When this shall be done it will be much easier for a Governour to obtain any other sums
necessary, for any extraordinary service than it is now to obtain the common support of
Govern' If these duties were made general over all the Colonies, they could be in no shape,
prejudicial to the trade of this Colony, and might serve as a Fund, where the Govern'^ of the
Colonies are not immediately under the Crown, for fortifying the most exposed frontiers, and
of which several Colonies refuse to contribute their proportions, though they protect them
because they are not immediately exposed. I must beg Your Graces Pardon for thus
presuming to give my sentiments, but I hope the evidence it carries with it, of its being for
His Maj''^ service will excuse me.
I am with the very greatest of Respect
My Lord Duke
Your Grace's most obedient
Fort George in New York and most humble servant
26, March 1750. (signed). G. Clinton.
To His Grace the Duke of Bedford.
Governor Clinton to the Lords of Trade.
[New-Toik Papers, HL., No. 86.]
Fort George in New York
3^ Aprill 1760
The Assembly of this Province in several of their printed papers have insinuated, that I had
converted considerable sums of the publick money to my private use and the Faction has
improved those intimations in the minds of the people highly to the prejudice of my
LONDON DOCUMENTS: XXIX. 555
administration ; I at first despised this piece of malice, since every man acquainted with tlie
method of issuing any money from tlie Treasury of this Province must know that it was
impossible for me to do so but being last year informed that these insinuations, were by the
artifices of malicious ill designing persons carried to an extravagant height, among the people
in England to the great discredit of His Ma''' Government in his Plantations
I thought it my duty to put this matter out of all Question, by ordering the Treasurer to
make out an exact account, of all money received or paid by him, since 1 took upon myself the
administration of the Government in this Province to that time specyfying particularly every
sum by him paid to whom, for what service and by whose order the same was paid. But
notwithstanding the order was given to him on the 27"" of June last and the same since again
and again repeated [as] will appear by the Papers & Certificates herewith transmitted ; I have not
been able to procure the least account of the disposition of the publick money, Tho' it must
be allowed that if accounts were regularly kept, he might have been able to have done it in
one Week less and not have been obliged to catch at so frivolous and evasive excuses
I am afraid, My Lords, that many will think, that this refusal must be with my connivance
and that otherwise no officer dare do it; but if the incapacity of the Attorney General, the
present state of the Courts of Justice in this Province, and the power of a Faction be considered
(all which I have more particularly represented on former occasions) it will then be easily
understood what it is that emboldens this Officer to behave as he has done, and even neglect to
His Mfitys orders signified by his Grace the Duke of Bedford, and on the address of a house
of Commons of which I have already informed your Lordships
The Assemblys Treasurers behaviour likewise confirms me in an opinion which I have for
some time entertained, that while the Governor can not command one single farthing for his
own support or for the support of any officer of the Government or for any service whatsoever,
The Faction have it in their Power to make use of the Publick money, to serve their own
purposes and that large Sums have been actually so applied and this is the true reason why
the Treasurer refuses so evasively to account and like wise from whence he expects to be
protected, I am persuaded no other reason can be given that will pass with any man of Sense
As to my own vindication the very Acts of Assembly for payment of the Salaries and
contingent charges of Government (passed annually) prove beyond contradiction that it never
was in my power to imbezle any money and further that the small (I may say trifling) sums
allow'd me from time to time, for contingent charges are far short of what the necessary
contingent expenses must amount to, and that 1 have been under a necessity of paying a
considerable part out of my own private money
My duty obliges me to pray your Lordships to consider what must be the state of His
Majestys Government in this Province, when the King can not command a single farthing for
the support of his Officers, or for rewarding any service or paying any expence however
necessary While a bold and insolent Faction may have all the publick money in this Province
to use for their worse purposes, and even for distressing and discouraging His Matys most
faithful & zealous servants
Your Lordships must certainly perceive that it is impossible for a Governor, under such
circumstances to preserve the Kings authority in its proper Dignity but that it must soon fall
into contempt, if the usurpations of the Assembly on the Prerogative (whereby a Faction
assumes the whole executive powers of Government) be not vigorously restrain'd and some
made sensible of the weight of the Kings displeasure and others encoraged who have
endeavored to support his Authority against such a daring Faction
556 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Your Lordships will easily perceive what may be the consequences, and this I hope will
excuse me, for so often repeating my entreaties to your Lordsliips, to take the state of this
Province into your considerations and which by its example greatly affects all the other
Colonies. I think that I may the more freely do this because I am persuaded that the
Parliament on a true Representation of the State of the Plantations must think it their duty, to
make the royal officers less dependant on the Assemblies in the Plantations than they have
hitherto been which may be easily done by granting to the King the same duties and imposts
which in the Plantations, are usually granted from year to year, for support of Governm' there
I am with the greatest Respect
Your Lordships most
obedient humble Servant
( sg"" ) G Clinton
Governor Clinton to the Duke of Bedford.
