Rhode Island. cn.

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

. (page 49 of 56)
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 49 of 56)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


which cost them upwards of £10,000, currency, which was more at that time than
£3,000, sterling ; and had purchased twenty-four cannon for the same, which cost
between £600 and £700, sterling, all at their own charge, for their defence against
an enemy.

Whereupon, your memorialist did humbly prefer a petition to the King, conform-
ably thereto, in behalf of the said colony, signifying their request of being supplied
with twenty cannon more, from eighteen to twenty-four pounders, and a quantity
of shot for each gun ; which petition was referred to the lords commissioners for
trade and plantations, who, after hearing your memorialist's allegations, in behalf of
the said colony, did, on the 14th of July, 1735, make their report, that they were
of opinion, it would be of service to the colony. If His Majesty would be graciously
pleased to grant their request, which report is yet lying in the council office.

That upon further application, afterwards made by your memorialist, to the
then lords committee of council, they were pleased, on the 20th day of September,
1744, to refer the consideration of this affair to the Duke of Montague, master gen-
eral of the ordnance, and in case he had no objection thereto, that then he should
cause an estimate to be prepared of the expense thereof, and report the same to the
said committee.

That, thereupon, the said master general of the ordnance caused an estimate to
be made of the said twenty pieces of cannon, with proper stores appertaining,

VOL. Y. 66



522 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1756.

amounting in the whole, to£l,812 14*-.; and on the Cth of November, 1744, a report
of the same was signed by the Duke of Montague, and sent to the lords committee
of council, accordingly.

That the said lords committee did afterwards, viz. : on the 5th of February,
1744, take into consideration the report of said estimate, and made an order that
your memorialist should write over for an exact plan of the said fort, and when re-
ceived, to lay the same before the said lords committee of council.

That your memorialist did write over to the Governor of Rhode Island, accord-
ingly, and received from thence a plan of their fortification, which he laid before
the said lords committee, agreeably to their order ; but this matter, notwithstanding
your memorialist's endeavor, (being delayed) nothing has ever yet been obtained,
in consequence of the aforesaid application, till peace was concluded.

That your memorialist has lately received advice from the Governor of the said
colony, dated April 1 7th, 1 755, intimating that, as now again they seem to be threat-
ened with a war, and have been strictly commanded by His Majesty to do every
thing in their power to put their colony in the best posture of defence they can,
and that, in obedience thereto, they have ordered their fortification to be repaired
and enlarged ; and have again directed your memorialist properly to apply for such
a number of cannon and stores of such sizes as may render their fortification com-
plete, according to its enlargements now making ; and the said Governor hath also
written to Sir Thos. Kobinson, secretary of state, thereabout, and sent him a com-
plete plan of their fortification ; a copy of the Governor's letter, thereupon, is here-
unto annexed

That the General Assembly of the said colony, have lately granted a tax on the
people, of £10,000, currency ; and the town of Newport, in the said colony, £5,000
more, to be wholly appropriated to the repairing and enlarging the fort.

That Rhode Island is situated about seventy miles from Boston, in the Massachu-
setts Bay, and separated from the main land, only by a river of about two or three
miles over ; and in case it should be invaded in the condition it is at present, it may
become (as it is conceived,) an easy prey to the enemy ; in which case, they may
cross a narrow river, and march an army into the heart of the Province of tho
Massachusetts.

And for that, as your memorialist has been lately advised from their Governor,
Stephen Hopkins, Esq., of the 10th of January last, that in the late expedition, un-
dertaken for reducing Crown Point, this little colony has already expended more
than £15,000, sterling ; the whole of which sum lies as a debt upon it.

'Iherefore, in regard the said colony, as your memorialist apprehends, hath done,
and is now about doing, to the utmost they are able, in building and repairing
their fort, and formerly purchasing the said twenty-four cannon, before they would
become chargeable to the crown.

Your memorialist most humbly prays, that you would be pleased to advise the
King to grant the said colonj' such a number of cannon, as may render their fortifi .
cation complete, from eighteen to twenty-four pounders, with shot for each gun, and
Dliier stores suitable for them. All which, is humbly submitted.

Lcii'l.n, 4th mo., or April 2d. 1755. RICHARD PARTRIDG E.



