America and West Indies
December 1728, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1937

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258-275

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'America and West Indies: December 1728, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 36: 1728-1729 (1937), pp. 258-275. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72460 Date accessed: 31 October 2014.


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December 1728, 1-15

Dec. 4.
St. James's.
499. Order of King in Council. Referring to Committee for their report representation on charges against President Middleton (v. 13th Nov. etc.). Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 15th Jan., 1728/9. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 360. ff 84, 85v.]
Dec. 4.
St. James's.
500. Order of King in Council. Appointing Alexander Forbes to the Council of Jamaica, in the room of Mr. Pusey. Signed, Jas. Vernon. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 46. No. 54.]
Dec. 4.
St. James's.
501. Order of King in Council. Approving draught of Commission for Governor Woodes Rogers. Signed, Jas. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 15th Jan., 1728/9. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 182, 183v.; and 23, 12. No. 92.]
Dec. 4.
St. James's.
502. Order of King in Council. Referring to Committee that part of the Representation of the Board of Trade 29th Nov., recommending the purchase of the Bahama Islands. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 15th Jan., 1728/9. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff 184, 185v.]
Dec. 4.
St. James's.
503. Order of King in Council. Appointing A. Forbes to the Council of Jamaica, as proposed by Council of Trade. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 ¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 17. ff 127, 127v., 128v.]
Dec. 5.
Whitehall.
504. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Committee of H.M. Privy Council. Pursuant to the Order of 19th Nov., etc., we find, that in the Colonies of New England, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and in the County of Somerset in Maryland, the people have fallen into the manufacture of woollen and linnen cloth, for the use of their own families, but we cannot learn that they have ever manufactur'd any for sale in any of the Colonies, except in a small Indian town in Pennsylvania where some Palatines have of late years settled. The reasons which may be assign'd, why these people have begun this manufacture, are, 1st. That the product of these Colonies being chiefly stock and grain, the estates of the inhabitants depend wholly upon farming; and as this cannot be carry'd on without a certain quantity of sheep, their wooll would be entirely lost, were not their servants employ'd at leisure times of the year, but chiefly during the winter, in manufacturing it for the use of their families. 2nd. Flax and hemp are likewise easily rais'd, and the inhabitants manufacture them into a coarse sort of cloth, bags, plough traces, and halters for their horses, which they find, do more service than those they have from any part of Europe. 3d. Those settlements which are distant from water-carriage, and are remotely situated in the woods, have no opportunities of a market for grain; and therefore, as they don't raise more corn than is sufficient for their own use, they have more time to manufacture both wooll and flax for the service of their families, and seem to be under a greater necessity of doing it. Upon a further enquiry into this matter, we don't find that these people had the same temptation to go on with these manufactures, during the time that the bounty upon Naval Stores subsisted, having then encouragement to employ their leisure time in another way, and more profitably both to themselves and this Kingdom; For the height of wages, and the great price of labour in general in America, makes it impracticable for the people there to manufacture linnen cloth at less than 20 pr. cent. more than the rate in England, or woollen cloth at less than 50 pr. cent. dearer than that which is exported from hence for sale; But as the small quantities which they manufacture for their own use, are a diminution of the exports from this Kingdom; it were to be wish'd that some expedient might be fallen upon to divert their thoughts from undertakings of this nature; and so much the rather, because these manufactures in process of time may be carry'd on in a greater degree, unless an early stop be put to their progress ; and the most natural inducement that we can think of to engage the people of America to desist from these pursuits, would be to employ them in Naval Stores, wherefore we take leave to renew our repeated proposals, that a reasonable encouragement may be given for the making, raising and manufacturing of Naval Stores, of all kinds in the Plantations, from whence we may be furnish'd in return for our own manufactures, and much money might be sav'd in the balance of our trade with the Northern Crowns, where these materials are chiefly paid for in specie. If your Lordships shall be of the same opinion, we beg leave to refer our selves to our Representation of the 20th of March last etc. But whenever the Legislature shall be dispos'd to give prœmiums for this purpose, it might be reasonable at the same time to prevent as far as may be, the further growth of the woollen and linnen manufactures in the Plantations by Act of Parliament. And notwithstanding provision is already made by the Act of 10th and 11th K. William to prevent the exportation of wooll out of the Kingdoms etc., that no wooll, woollfells or woollen goods, etc. of the growth or manufacture of any of the British Plantations in America, shall be exported by land or water, out of the respective Plantations where they grew or were manufactur'd; yet we conceive, this Law might be extended further. And altho' it might not be reasonable to prevent the poor Planters who have not wherewithall to purchase British manufactures, from cloathing themselves by their own labour, yet in our humble opinion, it might be adviseable to provide, that woollen goods made in the Plantations, should not be expos'd to sale there. The like care in our humble opinion should be taken to prevent the growth of the linnen manufacture in the American Colonies, because we are inform'd that some Palatines settled in Pennsylvania, as aforemention'd, have lately made small quantities of linnen for sale there. [C.O. 324, 11. pp. 136–142].
