America and West Indies: October 1739

Pages 192-215

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 45, 1739. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1994.

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October 1739

October 4
New York
Governor Lewis Morris to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations sending copy of journals of Council during last sessions of Assembly and printed copy of journals of Assembly. The printed copy was not done nor could I get the other transcribed to go by the conveyance which brought you the Acts of Assembly passed that session. You will see in page 32, etc the pains I took to prevail on them (not to raise a support for the government but) to apply money already raised and paid into the treasury for the purpose. You may also see by the journals of the Council of March 13th the state of the difference between the Council and Assembly and I persuade myself will approve of the conduct of the Council in insisting on a right, by virtue of the laws referred to, of joining in the disposal of the public money, which the Assembly have been hardy enough to deny them contrary to the express letter and meaning of those laws as well as contrary to HM's letters patent. Those Acts have made a sufficient provision for the support of the government were it disposed of to that purpose; but the disposition being to be directed by Governor, Council and Assembly, if that is to be done by Act of Assembly to which every branch of the legislature must agree it will be in the power of the Assembly to compel the other two branches to comply with what they will please to direct in the case or be without any support at all. Such construction seems to me wholly to defeat the ends and purposes for which those Acts were made; but if the disposition as the Governor, Council and Assembly shall direct ought to be construed such direction as any two of the three parts of the legislature shall agree on or that it may be done without an act of agreement, so that either the Governor's and Council's agreement may conclude the Assembly, or the Council's and Assembly's the Governor, or the Governor's and Assembly's agreement may conclude the Council, such construction in either of these cases will render the Acts effectual for the purpose of supporting the government meant and intended by them. The direction of the disposition of the money by those Acts applied yearly for the support of the government seems to me to be intended a direction to be by agreement of the parties empowered to direct or the majority of them without making an Act of Assembly for the reasons following, viz the striking or making bills of credit to be current in lieu of silver and gold was a great service to the people and a great obligation laid on them, they being so made at their earnest request, and the naturally apparent reason of the governor's consenting to such Acts must have been to secure a certain support for the government and (as I take it) was one great inducement to HM to ratify and confirm them. The Assembly also, who proposed and in the name of their constituents so earnestly requested those Acts, must have intended they should prove effectual for that purpose of supporting the government (which they and everybody else knew to be the only justifiable inducement for the governors to assent to them) as they should do for any other purpose mentioned in the preamble of them; or they must have intended to deceive both the Council and Governor by proposing an apparent certainty instead of a real one, but the last (I think) is not to be supposed or admitted. It from this seems clear to me that each part of the legislature who made these Acts did not understand, mean and intend that the money by them in those Acts applied to the support of the government should all of it be truly and bona fide disposed of to that use and to no other, and that it should not be in the power of any part of the legislature or anybody else to prevent its being so applied, any more than to prevent the application of any other money to the other purposes mentioned in those Acts. Therefore as the legislature had by those Acts applied a certain quantum to the support of the government, the power of direction left to the Governor, Council and Assembly was a direction (as I take it) only how and in what manner ALL that quantum should be disposed of to that only use and purpose and not intended to give any of them a power to hinder its being disposed of at all: which seems to show that the direction intended was not to be Act, because if it was it would be in the power of any one part by their dissent to such Act not to dispose of it at all, and of the Assembly in particular to dispose of but part of it and that in what manner they thought fit. If it was intended to be done by Act it was needless to leave it to the Governor, Council and Assembly as parts of the legislature because they had and will have that power, whether left to them or not, to repeal those Acts and to apply that money to any other use if they think it proper so to do. As the governor in passing of laws has only a negative voice, so here he having a power to direct equally with others gives him more than a negative in this case and seems to infer that the direction meant by those Acts was not a direction by Act of Assembly but otherwise. A construction that the direction intended was to be by Act of Assembly puts it in the power of the Assembly to defeat and elude the main purpose of those Acts and prevent that disposition to the purposes expressed, meant and intended by them (as they have done in this case) and therefore such construction (in my opinion) wrong and contrary to the true intended meaning of them. However, this is submitted to your better judgment.
Whether the disposition was to be directed by an Act or by agreement without an Act it is certain that the Governor and Council had (by their own Acts of Assembly) as great a right to direct in this case as the Assembly, and their denying to admit the Council to make any alteration to the bill was assuming to themselves a power and pretending to a right of acting contrary to the express words of those laws and by no means warranted by HM's letters patent, which by their deeds in this case they deny to be bound by. The pretence they make use of to justify their obstinacy is that the money paid into the treasury was the people's money and being so the people's representatives had the sole right of disposing of it as they thought fit, any letters patent, Act of Assembly or instruction to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. To this it was answered first that the fact is not true, viz that it was the people's money; for had the money been really raised upon the people, yet being raised and paid into the treasury and applied by Acts of Assembly, it ceased to be the people's money but became the King's money for such a purpose, which the representatives of the people had regularly nothing to do with further than as they were empowered to meddle by the Acts that raised it. 2nd that this interest money paid into the treasury for the support of the government was so far from being the people's money that neither the principal lent or interest arising from it ever was the people's money but a new species of beings created by the fiat of the legislature and was a giving or lending to the people or such of them as borrowed, something they wanted and had not before, nor could have had any other way; that antecedent to the paying or lending of it the property was in the lenders and payers, viz the government; that immediately afterwards it became the property of the borrowers and of those to whom it was paid; that the borrowers in consideration of their being accommodated with it by the government were to pay to it for its support such a part which was to be paid yearly into the treasury and by the Acts that made it applied to that use but to be disposed of for that purpose in such manner as should be directed by Governor, Council and Assembly; that the interest paid into the treasury could in no sense with any propriety of speech be called the people's money but the money of the lenders (to wit) the government, and consequently the representatives of the people neither had nor could have any right to meddle with it but what those Acts which made it gave them, and therefore it would be great ingratitude in them (was it in their power) to defeat the government of the only consideration that could induce it to consent to the making of what they call paper money and the highest insolence (upon that weak and groundless pretence) to attempt it and contrary to the express words of those Acts pretend to give (as the people's money) what was not theirs to give but had been (by the Acts that made it) given or applied before to the support of the government.
Whether this reasoning be just or not is submitted to you; but these or any other that can be made use of will have little weight (though ever so just) with a people resolutely obstinate and no susceptible of reason, the representatives of New Jersey being like those of other colonies in our neighbourhood, some of them illiterate or next door to it, the great part of them very ignorant and very obstinate, and the few of them that are otherwise very loth to oppose the common current. And though I have as large a share of their good opinion as any of my neighbours, if not greater, yet all governors are suspected of designing upon their liberties. And if any of their members think it reasonable to make such a provision for the officers of the government as to put them above contempt, he is immediately styled a governor's man and as such (if possible) to be kept out of an Assembly and one less complying to be chosen, it being a maxim in the politics of most of the northern colonies that such men are only fit to be chosen representatives as will most strenuously oppose their governors; and little or no effectual notice having been taken of the conduct of American Assemblies in England (HM and his ministers being engaged in matters of greater moment) they have been so successful as to cramp the officers of the government and make their salaries precarious and depending upon their votes, by which they have sometimes in New York increased or diminished them as their behaviour has been more or less agreeable to them. I am not without hopes (though but faint ones) of being able to reduce things to some better condition in Jersey, the conduct of the last Assembly being so evidently wrong that I am willing to believe the present will not persist in it. But my endeavours on that head will be much less difficult if proper notice be taken of the conduct of the last Assembly which (considering the laws in force with respect to the money applied to the support of the government) seems to me of dangerous tendency and without any precedent to support it that I know of but that which voted the House of Lords useless.
