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Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. Printed by order of the General Assembly (Volume 5) online

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Gov. Wanton to Gov. Shirley.

Newport, July 3, 1747.
Sir : — I received your favor of 29th June, and now acquaint Your Excellency,
that it is not in my power to do any thing otherwise than to represent the matters
therein contained, in as strong terms as I can, to our General Assembly, which
will meet by adjournment, the second Tuesday in August ; and then I shall be ca-
pable of acquainting Your Excellency of their resolutions thereupon.

I am, sir, your humble servant,

To Governor Shirlev.

Proceedings of iJie General Assemblt/, held for the Colon?/ of Rhode
Ishnd and Providence Plantations, at JSfeivport, the third Tues-
day of August, 1747.

The Hon. Gideon Wanton, Governor.

The Hon, William Robinson, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

An Act for incorporating the north part of the town of Charles-
town, in King's county, into a township, the same to be dis-
tinguished and known by the name of Richmond.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of this colony, and
by the authority thereof it is enacted, that the town of Charles-
town, in the county of Kings county, &c., be divided into two
towns, by a river that runs across said town, known by the
name of Pawcatuck River ; all the lands to the southward of
said river, shall retain the name of Charlestown ; and that all
the lands to the northward of said river, be, and hereby is in-
corporated into a township, by the name of Richmond ; and to
have and enjoy the like privileges, as other towns in this

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, tiat
each of said towns shall have, and receive a proportion of the
money in, and belonging to the treasury of said Charlestown,


according to the money for which the lands in each town is
mortgaged to the colony ; and that all justices of the peace
and military officers, living within the bounds of said new town,
called Richmond, retain their authority, and act as such there-
in, until the next general election ; and that the eldest justice
of each of said towns is hereby empowered to grant forth their
warrants to some proper officer, whom they shall appoint, to
warn the inhabitants of said towns to assemble and meet to-
gether in some proper place, in said town, on Friday, the 28th
day of this instant August, in order to choose deputies, to rep-
resent them at the October session of this Assembly ; and also,
to choose town officers for said towns, agreeably to the laws of
this colony ; and that each town shall send one grand juror,
and one petit juror, to each of the inferior and superior courts,
in Kings county.

It is voted, that the commissary be, and he is hereby ordered
to draw up an account of all the charges and expenses the
colony hath been at in raising three companies for the expedi-
tion intended against Canada, (excepting the bounty of £50 to
a man,) and present the same to Edward Scott, Samuel Wick-
ham and Peter Bours, Esqs., who are hereby appointed a com-
mittee to inspect and examine the same : and that the commis-
sary give his affidavit or engagement to said account, and pro-
cure all such vouchers and other papers and evidences as shall
be necessary, to establish the credit thereof; and that when
the business is perfected, the whole shall be sent to the colo-
ny's agent in Great Britain.

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor, the Governor, be,
and he is hereby empowered to draw bills of exchange, paya-
ble to the agent, for the amount of said account, on the lords
commissioners of the treasury, or others, on whom the pay-
ment thereof shall be incumbent ; and that the money when
received, shall remain in the agent's hands until the General
Assembly shall order the disposal thereof

And His Honor, the Governor, is also hereby empowered to
draw bills on the agent for so much money as the colony hath
advanced to the officers and soldiers of the said three compa-


nies, towards their wages, and for the soldiers' clothing ; and
that said bills be made payable to those merchants in the town
of Newport, that lent the colony the said money.

