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t JO44 CONTENTS ‘The Exchange of Prisoners - - . x . oe RUTH BOURNE College Textbook Treatments of American History - - Zi JESSE C. BURT, JR. The Report of The French Minister - - - - - 26 CHARLES N. SISSON Members of The Association - - - - = - 8

_ Orders should be sent to the Beteey teanres, South Carolina.

The Proceedings






The South Carolina Historical

Association held no regular meet-

ing in the spring of 1944. The

articles published here were sub- mitted to the editor by members

of the Executive committee.

E. P. L.



RUTH BOURNE Winthrop College

On the eve of Queen Anne’s War, in May 1702, Governor Codrington, in the Leeward Isands, had his will made and his house in order, he said, ready to drive the French from their set- tlements in St. Kitts. As good as his word, at the first official report of war, he forced de Gennes to surrender and permitted the people; with their few necessities, to depart for Hispaniola. Once at sea the French refugees rose against the English mas- ters of the boats of truce and forced them to go, some to Mar- tinique and some to Guadeloupe.

When Codrington heard of this treachery he sent to the governors of the French islands a furious demand that the vil- lains responsible be sent back to St. Kitts within eight days or he would hang the French hostages. And he was not a man of two words, Codrington warned them.

Robert, the intendant at Martinique, sent to Secretary Pon- chartrain a copy of the letter that it might be laid before her British Majesty. Such terrible threats had never been heard among the Barbary Turks over such a trifling matter, declared Robert, for the boats had been returned to the English without the slightest damage in the world. Martinique, Robert boasted, would hang ten Englishmen for every Frenchman executed.*

Robert was not so indignant, as he was determined to hold the additional population to reinforce the island. A previous let- ter of his confessed that Martinique was so lacking in bread, clothing, arms and cruisers that it was threatened with slave rebellions and enemy invasion. The island, already suffering from yellow fever and a hurricane and stripped by Chateau Renault’s fleet, was dreading the arrival of another squadron from France which would utterly ruin the settlers. Robert begged for cruisers and grain ships.

1 Robert to Ponchartrain, September 1, 1702, State Papers, Foreign 78:153. This and the letter next referred to fell into English hands. |

2 Robert to Ponchartrain, August 5, 22, 25, 1702, State Papers, Foreign, 78:153, ff 106.


Two years later, de Machault was still pleading for two good sailers to protect Martinique and Guadeloupe from the insults of the English privateers. As for the outlying islands, he said, he had not a penny nor a gun for their defense and was trying to get the impoverished settlers to leave them. Not only the English but also the local officials were preventing these wretched people from sneaking off in Indian piroques, to the indignation of de Machault, for, he wrote, the king’s subjects were not slaves.

When it was learned in England that Robert had ordered the repatriates to come away from Hispaniola to Martinique, Secretary Nottingham directed Admiral Benbow, at Jamaica, to prevent it. The Jamaicans complied because they did not wish to see the French massed at Hispaniola. Before the war began Benbow had warned the Board of Trade that Jamaica was not one-tenth inhabited “and those promiscuously over the island”’; that the island could not raise an army of 2,000 white men and that the fortifications at Port Royal could not defend Kingston Harbor.®

Early in the war the Board of Trade represented to parlia- ment the importance of the defense and preservation of Jamaica, for it lies “in the most valuable part of the West Indies.” It is an easy distance from the Spanish Coast, with which the slave trade was permitted throughout the war, and also from the Havana, where the Spanish galleons and flota gathered for the European voyage. If Jamaica were not defended, observed the lords, the Spanish trade might be lost to the Dutch, who permit- ted free trade with the enemy.* However, the defenses of Jamaica were never adequate. In 1710, Governor Handasyde bewailed the recruits for his regiment as “the Saddest mortals ever sent out of, the Kingdom.” Even these were soon used to supply the ‘lack of seamen on the men-of-war.7 When such renowned French

3 Idem; de Machault to Ponchartrain, October 6, 1704, State Papers, Foreign, 78:153. To the end of the war the French islands continued to starve. Cf. Lieutenant Governor Douglas to the Board of Trade, November 28, 1711. Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and the West Indies, 1711-12, No. 194.

