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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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What is the strength of your neighboring Europeans, French or Spaniards ?

What elfect have the French or Spanish settlements on the continent of Ameri-
ca, upon His ]\lajesty's plantations, especially on your colony ?

What is the revenue arising within your government, and how is it ap-
propriated V

What are the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of your government ?

What are the establishments, civil and military, within your government, and by
what authority do the olHcers hold their places'?

Chambers Russell io Gov. Greene.



Charlestown, July 8th, 1 748.
Sir :— The lords commissioners of the admiralty, having been informed that there
was an iniquitous trade subsisting between the colony of Rhode Island and the
King's enemies, under color of Hags of truce, have directed me to make the most
strict inquiry into the truth of it, and if I find the same to be fact, to make proper
remonstrances to the government of Ithode Island against such illegal pro-
ceedings.

I have, in compliance with their iord.ships' commands, made inquiry into the
same, and find that there were the last year, abov.; twenty sail of vessels commis-
sioned as (lags of truce, by the government of Khode Island, to carry prisoners to
the French West Indies; which vessels have carried but few prisoners; but under
color of said commissions, have carried cargoes of fish and other provisions to the
King's enemies, and in return have brought back the produce of the French sugar
plantations.



1748.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 259

And also, that several French flags of truce came to Rhode Island, with cargoes
of molasses, sugar and indigo ; for which, they have carried back in return-
provisions.

And as said trade is strictly prohibited by His Majesty's proclamation, and is a
base prostitution of the King's commission, and has a tendency to distress His Maj-
esty's subjects and succor the enemy, I doubt not but that you'll take the utmost
care to prevent it ; and will see that those who presume to carry on such illicit
trade, for the future, are duly punished.

I am, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

CHAMBERS RUSSELL.
To the Hon. William Greene, Esq.,

to be communicated to the General Court.

Whereas, Josiah Aniold, Esq., and Mr. John Hull, both of
Jamestown, and Mr. John Gardner, of South Kingstown, were
by the General Assembly, appointed a committee, they, or the
major part of them, to purchase for the colony's use, the two
ferry places on the west side of Jamestown, with the two ferry
boats, and all other appurtenances, if the same might be had
at a reasonable rate, and cheaper than to build new, &c., and
having undertaken, and gone through that work, made the fol-
lowing report of their doings, &c, :

*' Colony of Rhode Island, Jamestown,
October 22d, 1748.

Pursuant to an act of the General Assembly of this colony, held at Newport, by
adjournment, the 28th of August, A. D., 1748, we, the subscribers, do report as
followeth, viz. :

That we having met and duly considered the expense of buildings suitable for fer-
rying from the west side of Jamestown to the main, and the season being so far spent
that we had no hopes of completing the same, so as to accommodate the country
this winter, thought it best to buy those already erected there, and have purcliased
the same of William Martin, for the consideration of £3,155, in bills of public
credit; and have taken a deed of the same, made to the Governor and Company of
the colony of Rhode Island ; which deed we have lodged in the clerk's office, in or-
der to be recorded ; but the same cannot be done at present, there being no money
in the treasury to discharge those bonds and mortgages, for which the land is
surety, or we should have presented Your Honors with the deed ; £155, of the
above sum, being in tenth bonds, the remaining sum of £3,000 we have given bond
for payment, in two months, with interest at ten per cent. ; which we hope Your
Honors will take into consideration, and order the money raised to discharge the
same, lest we should be sufferers in the affair.

We also acquaint Your Honors, that we have agreed with Thos. Spencer to keep
the ferries two months, at the rate of £200 per annum, he being a person, who
we well know, is capable offending and taking proper care of the boats in stormy
weatlier ; and as Your Honors are well sensible that the purchasing the ferries was



260 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1748.

for the better accommodating the public, we doubt not but Your Honors -will be of
opinion that not every person who may appear eager to give the greatest rent for
the ferries, and perhaps for want of care and judgment in the affair, may lose one
or both the boats, will be suitable to serve the public, as one who is capable of
carrying passengers with safety, and taking that due care of the boats, which
sometimes requires a good deal of judgment in bad storms.

We would further inform Your Honors, that both the wharves want some repairs ;
the northernmost not being sufficient to land at low water ; so that all the boats are
obliged to come to the south wharf; which oftentimes is attended with a good deal
of difficulty, by running each other on shore; and passengers obliged to jump their
horses into the water, and oftentimes land, and take on board through two qr three
boats ; so that travellers' horses are many times lamed by that means ; all which
we thought proper to inform Your Honors of. JOSIAH ARNOLD,

JOHN HULL,
JOHN GARDNER."

