Three Rivers
Hudson~Mohawk~Schoharie
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Early Eighteenth Century Palatine Emigration
A British Government Redemptioner Project to Manufacture Naval Stores
by Walter Allen Knittle, Ph.D.
Department of History
College of the City of New York
Published Philadelphia, 1937

CHAPTER V. THE BRITISH NAVAL STORES PROBLEM
AND THE ORIGINS OF
THE NEW YORK SETTLEMENT SCHEME

About seven years before the 1709 Palatine immigration to England, the British authorities began to have serious and continuous trouble with a foreign monopoly. This foreign monopoly, established by the crown of Sweden, controlled the supply of naval stores, that is to say, tar and pitch. Naval stores as a general term includes masts, and ship timber of all kinds as well as tar, pitch, rosin and hemp, and even iron in some of its manufacture. Here the term will be used particularly in referring to tar, pitch and other resinous products of the pine tree.

England was well on her way to the undisputed empire of the sea, which she held after the War of the Spanish Succession, (1) and she was in serious need of a reliable supply of naval stores. As there appeared to be no other source of supply for them in sufficient quantities, the Swedes determined to make the most of their advantage and charged exorbitant prices; this was especially true in the first two periods of the Second Hundred Years' War. During both the War of the League of Augsburg (1689-1697) and the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713) Swedish tar not only rose to profiteering prices but was obtainable only under other disadvantageous conditions. A brief history of the Swedish Tar Company, or Stockholm Tar Company as it was also known, is necessary to the proper understanding of the British naval stores problem.

The first company was organized in 1654. Fourteen years of complaints against its irregular proceedings by both England and Holland followed. In 1668 bad management finally


1 A. T. Mahan, Influence of Sea Power upon History 1660-1783 (89th ed., Boston, 1894), 224.


Page 112: forced the first company's failure and the trade was open until 1672. The second company lasted only eight years. It was dissolved in 1680 by the Crown, for its inefficient service to Sweden during the war with the Elector of Brandenburg. Sweden at this time was allied with France in the second war of conquest against Holland. The trade was once again free until 1689 when another group of merchants with influence at court secured the monopoly. (2)

Having intimated in its petition that foreigners were enjoying the advantages of the trade in naval stores, the Stockholm company hit directly at the freight carriers par excellence, the Dutch. It sold its commodities indifferently to all nations except to Holland. To that country, the company reserved for itself the right to export, and it sold there at such high prices that the Dutch began to encourage the manufacture of naval stores in Muscovy and Norway. The result was a large quantity of Swedish tar, constantly on hand, which had to be offered at reasonable prices.

The greatest objection of the contemporary English economists of the seventeenth century to the traffic in naval stores was that most of this trade had been carried in the ship bottoms of other countries. Sir Josiah Child, in his famous mercantilist work, The New Discourse on Trade, (3) devoted several pages to a discussion of this phase of the Baltic trade. Two hundred Baltic ships were coming to England and yet not one English ship had been built for the Baltic trade between 1651 and 1668. From 1697 to 1700 only half the Baltic trade was carried in English bottoms, and in the case of Norway, "from Michaelmas [September 29], 1691 to Mich'as 1696, there were entered on the Customs House at London 1,070 foreign ships from those parts and but 39 English." (4)


2 P. R. O., C. O. 5/3, 37 ii.

3 Sir Josiah Child, New Discourse on Trade (1693 ed.) 83, 93, 94, 143, 157. The first edition appeared in 1692.

4 R. G. Albion, Forests and Sea Power (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1926), 158. This is a scholarly treatment of the timber problem in supplying naval stores for H. M. Royal Navy.


Page 113: The interest of the English in securing this trade then, was in the freight as well as in the security of the naval stores supply. Dr. Albion quotes an Englishman as saying, "Freight is the most important raw material which we possess." (5) One writer expressed it, "Losing that trade was putting a number of ships out of employment, and, consequently, paying our neighbors for work, while our people were unemployed." (6) In addition to these considerations, about 1680, a duty of over fifty percent had been laid on English woolens by Charles XII and by 1700 English merchants had been virtually forced out of the Swedish dominions by a series of harsh discriminations. Professor Cunningham puts "the cart before the horse" when he states, "Eventually the Government adopted the policy of looking to our plantations in North American for the supplies of timber and naval stores, which were needed to supplement British deficiencies, so that less care was taken to foster the Baltic trade, while a decrease in the demand for English cloth contributed to their decline." (7) In reality, as Professor Albion shows, the Baltic trade, having been closed to the English merchants, brought the unfavorable state of affairs to a head and resulted in decisive action to remedy the situation. (8)

As a result of the Swedish tariff, England exported to Sweden much less than she imported from there, the balance of trade being unfavorable to her to the extent of more than 200,000 pounds annually. (9) From 1697 to 1700, the average adverse balance for England in the trade with Norway and Denmark was 36, 672 pounds; with the East Country, 154,539 pounds; and with Russia, 53,368 pounds. (10) This situation, in


