« PreviousContinue »
of the way, I hope to give yo? Ldships a good acco of what is don there in few days; I have in my hands 2000 peeces of eight wch I took from the two first Pirates that I Seazed & Lodged in Burlington Goale. I desir'd to know yo' Ldships ord' about it. I have been at Charge in hireing of Boats & Shallops & paying ye men in order to ye Seazeing the Pirats wch I hope to be reimburst out of the Effects in my hands, no man can serve yo' L’dships so efectually in giveing ye true aco' of the Piratts mony & Goods as my selfe so that if yo' Ldships please to give me yo’ order of a Power Ile take care that there be no fraud or abuse so Don to those y have yo Right to yo Piratts mony & Goods of all the Piratts y! shall be Seazed in these Neighbouring Governmts. I have so often troubid yo" Ldships with Letters giveing an acco of ye Contempts & affronts y' are put upon his Majesty & his authority in this Goverm' & also of the Admiralty Comission in opposition to wch they have set up a Court of Admiralty of theirs, for ye Seazeing trying Ships but haveing never Recd any order or direction from yo' Ldships or ye favour of a Line in answer I am not willing to trouble you more on y* Subject; only will take the freedom to mind y' L’dships y all ye Gentlemen that are Concern'd for the Kings interest & Service in this Governm are very uneasy not only upon the acco' of their being affronted & threaten'd by those in yr Government, but to find there is no notice taken of their complaints in England wch Confirm's what ye Quakers here say of M" Penns haveing so great an Intrest at Court yi no complaints can be heard against the Goverm' let them act never so Illegal or Extravigant as for my own part I am easy anough for should this place be allowed to be a free Port I shall receive as much advantage in point of Trade as any man here but I doe assure yo? L’dsps this ye if some speedy Course be not taken it will be impossible to get men to serve
the King here, especially in what relates to the Admiralty there being no Sallerys allow'd to any of them. I have often Writt to yo? Ldships on this and severall other Subjects to wca I humbly begg the favo' of an answer wch may be a Guide to me for the future & to render me the more Capable of his Majestie's Service & yo! L'ships wch is the earnest desire of Yo' Lordships most faithfful Serv!
From Colonel Quary to the Lords of Trade, about Pirates in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
[From P. R. O. B. T., Proprieties, Vol. 3, C 31.] L're from Coll Quary to y Board, abt the arrival
of Kidd & other Pirates at Pennsylvania & other places.
PHILADELPHIA June 6th 1699. Right Honoble
Since my writing the enclosed I have by the assistance of Coll Bass Gov" of the Jerseys apprehended 4 more of the pyrats at Cape May & might have wth ease secured all the rest of them and the ship too, had this Governm' given mee the least ayde or Assistance, but they woud not or soe much as issue out a Proclamation; but on the contrary the people of this Governm have entertained the pyratts, convey'd them from place to place, furnished them wth provision & liquors, & given them intelligence & sheltered them from justice: & now the greatest part of them are conveyed away in boats to rhoad Island. all those persons that I have employed in searching for & apprehending these pyratts are abused and affronted & called Enemys of the Countrey, for disturbing and hindring honest men (as they are pleased to call the pyrats) from bringing their money & settling amongst them. Yo' Ld’pps were pleased to send to this Governma Copy of an Act formerly past in Jamaica relating to Pyrats & Privateers & all ayders & abetters of them wch yo' Ld'pps recommended to bee past into an act here, itt lay asleepe till about 3 weekes agoe, when they thought M: Penn might make good use of itt in England to abuse yo' Ld’pps wth itt if possible, but I am sure when yo' Ld’pps consid'g the act (a copy of wch is herein inclosed) you will find itt all of a peice wh their former Act, & to bee a true representation of themselves a fayre shew outwardly but nothing but fraud & deceit within And now wth yo' Ld'pps favour I will make some remarks upon this meretorious act of theirs—18t the Jamaica Act hath made itt felony for any of the Kings subjects in an hostile manner to serve under any forreigne prince ag! any other prince in Amity with his Majesty wthout Lycence, but this Act of theirs hath made noe such provision tho' all the roguery that hath been com’itted by those Sort of men in the West Indies hath been under colour of forreign Comissions. 201y—the Jamaica Act makes all such to bee accessarys & confederates that shall knowingly entertaine harbour conceale trade or hold correspondence wth any p'rson or p'rsons that shall bee deemed or adjudged to bee privateers or pyratts &c. but the Act of this Governm' hath taken care to leave out the word (deemed) soe that now
1 ROBERT QUARY was Governor of South Carolina in 1684 and 1690, and at one period, intervening, was Secretary of the Province. He afterwards was Judge of the Admiralty in New York and Pennsylvania, and was a member of the council of five of the Colonies at the same time. From the character of his communications to the authorities in England, it is evident that he was an emissary of the Government, charged with the duty of reporting the condition of the respective colonies he visited. While apparently honest in his aims, he was not always wise in his selection of sources of information, and consequently was led sometimes to imbibe erroneous impressions respecting the action of individuals, leading to unexpected difficulties between the officials in England and their subordinates in the colonies Quary died about 1712.-ED.