Which report being duly considered, this Assembly do vote
and resolve, that the same be, and it is hereby accepted ; and
that the committee, aforesaid, be still continued ; that they
make such repairs at the aforementioned ferry places, as are
necessary at present ; that they let out said ferry places until
the session of the Assembly, in May next ; and draw money
out of the general treasury, and discharge the aforesaid bonds
and mortgage of the premises, as well as the rest of the pur-
chase money.

God save the King.

[The following Public Laws, passed during the year 1748, are printed at
length in the volume of public laws, published in 1767, unless repealed previous to
that time.]

An Act in addition to an act, entitled " An act enabling the town council of each

town to grant licenses for the retailing strong liquors," etc. (February.)
An Act enabling the several towns to make such town acts, as may seem to them

meet, for the raising of monies to defray the charges of each town. (February.)
An Aft in aildition to an act directing the attendance of petit jurors, as witnesses.
An Act directing of gaining a legal settlement in any town in the colony, and for the

removal of poor persons from their illegal to their legal place of settlement.

(June.)
An Act to prevent profane cursing and swearing. (August.)
An Act to render the session of the General Assembly less precarious than it hatli

been hitherto. (August.)
An additional Act to prevent the spreading of the small pox, and other contagious

"jckness in tiin (.-olony (Oi-tober. )



1749.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 261



Proceedings of the General AssemUy, held for the Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, the od, day
of January, 1748-9.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. William Ellery, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

It is voted and resolved, that Robert Gibbs, Stephen Hop-
kins, Daniel Jenckes and George' Brown, Bsqs., be, and they
are hereby appointed a committee to take into consideration
the letter from His Excellency, Governor Shirley, with the
other papers relating to the paper currency, and make report
thereon to this Assembly, at their next session.

God save the King.



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 27//« day
of February, 1748-9.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. William Ellery, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

It is voted and resolved, that the committee, who were ap-
pointed to pay off the soldiers raised for the expedition intend-
ed against Canada, render an account, upon oath, unto His
Honor, the Governor, how much sterling money hath been by
them paid to the said soldiers ; and that His Honor, the Gov-
ernor, draw bills for the same, on the lords of tiie treasury,
payable to the agent of this colony.



262 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1749.

It is voted and resolved, that Stephen Hopkins, Esq., Col.
Thomas Haszard, Capt. Job Handall and Mr. Benjamin Brown,
be, and they are hereby constituted a committee, to examine
into the state and condition of the several bridges in this colo-
ny, and make report to this Assembly, at their next session,
what bridges ought to be maintained in whole or in part, by
the colony, and by what ways and means the other bridges
are to be supported.

It is voted and resolved, that the several towns in this colo-
ny, pay the persons by them respectively appointed to take an
account of the number of polls and rateable estate in each
town in the government, in the year of our Lord, 1747 : and
also the persons by them respectively appointed (in conse-
quence of an act passed by the General Assembly, at their ses-
sion in Providence, in October last,) to number the inhabitants
of each town, whites, Indians and negroes ; and that the ac-
count of all and every such person or persons, for his or their
time, and so forth, in said afiairs, be presented to their con-
stituents, the town council, who are hereby empowered to ex-
amine the same, and give orders on their town treasurer for the
payment of such sum or sums as they shall find justly due to
the person or persons presenting his or their accounts, as
aforesaid.

Whereas, Peter Bours, Edward Scott and George Wanton,
Esqs., Mr. James SheHield, the speaker and Stephen Hopkins,
Esq., or the major part of them, were by this Assembly, at their
session in Providence, the last Wednesday of October last,
constituted a committee to sell for ready money, and to the
best advantage, Ihe bills of exchange then voted and resolved
In bo (hMwn hy His Honor, the Governor, on Mr. Part-
ri(lg(\ lh(; colony's agent in Great Britain, for all their
money in his hands; ihat when they had so done, they
should exchange all the bills of credit of the neighboring gov-
ernments they receive in pay for bills of credit of this colony,
and bring the whole to this Assembly, to be burnt, in order to
sink such of this colony's bills, as by acts of Assemldy are to
bo liisl suid; : and llic said connuiKoe, or the major part of



1749.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 263

them, having assumed that province, and gone througli the
business, made the following report :

" We, the subscribers, appointed in conjunction with Stephen
Hopkins, Esq., by the Honorable General Assembly of the
colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New
England, at their session in October past, to sell the govern-
ment's money, in the hands of the agent Mr. Richard Part-
ridge, do report, that ^ve have sold bills on the said agent, to
the amount of £7,800, at the rate of exchange of £1,050 cur-
rency, for £100 sterling ; and also, that we have received of
Messrs. Oliver and Phillips, the sum of £3,150, old tenor, for
the bill of £300, sterling, drawn on them by the said agent, as
per account hereunto annexed.

