects of Georgia and this province.
I received also an account that two foreign gentlemen who came lately from St. Augustine have been for some days past at Port Royal forming a pretence to settle in this province and taking a view of the harbour and country. I yesterday sent orders to have them apprehended and brought hither. The Spanish designs seem the more probable from advice I have that the barracks at St. Augustine have been lately enlarged for the accommodation of 500 men more than usual and that the governor of that garrison sent to New York and this province for a large supply of provisions. I have therefore ordered an embargo to be laid on all vessels suspected to be going thither with arms or provisions. But as H.M.'s instructions are wholly silent on that head I had an Act of assembly yesterday passed to make my authority the more clear from exception. I have also ordered all Spaniards in this port to be secured, there being a sloop with some lately come in here, pretends distress of weather and want of provisions.
There came a packet of letters at the same time with mine from Commodore Dent directed to the President of Georgia, I presume of the same purport, which I sent thither with assurances to the head bailiff there that I shall take all measures equally for their safety and our's and desiring him to dispatch some persons hither to inform me of their strength and condition and to concert with me on the most proper means for their security.
The inhabitants about Port Royal being but thin, I am about issuing orders to have 100 men immediately raised upon pay to scout about and watch the inlets and shall forthwith send up some cannon with an engineer to form some convenient batteries and in a few days a sloop will be fitted out at the expense of the public to cruise on the coasts of both colonies. 1 have consulted with Capt. Windham, commander of the Rose man-of-war on this station who has sent at the request of me and the council for Capt. Compton at Virginia, and if suspicions ripen will send for another ship to the New York station. I have also ordered a general muster of all the militia throughout the province and as our negroes are very numerous and more dreadful to our safety than any Spanish invaders, there is an Act of assembly now preparing to have strong patrols established in all convenient districts. I am also sending for some Cherokee Indians to come down to the settlements to be an awe to the negroes.
These are principally the steps I have yet taken or resolved upon on this occasion and what I shall further discover or proceed in shall be carefully communicated to you as opportunity serves. H.M.'s paternal care is so extensive to all his subjects that we doubt not of his timely assistance as it shall appear to be necessary. I have only to add that the people of this province in general show a true attachment to H.M.'s interest and service and will, I doubt not, behave with approved courage on any emergency. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 March. Enclosed,
57. i. Jamaica, 6 January 1736/7. Commodore Digby Dent to Governor of South Carolina. The enclosed came to hand the 23 rd of last month and came by way of Cartagena in one of the Asiento vessels, so that between its date and my receiving it is near seven weeks; however, as soon as possible have dispatched H.M. sloop the Drake, Capt. Fox commander, and hope will arrive time enough to prevent any surprise to your neighbouring colony if any villainy is designed. I must beg you will conceal as much as possible the gentleman's name who gives the information as it may be of the utmost ill consequence to him as well as to the South Sea Company's affairs should the Spaniards know from whence it comes. And if any such design is in agitation it is very possible that this D'Tombe may in some disguise or other make an errand from St. Augustine to see what posture Georgia is in: I am in hopes by that means he may be secured and brought to justice for his villainy. I have by this opportunity written to all commanders of H.M.'s ships stationed near you and sent them duplicates of the enclosed. Please own receipt. Copy. 1 ¼ pp.
57. ii. Santiago de Cuba, 3 November 1736 (n.s.). Leonard Cocke to Commodore Digby Dent. Copy, of Cal. S.P. Col., 1735–36, No. 469. 2 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 388, fos. 137–138d, 141–144d.]
February 6.
58 Same to Council of Trade and Plantations. [In substance same as No. 57 but briefer.] 2 ½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 29 March, Read 30 March 1737. Enclosed,
58. i. Copy, of No. 57 i.
58. ii. Copy, of No. 57 ii. [C.O. 5, 365, fos. 197–201d.]
February 7.
59 Same to Trustees for Georgia, communicating advices from Commodore Dent of Spanish design to destroy Georgia. Full particulars have been sent to Duke of Newcastle. The most effectual measures have been and will be taken to contribute to the defence of Georgia. I have already given orders to raise forces upon pay to reinforce our settlements which lie nearest to Georgia, and we are now fitting out a vessel to cruise between the coast of Georgia and Florida to watch the motions of the Spaniards and to gain and give intelligence. I shall consult and concert measures with those who have the administration in Georgia. Signed. 2 ½ small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 4 May 1737. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 159–160d; duplicate at fos. 171–172d, endorsed: Recd. 29 March 1737; copy, endorsed: Recd, from Trustees for Georgia, 4 April, in C.O. 5, 654, fos. 89–90d.]
[February 8.] 60 Petition of William Shirley, Advocate-General in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Providence Plantation and the Narragansetts country in New England, to Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. having no attorney-general in those parts, petitioner's own work is exceedingly laborious and his expenses great; he prays for a salary of 300l. sterling a year. Signed, for the petitioner, Francis Shirley. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 8 February, Read 11 February 1736/7. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 125, 125d, 132, 132d; copy in C.O. 5, 752, fos. 298–299d.]
[February 9. (fn. n2) ] 61 Memorial of Thomas Walker, Daniel Smith, Wavel Smith, Henry Slingsby, Augustus Boyd & Co., and Edward Jesup for themselves and many friends and correspondents in the Leeward Islands, to Duke of Newcastle. Memorialists some time since presented a petition to H.M. setting forth the seizures of French ships made by Governor Mathew under a pretended law of Montserrat; the fitting out by Governor Mathew, previous to the said law, of a sloop of his own and the confiscation of a French ship without any legal trial; and their apprehensions of French reprisals. But they have not yet been called upon to prove their allegations.
