America and West Indies
June 1729, 21-30


Institute of Historical Research



Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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'America and West Indies: June 1729, 21-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 36: 1728-1729 (1937), pp. 408-425. URL: Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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June 1729, 21-30

June 23.
789. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having received a letter from Mr. Popple last summer signifying that a body of Instructions was a preparing for Govr. Philipps, I thought fitt to wait to this time giving your Lordships any further trouble, but perceiving now that half the summer is elaps'd without any prospect of news and that this Province is in great disorder etc., I beg some advice and instructions how to govern myself in the interim, since the Governmt. which was settled here by a Council is quite unhing'd thro' death desertion or other casualties nor am I able to fill up the vacancys, here being no settled inhabitants fitt for that office untill I can have H.M. directions for that purpose, in the mean time I beg leave to proceed to acquaint your Lordships with the most material occurrences in this Province since my last, which your Lordships will find to be nothing else but a continued series of insults committed agst. me thro the malice of some people who are abetted and encouraged by the favour and countenance of Major Cosby, Lt. Govr. of this Garrison, who forgetting his character and dignity has condesended to become a party in the malicious contrivances of enemys, who without any regard to truth or justice or H.M. service have obstructed, vilifyed and misrepresented all my actions. The first person I shall take notice of for his notorious insolence is Monsr. Bresley the Popish Priest of this River, who having for some time past endeavoured to withdraw the people from their dependence on H.M. Government by assuming to himself the authority of a Judge in civil affairs and employing his spiritual censures to force them to a submission, his insolence and tyranny growing at last insupportable I sent the Adjutant to him to his house which stands a little way from the fort to desire to speak wth. him, but his intellegence proved so good tho' no body was acquainted therewith but Major Cosby that before the Adjutant could reach his house he was gone off and has ever since absconded somewhere in the woods about this River among the Indians, pursuing his former practices of obstructing H.M. service and exciting the savages to mischief, to prevent which I thought proper by an order published at the Mass house to command him to be gone out of the Province in a month's time; The Sieur Mangeant (a French Gentn. whom I found at my arrival here under the protection of the Government and had taken the oaths to H.M.) I employed for to read the same to them in French, in the presence of the Fort Major Mr. Wroth and some other Gentlemen, which having done, as they were returning back to make me a report amongst a crowd of people they happend to meet Major Cosby ye Lieut. Govr. on the high way, who without any provocation insulted and abused the said Mangeant, who had no other way to avoid his fury which had like to have pushed him to committ the greatest violence but by retireing from him in haste. Major Cosby sent me immediately a complaint against the said Mangent alledging that he had affronted him by grinning or laughing in his face, whereupon I assembled the Officers and examined strictly the witnesses that were present when the disorder happened etc. (v. encl. i.) I found Mr. Cosby's allegations to be frivolous and groundless, and the true reason of the affront and insult to proceed from his resenting the service Mr. Mangeant had done H.M. by reading and publishing my orders to the people against their departing the Province without leave and against Mr. Breley the Popish Preist whose cause he avowedly espouses merely in oppossition to me, which has carried him such lengths that its impossible H.M. service can be advanced or promoted while he remains in the station he is in and this Province at last must be rent and torn by partys and factions. He has tampered with the Officers to join with him to wrest my authority and command of the troops from me of wch. I sent proofs last summer to H.M. Secretary at Warr, and could send now other proofs that he persists in the same resolution if the moderation of the Officers in refusing to join with him in any mutiny did not discourage his attempts. I beg humbly to apply myself to your Lordships for Justice etc. Continues:—I hope your Lordships will represent to H.M. the inconveniencys that must always attend this province by the separating the two Commissions of Lieut. Governour of the Province and Lieut. Govr. of the Fort, for if Major Cosby's pretensions are just and that he absolutely commands the Garrison, he must likewise command the troops by which means the Lieut. Govr. of the Province notwithstanding the Broad Seal Commission's devolving upon him can have only a precarious power depending upon another since it's certain that H.M. besides the troops has not three Protestant subjects settled in the Province, whereas the French Papists increase are very numerous and are only to be awed and governed by the troops and are to a man disaffected. The next thing I am to observe is the conduct of the Collector whose contempt and disrespect to the Government is notorious for on his arrival here with Major Cosby in the fall of the year 1727 notwithstanding the trade to Mines at that time was prohibited by and with the advice of H.M. Council, he gave permitts to several vessells to load and unload there in defyance of H.M. authority vested in the Governour and Council. Last summer he seized 2 fishing vessells at Canso etc. (v. encl. ii). Continues:—Your Lordships may observe that he makes no other charge against the schooner but for illegally importing tobacco, by