be carryed by Water to Canada is only twelve Miles, so that by carrying the Artillery,
Ammunition & other things of greatest burthen at such times and in such manner as may
be easiest, & which in this Country is commonly in the Winter Season every thing could be
prepared for a sudden Eruption into Canada, on the proper season ; But by the reason of the
obstructions I mett with I was obliged to drop this design.
It can hardly be imagined that the People of this Province do not wish well to the Expedition
against Canada, I am perswaded they generaly earnestly desire it, and many think it cannot
be purchased at too dear a price, and are willing to contribute to the utmost of their abilities,
Yet there are Instances of Men, who are no Fools, doing most unacountable things to satisfy
their passions, besides this Country is as little proof against bribery as others, and when Men
have lost all sense of Virtue, as Indian Traders certainly have, and have only money and
proffitt in view, they become an easy purchase, as the French Indians were dayly in sight of
Albany, it is impossible to prevent a Correspondence with them by the help of our other
Indians, and since a Correspondence between the French and their Old Acquaintance the
Traders of Albany became so easy, it is hardly to be thought that the French would neglect a
matter, which would turn so much to their advantage.
464 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Governor Clinton to the Duke of Bedford.
New-York, ( S. P. O. ) X., 631. ]
My Lord Duke.
In my former letter by Governor Shirley's Son, I gave your Grace the state of the publick
affairs of this Province, and the measures I had resolved to follov? during the Sessions of
Assembly at this time. As Governour Shirley vs^hile he was in this Province last summer did
fully inform himself of both persons and things relating to this government, I gladly laid hold
of that opportunity to consult him minutely, while we were together, on the measures which
might be proper for me to persue in the Administration of government, and I assure your
Grace that I have his approbation and advice as to the methods I now take. This I have
thought proper to mention to your Grace, because I thought him in many respects the most
proper person I could advise with, and to take off the effects of an insinuation published by
the Assembly that I am influenced by one person only
Your Grace will perceive from the speech I made to the Assembly, the Address (as they
call it) intended to be made to me, and printed in their votes, and in the publick newspaper,
and from my Message to them thereon, and the resolves they entered into in consequence of
that Message, copies of all which I transmit to your Grace in the printed votes of the Assembly
and I humbly submit to your Grace with what moderation I proceed, on the other hand in
what manner a violent faction in the Assembly continues to insult the character of His Majesty's
Governour of this Province and to insist on the userpations they have made on the Royal
Prerogative and the executive powers of government, and in place of applying to His Majesty
for redress if any grievances they may pretend to be under, apply to the people, with a view
to sow discontent, to raise tumults and to throw the country into confusion, while they know
they have reduced the strength of the Administration to the lowest ebb, and therefore think it
in no condition to oppose them.
But my Lord the violence of the faction begins to defeat their measures, some in the House
oppose them, and the generality of the people without doors blame their proceedings. Were
it not for fear, or rather terror, which many are under from the violent and insolent temper of
the head of the faction (Chief Justice De Lancey) and of a few other men of the like temper
who espouse his interest, the Administration would soon, now in the time of peace recover it's
Chief Justice D'Lancey's conduct makes all men affraid of the power he has by his office,
and of his resentment, and to which every man in this Province may in some way or other be
subjected. This terror is heightened by his appointment to be Lieutenant Governour ; for if
the Administration should come into his hands, no relief can be had when the powers of
Governour & Chief Justice are united in the same person ; or if he should appoint another to
execute the OfHce of Chief Justice during the time has the administration of government, he
may appoint one of those tools that now serve his ambition and resentment; and no man
doubts that M"' Horsmanden would be the man, who has been guilty of perjury, which M""
Catherwood my Secretary (who has the honour to deliver this to your Grace) can prove, and
the person who has drawn up the addresses, representations remonstrance and Messages of the
Assembly, and is a fit tool for the worst purposes. But if people were once freed from that
fear they are under from the Chief Justices' power, it would soon appear that he has no love
LONDON DOCUMENTS: XXVIII. 465
or esteem to support him. Some of the principal members thinl
from the Assembly at this time, and others to keep silent, and very few dare oppose according
to their inclinations. But my Lord if His Majesty shall think proper to order me to suppress
the Commission of Lieutenant Governour which I had orders to deliver to him only some time
before I leave this government and His Majesty pleased to declare his disapprobation of the
proceedings and userpations of the Assembly on the Executive powers of government, together
with such instructions as shall be thought proper for inforcing His Majesty's authority in the
hands of his Governour, I make no doubt but the faction will soon fall to pieces.