The many depredations of which Governor Mathew has been guilty appear by the annexed list. Had M. Champigny not acted with more caution and prudence than Mr. Mathew we should long ago have been plunged into a dangerous and unequal war. We can easily show that the governor's only motive was his desire of gain. The principal prizes have been taken by the Pall Mall, a sloop belonging to and fitted out by Governor Mathew which entitles him to two-thirds of those captures; he has tried to defraud H.M. of his share.
The continuing among us a governor who suffers himself to be earned away by rapacious appetites without regard to law or natural justice may be productive or great mischief. Mr; Mathew's agents have artfully represented to you that there still is a plot subsisting among the negroes in Antigua and that Mr. Fleming, our lieut.-general is coming home upon the public business, so that should Mr. Mathew be now recalled the islands would be destitute of a proper person to command in case the negroes should carry their plot into execution; but we have certain accounts that no danger is now to be apprehended from that conspiracy. Should H.M. send for Governor Mathew and Governor Fleming return to England on H.M.'s service, the government would devolve on Edward Byam, lieut.-governor of Antigua, whose courage, experience and loyalty are well-known. Copy. 2 ½ pp. Enclosed,
61. i. List of vessels condemned in Montserrat by virtue of an Act passed there 5 June 1736: 12 July 1736, sloop Catherine, Charles Chenez master; 19 July 1736, Fleuron, John Avice master; 7 August 1736, sloop Two Sisters, John Romain master; 15 September 1736, sloop Dolphin, Daniel McDaniel master; 19 October 1736, schooner Prosperity, John Boudewyne master; 30 October 1736, sloop Wig Box (fn. n3), Francis Renau master; 20 November 1736, shalop St. Dominique, Robert Borvelio master; 20 November 1736, shalop St. James, John Kittle master; 13 December 1736, sloop Loving Jane, Peter Chestnutt master. [Details of cargo given in each case.] 1 p. [C.O. 152, 44, fos. 81–84d.]
February 9.
Palace Court.
62 Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. Resolved, that 10 guineas be advanced to Mr. Vat on account till his claim can be settled. Agreed, to the payment of 200l. to the owners of the Two Brothers on account of freight till their claim can be settled. Resolved, that 10 guineas be paid to Archibald MacBean who was sent to England by Mr. Oglethorpe to go to Scotland for servants. Resolved that 75l. be paid to the secretary for half-year's salary due at Christmas last. Same to be paid to the accountant. Resolved, that 50 acres of land be granted to John Venables on his paying his own passage and his father's paying 12l. to indemnify the Trust for his subsistence for one year. Resolved that 25l. be paid to John Lewis Tschiffelly, Mr. Causton having sent a receipt of a bond for the said sum to be paid by the minister at Purrysburgh. Received, an account from Thomas Causton of provisions and arms received for the colony amounting to 263l. 8s. 1d.; ordered, that the accountant pay the same if he finds it to be true. Read, a memorial of Capt. William Thomson on his last voyage to Georgia and return to England; referred the same to the committee of accounts. Resolved, that a bill of exchange for 100l. drawn by Mr. Ellis on Mr. Oglethorpe dated 8 December 1736 Philadelphia, on account of madeira wine, be accepted and paid when due. Resolved, that 700l. be paid into the hands of Aid. Heathcote on account; signed a draft for the same. Resolved, that Mr. Oglethorpe, Thomas Tower, and Mr. Laroche and any others of the Common Council who will attend be a committee to confer with Mr. Paris on Monday next on the state of the evidence to be brought before the Council of Trade and Plantations on the representation of the government of South Carolina and to consider how to perpetuate the said evidence in case the hearing be put off. Received, a receipt from Mr. Oglethorpe dated 3 November 1736 for eight servants whose indentures were delivered to him by Lieut. Hugh Mackay and for which he had agreed to pay him 120l. for the use of the Trust; ordered, that the said sum be paid when due. Agreed to the payment of 31l. 10s. 22 December last as a further advance to Mr. Von Reck on his going to engage foreign servants for Georgia. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 690, pp. 49–52.]
February 9.
Palace court.
63 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received by Rev. Dr. Hales, 100l. the benefaction of Mrs. Dyonisia Long to be applied towards the support of the missionaries in Georgia. Received by the same 18l. 18s. benefactions of various persons to be applied towards support of missionaries and schools for instructing and converting the Indians in Georgia. Resolved, that Lord Tyrconnel, Mr. Oglethorpe, Thomas Tower, Mr. Hucks and Mr. Laroche or any two of them be appointed a committee for preparing a petition to the House of Commons for a supply for the further establishment and security of Georgia, and any gentleman who will attend to be of the said committee. Read, a letter to Duke of Newcastle; ordered, that the same be sent with a copy of the treaty concluded with the Spaniards at St. Augustine. Received, by Earl of Egmont, 100l. benefaction of John Hough, Bishop of Worcester, to be applied for the use of the Salzburghers only. Resolved, that the thanks of the Trustees be returned to the bishop. Ordered, that the secretary write to the Bishop of Bath and Wells to desire his licence to Rev. Dr. Coney at Bath to let Mr. Whitefield preach there for a collection for the missionaries in Georgia, Lady Cox and others having desired the same. Resolved, that Mr. Oglethorpe acquaint the Lords of Admiralty of Capt. James Gascoigne's zeal and activity for Georgia and thank them for sending Capt. Gascoigne to Georgia. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 686, pp. 351–353.]
February 9.
