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Memorial from inhabitants of South Carolina to Seth Sothell concerning the state of government
No Author
1690
Volume 02, Pages 839-852

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[B. P. R. O. Colonial Entry Bk. Vol. 21.—Last Entry.]

To the Right Honorable Seth Sothell one of the Lords and absolute Proprietors of the Province of Carolina Chanceller Governor and Commander in Cheefe of all theire Majestie's Forces in the said Province.

Right Honble

Please to admit of an adress which though it contains little else besides the relation of those mistakes which usually attend affairs transacted at a thousand leagues distance and the uneasiness allwayes subsequent thereto yet at this time is the happy result of yor Honrs arrivall into this part of this Province for the reaverence and fidelity which we scarcely owe to all the Loards and absolute Proprietors of this Province and the certaine knowledge we had that thaier Loardships in generall ware neaver rightly informed of their affairs here hath now for many yeares encoraged us to patience under wch we have not permitted ourselves even to sighth soe loud as to be heard by their Lordships yet overjoyed with your presence we are of a suddaine full of hopes yt all which is amiss will be amended and those miserable disquietudes and uncertaintyes wch we have labored under will be noe more heard of except in the method the Lords Proprietors shall be pleased to use in the ablation of them, The age of the Story we are to tell and the variety of matter will not admitt of a very short discorse but we shall industerously avoyd prolixity and Pharaphrase & shall onely give trew and plaine narative of affaires which we hope like things demonstrative to the sences will at first sight sufficiently express ye knowledge of ye maledy we would have cured, and we in most humble manner by the favor of yr Honor to peruse this paper yorselfe and send it to his Excellency the Palatine and every other of ye Lords Proprietors singly with such advantage to this Country and such candor and favor as your Honor hath soe often since your arrivall here given us reason to expect from your Goodness Bee pleased therefore to be informed that in the year 1669 the Right Honorable the Lords and absolute Proprietors of this Province did encorage by seaverall gratious concessions seaverall people to come in their vessells provided by them to inhabitt this part of their Province and with the said people did send one Commission under their hands and the greate Seale of the Province dated ye twenty sixth day of July 1669 directed to Coll Wm Saile Gouvernor & others his Councellers and assistances with Instructions alsoe

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for Gouvernment annexed to ye same yt their Lordships did alsoe send with ye said Com̄ission and Instructions Fundamentall Laws Constitucions under the hands and Seales of six of their Lordships and beareing date the twenty first day of July. 69. as ye unalterable forme and rule of Gouvernment for ever for their Province of Carolina and ye Inhabitants thereof and ye Gouvernor & Councillers are five times referrd to ye same in ye said Commission & Instructions and farther to induce those Fundamentall Constitucions which ware fairely ingrosed in Parchment and signed and sealed as aforesaid by a higher and more seacred & solemne manner then any article in them did require and then hath since been prescribed upon the proposall of any other Laws or Fundamentall Constitutions whatsoever all persons were required by the said forementioned Institucions to sweare submission to the said Fundamentall Constitutions before they could be admitted to take up Lands or have the Honor of being Comonrs of ye grand Councell and seaverall hundreds of the people arriving here did sweare accordingly, Wee are the more exact in this relation because it hath been of greatest moment with us here & because to our greatest admiration we have seen a letter read in parliment ye 14th day or February 1687. dated the 3d of March 1686/7. and signed by their Lordships the Earle of Craven the Lord of Bath for the Lord Carterett his late grace the Duke of Albemarle & Sr Peter Colleton wch utterly denyed the said Fundamentall Constitutions declaringe them to be but a Copy of an imperfect Orriginall and much more wch wee are not willinge to write nor will we here answer ye particulars (in all wch their Ldships are misinformed) Least we should seem to love contention while our designe & humble supplication is wholy to desire the Lords Proprietors to be rightly informed and in this case we shall doe noe more but humbly refer yor Honor and their Lordships to the records in the Seacretarys office wch will (we doubt not) plainely shew yt nothinge between ye Lords Proprietors and the people hath been transacted soe sacredly and with soe much solemn Caution on their Lordships parts as this affaire of the Fundamentall constitutions dated the twenty first day of July 1669. and how many soever of their Lordships signed & sealed any other Constitutions in England none ware ever publickly seen here subscribed and sealed with more hands & seals then these and (allwayes reservinge the respect and honour that is due from us to each particular Loard Proprietor) we humbly take notice yt his grace ye Duke of Albemarle and the Earle of Bath ware not concerned in ye propriety of this Province when those Fundamentall Constitutions ware made and his Excellency the Earle of Craven hath allwayes been obliged to attend the grate Affaires of the
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Kingdom soe neare the Royall Throne. That it is not rationall to believe that his Lordship can remember such sort of particulars as are sett downe in yt Letter for neare twenty yeares togeather and we are also assured that his Lordship Keepes not the Secretarys office or indited the Letter and therefore we leave this matter to be ajusted (if now any occasion remains) by the records of the Grand Councill here and the whole Circumstances of the Matter duly realated.

