America and West Indies: June 1738, 1-10

Pages 126-142

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 44, 1738. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1969.

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June 1738, 1-10

June 2.
267 Thomas Mill to Attorney- and Solicitor-General, transmitting the following queries. (1) Whether the crown has by the prerogative a power to erect a court of Exchequer in South Carolina and in what manner such court should be erected. (2) What powers a court so established will have, whether they will extend as far as the court of Exchequer in England and whether the proceedings therein should be the same as in England. (3) Whether the governor by his commission or instructions be sufficiently empowered to appoint a chief baron and in what manner such chief baron should be appointed. List of papers to be sent with this letter. Entry, 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 261–262.]
June 2.
New York.
268 Lieut.-Governor George Clarke to Council of Trade and Plantations, enclosing Acts passed last session and minutes of Council. I beg leave to remark upon the Acts. (1) An Act emitting bills of credit for the payment of the debts and for the better payment of the governor of this province and other purposes therein mentioned. The preamble will in a great measure let you into the reason and necessity of making this money and of my assenting to the bill. There was no other possible way of discharging that load of debts which the insufficiency of the former revenue had involved the province in. Trade and navigation had for some years declined and the merchants of most wealth had chosen rather to put out their money at interest of eight per cent. than to employ it in trade and ship-building; silver and gold were sent to England as fast as they came into the country to make returns to the merchants who send goods hither to their factors or to purchase goods there for those of this place who trade on their own account, and leaving little paper money of our own that of the neighbouring provinces was become the chief medium of trade here. Nor was there any other remedy for it except that of keeping the silver and gold in the province which are constantly exported to England, and that would be injurious to the English trade and merchants. High interest is in every country a great discouragement to trade and it has been so here. The usurers were not pleased with an Act which in its consequences might reduce the general interest of money; they foresaw it would have that effect, and it has so far already prevailed that I am told some of them offer their money at six per cent., from whence I promise myself the pleasure to see trade and shipbuilding revive and nourish, the province grow populous and the settlement and improvement of lands carried greater lengths than could otherwise be expected; the benefit whereof England will largely partake in the consumption of its manufactures; for the more populous the Plantations are the more of those manufactures will be imported to them.
You will perceive that in the striking this money there is some regard likewise had to trade in easing it of so much as the interest of 40,000l. will amount to over and above 8,059l. 14s. which is to be sunk by it; for imposts on trade have hitherto borne the whole charge of supporting the governor. Of this the merchants have long complained and often tried to get it eased by laying some tax on lands, but the country members are too great a majority against it; however they are willing that trade should be eased provided they bear no part of the burden as in the present case they do not, but on the contrary reap all the benefit of having money on a low interest. This province has been more cautious of making paper money than our neighbours, not having struck any but upon extraordinary occasions and when there was no other possible way to provide for those exigencies, and its credit has always been better than theirs and so it will be so long as they keep within the bounds of so much as their trade necessarily requires; and it is generally acknowledged that there is not now paper money of their own enough for that purpose. It is universally agreed that this province abounds in iron ore and in lands proper for raising of hemp and yet both lie useless. Iron works require considerable sums of money to bring them to perfection or at least more than private persons who own those mines can command; and the lands fit for raising of hemp being swamps, bogs and wet meadows, cannot be cleared and drained but at a great expense. The assembly had these things under their consideration the last session, intending if they could to enable the proprietors to build furnaces and forges for pig and bar iron and to clear and drain the bogs and meadows, but the approach of winter would not give them time to do anything in it. These works would employ a great number of people and the produce make remittances to England to the advantage and enlargement of its trade and manufactures. In time the Plantations might make the trade to Sweden and Russia for those commodities less necessary.
(2) An Act to facilitate and explain the duty of the loan officers. This Act containing only directions to those persons in letting out the 40,000l. needs no remarks. (3) An Act for granting to H.M. several duties towards supporting his government in this colony for one year etc. There are no other goods charged with duties by this Act than such as in the former revenue bills have been subjected to a duty, and the duties given by this Act upon some commodities are less than they were formerly which is done solely in ease to the merchants who have long complained of the hardships they have been under from the imposts on trade when the trade of the neighbouring provinces has been exempted from duties. The deficiency which there will be from the difference between the present and past duties, they suppose will be made up by the interest of the paper mentioned in my observations on the first Act. (4) An Act to defray the necessary and contingent charges of the garrison of Oswego, repairing the same and for the better regulating of the fur trade. This Act except what refers to the repairs of the house or fort is pretty much the same with former Acts that have been passed to defray the charges of that garrison; but the house having fallen to decay for want of timely repairs I have prevailed with the assembly to give money for its repair.
(5) An Act to prevent the further importation of copper money into this colony. Many years have not passed since copper money was first known in this province. At first, necessity either for change or market gave it a currency at 100 per cent, advance on the value it has in England, an English halfpenny passing here for a penny, whereas the difference of money in bills of exchange is but 65l. per cent, or 165l. this money for 100l. sterling. This put the merchant upon sending to England for it as the best commodity they could import, which has filled the province so full of it that it becomes a grievance, large payments at this time being tendered in it, and if a stop be not put to it will become too great a burthen; and the more of it a merchant imports (as some will do it especially if others decline) the less of the English manufactures will be imported, for we have no merchants here who leave their money in England. (6) An Act for lowering the interest of money. This Act as it passed the assembly reduced money from eight per cent, to six, but the council altered it to seven per cent., which the assembly agreed to. Excessive usury being a great discouragement to the trade and to the settlement or peopling the country, it was thought high time to reduce it by a law, and though the paper money mentioned in the Act No. (1) to be let out at interest at 5 per cent, would in effect reduce the interest of all money, without this law people might exact 8 per cent. (7) An Act for establishing and regulating courts to determine causes of 40s. and under. It has been a standing instruction to governors to get such an Act passed, it being a necessary one.