64 Extract of letter from Mr. Thorpe to his brother-in-law in London. Our assembly are sitting day and night and sat Sunday last all day and are making vast preparations on account of an express they have received of a large fleet being well manned at Cuba with design to invade this province. What Spaniards we have in the town and province are seized and made close prisoners on board the man-of-war. There is an embargo laid on all vessels bound for England or elsewhere so that I despair whether the ship which is to carry this letter will be suffered to sail, no corn, rice or other provisions being allowed to be shipped off. Col. Barnwell is dispatched to Beaufort by order of the assembly to alarm the southern parts and I have sent orders to my plantation to provide all the horses I can to be in readiness. We have several vessels already cruising upon the coast. You may remember the Spanish friar who came here from Augustine some time since, whose business was to get as many Spaniards as he could that were scattered up and down this province in the service of the English as their rangers and cattle-hunters, and he has carried several of them off with him. We have the good fortune to have more vessels in the harbour than ever I saw here at one time and about 800 newcomers (Swiss and Irish), and we expect every minute an order to arm and send them away to strengthen the southern frontiers. Capt. Chillcroft is dispatched to bring down the Creek Indians and Col. Butler the Cherokees. The bridges about the town are building and the cannons mounting. Messengers are dispatched to Virginia and New York for ships and men to come to our assistance. Copy, certified by Francis Moore. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 April from Mr. Oglethorpe. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 95–96d.]
February 9.
65 Order of Council approving report from Committee for Plantation Affairs that Thomas Harrison should be a member of the council of Barbados in the room of Mr. Peers, deceased. Duke of Newcastle to prepare the warrant. Copy, certified by W. Sharpe. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 16 May, Read 24 May 1737. [C.O. 28, 24, fos. 212–213d; warrant in C.O. 324, 37, p. 40.]
February 9.
66 Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. In pursuance of your order of 10 July last we have considered the state of the paper currency in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Massachusetts. By an Act of 1698 it appears that several persons in 1692 advanced money for the use of the public by their own bills of credit, the assembly allowing six per cent, interest from the time they became due for repayment. What quantity was issued and when they were paid off does not appear. By an Act of 1702 bills of credit to the amount of 10,000l. were to be issued towards payment of the public debts and for the support of government: these bills were to be accepted in all public payments equivalent to money and after the rate of five per cent. more. The duties of impost and excise were made a fund for repayment of those bills and a tax of 6000l. was laid on polls and estates to make good the deficiency. By the minutes of the council in assembly of 17 July 1703 it appears 5000l. bills of credit were ordered to be imprinted and issued. In 1714 an Act was passed for emitting 50,000l. in bills to be lent out at five per cent, interest, principal and interest to be repaid in five years. In 1716 an Act was passed for the issue of 100,000l. in bills to be sunk in ten years. In 1721 another Act was passed for emitting 50,000l. in bills of credit to be lent on mortgages. When these bills were returned to the treasury they were reissued as required by vote of assembly only for certain terms.
This issuing bills of credit in such large quantities and by virtue of a vote only having been found to be of bad consequence, Governor Belcher was in 1730 instructed not to pass any Act for issuing bills of credit without a clause for suspending execution till H.M.'s pleasure should be known, except only for the annual support of government not exceeding 30,000l.; and to take especial care that not more than 30,000l. be ever current at the same time; and that the bills already issued should be called in and sunk according to the provisions of the Acts by which they were issued.
Governor Belcher arrived at his government 10 August 1730 and in September following he passed an Act for supplying the treasury with 13,000l. in bills of credit; it appears that this sum was then in the treasurer's hands and had been received by him for taxes. These bills were made legal tender in all public payments. The duties of impost and excise and all other incomes were made the fund and security for the payment of the said bills; the sum of 13,000l. was by the same Act granted to be raised in 1741 as a further security. In 1731 an Act was passed for payment of members of the council and representatives by which 3500l. in bills of credit then in the hands of the treasurer was to be emitted; by the said Act a tax was laid to discharge the said sum. In April 1731 another Act was passed for supplying the treasury with 6000l. of the like bills with the like fund and security for their being called in again in 1734, as they have accordingly been. In November 1731 another Act was passed for supplying the treasury with 5400l. to be repaid on like security in 1738. In the same year was passed an Act for payment of members of council and representatives by which 5000l. in bills of credit in the treasurer's hands was emitted, and a tax laid at the same time to discharge the same. In February 1731/2 another Act was passed for supplying the treasury with 3800l. for payment of Francis Wilks, to be repaid on like security in 1736 except that the impost and excise are not mentioned: these bills are to be received in all public payments and it appears by these Acts that all these bills were such as had been received back into the treasury.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned instructions to Governor Belcher, in November 1733 he gave his assent to an Act for supplying the treasury with 76,500l. bills of credit for discharging the public debts etc. and for establishing the wages of sundry persons in the service of the province. These bills were such as had been paid into the treasury by virtue of former Acts; and the said 76,500l. is to be drawn into the treasury by several taxes to be raised, vizt. in 1733, 6500l.; in 1734, 3525l.; in 1735, 13,525l.; in 1736, 11,725l.; in 1737, 13,525l.; in 1738, 4125l.; in 1739, 5525l.; in 1740, 5525l.; in 1741, 12,525l. In February 1733/4 an Act was passed for repairing Castle William by which 2700l. then in the treasurer's hands was reissued, to be drawn into the treasury by taxes: in 1737, 1350l.; in 1738, 1350l. In May 1734 an Act was passed for supplying the treasury with 27,371l. 13s. 4d. bills of credit and for issuing 2198l. 18s., a surplus remaining in the hands of the treasurer to be drawn in by taxes: in 1734, 4000l.; in 1735, 15,000l.; in 1736, 8371l. 13s. 4d. In 1735 Governor Belcher passed an Act for supplying the treasury with 33,269l. 4s. 8d. bills of credit to be called into the treasury again by taxes: in 1735, 3000l.; in 1736, 10,089l. 14s. 10d.; in 1737, 20,179l. 9s. 10d.
