America and West Indies: May 1739

Pages 90-111

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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May 1739

May 2
Hanover Square London
Martin Bladen to John Courand. I had the honour the other day to see the Duke of Newcastle at the House of Commons and promised him that I would look over my notes in order to make the observations I sent him on HM's title to Carolina more perfect; but as the courier is to set out for Madrid tomorrow I find it will be impossible for me to do anything material upon that subject before his departure. I presume, however, the King's plenipotentiaries will insist that the Spaniards do produce their title before we show them ours and that they will also transmit the Spanish pretensions hither for observation; and I apprehend it may be time enough then to add what we have further to offer and to apply our proofs as the nature of their case shall require. In the meantime give my duty to his grace and let him know that I will collect what further information I can get on this head and hope I shall be able to make out a very clear title to the boundary stated in our article. Signed. 1½ small pp. [CO 5/306, ff 133–134d]
May 2
Thomas Hill to Francis Fane sending Act passed in Virginia in December 1738 to enable Ralph Wormley to sell entailed lands, for his opinion in point of law. Entry. ½ p. [CO 5/1366, p 297; draft in CO 5/1335, ff 163, 163d]
May 2
Palace Court
Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. Resolved that it be an instruction to the committee appointed to prepare law relating to tenure of lands in Georgia that in case of no issue male or female the proprietor of any lot may be empowered to appoint any other person (not professing the errors of the Church of Rome) as his successor. Resolved that presents for Indians be bought in England. Committee of correspondence to consider what shoes and working tools will be necessary to be sent over. Resolved that 40 sacks of flour be purchased for southern part of the province. Resolved that the accountant report what sola bills Col Oglethorpe had spoiled by endorsing them in the wrong place. Read account from Col Oglethorpe of presents delivered to the Indians. Ordered that 15 tons of strong beer be sent by Two Brothers to be charged to Col Oglethorpe as payment to him. Read letter from Rev George Whitefield acquainting the board that he had collected upwards of 500l for the orphan-house in Georgia. Resolved that a grant of 500 acres be made to him in trust for the orphan-house free of quitrents for ten years. Entry. 2¼ pp. [CO 5/690, pp 208–210]
May 7
Governor Edward Trelawny to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations enclosing the following. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 16 July, Read 18 July. Enclosed:
158 i Account of receipts and payments of public money in Jamaica, 29 September 1735 to 29 September 1738. Copy. Signatory, James Barclay, deputy receiver- general. Signed, William Perrin, deputy auditor, Edward Trelawny. 26 large pp. [CO 137/23, ff 19–47d]
May 7
S Carolina
Capt John Gerald to Harman Verelst acknowledging favour of 9 January: the enclosed were delivered to Mr Abercromby who sent the things for the general to Savannah. I shall be in London in June or July and shall much esteem favour of any commands this way. We are alarmed here at what Shubrick says of the situation at home; imagine that a war may happen. If peace should continue there is one thing that seems to threaten this province with utter ruin, that is, a late proclamation made by the governor of St Augustine promising freedom to all slaves that repair to that garrison. And when our government insisted upon it as an infraction of the good understanding subsisting between the two nations, the governor affirmed that he had the King of Spain's order for so doing. Beg the favour that in any conversation you may have with Mr Glen you will mention this as a thing of very great consequence and make no doubt but he will take care to prevent so great an evil. Signed. 2 small pp. Addressed. [CO 5/640, ff 311–312d]
May 8
Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to the King recommending John Mills to be of the Council in St Christopher's in the room of John Williams, deceased. Entry. Signatories, Monson, M Bladen, James Brudenell, R Herbert, Arthur Croft, R Plumer. 1 p. [CO 153/16, p 160; entry of warrant, dated 15 June 1739, in CO 324/37, p 130]
May 8
Thomas Hill to Francis Fane sending twenty-three Acts passed in Virginia in 1738 for opinion in point of law. Titles stated. Entry. 3¾ pp. [CO 5/1366, pp 297–301; draft in CO 5/1335, ff 164, 164d]
May 9
South Carolina
Lieut-Governor William Bull to Duke of Newcastle. I beg leave to lay before you an affair which may greatly distress if not entirely ruin South Carolina. His Catholic Majesty's edict having been published at St Augustine declaring freedom to all Negroes and other slaves that shall desert from the English colonies, this occasioned several parties to desert from this province both by land and water, which notwithstanding they were pursued by the people of Carolina as well as the Indians and people of Georgia, by Gen Oglethorpe's directions, have been able to make their escape. To prevent the like attempt as far as was in the power of this government, deputies have been sent to St Augustine to demand the restitution of these deserters pursuant to an agreement formerly entered into by this government and that of St Augustine to return mutually all slaves which should desert from either province; but on this occasion it was refused, the present governor of St Augustine acquainting the deputies that he could not comply with that demand until His Catholic Majesty should think fit to revoke that edict. This answer has occasioned great dissatisfaction and concern to the inhabitants of this province, to find their property now become so very precarious and uncertain, and that their Negroes which were their chief support may in little time become their enemies, if not their masters, and that this government is unable to withstand or prevent it. Therefore I have presumed to acquaint you with this affair which will soon be represented and laid before HM and hope that this province on this occasion may have the continuance of your powerful assistance. Signed. 2 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 2 July. [CO 5/388, ff 159B, 159B dorse]
May 9
Palace Court
Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. Rev George Whitefield acquainted the board that he declined salary as minister of Savannah and for management of the orphan-house. He returned the Trustees' commission to him as not answering the purposes for which he had applied. Entry. ¾ p. [CO 5/690, p 211]
May 9
Hugh Mackay to Harman Verelst reporting arrival late last night and enclosing papers received from the general. Signed. 1 small p. [CO 5/640, ff 313–314d]
May 10
Governor Edward Trelawny to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. In substance same as no 141. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 16 July, Read 18 July 1739. Enclosed:
165 i Reasons of Council of Jamaica for passing the bill relating to the Jews. Copy of no 141ii. 2 pp. [CO 137/23, ff 48–51d]
May 10
Governor Alured Popple to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations acknowledging letter of 1 November and expressing thanks. You shall never have any reason to censure me for wilful neglects or acts of oppression. If I should be guilty of error I shall hope for the same indulgence I have always found from you. According to your directions I now send you a list of such persons as I conceive the best qualified to serve HM as Councillors in Bermuda. I wish I could at present transmit a list of twelve persons qualified for this station according to my instructions but as I shall always be very cautious whom I recommend to you I beg leave to know the people here a little better and their several alliances before I complete this list. The Councillors appointed before my arrival are so nearly related that I am certain you would not have agreed to their appointment. The three I recommend to you are not that I have heard either related to themselves or to the other Councillors. I do not mention the near alliance of those Councillors who were appointed before my arrival as an objection to them but as a reason why I cannot at present complete the list of persons recommended without their being liable to such objections as I remember you have formerly made. I shall be very careful by every opportunity of writing to give you constant accounts of the death or absence of any Councillor and in the last case to specify from whom and for how long they have their licence. Having with me a copy of such queries as you usually sent to all governors for their answers I am preparing answers thereto, and as any alteration happens I will constantly send you an account thereof. By the next opportunity I am in hopes I shall be able to send you the answers I propose.
