[Sidenote] Which proves abortive.
While these preparations were going on in Carolina, the Spaniards, apprised of the governor's design, were making ready for their defence. In the plan of operations it had been agreed, that Colonel Daniel, who was an officer of spirit, should go by the inland passage with a party of militia and Indians, and make a descent on the town from the land, while the governor with the main body should proceed by sea, and block up the harbour. Colonel Daniel lost no time, but advanced against the town, entered and plundered it before the governor got forward to his assistance. But the Spaniards having laid up provisions for four months in the castle, on his approach retired to it with all their money and most valuable effects. Upon the arrival of Governor Moore, the place was invested with a force against which the Spaniards could not appear, and therefore kept themselves shut up in their strong hold. The governor finding it impossible to dislodge them without such artillery as are necessary to a siege, dispatched a sloop to Jamaica, on purpose to bring cannon, bombs, and mortars, for attacking the castle; and Colonel Daniel embarked and sailed with the greatest expedition to bring them. During his absence two Spanish ships, the one of 22 guns and the other of 16, appearing off the mouth of the harbour, struck such a panic into the governor, that he instantly raised the siege, abandoned his ships, and made a precipitate retreat to Carolina by land. In consequence of which the Spaniards in the garrison were not only relieved, but the ships, provisions, and ammunition, belonging to the Carolineans, fell also into their hands. Colonel Daniel, on his return, standing in for the harbour of Augustine, found to his surprise the siege raised, and made a narrow escape from the enemy.
Military expeditions rashly undertaken, conducted by a headstrong and unexperienced officer, and executed by raw and ill-disciplined troops, seldom succeed. We are not able to account for the governor's conduct. In raising this siege, after he had been a month in possession of the town, unless he was in immediate want of provisions or ammunition, or his men, having little confidence in his abilities, threatened to desert him: for if the Spanish ships drew more than ten feet water, which it is probable they must have done, they could not come over the bar to injure him: if they landed their men, yet still his force was superior to that of the enemy, and he might at least have risked a battle on such grounds, before he made an inglorious retreat. The Indians were averse from leaving the field, without scalps, plunder, or glory. It is true, the Spanish ships of war might have prevented Colonel Daniel from getting into the harbour with the supply of military stores, yet the coast was large, and afforded many more places for landing them. The governor had Indians to hunt for provisions to his men, and it was by no means impossible to have starved the garrison, and compelled them to surrender. What then shall we think of a commander, who, on the first appearance of a little danger, abandons his station, however advantageous, and tamely yields up, not only the town, but also his own ships and provisions to the enemy?
[Sidenote] The first paper currency made.
Upon his return to Carolina many severe reflections were thrown out against him, as might naturally have been expected; but especially by that party who opposed the enterprise. It is true, it proved not a bloody expedition, the governor having lost no more than two men in it; yet it entailed a debt of six thousand pounds sterling on a poor colony, which, at that period, was a grievous burden. The provincial assembly, who, during the absence of the governor had been under prorogation, now met, to concert ways and means for discharging this public debt. Great dissensions and confusion prevailed among them; but the governor, having a number of men under arms to whom the country stood indebted, despised all opposition, and silenced the malecontents by threats and compulsion. A bill was brought into the assembly for stamping bills of credit, to answer the public expence, which were to be sunk in three years by a duty laid upon liquors, skins, and furs. In this measure all parties acquiesced, as it fell easy on private persons, at the same time that it satisfied the public creditors. This was the first paper money issued in Carolina, and, for five or six years after the emission, it passed in the country at the same value and rate with the sterling money of England. How, in process of time, it increased in quantity and sunk in value; how it was deemed useful by debtors and prejudicial by creditors, we shall afterwards have occasion more particularly to demonstrate. At present it may suffice to observe, that it was absolutely necessary to support the public credit, and the most practicable method the colony had of defraying the expences incurred by the unsuccessful expedition.
[Sidenote] The expedition against the Appalachian Indians.
Notwithstanding his past misfortunes, Governor Moore, fond of warlike exploits, had still in view the striking some blow that might distinguish his administration. The Appalachian Indians, by their connection with the Spaniards, had become insolent and troublesome. Mr. Moore determined to chastise them, and for this purpose marched at the head of a body of white men and Indian allies, into the heart of their settlements. Where-ever he went he carried fire and sword along with him, and struck a terror into his enemies. The towns of those tribes who lived between the rivers Alatamaha and Savanna he laid in ashes, captivated many savages, and obliged others to submit to the English government. This exertion of power in that quarter was attended with good effects, as it filled the savages with terror of the British arms, and helped to pave the way for the English colony afterwards planted between these rivers. The governor received the thanks of the Proprietors for his patriotism and courage, who acknowledged that the success of his arms had gained their province a reputation; but, what was of greater consequence to him, he wiped off the ignominy of the Augustine expedition, and procured a number of Indian slaves, whom he employed to cultivate his fields, or sold for his own profit and advantage.
[Sidenote] The culture of silk.
About this time Sir Nathaniel Johnson introduced the raising of silk into the country, which is an article of commerce exceedingly profitable, and, by proper encouragement, might have been made very beneficial both to the colony and the mother country. Mulberry trees grew spontaneously in the woods, and thrived as well as other natural productions. The great demand for silk in Britain made it an object of the highest consequence. About the beginning of March the worms are hatched from the eggs; nature having wisely so ordered it, that the silk-worms should come into life at the time mulberry leaves, on which they feed, begin to open. The feeding and cleaning them required rather skill than strength. Young persons might have been employed in furnishing leaves; one man of judgment and skill might have attended a large house full of worms; and in six weeks their whole operations are over. An article so profitable, and so easily raised, ought to have engaged the attention of the Proprietors, and induced them to give premiums to such men as should bring to market the greatest quantities of it. Men of knowledge and skill from Europe ought to have been hired and sent out by them, for instructing the colonists in the management of the worms and winding of the silk. Where the climate was so well adapted to the purpose, could any article of improvement be conceived more likely to reward them for their expence? However, Sir Nathaniel Johnson, after all his pains, rather shewed what might have been done towards the culture of silk in that province, than made such progress in it as to render the commodity of national advantage.
[Sidenote] And of cotton.
To the culture of cotton the climate and soil were equally favourable. It might have been planted on lands newly cleared, or on light and sandy grounds, such as the maritime parts of Carolina, which are by no means unsuitable to the production. The seeds are commonly sown about two feet and a half asunder, and grow up like other plants. Indeed the fields require to be kept clean, and the fresh earth carefully thrown around the plant, to defend it against the winds; but this is no difficult task, and might be performed by hands incapable of more severe labour. When the pods burst, cotton is gathered, and separated from the seeds; which is the most tedious and troublesome part of the business requisite. This article also, though not of importance enough to have engrossed the whole attention of the colonists, might nevertheless, in conjunction with other staples, have been rendered profitable and useful.
[Sidenote] Rice fixed on by the planters as a staple commodity.
Instead of these and several other articles, to which the views of the planters in the weaker and earlier state of the colony ought to have been turned in some degree, we find from this period the culture of rice engrossing their whole strength and attention, This commodity being an article of provision, was indeed likely always to find a good market; yet it was scarcely possible to have fixed on a staple which required more severe labour during the whole process of its preparation. The warm climate and low lands were doubtless well adapted to the nature of the grain, after experience had taught the husbandman to clear and cultivate the swampy grounds for that purpose: yet it is certain that the planters long went on with this article, and exhausted their strength in raising it on higher lands, which poorly rewarded them for their toil. After clearing the lands they commonly plant it in furrows made with a hoe, about eighteen inches asunder. When the seed is sown the fields must be carefully kept clear of noxious weeds, which retard its growth, and the earth must also be laid up to the root of the rice, to facilitate its progress. No work can be imagined more pernicious to health, than for men to stand in water mid leg high, and often above it, planting and weeding rice; while the scorching heat of the sun renders the air they breathe ten or twenty degrees hotter than the human blood, and the putrid and unwholesome effluvia from an oozy bottom and stagnated water poison the atmosphere. They sow it in April, or early in May, and reap in the latter end of August, or in the month of September. After which it is dried and carried to the barn-yard, and built in stacks, in like manner as the corn in Europe. After this it is threshed, winnowed, and ground in mills made of wood, to free the rice from the husk. Then it is winnowed again, and put into a wooden mortar, and beat with large wooden pestles, which labour is so oppressive and hard, that the firmest nerves and most vigorous constitutions sink under it. To free it from the dust and flour occasioned by pounding, it is sifted first through one sieve, and then, to separate the small and broken rice from the large, through another. Last of all, it is put into large barrels of enormous weight, and carried to the market. During the whole tedious process of its preparation, much care and great strength are requisite, and many thousands of lives from Africa have been sacrificed, in order to furnish the world with this commodity.