That afterwards ye Lords Proprieters did send to their Gouvernor & Counsell heare new Instructions under their hands & Temparary Laws under their hands & seales both dated ye 10th of May 1671. & those Instructions did seeme in one Article to direct to some Fundamentall Constitution which had not before been seene & about Feb. 167⅔ the Gouvernor Coll Joseph West did propose to the Councell in the name of the Lords Proprieters a booke of new Fundamentall Constitutions under the hands and seales of their Lordships and dated the first of March 1669 to be subscribed unto by all men as the sacred and unalterable forme & rule of Government for ever for this Province of Carolina and afterwards in the yeare 1677: the same Fundamentall Constitutions ware againe by ye said Coll West in the Lords Proprs names proposed in Parliament as before In Councell but they were received in Neither because the people had all sworne to the Constitutions before mentioned and here we humbly desire yr Honor to observe yt in a letter dated ye 16th of 7ber 1671 yt their Lordships are pleased to write that the Fundamentall Constitutions were the termes upon wch people had settled in their Country and that therefore the people had reason to expect they (ye Lords Proprieters) should (as they did resoulve to do) make them good to them and at ye time ye Fundamentall Constitutions dated ye first of March 1669 were not sent hither or knowne to be made wch further appeares by an other letter from their Lordships to ye Governor and Councill here dated the 26th of June 1672 in which their Lordships write yt there with their printed Fundamentall Constitutions which are those dated ye 1st of March are sent and that Letter with the said Fundamentall Constitutions were received here the 8th day of Feb. followinge and then the ye said Fundamentall Constitutions are first declared by their Lordships an Authentique Coppy and in the said Letter alsoe subscrived by power of their Lordships which had alsoe signed and sealed the Fundamentall Constitutions dated the 21st of July 1669. their Ldships are pleased to condesend to give such reasons for the alterations and aditions in ye printed Coppey and difference from the former yt it plainely appears their Lordships disownes ye former Fundamentall Constitutions (to wch ye people generally

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had then three yeares been sworne) and are pleased to add that their Lordships are now resolved ultimately to stick to ye printed Fundamentalls without any further mutation but we humbly refer your Honor to ye said Letter itselfe wch seems to know nothing of the reasons given in the other letter before mentioned and dated ye 3d of March 1686/7 we shall not add upon this matter further then yt we are well informed yt these printed Fundamentall Constitutions have been & are ye establisht rules of Government in Albemarle County in this same Province and there confirmed in Parliament and that allsoe in this Government the Lords Proprs did by severall temporary Laws and Instructions and Letters under their hands and seales (before ye yeare 82) about twenty five times direct that ye Gouvernment should be carried on and maintained accordinge to them.

That afterwards in the yeare 82. the Lords Proprieters were pleased to send one other new Fundamentall Constitution under ye hands & seales of six of their Lordships and dated ye 12th day of May 1681. to be and remaine ye sacred and unalterable forme and rule of Government of Carolina for ever and with the same did alsoe send a letter dated ye 10th day of May 1682. in which they were pleased to give certaine reasons for not first proposeing ye said Fundamentall Constitutions to the people and farther declaring that they did not pretend at any time hereafter to have power to alter anything in the Fundamentall Constitutions & without the people's consent but at the same time did more authentiquely by certaine Instructions under their hands & Seales of the same date with said Letter (wch was under their hands onely) direct and order yt noe Person should be chosen a member of the Councill or Parliment or have the Liberty to chose the Land due unto him before he subscribed submission to new forme of Government established in this last Fundamentall Constitutions and the People remembringe their oathes to the first and deeminge these not to be agreable to the Royal Charters which direct the assent and Approbation of the people to all Laws & Constitutions did deney to receive the said Fundamentall Constitutions.

