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country Jurors who over @ above that they are generally ignorant enough @ and for the most part linked together by affinity are too much swayed by their particular humors @ interests, I thought fit in Feb. last by @ with ye advice @ consent of ye Council to settle and establish a Court which we call the court of Judicature [Exchequer] to bee held before ye Govr @ Council for the time being or before such @ soe many as the Govr should for the purpose authorise, comisionat @ appoint on the first Monday in every month at New York, which Court hath full power and authority to hear, try @ determine suits matters @ variances arising betwixt his Ma*y @ ye Inhabitants of the said Province concerning the said lands, rents, rights, profits @ revenues
In answer to the Second. The Laws in force are ye Laws called his Royal Highnesses Laws and the acts of the General Assembly the most of which I presume yr Lops have seen @ the rest I now send over by mr
Force. Sprag to whom I refer your Lops in this point.
In answer to the Third.
In this Governmt there are about four thousand foot @ three hundred horse besides one company of Dragoons of which I shall be able to give a more particular account when the Mustermaster shall make his return.
In answer to the Fourth
At New York there is a fortification of four bastions built formerly against the Indians of dry stone @ earth with sods as a breast-work well @ pleasantly situated for the defence of the Harbor on a point made by Hudsons River on the one side and by the sound on the other, It has Thirtynine Gunns, two Mortar pieces, thirty Barils of Powder five hundred ball some Bomb-shells @ Granados small arms for three hundred men, one Flanker, the face of the North Bastion, and three points of Bastions @ a Courlin has been done @ are rebuilt bymee with lime @ mortar @ all the rest of the Fort pinnd @ rough-cast with lime since my coming here.
And the most of the Guns I found dismounted @ some of them yet continue to bee soe which I hope to have mounted soe soon as the mills can sawe ^
I am forced to renew all the Batterys with three-inch Plank @ have spoke for new planks for that purpose
And the breast-work upon the wall is so moultered away that its likewise needful to make a reparation thereof. The Officers quarters had formerly a flat roof which I finding to be chargeable to maintain @ that it could not be kept high, [qu. dry ?J have caused a new roof to bee upon it, as alsoe finding water to run through the arch of the Gate I have been forc't to put a Roof over it, I am forc't every day by reason of the roteness of the Timber @ Boards to bee making reparations in the Soldiers quarters or my own.
The ground that the Fort stands upon @ that belongs to it contains in quantity about two acres or thereabouts about which I have instead of Palisadoes put a fence of Palls which is more lasting.
Tho this Fortification be inconsiderable, yet I could wish the King had severall of them in these parts, the people growing every day more numerous @ they generaly of a turbulent disposition.
In this Country there is a, woman yet alive from whose Loynes there are upwards of three hundred @ sixty persons now living.
The men that are here have generally lusty strong bodies.
At Albany there is a Fort made of pine trees fifteen foot high @ foot over with Batterys and conveniences made for men to walk about, where are nine guns, small arms for forty men four Barils of powder with great and small Shott in proportion, The Timber & Boards being rotten were renewed this year, In my opinion it were better that fort were built up of Stone & Lime which will not be double the charge of this years repair which will yet not last above 6 or 7 years before it will require the like again whereas on the contrary were it built of Lime & Stone it may bee far more easily maintained, And truly its very necessary to have a Fort there, it being a frontier place both to the Indians @ ffrench. >p
At Pemaquid there is another Fort built after the same manner as I am informed a particular description whereof I am not capable of giving having never been been there however its a
Fort and great charge to this Governmn1 without being any thing of advantage to it, having officers 'there with twenty men always in pay. And which makes it yet more chargeable, I am forced to send from time to time provisions @ stores thither, altho' its near four hundred miles from this place If His Maty were pleased that I might draw of the men and arms from that place with the guns being of light carriage @ that I might have leave to put them further into the country I would place them where I will give your LohP an ace1 hereafter
And then if his Maty were further pleased to annex that place to Boston, being very convenient for them in regard to its vicinity affording great store of Fishery @ Islands fit for that purpose lying all along to the eastward of them—And in lieu of that to add to this Government Connecticut @ Rhode Island, Connecticut being so conveniently situate in its adjacing to us and soe inconvenient for the people of Boston by reason of its being upwards of two hundred miles distance from thence, Besides Connecticut as it now is takes away from us almost all the land of value that lies adjoyneing to Hudsons River @ the best part of the river itself, Besides as wee found by experience if that place bee not annexed to that Government it will bee impossible to make any thing considerable of his Matys customs @ revenues in Long Island they carry away with* entring all our oyles which is the greatest part of what wee have to make returns of from this place: And from Albany and that way up the river—our Beaver & Peltry,