After the death of King William, which happened on the 8th of March 1702, agreeable to the act made for settling the succession, the crown devolved on Anne Stewart, the youngest daughter of King James II. by his first marriage. At her accession to the throne, though in reality she was no friend to the Whig party, she declared that she would make the late king's conduct the model of her own, and maintain the succession to the crown in the Protestant line. The first object of her reign was to humble the pride of France, the power of which nation had at that time grown to such an exorbitant height, as to endanger the liberties of Europe. Lewis XIV. had such influence with the Spanish nation, as to persuade them to join him in proclaiming the pretended Prince of Wales king of Great Britain and Ireland. He had also made many encroachments on the freedom of English commerce and navigation. The indignity offered to her crown Queen Anne determined to resent, and therefore, on the 4th of May, declared war against France and Spain, which, for many years, she carried on with amazing vigour and success.
About this juncture Sir Nathaniel Johnson received a commission from John Lord Granville, investing him with the government of Carolina, to which office a salary of two hundred pounds was annexed, to be paid annually by the Receiver-general of the colony. This gentleman had not only been bred a soldier from his youth, but had been also a member of the house of commons, and was well qualified for the trust. But it being suspected that he was no friend to the Revolution, the Proprietors could not obtain her majesty's approbation of him, but on the following terms: That he qualify himself for the office in such a manner as the laws of England required; that he give security for his observing the laws of trade and navigation, and obey such instructions as should be sent out from time to time by her majesty; and the Lords Commissioners of trade and plantations were ordered to take care that good and sufficient security be given by him.
[Sidenote] His instructions.
With respect to his own conduct in the government of the colony, he had instructions from the Proprietors to follow such rules as had been given to former governors, in the fundamental constitutions and temporary laws entered upon record, and to be guided by the same as far as in his judgment he might think fit and expedient. He was required, with the advice and assistance of his council, carefully to review the constitutions, and such of them as he should think necessary to the better establishment of government, and calculated for the good of the people, he was ordered to lay before the assembly for their concurrence and assent. He was to use his endeavors to dispose of their lands; but to take nothing less than twenty pounds for a thousand acres; and, in all future grants to make them escheat to the Proprietors, unless a settlement be made on them within the space of four years. He was to take special care that the Indians be not abused or insulted, and to study the properest methods of civilizing them, and creating a firm friendship with them, in order to protect the colony against the Spaniards in the neighbourhood. He was to transmit to England exact copies of all laws passed, accounts of the lands sold, and of all annual-rents paid, &c. These, and such other regulations as he might judge essential to the welfare of the country, and the interest of the Proprietors, he had particular injunctions to study and adopt.
[Sidenote] He endeavors to establish the church of England.
I have already observed, that the colony was in a deplorable state with respect to religion. The first emigrants from England, where public worship was countenanced, and had the sanction of the civil authority, retained indeed for a little time some sense of religion, and showed some respect for the ordinances of the gospel: but their children, born in a wilderness, where there was not so much as even the semblance of public worship, were likely to grow up in ignorance, and to live entirely void of all sense of religion. Proprietors were either unable to furnish them with the proper means of instruction, or they were unwilling to bear the expence of it, having as yet received little recompence for the past charges of the settlement. Not only the emigrants from England, but also those from France and Holland, were much divided in their private opinions with respect to modes of religious worship; and for this reason all governors, excepting the last, had prudently deferred meddling in a matter which would occasion uneasiness and confusion among the settlers. Still, however, the establishment of the church of England in Carolina was the chief object in view with the Proprietors. The Palatine was a bigoted zealot for this mode of ecclesiastical worship and government: the governor was strongly attached to it. James Moore, who was made Receiver-general, and Nicholas Trott the Attorney-general, were also men of the same complexion. These men, assisted by a majority of the council, now began to concert measures with art and skill, and to pursue them with firmness and resolution, for accomplishing this end, and gratifying the earnest desire of the Palatine.
[Sidenote] Pursues violent measures for that purpose.
It was not, however, without some difficulty and considerable struggles, that the keen opposition raised by Dissenters, who now plainly perceived their design, and who had an irreconcilable aversion from Episcopacy, could be overcome. This the governor and his party foresaw, and therefore it became necessary first to exert themselves to secure a majority in the assembly in favour of the measure they had in view. Hitherto the riotous proceedings at the former election had been overlooked, and the rioters, by the countenance and protection of the preceding governor had escaped prosecution. The grand jury presented this neglect as a grievance to the court; but the judge told them, "That was a matter which lay before the governor and council, his superiors." When the complaint was made to the governor in council, he replied, "That these irregularities happened before his appointment to the government, but that he would take care to prevent them for the time to come." Notwithstanding this declaration, if we may believe the Dissenters, at the following election still greater irregularities prevailed. By the same undue influence and violence the governor and his adherents gained their point, and secured a majority in the house; for that a species of corruption had now infected the great fountain of liberty, the election of representatives.
It would appear that some of the colonists at this period had distinguished themselves by loose principles and licentious language, and had treated some of the fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion with the ridicule and contempt of professed infidelity. To bring an odium upon this class of Dissenters, and to discourage such licentious practices, a bill was brought into the new assembly for the suppression of blasphemy and profaneness; by which bill, whoever should be convicted of having spoken or written any thing against the Trinity, or the divine authority of the Old or New Testament, by the oath of two or more credible witnesses, were to be made incapable, and disabled in law to all intents and purposes, of being members of assembly, or of holding any office of profit, civil or military, within the province: and whoever should be convicted of such crimes a second time, were also to be disabled from suing or bringing any action of information in any court of law or equity, from being guardian to any child, executor or administrator to any person; and without fail suffer imprisonment for three years. Which law, notwithstanding its fine gloss, savoured not a little of an inquisition, and introduced a species of persecution ill calculated to answer the end for which it was intended. To punish men guilty of blasphemy and profaneness in this way, instead of bringing their atrocious crimes into public disrepute and abhorrence, served rather to render their persons objects of compassion, and induce men to pity them on account of their sufferings. Bad as the world is, these wicked practices seldom miss their deserved rewards, public ignominy and detestation, which perhaps would fall heavier on such wretches without penal laws than with them.
[Sidenote] The church of England established by law.
However, had Sir Nathaniel Johnson stopt here, many reasons might have been urged in his vindication; but he had other measures in view, much more unpopular and oppressive. He looked upon Dissenters of every denomination as enemies to the constitutions of both church and state, and therefore, to subvert their power and influence, or compel them to uniformity of sentiment, another bill was brought into the assembly, framed in such a manner as to exclude them entirely from the house of representatives. This bill required every man who should hereafter be chosen a member of assembly, to take the oaths and subscribe the declaration appointed by it, to conform to the religion and worship of the church of England, and to receive the sacrament of our Lord's Supper, according to the rites and usage of that church; a qualification which Dissenters considered as having a manifest tendency to rob them of all their civil rights or religious liberties. To carry this bill through the house, all the art and influence of the governor and his party were requisite. In the lower house it passed by a majority of one vote, and in the upper house Landgrave Joseph Morton was refused liberty to enter his protest against it. At this juncture no bill could have been framed more inconsistent with the rights and privileges of the freemen, and more pernicious to the interest and prosperity of the country. Dissenters, who were a numerous and powerful body of the people, were highly offended, and raised a great outcry against it. Seeing themselves reduced to the necessity of receiving laws from men whose principles of civil and ecclesiastical government they abhorred, and subjected to greater hardships than they suffered in England, many had formed resolutions of abandoning the colony. Loud clamours were not only heard without doors, but jealousies and discontent filled the hearts of many within them, not of Dissenters only, but also of those who adhered to the church.
