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dinary supplies when they shall be wanted, and it will likewise be much easier for the People to pay them
The chief objection, which I can conceive, that will be made to this is that if a perpetual revenue be Granted, then the Govis will be free'd from that dependance on the People, and check on their behaviour that is necessary in all well ballanced Governments and which is the only check which the poor people have in America and that without such check the people of the Plantations may become a prey to Rapacious Tyrannical Govrs or other officers, tho the people do not doubt of their obtaining relief from the King, and his Ministers yet that relief is at such a distance, and must be attended with so much charge, that few private persons can have any benefit by it, and may often prove ineffectual by being too late even when many join in the complaint. Therefore unless some effectual solid check be given to the people, in lieu of what they have at present, by granting the Revenue for a short time, it cannot be expected that ever they will consent to a perpetual Revenue of any kind, or that they will be easy under it.
Now I have laid before your Excellency in the best manner I can within the bounds I think it necessary to confine myself, the most material things concerning the Grants of Lands, as far as relates to the King, the people of the Province, and the Granlees. If the remedy for the abuses set forth be thought practicable, no doubt your Excellency will easily obtain an Instruction, such as the Earl of Bellamont had to propose to the Asseinbly to find some proper means for establishing the Quitrents generally over all the lands in Province at the same rate and for promoting the improvement and settling of the Country, for that otherwise the King will take such legal methods, as shall be thought proper for vacating extravagant Grants, and receiving his Quitrents. And if there be a permission given at the same time to apply the Quitrents to the support of Government, and absolutely to confirm all past Grants, I believe an Assembly may conform with the Instructions, under such restrictions as shall be thought necessary checks on the officers
In order to compute what the Quitrents would immediately yield I make the following calculation
Long Island is computed to be 150 miles long, and Albany to be the same number of miles distant from New York, I suppose Long Island to be eight miles wide, one place with another, and that 10 miles on each side Hudson's River would immediately pay rent, this amount to — 2,688,000 Acres which at 28 6d the bundred will yield £3350, and if the Cities of New York and Albany pay a reasonable Quitrent for their house lots the whole Quitrent will immediately amount to 4000 pounds yearly, which is more than the Assembly has at any time given for the support of Governt
It may be objected that the length of Long Island and distance to Albany may be less than what is vulgarly computed : That New Jersey extends 20 miles on one side Hudson's River: and that some Mountainous places, within my computation will yield no quitrent in this age but if it be considered that Staten Island is not within the Computation that the settlements extend 30 Miles beyond Albany, and that many settlements are twenty miles from the river and some thirty miles, it will be granted the Quitrents will at least amount to the sum above mentioned.
In the last place it may be objected, that the Kings Ministers design the Quitrents for other uses, but if it be considered of what consequence it is to free the Kings Officers of that immediate dependance on the humours of an Assembly, they are now under for their daily support, I believe it will be thought more for His Majestys service to apply the Quitrents to the support of the Administration in this Province, than to the uses the Quitrents have been hitherto applied.
NOTE.—Appended to the copy of the preceding, in possession of the N. Y. Historical Society, is the following memorandum, in the hand-writing of Lieut. Governor COLDEN :
MAY 6th, 1752. It is now twenty years since I delivered the above Memorial to Col. Cosby, soon after his arrival. I question whether ever be read it. I have reason to think he gave it to the person in whom
he then confided who had no inclination to forward the purposes of it. It had no other effect than to be predjudicial to myself.
The computations of what the lands would have at that time produced at 2: 60 pr hundred acres I believe were made within bounds. The settlements are greatly increased since that time more than in fifty years before it so that I make no doubt they will produce six thousand pounds a year taking in a reasonable Quitrent for the house lots in the Cities of New York and Albany.
I forgot to mention that it appears from the Records that numbers of house lots were granted under the yearly Quitrents of one shilling two shillings &c or some such small rent which I believe is now never paid.