4 Minutes of the Jamaica council, February 5, 1702/3, C.O. 140:6. Nottingham to Beckford, January 23, 1702/3, Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1702-03.

s Benbow to the Board of Trade, January 2, 1700/1, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1701-02, No. 4.

¢ Leo F. Stock, Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliaments respecting North America (Washington, 1920) III, 59, March 23, 1703/4. The Act of 6 Anne, cap. 64 for encouraging trade to America permitted no molestation of the Spanish Coast between the Chagres and the Rio de la Hacha, but the privateers ignored the act.

7 Handasyde o the Board of Trade, June 4, 1710, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1710-11, No. 253.


warriors were at Hispaniola as du Casse or d’Iberville, Jamaica was apprehensive of invasion.

In the later years of the war the Jamaica merchants urged the removal of the French from Hispaniola, “a sad and grievous thorn in the side of Jamaica.” In King William’s War Codring- ton, senior, had refused to let the French who had been driven from St. Kitts go to Martinique or Guadeloupe and insisted on their being sent to Hispaniola, against the wishes of Jamaica.*

The more industrious French took from the Spanish two- thirds of the island. Thereafter, the French rivalled Jamaica in sugar production, interfered in the Spanish trade, and could invade Jamaica “on a sudden” without warning.°

At the end of the war, Governor Lord Archibald Hamilton lamented “Show scattered a body we are for the defense of so large and plentiful an Island.’”’ When he reviewed the troops he had to send a body of horse into the regions from which the militia was drawn because of the planters’ apprehension of the slaves. Treaties were made to confine the maroons, runaway Negroes, to their mountain towns. Pirates who harried the Spanish Coast were offered full pardon if they would come in to protect Jamaica. Only the cessation of war relieved Jamaica of her fear of His- paniola .

The Jamaicans, therefore, always were pleased to obey the Admiralty order to send to England all prisoners of war. They were cared for, though numerous, without financial strain at fifteen pence a day until they could be dispatched on the usually frequent cruisers or fieets that were going to England. As the Jamaicans took “ten times’ as many prisoners as the French and Spanish did they could not have exchanged them all locally and did not wish to turn them loose.»

In 1705, Governor Handasyde learned by a spy that the lieutenant governor of Hispaniola, “de Chouppe Salamper,”’ who was “a very cunning, intriguing blade,” was coming in a flag of truce with some English “turtlers’” from Andora Bay. Han-

s Nellis M. Crouse, The French Struggle for the West Indies (Colum- bia University Press, 1943), pp. 165-6. The mistake of allowing the French to return’ to St. Kitts was not repeated at the end of Queen Anne’s War.

® Richard Harris to Popple, May 25, 1709, Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1708-09, No. 540.

10 Hamilton to the Board of Trade, October 10, 1712, Jbid., 1712-14, No. 94.

11 Minutes of the Jamaica council, December 7, 1702, C.O. 140:6. After their prison was burnt in the Kingston fire the prisoners were supported by the church wardens.



dasyde ordered the captain at Port Royal to keep the flag of truce outside the harbor while exchanging prisoners and to have it escorted back to Hispaniola. This fear of spying enemies was not the chief reason for objecting to a local exchange with the French but it was an important one. To prevent spying, the Spanish prisoners, who were exchanged locally, were carried to the Spanish Coast in the boats which went there daily. This fear was universal in America.

In 1707 Governor Nathan Johnson of the Carolinas issued a proclamation ordering John Kimble, master of the William Galley, to transport 118 French and Spanish prisoners of war to Virginia and to deliver them there to Governor Nott. If Vir- ginia refused to accept them within a week, Kimble was directed to give the prisoners the ship (for £400), its instruments for navigation, a calendar and one month’s provision of food and water, so that the prisoners might go “to Martinique, the Havana or whatever place they shall think fitting.”