[Sidenote] The inhabitants of Colleton county remonstrate against it.
In this distracted state of the colony, the inhabitants of Colleton county, composed chiefly of Dissenters, met and drew up a state of their grievous circumstances, which they resolved to transmit to the Proprietors, praying their Lordships to repeal this oppressive act. John Ash, one of the most zealous men in the opposition, agreed to embark for England as agent for the aggrieved party, computed to be at least two thirds of the whole inhabitants of the colony. The governor and his friends, apprized of this design, used all possible means to prevent him from obtaining a passage in any ship belonging to Carolina. Upon which Ash went to Virginia, to which province his instructions were conveyed to him, and from thence he set sail for England.
After his arrival he waited on Lord Granville, the Palatine, acquainting him with the design of his message; but met with a very cold reception. That nobleman was too deeply concerned in bringing about that establishment against which Ash came to complain, favourably to listen to his representations. Accordingly, after staying some time in London, and giving the Proprietors all the information in his power relating to public affairs, the only satisfaction he could obtain from the Palatine was this, that he should cause his secretary write to the governor an account of the grievances and hardships of which Mr. Ash complained, and require an answer from him with respect to them. Mr. Ash, observing how the Palatine stood affected, and despairing of success, immediately began to draw up a representation of their case, which he intended for the press: but before he had finished it he was taken sick, and died; and his papers fell into his enemies hands. He was a man of a warm and passionate temper, and possessed of all those violent sentiments which ill usage, disappointment, and oppression, naturally kindle in the human breast. His representation, intended as an appeal to the nation in general, for the sufferings of the people under the tyrannical proprietary government, was full of heavy charges against the governor and his party in Carolina, and bitter reflections on their conduct, which he considered as in the highest degree injurious to the colony.
Without doubt the Lords Proprietors planned this establishment with a view to the peaceful influence it would have upon the civil government of the country, as the preamble to the act expressly indicates. Their feeble and fluctating state required the assistance and authority of an established church, and the sanction of religion, to give it more weight and influence with the people. How far the measures adopted served to promote the desired end, and were consistent with prudence and good policy, will afterwards more clearly appear.
[Sidenote] Lay commissioners appointed. [Sidenote] The acts ratified by the Proprietors.
Sir Nathaniel Johnson having advanced so far, was determined to proceed in spite of every obstacle thrown in his way. He instituted what the inhabitants of Carolina took to be a high-commission court, like that of King James the second. It was enacted, that twenty lay-persons be constituted a corporation for the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, with full power to deprive ministers of their livings at pleasure, not for immorality only, but also for imprudence, or on account of unreasonable prejudices taken against them. In vain did many persons complain of this institution, as tearing the ecclesiastical jurisdiction out of the hands of the bishop of London, in whose diocese the whole British colonies in America were included. The governor, bent on carrying into execution the favourite plan of the Palatine, paid little regard to the uneasy apprehensions of the people. According to the act for erecting churches, the colony is divided into ten parishes; seven in Berkeley, two in Colleton, and one in Craven counties. Money is provided for building churches; lands are granted for glebes and church-yards; and salaries for the different rectors are fixed and appointed, payable from the provincial treasury. When these bills were transmitted to England, to be ratified and confirmed by the Proprietors, John Archdale opposed them, and insisted, that the Dissenters of Carolina had not yet forgot the hardships they suffered in England from acts of uniformity; that the right of private judgment in religious matters was the birth-right of every man; that undisturbed liberty of conscience was allowed to every inhabitant of Carolina by the charter; that acts of conformity, with penalties annexed to them, have in general proved destructive to the cause they were intended to promote, and were utterly inconsistent with Protestant principles; and therefore that these bills, so unpopular and oppressive in Carolina, ought to be repealed, as contrary to sound policy and religious freedom. The majority of the Proprietors, however, did not view them in this light, and the debate ran high between them. At length the Palatine, equally tyrannical as bigotted put an end to the dispute, by telling Mr. Archdale: "Sir, you are of one opinion, I am of another; our lives may not be long enough to end the controversy. I am for the bills, and that is the party that I will head and support." In consequence of which the acts were ratified by four Proprietors, and the following letter was sent to Sir Nathaniel Johnson. "Sir, the great and pious work which you have gone through with such unwearied and steady zeal, for the honour and worship of Almighty God, we have also finally perfected on our part; and our ratification of that act for erecting churches, &c. together with duplicates of all other dispatches, we have forwarded to you by Captain Flavel."
[Sidenote] The petition of Dissenters to the House of Lords.
The Episcopal party having now got their favourite form of divine worship established by law in Carolina, began to erect churches in such situations as were most centrical and convenient for the settlers; and, to supply them with clergymen, application was made to the society in England for the propagation of the Gospel. The Dissenters, despairing of all hopes of redress from the Proprietors, became greatly discouraged, and could not brook the thoughts of being again subjected to the same troubles and miseries which had compelled them to leave their native country. Some were for transporting their families and effects immediately to Pennsylvania, in order to sit down under Penn's free and indulgent government; others proposed an application to the House of Lords in England, praying that august body to commiserate their distress, and intercede with her Majesty for their relief. For this purpose a petition was drawn up, and carried over by Joseph Boone to England. Several merchants in London, after Boone's arrival, being convinced of the illegal means by which those grievous acts were brought to pass, and of their pernicious consequence to trade, joined the petitioners. Accordingly, about the beginning of the year 1706, the following petition was presented to the House of Lords: setting forth, "That when the province of Carolina was granted to the Proprietors, for the better peopling of it, express provision was made in the charter for a toleration and indulgence of all Christians in the free exercise of their religion; that, in the fundamental constitutions, agreed to be the form of government by the Proprietors, there was also express provision made, that no person should be disturbed for any speculative opinion in religion, and that no person should, on account of religion, be excluded from being a member of the General Assembly, or from any other office in the civil administration: That the said charter, being given soon after the happy restoration of King Charles II. and re-establishment of the church of England by the Act of Uniformity, many of the subjects of the kingdom who were so unhappy as to have some scruples about conforming to the rites of the said church, did transplant themselves and families into Carolina; by means whereof the greatest part of the inhabitants there were Protestant Dissenters from the church of England, and through the equality and freedom of the said fundamental constitutions, all the inhabitants of the colony lived in peace, and even the ministers of the church of England had support from Protestant Dissenters, and the number of inhabitants and the trade of the colony daily increased, to the great improvement of her majesty's customs, and the manifest advantage of the merchants and manufacturers of the kingdom.
"But that, in the year 1703, when a new assembly was to be chosen, which, by the constitution, is chosen once in two years, the election was managed with very great partiality and injustice, and all sorts of people, even aliens, Jews, servants, common sailors and negroes, were admitted to vote at elections: That, in the said assembly, an act was passed to incapacitate every person from being a member of any General Assembly that should be chosen for the time to come, unless he had taken the sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites of the church of England; whereby all Protestant Dissenters are made incapable of being in the said assembly; and yet, by the same act, all persons who shall take an oath that they have not received the sacrament in any dissenting congregation for one year past, though they have not received it in the church of England, are made capable of fitting in the said assembly: That this act was passed in an illegal manner, by the governor calling the assembly to meet the 26th of April, when it then stood prorogued to the 10th of May following: That it hath been ratified by the Lords Proprietors in England, who refused to hear what could be offered against it, and contrary to the petition of one hundred and seventy of the chief inhabitants of the colony, and of several eminent merchants trading hither, though the commons of the same assembly quickly after passed another bill to repeal it, which the upper house rejected, and the governor dissolved the house.