(8) An Act to restrain tavern keepers and innholders from selling strong liquors to servants and apprentices and from giving large credit to others. The vice against which this Act is pointed has prevailed of late years to too great a degree and servants and apprentices, finding ready credit from such houses are led from their duty to their masters and from their own true interest into a habit of idleness that may in time prove ruinous to the whole province if not prevented. (9) An Act continuing an Act to let to farm the excise of strong liquors. (10) An Act continuing the militia. Such Acts being passed annually I will not take up your time in saying anything upon them. (11) An Act to revive an Act to amend the practice of the law. This Act needs no other observation than this, that the lawyers having found means to evade the intention of the law which this Act revives, this explains and renders more certain that part of the former Act. (12) An Act to revive an Act to provide able pilots. (13) An Act to revive an Act for the better preservation of oysters. These Acts being to revive Acts formerly passed and found useful need no observations. (14) An Act naturalizing Johannes Lorents Corstens. (15) An Act naturalizing Gustaple Martin Rhenell and others. The readiness the assemblies have from time to time shown to pass Acts for naturalizing foreign Protestants has encouraged them to come to and to settle in this province and will much contribute to the peopling of it. (16) An Act to divide Duchess County into precincts. (17) An Act to enable the justices of the peace in Orange County to the northward of the Highlands to build a courthouse and gaol at Goshen. (18) An Act for defraying the common and necessary charge of the manor of Cortland in the county of Westchester. (19) An Act for better clearing and further laying of highroads in Duchess County. (20) An Act to enable justices of the peace in Ulster County to defray the charges of building a courthouse and gaol. The five last-mentioned Acts, being of a more private nature respecting only particular counties and places, I will not take up your time making any other remarks upon them than that they appear to be necessary for the purposes intended. (21) An Act for the further encouragement of a public school in New York City for teaching Latin, Greek and Mathematics. (22) An Act to restrain hawkers and pedlars from selling without [licence]. (fn. n1) Being confident that public schools for the education of youth will always find countenance from you, I will lay the two last bills before you without any further remarks in their favour. I wish the assembly had made the reward greater than it is like to be from the last of these bills; that money was applied before to the like use but fell short of the sum intended nor would the schoolmaster get any redress though he petitioned for it or got some of his friends to move the house in his behalf; it is not likely it will bring in more now. However the master having at present no other way of living is obliged to submit.
(23) An Act for confirming an exchange of lands in Oyster Bay formerly made between Samson Hawks and John Pratt, deceased. There is a saving of H.M.'s rights and the Act is not to take effect until it has H.M.'s approbation. (24) An Act to prevent damages by swine in Orange and Ulster Counties. (25) An Act to enable the corporation of New York to raise 250l. (26) An Act further to encourage the destroying of wolves in county of Westchester. (27) An Act for the preservation of oysters in Richmond County. (28) An Act for the better extinguishing fires in the city of New York. These Acts being likewise of an inferior nature, reasonable and necessary for the purposes intended, I submit them to you without giving you any further trouble about them. Also enclosed Naval Officer's accounts to 25 March last.
When the assembly meets which will be in August I will then press them in the strongest manner I can to settle the revenue for a term of years. They will want to have an Act continued (which expires next year) whereon the credit of about 20,000l. paper money subsists. If they will give a revenue I will pass such an Act, but I will let them know that they must go hand in hand or not at all. I have already mentioned it to the speaker and some others who seem to take the thing right. Col. Cosby recommended to you Mr. Paul Richards and Mr. John Moore as fit persons to be of the council in case of vacancies and I thought them so too. But from observations I have made I think it highly necessary that such of the king's officers as hold the most considerable posts should be preferred to seats at that board, and I have found the want of them more than once in matters that concerned the government. Whenever vacancies therefore happen I beg to recommend Richard Bradley, attorney-general, with Paul Richards. If you please to recommend my son who is now secretary for the province to be councillor in my room, I am willing to resign to him. Answers to queries received last year are enclosed; the rest will be sent as soon as possible. Signed. 5 ½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 July, Read 25 July 1738. Enclosed,
268. i. Answers to queries from Council of Trade and Plantations on government and defence in New York colony. The governor with the council and assembly are empowered to pass law not repugnant to the laws of England. In the town of New York is an old fort of very little defence. Cannon we have but the carriages are good for little. We have ball but no powder, nor will the Board of Ordnance send any, on pretence that a large quantity was sent in 1711 for the Canada expedition which is 27 years ago; much of it has for many years been trodden under foot in the magazine, the barrels having been rotten. There is a battery which commands the mouth of the harbour whereon may be mounted 50 cannon; this is new, having been built but three years, but it wants finishing. At Albany there is a new stone fort built the same year with the battery at New York. And at Schenectady a new fort built at the same time and both are sufficient for those places. In the Mohawks country there is an old stockaded fort of little use now, the country thereabout being pretty well settled and nigh Schenectady. I have been trying to prevail with the Senecas to let us build a fort at Tierandequat in their country, which will more effectually secure the fidelity of the Six Nations and better preserve the fur trade, and I hope at last to prevail. We have no revenue established at present. The ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the government are about 4,000l. a year. We have a militia in every county for the regulating whereof there is annually passed an Act of assembly. The people are generally expert in the use of firearms. All the officers are commissioned by the governor. Mayors and recorders of New York and Albany are commissioned under the seal of the province, as are sheriffs, coroners and clerks of the peace. Chief justice, attorney-general, surveyor-general and secretary or agent for Indian affairs are appointed by the king's warrant to the governor. Second and third judges are appointed by the governor. The secretary and receiver-general have their commissions under the great seal of England. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
268. ii. Cadwallader Colden, Surveyor-General of New York, to Lieut.-Governor Clarke, 14 February 1737/8. In obedience to your order in council of 5th of last month, referring to me the following queries from Council of Trade and Plantations:
(1) What is the situation of the province, nature of country, soil and climate etc.
(2) What are the reputed boundaries and are any parts thereof disputed, what parts, and by whom ?