The Virginia council complained to the Board of Trade that Carolina’s way of disposing of prisoners would be “of ill conse- quence to Her Majesty’s service and dangerous to this country,” for it was not “to be imagined,” said the council, “that so many Men bred up at Sea and most of them privateers” would depart from the coast so ill-provided with necessaries. Rather they would hover about to intercept the trade and even land and rob the settlers. The council also pointed out the danger of the pris- oners returning to the French islands with a knowledge of “‘the naked and defenseless condition of the country.”

The next year the Virginians were alarmed by a report from St. Thomas that the French of Martinique were coming to Vir- ginia with expectations of great booty, saying “how easy it might be had.” Governor Jenings thought it very reasonable because the increased cruiser strength in the Channel and at Jamaica would force the French privateers “to adventure into places where they expect less opposition though they cannot hope for so considerable profite.”** Shortly after this, Lord Cornbury advised the Board of Trade that vessels in New York Harbor dared not “peep out now.” **

12 Idem.

is Handasyde to the Lord High Treasurer, December 14, 1708, Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1708-1714, CX, 79.

14 Minutes of the Board of Trade in the Huntington Library, the Board of Trade to Sunderland, February 10, 17, 1706/7.

1s Jenings to the Board of Trade, March 21, 1707/8, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1708-09, No. 4. bas 1s Cornbury, to the Board of Trade, July 1, 1708, ibid., No. 10.


The English colonists were kept “vastly uneasie” by the French privateers ranging all the way from the Newfoundland fisheries and “that little Dunkirk,” Port Royal, Acadia, down to Martinique. They came from such French bases as St. Malo, which was estimated to have constantly at sea ten thousand priva- teers, half of them on the American coasts.*7 The Board of Trade feared that if the northern traders should forbear carrying pro- visions to the southern plantations it would “tend to the Ruin of these Islands.” 1*

The northern traders were reluctant to come into the Carib- bean because, if captured, they were in danger of being’ carried into France, there to starve or to be impressed in the French vessels and subsequently, if caught, be hanged as traitors by the English.2e At best, they were exchanged from Dinant to Plym- outh and then allowed to run, barefooted and ragged, in droves. If they found no employment they starved, were impressed or were hanged as thieves. The commissioners for the Sick and Wounded were supposed to care for, them for thirty days, from funds acquired by the Admiralty’s droits, or the queen’s bounty,?° but, as the navy treasury was always in embarrassment, the commissioners complained constantly of the difficulty of main- taining prisoners.”*

The following impassioned description of the returned sea- men of King William’s War was in no way overdrawn in Queen Anne’s:

If our press is so great this winter that they meet the poor cap- tive wretches when they Return home in their Lousie Cloathes from France and beg their way near an 150 miles then before they come to London catch them and carry them on Board, Rags and Lice as they Run, put them down in the Hold of the Vessel to lie on the Boards or what they pleas, if they be without bedding and as Queen Esther said if they perish they perish.22

Since the northern traders had no mind to starve, hang or be impressed in the navy, they stayed away from the eastern Carib- bean where the privateers were thickest.

17 Colonel Vetch to Sunderland (7), August 2, 1709, ibid., No. 666.

1s Minutes of the Board of Trade, Huntington Library, 1703, f. 125. Also Captain Gruchy’s letter, March 6, 1703, Adm. 1:3930.

19 Petition of the wives of captured seamen to the Admiralty, January (?), 1711/12, complaining of the great cruelty of the French in impressing the prisoners in their service and asking for their exchange. Adm. 1:2050.

20 Admiralty Minutes, April 10, June 15, 22, 1703, Adm. 3:18; Adm. 1:3618, March 27, 1712.

21 Letters Relating to the Admiralty and Vice Admiralty Business, October 25, 1711, Adm. 2:1051. Estimates of the Debt of the Navy are to be found in Official Papers Relating to the Navy, 1688-1715.