by their construction of this Act the principall must bee first convicta & judged before there can bee any accessarys, & that this is their true intent & meaning appears upon my complaining ag a great number of men that have been confederates wth these pyrats, all the answer I can have is, that they doe not know them to bee pyrats' till they are convict & judged such: Soe that all that soe very necessary a clause is by their act made ineffectuall. 3ly by the Jamaica Act all com’ission officers are impowred upon notice of any privateers or pyrats that are in any place to raise & levy such a number of well armed men, as they shall think needfull for the apprehending &c but the Act of this Governm' impowers the Justices Sheriffs & Constables to call to their Assistance such a number of men as they shall thinck needfull &c but not one word of armed men or arms, if the Quaker Justices Sheriffs & Constables wth those of their friends whom they shall call to their Assistance can preach the pyrats into a submission to the Kings Authority, itt is well, if not they may goe about their business; As for Com'ission Officers they did very well to leave them out of their Act, since there is neither Militia nor one Com’ission Officer in the Governm4'y by the Jamaica Act in case the pyrats &c shall make resistance or refuse to yield obedience to his Majestys Authority itt shall be lawfull to kill & destroy such p'rson and persons & all
p'rsons that shall resist by fyring upon any of the .com’anded party shall be adjudged as felons without benefit of Clergy, but all & every part of this soe necessary a clause is altogether left out of this Act made here. 5ly the Jamaica Act provides that in case any p'rson shall refuse to appeare att such place as shall bee appointed with his arms well fixed & amunition, & being there shall refuse to obey his Commission Officer such person shall bee lyable to such fines or corporall punishment as by a Regimentall Court Marshall shall bee thought fitt, but by the Act of this Governm' there is noe care taken for their appearing wth armes or amunition, & in case they refuse to appeare att all, they are only fined 5ld wch they very well know will never bee recovered of any for that cause in their Courts. 615 They have by their act taken care to impower the persons that they doe associate wh the Judge of the Admiralty; but have made no provision to impower him; Soe that if hee hath noe power to try pyracy without their act, that gives him none & my Com’ission from L’ds of the Admiralty gives mee no such power: but may it please your Ld'pps that weh most sticks wth mee is, how I can wth safety according to Law conscience or reason sitt & judge the lives of the King's subjects when all the Judges in the Com'ission & on the bench besides myselfe are men that will not take the Oaths of Allegiance &c to his Maj'y or take the Oath of a Judge to give judgment indifferently betwixt the King & his subjects, or how can I give judgment for takeing the life of a Subject on the verdict of a jury not sworne, or on the Evidence of witnesses not sworne & this is what hath been practiced here. I am sure noe man liveing is more zealous to serve his Majesty in all things wthin my power, but I hope yo' Ld'pps will excuse mee if I joyne not will them in this arbitrary illegal & arbitrary way of judging mens lives. I hope yo' Ld’ps will give some speedy orders & directions in this matter either by sending a Com'ission under the great Seale or by ordring the pyrats to bee sent for England (wch in my opinion will bee much the better & easier way) for those 2 Pyrats that are in the Goale of this Governm! must bee tryed by this defective law or not at all & by judges & jurys not qualifyed for the other 6 that are in the Goale of the West Jerseys they cannot bee tryed there, being noe Act of that nature past there as yett. I will trouble yo” Ld'ps noe further wh a Com’ent on that false deceiptfull Act, wch serves