5 Ibid, 158.

6 Quoted by E. L. Lord, Industrial Experiments in the British Colonies of North America (Baltimore, 1898), 56.

7 William Cunningham, The Growth of English Industry and Commerce (Cambridge, England, 1912), II, 236.

8 Albion, op. cit., 159.

9 Osgood, op. cit., I, 495.

10 Macpherson, op. cit., II, 719.


Page 114: an age controlled by principles of mercantilism, was considered highly undesirable." The Northern War (1700-1721) between Sweden and Russia moreover changed the situation for the worse. The frequent Muscovite invasions of Finland, where the best and largest quantity of naval stores had been made, caused that province to fall very short in its deliveries. The limited supply was reflected in the Swedish rise in prices. The Tar Company's directors also seized the occasion not to sell tar or pitch for England unless it was loaded in ships belonging to them and at the freight rates demanded. In the years 1701 and 1702, the English merchants engaged in that trade were unable to secure the quantity needed by the Royal Navy. It was learned, however, to the anger of the British authorities, that France had received a quantity. (12) No deficiency was more embarrassing to England than this need of naval stores which a rival power could and did withhold from her at will.

Early in 1703, the directors of the Swedish Tar Company announced that in the future they would not sell any more naval stores at Stockholm, no matter who wanted them or where they were to go. All tar and pitch was to be sent on the company's account and was to be purchased from its factors abroad. The commissioners of the British Navy sent many complaining letters on the subject to the proper authorities, (13) but protests and diplomatic representations failed to remove the determination of the Swedish merchants to sell in London only. (14) Finding a satisfactory agreement was impossible, the British envoy at Stockholm, Dr. Robinson, in 1703, suggested the development of the resources of the colonies in these com-


11 Cunningham, op. cit., II, 580-2., says that mercantilism aimed primarily at increasing relative national power through a process of maintaining population and the development of English resources, colonial and domestic, to make England self-sufficient.

12 P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/3, 37 ii.

13 P. R. 0., C. 0. 388/12, 76.

14 P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/3, 37 ii.


Page 115: modities, even though it might cost a third more to bring them across the ocean. This was in harmony with the principles of mercantilism and had great weight in determining the ministerial policy. (15)

The British government was not entirely ignorant of the resources of America in these respects. The letters of Edward Randolph, Surveyor General of Customs in America, subsequent to 1691, referred to the resources of the colonies in general in pitch, tar, rosin and hemp, as well as in timber for ships. In 1698, he had observed in New York "abundance of tar brought down Hudson river to be sold at New York." (16) Beginning about 1687, the growing interest in the possibility of securing England's badly needed naval stores from her American colonies had been apparent in the effort of a number of merchants to secure charters of incorporation for their production. Efforts were also made by individuals or associations of merchants who wished to undertake their importation under contract with the government. Sir Matthew Dudley made a proposal of this kind in 1688 and again in 1702. (17) Although the organization of a joint stock company was discouraged by governmental requirements, (18) the government itself was not indifferent to the importance of imperial development along these lines. (19)

The Treasury Board and others began to seek comparisons between the cost of the continental supply and the probable


15 Osgood, op. cit., I 495; Lord, op. cit., 57 et seq. See also the comprehensive Report of Board of Trade to the Queen (Feb. 14, 1710), C. C- 1710 1711, 45 et seq. Justin Williams, State Teachers College, River Falls, Wisconsin, has pointed out the influence of the crisis in 1702.-1703 in determining the bounty policy in his manuscript "English Mercantilism and Carolina Naval Stores, 1705-1776," which it has been the author's privilege to read.

16 C. C. 1699, 106.

17 C. C. 1693-1696, 297; Osgood, op. cit., I, 497.

18 A statute of 1697 (8 and 9 William III, C. 2-o and 32) restricted the number of stockholders in any company to 100 in order to limit speculation in shares. The government itself in making contracts usually required that security should be offered for the performance of the agreement.

19 C. C. 1696-1697, 53; Lord, op. cit., 19.

Page 116: cost of colonial naval stores. This was particularly true as soon as the first colonial war was under Way. (20) Colonel Benjamin Fletcher, Governor of New York, reported in August, 1693, that tar was produced there for 12 pounds per last, that is, per 12 barrels. The Navy Board considered that too high, since they usually contracted for it at the rate of 11 pounds, 12 shillings and 6 pence. They admitted, however, that due to the "loss of three of the Years Tarr Ships and the scarcity of it in Towne," they had to pay fully 13 pounds per last. A report in the Navy Office for January 30, 1694, showed that in 1693, pitch was 50%, tar 100%, and hemp about 30% higher than before the war (1689). References were also made during these years to the probable production of naval stores in the colonies in general, and particularly to the great resources of Carolina in this respect. (21)

On January 22, 1694, the Privy Council ordered that notice be given upon the Exchange that all proposals for the importation of naval stores from the colonies would be considered with a view to give "all fitting encouragement to the undertakers." (22) Lists of specifications with blank columns for the insertion of bids were sent out. (23) The result of this activity was the acceptance by the King's Council, March 29, 1694, Of a proposal made by Sir Henry Ashhurst and Sir Stephen Evance, who agreed to import a ship-load of naval stores, including timber from New England, provided the government would pay on sight their bills for cost, interest and other charges. They agreed to permit the King to make whatever allowance for their profit he thought their pains and hazard might deserve. (24) A Navy Board invoice of June 10, 1696, records the fulfillment of the contract. (25)


