Friday, September 10, 2010

Servants to the Crown

It was decided by the Lords of Trade that Robert Hunter would be the Governor of New York and it was further decided that the Palatines left (3,000) would follow him to New York and be servants to the Crown and be employed in making naval stores*. Up until this time England had a hard time enticing anyone to make their naval stores for them. They could not offer enough for the colonist to employ their time doing this. England thought then it would be a good thing to have a ready work force to go over to America and do just that.

So the Queen was asked to provide for the Palatines for 1 year until they got their feet under them so to speak. The the Palatines would be providing for themselves and providing naval stores for England 'forever more'. The thought at the time was that New York had enough trees for this endeavor to last forever.

The author states here in this chapter that alludes to doom and gloom later in the book: '...also from the fact that the whole transaction was foredoomed to failure, because involving the presumption that naval Stores could be produced in places where the natural conditions forbade.'

The English government made a contract with the Palatines and this contract made them 'Servants of the Crown'. The government would transport them to America and 'subsist' them there; they would settle in places that were allotted to them and they would be engaged in making naval stores, all of which would be put in her Majesty's storehouses. They would not make 'woollen' goods, they would not leave the settlement without permission of the Governor. After they had repaid the government for the expenses they would get 5 pounds and forty acres of land for each family.

At the time of the contract, it seemed to be a win win situation for both the Palatines and the English government. The government would get laborers and the Palatines would get employment a trip to a new land.

It is safe to say that we are in for some sad times later in the book. We shall see.

*Naval Stores: Tar, Pitch, Masts, planks, knees, etc.

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