as your Commissioners observe your Excell. won't scruple maintaining that Fort at the expence
of the Crown, and I do assure your Excell. you may depend upon me that I will forward all
that can be expected from this Province, for such apparent benefits as must ensue to all the
Colonies from the reduction of Crown Point, and if they agree to your alterations, your
Excell. and M'' Law shall have the earliest advice thereof in order for a meeting of
(Indorsed) Geo: Clinton,
" In Gov' Clinton's letter
" of the 22'' April 1748."
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVIII. 427
Lords of Trade to Governor Clinton.
[New-York Entries, B. IV. p. 3. ]
To the Hon"'' George Clinton Esq"'" Governor of New York.
Since our letter to you dated the lo"* of May 174G, we have received several from you,
(together with the papers therein referred to) relating to the unhappy differences, which arose
in your Prov" at a juncture of time when its security required the strictest unanimity. We
observe with concern that these animosities and divisions, which can never fail of producing
dangerous consequences, have gone on increasing whereby much confusion and irregularity has
been introduced into the publick proceedings; and this evil seems now to be arrived at such a
beighth as will even endanger the peace and welfare of the Province, if some proper remedy be
not in time applyed. To the end therefore that His Maj'^ might be acquainted with a matter
of so much importance, we have from time to time transmitted your letters upon this subject
to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, to be laid before His Majesty; but we must observe to
you, that the papers which we received with your letters, are imperfect; We therefore inclose
a list of those papers that you may be able to judge, what are wanting to make them compleate,
which we desire, you will send by the first opportunity.
M"' Horsmanden, having presented a Petition to His Maj'J' complaining of his suspension from
his seat in Council and his other employments, we have in pursuance of an Order of the Lords
of the Committee of Council, laid before them your reasons in justification of that measure,
together with the proofs of the allegations contained in those reasons, and other papers relative
thereto; and as you inform us, that M"' Bayard was suspended by you for the same reasons,
that matter must waite a determination upon M' Horsmanden's petition.
In the mean time, we can only recommend you such moderate and prudent measures as may
if possible reconcile these differences, and induce the respective branches of tiie Legislature to
concur in carrying on the publick service, for the mutual support of His Maj'>'' Govern' and the
good of the province.
We commend the measures, you have taken to promote His ^L'lj'^'' service by annoying the
enemy, in their settlements, and securing the frontiers of your Province, as well as by
establishing with so much care a good correspondence with the Indians; tho' we disapprove
the irregular manner in which the Acts for the emission of Bills of Credit and some otiier acts
for publick services derogatory to the prerogative, have been passed; yet, we are satisfied with
the reasons which induced you to give your assent to them at so critical a juncture.
The Assembly ought to have passed a particular Act for the appointment of an Agent for
the province, with the concurrence and approbation of the Gov"" and Council as has been the
practice of other Colonys, but you having given your assent to the Act, whereby M'' Charles is
appointed Agent, we must look upon his appointment as good, as the repeal of that whole Act,
which is the only method of setting it aside, would be attended with bad consequences.
In answer to our general heads of enquiry formerly sent you, we have received only a return
made by the Collector of the Customs to such of them as relate to Trade, and an Account of
the Number of the Inhabitants, Wliites and Blacks, witiiin your Province, we must therefore
desire you to send us, as soon as may be, a full and particular answer to each head of enquiry;
428 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
and to transmit regularly every six months or oftener, an account of any variations which may
happen, together with such observations thereupon as you shall tiiink necessary, that we may be
exactly informed from time to time of every circumstance relative to your Govern'.
It is a great satisfaction to us, to acquaint you, that preliminaries of peace having been
signed at Aix-la-Chapelle by all the powers engaged in the War, there is a reasonable ground
to expect that a happy end will soon be put to it.
So we bid you heartily farewell, and are Your very loving friends and humble servants.
Whitehall J- Grenville.
June 29"' 174S. Dupplin.
