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Memorial of the Proprietors of East and West Jersey

to the Lords Justices asking for the approval of Andrew Hamilton as Governor.

(From P. R. O. B. T., Proprieties, printed in Grants and Concessions, page 591. ]

TO THEIR EXCELENCIES THE LORDS JUSTICES OF

ENGLAND. ·

The Humble Petition of the Proprietors of the

Provinces of East and West New Jersey in
America.

Showeth

That your Petitioners, as they were advised by their Council, being legally entitled to the Government of those Provinces, by virtue of several Grants from the late King JAMES, when Duke of York, the Declaration of the late King CHARLES the Second, under the Great Seal of England, and of several Acts of State and Orders of Council, admitting their right, have for many years appointed Governor's there, and particularly Colonel Andrew Hamilton, who administered the Government to the great Service of the Crown and Universal Satisfaction of the Inhabitants, until the Act of Parliament passed in the seventh and eight Years of his present Majesty's Reign, entitled An Act for preventing Frauds and regulating abuses in the Plantation Trade.

Upon which Laws some doubt arising, whether a Native of Scotland (as Colonel Hamilton is) were capable of being a Governor of the Plantation, your Petitioners for avoiding any Colour of Offence against that Act of Parliament appointed one Jeremiah Basse, Governor of those Provinces; but the Lords of the Committee of Trade and Plantations, making then some Scruple concerning your Petitioners Right of Government, Mr. Basse had not such a formal Approbation of his Majesty, as that Act directs; and though your Petitioners even at the same Time honoured with Instructions from the then Lords Justices, and Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, for their Governor's Conduct, which were produced and published by Mr. Basse, as a Testimony of his being nominated Governor, with the knowledge and implicite Consent of his Majesty and his Ministers of State, yet for want of an Express Approbation in Writing, the Inhabitants refused to obey him, and he returned to England. any under him are null and void. And that Brother (meaning Jeremiah Basse) would suddenly be over with them as Governo! for the King, or Surveyo" General, of the Customs in America.

Whereupon your Petitioners who had been informed of the Opinions of his Majesty's late Attorney and present Sollicitor General, that a Native of Scotland, was not disabled to execute any office in the Plantations, were reduced to reappoint the said Colonel Hamilton (then in England) Governor of these Provinces, whom your Petitioners presented to the Lords of the Committee of Trade and Plantations, humbly remonstrating to them the necessity of sending a Governor for Preservation of the Publick Peace, and praying their Lordships Reccommendation of him, for his Majesty's Approbation, but their Lordships having resolved to controvert your Petitioners Right of Government by a tryal at Law, declared they could not consent to such an Approbation without prejudice to His Majesty's Right; yet in regard of the necessity of the People's being under some Government till the Right was determined, their Lordships delivered their Opinions, that Colonel Hamilton, acting according to the Laws of England, your Petitioners might be safe in commissionating him, and he in executing their Commission, under the security of which Approbation Colonel Hamilton went over, and re-assumed the Government of those Provinces; but some factious and turbulent

Persons impatient of any Government, oppose his Administration, because he is not approved of by an Order of Council, according to the express Letter of the Act of Parliament, and have made so great Divisions and Confusions there, that the publick peace is daily violated, and the publick Justice obstructed.

That your Petitioners have agreed and are ready to surrender all their Right of Government to his Majesty upon such Terms and Conditions as are requesite for Preservation of their Properties and civil Interests, and which they humbly hope will be allowed to them.

Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray, that for the Preservation of the publick Peace of these Provinces, your Excellencies will be graciously pleased immediately to approve of Colonel Hamilton to be Governor of the Provinces of East and West Jersey, until the Terms of Surrender can be adjusted. :

And your Petitioners shall ever Pray,
Thomas Lane

Dan Cox Jun!
Paul Dominique Thomas Hart
Thomas Skinner Joseph Ormston
John Bridges

Joseph Ormston as
Michael Watts

having procuration
E. Richier

from
Clement Plumstead Miles Forster
Thomas Cooper and Edward Antill
Walter Benthall Gilbert Molleson

Jos. Brooksbanke Thomas Barker [1701]

1 Precise date doubtful, but probably early in the year.-ED.

Petition of the Council and House of Representatives

of West Jersey to the King, asking for the con-
firmation of Andrew Hamilton as Governor.

(From P. R. O. B. T., Proprieties. Vol. 6, G. 29

TO OUR MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGNE WILLIAM THE

THIRD KING OF ENGLAND &c.

THE HUMBLE PETITION of the Provincial Councill

and House of Representatives of the Province
of West New Jersey in General Assembly
Mett at Burlington the 12th day of May Anno
Dni 1701.

Most humbly Sheweth

That the Preservation of the Kings Peace, among his Subjects, being very dear to Him. We though a small part of that Great Body, ffly to him for the Influences of his Power, and Goodnesse to so good an

End.

In order to it do therefore most humbly Represent. That the Governm of this Province by the evil Endeavours of one Joshua Barkstead and others now or lately in England is much disordered by their Letters to some Inhabitants disaffected, who industriously Publish the same. Which We are assured will together with this be produced in Evidence that Colonel Andrew Hamilton our present worthy Governo? whom the Proprietors in England, Petitioned the King to approve, was rejected by the Court, and not in the least owned as such; But quite contrary wondering that he dare presume to take upon him the Governm! declaring that all Acts of Governm! by him done, or

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And tho' the long Experience, the Inhabitants have had of the Justice and Veracity of Col! Hamilton, ought to have influenced a Beliefe of what he related to Us, upon his first comeing over, that the King had been Petitioned to approve the Proprietors choice of him for Governo? And that altho' the Council of Trade to whom the Petition was referred did not see fit to advise the King to grant the Approbation Petitioned for, Yet that at the same time, by the mouth of S' Philip Meadows. They were pleased to signifie to him That if he governed himself, according to yo Laws of England. The Proprieto's would find wherewithall to Justifie themselves in Commissionating him, and him for acting under it, till the King's pleasure should be further known therein. Yet no Instrument being sent over to Command in the mean time, the obedience of the Inhabitants under the present Administrac'on. The giddy & factious part of the People lay hold on the above Letters to justifie their breaking in pieces the whole fframe of Governm and running yo? people into disorder & confusion And as it is impossible for people to live happy without Governm! So those moderate and necessary Taxes laid on the Province for Supporting thereof, woh in former times have been alwaies duely complyed with, are now refused to be paid by that part of the People, who impudently affirm. That ye Province was without Law or Legal Authority, And have threatened high against those Officers that would attempt to Levy it

The Governour and Justices of the peace Knowing it their absolute duty to preserve as much as in them lies the Order of Goverum And haveing in order to it, took up some of these seditions and disorderly persons,

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