Dec. 5.
Whitehall.
505. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. There was an Act passed at New Jersey in 1719 for running the line of partition between the Eastern and Western Divisions etc. This is an Act wherein private property is concern'd and therefore we thought it would be of service to let the same lye by for some time, that in case any persons should be aggrieved thereby, they might have sufficient opportunity to lay their objections before us ; but as we have receiv'd none, and as this Act will be of advantage to the inhabitants of New Jersey in general by settling their respective titles, we humbly lay the same before your Majesty for your Royal confirmation. [C.O. 5, 996. pp. 254, 255.]
Dec. 9.506. Copy of Warrant for Governor Rogers' Commission. [C.O. 5, 194. ff. 495–512.]
Dec. 10.
St. James's.
507. H.M. Warrant appointing Alexander Forbes to the Council of Jamaica, in the room of William Pusey, who has been several years absent and is now in prison. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 100, 101.]
Dec. 10.
Barbados.
508. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to letter of 28th Oct., advising his Grace that he proposed (v. 28th Oct.) to let the Assembly sit 12th November, "but they not making a House that day, the Member(s) present adjourned them to the 19th of the said month, when they appointed a Committee to prepare a bill to be laid before the House at their next sitting, and the same day I laid before them H.M. 21st and 22nd Instructions (v. 8th Nov.) upon which, they adjourn'd themselves, de die in diem, to their Clerk Mr. Warren's house, till the 22nd when they adjourn'd to ye next day to ye house of Mr. Willoughby Duffey where they generally meet to do business, when they accordingly met and passed an Excise bill; the 26th the Council sat and made some amendmts. to the bill, the title of which having been as usually, for laying a duty on wines etc. for repairing the fortifications ; the Council thought fit to leave that part of the title out, and in some clauses of the bill there being this expression, "any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding," the Council thought it necessary to amend the said bill by leaving out the word Law, in that H.M. has commanded, in his Instructions to me, that no law should be repealed by general words ; and as one of the uses was for the payment of all such orders as are or shall be issued by the Governor or Commander-in-Chief by and with the advice and consent of the Council for the entertainment of the Courts of Grand Sessions etc., the Council thought fit to amend the bill by leaving out the words, "upon an address from the General Assembly" ; and the bill was accordingly sent down to the Assembly, who the next day agreed to those amendments, when they returned it to the Council, who immediately pass'd it, and I gave my assent to it. The Assembly have taken particular care for the payment of their officers, which paymts. are made preferable, but your Grace will observe in this bill, there is no use for repairing the fortifications, nor for the payment of H.M. Attorney General, nor for the Storekeeper's accounts, nor for the payment of the Clerk of the Council, nor for defraying the expences of the Committees of Council. However as the bill is now passed, the money arising by this tax will not be lost to ye publick, and I have the honor to transmit it to your Grace." Acknowledges Order in Council, 15th Aug. etc. Continues :—In obedience thereunto, I shall with the Council examine and settle Mr. Whitworth's accounts, and shall then earnestly recommend it to the Assembly for the immediate payment of what shall be found due upon proper vouchers, and shall take the same care of what is now or shal for the future become due to Mr. Whit- worth, or his deputy, for such services. Encloses Minutes of Assembly 13th Sept.—7th Dec. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Rd. Feb. 17th. 4 pp. [C. O. 28, 44. No. 130.]
Dec. 10.
Barbados.
509. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate of preceding, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Feb., Read 20th May, 1729. 4 pp. [C .O. 28, 20. ff. 124–125v 126v.]
Dec. 10.510. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of Virginia, 1728, for laying a duty on slaves imported. Refers to procedure on former acts of this nature and Order in Council 30th April, 1724. Objects to this act that (i) the Colony cannot subsist or be improved without large and constant supplies of negroes. Experience has shown the fatal consequence, of such duties, for from 1710 to 1718, when there was such a duty, the number of negroes imported into Virginia was very inconsiderable and those few sold at excessive prices. So that laying a duty on negroes can only tend to make them scarcer and dearer, the two things that for the good of our trade and for the benefit of Virginia ought chiefly to be guarded against, since it is well known that the cheapness of Virginia tobacco in European marketts is the true cause of the great consumption thereof, (ii) It affects the revenue of Great Britain, for the crops of tobacco and therefore the amount imported, must grow less for want of negroes, and the Act is also inconsistent with the dependancy of Virginia on Great Britain. For "these negroes are purchased by the British merchants on the coast of Africa in exchange of our own manufactures etc., and therefore for Virginia to lay a duty on negroes so purchased is the same thing as laying a duty on the importation of British manufactures" etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 10th May, 1728, Read 21st May, 1729. 2 ¾ pp. [C. O. 5, 1321. ff. 108–109v.]