20 P. R. 0- C- 0- 324/5, 327, 331, 340; C. C. 1693-1696, 226, 243.

21 C. C. 1693-1696, 509, 511; Osgood, op. cit., 1, 496; Lord, op. cit., 5.

22 P. R. 0., C. 0. 324/5, 329; C- C- 1693-1696, 241.

23 P. R. 0., C. 0. 324/5, 339

24 P. R. 0., C. 0., 324/5, 340, 362.

25 P. R. 0., C. 0., 324/8, 372..


Page 117: In that year, at the instigation of the New England colonial agents, the Navy Board sent John Bridger and two others (William Partridge and Benjamin Jackson) to investigate the possibilities of production of ship timber and to instruct the colonists in the making of tar and pitch. (26) The commissioners were not very well qualified; Bridger, an English ship-builder, had had considerable experience and was probably the best-fitted of the three. (27) The New Hampshire assembly was induced to urge the inhabitants to sow hemp as a test of the capacity of their soil to yield that product, but the results were disappointing. (28)

The three commissioners inspected the woods of New England to some extent and experimented with the Finnish method of making tar. Bridger was hopeful enough to state that he could supply the demand of England for these commodities from that section, but his colleague, William Partridge, called attention to the scarcity of labor and resultant high wages as serious obstacles to the enterprise. (29) In their report of their survey of New England with a view to the production of naval stores, Partridge and Jackson in 1699 proposed that the government send over at its expense " a sufficient number of poor families to settle in compact towns in convenient places and that they be encouraged, by giving them small lots of land as aforesaid, who on account of their, being transported at the King's charge, may be obliged to attend the service in the woods at a reasonable rate. For doubtless there are many poor families in England, that would be willing to come upon such terms, not being able to trans-


26 Acts of Privy Council Col. 1680-1720, 303; C. C. 1697-1698, 537. A Mr. Furzer was also sent but he died in Barbados on the way over. C. C. 1697-1698, 241.

27 Osgood, op. cit. , 1, 499.

28 C. C. 1699, 9.

29 Ibid., 10, 428, 449; C. C. 1700, 72. When the Board of Trade was reconstituted in 1697, "the obtaining of naval stores from the Plantations [was] particularly committed to their attention." C. C. 1696-1697, 542.


Page 118: port themselves." They recommended this for several reasons. First, the people of New England were not to be diverted from their modes of livelihood to which they had been long accustomed. Then too, the French, making encroachments on New England, were now claiming land to the Kennebec River, the best part of which was most fit for naval stores. It was pointed out that these lands on the Kennebec River were the best in the province for the production of naval stores and the commissioners could "see no reason to doubt" but that the government "may be well supplied and from hence with those commodies [rosin, pitch and tar] in a very short time as with timber." (30) Jackson had gone so far in a previous letter as to suggest that there was a "design to supply the French King with naval stores" from that region. (31)

The specimens of tar and pitch sent to England by the commissioners were pronounced inferior by the dockyard officers, (32) but Lord Bellomont, then Governor of New York, and the Board of Trade were of the opinion that the dockyard officials were merely unduly prejudiced against products from a new source. (33) The Navy Board's criticism of the quality and crude methods of production of naval stores was severe and certainly unfavorable to the policy of encouraging their importation. (34) Incidentally the Board probably secured more profit for themselves by allotting contracts to private parties. (35) Indeed in 1711, the Commissioner of Accounts discovered some frauds in supplying the Navy with naval stores. (36)

Bridger had an enthusiastic ally in Richard Coote, Earl of Bellomont. Bellomont had dwelt in his letters from New York to the Board of Trade on the resources of the colonies in


30 P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/908, 213 et seq.

31 P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/860, 41; C. C. 1697-1698, 537

32 C. C. 1700, 66.

33 Ibid., 566, 682.

34 Osgood, op. cit., I, 502.; Albion, op. cit., 243, 251.

35 Albion, op. cit., 247.

36 Gibson, Memoirs of Queen Anne (London, 1729), 102.


Page 119: general, in timber and other materials for naval stores. (37) Realizing that the chief obstacles were labor supply and high wages, he proposed the employing of independent companies of soldiers, increased to 1,000 men. Additional pay, with land grants and a small subsidy at the end of seven years, would, he thought, be sufficient inducement and would result in protection for the frontier. (38) As no one in authority would assume the responsibility for expending the money required, this particular scheme came to naught. (39) While Bellomont's plan was not considered favorably, the Colonial State Papers show that his letters aroused among the officials a general interest in the subject of colonial naval stores. Between the offices there were numerous exchanges of views on this subject during the few years which followed 1700, and these included many references to the letters of the New York governor. 41 on October, 4, 1700, the Board of Trade made a representation on naval stores to the Privy Council, largely based on Bellomont's letters. Other merchants came forward with proposals to import naval stores from the plantations for the Royal Navy. (41) The commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral reported favoring the encouragement of several proposals "without exclusion to others who shall desire to follow the like trade." (42) Indeed, it appears that other forces were working in the same direction to encourage colonial production of naval stores. These were the prospects of another war with France shortly and the monopolistic attitude of the Stockholm Tar Company previously described.