This Government too has an undoubted right to it by charter which his late Maty of Blessed Memory granted to our present King, and indeed if the form of the Government bee altered these people will rather choose to come under this than that Governm1 of Boston as y1 Lo?^s will p'ceive by their present Govrs Ires directed to me
And as for East Jersey it being situate on the other side of Hudsons river @ between us @ where the East and river disembogues itself into the sea paying noe custom @ having likewise the advantage West Jersey.0f having better land @ most of the settlers there out of this Go verm*. We are like to bee deserted by a great many of our merchants whoe intend to settle there if not annexed to this Government—
Last year two or three ships came in there with goods @ I am sure that that Country cannot, noe not with the help of West Jersey consume one thousand £b in goods in two years soe that the rest of their goods must have been run into this Government without paying his Matys customs and indeed theres no possibility of preventing it.
And as for Beaver & Peltry its impossible to hinder its being carried thither, the Indians value not the length of their journey soe as they can come to a good market, which these people can better afford than wee they paying noe custom or excise inwards or outwards.
An other inconveniency by the Governments remaining as it does is that privateers and others can come within Sandy Hook and take what Provisions & goods they please from that side. Alsoe very often ships bound to this place break bulk there &run their goods into that Colony with intent afterwards to import the same privately & at more leisure into this Province notwithstanding their oath, they salving themselves with this evasion that that place is not in this Govern*, To day an Interloper landed five tun & one half of teeth there, to prevent all which inconveniences & for the securing of this place from enemys, I desire to have an order to make up a small Fort with twelve guns upon Sandy-Hook the channell there being soe near the shore that noe vessel can goe in nor out but she must come soe neare the Point that from on board one might toss a biscuit cake on shore.
[vol. L] 13
If the Proprietors would rightly consider it they would find it to their owrn interest that that place should bee annexed to this Government for they are at a greater charge for maintaining the present Govern^ than the whole profits of the Province (which is by quit-rents) will amount unto; for they are at the whole charge the Country allowing nothing towards its support soe that had they not the charge of the Governing they might put that money into their owrn pockets.
And indeed to make Amboy a port will be no less inconvenient for the reasons afore mentioned neighboring colonys being not come to that P'fection but that one fort may sufficiently serve us all We in this Government look upon that bay that runs into the Sea at Sandy Hook to be Hudsons River therefore there being a clause in my instructions directing mee that I cause all vesaSidypald sels that come into Hudson's River to enter at New York I desire to know whether his Maty intends thereby those vessels that come within Sandy-Hook, the people of EastJersey pretending a right to the river soe far as their province extends which is eighteen miles up the river to the northward of this place
West Jersey remaining as it does wrill be no less inconvenient to this Goverm* for the same reasons as East Jersey, they both making but one neck of land & that so near situate to us that its more for their convenience to have commerce here than any where else, & under these circumstances that if there were a warr either with Christians or Indians they would not bee able to defend themselves without the assistance of this Goverm*.
To bee short, there is an absolute necessity those provinces and that of Connecticut be annexed
The three lower Countys of Pennsylvania have been a dependency on this place & a great many of the inhabitants persons that removed thither from this Goverm* and I doe not believe it was his Matys intention to annex it to Pennsylvania, nor to have it subject to the same laws it being the King's own land, the doing whereof by mr Pen there has been of great detriment to this place in hindring the Tobacco to come hither as formerly, for then there came two shipps for one that comes now; Beaver & Peltry taking up but small Stowage in shipps
And indeed it were in my opinion very necessary for the advantage of this place & increase of hisMatys revenues that it were soe ordered that the Tobacco of these countrys may bee imported hither without paying there the duty of one penny pr pound and then wee should not bee at such streights for returns, their trade wTould much increase, and this place become a magazine for the Neighboring provinces, & care taken that the Tobacco bee duly returned to England whereas now a great part of it goes another way & soe its very necessary that the Collector of this place should be Collector of that River for the enumerated commoditys, And wee will have such regard to the advantage of this port that we'll suiFer noe fraud to bee committed there nor noe Tobacco to be exported but what goes either directly for England or this place.