which I suppose he must mean that the master had shipp'd it on board before he had given in bond according to law. I am afraid the Collector has been a little too rigid since I can't see that the Master designed any fraud New England tobacco paying no duty here outwards or inwards and the Collectors often give bills of store for greater quantitys and its certain he might have obliged said schooner to have given in bond to the Commanding Officer at Canso which is often the first place these coasting New England fishermen touch at where they can meet with a proper Officer to take bonds for enumerated goods. As to the briganteen, all I have to say is only this that after the Collector had obtained an Order and pursuant thereunto had appraized the cargo instead of returning the same to claimer on paying the value according to the appraizemt. as has always been the custom here, he sold and disposed thereof to the highest bidder by publick vendue, which proceedings I can't think your Lordships will aprove of since their tendency must prove very prejudicial to H.M. intrest by discourageing a place of so much importance to the trade and wealth of Great Britain in its very infancy, but in this I can bear no blame since your Lordships may perceive that it was transacted in my absence and without my approbation as will appear by the sequel, for on his arrival here last fall in order to establish his arbitrary measures by acting under the very face of authority the same things he had done at Canso. The story in short is this after having seized some coarse kentings of a small value of a french inhabitant who had taken the oaths to the King he applyed to me for an order for an appraizemt. which I granted accordingly but in the mean time being informed that he designed to sell the goods as he had done at Canso and the claimer having applyed to me for justice that the Collector might not before a tryal at law take the goods and dispose of them as if they were condemned, I sent to ye appraizers and him to meet me at my house next morning. He sent me word that he would wait upon me, but instead of comeing next day he sent me a letter refuseing to come for a very false and frivolous reason, on my disapproving of his proceedings he writt me word that the goods should lye in the Custom House till he recd, orders from the Surveyor, with which answer I was satisfied, but instead of keeping to his word, on 25th Jan. he gave notice by writing he affixed to his door that on the 29th he designed to expose to sale to the highest bidder the aforesaid goods, this was done in so clandestine a manner that it did not come to my knowledge till the night before the sale, when the Frenchman the claimer presented me with a petition praying that I would put a stop to his proceedings until the Surveyors orders should come from Boston to whom he had applyed on the Collectors promise that the goods should lye in the Custom house till that time. Whereupon I sent him an order to keep the linnens in the Custom house till further advice and not to proceed in the sale as he proposed. But he was in such haste to show his contempt of the Government and to disobey my orders that he immediately putt up another paper at his door that the said sale should begin next day and sent me word accordingly though he could shew no law nor precedent for so doing. Refers to end. iii etc. Continues:—The Collector's aim seems all along to depress H.M. Authority to dishonour the Governmt. and to raise things to a flame; he presumes in all things to act independent of me, which independency he has assurance to own and assert, yet whatever he may be as Collector in this affair he moves in another sphere, which properly belongs to a Court of Admiralty a thing much wanted in this country where seizures have lain for these 7 years undetermined by which the preceeding Governours as well as myself have been deprived of the encouragement given them by the Acts of Parliament, the Collector keeping, the whole money in his own hands untill the seizure is condemned tho' in other cases he acts as if that power was vested in himself. I hope your Lordships will represent to H.M. the necessity there is of such a Courts being established in this Province, that a country naturally so well calculated for trade may not want whats absolutely necessary for the support and advancement of it, as the administration of justice is, which may protect H.M. subjects from the tyranny and oppression of covetous men and in the mean time I humbly beg your Lordships opinion and directions in this affair for if in anything I have err'd its rather in want of judgement than inclination since no man is more ambitious of serving H.M. etc. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Sept., 1729, Read 11th May, 1730. 10 pp. Enclosed,
789. i. Proceedings of convention of officers, Fort Anna-polis, 3rd March, 1729, upon Mr. Mangent's complaint against Lt. Governor Cosby (v. preceding). Evidence taken and prepared to be sent home etc. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Sept., 1729. 4½ pp.
789. ii. Papers relating to the seizure of the schooner Dragon for illegally importing tobacco etc. (v. covering letter), by order of Francis Cavally, Commander in Chief at Canso, July 23, 1728. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 5 pp.
789. iii. Correspondence between H. C. Newton, Collector, and Lt. Governor Armstrong relating to the seizure of a chest of cambrics belonging to Mr. Lefonds suspected of illegal trading in the Cape Bretion (v. covering letter.) Annapolis Royal, 16th Nov., 1728— 3rd Feb. 1729. Same endorsement. 10 pp.
789. iv. Ensign Wroth's resignation of his commission as Adjutant of Col. Richard Philipps Regiment, in favour of Lt. Otho. Hamilton, on account of the infirmity of his limbs. Annapolis Royal, 24th June, 1729. Signed, Robert Wroth. Same endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 5. ff. 146–150v., 151v., 153–158, 159v.–164v., 165v.166v.; and (abstract of covering letter) 217, 30. pp. 34, 35].
June 23.
790. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I herewith transmit to your Lordps., by Her Majesty's command the copy of enclosed letter etc. Your Lordships will please to consider the proposal, and report your opinion thereupon as soon as conveniently may be etc. Signed, Holies Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 24th June, Read 1st July, 1729. 1 p. Enclosed,
790. i. Copy of Lord Londonderry's letter proposing settlement of Sta. Cruz etc. v. April 15. 3 pp. [C.O. 152, 17. ff. 75, 76–77, 78v.].
June 24.791. Petty expenses of the Board of Trade, Lady day to Midsummer, (v. Journal.) 6 pp. [C.O. 388, 79. Nos. 44–47].
June 26.
792. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Burnet. The late proceedings of the House of Representatives, in relation to the settling a fix'd salary on you as Governor of the Massachusets Bay, having undergone a thorough examination, and the report of the Lords of the Committee thereupon having received H.M. approbation in Council; I herewith transmit to you, by Her Majesty's command, the inclosed copy thereof, that you may be duly informed of what has past here upon that head, and that you may make such further use of it, as you shall judge most proper for H.M. service. You will observe, that the Agents for the Representatives have been duly heard, not only by the Lords Commissioners for Trade, but likewise by the Lords of the Committee, who are both of opinion, that the salary of £1000 sterling per annum ought to be settled on you during the whole time of yor. Government; and there is too much reason to think, that the main drift of the Assembly, in refusing to comply with what has been so frequently and so strongly recommended to them, is to throw off their dependance on the Crown; which proceeding can in no wise be justified by their Charter, and never will be allowed of by His Majesty. This obstinacy of theirs has produced the final determination of laying the whole matter before the Parliament, which had certainly been done this last Session, if it had not been prorogued before the report was made to Her Majesty; However, it will be delay'd no longer than till the first meeting of the Parliament in the winter, and if the further steps that shall be then taken in this affair, should not be so agreeable to the House of Representatives as they could wish, they must consider, that it is entirely owing to themselves. As to your particular, I am glad to find, that your conduct is so throughly justified and approved and that no consideration could prevail with you to give up this Article of your Instructions. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Enclosed,
792. i. Copy of H.M. Order in Council, 22nd May, 1729. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 117–124; and (copy of covering letter only endorsed, Recd., Read 23rd Jan., 1730) 5, 871. ff. 9, 9v.; and (without enclosure) 5, 10. No. 21].
June 26.
793. Draught of letter from Duke of Newcastle to Governor Burnet. Private. By my other letter, and the copy of the Order in Council inclosed in it, you will plainly see, it is the intention of the Crown, that the affair of settling a salary on you should be laid before the Parliament at their first meeting, as it undoubtedly will, unless the House of Representatives take care to prevent it in time by complying with what is expected of them. However it were to be wished the bringing things to that extremity might be avoided; and as it happens luckily for them, that they have so long an intervall of time to consider better of it, and to prevent any further ill consequences, perhaps they may be willing to improve this opportunity. And therefore I write this particular letter to you, by H.M. command, that you may endeavour to bring them to a better temper, and to make them sensible, that their laying hold of this occasion to comply with what is here thought so just and reasonable, will be the only means of recommending them to H.M. favour and protection, and of promoting the true interest of the Province; and that if they slip this opportunity, it will be too late for them to expect any other. You will observe that tho' you were by your former instructions to insist on the salary being settled not only on yourself, but likewise on all future Governors, you are now left at liberty to accept it for yourself only, provided it be settled during the whole time of your Government; wherefore since the Crown has thought fit to recede in this particular, their refusing to comply with what is now proposed, will be the more inexcusable. Her Majesty depends upon your skill and prudence in making a proper use of these hints, in order to dispose the Assembly to pay a due obedience to H.M. commands; but whatever you do of that kind, is to come as from yourself in your private capacity, and not to let it look like any new overture to them on the part of the Crown, as if it were not really intended to lay the matter before the Parliament. But in case of a voluntary compliance on their part in the first place, and that it be done in due time before the meeting of the Parliament, you may then let them know that you will represent it as a mark of their duty to H.M., and use your best endeavours, that a stop may be put to any Parliamentary enquiry. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 10. No. 19.]
June 26.794. Copy of 30th Article of Governor Burnet's Instructions relating to salary. [C.O. 5, 10. No. 20.]
June 27.
795. William Byrd to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the proceedings and payment of the Commissioners for settling the boundary between Virginia and Carolina. Printed, N.C. Col. Rec. III. 20. Signed, W. Byrd. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 6th Oct., 1729. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
795. i. Journal of the Commission for settling the bounds between Virginia and Carolina. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Oct., 1729. 9? and 21? pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 30–31v., 32v.–37v., 39–49v., 50v.]
June 29.
796. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have not had the honour of any commands from your Lordships by any of the ships come hither this year etc. Encloses duplicate of last letter and public papers then sent, and also Journals of Council to 12th inst. and accounts of Revenue etc. and Naval Officer's returns. Continues: Some time after my last a number of negroes, about fiftenn, belonging to a new plantation, on the head of James River formed a design to withdraw from their master and to fix themselves in the fastnesses of the neighbouring mountains: they had found means to get into their possession some arms and ammunition, and they took along with them some provisions, their cloaths, bedding and working tools; but the Gentleman to whom they belonged with a party of men made such diligent pursuit after them, that he soon found them out in their new settlement, a very obscure place among the mountains, where they had already begun to clear the ground, and obliged them after exchanging a shot or two by which one of the slaves was wounded, to surrender and return back, and so prevented for this time a design which might have proved as dangerous to this country, as is that of the negroes in the mountains of Jamaica to the inhabitants of that island. Tho' this attempt has happily been defeated, it ought nevertheless to awaken us into some effectual measures for preventing the like hereafter, it being certain that a very small number of negroes once settled in those parts, would very soon be encreas'd by the accession of other runaways and prove dangerous neighbours to our frontier inhabitants. To prevent this and many other mischiefs I am training and exercising the Militia in the several counties as the best means to deter our slaves from endeavouring to make their escape, and to suppress them if they should; and as the establishment I made of an Adjutant to discipline the Militia is much to the satisfaction of the people, and like to prove very useful towards their safety and defence, I doubt not your Lordships will approve of that part of my conduct, for it is to this new regulation of the Militia, and the good disposition of the Officers I have now appointed to instruct those under their command in the exercise of arms that we owe the present peace with our Tributary Indians; who sometime before were become very turbulent and ungovernable, but are now so submissive, how long that temper will continue I can't say, that one of the great men of the Saponie Nation having killed an Englishman, tho' the murder was committed when he was drunk, which they look upon as a just excuse, because, as they say, a man is not accountable for what he did whilè he is deprived of his reason, yet they readily delivered him up to justice upon my first message, and he has been since tryed and executed without any sign of resentment from that Nation altho' he was in much esteem among them. I had ordered some of the Nation to be at the tryal, who did attend and by an Interpreter were made to understand that the proceedings in the Court against him were the same as in the like case they would be against a white man, and indeed so it hap'ned, that there was one tryed and executed with him. The eagerness of the inhabitants to take up lands amongst the great western mountains, has renewed a contest, which for a long time had layn dormant, touching the right of granting the lands on the head of Rappahanock River, the Proprietor of the Northern Neck claims the same by virtue of his grant; and I find former Governours made no scruple to sign patents for lands as far as the most northern branch of Rappahanock river. But etc. agreable to the directions of your Lordships' letter of 26th March, 1707, etc., I have absolutely refused the suspension of granting of patents, notwithstanding the remonstrances of the Proprietor's Agent; but proposed that the case should be fairly stated and determined according to the genuine construction of the Proprietor's Charter, which it's agreed shall be prepared and transmitted to your Lordships for that purpose. In the meanwhile, to give your Lordships a clearer idea of the lands in controversy, I herewith send a sketch of that part of the country which lies near and amongst the mountains, watered by streams which fal into the Rivers Rappahanock and Potomack, and which are insisted on to be within the Northern Neck grant as head springs of those two rivers. The draught is not offered to your Lordships as accurately done. But by it your Lordships may please to observe that the River Rappahanock, which from the Bay of Chesapeak is navigable to the Falls, is about tenn miles above the Falls divided into two branches, and those again about 30 miles upwards divided into other branches, and so the nearer they approach the mountains into other lesser streams, so that it is scarce possible to distinguish which of them ought to bear the name of a river. Here it is that the lands now in dispute ly. But as the last grant made in 1688 to the Lord Culpeper, which is the most extensive, describes the "territory to be bounded by and within the first heads or springs of the rivers Rappahanock and Potomack, the courses of the said rivers from the said first heads or springs as they are commonly called and known by the inhabitants and descriptions of those parts," it seems a doubt whether the Proprietor can claim any farther upon these rivers than what was called Rappahanock and Potomack rivers at the time of the grant; and that was only as far as they are navigable, for above that there was then no inhabitant: or, at most, whether the grant shall extend any further than the River Rappahanock continues one entire stream. For since the river is formed by the confluence of two lesser ones not discovered till long after the Proprietor's Charter, and those of such equal bigness as to render it doubtful which of them