Dec. 11.511. Merchants trading to Virginia and Maryland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reasons humbly offered against erecting a light house upon Cape Henry in Virginia. We apprehend it may be very detrimentall to our shipping bound to Virginia and Maryland because of the lights that are frequently made along the coast and inland by burning the woods and other chance fires made in hunting &c. which happens generally at the time of year when the ships are bound in and should they be deceived by such lights which cannot certainly be distinguished from a light house, it would probably be the loss of many ships. The light can be of no service in foggy hazy weather, to which the coast is subject, it not being then visible, and in clear weather or any that is fitting for a ship to stand into land, knowing the latitude they may safely run in without it by the lead, which is an infallible guide to carry any ship into good anchor hold, and afterwards the lights can be of little use. Accidents would likewise probably happen if ships being pritty sure of the latitude should, neglecting their lead, run in to make the light, and by carelessness or for other causes the light should not be visible, and there are many instances of neglect of the lights even in the Brittish Channell. We do not know that any shipp ever miscarried for want of a light on the Cape. Endorsed, Recd (from Mr. Alderman Perry), Read 11th Dec. 1728. 1 ¼ pp. [C. O. 5, 1321. ff. 90, 90v., 91v.]
Dec. 11.512. Mr. Robert Cary to Mr. Popple. I have beene afflicted with ye collick in my stomack lately that I have not beene out of doores but twice these three weekes, wch. prevents me from weighting on ye Lords Commissioners etc. I believe not any of ye Virga. merchants have any objection against ye erecting a lighthouse if ye Maryland merchants joyne em. Signed, Robert Cary. Endorsed, Recd., Read 11th Dec, 1728. Addressed, ¾ p. [C. O. 5, 1321. ff. 88–89.]
Dec. 12
Whitehall.
513. Lord Townshend to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having laid before the King the enclosed observations etc., I herewith send them to your Lops, by H.M. command, that you may take the same into consideration, and report to H.M. what use may be made of these observations for the benefit of H.M. Colonys in America. Signed, Townshend. Endorsed, Recd. Read 31st Dec, 1728. 1 p. Enclosed,
513 i. Sir William Keith to the King. Submits following observations, "which were occasionally made in your Majesty's and your Royal Father's service abroad" etc. Signed, William Keith. 1 p. Enclosed,
513 ii. A short discourse on the present state of the Colonies in America with respect to the interest of Great Britain. After complimentary introduction, continues :—When Colonies are conquered or planted abroad, etc., it is convenient to substitute little Provincial dependent Governments, whose people by being infranchized, and made partakers of the liberties and privileges belonging to the original Mother State, are justly bound by its laws, and become subservient to its interests, as the true end of their incorporation. Every Act of a dependent Provincial Government therefore ought to terminate in the advantage of the Mother State, unto whom it ows its being, and by whom it is protected, in all its valuable privileges : Hence it follows that all advantageous projects, or commercial gains in any Colony, which are truly prejudicial to, and inconsistent with, the interest of the Mother State ; must be understood to be illegal, and the practice of them unwarrantable, because they contradict the end for which the Colony had a being, and are incompatible with the terms on which the people claim both privilege and protection. Were these things rightly understood amongst the inhabitants of the British Colonies in America, there would be less occasion for such Instructions, and strict prohibitions, as are daily sent from England to regulate their conduct on many points ; the very nature of the thing would be sufficient to direct their choice in cultivating such parts of industry and commerce only, as would bring some advantage to the interest and trade of Great Britain : They would soon find by experience that this was the solid and true foundation whereon to build a real interest in their Mother Country, and the certain means to acquire riches without envy. On the other hand where the Government of a Provincial Colony is well regulated, and all its business and commerce truly adapted, to the proper end and design of the first settlement; such a Province like a choice branch springing from the main root, ought to be carefully nourish' d, and it's just interests well guarded ; no little partial project or party gain should be suffer' d to affect it, but rather it ought to be consider' d and weigh' d in the general ballance of the whole State, as an usefull and profitable Member ; For such is the end of all Colonies, and if this use cannot be made of them, it would be much better for the State to be without them. It has ever been the maxim of all polite Nations to regulate their Government to the best advantage of their trading interest; wherefore it may be helpfull to take a short view of the principal benefits arising to Great Britain by the Trade of the Colonies. 1mo The Colonies take off and consume above one 6th part of the woolen manufactures exported from Britain ; which is the chief staple of England and main support of all the landed interest. 2do They take off and consume more than double that value in linnen and calicoes, which is either the product of Britain and Ireland, or partly, the profitable returns made for that product carryed to forreign countries. 3tio The luxury of the Colonies which increases daily, consumes great quantities of English manufactur'd silks, haberdashery, household furniture and trinkets of all sorts, also a very considerable value in E. India goods. 4to. A great revenue is rais'd to the Crown of Great Britain, by returns made in the produce of the Plantations, especially Tobacco, which at the same time helps England to bring nearr. to a ballance their unprofitable trade with France. 5to. These Colonies promote the int. and trade of Britain by a vast increase of shipping and seamen ; which enables them to carry great quantities of fish to Spain, Portugal, Leghorne etc., furrz logwood and rice to Holland, where they help Great Britain considerably in the ballance of trade with those countries. 6to. If reasonably encouraged, the Colonies are now in a condition to furnish Britain with as much of the following com- modities as it can demand vizt. masting for the Navy and all sorts of timber, hemp, flax, pitch, tarr, oyle, rosin, copper-oar, with pig and barr-iron, by means whereof the ballance of trade to Russia and the Baltick, may be very much reduced in favour of Great Britain. 