I shall, that answer may be made thereunto, mention such particulars as occur to me from my own knowledge or the credible information of others and class them in the same order observed in the queries. The situation of the province of New York is to the eastward of the provinces of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and of the Indian countries claimed by the French and to the westward of the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut. The nature of the country is more uneven, hilly, stony and rocky than that of the provinces to the southward of it; in some parts it is mountainous; at about 40 miles from the city of New York northward a chain of mountains of about ten miles in breadth, commonly called the Highland Cross; Hudson's River running many miles from the north-east southwestward. About 90 miles northward from New York another body of mountains rise on the west side of Hudson's River at about ten miles from the river and are commonly called the Catskill Mountains or Blue Hills. From these mountains the most northerly and main branches of Delaware River, some branches of Susquehannah River and several of Hudson's River take their rise. The southern part of the country, that is from the sea on both sides of Hudson's River to within 20 miles of Albany, is generally covered with oaks of several sorts, intermixed with walnuts, chestnuts and almost all sorts of timber according to the difference of the soil in several parts. I have seen in several parts of the country large quantities of the larix tree from whence Venice turpentine is made. About Albany, and as I am informed a great way up the eastern branch of Hudson's River, the land is generally covered with pines of several sorts. The Mohawks country or that part of this province lying on both sides the western branch of Hudson's River is generally covered with beech, maple and elm.
The settlements extend in length from the ocean northward along Hudson's River and the eastern branch of it to about 40 miles to the northward of Albany and westward along the western branch to about four score miles west-north-west from Albany; so that the settled and improved part of New York extends about 200 miles in length. But there are few settlements anywhere to the northward or westward of Albany at any distance from the branches of Hudson's River. In the Mohawks' country the level of the land seems to be at the greatest height above the sea, for in that part of the country at about 50 miles west-north-west from Albany and 12 miles west from the Mohawks River, some branches of the largest river in North America and which run contrary courses take their rise within two or three miles of each other viz. first, a branch of Hudson's River which falls into the sea near New York after having run above 250 miles. Second, the Oneida River running northward falls into the Oneida Lake which empties itself into the Cadarackui Lake at Oswego: from this lake the Great River St. Lawrence takes its rise, which passing by Montreal and Quebec empties itself into the ocean opposite to Newfoundland. Thirdly, a branch of the Susquehannah River which running southerly passes through Pennsylvania and Maryland and empties itself into Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The province of New York has for the conveniency of commerce advantages by its situation beyond any other colony in North America. For Hudson's River running through the whole extent of this province affords the inhabitants an easy transportation of all their commodities to and from the city of New York; from the eastern branch there is only land-carriage of sixteen miles to the Wood Creek or to Lake St. Sacrament, both of which fall into Lake Champlain from whence goods are transported by water to Quebec. But the chief advantages are from the western branch of Hudson's River; at fifty miles from Albany the land-carriage from the Mohawks River to a lake from whence the northern branch of Susquehannah takes its rise does not exceed fourteen miles. Goods may be carried from this lake in battoes or flat-bottomed vessels through Pennsylvania to Maryland and Virginia, the current of the river running everywhere easy without any cataract in all that large space. In going down this river two large branches of the same river are met, which come from the westward and issue from the long ridge of mountains which stretch along behind Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Carolina, commonly called the Apalachy Mountains. By either of those branches goods may be carried to the mountains and I am told that the passage through the mountains to the branches of the Mississippi which issue from the west side of these mountains is neither long nor difficult; by which means an inland navigation may be made to the Bay of Mexico.
From the head of the Mohawks River there is likewise a short land-carriage of four miles only to a creek of the Oneida Lake which empties itself into Cadarackui Lake at Oswego; and the Cadarackui Lake being truly an inland sea of greater breadth than can be seen by the eye communicates with Lake Erie, the lake of the Hurons, Lake Michigan and the upper lake, all of them inland seas. By means of these lakes and the rivers which fall into them commerce may be carried from New York through a vast tract of land more easily than from any other maritime town in North America. These advantages I am sensible cannot be sufficiently understood without a map of North America. The best which I have seen is Mr. De L'Isle's map of Louisiana published in French in 1718; for this reason I frequently use the French names of places that I may be better understood.
There are great quantities of iron ore in several parts of the province, large quantities of sulphur in the Mohawks country, salt springs in the Onoudaga country; lead ore has likewise been found in several parts of the province but nowhere as yet sufficient to pay the expense of working. The soil is less uniform as the surface is more unequal than in the more southern provinces and consequently there is a great variety of soil in several parts of the province. It is generally proper for the most sort of grain, as wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize or Indian corn and buckwheat. The wheat of this province is generally heavier than that of the provinces more to the southward and yields a larger quantity and better kind of flour. The soil is likewise more fit for pasturage running naturally as soon as it is cleared of the woods into clover and other good grass and is almost everywhere intermixed with good meadow grounds. These in several parts are of a deep, rich, black mold and have when sufficiently drained produced hemp to great advantage. What I say of hemp is grounded on what has been done in New Jersey, and though the experiment has not been sufficiently tried in this province I can see no reason to doubt of the like success.
On many of the branches of Hudson's River and near Albany and Hudson's River itself there is a kind of soil made by the rivers and extends about half a mile in breadth along the rivers. This being made by the soil which the rivers let fall is exceeding rich, yields large crops of the best wheat, and the repeated overflowings of the rivers keeps it always in strength. The soil of the Mohawks country is in general much richer and stronger than that of the more southern parts of the province and exceeds any soil that I ever saw in any part of America. I am told the same kind of soil extends through the countries of the Oneydoes, Onoudagas, Cayugas and Senecas. This soil I am persuaded will produce anything that can be produced in a climate where the winters are very cold.
The climate of the province of New York confining it to the present Christian settlements extends from 40th degree and 30 minutes of latitude to 43rd degree and 30 minutes. It is much colder in winter than those parts of Europe which lie under the same parallels of latitude. The alterations in the thermometer are very considerable, as great perhaps as in any part of the world. But changes in the barometer are not so great, the mercury seldom descending so low as in Britain. The changes of heat and cold pass through all the degrees of the thermometer. I have observed the cold so great that the spirit in Patrick's thermometer which is fixed to his portable barometer descended the space of 8 ½ graduations below all the graduations marked on the thermometer. At the same time the spirit in my Florentine thermometer was included entirely within the ball, but so great a degree of cold happens seldom. The peach and quince trees were in many places killed by it but the apple and pear trees are never hurt by the cold. Hudson's River so far as it is fresh is frozen every year so as to bear horses and carriages. The excesses in heat and cold seldom continue a week together or more than two or three days. The greatest cold is in January, and heat in July and August. Since the country has been settled and cleared the seasons are become more moderate. The spring comes late, it is seldom sensible before April. This it is probable is occasioned by great quantities of snow to the northward which everywhere are covered from the sun by thick forests, and by melting slowly produces cold northerly winds. The spring being late of consequence is short, the succeeding warm weather produces a quick growth so that the face of the country in a short time becomes surprisingly changed. In the summer exceeding heavy dews fall almost every night. The wheat harvest is in the beginning of July. The fall of the leaf is the most pleasant season in this country. From the beginning of September to December we have moderate weather with a serene sky, the horizon being seldom covered with clouds in that time.
