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MINUTES OF COUNCIL,
UNDER THE ADMINISTRATION OF LIEUT.-GOV. JOHN USHER,
Note by the Editor. [The following “MINUTES OF Council," with other papers were copied, chiefly, from a MS. volume in the office of Secretary of State, labelled “ProvINCE RECORDS, Book II., COUNCIL 1692–1700.” A portion also, as will be seen, was copied from MS. volume, “ Book I.” No other record of the Council's proceedings, from August 13, 1692, to November 3, 1696, can be found. These “Minutes " appear to be original or first notes taken by the clerk of Council, and are generally without signature. They embrace nearly the wbole period of Lieut.-Governor John Usher's administration. The letters and speeches of Mr. Usher, herein contained, are usually in his own handwriting, and are singularly characteristic of the man.*
"Jony USHIER was a native of Boston, and by profession a stationer. He was possessed of a handsome fortune, and had been employed, when in England, by Massachusetts, to negotiate the purchase of the Province of Maine from the heirs of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. He thus acquired a taste for land speculations; became one of the partners of the million purchase (see Farm. Belk., p. 116), and hail sanguine expectations of gain from that quarter. On the consolidation of the New-England Provinces in 1685 (see vol. i. pp. 590-593), he accepted office under Dudley, and next under Andros, whose downfall be subsequently shared. He thereupon proceeded to England with his complaints; and SAMUEL ALLEN, a London merchant, having purchased, soon after, tbe title of the Masons to New Hampshire, and obtained a commission for the government of that Province, appointed his son-in-law, Usher, his deputy. The latter assumed the government on the 13th of August, 1692. He continued, however, to reside and carry on his business at Boston, occasionally visiting his Province. His administration was by no means either pleasant to himself or agreeable to the people. He died at Boston, 5th of September, 1726, aged seventy-eight years." — (See N. Y. Col. Doc., vol. iii. p. 365.]
Belknap says of him (Usher): “Though not ill-natured, but rather of an open and generous disposition, yet he wanted those accomplishments which he might have acquired by a learned and polite education. lie had but little of the statesman, and less of the courtier. Instead of an engaging affability, he affected a severity in his leportment, was loud in conversation and stern in command. He gave orders, and found fault, like one who felt himself independent, and was determined to be obeyed. He had an high idea of his authority, and the dignity of his commission; and when opposed and insulted, as he sometimes was, he treated the offenders with a severity which he would not relax till he had brought them to submission. His public speeches were always incorrect, and sometimes coarse and reproachful." It may be a lded, that the majority of his Council were men of such sterling sense and stern integrity, that he could not make them bend or bow to his arbitrary dictation. The record of his administration is full of interest. -ED.
B. II. p. 1.
Province of New Hampshire.
Great Island, August ye 13th 1692. By the Liftenant Governour
Ordered, That all officers, Civil and Millitarey, continue in theire respective places untill others are appointed.
Ordered, That all Acts of or relating to publick Revenue do continue as aforesaid.
Ordered, That all Constabells seize and apprehend all seamen travelling upon the Roade without a sufficient pass; and that whosoever shall entertaine harbour or conceale any seaman or seamen without the foresaid pass, either in whriting or print, without express Liberty given or granted from theire respective Captains or other Commissionate officer, shall be proceeded against according to order, and to make good whatsoever dammage, loss or dettrement may in any way accrue or beefall to his Majesty's service thereby.
B. II. p. 2.
PISCATAQUA, 12th Sept. 1692. Present
Jno. Hincks Esqr.
- Green, Esqr. Peter Coffin, Esqr. Ye Lt. Governor made a reportt of his journey to Boston, & read what he leftt with the Governor & Council.
All to make entry's in the Custom House.
Thatt Strawberry Bank, Dover, Hampton, send 3 Representatives; Exeter 2; Isle a Shoales, 1. Eceter — Jonathan Thing, Capt.; Kinsley Hall, Lt.; Peter Foul
sam, Ens. Hampton – Henery Dow, Capt.; Jno. Smith, Lt.; Jno. Moulton,
Insig.; Mr. Penny, Clark to the Courts. Isle a Shoales — Jno. Fabes, Justice Peace & Capt.; James Blag
don, Lt., Thomas Dymond, Ensign.
B. II. p. 3.
20th Sept. 1692. Oyster River - Jno. Woodman, Capt., James Davis, Lt., Stephen Joanes, Ensign.'
Dover - Jno. Tuttle, Capt.; Wm. Furber, Lt.; Robertt Ivens, Ensign.
Strawberry Bank — Jno. Pickerin, sen. Capt.; Lt, Tobias Langdon; Ensign, — - - ; Mr. Richard Jose, Sheriff.
That a person be agreed wth for providing carages for the guns sint by ye King, and ye Jno. Hincks, Robert Elliott, Esqrs. be joined wth ye Treasurer to agre for ye same, and itt be done outt of hand.
