America and West Indies: December 1739

Pages 234-273

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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December 1739

December 1
Deputy Governor George Thomas to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. Your letter of 5 July with enclosures did not arrive until beginning of last month, and then immediately I summoned the representatives of the province to meet me in Assembly, who having prepared the several accounts required I have herewith transmitted them to you. There is now current in the Three Counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex upon Delaware about 18000l created and issued by different laws before I came to the government, but as I have not been able to procure the particulars from the offices there I cannot send them by this opportunity but shall not fail of doing it by the next. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 5 March 1740. Enclosed:
487 i Philadelphia, 23 November 1739. Account of Acts passed in Pennsylvania for creating or issuing bills of credit. In 1723 two Acts were passed for creating the first bills of credit by which 45000l was issued, and for the effectual discharging or sinking the said bills it was therein provided and enacted that a real estate in fee simple of double the value the sums lent out should be secured in an office created for that purpose and that the sums so lent out should be annually repaid into the office in such equal sums or quotas as would effectually sink the whole capital sum of 45000l within the time limited by the foresaid Acts; which sum being computed in silver as it was then received and paid among us and reduced to sterling money of Great Britain amounts to 29090l 13s 4d. But in 1726 the sum of 6110l 5s, part of the capital sum of 45,000l, by virtue of the two aforesaid Acts being totally sunk and destroyed, the province found themselves greatly straitened by means thereof and likely to become subject to many disappointments and losses for want of a sufficient medium in trade if the remaining quotas of payments should continue to be sunk according to the direction of the Acts. Therefore an Act was then passed for continuing the remaining sum of 38889l 15s for and during the term of eight years by re-emitting or lending out again the quotas or sums to be paid in by the respective borrowers on the same securities and provisions as were directed by the former Acts. The bills of credit emitted in 1723 being thus reduced by the sinking the aforesaid sum, and the inhabitants of the province growing exceeding numerous through the importation of foreigners and others settling among us, by which means the trade became greatly enlarged, the difficulties still increased and the province found themselves under the necessity of making an addition to those bills of credit; and accordingly in 1729 the further sum of 30000l was then created and issued upon the same security of real estates in fee simple to be mortgaged in double the value of the sum lent, and to be paid in by yearly quotas and sunk and destroyed as the former Acts passed in 1723 had provided and directed in the like case. In 1731 the Acts for issuing bills of credit passed in 1723 being near expired and the annual quotas remaining due on the said Acts by virtue thereof being at this time to be sunk and destroyed, which would unavoidably have involved the merchants as well as farmers in new difficulties and laid the province under a necessity of making new Acts of Assembly for emitting more bills of credit in lieu thereof, an Act was then passed for continuing the value and currency of those bills for the term of eight years by lending out the same as they became due, with the same provisions and on the same real securities provided for and directed by the former Acts.
The amount of the bills of credit in the present year 1739 by virtue of the several aforesaid Acts amounting only to 68889l 15s, from the daily increase of the inhabitants and the continued importation of foreigners among us, being found by experience to fall short of a proper medium for regulating our commerce and for the support of government, an Act was passed for creating and issuing a further sum of 11110l 5s and for continuing the whole amount of our bills of credit for a short term of years under the same real securities and with the same provisions and limitations as directed by the former Acts; by means of which additional sum the whole amount of bills of credit current in this province is at this time 80000l, which sum being computed in silver as now purchased here and reduced to sterling money of Great Britain makes 50196l. Yet notwithstanding merchants and others have given some advance to purchase gold and silver, we are assured from experience that that difference arises only from the balance of our trade with Great Britain being in our disfavour by means of the far greater quantities of English goods imported into this province since the creating and issuing our bills of credit, for the adventurers advancing the prices of their commodities, and encouraged by meeting with a ready sale, became great gainers whilst wheat, flour and all the valuable produce of the province continued at or near the usual prices and are at this time to be purchased with our bills of credit as low or lower than has been almost ever known when gold and silver was the medium of our trade; and all tradesmen, hired servants and other labourers have always been and are still paid at the same rates and no more for their labour than they formerly received before the creating or issuing our bills of credit. 2 pp.
487 ii Philadelphia, 23 November 1739. Account of several rates of gold and silver coin. From 1700 to 1709 gold was received and paid at 7l per oz and silver at 9s 2d per oz. From 1709 to 1720 gold was received and paid at 5l 10s per oz and silver at 6s 10½d per oz. From 1720 to 1723 gold was received and paid at 5l 10s per oz and silver coin was purchased with gold at 7s 5d per oz. From 1723 to 1726 gold was purchased and sold at 6l 6s 6d per oz and silver at 8s 3d per oz. From 1726 to 1730 gold was purchased at 6l 3s 9d and silver at 8s 1d. From 1730 to 1738 gold was purchased and sold at 6l 9s 3d and silver at 8s 9d per oz. And now in 1739 gold is purchased and sold at 6l 9s 3d by the oz and silver at 8s 6d per oz. ½ p. [CO 5/1269, ff 156–159d]
December 1
Theophilus Hetherington to Trustees for Georgia. Grand jury here by a majority presented William Pope for possessing King's stores and trying to sell them to Capt Caleb Davis. Mr Jones as third magistrate declined to proceed with case. Debt owed in England is acknowledged but, having married Roger Lacey's widow, Hetherington is owed large sums on that account, Lacey having performed extensive services to the colony. Signed. 2 pp. Addressed. Endorsed, Recd. 20 March 1739/40. Enclosed:
488 i Affidavit, sworn at Savannah on 21 October 1739, before Thomas Christie, recorder, by William Smith, carpenter on snow Diligence, concerning alleged possession by William Pope of a quantity of nails belonging to the King at Port Royal in March last. Copy, certified by Thomas Christie. 1 p. Endorsed, as covering letter. [CO 5/640, ff 420–422d]
December 2
Governor Edward Trelawny to Duke of Newcastle. I cannot help being uneasy when anything relating to HM's service in which I am obliged to act is of a doubtful nature so that I may be wrong either way. Of this nature has been the case of Don Pedro Elizagarate, the officer of orders to the general of the galleons, who I acquainted you in my letter of 20 September was taken off Cartagena and brought in hither. But I have determined, since I may err either way, to err on the generous side, the more so as I represent HM who I persuade myself would that I should do so. I therefore gave him leave to depart yesterday with a vessel which I hired for him and to take with him his boat's crew and five other Spanish sailors that came with letters from the English factory. I wrote to the general of the galleons and to the governor of Cartagena, copies of which letters are enclosed. I am in hopes this will induce the Spanish governors to suffer the South Sea factors and those Englishmen that were in their country before the rupture and detained since to return home; at least it will take from them the pretence they would otherwise have to detain and treat them ill, which the South Sea factors of Cartagena in particular seem apprehensive of in their letter to me on this occasion, copy of which waits upon you enclosed. I could not suffer this gentleman to go before Vice-Admiral Vernon's arrival here lest he might acquaint the general of the galleons with the small force of shipping we had for our defence, Commodore Brown being gone with all but his three smallest vessels to cruise off Havana; and it might have been of prejudice likewise to send him before Mr Vernon's expedition to Porto Bello should be over. But as I every day expect the admiral's return, which he told me he should do in a month or five weeks, and as I have obliged Don Pedro not to enter Cartagena till the 15th of this month, I think he can tell nothing there of the disposition of our ships or of Mr Vernon's future designs, which we know nothing of ourselves here. I have heard in conversation (so that I cannot put any weight upon it though it has had an influence on my determination) that in the late war Sir John Jennings's boat having by mistake gone on board the French admiral's ship that had Dutch colours off Port Mahon, the officer and men were returned directly, but the boat being to the liking of the admiral he detained it with some French apology and compliment; but that His Most Christian Majesty disapproved of his keeping the boat as much as he approved of his dismissing the men. I think the case is in point and I hope we shall never be inferior to the French or any nation in generosity any more than in true bravery. Signed. 3½ pp. Endorsed, R, 26 March. Enclosed:
489 i Jamaica, 29 November 1739. Governor Trelawny to Don Blas de Leso. I have sent back to you, as soon as it was consistent with my duty towards the King my master, Don Pedro de Elizagarate and the persons belonging to his boat, as also a relation of his taken in another place that he has desired me might accompany him, as also seven subjects of His Catholic Majesty who came hither in a vessel from Cartagena before you had news of hostilities between the two Crowns. I flatter myself that Don Pedro and the other 27 persons which go with him will inform you that they have been treated with all humanity and courtesy and that you will likewise treat all subjects of the King my master that shall fall into your hands in the same manner. In answer to your letters of 24 June and 8 July last I must observe that you are mistaken in thinking that it appears by the papers of the sloop Benjamin that I gave any licence for it to traffic either on the coasts of the dominions of His Catholic Majesty or at any other place. My only business is to give or deny ships liberty to depart from this island. They declare not before me but to the Custom-house officers to what place they are bound, of which it concerns not me to take cognizance. I hope you will send hither by this opportunity all the subjects of the King my master that are in your power and who were in His Catholic Majesty's dominions before the late rupture. I have given orders to the commander of the sloop who carries this to you to receive such and no others but such as shall be delivered to him by your order and that of the governor of Cartagena. Copy. 2¼ pp.
489 ii Cartagena, 30 September 1739. James Ord and John Gray, factors of the South Sea Company, to Governor Trelawny. We find ourselves necessitated to trouble you with a second letter in which as in our former we must beg your protection and assistance. You are no doubt informed of Capt Stapylton's coming upon this coast in order to participate to us the advice of a rupture with Spain, which he did by putting a person on shore privately the 20th inst in the night. The next day his ship lay off this city and Don Blas de Lezo, judging him to be a vessel either with Negroes or provisions and his not coming in to be owing to his want of a pilot, sent his own boat off to give him assistance, and a letter from us wrote before we had received any advice what he was, desiring the captain to deliver the officer what packets he had for us as a sure way to have the first notice in case of any novelty between Spain and England, and of consequence to be able to make the necessary prevention. Capt Stapylton, on the boat's going on board him, detained her and carried her off with the officer and men. This made such an alarm here that the factory, company's effects, and our own, were forthwith embargoed and we confined prisoners to the city; and we fear the same will be practised at Panama and Porto Bello where we believe the effects are very considerable. This action of Capt Stapylton's has given us infinite concern, for the only person we could depend upon for protection was Don Blas de Leso and he has given us so many instances of his goodwill that we could not doubt, not only in our public but in our private capacity. When Capt Burgess in the Dragon was cast away on the Salmadina, he sent boats and above 120 of his own men at the risk of their lives to his assistance. When Capt Sword in the Beecher run aground, he gave such timely assistance that she was got off without any damage, and had she stayed any time might have been dashed to pieces. We have many other instances of his generous behaviour to us as private persons, and as servants to the company many more. It was entirely owing to him that during the suspension of the Negro trade last year there was no embargo put on this factory nor on the factories of Porto Bello and Panama when all the rest were treated in a most rigorous and cruel manner. At our request, to serve the company and us, he very generously lent us a pilot and six sailors to dispatch a sloop for Jamaica which we hope you have permitted to return, for otherwise we shall be looked upon here as men without honour whose words are not to be depended upon. We cannot but say that all these favours done to the nation have met as yet with a very bad return: the English arms can receive no honour from taking a boat and twenty defenceless men, much less any advantage, and we as well as the other factors shall pay for this who have no blame. We leave this to your good sense to determine whether we ought not to be considered in these circumstances and whether some regard ought not to be had to our sufferings, besides the breach of politeness which ought to be preserved even in time of war; and where one commander sends a civil message to another we believe there is no instance of detaining the messenger. We beg you will protect us in this emergency and prevail with the commander to return the boat and men. It will be of great service to us in particular and to the company and nation in general. Copy. 3½ pp.
489 iii Jamaica, 29 November 1739. Governor Trelawny to Governor of Cartagena ackowledging good intentions and offices mentioned in letter of 24 June last with regard to sending back the crew of the sloop Benjamin which was wrecked. I hope you will have sufficient motives by this occasion to continue in your good dispositions and that you will send hither by the sloop Endeavour, Capt William Leith, all the subjects of the King my master which are in your power and were in His Catholic Majesty's dominions before the late rupture, and that you will treat those which shall fall into your hands in the same manner as I have treated the subjects of His Catholic Majesty who I send back herewith and design to treat those that remain and may hereafter be in the same condition. Copy.1¼ pp. [CO 137/56, ff 270–278d]
December 2
Thomas Christie to Trustees for Georgia. I return you thanks for the honour you have done me in nominating me first bailiff in the room of Mr Henry Parker removed from that office, as likewise for the commission in examining the public accounts and issuing the cash; but it is with a good deal of concern I have seen few of your orders take place in this colony. Neither Mr Jones nor Mr Stephens have thought fit to consult me upon one or the other. I am at this time very ill, and to point out to you the reason for such their behaviour I must beg leave to defer it to a few days longer at which time I hope to transmit to you a full and ample account of such transactions as I am persuaded will surprise you. Mr Fallowfield and Mr Jones have been sworn in bailiffs according to your directions. Mr Fallowfield appears to be very agreeable to the people's inclinations but Mr Jones's behaviour seems to be [so] brutal and arbitrary that it appears shocking to the people. An instance of one part of his irregular practice [I] have referred to Mr Theophilus Hetherington (then foreman of the grand jury) to represent to you, wherein one Pope was presented for converting to his own use naval stores, the said Mr Jones acting very partially therein. I have not been admitted to take my place as first bailiff but Mr Parker is continued, notwithstanding his being dismissed by you. I have now made up the records and Col Stephens will transmit you a letter from me with the records very soon. I have been a long time harassed with sickness, beg you will excuse me till am able to enlarge. Signed. 1 p. Addressed. Endorsed, Recd. 20 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 423–424]
December 3
New York
Lieut-Governor George Clarke to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations acknowledging letter of 5 July with resolves of Lords and Commons for address to HM concerning rates of gold and silver coins in the plantations and paper money issued in them. Account of both enclosed, hoping they will fully answer your expectations for I have nothing more at heart than to acquit myself of my duty to you whereby I humbly presume to hope for your protection. Signed. 1¼ small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 February, Read 19 February 1740. Enclosed:
491 i Account of value of money in New York in 1700, 1710, 1720, 1730 and 1739. In 1739 silver sold at 9s 8d per oz and pistoles passed at 1l 8s. ½ small p.