PETER BOURS, JAMES SHEFFIELD,

EDWARD SCOTT, THOxAIAS CRANSTON."

GEORGE WANTON,

[Here follows a list of the bills of exchange drawn, amount-
ing to £88,725 00 0.]

And forasmuch, as the committee, aforesaid, have delivered
the said sum of £88,725, in bills of public credit (old tenor),
emitted by this colony, unto the committee, by this Assembly
appointed to receive and tell the same, and the said committee
having received, told and brought the said bills hither, and
they having been burnt in the presence of this Assembly ; —

It is voted and resolved, that the said Peter Bours, Edward
Scott, George Wanton, James Sheffield, Thomas Cranston and
Stephen Hopkins, be, and they are hereby discharged of the
trust aforesaid.

Whereas, Robert Lawton, Jonathan Peck and Matthew Al-
len, Esqs., were, by the General Assembly, appointed a commit-
tee, to view the several places in Middletown, proposed for lay-
ing out a highway ; (fhd having undertaken and performed that
service, made report of their doings, on the back of the Assem-
bly's vote, which qualified them ; which report, follows in these
words :



264 RECORDS OP TILE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1749.

" We, the subscribers (the committee within named), having
considered the affair to us committed, and pursued the direc-
tion to us given, as within written, do report, as follows, viz. :

" 1. That a drift way is sufficient ; and that there be no
open highway, as prayed for, by the petitioners.

2. That the southwardmost place proposed to us, that is,
from the double gate on the west side, to another gate on the
east side of Easton's Neck, being the old accustomed way, is
the place where said drift way shall be, in our opinion, with
the greatest convenience.

Given under our hands, this 27th day of February, A. D.
1748. ROBERT LAWTON,

JONATHAN PECK,
MATTHEW ALLEN."

Which report, being duly considered, this Assembly do vote
and resolve, that the same be, and it is hereby accepted.
God save the King.



Proceedings of the General Asscmhl//, held for the Colony of Bhode
Idaml and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the Id day
of May, 1749.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. William Ellery, Deputy Governor.

ASSISTANTS.

^Ir. Peter Bours, Mr. Robert Lawton,

Mr. John Gardner, Mr. William Richmond,

Mr. William Burton, Mr. Daniel Coggeshall,
Mr. Stephen IJruwnell,

Mr. Stephen Hopkins, speaker, and Mr. Josias Lyndon,
cloik.



1749.]



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.



265



Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of liliode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the first Wednes-
day of May, 1749.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. William Ellery, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.



DEPUTIES.



Newport.
Capt. George Wanton,
Mr. Joseph Whipple, Jr.,
Mr. Thomas Cranston,
Mr. John Tillinghast,
Mr. Nicholas Easton,
Mr. James Sheffield.

Providence.
]\Ir. Jonathan Randall,
Mr. Stephen Hopkins,
Mr. Elisha Brown,
Mr. Daniel Jenckes.

Portsmouth.
Mr. Oliver Earl,
Mr. Gideon Freeborn, Jr.,
Mr. John Allen,
Mr. Benjamin Tucker.

WanvicJc.
Mr. Philip Greene,
Mr. John Holden,
Mr. John Greene,
Capt. Amos Lockwood.



Westerly.
Capt. Silas Greenman,
Mr. Joshua Babcock.

New Shoreham.
Mr. John Littlefield,
Mr. Abel Franklin.

North Kingstown.
Col. Immanuel Northup,
Capt. Daniel Fones.

South Kingstown.
Capt. Robert Haszard,
Mr. Rowland Robinson.

East 'Greenimch.
Mr. Joseph Nichols,
Capt. Thomas Spencer.

Jamestown.
Mr. Daniel Weeden,
Mr. Joseph Clarke.
Smithfield.
Mr. Thomas Lapham,
Mr. John Aldrich.
Scitiiate.
Mr. Thomas Ralph,
Mr. Thomas Hudson.



VOL. V.



34



266



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND



[1749.