7mo The profits arising to all these Colonies by trade is return'd in bullion, or other useful effects to Great Britain, where the superfluous cash, and other riches acquir'd in America must center ; which is not one of the least securities that Britain has, to keep the Colonies alwaies in due subjection. 8vo The Colonies upon the Main, are the granary of America, and a necessary support to the Sugar Plantations in the West Indies which could not subsist without them. By this short view we may plainly understand, that these Colonies can be very beneficially employ'd, both for Great Britain and themselves, without interfacing with any of the Staple manufactures in England: and considering the bulk and end of their whole traffick 'twere pitty that any material branch of it shou'd be depress'd; on account of private and particular interests, which in comparison with these cannot justly be esteem'd a national concern etc. We will proceed to consider some of the most obvious regulations on the American trade ; for rendring the Colonies truly serviceable to Great Britain. 1mo. That all the product in the Colonies for which the manufacture and trade of Britain has a constant demand, be enumerated among the goods which by law must be first transported to Britain before they can be carry'd to any other market. 2do. That every valuable merchandize to be found in the English colonies, and but rarely anywhere else, and for which there is a constant demand in Europe, shall also be enumerated, in order to assist Great Britain in the ballance of trade with other countries. 3tio That all kinds of woolen manufactures for which the Colonies have a demand, shall continue to be brought from Britain only, and linnen from Great Britain and Ireland. 4to. All other kind of European commodities to be carry'd to the Colonies (salt excepted) entry thereof first to be made in Britain, before they can be transported to any of the English Colonies. 5to. The Colonies to be absolutely restrain'd in their several Governments, from laying any manner of duties on shipping or trade from Europe, or upon European goods transported from one Colony to another. 6to That the Acts of Parliament relating to the trade and Government of the Colonies be revis'd and collected into one distinct body of laws, for the use of the Plantations, and such as trade with them etc. From what has been said etc., it is plain that none of the English Plantations in America can claim an absolute Legislative power within themselves etc. and cannot be possessed of any rightful capacity to contradict or evade the true intent of any Act of Parliament etc. Argues that the institution of negative Councils has contributed to the mistake of Governors and Assemblies in fancying that they represent the King, Lords and Commons. Continues :—For so long as the King has reserved to himself in his Privy Councill the consideration of, and a negative upon all their laws, the method of appointing a few of the richest and proudest men in a small Colony, as an upper House with a negative on the proceedings of the King's Lieutenant Governor, and the People's Representatives, seems not only to cramp the natural liberty of the subject there, but also the King's just power and prerogative; for it often happens that very reasonable and good bills etc., have been lost etc. by the obstinacy of a majority in the Council, only because such things did not square with their private particular interest and gain, or with the views which they form to themselves by assuming an imaginary dignity and rank above all the rest of the King's subjects etc. Proposes that the Councils should be merely Councils of State to advise with the Governor and be constant witnesses of all public transactions. Considers the state of Civil Jurisdiction. Continues : It is generally acknowledged in the Plantations, that the subject is intitled by birthright unto the benefit of the Common Law of England; But then as the Common Law has been alter'd from time to time and restricted by Statutes, it is still a question in many of the American Courts of Judicature, whether any of the English Statutes, which do not particularly mention the Plantations, can be of force there untill they be brought over by some Act of Assembly in that Colony where they are pleaded; and this creates such confusion, that according to the art or influence of the lawyers and attornies before Judges who by their education are indifferently quallified for that service, they sometimes allow the force of particular statutes, and at other times reject the whole, especially if the Bench is inclinable to be partial, as too frequently happens in those new and unsettled countries ; and as men's liberties and properties in a country chiefly depend on an impartial and equal administration of Justice, this is one of the most material grievances which the subjects in America have just cause to complain of; but while for the want of schools and other proper instruction in the principles of moral virtue, their people are not so well qualified, even to serve upon juries, and much less to act upon a Bench of Judicature ; it seems impracticable to provide a remedy, untill a sufficient revenue be found out amongst them, to support the charge of sending Judges from England to take their circuits by turn in the several Colonies on the Main, which if it be thought worthy of consideration will appear neither to be improper nor impracticable ; and untill that can be done all other attempts to rectifie their Courts of Law will be fruitless and may be suspended. Courts of Chancery which are known to be necessary in many cases to correct the severity of the Common Law, seem to subsist there on a most precarious foot, for it does not appear that there is a proper and legal authority to hold such a Court in any of the Colonies ; nevertheless by custom everywhere sonic kind of Chancery is to be found in one form or other ; so that when a rich man designs to contest anything in dispute with his poor neighbour, if he can continue to bring him into Chancery, he is sure the matter will rarely or never be brought to issue, which on many occasions proves an intolerable oppression, wherefore it is hoped that so high a jurisdiction issuing immediately from the Crown will in due time be put on a more regular and certain establishment abroad. Militia. The people in the Plantations are so few in proportion to the land they possess, that servants being scarce and slaves so excessively dear, the men are generally under a