America and West Indies
May 1734, 16-31


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'America and West Indies: May 1734, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 105-121. URL: Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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May 1734, 16-31

[May 16.]
Tower Hill.
171. Mr. Harris to Mr. Popple. Sr, Sometime since I sent you an extract of a letter from Jama. (v. April 26) on the same melancholy subject as two of ye like kind here inclosed, to wch. I shall only add that if either French or Spaniards openly or secretly go on in assisting these rebellious negroes the said island will soon belong to one or the other of them. Perhaps this hint may be also disagreable, as it comes from one so out of fashion as myself, but as I judge these notices from what way so ever they come may be proper to be laid before your honble. Board I therefore trouble you therewith and am wth. very much respect. Signed, Rd. Harris. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 22nd May, 1734.¾ p. Enclosed,
171. i. (a) Extract of a letter from Jamaica dated the 18th March, 1733/4. "The rebellious negroes openly appear in arms and are daily increasing, they have already taken possession of three plantations within 8 miles of Port Antonio by which means they cutt off any communication between that harbour by land. They have also attacked a place called the Breast Work where several men armed were lodged to cover the workmen."(b) Extract of a letter from Jamaica dated the 23rd March, 1733/4. "I must acquaint you that according to the best account and information I am able to get, the rebells do certainly increase, and upon the success they have met with in defeating our parties are grown very insolent and audacious, insomuch that there is too much reason to fear a generall defection. In which case we shall be in the utmost danger if some assistance be not speedily sent over." 1 p. [C.O. 137,21. ff.56,57,58v]
May 18.
Spanish Town
172. President Ayscough to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of 11th May, No. 168. Endorsed, R. 20th July. Enclosed,
172. i.–iii. Duplicates of May 11th, encl. I.–iii. [C.O. 137, 55. ff. 54, 54 v., 55 v., 56, 57, 58, 60.]
May 22.
173. Mr. Coope to Mr. Popple. I have Recd, your letter of the 24th April last, signifying that my Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations desire me as Agent for St. Christophers, to give them what information I can, relating to various matters which concern that Island. In pursuance therof I beg leave to represent that the fortifications there are in a very weak condition, and the magazine (tho' supply'd with some stores of war about 2 years agoe) not sufficiently furnished for their defence, in case of any invasion; and notwithstanding the great taxes which have been so often raised for putting the Island in a state of defence, yet the works necessary therto are so many and extensive, that they have not been able to perfect ye same; the state of this Island in respect to its defence, is particularly described in the last Act passed there in 1732/3 for raising taxes for repairing and perfecting the fortifications etc. and for erecting new ones. It may be necessary on this head to remark, that they have not sufficient barracks for shelter even from the inclemency of the weather, and that the 3 companys of soldiers (being the quota for that Island) are not (as I inform'd) 70 effective men and that they, as well as the rest of the regiment upon the other Leeward Islands, are supply'd with powder, ball etc. out of the small magazines there. And as the number of white men, able to bear arms, are but about 1100, and the increase therof must be a business of time, it is hoped that their Lordships will be of opinion, that the recruits for that Regiment, which are prayed for in the Memorial, presented to them the 10th of April last by Mr. Yeaman and myself, ought to be ordered as one of the imediate helps for their safety. But tho' the number of white men are so small, yet if well arm'd, disciplined, and encouraged they might be of great use, and therefore I further humbly propose, that their Lordships may represent to H.M., that he will be pleased to allow pay or bounty to the Militia, when on actual service, and have leave to roll with the regular troops there, on any invasion or expedition. As to the stores of war which are particularly wanted in this Island, I am not able to mention, being only instructed by His Excellency Governor Mathew, to petition for military stores as absolutely necessary for all the Islands under his government, and accordingly Mr. Yeaman and myself pray'd for the same in the sd. Memorial which set forth ye particular stores which are wanted for the security of the whole, and I humbly apprehend that nothing can better conduce (in the present scituation of affairs) to the common safety of all the Islands, than sending the stores desired for the whole to Antigua, from whence as being the most windward Island, supplys can be more easily and sooner sent to the other Islands, as occasion may require, and which I humbly presume will have its weight with their Lordships, and produce a suitable representation from them to H.M. for the dispatch of such a necessary supply. Before I take notice of other parts of your letter, I can't but represent, that the low condition of the planters' estates of late, and the smallness of their number has disabled them from putting the fortifications and works into a proper state of defence, tho' I apprehend they have done their utmost, and hope that the relief given them by the last Act of Parliament, will encourage and enable them to prepare, what is incumbent on their parts, for a better defence; but all inland defences, and stores sent to supply them, will prove ineffectuall for their security, without a sufficient naval force. And I should be wanting in my duty (tho' not my imediate provence) if I did not mention, that the French at Martinico and Guardaloape are daily watching the news of a war to plunder and destroy the Leeward Islands before any help can be sent from hence; and that Nevis and Monserat in their present want of arms etc. may be insulted by 3 or 4 privateers, to prevent which, Governor Mathews designed them a small supply for the present from St. Christophers. As to the causes of the decrease of white men, and which have occasioned the removal of the poorer inhabitants, (the chief strength), to other places of greater security or profit, I apprehend to be these, (vizt.) The discouragment they have laboured under by great dutys and taxes to the King, the Governors, and for the imediate service of the Island, the little mony the produce therof has of late years yielded, the non-observance of the laws which oblige possessors of estates to keep numbers of white servants in proportion, to their number of negroes, the imploy of negroes instead of white men in trades, and the late sale of the French lands which has put them into fewer hands. As to the encouragment that is wanting to induce new setlers, I know of none but profit, ease, protection and security, and the removal of the causes above specifyed for their decrease. As to what laws have been passed for raising of mony for repairs of fortifications, for establishing a militia or other defence of that Island etc., I can only refer you to your own office, where such acts and all others relating to this Island are deposited: but I have wrote over to Governor Mathews to inform me what mony has been actually raised, how much mony has been applyed, which I shall communicate to their Lordships, as soon as I receive the accot. This is all the satisfaction I am at present able to give their Lordships upon the several points mentioned in your letter. Signed, Ri. Coope. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 30th May, 1734. 3 pp. [C. O. 152, 20. ff. 85–86 v.]