I now transmit to you four Acts passed here in March last. The first is entitled an Act for the better regulating jurors to serve in the several courts to be held for these islands. According to my instructions I am to give you my reasons for having assented to this Act. By an Act passed here in 1690 and 1691 and confirmed 20 February 1708 entitled an Act for establishing and regulating the courts of judicature, it is enacted that jurors shall be chosen by plurality of voices or votes by the inhabitants of each respective tribe called together for that purpose by the several justices by virtue of a warrant or precept from the governor or the warrant or precept of such person or persons as he shall commissionate and empower. And by another Act passed here in 1694 and confirmed 20 February 1708, entitled an additional clause to the Act entitled an Act for establishing and regulating the courts of judicature, relating to the summoning of jurors to serve at an exchequer or special court the sheriff or provost-marshal is empowered to summon and impanel all and every the jurors to serve at any court of exchequer or special court hereafter to be called, out of the general panel of jurors elected to serve at the general assizes. And as by ancient custom the sheriff here empanelled every petty jury out of the jurors elected to serve in any other court of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Oyer and Terminer, it was here thought too great a power to be vested in any sheriff or provost-marshal for the future because although Mr Tucker's (the present sheriff) character might give the people no cause to fear, yet another might succeed him not so well known. Upon this difficulty and the general desire of making some alteration I recommended the method of balloting for juries according to the Act of Parliament passed in the third year of his present Majesty's reign entitled an Act for the better regulation of juries. This is the purport of the Bermuda Act I now lay before you, which passed both Houses here with a general approbation. They have indeed added a proviso: 'That if the plaintiff and defendant or in their absence their agents or attorneys shall move the court that one or more of the persons returned to serve as jurors may be of and upon the jury to try such cause without being drawn, that then it shall and may be in the power of the court to allow and grant the same if they shall think fit.' I could foresee no objection to this liberty as it must be agreed to both by plaintiff and defendant and as it cannot take place without the approbation of the court. As I have taken care to add a clause in this Act to suspend its taking effect until HM's pleasure can be known upon it I hope you will not disapprove my having passed an Act so generally desired as this is by the inhabitants of these islands who think their liberty and property greatly protected by it.
The next Act is to prevent the destroying and murdering bastard children in these islands. The occasion of the passing this Act was a supposed murder of a bastard child the latter end of last year for which two women (mother and daughter) were tried and acquitted the last December assize. The daughter was delivered with the assistance of the mother of a male bastard after many attempts to destroy the child before it was born. Many days passed before it was known. At last some suspicious circumstances induced our magistrates to make inquiry into the affair. It was at first denied both by mother and daughter that any child was born but upon search it was found dead in a box under lock and key. Upon this the women were carried to a magistrate and upon examination the daughter owned her being delivered of a male bastard child. The mother said it was stillborn and that to prevent her daughter's shame she had concealed it. So many suspicious circumstances appeared that it was not doubted but that the child was born alive and afterwards destroyed. The surgeons upon examination of the mother and child declared their opinions upon the trial that the child was born alive but the child had been too long dead for them to find out any marks of violence upon it. After a long trial and the jury locked up for several hours the women were found guilty. An attorney on behalf of the women pleaded in arrest of judgment, and upon arguing on both sides what he had to offer the judges thought proper to order a new trial and the women were acquitted for want of proof that the child was born alive. In order therefore to prevent the destruction of bastard children the present Act does declare the Act of Parliament made in 21 James I cap. 27, entitled an Act to prevent the destroying and murdering of bastard children, to be in force here, by which law the concealing the death of any bastard child shall be deemed murder in the mother unless she can prove it was stillborn.
The two following Acts relate only to amending the highways and removing certain nuisances of too small consequence to trouble you with. They are entitled as follows: an Act for renewing and making some alterations to Act for regulating and repairing highways; an Act to prevent nuisances and regulate several disorders.
Daily experience convinces me of what fatal consequence it would be to the trade between Great Britain and the plantations should these islands ever fall into other hands. Ships bound for Europe pass continually within sight of Bermuda and are sometimes drove upon our rocks by the currents (which are very strong here) in a night's time when the day before they thought themselves in no danger. This has been the case of some this winter who have luckily with assistance from hence got off again. The 24th of last month a large French ship of about 300 tons and laden with sugar, indigo and cotton, bound to Nantes in France from Leogane in Hispaniola, struck upon the rocks off the northwest part of Bermuda about twelve at night. As soon as I heard of their misfortune by the firing their guns I sent off the pilot with proper assistance. They got her off again the same day and she is come into the harbour, having beat off her rudder and received such damage in her bottom as to disable her from proceeding on her voyage without refitting. I have allotted warehouses for her cargo under two keys, one in the possession of the Collector of the Customs and the other the French captain has, and I will take the utmost care that no illegal trade be carried on. There is a gentleman and three ladies on board passengers to Nantes. The ship's name is l'Amazone and the captain Faugas. She has 35 men on board and mounts 12 guns. My 86th instruction enforcing the treaty of neutrality directs me in cases of this nature to treat these Frenchmen with humanity and kindness, to allow them to provide themselves with victuals and other things necessary for their sustenance and reparation of their ship at reasonable rates provided they do not break bulk nor carry goods out of their ship exposing them to sale nor receive any merchandise on board under penalty of confiscation of ship and goods. The former part of this instruction I will punctually comply with but I cannot see how it is possible that they should pay the charges of repairing their vessel and supporting themselves while they stay here without selling some part of their cargo. By what I can yet learn the charge of repairing their ship, with such expenses as they must necessarily be at during their stay here, will amount to about 500l and they have not 100l on board. As my instruction directs me to allow them to provide themselves with what is necessary I hope you will not judge me guilty of any breach of my duty if to discharge their expenses here I allow them to dispose of part of their cargo, and I assure you I will not permit the sale of anything more than is just sufficient for that purpose. The captain of this French ship has applied to me for leave to hire one of our sloops to carry an account to Nantes in France of his having had the misfortune to strike upon our rocks and of his being now refitting in this harbour. The reason he assigns for this large expense, 140 pistoles, is to prevent a much larger, for as he sent an account to Nantes by a French ship which sailed from Leogane eight days before him of his intention to sail the very day he set out, and as he believes his misfortune will detain him about two months longer from Nantes than his expectation when he wrote as aforesaid, he imagines the insurances that will be made upon his ship, being very rich, will amount to very large sums; in order to prevent which he applied for a sloop to carry news from him. As this sloop is entirely owned and manned by British subjects and has nothing on board but some of our whaleoil and corn for the Madeiras where she is bound I know of no law nor instruction to prevent my granting the French captain the favour he asked. He was at first very desirous of purchasing a sloop but this I absolutely refused as inconsistent with the laws of trade and navigation and my instructions because in this case the sloop must have sailed from hence with a French captain and French sailors. I shall think myself very happy if I meet your approbation in what I have done; if otherways I hope my error in judgment may be excused when I assure you one great motive with me was to give no occasion of complaints from the Court of France of our want of humanity for Frenchmen in their unhappy circumstance.
I cannot avoid mentioning to you the open trade carried on between Rhode Island and Martinique without breach of my duty. By the informations I have received the officers of the Customs at Rhode Island do not interfere when any ship from Martinique comes into their ports to carry on a commerce with them, and by the paper I now enclose to you this trade will plainly appear to be carried on. The paper I received from our pilot whom I sent out on 8 April to a brigantine thought to be standing for this harbour. The captain of the brigantine was very thankful that the pilot came off, being then got within danger, and wrote the letter to me which I now enclose to you.