necessity there to work hard themselves in order to provide the common necessaries of life for their families, so that they cannot spare a day's loss of their time without great loss to their interest, wherefore a militia there would become more burthensome to the poor people than it can be in any part of Europe. But besides, it may be questioned how far it would consist with good policy to accustom all the able men in the Colonies to be well exercised in arms ; It seems at present more adviseable to keep up a small regular standing force in each Province which might be readily augmented for a time if occasion did require ; and thus in case of war or rebellion the whole of the regular troops might be without loss of time united or distributed at pleasure ; and if a suitable revenue can be raised for the defence and support of the Plantations, it would be no difficult matter both to form and execute a proper scheme of this nature. Land is so plenty, and to be had so very cheap in America, that there is no such thing as tenants to be found, for every man is a tenant in fee of what he possesses, and only pays a small quitt or ground rent, to the Lord of the soil, and this makes it impracticable to find an Assembly of such freeholders in any of the Colonies, who will consent to lay any tax upon lands, nor indeed is to be expected they should voluntarily agree to raise any revenue amongst themselves, except what is absolutely necessary for erecting and supporting Court Houses, bridges, highways and other needfull expences of their civil Government, which is commonly levy'd upon stock, an excise on forreign liquors retail'd or a small poll-tax ; and the publick there is generally in debt, because they are extreamly jealous of attempts upon their liberties, and apprehensive that if at any time their publick treasury was rich, it might prove too great a temptation for an artfull Governour in conjunction with their own Representatives to decide the spoil and betray them etc. Continues :—The wisdom of the Crown of Great Britain by keeping its Colonies [independent one upon another] is very much to be applauded, for while they continue so, it is morally impossible, that any dangerous union can be found anongst them, because their interests in trade and all manner of business, being entirely separated by their independency, every advantage that is lost or neglected by one Colony is immediately pick'd up by another; and the emulation that continually subsists between them in all manner of intercourse and traffick is ever productive of envies jealousies and cares, how to gain upon each others conduct in government or trade, everyone endeavouring thereby to magnifie their pretention to the favour of the Crown, by becoming more usefull than their neighbours to the interest of Great Britain. But to render the Colonies still more considerable to Britain, and the managemt. of their affairs much more easy to the King and his Ministers at home, it wou'd be convenient to appoint particular officers in England only for the dispatch of business belonging to the Plantations ; for often persons that come from America on purpose either to complain or to support their own just rights are at a loss how or where to apply ; this uncertainty does not only fatigue the Ministers, but frequently terminates in the destruction of the party, by his being referr'd from Office to Office, untill both his money and patience be quite wore out; such things in time may cool people's affections and give them too mean an opinion of the justice of their Mother Country, which ought carefully to be prevented, for where there is Liberty the inhabitants will certainly expect right, and still have an eye towards obtaining it one way or other. It may be considered therefore how far it would be serviceable to put all the Crown's Civil Officers in the Plantations under the direction of the Board of Trade, from whom they might receive their several deputations or appointments, and unto whom they ought to be accountable both for their receipts and management, and if a particular Secretary was appointed for the Plantation affairs only, or if the First Lord Commissioner of that Board was permitted to have daily access to the King in order to receive H.M. commands in all business relateing to the Plantations, the subjects application would be reduced into so narrow a compass and the Board of Trade would always be so perfectly acquainted in the King's pleasure, that great dispatch might be given even to those distant matters, without taking up too much of the Ministry's time, and interfiering with other perhaps more important business ; the people of the Colonies would be pleas'd to find themselves thus equally regarded, without giving one any undue preference to another, and all the rents, customes, revenues and other profits in any manner arising from the Plantations would then center in one place, where another proper member of the same Board might be appointed Treasurer of that particular Revenue, to answer all such orders as should be issued from time to time for the Plantation service; and as the revenue from America would in all probability be encreasing daily, it may reasonably be expected, that the expence of paying the Board of Trade and other Officers wholly employed in Plantation affairs, which is now born by the Civil List, would then more properly arise and be discharged out of the American fund, and the overplus remaining would in time become a most usefull stock for purchaseing of Proprietary lands, erecting forts, and extending the present settlements as far as the Great Lakes, or might be applyed to such other uses as H.M. should think proper for that service. All that has been said with respect to the improvement of the Plantations, will signifie very little, unless a sufficient revenue can be raised to support the needfull expence, In order to which it is humbly submitted whether the duties of stamps upon parchment and paper in England may not with good reason be extended by Act of Parliament to all the American Plantations. When we do but cast an eye upon the vast tracts of land and immense riches, which the Spanish Nation have in little more than one century very oddly acquired in America, in so much that the simple privilege of trading with them on very high terms too, is become a prize worth contending for amongst the greatest Powers in Europe, surely we must on due reflection acknowledge, that the preservation and enlargement of the English settlements, in those parts, is of the last consequence to the trade interest and strength of Great Britain etc. Without date, signature or endorsement. 27 pp. [C.O. 5, 4. Nos. 37, 37 i.]