May 22.
174. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose Representation from Council and Assembly of Jamaica, and concurrent advices from Mr. Harris etc. Continue: The late successes these rebellious negroes have had against the parties sent out to reduce them, the additional encouragement they have received from the desertion of many negroes from several plantations and the supplies they have got of arms and amunition has so far animated them that they have lately attack'd a breast work raised for the defence of workmen employed in building a fortifyed barrack intended to streighten their quarters and prevent their incursions; and it appears to us that without some speedy assistance from hence it will be impossible for the people of Jamaica to defend themselves. Altho' these misfortunes are in great measure owing to the obstinacy and negligence of the inhabitants, and do bring a heavy charge upon Great Britain, yet we apprehend this island to be of too great consequence to the trade and interest of this kingdom to be neglected; and therefore we desire your Grace will be pleased to move His Majesty, that a compleat regiment well armed may be immediately sent thither for their protection. [C. O. 138, 17. pp. 401, 402.] Autograph signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
174. i. Copy of Representation of Council and Assembly of Jamaica, supra.
174. ii. Extracts from letters from Jamaica, 18th and 23rd March, supra. [C.O. 137, 47. ff. 225, 225 v., 228–232 v.]
[May 23.]175. Capt. John Tomlinson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. After the Board had proposed Theodore Atkinson and Benning Went worth for the Council of New Hampshire (Dec. 1732), Gov. Belcher's Agents petitioned against the former. But after hearing both sides, it fully appeared that he was the most fit and proper person in the Province. Memorialist then sent the mandamuses for these two by a ship which arrived "at the dead time of the severest winter they ever had." As the President of the Council was then on the spot, and Governor Belcher daily expected as soon as the weather should be fit, they did not apprehend that it would be expected that they should take a journey of seventy miles, at such a severe and hazardous season, but they did not omit paying their respects to the President. But Governor Belcher, not thinking that sufficient, wrote to the President, not to admit them into the Council, and upon coming into the Province refused to swear them, when they waited upon him. In December last, they heard that he designed, after they were chosen into the Assembly, to call them up to the Council, and then immediately to suspend them. Upon this Mr. Atkinson wrote to Governor Belcher, Dec. 10, asking his intentions, since he apprehended that the town of Newcastle (whom he had long represented) would again chose him, and he should think it would be abusing them by depriving them of a Representative for at least one sessions, and that he should govern himself according to his Excellency's answer. But not having any answer, he was again chose by Newcastle. On 1st Sept., when the Assembly met, Governor Belcher sent for him to the Council Board, and told him he was ready to admit him to the Council. Mr. Atkinson replied that as he had had no answer to his letter he had been elected for Newcastle, and that to leave it unrepresented would be a great injustice. He therefore prayed to be excused. A few days afterwards the Assembly was dissolved, when Mr. Atkinson made a motion to H. E. in Council, that as the reasons of his refusing to be admitted into Council were removed, he was ready to take the oaths, which Governor Belcher refused him. Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Wentworth are well assured that Governor Belcher's only ground for objecting to them is that they were friends of Governor Burnet, and are friends of Lt. Gov. Dunbar etc. Prays the Board on their behalf to order their immediate admission to the Council. Signed, John Thomlinson. Endorsed, Recd., Read 3rd May, 1734. 1¾ pp. [C. O. 5, 876. ff. 30, 33 v.]
May 23.176. Same to same. Prays for the Boards favourable report upon the dispute between Governor Belcher and Lt. Gov. Dunbar. Governor Belcher, whether he be absent or present in the Province, deprives the Lt. Governor of all power, authority, salary, and perquisites, etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 3 pp. [C. O. 5,876. ff. 31–32 v.]
May 23.
177. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Hunter. Since our letter to you of 13th Sept., 1732, we have had under our consideration at different times your several letters etc. of 20th Sept. and 18th Nov., 1732, 13th Jan. and 27th March, 5th May, 4th and 29th June, 7th and 26th July, 18th, 22nd and 25th Aug., 8th Sept., 13th Oct., 11th Nov., 24th and 29th Dec, 1733, as likewise a letter from the Council dated the 17th Aug., 1733. We thank you for the accounts you have given us from time to time of the measures you have taken relating to the affairs of your Government, particularly against the negroes in rebellion, but are concerned the Assembly of Jamaica have had so little regard for their own welfare and safety as not to have made more effectual provision in time for reducing them. The ill consequence of lessening your parties against them, to which the low state of your Treasury some time ago obliged you, we observe was soon apparent; and we are sorry after all the efforts used to subdue them that by letters very lately received, we have been informed the rebels continue to increase in strength by desertion from several plantations, and are grown very insolent upon the success they have met with. The state of this unhappy affair we have transmitted to one of H. M. Principal Secretarys of State in order to be laid before H. M. for his directions thereupon; and in the mean time we doubt not of your care and vigilance in doing what is possible for the protection of H. M. subjects under your Government notwithstanding they have greatly neglected themselves and we hope you may meet with better success. His Grace the Duke of Newcastle we presume will send you H. M. Orders if you have not already received them relating to the insult you mention to have been committed at Port Morant by direction of the Governor of St. Jago de Cuba. But it would have been very proper for you to have sent an account of that affair to us likewise as you are directed to do by your Instructions; Upon this occasion we would hope the disposition and preparations of your neighbours for annoying the British settlements and trade in those parts in case of a rupture and the progress which we are sorry to find the slaves in rebellion have made even against so great a party as was sent against them with the assistance of a number of seamen from H. M. ships will awaken the people of Jamaica to a livelyer sence of their danger, who are much to be blamed for not making their Militia usefull for their protection and will feel the ill effects of it, as we conclude they have already in some measure done by their begining to accord to what you have proposed for a defencible barrack or fort between Port Antonio and the rebel haunts. We shall be glad to hear this barrack is finished and that it has the desired success in streightning the negroes' quarters, and preventing their incursions in the plantations; It were likewise to be wished that several more might be built in proper places for the like purpose; so soon as you shall by experience have found this to be beneficial to you. In our opinion it behoves the people to consider their own interest before it be too late and out of their power to avoid the impending evil: for whatever retards the compleating that work, whether the want of men, mony or proper disposition in the inhabitants, the consequence of the neglect will be equaly fatal to them. We have great satisfaction however in hearing from you that the works at Port Antonio are in so good a way, a prospect of security being one of the strongest inducements to ingage people to settle with you, and when your enemies are persuaded that you are in condition to defend your selves they will not be so easily inclined to attack you. We apprehend you may do well in augmenting the Horse Militia because the Foot consisting chiefly of hired servants and free negroes have not the same obligations of honour or interest as those who compose that corps. But you must be the best judge which of the two will be of most service for the defence and security of the Island. We should be glad to know what experience you have had of the free negroes who by the act of 1732 for better settling the North East part of the Island were allowed fifty acres of land with utensils etc.; And whether they have shewn a proper concern for the security of the Island during these late trials. The rebel black spy's examination demonstrates the necessity of falling into effectual measures without loss of time to prevent further desertions. But with respect to reduction of those already gone, since your parties have had so bad success, we cannot conceive why the people of Jamaica have not all this while thought of reconciling themselves to the Mosketo Indians. They would sure be the properest people to be employed in the reduction of the blacks. By the accounts which this Board has from Sir Nicholas Lawes in 1720, the Council and Assembly of Jamaica were of the same opinion, as appears by an agreement which Sir Nicholas then made by their advice and resolution with the King of the Musquito Indians, who sent fifty of his subjects with proper Commanders, and we presume they had at that time the desired success. This he said the Council and Assembly thought a better and cheaper expedient than sending out parties; And therefore why should not the old correspondence and confidence be renewed by all ways possible with those Musquito Indians who with the knowledge now gained and the assistance of what the country can do in support of them would be likelyest totally to extirpate these settlements. It would likewise behove the Island to be more in earnest and to give greater encouragement for the settling of white people amongst them; and we are sorry to observe that the several acts passed and approved here for settling the North East quarter have produced no advantage to the publick what ever they may have done to private persons. As the want of a number of white people in Jamaica proportioned to the number of blacks or other slaves there has apparently been the chief occasion of these misfortunes; we are surprised to find when the Island seems never to have been in greater want of white men, that by the last acts passed there to provide a certain number of white people etc., and several other temporary acts of late years, one white person to every thirty slaves or 150 horses or cattle, is allowed to excuse a deficiency and even that to be commuted by paying six pounds ten shillings quarterly, except the absentees who are charged with a deficiency for want of a white person to every twenty slaves or 100 horses or cattle etc.; Whereas by former acts, particularly one passed in 1703, to encourage the importation of white men, suspended from time to time by the forementioned temporary laws, every master of slaves is required to have one white man for the first ten slaves, two white men for the first twenty, and one white