Late in 1702 Bridger sent to England a quantity of hemp and tar which had been produced in New England under his supervision. On February 18, 1703, the officers of the rope-


37 N. Y. Col. Docs., IV, 501, 587, 707; C. C. 1699, 257 particularly.

38 Osgood, op. cit., 1, 503.

39 C. C. 1697-1698, viii.

40 Osgood, op. cit., I, 503.

41 P. R. 0., C. 0. 324/8, 272-278.

42 P. R. 0., C. 0. 324/5, 335.


Page 120: yard at Woolwich certified to the quality of these samples. (43) In the same year Thomas Byfield and several associates, who had been in a joint stock company in general trade with Pennsylvania, petitioned for a charter to enable them to import naval stores from Carolina. It was already known that large quantities of pitch and tar were procurable from that region. The law officers and customs board suggested restrictions which were not acceptable to Byfield and his partners, and so the project failed. (44)

During the later months of 1703 under orders from Sir Charles Hedges, one of the principal Secretaries of State, the Board of Trade considered prices at which naval stores could be imported from America and the amount procurable. It had before it proposals to furnish colonial naval stores for the government by Sir Matthew Dudley, Thomas Byfield, John Bridger and others. But since the petitioners balked at providing security for the carrying out of their contracts or required governmental financing as well as a grant of monopoly, the Board decided that the plantations could not furnish all that was needed, and proposed instead that a bounty be given to off-set the high freight. (45) Accordingly in 1704, when the Stockholm Tar Company was enforcing its most obnoxious commercial restrictions against the English, the growing discontent with the unfavorable Baltic balance of trade and the precarious dependence on the Northern Crowns found expression in "An Act for encouraging the Importation of Naval Stores from America." Bounties of 4 pounds per ton for tar and pitch, 3 pounds per ton for "Rosin or Turpentine," 6 pounds per ton for hemp were offered and the Navy was to have preemption of all such articles within twenty days of their arrival in England. (46) This act, put into force in 1705, also


43 P. R. 0, C. 0. 324/8, 276.

44 Osgood, op. cit., I, 505; C. C. 1704-1705, 393.

45 P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/3, 137, 145; C. 0. 324/8, 278; Lord, op. cit., 60 et seq.

46 Albion, op. cit., 250; Osgood, op. cit., I, 506.


Page 121: forebade the cutting of small "Pitch Pine and Tar trees, not being within any Fence or actual Inclosure, under the growth of twelve inches Diameter." (47)

Definitely, then, the policy had become one of active and direct governmental subsidy. The reasons given in the preamble of the act are enlightening. It states that the colonies were protected with the design of being useful to England. The manufacture of naval stores, if encouraged, would employ and increase English shipping, and the naval stores could be exchanged for woolen and other manufactures from England. This exchange would relieve England of purchasing naval stores from foreign countries with money or bullion. (48) The system of bounties was devised to serve a threefold purpose. The development of the outlying parts of the empire would free the mother kingdom from a dangerous dependence upon foreign countries; the energies of the colonists absorbed in producing raw materials would be safely diverted from manufactures; (49) and the Baltic lands would lose a monopoly which enabled them to exploit the market. Mercantilism permeates the policy.

It is also evident that in the early eighteenth century the woolen interests were the interest of the dominant group. Their protection is carefully and continuously provided for. For example, the Board of Trade in its report to the Queen upon the Swedish pitch and tar monopoly on February 14, 1710, recommended the encouragement of naval manufactures in the colonies for the further reason of its "good effect in drawing off your Majesty's subjects inhabiting the Plantations from woollen, linen, and other manufactures." (50) The protection of the woolen interests appears repeatedly. On May 29,


47 3 and 4 Anne, C.10.

48 Albion, op. cit., Appendix A, also contains this preamble.

49 An excellent discussion of the manufacturing problem in the northern colonies is Curtis Nettels, "The Menace of Colonial Manufacturing, 1690-1720," in The New England Quarterly (April, 1931), IV, 230.

50 C. C. 1710-1711, 48.


Page 122: 1705, the Privy Council considered a report of the Board of Trade which claimed that woolen goods of all sorts from England could find a colonial market "in as much as those people have been induced by proper encouragements to desist from carrying on and working that manufacture in America, and in lieu thereof have applied themselves to the produce of pitch, tar and other naval stores, of which considerable quantities are now arrived, in barter whereof the woollen manufactures of England will be readily accepted of.",, A report of the customs officials to the Lord High Treasurer, on January 7, 1707, intimated optimistically "they understood that since the inhabitants of New England had applied themselves to the produce of naval stores, the woollen manufacture was greatly interrupted and it would in all probability be wholly left off. " (51) They also stated that if the premium were not interrupted, all sorts of naval stores would be imported from New England equal to the best imported from Sweden and Norway.