Dec. 12.514. Report upon the affairs of Carolina, Nova Scotia, New England, Sir Wm. Keith's Memorial and the Royal African Company. [ ? Possibly by Martin Bladen. Ed.] For settling Carolina. The Duke of Newcastle to direct the Lords of the Admiralty to report to H. M. whether it may not be for the publick service, that a dock with store-houses, and magazins for Naval Stores, provisions and ammunition should be erected in Port Royal, or some other Port in South Carolina, and to propose the necessary establishment and charge etc. The Duke of Newcastle to direct the Board of Trade to prepare Com- missions and Instructions for the persons whom H .M. has appointed Governors of South and North Carolina etc. It might be proper at the same time to referr to the Commrs. of Trade copys of the agreement made with the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, and of all other papers either in the Treasury, Secretary s or Councill Office, relateing to the present state of these two Provinces, that the Comrs. may be the better able to judge what additional Instructions may be necessary for the Governours for the new settling of these Provinces. If a dock is to be establish'd in South Carolina, the Lords Commrs. of Trade should be directed to prepare an Instruction for the Governour, requiring him to give all possible assistance to this undertaking, and likewise to represent to the Assembly what an advantage it will be to their Province in particular, and consequently how liberally they ought to contribute to so good a design. Nova Scotia. For the importance of settling this Province, and for the manner of doing it, be pleas'd to call for the report of the Board of Trade of the 14th of May last, and that of 7th June, 1727. The settling of this country will in time raise a considerable revenue to the Crown, make a frontier against our French neighbours, and draine great number of inhabitants from New England, where they are daily aiming at an independency and very much interfere with the trade of their Mother Kingdom. These reports now lye before the Councill. New England. By the last accounts from thence, it would seem the Assembly there are determin'd not to comply with H. M. last Order in Councill, relating to Mr. Burnet's salary, and that they will abide the judgment of the Legislature in Great Brittain. This being a matter of great consequence it should be thought of in time, both as to the thing and the manner of doing it, and Gentlemen should be early aprized of the King's intentions. The Board of Trade should likewise collect (tho' without a formal Order) the several instances of ill behaviour in that Province, and the many particulars wherein they interfere with the trade and interest of Great Brittain. Nothing can effectually cure these evils but the repeal of their Charter, and the providing some other way a salary for their Governour, which may render him independent of so stubborn and seditious a people. There are several other reports from the Board of Trade in the Council and Secretary's Offices, besides those mentioned in this Memorial. But these are the matters that require most immediate dispatch. It would certainly be for H .M. service that whenever a Councill is appointed for Plantation matters, notice should be given to the Board of Trade that some one Member or more of that Board might allways attend the Councill (during my Lord Westmorland's absence from Town) to give any information that may be wanting to explain the subject matter of their reports. And if the Councill would be pleas'd to set apart one certain day in every week for Plantation affairs, for the first month only, and one day in a fortnight afterwards, I am persuaded the business of the Colonys would never be in arrear. Sir Wm. Keith's Memorial. The substance of this Memorial is to propose that the Laws relating to the Plantations should be collected under proper heads, which is already done by the Secretary of the Customs, and that some particular regulations should be established for the Plantation trade, some of which are very unreasonable, and others are already made or provided for by Instructions. To alter the Constitution of the Colonys, by takeing away the share which the several Councills there now have in their Legislatures as separate bodys, representing the House of Lords in England, which would be reducing them to the Scots and not to the English standard, to consist of two branches only and not of three. To send Judges to the several Colonys from England well skilled in the Laws would be a very good thing if a fund could be found out to pay them. To lay aside the Militia in the Plantations and establish a standing force in their stead is intirely chimerical, because no fund can possibly be found of some ages in the Plantations to answer that end. To extend the Stamp Duty to the Brittish Colonys in