man for every twenty slaves after the first. Amongst other means which may be conducive to the improvement and security of the island we are of opinion the utmost endeavours should be used that the encouragements for the importation of white servants should be renewed and increased and the shifts and evasions prevented, whereby large tracts of land have hitherto been left uncultivated and people have been hindered from settling thereon. A further encouragement to white servants would be to prohibit the blacks in any handicraft trades for the future, except coopers to be employed only in their masters' plantations to take a list of the negroes which may be at present so instructed, and to enact severe penalties on those who may hereafter teach such trade to any negroe or for any negroe to follow the same themselves unless they be free. The Act passed many years ago (but since repealed by an act of 1703) encouraging the importation of white servants prohibited the employing of any negroe in the business of a cooper or a porter, except that masters of sugar works might use them in making casks at their plantations. Such a provision seems necessary to be renewed and it would contribute to the better strengthning the island if a portion of land were allotted to every white servt. at the expiration of their indented time. Mr. Gordon has been some time ago recommended to H. M. by us according to your desire to supply a vacancy in the Council of Jamaica, with which you will no doubt have been acquainted before this comes to your hands, as likewise with Mr. Hals and Mr. Temple Lawes being recommended to supply vacancies etc. As to what you mention in yours of the 4th of June last relating to the Assemblie's creating difficulties which have obstructed the making provision for the safety of the Island and their attempts to rest the Executive Power out of the hands of the Governor as mentioned in several other of your letters and in that to us from the Council; it is a piece of conduct neither prudent at this time nor justifyable at any other; what they call their inherent rights being of a very late date and depending upon the Royal Commission and Instructions for your Government, to which the Assembly of Jamaica have too frequently as on this occasion shewn but very little regard. P. S. Since writing the above letter we have received yours of the 11th March, 1733/4 with a Representation from the Council and Assembly to this Board containing an account of the great danger they apprehend themselves to be in from the incursions of the rebellious negroes; and we cannot help thinking that their misfortunes are in great measure owing to their own conduct, yet immediately upon receipt of that letter we transmitted a copy of their representation to the Duke of Newcastle, and have desired his Grace to move H. M. to send a compleat regiment well armed without loss of time for their defence. And as we have reason to hope from H. M. great goodness, as well as from his Grace's zeal for the prosperity of the Plantations, that this request will be complied with, we give you notice thereof that better preparation may be made for the reception of the regiment than there was for the two that were last sent you, which the Island might have kept to this time if they had pleased, and have saved this unnecessary trouble: But notwithstanding this relief we recommend to you once more by all possible means to engage the Musquito Indians to hunt these negroes in the woods and mountains, it being impossible for regular troops to do that service. [C. O. 138, 17. pp. 403–413.]
May 23.
St. James's.
178. H.M. Warrant appointing James Wright Clerk of the pleas and estreats of the Court of Exchequer, S. Carolina. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C. O. 324, 50. pp. 100, 101.]
May 24.
179. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations, my Lords, in obedience to your Lordships' commands for sending annually the best and most particular account I can of the laws made, manufactures sett up, and trade carried on in this Colony, which anyway affect the trade, manufactures or navigation of Great Britain, I humbly take leave to represent to your Lordships, that I know no law subsisting in this Government, which can in any sense be said to affect the British trade. There is an Act of Assembly in May 1730 to encourage the making of linnen cloth, but as the execution of it was suspended until approved by H. M., I presume your Lordships laid it aside; for I only consented to it to please some of the burgesses in the same session the tobacco law was made, and, whatever is become of it, will be no uneasiness to the country. As to manufactures, we have at York Town, on York River one poor potter's work for earthen ware, which is so very inconsiderable, that there has been little less of that commodity imported since it was erected, than there was before. There are four iron works in this Colony, but these being employed in running pig iron only, which is sent to Great Britain to be forged, it is thought they are rather beneficial to the trade, than inconsistent with its interest. At one of these furnaces they last year runn some oar of a different shape, for ballast iron; which upon being sent home, by order of the Commissioners of the Customs, was seized in London, but upon trial, the owners proving that it was only runn, no way manufactured, it was cleared. Forges for making barr iron have been long talked of, and one is now built: they have not yett begun to work, nor do they intend to manufacture any iron to send abroad. At these furnaces they make potts, backs and andirons for fire places, which as the people call for them, they fall into. There is one air furnace, where they make all sorts of things: it has cost the owner a good deal of money. Many attempts have lately been made towards the discovery of copper, tinn and lead mines, and there are shafts opened with indications of veins of those metals, but as yett with little success, tho' a great expence: the lead mine has been found since my last to yr. Lordsps. upon this subject. As to trade, upon the strictest inquiry I can make, I can find none carried on to or from this Dominion, but with Great Britain, the British Islands in the West Indies, and the Island of Madeira: our exports for Great Britain are all the labour of the inhabitants and their negroes on tobacco, pitch and tarr, and such skins and furrs as are purchased of the Indians, and our imports from thence are all sorts of goods and necessaries for the people. To the West Indies we send Indian corn, pork and candles made of myrtle wax and lumber, and in return we receive rum and molasses. To the Madeira there is a pretty large export of wheat, Indian corn, pease and wax, and from thence we are supplied with wine. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 24th July, 1734, Read 13th Aug., 1735. 1 2/3 pp. [C. O. 5, 1323. ff. 120, 120 v., 123 v.]
