Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

CH. III.]

LORD BELLAMONT'S ADMINISTRATION.

179

nac.

1698.

The war between the French and gusting outrages as these were, for a Five Nations was carried on more or time at least, put an end to, by the less vigorously according to the means peace of Ryswick, in 1697. and opportunities of the aged Fronte- The next year, 1698, Lord Bella

The most revolting feature con- mont, who had been appointed governor nected with this protracted contest was of New York in 1695, arrived the savage and detestable barbarity in the colony: he was charged practised on both sides. We give an with the duty of investigating Fletcher's example drawn from La Potherie's His- conduct, enforcing the acts of trade, tory of North America. “The prisoner suppressing piracy, etc. Bellamont took being first made fast to a stake, so as the opposite side to that which Fletcher to have room to move round it, a had favored, and it was in a measure Frenchman began the horrid tragedy, through him that Leisler's son obtained by broiling the flesh of the prisoner's from the Assembly a vote of £1,000, to legs, from his toes to his knees, with be paid to him for damages resulting the red-hot barrel of a gun. His ex- from the proceedings against his father. ample was followed by an Utawawa, The attainder was reversed by act of who, being desirous to outdo the French parliament, and Leisler and Milbourne in their refined cruelty, split a furrow were reburied in the Dutch Church.* from the prisoner's shoulder to his gar- Bellamont also originated a Court of ter, and filling it with gunpowder, set Chancery, which afterwards was looked fire to it. This gave him exquisite on with a jealous eye. The governor's pain, and raised excessive laughter in speech to the Assembly, convened in his tormentors. When they found his May, is well worth quoting from: “I throat so much parched that he was no cannot but observe to you, what a longer able to gratify their ears with legacy my predecessor has left me, and his howling, they gave him water, to what difficulties to struggle with ; a enable him to continue their pleasure divided people, an empty purse, a few longer. But at last his strength failing, miserable, naked, half-starved soldiers, an Utawawa flayed off his scalp, and not half the number the king allowed threw burning hot coals on his scull. pay for; the fortifications, and even the They then untied him, and bid him run governor's house, very much out of for his life. He began to run, tumbling like a drunken man. They shut up

the * “This year (1700,) no fewer than a thousand

Scottish fugitives from the unfortunate and ill-used way to the east, and made him run

Scottish colony of Darien arrived at New York in westward, the country, as they think, various ships, during the absence of Lord Bellamont of departed miserable souls. He had at Boston. Nanfan, the lieutenant governor, in constill force left to throw stones, till they formity with instructions from England, refused even

the slightest relief or assistance to these unhappy put an end to his misery by knocking adventurers. him on the head. After this After this every one

of New York and New England had issued procla. cut a slice from his body, to conclude mations, forbidding all correspondence with, or as

sistance to, the Scottish colony." the tragedy with a feast.” Such dis- Holmes, quoted by Grahame, vol. i., p. 453.

Two years before, the royal governors

Cidmixon and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

repair ; and, in a word, the whole Church's interests, while disgracing the government out of frame.” After this truths which the Church of England introduction, he puts them in mind that has ever held forth; and accordingly the revenue was near expiring. “It we find that he promoted all such would be hard,” he adds, “if I, that schemes as zealots of party and seekers come among you with an honest mind, after emoluments in religion concocted. and a resolution to be just to your in- Cornbury, on more than one occasion, terest, should meet with greater diffi- put into his own pocket the money culties in the discharge of his majes- raised for public service, and the Asty's service than those that have gone sembly, naturally not liking this, combefore me.

I will take care there shall plained of such treatment; but all the be no misapplication of the public mon- satisfaction they got was a pretty sharp ey. I will pocket none of it myself, scolding from his lordship and fresh nor shall there be any embezzlement applications for money. by others; but exact accounts shall In a few years matters came to such be given you, when, and as often, as a pass that the Assembly appointed a you shall require."

committee of grievances, which drew Lord Bellamont's sudden death, in many and heavy charges against the 1701, left the government for a time in governor.