Caleb Heathcote, a colonial merchant and a member of the New York Council, wrote in 1709 to the Board of Trade, referring to former urgent correspondence, "my proposal was to divert the Americans from going on with their linen and woolen manufactories . . . so far advanced . . . that three-fourths of the linen and woolen, especially of the coarser sort they use, is made among them." (53) His apprehension probably led him into some exaggeration. These reports of colonial manufacturing, however, stimulated the Board of Trade to consider some means of providing the northern colonies with a staple, comparable to tobacco and rice in the southern colonies.

In 1705 Bridger was appointed Surveyor of Woods in the colonies. His commission stated that, "we are desirous that our


51 Acts Privy Council Col. Unbound Papers, 47.

52 Cal. Treas. Papers 1702-1707, 482.

53 Dixon Ryan Fox, Caleb Heathcote (New York, 1926), 155; P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/1050, 74, 537.


Page 123: Dominions be furnished with pitch, tar and hemp and other naval stores from the Plantations, and applications [have] been made to us by divers merchants and traders to the Plantations that a person expert in the producing and fabricating such stores should be sent to those parts. . . . ." (54) Bridger took up the work in New England, and there inaugurated the "Broad Arrow" policy. (55) He proceeded to his task with a great deal of vigor and for the next few years the Board of Trade had many complaints and reports from the zealous government official. (56) Several reports are especially noteworthy. Bridger wrote on March 9, 1708, "I last summer got the government to print directions and have been in most parts that make tarr in this Province, and have instructed and encouraged them to making of Tarr . . . But they want an example, saying let us see you do what you have directed, and if we see that answers, then we will proceed." On the 13th he further wrote, "New York I know and upon Hudson River there is pitch pine enough to supply England with tar." (57) On July 6th Bridger was "well assured that at New Yorke there would be great quantitys of tar made there, if I was there to instruct them." (58)

In this atmosphere of official encouragement toward the colonial naval stores industry, the small company of 55 immigrants, led by Kocherthal, were sent to New York with the newly-appointed Governor Lovelace, as authorized by the Order in Council, to manufacture naval stores and protect the frontier. (59) Neither preparations nor plans for the manufacture of naval stores were made for this group. These settlers were rather the recipients of a gracious government charity. What


54 C. C. 1704-1705, 732.

55 The "Broad Arrow" was the system of marking trees as reserved for the use of the Royal Navy.

56 C. C. 1706-1709, 1708-1709, passim.

57 Ibid., 698, 704.

58 C. C. 1708-1709, 20.

59 Cal. Treas. Papers 1708-1714, 37; Acts Privy Council Col. 1680-1720, 553.


Page 124: was the immediate origin then of the government settlement project in which a large part of the 1709 immigration engaged?

On February 27, 1705, John Chamberlayne, agent for the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, sent to Charles Montagu, Lord Halifax, prominent Whig politician and financier, (60) an interesting proposal from an anonymous friend. It suggested "as an addition and advantage to the Crown of England, That a Colony of Scotchmen may be permitted to take and settle the territory of Canada on such terms as may be honourable for the Crown and Encouraging for the Scotch to undertake such a design." It further proposed that this settlement enter into terms with the British government to supply it with naval stores.(61)

The following quotations from the manuscript give an excellent idea of the conditions which called forth the proposal. "If her Majestie, The parliament of England, and the Gentlemen Comrs for providing Stores for the Navy were Sensible of the great advantage it would bee to the Crown to take and Settle Nova Scotia and Le Acada with a Colony of Suitable people whose Buiseness should be to provide Stores, it is very probably that the Navie of England might in a little time have large Stores from thence upon Reasonable Terms, which may be provided with the Manufactury of England and spare the vast Sums of Ready money which they are forced to disburse to foreigners for the supply of her Majesties Navie .... Naval Stores may be provided by English Manufactures and English Shipping, whereas they are now bought from Sweden, Norway, etc. with money and in foreigne ships . . . the Queens Navy may be furnisht from her own plantations in Time of Warr, when a Dependence upon foreigne States for Stores would bee precarious."


60 G. F. Russel Barker, "Charles Montagu," in Dictionary of National Biography (London, 1894), XXXV111, 221.

61 B. M., Egerton MSS. 929, 90 et seq.
Page 125: In the last statement of the proposal the anonymous proposer seems to foretell the government policy, which found expression in the Canadian expeditions of 1709 and 1711. (62) He wrote that "the New England Plantations cannot be effectually Secured till the French are dispossest of Nova Scotia, Le Cada and Canada either by force or by Treaty of peace." The paper, which was endorsed "Proposals for a supply of Naval Store from America," was left in the possession of Halifax and apparently remained fresh in his mind. For directly subjoined to the original proposal is another one without date or signature, but in the writing of Lord Halifax. (63) This document is endorsed at its conclusion, "Proposal for a colony on Kenebeck River," the same location Partridge and Jackson had recommended so highly as a possible source for naval stores, The occasion for his lordship's proposal apparently was the 1709 Palatine immigration, (64) for the formation of a society "for Encouragine and Employing the poor Palatines" was planned. Although no record in the Board of Trade papers indicates its presentation, it may well be that the settlement plan for the manufacture of naval stores was passed on to Sunderland, the Secretary of State, and another prominent Whig. This theory is reasonable, since such a prominent personage as Halifax, a member of the Whig Junto in the time of William III, would be unlikely to work through the ordinary channels of government procedure.

