Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/318

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112 WILLIAM PATERSON.


they named St Andrew ; and on the country itself they imposed the name of Cale- donia. The first care of the council which had been appointed by the company, but of which Mr Paterson was unfortunately not a member, waa to establish a friendly correspondence with the native chiefs, which they found no difficulty in doing. To the Spanish authorities at Carthagena and Panama they also sent friendly deputations, stating their desire to live with them upon terms of amity and re- ciprocal intercourse. On the 28th of December, 1698, the council issued a pro- clamation, dated at New Edinburgh, to the following effect : " We do hereby publish and declare, That all manner of persons, of what nation or people soever, are and shall from henceforward be equally free, and alike capable of the said properties, privileges, protections, immunities, and rights of government, granted unto us ; and the merchants and merchant ships of all nations may freely come to and trade with us without being liable in their persons or goods to any man- ner of capture, confiscation, seizure, forfeiture, attachment, arrest, restraint, or prohibition for, or by reason of any embargo, breach of the peace, letters of marque, or reprisals, declaration of war with any foreign prince, potentate, or state, or upon any other account or pretence whatsoever. And we do hereby not only grant, concede, and declare a general and equal freedom of govern- ment and trade to those of all nations who shall hereafter be of or concerned with us, but also a full and free liberty of conscience in matters of religion, so as the same be not understood to allow, connive at, or indulge the blaspheming of God's holy name, or any of his divine attributes, or of the unhallowing or profaning the Sabbath day ; and, finally, as the best and surest means to render any government successful, durable, and happy, it shall, by the help of Almighty God, be ever our constant and chiefest care, that all our further constitutions, laws, and ordinances be consonant and agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, right reason, and the examples of the wisest and justest nations; that from the right- eousness thereof we may reasonably hope for and expect the blessings of pros- perity and increase." So far all was well, but the want of a leading spirit, of one who could overawe the refractory, and of summary laws for their punish- ment, soon began to be felt ; Mr Paterson, before sailing, had been refused a position, and the event showed the grossness of that error. In the original articles of the company, it had been agreed that he should be allowed two per cent, on the stock, and three per cent, on the profits, but he had given up both these claims long before leaving Scotland. "It was not," he said, "suspicion of the justice or gratitude of the company, nor a consciousness that his services could ever become useless to them, but the ingratitude of some individuals ex- perienced in life, which made it a matter of common prudence in him to ask a retribution for six years of his time, and ten thousand pounds spent in promot- ing the establishment of the company. But now," he continues, " that I see it standing upon the authority of parliament, and supported by so many great and good men, I release all claim to that retribution ; happy in the noble con- cession made to me, but happier in the return which I now make for it." The whole management was vested in a council of seven, under regulations, the fifth of which ran thus " That after their landing and settlement as aforesaid, they, the council, shall class and divide the whole freemen inhabitants of the said colony into districts, each district to contain at least fifty, and not exceeding sixty freemen inhabitants, who shall elect yearly any one freeman inhabitant whom they shall think fit to represent them in a parliament or council general of the said colony, which parliament shall be called or adjourned by the said