It has been suggested by Brig Hunter (who at his first coming was very much teased by Assemblies) that if HM would appoint and fix what sum he thought proper for the salaries of each of his governors in the plantations in sterling money to be paid in so much currency in America as would amount to it, and direct the governors by the advice of their several Councils to fix the salaries of the other necessary officers and incidental charges of the government, and by an Act of a British Parliament oblige the several General Assemblies to raise such sum upon the inhabitants in such manner as they thought proper, and in case of their refusal or neglect to be done by the Governors and Councils, that it would put an end to the constant wranglings between Governors and Assemblies, curb their extravagance, and keep them dependent and within due bounds. There are many things said in favour of this scheme, and though the Assemblies have too well deserved as great a rebuke as this can give them, yet I dare not adventure to say the expedient is advisable; for it is not impossible that the Assemblies may refuse to raise these sums, and if they do it is not unlikely that the Council will also refuse, so that I'm afraid that the remedy suggested may prove either impracticable or worse than the present distemper complained of by the consequences that may attend it. But of this you are better judges. Signed. 5 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 27 November, Read 28 November 1739. [CO 5/973, ff 135–137d]
October 4
George Dunbar to Harman Verelst. I had the pleasure to accompany the general to the Indian country where he was received with all the marks of friendship and respect in their power too tedious to mention, and I hope his journey will have a good effect upon them at this juncture. There has [been] and still is a great mortality in this place. Mr Amyand, clerk to the Assembly, and Mr Lewis [MS: Luis], judge of the Admiralty, are dead: the clerk is [appointed] by sign manual as I suppose the other is also. It will be always the better for Georgia how many places are filled up by persons attached to the colony and I believe the general, how soon he knows it, will recommend proper persons; but as this and many letters relating to the same affair will be at London before any from him I think it would be proper in you to acquaint the Trustees with it or take such other steps as you shall see most proper to prevent these places going by other interest. I need not tell you that we expect war to keep us out of the indolent way of living which I believe is in a great measure the cause of the present distemper. All at St Simons, etc are well and the general perfectly recovered of a fever he had in the Indian country. My compliments to Mrs Verelst. Signed. 1 p. Addressed. [CO 5/640, ff 380, 380d]
October 5
President William Bull to Duke of Newcastle. By the Tartar pink I am honoured with HM's commands under his royal sign manual and also with your letter further signifying HM's pleasure. I shall always endeavour in the best manner to answer HM's gracious intentions by pursuing these orders in every particular, and by a proclamation have made known the same. Some time ago I laid before you some account of our affairs here in regard to the desertion of our Negroes who are encouraged to it by a certain proclamation published by the King of Spain's order at St Augustine declaring freedom to all Negroes who should desert thither from the British colonies; since which [continues in same terms as no 404] Signed. 4 small pp. [CO 5/388, ff 164–165d]
October 5
Same to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. I beg leave to lay before you an account of our affairs. First, in regard to the desertion of our Negroes, who are encouraged to it by a certain proclamation published by the King of Spain's order at St Augustine declaring freedom to all Negroes who should desert thither from the British colonies; since which, several parties have deserted and are there openly received and protected. Many attempts of others have been discovered and prevented, notwithstanding which on 9 September last at night a great number of Negroes arose in rebellion, broke open a store where they got arms, killed twenty-one white persons, and were marching the next morning in a daring manner out of the province, killing all they met and burning several houses as they passed along the road. I was returning from Granville County with four gentlemen and met these rebels at 11 o'clock in the forenoon, and fortunately discovered the approaching danger time enough to avoid it and to give notice to the militia, who on that occasion behaved with so much expedition and bravery as by 4 o'clock the same day to come up with them and killed and took so many as put a stop to any further mischief at that time: 44 of them have been killed and executed. Some few yet remain concealed in the woods, expecting the same fate, seem desperate. If such an attempt is made in a time of peace, what might be expected if an enemy should appear upon our frontier with a design to invade us? which we have great reason to expect upon the first notice of a rupture, being fully informed by several hands of the great preparations made some time ago at Havana, which according to late accounts lie ready, waiting only for orders to put that design in execution. It was the opinion of HM's Council with several other gentlemen that one of the most effectual means that could be used at present to prevent such desertion by our Negroes is to encourage some Indians by a suitable reward to pursue and if possible to bring back the deserters, and while the Indians are thus employed they would be in the way ready to intercept others that might attempt to follow; and I have sent for the chiefs of the Chickasaws living at New Windsor and the Cattawba Indians for that purpose.
From the governor of New York I have advice that about 10 July an army consisting of 200 French and 500 Indians was marched from Montreal and was to be enforced by other French and Indians on their march, that they were designed against some Indians situated near a branch of the Mississippi River in amity with HM's subjects and [who] have a trade with the people of Georgia and Virginia. I imagine that the design of this army is against the Chickasaws, who are a small but brave people living near the Mississippi River who have already twice withstood and defeated the French about three years ago. I have therefore sent to those Indians to give them notice of the danger I apprehended to be coming on them. I have been informed that the French have a design to cut off the Chickasaws entirely and to reduce and subdue the Choctaws; if they should succeed in these attempts, it would discourage the Indians in amity with us from withstanding and opposing them in any other attempt of the like nature. The French have for a long time wanted an opportunity to get an interest among the Cherokees and build a fort there. As the army the French now have on its march from Montreal will come down a branch of the Mississippi which runs near the Cherokees, they probably will endeavour to get the consent of those people to build a fort there which may enable them to have a considerable influence in that nation, as they have already among the Upper Creek Indians by their fort at the Albamas. The Cherokees for two or three years past entertained one Priber, a Saxon, a man of ill principles but insinuated himself so much in their favour that they protected him and would not suffer him to be brought down by a person sent from this government for that purpose. I am lately informed that he is gone with ten of the Cherokees to the French in order to make a peace with them, and I am afraid will be a means to introduce the French to settle a fort there. I apprehend that the limits of the charter granted by Charles II to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, since surrendered, includes the Cherokees, and you best know whether that is not a sufficient objection against the French taking possession of land by a fort within the limits thereof. Doubtless the French will endeavour to accomplish this as soon as possible as it will be such a considerable step towards their grand design in surrounding the British colonies. As their success in these designs might interrupt the security of HM's subjects in case of a war, I thought it my duty to acquaint you therewith. Signed. 4 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 December, Read 12 December 1739. [CO 5/367, ff 114–115d; abstract at ff 112, 112d]
October 5
James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. I returned from the Indian country and thank God in good health. I have received the King's commands to annoy the Spaniards and am going to execute them. I have been obliged to make large presents to the Indians who are now thoroughly engaged to us. Tooanahowi is gone with 200 men against the Spaniards, the Cherokees are raising 600 men and the Creeks 400 who are to act with me. The affairs of the colony are much mended but the accounts are not gone through: Mr Jones will let you know the progress that is made in them. I am forced to make several expenses upon this rupture which I hope will be laid before the Parliament not as the Trustees' but as a governmental expense. There has been a great sickness in Charleston but Georgia is healthy. Pursuant to HM's orders the inhabitants of Savannah have fitted out a privateer. Signed. PS. As soon as possibly I can get time to write I will send you the state of the colony to lay before Parliament. PPS. I fear I have tired you with the length of the enclosed, and for more particulars of the province I must refer you to Col Stephens's journals. I have been forced to put thirty rangers upon footing, to employ several scoutboats, to promise pay to the Indian traders for raising the Indians to preserve the province in this critical juncture. 1¾ pp. [CO 5/640, ff 381, 381d]
October 5
John Martin Bolzius to Harman Verelst. Last letter was of 4 July. The shoemaker died five weeks after arrival. A quantity of linen sent here by a Swiss merchant was sold to the store two years ago for 71l 17s 1d but no payment was received from Mr Causton, though the linen was resold at great profit. Payment requested. Salzburghers are in good health. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 March 1740. [CO 5/640, ff 383–384d]
October 6
William Stephens to Harman Verelst. I wrote you of 10th ult enclosing copy of my journal, etc; on 25th ditto I wrote you again briefly and by the general's orders sent therewith three affidavits taken during his progress relating to the exorbitant sale of rum by our neighbours of Carolina among the Indians, worthy the notice of the Trustees; and understanding the general is now writing himself to them I am unwilling to let so fair an opportunity slip of tacking a few lines to his packet (by permission) though there are two sufficient reasons why I do not enlarge as sometimes. One is that it would be too much assuming in me to attempt a representation of divers matters which I know he writes himself, having done me the honour of imparting to me what he thought proper of it; whatever I might offer therefore at such an important juncture must appear mere bagatelle if set in the same light with his. The other reason, very prevalent also, is that in my journal, which I now send a copy of, commencing 8 September where my former ceased, I see I have not omitted anything that I could conceive worth observing of what has passed in this place, and indeed it has not been in my power of late to look much further since the general's happy arrival among us -you will imagine the rest. This I hope will be allowd a good plea why I have not yet fulfilled my promise to the board of divers lists that I proposed, which must a little enlighten the view of our present situation; and Mr Jones (whose kinder disposition of late affords me the pleasure of having a perfect good understanding with him and concurrence in the same sentiments, all past jealousies and piques being forgot) desires me to say that he hopes the same plea will hold good why we have yet delayed the transmitting of some specimen of our proceedings in those accounts that we had full orders to examine and penetrate as far as we could into such as we found most obscure. And these things I assure myself will next take place when we are returned again to more sedateness, which I see no real cause of any doubt in for I verily think, after the general has laid down some rules to walk by in his absence, we are in a much safer state than any for two years past: particularly in the spring of 1738 our danger was greatest when we least expected it; by good providence their designs were averted. But now we know our enemies and have no cause to fear them: the coast is already pretty well filled with privateers equipped from the northern provinces besides several of HM's frigates cruising to protect us and more promised; and at land we think we may bid them defiance even now but far more when the general is reinforced, as is expected, with regular troops. In the meantime as soon as those Indians come down whom the general has sent for, though I don't pretend to fathom his intentions, I have a strong opinion that his enterprising genius will prompt him to repay the present of sweetmeats which Don Pedro left for him lately when his launch visited these parts with plums of another kind. More in my next. Signed.
