America and West Indies: January 1738, 16-20

Pages 5-33

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


January 1738, 16-20

January 16.
23 Martha Causton to [Trustees for Georgia]. I write to inform you of the state of the silkworms and the progress they made last season in this province. They hatched in March when the mulberry trees had been about three weeks in leaf; they were kept in a house 24 foot long wherein were five tables of the full length and width of the house. These tables were wholly covered with the worms as was likewise the upper floor. Their numbers, regular disposition and manner of working drew many to see them who looked upon the whole as a matter worthy of admiration. The Chickesaw Indians who were here at that time were in an exceeding measure delighted with them, never failing their attendance at the house twice a day during their continuance at Savannah. I ordered the interpreter to inform them that silk was for clothes and one of them said they had not those worms in their nation but that if they had and knew the method of keeping they could return us yearly canoes laden with balls having a great abundance of mulberry trees up in their country to supply them with food. Mrs. Camus (who is the person employed by you in the management of this business) has an exceeding fine hand at working the silk and she is of opinion that it would be very conducive to the furtherance thereof if the girls of this place were trained to that employment. It was computed that we should have made 40 lbs. of silk but we could not procure enough leaves for the worms; nevertheless we had about 5 lbs. The trees under Mr. Amistie's care fell short through some mismanagement of his and the people of Purrysburgh contrary to their promises suddenly stopped the exportation of leaves. We sent to Port Royal for leaves but they spoiled. The gentlewomen of this place have resolved to breed silkworms as soon as they can procure mulberry trees: I have an orchard of 1000 trees of four years growth and expect as many more from Carolina. One of the Indians has promised to bring down his wife and children in the summer to learn the art of keeping the worms. I have delivered to Mr. Anderson for your garden two hives of bees which in this country are extremely productive. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd, and Read 12 April 1738. [C.O. 5, 640, fo. 42, 42d.]
January 18.
St. James's.
24 Royal warrant to Attorneyor Solicitor-General for a bill to be prepared containing grant of office of secretary of New York to George Clarke jnr. in the room of George Clarke snr. Entry. 1 p. [C.O. 324, 37, pp. 107–8.]
January 18.
25 Rose Fuller to Duke of Newcastle. By the death of two gentlemen of the council of this island and by the resignation of three others the number was reduced to less than what are required by H.M.'s instructions to make a quorum, and Mr. Gregory has thought proper to call me to the board. I request that this may be confirmed. Signed. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 May. [C.O. 137, 56, fos. 70–71d.]
January 19.
26 President John Gregory to Council of Trade and Plantations. Mr. Dawkins, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Charlton, three of the four who withdrew their attendance, have written acquainting me they resigned their seats in council. I am of opinion Mr. Laws who was the fourth that withdrew would have joined them in this as well as in the rest of their behaviour but he was out at sea for the recovery of his health. Upon these contingencies I was not only impowered but directed by my instructions to fill up the council to the number of seven; and indeed there was a necessity for so doing for the annual laws were expiring and I could not call the assembly to revive them without a quorum of the council. I did upon this occasion nominate and swear into the council Rose Fuller and Samuel Dicker, men well affected to H.M.'s government, agreeable to the country and of good capacities and circumstances. I first made the offer to two gentlemen who had been recommended in Mr. Cunningham's time: Mr. Ely died before I had his answer and Mr. Price declined, not as I am well assured through any disinclination to the post or disregard to me but imagining as I believe the seat in council might be precarious barely upon my nomination and chosing rather to come in by commission. I hope there could be no foundation for any such surmise since what I did was not to gratify any ambition or inclination of my own but purely in obedience to my instructions. Therefore I hope you will interpose in this affair and countenance me in this part of my administration that my nomination may be confirmed, since otherwise it would not only reflect some disgrace upon the gentlemen that are named but likewise upon the authority that appointed. Signed. Duplicate, original not being reed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 25 March, Read 12 April 1738. [C.O. 137, 22, fos. 176, 176d., 180, 180d.]
January 19.
27 Same to Duke of Newcastle. [In substance same as No. 26]. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 May. [C.O. 137, 22, fos. 72–73d.; duplicate, endorsed Recd. 24 March, at fos. 87–88d.]
January 19.
28 William Stephens to Harman Verelst. I wrote you the 21st ult. by the Fanny (Capt. Newton) wherein I acknowledged yours of 10 October. Part of the directions therein received I have already fulfilled as will appear by the papers herewith sent, and the rest shall be punctually observed in due course of time. I have now received by Capt. Daubuz two more servants sent me from the Trust, a man and a boy, which last I do not think the worse of for his years considering the length of his service. These complete my number of ten, and I have not suffered those I had to lay long idle, though it has been a misfortune that I could never yet employ more than four or five of them at a time by reason of sickness which (notwithstanding the temperatures of this season here) has been heavy among them and frequently got hold of half of them at once, which has impeded my intended work very much; and (what is yet worse) the common necessity of a doctor's assistance under such sickness will draw after it a bill (I fear) too long to relish well. The place nevertheless was never more healthy than at present and if this, which they call a seasoning now, may happily preserve them when the heats come hereafter it will be well enough still. Notwithstanding these impediments we have since the latter end of November cleared five acres and very near fenced it in in order to plant it in March, against which time if the men can keep tolerable health I hope to clear as much more at least. Forgive me if I acquaint you that I think the person who supplied their working tools has not dealt well with you, for some of the felling axes fly like glass and break out in pieces as thick as a half-crown and the crosscut saw is fit for children only and of so small a size that they can hardly cut a large grown tree through with it, which is a great baulk to them and it will behove me to remedy it by buying better where I can. Your stationer has thought fit to put off some of his bad ware also, for the foolscap is so faulty that it is a hard matter to find a sheet in a whole quire free from sinking in many parts of it and the marble-covered copying books are all of the same sort insomuch that some pages of my own writing are scarce legible (which perhaps you will smile at and find another reason for) but all the other particulars are unexceptionable. If you will send us a ream of right good foolscap and also a ream of good post such as we had but have used a great deal of it where good foolscap would have answered the purpose, it will be put I hope to good use. As I have it truly at heart to do what is pleasing and agreeable to those who have commissioned me to act in the station they have been pleased to appoint me, it would be a great satisfaction to me to know wherein I have been defective or (I rather fear) redundant; upon your notice I shall henceforward proceed accordingly.