Whereas, Sarah Ninegret, widow of George Ninegret, late
sachem of the Narragansett tribe of Indians, deceased, and
mother and natural guardian to Thomas Ninegret, an infant
the present sachem of said tribe of Indians, with Tobe}^ Co-
heys, Samuel Niles, John Trask, William Sachem, Ephraim
Coheys, ISIoses Hammond, James Niles and Harry Copper,
Avho were appointed by the said tribe of Indians, councillors
for the present sachem, Thomas Ninegret, in behalf of this sa-
chem, themselves and people of said tribe of Indians, represent-
ed to this Assembly, that they, at the last sitting of this
Assembly, in JMay last, did prefer a petition to said Assembly,
setting forth the deplorable condition they are brought to, by
means of some gentlemen, namely : Joseph Whipple, Daniel
Coggeshall, Samuel Perry, John Spencer and David Anthony,
Esqs., who, as they are informed, were appointed by the Gen-
eral Assembly, trustees, at its session, A. D. 1746, for the man-
agement of the rents and profits of the estate, said by some to
be submitted to this government by the late Ninegret, sachem,
deceased, in the year 1713 ; but without the desire, consent,
request or knowledge of the said Sarah, and the said council-
lors or sachem, whicli was always usual, and such appointment
was always at the request of the sachem and his council ; and
having set forth in said petition, that the said trustees, without
the knowledge and consent of the sachem or any of the coun-
cillors, have leased out the land, which was always kept and
reserved for the tribe of Indians, for planting of corn and rais-
ing other necessaries for their support.

iVnd tlie said Sarah and councillors further declared, that it
is not only their fields and improvements that they have
fenced, and liave been at great labor and charge in making
said fences tliat are rented out from them ; but also, as they
are credibly informed, the wood land, which was alwaj^s kept
and reserved for the tribe of Indians for fire wood ; and also
the sachem's cedar swamp is rented out, which was always


kept and reserved for the tribe of Indians, to cut stuff and sell
the same ; and the said Sarah and councillors apprehend that
when the General Assembly appointed the above named trus-
tees, for the care and management of the rents and profits of
the estate submitted to this government, in the year 1713, by
tne late Ninegret, sachem, deceased, that the General Assembly
had no design nor intent to give the said trustees power to
lease out the sachem's land without his knowledge and con-
sent, and the knowledge and advice of his council ; and they
likewise apprehended that the submission made by tlie sachem
in the year 1713, (if any was made by him in that year,) doth
not give the said trustees or any others, power to lease out the
sachem's land without his knowledge and consent ; they also
informed this Assembly -that the gentlemen who were trustees
to the late sachems, deceased, never leased out any of the said
sachems' land without first having the leave and consent of
the sachem and his council ; and as this Assembly have it in
their power to relieve them in this, their distressed condition
for they know not, as the case is, where to go, nor how to sub-
sist themselves, and must be unavoidably starved without
relief; —

Therefore, they humbly prayed that this Assembly would
take their circumstances into consideration, and dismiss the
above named trustees from their trusteeship, and make void all
the leases given by said trustees of the sachem's land ; and
that the Assembly would allow and accept of their known and
trusty friends, Col. Joseph Stanton, Capt. George Wanton and
Capt. John Frye, to be trustees for tie care and management
of the sachem's estate, for the sachem's interest; the last
named gentlemen having been trustees to the late sachem ;
and the said Sarah and councillors were knowing to the pro-
ceedings and management in that affair, and that their pro-
ceedings gave good satisfaction to the sachem, and a general
satisfaction to the tribe of Indians, &c.

Upon consideration whereof, it is voted and resolved, that
tlie prayer of the said Sarah and councillors, be, and it is here-
by granted ; and that the said Joseph Whipple, Daniel Cog-


geshall, Samuel Perry, John Spencer and David Anthony, be,
and they are hereby removed from their 'aforesaid ofiice of trus-
tees ; and that all the leases by them made, of the sachem's
land, be, and they are hereby declared and made null and
void ; and the aforesaid Col. Joseph Stanton, Capt. Geo, Wan-
ton and Capt. John Frye, are appointed trustees, for the care
and management of the sachem's estate, for his interest.
God save the King.

Proceedings of the General Assemhhj held for the Cohmj of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Neivport, on the last
Monday in August, 1747.

The Hon. Gideon Wanton, Governor.

The lion. William Robinson, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

[There was no business of a public nature, transacted at this
session of the Assembly.]

Governor Shirley to Governor Jf anion.