PS. 11 October 1739. The very next morning (Sunday 7th) after writing what is before, Capt Thomson arrived at Tybee and sent his boat up with Capt Mackay and large packets for the general and me together with a particular letter to me from you, pursuant to what you ordered him. And about 10 at night by the general's leave I took boat at the proper time of the tide, as Capt Mackay also did with me, and we carried orders for Thomson's proceeding without loss of time to St Simons. We got aboard about 3 in the morning, the ship lying far off, and after passing the day away in getting some few things that could be come at with most ease and carrying the passengers off the ship we parted with him then under sail for the south and made the best of our way back to Savannah where nevertheless with all our pains, by reason of strong tides against us and dead calms, it was Tuesday evening ere we could accomplish it. It will not be expected (I am confident) that I should offhand dip into a disquisition of those manifest advices which I have received from you by the direction of the Trustees full of such weighty determinations, but in due course of time and as little as may be I shall endeavour to write particularly what occurs to me as necessary to be principally taken notice of. Let it suffice therefore for the present (the general intending his packet shall go off this evening) to say that the box no 1 enclosing what you wrote me and all other papers and letters which came in sundry parcels I presume are come safe forasmuch as I discover no marks of any missing. Signed. 1½ pp. Addressed. Endorsed, Recd. 13 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 387–388d]
October 7
George Dunbar to [Harman Verelst] repeating news in letter of 4 October of two offices in South Carolina vacant by death. Mortality is great here but people in Georgia preserve their health. I have just heard that the chief justice is despaired of and I think you should use the same precautions with respect to that. Signed. 1¼small pp. [CO 5/640, ff 385, 385d]
October 8
Gen James Oglethorpe to Duke of Newcastle. I have received HM's commands from you together with the convention and put them in execution by abstaining from taking any new posts and ceased to fortify; after which, relying on the pacification with the Spaniards, I set out for the Indian nations, a journey of 500 miles as I acquainted you, and have reconciled the difference between them and the French. I met here fresh orders from HM with an account that the Spaniards have violated the convention, with orders for HM's subjects to annoy the subjects of Spain and to put the colonies of Carolina and Georgia in the best posture of defence. I instantly obeyed and have sent for 1000 Indians, subjects to HM, who will annoy the Spaniards. I have raised a troop of horse rangers to hinder their horse from succeeding in any attempts against Georgia upon the continent and to gain intelligence. I have desired the men-of-war to cover us by sea as the regiment will do the islands by land. There is a party of runaway Negroes belonging to the people of Carolina harboured by the Spaniards upon their frontiers. I believe they will soon be dislodged by the British subjects. I wait with impatience for HM's further orders. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, R, 18 March 1740. [CO 5/654, ff 223–224d]
October 8
Georgia Office
Harman Verelst to Hon Richard Chandler. There having been both masts and tar imported to London from Georgia, the growth and produce of that province, and a bounty being payable to the importers thereof from HM's other plantations when duly certified by the officers of the Customs; and although sufficient testimony has appeared that such masts and tar were the growth and produce of Georgia, yet for want of officers of the Customs in that province to certify the same no bounty has been allowed thereon to the great discouragement of the persons who imported the same: to remedy which the Trustees do propose (by yourself, one of their own members) that the officers, which the Trustees are empowered to appoint for executing all matters and things in Georgia concerning the liberty extended to that province for carrying rice from thence to any port southward of Cape Finisterre by an Act passed in 8 Geo II, may be deputed and empowered by the Commissioners of Customs to execute all other matters of the Customs of Georgia on their giving security to HM for that purpose, and that they may be instructed by the said Commissioners in the due execution of their respective offices, which the Trustees also propose should be performed by such officers without any expense to the Crown until revenues may arise to HM from the said province applicable to the defraying that expense. Which propositions the Trustees commit to your care to consult with the other Commissioners of Customs thereupon. Entry. 1 p. [CO 5/667, p 291]
October 8
John Brownfield to Trustees for Georgia. Yesterday Capt Thomson anchored off the bar of Tybee and I was then presented with a letter from Mr Verelst wherein he acquaints me that it is your pleasure I should be honoured with the continuance of your former appointment to me as register of this province. There could not happen in my poor life anything that I should undertake with more willingness than what your commands lay upon me. The debt of gratitude which I owe to you is too great for one so inconsiderable as me ever to think of discharging as he ought but I know you will expect from me no more than I am able to perform and it would not be the mark of an humble mind but rather of a base one was I to plead my inability of acting against the duty. I ought rather to fly with joy to execute. What shall I say in answer to Mr Verelst's inquiry of the reason why I have not pursued my business in the registership? I was unworthy of your orders. Some mistaken part or other of my behaviour made me so. I judged myself unworthy and therefore did not act. You have now given me a fresh occasion of amending what is past. Oh! may no hindrance, no folly, no ingratitude ever come across my sincere endeavours any more. May the Almighty give me an heart free from spot or blemish, that all my actions may please both Him and you. I dare promise nothing on mine own part. I rely wholly on your tenderness to pardon the errors I have committed or may hereafter commit in your service and beg leave to assure you that I am preparing to obey the orders contained in Mr Verelst's letter. Happy day! that I have once again the pleasure of subscribing myself. Signed. 1½ small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 December 1739. [CO 5/640, ff 389–390d]
October 9
Duke of Newcastle to James Oglethorpe. I have no letters of yours to acknowledge since I wrote to you on 15 June last to acquaint you that HM had been obliged to make use of forcible measures against the King of Spain and had ordered the ships and effects of the said king and his subjects to be seized and taken wherever they should be met with. I send you herewith HM's instructions under his royal sign manual by which you will see the King has been pleased to direct you to make an attempt upon the Spanish settlement at St Augustine in case you and the Governor and Council of South Carolina, with whom you are previously to consult on this occasion, shall think such an enterprise practicable. As HM has thought fit to authorize his governors in America to grant letters of marque and reprisal to such persons as should apply for them against the Spaniards, I doubt not but you will have done all in your power to encourage HM's subjects in America to make use of this opportunity to revenge the insults which they have suffered from the Spaniards; and as it has been represented as a very practicable thing to make descent upon some of the Spanish settlements in America, and as the persons to whom letters of marque and reprisal are granted are (it is presumed) by virtue of them authorized to make such descents as well as to take any Spanish ships or vessels at sea, you will I am persuaded use your best endeavours to encourage any of HM's subjects to undertake such enterprises which cannot fail greatly to annoy the Spaniards and will probably be attended with great benefit to the undertakers. I send you enclosed a copy of an intelligence that HM has received, by which you will see that the Spaniards have been under great apprehensions on account of a supposed design of yours to draw some of the Indians from their dependence upon Spain. I conclude this alarm was occasioned by your intended journey to Coweta of which you give an account in your letter to the Trustees dated 15 June, a copy of which they have transmitted to me. I have no particular directions to send you from HM upon this head but in the present circumstances it would be a very agreeable service to HM if anything of that kind could be brought about. Draft. 3 pp. Enclosed:
412 i Kensington, 9 October 1739. Royal instructions to Gen Oglethorpe to take St Augustine if practicable. Ordnance stores have been ordered to be sent for that purpose. RN ships have been ordered to co-operate. Men may be raised in South Carolina and Georgia and Indians persuaded to join. If successful you are either to demolish St Augustine or garrison it, preferably the second if men are available. Should the attempt not be practicable the ordnance is to be used for the better defence of South Carolina and Georgia or for any other service against the Spaniards. Draft. 3½ pp. [CO 5/654, ff 225–226d, 229–231d]
October 9
Same to same (Private). I give you the trouble of this letter on account of Mr Cruttenden, vendue-master of South Carolina. You may remember that when he was appointed to this office in 1735 you was so good as to undertake to find out a proper deputy for him and that Mr Cruttenden put into your hand a blank deputation for that purpose. And as he represents to me that he has for the four years that he has been possessed of this office received only a very inconsiderable sum (I think not above 40 or 50l in the whole though I am not quite certain as to the particular sum) I am to beg you would be so good as to talk with the person who is his deputy and engage him to come to an immediate account with you for the profits of this employment since he has executed it, and to return to Mr Cruttenden what shall appear to you to be due to him upon the balance; and I should be extremely obliged to you if you would put this matter upon such a foot that the returns may be made in a more regular manner for the future. I am persuaded you will have the goodness to excuse this liberty which my concern for Mr Cruttenden who is my particular friend, and your having formerly engaged in this affair, have encouraged me to take. Draft. 1¾ pp. [CO 5/654, ff 227–228d]