I enclose the extract of an Act of Assembly of the Bahama Islands for levying divers sums of money for the payment of the officers' salaries, defraying the expense of holding Assemblies and other contingent charges of the government. Could I have obtained a copy of it, it should have been sent by this conveyance. In behalf of the Bermuda Islands I must beg you to take this Act into consideration. I suppose it may be in your office transmitted by Mr Fitzwilliam but lest it should not I will endeavour to send an attested copy by the first conveyance. I believe you will find this Act not only highly unreasonable of itself but of a nature to be enacted by the legislature of Great Britain alone. Confiscation of ship and goods besides 100l penalty from the master for only taking up wrecked goods (which are free to all HM's subjects paying the Admiralty rights), cutting plank, raking of salt, or even fishing for tortoise, etc, are penalties of a very high nature. Not long before I came here one Steed of this place went to the Bahamas for plank but failing in some little formality, notwithstanding he made bargain with one of the inhabitants there for the plank he had on board his sloop, lost sloop and cargo under pretence of this Act and the poor man is now ruined and obliged to go to sea a common sailor to support himself and his family. Ever since the cedars here have grown more scarce from the quantities used for many years past in building of sloops, the Bermudians have built their frames with cedar and bought their plank at the Bahamas. You will know that none of them are thoroughly inhabited but Providence, and when the Bermudians went for plank to any other of those islands they were obliged to no particular form, they being uninhabited. When this Act passed they were obliged to get a licence from the governor, and would not complain of it was such licence to be obtained at a reasonable rate or even at a rate certain. But if the rate is more or less, and dependent upon a governor's pleasure, it renders the intercourse between us and them entirely precarious. Besides this I must further observe to you that the groundwork of our trade to America is almost entirely dependent upon our raking salt at the Turks Islands. These are not mentioned in the governor of Bahamas' commission although I am very certain you always deemed them part of the Bahama Islands which comprehend all that range of islands which lie north of Cuba and Hispaniola. I very well remember that Mr Fitzwilliam during the time his commission and instructions were under consideration at your board did propose that the Turks Islands should be particularly named in his commission, but at that time I knew no reason for his request nor do I remember why you did not grant it. The Bermudians constantly go to the Turks Islands and there rake a load of salt; with this salt they purchase a cargo of provisions from some of the northern colonies, and these provisions they exchange at some of the sugar colonies for European commodities, rum, sugar or what they want, and very frequently sell their sloops also and return home to build another for the same circle of trade. By the Bahamas Act in question you see that any vessel having salt on board to the value of 5l, being found within the limits of the Bahamas, whereof the duty has not been paid (I know of none payable) or the master and vessel licenced by the governor, is liable to confiscation with her cargo, the master to a penalty of 100l. And by the subsequent clause empowering any person authorized by the governor, or even such as have obtained the usual licence from him to take salt, etc as mentioned in the Act, to seize and bring into the harbour of Providence any ship or vessel having such salt, plank, timber, wood, etc, war is declared between the Bahama Islands and Bermuda. For as the Bermudians are a good deal exposed to the Spaniards when they are raking salt at the Turks Islands they go very well manned and armed and often are at the charge, when several go in company, to equip, arm and man one of their sloops of about 100 tons for the protection of the others. Should therefore any Bahama sloop under pretence of the aforementioned licence from the governor pretend to search and seize any Bermudian he would meet with a warm reception. As this would occasion matter of complaint at home should it ever happen, and as I do not know any power I have to prevent the Bermudians from putting their sloops in proper condition to defend themselves against Spanish guardacostas (the constant dread of every trading sloop in these parts) I beg you will consider the Bahama Act and what I have written to you upon the subject thereof and favour me with your directions upon this subject. The extract I now send to you was taken out of the Secretary's office at Providence by Mr Higgs, master of one of our sloops, and is attested by him to be a true one. Signed.
PS. 23 May 1739. I am just now informed by a sloop, Capt Morgan, from New York that two of our sloops were last month taken by the Spaniards, one of them, George Burch, coming out of the Bay, and the other (Daniel Durham) was taken as he was turtling off of Puerto Rico. I thought it my duty to give you this information, as likewise that Capt Tutney who arrived at New York a few days before Capt Morgan sailed informed him that he was likewise attacked by a Spanish vessel coming out of the Bay and one of his men was killed but the Spaniard's boom breaking gave him an opportunity to escape. The 20th inst the French ship mentioned in the above letter sailed from hence to Nantes, having repaired in this harbour the damage she received upon our rocks. These reparations, the hire of the sloop sent with letters to Nantes, and the expenses of revictualling the ship amounted to above 500l this currency, to repay which they had but 100 pistoles. I therefore allowed him to sell about 400l worth of sugar and they have sold no more. The captain was very uneasy at being obliged to sell because his necessity obliged him to take a lower price than his sugars were worth and he could not get money for his drafts upon Nantes, the merchants here being fearful of trusting a stranger. I would have sent to you the minutes of Council and Assembly since those last transmitted but the little time Capt Dickinson stays here will not allow sufficient time to transcribe them. I will send them by the very first opportunity. Signed. 11½ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 28 June, Read 4 July 1739. Enclosed:
166 i At sea in lat. 32° 20' N, 8 April 1739. Capt Benjamin Wanton to Governor Popple. The brig Little George, Benjamin Wanton, for Martinique, left Rhode Island 3(?) April 1739. Signed. ½ small p. Addressed (part missing).
166 ii Extract of Act of Bahama Islands for levying money for payment of officers, etc, imposing penalties on persons raking salt, sawing plank, cutting wood and catching tortoises without licence. Copy, sworn to on 22 May 1739 by William Higgs of St George's. Certified by Governor Popple. 1 large p.
166 iii List of present Councillors of Bermuda. 1 small p.
166 iv List of persons recommended to supply vacancies in Council of Bermuda: Henry Corbusier, Thomas Gilbert, George Forbes, Paul Trimmingham, Cornelius Hinson jnr, Henry Tucker. 1 small p.
166 v Proceedings in trial of Mary Pitcher and Flora Smith at St George's in December 1738 and February 1739 for murder of newly-born child. Copy, certified by John Eston, Clerk of Assize. 28 pp. [CO 37/13, ff 83–108d]
May 10
Governor Alured Popple to Duke of Newcastle enclosing four Acts passed in March last. I likewise transmit copies of minutes of Council from 3 October last to 1 May following and of minutes of Assembly from 6 September last to 8 March following, and a list of six persons qualified to supply vacancies in the Council here as occasions may offer. I have transmitted this list, in obedience to my instructions, to you and the Lords of Trade; otherwise I would have chosen to have deferred this list until I had been better acquainted with persons here. If, therefore, I should find it for HM's service to recommend any others preferable from my longer experience of them to the gentlemen of whom I now enclose a list, I shall hope for your indulgence more especially as I assure you that I have not nor will I ever entertain any views while I am honoured with HM's commission here in the least inconsistent with my duty to HM or that might give you any reason to repent the favours I have experienced from your goodness to me. In substance same as fifth and sixth paragraphs and postscript of no 166. Signed. 5 pp. Endorsed, R, 28 June. Enclosed:
167 i List of six persons recommended to supply vacancies in Council of Bermuda. Copy of no 166iii. ½ small p.
167 ii Capt Benjamin Wanton to Governor Popple. Copy of no 166i. ½ small p. [CO 37/29, ff 92–98d]
May 11
Francis Fane to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations stating no objection to Act passed in Virginia in 1738 to enable Ralph Wormley to sell entailed lands. Signed. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 11 May 1739. [CO 5/1324, ff 162, 162d, 165, 165d]
May 15
Lieut-Governor William Gooch to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. When I sent you the Acts of last Assembly I forgot to answer the inquiry you made after Mr Mekercher and Huber, not that I had anything of much importance to write, but occasioned I conceive by the hopes I had that the gentlemen themselves according to their engagements with me would attend you and anticipate all I have to say. For when Mr Mekercher went from hence about twelve months ago he promised to wait on you on his arrival in London with a full narration of the design of their voyage to these parts, and Mr Huber some time before his departure for Maryland, where he took shipping, gave me the like assurance; for which reason, as well as from a letter I lately had from him wherein he tells me that he has got the better of all opposition and intends shortly to return to this country, I presume he has long ere this given you full satisfaction as to his project, which in short is this. They propose to purchase here, where the bargain is already struck, and in Maryland if they can agree, with ready money annually 15000 hogsheads of tobacco for the French farmers and to give the planters a better price for it in the country than they get from their merchants in London after running the risk of the seas. They are to transport it in British-built ships and sailors and intend to land it in some port in the Channel to be shipped for France. And as there is nothing in it that I can perceive contrary to the Acts of Trade, if these colonies are encouraged in such commerce it will be disagreeable only to the gentlemen in London who will thereby lose the commissions upon the sales of so much tobacco; and if Virginia gets anything by the bargain the money will go to England to buy the necessaries they want or be laid out in the stores here with traders who have all their goods from thence. I hope you will excuse my not sending the journals of the House of Burgesses along with the laws, there being no paper at that time in the country fit for it; but the ships are now arrived and that want will soon be supplied. Signed. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 30 June, Read 5 July 1739. [CO 5/1324, ff 166, 166d, 169, 169d]
May 15
Extract of letter from Rev John Martin Bolzius and Rev Israel Gronau to Henry Newman. Present condition of the Salzburghers here is the same as that given in last letter of 12 March. Everything planted this spring grows well. A good harvest would help another transport of Salzburghers hoped for next fall. Copy. 1 small p. [CO 5/640, f 315]
May 16
St James's
Commission to Henry McCulloh to supervise, inspect and control revenues and grants of lands in North and South Carolina. Entry. 6 pp. Entered in the office of the auditor and surveyor-general of HM's revenues; at Whitehall 24 May 1739; Peter Leheup. Examined and compared with the original by S Gellibrand, 31 May 1739. [CO 324/49, pp 128–134]
May 16
St James's
Orders, rules and instructions to be observed by Henry McCulloh in discharge of his commission. Entry. 14 pp. Entered as no 171. [CO 324/49, pp 135–148]
May 16
Palace Court
Minutes of Trustees for Georgia. Received bottle of salitrum seeds, the benefaction of Henry L'Apostre, being remedy for the bloody flux. Commission to Rev George Whitefield to perform religious offices ordered to be sealed. Entry. 1 p. [CO 5/687, p 118; entry of commission in CO 5/670, pp 392–393]
May 19
William Stephens to Trustees for Georgia. When I wrote to Mr Verelst 21st ult after enclosing copy of my former together with a continuation of my journal as usual, I prayed him to obtain your pardon if I deferred giving you further immediate trouble of that kind, intending in my next to see if I could find anything which I might persuade myself was worth laying before you without appearing a commentator on my own journal. In this interval of time I have had the pleasure to be informed by Mr Verelst in his letter of 22 December, which I received on 1st inst (so long was that letter in its passage), that what endeavours I had hitherto used to be of service in the station appointed me were kindly accepted and well approved, which I should be wholly unworthy of were I to slacken the like endeavours for the future. Nay, I have not such an opinion of my own performances as to think what is past a sufficient testimony how great a desire I have to be of more significance in laying open everything to your view that I can attain to the knowledge of which I apprehend is requisite for you to be informed in. But therein, as I have reason to believe I am looked on by some under the character of an informer (a title odious in many cases but such as I assure you I am no ways afraid of when it is part of my duty), you will easily imagine that a pretty deal of care is taken to hang out false lights on some occasions in order to mislead my unwariness and thus meaning to expose my ignorance; but under proper caution in these times of darkness when truth is so obscured and hard to come at I do what I can to trace it and shall never hesitate to represent it as I find it, though it cannot be always agreeable as appears too plainly in my journal.