It appears therefore that there were bills of credit issued during Governor Belcher's government more than are yet drawn in again: in 1730, 13,000l.; 1731, 5400l.; 1732, nil; 1733, 41,225l.; 1734, 2700l.; 1735, 20,179l. 9s. 10d. Bills of credit issued before Governor Belcher's arrival, 1721–1729, yet outstanding: 68,000l. Total of bills standing out at Christmas 1736 besides what may remain of old bills beforementioned to have been current in 1702, for sinking of which it does not appear any provision has yet been made: 150,504l. 9s. 10d. There are other bills current in the province issued on the security of a new bank erected at Boston in 1733 for circulating 110,000l. in notes of hand, payable in silver at 19s. per ounce or in gold at 13l. 13s. 1 ½ d. per ounce to be let out at 6l. per cent, and to be redeemed in ten years.
New Hampshire: has always strictly adhered to its governor's instructions. By the best information we have they have not issued above 10,000l. in bills, part of which is already sunk and the remainder must be called in by 1743. These bills were circulated by lending them out on mortgages at five per cent. To supply the want of money in this province some persons of the best estates and rank there formed an association for issuing notes at one per cent, interest to the value of 6000l. The assembly of Massachusetts tried to discredit this currency by an Act passed in 1735 against which we reported to you on 17 March last.
Connecticut: a charter government which keeps little or no correspondence with us. By their printed Acts it appears that in 1731 they had about 48,994l. 5s. 4d. outstanding in bills of credit, for the payment of which they had no fund appointed by the said Acts. What they have issued since 1731 does not appear.
Rhode Island: another charter government. By their laws to 1728 it appears that they had about 82,000l. in bills outstanding. But by a letter of 17 May 1732 to Mr. Partridge, agent of that colony, it appears that there was government paper money current to the amount of 180,000l.; and by a paper received from the agent of New England relating to the Boston bank in 1733 it appears that more bills to the value of 104,000l. had lately been stamped. So that their paper money then amounted to 284,000l. but their credit was so low that at the beginning of this year the paper money in New England in general was at the rate of 530l. for 100l. sterling. We are informed that the Rhode Island bills are lent out on security at five per cent, interest, which revenue is sufficient to answer the expense of their government. Entry. Signatories, Fitzwalter, O. Bridgeman, T. Pelham, R. Plumer, J. Brudenell. 14 pp. [C.O. 5, 917, fos. 82d-89; draft in C.O. 5, 897, fos. 123–133d, with tables showing the state of the paper currency in Rhode Island and Connecticut.]
February 9.
67 Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. We have considered 26 Acts passed in Massachusetts in 1733 and 1734 referred to us by you on 22 March 1733/4 and 13 January 1734/5. Mr. Fane has no objection in point of law to any of them and no objection has been made to us. Eight of these Acts were temporary, vizt. for granting duties on shipping; for apportioning tax of 7987l. 16s.; for perambulating the boundary between this province and Connecticut; to empower and oblige surviving commissioners of the 100,000l. loan in the county of Hampshire to settle their accounts; for granting 3000l. for support of the governor; to prevent nuisances in the Merrimac river; for granting duties on shipping; for apportioning taxes of 16,015l. 12s. and 6342l. 8s. Fifteen were for the private convenience of the province and we see no reason why H.M. should not confirm them, vizt. Acts for erecting the plantation of Housatonic into township of Sheffield; to provide for precinct or parish meetings; for settlement of estates of intestates; to alter times for holding the courts; to erect the plantation of Pennycook into the town of Rumford; for punishment of criminals; to prevent encroachments on highways; concerning prisoners for debt; to prevent unnecessary law-suits; for regulating proceedings on bonds of administrators or intestate estates; to exempt Anabaptists from taxes for support of ministers; for regulating townships; for erecting the town of Halifax in county of Plymouth; for dividing the town of Enfield and erecting the new town of Somers; for a new township of Litchfield at Naticook on River Merrimac.
Three were for issuing paper bills of credit, vizt. Acts for supplying the treasury with 76,500l. bills of credit for discharging public debts (passed in November 1732); for repairing Castle William and supplying the treasury with bills of credit for the charge thereof (passed in February 1733/4); for supplying the treasury with 27,371l. 13s. 4d. bills of credit and for issuing the sum of 2198l. 18s. a surplus now in the hands of the treasurer for discharging public debts (passed in May 1734). These not being agreeable to H.M.'s instructions we should have reported for their repeal but for the confusion into which we apprehend that step might throw the province. There remains from these Acts but 43,925l. current which must all be called in by 1741. We submit it to you whether it may not be advisable to let them expire of themselves and to send the governor a peremptory instruction not to give his assent to any Act of this nature without a suspending clause. Entry. Signatories, Fitzwalter, O. Bridgeman, R. Plumer, T. Pelham, James Brudenell. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 917, fos. 89d-92; draft in C.O. 5, 897, fos. 134–137d.]
February 9.
Georgia Office.
68 Benjamin Martyn to Duke of Newcastle. Since the representation which the Trustees desired you to lay before H.M. on 20 October last on the matter of the letter which you received from M. Geraldino, agent for the King of Spain, containing several complaints against the inhabitants of Georgia, the Trustees have made further enquiry into the said complaints. As to the first matter of complaint, the Trustees have received full evidence that none of the new colony of Georgia were concerned in the attacking any fortress in the territories of the King of Spain on 3 March last or at any other time; but the same was done by the Indians in revenge of injuries and hostilities offered to them by the Spaniards as specified in the Trustees' said representation.