Governor Clinton to the Diike of Bedford.
[ New- York, (S. P. O.) S.. 552. ]
My Lord Duke.
His Majesty's Government in this Province is brought into such a state by the intreagues of
a Faction that I have laid hold of the opportunity of M' Shirley's being on the spot, to desire
him to examine into it, that what I have formerly represented to his Grace the Duke of
Newcastle and now represent to your Grace may have the greater weight with you.
The aspersions which have been thrown on my Administration and industriously propagated
put me under a necessity of taking this unusual step to desire the Govern'' of a neighbouring
Province impartially to represent the state of this.
After what M' Shirley has so fully set forth it only remains with me to inform your Grace
by what means this faction has been able thus to wTest His Majesty's authority out of the
hands of his Govern' and assume the whole administration to themselves. I shall only add
to what M"' Shirley has observed upon incroachments of the Assembly, an instance of one in
the Council with the Chief Justice at the head. Upon my going to meet the Indians at Albany
in consequence of orders from His INFajesty at a very critical conjuncture to engage them to
join in the expedition against Canada, when that was first set on foot, and to confer with
Commissioners from other governments upon that point, I required the Chief Justice, M""
Horsmanden and M' Murry to attend me as Councillors at Albany, which they all refused upon
different excuses, so that I was obliged to call upon M' Colden in my way to Albany, to take
him with me to make a Quorum of the Council there. And whilst I was at Albany with the
Council, composed of such members as would attend me there, the Chief Justice with other
members of the Council at New York, took upon themselves to meet and act there as a Council
in my absence, and without my knowledge, after having refused to attend their duty in
Council at Albany, and exercised acts of Government; as your Grace will see by the inclosed
copies of their orders, and neglected even to acquaint me with their proceedings, both whilst
I was at Albany and after my return to New York, till I called upon them in Council to do it,
but took the liberty to demand of me first an account of my proceedings in Council at Albany.
I must omit other instances of the like nature, for fear of being tedious to your Grace.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVIII. 429
When I came first into the administration while it was impossible for me to know the
Characters of particular persons, I placed my confidence in Chief Justice De Lancey, and this
I thought I might most safely do, by his being Chief Justice of the Province, as well as one
of the Council. By his advice and his assurances that no prejudice should follow to the King's
service or to my self in the Administration by it, I consented to accept of the support in the
manner which had been introduced in the time of M"' Clark's administration. I was the more
readily induced to this, because I thought the entring into disputes with an Assembly on the
commencement of a war might be imprudent.
As I had an entire confidence in M"' De Lancey it was long before I could entertain the least
suspicion of his design. I could not even after they were apparent to others and till after he
had compleated his faction as he desired, having introduced into the Council and Assembly by
his influence with me, such men as he knew would serve his purposes.
In order that your Grace may see the^true springs which have given motion and force to the
faction, in opposition to my administration, and to lay open the foundation on which all their
schemes are formed, 1 must observe to your Grace that Sir Peter Warren had set his heart on .
this government, till by his good fortune his hopes was rais'd above it ; after which the Chief
Justice succeeded to the same views, in which he was incouraged by the assistance he knew
Sir Peter would give him, and it was given out here that Sir Peter had given assurances that
no application should be wanting to bring the Administration of governm* into the Chief
Justices hands. It was with this view and to serve this purpose that the schemes were laid
which have since given me so much trouble. For the more eft'ectually to carry this point they
were to contrive all methods possible to perplex me in the Administration and to make it so
uneasie to me that I should become desirous to part with it.
