Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/320

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11 4: WILLIAM PATERSON.


all communication with them. These proclamations were rigidly adhered to, and the unfortunate Scottish colonists were denied those supplies which had seldom been withheld from lawless smugglers, buccaneers, and pirates. In addition to this, which was the principal source of all their misfortunes, those who superintended the equipment of the expedition had, through carelessness or design, furnished them with provisions, part of which were uneatable ; the consequence of which was, that the colony had to be put on short allowance, when the sickly season was thinning their numbers, and bringing additional duty on those who were in health. In this emergency, their Indian friends exerted themselves on their behalf, putting to shame their Christian brethren, who, from a mean jealousy, were attempting to starve them ; and they might still have done better, had not insubordination broken out among themselves, and a conspiracy been formed, in which some of the council were implicated, to seize one of the vessels, and to make their escape from the colony. After matters had come this length, Paterson and others became councillors ; a mea- sure which had the effect of checking the turbulence of the discontented. The new council also despatched one of their own number to Britain, with an address to the king, and a pressing request to send them out supplies of provisions, ammunition, and men. On receiving this despatch, the directors lost no time in sending out the requisite supplies. They had already sent despatches and provisions by a brig, which sailed from the Clyde in the end of February, 1699, but which unhappily never reached her destination. On the arrival in Britain of another of their number, Mr Hamilton, who was accountant-general to the colony, and whose absence was highly detrimental to its interests, the Olive Branch, captain Jamieson, and another vessel, with three hundred recruits and store of provisions, arms, and ammunition, were despatched from Leith roads on the 12th of May, 1699. Matters in the colony were in the meantime get- ting worse ; and on the 22nd of June, they came to the resolution of abandon- ing the place within eight months of the time they had taken possession of it. The projector himself resisted this measure manfully. He, however, fell ill, in mind and body, but recovered the full powers of his mind at New York, whence he returned to Scotland, to make his report to the company, and give them his best advice regarding the further prosecution of their undertaking. Two of their captains, Samuel Veitch and Thomas Drummond, remained at New York. The Olive Branch, the vessel alluded to as having gone out to the colour with recruits and provisions, was followed by a fleet of four ships, the Rising Sun, Hope, Duke Hamilton, and Hope of Borrowstonness, with thirteen hundred men. These ships all sailed from the Kyle of Bute, on the 24th of September, 1699, and reached Caledonia Bay on the 30th of November follow- ing. With this fleet went out William Veitch, son of the reverend William Veitch of Dumfries, and brother to Samuel already mentioned. Individuals were also sent out by various conveyances, with bills of credit for the use of the colony. Everything now, however, went against them. The Olive Branch and her consort having arrived in the harbour of New Edinburgh, the recruits determined to land, and repossess themselves of the place, the huts of which they found burnt down, and totally deserted. One of their ships, however, took fire, and was burnt in the harbour, on which the others set sail for Jamaica. When the fleet which followed arrived in November, and, instead of a colony ready to receive them, found the huts burnt down, the fort dismantled, and the ground which had been cleared overgrown with shrubs and weeds, with all the