After a long scene of jarring between Messrs Jones and Causton wherein abundance of reproaches and scurrilous ribaldry have been plentifully bestowed on each other, to the sport indeed of too many who thought themselves under no obligation to either, there seems at present a calm intermission and a quiet application to the matter in hand; from whence it ought to be hoped that some éclaircissement will at length be found and a period put to it in time, though I am not capable of judging when. But as I make no doubt Mr Jones writes you fully of all he thinks proper, so I can make none that this among others he is more particular in. It were to be wished also that something more satisfactory than (I fear) he is yet enabled to lay before you could be attained with relation to Mr Bradley's affair whereon I touched a little in the close of my last journal ending 18th ult. But the foot Mr Bradley leaves that account on now seems to require such a decision as Mr Jones (though a good accountant I must presume and I mean it as no reflection on him) probably is not capable of; but the Gordian knot which he cannot untie he may leave for such to cut who dare to be plain. Mr Bradley gives out that the injury sustained is on his part, by the Trustees not having fulfilled their agreement with him, which if they had he would have done— wonders! He appears much elated of late, and though he makes a faint outward show of an intention to settle on his own 500 acres, yet few believe it but rather, as he has sent some of his family by little and little to Carolina, that he means to follow them thither himself.
So many within few months past have left the colony in exchange for Carolina that this town is become apparently thinner in people than it was. Nevertheless I cannot depart from what I have before asserted, that the greatest part far of those that are gone are not to be wished for again, very few of such as are really valuable being among them; and they who remain appear generally fixed and determined to try their fortune yet further at all events, though too many are hard put to it to live which I know to be true. Under such time of trial they have surely an undoubted right to be dealt tenderly with, and when they have no pretence of claim from the stores soft words and a kind deportment towards them would be encouraging in expectation of better things to come hereafter. This, however trivial it may be thought, I have taken particular care myself to observe and found a good effect from it, divers that have accosted me with sorrowful faces growing by such means in better temper; and I wish the same experiment were thought more worth making by others, for a morose, surly carriage from any person in authority to a man in need certainly puts it in the poor man's power to look on him as an instrument of cruelty from whence an odium naturally follows. Far be it from me, and I hope I shall not from hence be thought, to palliate much less appear an advocate for any of those most unjustifiable steps taken by hot-brained angry men which I have always taken care to represent in a true light as they happened: it will be found in the daily observations I made. Mr Williams, who stands most noted for such excess of heat, is now going (he says) for England where he gives it out he will appear before you and speak for himself. In the meantime a handsome plantation of about 38 acres, which he has well cultivated and brought to good perfection, he leaves entirely neglected to run to ruin which is great pity and shame.
When I reflect on the present discord between the magistrates and storekeeper (which is also taken notice of in my journal) and seek to learn whence it arises I find little difficulty with myself to determine that it proceeds from a false estimate they make of their several powers, each looking on the other as subordinate whereas in truth there is no relation between them that I can discover. The magistrates have often complained of Mr Jones's sending for them in a peremptory manner to come to him on very light or hardly any occasions, that frequently in such cases they have been allowed only to put in force what he requires in a summary way without proceeding regularly as the law directs, which they say they are now weary of. Mr Jones's badge of authority is the key of the stores which they found lately exemplified but any other power than what thence arises they deny unless he shows it; and if he has such he ought (they say) most certainly to produce it and have it registered and published. Otherwise they think themselves not obliged to pay an implicit obedience to his will. During such wrangling my labour is always for peace but so much rancour is now grown among them that I begin to fear the breach is too wide for me to soder [sic: solder?] easily; for it began, from what I learn, early, Mr Jones looking on Parker with a jealous eye as one who wished too well to Mr Causton and therefore he conceived him instrumental in giving what joint assistance he could to obstruct the discoveries expected to be made in that inquiry. Parker owns his having always had a good opinion of Mr Causton and a long familiarity, but as to his accounts in the stores he professes he never was conversant with what was doing nor was he capable if he would of giving him any help in those matters which were far above his reach. He has often taken occasion to declare that as soon as any fraud that Mr Causton has been guilty of is laid open he will be as forward to renounce all further acquaintance with him as any, but till then he apprehends it no crime to converse with him as a neighbour. Parker moreover makes grievous complaint that Mr Jones is become such an inveterate enemy to him as to do all he can to blast his character with the Trustees as a sot and an idle fellow, and particularly in one letter that Mr Jones wrote to you (which he sent to a certain person who told Parker of it again) he exhibits it against him as a notorious offence that one evening at Jenkins's (where he happened to be though he is scarcely there perhaps twice in a year) he was drunk and behaved unbecoming the character of a magistrate by a foolish frolic too mean and ridiculous to relate which very probably proceeded from taking a cup too freely and unguarded, but nothing was done that created any mischief and only mirth as the story was told to me. Such freaks, however, are certainly not to be allowed among strict moralists; but the greatest of men in authority may sometimes slip and a poor bailiff of Savannah cannot be supposed at all times to appear with the same gravity and forms as when on the bench. So far Mr Parker's friends urge in his behalf; and as to his being an idle fellow I should do him wrong not to aver what I know, that he has been a zealous planter cultivating land every year since I knew this place and will appear (if I mistake not) among those who have improved the greatest number of acres this season when I shall hereafter have the honour, I hope, to lay that before you.
I must confess I find myself under many doubts in giving my pen such liberty, not knowing how far it may give offence, but as it proceeds from a conscientious regard to truth without least prejudice and your commands were expressly to write my thoughts openly and freely I hope I shall not thereby split on that rock which I might easily avoid. I look on Mr Jones as a person endowed with unquestionable abilities to go through the work he has the direction of and I am fully persuaded he has it in his view to do all things with the greatest frugality. Happy would it be if he could command his temper a little more and suffer his resentments to die away sooner, which he sometimes conceives (I fear) rather from jealousies and suspicions than reason well informed. Mr Parker has in his station, as far as I could well observe, acquitted himself like a good magistrate, is an honest man having strict justice in his aim at all times, and his good understanding will not easily misguide him; but the present difference between Mr Jones and him arises from the causes beforementioned wherein each might assume less dignity as I apprehend without any diminution of their real power which I am sure would conduce more to the public benefit.