The Expedition against Canada and the many unforeseen incidents that afterwards happened
in the war, gave them many opportunityes of prosecuting their scheme. IVP Goocii's declining
the service after he had set a day for his departure from Virginia to take upon him the command
of those troops, brought the whole care unexpectedly upon me, of all the troops raised in the
severall colonies, which were to rendezvous at Albany without having any instruction for their
pay or subsistance. The mutinous disposition of those troops while they wanted pay, and
while the Chief Justice openly declared they were not subject to martial law, Your Grace may
easily perceive must give map disposed to perplex me and to make me uneasie, too frequent
opportunitys of carrying on their designs against me. They put me under a necessity of
mortgaging my fortune, the Assembly first and the merchants afterwards refusing to advance
any money on the credit of the Crown, or othewise than by my subjecting my person and
estate in the same manner that merchants do, in drawing bills for their own benefilts. This
they insisted on even after they knew that the merchants of Boston had excepted AP Shirley's
bills on the credit of the government only, and with an exemption of any personal demand on
him in case they were not paid by the Government. So that I was laid under dilficultys all
the other Governours in America were freed from, and I must either risque my whole estate
or the intire defeat of all the measures His Majesty had enter'd into for the reduction of Canada.
They not only opposed every measure which I took for the security of the Province under
my care or for annoyance of the enemy, tho' they could nor did not make any objection to
them as improper or imprudent, but under other pretences and deceitfull faulse insinuations
endeavoured to force jealousies into the minds of the people; and at last by their tacking
clauses derogatory to His Majesty's authority to all the money Bills for paying the troops
430 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
employed for the defence of the Province and for support of government, they were in hopes
of putting me under the cruel necessity of incurring blame, whether I gave or denied my assent
to those bills, either by exposing the King's service and the safety of the Province if I should
refuse those bills, or expose myself to His Majesty's displeasure by giving up his authority and
prcerogative in giving my assent to them. I soon resolved to submit my self to His Majesty's
mercy, trusting that in time of peace His Majesty could easily redress what a malicious faction
had obliged me to submit to, in prejudice to his Majesty's authority.
In prosecuting the scheme to make me uneasy in my administration, the Chief Justice his
faction in the Council and Assembly, to weaken my authority in the Province and even with a
view to lessen & deprive me of any esteem my friends had for me, published the most scandalous
falshoods, in such a manner as never was attempted in any Government, where there was not
a fixed resolution to overturn it ; and to deprive me of all assistance, every man who shewed
the least inclination to support the character of the King's Governour was exposed to the like
scandalous libells, to deter any gentleman from supporting His Majesty's authority in the hands
of his Governour ; of which M"' Colden, President of the Council is a flagrant instance.
I am persuaded that it will evidently appear to Your Grace that the views and designs of the
faction not only extends to the depriving me of the Administration but likewise to deterr
every gentleman in England of any character from accepting of the government of this Province
afterwards, in hopes thereby to keep the Administration perpetually in their own hands.
If Your Grace can take the trouble to look over the papers which have passed between me
and the Council and Assembly, no doubt I am perswaded can remain with Your Grace of the
truth of what I represent especially when Your Grace shall consider the last act for payment
of the salaryes services and contingencies therein mentioned, passed in the beginning of this
Year where the Assembly tacks the payment of the Forces posted on the Frontiers for the
defence of the Colony, to that Bill, and put me under a necessity of giving my assent to it, or
of leaving the frontiers defenceless. In this they give one hundred and fifty pounds to Daniel
Horsmanden for his publick services. What these services are every man in the Province
believes to be the scandilous libells that have been published against me and my Administration,
of which none doubt of his being the Author ; and in the same Act appoint Robert Charles Sir
Peter Warren's Secretary (& recommended by liim to the Assembly) to be Agent for the
Colony, and the Assembly has privitly (as I am well assured) given him this general
instruction, to follow Sir Peter Warren's directions in every thing.