After committing to writing whatever I thought worth observing here I am now preparing to look further into the province, first towards the south and then into the other settlements on my return, of all which a regular account shall be transmitted in due course. But whilst I am meditating on this I am under some apprehensions lest the forces expected from Gibraltar under Col. Cockran should arrive, whom I would wish to be in any kind serviceable to if I may. The melancholy news which Capt. Ayres brings (who arrived at Charleston lately in six weeks from England) of the queen's death is surprising: there are some among us who believe that it will delay divers matters relating to these parts and particularly that our captain-general will be restrained from using that expedition which is so peculiar to him, but such penetration I am not yet arrived to. Signed. P.S. Enclosed receipt is a second of the like tenour with what Mr. Hopton wrote me he before sent you from Capt. Newton, acknowledging his having a packet for the Trustees of that date from Mr. Causton and me. The two enclosed letters must take their chance whether the persons to whom they are addressed are in England yet or not. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 47–48d.]
January 19.
29 Same to Trustees for Georgia, enclosing duplicates of letters of 26 October, 2 November and 20–21 December. For a full account of my transactions I refer you to my journal herewith sent. In the same packet you have a list of the inhabitants of this town as they stand at present distinguished as freeholders or inmates with their families and servants. What improvements made on those lots or how neglected shall be sent you as soon as completed. In my next I shall hope to give an account of some other settlements, and with as much dispatch as the nature of things will bear and I am capable of go through the several branches of those instructions I received. But the distracted state of this town which I found at my first coming (and which time only can wholly cure with the help of such wholesome rules as shall be judged farther necessary by our constituents) would not hitherto admit of my going far aside. For I never have thought myself better employed than in endeavouring to allay those heats grown so violent betwixt neighbours and doing my best to quell that cursed spirit of faction and party lately sprung up among them from the seeds of sedition sown by a very few whom no power or government can please but such as they themselves are at the head of and whose great aim has been to become popular by first raising jealousies in weak minds of such innovations on their liberties and such arbitrary government as was never before thought of, and then cajoling them into an opinion that if they would stand firm together in opposing this imaginary tyranny they would not doubt but to carry their point and become a free people. From hence first arose that open opposition given to the magistrates in the execution of their office whom they treated with scorn and contempt. I am very glad to say I have been now long enough here to see the proper authority of the court maintained and the due course of justice take place again, from whence we may reasonably expect a farther reformation in time and that deluded people will recover their senses.
I confess it was matter of concern to me for a while to observe how many people have deserted this place within some months past, but on due consideration since I can think of it with content when I reflect on the characters of most of them whom I am confident no country will be the better for, many of them runaways from hence, idle and of no use to the community, nevertheless great exclaimers against the public proceedings here where they helped to raise an outcry whilst they stayed; and I am fully convinced it would be happy for the colony if it was entirely weeded of all such mischievous plants got into it. To which probably it may be objected that this is not a time to thin the people when dangers seem to threaten, which would hold true if such men could be depended on. But who can safely put arms into people's hands that do not think they have anything worth defending? Some few indeed are gone off, not to be ranked among these; but even in them the greatest loss sustained is in so many sensible men. For otherwise they were not prone to cultivate land but mostly carpenters, smiths or suchlike, who found their work began not to carry the same wages as formerly or could not so readily find employment at their trades, and therefore went (as most tradesmen will) where they thought they could earn more; and the same reason, if it offers any time hereafter, very probably will bring them back again. There are yet another class who seem determined to go off (as I have noted in my journal of 6th inst.) and are such as I could more incline to regret the loss of, three of them having improved their lots by building houses, cultivating their land, etc., industrious men who live reputably and would be a credit to the place were it not that their turbulent tempers outweigh the other part of their characters; for they are among the principal of the disaffected, never satisfied but always caballing, forming an opposition to the magistrates' ordinary proceedings, and continually declaiming against all future improvements in a place where (they say) they are oppressed with so many badges of slavery; and when they have done all they can their families will be never the better for it. N.B. It is remarkable that these men have neither of them a son and therefore it is the less to be wondered at that they dwell upon that subject which (as I have observed) has been very industriously propagated of late; supposing nevertheless they obtained a full assurance that their families after them would enjoy the fruits of their labour though no sons to inherit, yet I am firmly persuaded in myself from a careful observation I have made that nothing would make those particular men easy who too plainly discover a dislike to the whole constitution. What else can be judged of them when I think it may be proved that in their consultations they have been forming schemes to subvert it? and some of them when upon juries have not stuck to declare among their brethren that they never could deem themselves a free people whilst any such thing as a charge, reciting the evidence and given from the bench, was to be heeded in their giving a verdict, but the way to come at justice rightly would be to determine the point in hand by a majority of votes of the freeholders present in open court-to such a height of madness and folly are they arrived under the tuition of two or three doughty instructors.