To pass on from these things to somewhat more agreeable I have the satisfaction to see the late seasonable rains which we have had give a promising prospect that those who have taken the care and pains in planting are likely to meet with a better return for their labour than any of the former years within my observation, but it were to be wished that I could at the same time acquaint you with an increase of the number of acres planted which I fear will fall short of what the last year produced, thought I would not anticipate what I may have to say on that occasion when I shall go through each individual. Your silk manufacture increases a little and as they are now winding off the balls I think we are not mistaken in computing more than double the quantity of what we saw the last season. I cannot but be of opinion that it has been a loss in suffering the seed to hatch too soon. Our spring comes on here very early and that produces the worms faster than the mulberries will afford leaves to feed them, especially if a frost happens in March (which has been our misfortune for two years past) and that cuts off all early and tender leaves, the consequence of which must be that infinite numbers of them perish so that probably there are not more than a fourth part of the worms preserved from which we are to expect any good and they are such as come abroad latest. The family who have the management of this appear very diligent and give sufficient marks of their skill but, upon my observing to them what I have here done, they seem to think as I do and intend another season to preserve the seed in a cellar or some cool place till they can be judged out of danger. Your oranges and vines in the garden likewise felt severely the effects of that cruel frost about the middle of March (as noted then). Such vines as were very young and began to put forth tendrils especially suffered and divers were cut off. Such as had taken good root and were of age to bear it escaped a little better and many of them show us very promising clusters, by which we hope to see different kinds and be able to judge which to give the preference to. Signed. 5 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 22 August 1739. [CO 5/640, ff 317–320]
May 21
Duke of Newcastle to Lieut-Governor William Gooch. Lord Albe- marle having received an account that, upon the death of Mr Nichols, late adjutant in Virginia, which happened in September last, you had immediately appointed Mr Randolph [MS: Randal] to succeed him without having at that time or since acquainted his lordship with it or as much as mentioned the vacancy having happened, I have been desired by his lordship to trouble you with this letter upon that subject. As it appears by the letter which you wrote to Lord Albemarle in July last that the disposal of the post of adjutant belongs to the governor he could not but be a little surprised to find that you had given it away without consulting him or informing him of it. His lordship is, however, ready out of regard to you and from the good character he has heard of Mr Randolph to confirm the appointment which you have made in favour of that gentleman. And Lord Albemarle having applied to the King for HM's pleasure and commands relating to the future disposal of offices within his government, HM has ordered me to acquaint you with his pleasure that, whenever any offices whatsoever shall hereafter become vacant in Lord Albemarle's government which are of right in the gift of the governor, you should give immediate notice of such vacancies to his lordship and not proceed to fill them up till you shall receive his directions for that purpose, except the offices are of such a nature that it may be necessary for the public service that they should be immediately filled: in which case it is HM's pleasure that you should appoint proper persons to execute the said offices provisionally and subject to the future approbation and confirmation of the governor. Draft. 3 pp. [CO 5/1337, ff 204–205d]
May 22
Francis Fane to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations stating no objection in point of law to four Acts passed in Montserrat in 1738. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 24 May, Read 4 July 1739. [CO 152/23, ff 226, 226d, 231, 231d]
May 23
Palace Court
Minutes of Trustees for Georgia. Rev George Whitefield returned the commission granted to him on 27 December 1738, never having made use of it. Entry. 1 P. [CO 5/687, p 119]
May 24
New York
Lieut-Governor George Clarke to Duke of Newcastle enclosing copy of letter to Lords of Trade. I formerly wrote to their lordships about Tierondequat and the fort built by the French at Crown Point, an extract of which letter they acquaint me they have laid before you but could not find those places in their maps. I now point them out in a small map which I sent to them. I likewise send you a copy of the papers mentioned in my letter to the Board of Trade relating to the boundaries of this province and Massachusetts. I hope you will give your protection therein that they may be kept within their proper bounds and within the rules of justice to the Indians. The commission formerly granted by His late Majesty for trying of pirates is nowhere to be found upon all the inquiry I have made both of Governor Cosby's private secretary and the officers of Admiralty. I have hitherto had no occasion to make use of it and hope I shall not, but lest it so happen that I may have occasion to hold such a court I presume to give you this information though if the commission were to be found I am not sure that I could hold a court, it being a commission from King George I. Signed. 2 small pp. Enclosed:
178 i Boston, 29 November 1738. Vote of Council of Massachusetts, concurred in by House of Representatives, desiring the governor to propose to the governor of New York the appointment of boundary commissioners. Copy. ½ small p.
178 ii Boston, 26 March 1739. Governor Jonathan Belcher to Lieut-Governor Clarke enclosing and recommending no 178i. This matter has been long desired to be brought to an issue on the part of Massachusetts and they are still more desirous of it as they think it will be for HM's service in the ease and quiet of his subjects on both sides on account of the settlements this province is making near the line. Copy. 1 small p.
178 iii New York, 24 May 1739. Lieut-Governor Clarke to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. Copy of no 179. 4 pp.
178 iv New York, 9 April 1739. Same to Governor Belcher. The matter will be recommended to the Assembly in the fall. Copy. 1 small p. [CO 5/1094, ff 95–103d]
May 24
New York
Lieut-Governor George Clarke to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, enclosing small map of the country taken I suppose from M E De Lisle's. Though it be not correct it will serve to show you where the fort built by the French at Crown Point at the entrance to the Lake St Sacrament and where Tierondequat on Cadaracqui or Ontario Lake are situated, from whence you may find those places on your own maps. Tierondequat in the enclosed map was placed nearer to Niagara than to Oswego whereas it is at most but fifty miles from the latter, and the brook that goes by that name I have now laid down in red ink at that distance from Oswego. The fort at Crown Point is also drawn in red ink. The French pretend to claim all the lands so far as the springheads of any rivers or waters that empty themselves into any of the lakes that disembogue into the river of St Lawrence. If these pretensions had any foundation the greatest part of the Six Nations would be theirs, they would come close to Virginia and other colonies, and confine the English dominions to the limits of our present settlements; but I presume to think those pretensions vain and that if water is to be the boundary between them and us, that the lakes and the rivers into which those lakes disembogue themselves are the most natural and proper boundary and much or more in favour of the French than in reason and equity they can expect, for the Sinnekas claim a large country on the opposite shore of the Lake Cadracqui which they conquered long ago from the nations of Indians then inhabiting it.
I lately received a letter from Mr Belcher, the governor of Massachusetts, with a resolve of their Assembly concerning the ascertaining the boundaries between the two provinces with answer thereto, all which I enclose; and I expected Mr Belcher would wait till I had laid it before the Assembly and they had provided for the expense on our part, and hoped to have heard from him in answer to my letter but I have as yet received none. On the contrary, without staying for the sitting of our Assembly several people of their colony have gone within sixteen miles of Hudson's River near Albany with a surveyor to lay out some lands (for one or more townships) as I am informed, some of which were granted by the governor of this province in 1688 and some of them purchased of the Indians by licence from Governor Montgomery and now too granted. The owners of those lands, hearing what the New England people were doing, went on the spot and forbad them. The Indians who had sold the lands to our people drove the surveyor and those who were with him away, being exasperated at the New England men who without any purchase pretended to survey those lands. If the New England people have formerly taken such steps I am not surprised that they have drawn upon themselves bloody and expensive Indian wars. Our method is very different from that. We never grant lands until they have been bought of the Indians and until deeds are executed by them and those deeds laid before the Governor and Council. I wish with all my heart that our boundaries were settled but in order to do that I conceive I must not only be assisted with money by the Assembly but I must have an instruction from HM for that purpose; and until the boundaries are settled I presume to hope you will think it proper to obtain HM's order forbidding any future surveys or settlements to be made by the New England people on their frontiers towards this province, for if they go on to settle it will be more difficult on a treaty to throw them back to their proper bounds and the more they encroach the more quitrents will the King lose in this province. And in truth I doubt whether the New England people really desire to have their limits ascertained since they serve themselves in this manner without it. For this is not the first time they have made the same request to the governors of this province and then without waiting have laid out lands and settled them, I mean even some lands which had many years before been granted here. Besides, they well know, too, that the Assemblies of this province are averse to the giving of money for such purposes as the lands are the King's and not theirs, and therefore think they may safely go on without fearing to be disturbed by our and their fixing the boundaries. However, they ought to beware of provoking the Indians by taking their lands either by fraud or force lest they beget a new war with them which in its consequences may affect us. I send you the minutes of Council with the only two Acts of Assembly passed in April last: one to prevent swine running at large, an useful Act for the counties to which it is confined, the other for laying some small duties on wine, etc which will put some money in the treasury against the Assembly think fit to pay our long arrears. Signed. 4 small pp. Endorsed, Recd. 6 July, Read 18 July 1739. Enclosed:
179 i Boston, 26 March 1739. Governor Jonathan Belcher to Lieut-Governor Clarke. Copy, of no 178ii. ½ small p. Endorsed, as covering letter.