But for these purposes it will likewise be necessary that M' Horsmanden and M'' Bayard
whom I have suspended from their seats in Council, be removed from His Majesty's Council
for the reasons I have given, and that M'' Alexander be restored to the seat he formerly had in
Council, and M"' Hollond whom I have taken into Council (the number of Councellors in the
Province being less than seven) be confirmed, and M'' Schuyler appointed in the room of M'
There is but one thing My Lord that I can imagine to support M'' Chief Justice De Lancey
in the views he has formed to himself, to wit, he presumes on the personal interest which he
pretends to have with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Sir Peter Warren, & which he had
the assurance to tell me to my face was better than my interest. And it is from this boasting
of his interest that he only keeps up the spirit of faction. But my Lord, what a cruel hardship
would it be on me or any Governour if interest should prevail in such a case as this; that I
should deliver powers to an insolent declared enemy, to succeed me in the administration ; to
that person, wiio after having deceitfully gained my confidence drew me into making those
concessions to the Assembly which he afterwards made use of to distress my administration
and to make me tired of it, in order to obtain it for himself. He obstructed all my measures
by which he thought I would gain reputation and particularly in those of annoyance of the
enemy ; by one of which, if I had not been prevented, I would have so effectually destroyed
the French inland trade and their influence over numerous Indian Nations, that they could not
have recovered it in many years, if ever. I mean by destroying their Fort at Oniagara, the
pass by which the communication between Canada and Missisippi is maintained, and what is
now evident could easily have been effected by the forces of this government alone.
My Lord, 1 think I have sufficient grounds in pursuance of the powers granted me by His
Majestyes Commission to have suspended M'' De Lancey from the office of Lieu' Governour.
But since his Commission is not as yet delivered to him, I choose to retain it in my hands, and
to wait His Majesty's pleasure. I am confident it was sent to me, with design that I should
retain it from him if 1 thought it for His Majestyes service so to do, and not to mortify me by
obliging me to do a thing so disagreable to me. But if any incident, after this should make
it necessary for me to suspend him, I do not doubt but the reasons I have formerly assigned
and now give for the suppression of his commission, will sufficiently justifie me for so doing.
I am even perswaded that your Grace will be of opinion after you have considered what I now
write togather, what I had the honour to represent to your Grace in my former letters with M'
Shirleys, that he ought to be divested not only of this, but of all offices of power, and trust.
It can be of no purpose for me to meet the Assembly of this I'rovince after this, till such
time as I shall have received His Majesty's instructions on the matters which I have formerly
Vol. VL 69
466 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
and now submit to Your Grace ; and therefore I must beg to know His Majestyes pleasure. I
am with the greatest of respect, My Lord Duke
Your Graces most obedient
New York and most humble servant
30"" Oct' 1748 G. Clinton.
His Grace the Duke of Bedford.
Governor'- Clinton to the Lords of Trade.
[New-York Pipers, Hh.,No. 19.]
Fort George in New York 15"" Nov*" 1748.
The Sessions of Assembly being now at an End I shall at this time Give Your Lordships
some account of the Bills to which I have given my Assent, & others which had passed the
House of Assembly, but had not passed the Council, when I thought it for His Majesties
service to put an end to the Session by a Prorogation to March next, begging leave to refer Your
Lordships to my last of the 30"" of last Month, & my preceding letters, as to the other Matters
wliich I think of great consequence to His Majesties service in this Province.