1756.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 523



Governor Shirley to Governor Hopkins.

«

Boston, April 4th, 1756.

Sir : — I am favored with Your Honor's letter, of the 2d instant, and am glad to
find that you have reason to be fully persuaded that the colony of Rhode Island
will augment their numbers of men for the present expedition, in proportion to the
other colonies concerned ; and I can't but much approve of the prudent method
you intend to observe for preventing any embarrassment in the enlisting the
men.

Four companies, consisting of two hundred men, carpenters and axemen, are
gone from this province for Albany and Fort William Henry ; the committee for
forwarding the transportation of provisions and stores, &c., set out for Albany
about ten days ago. In their way to Albany, they are to forward to Albany, the ox
teams ; and the sooner the carpenters, guards, and ox teams of your colony set out
for the same place, the better.

I have appointed Major General Winslow, to the chief command, which I hope
will be agreeable to Your Honor's government.

I will take care to appoint a court of admiralty for the trial of Joseph Hughes, as
you desire.

I am, with great regard and esteem, sir,

Your Honour's most humble and most obedient servant,

W. SHIRLEY.

To the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq.

Sir Charles Hardy to Governor Hopkins.

Fort George, New York, 18th April, 1756.

Sir : — I have your favor of the 7th instant ; also one from the gentlemen ap-
pointed by your General Assembly, a committee to transact the business relative to
the expedition against Crown Point, during their recess.

I am extremely glad Your Flonor is so forward to think of sending some of your
companies to Albany ; but I must acquaint you, that there is a very small propor-
tion of boards in that city, for the building batteau.x and boats, occasioned by the
openness of this wintsr, — there has been no sleighing, to draw logs to the saw mills ;
three batteaux I am now building for the use of the forces raising in the pay of this
Province, for this expedition, I am obliged to construct in this city.

The measure Your Honor proposes for the transporting your provisions, stores,
&c., from Albany to Lake George, is well judged ; the Massachusetts and Connec-
ticut propose the same method ; the northern counties of this Province are so ex-
hausted in waggons, from last year's service, that they cannot, with the assistance of
the lower counties, furnish a sufficient number for the service against Crown Point,
and the expedition to be carried on by His Majesty's troops to the westward.

The Assembly of this Province are to meet next week, when I shall lay before
them your letter, desiring that you may be excused paying the duty for rum sent to
this city, to be sold for the purposes you mention. All provisions and stores, subject
to duties, on being imported into this Province, that are designed for the use of



524 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1756.

the forces of the colonies concerned in the intended expedition, and as such are to
be sent to Lake George, arc fiee of those duties, as last year ; but I cannot give you
encouragement to expect that the Assembly will consent to remit that duty upon
the foot that you desire it.

With respect to the particular advantages accruing to this Province, from this
intended expedition, its situation exposes our frontiers to the open incursions of
the French ; and the encroachments made by them in it, I cannot but look upon an
a national and common cause ; and that the advantages arising from our success
upon the present undertaking, is equally so. These, I offer to you as my thougbts»
■without having regard to any local consideration for the particular interest of this,
or any other Province. However, you may be assured, I shall at all times use my
endeavors to tender you mj' best services, and shall take the sentiments of the As-
sembly, as you desire, and shall communicate to you their determination upon it.

Yesterday I received several letters from Albany, and Sir Willian Johnson, en-
closing me copies of others, from Col. Jlereer and Capt. Williams, at the Great
Carrying Place, informing me that a body of French and Indians have posted
themselves, and are surrounded with pickets, about twelve miles to the eastward of
Oswego : and that Col. IMercer has further information from some Indians, that
another body of Indians, &c., art! on their march from Niagara; which, together
with the first mentioned, are to form an attack on Oswego. This is the substance
of my information, with respect to the motions of the enemy.

General Shirley's absence, and great distance from the scene of action, makes it
impossible for him to give the proper orders in due time to stop the progress of the
t nemy in that quarter ; the want of which, enables them to make advances that I
fear will tend greatly to the prejudice of His Majesty's service, and the interest of
these provinces.