As to the complaint received by the governor of St. Augustine from the lieutenant of Fort St. Mark, the Trustees have received evidence that the forts which they have built are all within the territories of the King of Great Britain and erected at the desire of the Indians, being necessary for the defence and peace of the country; and no forts have been built by the Trustees within the territories of the King of Spain nor in any of the Indian nations belonging to him.
As to the further complaint that a party of 300 English had appeared on the frontiers of the province of Apalachee and that having set up a standard of war in a town of Indians called Apalachicola they had summoned the chief town of the abovesaid province, called Caveta, to join them in order to make war against the Spaniards, acquainting them at the same time that they were resolved to demolish the fort of St. Mark and afterwards to besiege St. Augustine, the Trustees find the same to have been made without any just ground and that the apprehensions which the governor of St. Augustine had entertained arose from the behaviour of one Drake, an inhabitant in Charleston in South Carolina, who was sent up from thence with certain traders into the Indian nation without the knowledge and contrary to the orders of the Trustees and who hoisted colours and did other actions for which they who sent him only are answerable; but the like of which (it is to be hoped) will hereafter be prevented by the wise regulations H.M. has made by an Act for maintaining the peace with the Indians in Georgia, by which persons without licence from Georgia are prohibited from going up amongst the Indians within the province of Georgia and by settling the country with towns under proper magistrates and communications. And further advantages will thereby accrue by preventing disorderly persons from taking refuge as heretofore in the woods on the frontiers who there used to commit murders and ravages and all kinds of disorders which neither the governor of St. Augustine nor the governor of South Carolina could prevent or punish.
The Trustees are assured that the governor of St. Augustine was fully convinced of the various arts used to create misunderstandings between Georgia and Florida and perceived the groundlessness of the reports that had been spread as soon as an open and safe correspondence was procured between Mr. Oglethorpe and him, so that on 22 October (n.s.) last he signed the enclosed treaty. And in order to remove all umbrage Mr. Oglethorpe drew off the garrison from Fort St. George which is on the same spot that was fortified by Sir Francis Drake in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Mr. Oglethorpe's conduct has fully answered what M. Geraldino hoped it would by establishing a better intelligence between the inhabitants of Florida and those of the King of Great Britain's dominions in their neighbourhood. Which state of the said complaints now sent you together with the former representation sent to you on 20 October last, the Trustees apprehend contain a full answer to the several matters they were directed to enquire into. Signed. 4 pp. Enclosed,
68. i. Treaty between James Oglethorpe and the governor of St. Augustine, made in St. Augustine, Florida, 18 October (n.s.) 1736. This agreement is without prejudice to the ancient right of the Spanish King over the lands which Mr. Oglethorpe has peopled and fortified, he alleging they belong to the King of Great Britain. (1) The contracting parties shall each restrain their subjects and vassals, including Indians, from hostilities against those of the other. (2) They agree that satisfaction has been given once, twice and even thrice to the nations of free Indians called 'Uds' (fn. n4). (3) The island of St. George (alias St. John) to be dispeopled within 14 days, the fort destroyed, the garrison withdrawn, and no further settlement to be made there by either side, without prejudice to Spanish claim to that territory. Spanish ships putting into that island through weather shall not constitute a breach of this treaty. (4) Subjects in each of the two governments are not to molest the other. (5) Differences concerning boundaries to be settled by the two courts. (6) Subjects in each of the two governments are not to enter the territories of the other without licences from their governor. Spanish. 6 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 11 February 173 6/7 from Trustees for Georgia. English translation, annexed. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 66–73d, 93–94d; entry of covering letter in C.O. 5, 667, fos. 6–7.]
February 10.
Georgia Office.
69 Same to Bishop of Bath and Wells asking permission for Dr. Coney to let Rev. Mr. Whitefield preach at Bath for promoting a collection by Lady Cox and other ladies for the support of a mission to convert the Indians in Georgia. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo. 7.]
[February 10.] 70 Thomas Causton to Trustees for Georgia. [This letter is referred to in No. 269; and probably also in the Earl of Egmont's diary (fn. n5). But it does not appear to have been preserved amongst the Georgia Records. The following documents were enclosures to it.]
70. i. Charleston, 4 February 1737. Lieut.-Governor Thomas Broughton to Thomas Causton. The enclosed packets came to my hands by Capt. Fox, commander of H.M. sloop Drake and forwarded from H.M.'s commodore at Jamaica, the contents of which will notify the necessity of your immediate care to have all things in readiness to make a stand against any attempts of H.M.'s enemies against Georgia or this province. The advice I received but yesterday; and have this morning conferred with Capt. Windham, H.M.'s commodore here, who is to-morrow to send to Virginia to Capt. Compton to repair to these coasts for our protection. The council and assembly are heartily disposed to make all preparations of equal service for Georgia as for this province and I immediately sent expresses to the Creek and Cherokees to engage their adherence to both colonies. You will think it advisable to send some persons speedily hither to inform me of your strength and condition and what measures may be best concerted for your service, and let Capt. Gascoigne be speedily acquainted by forwarding the enclosed packet to him. You may depend upon frequent advices and expresses as occasions shall occur and all discoveries or advices that you receive be pleased to communicate them without delay. I doubt not but you will judge it necessary to have the scouts on the coasts very watchful and to prevent as much as possible any people or intelligence going to St. Augustine. Signed. PS. The better to secure the Creek Indians in the interest of H.M.'s government and to prevent their falling into that of the Spaniards and French, this government has sent an agent into that nation; and now believing it necessary to send advice to said agent of these proceedings of the Spaniards with some instructions proper on the occasion, I cannot doubt but you will think it necessary in case the agent of Georgia should happen to be in that nation that you will immediately instruct him not to give any umbrage but on the contrary to act in concert with the agent of this government in all matters relating to the peace and welfare of both colonies. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, Col. Broughton's letter per Mr. H. Bryan. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 156, 156d.]