22 William Hodges, Relief of Seamen (1695).


At the very beginning of the war the Barbados government complained that though it spent £4,000 [an exaggeration] in three months all this was not sufficient to clear the seas of the vast number of privateers, estimated by some at three thousand.?2 Two years later the merchants lamented “what few ships they must expect the next year to come from the northward because so many have been taken this warr.”’ The loss of “nigh half’ their ships, they thought, would be reflected in high prices and a scar- city of provisions, since all meat and flour was imported.*+ Gov- ernor Crowe, in 1708, warned that due to the lack of cruiser

protection, two French sloops might take all their northern trade and starve them.?5

After 1709, the menace was increased when Louis XIV dis- persed the grand fleet and turned all the royal ships over to the privateers to make what profit and destruction they could. The Barbados assembly was warned to repair the forts since “Her Majesty’s great and glorious grms in Europe” were driving the enemy “to seek some more probable success abroad.”

The Leeward Islands constantly bewailed “the weak and hazardous circumstances” of their settlements, which were the most exposed and the nearest to Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Antigua, “the most windward, best and richest,” was also the most accessible by means of the numerous creeks and inlets.27 The poorer sort of settlers were being driven off the islands by fear, poverty and the rapaciousness of the rich, and usually absentee, landlords.-* This desertion left a sparse population of a few thousand on each island, the planters outnumbered three to one by their slaves, who were the bait which attracted the French marauders.?°

23 Petition of the President and Council of Barbados, November 10, 1702, Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1702-03, No. 136. Governor Granville reported that there were ninety English prizes at Martinique. Cf. Minutes of the Board of Trade, in the Huntington Library, 1700-03, f. 103.

24 Minutes of the Barbados council, September 6, 1704. C.O. 31:8.

25 Crowe to the Board of Trade, August 18, 1708, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1708-09, No. 96.

26 Minutes of the Barbados council, March 22, 1708/9, C.O. 31:10.

27 Captain Gale, whose ship was taken into Martinique by the Tempest, on his escape, offered to take back a squadron and destroy the French at St. Pierre, where, he said, there were twenty-eight privateers, which “con- tinually privateer it about our Islands, being always well manned with hardened, bold fellows by which means they pick up abundance of our rich prizes and mightily annoy our whole trade.” Gale, December 6, 1710. Adm. 1:1824.

28 Parke to the Board of Trade, October 31, 1706, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1706-08, No. 559; Parke to the Lord High Treasurer, Novem- ber 18, 1707, Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1702-07, CIII, 68.

29 St. Leger to the Board of Trade, August 5, 1712, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1712-14, No. 55x.


After driving the French from St. Kitts, Codrington, in 1703, was encouraged to assault Guadeloupe and laid it waste. The ruined French took to the sea and soon forced the Leeward Islands to appeal to the queen for cruisers to protect them from the twenty-two French privateers and the squadron for which Robert had sent home. The loss of almost all of their provision ships not only “wounded the inhabitants in their fortunes” but discouraged the traders, said the agent, Colonel Thomas, and he feared that the islands would be left destitute.2° The Board of Trade urged that three “good and nimble salers” be sent to the region to secure the trade and get intelligence of the ehemy.™ Although it had for years been conceded that a French invasion of the Leewards could cause a loss of sugar and slaves which twenty years could not repair,?? the navy never spared the Lee- ward Islands three cruisers, and sometimes not any at all. There- fore the provision ships which came down were often captured and provisioned the French instead of the English.