I took notice in my last of a different set of men in this town who live mostly here, being landholders at some miles distance. These make great professions of all goodwill to the colony and ready obedience to the civil power, but complain of their losses in improving land, the precariousness of their tenures etc. as I have before observed in that letter; and from thence (as I conceive) first sprung that indifference among the freeholders of the town about cultivation of land which has been of bad consequence. The chief of these are Mr. Robert Williams, settler at Grantham, Mr. Patrick Mackay at Joseph Town, Mr. Andrew Grant at Ogychee, the two brethren Hugh and William Sterling at Ogychee, Patrick Tailfer at River Ness, all Scotsmen except Williams who has been truly a bold pusher on of his work, at great expence in it, and I doubt it has not answered; nevertheless he is going on again this year with larger improvements, resolving not to be baulked and hoping for better encouragement, though sadly complaining. Patrick Mackay shows no inclination at all (as I apprehend) to proceed on his settlement at Joseph Town which after two or three years working on he seems to have wholly given up: he has a plantation on the Carolina side of the river on the other side of Hutchinson's Island opposite to Savannah, where he has a considerable number of negroes and drives on with great application. At the same time having no convenient house upon it, he has built a small one on a town lot here which he holds in his son's name, where he lives, being commodious for him near his plantation, and by such a situation and way of living has an opportunity among the company he keeps of inculcating into others the disadvantages they labour under in comparison of the advantages found by a different tenure and allowance of negroes. Andrew Grant (influenced it is to be supposed by such doctrines) has quitted his land at Ogychee and brought away all his servants, though he has no employment for them in town where he lives. The two brothers Sterling have done the same and their servants lie on their hands here in town where they rent a house and bake bread or turn their hands to what else they can rather than work further on their lands; which indeed I am most surprised at because when I was last here there were none in the whole province so celebrated for the large quantity of land they had cleared and planted. Patrick Tailfer has never yet thought his land worth regarding but, making what profit he could of his servants by letting them out to hire and practising surgery and physic in town, has made money at an easier rate and few have done it so fast. In truth men of that profession who have shown themselves skilful have always found a plentiful harvest their own way. These men joining with others who frequently visit these parts either from Carolina or elsewhere out of curiosity and a few more who keep stores, giving themselves up entirely to that without any improvement on their lots, being generally of a superior rank to the ordinary freeholders, make an appearance in dress and their course of life very different from them. And at their usual hours of rendezvous in the most public parts of the town, a stranger would imagine it a place of trade and the habitation of so many merchants, when, alas, their whole traffic is for news or to catch up any desirable provisions imported for sale when a boat happens to bring such, which must be purchased with ready money if they can find it.
The inferences to be drawn from hence are so obvious that it would be a piece of arrogance in me to point them out. But upon the whole, till the colony can attain to the state of exporting something valuable of its own produce, at leastwise till they can raise sufficient maintenance for themselves, it is impossible (as I humbly conceive) that it can increase to any perfection but must be a place of want and continue a burden on the Trust which has so long supported them. Pardon me if my zeal carries me further than becomes me. If it is from the land that this matter so desirable is to be acquired, what method can be taken to make people fond of improving it and, awaking out of this stupidity, to go heartily about it? Dare I venture to offer any poor conjectures of my own to such an august body of gentlemen whose judgment is far beyond any need of such information? The late additional bounty which you have ordered for encouragement of poor workingmen to improve their land was a thought worthy of the authors and it is to be hoped that it will find some good effect. It is undoubtedly from that sort of people it can be hoped any good progress can be made in these small freehold lots, and as they are entitled to your bounty by their industry so on the other hand it is my opinion that no credit of any kind ought to be given in the stores whenever they cease to show it by their labour nor any relief allowed except to such as are truly helpless and indigent through providence, such as sick people, poor widows and orphans. Where any person shows an hearty desire and endeavour to improve land whether it be on greater or less quantities but wants a little strength to carry it on, suppose such a man were allowed a servant, two or three, in proportion to his need, upon credit for a year or two to be repaid at such time and in such manner as might seem meet, this I verily think would give great encouragement. There is yet another thing which I almost fear to name lest I should offend in touching upon any matter which seems at present a part of the constitution, and that is in relation to tail male. But as it proceeds from an honest intention I shall the sooner hope for pardon. The foundation which that was built upon I presume might be for the better peopling of the colony by disallowing any alienation etc., but in case a man dies without a male heir if his estate should go to his heirs general and such were under obligations either to occupy and cultivate or forfeit it within such a limited time as shall be thought good and under the same restrictions from alienation still, surely this would double the diligence of those who, having no son to leave it to, go heavily on with what they have no further interest in than their own lives; this would effectually put an end to all the clamour and discontent which is of late become so general here and which has been so industriously propagated (I have said by whom). But I should fail in speaking truth if I did not say that I frequently heard the same objections in England, and in these parts of the world I find it is everywhere talked of to the disadvantage of the place, though I hope I shall find belief when I solemnly assure I never gave countenance to it in any conversation I have had here, whatever I have thought. And as for negroes (which some of our wise reformers have in their heads too) as I truly think the consequence of admitting them would be very pernicious so I never heard it offered but I showed an utter aversion to such projects. Our neighbours at Charleston, I hear, have their bellyful of them, insomuch that they have lately published an order to disgorge great part out of the town where they begin to be apprehensive of their numbers and will allow of a stated number only to inhabit among them: what safety then the planters in the country can warrant to themselves, who can tell?
The next improvement to be taken notice of is concerning the making of silk and what progress that has taken, which I have done what I could to inform myself in; and sorry I am to see so desirable a work nipped as it were in the bud and languishing for want of necessary support-I mean mulberry leaves. Upon enquiring into many particulars relating to this affair, of the family who have the care of it and are said to understand it very well, sober, industrious people whose names are Camouche and who came over with Mr. Amitys, I got the following information, vizt. that the machines which Mr. Amitys had, and three coppers and a box full of glass utensils for winding of silk, were never brought from Charleston from their first landing almost five years since, but by Mr. Amitys's allowance were left with his brother at Carolina who has since disposed of them as he saw fit, and they are lost to the colony. But this family has since got another machine made according to their own direction which they very well know how to give, and it works very well. They have at present 5 oz. of seeds (or eggs) which according to the common way of computation would produce worms sufficient to wind off 30 lbs. of the finest silk, provided they could find leaves sufficient to feed them. But purely for want of that the last year the worms were starved and died, so that the whole quantity of fine silk made was only about 4 lbs. How highly such a work deserves attention and all proper aid is as evident as it is that with such aid it cannot fail of success: it is so plain that in truth I see nothing wanting at present but mulberry leaves, the coming at which I am assured by the family beforementioned would be sooner from seeds than wild plants, which upon their removal unless into well-improved ground are apt to pine away, but a seedling plant (which at seven or eight months from a seed probably will shoot three foot high) when removed into a tolerable soil seldom fails to thrive apace.