A small degree of attention to the publick papers which have passed between the Assembly
and me, will sufficiently satisfy your Grace as to the truth of what I now assert ; for it will
evidently appear that they are not calculated with a view to have any grievance redressed, but
merely to propagate slander and to carry on a scheme of power in a faction, in opposition to
His Majesty's authority, and to make me uneasie in my governm' in order to make place for the
head of the faction ; but if they do not, I must desire of Your Grace that efficient powers be
given to enquire into the truth of these matters, because it highly concerns my character, and
that I be not thought unworthy of the trust His Majesty has reposed in me, that by such
inquiry all persons in tiie Plantations may for the future be deterred from the like practices;
otherwise it will be impossible to preserve His Majesty's authority in his Colonies, for it is
highly probable that the other Colonies will take example from this, which is more immediately
under the Crown than they are.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVIII. 431
After your Grace shall have considered what I have now the honour to represent to you, I
hope your Grace will approve of my retaining in my hands the Commission of Lieu' Governour
sent to me for Chief Justice De Lancey, which I am only ordered by the Duke of Newcastle's
letter to deliver to him before I leave the Province, but not immediately or at any particular
time ; but that your Grace will think he in no manner deserves to be intrusted with such a power
after it shall appear to your Grace, as I doubt not it will, that the Ministry and my friends
have been impos'd upon by a most deceitful pretence of friendship and regard to me and my
family in the methods taken to procure the Commission, especially after the assurances and
proofs which I can give your Grace that the Chief Justice most commonly met at a tavern with
the faction form'd against me in the Assembly, where every thing brought into the Assembly
to distress me and the scandalous libells which were published, were previously concerted.
The apprehension I was under least His Majesty's service in time of war should suffer under
these intrigues of a faction, made me desirous to return home, to apprise His Majesty's
Ministers of the almost insuperable difficulties which attended the Administration in this
Province, and of the dangers that the Colonies were under in time of war from factious
intrigues. But now that these immediate dangers are removed by a general pacification, I am
desirous to continue some time longer in this Government if His Majesty shall approve of it,
that I may remove all these encroachments which have been made on His Majesty's authority
and prerogative and clear up my own character from the aspersions endeavoured to be thrown
upon it. I doubt not of being able to do this, if His Majesty shall send me especial instructions
for that purpose, and I be enabled to give sufficient protection and incouragement to those
who shall be willing to assist me against the effects of a violent faction.
Your Grace may perceive that by the methods now taken in the payment of the officers
salaryes and contingent Services it is not in a Governour's power to reward any one person,
while at the same time the faction is enabled to give liberally to all those who assist in
opposition to me, even out of the moneys granted by Act of Assembly for the support of His
Majesty's government. For this reason my Lord, I must beg leave to recommend it earnestly
to your Grace to consider M'' Colden's services at this time when he has had to strugle with
the most violent attempt of an insolent faction, who have endeavoured to expose his person
to the mobb, throwing out the vilest slanders upon him, and even threatned with death ; which
is no more that what I have, tho' they have not been able to effect their wicked designs.
My Lord since I have been fnade so sensible of the bad advice by which I was perswaded
to accept the support of government in the manner I have done, and which I yielded to out of
tenderness to His Majesty's service in time of actual war; I am now to inform your Grace that
I am resolved to insist on having the support of government granted to the King, in such
manner as it was granted in the time of all my immediate predecessors Governours in Chief
of this Province; and that I will not give my assent to any Bill which shall alter the method of
supporting tlie Government, which had been established and had remain'd so long without
any inconveniences either to His Majesty's service, or to the subjects of this Province, or
which shall tack to it, any matter foreign to the support of government. And tho' I expect to
have a violent opposition made to this by the factious spiritt, yet I make no doubt of
succeeding at last, if I should receive His Majesty's approbation of this my resolution.
I have presumed too long on your Grace's patience already, but 1 hope the matters which I
am under a necessity to represent to your Grace and the importance of them for supporting
His Majesty's authority in this Province, will excuse me; and therefore I shall conclude by
432 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
begging leave to give one instance out of many vvhicii may be given, of the necessity there is
of enabling me to encourage those who are willing and able to assist me in the administration.
