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Letter from John Seymour to the Board of Trade of Great Britain [Extract]
Seymour, John, 1649-1709
June 23, 1708
Volume 01, Pages 682-683

[B. P. R. O. B. T. Maryland. Vol: 5. H. 74.]

23rd June 1708.


May it please your Lordships

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Wee are dayly made sencible of the loss and removall of divers Inhabitants and residents in this Province to our neighboring Collonys of Pensilvania & Carolina; The chief notices whereto are the present Poverty of this Country, the Planters having suffered extreamly this present Warr in the Marketts being shut up so that after the numerous hazards of unseasonable weather, lack of Plants, the Fly, the ground worme the house wormes, it's being house-burnt, frostbitten, the danger of sea and our enemys, all encountered and overcome the freightes have not had near the vallue of their labour or expence of servants cloathing &c: and those who have layd out their Cropps with the Merchants in the Country, have not been able to get above three shillings and sixpence per cent so that for many years last past servants and slaves have proved burthensome to many Masters and helpt by hard labour to impoverish them.

The Inhabitants of North Carolina finding in what ill Circumstances wee are, here many being indebted for more than their Stocks, made an Act of Assembly there, inviting all persons to settle with them under

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the Protection of five yeares exemption from paying their debts, which has drawn many familys thither, again Pensilvania on the other hand by raising the vallue of their coynes to so extraordinary a height beyond her Majties Royall Proclamation, and the great encouragment they give to saylors has induced many young freemen artififers and saylors to quit this Province and settle there, so that unles her Majty be graciously pleased to lay her comands on those Governments to repeale the aforesaid Carrolina Act of Assembly and conforme themselves in lowering their coyns according to the Proclamation, there is no likelyhood of preventing her subjects continuall desertion hence to those less profitable Collonys.

As for those miserable people that are so much indebted, I know not why their deplorable circumstances should not be taken into consideration by her Majesty being pleased to recommend to the Generall Assembly an Act of Bankruptcy in their favour to acquitt them upon delivering up their all to their Creditors which is as much as can be required and that it shall be Fellony to conceale or imbeazill so that they may be once more enabled to begin the world againe, and her Majesty not lose the use of so many subjects

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I have allready acquainted your Honble Board that the persons I sent to demand at North Carolina have been delivered up to Justice here and likewise transmitted two Coppys of the Act of Assembly made there for the protection of Debtors which I doubt not but that your Lordships will think reasonable to lay before her most sacred Majesty for her Directions to that Government.

My Lords, your Lordsps
most dutifull obedient humble servant