That the plan was seriously considered by Halifax is indicated by the corrections and additions also in his handwriting. The plan was for a private venture into the manufacture of naval stores with some very interesting features. All


62 See William Thomas Morgan, "Some Attempts at Imperial Co-operation during the Reign of Queen Anne," in Trans. Royal Hist. Soc., 4th series (London, 192-7), X, 171-194.

63 B. M., Egerton MSS. 929, 96; B. M., Add. MSS. 28055, 316.

64 Halifax was one of the Commissioners for Receiving and Disposing of the money to be collected for the subsistence and settlement of the poor Palatines, Boyer, Annals, Appendix III, 40.


Page 126: persons investing money were to have an allowance of 8 per cent per annum interest. The Palatines, who would be investing their labor, were to have credit given to them proportionable to their ability to work at the rate of 3 shillings per day for an able man. But out of this allowance was to be taken all provisions and necessaries furnished to them. The governor and all other officers belonging to this colony were to be chosen by the members of the society, the votes being proportionable to their holdings of stock. For the more orderly government of the Palatines and for the more easy adjusting of their accounts, the Palatines were to divide themselves into several groups. The chiefs of these groups were to have credit in the books of the company for those under their care, and were to account for them.(65)

For the encouragement of the undertaking the British government was to contract to buy all naval stores that the Society would deliver for seven years, at such rates and prices to be agreed upon with the Lord Treasurer after the next session of Parliament. A very interesting feature was the provision for division of profits. Those arising from the sale of naval stores, cultivating the land, improving the fishery, or any other way, were to be divided annually among the members of the Society in proportion to their stock, acquired by money or labor. This scheme which appears to be so equitable in its treatment of capital and labor, at least in theory, was passed by for a public venture into industry. The plan seems to have foundered on the provision, "That Her Majesty do advance a sum of money by way of Imprest for such stores as they shall deliver. " The Ministry probably felt too that were any profits to accrue from the Palatines, such money should go toward repaying the heavy expense defrayed by the government in the transportation and subsistence of those people


65 Several features of this plan were taken over and adapted for the government project to manufacture naval stores, described in chapters VI and V11.


Page 127: At any rate, among the various expedients suggested in the Board of Trade sessions on the subject of the Palatines, the German ministers said that many were of the same country as those gone to New York with Lord Lovelace and had expressed a desire of being transported there. (66) On August 24th the members of the Board, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer among them, considered the settling of some Palatines upon the Hudson River in New York, and agreeing, sent two representatives to the Lord High Treasurer. (67)

The first of these representations of August 30th was concerned with the plans to settle Palatines in Jamaica, but the second was an alternative suggestion that should the Jamaica plan be considered too expensive, then the Palatines might be sent to New York. They declared, "If it be thought advisable that these poor people or any part of them be settled on the Continent of America, We are of opinion that such settlement, especially if made at H. M. charge should be in Provinces under H. M. immediate government, and we know no place so proper as Hudson's River on the Frontier of New York. . . . . . " The Board proposed the same easy conditions as were accorded the Palatines under Governor Lovelace in 1708. Indeed, the Board suggested further that the Palatines might encourage vine husbandry in Virginia. (68) However, during most of the time from July 30th to November 10th the Board of Trade concerned itself exclusively with the consideration of Jamaica as the better possibility.

But the Commissioners for managing the affairs of the Palatines (appointed as related in Chapter III) had been receiving and sifting many proposals for the settlement of these Germans. As the members of the Ministry were members of the Commission, that body really exercised through them a great deal of authority. So it is with little surprise that we find


66 B. T. Jour. 1708-1714, 26.

67 Ibid., 65, 72.

68 C. C. 1708-1709, 452; Eccles. Rec.. 111, 1796.


Page 128: that on November 4th Sunderland's secretary notified the Commissioners of Transport to prepare two men-of-war as convoy for 3,000 Palatines to be sent to New York. The Commissioners for managing the affairs of the Palatines had already entered into a contract with several merchants for transportation of that large group of emigrants. (69) The warships were to be ready by December 15th and orders were issued to Sir John Norris in command of the convoy to "take care of the ships with the Palatines as far as his and their way shall lie together." (70)

Meanwhile the Board of Trade was informed of the action taken. On November 11 1709,it received a letter from Mr. Pringle, Sunderland's secretary, enclosing a letter "from the Earl of Sunderland to the President of the Council of New York, about making provision for the Palatines that are to be sent thither, desiring the said letter may be sent by the first opportunity, which was done." (71) Sunderland's letter of November 10th informed the President of the Council of New York that 3,000 of the Palatines were to be sent to New York within a month and reassured him that the expenses of the settlement would be taken care of in England." On November 29, 1709, Sunderland referred to the Board of Trade for consideration a proposal from Colonel Robert Hunter, who had just been appointed to the governorship of New York and New Jersey on September 9th, (73) relating to the settlement

69 P. R. 0., Adm. 1/4093, 137.

70 P. R. 0., Adm. 1/432, 518, 519.

71 B. T. Jour. 1708-1714, 88, also 89. In regard to Pringle, see Luttrell, op, cit., VI, 391. The authorization for this protect was the Order in Council Of July 29, 1707 issued with reference to the Palatines led by Kocherthal. Acts Privy Council Col. 1680-1720, 553.