May 24.
180. Same to same. Being very sensible how great prejudice it is to H. M. interest as well as to this Colony, that the seating the lands on the western side the Great Mountains is so long obstructed, I cannot forbear applying to your Lordships with my most earnest request that you will be pleased to press for a speedy determination of the dispute with Lord Fairfax, concerning the bounds of the Northern Neck. And that your Lordships may be satisfied how much H. M. Revenue suffers by keeping up the unreasonable pretentions of extending the grant of that Neck beyond its just bounds, I beg leave to inclose (No. i.) the copy of a Petition delivered me in Council from several gentlemen for a large tract of land upon the dividing line between Maryland and Pensilvania, and on the western limits of the latter Province. As the Proprietors neither of the one Province nor the other can lay any claim to the land mentioned in the Petition, I presume neither of them will insist that their caveats ought to retard the granting it by this Government to which it properly belongs: so that 'tis only Lord Fairfax's caveat depending before your Lordships, which obliges me to delay complying with the request of these Petitioners, and refusing so considerable an increase of H. M. Revenue as they have offered to lay down. The copy of another Petition which I have inclosed (No. ii.) will I hope demonstrate to your Lordships how soon that part of Virginia on the other side the great mountains may be peopled, if proper encouragements for that purpose were given: most of these petitioners are Germans and Swissers lately come into Pensilvania, where being disapointed of the quantity of land they expected as well for themselves as for a more considerable number of their friends and countrymen, who designed to follow them, have chosen to fix their habitations in this uninhabited part of Virginia, and as there are many of H. M. natural born subjects in the northern Provinces very desirous to remove to the same place, I am inclined to hope your Lordships will judge it good policy to cherish this disposition in them, the security of this and the Province of Maryland depending upon it; for by this means a strong barrier will be settled between us and the French; and not only so, but if by encouraging more foreigners to come hither, we can only gett the possession of the Lakes, which are not very far distant, we shall be then able to cutt off all communication between Cannada and Messissippi, and thereby so much weaken the power of the Franch as to have little to fear from that quarter hereafter. Your Lordships will pardon me if I say such a design can never be more reasonably put in execution than now, when the situation of affairs in Europe seems to tend to a speedy rupture with that nation: and therefore I hope your Lordships will use your good offices with H. M. to obtain the encouragements desired, for which I shall impatiently wait your Lordships' commands, because I think no time should be lost to accomplish an affair of so great consequence etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed as preceding. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
180. i. Petition of Vincent Peirce, William Allen and Charles Chiswell, in behalf of themselves and others, to Lt. Govr. Gooch. Petitioners have assurance of a great number of family's of Protestants who are desirous to come and inhabit within this Colony on unpatented lands on the west side of the River Cahongaarota. Petitioners are willing to promote such a settlement on the frontiers, and to support such strangers, until they can provide for themselves etc. Pray for grant of 60,000 acres west of said river, "bounding to the northward on the east and west line the boundary to the southward of the Proprietors of Pensilvania" etc., for which they are ready to pay £300 sterl. Endorsed, Recd. 24th July, 1735. 1 p.
180. ii. Petition of several "inhabitants on the north west side of the Blue Mountains in this Colony" to Lt. Gov. Gooch. Petitioners, with many more of H. M. subjects, have remov'd themselves and families from several Provinces and Plantations in America with intent to settle themselves on the unpatented and uncultivated lands in that part of this Colony and have bin at very great charge in so doing. Petitioners notwithstanding the fertility of the soil find themselves under very great difficulties through the remote scituation of their lands from water carriage and the inconveniences of making roads through the woods and over that chain of mountains which have bin hitherto reckoned unpassable. Nevertheless they are well assured that many people, as well foreign Protestants as H. M. natural born subjects, wou'd upon proper encouragement be willing to associate with them whereby in a few years a strong barrierr wou'd be form'd against the incursions of the savage Indians as well as the encroachments of the neighbouring nations. Therefore pray H. E. to represent their case to H. M. with their humble request for a remission of quit rents and all taxes for a term not exceeding 12 years etc. Pray H. E. to provide for their exemption from the ordinary jurisdiction of the neighbouring County Courts, to which they cannot repair without great hazard and trouble, and to establish a magistracy amongst them etc. Signed by Seventy Masters of Familys. Endorsed, Recd. 24th July, 1735. I large p. [C. O. 5, 1323. ff. 121, 121 v., 122 v., 126, 127, 127 v., 130 v.]
May 24.
Charles Town.