On the breaking out of the war with France the Contractors to supply the garrison of Oswego
having refused to do it without a great addition to the sum given in time of peace and without
a guard to escort the provisions and stores which should from time to time be sent, Coll:
William Johnson undertook to do this at the rate it formerly had been done, with only a
proportionable advance for tlie additional number of men that were thought necessary to
support that garrison, and without insisting on any guard. This the Assembly accepted at first
with thankfuUness ; but as this gentleman did afterwards eminently assist me in preserving and
cultivating the fidelity of the Indians and in sending out parties of Indians against Canada,
and has with incredible fatigue and with the greatest dangers to his person and fortune acquir'd
a greater influence over the Indians than any one person in this Province ever had ; yet because
of his joining heartily with me in supporting me in His Majesty's service, the Assembly, to
show how little this conduct could be to his advantage, put the payment of the contract made
with him on a fund which they at the time knew was exhausted, and he still remains without
one farthing of pay for the very large sums he had advanced.
The inclosed Acts was passed by the Council in their legislative capacity ; before I gave my
assent I summon'd them to give advice as a Privy Council, whether I should give my assent to
these bills, there being several things in them which I apprehended to be inconsistent with His
Majesty's instructions, and they advised me to give my assent to them, from the urgency of
I have the honour of both your Graces letters of S-S"" February and V"" May last, and have
punctually observed His Majesty's commands signified by your Grace therein. I am with a
most dutifull regard. My Lord Duke
Your Graces most humble
Fort George at New- York and most obedient Servant
15 August 174S. G. Clinton.
His Grace the Duke of Bedford.
Governor Shirley to Governor Clinton.
[New-Tork ( 8. P. O. ) X., 677. ] ,
New York August IS"- 1748.
I am honoured with your Excellency's letter of the -S"" instant in which you inform me,
" That you are of opinion the present state of His Majesty's government within this Province
'â™¦ require the immediate attention of the Ministry" and are pleased to desire me "as His Majesty's
"service has brought me here, whereby I have an opportunity of fully informing myself of this
"matter from the Publick papers, & other information which your Excellency has directed M''
" Golden to lay before me to consider the same & to represent it to the Duke of Bedford, as you
" believe I shall find things in such a state that I shall think it my duty to give my sentiments
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVIII. . 433
"thereon." Upon which I nm to acquaint your Excellency tiiat according to your desire I
have informed myself of the state of His Majestys government within this Colony & find that
several hite innovations liave been introduced by the Assembly into it, & incroachments made
upon His Majesty's prerogative greatly tending to weaken his government, not only in the
Colony of New York but in His Majesty's other Colonies in North America, through the influence
which so bad an example (in this Colony especially) may have among them ; and 1 now send
your Excellency a particular state of the innovations and incroachments which appear to me
most materially to effect His Majesty's government, with my sentiments of what may be the most
adviseable measures for putting an end to them, as may either serve for your Excellency's
private consideration only, or be of use to you in making a representation of them, as you
shall think fit to the Duke of Bedford ; which I think will come more properly from your
Excellency than from me.
And as I found it necessary in order to trace the begining and growth of the several
incroachments that have been made on the King's prerogative, as also to judge what might be
the most proper steps for putting a stop to them, to look back into the state of the government
under the Administrations of your Predecessors and compare it with the present state of it
under your own, I have used the same method in drawing the following account of them, viz'.
It appears by the Acts of Assembly that at the entrance of Governour Hunter, Burnet,
Montgomery, & Cosby, for about twenty eight years past, upon their respective Administrations
the Establishments for the support of His Majesty's Government were made for the term of
five years, & no application of any part of the money arising from the supplies granted to His
Majesty for that purpose, except for the payment of the Treasurer and Members of the Assembly,
was made in these Acts : but there was only one general appropriation in them, viz' For the
sui>i)ort of His Majcsfy^s government ; and the money raised was thereby directed to be drawn
out of the Treasury by warrants from the Governour with the advice and consent of His
Majesty's Council, which it appears by the minutes of Council was done, and that ^1560 p'