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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Report by Edward Randolph concerning illegal trade in proprietary colonies [Extract]
Randolph, Edward, ca. 1632-1703
1701
Volume 01, Pages 545-548

[B. P. R. O. B. T. Proprieties. No. 26. P. 464.
AN ABSTRACT OF MY PAPER HUMBLY PRESENTED TO THE RIGHT HONble THE LORDS COMMISSrs FOR TRADE SHEWING THE HIGH CRIMES AND ENCREASING MISDEMEANORS AND MALL ADMINISTRATn OF THE GOVERNORS IN THE SEVERALL PROPRIETIES ON THE CONTINENT OF AMERICA, AND ISLANDS ADJACENT.
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South Carolina.

Mr John Archdall the late Govr (under his son a Lord Proprietary of the Province) permitted some of Every's Men, who came from Providence to Land, and bring their money quietly a shoar, for which favour he was well paid by them.

He contrary to the Acts of Trade, gave his Permitt to Simon Tristrank (a French man borne) who came from St Thomas to put off his sugar, wine and cocoa, for which his Marshall received for the Governor a large present, and therefore he would not suffer the Judge of the Admiralty, nor the Collector to seize her, saying she belonged to English owners, vide depositions.

He allowed one Day Master of a great ship of Bristol which came into the Harbour loaden with Sugar from Jamaica, to sell his Sugar to a merchant in Charles Town, upon Condition that Mr Archdale should have a share of it.

Mr Blake his successor in the Governmt sent six barrells of Gunpowder, bought for defence of the Country (being a great Indian Trader) by his Agents to purchase skins of the Indians, vide Depositions.

He clandestinely got £80. from William Joel Mar of a Bermuda sloop, which he caused to be seized, upon pretence she was not registered,

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whereas the time for registring vessells was not expired, vide Depositions.

He caused a sloop belonging to Carolina loaden with Negroes from Guinea, to be seized upon the same pretence, and discharged her upon the owners promise to pay him 50£. (vide Depositions of the Owners sworn before a master in Chancery.)

He was consenting to the seizing of the ship Carlisle stop five months in the Country, upon pretence that the Mar was a Pyrate, but the design was to get her into his and his Confederates hands, by putting the sailors upon seizing her for their wages, and then get her to be sold to them for little or nothing.

By a Trick he put upon the Credulous Master of the Edward and Sarah of London, loaden with sugar from Yamaica, he gott the Management of the vessell and her Loading into his hands, and leaving that to the care of one Loggen, they imbezilled the Sugar and brought in Extravagent Charges for Comission, which were allowed. The vessell was sunk through their neglect, yet they demanded and had 30£. for their care & diligence.

He and the Judge of the Court of Admirality (his brother in law) condemned the Snow Gully of London, and her Loading they were appraised at a low value. His Majesty sometime after was pleased to order them restore to the owners the vessell & Loading, which they were glad to take at the appraised value, besides the loss they sustayned for want of their market However Governor Blake and his confederates made great advantage by the sale of those Goods at the Country price

The Cole and Bean Galley of London and Loading worth two or three thousand pounds sterl: were condemned and appraised at not half the value, the vessell was bought by Loggan under hand for the Governor and Bellinger, and the pretended collector for much less than halfe what she cost setting out in England; they sent her to the Bay of Campeache for Logwood and ordered the Master to sell her, and her Loading at Curasoa or Holland.

He turned Mr Nicholas Trott (apptd ye Naval Officer by the Lords Proprietors and also by the Commissioners of his Majesties Customes) out of his place because he was diligent and faithfull to his trust, and put another therein, who was his confident and not fit for the place


North Carolina.

Thomas Harvey late Governor was deputed by Mr Archdall he put Mastrs to great charges because of their vessells not being registered, though the time lymitted for registering them was not expired. The

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Tobaco made in that Province is generally carried to Boston or to the Islands near to Connecticott Colony where it is carryed to Scotland &c which fraund ought speedily to be prevented.

During his Government his Majestys ship the Hady was drove a shore upon the sands between the Inletts of Roanoak and Currituck, the Inhabitants robed her and got some of her guns ashore and shot into her sides and disabled her from getting off. The actors were tryed and one of the chief was banished. Henderson Walker the present Governor in no sort fit for the Office

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May it please Your Ldpps

The many misdemeanors I have justly charged upon the severall Governours in the Proprieties, arise chiefly from a very great neglect in the Proprietrs not taking due care to provide an Honorable Maintenance for support of their Governors, which is the true reason why no honest Gentleman of good reputation and abilities, to serve his Majesty in the Quallity of Governors will leave his Country to live upon the Rapine and spoil in the Proprieties, as many of them have done for severall years last past; For 'tis easy to believe that Governors in such necessities will be soon tempted to do all unlawfull things. Neither have they taken any notice of the frequent complaints of the grievous oppressions done by their Governors to his Majesties subjects, nor of their exacting extravagant Fees from Masters of vessells and other Trading Persons, so as to redress them; Whereby lawfull Traders have been wholy ruined.

They have not at any time (during the late Warr with France) bought or sent over any great Guns, or small Armes for Horse or Foot Amunition of all sorts, nor provided ships of Warr to be manned when necessary, nor soldiers ready for the defence of his Majestie's subjects inhabting those Provinces, so that all the Proprieties (from the Bahama Island south beyond Pemaquid North) at this time lie open and exposed to every invasion, being an easy prey to their merciless and insulting Enemys the French and Spaniards &c: especially South Carolina, lying within sixty miles of the Town and Port of St Austin, a place well fortyfyed and mand; from whence I saw a Lieutenant and six Spanish soldiers in March 1699, who came from thence in a small Periogna within the Land.

From the consideration whereof and for the more effectuall preventing the imminent ruine the Proprieties are in at present, and also for the more effectual suppressing the growing evills arising from the arbitrary practices of their Governors which the Proprietors are in no sort capable to redress.

Tis therefore humbly proposed

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1. That the Government of all the Proprieties on the Continent of America and Islands adjacent be forthwith vested in the Crown.

2. That all the just Rights & Proprties of the severall Proprietors, and also of all the Persons claiming by or under them, be continued and confirmed to them by Act of Parliament to be enjoyed in as full and ample Manner as they have or may of right enjoy by virtue of their respective Grants or Patents for the same.

By which means they themselves will be fully secured in all their Rights, under an Equall Administration of his Majesties Government and protected in their lives and Estates from Rapine and depredation. The Acts of trade duly observed in all his Majesties Colonies and Provinces, and his Majesties Revenue yearly encreased, which will be a mighty benefit and advantage to all his Majesties Subjects inhabiting there.

And lastly their lands and estates made thereby far more valuable than before.

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All of which is humbly submitted by
E. RANDOLPH.