70. ii. Savannah, 9 February 1737. Reply to preceding. Yours of 4th inst. was delivered me by Hugh Bryan on 6th in the evening. I immediately forwarded the letters enclosed as directed and gave to all the southern settlements their necessary precautions which by this time I believe they have received. I have also taken care here for the several settlements in these parts to put them in a posture of defence. Our people are very alert and in a few days shall be able to muster 500 men completely armed. I acknowledge gratefully your kindness and that of the council and assembly. I will not be wanting to give you intelligence of all discoveries or advices I receive. I thought it necessary to give immediate orders not to suffer any one to pass through any parts of this province without permits: those from this place are signed by me; and I believe you will think it necessary to give the like orders concerning boats coming from your province. Hitherto we have discovered no imminent danger and the boats lately arrived from the southward bring no alarms from that quarter, and the Indians who are just now returned from their hunt have seen nothing stirring. Copy, i p. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 168.]
70. iii. Port Royal, 6 January 1737. Commodore Digby Dent to Governor of Georgia. [Same as No. 57 i. to Governor of South Carolina.] Copy. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 94–95d]
February 10.
71 Thomas Causton to James Oglethorpe, advising of bills of exchange drawn on him as follows: 50l. sterling to Rowland Pitt and John Tuckwell, 30l. sterling to Thomas Hucks for like sum received here of John Brownfield, both of this date. Also as previously advised 50l. to Charles Purry by bill dated 10 January last. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 6 April 1737. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 165.]
February 10.
72 John Brownfield to Trustees for Georgia. I wrote by Capt. Thomson 20 November. My health was then very low and prevented me from saying anything satisfactory, but it was some comfort that I could send you a copy of the deed whereby lands have been conveyed to a part of the freeholders of Savannah. I shall not presume to enter anything in the large register book without your orders but will keep a small book for inserting immediately all things which may happen in my employment; and I intend from time to time to send you copies of the said book that they may receive such amendments and corrections as you are pleased to make before they are finally ingrossed. I have indeed had your commission as register but must confess that I never yet did anything deserving of so extraordinary a favour. Continual illness has prevented me from doing the business which my duty called me to. Last summer my whole family was ill for several weeks together; one of my servants was drowned in this river; and another servant attacked me with a sword. He was committed to prison and died before trial. Hence the delays in discharging my duty.
Had the surveyor (Mr. Jones) given me proper helps by returning plans of his work I should last spring have made a considerable advance in the rough register before my illness grew violent. But though I have often asked him for accounts of the lands which he has run out yet he never delivered me any, and it is impossible that I can register without proper plans and certificates from the surveyor. As it would be acting partially not to mention his reasons for this delay I shall insert them here. Mr. Jones being lately at Mr. Causton's house I happened to go thither and spoke with him concerning the lands. He said that it was not in his power to draw plans or make proper certificates of his surveys for want of time; that his field works were not yet made out fair but remained upon different pieces of paper for the same reason, it being work enough for any one man to draw plans and certify them; that the pay Mr. Oglethorpe agreed to allow would not afford hands necessary for the business nor pay him anything for his labour; that the articles of agreement for surveying were never executed on his part because he could not before Mr. Oglethorpe's departure judge of the labour which that employment would require and therefore he only undertook it (by way of trial) for a year. Mr. Jones urged as a proof of the insufficiency of the pay that he employed one Ford to survey the farm lots belonging to Derby Ward and the money which Ford had for that work was more than Jones himself could receive for surveying the whole township. Mr. Causton told him that he should immediately have acquainted the Trustees with these difficulties and not have suffered the duty to stand still. He replied that Mr. Oglethorpe knew how the affair stood and therefore he thought there was no great need of writing to the Trustees about it. Mr. Causton farther told him that if he would acquaint you with the case no encouragement should be wanting to enable him to go on till your answer came over. Mr. Jones said that he must be out of town to mark the western road which would prevent his writing, but desired me to mention it in my letter.
Though the difficulties occasioned by their want of lands have been many to the inhabitants of this part of the province, yet there are several hardships which some people lay under after they have obtained their lots. I believe you will find these very material and they may in some measure account for the slow progress which has been made in cultivation. A considerable part of the lands lie in cypress swamps and are continually covered with water: the expense of draining them will be much greater than poor people can sustain and consequently such lands must continue unimproved. Other lots happen upon pine land which being poor produce very little when cultivated and therefore the persons entitled to such are obliged to spend much of their time by working in town for money to help forward their maintenance. Several, when they have raised crops of corn or other grain, have lost the major part for want of roads to bring it home, and many have suffered vast losses by their neighbours' cattle breaking in and destroying; besides which the wild deer and insects devour abundance. Perhaps the latter part of these inconveniences may seem trivial, but I assure you that the least falls very heavy upon a young planter. Proper servants and cattle for labour are the chief helps in agriculture, and both exceedingly wanted here. The servants commonly brought hither from London are unfit for labour and prove oftener hurtful than advantageous: the manner in which they are trained up renders them incapable of plantation work and the food usual for servants they are dissatisfied with.
