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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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That with humble submission, it is conceived, that His Majesty was mistaken in
said grant; for that, by several acts of Parliament, said office is in the appointment
of the Governor of said colony, who had (according to the privilege used of old) ap-
pointed a naval officer in said colony, and is by law answerable for the neolects
and misdemeanors of said officer, agreeably to the statutes in this case provided.

Which report is A^otecl to be accepted.
God save the King;.

Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Neiqjort, the last
Tuesday in September, 1743.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. Joseph Whipple, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

Upon the petition of Elizabeth Munday, of Newport, in the
county of Newport, widow, craving an allowance of the account
of her late husband, Richard Munday, deceased, against the
colony house ; and also for his advice and attendance re-
specting the building thereof, and for drawing a plan of the
same ; —

It is thereupon voted and resolved, that Peter Bours, Esq.,
and Capt. Jeremiah Lawton, be, and they are hereby appointed
a committee, to consider what shall be allowed to the petition-
er, for her late husband's advice and attendance, &c., about the
colony house, and drawing a plan thereof, and make report

God save the King.


Proceedings of the General Assembhj, held for the Colomj of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstoivn, the
last Wednesday/ of October, 1743.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. Joseph Wliipple, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

Whereas, Comfort Taylor, of Little Compton, in the county
of Bristol, and Province of the Massachusetts Bay, widow, did,
by petition, set forth to this Assembly, that at a court of
equity, held at Providence, within and for said colony, on the
second Tuesday of October, instant, the petitioner obtained a
judgment against a negro man, named Cuff, belonging to Thom-
as Borden, of Portsmouth, in the county of Newport, for £200,
and costs of suit, for a grievous trespass, committed by said
Cuff, against her ; and that, as the execution will go against
his person to be imprisoned, according to the common form of
executions, it is not clear that the sheriff can dispose of him,
which she apprehends he ought to have power to do, because
said negro is not free, but a private property ; and therefore
prayed that the said sheriff might be empowered to sell him, as
other personal estate, taken by execution, to satisfy debts ;
and considering the great abuse she has suffered, and the
charge that will come out of said negro, for prison fees, she de-
sired that the fine of £20 against said negro Cufi' might be
remitted, otherwise she should get nothing for all the hardships
she has endured ; —

Upon consideration whereof, it is voted and resolved, that
the sheriff of the said county of Newport, when he shall receive
the execution against the said negro Cuff, be, and he is hereby
fully empowered to sell said negro Cuff as other personal es-
tate ; and after the fine of £20 be paid into the general treas-


ury, and all other charges deducted out of the price of said ne-
gro, the remainder to be appropriated in said satisfying said

Voted and resolved, that His Honor, the Governor, write a
letter in answer to the agent's letter relating to the naval offi-
cer, and present the same to this Assembly as soon as conven-
iently may be, in order to be sent home.

God save tho King.

[The following laws of a public nature, passed during the
year 1743, are printed at length, in the Digestof 1747.]

An Act to prevent all persons from voting in any town meet-
ing in this colony, saving in the town where such person

An Act directing the manner of choosing grand jurors through-
out this colony.

An Act directing the attendance of the petit jurors and wit-
nesses at the courts in this colony.

An Act to prevent the fish being stopped in their course up
Pawcatuck river.

An Act for the preventing the counterfeiting of bills of public
credit emitted by any of the governments of New England,
and to prevent defacing the same.*

An Act to prevent persons convicted of counterfeiting bills of
public credit, or any other forgery, from proxing or voting
in this colony, or from being chosen to any office.

* So much had the colonies suffered by the counterfeiting of their bills of credit,
that the most severe penalties were necessarily inflicted, to put a check to it. In the
act in question, it was provided that " persons so offending therein, shall be pilloried,
and have both his, her or their ears cropped, and be branded with the letter R, on
each cheek, and be imprisoned at the discretion of the judges for the time being, before
whom all such offenders shall be tried, and shall pay double damages to all persons
defrauded or cheated, with all costs of prosecution ; and double interest during the
time of possessing said bill or bills." Furthermore, " that all deeds or other instru-
ments of lands or personal estate, made by persons convicted of counterfeiting, shall
be void."— J. R. B.
VOL. V. 10


An Act for the greater ease of the inhabitants in discharging
their debts due to the colony.