The French did not fail to exploit their rich opportunity for booty. In the spring of 1706 Paris was extolling d’Iberville and du Chavagnac, who, in February, swept over St. Kitts and took several ships, five hundred prisoners, and six thousand slaves to be sold to the Spaniards “at a great price.” The loss to St. Kitts was reckoned at three million pounds.*3 In April they went to Nevis and, with a loss of only fifty men, did half a million pounds damage, took thirty ships and seven thousand Negroes and laid the country waste, so that it would not recover in ten years, boasted the French.?+ Left to subsist on a meagre royal bounty, the islands justified the prophecy.**

When d’Iberville saw the English coming to Nevis, he rea- lized that he could not take off all the. booty and hundreds of prisoners, so he took with him some prominent hostages and a promissory note for 14,000 Negroes, or, in lieu of them, one hundred pieces of eight for each one not delivered later. In 1714, Nevis was still trying to secure the release of the hostages. The islanders had defaulted on their note because d’Iberville,

30 Petition of Colonel William Thomas to the Board of Trade, Novem- ber 17, 1703, Adm. 1:3814.

31 Minutes of the Board of Trade, in the Huntington Library, 1703, f. 103. 32 Charles S. S. Higham, Development of the Leeward Islands Under the Restoration, 1660-1688 (Cambridge, England, 1921), p. 189.

33 Paris Gazette, May 17, 1706, Adm. 1:3931.

34 Ibid., May 22, 1706.

35 The Queen to Parke, September 4, 1708, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1708-09, No. 127.



contrary to his pledge, had run off their stock, burned their homes and threatened to sell some of the settlers to the Spaniards as slaves.¢

The ruined islands were left deserted after 1706 and Gov- ernor Parke, at Antigua, awaited an expected attack by du Casse and thirty privateers, who had flat-bottomed boats for invasion, manned by hundreds of desperadoes. Parke complained that the walls of the fort had been thrown down by an earthquake and that the planters would not spare their Negroes to rebuild them. The regiment had been sent to St. Kitts to subsist cheaply on Indian provisions, since their officers had pocketed their pay and were now, most of them, taking their ease in London.?7

Fortunately for the Leeward Islands, du Casse had come only to convoy to Europe the Spanish plate fleet and not to attack the English. The inhabitants, however, in fear, began to migrate, many to Jamaica where they got waste land, rent free.>*

The privateers remained “thick as bees” about the Leeward Islands and few trade ships arrived.*® How starved the islanders were is vividly pictured by the Barbados council minutes which record permission given to transport to the Leeward Islands 400 barrels of Irish beef “lying on hands” in “‘a perishing condition,” and some firkins of rancid butter which could not be sold in Bar- bados.*°

The Leeward Islands considered it plain that they were justified in ignoring the admiralty order to send prisoners home and they regularly and promptly exchanged the few French pris- oners they took. As the other islands would not help them, with money or troops, to maintain their prisoners,** they could not confine them and it was dangerous to permit them to wander at will, spying out the most strategic points of attack and co-oper- ating with the daring enemy privateers.

In fact, great numbers of the Irish settlers on St. Kitts and Montserrat and the Scotch at Barbados fraternized with the

36 Petition of Nevis, August 6, 1714, ibid., 1714-15, No. 10.

37 Parke to the Lord High Treasurer, November 18, 1707, Calendar of Treasurey Papers, 1702-07, CIII,.68; Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1708- 09, No. 5.

38 Handasyde to the Board of Trade, June 14, 1709, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1708-09, No. 573. oi

39 Jon Dickinson to John Askew, March (7), 1710, ibid., 1710-11, No. 177.

40 Minutes of the Barbados council, November 21, 1707, C.O. 31:10.

ai Lt. Governor Douglas to the Board of Trade, August 1, 1711, Calen- dar of State Papers, Col., 1711-12, No. 63.


French, and local capture and imprisonment became a sort of visit with friends. In 1710 Joseph Grannis petitioned the coun- cil of Barbados to exchange for any Barbados gentleman at Mar- tinique the kinsman of M. Bantherau’s now captive at Martinique, because when the three daughters of Grannis were taken pris- oner to Martinique they were kindly entertained by Bantherau and sent to Antigua instead of France.+

Throughout the war the maintenance and exchange of pris- oners was a major problem at Barbados. Cruisers seldom left for England oftener than once a year, if that frequently, and, especially after an act of 1706 forbade the impressment of sea- men in the colonies, the men-of-war were often too thinly manned to carry prisoners safely.** In fact, the captains, being short- handed, occasionally pressed the French prisoners into service,** although it was against the law.*s The cost of maintaining the prisoners for months until they could be sent to England was too great a strain on the finances.