The Resolutions approved the hands of Nanfan, the lieu- by the House were pointed, and clearly

tenant governor, who proceeded showed its fixed determination to assert with some haste and violence against its just rights. One of these ResoluLivingston and Bayard, two active men tions is well worth quoting, inasmuch in the anti-Leislerian party. Lord as it significantly indicates a princiCornbury, a grandson of the first Earl ple which, just before the Revolution, of Clarendon, having arrived in New was set forth as lying at the basis of York, in 1702, as governor, put a stop our resistance to the claims of England.

to these proceedings: he also It is as follows: "Resolved, That the

espoused the views of those op- imposing and levying of any moneys posed to the Leislerian party. Corn- upon her majesty's subjects of this bury was a profligate and unprincipled colony, under any pretence or color man, sent out to a governorship rather whatsoever, without consent in General to get rid of him than because of any Assembly, is a grievance, and a violation fitness which he possessed for the duties of the people's property. of the office. Being deeply in debt, it Lord Cornbury being no less obnoxwas one main purpose of his acts to get ious to the people of New Jersey than money, in any and every way, for his to those of New York, the Asnecessities; and his whole administra- sembly of that province joined tion was marked by rapacity, meanness, with New York in making a formal and outrageous violations of ordinary complaint against him to the queen. decency and decorum. Not unlike Her majesty, though Lord Cornbury Fletcher, he was very zealous for the was her cousin, removed him, saying

1702.

92

170.

Ch. III.]

POST OFFICE SYSTEM IN AMERICA.

181

1710.

1708.

1709.

that she would not countenance oppres- office was established at New York, sion by any, even though he were her to which letters were to be own flesh and blood; whereupon his conveyed by regular packets creditors threw him into prison. Soon across the Atlantic. The same act reafter, his father's death opened the way gulated the rates of postage to be paid to him for release, for now become the in the plantàtions, exempted the posts Earl of Clarendon, he was discharged from ferriage, and enabled postmasters from arrest and returned to England. to recover their dues by summary pro

Lord Lovelace was appointed Corn- cess. A line of posts was presently esbury's successor in the spring of 1708, tablished on Neal's old routes, north to

but he did not reach New the Piscataqua, and south to Philadel

York till near the close of the phia; irregularly extending, a few years year. His administration gave promise after, to Williamsburg, in Virginia, the of being acceptable and serviceable to post leaving Philadelphia for the south the province; it was, however, very as often as letters enough were lodged to brief; for early in the year 1709, Love- pay the expense. The postal commu

lace died, and Ingoldsby again nication subsequently established with

had charge of public affairs. the Carolinas was still more irregular. It was while Ingoldsby was acting gov- Robert Hunter, a Scotchman by ernor that another fruitless expedition birth, who had risen from an humble against Canada was made. Five hun- station to high military rank, was apdred men were raised, and bills of cre- pointed Lovelace's successor in the dit were issued to pay the expense. gubernatorial chair. Three thousand New York showed herself equally zeal- Germans, who had been compelled by ous with her New England neighbors. the ravages of war, to leave their Schuyler went to England with some homes on the banks of the Rhine, were of the Mohawk chiefs, and they were sent out with the new governor to be admitted to an audience with the settled on the banks of the Hudson.

Aid was promised; but the The experiment was not a successful reverses of war in Spain prevented at one while they served under indentures the time, and all this expense and pre- to the queen, for their maintenance paration, which were beyond anything was a positive loss; but when they the colonies had yet made, proved of were allowed the privileges of free citino avail. Had the plan been energeti- zens, they soon became thriving and cally carried out of a combined attack industrious denizens of the German by land and sea, there can be hardly a Flats, on the upper waters of the Modoubt but that Canada would have hawk. A part of the same company fallen into the hands of the English. settled in Pennsylvania, and another

The patent of Thomas Neal for “co- part in North Carolina. It is owing to lonial posts having expired, an act of parliament extended the British post

queen.

Hildreth's "History of the United States," vol. ii., office system to America. A chief

p. 262.

111.

1732.

.

1715.

these that we find the German language, and complained of the Court of Chanmanners, and religious views handed cery, in which Burnet presided, as withdown, especially in Pennsylvania. out the authority of law, and oppressive

The new Assembly called by Hun- in the fees exacted. Shortly after, Burter would consent to nothing but an- net was removed from New York and

nual grants, which for some made governor of Massachusetts.

time caused much dissatisfaction After the brief administration of and dispute. A few years later, Hun- Montgomery, who succeeded Burnet in ter obtained a majority in the newly- 1728, at which time the city of New elected Assembly disposed to favor his York numbered something over eight wishes: accordingly, he was enabled thousand inhabitants, Colonel to rule this hitherto ungovernable pro- William Cosby was made gov

vince without further difficulty, ernor. At first he had the promise of

having now a standing revenue, a popular administration, but as he was and a subservient Assembly.