deserves the name of Rappahanock river; and since there cannot be two rivers of the same name, and as neither of them is described in the grant, with submission to your Lordships, it seems to me the most natural construction of that charter, to fix its limits at the confluence of these two rivers, where Rappahanock is first formed, and from thence runs in one continued stream into the Bay of Chesapeak. And as Potomack river is the boundary between the province of Maryland and the Northern Neck, and the first fountain of that river laid down in the Charter of the former, and the first head or spring thereof as the boundary of both to the westward; I must still presume to say, that wherever the Proprietors of Maryland and of the Northern Neck agree to fix the first fountain or spring of Potomack river, a line drawn from thence to Rappanock river must terminate the Northern Neck patent; and then all the lands lying westward of that remains still in the power of the Crown to grant. But if on the other hand all the lands which ly on any of those rivulets or brooks which fall into Rappahanock or Potomac rivers be allowed to belong to the Proprietor of the Northern Neck as his Agent pretends, the King will then have very little more land to dispose of in Virginia. For your Lordships may please to observe by the inclosed draught that one of the branches of Potomack river which is now known by the name of the river Shenundo, runs thro' and paralel with the great ridge of mountains, and is said to have its source near Roanoke river; so that almost the tract now call'd Virginia is encompass'd and bounded to the westward by that river, and the Proprietor instead of being circumscribed by and within the Head of Rappahanock, will extend his bounds upwards of 60 miles to the southward of it, which can never be imagined, I think, to have been the intention of the Crown, nor agreable to the words of the Charter. Seeing therefore my Lords it is of importance to H.M. with respect to his revenue of quit-rents, and of no small concern to the people of Virginia, who are very averse to the taking up of lands under a Proprietor etc., requests their directions, before the matter comes to be stated between him and the Proprietor's Agent etc. Continues: As the Journal of Council and Proclamation herewith sent mention the dreadful apprehensions this Colony again lay under from the caterpillars; it is fit I should now inform your Lordships, that by the peculiar favour of Heaven that danger is now over without any other consequence than the destruction of some orchards and timber. I forgot in my last among the allowances for the gentlemen employed in running the boundaries to mention that of a Chaplain whom I appointed to attend that service, and who deserves H.M. consideration, when the payment of that work shall be ordered. It was very necessary a clergyman should be sent out with such a number, when they were to pass through a country where they could not have the opportunity of attending the publick worship; and the report that Gentleman made to me sufficiently proves how well he answered my purpose in sending of him; for he christened above an hundred children, a great many adult persons, and preached to congregations who have never had publick worship since their first settlement in those parts; such is the unhappy state of those poor inhabitants who possess the borders of our neighbouring Province, in which there is not one Minister. Encloses list of military officers, and as soon as the several troops and companies are adjusted, will send lists of them etc. Continues :—As the state of the tobacco trade calls for a speedy remedy, as well to prevent an apparent loss to H.M. revenue, as a great blow to the manufactures of Great Britain, if the planters discouraged from making tobacco by the lowness of the price, should be driven to the necessity of laying that aside, and should provide themselves with their own cloathing from the materials this country affords. What follows is part of a letter I have sent by this conveyance to the Duke of Newcastle etc. It is evident that the duty have been and is a strong temptation to many to contrive all possible ways of defrauding the Crown by running the tobacco in Great Brittain: and the success they have had therein, has likewise given occasion to the buying up all the mean and trash tobacco, purchased here by agents and sailors who well know how to dispose of it without paying any duty. And this sort of traffique has encouraged the planters to cure a great deal or all of their trash, which otherwise must have been thrown away; Thus is the market for the good tobacco damp'd by the fraudulent importation of the bad, and the fair trader and honest and industrious planter greatly discouraged. I have taken some pains to find out a remedy for this great evill, and to that purpose have consulted divers of the principal inhabitants of this Province as well merchants as others, and find it generally agreed that the only effectual means to prevent the abuse which long since crept into this trade, will be to bring all the tobacco under a strict examination by sworn Officers, before it be allow'd to be ship'd of for Great Brittain; that all that is found bad be destroy'd, and none exported but what is really good and merchantable, and that an account of the true weight of every hogshead or cask shall be transmitted to the Commissioners of H.M. Customs, by which the fraudulent practice of breaking open of hogsheads and ruining of the tobacco may be more easily detected and prevented. I now send to your Lordships also the heads of what I propose for the improvement of the tobacco trade, hoping that when your Lordships have consider'd them, they may be approved and immediately put in practice, either by obtaining H.M. letters mandating to the Governors of Virginia and Maryland to pass them into laws, or, which would