Besides wee find the country to bee very inconvenient in this that whereas formerly the damnified Tobacco which came from thence not fit for England wee made up in rolls and sent ye same up the River to the Indians who in Exchange gave in Beaver & Peltry, for want whereof his Maty3 revenue here is much impaired inasmuch as the Indians are therefore forct either to Pl^nt the tobacco themselves or to goe wiiere they can be furnished with it & there carry their beavor & peltry (they being of that temper that they had rather want clothes than Tobacco) by which Meanes his Maty8 revenue sustains a double loss, one in the ten per cent such tobacco pays custom up the river & the other in the custom of such Beaver & peltry as the same would produce
Further if Pennsylvania bee continued as by charter running five degrees to the westward it wall take in the most of the five nations that lye to the westward of Albany & the whole Beaver & Peltry trade of that place the consequence whereof will be the depopulation of this Govern^ for the people must follow the trade. Those Indians and the people of this Govern^ have been in continued peace & amity one with another these fifty years And those Indians about forty years agoe did annex their lands to this Governm* @ have ever since constantly renewed the same with every Governor that has been here both in the time of the Dutch @ the English @ in particular to myself who have given them largely in consideration of iheir lands. And I am certainly informed that they have declared they will go & live on ye other side of the lake than be under any other Governs on this than ours, Endeavors have been used (tho to noe purpose) to p'suade some of our Traders who speak the language to goe and live upon the Susquehanna river tho I cannot yet find out by whom this has been made.
The five Indian nations are the most warlike people in America, & are a bulwark between us & the French & all other Indians they goe as far as the South Sea the North West passage & Florida to warr. New England in their last warr with the Indians had been ruined had not Sir Edmund Andros sent some of those nations to their assistance, and indeed they are soe considerable that all the Indians in these parts of America are tributary to them. I suffer no Christians to converse with them any where but at Albany & that not without my license.
Since I came here the people of Boston have sent them presents in acknowledgement of their favor and friendship. & I was forc't to goe with my Lord Effingham to bury his hatchet and theirs which is their way of making a peace.
I have sent herewith what the nations that conquered the Susquehannas desired of the ISdprre°ilnt.King in my Lord Effingham's presence and I believe it to be of dangerous consequence if denyed.
This Governm* has always been and still is at a great charge to keep them peaceable & annexed to this government which is of that moment that upon any occasion I can have three or four thousand of their men at a call.
I cannot believe that ever it was the King's intention to grant away soe considerable a part of this government which has been so long appropriated to it and even the people think it as a fcfr the Beaver part of themselves & wou Id be much troubled at a separation from soe good & ancient neighbours that at first of their own free wills become soe and have ever since continued with such constancy to desire and maintain a mutual friendship and correspondence. If therefore his Mafcy were pleased to have a line run from 41d and 40m in Delaware Eiver to the Falls upon the Susquehanna and to let Mr. Pen keep all below that it would be sufficient for him the bounds below it being conjectured to contain more than all England, besides the louer Countys which is near upon 100 miles from the Cape up the river; and in bredth more than 30 miles as is generally believed.
