Letter from Alexander Spotswood to Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
Volume 01, Pages 797-799
[From Spotswood Letters. Vol. 1. P. 107.]
GOV. SPOTSWOOD TO EARL OF ROCHESTER.
Virginia, July 30th, 1711.
To the Earl of Rochester.
The extraordinary Scituation of affairs in my Neighbourhood gives Occasion to the doing myself the honour of this Letter wherein I shall be cautious of taking up Your Lord'p's time with any needless detail of the distractions in North Carolina, well knowing there are persons now gone over to make a full Representation thereof, and that if the particulars be judged material, they will be communicated to Your Lord'p by her Majesty's Secretary of State, and by ye Council of Trade, to whom I have writt at large upon this head, and shall only in general say, that
-------------------- page 798
when I found a Mob up in arms obstructing the course of Justice, demanding the dissolution of the Assembly and the Repeal of all Laws they disliked, rejecting the Mediation of this Government, and Slighting the Concessions made by their President and Council for redressing all the Grievances they thought fitt to communicate, when they declared their intentions to act another Antigoa Tragedy, and not only threatened to call in Indians to their Alliance, but actually Endeavoured to engage the Tuscaruros in a barbarous design of cutting off all her Majesty's Subjects that were not of their party, I thought it high time to interpose with a Force from this Colony to put a more effectual stop to their madness, which I rejoice to tell Your Lord'p is now hapily accomplished, and that party dispersed without effusion of blood. Here I beg leave to offer it as my humble opinion, that since the Country of North Carolina has long been the common Sanctuary of all our Runaway Servants and of all others that fly from the due execution of the Laws in this and her Majesty's other plantations. Since they labor under such a total Absence of Religion that there is but one Clergyman in the whole Country, who has been little more than a year there, and has since baptized great numbers of persons of all ages. Since the Quakers are a numerous people there, and have been fatally trusted with a large share in the administration of that Government, and often taken up arms to maintain themselves therein; Since it has been the common practice there to resist and imprison their Governors, as that they look upon that as lawfull which has been so long tolerated, but lately since neither the great Moderation (I may justly say) prudent behaviour of Mr. Hyde, nor the respect due to his birth and Character, could avail anything on that mutinous people, I cannot see how it is possible to reduce that Anarchy into a regular form of Government, without their Governor be invested with a greater Authority than the Lords Proprietors can confer, and that he be also assisted and Supported from this Government, which I can joyfully assure your Lord'p is in perfect peace and Tranquility, under a due Obedience to the Royal Authority and a Gen'll Conformity to the established Church of England. And to this, that if the person appointed Deputy Governor of North Carolina be Commissioned by the Crown, her Majesty will have at hand one to take Care of this Government upon any sudden Vacancy; Since the interest of Great Britain and the Royal prerogative cannot but lose ground during the rule of a President who is generally either a native of the place, or too considerably interested therein. I pray Yo'r Lord'p to interpret the trouble I have here given you, as proceeding from a sincere desire to promote her Majesty's service, together
-------------------- page 799
with the Welfare of her people, and to advance the interest of my Native Country and the established Church, which will always be the hearty endeavours of him who begs the honour of subscribing himself, with the profoundest Respect,
Most dutifull &