City of New York is in lat. 40° 42', long. 74° 37'. Sandy Hook, a cape in the ocean at the entrance into the bay into which Hudson's River empties itself, lat. 40° 25', long. 74° 37'. Albany, the second city in New York and most considerable place for the fur trade, lat. 42° 48', long. 74° 24'. Oswego, a fort on Cadarackuy Lake from whence the fur-trade of Albany is carried on with the western Indians, lat. 43° 35', long. 76° 50'. Philadelphia, lat. 39° 58', long. 75° 40'. Boston, lat. 42° 25', long. 71° 28'. Quebec, the capital of Canada, lat. 46° 45', long. 69° 48'. Montreal, the second town in Canada and nearest New York, lat. 45° 52', long. 74° 10'. Crown Point, the place where the French have built a fort near the south end of Lake Champlain, lat. 44° 10', long. 74°. The longitude of all these places is computed westward from the meridian of London. The latitude and longitude of New York is from my own observations which I am satisfied are near enough the truth for common use though not made with such instruments, care and accuracy as is necessary where the greatest exactness is requisite. The longitude is from the immersions and emersions of Jupiter's first satellite and the calculations made from Dr. Pound's table of that satellite. The latitude and longitude of Boston are from the observations made at Cambridge College in New England and those of Quebec from the observations of the French there. Those of the other places are computed from their distance and situation with respect to some one or more of those that arc determined by observations.
The province of New York is bounded to the southward by the Atlantic ocean and runs from Sandy Hook, including Long Island and Staten Island, up Hudson's River till the 41st degree of north latitude be completed, which it is about 20 miles above the city of New York, East New Jersey lying for that space on the west side of Hudson's River; from the 41st degree of latitude on Hudson's River it runs north westerly to 41° 40' of latitude on the most northerly branch of Delaware River which falls near Cashiehtunk, an Indian settlement on a branch of that river called the Fish Kill; thence it runs up that branch of Delaware River till the 42nd degree of latitude be completed or to the beginning of the 43 rd degree, Pennsylvania stretching along the west side of Delaware River so far northward as to this parallel of latitude. From the beginning of the 43 rd degree New York runs westerly on a parallel of latitude along the bounds of Pennsylvania to Lake Erie or so far west as to comprehend the country of the Five Nations (the French having by the Treaty of Utrecht quitted all claim to these Five Nations). Then it runs along Lake Erie and the straits between Lake Erie and Cadarackuy Lake and along Cadarackuy Lake to the east end thereof, from thence it continues to extend easterly along the bounds of Canada to the colony of Massachusetts Bay, then southerly along the boundaries of the Massachusetts Bay and of the colony of Connecticut to the sound between Long Island and the main, and then easterly along that sound to the Atlantic Ocean.
The boundaries between New York province and the provinces of New Jersey and Pennsylvania are so well described in the grants to the proprietors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania that by determining the proper parallels of latitude on Hudson and Delaware Rivers the boundaries between them may at any time be fixed with sufficient certainty. But as this has not hitherto been actually done, disputes now in several parts subsist between the proprietors of the lands near the line which is supposed to run between New York and New Jersey from Hudson's River to Delaware River; and it is probable the like disputes will happen between the inhabitants of the province of New York and Pennsylvania when the lands near the line dividing them shall be settled. The boundaries between New York and Connecticut are entirely settled by agreement between the two colonies and by lines run at about 21 miles from Hudson's River and running nearly parallel to the general course of that river.
I know of no regulations for determining the boundaries between New York and Canada. It is probable each will endeavour to extend themselves as far as they can. The French have lately made a wide step by building a fort at Crown Point, which alarms the English colonies by its being a pass of great importance. By this pass only there is access to Canada from the English colonies and from this the French will be able in wartime to send out parties to harrass and plunder the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New York and Connecticut. The building of this fort deserves the more notice by reason it is not at half the distance from the settlements in New York that it is from the nearest settlements in Canada. If we are to judge of the pretensions of the French by the maps lately published in France by public authority they not only claim this part of the country and the countries of the Five Nations depending on New York but likewise a considerable part of what is actually settled by the inhabitants of New York. The English maps are such servile copies of the French that they mark out the boundaries between the English and French with the same disadvantage to the English that the French do.
The boundaries between Massachusetts Bay and New York is everywhere disputed: by the Massachusetts Bay charter that colony is to extend as far west as Connecticut. The question is whether it shall extend as far west as to Connecticut or extend as far west as Connecticut does. The difference is so considerable that it takes in near as great a quantity of land as the whole of what is not disputed. It is probable they may at last make their claims good by the numerous settlements they have already and are daily making upon it. Your knowledge of this country will easily discover any errors I may have committed and will supply the defects. I have endeavoured that what I have written may be of use to you in some matters wherein you are less conversant and may assist your memory in others. Signed. 7 ½ pp.
268. iii. Answer to four queries referred by the Lieut.-Governor and Council of New York to Commissioners of Indian Affairs. Albany, 4 February 1737/8. The Six Nations of Indians including the River and Schaachhook Indians are about 1500 fighting men, of which number one-eighth part incline to French interest, being partly overawed by fear. The French have their interpreter continually among the Senecas who has a great influence over them and they often send messengers with presents to the Six Nations.
The Indians living near about Montreal and Quebec are about 1,000 fighting men besides a vast number of other foreign nations amongst whom the French have sixteen fortifications and settlements.
The French Europeans settled on the River St. Lawrence in Canada consisting of the three governments of Quebec, Montreal and the Three Rivers are about 10,000 fighting men including 32 companies of regular forces. Spaniards none.