"That the ecclesiastical government of the colony is under the bishop of London; but the governor and his adherents have at last done what the latter often threatened to do, totally abolished it; for the same assembly have passed an act, whereby twenty lay-persons, therein named, are made a corporation for the exercise of several exorbitant powers, to the great injury and oppression of the people in general, and for the exercise of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction, with absolute power to deprive any minister of the church of England of his benefice, not only for immorality but even for imprudence, or incurable prejudices between such minister and his parish; and the only minister of the church established in the colony, Mr. Edward Marston, hath already been cited before their board, which the inhabitants of the province take to be an high ecclesiastical commission-court, destructive to the very being and essence of the church of England, and to be held in the utmost detestation and abhorrence by every man that is not an enemy to our constitution in church and state.
"That the said grievances daily increasing, your petitioner Joseph Boone is now sent by many principal inhabitants and traders of the colony, to represent the languishing and dangerous situation of it to the Lords Proprietors; but his application to them has hitherto had no effect: That the ruin of the colony would be to the great disadvantage of the trade of this kingdom, to the apparent prejudice of her Majesty's customs, and the great benefit of the French, who watch all opportunities to improve their own settlements in those parts of America."
[Sidenote] Resolutions of the House of Lords.
After reading this petition in the house of Lords, the Palatine desired to be heard by his council, which was granted, and the further consideration of the matter was postponed for one week. Then having heard what Lord Granville had to offer in his behalf, the Lords agreed to address her Majesty in favour of the distressed petitioners of Carolina. They declared, that, after having fully and maturely weighed the nature of the two acts passed in Carolina, they found themselves obliged in duty to her Majesty, and in justice to her subjects, (who, by the express words of the charter, were declared to be the liege people of the crown of England, and to have a right to all the liberties, franchises, and privileges of Englishmen), to come to the following resolutions: "First, That it is the opinion of this house, that the act of assembly in Carolina, lately passed there, signed and sealed by John Lord Granville, for himself, Lord Carteret and Lord Craven, and by Sir John Colleton, four of the Proprietors of that province, in order to the ratifying of it, entitled, An Act for the Establishment of Religious Worship in the Province according to the Church of England, &c. so far forth as the same relates to the establishing a commission for the displacing of rectors and ministers of the churches there, is not warranted by the charter granted to the Proprietors, as being not consonant to reason, repugnant to the laws of the realm, and destructive to the constitution of the church of England. Secondly, That it is the opinion of this house, that the act of assembly in Carolina, entitled, An Act for the more effectual Preservation of the Government of the Province, by requiring all persons that shall hereafter be chosen members of the Commons House of Assembly, and sit in the same, to take the oaths and subscribe the declaration appointed by this act, and to conform to the religious worship in this province according to the Church of England, and to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites and usage of the said church, &c. is founded on falsity in matter of fact, is repugnant to the laws of England, contrary to the charter of the Proprietors, is an encouragement to atheism and irreligion, destructive to trade, and tends to the depopulation and ruin of the Province".
[Sidenote] Their address to the Queen.
After which resolutions the house addressed her Majesty in the following words: "We your Majesty's dutiful subjects, having thus humbly presented our opinion of these acts, we beseech your Majesty to use the most effectual methods to deliver the said province from the arbitrary oppressions under which it now lies, and to order the authors thereof to be prosecuted according to law; at the same time we represent to your Majesty, how much the powers given by the crown have been abused by some of your subjects, justice requires us to acquaint your Majesty, that some of the Proprietors absolutely refused to join in the ratification of these acts. We humbly beg permission to inform your Majesty, that other great injustices and oppressions are complained of in the petition; but the nature of the fact requiring a long examination, it was not possible for the house to find time for, so near the conclusion of the session; and therefore we presume with all duty to lay the petition itself before your Majesty, at the same time we present our address. We cannot doubt but your Majesty, who from the beginning of your reign has shewn to great a concern and tenderness for all your subjects, will extend your compassion for those distressed people, who have the misfortune to be at so great a distance from your royal person, and not so immediately under your gentle administration. Your Majesty is fully sensible of what great consequence the plantations are to the crown of England, and to the trade of your subjects, and therefore we rest assured, that as your Majesty will have them all under your royal care, so, in particular, you will be graciously pleased to find out and prosecute the most effectual means for the relief of the province of Carolina."
[Sidenote] The Queen's answer.
To which address Queen Anne returned the following answer: "I thank the house for laying these matters so plainly before me: I am sensible of what great consequence the plantations are to England, and will do all in my power to relieve my subjects in Carolina, and protect them in their just rights." But as it likewise appeared that some of the Proprietors themselves had refused to approve of the acts, the matter was farther referred to the Lords of trade and plantations; who, after examination, found that all the charges brought against the provincial government and the Proprietors were well grounded; and represented farther to her Majesty, that the making of such laws was an abuse of the powers granted to the Proprietors by the charter, and will be a forfeiture of it, and humbly begged that she would be pleased to give directions for reassuming the same into her Majesty's hands, by a scire facias in the court of Queen's Bench. The Queen approved of their representation, and after declaring the laws null and void, for the effectual proceeding against the charter by way of quo warranto, ordered her Attorney and Solicitor-General to inform themselves fully concerning what may be most effectual for accomplishing the same, that she might take the government of the colony, so much abused by others, into her own hands, for the better protection of her distressed subjects. Here, however, the matter was dropt for the present, and no farther steps were taken against the charter of the Proprietors, or for the relief of the people.
In the mean time the distant colonists, though they had heard nothing of what had passed in England relating to those grievous acts, became daily more sensible of their oppressive nature and pernicious consequence. Several settlers had left the country on account of them, and moved to Pennsylvania. Archibald Stobo, a Presbyterian minister in Charlestown, who had warmly opposed this establishment from the beginning, had also convinced many who remained of the severities and hardships the Dissenters in England had suffered from the rigors of the Episcopal government. Several circumstances proved favourable to Stobo's opposition; he possessed those talents which render a minister conspicuous and respected, and the people that party-zeal which becomes violent from ill usage and persecution. To his treasures of knowledge and excellent capacity for instruction, he added uncommon activity and diligence in the discharge of the various duties of his sacred function. He had a natural aversion from the Episcopal jurisdiction, and no minister of the colony had engrossed so universally the public favour and esteem. The Governor and his adherents found it necessary to sow the seeds of division among his followers, and, from maxims of policy, to magnify his failings, in order to ruin his great power and influence.
But the Presbyterian party were not the only malcontents during these strange and unwarrantable proceedings of the legislature. Many wise and religious men of all denominations condemned them, as grievous and impolitical. They considered differences in religious opinion as improper objects of temporal punishment, and that magistrates had no business with them, unless they occasion danger and disturbance to the state. They looked upon religion as a personal affair, which lies between God and a man's conscience, and that it was the prerogative of the Supreme Being to judge of men's hearts, as he alone was capable of forming a right judgment. In such a case, doubtless every man had a right to judge and chuse for himself, as he alone, and not the church, must at last be accountable to God for the choice. In every country this is reasonable; but in Protestant countries it is the fundamental principle on which they ground their right of protesting against the rules and errors of any particular church. For which reason judicious men in Carolina opposed the acts of assembly, as unreasonable in themselves, repugnant to the principles of Protestants, and robbing many of the colonists of their most valuable privileges, for their difference in religious opinion. Even the society for propagating the gospel disapproved of them, and, at a meeting in St. Paul's Church, resolved not to send any missionaries to Carolina, until the clause relating to lay-commissioners was annulled. So that all impartial men, in some measure, condemned the acts, and seemed to detest both the factious men who framed them, and the method by which they had been promoted in the province.
[Sidenote] A project formed for invading Carolina.
At length from these domestic troubles the attention of the people was drawn off, and turned towards a more important object, their common defence against foreign enemies. The war between Great Britain and France and Spain still raged in Europe. The Governor received advice of a project framed for invading Carolina, and had instructions to put the country in the best posture of defence. The Spaniards pretended a right to it on the foot of prior discovery, considering it as a part of Florida, and had now determined by force of arms to assert their right. Sir Nathaniel Johnson, as a military commander, was well qualified for his duty, and formed to shine in a more conspicuous manner in that line than in any other. No sooner had he received intelligence of the designs of his enemy, than he set all hands to work upon the fortifications, appointed a number of gunners to each bastion, and held frequent musters to train the men to the use of arms. A storehouse was prepared, and a quantity of ammunition laid up in it, to be ready on the first emergency. A small fort, called Fort Johnson, was erected on James's Island, and several great guns mounted on it. Trenches were cast up on White Point, and other places where they were thought necessary. A guard was stationed on Sullivan's Island, with orders to kindle a number of fires opposite to the town, equal to the number of ships they might spy on the coast. In short, such prudent regulations were made, as to prevent any surprise from an enemy, and at what time soever they might come, to give them as warm a reception as possible.