This leads me to the garden, where I wrote you in my last there was no great appearance of much care taken, the late gardener Peircy being run away and Mr. Anderson (who has the inspection) not much heeding it until he received your further pleasure thereupon in answer to what he wrote. But of late I observe a great alteration: one Fitzwalter (a freeholder), who was formerly gardener under Amytis with whom he could not agree and therefore left it and has lived a rambling life since, has been now employed there about three or four weeks with a few hands, and having lately some additional help, he has reduced it into a decent order again, I presume by Mr. Anderson's directions who comes sometimes to visit it from his land that he is about cultivating two or three miles off. Upon my acquainting him that you expected from me an account of the number and kind of trees in the garden which therefore I wished he would give me, he brought the account here enclosed to me, which I make no doubt but is right as to the numbers, and the observations made by him thereon I know to be just and true.
Vines unquestionably may be brought to great perfection which is an improvement of valuable consideration and easily attained, as found by certain experience. Some Jews brought me a paper more than six weeks since, well-attested, relating to it, desiring me to transmit it to you; but I resolved first to satisfy myself further in it, as I did on 6 December (refer to journal) and therefore could not refuse to gratify them in it now. Wherefore I have herewith sent it. You have also herewith lists of the several people imported by three ships commanded by Captains Thomson, Hewett and Daubuz, since my being here; likewise a list from Mr. Bradley of the cattle and horses which were under his care belonging to the Trust.
I ought (in pursuance of my instructions) not to let this letter go without giving some account of your surveyor Jones, whose character is of so mixed a nature that it is not easy to hit it right in all its parts. For it were doing him wrong not to allow him some degrees of worth on several occasions and (as I am told) a competent share of knowledge in geometry. Nevertheless it would be injustice to the Trust not to say that he has certainly been negligent in his duty of running out lands, which has occasioned many to complain who have thereby been under disappointments and sometimes losses in mistaking land and cultivating what afterwards they found not to be their own, for which they could find no recompense. To speak my thoughts freely of him, I take him to be an indolent man as well in relation to public work as to private economy, which is sufficiently visible from the manner his family lives in and the very mean appearance he makes in his garb. I have never yet seen any of his plans and the Trust (I fear) not many. Here is a person come among some of those lately imported, one Mr. Amery, who it is said understands that business well and might therefore opportunely supply his place. Nevertheless, if my opinion is of any weight, I should think it not advisable immediately to remove Jones, for this reason: whatever has yet been done he is master of, and out of that heap probably some good may with care be collected, but in case he found himself at once dismissed I know not how far a vindictive temper might prompt him to be wicked enough to destroy whatever he has (such a thing I overheard whispered), and that must certainly produce the utmost confusion to begin all again. Besides in some discourse I had with Mr. Amery I found he should not think it worth his pains to work on that affair at so low a rate as he understood Jones was to be allowed. When we are so happy to see one here again who has power and capacity to rectify this defect, I make no doubt but it will be done in the most prudential manner.
As to religious matters which also I should have something to say to, it ought to be in proportion to the increase of it, which I fear has been very little especially of late when disputes and strife so much abounded and charity towards neighbours seemed utterly banished. The affair of Mr. Wesley will be laid so fully before you from both sides of the question that I make no doubt but you will easily form a right judgment upon the whole: though I am no ways attached to either side yet it would be impertinent now for me to meddle in it any further. We are at present indeed like sheep without a shepherd, and my hearty wish is that, whomsoever you shall appoint minister of the church here, he may answer your good purpose by doing his duty as a diligent pastor, and by an inoffensive, free conversation among his neighbours (without troubling himself about secular affairs more than needful) endear himself to those people, which I conceive would conduce more to make good Christians in practice as well as belief than the best doctrine reinforced by the strongest arguments without some small compliance with the ordinary course of the world. I send an account of stores of ammunition and other accoutrements of war. Signed. P.S. 20 January. This evening an express arrived from Mr. Horton at Frederica with letters to Mr. Causton and me dated 14th inst. importing that a Spanish launch arrived at his house at Jekyll from Augustine on the nth with an officer and 19 men who went back the 13th, and the officer delivered three letters, one for Mr. Causton, one for Capt. Gascoigne and the other for himself, which letters he now sent to Mr. Causton, wrote all in Spanish, desiring him to get that which was for himself translated and sent him back, to which letters he referred me. And on my going to Mr. Causton's (where Capt. Gascoigne was at the same time) I found by the translation made by one of our Jews the contents were to complain of an insult made by some Indians in amity with us upon some Indians of their's, several of whom they had surprised and killed and carried off their wives prisoners. Mr. Horton adds that the Spanish officer told him the governor desired to live in friendship with us and to have a good correspondence. Of all which I make no doubt but Mr. Causton writes you fully. 8 small pp. [C.O. 5, 640, fos. 43–46d.]
[January 19.] 30 Protest of Arthur Middleton, James Kinlock and Joseph Wragg, three of H.M.'s council, against the South Carolina bill for stamping, emitting and making current 210,000l. in paper bills of credit, 29 May 1736. The Act is unnecessary, prejudicial to many interests, contrary to the Act of 6 Ann., and contrary to the 21st article of H.M.'s instructions. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd, from Mr. Wood. Recd., Read 19 January 1737/8. [C.O. 5, 366, fos. 40–41d.]