181. Governor Johnson to Mr. Popple. I have the favour of yours by Mr. Hall, who arrived 4 or 5 days ago, and had the misfortune to be 18 weeks on his passage, so that I fear the hemp seed is come too late to sowe, but I hope we may get seed from it for the next year, for seed of two years old will not grow. As to the Ordnance I find my enemys let nothing slip that they think can throw any reflection on me, what has been reported to the Board of Ordnance is false, I enclose the Armourer and Gunner's report concerning it, given before the Notary Publick, and attested by him. I am sure the Ordnance ever since it was landed here, has been taken the same care of, as is taken in H. M. Yards in England. The Assembly this sessions among other provisions for the current year have provided in the tax £3000 currency for mounting for aforesaid Ordinance, which considering our poor circumstances, and large tax for the current year amounting in the whole to £41, 511 is a great point gain'd. As to the petitions of London and Bristol merchants relating to the act passed in 1696 for the better settlement of South Carolina, I don't find but it is very indifferent to the Province if it subsists or not; but as to the Appropriation Act, the General Assembly hearing of the said petition, have in an humble Memorial and Representation to H. M. set the facts in a true light, together with their reasons, but know not if they will arrive time enough, being sent from hence but about 14 days ago. We must therefore waite H. M. pleasure thereupon; all I shall say is that most of the merchants here think their friends are prejudicing themselves, by endeavouring to have that law disannul'd, and that they have been very unadvisedly drawn into such applications by people who had private views in the repeal of that law, and it will be very difficult to obtain the sum of £104,000 appropriated, to be payd by negro duty by that law, to be levyed upon lands and negros only, for it is thought to be more than the country can bare in their present circumstances, when there is a likelyhood of their annual charges being increased, much less make other provision for subsisting of new comers, which hitherto by the assistance of that law, they have readily done, as well for Georgia as those who come here to a great amount, the account of which and all disbursments of the publick is getting ready to be sent to their Lordps. It is above 3 months ago that the Journals of the Upper and Lower House and Minutes of Council were sent, which compleated the whole from my coming here to the end of the last Assembly, the acts passed were sent at the same time to their Lordships. I enclose to be laid before their Lordships the proceedings of the Council in relation to the dismissing Dr. Cooper from being an Assistant Judge and this I do agreable to my 48th Instruction, altho' I do apprehend it does not strictly relate to officers appointed by a law of this Province, and a place of no proffit, but meerly honorary. I hope their Lordships will be of opinion that so gross an insult as taking away of letters directed on His Majesty's service to the Clerk of the Council, justifyes the Council's proceedings against him; If those letters had appeared, they would have discovered a scene of iniquity and confederacy in him and others, in aronging people of their lands and amusing the poor people of Port Royal to favour their projects, his insolence upon other occasions to the Governmt. has been very great. I will hasten the sending over the laws passed this Sessions as soon as possible. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, 23rd July, 1734, Read 28th Aug., 1735. 22/3 pp. Enclosed,
181.i. Deposition of Thomas Lloyd, gunner and armourer of Charles Town, 21st May, 1734. The stores of war sent from Great Britain in 1731 have been taken proper care of. Signed, Thomas Lloyd. Endorsed as preceding. Seal. 1¼ pp. [C. O. 5, 364. ff. 231–233 v.]
May 26.
182. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Has sent box of public papers to Mr. Breholt, "to have safe deliverd to you, which with the enclosed I pray, Sir, you will lay before their Lordships. As I have never had the favour of one from you since I left England, I have none to answer" etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 16th July, 1734, Read 25th July, 1735. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
182. i. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Antigua. 26th May, 1734. Encloses duplicates of public papers sent formerly and four acts of Antigua, (i) for the further continuance of John Yeamans as Agent; (ii) for repairing the cisterns, finishing the storehouse, and repairing the platform for the guns on Monk's Hill; (iii) for raising a tax for paying public debts and charge, and particularly applying the said tax; (iv) for further regulating the militia. Also, Minutes of Council of Antigua, 21st Jan., 1733–8th April, 1734, and Minutes of Council in Assembly of Nevis, 8th March, 1733–6th March, 1734. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 1 p.
182. ii. Duplicate of Mathew to Popple. April 18. [C. O. 152, 21. ff. 82, 83, 85, 85 v.]
May 27.
Pall Mall.