[New-Tork Papers, (8. P. 0.) XL, 155.]
My Lord Duke.
The Assembly of this province in several of their printed papers have insinuated that I had
converted considerable sums of the private money to my private use, and the faction has
improved those insinuations in the minds of the people highly to the prejudice of my
Administration. I at first despised this piece of malice, since every man, acquainted with the
method of issuing my money from the Treasury of this Province, must know that it is
impossible for me to do so. But being last year informed, that these insinuations were, by the
artifices of malicious ill-designing persons carried to an extravagant height, among the people
in England, to the great discredit of His Maj''" Govern" in his plantations.
I thought it my duty to put this matter out of all question, by ordering the Treasurer to
make out an exact account of all money receiv'd or paid by him, since I took upon myself the
Administration of Govern' in this province, to that time, specifying particularly every sum by
him paid, to whom, for what service, and by whose order the same was paid ; but
notwithstanding this order was given to him on the 27"' of June last, and the same since again
and again repeated (as will appear by the papers, and certificates herewith transmitted) I have
not, nor been able to procure the least account of the disposition of the publick money, thou' it
must be allowed, that if his accounts were regularly kept, he might have been able to have
done it, in a week or less, and not have been obliged to catch at so frivolous and
I am affraid my Lord that many will think, that this refusal must be with my connivance, and
that otherwise no Officer dare do it, but if the incapacity of the Attorney General, the present
State of the Courts of Justice in this province, and a power of a faction be considered (all
which I have mere particularly represented on former occasions) it will then be easily
understood, what it is that emboldens this Officer to behave as he has done, and even to neglect
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXIX. 557
His Maj'J' orders signified by Your Grace, and on the address of a House of Commons, of wliicli
I have already informed Your Grace.
The Assembly's Treasurer's behaviour likewise confirms me in an opinion, which I have for
sometime entertained, that while the Governour can not command one single farthing, for his
own support, or for the support of any Officer of the Govern' or for any service whatsoever.
The Faction have it in their power to make use of the publiuk money, to serve their own
purposes, and that large sums have been actually so employed, and this is the true reason, why
the Treasurer refuses so evasively the account, and likewise from whence he expects to be
protected ; I am perswaded no other reason can be given, that will pass with any man of sence.
As to my own vindication, the very Acts of Assembly, for payment of the salaries and
contingent charges of Govern* (passed annually) prove beyond contradiction, that it never was
in my power to imbezle any money, and further, that the small (I may say trifling) sums
allowed me, from time to time, for contingent charges, are far short of what the necessary
contingent expence must amount to, and that I have been under a necessity of paying a
considerable part out of my own private money.
My duty obliges me to pray Your Grace to consider what must be the state of His Majesty's
Govern' in this Province, when the King can not command a single farthing for the support of
his Officers, or for rewarding any service, or paying an expence however necessary, while a bold
and insolent faction may have all the publick money in this province, to use for their worst
purposes, and even for distressing, and discouraging His Maj'^' most faithful and zealous servants.