Glocesier.
Mv. Richard Steere,
Maj. Richard Smith.
Chcuicstoivn.
Col. Joseph Stanton,
Mr. James Congdon.
West Greenwich.
Mr. Jeremiah Ellis,
Mr. George Gardner.

Goveniry.
Mr. James Colvin,
Mr. Benjamin Nichols.

Exeter.
Capt. John "Weight,
Mr. Benoni Gardner.

Mkldletoivn.
Capt. Robert Barker,
Mr. Jonathan Easton.



DEPUTIES.

Bristol.
Mr. Thomas Greene.

Tiverton.
Mr. John Howland,
Mr. Edward Wanton.

Little Compton.
j\lr. William Hall,
Mr. Nathaniel Searle.

Warren.
Mr. James Smith,
Capt. Benjamin Barton.

Gumherland.
Mr. Israel Whipple,
Mr. Job Bartlett.

Richmond.
Mr. Joseph Clarke,
Mr. James Rogers.



The Hon. Stephen Hopkins, speaker, and Mr. Josias Lyn-
don, clerk.

The following officers, declared elected, were duly engaged :

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. William Ellery, Deputy Governor.



ASSISTANTS.



Mr. Peter Bours,
Mi\ Simon Pease,
Mr. William Burton,
Mr. Edward Kinnicutt,
Mr. Stephen Brownell,



Mr. Robert Lawton,
Mr. James Arnold,
Mr. William Ptichmond,
Mr. Daniel Coggeshall,
Mr. Jeoffrey Watson.



1749.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 207



SECP.ETAIIY. GENERAL TREASURER,

Mr. Thomas Ward. Mr. Thomas Richardson.

ATTORNEY GENERAL,

Mr. Daniel Updike.

It is voted and resolved, that the sheriff of the county of
Newport, provide liquor, to the amount of .£50, to entertain
those gentlemen that shall attend the solemnity of proclaiming
peace.

God save the King,



Proceedings of the General AssemMi/, held for the Coloiyj of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Neivport, the second lion-
da^ in tlime, 1749.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. William Ellery, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

It is voted and resolved, that Mr. Richard Partridge, agent
for this colony, be allowed the sum of £100, for his extraordi-
nary trouble in the affair of the controversy respecting the
affair of the boundary line between the Province of the Mas-
sachusetts Bay and this colony ; and that he be allowed two
per cent, for receiving the money granted by the crown to this
colony, for re-paying the charge of the Canada expedition ;
and that the agent give this colony credit for the £400 by
him charged the 2 1st day of November, 1744, for future ser-
vices, &c. ; and that the charge of £82, in his account, for the
losses in the bills drawn on this colony, in favor of Oliver &
Phillips, be not allowed, until it be further explained by the
agent ; and that the rest of his whole account be allowed.
• And that Peter Bours, Esq., Messrs. Thomas Cranston and



2G8 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1749.

Joseph Whipple, Jr., be, and they are hereby constituted a
committee to draught a letter, to be perusec. j thi- ' -o^^kit,
and signed by His Honor, the Governor, and sent to the agent ;
and that he be properly empowered by this colony, to receive
the money of the lords of the treasury, or from whomsoever
else it may be due, for the bills of exchange that this govern-
ment shall have a right to draw, for what they have paid the
soldiers raised for the intended expedition against Canada, that
hath not been already refunded this colony.

It is voted and resolved, that His Honor, the Governor, write
a letter, in behalf of the government, to Sir Peter Warren, re-
questing that he would certify to the lords of the treasury, or
where else it may be necessary, what may be within his knowl-
edge of this government's sending the three companies raised
for the intended expedition against Canada, to Annapolis
Royal, by his and Governor Shirley's request ; and that he
would be pleased to use his kind offices in procuring for this
government, a reimbursement of their expense.

" We, the subscribers, being appointed by the General As-
sembly, to take an inventory of the warlike and other stores?
&c., belonging to the colony, do report according to said ap-
pointment, as followcth :

We viewed at Fort George, in the lower battery, viz. : twen-
ty-five cannon, in carriages, twenty-five sponges with staffs,
thirty-six crab handspikes, four ladles for the cannon, and four
cannon wormcrs, eight hundred and seventy-four cannon shot.
On the platform, &c., twelve cannon in carriages, etc., etc. etc.

JOHN TILLINGHAST, JAMES SHEFFIELD."