179 ii New York, 9 April 1739. Reply to preceding. Copy, of no 178iv. ½ small p.
179 iii Map of country of Six Nations and lands south of Great Lakes. With observations thereon. 2 pp. [CO 5/1059, ff 97–103d, 108, 108d]
May 25
Thomas Lowndes to Thomas Hill. The Commissioners for Trade and Plantations have been very uncandidly dealt with relating to the paper currency of America, for it is and has been the interest of the governors to keep their lordships in the dark. From this mysterious part of commerce the governors' most beneficial jobs arise to the great prejudice of the British trade. If I knew that their lordships would look upon it as a service useful to the public and agreeable to them I could propose a method how to remedy this great evil to the satisfaction of every reasonable planter and merchant. This is of more consequence to their lordships' office than appears upon the first view and HM's service suffers by the present practice. Signed. 1 small p. Addressed. Endorsed, Recd. 25 May, Read 30 May 1739. [CO 323/10, ff 140–141d]
May 26
Charles Carkesse to Thomas Hill. Several of the Naval Officers in the plantations having been very negligent in transmitting to the Commissioners the lists of all ships entering and clearing in their respective districts as directed by 22 and 23 Charles II and the instructions to the governors, they have ordered letters to be written to the governors desiring they will give directions to the several Naval Officers in their governments to transmit the said lists to this board for the future, as also letters to the Naval Officers to send the said lists (with those in arrear) immediately after the end of every quarter according to the enclosed form; and they desire you will lay the same before their lordships and let me know whether they have any and what objections to the accounts being sent in the manner thereby prescribed. Signed. 1 p. Endorsed, Recd. 28 May, Read 30 May 1739. Enclosed:
181 i Specimen form for use of Naval Officers. Printed. 2 pp. [CO 323/10, ff 142–146d]
May 26
Perth Amboy
Governor Lewis Morris to Duke of Newcastle. With this I send transcripts of laws passed in New Jersey this last sessions of Assembly as directed by HM's instructions, with my speech to them on their meeting and the Council's and Assembly's address to me, which last I should have been glad to say the Assembly had made good. I send also a joint address from the Council and Assembly to HM which I entreat you to lay before him. The journals of the Council and Assembly are transcribing but I fear will not be done timely enough to go by this conveyance but shall be sent as soon as I can. The Council have behaved with a moderation, resolution and prudence suitable to their stations. By the laws in force there is yearly paid into the treasury money sufficient to support the government in a much better manner than is now done for about eight or ten years to come. This money is to be disposed of for that use in such manner as the Governor, Council and Assembly shall direct; but the Assembly would by no means permit the Council to direct at all or make any alterations to what they had proposed on the pretence that it was a money bill to which no alterations ought to be made, though by the express words of the Acts that raise the money and which have had HM's royal assent the Council are as much empowered as the Assembly to direct in the disposition of it. This, as I conceived, unwarrantable conduct in the Assembly I judged to be of too dangerous a tendency and therefore thought it proper to dissolve them. I have written this matter very fully to the Board of Trade and will not trouble you with a further repetition of it. I send with this my speech to them on their dissolution and hope that HM will be graciously pleased to approve of my conduct on this occasion.
Among the Acts herewith sent there is one to erect the northern parts of Hunterdon County in the western division into a new county by the name of Morris County. Their having of representatives is suspended till HM's pleasure is know on that head. If HM should think fit to grant them that favour it will be adding two representatives to the western division more than the eastern has; but if HM will give me leave to add two to the eastern division in such place or places as I shall judge most proper to make them equal (as by his instructions it seems to be intended they should be) such is the situation of this new county that I am in hopes that by the addition of those four members to put the support of the government upon a better and more certain footing than it is at present and to get money raised for the building a house and conveniences for a governor's residence, sitting of Assembly, etc, all which are very much wanting. I entreat your favourable representation of my conduct to HM to whom I wish many days and much happiness: his approbation when known here may be one means of preventing and discouraging this and other Assemblies from making attempts of this kind for the future. Signed. 3 pp. Enclosed:
182 i Address of Council of New Jersey to Governor Morris. Printed by John Peter Zenger, 4 January 1739. 4 pp.
182 ii 15 March 1739. Speech of Governor Morris to House of Representatives of New Jersey dissolving it. Printed by William Bradford in New York, 1739. 4 pp.
182 iii Address of Representatives of New Jersey to Governor Morris. Printed. 3 pp.
182 iv Speech of Governor Morris to Assembly of New Jersey. Printed by J P Zenger, 1738. 4 pp. [CO 5/983, ff 175–184d]
May 26
Perth Amboy
Governor Lewis Morris to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations acknowledging letter of 2 November. I hope my conduct has and will receive your approbation or if I make any mistakes (which shall not be wilful) your favourable censure. I shall obey your commands in making the best answer I can to your queries when I have time to consider them and shall at present speak only to the first query. Sandy Hook lies in the latitude 40° and 20' or 22' north, Perth Amboy in the latitude of 40° and 30' about 20 miles west-northerly from Sandy Hook and the longitude of 5 hours west of London. These latitudes and longitudes are by computation from several observations made at New York in 1721–1722 of the meridional altitude of the sun for the latitude and of the immersions and emersions of Jupiter's first satellite for the longitude. By these observations the latitude of New York was computed to be 40° 41' and the longitude 4 hours 59 minutes west from London.
As to Councillors dead or absent there is no Councillor that I know of absent from New Jersey but James Alexander who lives in New York and is now building a large house there. This will require his attendance this summer. I tacitly consent to it but have given no particular leave either verbal or under hand for any particular time. Robert Lettis Hooper, one of the Council and chief justice of the province, died this winter and by the unanimous recommendation of the Council (as will appear by their journals) I appointed my son Robert Hunter Morris, one of the Council, chief justice in his stead. The salary is not 90l sterling per annum and, exchange daily rising, it will be less and the perquisites a trifle. The Assembly who were then sitting would also have recommended him and I am told expected to be asked, but that I did not think proper to do they being too willing to make use of any handle or claim it as a right of doing so. John Hamilton esq. eldest Councillor, had the second judge's place, about 24l per annum which he resigned, the salary being so small as would scarce maintain a footman; and I appointed the late Speaker of the Assembly in his stead who had been as serviceable as he could, but I believe he will resign too for the same reason. Col Coxe, the third judge of the Supreme Court, died about three weeks since: there is no salary annexed to the office and I have not as yet appointed anybody in his stead. The Quakers seem desirous of having one of their own persuasion, perhaps that may be a means of fixing a salary for that office, but a third judge not being absolutely necessary I suspend the making of him for some time to see how they will behave in an Assembly now choosing.