183. Mr. Yeamans to Mr. Popple. Replyes to enquiry of April 24th, as to stores of war needed for Antigua and laws passed there since 1702 for raising money for the fortification and defence of the Island etc. Continues: By the acts enumerated their Lordships will perceive that great sums of mony (v. Enclosure) have been rais'd on the inhabitants, and principally applied to the defense thereof in the repair of the fortifications, and other necessary works. But it does not appear that any of the said sums have been applied towards furnishing the said fortifications with ordnance and other stores, the same having been constantly sent from hence by the Crown etc. From a consideration of the inability of the inhabitants in the present sinking condition of the said Colonies and of the duties they both here and abroad, heavier than the trade is at present able to bear, hopes their Lordships will continue their representations to H. M. of the necessity of sending all the stores lately prayed for etc., especially as the inhabitants have always been ready to provide for their own security according to their abilities, and even beyond them. This appears from the large sums they have lately expended in building a fort at English Harbour, and repeairing the wharf there, purely for the protection and better accommodating H. M. ships of war etc. An act past about two months since for building a large cistern in the said harbour solely for the use of the said ships of war, which will cost £1200 of their mony at least; and they purpose next year to build two more etc. The number of men capable of bearing arms does not exceed 200 men etc. The decrease of white men in the island I apprehend to be owing to several causes. Epidemical distempers have destroyed numbers, dry weather, want of provissions, and inability to pay their taxes have obliged others to go off. Land has been at so high a price from the smallness of the quantity in the said island that the settlers of ten or twenty acres who formerly rais'd only provissions have been tempted to sell their possessions to the sugar planters and have thereupon quitted the island etc. But this alteration, tho' it may have occasion'd the loss of some inhabitants, has been in general beneficial to the trade, navigation and revenue of Great Britain, all the improvable land being by that means employ'd in the raising of sugar, and provisions coming to them now cheifly from H. M. other dominions in English bottoms. But notwithstanding this alteration, there are very few persons in the said island at present possest of above, or even so much, as, 300 acres of land fit for sugar; and without such a quantity or something near it no planter can be enabled to bear the great expence of the buildings and utensils necessary for making sugar, especially considering the low price that commodity has sunk to, for several years past. Another and very great cause of the decrease of white inhabitants, is the employing negro tradesmen, such as carpenters, coopers, millwrights, masons etc., and a very likely means of bringing a considerable number of white men would be to remedy this evil etc. not by an immediate act against employing such negro tradesmen (which would be too great a hardship upon the inhabitants, considering the value of such negroes, and the other great inconveniencys that would arise from obliging the inhabitants all at once to provide themselves with white workmen, a thing almost impracticable, but by preventing the breeding up any more negroes to any such trades for the future. Giving ease to the commodities of the produce of the Sugar Islands in those duties which the trade is not able to bear, and which lye the heavier upon it as our rivals the French pay ye smallest duties to the Crown of France, wou'd be another means of encouraging new settlers; nor is it ever to be expected that H. M. Islands will be peopled in the manner they ought to be, till they are put upon the same footing with the French, as to all those advantages they derive from the favour and indulgence of their Mother Country etc. While a French war threatens and Antigua lies extreemly exposed to the invasions of an enemy, it does not seem probable that new settlers will be easily encouraged to go there. On the contrary it is much to be feared that numbers of the old settlers from a despair of being able to maintain their ground may retire with their most valuable effects to places of greater safety on the Continent of America, unless such measures are taken for their protection by a Naval force especially, and by sending them stores of war etc. P. S. Adds that one very strong reason for sending all the stores pray'd for to the windward Island of Antigua, is that by the constant course of the winds Antigua can send assistance in twelve hours' time to the other islands, whilst an enemy cannot pass to invade them without passing in sight of that Island etc. For this reason and as Antiqua tho' weak, is yet the best fortified island and the place of the greatest strength and security, it may be for H. M. farther service to keep H. M. Regiment entire in that Island, instead of dividing the five companies as at present etc. Endorsed, Recd. 28th, Read 30th May, 1734. 13¼ pp. Enclosed,
183. i. Account of sums raised in Antigua for the defence of the island etc. 1702–1730. Total, £216,186. I p. [C. O. 152, 20. ff. 87–94 v.]
May 28.
Middle Temple.
184. Jonathan Belcher, junr., to Mr. Popple. Encloses following transmitted by his uncle. Signed, Jona. Belcher. Endorsed, Recd. May 28, Read May 29, 1734. I p. Enclosed,
184. i. Minutes of Council, New Hampshire, Jan. 1, 22, 1734, relating to Mr. Wentworth and Mr. Atkinson not being sworn into the Council of New Hampshire. 8 pp. [C. O. 5, 876. ff. 37, 39–42, 43, 44 v.]
May 30.185. Circular letter from Mr. Popple to the Governors on the Continent (including Governors and Companies of Rhode Island and Connecticut). I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations to desire you will transmit to my Lords Commrs. your opinion what further encouragement may be necessary to ingage the inhabitants of the British Colonies on the Continent of America, particularly of those within your government, to apply their industry to the cultivation of Naval Stores, of all kinds, and likewise of such other products as may be proper for the soil of the said Colonies and do not interfere with the trade or produce of Great Britain etc. Desires reply as soon as possible as the Board is to report to the House of Lords at the beginning of next session etc. [C. O. 324, 12. pp. 72, 73.]
May 30.
186. Circular letter from Mr. Popple to the Island Governors. Desires "a state of the government under your Government with regard to their trade, strength, and fortifications, as also your opinion what may be further necessary for the encouragement of the trade and security thereof." Desires reply as soon as possible etc., as preceding. [C. O. 324, 12. pp. 73, 74.]
May 30.