THOMAS CRANSTON,

[The report contains a minute account of all the military
stores possessed by the colony, and of the places where kept ;
also, a list of the stores belonging to the sloop-of-war Tartar ;
among which, arc fourteen carriage and twelve swivel guns.
The report was accepted ; the cannon, small arms and ammu-
nition appropriated to various parts of the colony.]



1749.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 269

And now, this Assembly, having duly considered the premis-
- . /!/> v^^ < -rjd I,- Ave, and it is hereby voted and resolved,
that the aforesaid refport be, and it is hereby accepted ; and
that all the stores therein mentioned, (excepting the musket
balls, and also the powder in the cartouch boxes,) be forthwith
sold at a public vendue, and the money arising thereby, be
lodged in the general treasury ; and that a commissary be ap-
pointed to take care of the colony's arms, and get them cleaned,
and lodge them in the garret of the colony house, together
with all other warlike stores belonging to the colony (except-
ing such only as properly belong to the fort, and the cannon
and swivel guns, which belonged to the sloop Tartar) ; and
that no more than six small arms be left at the fort.

It is voted and resolved, that the committee, appointed by
the General Assembly, to pay off the forces raised for the
Canada expedition, do procure two regular attested copies of
the muster-rolls of each company, and make oath to the truth
of their having received the money for paying the soldiers ;
and that His Honor, the Governor, be, and he is hereby desired
and empowered to send the same home to England, and forth-
with to draw bills of exchange, payable to our agent, Mr.
Partridge, for said money, on the lords of the treasury, or any
other, on whom the payment of the same may be incumbent.

Whereas, Peter Bours, Esq., Messrs. Thomas Cranston and
Joseph Whipple, Jr., were constituted a committee, to draught
a letter to be perused by this Assembly, signed by His Honor,
the Governor, and sent to the agent ; and having performed
the same, and exhibited their draught ; —

It is voted and resolved, that a letter of the same purport be
drawn, signed by His Honor, the Governor, and sent to the
agent, together with a copy of the record of the money burnt
at the last session of this Assembly, held at Providence ; and
likewise a copy of the act empowering His Honor, the Gov-
ernor, to draw bills for what has, by the colony, been paid the
soldiers raised for the Canada expedition.

God save the King.



270



RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND



[1749.



[At the close of the October session, 1718, (p. 256,) a committee was appointed to
answer the queries of the board of trade, relative to the population of the colony,
etc. There is not among the records of the secretary's office, any copy of this
report. The statement hereto annexed, is taken from ^^ Douglass' Summary, etc.,
of the Jirst planting, progressive improvements and present state of the British set-
tlements in North America." London, 1754. Vol. 2, p. 89. From its precise-
ness, it was doubtless copied from the original, in H. B. M. State Paper Office, in
London.]



17 4 8



17 4 9



Townships.



Newjiort

Providence

Portsmouth

Warwick

Westerly

New Shoreham . . .
North Kingstown, .
South Kingstown, .

Greenwich

Jamestown

Smithfield

Scituatc

Gloeester

Charlestown . . . .
West (ircenwich,.

Coventry

Exeter

Middletown

Bristol

Tiverton

Little Compton . .

Warren

CuniVii-rland

Ricliniond



5335

3177

807

1513

1701

260

1665

1405

956

284

400

1210

1194

641

757

769

1103

586

928

842

1004

600

802

500



888 58 119 28439 3077 1257 51



110

225

134

176

59

20

184

380

61

110

30/

16

8

58

8

16

63

76

128

99

62

50

4

5



68
50
51
93
49
20
86
193
27
26
20
6

303
1



Governor Greene io Txichard Pcirtridcje, Agent for Rhode Island,

in London.



Newport, June 18, 1749.
Sir:— The letters I have lately received from you, with that directed to the com-
mittee who disposed of the sterling money in your hands, have been communicated
to the General Assembly, who have ordered me to inform you, that on examining



1749.]



AND PEOVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 271



the accounts of your agency, they find £400 charged November 21st, 1744, as a
reserve in your hands, for future services ; for which, they judge you ought to have
given credit, inasmuch as all the expenses from that time to this, which you have
been at on the colony's behalf, are charged in your several accounts.

The article of £82, charged as a loss on the bills of exchange you drew, payable
to Messrs. Oliver & Phillips, the Assembly expects a further explanation of the
equity and reasonableness of, before they can readily allow of it.

And as to the article of commissions, for negotiating the affair of the money ad-
vanced by this government for the Canada expedition, they have voted you two
per cent, for receiving the same ; as they have also, £I00, as a gratuity for your



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