An Act to prevent the unnecessary quashing of justices' orders
in case of bastardy.

An Act for the more effectual calling in and exchanging the
public bills of credit of this colony, emitted in 17-iO.

An Act for the more effectual punishment of negroes, that shall
attempt to commit a rape on any Avhite woman.

An Act for restoring Silas Greenman, of Westerh', to his for-
mer rights and privileges, as a freeman of this colony.

An Act for stating the prices of ferriage at the several ferries
in this colony.

An Act stating the fees of the collector of His Majesty's cus-
toms, and the naval officer in this colony.

An Act establishing the fees of the court of vice admiralty,
this colony.

An x\ct for settling and ascertaing damages upon protested
bills of exchange.

Letter from Governor Sliirlcy to Governor Greene.

Boston, January 29, 1744-5.

Sir : — Though I doubt not but that the interest of the common cause of New
England, will sufficiently animate your government to exert themselves vigorously
in the intended expedition against Louisburg, yet I would beg leave to add, that
the exposed situation of your colony by sea, and the resentment of the enemy
against it, on account of the activeness of your privateers, make it particularly prob-
able that you may have a sudden visit from the French, this summer, if Cape Briton
is not reduced.

The gentlemen who deliver this, will apprise Your Honor how essential it is, to.
wards our proceeding in this importmt affair, that we should have a naval fonjc be-
fore Louisburg, by the beginning or the middle of March, at furthest, to cut off the
enemy's provision vessels, and intercept Mr. Duvivicr, who is expected about
that time with recruits for the garrison ; which latter event must be so killing a
blow to the people of the town and garrison, that it would not fail of being deci-
sive ; and they will also let yon know what this government has done, and what
applications I have made towards providing such a naval force ; I hope, therefore,
you will not fail to exert yourself in this respect. They will further inform you how
necessary it is that we should have a proper train of artillery, which should be four
pieces, of eighteen pound shot, to twenty-four pound ; of which sort, we have not»
sufficient in our castle; and I therefore hope you will contribute your quota, also
in this respect.


I doubt not but our united force, vigorously exerted upon this occasion, in con-
junction with His Majesty's other neighboring colonies, will meet with success
which I hope will be the event of this expedition, and am, sir.

Your Honor's most obedient humble servant,


Hon'ble Governor Greene.

Proceedings of the General AssemUy held for the Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstoivn, the
lith dajj of February, 1743-44.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. Joseph Whipple, Deputy Governor.

With the assistants and deputies from the several towns.

An Act for emitting the sum of £40,000 in bills of public
credit, of the new tenor, to be let upon loan.


We, the subscribers, dissent from the foregoing vote, and protest against it, for
the following reasons :

1st. Because the interest to be paid by (hose who take up the bills emitted by
this act, is so low, and the principal to be paid in again at such distant periods, that
it will necessarily depreciate their value, as well as frustrate one of the principal
ends of emitting, and letting them out upon loan, which is to defray the charges of
the government.

2d. Because we think that making so large a bank at this time, will be of most
pernicious consequence to the trade of this colony, by so much depreciating our
whole paper currency, that it may bring on a discount between our bills ami those
of the neighboring governments, (being what they once aimed at), which when once
begun, no one can tell where it will stop, and must introduce the utmost difficulties
and confusion in our trade with the inhabitants of those governments, upon which
our foreign trade so much depends.

3d. Because this emission will make so large an addition to that load of bank
mortgages already upon the lands of this colony, that posterity will never be able
to discharge them, but must unavoidably end in the utter ruin of a vast number of

4th. Because we look upon it to be highly unjust to make an act that will
naturally and necessarily depreciate the bills already extant, whereby all creditors


will be defrauded of a great part of their just dues ; -widows and orphans, whose in-
terest consists of money, will be greatly injured and oppressed, all industry dis-
couraged, and idleness, extravagance and extortion highly encouraged to the mani-
fest hurt and dishonor of the colony.