[January 19.] 31 Observations on an Act passed in Carolina for stamping, emitting and making current the sum of 210,000l. in paper bills of credit, etc. (1) It appears by the depositions annexed to the report of the committee of the house of assembly of South Carolina that from 1703 to 1714 a five shilling bill in the said paper bills of credit currently passed in exchange for eight ryals, and that the current price of silver was 7s. 6d. in the paper bills of credit for one ounce of silver; whereas by this Act silver is to be taken for interest money due on the bills issued and lent at the rate of 1l. 17s. 6d. per ounce and gold at 27l. per ounce. (2) The Act of 6 Ann. declares that no Seville, Pillar or Mexico piece-of-eight, though of full weight of 17½ dwt., shall be accounted or taken in any of the colonies at or above the rate of 6s. per piece current money, which is at the rate of 6s. 102/7d. per ounce; whereas by this Act silver is to be taken at 1l. 17s. 6d. an ounce, which is 1l. 12s. 9¾d. per piece, current money of Carolina. (3) By the said Act of 6 Ann. no persons are compelled to receive any of the said specie of foreign silver coins at the respective rates in the proclamation mentioned; whereas the bills of credit issued are declared by this Act to be to all intents and purposes the lawful current money of South Carolina, and as such shall be taken, paid and received in all payments whatsoever, any law, statute, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding, though even declared in the Act itself that the 210,000l. to be issued in paper bills of credit is but about equal to 30,000l. sterling money of Great Britain and that silver for interest money of such bills shall be taken at 1l. 17s. 6d. per ounce and gold at 27l. per ounce, when the rates of silver in pieces-of-eight or bars is but 5s. 3½d. an ounce and gold but 3l. 18s. an ounce in London. (4) The taking measures by the assembly of any one of the colonies to draw silver from any other of the colonies and the setting any other rates on foreign silver coin than by the Act of 6 Ann. are set is acting directly contrary to the said Act. Although the Act of South Carolina is not to be in force until H.M.'s pleasure be known and although there is a proviso in 6 Ann. authorizing H.M. to make further regulation of the rates of foreign silver coins in the colonies, it is conceived the governor had no power by any instruction from the crown to give his assent to any law in which Spanish or English silver coins are taken at the rate of 1l. 17s. 6d. current money per ounce and gold at 27l. per ounce, and that 10 per cent, shall be discounted on all duties inward paid in silver and gold at the rates aforesaid. On the contrary, it is conceived that the governor of Carolina is instructed, as other governors are instructed, to take care that the Act of 6 Ann. be duly observed and not permit any Act to pass whereby the value of the current money shall be altered without H.M.s particular leave. The proviso in the Act of 6 Ann. will not in any sense warrant, without particular leave from the crown, even the enacting of two such clauses as the 8th and 9th of this Act passed in Carolina, for the Act of 6 Ann. declared that nothing in the before recited proclamation or in the Act was to be construed to compel any person to receive foreign silver coins at the rates the proclamation mentioned. (5) If there were not many strongest objections against paper bills of credit which do not carry an assurance of money and which all persons are obliged to take, the committee have furnished a very material one by observing in their report that in the Indian war, when the province was generally looked on as lost, men gave any price for bills of exchange of the produce of the country, which observation is confirmed by a writer of a pamphlet in behalf of the paper currency printed in Carolina in 1736. Such paper bills of credit will never answer a debt contracted in this kingdom or any other country, and to answer such debt the person possessed of such bills must give such price for the product or commodities of such plantation or for gold or silver or a bill of exchange payable in Great Britain as the owner of such product, commodity, gold or silver or the drawer of such bills of exchange shall require, which is equal to such bills bearing a public discount, or else he cannot make a return to answer the debt owing by him to any person with whom he has dealings in this kingdom. Consequently the increasing the quantity of such bills of credit in any of the plantations will necessarily raise the product of such plantation, the rates of gold and silver, and the prices of bills of exchange payable in this kingdom; or in other words diminish the value of such bills of credit to the general loss. (6) The rate of exchange before 1704 was at par, only 100l. money in Carolina was given for 100l. bill of exchange; from 1704 to 1714 sometimes given in Carolina more than 100l. currency of that province for 100l. sterling to be paid in this kingdom, but not at any one point of time more than 133l. 6s 8d.; whereas since 1714 the exchange has been greatly rising inasmuch that at present there is given in the currency of Carolina 750l. or more for 100l. bill of exchange payable in Great Britain. (7) Rice was before 1704 at 10s. or thereabouts a hundred in Carolina and till 1714 not higher than 15s. or thereabouts; whereas since that time it has been greatly rising, inasmuch that at this time it is at four pounds a hundred to be paid for in the currency of that province. (8) The framers of the report have very greatly mistaken Mr. Locke, and shamefully made use of his name to serve purposes which through the whole of his piece on money etc. he strongly declares himself and is much in judgment against. 7 pp. Endorsed, Recd, from Mr. Wood. Recd., Read 19 January 1737/8. [C.O. 5, 366, fos. 34–37d]
January 20.
32 Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Pursuant to your order of 23 December last we have considered the petition of Sebastian Zouberbuhler [See Cal. S.P. Col, 1737, No. 651i] We do not find that he has been at any extraordinary charges in the introduction of the fifty families already arrived in South Carolina, part of the 600 persons proposed to settle there, or that he is obliged to be at the expense of carrying over the remainder, and therefore cannot recommend to H.M. that he should be put in possession of the 48,000 acres free of all fees etc. or that H.M. should grant him 12,000 acres more in lieu. But as to the prolongation of time desired, we do not apprehend it can be of any ill consequence provided the settlement be completed within two years from October 1738. Entry. Signatories, Monson, T. Pelham, James Brudenell, R. Plumer. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 401, pp. 245–248; draft in C.O. 5, 381, fos. 258–259d.]
January 21.
33 Thomas Causton to Harman Verelst, transmitting copies of sundry day-books from 6 February 1735/6 to 22 November 1736; also other copies to the end of October 1737; also duplicates of receipts for cash paid to 31 December 1737; also copies of such accounts current as have been yet examined 6 February 1735/6 to 22 November 1736; accounts for that time are now all copied and wait only for examination. Please advise of any copies of day books wanting preceding the last account now sent. You will perceive by Capt. Hewit's receipt that himself or owners had received of some of his passengers part of their passage money: I have therefore enclosed you their notes. John Alther's note for 2l. 7s. 6d. is at present mislaid. Signed. P.S. Books of account current abovementioned are lettered A, B and C. I have also sent pursuant to the Trustees' orders a cask of acorns marked GC and are the product of the evergreen oak which is here called the water oak. There is another sort of the evergreen oak which we call the live oak, but I could not get any of that kind of mast this year. In a lesser cask I have sent some of the earth this kind of oak flourishes very well in and is adjoining to the saltwaters. 1 p. Seal, on dorse. [C.O. 5, 640, fo. 49, 49d.]
