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Report of Colonel Roemer to the Earl of Bellomont, on
the Harbor of New York.
(From N. Y. Col. Docts., Vol. IV., p 836. Translated from the Dutch.)
Pursuant to your Excellcies verbal order of the 7 of December 1700, to measure the distance across the Narrows and to sound the depth of water there, as well as in a second arm of Hudson's river, called the Coll, between Staten Island and East Jersey, and to ascertain whether any ships and bombketches could come around by Amboy and consequently attack the city of N. York: item, to select a couple of places both at the Narrows and the Coll, where suitable fortifications could be erected, and the enemy thereby be forestalled in his undertakings, I on measuring the same, have found the distance between the heights (hoof den) to be one and į mile English in breadth from shore to shore.
In regard to the depth of water, I find across from Long Island to Staten island 4. 4. 4. 44: 6. 11. 12. 13. 12. 9. 6. 6. and 5 fathoms right under the shore of the aforesaid Staten island. By the second sounding from Staten Island to Long Island & of a mile farther south, where the river is narrowest, I find right under the shore, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15 fathoms in the deepest part of the channel; this depth then falls off immediately to 6, 2 and 14 fathom of water where there is a Bar (riff) +° which, with a point northerly towards N. York, runs into Long Island and westerly 1-6 part across the Narrows, and S. S. E. towards Sandy Hook runs past Long Island hook where it shoots around E and E by North (Oen ( by N)
Now for the fortification of the Narrows, I am of opinion that there ought to be, both on Long, and Staten Island, a sufficient Battery with a good Redoubt on each height, inclosed with proper lines of defence communicating with the respective Batteries, and that each be furnished with 30 guns carrying 18a24 lbs ball.
In regard to the other branch of the Hudsons river, called the Coll, between Staten Island and East Jersey, I have sounded it from Amboy up to Tompsons point and Elizabeth town and find from Amboy to the above named points 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4 fathoms of water, it then become shallow with a very crooked Channel to having no more than 11a12 feet of water at spring tide, so that a ship can indeed come up as far as Tompson's point aforesaid, but with difficulty, because the river runs narrow and crooked. In order now, to hinder the approach of any vessel, I am of opinion that it can be effected by the erection of a battery on Schutter's island 12 or 13 miles from New York; with this, it is impossible for any ship, sloop or boat to run up or down.
I consider myself bound particularly to submit to your Excelloy the great importance of Sandy Hook, and entertain that opinion, because reason and the Rules of War agree, that an enemy must always be kept as far off as can possibly be done, that a good block house and other fortification ought to be erected on the aforesaid Hook, as they would be very useful there, the channel and entrance being very narrow, and vessels on that account must pass immediately under this Hook, whilst the East banks lie sheer by and over the Hook running up to the North and East, and it is therefore very dangerous. For these reasons a good Blockhouse and Fort of 50 guns might answer, and prevent any enemy coming by water into my bosom, and oblige him to stand out to sea on a dangerous coast.
Further and lastly, an inclosed battery of 12 or 13 guns ought to be erected at the narrowest part of Hellgate, to prevent the entrance of an enemy at that point also.
All this being done, I am persuaded an enemy will bethink himself a hundred times before he will undertake any attack on New York. (Signed)
W. W. ROEMER New York January 13th 170;
Mr. Edward Randolph to the Lords of Trade.
(From P. R. O. B. T., Proprieties, F 69, Vol. 5.) MR RANDOLPH's ABSTRACT of some papers, set
ting forth the Misdemeanours & male Administration of Gov's in y. Proprieties & Charter Govnts in America. 19th Feb?? 1700
East & WEST JERSEY. The Proprietors have right to the Soyle, but not to the Governm of those Provinces, The Quakers are now contesting for Coll Hamilton their present Govern" tho' not allowed off by his Maties Orders in Councell, as the Law directs; The Countrey is too large, and the Inhabitants too few to be continued a Separate Governm therefore East Jersey ought to be annexed to N: Yorke, and West Jersey to Pensilvania, and the three lower Countyes which will make a considerable and usefull Governm
Memorial of Jeremiah Basse to the Lords of Trade
asking for a consideration of the Remonstrance of the Inhabitants of East Jersey.
[From P. R. O. B. T. Proprieties, Bundle E & F, 70.) To the Right Honoj.ble The Lords Commisrs of the
Councill of Trade &c.
THE MEMORIALL Of J. Bass in behalfe of the Inhabitants of his
Majesties Proce of East New Jersie in America. May it please Your Lordships
The negligence Procrastination & Delays of the Proprietors ocations me with all humility to Intreat your Lordships to procead to A consideration of the Petition of the Inhabitants of the saide Province referred to you by his Majesty & appoint some time when the Proofs of the saide Petition as far as it relates to matter of fact may be laide before you. This iny Lords I am Emboldened to Request from the pressing necessitys of that distracted province amongst whome the currant of the laws are Stopt & not the Shaddow of Gouernment remaines as by late advices I am credibly informed and the Kings interest in this State of Anarchy by the total neglect of the Plantation laws considerably Suffers I hope your Lordships will pardon this repeated Solicitation from Your Lordships most humble Ser
J BASS London Feb" 2107 19.00
Crimes and Misdemeanors charged upon the Governors of the Proprietary Governments in America.
[From P. R. O. B. T., Proprieties, Vol. 6. G. 3.1 ARTICLES of High Crimes: Misdemeanours
Charged upon the Governours in the Severall
Proprieties, on the Continent of America, and • Islands adjacent.
BAHAMA ISLANDS. Pirates entertained there, and illegal Trade maintained, and carryed on by the Inhabitants.
Every the Pirate, and his men were entertain'd when Collonell Trott was Governour of Providence; and had liberty to depart, or stay there upon their Giveing Bond of 1000£ to appear when called some of those were bound, One, for another. They carry from those Islands the Brazillett, and Other dying Woods to Curriasaw.
Colonell Nicholas Webb his Successor was a cruell oppressor, and Imprisoned his Maties Subjects at pleasure, by which means, he Gott a great Deal of Money, And They, and their Families were Ruin’d. Read Elding the present Governour, stands charged wth Piracy lately committed upon a New England Vessell richly Loaden, bound from Jamaica to Boston.
He Tyrannically beat and Wounded M! Thomas Gower, the Present Secretary, and Soon after kept him in Prison 17 daies.
He seized, and condemned, the Small Vessells belonging to the Inhabitants haveing made Packer, one of Every's men, (and his Brother in Law) Marshall.
Dolton a Red Seaman is Judg, and Warren another Red Seaman his Attorney Generall. They have sold ye Vessells and put the money in their Pocketts.