Under these circumstances, I have, by the return of the express, offered my
thoughts to the commanding officers at the head quarters, and recommended to
them to pursue such measures as to me appears most proper on the present emer-
gency. Col. Bradstreet is set off with a very considerable number of whale boats
and batteaux, with provisions for Oswego, which they have much wanted. I wish
he may arrive safe with his convoy. I think his voyage will be hazardous, if the
enemy gets footing on the waters leading to that fort.

In short, from the accounts I have received, things do not appear to be so well
regulated as they necessarily should be for promoting the public service ; and
)f the French once post, it will cost us much more to remove them, than it would
to have prevented their gaining any such advantage.

P>y my letters from Sir William Johnson, the last of the 12th instant, which I re-
ceived yesterday, I think we have at last brought about an accommodation with the
Dclawares. His accounts are as follows :

In his first letter, viz. ; " As I finish my letter, two one-eyed Indians, on whom i
•;an depend, brought me an account that the delegates sent to treat with the Dela-
wares, were returned, and say, that they have settled that unhappy breach between
them and us; they are to be here in two or three days (meaning Fort Johnson),
when I shall be able to give Your Excellency a true statement of their proceedings
Ht that meeting. They further add, that the Delawares have engaged to join us,
with the Five Nations, against the French."

In his last letter, he says, " This evening, some of the delegates sent to treai
■•••ith the Delawares, arrived here, (meaning Mount Johnson), with several of the



1756.]



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 525



Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Ononrlagoes and Mohawks. I have only time to tell Your
Excellency, that they assure me, they have made up that unhappy affair, and that
the Delawares, expect those of their people who may be prisoners, to be delivered up
as soon as possible ; and then they promise to deliver up those they have of ours;
they say they will join the Six Nations against the French, it they desire it. I
shall write Your Excellency more about it, as soon as I hear ail they have to say.'"

Thus far, I hope, through the interposition of the Six Nations, this affair is in a
fair way of being brought to a happy issue. The Mohawks have sent four of their
sachems to invite our river Indians to remove to their castles, and I hear propose
giving them a portion of their lands to settle upon.

The trade carried on by the colonies to the Dutch Islands, &c., will not only
amply supply the French Islands, but will doubtless encourage them to attempt
throwing in large quantities to Louisbourg, from whence Canada may easily be
furnished. It appears to me absolutely necessary to prevent all supplies of provi-
sions going from these colonies, at this time ; and the only method to answer this
good purpose, must be by proper laws passed in the provision colonies, prohibiting
such an exportation.

The Assembly of this Province are to meet soon, when I shall recommend to
them to pass such a law, which if they should come into, will not prevent the ene-
my's being supplied in the manner before mentioned, without the neighbouring
governments concur in the same measure ; I have made this proposition to them,
and beg leave to recommend it to your consideration, and beg your thoughts upon
it, and the resolutions of your Assembly, if you think proper to recommend it to
them. I must beg leave to make this addition to it, that if the Assembly should de-
cline passing the necessary laws for this purpose, that the governments should
aTee to lay an embargo, which will most effectually answer the end desired. I
shall have no difficulty in this measure with the concurrence of the neighboring
governments, and think I can answer for that of His Majesty's Council of this
Province. I am, with great regard,

Your Honor's most obedient and humble servant,

CHAS. HARDY.

To the Hon. Governor Hopkins.

Governor Shirk f/ to Governor Hopliins.

Fairfield, Connecticut, April 2G, 175<i.
Sir : — I am arrived at this place, in my way to New York, from whence I pro-
pose to set out for Albany in two or three days.

As the success of our operations, in the ensuing campaign, will in a very great
measure depend on our troops destined for Crown Point, taking the field as early
as may be, I must entreat Your Honor to forward the march or transportation of
your colony's forces as soon as possible.

I can't but hope to have them (the whole forces of all the colonies concerned in
that expedition,) at Lake George, by the middle of May, at furthest ; and that three
parts of them, at least, will be removed there before that time.

I know of nothing that is so likely to prove fatal to the expedition, as a late cam-
pai'i'n would, which I hope every government will consider.
I am, with great regard and esteem, sir.

Your Honor's most humble and most obedient servant, Vv . SHIRLEY.



52G RECORDS OF THE COLONY OP RHODE ISLAND [1756.