The Bills which I have given my assent to are
1" The Bill entitled, An Act further to continue an Act entitled An Act for and towards ivjqiorting
the Government of the Colo7uj, by granting to His Majesty the Dutys therein mentioned from the 1" day of
December 1740 to 1741. This bears the same title with the Acts by which in the time of my
predecessors the Assembly granted Money for the support of His Majesties Government of this
Province, and by which the monies arising by it were directed to be paid by Warrants, signed
by the Governour in Council to the Officers for their Salaries & for contingent services. But by
this Act the Monies are to remain in the Treasury, till issued by some future Act of Governour,
Council and Assembly. I gave my assent to this least the Duties granted for support of
Government should cease.
gndiy "pi^g gjij entitled An Act for the payment of the Forces on the Northern Frontiers.
I was under a necessity of giving my Assent to this Bill, otherwise the Forces raised in this
Province for the Defence of the Frontiers must have dispersed without payment of several
Months Arrears which might have occasioned mutiny and other disorders; though I had strong
objections to the Bill as 1" the Paymasters were appointed by the Bill without my nomination,
& are persons notoriously disaffected to me. 2"'"^ The Money by the Act is directed to be paid
to every private Soldier and not the Captains as usual. By this those Gentlemen who have
been most zealous in the Service, & for keeping their companies compleat are likely to be great
sufferers by having advanced both money & provisions for their Men, in order to keep them
together & to their Duty; during the tune the Assembly had granted no supply for that
purpose while others suffered their Men to disperse and go to work. And 3'''"^ They did what
they could to prevent the filling up and compleatingthe Independent companies in His Majesty's
Pay, for after it was known that the forces in the Country pay were to be disbanded it is
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVIII. 467
probable the Captains of these Companies then posted at Albany made use of tliat opportunity
to compleat their Companies as tiie private men in tliem were under great discouragem" by
their having only half the pay which those in the Country pay were allowed, & had no
provisions allowed them while the others were allowed full provisions from the Assembly
besides their Pay, & this occasioned frequent Desertions, This Shews how unwilling the
Assembly is, to have any power or force in this Province, independent of them.
3"-diy ^f, \qi entitled An Act further to continue an Act entitled An Act to supimrl the Garrison 4'
Trading House at Oswego with some additioiis thereto.
This Act is necessary for preserving of the Garrison at the Trading House of Oswego, on
which the beneficial fur-Trade of this Province depends. But in it they have introduced an
Innovation, which it is not easy to conceive for what purpose it is done, (viz.) That tiie
Forfeitures in that Act shall be sued for in the name of the Commissioners though the money
be granted to the King. I cannot guess for what purpose this is done, unless it be to keep up
a distinction frequent among them of the King's service & the Colony's service, the King's
money and the Colony's money, the King's troops and the Colony's troops, the King's Officers
& the Colony's Officers &c.
Nothing Material occurs to me to be observ'd on the other Acts to which I have given
As to those Bills which were prepared, but not ready for my assent, by passing the Council,
I shall only observe upon two of them : The first is entitled An Act for dtfruying several
conti7igent charges of this Colony Sf other purposes therein mentioned.
On which I beg leave to observe,
1" In the title the Assembly avoids making these charges to be made for His Majesty's
service but of the Colony, though the money out of which they are to be paid is granted to
gndij. gy jjig Majesty's Commission to me, by virtue of which only the Assemblies of
this Province are impowered to make Laws, all money levied on His Majesty's subjects of this
Province, by force of any Act passed by the Governour, Council and Assembly is to be granted
to the King, & to be issued by the Governour's Warrant. Yet by this Act all the payments
directed by this Act are to be made without any warrant from the Governour for that purpose.
granted rewards, & allowed of charges to particular persons who were not employed by me on
mere pretences of services, & to two of their own Members no less than the sum of Seven
Hundred & two pounds while at the same time they have neglected to provide or pay others,
who were employed by me for real services, & even to neglect to repay money advanced by a
person I employed at their request, & for which they particularly gave a Vote of Credit (viz.)
for sending persons with twenty five French Prisoners by Land, beforo tiie Cessation of arms
was known, to be exchanged for Indian and other Prisoners of this Province then in Canada.