491 ii Account of what bills of credit have from time to time been emitted in New York pursuant to the several Acts of the General Assembly and how much of the said bills have been sunk, 1709–1737.
Year Issued Cancelled Subsisting in 1739 Value in Sterling of Issue Exchange at Issue
1709 5000l 4826l 15s 173l 15s 3333l 6s 8d 50 per cent
1709 4000l 3990l 10s 9l 10s 2666l 13s 4d 50 per cent
1709 4000l 3908l 6s 91l 14s 2666l 13s 4d 50 per cent
1711 10000l 9030l 18s 969l 2s 6666l 13s 4d 50 per cent
1714 27680l 7263l 17s 9309l 17s 6d 17300l 60 per cent
11106l 15s 6d (fn. 1)
1715 6000l 5876l 5s 123l 15s 3750l 60 per cent
1717 16607l 5377l 6s 5314l 8s 1d 10379l 7s 6d 60 per cent
5918l 5s 8d (fn. 1)
1723 2140l 1784l 356l 1296l 19s 4d 65 per cent
1724 6630l 3573l 16s 3056l 4s 4018l 3s 7d 65 per cent
1734 12000l 12000l 7272l 14s 6d 65 percent
1737 48350l 48350l 28441l 3s 7d 70 per cent
Total subsisting in 1739: 79753l 15s 7d or in sterling 46912l 4sd
2 large pp. [CO 5/1059, ff116 –118d, 120 –122d]
December 4
New Providence
President John Howell to Duke of Newcastle. The chief command of these islands having, as I acquainted you by letter of 8 August 1738, devolved upon me as eldest Councillor makes me presume to inform you that three days since a privateer fitted out from Rhode Island brought into this port the goods, plate and money apprehended and taken out of three small Spanish boats upon the coast of Cuba, and therewith several packets and letters among which were the enclosed English, French and four Spanish that contained anything could be of advantage to HM's service or worthy your notice. And upon this occasion I take leave to represent to you that our little fortification is very much decayed, the gun-carriages quite rotten and the soldiers' barracks in so ruinous a condition that they have scarce any shelter from the inclemency of the weather. I put our militia in array, ordered the guns in the fort and under the curtains to be mounted in the best manner we could, others to be raised on an unfinished battery which was intended to guard the east entrance to the harbour, and guards of the militia to be regularly kept, so that we are under no apprehensions from our neighbours of Cuba who, we are informed, are penned up everywhere by HM's light frigates of war and privateers from Jamaica and the northern colonies. I beg you will represent our wants to HM. A report brought hither from New England that the galleons were arrived at Port Andero in Biscay made me imagine the paragraph relating to them in the enclosed letters would be no displeasing news. Signed. 1½ pp. Enclosed:
492 i Translation of part of no 492ix. ½ p.
492 ii Translation of part of no 492vii.½ p.
492 iii Translation of part of no 492x.½ p.
492 iv Translation of part of no 492viii.1¼ pp.
492 v Leogane, 21 November 1739. Governor L'Arnage to Mons Beloquin acknowledging letter which will be forwarded tomorrow with packet for court of Spain from the governor of Cuba. French. Signed. 2 small pp, Endorsed, (?by President Howell) M L'Arnage is general of Hispaniola but I can't learn who M Beloquin is, the direction of this letter being torn off before it came to my hands.
492 vi Porto Bello, 28 September 1739. Francis Humphreys to Anthony Weltden, South Sea Company's factor at Havana. Armada of Peru, consisting of two men-of-war and five merchant ships, arrived at Perico on 31 July. Rupture between Spain and England is apprehended. The general of the galleys is not expected to move from Cartagena until advice comes from Spain.Signed. 3 pp.
492 vii Panama, 13 September 1739. Diego de Toledo y Gridino to Joseph de Torres y Toledo. Peru fleet has been here since last day of July. The galleons are not to go to Porto Bello until advice comes from Spain. God give us good success with so heavy a fleet. Spanish. Signed. 1 p.
492 viii Porto Bello, 28 September 1739. Domingo Lopes de Aviles to Fr Joseph de Aviles at Havana. The Lima trade is at Panama but the galleons do not stir. Spanish. Signed. 3 pp.
492 ix Porto Bello, 27 September 1739. John Fernandes de Cordova to John de la Barrera, royal officer at Havana. The galleons are at a stand and will not proceed to the fair until advice comes from Spain.Spanish. Signed.1½ pp.
492 x Cartagena, 27 September 1739. John Fernandes de Cordova to his wife in Havana. War is expected. Galleons will not proceed to the fair until advice comes from Spain. Spanish. Signed. 1 p. [CO 23/14, ff 318–338d]
December 5
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Pursuant to order of 9 November we find that in 1701 there was an independent company of foot in Bermuda but what number it consisted of and when sent does not appear. We do not find that any other forces were sent there during the wars of King William and Queen Anne. Entry. Signatories, Monson, M Bladen, J Brudenell, E Ashe, A Croft. 1¼ pp. [CO 38/8, pp 310–311]
December 5
Thomas Hill to Francis Fane sending six Acts passed in Pennsylvania in May last for opinion in point of law. Titles stated. Entry.1½ pp. [CO 5/1294, pp 124–125]
December 6
Palace Court
Minutes of Trustees for Georgia. Read Col Oglethorpe's letter of 5 September; resolved to send copy thereof to Duke of Newcastle and to represent the need of an instruction to lieut-governor of South Carolina to recommend the passing of a law relating to trade with Indians while Gen Oglethorpe continues in Georgia. Approved letters to Gen Oglethorpe and Mr Stephens. Entry. 1 p. [CO 5/687, p 140]
December 5
Georgia Office
Benjamin Martyn to Duke of Newcastle sending copy of letter dated 5 September last received by the Trustees for Georgia from Gen Oglethorpe. The Trustees acquaint you that HM having given his royal instruction dated 21 July 1738 to Governor Samuel Horsey to recommend it to the Council and Assembly of South Carolina to prepare a law for settling the trade carried on by South Carolina and Georgia with the Indians on such a footing as may be for the mutual benefit and satisfaction of both provinces, and that the Trustees, having received a like instruction from HM, did by the next opportunity, viz 25 August 1738 send a copy thereof to Gen Oglethorpe and recommended it to him to concert proper measures with the lieut-governor, Council and Assembly of South Carolina for preserving the peace with the Indians by licencing fit persons under the like reasonable securities and instructions for regulating their trade with the Indians in both provinces, and appointing proper persons for settling the boundaries of each province and the nations of Indians within each boundary, and the computing the number of traders against the number of Indians in both provinces in order to settle the nations of Indians which one licenced trader can supply and the nations of Indians which require more traders than one to supply them, and that for the mutual benefit and satisfaction of both provinces one half of the said traders should be licenced by the commissioners for South Carolina and the other half by the commissioners for Georgia, which instruction by reason of the death of Samuel Horsey and the delay of a new governor's going over has not yet been carried into execution. The Trustees therefore on this occasion represent to you that they apprehend it of the greatest consequence for preserving the Indians in the interest of Great Britain that the said instruction, in the absence of the governor, be immediately sent to the lieut-governor of South Carolina to recommend to the Council and Assembly there to prepare such a law while Gen Oglethorpe continues in America, for whom the Indians have the highest esteem, that no time may be lost in providing such law as may make the Indians easy in relation to the trade carried on with them in both the provinces of South Carolina and Georgia. Signed. 2½ pp. Enclosed:
496 i Fort Augusta, 5 September 1739. Gen James Oglethorpe to Harman Verelst. Copy of no 372. ¾ p. [CO 5/654, ff 238–241d; entry of covering letter in CO 5/667, pp 292–293]
December 5
Georgia Office
Benjamin Martyn to James Oglethorpe by HMS Colchester, Capt Symonds, and by Mary & Mariane, Capt John Campbell, for North Carolina. The Trustees acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 4 July last and are much pleased to find that the resolutions of Parliament and the steps which they have taken have preserved the colony (which is here represented as almost abandoned) and thereby covered all the trade of North America from the Spanish guardacostas. When you have fixed your regulations relating to the prices of provisions and necessaries with the merchants and sutlers they desire you will acquaint them therewith and do the same as often as occasion shall be found to make alterations therein, for they doubt not but there will be an increase of private stores when the colony shall be better settled than it is at present and consequently provisions may fall in their price. The Trustees are equally sensible with you that there must be a steady and regular manner of acting in Georgia which all centres in every man's exercising faithfully the powers given and not exceeding them, more especially in not exceeding the estimate sent over or misapplying the sums appropriated to each particular service, which the Trustees expect their officers and commissioners appointed to make the disbursements will be punctual in as they shall be answerable for any neglect or disobedience, and if any of them be found faulty they desire to be informed wherein and to know their names, that a course may be taken with them by the Trustees. As you have charged the magistrates with divers offences in your letter the Trustees desire you will inform them who they are, whether those of Frederica or Savannah or of Savannah alone, which of them have been so faulty, and whether it is upon your own certain knowledge or only by report of others.
The Trustees are very sorry to observe that paragraph in your letter which mentions the people's frequently striving to deny any authority in you which they attribute to the factious humour of those who would have liberty to sell their lands, keep Negroes and indulge themselves in rum, which things you having with vigour declared against in maintenance of the laws and constitution of the province, it is no wonder that such persons should endeavour to make it believed you act without proper authority. But they hope that the wiser part of them, who know you neither can nor would exceed the power given you by the Trustees and are obedient to you in the execution of those powers, will be followed and that none for the future be so hardy as to transgress on that head; for in so doing it is not only you but the whole body of their governors they offend against and the Trustees will support the powers that stem [MS: shem] from themselves. The Trustees very much approve the magistrates' conduct at Frederica relating to the trying offences against the Rum Act at petty sessions as justices of the peace and they will direct the same rule to be observed at Savannah; but in all cases of property there can be a trial in no other manner than by juries. The Trustees are of opinion that before anything can be done to push on improvements to any great effect care should be taken to encourage the inhabitants to raise their own provisions; and the greater encouragement would be to let them have good land if it is to be had in the province, for the Trustees believe the greatest encouragement to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania is that the province consists of good land. The Trustees will therefore send their instructions to their surveyor upon that head.