It may be thought very extraordinary that people who have been so long supported by your bounty are incapable of maintaining themselves. But I believe when the difficulty of raising a subsistence in a woody country comes thoroughly to be considered it will plainly appear that the most laborious and frugal man living, if he has a family, cannot avoid being in debt though his maintenance for the two first years should be given him. Even the magistrates and officers, who have had the benefit of three years' provision and more servants than the people in general are masters of, fall yet very short of supporting themselves by their improvements. If this is the case of those who have had such considerable helps, surely the man who has none but his own hands to work with must be much less able to maintain himself by cultivation. What I have hitherto said regards only such as are able to work hard and manage plantation business well. But you are sensible that many come to this place who are capable of neither. If sickness visits a family when your allowance is ended there opens a large expense and consequently the master of that family must be in debt till the produce of his lands shall (besides a subsistence) enable him to pay. I have been the more particular in mentioning these things because an unjust surmise has gained ground to the prejudice of the colony. It was believed that the inhabitants' luxury and idleness were the chief reasons why more lands have not been improved. Some may deserve blame upon this account, yet I am of opinion that the much greater number have cultivated to the best of their power and would have done more but for the hindrances before mentioned. Besides which, many inconveniences attend the people's having their lands in different places. There must be a house built on the town-lot, a hut on the 5 acres, and another on the 45 acres, and some part of the family must be at each place either to improve or prevent what improvements are made from being stolen or destroyed. This division of a family occasions the separating of messes, so that in three different places victuals must be dressed and some conveniences at each. I need not say how much this will increase expenses since it appears too plain. But (as it generally happens) if a man has no servants whom he can trust alone upon his plantation, it is indeed difficult to improve two spots of land at the same time and 5 acres cannot maintain a single person, much less will it support a family. Till we can raise some product with which to purchase the goods brought to us from Carolina, Philadelphia, New York and New England (all those places send provisions hither), it will be impossible to keep money in the colony and I am afraid a product cannot be raised till the cultivation of lands is by your wisdom and goodness rendered more easy to the inhabitants.
To explain how these inconveniences may be remedied will require a capacity infinitely superior to mine. I hope my letters are not construed as the effects of a discontented mind; if I am accused of faults I beg to know what they are before your final determination is fixed. Amongst the many objections which I have heard made to the execution of your design none has an equal force with this: 'If the laws of Georgia are agreeable to those of England and that lawyers are not to be allowed here (which is a great happiness to the province) why don't the Trustees send a book of statutes with their by-laws annexed that every person may be satisfied of the constitution of the province he lives in?' Such a book would take away many ungrateful reflections thrown on the magistracy and would give the peoples' minds a more sedate idea of the government they are under. For nothing is more frequently said than that 'The laws of England are (fn. n6) no laws here and what was law yesterday is none to-day'.
I am glad to see the court take so much pains in examining how the effects of persons deceased have been applied and bringing the administrators to a just account. These proceedings will convince our neighbours that fraud is not countenanced here. The magistrates have lately made use of a method which has very much contributed to the settling of a good harmony amongst the inhabitants: all actions for debts were formerly tried in court, which detained men in town several days to serve upon juries and thereby very near a fifth part of their time was wasted, besides which the frequent granting of executions proved hurtful to the colony. Whereas now the magistrates meet together and decide matters of debt in a more amicable manner: they inquire into the reasons why payment is not made, and if it appears that sickness or any misfortune prevented such payment they bring the parties to agree upon an allowance of time. But if the person indebted is found to use any fraudulent behaviour and will not come into reasonable terms for the satisfaction of his creditors, then that affair is publicly tried at the next court. By this means much time is saved, the spirit of litigiousness discouraged, and the people in general well satisfied.
The town of Savannah is subject to several disadvantages in its trade from the want of a wharf and landing place. We had two or three vessels this summer from Jamaica and St. Christopher's, and I was sorry to hear the complaints which the masters of those vessels made for want of a good crane and wharf to unload upon. I heard men of judgement say that ships are above three times longer unloading here than at other ports.
By a letter received from Mr. Verelst upon my arrival here I understood that Mr. Oglethorpe would settle the register's fee, but his great fatigue of business prevented him from doing it before his departure. Some people have applied to me for copies of their grants (which are already inserted in the deed I sent you) and I wrote them accordingly. Several have brought sola bills to be registered which I have likewise done, notwithstanding that you had given me no orders in this respect. I was unwilling to show an ill precedent, and as nothing was directed to be paid so I have neither demanded nor taken any consideration upon these occasions; and I shall continue acting in the same manner till I have your commands.
I presume the magistrates have acquainted you with Commodore Dent's letter and the visit intended us by the Spaniards. All our people are busy upon building a fort and they work with abundance of spirit which gives reason to believe that if the Spaniards do not come upon us very suddenly we shall be able to give them a smart reception. It is our misfortune that the town is almost out of provisions and smallarms will be much wanted if we should come to action. Our town will be in the utmost danger should they attack us on the east, west or south side, which may be easily set on fire, for in those parts we have not the least security. But our new fort near your garden and two batteries which are now building almost close to the water's edge will prevent any attempts from the north quarter by boats or otherwise. Signed. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 142–143; duplicate at fos. 153–154.]
February 11. 73 List of trustees proposed by Thomas Coram for a new settlement in Nova Scotia. The undernamed noblemen and gentlemen have consented to be trustees: Duke of Montagu, Viscount Torrington, Lord Delawarr, Horatio Walpole, Sir Charles Wager, Earl of Granard, and two or three others who have not given me leave to mention their names until it be seen that this design will be encouraged. There are several M.P.s and principal merchants who I am morally sure will readily consent to be trustees for the same good purpose, but I refrain asking it of them yet. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 11 February 173 6/7. [C.O. 217, 7, fo. 201.]
February 11. 74 Alured Popple to Attorney-and Solicitor-General requesting their opinion in point of law on the enclosed case. Entry. ½ p. Enclosed,
74. i. The case of a grant of an office in Barbados under the private seal of the governor. [See No. III.] 3 pp. [C.O. 29, 16, pp. 59–62.]
February 12.