And on this occasion I must observe that I am not allowed one single farthing by way of
Advance for any contingent Service in the Administration of Government ; But all such charges
must be undertaken in trust that the Assembly will afterward repay it. A hardship which 1
believe no other Government is laid under.
4""'^ I received an Instruction from His Majesty to recommend to the Assembly to pass an
Act on Vessells trading to this Province to pay a Duty of Tunnage in Gunpowder for sujiporting
the Magazines of Gunpowder in this Province, which they refused to comply with. But having
468 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
by some former Acts, purchased a quantity of Gunpowder, which they placed under a Store-
keeper of their own appointing, they have by this Act directed all this Gunpowder to be sold,
& the money thence arising to be applyed to the payment of the several charges allowed in
this Bill, And notwithstanding this I have not a single pound of Gunpowder allowed me, either
for the Defence of the Province, or otherwise, but even the charge of every Gun fired on
publick occasions, such as Birth Days, & other Salutes, must be at my private Expence.
The next Bill to which I have not given my Assent is entitled. An Act for the jmymenl of the
Salaries, Services ^' Contingencies therein mentioned untiU the 1" Day of September 1749
This was the last Bill as usual sent to the Council from the Assembly, & in the same terms
on which the former of the like kind were, and after which they had no more bussiness before
them. As to the reasons for my refusing it I think it Sufficient to refer Your Lordships to my
Speech on the 14"" of October last.
This leads me to take notice of the most disrespectfull Address which the Assembly made
in return to that Speech, & of their Resolves on my refusing to receive that Address all which
are in their printed Votes, which I transmit to Your Lordships.
In that Address (as they call it) they endeavour to instill on the minds of the People the
worst Opinion they can of my Administration, under pretence that I am influenced by one
single person. No man in this Country doubts of their meaning M"" Golden by that person.
They charge no one fact on INP Golden, but his advising me to make that Speech I must submit
to Your Lordships what blame & censure he deserves for such Advice And whether he deserves
by his advising me to give the Answer I did, on my refusing to receive that Address, the
character of being an Enemy to the general Assembly, & People of this Province and that
thereby I had broke my solemn promise and violated their Rights and Priviledges.
I must at the same time take notice of a complaint made by M"' Golden against M' Chief
Justice De Lancey, a Copy of which with M' De Lancey's answer & M"' Colden's Replication
I likewise transmit to Your Lordships. Your Lordships will perceive in what general terms
the Cheif Justice calumniates M'' Colden's character in the same manner the Assembly have
often done mine as well as his, in such a manner that no man can defend himself because no
particulars are assigned to which an Answer can be given, a manner of accusing that no man
of sense & of the least probity would have taken, & in a manner that none can doubt of the
Malice from whence it proceeds, & which gives the strongest evidence that can be given of the
good Character of the person calumniated ; Eor where such a willingness appears to point out
faults, & yet none are pointed out, what stronger proofs can there be that none can be found.
Matters are now brought to this pass that if the Administration does not exert itself all honest
Men are in danger of being intimidated, or at least discouraged in doing their Duty, & others
emboldened in the worst practices to its prejudice. I have been long sensible of the bad effects
of the patience I have had, & which chiefly arose from my unwillingness of doing anything on
my part which might be to the prejudice of His Majesty's service in time of War. But now
that we have peace I can see no difficulty in doing what may be necessary for the preservation
of His Majesty's Authority in the hands of his Governour of this Province.
I think it needless for me to trouble Your Lordships with any Remarks upon the other Bills
at this time; My Secretary, M' Catherwood will deliver this to Your Lordships, who I hope
will be able to give Your Lordships any further Information that Your Lordships may desire,
on the subject matters of this & my former letters. And I must beg of Your Lordships to put
no delay in preparing such Instructions, as the matter I have laid may require, for 'till I shall
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXVIII. 4G9
receive His Majesty's Instructions in relation to the matters in Debate, between the Assembly
& me, it can be to no purpose for me to meet an Assembly of tins Province. And 'till tiie
insolence of M"' Clieif Justice be removed it is impossible tiiat the Council can be free in their
advice, or of that use for which they are designed by His Majesty.