187. Lt. Governor Pitt to Mr. Delafaye. Inclosed is the proceedings of the last Assembly, which desire you'l lay before his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, amongst which is an Act granting me in lieu of my sallary for the Whale Fishery which was a hundred pounds a year sterling, ten pounds on every old whale caught, and no notice taken of the three years' arrears, but the Act does not answer what they expected it would, there has been but four whales killed this year which is but forty pounds this currancy, neither will there ever be more, for having three times the number of boats and everyone striving to out do each other, is an utter ruin to the fishery as well as a great hurt to the Island in general, there not having been for these two years past a sufficient quantity for the use of the inhabitants and before this four or five hundred barrells used to be exported to the West Indies, Leverpoole, and London, so you may judge what a great detriment it is to me, I beg you'l represent this to his Grace that it may be established on the footing it formerly was, and you'l oblige etc. John Pitt. Endorsed, R. 30th July. 1 p. [C. O. 37, 29. No. 17.]
May 30.
188. Lt. Governor Pitt to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have the honour to acquaint your Lordships that according to your Lordships' direction in yours to me dated the 13th September, 1732, I laid H. M. Instructions before the Assembly, but they came to no resolution till March last, when your Lordships will see by the Act I have now the honour to transmit to your Lordships, that it's only ten pounds on every old whale that is killed, and no notice of the three years arrears, there has been but four whales killed this year which is but forty pounds this currancy, neither will there ever be more, for having three times the number of boats as usual, every one striving to out do each other, which is an utter ruin to the fishery, as well as a great hurt to the Island in general, there not having been for these two years past a sufficient quantity for the use of the inhabitants, and before this, four or five hundred barrells us'd to be exported to the West Indies, Leverpoole and London, but Mr. Popple in his of the 22nd February, 1732/3, acquainted me that your Lordships' oppinion was that I might accept of the equivalent they offered without being guilty of any breach in my Instruction, I am certain your Lordships will think this not equal to the sallary it's given me in lieu of, and I hope as the damage is so great to the Island, as well as to my selfe, with your Lordships' interest it may be put on the same footing it formerly was. I am with great respect etc. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, Recd. 29th June, 1734, Read 31st July, 1735. 1 p. [C. O. 37, 12. ff. 162, 165 v.]
May 30.
189. Same to Mr. Popple. Has received this year only forty pounds this currancy which is but thirty sterling. Begs him to represent as preceding to the Board, "which the whole island would be glad of, for the compas of water they have to fish in for whales is so small and narrow, that seven or eight boats only hinder each other, and bring it to nothing; the only profitable thing that did belong to the island" etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C. O. 37, 12. ff. 163, 164 v.]
May 30.
190. Mr. Popple to the Bishop of London. My Lords Commissrs. for Trade and Plantations having appointed next Wednesday morning at 12 a clock to consider the New York Act entituled An Act to impower the vestry of etc. and having likewise appointed the Solr. for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and the Agent for New York to attend the Board at that time, I am commanded to acquaint you, with my Lords' desire of your Lordship's assistance at the Board at the same time. [C. O. 5, 1125. p. 303.]
May 30.191. Mr. Leheup to Mr. Popple. Reply to letter of 14th inst. Notwithstanding the Auditor of the Plantations keeps deputies constantly residing in Barbados and the Leeward Islands; yet the auditing the public revenues there having been generally reserved by the acts passed for raising the same to a Committee of the Members of the Council and Assembly, the Deputy Auditors have not been enabled to send over hither from time to time duplicates of those accounts as required by the Auditor, nor can I find any in his Office. But as the Governors of the Plantations are by H. M. Instructions enjoyned to transmitt to the Lords of H. M. Treasury and Lords of Trade duplicates of all the accounts of the publick revenues, etc. refers him to those accounts. Signed, Peter Leheup. Endorsed, Recd., Read May 30, 1734. 1½ pp. [C. O. 28, 24. ff. 36, 36 v., 37 v.]
May 31.192. Agents of Barbados to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Mr. Popple's enquiries. As to what stores of war are needed, can only repeat Lord Howe's statement, confirmed by the Committee of Correspondence etc., etc. As to inducements for new settlers, nothing could tend more to encourage them than a brisk trade and vent for sugar, "which in our humble opinion and that of all the planters etc. can no ways be more easily and effectually than by permitting a direct exportation from thence of clayed sugars at least to any part of Europe southward of Cape Finisterre, which permission is become absolutely necessary by the French having within these few years granted the like permission to their sugar Colonies, and by this encouragement our sugars when sent to those parts could be afforded 30 or 40 per cent cheaper than under the present restrictions of landing the sugar first here" etc. Signed, Jno. Sharpe, Peter Leheup, George Lewis Teissier. Endorsed, Recd. 31st May, Read 5th June, 1734. 22/3 pp. Enclosed,
192. i. List of Acts of Barbados, since 1702, for raising money for repairing the fortifications, and establishing a Militia etc. 2½ pp. [C. O. 28, 24. ff. 40–43 v.]