The Trustees agree with you that it was of great consequence to hear what complaints the Indians might have to make and to use the necessary means for the preserving them in the interest of Great Britain. They have just received your letter dated 5 September last from Fort Augusta and are very much pleased with your recovery from your fever and with the success you have met with among the Indians in preventing any ill effects which might have arisen from their misunderstandings with the Carolina traders. They would be very glad to have as full and particular an account of your transactions with them as you can send in order to guide them in their future grants. They desire you will be so kind as to transmit them by the first opportunity the original act of the Indians' cession of lands, reserving in Georgia an authentic copy of the act, or if it may be improper to send the original that you will send them an authentic copy of the same. The Trustees referred your account of disbursements made by Francis Moore to a committee of accounts who have examined it and made a report thereupon to the Common Council who agreed thereto and have ordered me to send you a copy of the reports, which is herewith enclosed. The Trustees observe your thoughts relating to the tenure of lands in Georgia and do believe that those who made most noise about their lands were those who took no care of making use of them, being discouraged from it for want of some change. The matter was long under consideration, occasioned frequent meetings, employed all the gentlemen of the law, and had the approbation of all the Trustees present, likewise of the absent who were consulted by letter thereupon. Your letter by Mr Auspurgur dated 16 July last the Trustees have received, together with the silk; and on observing that paragraph which mentions the not deciding clearly in the act relating to the Indians had given insolence to the Carolina traders, the Trustees looked back into their minutes and letters to you in August 1738 and have sent you herewith another copy thereof. But I should be glad to know if you received the first copy and letters, and if anything hindered your proceeding to what they therein so earnestly recommended for the preventing such behaviour in the traders with the Indians. They think it will be very necessary for the carrying on the Trust affairs in Georgia that you would acknowledge the receipt of their letters as soon as they come to hand. PS. I have enclosed herewith a copy of the Trustees' letter to the Duke of Newcastle for his instructions to the lieut-governor of South Carolina relating to the trade with the Indians. Entry. 2½ pp. [CO 5/667, pp 294–296]
December 5
Georgia Office
Benjamin Martyn to William Stephens. The Trustees have received your journal to 7 September last and your letter to Mr Verelst dated 10 September. They are glad to find that the disposition they have made relating to the tenure of lands has had a proper effect on the people by encouraging them to proceed in an heartier manner in the cultivation of their lands, which the Trustees have always had so much at heart and which is the best recommendation of them to the Trustees. The Trustees are sorry to find there is so much difficulty in carrying the Rum Act into execution, and as they are determined to make it effectual they will speedily consider of the best means. At present they think the right method will be that which is carried on at Frederica, trying offences against the Act at petty sessions without juries by the magistrates as justices of the peace in a summary way. The Trustees are pleased to see that so good an harmony subsists between you and Mr Jones and have no doubt from your temper and understanding but it will remain as it will be very conducive to the preserving a peace in the colony, especially at this critical juncture. They are pleased with the resolution which you say appears in the people, who may depend upon everything which the Trustees can do for the safety of the province. The Trustees have given your son 50l for his past services and intend to give you 25l per annum more for a clerk which your son will be entitled to on his going over, which he informs the Trustees today will be very soon. Entry. ¾ p. [CO 5/667, p 293]
December 5
Georgia Office
Harman Verelst to William Stephens. The Trustees have sent you some stationery ware and are sorry the last proved bad; they hope this will be better. Robert Williams having attended with demands besides the certified account of 587l 13s, copies thereof are sent for examination showing balance in his favour of 27l13sd plus an allowance claimed for twelve months for inspecting work on the public roads. Entry. ¾ p. [CO 5/667, pp 296–297]
December 6
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Pursuant to order of 29 August regarding address of Council and Assembly of Bermuda for a supply of stores to Bermuda, we send copies of accounts of all stores sent by the Board of Ordnance between 1660 and 1696. We have no record of any more stores sent there until 1738 when the governor obtained an order for fifty barrels of powder and some match and cartridge paper, though by a paper received from Mr Noden, agent, it appears that thirty-five iron guns were ordered there in 1701. We have questioned Mr Dinwiddie, surveyor-general of Customs for the northern district of America and one of the committee to survey the fortifications and batteries in Bermuda, who assured us that the committee's report was just and that the inhabitants are willing to provide at their own expense two new batteries and platforms on the south side of the island provided HM supplies the ordnance. Considering the importance of Bermuda to our navigation we are of opinion the petitioners should be indulged in their request so far as relates to great guns and appurtenances. Entry. Signatories, Monson, M Bladen, E Ashe, J Brudenell, A Croft. 3½ pp. [CO 38/8, pp 312–315]
December 6
Perth Amboy
Governor Lewis Morris to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations acknowledging letter of 5 July with copies of addresses from Houses of Lords and Commons relating to paper money in America. Upon which I summoned a Council to make the inquiries directed but could not get above three of them together sooner than a few days since when with much ado and the expense of expresses I got eight of them together and then I laid the addresses before them and yesterday the committee to whom that matter was referred made the enclosed report. I am told the ships go in this day or two (if not gone already) and I send this by express to New York that (if possible) it may reach them and come timely enough to you. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Rec. 18 February, Read 19 February 1740. Enclosed:
501 i 4 December 1739. Report of committee of Council of New Jersey presented by John Hamilton, setting forth history of bills of credit in the colony since first issued in 1709 for the expenses of the Canada expedition. At present there is 60000l in bills subsisting and passing in payment, having been lent out on mortgage. Exchange between sterling and these bills in 1714 was at 50l per cent advance and has since gradually risen to 65l and now to 70l. Until 1715 Spanish and French pistoles were current and were bought and sold for 26s in paper bills, Spanish pieces of eight for 8s an ounce. From 1715 to the present time pistoles have gradually risen to 28s and pieces of eight to 9s an ounce. Signed, John Hamilton. 2½ pp. [CO 5/973, ff 138–141d]
December 7
Francis Fane to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations reporting no objection in point of law to eight Acts passed in Pennsylvania in 1735. Signed. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 7 December, Read 11 December 1739. [CO 5/1269, ff 129–130d]
December 7
New York
Lieut-Governor George Clarke to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations reporting state of Council in New York. The Councillors are these: Mr Colden, Mr Van Horne, Mr Kennedy, Mr Livingston, Mr DeLancey, Mr Cortlandt, Mr Lane, Mr Horsmanden and Mr George Clarke jnr. I do not mention Mr Van Dam and Mr Alexander, you having about four years ago represented them as unfit to be continued nor for that reason do I summon them to Council. Mr Colden lives about 60 miles from this town and Mr Livingston at Albany 150 miles from hence so that they cannot regularly attend unless at the sitting of the Assembly and then they attend pretty punctually. Mr Kennedy, Mr DeLancey, Mr Cortlandt, Mr Lane and Mr Horsmanden live in town and attend duly. Mr Clarke is in England and although Mr Van Horne lives in town I cannot get him to attend either when the Assembly sits or at other times. So that if either of the five members whom I have mentioned to attend duly should be ill or called out of town on business there is not a sufficient number to make a Council to do the ordinary business though upon extraordinary occasions I may act with three. Mr Van Horne's pretence for not attending when he is summoned (which is constantly done) is that he is ill though it's well known that he goes frequently abroad upon other occasions and even at some times when he is summoned to Council. I have hitherto in tenderness to him forbore to mention this to you but I dare not any longer delay to obey your commands. If you should judge it necessary that he should be removed I beg to recommend to you Mr Richard Bradley, the attorney-general, to be appointed in his room: he lives in town and will give a punctual attendance which will be some ease and satisfaction to the other gentlemen who live likewise in town. Signed. PS. The Acts of Assembly are engrossing. I will send them to you as soon as they are finished. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 18 February, Read 20 February 1740. [CO 5/1059, ff 128–129d]
December 7
William Hopton to Harman Verelst acknowledging letter of 14 September and letters and packet for forwarding. Those for Capt Newman and Midshipman Chetwynd Furzer are returned, they having sailed for England last October. Packet and letters received from Georgia for forwarding go by Endeavour, Capt Alexander Hope. Gen Oglethorpe has reported two men killed at Fort Amelia and a third carried away alive, supposed by Florida Indians. This province is now healthy and quiet and not much afraid of the Spaniards. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 18 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 425–426d]
December 8
Annapolis Royal
President John Adams to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. By the surprising and melancholy death of Lieut-Governor Armstrong, being at this time president of the Council I judged it my duty to convene the members thereof to consider our present state and that of the province, by whose advice, while I continue in this station, I shall always be directed for the good of HM's service and from time to time advise you of all occurrences. It hath been observed that Governor Armstrong has been for a long time frequently afflicted with melancholy fits, the consequence of which none ever suspected till they found him dead on Thursday 6th instant; on whose body, Major Cosby, the lieut-governor of the garrison, having ordered the officers to sit, they brought in their verdict lunacy, having found five wounds in his breast and his sword lying carelessly by him in his bed, which misfortune we heartily condole. And as the state of Canso as well as of this other part of the province hath been so frequently represented and [is] so well known to Maj-Gen Philipps, our governor, I need only remind you that that place with the four companies there must inevitably fall a sacrifice (in case of a war) to the enemy. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28 April, Read 29 April 1740. Enclosed:
505 i Minutes of meeting of Council of Nova Scotia on 7 December 1739. Copy. Signed, John Adams, William Shirreff, secretary. 1¾ pp. [CO 217/8, ff 60–63d]
December 8
Pall Mall
Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. Resolved that additional 25l be allowed to William Stephens for a clerk. Resolved, on report of Mr Stephens, that certified accounts for 732l 15s 9d to David Provost, for 345l 19s 3d to same, and for 221l 8s to Thomas Ware, were unexceptionable and should be paid. Signed draft on the bank for 1300l. Entry. 1½ pp. [CO 5/690, pp 275–276]
December 10
Annapolis Royal
President John Adams to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. Having wrote to you the 8th instant and that vessel being still here, I thought it my duty further to add that, as to the present state of the province, we may be said to enjoy a profound peace. But in case of a war with France this fort of Annapolis Royal is in no condition of defence, the troops being few in number and most of them raw and undisciplined and some amongst them it is thought are Irish Papists. The ramparts are in some places propped up to keep them from falling into the fossee and the engineer it is said has orders not to repair them. It is therefore my opinion, without a seasonable reinforcement from Britain or of these companies so much exposed at Canso, this province will become an easy conquest to the enemy to the great detriment of the British trade and almost the ruin of that of North America. All which, having since my last reflected on, I judged it incumbent on me to represent the same to your consideration. Signed. 1½ small pp. Endorsed, no endorsement but received and read with letter of 8 December. [CO 217/8, ff 64, 64d]
December 11
Council Office
Temple Stanyan to Thomas Hill requesting attendance of some of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations on 13th inst when the Committee of Council will consider the report on Lord Fairfax's claim to lands in Virginia. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12 December 1739. [CO 5/1324, ff 179, 179d, 182, 182d]
December 12
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. We have considered eight Acts passed in Pennsylvania in 1735. Titles states. No objection, they relating only to the private economy of the province. Entry. Signatories, Monson, J Brudenell, A Croft, R Plumer. 1¾ pp. [CO 5/1294, pp 125–127]
December 12
Josiah Willard to Thomas Hill. By the London, Capt Richardson, I have sent you the public papers out of my office for half year ending August last, viz minutes of Council from beginning of March to end of August, minutes of Assembly for the sessions held in April and May, and Acts (certified under the seal of the province) passed in the said May session, there having been none passed in the April session. Advise receipt. Signed. ½ small p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27 March 1740. [CO 5/881, ff 246, 246d, 249, 249d]
December 12
Palace Court
Minutes of Trustees for Georgia. Agreed to letter to William Stephens relating to 50-acre lots in Savannah and adjacent villages. Thomas Stephens attended and delivered a memorial which was read. Entry. ½ p. [CO 5/687, p 141]
December 12
Georgia Office
Harman Verelst to William Stephens by Carolina Packet, Capt Summesset. The Trustees, being desirous of making the people easy in every point which they can consistently with the welfare of the province, have taken into serious consideration the complaints made by some of them of the badness of their lands either in part or in the whole; and as they are willing every man should have a complete 50-acre lot of good land they have determined that an experienced surveyor shall be engaged to take an account as soon as possible of what land has been surveyed for any of the inhabitants of the town of Savannah and the adjacent villages and to deliver the account to you and Mr Jones to be attested by you and transmitted to the Trustees, and likewise to take an account how much of the surveyed lots has been cleared, fenced and cultivated by any of the possessors, and where any neglect appears he is to set down the reasons alleged by these for such neglect; but this examinations, the Trustees think proper should be taken before you and Mr Jones. If any of the people allege that their chief subsistence depends upon any manual trade exercised by them in the town the Trustees direct that you should inquire what they have to offer against their surrendering their 45-acre lots and upon what consideration; and if they say that they are desirous to cultivate their lots but are discouraged by the distance at which they lie from the town, then the Trustees would know what encouragement they stand in need of to settle upon their 45-acre lot. The Trustees likewise desire to know what lots are in the hands of widows and orphans, how they are managed, and what part of them is cultivated, and likewise they want an account of what lots are deserted and by whom. As you see the intention of the Trustees is to put every man in possession of a lot of 50 acres of good land by giving so much of what is good in addition to what shall appear to be bad, of which bad land the Trustees desire to know the quantity in each lot so as there may be allotted to each man so much good land as will make up the same equal to 50 acres of good land; and they also desire to know what good lands lie near thereto either in lots forfeited to the Trust or reserved for them to grant. They therefore desire that you and Mr Jones will find out a proper person for a surveyor for these purposes either in Georgia or in Carolina upon the following terms. For as long as he shall abide in Savannah to be ready to survey as he shall be called upon by you and Mr Jones he is to be allowed for himself 3s a day and is to have two men to assist him in the survey when wanted at 1s a day each and provisions for each of the hired men. These two will be sufficient with the help of the person for whom the land is to be surveyed and who must undoubtedly think it his own interest to attend and assist in the survey. And you are desired to send a particular account of the whole work for the Trustees' consideration as soon as may be.
As the Trustees believe the most proper and expeditious way of clearing, fencing and cultivating as yet unfenced and uncultivated [lands], and those to be run out, must be joint labour, they desire you will inquire whether the people are willing to undertake it in this manner which must be for their own interest. Those who are willing may do it under the direction of the surveyor and upon proper days appointed by him, and to avoid uneasiness by preference being given to any they think the order in which it shall be determined should be by ballot. The Trustees are of opinion that the best fences to every plantation will be ditches, especially as good drains may be made into these from the lands; and on the tops of the ditches to plant the prickly pear or the royal palmetto. The Trustees are informed by Mr Auspurger that there are great numbers of prickly pear in the southern part of the province and that it is the best fence against any sort of cattle as the leaf of it has such sharp thorns upon it that it's found the cattle will not offend it. And this tree will be of great use to the planter as it is the only one on which the cochineal fly will feed, which Mr Auspurgur has seen and killed in the province and found to be the true one. Every man there must be sensible of the great value of cochineal and the advantage it will be of to him. As the Trustees are impatient to see the people engaged in earnest about raising such products as will be of great and immediate benefit to themselves, and as it is obvious to common sense and is confessed by those who have been most engaged in it that nothing can be raised so soon as silk, they hope the people will be no longer blind to their own interest but set themselves heartily to work in planting their mulberry trees and likewise their vines: for which perhaps the following method (as it is practised in Lombardy) may be the best. Round every field in a plantation two or three rows of mulberry trees should be planted at a small distance from each other, and the vines planted so as they may run up the bodies of the mulberry trees and intermix themselves with their branches, and the extremities drawn out from tree to tree to hang in festoons between them. Besides the festoons the vine branches may be extended right and left and fastened to a row of stakes on each side running parallel to the trees which will form a sort of penthouse made by the vine branches and make a constant arbour in the summer; and in the middle the corn may be raised. Entry. 2½ pp. [CO 5/667, pp 297–299]
December 13
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to Duke of Newcastle sending copy of letter giving an account of French and Spanish designs. Signed, Monson, Edward Ashe, R Plumer. ½ p. Enclosed:
513 i Charleston, 5 October 1739. Lieut-Governor William Bull to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. Copy of no 404. 5¼ pp. [CO 5/384, ff 65–71d; entry of covering letter in CO 5/402, p 14]
[December 13]
Considerations delivered to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, received from Mr Paris, on Act prepared by Trustees for Georgia for regulating pilots, laying duty on shipping, and laying another duty on shipping for repair of beacon on Tybee Island. The Act proposes to lay three several different duties upon ships and vessels, of (at least), 3d, 1½d and 2½d per ton in sterling money, but does not seem to contain an equal contract or equal terms between the Trustees and ships going to trade there. It has no one property or quality of a public Act, for no man can possibly tell by it what duties or how much he is liable to pay, but that is to depend upon orders and directions of the Common Council of which he can have no notice or knowledge; nor can tell what are the duties and services that are to be performed by any pilot or other officer; nor can possibly have under the Act any adequate penalty against any officer who neglects his duty to the owner's ruin; nor has it in his power to show what was the officer's duty in order to prove that he had neglected that duty; nor is there any matter obligatory upon the Trustees to be done or performed on their parts in consideration of all those duties; and seems to be, under the name and form of an Act to be approved by the Crown, really a grant of further powers (in some sort indefinite) to the Trustees or their Common Council. If any Act at all be necessary or reasonable for any of the purposes supposed to be intended, it's submitted whether the same ought not to be conceived, in form and substance both, in terms very different from the Act at present under your consideration. 4½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr Paris. Recd., 13 December 1739, Read 31 January 1740. [CO 5/367, ff 140–143d]
Martin Bladen to Lord Harrington. Enclosed you have my thoughts upon the assistance that may be expected from the British colonies on the continent of America towards any expedition against the Spanish West Indies. I have never heard of more than three expeditions of that sort where the commands of the Crown had any part: one in King William's time against the French islands and two in Queen Anne's against Nova Scotia and Canada. I find no copies in our office of any orders sent to the governors upon these subjects but beyond all doubt orders were sent by the late queen upon the two last expeditions to the respective governors of the northern colonies to join their forces to her regular troops and be assisting on those occasions; and by some transactions in the expedition to Nova Scotia I collect that they were ordered to act therein as they should be directed by Col Nicholson who then commanded the queen's forces. And to give them their due they did most heartily concur in both these expeditions: the first succeeded and the last miscarried. Your commands should have been better executed if you had given me longer warning but as it is I have turned over all the books in our office and some out of it that have reference to these matters; and if any farther information be wanting be pleased to let me have your orders by Mr Weston, for I was very ill all yesterday and this morning shall be blooded so soon as I have signed this letter. Yet if it should be absolutely necessary for your service I will venture out in the evening. Signed. 3 small pp. Enclosed:
515 i Some memorandums relative to the troops intended to be raised on the continent of North America. (fn. 2)
By the present drafts of instructions for the governors they are directed to provide victuals, transports, and all other necessaries for the forces to be raised in their respective provinces except their tents, arms, ammunition, clothes and pay, till their arrival at the general rendezvous in the West Indies; and this was done by the colonies in the last war. But I find by a private instruction to my lord Shannon, when it was intended that he should have commanded the expedition against Canada, he was empowered to provide victuals and transports for the American troops if the colonies made any difficulties of doing it. It is therefore submitted whether such a discretionary power should not be lodged with Col Spotswood, not to be made use of but on real occasion.