On the other hand, however, the Barbadians feared to send back French prisoners to Martinique after they had strayed over the island, viewing the layout, noting the number of trading ves- sels, the position and weakness of the fortifications and the general condition of the island.**¢ And well they might, for at the beginning of the war Barbados had no effective force. Guns lay unmounted with the carriages rotting; scrap iron and rocks were stored as ammunition; the militia was laughable, and mutineers soon ran away with the local dispatch boat. The Barbadians, greatly outnumbered by their slaves, began the war alarmed by a rumored plot of the Negroes to burn the Bridgetown, knock

42 Minutes of the Barbados council, July 27, 1710, C.O. 31:10. Father Labat, the adventurous French priest who was at Martinique in the early years of the war, commented that the French women always expressed fear of the English privateers but that they were not so honest in their conduct with their own men. Cf. Jean Bapiste Labat, Nouveau Voyage aux Iles de VAmerique (Paris, 1722).

a3 Minutes of the Barbados council, November 28, 1710, C.O. 31:9. In 1704, Captain George Martin captured seventy prisoners from the Prince Veranea, who “did rise upon us in the night but was soon quailed by the loss of three men.” Cf. Martin, October 1, 1704, Adm. 1:2092.

44 In 1707 Dilkes was ordered, in the Mediterranean, that French pris- oners be “taken on” for the journey. Cf. Admiralty Orders, December 22, 1707: January 15, 1707/8, Adm. 2:37, ff. 49, 123.

4s Stock, Debates, III, 152, December 17, 1707; Admiralty Orders, III, 156, April 19, 1703. :

46 Labat wrote, in his Nouveau Voyage that on a trip to Barbados he noted the defenses of Carlisle Bay. A good engineer, he advised the French, before the war began, that the island could be taken by five thousand Creole troops. The plate of the island, he remarked, was worth more than several galleons. He also commented upon the curiosity of the “canailles” over his priestly vestments.


the whites in the head and take the government and the women. Captain Kirby lent the government some powder, to be returned after the emergency because the Ruby’s stores were depleted by the stay in the tropics.*7

By 1705 the Barbadians, in appealing against the sugar duty, were claiming that two-thirds of the Christians had gone off the island and one-third of the land lay waste, and that the French, in eighteen months, had seized shipping valued at £500,000. Yet this poorly defended island was reckoned to bring in annually £300,000 to the proprietors and £70,000 in the customs duty to England.¢*

The islanders soon found that taking prisoners to feed and guard burdened the treasury. In 1704 their president warned the council,

. .. the french prisoners are unprovided for and must inevitably starve without a speedy supply [of money] which barbarous usage will be- come a fatal president [to the French] in their resentment to all English prisoners that fall into their hands.

Instead of providing for the prisoners the assembly soon cut their allowance of food in half and they were left starving, indeed.**

A general cartel arranged at Martinique, March, 1707, re- lieved Barbados temporarily of the burden of the prisoners. Its terms are worth repeating :5°

I. All he French prisoners were to be returned and all future captives were to be returned in ten days, or, if less than twenty-five in number, within twenty days. They were to be taken nowhere but to Martinique, without distinction as to whether they were from France or the islands.

II. The English prisoners were to be restored, with like treatment, and sent to Barbados from all the French islands. III. Barbados was to try to restore the French taken prisoner to New England. IV. The Spanish were to be treated as French, and the Dutch as English.

47 Richard Kirby, January (?), 1701/2, Adm. 1:2004.

4s Pollexfen to the Board of Trade, September 4, 1700, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1700, No. 751. On August 16, 1712, Lowther reported that there were only 3,438 whites fit to bear arms and 41,970 slaves in Barbados. Cf. ibid., 1712-14, No. 45v. See, also, Stock, Debates, III, 93-4, a petition from Barbados, February 14, 1705/6.