I have been a good deal out of Order lately which obliges me to make use of another hand.
I hope Your Lordships will excuse it, being with the greatest respect, My Lords,
Your Lordships most obedient
and most humble Servant
The Right Honourable
The Lords of Trade & Plantations.
Mr. Golden to ilie Diike of Bedford.
[ New-York, (S. P. 0. ) X., 64". ]
New York NoV 22. 1748.
My Lord Duke.
I should not have presumed to have troubled your Grace with any thing personal to myself,
if they, who are the authors and supporters of the publick dissentions against His Majesty's
government in this Province, had not thought it proper to distinguish me personally in the
opposition they make. I praetend to no further notice than as your Grace shall apprehend
His Majesty's service in this government to be interested in it, after you shall have read what
follows. I have been above 26 years in His Majesty's Council for this Province. I have
presided in two several Commissions His Majesty sent to determine disputes which had arisen
in the New England Governments. The judgement given in one of them has been confirmed
by His Majesty. The appeal on the other, so far as I know remains undetermined. I have
been principally intrusted in disputes which have arisen between this & the neighbouring
Governments. I had the Chief part in quieting the violent dissentions which happened in the
beginning of M" Clark's administration ; for M^ Clark was so far dispirited by the opposition
made to him & by a distemper which the vexations he met with brought upon him, that lie
chose to put the entire conduct of the publick affairs into my hands at that time. Notwithstanding
that M'^ Chief Justice De Lancey was at the head of the opposition to M' Clark an alliance
between our families was soon after proposed to me & concluded,' on which the De Lancey
family gave all the outward marks of their satisfaction that it was in their power to do. We
continued in friendship & M' Chief Justice receiv'd some signal marks of friendship from me,
till the present dissensions with M' Clinton began about two years since. Instances are not
commonly found when men are able to conduct themselves through a variety of publick affairs
' PcraR DE Lancet, of West Farms, Westchester county, commonly known ns " Peter of the Mills," 2i3 son of Stephen
cle Lnncey and brother of the Chief Justice, married Elizabeth ( BuUon, says Alice ), daughtei' of Cadwallader Golden. He
represented the Borouf;h of Westchester from 1752 to 1768 in the Provincial Assembly, and died at the age of 63 years,
lie was the ancestor of the Westchester branch of the family. De Peytter Qenealugy. — Ed.
470 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
for many years, and at times when violent dissensions prevail, so as to give no hold to any who
is desirous to lay hold of every thing that can be turn'd to their prejudice; yet, I hope, my
Lord, that in this case I may be allowed without preesumption to say, that the conduct of
my adversaries is such as to evince to the world that they would take advantage of every step
I have made, & that they have not been able to find any to lay hold of. For they cannot be
so destitute of sense that they would lay the whole stress of their defence in meer calumnies
if they could charge me with any one fact to support them. Sometimes I am of dangerous
influence by my authority & notorious character ; at other times I am a mean Sc despicable
person, of a depraved heart, or obnoxious to them. Surely my Lord, such must be allowed to
be meer calumnies when charged in such a manner, that it is impossible for the most innocent
person to make a proper defence.
But ray Lord, when your Grace shall consider what it is that has given rise to all this
rancour against me, I believe your Grace will be perswaded that it deserves the attention of
his Majesty's Ministers. While M'' Clinton put his confidence in M'' Chief Justice De Lancey,
M"' Chief Justice made use of it to put his friends and dependants into all offices of trust and
profit, & by that means form'd a powerfull faction in both the Council & Assembly. At the
same time he perswaded M' Clinton to make such concessions to the Assembly as enabled his
faction to take, in effect, the whole executive powers of Government into their own hands.
After M"' Clinton was convinced of the tendency of the advice given him, & that there was a
design form'd to wrest the administration out of his hands by the power of a faction, he call'd
me from the country where I live, to give a more constant attendance on the Council than I
formerly had done. After which I did endeavour, with all the cautious prudence I was