The metropolis of New France is Quebec, a well-fortified town being enclosed in a very strong wall, and has a strong fort situated on a rock, being the seaport on the north side of River St. Lawrence. About sixty leagues southwest thereof is Montreal on the same side of the river, which is regularly fortified and surrounded with a strong stone wall, having batteries within and a large trench round the north, east and west sides thereof and to the south is the river. About seven leagues south from Montreal is a village called Chambley, situated on a river running out of Corlaers Lake which is by the French called Champlain, and empties itself into the River St. Lawrence at Soreil: there is a good strong stone fort at the side of the river at the upper end of a basin. The French have also a very strong fort to the west of Crown Point at the side and south-east end of Corlaers Lake beforementioned called by the French La Pointe au la Chevleures, about seventy miles to the northward of our farthest settlement, built in 1736 for a retreat when the French at any time should come to disturb or annoy our frontiers either in our province or New England. This fort is situated on a rock having a very strong citadel arched with stone three storeys high, the wall thereof is about seven feet thick, it commands the entrance into the lake beforementioned from the southward and has four regular bastions. To the southward is a large plain. They likewise by that means extend their limits, having encroached upon land belonging to H.M. They have also a strong fort at Cadaruchque at the north-east end of the Lake Ontario which empties itself in the River St. Lawrence, made there not only in order to entice the Six Nations of Indians to their interest and to have an awe over them but also for a retreat to the French when at any time they should attack or annoy the Six Nations and likewise to prevent the said Six Nations from going to Canada in time of war. They have also a strong fortification at Niagara which is at the south-west end of Cadaruchque Lake below the falls of that name about three leagues, where there is a carrying place. It borders near the Six Nations which in a great measure commands the Indian trade from the westward and overawes the Senecas. They have several settlements and forts as above observed of less note among the upper nations of Indians on the chief passages as the Indians come from their hunting, in order to intercept the fur-trade and to keep an awe and command over them, 1 ½ pp.
268. iv. The referred queries from Council of Trade and Plantations and the required answer from the Collector of Customs, New York.
Queries: What is the trade of this province etc.? What quantities of British manufactures are taken ? What trade with foreign countries and colonies ? What is the natural produce of the country ? What methods are used to prevent illegal trade ?
Answers. Trading in general: from Great Britain, European and Indian goods with silk manufactures chiefly; from Ireland, linen and canvas; from British colonies, enumerated commodities, rum, lime juice, snuff, pimento, sulphur, straw plat, hides, deerskins, conch shells, negroes, mahogany and ebony; from Europe etc., salt; from Africa, negroes now less than formerly brought hither; from Madeira and Canary Islands, wines; from northern and southern parts of this continent, cider, oil, blubber, whalefins, hops, flax seed, flax, bricks, sealskins and certain wrought tin and braisiery; lastly from foreign plantations, small quantities of rum, molasses and sugar since the Act imposing new duties thereon, snuff, Spanish tobacco, aqua vitae, indigo, logwood and other dye wood, coconuts, cotton wool etc.
To London and outports, the latter seldom, enumerated goods and other merchandize legally imported; to Ireland, flax seed and staves; to other parts of Europe, grain, hides, elk and deerskins, ox horns, Spanish snuff, logwood, indigo, coconuts etc. of foreign produce, and lumber; to Madeira and Azores, grain, beeswax and staves; to English districts north and south of this continent and West Indies, provisions, chocolate, lumber, European goods with those species enumerated and such others as brought here for export regularly; lastly to the neutral ports as St. Thomas, Curaçao and Surinam, lumber and horses with provender.
Present number of vessels, 53. Registered tonnage, 3,215. Number of seamen, 352.
Production and manufacture. First, the country people here have, for many years and yet, their homespun, so termed, of wool, flax, to supply somewhat themselves with the necessaries of clothing etc. From 1715 or thereabouts have been raised linseed and milled into oil, hats made of beaver from the exporting whereof prevented by the Act from Michaelmas 1732, also lamp black worked up. From 1730 sugar-baking and its refining have been for home consumption and transportation hence to other districts on the continent and to the West Indies by regular certificates and latterly the distilling of rum and other spirits, for these only are two houses erected. In this province are mines of iron and lead ores, the manufacturing of which have been of late proposed and the raising of hemp likewise. Lastly, of these severally besides are grain of all sorts and other provisions with tobacco, a diminutive quantity naturally produced out of this soil, yet being with suchlike brought hither from the eastern and western parts of this continent are saleable and vended abroad, cannot be distinguished so as to ascertain the annual exporting of their value. Neither practicably could it be if from the import thereof separated because their prices according to the markets currently vary.
See naval officer's lists for particulars of quantities and qualities.
Such methods to prevent frauds are used as are prescribed on the principal laws of trade. Signed, Archibald Kennedy, Collector, 18 January 1737/8. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 July, Read [blank]. [C.O. 5, 1059, fos. 48–62d.]
June 2.
New York.
269 Lieut.-Governor George Clarke to Duke of Newcastle. Being informed that a considerable land and naval force was arrived at St. Augustine from Cuba in order to make a descent on Georgia, I sent for three masters of vessels who were lately arrived from St. Augustine and Carolina, and examined them on oath concerning that affair. Copies of examinations enclosed. The council were of opinion that there was sufficient cause to embargo Kip and Griffith's sloops: the first was laden with provisions for St. Augustine, and Griffith careening in order to take in a loading for the same place, both owned by Mr. William Walton of this town who, as I am informed, has supplied that place with provisions many years by contract. He protested against the Custom House officers for refusing to clear Kip, a copy of the protest is enclosed. I have, besides the restraint laid on these two sloops, issued a proclamation with the advice of the council forbidding all H.M.'s subjects in this province to supply St. Augustine with provision or ammunition. The obligation on Mr. Walton to give security, before his sloops be cleared at the Custom House, that they should not go to St. Augustine might not have answered the end; but as I was to act with the advice of the council, the order was made pursuant to it. Yet there being no sum mentioned wherein he was to be bound, I had it in my power to direct what the penalty should be. Captain Walton thought it hard that his vessels entering and clearing for Carolina (as they always do for some English port) should be embargoed, and other vessels that enter for the same place should be suffered to depart. But I cannot think it either hard or unjust, Walton being the only person in this place whom the Spaniards permit to trade at St. Augustine, where he has a factor who has resided there many years. In this situation the business continued till 19 May when Captain Tucker and one Col. Hicks, an assemblyman in Carolina who came hither with Tucker for his health, being examined on oath, the council were thereupon of opinion that the Spanish expedition against Georgia was countermanded. In consequence whereof, an order of the board was sent to the collector to clear Griffith and Kip, and a proclamation was at the same time ordered to issue to recall the proclamation abovementioned. Acknowledges the duke's goodness to his son. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. July. Enclosed,
269. i. Examination of Thomas Peniston, master of the sloop Eagle, taken at a council held at Fort George, New York, before the lieut.-governor and council, 8 May 1738. The examinant was lately at Jamaica; while he was there advice came from Cuba of 4,000 soldiers arrived at St. Jago de Cuba from Old Spain, who were to be joined by 2,000 raised on Cuba and 2,000 or 4,000 from Vera Cruz and Campeachy. After further advice of this force sailing from Cuba, the general opinion at Jamaica was that it was an expedition against Georgia. Examinant was informed that at St. Jago de Cuba there were several Spanish men-of-war, vizt. a 60-gun ship, a 50-gun ship and a 20-gun ship. Copy. 1 p.