5th. Because we apprehend it will greatly endanger our most valuable charter
privileges, and be looked upon as a presumptuous and undutiful piece of con-
duct, to add one large emission to another, and of such a pernicious tendency,
after so many instructions, admonitions, and commands to the contrary, which have
been sent to this colony, both from the then lords justices, and from the lords com-
missioners of trade and plantations, as well as the votes of the Honorable House of
Commons, showing their disapprobation of such a paper currency ; all which have
been now read in this house.

6th. Because, as we apprehend, that this fatal act will be attended with all the
pernicious consequences before mentioned, we would have the whole colony as well
as posterity, know that we have not been instrumental in their ruin and misery,
but have endeavored, (as much as in us lay,) to preserve and transmit down to pos-
terity the privileges and properties which their ancestors obtained and earned with
■so much hazard, labor and expense.



[A protest was also presented by Peter Bours, another mem-
ber of the Assembly, against the passage of the act referred to.
It is omitted here, on account of its length.]

An Act repealing an act made in the fifteenth year of His
present Majesty's reign, entitled " An act for appointing and
erecting a court of equity, to hear and determine all appeals
in personal actions, from the judgments of the superior court,"
and for granting reviews in personal actions.
Whereas, it is found, by experience, that the trials of causes
by the said court of equity is inconvenient, and a great griev-
ance to the inhabitants of this colony ; —

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, and by
the authority of the same, that the said act, and every clause
thereof, be, and it is hereby repealed, and made null and void ;
and that the said court be, and it hereby is dissolved and

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that
all the records of said court shall be lodged and remain in the
secretary's office, and that they be, and remain as valid ; and
all copies extracted therefrom, and attested by the secretary,


shall be as authentic, to all intents and purposes in the law as
if the said court of equity were still in being.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all
executions upon any judgments obtained in said court, and not
satisfied, shall be hereafter granted forth by the secretary, and
be returnable into his office, on such days, as would have been
the first days of said court of equity's sitting, had not the
same been hereby abolished.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all
writs of scire facias, upon any judgment obtained in the said
court of equity, shall be brought before the judges of the supe-
rior court of judicature, who are hereby authorized and empow-
ered to take cognizance of the same, in the same manner they
might have done, if the said judgments had been obtained in
the said superior court.

And, to the end that there may be no failure of justice, and
that no person or persons be foreclosed by any judgment, where
they might, upon a new trial, be provided with new and further
evidence for their defence ; —

Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the person or
persons that shall be aggrieved at any judgment of the superior
court, shall, and may have liberty to bring a writ of review,
and thereupon have another hearing of said cause, in the said
superior court.

Provided, the said party hath obtained a judgment in the
said cause, either at the inferior or superior court, and no
other person whatsoever ; and the party bringing such writ of
review, shall bring an attested copy of the whole case, and
each party shall have the benefit of any new and further pleas
and evidence ; and the party who shall recover judgment in
such action of review, shall recover all lawful costs by him at
any time before expended in said suit.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that
when and so often as it shall happen, that both parties shall
bring actions of review to the superior court in the same cause,
that then, and in such case, the writs in both actions, and all
the evidence of both parties, shall be committed together by


the court to the same jury, in order to confirm, reverse or alter
the former judgment of the superior court, according to law
and justice ; and the party who shall recover judgment, shall
recover the whole costs of both suits.