The place of rendezvous for the American troops upon their own continent as well as the care of their embarkation should be left to Col Spotswood and it may likewise be necessary that he should fix a reasonable day with the respective governors for the completing of their levies.
Lieut-colonels and majors in full pay as such, and as captains also because they can have no companies, should be sent from hence to command the several corps to be raised in America. Suppose 'em in all events to make four regiments whatever their numbers may be, four lieut-colonels and as many majors will be wanting. There are many old captains, who either through pique or necessity have been obliged to quit the service, that would probably be glad to engage with new feathers in their caps upon this expedition, of which my lord Cathcart will be the best judge. It will likewise be necessary to send forty old soldiers from hence with commissions of lieutenants, and if there be not companies enough to employ 'em Mr Spotswood may be directed to make 'em adjutants, quartermasters and lieutenants en second till vacancies happen. Good surgeons are very scarce in America and medicines more so. It would be highly necessary therefore that they should be sent from hence.
Tents, bell-tents, drums, arms, ammunition and clothing for the American troops should meet 'em at the rendezvous in the West Indies on supposition that they may be 4000 men, though no more need be delivered at the rendezvous than the real numbers require.
Orders should likewise be sent without loss of time to Col Philipps's regiment in Nova Scotia and to the four independent companies at New York to furnish these troops with a draft of 160 private men, old soldiers, to serve as sergeants and corporals. I believe Philipps's regiment consists of ten companies on the low establishment. The four independent companies should be 100 men each but I am afraid they are both of 'em very far from being complete. However, the number of men demanded may be equally divided between Philipps's regiment and the four independent companies, though much the better way if it could be come at would be to send drafts from England for that purpose.
The posting all the staff and field-officers to be left to Mr Spotswood as colonel-general of the American troops.
It is to be presumed that some of the American companies may fall short of their number and it may become necessary to incorporate one company with another to make them equal in their numbers. But that should not be done in their own country for fear of desertion but may be left to Lord Cathcart's discretion after their arrival at the general rendezvous in the West Indies.
It may be for HM's service that the field-officers as well as the lieutenants for the American corps should be sent thither as soon as possible and blank commissions for the rest of the officers to be filled up by the governors; that orders should forthwith be given for completing all the regular troops in America and the West Indies to their proper establishment.
The sugar islands may certainly afford some assistance towards this expedition. Q. Whether Col Morrice should not be empowered to pick up volunteers at Barbados and the Virgin Islands? Copy of the governors' instructions to be sent to Col Spotswood but not of his to the governors because of the article about transport and provisions.
Upon recollection I believe it will be absolutely necesary to send over a considerable sum of money to North America for the payment of these troops. I find that 6000l was put on board by Mr Hill upon the expedition to Canada only for a small refreshment for the regular troops under his command, and whilst he was at Boston he drew for a further sum but had great difficulty in fixing the exchange between sterling and their paper money: that difficulty is since much more increased by reason of the great variety of value fixed in the different provinces on the continent on their paper currency. The discounts are various, the exchanges exceedingly uncertain, and the paper of very little value in any other province but that which coined it. But money may be had upon occasion at Jamaica upon more certain terms.
NB. No ship can well get to New York in less than 6 or 7 weeks, and the ordinary post from New York to Boston at this time of year takes up a fortnight, and so in proportion to any other place of equal distance, which is about 350 miles; so that in all probability, if Col Spotswood and Mr Blakeney take up their headquarters at New York, it will be near a month before they can have a return to their letters from all the governors on the continent, for the post does not travel at all in the night and very slow in the day. But after 25 March they will perform that journey in half the time. From whence I conclude that great part of March will be gone before these levies will begin to be made and some part of June before they can be complete.
Q. If it should be thought proper to direct Col Spotswood to come away with the first number of people that can be got together, who shall be left to take care of the rest? Draft. 8 pp. Endorsed, R from Mr Bladen, 9 January. [CO 318/3, ff 25–33d]
December 15
Governor Robert Byng to Duke of Newcastle notifying arrival on 13th inst. Commission read and published, oaths taken, declaration made. I purpose to acquaint the members of the Council with the declaration of the present war by the infractions of the several treaties made on the part of Spain, the breach of established privileges of HM's subjects, the insult upon the British colours together with the violation of the convention made in January last, in consequence of which the methods therein agreed upon for obtaining security for our trade and navigation are defeated, as reasons for the declaration which HM for the interest of his people has thought himself obliged to make. I shall not offer to take any other step than what the letter of general reprisals authorizes me to do until I am honoured with your commands. But what I propose is to the end we may be in a situation to oppose the attempts of the enemy and likewise prepare ourselves by all means in our power to concur in so just a cause and be ready on my receiving the authentic declaration to execute immediately by sea and land all acts of hostility whatsoever in the prosecution of this war against the King of Spain and his subjects. It only remains for me now to wish upon all occasions success to HM's arms abroad and at home hearty concurrence in all HM's measures by that agreement in this sessions of Parliament so necessary for the public good. I shall endeavour to be very observant of HM's commands which I hope may preserve me in your goodwill. Signed. 2¼ small pp. Endorsed, R, 10 March. [CO 28/45, ff 426–427d]
December 15
Same to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, notifying arrival at Barbados on 13th inst. Commission read and published, oaths taken, declaration subscribed. Obedience to HM's other commands you will be informed of as occasions offer. Signed. PS. Snow Jane, Samuel Sandys, proposes sailing this evening. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10 March, Read 11 March 1740. [CO 28/25, ff 91–92d]
December 15
New York
Lieut-Governor George Clarke to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. The Collector of HM's Customs having given me the enclosed and having acquainted me that he apprehends a verdict will go against him upon the trial of the cause by a jury whereby he will be under a necessity of appealing to the King and Council though the evidence he tells me is very strong in his favour, I do upon his request give you the trouble of receiving this and at the same time venture to say that if some method be not fallen upon whereby illicit trade may be better prevented I doubt it will be to little purpose to bring any cause of that kind to trial by a jury and the officers of the Customs will from thence be discouraged from exerting themselves in the discharge of their duty; however, the event of this suit will resolve my doubts. The Collector informs me that he has sent to the Commissioners of the Customs copies of all the papers referred to in the enclosed from whom I presume you may have them if you think it necessary. Signed. 1¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 4 March, Read 13 March 1740. Enclosed:
518 i Court of Admiralty, New York. Case of Archibald Kennedy against sloop Mary & Margaret, Thomas Fowles. The sloop was seized in August 1739 and the libel against her proved in court. But Thomas Fowles obtained a prohibition from the Supreme Court on the ground that the sloop was seized within a county of New York. If this prohibition was well issued no breach of 15 Chas II c 7 can be tried in the Admiralty Court but must be tried at common law by a jury who perhaps are equally concerned in carrying on an illicit trade. 2½ pp. [CO 5/1059, ff 131–134d]
December 15
Extract of letter to Governor Richard Fitzwilliam. Since my last to you dated 9th inst wherein were enclosed letters acquainting you of the starved, miserable condition of your garrison, we had a vessel from Providence which gives us an account of a very rich Spanish prize being carried in there and condemned to the value of 20000 pieces of eight; but if I hear any more in particular shall take care and acquaint you per first opportunity. Copy. ½ small p. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr Fitzwilliam, 6 March. [CO 5/388, ff 170, 170d]
December 17
Deputy Governor George Thomas to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations enclosing the following. As there will not be any vessel from hence directly to London this winter I am obliged to transmit it by one bound to Bristol. Signed. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd. 7 March, Read 11 March 1740. Enclosed:
520 i Newcastle, 15 December 1739. Account of Acts of Assembly passed in the government of the counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware for creating or issuing bills of credit. In 1723 two Acts were passed for creating the first bills of credit within the counties, by which 11000l were issued to be current for the term of eight years, and for the effectual discharging or sinking the said bills it was therein provided and enacted that a real estate in fee simple of double the value of the sums lent out should be mortgaged to the trustees of an office erected for that purpose and that the sums so lent out should be annually repaid into the office in such equal sums or quotas as would effectually sink or destroy the whole capital sum of 11000l within the time limited by the aforesaid Acts, which sum being computed in silver as it was then received and paid among us and reduced to sterling money of Great Britain amounts to 7111l 1s. In 1726 the sum of 2750l, part of the capital or principal sum of 11000l by virtue of the aforesaid Acts, being totally sunk and destroyed, the counties found themselves under a necessity to prevent the remaining quotas being sunk according to the directions of the Acts. Therefore another Act was passed for continuing the remaining sum of 8250l for and during the continuance of the said Acts by reemitting or lending out again the quotas or sums to be paid in by the respective borrowers on the same securities and provisions as were directed by the former Acts. All of which said sum of 11000l hath long since been paid in to the said trustees and sunk and destroyed according to the directions of the said Acts. In 1729 the Acts for issuing bills of credit passed in 1723 being almost expired, and the annual quotas remaining due on the said Acts by virtue thereof being shortly to be sunk and destroyed, the number of the inhabitants having greatly increased by the importation of several thousands of people and there being wanting a sufficient medium to carry on trade, the counties made a new Act of Assembly for emitting more bills of credit in lieu of the former bills and accordingly an Act was passed for emitting and making current 12000l in bills of credit to continue for the term of sixteen years upon the same security of real estates in fee simple to be mortgaged in double the value of the sum lent and to be paid in by yearly quotas and sunk and destroyed as by the former Acts passed in 1723. In 1734 the sum of 3750l, part of the principal sum of 12000l by virtue of the aforesaid Act, being totally sunk and destroyed and the number of inhabitants still increasing, one other Act of Assembly was then made for emitting or issuing the further sum of 12000l in bills of credit to be current for the term of twelve years upon the same securities of real estates in fee simple to be mortgaged in double the value of the sum lent out upon mortgage on the like securities and provisions, and at the end of the term for which the said bills were made current the whole 12000l is to be sunk and destroyed. All the bills of credit in this present year 1739 current for the counties by virtue of the several aforesaid Acts of Assembly amount to 17250l, which sum being computed in silver as now purchased here and reduced to sterling money of Great Britain makes 10823l 10s 3d. And we find that wheat and all other commodities the produce of these counties are at this time to be purchased with our bills of credit as cheap as at the time when gold and silver were the medium of trade here; and tradesmen and labourers are now paid with bills of credit at the same rates and no more than before the issuing of the said bills. 1½ large pp. [CO 5/1269, ff 160–163d]
[December 19]
Memorial of Gilbert Fleming, lieut-general of HM's forces in the Leeward Islands and lieut-governor of St Christopher's, to Duke of Newcastle praying for passage to his post in one of HM's ships; that Ann & Elizabeth, John Main master, may have protection for her crew in order to take memorialist's baggage; and that he may be commanded in whatever services he is capable of. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, R, 19 December. [CO 152/44, ff 136–137d]
December 20
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Pursuant to your order of 9 November last regarding presents for the Six Nations we have searched the books and papers in our office and find that, upon a letter from the Earl of Bellomont, governor of New York, to the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations dated 28 February 1700 desiring presents for the said Indians, they represented their opinion to King William III on 24 April 1700 in favour of Lord Bellomont's request and we find accordingly an invoice of goods shipped for that service on board HMS Advice, which with 12l allowed to purchase in New York rum and tobacco for the said Indians amounted to 300l sterling, which goods were paid for by HM's order out of the Exchequer. We also find that the Ordnance Office did at the same time furnish 400 fusils, 30 barrels of powder, 10000 flints and 1½ tons of lead, estimated at 500l, in all 800l value, as appears by the two extracts and the invoice hereunto annexed, the species of goods then sent being much the same as those now proposed. It also appears by the extract of Col Hunter's conference with the said Indians at Albany in 1710, taken from a journal transmitted with other public papers from that province to this office at that time and hereunto likewise annexed, that Queen Anne did then send another present of the like nature for the said Six Nations. A third present of the same kind was made to the said Indians and delivered by Col Hunter, governor of New York in 1714, as by the extract of his proceedings with them in September 1714, hereunto also annexed, more fully appears. A fourth present of much the same species in value as that sent in 1700 appears to have been sent by His late Majesty to the said Indians in 1719 by the invoice hereunto also annexed. In this invoice only 10l were remitted to the governor for the purchase of rum, tobacco, etc for that use at New York. It further appears that Governor Burnett having applied to the Commissioners for Trade in 1720 that the usual presents might be made to the Indians, this board enclosed an extract thereof to Mr Craggs, Secretary of State, desiring him to lay the same before HM with their opinion that HM should be graciously pleased to grant the said presents; and we are informed that in 1722 the sum of 907l 12s 10d was ordered for that purpose. In looking over the journals transmitted to this office from New York of the usual meetings of the governors of that province with the Indians there we find several presents were made by the governors to the said Indians at the expense of the province but it does not appear what the value of those presents was. Upon the whole we shall observe to you that these Six Nations or hordes of Indians are the most powerful and warlike of the ancient natives of that part of North America; that they have always been faithful allies to the British settlements in those parts; that they are almost as near to the French settlements as to the English; that the French (in time of war especially) always took great pains to seduce them from the British interest and in the late war had once got a considerable number of families of them to Montreal. The method used to keep them steady to the British interest has always been by making presents to them, which though it be some expense to the Crown not only secures them in our interest in opposition to the French but is also a great inducement to inure them to the wear and use of our manufactures rather than the French manufactures, which has had a visible good effect by letting us into a trade with many nations of Indians far from our settlements which in all probability we could never have had if it had not been encouraged by those warlike tribes lying in the way either to protect or interrupt them in their passage to our settlements, which trade is now grown very extensive in those parts and greatly beneficial to the British manufactures. To which we may add that these Six Nations are looked upon to be a great support of the British empire in those parts, for which reasons we offer it as our opinion that it will be for HM's service that presents should be sent to them agreeable to what is proposed by Mr Clarke and to former precedents. Entry. Signatories, Monson, Edward Ashe, James Brudenell, R Plumer. 6 pp. [CO 5/1126, pp 90–95; none of the enclosures mentioned in this letter has been entered here]
December 20
Thomas Hill to Francis Fane enclosing thirteen Acts passed in Jamaica in April and May last for his opinion thereon in point of law, viz Acts for duty on wine and liquors; for raising money for subsisting officers and soldiers; for reducing interest of money and advancing the credit of bills of exchange; for appointing John Sharpe agent; to entitle Jane Stone, free mulatto woman, to privileges, etc; same for William Cunningham the younger, reputed son of William Cunningham the elder; for confirming articles executed by Capt John Guthrie and others; for uniting parts of Carpenters Mountains, hitherto esteemed part of parishes of St Elizabeth and Clarendon, to parish of Vere; to dissolve marriage of Edward Manning with Elizabeth Moore; to oblige inhabitants to provide a sufficiency of white men; for better collecting fines and forfeitures; for vesting Negroes in the Crown for use of the barracks and clearing roads; to explain Act to oblige inhabitants to provide a sufficiency of white men. Entry. 3½ pp. [CO 138/18, pp 315–318]
December 20
Governor Alured Popple to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. On 13 October I received the Duke of Newcastle's letter of 15 June enclosing HM's warrant empowering me to grant commissions of marque and reprisal for arming and fitting out private ships of war against the ships, goods and subjects of the King of Spain. Upon this occasion I must mention to you a difficulty that has been started here upon the words of the King's order. The words are these: arming and fitting out private ships of war for the apprehending, seizing and taking the ships, vessels and goods belonging to the King of Spain, his vassals and subjects or any inhabitting within his countries, territories and dominions in the West Indies. It is pretty generally understood that by these words private ships of war empowered as aforesaid are authorized to go on shore, plunder and burn any Spanish settlement. Some have taken the liberty of misplacing the King's words and understanding that goods belonging to any inhabiting within the King of Spain's dominions in the West Indies were lawful prize although on shore. I will not venture to say that they are wrong in their construction of the above words but, as they stand in the order, I understand they empower the King's subjects to seize the goods as well as the vessels and that if the word goods had not been inserted they must have restored any goods they might have found on board any vessel by them taken. But as it is not for me to grant commissions in any other words than those the King has been pleased to dictate I shall thereby avoid any error that might otherways happen should I endeavour to put any explanation upon them. What led me first into this inquiry was the arrival of one Thomas Newton the 23rd of October last. He came in one of our sloops from Turks Islands with a loading of salt and upon his arrival, it being said he was one of the crew that had plundered Porto Plata, a small town on NE of Hispaniola, I sent for the man and he told me that one Charles Hall, commander of the Virgin Queen, a Rhode Island sloop of whose crew he was one, had received a commission of marque and reprisal from the governor of that colony; that by virtue of the said commission the said sloop went to Porto Plata and there under pretence of trade, having enticed some of the principal inhabitants on board whom they secured in irons, they went into the town and after killing some of the inhabitants and plundering the town they set the church on fire. As I did not conceive that the words of the King's order did authorize his subjects to commit acts of this nature I would have secured the man; but as he had left the sloop on account of this action and would not share any of the plunder so taken, and as he voluntarily gave me the whole information upon oath, always expressing his abhorrence of the action, I dismissed him and he now sails on board one of our sloops. I enclose his information upon this subject and I beg you will have the goodness to construe every action of mine by the steady desire I have of discharging my duty with the greatest punctuality I am capable of.