October 9
James Oglethorpe to Harman Verelst. Just now Capt Mackay arrived and Capt Thomson is on the bar. Capt Mackay returns on board to go with him down to Frederica, to which place he must sail immediately whilst the men-of-war are on the coast to protect him. I have wrote to the Trustees at large and hope Mr Vernon and Mr Towers and all my friends will accept it as a letter to each. Signed. PS. I [beg] you would have the enclosed account [of an] (fn. 1) insurrection of the Carolina Negroes inserted in some newspapers. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 13 March 1740. Enclosed:
414 i An account of the Negro insurrection in South Carolina. Sometime since there was a proclamation published at Augustine in which the King of Spain [Marginal note: then at peace with Great Britain] promised protection and freedom to all Negro slaves that would resort thither. Certain Negroes belonging to Capt Davis escaped to Augustine and were received there. They were demanded by Gen Oglethorpe who sent Lieut Demeré to Augustine and the governor assured the general of his sincere friendship but at the same time showed his orders from the court of Spain by which he was to receive all runaway Negroes. Of this other Negroes having notice, as it is believed from the Spanish emissaries, four or five who were cattle-hunters and knew the woods, some of whom belonged to Capt Macpherson, ran away with his horses, wounded his son, and killed another man. These marched through Georgia and were pursued but, the rangers being then newly reduced, the countrypeople could not overtake them though they were discovered by the Salzburghers as they passed by Ebenezer. They reached Augustine, one only being killed and another wounded by the Indians in their flight. They were received there with great honours: one of them had a commission given to him and a coat faced with velvet. Amongst the Negro slaves there are a people brought from the kingdom of Angola. Many of these speak Portuguese (which language is as near Spanish as Scotch is to English) by reason that the Portuguese have considerable settlements and the Jesuits have a mission in that kingdom and many thousands of the Negroes profess the Roman Catholic religion. Several Spaniards upon divers pretences have for some time past been strolling about Carolina; two of them who will give no account of themselves have been taken up and committed to jail in Georgia. The good reception of the Negroes at Augustine was spread about; several attempted to escape to the Spaniards and were taken; one of them was hanged at Charleston. In the latter end of July last Don Pedro, colonel of the Spanish horse, went in a launch to Charleston under pretence of a message to Gen Oglethorpe and the lieut-governor.
On 9 September last, being Sunday which is the day the planters allow them to work for themselves, some Angola Negroes assembled to the number of twenty, and one who was called Jammy was the captain. They surprised a warehouse belonging to Mr Hutchenson at a place called Stonehow. They there killed Mr Robert Bathurst and Mr Gibbs, plundered the house, and took a pretty many smallarms and powder which was there for sale. Next they plundered and burnt Mr Godfrey's house and killed him, his daughter and son. They then turned back and marched southward along Pons Pons which is the road through Georgia to Augustine. They passed Mr Wallace's tavern towards daybreak and said they would not hurt him for he was a good man and kind to his slaves but they broke open and plundered Mr Lemy's house and killed him, his wife and child. They marched on towards Mr Rose's resolving to kill him but he was saved by a Negro who, having hid him, went out and pacified the others. Several Negroes joined them. They, calling out Liberty, marched on with colours displayed and two drums beating, pursuing all the white people they met with and killing man, woman and child when they came up to them. They burnt Col Hext's house and killed his overseer and wife. They then burnt Mr Sprye's house, then Mr Sacheverell's, and then Mr Nash's house, all lying upon the Pons Pons road, and killed all the white people they found in them. Mr Bullock got off but they burnt his house. By this time many of them were drunk with the rum they had taken in the houses. They increased every minute by new Negroes coming to them so that they were above 60, some say 100, on which they halted in a field and set to dancing, singing and beating drums to draw more Negroes to them thinking they were now victorious over the whole province, having marched ten miles and burnt all before them without opposition.
But the militia being raised, the planters with great briskness pursued them and when they came up, dismounting, charged them on foot. The Negroes were soon routed though they behaved boldly, several being killed on the spot. Many ran back to their plantations thinking they had not been missed but they were taken and shot. Such as were taken in the field also were, after being examined, shot on the spot; and this is to be said to the honour of the Carolina planters that, notwithstanding the provocation they had received from so many murders, they did not torture one Negro but only put them to an easy death. All that proved to be forced and were not concerned in the murders and burnings were pardoned. And this sudden courage in the field and the humanity afterwards hath had so good an effect that there hath been no further attempt and the very spirit of revolt seems over. About 30 escaped from the fight, of which 10 marched about 30 miles southward and, being overtaken by the planters on horseback, fought stoutly for some time and were all killed on the spot. The rest are yet untaken. In the whole action about 40 Negroes and 20 whites were killed. The lieut-governor sent an account of this to Gen Oglethorpe who met the advices on his return from the Indian nation. He immediately ordered a troop of rangers to be ranged [sic: ?raised] to patrol through Georgia, placed some men in the garrison at Palichocolas which was before abandoned and near which the Negroes formerly passed, being the only place where horses can come to swim over the River Savannah for near 100 miles, ordered out the Indians in pursuit and a detachment of the garrison at Port Royal to assist the planters on any occasion, and published a proclamation ordering all the constables, etc of Georgia to pursue and seize all Negroes, with a reward for any that should be taken. It is hoped these measures will prevent any Negroes from getting down to the Spaniards. 7 pp. [CO 5/640, ff 392–396]
October 10
Thomas Hill to Governor Jonathan Belcher. The seal of the province is to be affixed to all affidavits offered to you by the agent of John North and others in support of their allegations. Entry. 1 p. [CO 5/917, pp 289–290]
October 10
Governor Lewis Morris to Duke of Newcastle acknowledging letter of 15 June with HM's warrant for granting letters of reprisal against the Spaniards in the West Indies. I am referred by HM's instructions to copies of forms usual in that case sent with the instructions but I have no such copies nor has Mr Clarke, lieut-governor of New York, and we are both at a loss how to form these commissions and under what seal to give them. He has given one under the seal of the Court of Admiralty in New York which some think to be a seal only proper for the processes of that court. I ask your directions concerning it.
Herewith I send you a copy of the journals of the Council and a printed copy of the journals of the Assembly. The first was not transcribed and the last not printed timely enough to be transmitted by the conveyance by which the laws enacted the last Assembly were sent to England. You may see in page 32 of the printed journal of the Assembly the pains I took to prevail upon them (not to raise a support for the government, for that was already done but) to agree with the Council that all the money raised for the support of the government might be applied to that purpose according to the appointment of the Acts that raised it. This they were so far from doing that they would not consent to a conference with the Council upon it nor admit of any alteration to be made to their bill, pretending it was the people's money with which the Council had nothing to do, and took upon themselves to give only a part of what was before given and applied by Acts in force, reserving or rather assuming to themselves the sole power of the disposal of what they pretended to give and also of what remained, when and in what manner they thought proper exclusive of the Council, contrary to the express letter and meaning of the Acts that raised it. You may also see by the journals of the Council of 13 March and a little before the difference between the Council and Assembly on this head. The Assembly did not attempt giving any reasons to justify or palliate their conduct but would act as they did because they would. I conceive that in this case they assumed to themselves a power inconsistent with and contradictory to the laws in force and to the power given by HM's letters patent, destructive of the constitution, derogatory from HM's just prerogative, without any precedent that I know of but that by which the House of Lords was voted useless, which I judge to be of very dangerous tendency and most pernicious example. And seeing no likelihood of their coming to any tolerable temper with the Council but a tenacious obstinacy of persisting in what they had begun, I thought it my duty to dissolve them and hope that HM will not disapprove. Signed. 1½ pp. Endorsed, R, 26 November. Enclosed:
416 i Journal of Council of New Jersey, 26 October 1738 to 15 March 1739. 82 pp.