be much more efficacious, an Act of Parliament to put all the tobacco made in the Plantations under the regulation therein proposed; for it must be confess'd that though the judicious and honest part of the people here are well inclined to these measures, there are too many of a different character, who are ready to oppose everything that is not suited to their narrow conceptions and private views. If these proposals are thought by your Lordships to deserve encouragement and to pass in the Parliament there is one thing not mentioned that must be provided for, and that is, the nomination of the officers to inspect the tobacco, who must be men of character and understanding in that commodity, which may be left, unless your Lordships shall order otherwise, to the appointment of the Governours, who must also ascertain their sallarys in proportion to their trouble; for some places where storehouses must be built, will have much more tobacco brought to them than others. What I have to add I hope will not be unacceptable, since 'tis to inform your Lordships that upon the bruit of many wonderful cures performed by a negro slave in the most inveterate venerial distempers, I thought it might be of use to mankind, if by any fair method I could prevail upon him to discover to me the means by which such cures were effected, which the negro had for many years practiced in this country, but kept as a most profound secrett; as the fellow is very old, my endeavours were quicken'd, lest the secrett should dye with him : therefore I immediately sent for him, and by good words and a promise of setting him free, he has made an ample discovery of the whole, which is no other than a decoction of the root and barks I have sent over to a phisitian, that the Colledge may have the oppertunity of making an experiment what effect it will have in England; and I flatter myself, by the ingenuity of the learned in that profession, it may be reduced into a better draught than he makes of it, which they tell me is nauseous enough. The difference of climate may probably cause a difference in its operation; but there is no room to doubt of its being a certain remedy here, and of singular use among the negroes who are frequently tainted with that disease (for I made a tryal of the things by the hands of a surgeon here, before I purchased his freedom, the whole charge of which costs the Government about £60 ster.) and is well worth the price that has been paid for it, since we know how to cure slaves without the help of mercury, who were often ruined by the unskilfulness of the practitioners this country affords. At the worst my Lords I hope it will be deemed a laudable attempt, and be an encouragement for one of Dr. Ratcliffe's travelling Phisitians to take a tour into this part of the world, where there are many valuable discoveries to be made, not to be mett with in France or Italy. It is so long since we received any advices from England, and those of the latest date speaking with great uncertainty as to peace or war, I thought it absolutely necessary to lay an embargo to the end of this moneth: this may possibly raise a clamour, especially if things are quiett, among those merchants whose shipps were ready to sayle sooner; But I did it my Lords to give an oppertunity to the most valuable ships to form a fleet for their greater security and not doubting but by that time in case of a war, convoys would be ordered for them; But H.M.S. the Ludlow Castle is oppertunely arrived here, and intends to accompany them in their passage home. And it happened very luckily that this embargo was laid in time, since we have been alarmed by a Spanish privateer's being upon the coast etc. Quotes deposition to that effect by John Pitts, master of the sloop Dolphin of Bermuda, who was chased and fired on by what he believed to be a Spanish privateer off Cape Charles on 8th June. P.S. The military list I could not get compleated for this conveyance. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Aug., Read 2nd Sept., 1729. 5 pp. Enclosed
796. i. Account of H.M. Revenue of Quit-rents, 25th April, 1728–1729. Totals: To balance of last account, £5107 0s. 9¾d. Disbursements, £1110. Receipts:—£2233 17s. 3d., less £223 7s. 8½d., allowances of Auditor and Receiver General. Signed, John Grymes, Recr. General, John Blair, Dy. Audr., William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Aug., 1729. 4 pp.
796. ii. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2/s. per hhd., on 25th Oct., 1728, and from 25th Oct. 1728—25th April, 1729. Receipts :—£4569 10s. 11¾d., including balance of £3614 18s. 1d. Signed and endorsed as preceding.
796. iii. Proclamations by Lt. Governor Gooch (a) Permitting the exportation of wheat and flower, in view of "the present happy prospect of a plentifull crop of Indian corn and other grains" etc. Williamsburgh, 20th Sept., 1728; and (b) continuing the same permission, 2nd Nov., 1728. (c) Proroguing the General Assembly to 15th May, 1729. 24th Oct., 1728. (d) for a day of fasting and humiliation on account of the plague of caterpillars. 1st April, 1729. Proroguing the General Assembly to 20th Nov. 19th April, 1729. (f) Publishing H.M. Proclamation continuing Officers until his pleasure be further known. 14th Dec, 1728. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Aug., 1729. Copies. 5 pp.
796. iv. Lt. Governor Gooch's Proposals for the more effectual improving the staple of tobacco in Virginia, and for preventing frauds therein. Endorsed as preceding. 3 closely written pp.
796. v. Naval Officer's account of imports from Madera and the Azores into York River, for half-year ending Lady day, 1729. One cargo of 70 pipes of Madera wine. None into any other river. Signed, Wil. Robertson, Nl. Offr. Same endorsement. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 10–12v., 13v.–16, 17v.–19v., 20v.–26v.; and (abstract) 93.]
June 29.
797. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Duke of Newcastle. Statements on the tobacco trade and the negro's cure for venereal diseases as in above letter. Recommends for H.M. compassion a girl of 16 convicted of killing her bastard child, no evidence appearing of violence, "but by the circumstances she had been brought to bed privately before the expected time of her delivery, so that the Council who were her Judges represented her as a fit object for H.M. mercy. The other is one Andrew Bourne an overseer of a Plantation who having under his charge a negro slave that had frequently run away, was so transported with anger upon his being last brought home, that he gave him such immoderate correction that the fellow dyed under it, and for which the Jury found him guilty of murder. But the same Judges sett on this tryall, and are very earnest to have his life spared, not only because it did not appear that he had any intention to kill the negro, but in regard the executing of him for this offence may make the slaves very insolent, and give them an occasion to contemn their masters and overseers, which may be of dangerous consequence in a country where the negroes are so numerous and make the most valuable part of people's estates. And on these considerations it is that I take the liberty to apply to your Grace on this man's behalf" etc. Signed, William Gooch. 2 large pp. Enclosed,
797. i, ii. Duplicates of encl. iii, iv. preceding. [C.O. 5, 1337. ff 132, 132v., 134–137v.]
June 30.
New York.
798. Governor Montgomerie to the Duke of Newcastle. The Assembly of New York being now sitting, will send an account of their proceedings when the Session is ended etc. Continues:—The behaviour of Lewis Morris has been so unaccountable, and so very extravagant, that I have been obliged by the advice of the Council, to suspend him from his seat at the Board, till H.M. pleasure be known etc. Asks for confirmation, and the appointment of Philip Courtland, an eminent merchant, as Councillor in his place etc. Refers to enclosure. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Holograph. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
798. ivii. Duplicates of letter and enclosures following. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 18–19, 20–24v;., 28–30v., 33–39, 40, 40v., 42, 42v., 44v. ]
June 30.
New York.
799. Governor Montgomerie to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Has not yet received accounts of paper money, but will send them by the next ship. Repeats preceding. Continues :—I am so particularly reflected upon by Mr. Morris, that although the Council has done me all the justice I can desire, I cannot be easy till I satisfye H.M. by your Lordships, that I have acted according to my Instructions, the constant practice of former Governours, and for the good and advantage of the Province. Refers to Minutes of Council and sketches past history of the Revenue of New York, concluding with the annoyance of the Assembly at Governor Burnet's not paying officers' salaries in strict accordance with the appropriations therefor voted in their Revenue Bill of 1726. Continues:—These draughts sowred the Assembly, and made them look back on their former sufferings, from the mismanagement of the Revenue, whereby the country was involved in debt, and think of a remedy against the like evil before they gave any other revenue. Such was the disposition of the people when I arrived here, and I was not a little perplexed how to quiet their fears, reconcile them to their duty, and at the same time to preserve entire the power given to me by H.M. of applying and issuing the Revenue with advice of the Council. Yet at length I had the good fortune to surmount those difficulties: I gained the Assemblies confidence without ever giving them any assurance, that I would comply with the applycation of the Revenue mentioned in their votes. They entered chearfully on the support of the Government, but in some particulars they lessened it from what it was before; (details given), passing the Revenue Bill for five years etc. Describes method practised by Governors of drawing warrants for officers' salaries on the Revenue, and how he himself reduced some of these salaries in proportion to the reduced amount of the Revenue voted, "for on that in a great measure will the continuance of it hereafter depend, besides I thought that a people who were willing (as I found them here) to support the King's Government, ought as little as possible to be loaded with debt, which in time, if an ill example be again introduced, may reduce them to great extremities and involve the Government in insuperable difficulties." Continues:—To prevent my being mistaken in an affair of so great consequence, I carefully informed myself of the services of the respective officers, and from thence proportioned the rewards which I thought they deserved. I found in general that their usual allowances were no more than what ought to be, but in particular instances, I was fully perswaded that some appointments were too large, and others wholly unnecessary; and that without some deductions, the revenue granted would not answer the support of the Government. The Chief Justice's salary, which formerly was but £130 a year, I found at once encreased to 300 etc. The avowed reason is, that from thence forward he was to go the circuits regularly every year, but as I am informed the true one was that the Chief Justice being a Member of the Assembly in 1715, when the Revenue was given, his salary was augmented by the great number of friends he had then in the House, and for the services he did there. For as to his going the circuits, former Chief Justices on the salary of 130 pounds a year, have gone into the country when causes have been to be tryed there, and this is as much as the present Chief Justice has usually done especially of late years. This the people have often complained of since I arrived, so I thought, that since the service for which the salary was said to be augmented, has not been regularly attended, I might and ought to strike off £50 a year from it, that the Revenue may answer the paying other officers, who have but a bare allowance for their services. The second Judge is a man wholly incapable of that office, quite wore out by age and other infirmities, not in a condition