V. S. Your Honor will be pleased to excuse the hurry and paper of this
letter.

To the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Escj.

General Winslow to Governor IlopJdns.

Boston, May 2, 1756.

J,!]. ; — As His E.Kcellency General Shirley, is out of the government, I thought it
niv duty to inform Your Honor how affairs are circumstanced in this Province, in
rcnard to the Crown I'oint expedition, which I am pressing forward, and flatter
nivself our levies are complete. We have twelve companies gone forward ; the re-
mains of the thirty-five hundred men, I have ordered to parade here, at Springfield
and Worcester, on the 4th instant, and shall begin to march on the 6th. Our pro-
visions, warlike stores, &c., are chiefly gone, the last vessel ready to sail ; should be
r^lad that the quota furnished by the government under Your Honor's command,
may be forwarded as soon as possible, with provisions, &c.

As I look upon it, our success greatly depends on our despatch, have enclosed to
Your Honor the laws passed by this government, with relation to the expedition.
As I am informed there was a dispute, last year, among the officers, with regard to
the government of the army, our Province thought convenient to pass the act
chapter twentieth ; would submit it to Your Honor and the colony, whether it
would not be best for the whole to be under one form of discipline ; and should this
act be approved of, the same may pass into a law in your government also.

I would further inform Your Honor, that this Province, having taken into con-
sideration the annual pension I receive from the crown, which entirely depends on
my life, have, besides £300, lawful money, advanced for my table, granted me £400^
same currency, in case I arrive at Lake George, and so unfortunate as to die in the
.service afterwards, which is for the benefit of my family ; and if approved of by
the colony, it would be a satisfaction to me that a grant of that kind, for a sum
agreeable, might be made, as every one should be careful of their own house.

Am determined to be at Newport, the 11th, at Hartford, the 15th ; where I hope
to consult thoroughly of the plan of operation for the ensuing campaign, with the
gentlemen of your government, and that things will be to your satisfaction; and
am, with my best regards,

Your Honor's most humble servant, JOHN WINSLOW.

To the Hon. Stcplicn Hopkins, Es(|.

Goi'crnor SJurlef/ to Governor Hopkins.

Boston, May, 1 756.
Sir: — Having received letters from Richard Spry, P^sq., commander in chief of
all His iMajesty's ships in North America, concerning the distressed condition His
Majesty's shijjs are in at Halifax, for want of men, I thought it my duty to acquaint
you, that notwithstanding the pains we have been all at to raise seamen, that they are
still three hundred .short of their complements; and that without the assistance of
the governors of the several provinces, in raising men, it will be impossible for His
^L-ijesty's ships to protect these colonies, prevent supplies from France to Canada,
and otli.r pla' ts, or block up Louisburg, as occasion may require.



1756.]



AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 527



I cannot say but that I have been the more emboldened in taking the liberty of
troubling you in this manner, by the knowledge I have of the ready assistance you
have always so laudably given His Majesty's forces, on the liKe occasions, by land ;
and as His Majesty has been graciously pleased to give a bounty of thirty shillings,
sterling, to every man who shall voluntarily enter into the fleet, by your makin" it
publicly known, may probably induce many to come Into the service.

You'll be pleased, in your answer, to mention what hopes we may have from your
assistance, that I may judge whether or not it will be necessary to send round a
man ot war to Newport.

I am, with the utmost respect, sir,

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

To Governor Hopkins. W. SFIIRLEY.

Governor Shirley to Governor HopMns.

Albany, 12th May, 1756.

Sir: — Before I left Boston, the Massachusetts government passed an act of As-
sembly, to subject the troops raised within this Province for the expedition against
Crown Point, to the King's articles of war, a copy of which act, I have ordered the
Province secretary to send Your Honor ; and I look upon this point to be so essen-
tial an one for keeping up a proper command and discij)line among the provincial
troops, as well as regulars, that I must recommend it to Your Honor in the strong-
est terms, as I have to all the other governments concerned in this expedition, to
pass a like act with regard to their troops.

The season of the year for opening the campaign, is now far advanced, and Your
Honor is sensible how much the success of our operation against the enemy de-
pends upon our entering early upon action.