America, as supposing that might raise a sufficient fund for the payment of the Governour, Judges, Standing Army, etc. (which) is highly improbable, tho' it is possible this duty might raise a considerable annual sum there under proper management, if it should be adviseable to lay it, which can hardly be without renouncing the King's right to the four and a half per cent, at present payable in Barbados and the Leeward Islands. If a fund could be rais'd for payment of Governours, and Judges, so as to make them independent of the people it would be a very great work done, and it has been thought a considerable summe might be raised for those purposes by a duty upon East India goods vended in the Colonys. I have seen some calculations upon this subject. To redress the delays and ill-management the Plantation affairs are now lyable to, he proposes that the Board of Trade should be put upon another footing, and amongst other things that the Head of that Board should have personal access to the King, as the Chief of the Treasury and Admiralty have, which is the same thing that was proposed some years ago by the Board of Trade in their general report upon the state of the Colonys. As to the African Company. Quotes Report of Board of Trade, 17th March, 1727. Continues :—I don't conceive what fruit the African Company can hope from a reference to the same Board upon their new petition etc. Advises that the Company be left at liberty to present their petition to the House of Commons, and that the Ministry should then take such part in it as may be most consonant to the reason of the thing, and the inclination of the House. The reports of the Board of Trade might then be ordered to be lay'd before the House etc. 21 pp. [C.O. 323, 8. Nos. 102, 102 i ii; and (enclosures only without signature or endorsement) 5, 4. No. 37]
Dec. 12.
No. Carolina.
515. John Lovick, Secretary of North Carolina, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. The long contested affair of the boundary between Carolina and Virginia having been settled and the line run in Oct. last, he transmitted to the Lords Proprietors the Journals of the Commissioners, with a plan of the boundary agreed to, "which I had no sooner done than we had the joyful news that their Lordships had surrendered their Province to H.M., which was received here with the most universal satisfaction ; their Ldps. having for many years past thought little of us, and their Governor Sir R. Everard by his weakness and indiscretion had run us into the utmost confusion and disorder and rendered the administration contemptible and odious to allmost every person" etc. Sends duplicates of said Journals and plan etc. Set out, N.C. Col. Rec. III. i. Signed, John Lovick. Endorsed, Recd., Read 8th July, 1729. 1 ½ pp. Enclosed,
515. i. Journal of proceedings of the Commissioners for running the line betwixt Carolina and Virginia, March 6—April 6th. With preliminary correspondence between Lt. Gov. Sir R. Everard and Lt. Governor Gooch. Conclude :—April 6th. This day the plans and draughts of the line so far determined were inter- changeably signed by the respective Commissioners etc. (it having been decided to adjourn till the fall, "the hot weather coming on and the season for snakes and other vermin." The Commissioners for Carolina hope it will be approved of by the Lords Proprietors and give a general satisfaction to the country by ending the dispute that has so long subsisted between the two Govmts. and by making such large requisitions to their Lordships' Country, when nothing less than coming to the Wiccons Creek was depended on in Virginia, which would have taken from what is now made this country a tract of land 15 miles wide at Wiccons and so quite back and a great many hundred families etc. And had it gone a few miles more northernly that by taking Nansemond River would have given us a port for shipping tobacco which the Virginians by their hard tobacco act have restrained, and would have made this a large and most flourishing country." Signed, J. Lovick, E. Moseley, W. Little, C. Gale. Same endorsement. 32 pp.
515. ii. Continuation of the Journal of preceding, 20th Sept.— 7th Oct., 1728. Alter running the line from Currituck inlet to the Southern branch of the Roanoake river, about 170 miles and near 50 miles without the inhabitants, and being of opinion that it was run as far as would be requisite for a very long time, and carrying it further would be a needless charge, the Commissioners for Carolina entered their protest against proceeding further and dissent from any bounds fixed by the Virginians who desired to continue. Plans for the boundary as far as they had gone were drawn and mutually signed, 7th Oct. Signed as preceding. Same endorsement. 9 pp.
515. iii. Memorandum of plan sent to the Lords Proprietors. "Vide. Book of Maps" Same endorsement. 1 p.