72 C. C. 1709-1709, 515; Eccles. Rec., III, 1808. 73 P. R. 0., S. P. 44/,108, 147; N. Y. Col. Docs., V, 91; C. C. 1708-1709, 463; Acts Privy Council Col. 1680-1720, 801. For information on Hunter's life consult C. H. Manners, "Robert Hunter," in Dictionary National Biography (New York, 1891), LXIII, and R. L. Beyer, "Robert Hunter Royal Governor of New York; a Study in Colonial Administration," a manuscript dissertation at the University of Iowa (1929).


of some Palatines at New York. Sunderland requested swift action. (74) As Governor-elect, Hunter had attended a Board meeting with Mr. Champante, New York's colonial agent, just one week before Sunderland's letter to the Board of November 29th. Curiously enough, nothing was then said of his proposal. (75) If Hunter had such a proposal, why was it not made at that time? Sunderland had decided on New York at

74 B. T. Jour. 1708-1714, 98.

75 Ibid., 93.


Page 130: least by the 4th of November, and so on the 29th he introduced "Hunter's" proposal to the Board. Sunderland probably evolved the scheme from previous suggestions and then used Hunter to sponsor it.

Color is lent to this belief by Hunter's statements on the 30th, "Having Received orders to lay before your Lordships what I had to offer in relation to the 3,000 Palatines to be sent to New York, and the imploying of them there:--it being now resolved that these people shall be Imployed in Naval Stores, and good assurances had of a Fond requisite for setting of them to work that way. . . ." (76) Significantly he also stated, "Kenebeck River in the northern part of New England is beyond all dispute the most proper place for that purpose. . . " (77) The plan of Lord Halifax for a private society to manufacture naval stores was endorsed "Proposal for a colony on Kenebeck River." There is a strong presumption that this was the origin of the plan for a settlement to manufacture naval stores under governmental operation. The Board of Trade occupied itself solely with "Hunter's" proposal and in three days had approved the proposition as outlined by him, and was returning the same to Sunderland in a report. (78) This was remarkable speed for that time and organization. (79)

Colonel Hunter feared that the Palatines might leave the naval stores project or be decoyed into the proprietary colonies. He therefore requested that the Palatines be placed under contract. On December 20, 1709, the Board of Trade received, "A letter from the Earl of Sunderland of yesterday's


76 N. Y. Col. Docs., V, 112; DuPre, Hunter's commissary,in 1711, said, "Colonel Hunter being upon his departure for his Government did readily engage in a design to carry and settle at New York . . . ... B. M., Harleian MSS. 7021, 279.

77 C. C. 1708-1709, 538.

78 B. T. Jour. 1709-1714, 98; C. C. 1708-1709, 550.

79 H. E. Egerton, Short History of British Colonial Policy (London, 1897), 116, gives a good brief account of the poor organization. He calls the results " motion without progress."


Page 131: date, signifying her Majesty's pleasure that this Board do advise with Mr. Attorney General about drawing up an instrument to be signed by the Palatines to be sent to New York with Colonel Hunter, for holding them to the terms proposed by the representation of this Board of the 5th instant." Colonel Hunter was present and presented the draught of such an instrument. The Board did as it was ordered. (80)

In regard to the Palatine contract, the Ministry evidently felt it must protect itself against the threatening attack of the Tory opposition. Bellomont's scheme for manufacturing naval stores by soldier labor had largely failed because no one would assume the responsibility for paying their passage to New York. The solution of this difficulty was found in Hunter's proposal for the Palatine manufacture of naval stores in New York and the application of the proceeds to the reimbursement of the government for the passage, etc. The plan was in the nature of an indenture, making the Palatines indentured servants until they had repaid the government. The government was to direct this work for repayment and no time limit for the required service was set. In this respect the contract was most unfair; certain it is that none of the other Palatine groups were treated in this manner. By its terms the Palatines could have been kept in perpetual serfdom, (81) by simply charging more for expenses than the naval stores profits could repay.