I must therefore beg you would hasten the march of your troops to Albany, as
fast as possible ; and take every measure for immediately completing your maga-
zines of provisions and stores, at Fort Edward and Fort William Henry, providing
a sufficient number of oxen, horses and carriages for transporting them to the latter
of these two forts, and of batteaux and other craft, for transporting them from Lake
George to Ticonderoga, &c. ; all which should be done without the least loss of
time. I am, with great regard and esteem, sir,

Your Honor's most humble and most obedient servant,

VV. SHIllLEY.

To the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq.

I. West to Governor IlopJcins.

Treasury Chambers, 13th May, 175G.

Sir : — You receive, enclosed, a copy of the King's warrant, for paying the £11 5,-
000, granted by Parliament to the colonies of New England, New York and New
Jersey, in America, as a free gift and reward for their past services, and an encour-
agement to them to continue to exert themselves with vigor in the defence of His
Majesty's just rights and possessions.

You will see, by the warrant, the proportion allotted to your government, which



528 RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND [1756.

Messieurs. Thomlinson and Hanburg have shipped on board His Majesty's ship
Sterling Castle, Captain Cornish ; of which I acquaint you, by order of the lords
commissioners of His ^lajesty's treasury ; and am, sir,

Your most humble servant, I. WEST.

To the Governor of Rhode Island.

Secretari/ Fox io the Governor and Compawj of Bhode Island.

Whitehall, 17th May, 1750.

Gentlemen : — His Majesty having found it necessary to declare war against the
French King, has been pleased, in a council held this day, at Kensington, for that
purpose, to sign the enclosed declaration, and to order that the same be published
to-morrow, by the heralds-at-arms, in the usual places, and with the accustomed
formalities.

I am commanded to signify to you, the King's pleasure, that you should cause
the said declaration of war to be proclaimed in the colony under your government,
that His Majesty's subjects, having this notice, may take care to prevent any mis-
chief which otherwise they might sufi'er from the enemy : and do their duty in
their several stations, to distress and annoy the subjects of France.

And His Majesty would have you be very rigorous and severe in preventing any
ammunition or stores of any kind, from being carried to them ; and you are to use
all proper methods that may be most effectual for that purpose.

I am, gentleman, your most obedient humble servant, H. FOX.

To the Governor and Company of Rhode Island.

r. S. His Majesty has been pleased to order letters of marque, or commissions
to privateers, to be granted, in the usual manner.
I have received your letters of November 14th.

General Winslovj io Governor Hopkins.

Camp at Half Moon, June 14th, 175(>.

Sir : — I look upon myself obliged in duty, to acquaint all my constituents, who
liave reposed trust in me, with the command of the troops raised lor the reduc-
tion of Crown Point, to give a particular detail of affairs.

When inclination joins with duty, as is now the case when writinj; to Your
Honor, the case is still more easy ; and I with pleasure collected the returns en-
iloscd, and give you joy that the colony under your command, comes nearest up to
their qjota, and hope methods will be taken that not a man of yours will be want-
ing, and that soon, as I hope our provisions will be up in all, this month ; and am
determined not to be idle, be our forces more or less ; have no time to write the
conmiittec of war. Your Honor will, if you think proper, communicate to those
gentlemen. Am, sir, with regards.

Your most obedient and most humble servant,

JOHN WIXSLOW.
To Governor Hopkins.

P. S. Col. Harris is not yet arrived, nor is the act on which your troops are
raised, ami to be regulated : which, in changeable times, may be necessary.



1756.] AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS. 529



Secretary Fox, to the Governor and Company of Rhode Island.

Whitehall, June 18, 1756.

Gentlemen : — I am commanded to signify to you the Ejng's pleasure, that in case
any of the commanders of His Majesty's ships shall have occasion to apply to you,
to set on shore, in the colony under your government, any French prisoners, you
should receive and treat them in the same manner, as was practiced during the last
war, or in such other manner, as you shall think most conducive to His Majesty's
service. I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant, H. FOX.

To the Governor and Company of Rhode Island.

JSir Charles Laiurence to Governor IlopJdns.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1st July, 175(1.

Sir : — I am well informed that many of the French inhabitants transported last



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 49 of 56)