515. iv. Address of the Council of N. Carolina to the King. Secretaries Office. Dec. 12, 1728. It is with the greatest pleasure we receive the notice of your Majesty's having taken this Government under your immediate direction etc. On this happy and joyfull occasion we assure you that we, as well as the people in general, are intirely devoted to your royal person and most illustrious family etc. Beg leave to lay before H.M. "the state of this unhappy Province, which tho' of small accompt in respect of some others, yet of late is very much improved," and we have the pleasing prospect from that support of authority and encouragement of our trade and commerce which we do promise ourselves, now your Majesty has taken us under your care, that it will soon become a flourishing Colony and beneficiall to the Crown etc. "The government had grown so weak, that without this alteration it could not have subsisted much longer, but must have dwindled and sunk into the utmost confusion and disorder, and we cannot attribute the cause to anything but the great incapacity and weakness of our present Governor, whose behaviour is so extraordinary that every day produces some extravagant action etc. We feel oppression and arbitrary power,and assure ourselves your Majesty will not suffer a person to preside over us who has no other notions of Government, than as it gives him power to act as he pleases etc. Represent the following instances :—(i) He frequently abuses the Council when sitting; if he proposes anything, let it be ever so unreasonable or unwarrantable, it must be done ; it we cannot approve of it etc., we are sure of having the worst of language and threats etc., and after that he generally leave the Board. He makes for himself what fees he thinks proper, though there is a table of fees established by law, and notwithstanding the Assembly and people in general have complained of his exacting exorbitant fees, he still continues it etc., and declared in open Court that he did not regard the laws of the country at all. It is unexpressible the dayly quarrels that happen about his family, which he seems to make of more weight than the most important affairs of Government; and if he fancies any one is not affected to him or his family (which is a pack of rude children who give offence every day) they are sure upon the least occasion to be severely prosecuted, as very lately happened to a young Gent here, who having disgusted one of the young ones, the Governor took out an action of scandal against him, and laid the damage for £5000 sterl. and gave strict orders to the officer to put him into the common gaol, unless extraordinary good security was found ; and withall gave out menacing speeches, that he would see who would dare to be the gentleman's bail, which frightened many, but to prevent so harsh a thing, the Secretary and Attorney General, at last after they had in vain remonstrated, became bail, and thereby drew the Governor's heaviest resentment upon them etc. After this he would have this business examined in Council etc. We found it only a very idle story of one of the children and begg'd the Governor to drop it, but he held the poor Gent to bail, till our General Court, and then had not one word to say to it, etc. He has set up a sort of Inquisition, and when anyone is noted down for an offender, issues his orders or warrant for the servants of the person to attend at his own house, where they are interrogated upon oath before him and his Lady (and if they boggle at the oath they are threatned with the gaol) and the general questions are what they have heard their master or mistress say of the Governor and his family etc. Prosecutions have been ordered from these examinations, and if such a practice is not stop'd the consequence may prove very fatal, it being a sure way to lead servants into perjury etc. One of the Council undertook to advise the Governour against such a wonderfull proceeding etc., for which he was assaulted by the Governour and received the most injurious language that could be uttered. At other times when he has puzled himself with these family disputes and jarrs, he sends his commands to the Chief Justice to committ or bind over or whatever first comes into his head; and if the Chief Justice lets him know he cannot lawfully obey him, then the Judge is immediately threatned with the gaol and suspension etc. If anything is brought into Court that concerns even the meanest of his servants, he is sure to be present; and if the Court will not act just in the manner he would have them he immediately puts on a face and lets them know he is Governor, and will protest against their proceedings, and then affronts and abuses them upon the Bench, which exceedingly discourages the Court and spirits on others to do the like, and weakens their authority etc. Very lately there being a miscreant prosecuted for cursing your Sacred Majesty and traducing your Government, upon whose tryal the Governor suffered his son (as profligate a creature as the criminal) to be of Council for him ; when just as the Judge was going to pronounce sentence, and was telling him the heinousness of his crime, the Governour rush'd into Court and pretending he had business of his own, interrupted the Judge and menaced the Court for not breaking off the business they were upon, to hear him. This instance we should not have been so particular in, if we had not the most convincing reasons before to believe he had not that duty and affection for your Majesty etc. all good subjects ought to have ; for he has had the weakness as well as wickedness to boast of his being concerned (tho' not publickly known) in the Preston rebellion, and it has been with some difficulty he has been prevented from signalizing the tenth of June with us ; and on the much lamented news of the death of our most gracious Sovereign Your royal Father of glorious memory, he with the greatest exultation said upon it with an oath, Then Adieu to the Hannover Family, we have done with them etc. Pray for relief from such a Governor etc. Signed, Wm. Recd, Tho' Pollock, C. Gale, Tho. Harvey, Jno. Palin, Richd. Sanderson, Francis Foster, Robert West, J. Worley, Edmd. Gale, J. Lovick. Same endorsement. Copy (the original sent to the D. of Newcastle). 9 pp. [C.O. 5, 1267. ff. 38, 38v., 39v.–55v;., 56v., 58–62v, 63v.–68, 69v.]
Dec 15.
Boston.
516. Jer Dunbar David Dunbar. Proposes to go to Casco Bay and seize timber illegally cut down, as soon as the snow falls etc. Signed, Jer. Dunbar. Copy. 1 ¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 50.]