January 24.
34 President James Dottin to Duke of Newcastle. The vessel by which I transmitted the public papers with my letter of 20 August last being safely arrived, I will not now trouble you with duplicates of them, which indeed are not yet delivered to me, the officer complaining of it as a hardship on him to furnish these papers when the assembly has resolved they will not provide for what has already and shall hereafter become due for these public services; so that I am inclined to ease him as much as I can. Copies of several Acts lately passed are herewith transmitted. The Levy Act was made purposely to comply with the demands made on the treasury of orders tendered for payment on some discounts and which it was more advantageous for the owners of them to abate than wait till they came in course of payment, which would not have been in many years; and had not this method been established, those creditors of the public who could not wait for the payment of their orders till they came regularly to be discharged would have parted with them at larger abatements to private persons, to whose advantage that large sum would have fallen that by this method will sink in the public, with the consent and approbation of all its creditors. So that I hope this expedient will meet with your approbation, especially as no creditor of the public will give opposition thereto; for should the law be repealed after one year's collection of the tax and application to the uses, it will occasion the greatest confusion and be a means of the assembly's raising no more levies, whereby the public debts will greatly increase and its credit be entirely destroyed. To prevent which I gave my assent to that act which, if suffered to continue in force for the time it is made, will answer the design of freeing the public entirely from debt, for the doing whereof I think no better method could have been taken as the inhabitants are not able to bear a larger tax; and it will be very difficult even to get this paid. What I mentioned to you in my last letter with relation to the expense of the grand sessions, I find on examination was provided for by a law passed 15 August 1719 on which H.M.'s pleasure has not been yet declared; and as I believe the former copy miscarried I have sent another. And as no person would entertain the last court of grand sessions that was holden here (which put the justices, jurors and other persons who from all parts of the country were obliged to attend it to very great inconveniences and makes it vastly difficult to get a chief justice to preside at these courts), I flatter myself you will try to get this act confirmed or procure such other methods to be established so that the casual receiver who is now and has been for some time in cash and receives large fines and forfeitures from these courts may apply what is necessary to defray the future expenses thereof when he is in cash, which will be a great ease to the attendants of the court and occasion the commission for the holding it to be more readily accepted of. Signed. 2¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 45, fos. 400–401d.]
January 24.
35 Same to Council of Trade and Plantations. [In substance same as No. 34] Signed, 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28 March, Read 21 April 1738. [C.O. 28, 25, fos. 62–63d.]
January 25.
36 Duke of Newcastle to Council of Trade and Plantations directing that an instruction be prepared for Alured Popple, governor of Bermuda. Signed. Endorsed, Recd., Reed 26 January 1737/8. [C.O. 37, 13, fos. 25, 25d, 28, 28d.]
January 25.
37 Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Neither we nor Mr. Fane have any objection against an Act passed in Virginia in September 1736 to dock the entail of certain lands whereof Lewis Burwell is seised. Entry. Signatories, Monson, T. Pelham, M. Bladen, R. Plumer. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1366, p. 288.]
January 25.
38 Same to Duke of Newcastle transmitting draft commission for Lewis Morris to be governor of New Jersey together with representation thereon. Entry. Signatories, Monson, T. Pelham, M. Bladen, Edward Ashe, R. Plumer. 1 p. Enclosed,
38. i. Same to King, 25 January 1737/8. The accompanying draft is in the usual form. Entry. Signatories, as covering letter. 1 p.
38. ii. Draft commission for Lewis Morris to be governor of New Jersey. Entry. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 996, pp. 400–407 (fn. n1); draft in C.O. 5, 197, fos. 84–93d.]
January 25.
Palace Court.
39 Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. The accountant acquainted the council that 688l. 8s. had been drawn on the Bank for payment of provisions; that a draft had been made on the Bank 14 December 1737 for 500l. to Aid. Heathcote for payment of sola bills; and that 500l. in sola bills had been sent to Georgia. Certified accounts were brought for payment as follows: for 43l. 16s. 4d. to David Provost for provisions and necessaries, dated 15 July 1737; for 226l. 4s. 9d. to Thomas Ware for provisions, dated 10 August 1737; for 293l. 3s. 11d. to William Van Der Spiegel for provisions and necessaries, dated 29 September 1737; for 138l. 12s. 11d. to Benjamin Appelbe, dated 28 September 1737; for 62l. 17s. 1d. to James Searle for pettiaugua hire, dated 20 September 1737; for 166l. 3s. 11d. to Samuel Montaigut & Co. for provisions and necessaries, dated 4 October 1737; for 425l. 0s. 4d. to Capt. James Mackpherson for payment of rangers at Fort Argyll, dated 2 October 1737; for 221l. 10s. 6d. to Capt. Aeneas Mackintosh for pay and provisions at Fort Prince George and expenses of Indians; for 384l. 7s. 10d. to Robert Ellis for provisions and necessaries, dated 17 October 1737. Resolved, that (advice being come that since the dates of the foregoing certificates 1650l. in sola bills are arrived in Georgia for which money is appropriated to answer on their return) the aforesaid accounts be returned to Georgia for payment there. Ordered that public notice be given in Georgia that no certified account for provisions or necessaries sold and delivered in Georgia will be paid in England, that their storekeepers have received orders to defray all expenses in sola bills, and that no other payments will be made but by sola bills. The accountant acquainted the court that a draft had been made on the Bank for 151l. 11th inst. to Peregrine Fury for payment of sola bills; and that 250l. had been drawn for on the Bank 11th inst. for provisions. Resolved that no more sola bills be sent to Georgia till the Trustees are enabled by a new supply to answer them. Read a report from the committee of accounts that the balance of the account for 9 June 1736 to 9 June 1737 was 3519l. 13s. 11d. Resolved that any three of the council wait on the Lord Chancellor and Master of the Rolls with the said account. Ordered that as soon as the annual account is presented 150 copies of it be printed. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 690, pp. 123–127.]