Few months had elapsed before they found the usefulness and necessity of these wise precautions. Carolina was at this juncture the southern frontier of the British empire in America. The colony, though it had acquired some degree of strength, was yet in a feeble state to resist an enemy of force and enterprize. From its situation there was reason to apprehend that the French and Spaniards would attack it, as it would fall an easier conquest than the more populous northern settlements. Before this time a plan had been concerted at the Havanna for invading it. Mons. le Feboure, captain of a French frigate, together with four more armed sloops, encouraged and assisted by the Spanish governor of that island, had already set sail for Charlestown. To facilitate the conquest of the province, he had directions to touch at Augustine, and carry from thence such a force as he judged adequate to the enterprize. Upon his arrival at Augustine, he had intelligence of an epidemical distemper which raged at Charlestown, and had swept off a vast number of inhabitants. This animated him to proceed with greater expedition. Imagining the town to be in a weak and defenceless state, and that the militia in the country would be averse from coming nigh it through fear of the fatal infection, he took on board a considerable number of forces at Augustine, and made all the sail he could for Carolina.
[Sidenote] A Spanish and French invasion.
Before this time a Dutch privateer, formerly belonging to New-York, by order of the governor of Carolina, had been refitted at Charlestown for cruising on the coast. The command had been given to Captain Stool, who was sent out on purpose to intercept the supplies regularly sent to Augustine from the Havanna. After being out a few days he returned, and brought advice of having engaged a French sloop off the bar of Augustine; but upon seeing four ships more advancing to her assistance, he thought proper to make all the sail he could for Charlestown, and that he narrowly escaped falling into the enemy's hands. Scarcely had he delivered the news, when five separate smokes appeared on Sullivan's island, as a signal to the town that the same number of ships were observed on the coast.
Sir Nathaniel Johnson being at than time at his plantation, several miles from town, Lieutenant Colonel William Rhett commanding officer of the militia, immediately ordered the drums to beat, and the whole inhabitants to be put under arms. A messenger was dispatched with the news to the Governor, and letters to all the captains of the militia in the country, to fire their alarm guns, raise their companies, and with all possible expedition march to the assistance of the town.
In the evening the enemy's fleet came the length of Charlestown bar; but as the passage was intricate and dangerous to strangers, they did not think it prudent to venture over it while the darkness of the night approached, and therefore hovered on the coast all night within sight of land. Early next morning the watchmen stationed on Sullivan's Island observed them a little to the southward of the bar, manning their gallies and boats, as if they intended to land on James's Island; but there having come to an anchor, they employed their boats all that day in sounding the south bar; which delay was of great service to the Carolineans, as it afforded time for the militia in the country to march to town.
The same day Sir Nathaniel Johnson the governor came to Charlestown, and found the inhabitants in great consternation; but he being a man of courage, and skilled in the arts of war, his presence inspired them with fresh confidence and resolution. He proclaimed the martial law at the head of the militia, and gave the necessary orders: he sent to the Indian tribes in alliance with the colony, and brought a number of them to his assistance. As the contagious distemper still raged in Charlestown, the Governor judged it imprudent to expose his men to the dangerous infection, unless necessity required it, and therefore held his head quarters about half a mile distant from town. In the evening a troop of horse, commanded by Captain George Logan, and two companies of foot, under the command of Major George Broughton, reached the capital, and kept diligent watch during the night. The next morning a company from James's Island, under the command of Captain Drake, another from Wando, under Captain Fenwick, and five more commanded by Captains Cantey, Lynch, Hearn, Longbois, and Seabrook, joined the militia of the town; so that the whole force of the province, with the Governor at their head, was now collected together in one place.
The day following the enemy's four ships and a galley came over the bar, with all their boats out for landing their men, and stood directly for the town, having the advantages of a fair wind and strong tide. When they had advanced so far up the river as to discover the fortifications, they cast anchor a little above Sullivan's Island. The Governor, observing the enemy approaching towards the town, marched his men into it to receive them; but finding they had stopt by the way, he had time to call a council of war, in which it was agreed to put some great guns on board of such ships as were in the harbour, and employ the gallant sailors in their own way, for the better defence of the town. William Rhett, a man possessed of considerable conduct and spirit, received a commission to be vice-admiral of this little fleet, and hoisted his flag on board of the Crown galley.
The enemy observing them employed in making all possible preparations for resistance, sent up a flag of truce to the Governor, to summon him to surrender. George Evans, who commanded Granville bastion, received their messenger at his landing from the boat, and conducted him blindfolded into the fort, until the Governor was in readiness to receive him. In the mean time the Governor, having drawn up his men in such a manner as to make them appear to the greatest advantage, received the French officer at their head; and having first shown him one fort full of men, he then conducted him by a different route to another, giving the same men time to go by a shorter way, and be drawn up beforehand: and there, having given him a view of his strength, he demanded the purport of his message. The officer told him, that he was sent by Mons. le Feboure, admiral of the French fleet, to demand a surrender of the town and country, and their persons prisoners of war; and that his orders allowed him no more than one hour for an answer. Governor Johnson replied, that there was no occasion for one minute to answer that message: he told him, he held the town and country for the Queen of England; that he could depend on his men, who would sooner die than surrender themselves prisoners of war; that he was resolved to defend the country to the last drop of his blood against the boldest invader, and he might go when he pleased and acquaint Mons. le Feboure with his resolution.
The day following a party of the enemy went ashore on James's Island, and burnt the houses on a plantation by the riverside. Another party, consisting of an hundred and sixty men, landed on the opposite side of the river, and burnt two vessels in Dearsby's Creek, and set fire to his storehouse. Sir Nathaniel Johnson, from such beginnings perceiving that they were determined to carry fire and sword wherever they went, doubled his diligence for the defence of the town. He ordered Captain Drake and his company, with a small party of Indians, to James's Island, to defend their properties on that side. Drake marched against them, bur before he could bring up his men, the Indians, whom he could keep under no control, and who ran through the woods with their usual impetuosity, had driven the invaders to their boats: Then advice was brought to town, that the party who landed on Wando Neck had killed a number of hogs and cattle, and were feasting on the plunder. To prevent their farther progress into the country, and give them a check if possible, Captain Cantey, with an hundred chosen men, was ordered to pass the river privately in the night, and watch their motions. Before break of day the captain came up with them, and finding them in a state of security, with fires lighted around them, surrounded and surprised them with a sharp fire from every quarter; in consequence of which, they were put in confusion and fled, and a considerable part being killed, wounded, and drowned, the remainder surrendered prisoners of war.
Having by this blow considerably weakened the force of the enemy, and being encouraged and animated by their success at land, the Carolineans determined also to try their fortune by sea. Accordingly William Rhett set sail with his fleet of six small ships, and proceeded down the river to the place where the enemy rode at anchor; but the French perceiving this fleet standing towards them, in great haste weighed anchor and sailed over the bar. For some days nothing more was heard of them; but, to make sure, the Governor ordered Captain Watson of the Sea-Flower out to sea to examine whether or not the coast was clear. The captain returned without seeing the enemy, but observing some men on shore whom they had left behind, he took them on board and brought them to town. These men assured the Governor that the French were gone. In consequence of which, orders were given for the martial law to cease, and the inhabitants began to rejoice at their happy deliverance.
[Sidenote] The invaders repulsed and defeated by the militia.