Boston August 20, 1747.
Sir : — I send now to inform Your Honor, tbat on the 16th inst. arrived here a flag
of truce from Quebec, with one hundred and seventy-one English prisoners, belong-
ing to this Province, and divers other of His Majesty's colonies in North America,
&c., by which ship I received a letter* from the Marquis Beauharnois, Governor of

* The letter from the Marquis of Beauharnois, transmitted by Gov. Shirley, is very long,
and relates to the exchange of prisoners. It is exceedingly courteous in its tone, and ac-
knowledges the kind attentions paid to the French prisoners, in Boston, by the autliori-
ties there. It appears that one of them, Lieut. La Groix, had broken his parole. Speak-
ing of him, Gen. Beauharnois says, this gentleman, " by his services and good qualities,
had merited some distinction from me; but I cannot but disapprove his having broken his
parole, as you assure me he liad done. He can blame nobody but himself, that he ^as
put under a more close confinement. I am nevertheless obliged to you for your goodness
to him, on my account. This particular he has not failed to inform me of."


Canada, a copy whereof, I now enclose ; by perusing of which, you will understand
that I wrote to him a letter, dated the 18th of March last, therein proposlnir a gen-
eral exchange of prisoners, without having a regard to the inequality of numbers on
either side ; and that each Governor should bear the charge of the transportation of
their own prisoners.

This I undertook (absolutely) only for myself, yet presuming It would be accept-
able to all the rest of the English Governors ; and in consequence of which, the
said Governor of Canada has now released all the English prisoners with him, ex-
cept a few that were not In such health as to allow them to be transported without
danger ; and that the said Governor does fully agree to my proposal, expecting that
the other Governors will also come Into this agreement, desiring that I should let
him know their resolutions by the return of this flag of truce, which is limited to
the term of fifteen days for his stay here, which will expire the last of this month.

Therefore, I must entreat Your Honor to send me your answer upon these points
by this express, that 1 may forward it to the Governor of Canada, agreeably to his
desire expressed to me In his letter ; and as there are now, and may be hereafter,
English prisoners belonging to Great Britain and other places, at a distance from
these provinces, brought in by the flags of truce, it will be expected that your gov-
ernment will bear their part of this charge, so that it may not be wholly thrown up-
on this.

And I must further 'desire that you would appoint some agent here, who may
from time to time answer for the charge of any English prisoners of your province,
that may be released from captivity, in pursuance of this agreement, and brought
in hither ; and as there are now brought ifi this flag of truce six prisoners,* that you
would be pleased to take such measures, that In proportion to the number aforesaid,
your province may bear their part of the charge of this flag of truce ; you will also
send me your answer respecting the Governor of Canada's proposal, as to the pur-
chasing prisoners out of the Indians' hands.

I have likewise enclosed a copy of the agreement made for the hire of this flag of
truce, which you will find to be 10,000 livres.

I am, sir, Your Honor's most obedient and most humble servant,


Proceedings of the General Assembly held for the Colony of
Rhode Island' and Providence Plantations, at Soidh Kings-
toivn, the last Wednesday in October, 1747.

The Hon. Gideon Wanton, Governor.

The Hon. William Robinson, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

* These prisoners were John Pike, Edward Tew, John Years, Gregory Cousins, Jacob
Judah, and Samuel Savers.

VOL. V. 29


His Honor, the Governor, is hereby requested to write to
Richard Partridge, Esq., the colony's agent in Great Britain,
and desire that gentleman to send him over all his accounts
with the colony, and the particulars of them, during the time
he has been in the colony's service.

This Assembly having taken into consideration the extracts
of His Grace, the Dake of Newcastle's letter, to Governor Shir-
ley, respecting the dismission of the troops, raised in America,
for the expedition intended against Canada, together with the
letter from Governor Shirley and Governor Knowles to our
Governor, thereupon are of opinion as follows :

1st. That it will be proper, and His Honor, the Governor, is here-
by requested to send, forthwith, unto their Excellencies, the en-
listment and muster rolls of all the soldiers raised in this colo-
ny, for the expedition ; and all other papers His Honor may
think necessary ; and that the whole bo duly authenticated.