[January 25.] 40 Memorial of Lieut.-Governor David Dunbar to Council of Trade and Plantations, replying to letter of 12 December 1735. Both in America and here I have been told that the Massachusetts Act for a bounty upon hemp and flax was but for three years: one of them was elapsed before people could supply themselves with hempseed, the second year I heard the bounty paid by that province amounted to more than 7000l. New England currency, and last year I have heard it was above 13,000l. But I cannot much depend upon my information because I was represented by Governor Belcher to the people there as a spy upon their actions so that they seemed shy of answering any questions that related to their trade or manufactures. But as all public accounts are or ought to be lodged with the auditor of the Plantations, you can from thence receive the best information. When I came from America in May last it was expected that at the next session of the general court of Massachuestts an Act would be made for continuing the bounty some time longer, but it has not been in my way to know whether they have passed such an Act. But I know that the people there are so tenacious of their old customs that they won't be persuaded against dew rotting their hemp and flax although I published in print the directions I carried over from you for the management of hemp in all shapes. They gave a bounty for making sailcloth for some time but I have heard one Mr. Powel who was the undertaker complain that justice was not done him in the payment of that bounty. Of late years some Irish families have made sailcloth in great perfection near Boston and in incredible quantities for the number of hands employed. The chief of them would undertake for any quantities and no doubt they will very soon be able to supply themselves with all they may want of that sort. As for linen it is made in great perfection: the enclosed copies of letters relating to it and other manufactures and practices in New England I lay before you as part of my answer to your letter. The inhabitants, seeing what a benefit a small number of poor Irish families have made far up in the country by spinning and weaving linen of all sorts, have hired servants from thence to instruct their young people and have sent children to schools to learn to spin both linen and woollen, and I am convinced that in a little time they will make enough for their own consumption at least. They have lands for nothing, they pay no duties even upon goods exported with a drawback from England, they pay very little taxes but to support disputes against the crown of which there is now a most flagrant instance coming before you by a sum of 2000l. sterling raised by tax very lately to support an opposition to the settlement of the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
New England is a very growing country and deserves some attention at home. The militia of Massachusetts only are not fewer than 40,000 men who generally have a slender notion of a dependency upon England, which is not very surprising when their governor publicly censures H.M.'s conduct and his ministers and calls English Acts of Parliament putting any restraint upon New England arbitrary and iniquitous Acts. I have made many representations upon all these affairs to your board and have acquainted you what woollen cloths, camlets, and stuffs I have seen made in that country. I once offered my opinion that if a gentleman who was a good judge of trade was added to your board and to be sent abroad from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia and to all the several English governments upon the continent to stay at each as he judged proper to make enquiries and observations upon the situation, soil and produce of each colony and to be joined with the several governors in power during his stay to enable him to make such enquiries, you would in two or three years have so exact an account and state of H.M.'s dominions in America as you might with certainty depend upon and be well worth the expense of it. English America is capable of great improvements and of being as useful to England as the northern countries and without much additional expense. The French are encroaching upon Nova Scotia and other parts, they are working us out of the fishery, which may be in great part prevented and their situation made uneasy to them by the settlement of Nova Scotia. Oppression and ill treatment have broken my spirits without being able to get any redress. Signed. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 25 January 1737/8. Enclosed,
40. i. William Bollonto Lieut.-Governor Dunbar, Boston, 21 February 1735/6, requesting that the iron manufacture may be recommended to the Council of Trade and Plantations as proper for encouragement. Copy. 1 p.
40. ii. Lieut.-Governor Dunbar to William Bollon, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 27 February 1735/6, promising to use his interest as requested, but advising that cast iron should be made, not forged iron, as this will create less jealousy in England. I think the quantity of iron consumed in England is 36–38,000 tons yearly whereof 10 or 12,000 tons is made in the kingdom: they could make the whole malleable if they had cast metal. Copy. 1½ pp.
40. iii. Same to Captain Thomlinson, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 4 March 1735/6. Labour is so excessively dear that iron cannot be manufactured without a bounty. New England iron is of very good quality; axes and hatchets in particular are better than those from England. The Act against French molasses and rum is little regarded in some places, e.g. Rhode Island. Another practice of Rhode Island is the issue of great quantities of paper money. To encourage the production of hemp, instructors are needed and the renewal of the bounty formerly given. Copy. 7½ pp. [C.O. 5, 880, fos. 82–88d.]
January 28.
41 Governor Jonathan Belcher to Council of Trade and Plantations. Since previous letter of 27 December, the assembly of this province has gone through what necessary business they had before them and I prorogued them 9th inst. as you will see by enclosed journal. A few days ago I received an express of the loss of Fort Dummer by fire which happened 15th inst. This was a small fortress about 130 miles from hence on the western frontiers of the province with an officer and 20 men which I have posted about a dozen miles lower than the fort stood; and I shall have the fort rebuilt when the season will conveniently admit of getting materials and workmen. In March last I sent you answers to the usual queries except that of the number of the militia. I now enclose a list of the regiments with the particular number of men in each, amounting in all to 25,031 men. This province labours under great difficulties for want of something to pass in lieu of money, silver and gold being as constantly exported to Great Britain as it comes in; and it is hardly possible for the people to subsist or any trade to be carried on without a medium of exchange or something to pass between man and man. In consideration of this matter the assembly passed the enclosed bill at their late session to which I could not give my assent because it militated with H.M.'s 16th instruction, nor is the bill sufficiently guarded to give a just value to the bills they proposed to emit. But if in such a bill a clause were inserted of the nature of what I now enclose to you it would considerably reform all the bills now out as well as give value to what they would emit for the future. (fn. n2) I would therefore propose to you that I might have H.M.'s royal order of leave for signing such a bill (including such a provision for drawing in all their outstanding bills according to their several periods) which is indeed the best projected to keep up the value of what bills may be emitted of any Act that has passed this legislature: and all persons trading hither from Great Britain will soon find the advantage of it. Signed. 4 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 June, Read 14 June 1738. Enclosed,
41. i. Bill passed by legislature of Massachusetts in December 1737 for emission of 60,000l. of bills of credit redeemable by gold and silver. Copy, certified by Simon Frost, deputy secretary, 28 January 1737/8. 6½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
41. ii. Draft of clauses which are necessary to be added to the foregoing. 11½ pp. Endorsed, (i) as covering letter, (ii) Mr. Fane's report: no objection in point of law.