416 ii Votes and Proceedings of Assembly of New Jersey, 27 October 1738 to 14 March 1739. Printed by J P Zaenger. 70 pp. [Covering letter in CO 5/983, ff 185–186d; enclosures at ff 94–174d]
October 10
Palace Court
Minutes of Trustees for Georgia. Thomas Stephens, son of William Stephens, being just arrived from Georgia, delivered letters and journal. Sealed grant of 300 acres to Rev John MacLeod, missionary at Darien, in trust for himself and successors. Entry. ¾ p. [CO 5/687, p 137; entry of grant in CO 5/670, pp 421–424]
October 11
James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. I have seen Capt Mackay who arrived last Sunday: Capt Thomson and all on board are safe. I have received your letter and have desired Mr Jones and Col Stephens to send you very full answers. As we every hour expect action with the Spaniards I have hardly time to write out the different necessary orders for the Indian nation, the rangers, the garrisons, the boats, and letters to Carolina, Virginia, the northern colonies and men-of-war. As the safety and lives of the people and honour of the English arms in these parts depend upon using the present conjuncture I hope you will excuse my not writing a long letter. I shall use my utmost endeavours to see your orders executed: some things I believe you will think necessary to alter in them, particularly the allowing an alehouse at Tybee which would be the occasion of making boatmen drunk and might be the loss of many boats and men and would be attended with the same ill consequences as the alehouse on the Carolina side hath been, which on the losing of several boats and drowning fourteen men I have applied to have suppressed. Upon the rupture with Spain and the discontent of the Cherokees and Creeks against the people of Carolina and their traders the greatest part of that colony own that I am best able to manage the Indians and the lieut-governor hath wrote to me that it is necessary to send an agent amongst the Cherokees. But this, as they live in Georgia, he cannot do; therefore I have sent up Mr Eyres as agent and the lieut-governor joins me in suppressing rum. With respect to Col Stephens and Mr Jones, they tell me that to give a full and satisfactory answer to your last letter will require some time but I have desired them to write to you in the meantime. Signed. PS. I have read over the estimates but have not time to explain upon them till I have talked to the different officers. Upon the first view I think there may be 20l a year saved upon each of the pilots. There is no allowance of a surveyor to the southward, and there are other charges which I believe may be saved and some of the articles which I believe when you hear you will think necessary to add, particularly tithingmen in the towns and a correspondent clerk or intelligencer to be maintained in the Creeks and another in the Cherokee nation. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 13 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 403–404d]
October 11
Thomas Jones to Harman Verelst. I received yours of 14 July and a letter from Mr Martin of the 9th. I writ a letter to you August 2nd, which hope you received per Mr Thomas Stephens, wherein I mentioned my sending you a fuller account than the time would allow me then to do by a letter which I have writ and directed to the Trustees. But those difficulties I then laboured under being now removed, I would not trouble them with needless complaints; shall only say that I hope it will appear that the opposition I mec with from the magistrates and others proceeded from no other cause than my adhering strictly to the establishments made by the Trustees in the issues out of their store and, where I could not find any establishment, in pursuing the orders given me by the general. They expected not only provisions, etc for themselves and families even beyond the allowances appointed them, but that I should issue to other persons for their account towards the discharge of their private debts. Col Stephens joined with them therein, and upon my refusing to comply with Mr Parker's demands by a verbal order sent me by one of his servants (I could never prevail with Col Stephens or Mr Parker to give me an order about any issues in writing) I was threatened to be committed to the loghouse, which had been put in execution if Mr Gilbert had not refused to join in granting the warrant against me alleging that as I was an officer of the Trustees they should first acquaint the general or the Trustees with my misconduct. I shall not trouble you with any further account but must say that if the general had not at that time and upon many other occasions interposed in my behalf I must have fled from Savannah or had not been alive to write this letter.
Yours of March 3 and of April 2 I received July 5th. After the general's departure from hence to the Indian nation Col Stephens, Mr Parker and self met pursuant to the commission and instructions given us to examine the accounts, wherein I expected but little success. But when it evidently appeared by the first account we entered upon, which was Mr Montaigut's (on the examination of Mr Pury on oath), what contrivances Mr Causton had used to get money, thereby enhancing the Trustee's debts, Mr Parker appeared very uneasy thereat and for several days neglected attending the affair; but Col Stephens showed the greatest readiness and zest in the measures since taken to unravel the secret designs which have been carried on for some years past to defraud the Trustees. We have examined and stated the certified accounts which by your letter of April 2 are mentioned to remain unpaid and find several errors, etc in each of them excepting that of Recompence Stanberry which we believe to be a just and fair account. Mr Robert Williams's demands we have deferred our inquiry into until his brother, who is partner with him and is lately arrived here from St Christopher's, produces vouchers for some part of the account and until we can have the affidavits of several persons taken about the western road which by his account cost near 700l to no purpose and contrary to the instructions given him by the (now) Gen Oglethorpe. The account of Paul Jennys & Co (which you sent me per Capt Thomson as also the report of the committee of accounts thereon) we had examined and you will find several articles disallowed of by the committee to have been objected to by us in our stating of said account, as well as some other articles objected to wherein there has been great mistakes (if with any propriety of speech they may be so called). Mr Jennys has been desired to send some person with the vouchers in order to settle and state his account with the Trustees but has not hitherto done it. In all the accounts we have hitherto examined we have found matters for objections which shall per first opportunity transmit to you in order to be communicated to their honours, excepting the following, viz Recompence Stanberry abovementioned, David Provost and Thomas Ware whose accounts as certified we believe to be just.
Whilst his excellency remains with us our time is wholly taken up in other affairs which cannot be transacted in his absence, but shall after his departure proceed in executing our commission relating to the accounts, though can hope but little assistance therein from Mr Christie whose own account with the Trustees will hardly bear an inquiry into without grating animadversions. For my own part since I began the inquiry into the state of the accounts I have not been able to think of or do any other business, having little assistance therein. Mr Pye (one of the clerks) who attends us is very faithful and has concealed nothing which could give light into any account: he writes well but is too heedless to be depended on. Adrian Loyer who had the chief direction of the accounts, having been examined touching some alterations by erasements, etc he had lately made in several accounts and could not pretend any excuse for so doing, is lately gone to Port Royal. (The magistrates here published an order since we had an account of the rupture with Spain that no boats or passengers therein should go out of the colony without permission.) Mr Loyer applied to Mr Parker for a permit who refused to grant it, telling him that he could not allow him to go out of the colony until the commissioners had finished their inquiry into the accounts, he being the only person now left that could explain any difficulties that might arise therein; but Mr Christie granted a permit to him. James Houstoun, another of the clerks, is at Port Royal. The said Houstoun by Col Cochran's directions (as Mr Pye informs us) made several alterations in the books of accounts, which alterations are know to be in Houstoun's handwriting.