That ye Treasurer issue out warrants to every town for the vintners and ale houses to a gre with ye Treasurer, and to have licens according to law; The Treasurer to repair the fortt-house at Great Island; Mr. Penne to be clarck to ye Council; Richard Waldren, Richard Martin, justice Peace.
That all of ye Council have power as Justice of Peace in ye whole Province.
Capt. Stileman, Justice Peace for Greatt Island.
Saltt and ship, &c. to be disposed of by ye Treasurer, and mony to remain in ye Treasurer's hand untill yo King's pleasure be known,
Thatt ye bounds of ye Town be asserted according to former custom in Governor Cranfield's time, and according to comission.
That ye Treasurer take care to provid place for ye Governor & Council to meet in with the General Assembly.
B. II. p. 4.
The Lieut. Governor,
Peter Coffin Pa
Robert Elliott Upon reading of the letter of Js* Addington, Esq. Sec’y. of their Maj'ties' Province of the Massachusetts Bay, in answer to a motion made by the Lieut. Governor, in pursuance of an order of this Board, of the 15th day of August last;— It is ordered that the Secr’y of this Province signify to his Excely the Govern' of the Massachusetts Bay that they have taken notice of the promise of the returne of the men at the Eastward belonging to this Province, and of lending 7 barrels of powder to this Province, and that the Secr'y issue forth an order for the receiving of the same and passing a receipt accordingly.
* Chownes. See next page.
Upon application made to his Honor the Lieut. Gove', by WilJiam Partridge, Esq. Treasurer & Receiver-General of this Province, that he was chosen constable for the toun of Portsmouth — which is in prejudice of his office — It is ordered, that the Sherriffe of this Province give notice to the inhabitants of this toune, tomorrow, that they make a new election of another meet person to be Constable in the room of the said Wm. Partridge.
Ordered, That the Fort-house upon Great Island be forthwith repaired, & carriages made for the great guns there, and that notice thereof be given by the Sec'y to Mr. Wm. Partridge, treasurer, to put the same in Execution imediately.
Ordered, That Joseph Chownes bring his shallop, the Gift, over to Great Island with all convenient speed, having been seized by the deputy collector for not entring his vessel with him according to law.
It is advised, That whereas Nath'. Wear, Esq. one of their Maj'ties' Council for this Province, being out of the same, and there not being seven of the Council according to their Maj’ties Lres-Patents; that William Vaughan, Richa Waldron, Esqrs. be added to the Council, pursuant to the said Lres-Patents, and for the emergency of affairs at this juncture occasioned by the French and Indian enemys.
Upon complaint made to this Board that Paul Millard had passed the Fort without the permitt of the Lieut. Govern”, and his vessel thereupon seized, upon his submission on his Examination, it is hereby ordered, That his sloop be released from the said seizure and permitted to unload, upon entring his sd sloope with the Collector, according to custom & paying of fees.
B. II. p. 5.
September 30th 1692. In pursuance of an order of his Honor the Lieut. Govern' and Council of the Province of New Hampshire, of the 15th of August last, upon this day I made demand of Capt. Pickering, (at his house in Portsmouth in the prsence of Richd Jose, Esq. high sherriffe of the Province afores) of the books of Laws and Records in his hands belonging to this Province, to be secured by me; but grad Capt. Pickering then & there positively denyed to deliver the same.
Tho: Newton Secry.
B. II. p. 6.
Province of New Hampshire. At a Council held at Great Island, the third day of October, 1692,
The Lieut. Governor,
William Vaughn ?
Rob' Elliott Ordered, That the General Assembly be held at Strawberrybanck, at the house of Mr. Rhines, the discharge of the use thereof to be allowed upon the publique acct; and that the sherriffe cause the said house to be prepared fitt for that service, and a meet person to attend both houses as occasion shall require.
The Lieut. Gov' made a report to this Board, That in pursuance of an order of his Honor and Council of the 29th day of September last, to add Wm. Vaughan & Richd Waldron, Esqs. to the Council, that the same day they accepted thereof, and he administered the oaths to them accordingly.
Upon a report made to this Board by the Lieut. Gov', that the soldiers in this Province belonging to the Massachusetts Bay would be shortly drawn off hence, it is hereby Ordered, That a Letter be forthwith written to the Govern'. and Council of that Province, that the necessity of the sd soldiers residing here this winter is as great as ever; and therefore desire that they may be so continued as hitherto they have been; and that 60 more may be added, desposed of for the best defence of this Province both by sea & land.
Moved by the Lieut. Govern"., that Capt. Pickering denyeing to obey the order of this Board, of the 15th of August last, in not delivering the books of Laws and Records to the Secry, some course might be taken therein:
It is hereby Ordered, That the sherriffe of this Province give notice to the sd Capt. Pickering, that he appear before the Lieut. Gov' and Council at Strawberry-banck, tomorrow at 11 of the clock in the aforenoon of the same day at the Council chamber, there to answer the said contempt.
Ordered, That Mr. Michael Perry have an order sent him from this Board for the receiving of 7 barrels of powder to be sent by the Gov' of the Massachusetts Bay for their Maj’ties' service here, and that he give a receipt for the same accordingly.