Your Grace must certainly perceive that it is impossible for a Governour, under such
circumstances, to preserve the King's authority in its proper dignity, but that it must soon fall
into contempt, if the usurpations of the Assembly on the prerogative ( whereby a faction
assumes the whole executive powers of Govern') be not vigorously restraiii'd, and some made
sensible of the weight of the King's displeasure, and others encouraged, who have endevoured
to support his Authority, against such a daring faction.
Your Grace will easily perceive what may be the consequences, and this I hope will excuse,
for so often repeating my entreaties to Your Grace, to take the state of this province, into
Your consideration, and which by its example greatly afl!ects all the other Colonies â€” I think
that I may the more freely do this, because I am persuaded the Parliament, on a true
representation of the State of the Plantations, must think it their duty, to make the Royal
Officers less dependant on the Assemblies in the Plantations, than they have hitherto been,
which may be easily done, by the granting to the King the same duties and imposts, which in
the Plantations, are usually granted from year to year, for support of Govern' there.
Your Grace will likewise perceive what little regard is in this province paid to His Maj'^'
orders, by the papers enclosed, relating to Your Grace's order of 30"" May 1749. for an inquiry,
to be made to the complaints of the French, on account of four ships brought into this port,
after the cessation of Arms.
I hope the inclosed papers will convince Your Grace that I have done my duty, and that it is
not in my power, in the present circumstances of the Administration to enforce a proper regard
to the King's orders, especially in the want of a proper person to appear for the King, in the
558 NEW-YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Courts of Justice. All these things combine to shew, the necessity there is of giving the relief
and assistance often prayed for. I am with great duty & respect
Your Grace's most obedient and
Fort George in New York. most humble servant.
3"* April 1750. (signed). G. Clinton
To His Grace the Duke of Bedford.
Governor Clinton to the Duke of Bedford.
[ New-York Papers. ( 8. P. O. ) XI., 163. ]
I beg leave to return my most humble thanks for the honour Your Grace does me, by the
assurancies, you give me in your letter of the 1" of Nov"' last of all proper assistance to support
the Authority put into my hands and consequently of my being defended from any unjust or
malicious attacks whatsoever.
I am in hopes, before this time Your Grace is fully apprised of the injuries I personally
receive from the malice of a Faction headed by Chief Justice De Lancey and how much His
Maj'J"' service in this province suffers thereby.
The faction continues still buoyed up with the hopes given them of the interest which their
head pretends to have with some of His Majesty's Ministers, and therefore it is become
necessary that His Mnj"'' pleasure be explicitly signified and that the Authors of the contempt
of His Maj'^' Authority, which is discovered in so many instances be made sensible of the
weight of His Maj''' displeasure. Till this be done His Maj'?' loyal subjects and faithful
servants in this province must be under great discouragements as it will be impracticable for
me to do my duty.
Your Grace I hope will excuse any impatience I show to have relief under the difficultyes
whicli bear iiard upon me, especially when I am confident, that a proper signification of His
Maj'^' displeasure on tiie daring attempts of this insolent Faction would immediately relieve me.
1 have likewise the honour of Your Graces of the 7"" of December last inclosing a copy of
His Maj'J' order for the exchange of Indian prisoners the original of which is to be sent as soon
as these orders shall be exchanged for similiar ones on the part of the French King. In
obedience to Your Grace's commands I have sent orders to make the proper inquiry and
preparations for the exchange pursuant to those orders, but I must beg leave again to repeat
what I before represented by my letter of 3'''' inst: that I have not one farthing of money nor
can command any out of the Treasury of this Colony for defraying the expence of this service
or of any other however necessary. I do myself the honour to subscribe myself with all duty
and respect â€” My Lord â€” Your Grace's most obedient and most humble servant
New York 9"" April 1750. (signed) G Clinton
His Grace the Duke of Bedford.
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXIX. 559
Governor Clinton to Colonel Johnson.
[New-Tork Papers, (S. P. O.,) XI., IM. 1
Fort George 4"" April 1750.