However, before night, certain advice was brought that a ship of force was seen in Sewee Bay, and that a number of armed men had landed from her at that place. Upon examination of the prisoners the Governor found that the French expected a ship of war, with Mons. Arbuset their general and about two hundred men more to their assistance. The Governor ordered Captain Fenwick to pass the river, and march against them by land; while Rhett, with the Dutch privateer and a Bermuda sloop armed, sailed round by sea, with orders to meet him at Sewee Bay. Captain Fenwick came up with the enemy, and briskly charged them, who, though advantageously posted, after a few volleys gave way, and retreated to their ship; and soon after Rhett coming to his assistance, the French ship struck without firing a shot. Rhett, being obliged by contrary winds to remain all that day in Sewee Bay, dispatched John Barnwell, a volunteer, to the Governor, with an account of their success; and next morning, the wind changing, he returned to Charlestown with his prize, and about ninety prisoners.
Thus ended Mons. le Feboure's invasion of Carolina, little to his own honour as a commander, or to the credit and courage of his men. It is probable he expected to find the province in a weak and defenceless situation, and that the Governor would instantly surrender on his appearance before the town. But he was deceived, as many commanders have been who entertain a despicable opinion of their enemy. The Governor was a man of approved courage and conduct; the militia undertook the various little enterprizes with the spirit of men who had not only the honour of the province, but also their whole properties at stake, and amazing success crowned their endeavours. Out of eight hundred men who came against this little colony, near three hundred were killed and taken prisoners; among the latter were Mons. Arbuset, their commander in chief by land, with several sea officers, who together offered ten thousand pieces of eight for their ransom. On the other hand, the loss sustained by the provincial militia was incredibly small. The Governor publicly thanked them for the unanimity and courage they had shown in repelling the invaders: and received from the Proprietors soon after the following letter. "We heartily congratulate you on your great and happy success against the French and Spaniards; and for your eminent courage and conduct in the defence and preservation of our province, we return you our thanks, and assure you, that we shall always retain a just sense of your merit, and will take all opportunities to reward your signal services."
[Sidenote] The union of England and Scotland.
About this time the long-projected union between England and Scotland took place in Britain, which was attended, as might have been expected, with the most interesting and happy consequences to both kingdoms. God and nature had joined the two together, and of course all differences and divisions subsisting between them, while they acknowledged the same sovereign, were impolitical and absurd. Unity of affection and interest unquestionably constituted the strength of the island, and could alone enable it to oppose foreign enemies with vigour and success. Among the number of articles which composed this important and beneficial treaty, it was agreed, "That all the subjects of the united kingdom of Great Britain, should, from and after this union, have full freedom and intercourse of trade and navigation to and from any port or place in the said united kingdom, and the dominions and plantations thereunto belonging; and that there should be a communication of all rights, privileges and advantages which do or may belong to the subjects of either kingdom, except where it is otherwise expressly agreed in these articles." Unfortunately, however, two modes of religious worship were established in the nation, which served to perpetuate differences among the more stiff and rigid partizans of both the Episcopalian and Presbyterian churches. A division in the ecclesiastical establishment was as improper and unreasonable as a disunion in the nation. With respect to the essential principles and doctrines of religion, they are the same in both churches, and the difference between them lies in the modes of worship and government, in usages, vestments, forms and ceremonies, matters of little consequence with regard to religion. Both modes of worship and government have their advantages and disadvantages, and had delegates from both churches met at this juncture, and yielded a little on both sides, for the sake of mutual harmony, and uniformity, such compliance might have been attended with happy effects. But the infelicity of the times, and narrow sentiments of the people, not admitting of this expedient, it was agreed that the Episcopalian government was only to extend to the colonies, and be considered as the establishment in them. As the greatest part of emigrants to America carried along with them prejudices against this establishment, and discovered a tendency towards a republican form of church-government, it is remarkable that this disaffection has continued, and in process of time been acquiring strength, insomuch that the hands of government, engaged in support of the established church, have often been weakened by it, and rendered unable to answer the ends of their appointment.
[Sidenote] Missionaries sent out by the society in England.
About this time the society incorporated by King William, having received large benefactions for the purpose of propagating the gospel, began to exert themselves for sending over, and maintaining missionaries in the plantations. As some colonies were totally destitute of the means of instruction, and others ill provided with ministers, and unable to support them, the society considered the British subjects as the primary objects of their charity. To prevent the influence of Roman Catholic missionaries among the heathens was a secondary end in view with this charitable corporation, who were also to improve every favourable opportunity for the instruction and conversion of negroes and Indians. While a number of missionaries were ordained for the northern colonies, Samuel Thomas was sent out to Carolina for the instruction of the Yamassee Indians; and to supply the different parishes, several more missionaries were on the passage to the province. The society had wrote to Sir Nathaniel Johnson, expressing their zeal for the interest of religion, and earnest desire for spreading the knowledge of the gospel among the inhabitants of the British colonies, and their hopes of his concurrence towards the accomplishment of their excellent design. Upon the receipt of which the governor summoned a meeting of his council, and sent an answer to the corporation in the following words: "We could not omit this opportunity of testifying the grateful sense we have of your most noble Christian charity to our poor infant church in this province, expressed by the generous encouragement you have been pleased to give to those who are coming missionaries, the account of which we have just now received by our worthy friend and minister Mr. Thomas, who, to our great satisfaction, is now arrived. The extraordinary hurry we are in, occasioned by the late invasion attempted by the French and Spaniards, from whom God hath miraculously delivered us, hath prevented our receiving a particular account from Mr. Thomas of your bounty, and also hath not given us leisure to view your missionaries instructions, either in regard to what relates to them or to ourselves: but we shall take speedy care to give them all due encouragement, and the venerable society the utmost satisfaction. There is nothing so dear to us as our holy religion, and the interest of the established church, in which we have been happily educated; we therefore devoutly adore God's Providence in bringing, and heartily thank your society in encouraging, so many missionaries to come among us. We promise your honourable society, it shall be our daily study to encourage their pious labours, to protect their persons, to revere their authority, to improve by their ministerial instructions, and, as soon as possible, to enlarge their annual salaries. When we have placed your missionaries in their several parishes according to your directions, and received from them an account of your noble benefaction of books for each parish, we shall then write more particular and full. In the mean time, we beg your honourable society to accept of our hearty gratitude, and be assured of our sincere endeavour to concur with you in the noble design of propagating Christ's holy religion."
Soon after the missionaries arrived, and were settled in their respective parishes, Edward Marston minister at Charlestown died, and Mr. Thomas, whom the governor intended for his successor, did not long survive him: in consequence of whose death, the governor and Council applied by letters to the society, requesting farther supplies, particularly a learned and prudent man to take the charge of the capital. The Archbishop of Dublin recommended Gideon Johnston to them as a person for whose sobriety, diligence, and ability, he dared to be answerable, and doubted not but he would execute the duty required in such a manner as to merit the approbation of every one with whom he should be concerned. Accordingly, Mr. Johnston, being made commissary to the Bishop of London for the province of Carolina, and having fifty pounds a-year settled on him from the society, embarked for Charlestown. On his arrival he had almost lost his life in going ashore: the ship in which he sailed being obliged to come to an anchor off the bar to wait the return of the tide, and Mr. Johnston, with several more passengers, being impatient to get to land, went on board of the small boat to go up to the town; but a sudden gust of wind arising, drove the boat upon a sand bank, where they lay two days, almost perishing with hunger and thirst, when some persons accidentally discovered and relieved them.
Mr. Johnston was not the only person that shared of the charitable fund; for five more ministers were settled in the country, to each of whom an allowance of fifty pounds a-year, besides their provincial salary, was given by this incorporated society. Two thousand volumes of books were also sent to be distributed among the people, by these missionaries, for their private use and instruction. Justice requires a relation of these facts for the honour of that society, who supplied the province with instructors at this early period, when it was poor in itself, and stood so much in need of their generous assistance. As the church of England, however, continued to be considered as the established religion of the province; and as all the ministers sent out by this society were of that persuasion, Dissenters, who in general are not the most charitable in their judgments with regard to the conduct of their neighbours, and who perhaps contributed, like many others, towards raising this fund, concluded that the society had the propagation of Episcopacy more in their eye than that of Christianity. But certainly it cannot be denied, that the members of this corporation, who not only contributed largely, but were also at such pains in collecting a fund for this laudable end, were the proper judges in what manner it should be applied. Charity obliges us to believe, that this society, whose design was so benevolent, employed their money in such a way as they judged would be most agreeable to the intentions of those who gave it, and most useful for the instruction and happiness of their fellow creatures: yet mankind, in such cases, are apt to be forward in advancing their opinions with regard to the conduct of such public managers, and, as they stand affected themselves, to praise or condemn them.