269. ii. Examination of James Tucker, master of the sloop Midnight, taken as above, 19 May 1738. Examinant was hired by the government of South Carolina to go to Augustine as a tender to H.M.S. Seaford, Henry Scott commander. They lay off and on St. Augustine about thirty hours and saw two snows, another topsail vessel and two sloops, but whether Spanish or English examinant does not know. At Charleston he was informed by Joseph Prue of a Spanish design to invade Georgia; afterwards he was told by the same Prue that there was an account come from Old Spain countermanding any expedition against Georgia, Carolina or any other English colony. When examinant left Carolina about eleven days ago neither the government nor the people had any apprehensions of invasion. He was informed that about 600 men had arrived off Charleston in three transport ships under convoy of the Phoenix man-of-war, Captain Fanshaw commander. Copy. 1 ½ pp.
269. iii. Examination of Alexander Hext, esquire, before Chief Justice Lane and Mr. Horsmanden, 19 May 1738. Examinant was informed by the president and several members of a committee of the council and assembly of South Carolina that took the examination of Joseph Prue that there were about 7,000 Spanish soldiers at Havana intended to be transported to St. Augustine for a descent upon Georgia, but only five or six hundred were actually transported before the expedition was countermanded. He believes the government of Carolina is now under no apprehensions of an attack on Georgia. Copy. ½ p.
269. iv. Examination of John Lush, master of the sloop Georgia Packet, taken as No. i above, 5 May 1738. Examinant was lately at South Carolina where he was informed by Joseph Prue (who had been a prisoner at Havana) that the Spanish descent on Georgia had been countermanded. Prue was taken to St. Augustine with two troopships where he saw many Spanish vessels, some long and flat-bottomed on purpose to carry soldiers up the river. Prue told this examinant that there might be 6 or 7,000 Spaniards landed at St. Augustine. This examinant believes that the people of Carolina were under some apprehensions of danger, for they had sent for a great number of Indians and had frequently trained and exercised the militia in arms and kept a strict watch. Copy. 1 ½ pp.
269. v. Examination of Abraham Kip, master of the sloop Don Carlos, taken as No. i above, 5 May 1738. Examinant was lately at St. Augustine; about the end of March there arrived several vessels said to be about 42, from Havana, and eight days after a frigate of about 24 guns and a tender arrived from Havana with 400 soldiers, several transports and nine other vessels. The 42 vessels aforementioned were to carry the troops expected from Havana for an attack on Georgia. Examinant was informed that the frigate brought intelligence of the countermanding of the expedition. He does not believe that there were more than 1,000 soldiers at St. Augustine; he left about three days after Joseph Prue. Copy. 1 ¼ pp.
269. vi. Examination of David Griffith, master of the sloop Jacob, taken as No. i above, 5 May 1738. He was at St. Augustine from about 12 March to 12 April last, and reports substantially the same as No. v. above. Copy. 1 ¼ pp.
269. vii. Protest by Richard Nicholls, notary public, 6 May 1738, at the request of William Walton junior, one of the owners of the sloop Don Carlos, and Abraham Kip, master of the said ship, against the officers of the Customs at New York for withholding permission to sail. Copy. 1 ½ pp.
269. viii. Examination of Lewis Thibou, taken as No. i. above, 5 May 1738. Examinant was at St. Augustine from the end of February until about 12 April last, and reports substantially the same as No. v. above; but believes the number of Spanish soldiers at St. Augustine might amount to 1,500. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1094, fos. 50–67d.]
June 3.
270 William Stephens to Harman Verelst. Col. Cochran desires me to send you the enclosed certificate from the captains of the Amy and Whitaker, by which you will observe that he misses a bale of mattresses and blankets. He prays the favour of you to enquire into it. The last of the soldiers that came with the colonel (except a few that are left upon recovery from sickness here) went south the beginning of this week and the two captains, Newham and Whiting, sailed this morning for Virginia; the other transport, the Lightfoot, being gone south with part of the men and not yet returned. The colonel purposes to follow them to the Altamaha to-morrow or Monday at farthest. Whether or not this will overtake the packet at Charleston which went hence from us on Sunday last under the care of Col. Cochran's sergeant for England is uncertain; it must take its chance. Signed, 1 small p. Enclosed,
270. i. Certificate that a bale of mattresses which should have been sent by the Amy was alongside the ship on 29 or 30 December 1737 and was sent away again, the ship being full. No such bale was delivered upon arrival. Georgia, 3 June 1738. Signed, T. Newham, R. Whiting. 1 ¼ small pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 121–123d.]
June 3.
Georgia Office.
271 Harman Verelst to General James Oglethorpe at Gosport or on board Blandford man-of-war, enclosing copy of report of Committee of Council on the Carolina petition omitted in error from letter of 31 May. The Trustees desire that the two seaboats be immediately sent to their respective stations to be employed for the services for which they were bought. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo 69.]
June 5.