Yesterday I had a Council, which was the first since I received your letters of the G"" and
22""* January and of February, which I laid before that board, the result of which was, what
you will see in mine of 5"" inst: I also proposed to them your requests relating to the
extraordinary expences and detriments you must inevitably meet with in transacting the Indian
affairs as likewise about the Smiths wanted, and the pay due to those that had been among tlie
Indians, but could procure no answer upon those heads, it being a point (as I suppose they
think) not properly within their cognizance, but rather the Assembly's, and though I can assure
you Sir, I have nothing more at heart, than your welfare, and more particularly so, as I am
sensible that your demands on the province are with the strictest justice due to you, as by
those the Indians have been kept from deviating from their Fidelity and alliance to us ; yet Sir
as it is impossible for me to meet the Assembly (till matters are come to a determination at
home with the Ministry, relating to my future behaviour towards them, which I have wrote
word I could not, before I had received their instructions) I can not possibly give you any
positive answer to what you desire of me, until I do meet them, when you may depend I shall
leave no endevours or methods untaken, to shew you my grateful acknowledgement of your
services to His Majesty and the security of this province.
I desire you will be very particular, in relating to the Indians the inclosed order of His
Maj'y for exchanging of Indian prisoners on both sides, that they may see the kind care &
concern His Maj''' has for them even as a father for His own Children, and that he does and
always will esteem them as such. Tho' this order was sent to me from the Secretary of State,
yet it can not be put in execution, till the counterpart from the King of France to the Covernour
of Canada arrives which is daily expected, and will be sent me by the very first opportunity,
as soon as I receive it, you shall hear further.
I shall write to the Govern"^ of Virginia to desire him to send some of the Sachims from his
Govern', to meet those of the Mohawks at Albany in order to cement a piece between them
and the Catawbas, if the Mohawks can be prevailed upon to meet them, and at the same time
inform him of the contents of His Maj'^' order for exchanging of Indian prisoners, if he has
any of the French Indians, taken in the late war in this Government.
Your very humble servant
To Coll: Johnson G. Clinton
560 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
Governor Clinton to Colonel Johnson.
[ Nevp-Tork Papers, (8. P. O.,) XI., 165. ]
Fort George S"- April 1750.
I have received Your letter of 22"* of January last, wherein you mention, that most of tlie
Indians of both INIohawk. Castles are determined to go to war with the Catawbas, and are to
be joined by great numbers of their Bretheren, as also by several other nations.
The Catawbas I suppose to be one of the Southern nations of Indians, who together with
the other nations to the westward and southward as far as the River Missisipi, were by the
Treaty in the year 1740. received into the Covenant chain with us, and the six nations, and
although the six nations seemed at first to insist that some of the Sachims of those Southern
Indians should come to Albany, yet they gave up that point and concluded a firm peace with
them, as appears by an extract of this treaty enclosed, which I would have you represent
to them in the strongest light, and that nothing can be a greater violation of that Treaty, than
their now going to war with the Catawbas, who since this Treaty, have looked upon themselves
and still do, as friends to the six nations, and in conjunction with the other Southern Indians
united in one common alliance.
If you find nothing will restrain them from this war, but that some of the Southern Sachims
comeing to Albany, to desire a peace of the six nations; I would have you propose it to them,
and let them know, that I will write to the Gov'' of Virginia in order to prevail on those
nations to send some of their Sachims thither, as soon as conveniently they can, & that in the
mean time, the warriors of the Six nations be kept at home, and not suffered to go a fighting
against the Catawbas or any other Southern Indians. I am
Your very humble servant.
To Coll. Johnson, G. Clinton
Secretary Hill to Governor Clinton.
[ New-York Eotries, E. N., p. 21.]
To the Hon"''' George Clinton Esqâ„¢ Gov : of N. Y.