[Sidenote] Lord Craven Palatine.
About the close of the year 1707, Lord Granville the Palatine died; and was succeeded in that high dignity by William Lord Craven. The death of that nobleman, by whose instruction and encouragement the several violent steps for the establishment and support of the church of England in Carolina had been taken, was now likely to produce some change in the future state of public affairs. Though the Governor and his friends still maintained a majority in the house of assembly, yet, from the number and temper of Dissenters, they were not without some suspicions of seeing the fabric, which they had with such uncommon industry been erecting, totally overturned. While many Episcopalians in England were terrified with the prospects of danger to their church, the Carolineans took the alarm, and passed an act for its security in that province. The preamble of this act runs thus: "Whereas the church of England has of late been so happily established among us, fearing that by the succession of a new Governor this church may be either undermined or wholly subverted, to prevent which calamity falling upon us, be it enacted, That this present assembly shall continue to sit for two years, and for the time and term of eighteen months after the change of government, whether by the death of the present Governor, or the succession of another in his time." Whether the church must not have been in great danger when men were obliged to take such an extraordinary measure for its security, we leave it to the world to judge.
[Sidenote] Edward Tynte governor.
About the end of the year 1708, Colonel Edward Tynte received a commission from Lord Craven, investing him with the government of the colony. About the same time Charles Craven, brother to the Palatine, was made secretary to the province. During the time Sir Nathaniel Johnson had governed the country, it had not only been threatened with a formidable invasion, but also torn to pieces with factions and divisions, which had much retarded its progress and improvement. Great confusion among the people had been occasioned by the violent stretch of power in favour of an ecclesiastical establishment. The new Palatine, sensible of those things, instructed Governor Tynte to adopt such healing measures as would be most conducive to the welfare of the settlement. Soon after his arrival he received a letter from the Proprietors to the following effect: "We hope by this time you have entered upon your government of our province of Carolina, and therefore we earnestly require your endeavours to reconcile the minds of the inhabitants to each other, that the name of parties, if any yet remains among them, may be utterly extinguished: for we can by no means doubt, but their unanimous concurrence with our endeavours for their prosperity, will most effectually render Carolina as flourishing a colony as any in America." The late Palatine, from a mixture of spiritual and political pride, despised all Dissenters, as the enemies of both the hierarchy and monarchy, and believed the state could only be secure, while the civil authority was lodged in the hands of high-church men. Lord Craven possessed not the same proud and intolerant spirit, and thought those Carolineans, who maintained liberty of conscience, merited greater indulgences from them; and, though a friend to the church of England, he always was doubtful whether the minds of the people were ripe for the introduction of that establishment. He therefore urged lenity and toleration, which in general have been productive of peace and union, while rigour and persecution have seldom failed to excite discord and promote superstition in every community.
[Sidenote] The revenues of the colony.
The expences incurred by the French invasion, though it terminated much to the honour of the Carolineans, fell heavy on the colony, still in a poor and languishing condition. No taxes as yet had been laid on real or personal estates: the revenues of the colony were all raised by duties laid on spirituous liquors, sugar, molasses, and a few other articles imported; and on deer-skins and furs exported. The amount of these several duties was applied towards defraying the charges of government, such as raising and repairing fortifications, paying the Governor's salary, maintaining garrisons, providing military stores, and salaries to ten ministers of the church of England, and sinking bills of credit stamped for answering the extraordinary expences of the province. Eight thousand pounds had been issued for defraying the public expences occasioned by the French invasion; and the act laying an imposition on furs, skins, and liquors, was continued, for the purpose of cancelling these bills of credit. From this time forward there was a gradual rise in exchange and produce, owing, as many thought, to the emission and establishment of paper currency in the province. Before this period, French and Spanish gold and silver, brought into the country by pirates, privateers, and the over-balance of trade with the West Indies, answered all the purposes of internal commerce, and very little English coin was circulating in the country. However, soon after this emission, fifty per cent. advance was given by the merchants for what English money there was; that is to say, for one hundred pounds English coin, they gave one hundred and fifty pounds paper currency of Carolina.
[Sidenote] The invasion of Canada.
A bloody war still continued between England and France in Europe, and the success which had attended an expedition against Acadia, had encouraged the British administration to enter on bolder undertakings in America. The French in Canada were numerous and strong, and Lord Godolphin, convinced of the necessity of maintaining a superiority over them, formed a design of attacking Quebec, and striking such a blow in that quarter as might render his administration distinguished. He sent for Sir Hovenden Walker, rear-admiral of the white, and after holding a private consultation with him respecting the enterprize, immediately began to make preparations for it. Six thousand men were drawn from the army in Flanders, and the command of them was given to General Hill. Eleven ships of the line, one frigate, and two bomb-ships, were fitted out: transports were provided, on board of which the army embarked and sailed for Boston in New England. They arrived there on the 24th of June 1711, but by no means met with that zeal and ardour for the expedition among the people of New England that might have been expected, considering its interesting consequence with respect to them. Colonel Francis Nicolson, who had been successful in Acadia the year before, hastened to Boston, and first used his utmost endeavours to forward the expedition, and then marched by land, with a body of white men and Indians, against Montreal. Before Sir Hovenden Walker had procured every thing requisite to his expedition, the season of the year was too far advanced. The navigation up the river St. Laurence was hazardous, and none but unskilful pilots could be found. A sudden blow must necessarily be struck, or otherwise, as the frosty season begins there so early, the fleet might find it difficult to return down the river. When they set sail, they had every thing to dread from their own ignorance and a dangerous navigation. In proceeding up the river they found uncertain and rapid currents, and met with dark and foggy weather: in consequence of which eight transports ran upon a rock, and almost nine hundred men perished. This unhappy accident cast a damp upon the spirits of the army, and their plan was frustrated. In a council of war it was judged imprudent and impracticable to carry large ships up such a river without the most skilful pilots, and therefore they returned to New England. General Francis Nicolson having heard of the miscarriage of the expedition upon the river, retreated also from Lake George, and no more attempts were made for many years against the French settlements in Canada.
[Sidenote] A French colony planted in Louisiana.
In the year following the French planted a colony at the mouth of the great river Mississippi. Lewis the XIVth thought proper to grant a territory of vast extent in that quarter to Secretary Crozat, by which he evidently encroached on lands belonging to the Proprietors of South Carolina. Though the Carolineans had not a little to fear from a settlement in such a situation, yet Crozat was allowed to take peaceable possession, without any complaints from the Proprietors, or opposition from the British government. From this period a new competitor for the affection and interest of Indian nations arose, more active and enterprising than the Spaniards, whose motions the Carolineans had good reason to watch with a jealous and vigilant eye.
[Sidenote] A colony of Palatines settled.
About the same time application was made to the Proprietors for lands in Carolina, by a number of Palatines harassed in Germany by the calamities of a tedious war, and reduced to circumstances of great indigence and misery. The Proprietors wisely judging, that by such acquisitions the value of their lands would increase, and the strength of their settlement would be promoted, determined to give every possible encouragement to such emigrants. Ships were provided for their transportation. Instructions were sent to Governor Tynte to allow an hundred acres of land for every man, woman, and child, free of quit-rents for the first ten years; but, at the expiration of that term, to pay one penny per acre annual-rent for ever, according to the usages and customs of the province. Upon their arrival Governor Tynte granted them lands in North Carolina, where they settled, and flattered themselves with having found in the hideous wilderness an happy retreat from the storms and desolations of war raging in Europe.
[Sidenote] Robert Gibbes governor.
However, like many others, Governor Tynte had scarcely time to learn the real state of the country, in order to establish proper regulations in it, before he died. After his death, a competition arose in the council about the succession. One party declared for Robert Gibbes, and another for Thomas Broughton. Gibbes, however, carried his election, and for a little while stood at the head of the colony. During his time, we know nothing remarkable that happened. An act of assembly passed for appointing commissioners, impowering them to take subscriptions and collect public contributions for building a church at Charlestown. Water passages were carried southward to Port-Royal, for the ease and convenience of passengers by sea, and money was provided for building public bridges; and establishing ferries, for the accommodation of travellers by land.