41. iii. Order of General Court of Massachusetts that the bill for emission of 60,000l. of bills be printed and that the names of persons willing to subscribe for the said bills be received; together with another copy of the bill. Printed. 4½ pp. Endorsed, as covering letter.
41. iv. List of colonels of several regiments of Massachusetts with number of men in each regiment. Colonels: Winslow, Heath, Thaxter, Hatch, Burrill, Marston, Wainwright, Epes, Kent, Saltonstall, Phipps, Tyng, Flynt, Ward, Stoddard, Turner, Lothrop, Church, Almy, Brown, Pepperell, Mayhew, Chandler, J. Willard, S. Willard. Total of men, 25,031. 1 p. Endorsed, as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 880, fos. 281–300d.]
January 28. 42 James Oglethorpe to Andrew Stone. I hope you will excuse my troubling you so often about the letter from his grace to Carolina relating to the ship with German passengers. Give me leave to state the fact. Some Germans who were on board a ship that put into Cowes, being on shore, refused to go on board again and complained to H.M. of ill treatment. H.M. ordered enquiry to be made into the matter that justice might be made to the Germans. The merchants very willingly agreed to do all the Germans desired, though the same put them to great expense, provided H.M. would recommend the reimbursing that expense to the governor of Carolina out of the fund appropriated for encouragement of such foreign Protestants as should come to Carolina. Pursuant to this, the ship sailed for Carolina and the Duke of Newcastle wrote a letter; but in that letter there are some words which the merchants (of whom Mr. Wragg is chief) are of opinion would enervate the whole. They therefore pray for another letter in which those words might be omitted, and they have not sent the former letter by reason that they think it will not answer the purpose. Give me leave to recommend this matter to you and, as I know that country, to assure you that there is money applicable to this very purpose vizt. for encouraging foreign Protestants and that that money is in H.M.'s disposition. And in my opinion the complying with Mr. Wragg's desire on this occasion as expressed in his letter which I enclosed to you in my former is very just and for H.M.'s service. I desire you will pardon me for so frequently teasing you, but as the merchants declare to me that if they do not succeed in this application it will be very hurtful to them, I think myself therefore in justice and honour bound to use my little interest for getting a thing done which will tend so much to the welfare of that colony by increasing it with foreign Protestants. Signed. 2½ small pp. [C.O.5, 654, fos. 129–130d.]
January 31.
43 Governor Edward Trelawny to Council of Trade and Plantations. Having received advice that Thomas Garbrand, one of the councilors of Jamaica, is dead, I recommend Samuel Dicker as a proper person to succeed him. He is a gentleman of a considerable fortune, was associated one of the judges of the grand court in February last, and according to the best information I can get a person in all respect fit for H.M.'s service in that station. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 6 February, Read 7 February 1737/8. [C.O. 137, 22, fos. 159, 159d, 163, 163d.]
January [31.]
44 Henry McCulloh to Thomas Hill. It is not in Governor Johnston's power to keep the people of North Carolina to their duty unless their lordships favour him with their opinions on the matters in debate, vizt. that such as hold patents from the Lords Proprietors by which they are obliged to pay, some 1s. sterling, others 2s. per 100 acres, tender their quitrents only upon the footing of proclamation money, which is 25 per cent, worse than sterling, and allege that by the governor's instructions he ought to receive it from them in that manner. Another difficulty that the governor meets with is that they will only pay their quitrents in commodity and others of them will not bring their quitrents to the precinct house but require the receiver-general to come to their respective dwellings. There is not the least colour of reason for this except in Albemarle County and even there they are certainly liable to pay their quitrents at the precinct house. It has also been a practice of long standing in the colony for people to box pine trees for turpentine and burn light wood for pitch and tar without taking out patents for the lands. The governor has been much censured for the preventing of this; it would be of use to him if their lordships would write to him that they approve his conduct therein and that they would also declare their opinion how far the people ought to be liable to quitrents, having made waste of the king's lands; and that their lordships would at the same time assure him that they will support him in the execution of his duty; and that if any persons in the colony do obstruct him in the same they may expect very little favour from the crown in the renewal of their patents provided any of them are vacated; that that affair is now before the attorney-general; and that he will speedily have directions how to proceed. A letter to this purpose would be of infinite use at present as the people are made to believe that all that he does is without any directions from their lordships and that they disapprove of his conduct. Signed. 1½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 31 January, Read 2 February 1737/8. [C.O. 5, 295, fos. 100–101d.]
[January 31.] 45 Memorial of Henry Popple, agent of Governor Fitzwilliam, to Council of Trade and Plantations. When the complaints against the governor were heard before the Board several papers were inadmissible as not being properly authenticated by the great seal of the Bahamas. The memorialist believes that Governor Fitzwilliam is now on the sea returning home and is convinced he will bring with him every necessary paper properly authenticated; he therefore hopes the Board will postpone reporting to H.M. until the governor's arrival. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read January 1738. [C.O.23, 4, fos. 32, 32d, 35, 35d.]


  • n1. Pagination of C.O. 5, 996 is faulty: see pp. 300–307.
  • n2. This sentence underlined in MS.