272 James Oglethorpe to Duke of Newcastle. I have received a letter from Col. Bull, lieut.-governor of South Carolina, enclosing several depositions of which I send you abstracts; he says that he has sent the originals to you. They prove that those advices which I gave you of the preparations of the Spaniards are true. They also prove how necessary those precautions were which you so frequently urged and which H.M. has been pleased to order. I beg you would lay before H.M. the circumstances of the provinces of Georgia and Carolina, that the Ordnance may hasten the sending the artillery etc. which H.M. was pleased to order. If the advice of this preparation makes any new measures necessary you will be so good as to acquaint me with them. The wind is just sprung fair and I hope soon to be in America where, though the odds are great, I cannot but think myself happy in having an occasion of showing the grateful sense I have of H.M.'s goodness. Signed. P.S. From on board Blandford at Spithead, 6 June 1738. The wind is turned against us and the ships are obliged to moor. 2 ¼ small pp. Enclosed,
272. i. Abstract of affidavit of Joseph Preu, captain of the Beaufort schooner, sworn at the Council Chamber, Charleston, 16 April 1738. [See No. 158. i.] 2 ½ small pp. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 144–147d.]
June 6.
273 Council of Trade and Plantations to Duke of Newcastle, enclosing copies of letter and papers relating to preparations made by the Spaniards at Havana, received from President Bull. Signed, Monson, Edward Ashe, R. Plumer, M. Bladen. 1 p. Enclosed,
273. i. President Bull to Council of Trade and Plantations, 20 April 1738. Copy, of No. 158.
273. ii. Examination of Joseph Preu, 16 April 1738. Copy, of No. 158. i.
273. iii. Examination of William Lyford, William Hodge and William Patterson, 6 April 1738. Copy, of Nos. 158. ii. and iii. [C.O. 5, 384, fos. 11–21d; entry of covering letter in C.O. 5, 401, p. 263; draft of covering letter in C.O. 5, 381, fos. 271–272d.]
June 7.
Georgia Office.
274 Harman Verelst to Andrew Stone, transmitting the enclosed for the Duke of Newcastle. Signed. ½ p. Enclosed,
274. i. Affidavit of James Howell, master of schooner Beaufort, sworn at Council Chamber, South Carolina, 21 April 1738. [See No. 160.] Copy. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. from Trustees for Georgia, 7 June 1738. [C.O. 5, 654, fos. 148–151d.]
June 7.
Georgia Office.
275 Same to John Crosse, junior, consul at Teneriffe. The Trustees have no occasion for wine at present, the fleets ordered by H.M. being to call at Madeira. Should they have occasion they will address themselves to you and meanwhile recommend you to the merchants who trade to Georgia. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo. 71, 71d.]
June 7.
Georgia Office.
276 Same to Andrew Stone, enclosing copy of affidavit of James Howell which the Trustees desire be laid before the Duke of Newcastle. Entry. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 667, fo. 69d.]
June 7.
Palace Court.
277 Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. Sealed deed-poll removing Thomas Causton from office of first bailiff of Savannah and appointing Henry Parker in his room, accountant to countersign. Read Trustees' letter to Gen. Oglethorpe of 2 inst. Ordered that the said deed-poll be sent to Gen. Oglethorpe to be used according to the said letter. Resolved that Gen. Oglethorpe be desired to have Mr. Causton arrested and kept in safe custody or sufficient security until his accounts from 1734 are examined and approved, and that he be not sent over to England till the Trustees direct. The accountant acquainted the council that to complete the payments ordered 132l. 15s. 3d. was wanting; signed a draft on the Bank for that sum to Aid. Heathcote. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 690, pp. 166–167.]
June 7.
Palace Court.
278 Minutes of meeting of Trustees for Georgia. Received receipt from Bank for 10l. paid in last board. Sealed duplicate of Trustees' letter to Mr. Causton dated 19 May with several lists and accounts annexed. Read a letter from Col. Oglethorpe dated 4 June in answer to the Trustees' of 2 June, which letter and answer were in the following words:
The Trustees being greatly alarmed at the great number of certified accounts amounting 1,401l. 13s. 2d. brought for payment since Tuesday last immediately met to concert the most proper measures to secure their effects in Georgia and Mr. Causton's person to answer for his conduct in receiving cargoes without any order whatsoever from the Trustees for these certified accounts unpaid now amount to 5,236l. 0s. 6d. and the sola bills, provisions and effects received by Mr. Causton since midsummer last amount to 13,086l. 9s. 9d. for the application of which he has given the Trustees no account. The situation of the Trustees' affairs is such that they cannot sit still in these circumstances but must in their own justification insist upon an immediate seizure of Mr. Causton to be detained until he gives sufficient security to answer this surprising conduct of his which may draw the Trustees into the greatest inconvenience and discredit while at the same time they on their part have taken all possible care to prevent such inconveniences happening. And unless he shall produce to you such accounts as you think when transmitted to the Trustees will prove satisfactory to them, you are desired forth with to send him with his books and papers in safe custody to the Trustees that he may make up his accounts with them. But if it should so happen, which the Trustees are afraid cannot be the case, that Mr. Causton should produce such an account as will be in your opinion satisfactory to the Trustees, you are forthwith to transmit such account by the first opportunity and to continue him upon sufficient security until the Trustees have examined and approved thereof. The Common Council will at their next meeting seal an instrument to remove him from his office of first bailiff which is intended as a suspension to wait the making up of those accounts.
As the Trustees' conduct must stand evidently clear from any imputation of neglect they strongly recommend it to you (being one of themselves) to use all possible means to preserve that credit they have hitherto been possessed of, and which they desire to have continued consistent with the characters they bear and which the disinterested manner they have always acted in has justly entitled them to. It is almost impossible for the Trustees to express the great resentments which they have entertained at the behaviour of a person to whom they showed such marks of distinction and favour who by a conduct for which they cannot as yet find a name has already disabled them from bearing an expense of an estimate which they had calculated with the utmost frugality and economy for the services of the colony from midsummer next.