My Lords Commiss" for Trade and Plantations having received his Maj'^"' Commands to
prepare Instructions for the Commissarys, nominated to treat with those of France, upon the
several points in dispute betweext the two Crowns in America, I am directed by their Lordw
to desire, you will prepare with all possible dispatch, the most exact account you can of the
limits and boundaries of the province under your Govern' ; and as their Lord??' are informed
there are amongst the Records of New York, particularly in the Secretary's Office, several
authentick papers, as well with regard to the limits of New York, as to those of His Maj'^'
LONDON DOCUMENTS : XXIX. 561
other Govern", they desire you will cause the most diligent and exact search to be made, and
transmit copies of all such papers relative to that point, as can be found vpitb all possible
dispatch duly authenticated and attested before a Notary publick.
And as the knowing exactly the limits and extent of the Country, belonging to the Five
Nations of Indians, is of great importance, their Lord^P' further desire, you will inform
yourself thereof, as well from any authentick Acts or Documents, which may be found upon
record (which you are likewise to transmit duly authenticated) as by proper enquiries of such
persons, who are best acquainted with the Country, particularly of M' Henry Lyddius, who,
Their LordPP^ have been informed has a thorough knowledge in that particular. I am,
Whitehall Your most obedient humble serv'
Apr 13"' 1750. Tho' Hill.
Governor Clinton to the Lwds of Trade.
[New-York Papers, Hh., No. S9.]
Your Lordships will perceive by the inclosed Papers that the Gov'' of Canada, under feigned
artificial pretences keeps the English and Indian Prisoners still in Canada, which I am
persuaded is done with a design to lessen the esteem the five Nations of Indians have of the
English Strength and Power in respect to that of the French and to weaken the influence
the English have hitherto had on those Indian Nations and others in alliance with us and to
withdraw their dependance on us
This proceeding of the Governors continuing to be of a piece, with what I have formerly
informed your Lordsps by my letters of the 29"" may and 24 Sepf 1749 confirms my opinion
of the designs of the french Governor. It appears to me to be of the greatest consequence to
the British Trade, among the numerous nations on the Continent to the Westward of the
English Colonies and the safety of those Colonies in case of War with France, effectually to
support those nations who joined us in the late War and who (as appears by the copy of M''
Johnsons letter inclosed) are at this time in danger by the French exciting the Indians in
alliance with them to make war on them I shall do all in my power on this occasion But as
the Assembly of this Province has not granted a single farthing for any exigences whatsoever
and if I be allowed to judge from what has been the Practice in former times they will not in
all probability grant money for this service till after the Indians shall be actually attacked and
thereby any assistance we can give them come too late
Your Lordships will observe, from the Minutes of Council, my proposal, in case the
Mohawks were attacked, that they should be supported by the Militia, of the Inhabitants who
are intermixed with the Mohawk Settlements, and your Lordships will perceive, that the
Council seem to be of opinion, that I could not command the Militia, without the Assistance
of an Act of Assembly for that purpose I was advised by some gentlemen of the Law, that as-
the Power of the Militia is undoubtedly in the King, every power necessary for the exercise
of that Power must be likewise necessarily in the King, but as the Cheif Justice declares
Vol. VI. 71
562 NEW- YORK COLONIAL MANUSCRIPTS.
himself of a different opinion witliout doubt the People will favor the opinion which increases
their own power and therefore I thought it not proper to subject His Majestys Authority to
such kind of dispute at this time However as the Power of the Militia in the Plantations may
be of the last consequence in the Plantations it must require your Lordships attention
M"' Hamilton in his letter to me, thinks the Indian Nations on the River Ohio so much
attached to the British Interests, that he seems not apprehensive of the designs of the French,
but I think by our situation and the Correspondence the five iNations have with the distant
Nations I can be better informed than he can be and certainly the French will keep their
designs against them as much a secret from those nations as they can
I must intreat your Lordships serious consideration on this affair, and that such application
be made to the Court of France, as shall be thought proper in order to restrain the Governor
in these attempts inconsistent with the Amity so lately established between the Crowns of
Great Britain and France.
I have communicated the Intelligence I have, to the Governors of Pensylvania & Virginia,
because the Indians on the River Ohio, who seem to be in most immediate danger, are by
their situation nearest to those Provinces and trade immediately with them
I have received His Matys orders for the Exchange of Prisoners, which I shall carry into