Prior to my receiving his grace's letter an affair happened here that I must likewise acquaint you with and in which I hope I shall meet with your approbation. On 30 September last two sloops were seen in the dawn of the morning standing off and on, one to the eastward and the other to the southward. That to the eastward did not seem bound in nor did she attempt that course she ought to have held had she been passing by either to the northward or southward. She continued in this manner standing off and on till about 10 o'clock and then I sent out the pilot. But he soon returned and informed me that he met one of our fishing boats returning who had spoken with her, but that a man on board the sloop having in broken English ordered the boat on board and refusing to say from whence he came or whither bound, and that he had seen more men on board than were necessary to sail a sloop of that size, he immediately put afore the wind and came home. Upon this our town was alarmed and applied to me that I would give them some directions, judging the sloop a privateer, that about fifteen of our fishing boats who lay near the sloop were in danger, and that should the Negroes on board be taken the loss would amount to 1200l. Not having received HM's order at this time I found myself under great difficulties and therefore waited till noon; but finding the sloop still standing off and on, sometimes even close by the bar at the entrance into St George's harbour, I sent for the masters of two of our sloops who lay in the harbour ready for sailing and gave each of them orders to speak with the sloop to the eastward and that if she wanted any assistance to carry her out from among the shoals they should put a pilot on board, but that in any other case they should bring her in for further examination. I put about 150 men on board these two sloops as well armed as possible out of the King's independent company and the company belonging to this town commanded by their proper officers, and in about two hours both sloops were under sail. As soon as the sloop to the eastward saw our two sloops after her she immediately changed her course and stood out to the s. east which was the only course she could take out of the danger of those shoals she was got among, and we soon lost sight of the other sloop to the southward. About 6 o'clock in the evening our sloop came up with the forementioned sloop and brought her to. In the meantime I manned our forts and kept a double watch all night for it was the general opinion here that both sloops were privateers. The next morning our sloops returned with the sloop in question which appeared to be a French sloop bound from Martinique to Louisbourg in Cape Breton and loaded with rum and sugar. Upon my asking the master the reason of his hovering about the coast all the morning he said he found himself so much entangled among our shoals that he could not get out again, and that he wanted water and was desirous of speaking with the land. As to the former part of his information I should have been very willing to believe him had he not found his way so very readily from among the shoals when he found himself pursued, but as to the latter part he spoke truth. However, as he did no harm, although I am yet convinced he wanted to entice some of our fishing Negroes on board, who are all good pilots, and to have carried them off, I discharged him after having supplied him with water and a barrel of pork which he said he wanted, and he sailed the next morning. I cannot forbear mentioning to you that when I sent out part of the independent company on board one of our sloops I was obliged to borrow arms for them, those they have not being fit to fire. I would not trouble you any more upon this subject but that real necessity obliges me to it. The Duke of Newcastle was so good as to sign an order for supplying the company with a new set of arms before I left England and therefore I am in hopes of receiving them when the Bermuda sloop which has been detained in England by the late embargoes shall return.
On 16 August last I was obliged to dissolve the Assembly in order to prevent the further progress of some heats that I found growing between the Council and Assembly; the occasion was as follows. The general dread the people of these islands are under when any person happens to arrive here with the smallpox gave rise to a bill to prevent the spreading the infection thereof. This bill was sent up to the Council by the Assembly. The Council, judging some alterations and additions necessary to be made in the said bill, desired a conference with the Assembly, at which conference several of them were agreed to; and they being also agreed to by both Houses the bill was sent down to the House of Assembly that the alterations agreed to by both Houses might be inserted in order to the bill's being laid before me for my assent. When the bill was returned from the Assembly the Council re-examined the same to see the alterations were inserted as agreed to, but were very much surprised to find several others inserted besides those which had been agreed to by both Houses and no notice given to the Council of them. As the bill had been agreed to by both Houses with the insertion only of such alterations as were approved at the conference the Council thought the proceeding of the Assembly a manifest breach of that faith which ought to subsist between both Houses and sent a message to them accordingly. But the Assembly insisting upon their right to make any alteration they thought proper, notwithstanding they had agreed to the bill before and that the bill was returned to them for no other purpose but to insert such alterations as had been agreed upon at the conference and by both Houses, I found myself obliged to put an end to the warmth I found arising between both Houses and I had the pleasure to receive the thanks of both Houses for having dissolved them. Before their dissolution they passed two Acts to which I gave my assent, they being perfectly consistent with my instructions. They are entitled as follows, viz an Act for raising a sum of money for the payment of the public debts of these islands; and an Act for prolonging an Act entitled an Act to prevent any person or persons allowing and encouraging any Negroes or other slaves from rioting and meeting at unseasonable times in his or their houses or plantations. The former of these Acts was passed upon my recommending to the Assembly to fall upon some method of paying the public debts, and the tax raised for the purpose being a poll-tax upon the Negroes of the island I could foresee no objection to it. The latter Act is only to renew a law of these islands which long experience has proved a very necessary one, and therefore I hope this and the former will meet with your approbation.
On 22 September I issued writs for calling a new Assembly to meet the 2nd of October following. They accordingly met and upon my recommending to them the raising a sum of money to build a new battery and repairing the fortifications they very cheerfully passed the following Act: an Act for raising money for the speedy repairs of the several fortifications of these islands. As this Act in no way interferes with my instructions and is judged here the most equal way of raising the money wanted here for the above purposes I gave my assent thereto and am in hopes it will meet with your approbation. The Assembly likewise passed another Act entitled an Act to lessen the public charges of these islands. As this Act affects only the Councillors and Assemblymen when they meet in their legislative capacity I should have made no difficulty in giving my assent thereto; but as this Act repeals a confirmed law passed in 1694 entitled an Act for payment of the Assembly at all future and succeeding sessions thereof, I took care to have a clause inserted therein for suspending the execution thereof until HM's pleasure can be known thereon. By this Act the country will save the salary paid to the Councillors and to the Assemblymen, the former 5s 4d per day and the latter 2s 8d per day which amounts to about 8l per day each day they meet in their legislative capacity.
The Assembly at the same time they passed these laws proposed another scheme for saving money as you will perceive by their enclosed copy of their address to me. The captains of all the forts and batteries belonging to these islands receive a salary from the public amounting to about 60l a year, and as the captains of the several militia companies have more trouble and are at a much greater expense in clothes, etc the Assembly thought the captains of the forts who are at no expense should like the captains of the militia serve their country without pay, and in their address to me they said there were several well-experienced men who were ready to serve as captains of the forts gratis for the honour and service of the government. The governors of Bermuda have always kept the command of the King's castle in their own hands and for this service six shares of the public land which lies contiguous to the castle have always been detained by them and out of the profits thereof they pay a lieutenant. This has been the constant custom during the time these islands were under a company and ever since, and the rents of these lands amount to 14l 1s sterling per annum, they being so very rocky and so much covered with sea sand that they are not worth two shares in a clear part of the island. When I sent up for the Assembly to give my assent to the two abovementioned laws I told them that I had in general considered their address and would at present give them an answer to part of it, but that some part of it requiring further consideration I should defer giving a final answer to another opportunity. And then I acquainted them that according to the frequent promises I had made them of doing whatever lay in my power for the advantage of these islands I was very glad they had furnished me with an opportunity of beginning: that I would not give up the command of the castle but would take as much pleasure in seeing it kept in regular repair and ready for defence in case of any danger as if I was to be paid for it; that I would order the rents of the captain's six shares of land to be paid into the public treasury for the service of the island and that I would pay the lieutenant out of my own pocket. The giving up this little perquisite has caused here a general satisfaction and the more because the Assembly have declared that they had no thoughts of my six shares of land when they made their address. As I have some reason to believe the captains of the forts will follow my example, as two of them have since done, I chose to give them an opportunity of doing it before I gave any further answer to the Assembly's address. Before I leave the subject of the Assembly I must take leave to mention one affair and to beg your directions how to act when it shall happen. The Assembly of these islands have within these twenty years past assumed to themselves a power of choosing a new Speaker every fourth sitting, notwithstanding the same Assembly remain undissolved. As this seems to me no less than a power of turning out their Speaker after he has sat three meetings I am in great doubt whether they have a right to such a privilege, the House of Commons in Great Britain claiming none such that I ever heard or read of. I should have had this difficulty to encounter with some time ago had not the dissolution intervened but as it must happen very soon, the Assembly having met twice since their last election, I must once more beg you will favour me with your directions how to act. The Speaker indeed does at the fourth meeting leave the chair and is most commonly re-elected but if they have a power of choosing one every fourth meeting by virtue of a vote only of their own House they may by the same authority vote themselves a power of choosing a new Speaker every meeting or as often as they please.
On 23 November last I received two letters from you of 5 July and 4 September last with copies of the two addresses from the House of Lords and the House of Commons relating to paper currency and to the value of gold and silver in the plantations. The first of these addresses does not affect the Bermuda Islands, there never having been any paper money current here. As to the second all Spanish, French or other foreign coin have always and are now accounted, received, taken or paid at the rate of 6s 10½d per ounce but being often scarce the merchants do sometimes give a premium of 5, 6 or 8 per cent in order to obtain silver to make remittances home. Spanish pistereens have for some time passed, been received and paid at the rate of 16 pence each, some of them weighing more but more of them weighing less. This has been done for the ease of the inhabitants who by general consent, for the more easy circulation of money, have agreed to take them from one to the other at the above rate. All Spanish, Portuguese and other foreign gold coins are accounted, received, taken or paid, and have been ever since the passing of the Act for settling a current value upon foreign gold, at the rate therein mentioned. This Act was passed here in 1707 and is to continue in force so long as the proclamation enacted by the Act of Parliament passed in the 6th year of Queen Anne entitled an Act for ascertaining the rate of foreign gold in her plantations in America shall continue in force and no longer. Gold and silver have always been purchased and sold as follows, viz gold for 5l to 4l 10s per ounce and silver from 6s 10d to 5s per ounce. An English guinea passes current here for 1l 8s 8d, an English crown at 6s 8d, and half-crowns, shillings and sixpences in the same proportion.
I return you thanks in the name of these islands for your having transmitted our address to HM for some warlike stores. My brother, as you referred me to him for an account of such measures as should be taken for the security of Bermuda with regard to warlike stores and the augmentation of my company, has acquainted me that the address relating to stores was referred to your consideration and that my proposal for an augmentation of my company lies before the King. Could I be so happy as not to be suspected of views of interest in what I have proposed, I am confident each proposal must meet with success; but as I may imagine that a governor may sometimes have made the safety of his government an excuse for proposing something under that colour for his private gain I can only content myself with hoping I may not be thought of that turn, for as much as I should be glad to make any honest advantage, as much I shall ever abhor the thoughts of getting in another way.