The Trustees now transmit to you the Order of Council which Mr. Vernon brought to the Common Council last Wednesday relating to the Carolina ordinance, the perusal of which they hope will be very agreeable to you, and they desire that you will transmit it to the lieut.-governor and council of South Carolina by the first opportunity. There is a duplicate of the same order put into the hands of Mr. Fury. The Trustees have been informed that the Council have not determined anything definitively upon the complaint of the lieut.-governor and council of South Carolina but have directed instructions to be prepared for both colonies for concerting measures for settling the trade upon such a foot as may be for the mutual advantage of both provinces. The last advices from Charleston dated 21 April which arrived this day confirm that the ships lately seen off St. Augustine were four Spanish men-of-war and thirty transports with Spanish troops; and it is said that they had landed at Augustine 900 men and were gone to Havana for 150 more, that Capt. Howell, one who had been detained at St. Augustine and lately come from thence, made an affidavit at Charleston of this increase of forces at St. Augustine and that a vessel arrived there just before he came away with an order from Old Spain to stop the expedition for the present. Enclosed letter from Samuel Prince at Wokingham in Berks, came to the office to-day to enquire after his son Thomas Milsam Prince said to be entered for Georgia. The Trustees therefore send it to you to do what is proper in case any such person is in the present embarkation. P.S. As the Trustees cannot answer the expenses of the estimate they desire that only such articles may be defrayed with the 500l. in sola bills you have with you and what shall be found remaining in the stores, being the only money the Trustees can look upon themselves as possessed of to answer the expenses of the colony to midsummer 1739.
Answer of James Oglethorpe, Gosport, 4 June 1738. I have received yours by the Trustees' order. The advices from Augustine prove the care and vigilance of the Trustees who apprised the government of the intentions of the Spaniards and of these preparations of the Spaniards in April last was twelve month. If that article is true, that the orders from Spain have delayed the execution of their design, if they have not acted before I get thither I do not doubt but we shall prevent their doing any mischief afterwards. With respect to the other affairs the Trustees have acted with the greatest prudence and caution of which every letter and order of their's is evidence; their last orders also show that they join a true spirit with their caution. There must be great care taken that they are not known. A ship bound for Carolina goes out in a few days and it should be well looked to that no advices go by that ship which may be prejudicial to the service by giving intelligence and preventing the effects of their care. By the accounts you send me of the state of the Trustees' affairs, there has been more expended in Georgia than granted by Parliament, but if it is in store and forthcoming it will serve for the provision of this year. If I find that the circumstances are such as you apprehend them I shall not issue any of the 500l. sola bills till I have further orders from the Trustees. I do not doubt but I shall set all things to rights. If the governmental affairs could have been brought so to bear as that I had set out in July or August last, as the Trustees and I desired, this had been all prevented. Howsoever, as I said before, I do not doubt but I shall still come time enough to remedy what this delay hath occasioned. I know there will be a great deal of trouble in it but I am accustomed to difficulties so that they never make me despair. If there has been any fraud in these certified accounts and that the persons did not deliver the effects certified to the Trustees' use, but that the certificate was a piece of roguery agreed upon between the deliverer and the signer, to be sure such certificates are not binding upon the Trustees though the person signing was employed by them. Therefore in my poor opinion the Trustees should delay the payment of those certified accounts till they have the examination from Georgia. The Order of Council is very satisfactory with respect to the repeal of the ordinance. I have ordered all the ships to be examined if Samuel Prince is on board. J. Oglethorpe. P.S. I have the Trustees' order for making an immediate seizure on Causton, his books and papers, and shall see them immediately executed. This must be kept with the greatest secrecy for if he should know the orders before they are executed the effect will perhaps be prevented. I have not trusted even my clerk.
The Trustees ordered a letter to Gen. Oglethorpe to be signed by the accountant in the following words:
The Common Council have this day sealed the removal of Mr. Thomas Causton from his office of first bailiff and the appointment of Mr. Henry Parker in his room, which they desire you to use or not according to the Trustees' letter of 2nd inst.; and Mr. Holland and Mr. Henry Archer being of opinion that after the arresting of Mr. Causton which must be done at all events but if by legal process to justify the apprehending and detaining him afterwards it is the most proper, the securing his books and papers, allowing him the use of his books and papers to make his accounts out by from Lady Day 1734 and taking the possession of the Trustees' effects, you should be desired only to continue him in safe custody or on sufficient security until his accounts are examined into. The Trustees desire you would do so and direct Mr. Jones to examine them and to report to you thereon, and that you would send copies of such of his accounts when examined and Mr. Jones's report to the Trustees for their perusal with your opinion thereon. The Trustees therefore desire he may not be sent over to England for the present but only continued in safe custody in Georgia or on sufficient security until the Trustees give further directions concerning them. 6 ½ pp. [C.O. 5, 687, pp. 76–82.]
June 7. 279 Appointment by Common Council of Georgia of Henry Parker to be first bailiff of Savannah in succession to Thomas Causton, hereby removed from that office. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 670, p. 380.]
June 8. 280 James Abercromby to Council of Trade and Plantations. I beg to lay before you some, and the only, proceedings had in the court of Exchequer in South Carolina, by which you will see how far that court is established in practice. Two commissions of enquiry, one to find office for the king for lands escheated for want of heirs, the other to enquire into the estate of a felon, were issued out under the hand and seal of the chief baron and returnable into the court of Exchequer. To those commissions were annexed writs of venire facias requiring the provost marshal to summons a jury out of the vicinity to make inquest of such persons so summonsed. Some did, others did not, appear; many would not serve. This I apprehend was from advice some lawyers in the province had beforehand given them, vizt. that they were not compellable to answer such writs and summonses being issued out and returnable in a court unknown in the province; and further that as they were persons from the vicinity of the premises they were not finable for not acting as jurymen, because by the 22nd clause of an Act confirming and establishing the ancient and approved method of drawing juries by ballot etc., it is there declared that the chief justice and justices of the peace for the time being shall and are thereby impowered to summons juries on special occasions for inquests of office etc. out of the division numbered (five or six), which division contains none but persons residing in or near Charleston, and that no juries or inquests (except coroners' inquests) shall be drawn in any other manner whatsoever. So that by the above law you perceive none can serve as jurymen either in the courts of record or on special inquests, except the coroners' inquest, but such as are drawn before the chief justice in the manner therein set forth; and by this means taking of inquests for the king becomes not only extremely difficult but very expensive by carrying a jury from Charleston to the extremities of the province where perhaps the premises are. Signed. 1 ½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 8 June, Read 13 June 1738. [C.O. 5, 366, fos. 90–91d.]


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