2d. That these troops being raised in consequence of a
proclamation issued by the Governor, with the advice of the
Assembly, they ought to be discharged, according to the tenor
of that proclamation, and the true intent and meaning

3d. That, as it appears by the several extracts from the
Duke of Newcastle's letter, the disbanding the troops raised
for the aforesaid service, is wholly vested in their Excellencies ;
the way and manner of doing it, and paying off the officers and
soldiers, must be their proper province ; and His Honor, the
Governor, is desired to inform their Excellencies of the senti-
ments of this Assembly.

God save the Kino-.

[The fbllowin<T Publio Laws, passed during the year 1747, are printed at
length in the volume ot public laws, published in that year, unless repealed previous
to that time.]

An Act for quieting possessions, and establishing titles of land within the towns of

Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton, Warren and Cumberland. (January.)

An Act for supplying the general treasury with the sum of £15,000, in bills of

credit, of the new tenor. (February.)
An Act for the more regular establishing a superior court of judicature, court of

assize and general jail delivery, throughout the colony. (February.)



An Act for regulating appeals to His Majesty, in council, in Great Britain, and for

repealing the former act made for that purpose. (Februaiy.)
An Act for settling the militia of the towns of Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton,

Warren and Cumberland. (February.)
An Act in emendation of part of an act, passed in 1744, entitled " An act ascertain-
ing what estate is ratable, and for proportioning the same in value." (June.)
An Act directing how the value of ratable estates in this colony, shall be known,

and each town's proportion thereof. (June.)
An Act for the incorporation of Redwood Library, in Newport. (August.)
An Act for appointing committees in each town in this colony, for the management

of the colony's money, let, or to be let, on loan, in the several towns. (August.)
An Act for the ease of prisoners for debt. (August.)
An Act for increasing the fines and fees of petit jurors, and for punishing the towns

which do not return their quota of jurors. (August.)
An additional Act to prevent the spreading of the small pox, and<)ther contagious

diseases. (August.)
An Act appointing coroners in each town in this colony. (August.)
An Act apportioning the number of jurors in each town. (August.)
An Act to empower the clerk of the superior courts to appoint a deputy.

An Act for the better regulating the several ferries in the colony. (August.)
An additional Act for the regulating and mending of highways. (October.)
An Act for printing all the public laws, and acts that shall hereafter be made and

passed by the General Assembly. (October.)
An Act directing all the public laws now in force, in the colony, to be put in print.


Governor Shirley and Admiral Knowles to Governor Wanton.

• Boston, October 10th, 1747.

Sir : — The enclosed is an extract from a letter of the Duke of Newcastle, to Gov-
ernor Shirley, signifying His Majesty's commands to us, upon the several matters
contained in it.

In obedience to which, we must desire you will be pleased to tratismit to us, by
return of this express, or as soon aftejkas you can, muster roll?, or lists of the several
officers and soldiers raised within your government for His Majesty's service, in the
late intended expedition against Canada, (which His Majesty has laid aside for the
present,) distinguishing the companies into whii;h they were formed, with the re-
spective times of every officer's engaging in His Majesty's service, and days on
which the soldiers were enlisted into it, (which last may be best done by attested
copies of the enlistments themselves ;) also an account of the deaths of such of the
officers and men which have happened since they entered into the service, with the
respective times when they happened ; as also of the dismissions and desertions of
any of the soldiers, and times of their being discharged or deserting ; together
with an account of the furloughs which have been granted from time to time to the
soldiers, and for what time ; as also upon what command or duty, the officers and
men have been respectively employed since the time of their entering into the ser-
vice ; together with a muster roll or list of the officers and effective private soldiers


now remaining in the service ; all which rolls, lists and accounts, we desire may
be flulv certified by the proper officers, under their hands, upon oath, taken be-
fore yourself, and attested by you ; also, that you would transmit to us an account
of the charges of the clothing, arms and accoutrements of the soldiers, and of all
other expenses which have been incurred on account of the expedition, and are
not to be defrayed by the colony under your government, from the time of their
bein" levied, to the time of your attesting the said accounts ; together with the
vouchers thereof, all duly certified, upon oath, by the proper parties before you ;
and a copy of the proclamation, issued by you for the encouragement of troops to
enlist into the aforesaid service, with copies of the votes of your Assembly, touch-
ing the bounty and subsistence or allowance of provisions granted by them for the