Mr Henry Parker for two months past has [as] magistrate acted with great steadiness and good conduct and has left off drinking to excess: he is a man endowed with good natural abilities. He found it to be in vain for him to expect an unlimited credit from the store as usual and that his attachment to Mr Causton could be of no service to either of them. I am very thankful to the Trustees that my endeavours to serve them is in any measure agreeable and also for the honour done me in the commissions sent hither. I am conscious of my incapacity to do them or their interests in this colony much service in either but still hope they will find some more fit person to serve them; however, shall endeavour to promote their interests in this colony with faithfulness whilst they shall judge me anyway capable thereof. I intended as soon as the general was gone for the camp to have writ to the Trustees and also to finish our examination of those accounts we had gone through for your perusal and the accounts of the store to this time which are ready, but have not time to take copies thereof. His excellency required me to write to you by this conveyance to Carolina. I have many things to add but the boat being ready to go off must conclude. Signed. 3½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 13 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 397–398d]
October 11
James Oglethorpe to Andrew Stone. With this I send one to his grace recommending Andrew Rutledge as capable of filling up the place of chief justice of Carolina. He is amongst the most zealous for HM's service in that colony; he hath an easy fortune and good reputation in the law; his integrity is very great and of a spirit much above lucre. It is his merit that makes me interest myself for him and recommend him to my lord duke. I think it would be very happy for the province if you were so kind as to support this application so as it may succeed. Signed. 1½ small pp. [CO 5/654, ff 232–233d]
October 12
Same to Duke of Newcastle. The chief justice of Carolina is a very worthy gentleman. I hope he may long continue but as all men are mortal and he is sick of an illness which hath been fatal in Carolina, so if he should die I take the liberty of laying before you that Andrew Rutledge, who was bred to the study of the law in England, is a very worthy and deserving man; that he hath acquired a very great character in Carolina; and that he is distinguished by his zeal to HM's person and government. And I should have thought myself very wanting in justice to the public as well as to him if I had not acquainted you with his merits since I know you will interest yourself for the person who is most capable of executing so great a trust. I hope you will excuse my taking this liberty. Signed. 1½pp. [CO 5/654, ff 234–235d]
October 15
Governor William Mathew to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations sending minutes of Council of Montserrat for quarter ending 29 September last and Act of Antigua for levying duty of powder and firearms on vessels trading to and from that island. I formerly acquainted you that Thomas Pym of the Council of Nevis left that island without the least application to me for leave and without taking the least notice of me as the King's governor, upon which I suspended him. He is since returned and without the least regard shown for me, but rather an indiscreet behaviour and much resentment, he has sent home to obtain being restored in defiance of me. I am told his reason is that, though he went without leave, disregard of me was not sufficient without having been absent a year for my suspending him. I must submit it to you. I can expect from that gentleman, being restored, nothing less than ill manners from him at that board but it shall not hurt HM's service on my part, no more than my declared enemy Edward Jessup's being placed at the Council board of St Christopher's. Duplicate. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 25 November 1739. [CO 152/23, ff 250, 250d, 255, 255d]
October 17
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Pursuant to order we have reconsidered our report of 10 August recommending separate government for New Hampshire and also considered Richard Partridge's memorial. Upon the whole we are of opinion that it can never be for HM's service to annex New Hampshire to Massachusetts: neither HM's royal orders nor the laws of trade meet with cheerful compliance in any charter government. We see no reason for altering our opinion. HM had lately separated the Jerseys from New York and the reason will be stronger here as the people of Massachusetts have shown evident marks of oppression by unreasonable delays in the settlement of their boundaries. Were the inhabitants of New Hampshire under a distinct governor they might exert themselves in defence of their country; but it might be proper to take once more the sense of the Assembly and to know what provision they will make for a separate governor. Entry. Signatories, J Brudenell, R Plumer, A Croft, M Bladen. 6½ pp. [CO 5/917, pp 290–296]
October 18
Same to Duke of Newcastle enclosing copy of extract of letter dated at Albany on 13 July 1739 and transmitted by Lieut-Governor Gooch (fn. 2). Signed, Martin Bladen, A Croft, R Plumer. ¾ p. Enclosed:
424 i New York, 16 June 1739. Lieut-Governor George Clarke to Horatio Walpole enclosing copies. I hope that upon a representation thereof the governor of Canada will be ordered to desist from attempting to make any settlements on this side of the lake, for I fear nothing that I can say will divert him if he has any such intention; nor do I think I ought to use any other means until I receive HM's commands especially as the limits of our and their claims are not precisely determined. Yet I presume to think that as these lands have been above forty years purchased from the Indians and possessed by us our claim to them is very clear. I give you the trouble of this letter that you may be early apprised of the matter, hoping what I have done will receive your approbation. I recommend myself to the continuance of your protection. Signed. 1¼ small pp.
424 ii New York, 15 June 1739. Lieut-Governor Clarke to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations enclosing nos 424iii and 424iv. Signed. Copy of no 220. 1¾pp.
424 iii New York, 14 June 1739. Same to commissioners for Indian affairs. Signed. Copy of no 219i. 1 small p.
424 iv Albany, 7 June 1739. Commissioners for Indian affairs to Lieut-Governor Clarke. Copy of no 219ii. 1 small p.
424 v Extract of letter, dated at Albany on 13 July 1739, from same to same. Copy of no 303i. 1½ pp. [CO 5/1344, ff 42–53d; entry of covering letter in CO5/1366, p 326; draft of same in CO 5/1335, ff 179–179A dorse]
October 18
Same to Governor Jonathan Belcher acknowledging letters of 4 and 14 August. You will in due time receive HM's orders on the state of the paper currency; meanwhile adhere strictly to instructions. Fort Frederick should be put into proper posture of defence; we are surprised this has not been done before. Entry. Signatories, M Bladen, A Croft, R Plumer. 2 pp. [CO 5/917, pp 297–298]
October 18
Thomas Hill to Francis Fane sending seven Acts passed in Antigua, Nevis and Montserrat in 1739 for opinion in point of law. Titles stated. Entry. 1½ pp. [CO 153/16, pp 165–166]
October 18
Same to Governor Richard Fitzwilliam requesting attendance at the board on 25th inst to discuss several letters from him and one lately received from the President of Council in Bahamas. Entry. ½ p. [CO 24/1, p 330]
October 19
St James's
Order of King in Council, on report from Committee for Plantation Affairs, approving draft instructions, with alterations proposed, for Robert Byng, governor of Barbados. Copy, certified by W Sharpe. 3 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 22 September, Read 16 October 1740. [CO 28/25, ff 160–161d]
October 19
James Oglethorpe to Harman Verelst. This is by way of explanation of some accounts that I send over to answer the bills I have drawn upon you. The Trustees assured me that they would make good the expenses laid out for them. I have been as frugal as I possibly could as you will see by the accounts. I thought to have bought horses sufficient to have made the journey to the Indian nation and carried up the goods and for that purpose I drew upon you for 200l sterling payable to Mr Jenys, but being disappointed in purchasing horses was obliged to hire and was obliged to buy goods in the nation from the traders to make presents to the Indians and paid an advanced price which was but half the price they sell them to the Indians for. I carried up as many as I could get packhorses for and upon those I saved the advanced price. I have sent the bills at large though in them there are mixed articles, some relating to myself, some to the Indians, but I have set off all that was to my own account. In the articles of the Trustees there is 20l lent to Mr Kent. I have sent a letter from him to his father: he is a young man of great worth and merit; his father was Member for Reading, has a good estate and is an acquaintance of Mr Hucks's. I hope he will support his son: if he sends him over 300l and 50l a year he will make a very happy man of him for he has a very fine tract of land at Augusta and the best notion of improving of any man I know in the province. There is an article of 12l which was a loan in cattle to one Overstreet, an industrious man with a wife and six children, who is settled at Augusta. The inhabitants recommended him to me, he having been afflicted with sickness, and answered that by the milk of six cows the wife would be able to maintain the family. There is 5l given for assistance to the cattle-hunters: Capt Cuthbert with the cattle-hunters and that small assistance cut a path for horses through the woods which was before impassable from Augusta to the Uchee from above sixty miles on our side the river. The whole of this account with the presents amounts to 684l 10s 2d, out of which 123l 9sd I discharged from the Trust's to my own account, being the expense of myself and family, so that their charge is 561l 0sd. There is 200l in Mr Jenys's hands which I drew for to pay for horses, which as I could not get horses at a reasonable price I have made an advance out of that money to some butchers and drovers who are inhabitants of this town to slaughter here and thereby enable them to furnish the town and shipping, etc with provisions and to repay the same to the Trust as they receive it. This becomes quite necessary by the shutting up the Trustees' store and is what their letter hints at of encouraging people to sell provisions. Besides which, there is 40l which I pay to Camuse, the silkwinder, in account, he having a demand upon the Trustees before my arrival and for expenses this year, which demand will be lessened by this 40l as will appear in the accounts of the commissioners for stating the debts. The next is 63l paid to Mr Jones in order to enable him to discharge the debts due to the garrison at Augusta and would have been at a great discount to the prejudice of the Trust's credit because the poor people were not able to stay the sending them home to England. Capt Macpherson has a very considerable demand upon the Trust as appears by the report of the commissioners: he having made it appear that he was in the utmost distress I advanced him 61l 4s which lessens the debt due by the Trust. Mr Jones having occasion for provisions, etc from Cattell and Austin at Charleston I advanced him 50l for the same for which he is to account to the Trust. A ship belonging to Capt Caleb Davis arrived here with molasses and as there was no probability that more would come up by reason of the war Mr Jones by my order bought the cargo which is to be issued to the people here for money; and as soon as he receives the same it will be so much towards the paying the estimate of the Trustees. It amounts to 400l of which I have at present drawn for but 220l. I have also drawn for 107l 9s, 100l, and 20l payable to Mr Thomas Jones, which money has been paid in discharge of the account of Indian presents and is part of the 684l 10s.