In this fashion the British authorities embarked on a venture in government manufacture, similar to the manufactures royales of France for the production of cannon, arms and other articles. Most of the French governmental industries produced luxury goods, such as lace, tapestry, paper, glassware, etc., for the use of the court at Versailles. (82) But in England the greatest reliance of the government for industrial


80 B. T. Jour. 1708-1714 , 106 ; C. C. 1708-1709, 560 et seq.

81 See the contract, N. Y, Col. Docs.,V, 121; P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/1049,144.

12 Heckscher, op. cit., 188, 191.


Page 132: and commercial ventures was the private company. (83) If this governmental industry for the production of naval stores in New York had succeeded, the English might well have followed the example set by the French.(84) This is not assuming that the economic development of the last two hundred years would have been different, for it is difficult to believe that the age of laissez-faire coming in the closing decades of the eighteenth century could have been resisted. Rather, a robust group of government industries might have hampered its whole-hearted acceptance.

The choice of the colony itself was not a bad one, for the New York frontier was woefully weak and a strategic thrust by the French would have cut the English colonies into two. The settlers at Albany had been slightly diminished by the raids of King William's War and worst of all the Five Nations of Indians, which formed the great bulwark against the French, had been reduced from 2,800 to 1,321 fighting men. (85) Of this number, the Senecas, who numbered about half, were said to be in the interest of the French. (86) The French were aware of the point of weakness. Frontenac, governor of Canada in 1697, wrote that the "capture of New York would


83 Ibid., p. 221. Heckscher points out the total absence among the English of industrial establishments similar to the French. The Palatine naval stores industry was an exception to his generalization. For the English reliance on joint-stock companies, see W. R. Scott, Constitutions and Finances of English, Scottish and Irish Joint-stock Companies to 1720 (Cambridge, England, 1912.), III, passim.

84 A similar proposal for the establishment of a royal town to be called Augusta and to be settled by the some 500 families for the manufacture of naval stores was made by Thomas Coran in 1713 and approved by the Board of Trade. C. C. 1712-1714, 222; Miss E. L. Lord discusses the proposal, op. cit., 51 et seq.

85 C. C. 1697-1698, xi, 381, not 387 as noted on page xi; N. Y. Col. Docs., 111, 817; W. T. Morgan, "The Five Nations and Queen Anne," in Mississippi Valley Historical Review (1926), X111, 173 et seq.; A. H. Buffinton, "Albany Policy and Westward Extension," in Mississippi Valley Historical Review 1922, VIII, 348.

86 L. C., S. P. G. MSS. A-5, CLXXVI; N. Y. H. S., Hawks Trans., I, 22 8 -1 N. Y. Col. Docs., V, 174.


Page 133: contribute much more to the security of his colony . . . [and] would be much more easily effected than the capture of Boston. . . ." (87) The New York frontier had not been materially strengthened by 1709. (88)

The projected settlement to manufacture naval stores under government operation was a logical culmination of two pressing difficulties or problems. The naval stores problem as outlined immediately above could be solved by manufacturing in the colonies, if cheap labor could be provided. In 1709 the government was urgently looking for means to employ the Palatines who were encamped round about London at heavy expense to the government. The settlement appeared to be an answer to both problems. The scheme itself grew out of a plan, which was originally made for a settlement of Scots, and then revised for a stock company. The Ministry preferred to have the government attempt to regain some of this expenditure in behalf of the Palatines, especially since even under private operations subsidies were demanded. An added incentive was the need for the development in the northern colonies of a staple desirable to England to pay for more English manufactures, for at the turn of the century New York exported to England only 27,567 pounds worth of goods to 356,024 pounds worth for Barbados. (89) Indeed, a most illuminating recent study emphasizes this reason as the decisive consideration in motivating the naval stores policy. (90) Also the New York frontier


87 P. F. X. de Charlevoix, History of New France (London, 1902, J. G. Shea, trans.), V, 70; See also Morgan, "Five Nations," in loc. cit., 169, et seq.

88 Peter Wraxall, Abridgment of Indian Affairs (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1915, C. H. Mcllwain, ed.), 61 et seq.; C. C.1708-1709, 316.

89 H. S. P., B. T. Plant. General, IX, 39. Also see N. Y. Col. Docs., V, 616.

90 C. P. Nettels, The Money Supply of the American Colonies before 1720 (Madison, Wisconsin, 1934), 155, 156. Chapter V is particularly effective in its treatment of colonial naval stores as a colonial return for English manufactures. Professor Nettels corrects Beer's interpretation of English policy as mainly concerned with the colonies as a source of raw materials, emphasized instead the prime consideration of markets for English goods. English mercantilism wanted the colonies, as Professor Nettels puts it, to buy English goods, paying with products the English needed, and using English shipping.


Page 134: had to be strengthened, and too, the colonial authorities were not averse to the Royal colony becoming more profitable. These factors led to the diversion of the Palatines who had emigrated with the intention of settling in Pennsylvania or Carolina.

On January 11, 1710, the Board of Trade received Sunderland's letter enclosing the Queen's approval of the proposal to settle the Palatines in New York. (91) On the 26th additional instructions, relating to the Palatine settlement, were sent to Colonel Hunter. (93) Preparations were rapidly pushed forward, though much more slowly than Governor Hunter anticipated, for as will presently appear he did not sail as early in 1710 as he had expected.


91 B. T. Jour. 1708-1714, III.

92 C. C. 171O-1711, 23; N. Y. Col. Docs., V, 160; P. R. 0., C. 0. 5/1231, 3.

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