And we must further desire that you would, in pursuance of His Majesty's or-
ders, communicate to us, your sentiments and opinion as to the manner of dis-
charging these officers and soldiers, and ujjon what foot it may be best done, hav-
ing due regard to His Majesty's command to us, for doing it in the most frugal man-
ner, and his expectation in this affair ; and this we desire you will forthwith do, as
a great charge is running on, till the soldiers shall be dismissed by us from this

We must also desire you, in obedience to His Majesty's commands, to recommend
it to your Assembly to furnish such sums of money or credit as may be wanted, to
pay off the soldiers ; which you will perceive, by the extracts of the Duke of New-
castle's letter, is to be provided for by Parliament, as soon as the accounts of the
whole charge Incurred by raising the levies, shall be transmitted to His Grace, by
us ; and forthwith let us know your opinion of the success of such an application ;
as also to let us know whether you have advanced any, and what sums of money
to the officers and soldiers, or any of them, on account of their pay, and after what
rate, and to what time they are paid in full.

And as you perceive, we are commanded by His Majesty to retain such a number
of the American levies In his pay as we shall judge sufficient for the securing of
Nova Scotia, against the enemy's attempts, until a reinforcement can be sent thither
from Great Britain ; the preservation of which colony, is of the greatest importance
to the safety and welfai-e of all His Majesty's northern colonies; and also, that Mr.
Shirley is ordered by His Majesty to complete his owh, as well as Sir William
Pepperell's, as likewise Lieut. Gen. Phillips's regiment out of those troops, we hope
you will assist the oflicers who should be seft to raise recruits for those purposes,
into your government, with your Influence and authority, and contribute every-
thing in your power to their success, and the promoting of His Majesty's service.

We think it clear, that the arms and accoutrements of the soldiers are to be re-
turned ; and where the men have lost them, their value must bo stopped out of
their pay, or rather the several captains are to be called upon lor the arms of their
respective companies, and are chargeable therewith, which you will be pleased to

And we must desire you will forthwith let us know your opinion of what pay it
will be reasonable to allow the officers, as well as men, for their service.

We are, sir. Your Honor's most obedient humble servants


To the Hon. Gideon Wanton. CHAPvLES KNOWLES.


Gov. Sliirlci) and Admiral Knowlcs to Gov. Wanton.

Extracts of a letter from His Grace, the Duke of Newcastle, to Governor Shirley,
dated Whitehall, May 30th, 1747.

" His Majesty has been pleased to direct me to signify to you his pleasure that you
should immediately appoint a meeting with Commodore Knowles, at such place as
shall be agreed upon, and consider with him the present state of Nova Scotia and
Louisbourg, and take the proper measures for the defence of those places.

" It is His Majesty's pleasure you should endeavor to complete from out of the
Americans, who are now raised for His Majesty's service. Sir William Pepperell's
regiment and your own.

" Lieut. Gen. Phillips's regiment, is, I am afraid, very weak. I will, however,
send His Majesty's orders to send what recruits can be got from hence ; and you
will also endeavor to have his regiment completed out of the Americans.

" As it is His Majesty's intention that the Americans should be immediately dis-
charged, except only such few as are mentioned above, the manner of discharging
them, the satisfaction of their time, &c., must be left to Commodore Knowles and
yourself ; the King, however, is persuaded you will do it as cheap as possible.

" And as these American troops have done little or no service hitherto, it is
to be hoped they will not expect to be paid in the manner they would have been,
had they actually been employed on service ; and as it seems highly reasonable
that such of those troops as have remained in the Provinces, where they were en-
listed, should be contented with less pay than such of them as may have marched
into other Provinces.

" When you and Mr. Knowles shall have met and fully considered the service to
be undertaken, in the manner above directed, and shall have agreed what number
of Americans it will be necessary to keep in pay for that purpose, it is His Majes-
ty's pleasure that you should procure an account of the whole expense incurred on

Online LibraryRhode Island. cnRecords of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England. Printed by order of the General Assembly (Volume 5) → online text (page 21 of 56)