To preserve the Beaver and Peltry trade for this & Albany and to be an encouragement to our Beaver hunters I desire I may have order to erect a Campayne Fort upon Delaware River in 41 <* 40 m; another upon the Susquehanna where his Ma'y shall think fit Mr. Penn's bounds shall terminate. And another at Oneigra near the great lake in the way where our people goe a Beaver hunting or trading or any where else where I shall think convenient it being very necessary for the support of trade, maintaining a correspondence with the further Indians, & in securing our right in the country the French making a pretence as far as the Bay of Mexico, for which they have no other argument than that they have had possession this twenty years by their fathers living so long among the Indians they have fathers still among the five nations aforementioned viz. the Maquaes, Sinicaes, Cayouges, Oneides, and Onondagues and have converted many of them to the Christian Faith and doe their utmost to draw them to Canada, to which place there are already 6 or 700 retired and more like to doe, to the great prejudice of this Governs if not prevented. I have done Indians from mJ endeavours & have gone so far in it that I have prevailed with the Indians to consent to Canada. come back from Canada on condition that I procure for them a piece of land called Serachtagua lying upon Hudson's River about 40 miles above Albany & there furnish them with priests.
Thereupon and upon a petition of the people of Albany to mee setting forth the reasonableness and conveniency of granting to the Indians there requests I have procured the land for them, altho it has been formerly patented to people at Albany & have promised the Indians that they shall have priests and that I will build them a church & have assured the people of Albany that I would address his Maty as to your Lo'ps that care may be taken to send over by the first five or six it being a matter of great consequence.
These Indians have about 10 or 12 castles (as they term them) and those at a great distance from one another, soe that there is an absolute necessity of having soe many priests, that there bee three always travelling from castle to castle, & the rest to live with those that are Christians. By that means the French Priests will be obliged to retire to Canada, whereby the French will be divested of their pretence to ye Country & then wee shall enjoy that trade without any fear of being diverted.
I find a very small matter will serve the French for a pretence of right. About 30 years ago 6 or 700 of them taking advantage of the Indians being abroad soe farr as Cape Florida at warr came down & burnt a castle of the Maquaes wherein there were none but old men women & children which the rest of the Indians hearing pursued the French to a place called Sconectady about 20 miles above Albany where they had every man been cut off had not one Corlarr (a Dutchman so beloved of the Indians that in memory of him they call all Governors by that name) interposed.
However from that time they have fancied to themselves that they have a right to the country so farr as that place.
The great difference between us is about the Beaver trade and in truth they have the advantage of us in it & that by noe other means than by their industry in making discoveries in the country before us.
Before my coming hither noe man of our Governm* ever went beyond the Sinicaes country. Last year some of our people went a trading among the farr Indians called the Ottowais inhabiting about three months journey to the West & W. N. W. of Albany from whence they brought a good many Beavers. They found their people more inclined to trade with them than the French the French not being able to protect them from the arms of our Indians, with whom they have had a continued warr, soe that our Indians brought away this very last year, a great many prisoners.
Last week I sent for some of our Indians to New York where when they came I obtained a promise from them that some of themselves would goe along with such of our people as goe from Albany & Esopus to there far nations & carry with them the captives they haue prisoners in order to the restoring them to their liberty & bury their haichetts with those of their enemys by which means a path may be opened for those farr Indians to come with safety to trade at Albany, and our people goe thither without any let or disturbance.
I hear the French have built a Wooden Fort or two in the Way thither & that there are two officers with men in them to obstruct our passage, I am sending a Scotch Gent called McGreger (that served formerly in France) along with oar people, he has orders not to disturb or meddle with the French and I hope they will not meddle with him. Ever since my coming hither it has been no small trouble to keep the Sinicaes from making warr upon the French, Monsieur De la Barr was very hot upon it & brought a great many men to a place called Cadaraque lying on the lake with intent to fall on the Indians, who hearing of it came to me for leave to enter Canade with fire & sword, which I refused to permit but immediately wro* to La Barr & let him know that those indians were his Mat?s of Great Britain's subjects & that he must not molest them & that if the Indians had done the Governm* of Canada any injury, upon his making the same appear, I would cause that hee should have satisfaction as also I sent the arms of his Royal Highness now his Majesty to bee put up in each castle as far as Oneigra which was accordingly done, & thereupon De la Barr retired without doing anything after having been at vast expense and all to no purpose.
The new Governor Monsr de Nonville has written mee that he desires to have a very good correspondence with this Governmt & I hope hee will be as good as his word, notwithstanding he put a great deal of provisions into & keeps four or five hundred men at Cadaraque.