Pursuant to instructions I send enclosed with this one copy of the laws passed last sessions of Assembly. The journals of Council and Assembly are transcribing and daily expected for you, which if not timely enough done to go by this conveyance shall be sent by the next that offers. The Assembly have with much ado been prevailed with to support the government for three years and would have me and everybody else believe that they have in this case done wonders, and indeed considering the too general inclinations of the people in these parts of America to render all the officers of the government so entirely dependent on them as to make them become subservient to their purposes (which are not always the most beneficial for themselves) what they say is not unlikely to gain credit among too many of their electors. But I persuade myself that you will be of opinion with me that this wonderful support is wonderfully small and not agreeable to their addresses to HM or sufficient to answer the end that should be intended by it. The governor's 1000l per annum in what they call proclamation money (which is their paper bills) is about 550l sterling which may perhaps with frugal management discharge the necessary expenses of a family but will not much exceed. The provision for the other officers are much more disproportionate and so small that they can hardly subsist upon. They would persuade me to believe that the smallness of the provision made for me is a mark of their affection and esteem and that a larger sum and such as would be thought suitable to the station might tempt someone of more interest to obtain the government. You see that they want not their crafts; but one of them (a weaver by trade) speaking amongst his partisans of the officers of the government seems to me to have given the true reason not only of the conduct of the Assembly but of most others to eastward of us, viz Let us keep the dogs poor and we'll make them do what we please. The method of supporting the government in Pennsylvania is (as I have been informed) by the Assembly making presents to the governor, sometimes more and sometimes less as the humour takes them or the influence of his friends prevail or as he has been more or less pliant to their purposes. This is a method the people of Jersey would come into, and are not very inclinable to the coming into a support for above a twelvemonth and that such as they think proper, which would be doing the same thing and be in the nature of a present under the name of a support and I think make the office more dependent on the populace and their support more precarious than is consistent with their stations.
All I could get though I laboured the point (as you will see by the journals when sent) was a three years support much short in quantity of what was reasonably expected and of what they were able and (I will add) obliged to do. The Council, who (as I take it) have as much to do in this affair as themselves, would have made suitable alterations to their bill but knowing their pretences that the Council had no right to amend a money bill, though the Council judged this pretence groundless on any account and that this was not in its nature a money bill, yet in order to keep up a good correspondence between the Houses and to prevent as much as possible a rupture between the two branches of the legislature the Council sent to desire a conference with them on the subject-matter of the bill. This the Assembly refused insisting and (after several messages passed between them) persisting in it, that it could neither be for the interest of the province nor consistent with the privileges of their House to admit of any alteration to be made to that bill.
I beg you to be informed that there are two Acts of the Assembly of this province that have had the royal assent now in force for the making bills of credit. The reasons assigned in the preamble for making of them are the better to enable the inhabitants to support the government and pay their debts: this you may observe from the copies in your office. These paper bills (called paper money) are lent out to the people at an easier interest than they can have it elsewhere, and the interest arising by them is appointed yearly to be paid into the treasury and by those Acts applied to the support of the government but to be disposed of to and for that use in such sort, manner and form as by the Governor, Council and General Assembly shall be directed. Whether this is to be done by Act or by agreement yearly among the parties authorized to direct the disposition of it might admit of debate; but whatever way soever it was to be done both the Council and the Governor were by the express words of the Acts equally empowered to direct in the disposition of it with the Assembly. As by those Acts a sufficient support for the government was raised and applied to that use and then was and yearly is paid into the treasury for that end, so by those Acts no other authority was given to the Governor, Council and Assembly but to direct the modum disponendi, viz what part of it should be given to each of the officers of the government for their salaries and what part of it should be applied to the other uses of the government. And the bill then under debate was not a bill to raise any money (though if it had the Council had a right to amend that as well as any other) but a bill in its nature to direct in what manner money already raised should be applied to the purpose it was raised for. This is confessed in the preamble of the bill now sent you though in the first enacting clause the Assembly take upon themselves to say (I think improperly) that it was then cheerfully given to HM in order (as appeared by their after-conduct) that they might call it a money bill and under that groundless pretence take to themselves the disposition of that money as they thought fit exclusively of both the Council and the Governor contrary to the express words of the Acts I have mentioned and which the preamble of this Act now sent refers to. The dangerous tendency of this bold step (to call it by no worse name) is so evident to you that I need not observe much upon it. I did not think it consistent with my duty and the trust HM reposed in me to let it pass unnoticed, and therefore to check it as much as I could in the bud I dissolved them and submit it to your judgment. Enclosed is my speech to them on their meeting and that on their dissolution and their address to me which they have not come up to in one point. The country are or pretend to be generally dissatisfied with their conduct and I am in hopes the Assembly we are now choosing will evince with better dispositions than the last because of the general cry against them though we should have many of the same men.
Every Assembly are for making the officers of the government entirely dependent on them and the means used to obtain this end is to deny the Council making any amendments to what they call a money bill, which though groundless answers the end full as well as if the pretence was never so well founded. Nor do I see how it will or can be otherwise (unless HM will condescend to apply for aid to a British parliament with regard to his plantations, most of the inhabitants of which this way having the same dispositions). For should the Assembly admit that the Council have a right to amend, yet they will tell them they are not obliged to agree to the amendments the Council will make and the same difficulty recurs, they generally having obstinacy enough to persist against the force of the most cogent reasons when they want inclination to be convinced. But with respect to the two Acts I have mentioned the case seems to me to be something otherwise or to be capable of being made so. The interest arising and yearly paid into the treasury from the money lent by virtue of those Acts will for many years support the government sufficiently but on this there arises some difficulty. First this money is not to be given to the King; but to this I answer, it, being given for and to be applied to the support of the government, is ex vi termini tantamount. 2nd it is asked whether all or part of it must be applied, but to this the answer seems easier, all being given to that use all must be applied to that use. 3rd if all, in what manner? whether as it yearly comes in or otherwise? for during the first eight years of the time it will be rather more than enough and towards the end less than sufficient. This is a difficulty and for that reason was left to the parties mentioned in the Act to direct in what manner. But as I take it, it must all of it be applied in some manner or other or the government will want support when there is money in the treasury sufficient to do it, which would be inconvenient. But the greatest difficulty remains, viz 4th whether it be absolutely necessary that all the parties appointed to direct the manner of the disposition should agree in the doing of it? whether the majority agreeing be sufficient? if all, then any one dissenting defeats the whole thing; if the majority, any two agreeing will be sufficient. It is urged strongly on the one side that when a thing is appointed to be done by three the whole number must join in the doing of it or it will be void when done. It's said on the other side that true it is when the thing appointed to be done may be done or left undone; but when a thing must be done the case is otherwise, for there the majority agreeing will justify the doing of it, otherwise it would be in the power of any one to defeat it, which was not intended to be done. They say further it is self-evident that the legislature when they made those Acts, by appointing money to be yearly paid into the treasury for the support of the government, must have intended that it should be yearly applied to that purpose and could not intend that it should be in the power of any one of the parties to whom they left the disposition to prevent the doing of it and consequently render ineffectual one of the great purposes if not the principal for which those Acts were made; that the words of all laws whatsoever must be construed in such a manner as to render them effectual to answer the ends and purposes for which they were made and not so as to defeat, evade or elude them, which the dissent of one party could do if all their assents were absolutely necessary. Which of these opinions is right is humbly submitted to you and the learned in the law. I know which I would have to be so; and this I take to be certain, that if it is to be done by Act of the legislature as things are now circumstanced both the Governor and Council must agree to such dispositions as the Assembly (which is but one of the parties) will please to make or the government must be wholly unsupported and no disposition made in any manner.
HM by his instructions to former governors directed that there should be twelve Assemblymen chosen for the eastern and twelve for the western division of New Jersey and that neither of them should either be increased or diminished nor manner of electing altered but by Act or Acts of Assembly confirmed by HM, his heirs and successors. The first part of the instruction with respect to the number is continued to me but the last part with respect to the enlarging or diminishing of them and manner of electing is wholly omitted, by which I understand that HM is not against augmenting the number which will as the country settles become necessary, but that if any addition be made to the present number of twelve the increase should be equally made in both divisions so that the number of representatives in each division should be equal. If I do not rightly apprehend it I hope you will inform me. The reason of my mentioning this is that among other Acts herewith sent there is one for the erecting of a new country in the western division called Morris County, in which Act their having representatives is suspended till HM declares his pleasure in the case, which I recommend to you to advise may be done in their favour because that being an addition of two members to the western division I can with HM's leave add two in such part of the eastern division which I shall judge most conducive to HM's service. As this new county is situated I am in hopes I shall by that means be able with this addition to prevail upon them to raise money for the building a house for the governor (there being none yet) and conveniences for the seat of government and put the support of the government upon a better footing, the present method of alternate sittings of the Assembly and courts and keeping two Secretary's offices being very inconvenient and burthensome to all the officers of the government whose small salaries render them scarce able to keep one office well. All parts of the legislature agree the thing to be inconvenient and would have it fixed at one place the choice of which the Assembly has left to me, but that will signify little unless they make suitable provision for it.