The Cherokee Indians as will appear by the affidavits sent over to England by Col Stephens, which I hope are arrived, were destroyed by rum and the smallpox carried up by traders from Carolina, some of whom had been licenced at Charleston and some without any licences but encouraged from thence. Above 1000 of the Indians died and the sickness raged so that they could not attend their cornfields. They demanded justice from all the English, threatened revenge, and sent to the French for assistance. Their deputies met me at Fort Augusta. I asked them if they were Georgia traders that had sold the rum. They said no, and I prevailed with them not only to be pacified with the English but also to promise me the assistance of a body of men against the Spaniards. When they told me of the starving condition they would be in by their having lost their corn harvest by the sickness, I ordered as far as 1500 bushels of corn to be bought at Augusta and to be given to the Cherokee nation if they came down to fetch the same, to be divided amongst all the towns where the dearth of corn was. Upon my acquainting the chiefs of my having done this before they asked it, they said that the Trustees treated them as fathers do their children, they did not give them toys nor unwholesome liquor but gave them wisdom and justice and supplied their wants when misfortunes came upon them. They called them the preservers of their nation, as they did the Carolina traders the destroyers of it. I have drawn for 107l 10s to pay for this corn which stands in about eighteenpence per bushel delivered at Augusta and this is paid into the hands of Mr Jones to answer that demand.
There was a great damp upon planting and indeed upon every other thing when I came over but things are now much better. Yet I was obliged to encourage the planting and with much difficulty could I persuade anyone near the town to it, so was obliged to promise a bounty of 2s per bushel upon Indian corn and pease and 1s for potatoes, in the hopes of which some have planted and have large crops. The people of Ebenezer were contented with a less premium, viz 12d per bushel and that only upon corn and pease. The sum total I cannot yet tell but I suppose a good deal of the bounty will be paid by setting off some of the debts due to the store; those who are most necessitous I pay in money. By the regulation there can be no fraud, for the ground on which the corn grew is to be viewed as well as the corn measured. I have drawn for 150l which is left in Mr Jones's hands for this purpose. I shall lend Mr Burnside upon cattle 40l in order to enable him to buy the same in Carolina. The cattle will be in this colony as security and cattle may be very necessary in case supplies should be cut off; and for that and some other expenses which I have left with Mr Jones to make I have drawn for 80l. If the Trustees do not think this encouragement to be within their intention, continue that 80l upon my account. You see by this that there is great part of the amount of these bills in the colony to answer the Trustees' estimate. There is part of it to pay the expenses of the last year and part to lessen the debt before my arrival so that there is no increase of this year's expenses nor nothing exceeding the estimate. Therefore I hope the Trustees will pay you the same and take them off my account. I believe that it will be necessary to encourage the people in planting to give next year a bounty of 1s per bushel upon corn and I have promised 4s a pound for silkballs. Duplicate. Signed. 8 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 7 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 399–402d]
October 20
Governor Robert Byng to Duke of Newcastle acknowledging receipt of instructions. I shall always endeavour the punctual observance of them as also preserve the utmost zeal for whatever tends to HM's service in the station you have placed me. If in the discharge of my duty I shall be so fortunate as to merit your approbation I shall esteem it the highest satisfaction I am capable of receiving. The Portland is now preparing to sail with the wind easterly which may probably soon send us out of the Channel. Signed. 1 small p. [CO 28/45, ff 424–425d]
October 20
Postscript to a letter to Governor Richard Fitzwilliam from South Carolina. There is extreme want of provisions at Providence. Our merchants are withdrawing their effects and I am credibly informed your principal inhabitants are so frightened that they will shortly remove hither. Copy. ¼ small p. Endorsed, R from Mr Fitzwilliam, 9 December 1739. [CO 23/14, ff 316–317d]
October 20
James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. The order relating to Negroes is arrived and published and hath had a very good effect. The resolution shown by the Trust hath in a great measure quelled the troublesome spirit. The remainder of the idle walkers and Dr Tailfer are preparing to leave the colony but several industrious people are settling. This week above eight lots have been taken up. I defrayed last year's expenses as I mentioned in my former and thank you for the kind paragraph in your letter that you will repay those advances. I am not able yet to send home all the accounts and vouchers but some I have, and explained them in a letter to Mr Verelst and hope you will pay them. The estimate for the establishment of this year is very short. The provision for the silk, which is one of the most important improvements in the colony, is far from being sufficient to carry that on. There is no provision made for magistrates or constables at Augusta nor for tithingmen in this town nor for agents in the Indian country nor for tithingmen in the outvillages of Hampstead, Highgate, Skidoway and Abercorn; therefore probably the outvillages will quit their ground for want of officers to preserve the peace. There is also no provision for tithingmen at Ebenezer.
The Darien hath been one of the settlements where the people have been most industrious as those of Savannah have been most idle. The Trustees have had several servants there who, under the direction of Mr Moore McIntosh, have not only earned their bread but have furnished the Trust with such quantities of sawed stuff as hath saved them a great sum of money. Those servants cannot be put under the directions of anybody at Frederica nor anyone that does not understand the Highland language. The woods fit for sawing are near Darien and the Trustees engaged not to separate the Highlanders. They are very useful under their own chiefs and nowhere else. It is very necessary, therefore, to allow Mr McIntosh for the overseeing the Trust's servants at the Darien, and indeed I do not think there is occasion for an overseer with any large salary at Frederica since there is very little work for servants there except about the store. There are several other absolute necessary expenses but as I know that the Trustees cannot exceed a certain sum I shall not venture upon making them though I believe the colony will suffer for want of them. I am indeed of opinion that the sum of 5000l a year would have done if no war had happened. I could have distributed it in such a manner as to have supported the colony but I fear it cannot be done now, for the having given notice to the magistrates and others that they are to have such large salaries they cannot now be reduced. There is no provision in the estimate for encouraging the vineyards, no bounty upon corn, no food to encourage young planters, nor no provisions for servants out of their time. There is 500l a year for all contingencies: I shall take all the care to divide that in such a manner as to make it go the farthest I can but fear it will nothing near answer the necessary services. There are two articles without which we should be entirely destroyed: those I shall venture upon and I send you over notice of them that, if you think they are not within the power of the Trust to apply money to, I should desire you would use your interest in Parliament to procure a separate sum for that purpose in your vote. The one is a troop of rangers and pay for those who head the Indians as officers, without which we shall lie entirely open to the insults of the Spanish horse and Indians upon the continent, for it is impossible for one regiment of foot to cover such a vast frontier. I send you the establishment of these bodies of men. There is also the garrison at Augusta. The first party that I sent up there under Ensign Kitson was drowned and I cannot spare any men from the regiment to so far a post now we have the Spaniards upon our backs. Therefore I have kept up that garrison with ten men. I have also kept one agent or intelligencer in the Creek and one in the Cherokee nation with an appointment of 30l a year for themselves and 24l for a servant and to find themselves food.