of a violent temper and mercenary Hunter, in 1719, left the province, spirit, he soon after became involved in and William Burnet, a son of the quarrels with members of the Council, famous bishop of that name, was ap- and with John Peter Zenger, proprietor pointed to succeed him. The new gov- of the Weekly Journal, a newspaper ernor seems to have been aware of the opposed to the governor and his party. importance of resisting the progress of Cosby instituted a suit for libel, and the French in Canada and the West. both ordered the Journal to be burned He caused a trading post to be estab- by the sheriff and arrested Zenger.

lished at Oswego, thus taking Andrew Hamilton, a Philadelphia law

possession of the south shore of yer, defended Zenger's cause sucLake Ontario, pleading that the Five cessfully, so that he was acquitted Nations were under the protection of at once, and the freedom of the press England, and that they had granted was thereby vindicated.* Poor Zenger, their hunting grounds to their white protectors. In 1727, a fort was built by

* To use the language of the venerable Dr. Burnet at the same place; but the Francis," the newspaper press is endeared to the French were not idle; they also erected feelings of Americans by the strongest considera

tions of patriotism. Franklin, the apostle of liberty, a fort at Niagara, which commanded

more than a century ago, published in a newspaper the communication into the upper lakes animadversions on the legislative enactments of Great and the Mississippi . Burnet, meanwhile, Britain, relative to the colonies

. The free strictures

1722.

on the administration of Governor Cosby and his was involved in embarrassments with Council, printed in the Weekly Journal of the city of the Assembly and people. Much com- New York, by John Peter Zenger, roused the energies

of a whole people, and to use the language of Govplaint having been made by the latter,

erneur Morris, in a conversation with the speaker, 'the he dissolved the Assembly who had trial of Zenger, in 1733, was the germ of American now been in office for eleven freedom--the morning star of that liberty which sub

sequently revolutionized America.''.-See Dr. Franyears. The new Assembly was

cis's speech at the Fortieth Anniversary of the New not more favorable to the governor, York Historical Society," 1844: Proceedings, p. 86.

1927.

CH. III.)

GOVERNOR CLARKE AND THE ASSEMBLY.

183

you are

however, was left to struggle with debt it amiss when we tell you, that and official censure; and he complains not to expect that we will either raise warmly of the neglect and ill usage of sums unfit to be raised, or put what we many of those who professed to be his shall raise into the power of a governor friends and supporters: “My country to misapply, if we can prevent it; nor subscribers,” he says, “ are earnestly de- shall we make up any other deficiencies sired to pay their arrearages for this than what we conceive fit and just to journal, which if they don't speedily, be paid; nor continue what support or I shall leave off sending, and seek my revenue we shall raise, for any longer money another way. Some of these time than one year; nor do we think it kind customers are in arrears upwards convenient to do even that, until such of seven years ! Now, as I have served laws are passed as we conceive necessary them so long, I think it is time, aye and for the safety of the inhabitants of this high time too, that they gave me my colony, who have reposed a trust in us outset, for they may verily believe that for that only purpose, and which we my every-day clothes are nearly worn are sure you will think it reasonable we out. N. B. Gentlemen, If you have should act agreeably to; and by the not ready money with you, still think grace of God we shall endeavor not to of the printer; and when you have deceive them.” read this advertisement and considered Clarke deemed it unwise to enter into it, you cannot but say, come, dame, (es- a contest with men who avowed their pecially you inquisitive wedded men, sentiments thus decidedly, and so he let the bachelors take it to themselves,) promised his co-operation in all measures let us send the poor printer a few gam- calculated to promote the welfare of the mons, or some meal, some butter, cheese, province. In his speech, however, at poultry, &c."

the opening of the next session, he deCosby died suddenly, in 1735, and clared that unless the revenue was after disputes between members of the granted for as long a time as it had

Council as to who was entitled to been granted by former Assemblies, his

act ad interim, George Clarke, duty to his majesty forbade him from in 1736, was made governor. The As- assenting to any act for continuing the

sembly took ground against any excise, or for paying the colonial bills of

but an annual grant for revenues, credit. The House unanimously reand this policy was thereafter adhered solved, that it would not pass any bill to in New York. Clarke, offended at for the grant of money, unless assurance their proceedings, dissolved the Assem-" should be given that the excise should bly; the popular party, however, be continued, and the bills of credit triumphed in the new election. A redeemed. He thereupon immediately portion of their address to the Gov- ordered the members to attend him. ernor is worthy of quotation: “We He told them that “their proceedings therefore beg leave to be plain with were presumptuous, daring, and unpre. your honor, and hope you will not take cedented; that he could not look

upon

[ocr errors]

1735.

173.

« PředchozíPokračovat »