I have said so much concerning the consequence of these islands to you and to the Duke of Newcastle that I am fearful of being troublesome, but my duty calls upon me still to add that I daily find the truth of what I have represented, and although this island should never produce any commodities whatsoever yet its situation will ever occasion its being of greater consequence to Great Britain and the American trade than any colony belonging to HM in these parts. It is for these reasons that you are troubled for a new addition of warlike stores and an increase of my company that we may be able to preserve this island in case of an attack. It is true nature has in great measure secured this place by rocks and shoals but if any of our fishing Negroes should be taken, most of whom are good pilots, an enemy may be brought to some places of the south side where men may be landed by boats; and it is for these places that we have addressed HM for great guns to keep vessels off. It is not here as in other places where there are conveniences for moving guns: our hills and the want of such conveniences make it very tedious, expensive and troublesome, and supposing an enemy's ship near enough to land men from boats it would be impossible for us to move any great gun in time; but if it were possible we have not one gun to move from any place where it is not wanted. If this should ever be our case before HM has granted our request the safety of this island would depend upon the numbers of men I should be able to get together, and the late alarms we have had have convinced me it would be a small body indeed. I do not mean this as any reproach to the Bermudians who have shown themselves always ready, but so great a number of our men being always at sea (except during the hurricane months when we have nothing else to fear) and the remainder being dispersed, after our batteries are manned the number to be brought together will hardly deserve to be called a body of men. I hope you will think that these are good reasons for the stores desired and the increase of my company. If it should be asked what enemy would ever think of attacking Bermuda, an island that makes little or no return to Europe, it is truly answered that that island by whose situation the return made from the sugar colonies may be safely brought into port in case of distress and the homeward bound trade from the Spanish and French West Indies intercepted by the possessors of Bermuda, if enabled thereto, is an island well worth taking and maintaining by any prince who has possessions in the West Indies. I hope my real zeal for HM's service and the discharge of my duty will plead my excuse if you should think I have expressed myself with too much warmth. My knowing the truth of what I assert, and that notwithstanding the information I had in your office Bermuda never appeared to me to be of such consequence as I now find it to be, has made me detain you longer upon this subject than I should otherwise have done.
I shall be extremely glad to receive your directions upon my 73rd instruction for it causes great uneasiness here, and so long as our merchants live in the country with their wharfs and storehouses at their own doors, was the instruction to be rigorously complied with, it would be giving them a great increase of trouble and expense. But as I acquainted you in a former letter, was the instruction to be altered and no officer appointed at the west end of these islands with a salary to keep him above bribery, it would keep open a door to illegal trade. Mr Dinwiddie, who has many years been collector of the Customs here, will be able to give you more satisfaction concerning the affair, being at London, than I fear I am able to do at this distance. I am very glad you have approved my conduct with regard to the French ship; upon every occasion I shall endeavour to deserve your good opinion. As I propose to send this letter by the very first opportunity that happens I am afraid not to be able at the same time to send my answers to your queries. I might indeed have sent you a copy of former answers but I am desirous of sending you the most exact account that can be given of these islands and the trade thereof. I have therefore stated several of your queries to the Council that I may not omit anything in my power towards giving you the information you might naturally expect from my answers. If I cannot complete them time enough for this conveyance you may depend upon my sending them by the very next that happens. As you have informed me that you intend in due time to consider the four Acts of this island sent by my last letter, as likewise the Bahama Act, I hope you will allow my brother to remind you of them. Signed. PS. You will receive enclosed besides the beforementioned papers: minutes of Council 5 September 1738 to 10 November last inclusive, Naval Officer's lists from 9 July 1738 to 25 March last, Treasurer's accounts from 10 May 1737 to 22 July 1739, and powder account from 24 August 1737 to 3 July 1739. 17 pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20 March 1740. Enclosed:
524 i 9 November 1739. Address and remonstrance of Assembly of Bermuda to Governor Popple in reply to speech acquainting them of approaching war. Because of decay of trade, losses by the Spaniards and by shipwreck, the inhabitants are poor. Redress of grievances requested, viz neglect of captains of forts which has drawn upon us the present heavy tax, and the practice of paying several captains out of rents of HM's lands when worthy and experienced gentlemen would serve gratis. We shall give an ample sum for fortifications and hope you will redress these grievances. Copy. Signatory, Henry Tucker, Speaker. 2 pp.
524 ii Information, sworn in Bermuda on 27 October 1739, by Thomas Newton of Rhode Island, mariner, concerning Virgin Queen of Rhode Island, Charles Hall commander, which sailed from Rhode Island on 8 September last for a cruise against the Spaniards by virtue of a commission granted by Governor John Wanton. They arrived at Porto Plata in Hispaniola on 5 October, attacked and took the town and plundered it, killing five Spaniards. Informant was discharged at his own request at Turks Island. Copy, certified by Alured Popple. Seal. 3½ pp.
524 iii Treasurer's accounts of Bermuda, 10 May 1737 to 1 May 1738. Copy, certified on 24 December 1739 by Alured Popple. Seal. 8 pp.
524 iv Same, 8 June 1738 to 22 July 1739. Copy, certified and sealed as no 524iii.
524 v Powder account of Bermuda, 24 August 1737 to 23 December 1738. Copy, certified and sealed as no 524iii. 18 pp.
524 vi Same, 6 January 1739 to 31 July 1739. Copy, certified and sealed as no 524iii. 9 pp. [CO 37/13, ff 133–179d]
December 20
Governor Alured Poppel to Duke of Newcastle. In substance same as first five paragraphs and seventh paragraph of no 524. Signed. 14 pp. Endorsed, R, 21 March. Enclosed:
525 i Address and remonstrance of Assembly of Bermuda, 9 November 1739. Copy of no 524i. 2¼ pp.
525 ii Information of Thomas Newton. Copy of no 524ii. 5 pp.
525 iii Accounts of Bermuda. Copy of no 524iv.
525 iv Same. Copy of no 524iii.
525 v Same. Copy of no 524v and 524vi.
525 vi Naval Officer's list of shipping clearing outward from entered inwards to St George's Bermuda, 9 July 1739 to 25 March 1739. 27 pp. [CO 37/29, ff 99–165d]
December 21
Governor William Mathew to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations sending duplicates of Acts and public papers, originals already sent. Letters of 5 July and 31 August, which arrived on 24 November, acknowledged. I have sent to the other three islands for the accounts asked for in the addresses of Houses of Lords and Commons. Signed. PS. Two other Acts of St Christopher's also enclosed, also minutes of Assembly of St Christopher's from 17 April 1739 to 8 September last. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 5 May, Read 14 May 1740. [CO 152/23, ff 278–279d]
December 24
Governor Jonathan Belcher to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations enclosing account of paper currency of Massachusetts. I think they are done in confirmity to the addresses of both Houses of Parliament and I hope with good exactness so as to be easily looked into and understood. Those of New Hampshire are not yet finished and I am afraid will not come out very complete, the public papers and records of that province not having been kept in so good order as they have been here, and the misfortune the Secretary met with a few years ago of having his house burnt wherein were most of the public papers may occasion the account from thence to be still more imperfect. However, as that province is but small, the emissions of paper currency have been in proportion. I believe the accounts from this province may serve for a rule for that, yet I shall get the accounts from thence made out as soon as possible and transmit them to you. I hope, when the accounts of this kind from the several plantations are thoroughly examined and considered, they will produce an Act of Parliament to forbid all paper currency in the plantations for the future; or if it must be suffered, so to regulate it as that when bills are emitted the several governments shall be obliged to maintain the value of them unalterably, for the way which most of the provinces have been in for many years past of emitting their bills is but one continual fraud on all mankind that gives any credit to them. Duplicate. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 6 March, Read 7 March 1740. Enclosed:
527 i Account of bills of credit made and issued by the government of Massachusetts for the support of the said government from 1700 to 1738. The provision made for the sinking and discharging of which bills on their emission was by taxes on polls and estates and the duties of impost and excise.
Year Rate of silver per oz. Exchange between this currency and sterling Sums Emitted Ordered to be brought in
1701 7s 36 per cent 9000l 6000l
1702 ditto ditto 10000l 3000l
1703 ditto ditto 22000l 10000l
1704 ditto ditto 32000l 22000l
1705 8s 40 per cent 22000l 22000l
1706 ditto ditto 40000l 26000l
1707 ditto ditto 30000l 22000l
1708 ditto ditto 32000l 22000l
1709 ditto ditto 46000l 22000l
1710 ditto ditto 33000l (fn. 3) 26000l
1711 8s 4d 50 per cent 45000l 22000l
1712 ditto ditto 28000l 22000l
1713 ditto ditto 14000l 25000l
1714 9s 60 per cent 14000l 22000l
1715 ditto ditto 8000l 22000l
1716 9s 2d ditto 11000l 22000l
1717 10s ditto 9000l 22000l
1718 11s 100 per cent 11000l 22000l
1719 12s 110 per cent 15000l 16000l
1720 12s 4d ditto 15000l 17000l
1721 12s 6d 130 per cent 17000l 3000l
1722 14s 160 per cent 45000l 16000l
1723 15s ditto 50000l 17000l
1724 16s 200 per cent 55000l 24666l
1725 ditto ditto 70000l 29667l
1726 ditto ditto 25000l 29667l
1727 ditto ditto 28000l 30000l
1728 16s 6d ditto 36000l 29000l
1729 19s ditto 20000l 20000l
1730 18s 240 per cent 22500l 20000l
1731 18s 6d ditto 14200l 23500l
1732 19s 6d ditto - 26000l
1733 21s 260 per cent 76500l 21000l
1734 24s 350 per cent 30371l 32025l
1735 27s 6d 400 per cent 36269l 47525l
1736 27s ditto 48000l 49986l
1737 26s 6d ditto 81000l 63704l
1738 28s ditto 26400l 51025l
1739 67825l (fn. 4)
1740 64525l
1741 56125l
The sums of bills emitted as above are computed according to the denomination of the bills and by the exchange or the rates of silver in the several years to be reduced to the value of money of Great Britain.
The bills emitted the first year, viz 170l were bills of the late colony of Massachusetts and brought in and burnt in that and the next year.
27000l part of the 1736 emission, was in new tenor bills, viz 9000l. The whole sum emitted in 1737 was in new tenor bills, viz 27000l. The whole sum emitted in 1738 was in new tenor bills, viz 8800l. I large p.
527 ii Account of province bills made by order of the General Court and delivered to the treasurer for which also he gives credit in the several years set against the sums. Also an account of what bills have been burnt, with the times when, and the price of silver and exchange. (fn. 5)
Year Bills made Bills burnt of old tenor
1703 10000l
1704 15000l
1705 5006l
1706 5000l
1707 100001 822l 6s
1708 22000l
1709 10000l 1530l 7s 8d
1710 30000l 5997l 13s 7d
1711 40000l 18444l
1712 22000l 11796l 14s 6d
1713 17000l 16877l 0s 9d
1714 8944/13s 13499l 19s 10d
1715 41555l 8s 41429l 11s 11d
1716 100000l 17829l 4s
1717 5000l 11703l 12s 5d
1718 15339l 6s 6d
1719 15000l 19522l 15s 11d
1720 2000l 3960l 15s 11d
1722 580001 2681l 8s 1d
1723 60500l 3572l 15s
1724 20000l 5764l 18s 4d
1725 40000l 4151l 17s 9d
1726 60000l 9049l 18s 11d
1727 - 18694l 9s
1728 20000l 15090l 10s 6d
1729 10000l
1731 29193l 11s 4d
1733 28930l 18s 10d
1736 18010l
1737 27000l (fn. 6) 90325l 12s 2d
1738 145875l (fn. 6)
1739 1024l (fn. 6) 741941 17s 6d
Total bills made 8189151 1s 0d
Deduct bills burnt 458051l 6s 5d
3608631 14s 7d
Deduct bills in Treasurer's hands and other bills outstanding for specified reasons 169360l 15s 2d
191502l 19s 5d
Exchange at 400 per cent = 38300l 11s 10½d
In 1701 9000l was emitted, the only bills then extant, being the late colony's bills. Paid in and burnt to ashes that and the next year. No account made here of the same.
On the expedition to Canada in 1711 there was emitted on a loan for carrying on the same the sum of 48623l 16s 6d, all of which was paid in and burnt.
In 1714 there was made and emitted in province bills 50000l and let out upon loan by trustees appointed by the government distinct from other bills put into the hands of the Treasurer, which sums have been all brought in by the trustees and burnt to ashes excepting 1625l 2s 11d for which the trustees have sufficient security in lands on behalf of the province, which is the reason said emission of 50000l is not inserted in this account.
The reason why the emissions exceed the creating or making the bills is because many sums were twice or thrice or oftener emitted and yet were the very same bills. 1 large p. [CO 5/881, ff 189–192d]
December 24
Certificate by Governor Jonathan Belcher that Josiah Willard is Secretary of Massachusetts. Seal. Signed. Countersigned, Simon Frost, deputy Secretary. ½ p. Enclosed:
528 i Schedule of fifteen papers annexed to above certificate. 2 pp.
528 ii Boston, 24 December 1739. Answer, addressed to the King, of Governor Belcher to petition of John North and others. Indians were not encouraged to complain against settlers, only guaranteed their rights under treaty. Neglect of forts is owing to refusal of Assembly to make provision for them. Garrison at Winter Harbour was removed to Pemaquid and taken under Assembly's care. Signed. 5 pp.
528 iii St George's, 10 April 1736. Petition of Indians to Governor Belcher complaining of encroachments by Mr Waldo's settlers and of restriction of trade. Copy, certified by J Willard. Signatories, Adowekenk and nine others. 2 pp.
528 iv Boston, 17 May 1736. Advice by Council of Massachusetts to Governor Belcher to meet chiefs of Penobscot Indians on their complaints. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ½ p.
528 v Boston, 18 May 1736 [MS: 1739]. Governor Belcher to Penobscot Indians inviting chiefs to Boston. Captain Gyles will come as interpreter. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 1¼ pp.
528 vi Boston, 25 June 1736. Report of conference between Governor Belcher and delegates of Penobscot Indians. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 5 pp.
528 vii Report of proceedings of General Court of Massachusetts on 25 June 1736 respecting visit of Indian delegates. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 1 p.