75 President John Gregory to Council of Trade and Plantations, enclosing duplicates of some bills and of the journals and minutes of council, and of journals of assembly to this present session. As our annual laws were near expiring and I had some matters of consequence to lay before the assembly I judged it necessary to call them. I enclose my speech to them with their address. The four gentlemen of the council who withdrew their attendance have kept their resolution, by which means we often lay under the difficulty of making a quorum, there being but six remaining besides myself. I believe this act of theirs will hardly be justified, but that I submit to you and the ministry. The country is still quiet in respect to the rebels and I have made the best dispositions I can to continue them so. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 22 April, Read 26 April 1737. Enclosed,
75. i. Speech of President Gregory to council and assembly of Jamaica, proposing renewal of annual laws. Our first care should be to provide for our security by a sufficient number of white inhabitants. The way to do that is by making this a good poor man's country, by giving all proper encouragement, by suppressing all negro tradesmen and boatmen, by setting up some manufactures of cotton, and by cultivating coffee by the labour of white people only. Another thing is the establishing some schools for the education of our youth. Copy. 1 large p.
75. ii. Address of assembly in reply to preceding, passed 10 February 173 6/7. Copy. Signatory, William Needham, speaker. Answer of President Gregory to the address. 1 ½ large pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 137, 22, fos. 114–118d.]
February 12.
76 Robert Millar to [? Trustees for Georgia]. I arrived here 6th of this month. The ipecacuana plants which I left here under the care of two gentlemen of repute being still alive and promising well, I will send some of them to Georgia about a month hence, so they will have the whole summer before them. Some I shall keep here to endeavour to bring them to seed: then we shall be sure of a stock of them and I hope in time will prove a valuable commodity. There not having been any regular rains in this part of the island for these 12 months past, the gentlemen under whose care I left them transplanted them some time ago up to Liguanea mountains where there were more regular seasons. This I imagine is the reason for their not coming to that perfection this last year as I apprehended they would. I have waited on the agents of the South Sea Company in this place who have assured me of their friendship in order to get a passage to Vera Cruz to proceed to Mexico for julep, cochineal, etc., as mentioned in your instructions to me. I hope the Duke of Richmond by this time has obtained some letters from the Count de Montijo about my licence from the court of Spain, which I shall here wait for and I hope I may expect them soon. In the meantime according to your orders shall immediately begin upon making my collections in this island. Signed, 1 p. [C.O. 5, 639, fo. 86.]
February 14.
77 Peter Leheup to [? Alured Popple]. Mr. Ashley has entirely quitted his place in the council in Barbados; Mr. Walpole and I have letters from him from Rotterdam to that purpose. I desire you will move the Council of Trade and Plantations to appoint Col. Maycock to succeed to the place, he being recommended by President Dottin whose daughter he married, and a person of good rank. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 14 February, Read 16 February 173 6/7. [C.O. 28, 24, fos. 191, 191d, 194, 194d.]
February 15. 78 H. W. Guerdes to Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Von Reck has signified by letters from Hanover that his voyage home has been more expensive than he expected. The present from the Trustees for defraying the voyage did not suffice and he asks the society for further supply to enable him to complete his journey to Ratisbon. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 639, fos. 108–109d.]
February 15.
79 Ferdinand John Paris, solicitor for Mr. Rindge, agent for New Hampshire, to Alured Popple, enclosing Order of Council relating to the establishment of a commission upon the boundaries between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and requesting that the same be expedited. A former proposal that the assemblies of the two provinces should be kept sitting or under short prorogation has been dropped at the instigation of the agent for Massachusetts. By both the present order and the commission, appeal against the determination of the commissioners must be made within a limited time. The former conduct of Massachusetts in this affair; the many endeavours used by them to delay if not to prevent this commission; the governor of New Hampshire being a native of and governor over Massachusetts Bay; his late declaration that the lines in contest would never be run; and the consideration that he alone calls the assembly of New Hampshire: all these considerations cause anxiety lest an assembly of New Hampshire should not be called to determine this affair and that, for want thereof, the commissioners' determination against them should become final. Their lordships are desired to interpose that New Hampshire may not thereby be deprived of the right of appeal. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 16 February 173 6/7. Enclosed,
79. i. Order of Council on a report from Committee for Plantation Affairs dated 4th inst. [See A.P.C. (Colonial Series), 1730–45, pp. 130–132] that the Attorneyand Solicitor-General prepare a draft of a commission for settling the boundaries of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and that the Council of Trade and Plantations give notice to the governors of New York, New Jersey, Nova Scotia and Rhode Island of H.M.'s intended commission and write letters to the governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire to recommend the councils and assemblies of those provinces to appoint representatives and to prepare a plain and full statement of their demands. Signed, W, Sharpe. Seal. 6 pp. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 879, fos. 126–131d.]
February 15.
80 Letter from John Yeamans. In answer to your question of yesterday, the Fleuron after her condemnation at Montserrat was put up for sale for 1000l. but no one there offering that price she was carried to Antigua where, though we have no certain account of it, it is thought she was sold. There are no late letters in town from the last-mentioned island, but the conjecture is that the Fleuron is gone to the north of America with a loading of rum, there being no freight to be had for London. Her sugars were taken out immediately after her condemnation, put on board a ship bound to London, and consigned to Mr. Gerrish of Mark Lane; but he sent them to Holland, the Commissioners of Customs having refused to admit them to entry under English duties. Signed. 1 ½ small pp. [C.O. 152, 44, fos. 89–90d.]


  • n1. Blank in MS.
  • n2. See A.P.C. (Colonial Series) 1720–45, p. 543.
  • n3. MS. 'Wigg Box'.
  • n4. Sic in both Spanish and English versions: should perhaps be Uchi.
  • n5. Egmont Diary, II, 396.
  • n6. MS. 'or'