49 The prisoners were supported by money from a three-bit tax per head on slaves and Negroes. Cf. Minutes of the Barbados assembly, March 16, 1703/4, C.O. 31:7. For a description of conditions in Barbados and other islands see Ruth Bourne, Queen Anne’s Navy in the West Indies (Yale Press, 1939) Ch. II.

so Minutes of the Barbados council, March 14, 1706/7, C.O. 31:8.


V.-VI. Free Negroes and mulattoes of each nation were to be re- stored and not to be detained under any pretence [of slavery?]. If they were in Bermuda or New England, or wherever they were, the governments were to try to return them.

VII. Prisoners were to be treated with humanity and given the pro- visions of a common seaman—one pound of beef, pork, salt fish or peas, and one pound of biscuit, flour or cassava bread per day. Officers [and gentlemen] were to be treated with distinction according to their rank.

VIII. Flags of truce were not to be stopped more than ten days and to be proved by those that sent them.

IX. Ships of Jamaica caught to windward while bound to Barbados were to be treated as of Barbados and French sent from New England to Barbados were to be exchanged as of Barbados.

In the same year of 1707 a land bank was set up in Barbados which issued many notes before it was disallowed at home. Thereafter the treasury was empty and the island’s credit gone. The council and assembly deadlocked and all business was at a stand. “For want of money,” the president again warned them, “the French prisoners are in danger of being famished, a breach of Laws observed by all-Nations and. a scandal to the Brittish Nation,” which would “be retaliated by the like cruel usage of our fellow subjects in French prisons.”

The gunner at the chief fort at Needham’s garrison reported that the matrosses (gunner’s mates), having been forced for six months “to feed upon crabbs, pursley and caterpillers [cabbage palm worms?]” and tired of guarding the French prisoners, had deserted the fort, or would do suddenly. He begged for a speedy relief of their sufferings.5? Although the assembly could some- times find a few hundred pounds to restock his Excellency’s cel- lar, it could find only five pounds at a time for “emergent service”’ to feed the soldiers and prisoners.5? When the assembly had no money for the purpose, Captain Bourn, an indefatigable cruiser, advanced out of his pocket the whole sum necessary to send his prisoners in his own boat to Martinique.** In spite of these occa- sional changes, Barbados was always unable or unwilling to pro- vide decently for the prisoners of war.

When Robert Lowther arrived as governor at Barbados he began to oppose the local exchange of prisoners and set forth his

51 Minutes of the Barbados council, May 15, 1708, C.O. 31:9.

s2 Ibid., November 27, 1708.

ss Ibid., January 24, February 23, 1709/10, May 19, July 27, 1710. In 1707, Sam Cox advanced twenty shillings a day out of his pocket for the prisoners brought in by the Lowestoft, “else they would have starved. Cf. C.O. 31:8, February 10, 1706/7. sa Ibid., C.O. 31:9, October 3, November 21, 28, December 11, 1710.


objections at length in a letter to the Board of Trade, in explana- tion of his refusal to exchange a number of gentlemen taken by Captain Thomas, in 1711:55