[Sidenote] Charles Craven governor.
But as it appeared to the Proprietors, that bribery and corruption had been used by Robert Gibbes to gain his election to the government, he was not permitted to continue long in that office; they forbade their Receiver-General to pay him any salary, and ordered the money due to be transmitted to Richard Shelton their secretary in England. A commission was sent our to Charles Craven, a man of great knowledge, courage and integrity, by his brother, investing him with the government of the colony. His council was composed of Thomas Broughton, Ralph Izard, Charles Hart, Samuel Eveleigh, and Arthur Middleton, &c.; all men of considerable property, and experience in provincial affairs. The assembly in his time was not elected, as formerly, in a riotous and tumultuary manner, but with the utmost harmony and regularity, and proceeded to their deliberations with great temper and mutual friendship. The Governor had instructions to defend the province against the French and Spaniards, and for that purpose to form and cultivate the firmest friendship and alliance with the Indians; to promote fisheries and manufactures, which was certainly an absurd and ridiculous instruction; for while they had so much land, agriculture was evidently more profitable and beneficial to both the possessors and Proprietors of the province. He was required to overlook the courts, and take special care that justice be equitably administered, and that no interruptions or delays attend the execution of the laws: he was ordered to employ eight men to sound Port-Royal river for the benefit of navigation, and to fix on the most convenient spot for building a town, with a harbour nigh it; and to transmit all acts of assembly made from time to time to England, for the Proprietors approbation or disapprobation; and such other public matters as appeared to him of general concern and utility, he was required carefully to study and promote.
[Sidenote] An Indian war in North Carolina.
In the year 1712, after Governor Craven had assumed the management of the colony, a dangerous conspiracy was formed by the Indians of North Carolina against the poor settlers in that quarter. The cause of the quarrel we have not been able clearly to find out; probably they were offended at the encroachments made on their hunting lands. The powerful tribes of Indians called Corees, Tuscororas, and several more, united, and determined to murder or expel the European invaders. As usual, they carried on their bloody design with amazing cunning and profound secrecy. Their chief town they had in the first place surrounded with a wooden breast-work, for the security of their own families. Here the different tribes met together to the number of twelve hundred bowmen, and formed their horrid plot. From this place of rendezvous they sent out small parties, who entered the settlements, under the mask of friendship, by different roads. At the change of the full moon all of them had agreed to begin their murderous operations, on the same night. When that night came, they entered the planters houses, demanded provisions, out of pretence were displeased with them, and then murdered men, women, and children, without mercy or distinction. To prevent the alarm spreading through the settlement, they ran like fierce and bloody tygers from house to house, spreading slaughter among the scattered families wherever they went. None of the colonists, during the fatal night, knew what had befallen their neighbours, until the barbarians had reached their own doors. About Roanock one hundred and thirty-seven settlers fell a sacrifice to their savage fury the first night; among whom were a Swiss baron, and almost all the poor Palatines who had lately come into the country. Some, however, who had hid themselves in the woods, having escaped, next morning gave the alarm to their neighbours, and prevented the total distruction of that colony. Every family had orders speedily to assemble at one place, and the militia, under arms, kept watch day and night around them, until the news of the sad disaster reached the province of South Carolina.
[Sidenote] The Tuscorora Indians conquered.
Happy was it for the distressed North Carolineans Governor Craven lost no time in collecting and dispatching a force to their assistance and relief. The assembly voted four thousand pounds for the service of the war. A body of militia, consisting of six hundred men, under the command of Colonel Barnwell, marched against the savages. Two hundred and eighteen Cherokees, under the command of Captains Hartford and Turstons; seventy-nine Creeks, under Captain Hastings; forty-one Catabaws, under Captain Cantey, and twenty-eight Yamasses, under Captain Pierce, being furnished with arms, joined the Carolineans in this expedition. Hideous and dreadful, at this time, was that wilderness through which Colonel Barnwell had to march; and to get to North Carolina in time, for the relief of the people, the utmost expedition was requisite. In such a case it was not possible for his men to carry a sufficient quantity of provisions, together with arms and ammunition, along with them, or to have these things provided at different stages by the way. There was no road through the woods upon which either horses or carriages could conveniently pass; and his army had all manner of hardships and dangers from the climate, the wilderness, and the enemy, to encounter. In spite of every difficulty, Barnwell advanced against them, employing his Indian allies to hunt for provisions to his men by the way. At length, having come up with the savages, he attacked them, and being much better supplied with arms and ammunition than his enemy, he did great execution among them. In the first battle he killed three hundred Indians, and took about one hundred prisoners. After which the Tuscororas retreated to their town, within a wooden breastwork; there Barnwell surrounded them, and having killed a considerable number, forced the remainder to sue for peace: some of his men being wounded, and others having suffered much by constant watching, and much hunger and fatigue, the savages more easily obtained their request. In this expedition it was computed that Barnwell killed, wounded, and captivated near a thousand Tuscororas. The remainder, who escaped on the terms of peace, soon after this heavy chastisement, abandoned their country, and joined a northern tribe of Indians on the Ohio river. King Blunt, who afterwards came to South Carolina, confirmed the account of the number the enemy had lost. Of Barnwell's party five Carolineans were killed, and several wounded: of his Indians, thirty-six were killed, and between sixty and seventy wounded. In justice to this officer it must be owned, never had any expedition against the savages in Carolina been attended with such hazards and difficulties, nor had the conquest of any tribe of them ever been more general and complete.
[Sidenote] Bank bills established.
Although the expedition to North Carolina was well conducted, and proved as successful as the most sanguine of the Carolineans could have expected, yet the expense the public had incurred by it fell heavy on the province, the revenues of which were inconsiderable, and not at all adapted for such important and extensive enterprizes. But as great harmony at this time subsisted between the Governor and assembly, they were well disposed for concurring with him in every measure for the public safety and relief. The stamping of bills of credit had been used as the easiest method of defraying these expenses incurred for the public defence: however, at this time the legislature thought proper to establish a public bank, and issued forty-eight thousand pounds in bills of credit, called Bank-bills, for answering the exigencies of government, and for the convenience of domestic commerce. This money was to be lent out at interest, on landed or personal security; and, according to the tenour of the act for issuing the same, it was to be sunk gradually, by four thousand pounds a-year; which sum was ordered to be paid annually by the borrowers, into the hands of commissioners appointed for that purpose. After the emission of these bank-bills, the rate of exchange and the price of produce quickly arose, and in the first year advanced to one hundred and fifty, in the second to two hundred per cent.
[Sidenote] Remarks on paper currency.
With respect to the utility of this paper money, the planters and merchants, according to their different views and interests, were divided in opinion. The former, who, for the most part, stood indebted to the latter, found that this provincial currency was not only necessary to answer the exigencies of government, but also very useful and convenient in the payment of private debts. This money being local, in proportion as it increased in quantity, it raised the nominal price of provincial commodities: and became of course prejudicial to creditors, in proportion as it was profitable to debtors; for though it depreciated fifty per cent. in a year, during which time the planters stood indebted to the merchants, the next year such creditors were obliged to take it in payment, or produce, which had advanced in price, according to the quantity of money in circulation. By the acts of assembly which established these bills of credit, the currency was secured, and made a tender in law in all payments; so that if the creditor refused this money before witnesses offered to him, the debt was discharged from the minute of his refusal. Besides, the planters knew, that in a trading country gold and silver, by various channels, would make their way out of it when they answer the purposes of remittance better than produce, to their great prejudice: paper-money served to remedy this inconvenience, and to keep up the price of provincial commodities, as it could not leave the colony, and answered the purpose for paying private debts as well, or rather better, than gold and silver. As the trade of the country increased, no doubt a certain quantity of money was necessary to carry it on with ease and freedom; but when paper bills are permitted to increase beyond what are necessary for commercial ease and utility, they sink in value; and in such a case creditors lose in proportion to their depreciation.