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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 administred the Government to the great Service of the Crown and Universal Satisfaction of the Inhabitants, until an Act of Parliament passed in the seventh and eight Years of his 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 Plantations, your Petitioners for avoiding any Colour of Offence against the 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 were 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 we returned for England.
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 those 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 Recommendation 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, the 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 requisite 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, junr. Paul Dominique,
[July 1701 ?)
Lord Cornbury to the Lords of Trade, asking for such
an extension of his authority, as will allow of his appointing militia officers in New Jersey and Connecticut.
[From New York Col. Docts., Vol. IV, p 912.]
To the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Planta
tations. The humble memorial of Edward Lord Cornbury. Sheweth.
That having perused his Commission for the Government of New York, he finds that the command of the Militia in the Jerseys and the Province of Connecticut is placed in him; but he humbly conceives that he shall not be able to serve the King so usefully as he desires to doe in that matter, unless he may have a power (by commission) to nominate the Officers of the Militia in the said Provinces of East and West Jersey and Connecticut, which he imagines may the more easily be granted, because the Militia in all the parts belonging to the British dominions, is by Act of Par
liament lodged in the King; and without such a power he presumes his command over the said Militia will be but precarious. * * * * * * *
Your Lordships most faithfull humble servant, September the
Lewis Morris to Secretary Popple, relating to the sur
render of the Government of the Proprietors of East and West Jersey.
(From P. R. O. B. T. Proprietors. Vol. 6, G 32.] Lre from M' Morrice, wth a Mem! from ye Proprie
tors of East and West Jersey, relating to ye Surrender of their Title to ye Govt of those Provinces; With the Names of Persons to be
of ye Council of New Jersey. Sir.
Among the Proprietors Propositions, I think there is but 5 articles, y can admit of any dispute. Those are the 4th 7. 8. 9: and 13!. I will by this, give you ye Proprietors Sentiments of them, their reasons for asking them, and how far they are Willing to agree; weh may be of some help to you, in ye Drawing ye report, I understand you are About. The Proprietors thinke, they have an Indisputable right, to ye goverment, as well as to ye soile of those Provinces, y Government has been verry chargeable to them, and is a feather, they are verry willing to part with; but they will eather chuse, to stand a tryall in Westminster Hall, or apply themselves to ye House of Commons, then they will make a Surrender, even of that same chargeable feather, if their Properties, and civill rights cannot be well asur’d to them, and though their L'pps, and yourselfe have Promis't them, that there shall be no Invasion of them, yet, they thinke they shall be great Sufferers, if those articles are not (if not Absolutely, vet) in some measure complyed wh. As 1 for ye 7!!! article, if those two Provinces, be anex’t to any other, (at this Juncture) before they can Adjust, their matters in them, and fix their titles, both to their Own land, and to the Persons they have made grants too, they thinke it will be much to their damage, and even if that article, is granted they cannot so well adjust those things, if they have not ye 13 Complyed w!!, and Collo Hamilton for their Govern!. their affairs at Pressent, are Verry unsetled, and it is morrally Impossible they can fix them, Otherwise then to their great Losse, if they have not some body, thats well aquainted wł the Intricacy of them, and that no body in ye world is, but Collo Hamilton. Lastly since they are going, to Put themselves on the levell wo the people, it will be no small advantage to them, that ye People thinke they have Interest Enough, to recomend a Governour, and it will make them cautious, of Invading their Properties, we they are Verry Prone to do, as their L'pps are Inform’d by ye 2 Article.
the 4 article, they thinke is absolutely necessary, and they believe, they have a Judgment of Court for it, but they are not desirouse of having Ports, under greater advantages than their Neighbours Enjoy, they will aquiesce in Such Reasonable measures, as their Lordships shall please to take. The choyce of the councell, in ye 9. Article they leave to his Majestie, but they would have them chose Equally out of both Provinces; least in ye first assembly, one province may