to be trusted even with opening or adjourning the Court, so that I have been obliged in the time when the meazles raged lately in Town, at the request of the Chief Justice, who was unwilling to come to town himself, to adjourn the Supream Court twice by writ. This is an office that many Gentlemen of estates would execute without any salary. But Mr. Walters the present second Judge, being the first of H.M. Council here, I am unwilling to displace him from the Bench, yet I cannot think of loading the Revenue with a salary to so useless an Officer. The Clerk of the Circuits had a salary of £60 a year given him in 1715, etc. in expectation that the circuits would be duly attended, but that service having been neglected etc. I have thought it convenient to drop his salary. By these savings I am hopeful that I shall be able to make the present Revenue answer the expenee of the Government, but if I should overload it, I assure your Lordships that the inconveniencies that may insue will be difficult, if not impossible for me or any person the King employs here to surmount etc. Describes how, when about to sign in Council the warrant for the Chief Justice's reduced salary, his son, Lewis Morris junr., objected. Continues:—So I put the question to the Board, whether they would advise me to sign that warrant as it was read ; and they advised me to sign it, which I accordingly did, as likewise all the warrants for that quarter without any further objections. This upon the stricktest search and enquiry I think its the first instance of the Council's advice being particularly askt about the Governour's signing salary warrants, and their advice being thus given, I was in hopes I should have heard no more of it. But on 13th June, Mr. Morris having read in his place at the Board a paper (enclosed), the Council then present desiring Mr. Morris might withdraw, took that paper into consideration, and having duly weighed and considered it, came to the resolutions (enclosed). This had not the effect hoped for in puting a stop to Mr. Morris's invectives, for on 26th June, he read at the Board another paper (enclosed); whereupon the Council came to the resolutions (enclosed), and by the advice of the Council mentioned in the last paper, I suspended him from his seat at the Board, till H.M. pleasure be known etc. The reflections thrown on me, the Council and the whole Legislature, are so conspicuous and so unjust, that I believe they will not escape H.M. and your Lordship's censor etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 877–882. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Aug., Read 17th Dec, 1729. 11½ pp. Enclosed,
799. i. Reasons offered by Lewis Morris, junr., against the drawing and signing warrants without the previous advice and consent of the Council etc., and against the warrant for the reduced salary of the Chief Justice etc. Abstract. Such practice is contrary to the King's Instructions and the Revenue Act of Assembly. The salary of the C.J. has been fixed at £300 per ann. for about 14 years past, and the reduction of the salary of any officer without his having done anything to deserve such treatment is contrary to the principles of equity and H.M. justice. This warrant is drawn (without the advice and consent of H.M. Council) pursuant to the votes and resolutions of the Representatives, who have taken upon themselves a power of dispensing with the laws, and after having passed an act for the support of H.M. Government here, by which the money to be raised by it was given to H.M. and to be disposed of by warrants by the Governour by and with the advice and consent of H.M. Councill here, did notwithstanding presume by their resolves of 7th Oct. 1726 to tell the Governour that no other or higher warrants should be issued in Council then those exprest in their resolutions, and in their resolutions of 30th July, 1728 say that for any act matter or thing done in General Assembly the members thereof are accountable and answerable to the house only and to no other person or persons whatsoever, and in their resolves of 10th Aug. following direct what shall be paid for the salaries of the severall officers of the government here the appointment of which I take to be solely in the governour by and with the advice of his Councill here and the complying with the Assembly in this case is makeing all the officers of the government dependent upon them which is against H.M. interest and derogatory from his royall and just prerogatives. The above resolutions of the Assembly compared with the conduct of some Assemblys in H.M. American Dominions too evidently shows with what views those resolutions are made and of what dangerous consequence to H.M. interest and prerogatives in his American dominions the giving them so great an encouragement to persist in their exorbitant demands and encroachments on the royal prerogative as the drawing the sallary warrants according to their resolves will be so that I think it inconsistent with my duty and allegiance to consent to the lessening or altering any of the sallaries of the officers of the government in complyance with their resolves or the doing anything that shall render the said officers precarious or dependent upon the Assembly, and therefore I protest against the doing of it. Signed, Lewis Morris junr. Endorsed, Recd. Aug. 27 1729 3¼ pp.
1729.799. ii. Minutes of Council of New York, June 13, 1729. Same endorsement. Copy. 2¾ pp.
799. iii. Mr. Morris to Governor Montgomerie. A Vindication of his protest (No. i). Same endorsement. 11¾ pp.
799. ivvi. Minutes of Council of New York. June 26, April 10, June 12, 1729. Copy. Same endorsement. The whole, 6 pp. [C.O. 5,1055. ff. 58–64, 65v.–69v., 71–76v., 77v.–78v., 79v.–81v., 83v.]
June 30.
New York.
800. Governor Montgomerie to [? Charles Delafaye]. Abstract. Returns thanks for letter of 23rd April recd, by Capt. Riggs, and particularly for having prevented one of the Companies doing duty here being sent to the Bahama Islands. Refers to the extravagant and unaccountable behaviour of Lewis Morris etc. (v. No. 799), and begs him to do what he can to get his suspension from the Council confirmed, and that Philip Courtland may be appointed in his place. Signed, J. Montgomerie. Endorsed, R. Aug. 28. Holograph. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 26–27v.]