“I may admit,” he wrote, “that the French take more prisoners than we doe, and that the sending them to France is some obstruction to trade, and a high aggravation of the misfortune of such as fall into the hands of the French; yet notwithstanding his I am humbly of opinion, that it is not only against the Queen’s interest but also against the advantage and policy of his Island to settle a cartell with the French: to make this obvious to your Lordships, I take the liberty to put you in mind that the people of Martinique are the very dregs and refuse of the French Nation, and that they intirely subsist by piracy and privateering, and that they lose nothing when they fall into our hands but some armes and ammunition. I would likewise remarke that this loss to them is so very inconsiderable when a car- tell is settled with them, that those very people which have been taken one week, and sent to Martinique the next, have in the week after they arrived there returned upon our coastes, for they have nothing wherewith to subsist themselves and families but what they take from us, and that therefore it must of necessity happen thus unless they are sent to Europe; but must be constrained to go into the King’s service; so by this means not only families at Martinique will be utterly undone, and the country distressed by the great increase of poore rates, but it will also disable them from fitting out their number of privateers, which will redound as much to our advantage as to their ruin, being they have little or nothing to subsist on but the provisions they take from the Queen’s subjects. I beg leave to say a word or two to obviate one objection more that I fancy may be made against sending the prisoners of war to Europe: the objection is this, that all the ill consequences that attend the French prisoners being sent to Europe will also befall such of the Queen’s subjects that are taken in a trading vessel, [they] have either money, credit or friends to support them under such a misfortune, and to replace them in the same way of livelyhood, if not the same condition, which is not the Frenches case, that live in Martinique. I have only one more objec- tion to offer to your Lordshipes against settling a cartell with the French at Martinique which is, that it will give a great opportunity to carry on a trade between this place and them.”

The Board of Trade responded that it approved the reasons given and thought that Governor Lowther was “very much in the right” to refuse the cartel.s* The Barbados council always denied that the flags of truce were used for illegal trading, but the. poor planters in the assembly frequently opposed the cartels because they were jealous of the trade of the rich.*”

ss Lowther to the Board of Trade, August 20, 1711, Calendar of State Papers, Col. 1711-12, No. 77.

se The Board of Trade to Lowther, November 22, 1711, ibid., No. 186. s7 When Sisson returned from making the cartel of 1707, the assembly of Barbados addressed Governor Crowe to inquire if the cartel had been settled to Her Majesty’s advantage, or, contrary to the assembly’s request,

hastily and in the interests of certain individuals. Cf. Minutes of the Bar- bados council, May 27, 1707, C.O. 31:10.


In 1702 the customs commissioners complained to the council that the first flag of truce from Martinique brought a consider- able quantity of claret, which, notwithstanding all possible care by the commissioners, was “privately put ashore.” The council found the complaint groundless. Admiral Sir Hoveden Walker, whose fleet was there at the time, reported, however, that the flag of truce, “as they call it,” was really there for collusive trade and to gain military intelligence. One of the Frenchmen seized was condemned to death, and others were impressed on the men- of-war.**

In 1708 Governor Parke complained from the Leeward Is- lands to the Board of Trade:»°

I wish your Lordships could find some way to prevent the trade between Ireland and the French Islands for I never send a flag of truce but they find Irish ships there with beef, etc. Whilst the last flag of truce was at Martinique there came in three large ships directly from Ireland with beef and their Irish colours flying, ’tis a very great shame.

At the very time that Parke wrote this, his enemies were dispatching home against him a long list of grievances, one of the chief ones being that he engaged extensively in illegal trade through his flags of truce, which were manned by brutal ex- pirates. Parke declared that he never had, coming or going, more than a hogshead of claret for his own table, and that it was his zeal in preventing illegal trade which caused the hostility of such men as Chester, who szid that he would be content to live seven years in Hell to be revenged on Parke.** The condemnation in English courts, however, of the French flag of truce Society convinced the home government that flags of truce were used in the Leeward Islands, at least, with intent to color illegal trade.

A circular of 1710 from the Board of Trade informed the governors of the evidences of illegal trade with Martinique. “We think it therefor necessary,” the letter instructed them, “that you take all possible care when any flags of truce shall arrive—(that] they be not permitted to trade during their stay there or allowed to go on shore to examine the strength and condition of your

ss Ibid., September 29, October 13, 1702, C.O. 31:6; letter of Walker,

se Parke to the Board of Trade, July 1, 1708, Calendar of State Papers, Col., 1708-09, No. 5. A commendatory reply was sent by the Board, Octo- ber 26, 1708. Cf. ibid., No. 166. 5.

60 Parke to the Board of Trade, August 24, 1708, ibid., 1708-09, No. 106; also, ibid., Nos. 625, 626. 61 Order of the Queen, December 15, 1709, ibid., No. 909.