528 viii 3 July 1736. Report of committee of General Court appointed to consider complaints of Penobscot Indians and to hear Mr Waldo. Mr Waldo is not justified in making settlement above falls of George's River. Indians should be assured that government of Massachusetts will not countenance such settlements. Restriction of trade is for benefit of Indians but directions should be given to truckmaster to give them full price for beaver. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 2 pp.
528 ix 6 July 1736. Part of record of conference between Governor Belcher, General Court and Penobscot Indians. Indians were given answer according to advice of both Houses. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ½ p.
528 x 15 December 1725. Extract of declaration of peace with Eastern Indians signed by William Dummer, guaranteeing their lands. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ½ p.
528 xi 15 December 1725. Extracts of submission and agreement made by delegates of Eastern Indians. English settlers and Indians will mutually respect property rights. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 1 p.
528 xii Minutes of Council of Massachusetts, 16 February 1733. Approved proclamation concerning lands between Sagadahoc and St Croix Rivers. Received letter from Col David Dunbar notifying intention to remove. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ¾ p.
528 xiii Boston, 16 February 1733. Proclamation by Governor Belcher notifying Order in Council of 10 August 1732. David Dunbar is to quit settlement between Penobscot and St Croix Rivers. Copy, certified as no 528iii.
528 xiv Extracts, dated 4 July, 13 and 25 August 1733, from journal of House of Representatives of Massachusetts concerning fort at Pemaquid, which it was decided was not worth great expense of upkeep. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 2½ pp.
528 xv Minutes of Council of Massachusetts, 17 July 1733. Advised that officer and six men should not be sent to take possession of Fort Frederick at Pemaquid. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ¾ p.
528 xvi Extracts, dated 1 and 6 November 1733, from journal of House of Representatives of Massachusetts. House advised that Fort Mary at Winter Harbour be demolished and garrison transferred for three years to Pemaquid. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 1 p.
528 xvii Fort Mary, 4 November 1733. Petition of officer and soldiers to Governor Belcher representing deplorable condition of this place. Copy, certified as no 528iii. Signatories, Capt James Woodside and eight others. 1 p.
528 xviii Extracts, dated 9 and 23 September 1730, 1 April 1731, 27 December 1735 and 14 June 1737, from journals of House of Representatives of Massachusetts concerning fortifications in province. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 6 pp.
528 xix Boston, 11 July 1737. Warrant by Governor Belcher to Capt Woodside. Garrison of Fort Frederick, Pemaquid, is disbanded from 1 August. Copy. 1 p.
528 xx 15 June 1737. Resolution of House of Representatives of Massachusetts, concurred in by Council, that Fort Frederick should be abandoned and garrisons reduced at Fort George, Brunswick, and Richmond Fort. Copy, certified as no 528iii. 1 p.
528 xxi 1 July 1737. Resolution of House of Representatives of Massachusetts to make no further provision for forts as requested in Governor Belcher's message. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ¾ p.
528 xxii 23 June 1736. Message from Governor Belcher to Council and House of Representatives of Massachusetts proposing meeting with chiefs of Penobscot Indians. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ¾ p.
528 xxiii 21 December 1737. Message from Governor Belcher to House of Representatives of Massachusetts. Provision should be made for Fort Frederick, Pemaquid. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ½ p.
528 xxiv 28 December 1737. Rejection by House of Representatives of Massachusetts of Council's suggestion that they should reconsider vote to draw off men from garrisons on St George's and Saco Rivers. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ½ p.
528 xxv 29 December 1737. Vote of House of Representatives of Massachusetts desiring that garrisons be drawn off from truckhouses at St George's and Saco Rivers. Not concurred in by Council. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ½ p.
528 xxvi 7 July 1739. Same of same desiring that four men be drawn off from truckhouses, three more be enlisted, and these seven be posted at Pemaquid Fort. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ¾ p.
528 xxvii Extract from proceedings of conference on 6 July 1736 between Governor Belcher and delegates of Penobscot Indians. Mr Waldo's settlers will not be countenanced by government of Massachusetts above falls of St George's River. Copy, certified as no 528iii. ¼ p. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr Partridge. Recd. 13 March, Read 18 March 1740. [CO 5/881, ff 207–242d]
December 26
St James's
Warrant to Charles, Lord Cathcart, maj-gen, appointing him to command an expedition to the West Indies. Entry. 3½ pp. [CO 324/37, pp 155–159]
December 27
St James's
Order of King in Council approving report of 21 November last from Committee of Council on petition of Representatives of New Hampshire. Governor Belcher has acted with great partiality by proroguing Assembly of New Hampshire from 6 July to 4 August 1737 and from 2 September to 15 October 1737 with design to frustrate preparation of appeal to King in Council on matters in dispute with Massachusetts. Copy, certified by Temple Stanyan. 6 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 22 September, Read 16 October 1740. [CO 5/882, ff 74–77d]
December 27
St. James's
Same directing that a supply of arms and ammunition be sent to New York, none having been sent there since 1708. Copy, certified by Temple Stanyan. 3½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 22 September, Read 16 October 1740. Enclosed:
531 i Ordnance Office, 30 November 1739. List of ordnance and stores proposed for New York. Cost including freight, 8563l 12s 2d. Copy. 3 pp. [CO 5/1059, ff 145–148d]
December 27
St James's
Same approving report of Committee for Plantation Affairs that warlike stores be sent to the Bahamas according to annexed estimate; and that 1200l be allowed to the governor for building new barracks and batteries, with an additional 400l if needed. Copy, certified by Temple Stanyan. 4 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 22 September, Read 16 October 1740. Enclosed:
532 i Account of stores to be sent to the Bahamas. Total 1380l 13s 2d including freight. 1½ pp. [CO 23/4, ff 97–101d; another copy of Order at ff 96, 96d]
St James's
Same approving Act passed in Virginia in 1738 to enable Ralph Wormley to sell entailed lands. Copy, certified by Temple Stanyan. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 22 September, Read 16 October 1740. [CO 5/1325, ff 8, 8d, 14, 14d]
December 28
Harman Verelst to >Governor William Mathew to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations sending Act of Antigua for continuing Mr Yeamans agent and minutes of Assembly of Nevis from 6 October 1738 to 3 December 1739. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 10 March, Read 18 April 1740. [CO 152/23, ff 266–267d]
December 28
Georgia Office
Harman Verelst to William Stephens sending duplicates of letters of 5 and 12 December. On 17th inst the Trustees received your letter dated 25 September with the affidavits of the fatal consequence of rum among the Indians. Herewith you have copy of an account transmitted by Robert Ellis to his correspondent Mr Williams and demanded of the Trustees, which you and the other commissioners are to examine and report if due in case his, the said Robert Ellis's, demand will not have been before claimed and reported. If your son should not return, which is uncertain at present, without being more beneficial to him than is at this time in the Trustees' power, the 25l ordered you for assistance to copy your journals, etc you are to pay yourself out of the estimated general expenses of the colony to enable you to have such assistance in the colony as you can find proper for you. Your son is gone to the Isle of Wight these holidays, otherwise you would have heard from him by this ship. Entry. ½ p. [CO 5/667, p 300]
December 29
James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. I send this by Mr Horton whom there is no need of recommending to you. You know his behaviour when he commanded the southern division of the province in my absence. I could not think of a way more likely to acquaint you with the whole particulars of the province than by sending him home who can explain everything. I was in hopes to have sent you all the accounts but have been intolerably plagued by the backwardness of the clerks. I have been obliged to employ my own secretary, Moore, in almost everything though writing for me is full one man's work, and I can to this minute get nothing finished by the others nor any account than that cashbook which he kept. To give a general idea of the accounts there is three distinct terms of time, one before my arrival which you have put into an excellent method by appointing commissioners to state. Some debts due in that term to persons who must have been ruined if not paid, I have paid, the commissioners having acquainted me that they were justly due and Mr Jones hath promised me to transmit the report, which if you approve of you will pay what I have advanced to Mr Verelst on my account. The second term of time is from my arrival to the time of receiving your establishment, during which time I proceeded in the dark, having only the general rule to go by not to make any expenses as I could avoid and at the same time not to neglect doing those things which were necessary for the preservation of the colony, amongst them the taking the German servants which came over by Capt Thomson and the lending their passages to such persons as were desirous thereof and were capable of maintaining them and keeping the rest for the Trust, I thought an absolute necessary measure for the service of the colony since it not only increased it with so many ablebodied industrious people but it would have been a cruelty to turn the poor people a-starving into other provinces and have prevented the being able to procure more Germans and thereby augmenting HM's subjects by the accession of foreign Protestants. I hope therefore that this step will be approved of and that you will order Capt Thomson to be paid the passage of those servants.
As I promised to you when I first arrived I have maintained the colony for the year and think it will come within the 5000l as I guessed at first. I drew upon Mr Verelst who had cash of mine and mentioned in the letters of advice generally the services for which those bills were drawn. The proper vouchers showing that the money was applied to the public service according to the Trustees' maxims for improving and settling the colony shall be sent over as soon as ever I can get the clerks to drawn them out in order. But a journey in open boats to Charleston, a journey by land for several hundred miles over many wide rivers to the far Indian nations, and the preparations for invading the Spaniards and making inroads upon them have took up so much of my time that I have not been able to do the business myself nor can I prevail with others to do it for me. If I come back alive from this expedition I will labour at the accounts and do not doubt to settle them and the province upon a good footing of economy. I hope you will make good to Mr Verelst those payments that I have made here upon the Trust's account and thereby replace the money I drew from him. There will be this year over and above your establishment several expenses necessary for the preserving of the colony. The small garrison of a captain and ten men at Fort Augusta will be necessary to be continued since we cannot weaken the regiment by sending a detachment to so great a distance as 300 miles. The regiment of foot that is here is not sufficient to make war in the woods by land and overtake Indians and horsemen, therefore I have been obliged to call down our Indian allies: they have very readily assisted me but whilst they lose their hunting and corn season for our defence we are forced to give them food, arms, ammunition and some clothing which they would otherwise buy with skins which they get by hunting. Their leaders and interpreters have certain allowances: I sent you over them for the Creeks and Cherokees, those for the Chickesaws, Uchees and Yamacraws have the same. Horsemen also I am obliged to raise and have ordered sixty rangers: their establishments Mr Horton has with him. The settlements must all have been destroyed and the communication between the troops cut off when the Spaniards attacked Amelia if I had not armed out boats, which I did in the cheapest manner taking no more men upon hire than just enough to navigate them and even saving upon some by employing the Trust's Highland servants whom Mr McIntosh and Mr Mackay had taught to row; the rest of the men are soldiers to whom we only allow provisions during the time they are on board. Thus the colony periagua is fitted out with 4 guns, rows with 20 men and carries 20 more, so that having 40 men she is able to engage a Spanish launch, stands only in the wages of a commander, a patroon and 6 men, the rest of the 40 being soldiers of whom only them that row have provisions. By these boats I have drove the Spaniards out of the River St Johns, can when I will land in Florida as well as protect this colony and Carolina which without them would be entirely exposed, as by the sad accident at Amelia when we had only two boats in service too plainly appeared.
The forts that I built were run to ruin, being mostly of earth, having no means to repair them and having also orders not to fortify. Upon the hostilities being committed I thought I should be answerable for the blood of these people before God and man if I had left them open to be surprised by Spanish Indians and murdered in the night and their homes burnt and they being under my charge. I therefore began to fortify Frederica and enclose the whole town in which there are some very good houses. It is half an hexagon with two bastions and two half-bastions and towers after M Vauban's method upon the point of each bastion. The walls are of earth faced with timber, 10 foot high in the lowest place and in the highest 13, and the timbers from 8 inches to 12 inches thick. There is a wet ditch 10 foot wide and so laid out that if we had an allowance for it I can by widening the ditch double the thickness of the wall and make a covered way. I hope in three months it will be entirely finished and in that time not only to fortify here but to repair the forts on Amelia and St Andrews. The expense of these small abovementioned works (which is all that I can now make) will not be great. Frederica will come within 500l, St Andrews 400l and Amelia 100l. I made an inroad into the Spanish Florida by the help of the boats, drove them to take shelter in their forts and kept the field several days, parties of Indians killing their cattle, etc even to within a few miles of Augustine, but could not provoke them to fight. I am going to make another inroad and trust in God it will daunt them so that we shall have full time to fortify; and if the people of Carolina would assist us heartily we might take Augustine, to which these frequent inroads may pave the way, for they dishearten their people and encourage the soldiers by living on the enemy's cattle and provisions. I hope, if the Trustees will represent the necessity of the above expenses to Parliament, the House will grant to them sufficient to defray the estimates of them; or if the Parliament thinks this expense too much for the preserving this colony I hope they will withdraw both the colony and the regiment since without these necessary preparations they will be exposed to certain destruction. Signed. 8 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 2 May 1740. [CO 5/640, ff 429–432d]
December 29
James Oglethorpe to Trustees for Georgia. There were 69 heads of German servants delivered by Capt Thomson to different persons on credit which I find did not appear to the committee of accounts to be chargeable on the Trust by any evidence by him produced. The first was a family of 52/3 heads, servants to Mr Christie: he has an open account with the Trustees as recorder and there has been orders from the Trustees relating to servants for the magistrates there. The second is one head delivered to Mr Matthews whose wife was widow of Mr Musgrove, interpreter to the Indians as she herself is now: the passage of this servant was given to them as a recompense for services with the Indians and for an Indian servant belonging to them killed in the disputes with Watson. Andrew Duché is the potter at Savannah who goes on very well there, is one of the most industrious in the town, and has made several experiments which seem to look like the making of china: he had two servants whom he breeds to the potter's trade. The two servants to the widow Harris are paid for. Bailiff Parker's servants depends upon the Trustees' orders relating to the magistrates. Those delivered Mr Bolzius were families in which there were many unmarried young women. The congregation of Salzburghers desired they might be left there, there being many unmarried men and no unmarried women. They believed that several would take them for wives and that such as did would pay the passages into the hands of Mr Bolzius to remain there for the Trustees' directions, I hoping they would apply it to the maintenance of the orphan-house at Ebenezer and as such be a useful benefaction to the Salzburghers. They amount to eleven heads, some are married, and they all have behaved very well as Mr Bolzius informs me. Mr Fallowfield has been a very active inhabitant of the colony, has settled here at his own expense and expended a great deal of money, and was constable. He thought he had a pretension to have servants from the Trustees upon the footing of constable according to former letters by which they gave servants to make up the time which the officers employed in the public service. Noble Jones and Mr Causton undertook to maintain their servants and bonded for the payment of them. West did the same and one of them is returned to the Trustees, being a wheelwright and a necessary man for their service. Mr Mouse has a family of five children, is a very industrious man and was the only inhabitant that stayed upon the island of Skidoway out of the ten families; therefore the giving him credit for this servant I intended to recommend to the Trustees as an encouragement to outplanters. Mr Perkins is a magistrate at Frederica and has a credit upon the store upon this year's establishment. Mr Hawkins has paid for his servants. Walker works upon the fortifications and is willing to pay for the passage of his servant out of his work. Walset is a good planter, has a large family, came at his own expense from Germany, and has a demand upon the Trustees for a debt in Mr Causton's time and has sixty bushels of corn ready to be delivered the Trustees this year, and they want corn to feed their servants and horses.
