May it please your Excelcy
I received your Excelcy's by Mr Harwood and for what relates to Bray's case shall give notice to your Excelcy & ye honble Council's opinion to him that he may comply therewith I return your Excelcy our hearty thanks for your care in endeavouring to obtein his Maj. royall commands concerning ye bounds of this Province and I assure yor Excelcy that we have not been wanting in our endeavours to procure both direction and all necessary authority for proceeding in that affair.
I hope yor Excelcy (notwithstanding any misrepresentation that hath been heretofore made) is of opinion that it is not our purpose to countenance ye harbouring of runaways but to punish it with ye utmost severity and I crave leave to intimate to you that there must needs have been as great neglect amongst the people in Virginia as ever hath been here otherwise such runaways could not pass so far, for we observe that there are few or none that are taken here or supposed to pass by but what travel much further through ye inhabitants of Virginia than the whole extent of this Governt comes to, for instance this which Mr Harwood carries oute end ye inhabitants of Virginia may be more carefull that both may joyn to prevent such a mischief.
It was wholly my forgetfullness that I did not before acquaint yor Excelcy yt I have made as strict an inquiry as possible concerning Madame Smith's Negros & doe assure yor Excelcy that they are not in this Governmt nor any other that can be suspected to be run away except one of Esqr Corbin's servants who lieth here sick and reports that three of his companions are dead to the Southward and one Negro more in the Marshall's custody who was imported hither in a sloope He has been in England and pretends that he there served the Earl of Craven and that he came to New England a Freeman we have sent to the Northern Government from whence he came but as yet have not heard from his Master.
Concerning ye Indians its very true that such report was made to us yt we all generally did believe that those unhappy people were destroyed by ym And I with ye advice of the Assembly sent the Honble Daniel Akehurst Esq. to inquire of the truth thereof and with him Capt. Thos. Blount who was a very great sharer in that loss and was as strongly perswaded as any man that the people in ye Canoe were indeed murdered and himself and family was in as great danger as any in the Governmt And upon their return they made report to me and ye Councill that all ye Indians that could be suspected freely upon ye first summons surrendered themselves and gave so particular account of ye matter and with so many concurring circumstances yt by all the inquiry yt they could make they could see no cause to fix it upon any of them for ye evidences who at a distance seemed strong when they came face to face with ye Indians could say nothing against them so yt they returned fully satisfyed yt yt canoe was lost by extremity of wind and sea which we all know was very violent at that time and so continued for several days together.
I with the advice of ye Council here followed your Excelcys good example in publishing a Proclamac̄on for apprehending of ye pyrates if they should come into this Government and we hold ourselves very much obliged to you for communicating to us those papers concerning the Scotts settlement and shall at any time be glad to be informed of his Maj. pleasure by Yor Excelcy yt we may render obedience thereto as becometh good and dutifull subjects and am