Provided, that no action of review shall be brought after the
expiration of one year from the time of rendering the judg-
ment to be reviewed, and that the said writ or summons of re-
view, shall be taken out and served thirty days before the sit-
ting of said court to which such action of review shall be
brought ; and the reasons of such review shall be therein con-
tained, saving to any infant, feme covert, or person non com-
pos mentis, or beyond sea, one year after such impediment be
removed, to bring their writ of review, as aforesaid.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that
execution shall not be stayed or suspended, by reason of any
such action of review ; and that any judgment given in any
action of review, shall no ways hinder the party who shall be
aggrieved thereat, to appeal to His Majesty in council, in aU
cases where the law of this colony permits and allows the same-

And 136 it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the
sherifls, or their deputies, shall take good and sufficient bail in
all writs of review that shall be directed to them, to answer the
judgments that shall be thereon given ; and where the body of
the defendant cannot be found, nor sufficient estate be found
to attach, to answer the said actions of review, that then, and
in such case, it shall, and may be lawful for the sheriflf, or his
deputy, to attach the money, goods or land by him received,
seized or attached by virtue of the execution taken out in
pursuance of the former judgment obtained, if the same be
remaining in his hands, or unsold at the time of his receiv-
ing the said writ of review.

Provided, nevertheless, and it is the true intent and meaning of
this act, that the same, and every part thereof, shall take place
and be in force the first Wednesday in May next ensuing the date
hereof, and not before ; any thing herein contained, or any
law, custom or usage to the contrary hereof, in any wise,


Whereas, Peter Bourse, Samuel Wickham and Edward Scott,
Esqs., were appointed a committee to examine into the conduct
of the court of vice admiralty, relating to the condemnation of
the sloop Gertrude, Samuel Baal, commander, did report, that
they had procured a copy of the case, and examined Samuel
Pemberton, Esq., late deputy judge of said court, who informed
them, that he had no other reasons to give, why he condemned
said sloop, than tho?e he had assigned in the body of his

Which report is voted to be accepted.

Voted and resolved, that the Hon. Joseph Whipple, Esq.,
Peter Bours and Samuel Wickham, Esqs., be, and they are
hereby appointed a committee to prepare a letter for His
Honor, the Governor, to sign, and send the same to their ex-
cellencies, the lords justices, respecting the condemnation of
the sloop Gertrude, and to send home a copy of the decree of
the court of vice admiralty concerning said condemnation ; and
that said committee send, by the first good opportunity, £150
to the agent of this colony ; and they are hereby empowered
to draw money out of the general treasury to sufficient to pur-
chase said sum, in bills of exchange, gold or silver, for the pur-
pose aforesaid.

Governor Greene's Letter to the DuJce of Neiucastle.

Newport, Rhode Island, March 15, 1843.
My Lord : — In obedience to the directions of their excellencies, the late lords jus-
tices, to me, to procure and send the proceedings of the court of admiralty, here, upon
the trial of a barque, of Curraco, called La Gertruyda, Capt. Samuel Baal, f;om-
mander, taken near Rio de la Hache, by three English privateers, commanded by
Robert Flowers, John Rows and William Wilkinson, and condemned in the
court of admiralty, in this colony, and divided among the captors, (which Mr. Hop,
minister from the States General of the United Provinces, complains of, as contrary
to the treaties subsisting between His Majesty and the States), together v^ith a full
account of the reasons which induced the said court to proceed to the condemnation
of her. I have procured the enclosed authentic copy of the trial of the said barque,
from the records of the admiralty court ; and a committee of the General Assembly
of this colony has been appointed to inquire of the late deputy judge (who is now a
prisoner for debt), what reasons he had to Induce him to proceed to the condemna-
tion of said barque, who replied, that he had no other reasons to render but those
he had assigned in the body of his decree. So that I am not able to give your grace


any further account, but humbly hope, that, as this court, which has the sole cogni-
zance of prizes, is wholly independent of any authority in this colony, that the
Governor and Company will never be thought liable to censure on account of any
judgment in that court, that may be thought owing to the mistakes or passions of an
ignorant or indigent person ; that without their consent or knowledge, may be de-
puted to judge and determine singly in matters of such high and public concern-
ment. I am, with great respect, my lord,

Your Grace's most humble and most obedient servant,
To His Grace, the Duke of Newcastle. W. GREENE.

Voted, that Thomas Pearce, son of John ; Abel Hall, Nicho-
las Goddard, John Manchester, Jr., and Benjamin Corey, all
of East Greenwich, in the county of Providence, be admitted
freemen of this colony.