Col Stephens and Mr Jones having acquainted me that Mr Williamson was gone away to Charleston and not like to return, and that therefore Mr Christie could not leave the recorder's office and consequently not succeed Mr Parker, they further acquainted me that Mr Parker now behaved well, had entirely left off drinking, and that they thought it would be most serviceable to the colony to continue him first magistrate. I accordingly did till your further orders and I believe you will think it proper to continue him on. This place is now very quiet and the whole province wears a much better face then when I arrived. Georgia has been very healthy this year; the fatal rum fever of Charleston hath not extended to us and I believe five men have not died out of the five companies of my regiment quartered in this province. Signed. 5½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 7 March 1739/40. Read before the committee of correspondence 22 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 405–408d]
October 23
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to the King recommending confirmation of Act passed in Virginia to enable Ralph Wormley to sell entailed lands. Entry. Signatories, Martin Bladen, A Croft, R Plumer, J Brudenell. 1 p. [CO 5/1366, p 327; draft in CO 5/1335, ff 180–180A dorse]
October 24
Governor Jonathan Belcher to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. As I have for a long time past been writing you of all things relating to this province and that of New Hampshire, I am hoping by some of the ships now expected from England to receive from you an answer to such things as you may judge necessary for advancing HM's interest and service. Since my last the Assembly of this province has been convened and sat from 19th of last month to 9th of this, and refused raising any money for the support of the government or defence of the province but in such a manner as I dare not consent to. What passed in this sessions you will see by the journals of the Representatives which I send you herewith, and also the bill that passed both Houses for a supply of the treasury which you will find entirely inconsistent with HM's 9th and 16th instructions to me. On the bill you will find my marginal notes which will readily let you into the nature of their bills and how that I could not sign it but in direct disobedience to HM's royal orders; and you will also easily perceive that the drift and design of this bill was to make an emission of a large quantity of paper currency without any honest and solid foundation. The bills the Assemblies have issued here for many years past are not now worth 5s in the pound of the current silver money of the province as by law established; and had it not been for HM's 16th instruction I suppose there had been emitted by this time by the Assemblies of this province as much paper currency as would have been half a million of nominal pounds and would have reduced their value to less than half-a-crown in the pound of the good and lawful money of the province (which is seventeen dwt of silver to pass for six shillings). What a fraud and deceit, then, must emissions such kinds of bills of credit be! I therefore have always thought HM's royal 16th instruction to me to be a wise, wholesome and gracious care for the honour of his government and for the true welfare of his people in this province. It cannot easily be imagined how vastly the British trade hither has suffered from time to time by this vile sort of bills. While the Assemblies here issued bills only for the charge of the government and punctually drew them in within the year of their going out, they maintained the value they went out at; but when they went into the practice of emitting great sums on loan and of setting the calling in of what they emitted for the charge of government at long periods, they immediately sunk in their value. The flagrant breach they now make of the public faith in not calling in the sum of bills they are obliged to by their own law is a good reason why they should not for the future emit bills without making the particular assessment, in the Acts by which they are to go out, on the several towns of the province for calling them in within the year and enabling the treasurer to do his duty therein, for it's plain to be seen in the practice of the present Assembly that solemn promises and laws are of little consideration with them. And notwithstanding these things, I must question whether when the Assembly meets in December next they will make any supply to the treasury, and then all the officers of the government and others who have just demands on the province must suffer in a most extraordinary manner; the forts and garrisons must remain in the ruinous condition they now are and still run into greater disrepair [MS: despair], and if the Assembly should continue in this way they must finally be all lost. I do think myself bound in duty to the King and in tenderness to this people to represent the state of this province as it really is at this day and shall be glad of any further orders HM may think necessary for his own honour and for the good of this people. I believe I have formerly hinted to you the vast damage that accrues to the British trade, and indeed to HM's subjects also in these provinces, by some of the charter governments (who are not directly, as others, under the power of the Crown) emitting large sums of paper currency without any foundation to support their value, and the little neighbouring colony of Rhode Island have by their large emissions of such bills greatly contributed to the sinking of the value of all the bills of credit issued in this province. I would therefore propose to you that a bill might be brought into the Parliament of Great Britain (with proper penalties) forbidding all the King's provinces and colonies in America from striking any more bills of credit than might be sufficient for defraying the charge of each government where they might be emitted, and that sufficient provision be made in the Act whereby they are emitted for calling them in within the year in which they go out. This would naturally give them a value as they are passing. I shall hope for your particular answer to this letter as soon as you conveniently can. Signed. 7 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 4 December, Read 5 December 1739. Enclosed:
434 i Bill of Massachusetts for supplying the treasury with 106000l in bills of credit for discharging the public debts. Passed in House of Representatives 3 October; in Council 4 October 1739. With marginal comments by Governor Belcher. Copy, examined by J Willard. 35 pp. [CO 5/881, ff 158–180d; printed copy of enclosure, endorsed (1) Communicated to the Board by Christopher Kilby, agent (2) Recd., Read 14 October 1740, in CO 5/882, ff 64–71d; another copy of same in CO 5/752, ff 333–347d; abstract of same, endorsed Recd. from Mr Kilby, Recd. 1 April, Read 3 April 1740, in CO 5/881, ff 247–248d]
October 27
Thomas Jenys to Trustees for Georgia acknowledging Mr Verelst's letter of 14 July and copy of report on account. The differences between our and Mr Causton's accounts are few and can be reconciled: they arise from a double charge by Mr Causton of two bills and a charge of two certificates. Gen Oglethorpe has sent more than one officer to this government to offer his services for annoying the Spaniards; it is much to be wished that the general's power had been more extensive. Freedom to Negroes is a diminution of our people's estates which is what the Spanish declaration does. It is to be hoped that the Assembly here will thank and support the general. Signed. 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 24 December 1739. [CO 5/640, ff 409–410d]
October 29
Duke of Newcastle to Governors of Jamaica, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Bahamas, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Nova Scotia, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Newfoundland, Rhode Island and Connecticut (Circular). I am to acquaint you that on Friday 19th instant a Great Council was held at Kensington where HM approved and signed a declaration of war against Spain and ordered that the same should be published on Tuesday 23rd instant by the heralds-at-arms in the usual places and with the accustomed formalities on the like occasions, which was done accordingly. And I am commanded to send you a printed copy of the said declaration and to signify to you HM's pleasure that you cause it to be proclaimed in the places under your government that his subjects, having notice, may take care to prevent any mischief which otherwise they might suffer from the enemy and do their duty in their several stations to annoy the subjects of Spain. And HM would have you be very rigorous and severe in preventing any ammunition or stores of any kind from being carried to them, and you are to use all proper methods that may be most effectual for this purpose.
Like letter to Mr Oglethorpe with the words in Georgia instead of the places under your government. Entry. 1½ pp. [CO 324/37, pp 150–151]
October 30
Governor Edward Trelawny to Duke of Newcastle. Vice-Admiral Vernon having desired me to assist him with as many soldiers as I can in order to make an attack upon Porto Bello, and it being my most ardent desire to promote HM's service in every branch of it, I have with the utmost shift spared him 200 men. I must own it occasions a good many of the island to murmur at the sending such a number out of the few forces here, but I was willing to strain to the utmost as I think it of the greatest consequence that some stroke should be struck to distress and frighten the Spaniards in order to bring them to our terms before France may be ready to join with them. Success in this attempt may perhaps put an end to the war, nothing of moment having been done by Mr Brown's squadron and the three ships that ViceAdmiral Vernon sent to La Guaira having failed in that design. I must beg you to move HM to send the reinforcement of soldiers which I desired in my letter of 8 August last. I wish HM would order me upon any particular service or give me a discretionary power to make a descent upon any part of the Spanish territories that I shall judge may be attacked with success and to the best advantage. I believe something may be done with the additional help of the five companies I desired but if HM would please to order more troops and command me upon any particular service I shall execute it with cheerfulness, and I make no doubt but many volunteers would follow me in any expedition which I should go upon in person. I acquainted you in a letter of 22 September last that the country is very uneasy at the expense of subsisting the prisoners taken by HM's ships. I hope HM will soon send orders to have them maintained out of the profits arising by prizes taken by HM's ships upon this station. If the next Assembly refuses to subsist them I shall be in great perplexity to know what to do with the prisoners. I have sent a few prisoners in most of the homeward bound ships and design to send more in others. Several of the prisoners belong to the Spanish men-of-war and galleons who have been suffered to make trading voyages; and as the galleons are not in a condition to return home soon there is no doubt but many men belonging to them will during their stay in the West Indies be permitted in the same manner to go on board guardacostas and privateers with design to annoy us. Besides, as our merchant ships want hands because their men quit their service and enter on board our men-of-war and privateers, I find them willing to have this assistance in their navigation, and accordingly I have allotted them as far as one Spaniard to five Englishmen. Signed. PS. 5 November. Mr Vernon sailed this morning for Porto Bello. 3½ pp. Endorsed, R, 7 March. [CO 137/56, ff 260–261d; signed duplicate, endorsed R, 26 March, at ff 257–259d]
October 31
Ralph Noden to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. The inhabitants of Bermuda are not able to supply themselves either with the stores which are so greatly wanted or the smallarms, occasioned by means of the poverty of that country which can hardly be otherwise since it produces no staple commodity for exportation or employment of the inhabitants who chiefly rely on going to sea for their support and maintenance, thereby becoming as it were carriers to the rest of HM's colonies in America. It would be needless for me to set forth to you the great importance the preservation of that island is of for securing the trade and navigation of Great Britain to and from all its colonies in America, you being so perfectly acquainted with the situation of that place. [I] only crave leave to observe that our ships going to and coming from that part of the world are obliged to sail within 50 leagues to the eastward or westward of that island and oftentimes much nearer, so that should it fall into the hands of an enemy it would prove of the utmost bad consequence to the British trade. And as that colony has not been troublesome to their mother country since 1701, as appears by the report of the Lords Committee of the Privy Council laid before your board, save only the 50 barrels of gunpowder the present governor carried with him, I hope you will make a report in favour of the island's being supplied with stores and smallarms from hence, the inhabitants not being in a capacity to purchase them. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 8 November 1739. [CO 37/13, ff 127, 127d, 130, 130d]


  • 1. MS damaged.
  • 2. Covering letter refers only to enclosure no v. Other papers may have been filed here at a late date.