Upon the whole at that time there was a disgust to white servants artfully fomented by the Negro merchants. The Trustees had stopped all payments and the people were diffident of getting provisions for themselves, therefore did not care to take servants lest they could not feed them. I was glad therefore to get people that could feed them and would take them, but yet there remain several that nobody would take. Those I placed in a village, lent them provisions, and they gave their own bonds for their passages. Some of them it is true are dead; some have throve and the colony is increased by that number and the Germans seem to take more to planting than the English. I should think therefore that there is not a better service can be done to the colony than paying the passage for them, taking it up again according as they can pay and thereby discharging the establishments and lessen the Trustees' remittances so much. Those who die indeed will be a loss to the Trust, but then by those who live the province will acquire [MS: require] so many planting families. The bonds were continued in the name of Capt Thomson because that I believed the people would more willingly pay to him than to the public and that he might upon his coming back push for payment, and he will give you an account of what payments he has been able to get. Signed. PS. The necessity of acting on this breach with the Spaniards obliged me to take Capt Thomson's longboat down with me and prevented my dispatching him till I returned from the frontiers, so that he could get his discharge from me but this day. His hands have been very useful in helping to fit out our boats as you will see by his account. 5½ pp. Endorsed, Rec. 2 May 1740. [CO 5/640, ff 433–436d]
December 29
James Oglethorpe to Harman Verelst. I have received from Capt Thomson several things amounting in the whole to 686l 16s 4d of which great part is for the service of the Trust. A great part of the account itself is a voucher of its having been applied, as that to the boats, etc; that to the rangers is in part of an old debt due by the Trustees to them. As many of these articles as the Trustees think proper to charge to their account I empower you to receive from them; the rest you will pass to my account. I shall send you a further explanation of how these things are applied pursuant to the Trustees' orders. I have wrote to them at large by this occasion. Mr Horton will explain all affairs here and can give you a very clear light into them. In Capt Thomson's former account of 110l which the Trust refused to pay, that which I took in order to give the Spaniards in case we had had the treaty with them, and which presents are a necessary expense and part of the civil government as all matters of negotiation are, is not now necessary because we have no friendship with them, so as the things are here I will receive them and you may charge that 7l 1s 7d to me. As for the credit given to shopkeepers it is what the Trust always used to do and what their letters approve of, setting up people in business that they may sell at reasonable prices and thereby take off the trouble from the store. I therefore ordered credit to be given to Philip and Anne Courtney who were recommended by Lord Egmont, and to Abbot, an old widow woman that came with the first people here. Abbot has paid 40s back, Courtney has paid some little on account, and the Trustees cannot think that to set up shopkeepers in this town is no concern of the public's but is a personal affair of mine. It can be no personal affair of mine since I have no benefit from it; it is the business of the public to support the town and has been always judged a useful charity to put poor people into an honest way of earning their livelihood by small credits.
With respect to the 58l delivered to Mr McIntosh at Darien, it was to support the inhabitants of Darien with clothing and delivered to the Trustees' store there, for which the individuals are indebted to the Trust. Part of it was paid in discharge of service done to the Trustees in building, part is still due, and some do pay and are ready to pay which you may see by the Darien accounts. I am persuaded that when the Trust considers this they will find that I have nothing to do with it and more particularly that some part of this very money has been paid for in timber for building the chapel. The 6l 13s 6d charged to Mr Carteret was by him paid for by bill of exchange which I sent home to you. This is all that I can say upon that account which I understand to be part of the charge of the last year, excepting that I would somewhat further explain that the goods for the shopkeepers were taken into the Trustees' store and part issued to them and part retained in order to be issued as they made payments; and if they did not make payments then the remainder was not issued to them but issued to others and the same paid into the Trustees' account. By the payments arising from debts due to the Trustees the debts contracted have been lessened and several buildings and public works have been paid for by labour done in payment of those debts, particularly the building of the barracks, and these goods stand in the same light as many others taken in and issued in that manner. Therefore I think the Trustees cannot refuse paying Capt Thomson for them and they in the general account will find that they have credit from the persons to whom they are issued. Capt Thomson will have a declaration from Mr McIntosh and from Mr White that these goods have been received and that the Trustees have credit for the same. Signed. 4 pp. [CO 5/640, ff 427–428d]
December 31
James Oglethorpe to Duke of Newcastle. The Spaniards attacked this colony with a party from Augustine and committed hostilities by killing two of HM's subjects of Amelia on 13 November: they cut off their heads and mangled their bodies. They again attempted to surprise one of our forts but, being discovered, retired with precipitation. To restrain these violences I with a body of Indians, a party of the inhabitants of the province and a detachment of the regiment, landed in Florida and drove their outguards from the frontiers. A body of their horse appeared with some foot and marched as if they would have attacked us, but on our advancing retired with precipitation and were pursued till they took shelter in their forts. I have sent over the bearer hereof, Lieut Horton, to lay before you the state of these provinces and the assistance that is necessary for them upon the rupture with the Spaniards. I hope for your protection in representing to HM the applications made by him in my behalf in the most favourable light. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, R, 3 May 1740. Enclosed:
539 i Establishment of troop of rangers. Captain, lieutenant, cornet, 2 quartermasters, trumpet or French horn, 29 privates: cost, 72l 11s sterling per month, to find themselves with horses, arms, accoutrements and food. To enable them to do real service the officers and quartermasters must be allowed spare horses, with servants for the officers, at an additional cost of 5l 19s sterling per month. One other troop the same. ¾ p.
539 ii Company of Indian foot commanded by Capt Thomas Wiggins. Captain, 2 capt/lieuts, 8 lieutenants, 4 ensigns, surgeon, 4 drummers, 400 Indians, 10 white privates. Cost, 412l Carolina currency per month, and each Indian to have 1 hatchet, 1 gun, 1 blanket. ½ small p.
539 iii Company of Indian foot commanded by Capt Samuel Brown. Captain, 2 capt/lieuts, 12 lieutenants, 6 ensigns, surgeon, 6 drummers, 600 Indians. Cost, 430l Carolina currency per month, and each Indian to have 1 hatchet, 1 gun, 1 blanket. ½ small p.
539 iv Establishment of Georgia sloop, periagua, cutter, scoutboats and other boats, 13 craft in all. Cost, 7l 10s sterling and 429l Carolina currency per month plus meat and bread for 69 officers and men. ¾ p. [CO 5/654, ff 244–250d]
Undated letter from John Fallowfield to Trustees for Georgia acknowledging appointment as second bailff. Thomas Christie has not yet been admitted to take place as first bailiff notwithstanding he has made up his records. Henry Parker is continued as usual. Mr Williamson was refused his commission as recorder by Col Stephens. The people seem to resent this as unjust and an indignity to the Trustees. Thomas Jones, third bailiff, disallowed of Christie's being magistrate and Col Stephens joined with him in the same opinion, which was always understood heretofore the reverse. Signed. 1 p. Addressed. Endorsed, Without date. December 1739. Recd. 20 March 1739/40. [CO 5/640, ff 437–438]
541 List of titles of papers relating to HM's title to Carolina and other provinces annexed to the consideration on that subject. List of papers relating to the cutting of logwood. List of papers relating to Spanish ship Sta Theresa. 8½ pp. [CO 5/306, ff 128–132d]
Memorial of merchants trading to South Carolina to Duke of Newcastle commending Benjamin Whitaker, lately appointed chief justice of South Carolina by the lieut-governor and Council. Signed, Owen & Belch, Abel Tonnereau, Richard Scott, H Heylyn, Jos Oldroyd, Samuel and William Baker, Thomas Smith, Edward Jasper, Henry Pomeroy, Henry Middleton, William Middleton, Richard Shubrick, John Hewlett, J Beresford, James Pearce. 1 p. [CO 5/384, ff 61A–61B dorse]
Memorial of John Hammerton, secretary of South Carolina, to Duke of Newcastle claiming appointment as clerk of Assembly of South Carolina. 1½ pp. [CO 5/384, ff 61, 61d]
[?1739] (fn. 7)
Representation by Lieut-Governor Lawrence Armstrong to the King, with the observations made by him during his service in those parts for near twenty years. This country begins from the river Sacadahock bordering on the government of New England in lat 43° and stretches itself easterly to Cape Canso in lat 45° 30' and so round by the Gut of Canso to the Gulf of St Lawrence, and from the great River St Lawrence to Canada or Quebec (the French government); it appears by the maps to make in circumference about 500 leagues as near as can be computed. The great number of harbours on this coast and its easy navigation (the Bay of Fundy excepted) makes it the most commodious colony of any of your Majesty's provinces in America for the fishing trade were it well peopled which at present is much wanting, no place being yet settled but Cape Canso whose inhabitants are only four companies which belong to Col Philipps's regiment, notwithstanding which between 2 and 300 sail of vessels have annually been employed in the service of the fishery there since 1720. From the coast of Nova Scotia the people of New England trade cod, fishing one year with another to the value of upwards of 150000l that country money per annum as has been credibly attested by the most eminent merchants of that trade in those parts, which plainly demonstrates that if inhabitants were settled along the coast in the most convenient harbours from Canso to Cape Sables they would augment the trade sixfold by reason the people of New England who now trade there have 150 leagues or more to carry their fish home to be cured when those that live on the coast have a harbour every two or three leagues to cure their fish upon, as appears by the maps that hitherto have been made of it. This fact is conceived to be worthy the consideration of the crown of Great Britain when so much wealth may be yearly gained by one sort of fish with little or no expense.
Many other valuable branches in trade of great consequence in settling this colony with British subjects may be added, such as the vast plenty of herrings, mackerel, bass, sturgeon and the greatest salmon fishery in the world besides an abundance of whales in the season of the year almost on all the coast with great quantities of seal, which if industriously improved would employ thousands of people and bring in greater revenues to your Majesty's Customs than any other trade by reason the returns of fish from the Straits and other parts of Europe would arise to a vast sum as well as the consumption of our home woollen manufactures and other commodities that must be exported thither. At present it is impossible to judge how great the advantage would be to your Majesty and the nation in general. As to the inland commodities that may be drawn from this large province, there is not anything which our east or northerly countries of Europe produce but the like also may be made in this province both as to quantity and quality (with time), namely rosen, pitch, tar, deal boards, and planks of all sorts of timber either for building ships or houses, the whole country from one end to the other producing trees of all kinds for that purpose, with the largest masts in the world for the Royal Navy and enough to serve the nation for ever, provided honest men are employed for surveyors of the woods with instructions to suffer none to cut down but such as are purely for that service. The soil in those parts where it is cleared from the woods is as fertile and rich as in any part of the world and bears good wheat, barley, rice, pease, beans and all other grain that Europe affords, with hemp, flax, etc; but at present for want of hands little or no progress is made in those commodities. There is likewise all manner of garden roots and herbs full as good as in any other part and cattle of all kinds. Therefore, if some of the idle hands in the three kingdoms were sent and employed in the peopling and settling this large province your Majesty would have such a nursery of seamen as would upon all occasions serve to man the greatest fleet when required, besides the benefit arising from trade. The settling your Majesty's colonies abroad, particularly this of Nova Scotia, would provide sufficient quantities of all species of naval stores that we should not be obliged to purchase them at a vast expense to the public from foreign countries who upon the least difference or war will not supply us, and in times of peace make their advantage by fixing great and extravagant prices on those commodities.
It is further observed that the French inhabitants that live in the several parts of this province are about 8 or 900 families, all papists, and not one of them will take the oaths to your Majesty. Amongst these there are a great many missionary priests who daily draw over the Indians of the country to the Romish religion and have inculcated a hatred inexpressible against the English. Therefore it will require great industry and application to reduce those people to their allegiance by reason the governors of the several French colonies in America by way of present do supply the Indians with all manner of arms and ammunition and with all sorts of commodities fitting for their use in order to secure them in the French interest, in lieu whereof the French get from them all the fur trade to themselves and make those Indians the instruments of all the robberies and mischiefs that are committed against the subjects of Great Britain, an instance whereof happened in 1720 at Canso, to redress which Lieut-Col Armstrong was employed and sent to the French governor at Cape Breton which he in some measure effected to the satisfaction of the English subjects. It will be highly necessary, when your Majesty shall think proper to settle this colony, that several little forts or small fortifications be made in the most convenient harbours and largest settlements, the erecting which will strike such a terror into the French and Indians that they will not dare to give the British subjects the least disturbance; but in case they should, those fortifications will serve for their security and defence. There are a great many other advantages that would accrue to the subjects of Great Britain from this colony's being regularly peopled.
Some remarks on the ancient boundaries of Nova Scotia or Accadie in North America, dating British title from Sebastian Cabot's seizure and the grant in 1621 by King James I to Sir William Alexander, down to the surrender of 1710 and the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. 8½ large pp. [CO 217/39, ff 185–190d]
Petition of divers merchants, planters, and others trading to America, to Lords in Parliament, praying to be heard in behalf of freedom from search by Spaniards. Copy. 1½ pp. [CO 5/4, ff 362–363d]


  • 1. In treasurer's hands in 1739 awaiting cancellation.
  • 2. This document, which appears to be in Bladen's handwriting, may or may not be an enclosure to this covering letter. The endorsement suggests a later date but no more appropriate parent-document has been found.
  • 3. Note in another hand: Ought to be but 23000l as appears in no 527ii.
  • 4. 25525l of this sum not yet drawn in by taxes according to order in their emission.
  • 5. Price of silver and rate of exchange, printed in no 527 i, have not been repeated here.
  • 6. In bills of a new tenor, being three times the value of the old, and here computed as old tenor bills to make the account uniform.
  • 7. This document, which has not been included in earlier volumes of the Calendar, may be of earlier date than 1739.