God save the King.

Letter from the Duke of Newcastle to Governor Greene.

Whitehall, March 31st, 1744.
Sir : — The French king having declared war against His Majesty, (as you will
see by the enclosed copy of his declaration, for that purpose, which is full of the
grossest and most indecent misrepresentations, and reflections upon His Majesty's
conduct,) I am to acquaint you, by His Majesty's command, that on Thursday last,
the 29th instant, a great council was held at St. James's, where His Majesty ap-
proved, and has since signed, a declaration of war against the French king, and or-
dered that the same should be published on this day, by the heralds at arms, in the
usual places, and with the accustomed formalities on the like occasions ; which has
been done, accordingly.

I send you enclosed, a printed copy of the said declaration, and am commanded
to signify to you His Majesty's pleasure, that you cause it to be proclaimed in the
colony under your government, that His INIajesty's subjects having this notice, may
take care to prevent any mischief, which otherwise they might suffer from the ene-
my, and do their duty in their several stations, to distress and annoy the subjects of
the French king.

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 send you enclosed, His Majesty's proclamation for the distribution of prizes
taken by His Majesty's ships of war, or privateers, which, you will take care, may
be published in the colony under your government; and you will do every thing in
your power, to encourage His Majesty's subjects to fit out ships to act as privateers
against the enemy ; and you will, upon the receipt of this letter, take all opportuni-
ties, as far as depends upon you, to distress and annoy the French in their settle-
ments, trade and commerce.

I am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
To the Governor of Rhode Island. NEWCASTLE.


Proceedings of the General Assemhly, held for the Colony of Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the \st day
of May, Vi a.

The Hon. William Greene, Governor.

The Hon. Joseph Whipple, Deputy Governor.


Mr. Peter Bours, Mr. Philip Greene,

Mr. William Ellery, Mr. Daniel Coggeshali,

Mr. William Burton, Mr. Rouse Helme.

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

The following are admitted freemen of the colony :

Of Newport, Miller Frost, Elisha Johnson, Timothy Newell,
Jonathan Nichols, vintner ; James Tanner, Jonathan Bardin,
Lawrence Payne, Matthew Robinson, Samuel Carr, son of Sam-
uel ; Kendall Nichols, Jr., William Benson, Nathan Carpenter,
John Coggeshali, son of Abraham ; John Rouse, James Ger-
rald, William Gibbs, Job Almy, Ephraim Harris, Solomon Sen-
ter, Charles Coombs, Daniel Smith, William Torrey, John
Brown, son of Samuel ; Peleg Clarke, Daniel Coggeshali, John
Amory, Joseph Bull, Ebenezer Baldwin, John Belitho, South-
cote Langworthy, Jonathan Lawtou, son of Jeremiah ; Benja-
min Cranston and John Tanner.

Of Providence, Seth Dean, Jonathan Bucklin, Benjamin
Gorham, Jonathan Hammond, John Jenckes, John Wilkinson,
Jeremiah Knight, Jeremiah Westcot, Moses Burlingame, Jr.?

VOL. V. 11


Christopher Waterman, James Irwin, Benjamin Brown, John
Aplin, David Harris and Samuel Chace.

Of Portsmouth, John Dexter, Jr., Jacob Mott, Jr., Benjamin
Ereeborn, David Earle, Thomas Manchester, Thomas Brownell,
Samuel Clarke, Silas Talman, Benjamin Fish, Jonathan Allen^
Caleb Allen, George Lawton, Robert Lawton, Jr., Thomas Slo-
cum and Joseph Martin, Jr.

Of Warwick, Benjamin Clarke, Jeremiah Colegrove, Benja-
min Ellis, Benjamin Arnold, William Battey, Anthony Holdon,
Daniel Budlong, Silas Baker, James Cook, Matthew Prince
and Thomas Tibbetts.

Of Westerly, William Crumb, Jr., Thomas Pendleton, Na-
thaniel Cotterel, John West, William Davis, Jr., John Champ-

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 7 of 56)