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But now for the Season of the year disposing those concerned in Shipping bound to New York & Boston, to dispatch them speedily, & the latest to sail 14 dayes hence, puts me under a necessity to remind their Ld’ps of the petition & Memorial of the Proprietors of the Jerseys concerning me, which lyes before the Board.
The State also of the Post in America which is under my care,' doth call for my speedy repair thither, The Acts of Assembly of those Colonies which ascertain the Rates upon letters being near expired, & will not be easily renewed without my personall application.
I humbly therefor move their Ld’ps by you Sr that a Report may be made against next Council day if it may suit with their Ld'ps convenience
Your most obedient servant 239 March 98 [98-99]
Memorial of the Proprietors of East Jersey to the
Lords of Trade, in relation to the seizure of the ship Hester, & their claim to free ports.
(P. R. O. B. T., Proprieties, Vol. 3, C'.) TO THE RIGHT HONBLE THE LORDS OF THE COUNCILL OF
TRADE AND PLANTATIONS. The Humble Memorial of the Proprietors of East
New Jersey in America. The said Proprietors having lately presented their humble Petic'on to his Majesty in Councell, since referred to, and lying before your Lordshipps, wherein
1 Col. Hamilton, at that time, was Postmaster General for New Jersey and some of the other colonies. See Vol. I., p 509, Note.-ED.
they complain of the Governor of New-Yorke his seizure of the Shipp Hester within the Harbour of Perth-Amboy in East Jersey, which his Excellency Justifyes by virtue of his Majesties Order in Councill made in Confirmation of a Report from Yo! Lordp declaring Your Opinion that the Proprietors have no Grant of any Port in East-Jersey; And the Proprietors having in their said Petic'on sett forth that Your Lordps Report was grounded upon Severall misinformations given your Lordp of matters of Fact; They humbly 'crave leave to Explain themselves therein.
Whereas Your Lordshipps in that Report declare that the Prop’tors have no manner of right or power to constitute ports in East Jersey from K: Charles 29, the Duke of Yorke, or any other person deriving Authority from either of them, They humbly Declare that the right claimed by them is but the Com'on & Naturall Right of coming into & going out of that Province with Shipps for the necessary Support of the Inhabittants (A priviledge which every other Collony of America doth enjoy to this day.)
And that no Customes being payable there for any Goods Imported from Europe thither, or for the product of that Collony to Europe, the West Indies or elsewhere, They conceive and are advised they have power to Import and Export such Goods from any part of that Province without Interruption, And for the Enumerated Goods of the growth of the Plantations and Transported from one Plantation to another upon which a duty is Imposed by the Statute of the 25 of K: Ch: 29 The Proprietors insist that the Commos of the Customes under the Direction of the Lords Comm?s of the Trea’ry had Constituted Perth Amboy a Port for that purpose before Yo? Lordp late Report, which the Proprietors are willing shall be the Port for Importing & Exporting all Goods whatsoever to and from the said Collony.
That the separation of the Jerseys from New Yorke (being in the year 1664) was before the Statute that Impowered the Com" of the Customes to Constitute Ports in America, or before any Customes were payable at New York; so, That as the people were under no limitation from England of Using the most convenient Harbours in their Collony for Importation & Exportation; New York cannot pretend that by the separation of the Jerseys any Revenue or Customes are lopp'd off which were formerly payed out of those Provinces to the Province or Port of New York.
And whereas Yo? Lordpps in Yo? said Report sett forth that New York and Perth Amboy lye within the same Capes & River, and that it is not usuall to admitt of two Independant Ports within the same River, The Proprietors humbly insist that Yo! Lordpps are misinformed in that particular, for tho’ Virginia and Maryland lye within the same Capes & River they have different Ports, and every Creek is permitted to be so; and the same is practised in New England. And tho' the entrance from the Sea to New York and Perth Amboy be through the same Channnell close by SandyHooke because of Shoals and Banks that lye along to Nassau or Long Island, yet being once within the said Channell the courses flowings & Ebbings, are different, for New York lying North from Sandy Hook upon Hudsons River, and Perth Amboy lying West upon Rariton River, (as will appear by the Mapp) if Ships bound for Perth Amboy must first enter at New Yorke they will be subject to the Inconveniences following.
They must first goe down again to Sandy Hook before they can fall into the Channell of Rariton-River, and are subject to be driven to Sea as often Pilots have been, conveying Shipps down to Sandy Hook, one instance whereof is now in England; The Pilot in 8br or gör last conveying down the Kings Shipp the Fuoy to Sandy Hooke, a Gale Sprung up that the Cap could
not put him ashoar and was forced to bring him to England.
If a Ship bound outward from Perth Amboy with the product of that Collony shall be obliged to clear at New York She may be blown off in going round, and so is seizable in any of the Kings Ports for want of Coquets.
A Northerly Wind is a fair wind to goe to Sea from Perth Amboy but blows quite down Hudsons River, that Shipps with that wind cannot come at New York & so lose a fair wind:
In the wintertime Shipps can goe to Sea from PerthAmboy, once in two or three Tides, but it is impossible to goe to New York, because of the running Ice in that River, and therefore must lose their Season till the Winter is over.
East Jersey affords great store of Horses fitt to be Transported to the West Indies, They are never put aboard till the Wind offers fair to goe to Sea; And should Vessels loaded with Horses be obliged to Clear at New York, they may lose the Wind that might carry them to Sea, and be the loss of their Voyage, besides many inconveniences too tedious to trouble Your Lordshipps with.
The Proprietors hoping Yo: Lordps are satisfied they intended no disrespect to your Lordps by that Allegation in their Petition, They humbly represent to yo! Lord’ps that the Chief design of their present Petition, is to take away the principall Objection made by Yo?. Lord"against a Free Port in East-Jersey, viz the Detriment it will bring to New York, and therefore the Proprietors made the proposall, and will still undertake to perform it, of obtaining an Act of Assembly for the same duties at Perth Amboy, as are and shall be paid at New York.
And though they have further pray'd that a Tryall at Bar may be granted for a finall decision of their Right, The Proprietors doe only thereby intend, that if their proposall of obtaining the like Customes be not accepted, to be vindicated against the clamours of the Inhabittants upon that Occasion, who unless the Case receive a Judiciall Determination have and will Impute the want of a Free Port wholly to the Proprietors remissness of Asserting their Right in a due course of Law.
The Proprietors therefore humbly pray Yo! Lordps Consideration of the Premises, and that Yo? Lordships will admitt them to a hearing, before Yo? Lordps make any Report upon their last Petition
Gilbert Molleson for Wm Dockwra, Peter Sonmans Walter Benthall
Robert Barclay [March 23! 1698-9]
Memorial of the Proprietors of East Jersey to the
Lords of Trade, asking for a speedy report upon their petitions.
(From P. R. O. B. T., Proprietors, Vol. 3, C 4.) Mem of the Proprietors of East New Jersey
about a Port at Perth Amboy. THE PROPRIETORS having at the last time they attended Yo! Lordpps) suggested, that the allowing a Port in East Jersey upon the conditions then propos'd would be no Detriment But rather an Advantage to New York, doe now in Obedience to Yo! Lordpps Commands humbly offer the following reasons for it.