There is but little, if any, gold or silver in the province, their whole commerce both among themselves and with their neighbours being managed by means of paper bills of credit, of which there are about 60000l now current and in 1741 it will begin to sink and grow yearly less. But the whole quantity I am told is not sufficient for the uses of the province and that the people will soon be very pressing for more. In such case it is not improbable that to gain their ends they will come into the measures of the government and make its support both better and more certain than it is at present.
By HM's patent I am empowered to act with three Councillors though by his instructions restrained to five unless in cases of extraordinary necessity, but their habitations are so remote from each other that at this place I can't get above three together unless I send 23, 30 and 40 miles for them, and at Burlington there are three pretty nigh together but the rest must come 40, 50, 80 miles to meet which is not convenient. So that it is no small difficulty to get a Council of five or more together and to keep them together when they are met, but I am in hopes when the seat of the government is fixed this may in some degree be remedied. The distance of the habitations of the Council from Amboy and Burlington and from each other may be pretty well guessed at from the following list. Burlington is distant from Amboy 48 miles west-southerly. List of the Council of New Jersey for the eastern division: James Alexander dwells at New York; Cornelius Van Horne dwells in the eastern division about 22 miles NW from Amboy; William Provoost in the eastern about 35 miles NE from Amboy; John Schuyler about 24 miles NE from Amboy; Robert Lettis Hooper dead; Robert Hunter Morris, Fenwick Lyell, in Amboy. For the western division: John Hamilton dwells in the eastern division at Amboy, I know not any estate that he now has or ever had in the west division; John Wills, a Quaker, about 6 miles westward from Burlington, he is an old man, goes double and can't attend unless at Burlington with difficulty; John Reading about 40 miles from Amboy and as many from Burlington; John Rodman, a Quaker, about 3 miles from Burlington; Richard Smith, a Quaker in Burlington. I have been as particular as the time would permit me to be and hope I have not given you needless trouble and that you will approve what I have done. Signed. 14 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 9 July, Read 18 July 1739. Enclosed:
183 i Speech of Governor Morris to Council and Assembly of New Jersey. Printed by John Peter Zenger. 4 pp.
183 ii Address of Council of New Jersey to Governor Morris, with his acknowledgement. Printed by same. 4 pp.
183 iii Address of Representatives of New Jersey to Governor Morris. Printed by same. 3 pp.
183 iv Speech of Governor Morris to Representatives of New Jersey on occasion of dissolution, 15 March 1739. Printed by William Bradford in New York. 4 pp. [CO 5/973, ff 118–133d]
May 28
President James Dottin to Duke of Newcastle enclosing public papers. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, R, 24 July. Enclosed:
184 i List of Acts and minutes transmitted on 28 May 1739. ½ p. [CO 28/45, ff 411–413d]
May 28
President James Dottin to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations sending public papers. Naval Officer's lists not yet completed. I am informed that the French have made considerable settlements on those islands which ought to have been evacuated and reap great profits and advantages to themselves thereby. Signed. 1 small p. Endorsed, Recd. 13 August, Read 15 August 1739. Enclosed:
185 i List of public papers transmitted to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, 28 May 1739. 1 p. [CO 28/25, ff 85–87d]
May 29
Mary Townsend to Trustees for Georgia reciting numerous grievances and oppressions and soliciting grant of 500 acres of land and gift or interest-free loan of 100l. Signed. Illiterate. 2¼ pp. Endorsed, Recd. 7 November 1739. [CO 5/640, ff 321–322d]
May 30
Thomas Hill to Thomas Lowndes acknowledging letter of 25th inst. Their lordships are always ready to receive and consider any proposal relating to the public good; and as you offer your method for preventing the evils attending paper currency in America, they desire you will send it to me to be laid before them. Entry. ½ p. [CO 324/12, p 242]
May 30
Same to Charles Carkesse. Their lordships have no objection to the form enclosed with letter of 26th inst, it being agreeable to that they have lately sent to the governors. Entry. ½ p. [CO 324/12, p 243]
May 30
John Hamilton to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. As soon as Col Morris received his commission to be governor he came here to publish it and declared himself an entire stranger and void of all resentments to any person. In the winter he held an Assembly at Amboy. In the Council I acted as president and forwarded HM's interest and the good of the country as much as lay in my power. The first Council that was held after the Assembly was dissolved, the warrants for the salaries of the officers of the government were signed. I applied for my salary as commander-in-chief from 23 June 1738 (to which time I had received my salary) to 29 August following, the day he published his commission; which he not only refused to grant but likewise told me he expected I should pay him all the salary I had received as President of the Council from 20 October 1736, the day he came here and demanded the government, and that if I did not pay him he should be obliged to sue me. I told him if he did and judgment went against me I would certainly appeal; since that I have not heard anything. However, I thought it my duty to acquaint you with it and beg you will consider what situation I shall be in if he does. He is the governor, has made his youngest son chief justice of the province, and appoints sheriffs and other officers of the court, so if I should be cast I must first appeal to him in Council before I can carry it to England. Herein I may meet with great difficulty. I beg you to consider me and hope you will pardon me for this long letter. Signed. 3 small pp. Endorsed, Recd., Read 6 July 1739. [CO 5/973, ff 116–117d]
May 30
Palace Court
Minutes of Common Council of Georgia. Resolved that Robert Hows have leave to alienate to Rev George Whitefield his 50-acre lot in Savannah for building the orphan-house. A grant to Mr Whitefield of 450 acres in trust for the orphan-house to be sealed and registered. Resolved that 5l be given to Richard Atherton for suit of clothes. William Stephens to be written to in order to expedite the grants of land to Mr Whitefield. Resolved that a sum not exceeding 10l be laid out in building a jury room adjoining the church at Savannah. Read report from committee of estimate for expense of the colony from Michaelmas 1739 to Michaelmas 1740, stating salaries and allowances of officers, cost of servants in Georgia, and charges in England. Resolved that the Common Council agrees to the estimate, copy of relevant part to be sent to William Stephens that the people may regulate themselves accordingly. John Fallowfield appointed second bailiff of Savannah in room of Robert Gilbert. Entry. 12½ pp. [CO 5/690, pp 212–224]
[May 30]
[Henry] McCulloh's reasons for repealing the quitrent law passed in South Carolina in 1731. (1) All who hold lands by grants from the Lords Proprietors, subject to quitrents in sterling money, by this law will be able to pay in proclamation money which is 25 per cent less than sterling. (2) All who have more land than they are entitled to - most have - will be able to hold the surplus. (3) Several with lands provisionally granted after the land office was shut up, on which they pay 1d an acre till they purchase the inheritance, will be admitted by the quitrent law to hold subject to rent of 1s a 100 acres. (4) Those with fraudulent patents will be able to hold lands at 1s a 100 acres. (5) If the quitrent law be approved, holders of blank patents - of which there are many yet in being - might within 18 months from HM's approval take up lands. (6) If the law be not repealed it will be impossible for the commissioner of quitrents to regulate the many abuses. (7) No ill consequence can come of repealing the law as appears by, (8) Governor Archdale's law of 1696 was never confirmed by the Lords Proprietors. By the Currency Act the people are willing to pay quitrents in paper bills at seven for one, which will secure the Crown from any inconveniency that can possibly attend repeal of the quitrent law. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr McCulloh. Recd., Read 30 May 1739. [CO 5/367, ff 3–4d]
May 31
Duke of Newcastle to Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. Prepare drafts of commission and instructions for Robert Byng, appointed governor of Barbados. Signed, Holles Newcastle. ½ p. Endorsed, Recd., Read 1 June 1739. [CO 28/25, ff 83, 83d, 89, 89d]