That a short time after this (before any newes of denying ye third could be heard of in England) another Fundamentall Constitution under the hands and seales of foure of the Lords Proprieters and under the greate seale of the Province and bearinge date the 17th day of August 1682. was sent to and proposed at the Councill board to be received and subscribed to wch fourth for the same reasons were refused as formerly the second and third the Letters from the Lords Proprs dated the 20th of 9ber 1682. & the 13th of 7ber 1683. did declare noe other reason for the suddaine

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alteration but that it was done at the request of the Scotts & other considerable Person.

That afterwards the Lords Proprieters did in a Letter dated the 13th of 7ber 1683. revoke till further order the power given before to the Governor to confirme and rattifye in Parliment the said Fundamentall Constitutions dated the 17th of May 1682, and were pleased to give as a Reason for their soe doeing that the Scotts had desired some aditions might be made for the Bennefitt of the people but one of their Lordships in June followinge writt to Sir Richard Kyrle Governor yt the reason was because the people ware parswaded to reject ym by seditious persons and therefore for staveinge ye Lords Honr the people should Petition for yt they were parswaded to reject which notwithstandinge wee further in all Humility informe yr Honr

That the Lords Proprietors did soone after send certaine Instructions under their Lordships hands and seales dated the twelfth day of March 1684 containinge thirty eaight Articles and in the thirty eaight Articles thereof did repeale and make voyd all former Instructions & Temporary Laws whatsoever and ordered that the third Fundamentall Constitutions should be subscribed submitted to and put in practice as unalterable &c. Whereupon the Commoner Representatives of the people in the Grand Councill did enter one Protestation In the secretary's office dated the—of December 1685 against all the articles of the said Instructions that did direct the Goverment to be according to the said third Fundamentall Constitutions dated the 12th day of January 1681. (againe imposed) and against all other Fundamentall Constitutions whatsoever except the first to which the people had sworne as aforesaid.

That upon the nineteenth of 9ber 1685 the Parliment which consisted of eaight deputyes to the Lords Proprietors and twenty Com̄oners (one whereof was absent) did meet at Charles Towne and Landgrave Joseph Morton did accordinge to the Lords Proprs Instructions call all the members to subscribe in a booke to maintaine their Fundamentall Constitutions, (which by the Instructions being declared) to be those of the 12th of January 168½ twelve of the nineteen did refuse to doe because they had sworne to those dated the 21th July 1669. and therefore were ordered by the said Governor to avoyde the house and the seven Comoners remaininge with the eaight Proprs Deputys did (without them) proceed and enact severall Laws for the Goverment of the Inhabitants in this Colony & the 12. excluded members did protest against the illegality of their exclusion &c as appears by their protestation under their hands & Seales dated the 20th day of 9ber 1685 & given into ye Governr's hands in the Parliment house the 24th of the same month.

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That while Landgrave Colleton was Governor a Comittee in a Parliment was appoynted to inspect the Fundamentall Constitutions and propose such alterations as they should think fitt the worke grew volumious suddenly but in another Parliment all yt was layd aside for (some heates ariseinge in the house) Langrave Colleton did upon the 14th of Feb. 1687. in some passion produce the abovementioned Letter from the Lords Proprs and directed to the Governor Deputies Councill and Parliment and dated the third of March 1686/7 and commanded the Clarke to read itt and thereupon it was afterwards recorded in the Archives of the grand Councill & an authentique Coppy taken of it and in two Parliments since the Comoners of the Parliment as well as the Governor and Lords Deputies have denyed to act accordinge to the first Fundamentall Constitutions disowned by the Lords Proprs in the said Letter and the people haveinge not accordinge to the Royal Charters assented or approved of any Fundamentall Constitutions in Parliment have unanimously declared that the Goverment now is to be directed and managed wholy and solely accordinge to the said Charters and in particular the last Parliment did deny that any bill must necessarily pass the grand Councill before it be read in Parliment and did profer for ye maintenance of peace and justice to assent to and approve of any Law for yt end to be made accordinge to ye directions and Commands in the said Royal Charters but the Governor and the Lords deputies presinge to proceed as formerly viz. by haveinge all bills first past the Grand Councill Nothing was done and at this time not one statute Law is in force in this Collony.

That as soon as the said Parliment was disolved some few people mostly the most ignorant were with greate industry put upon and perswaded to subscribe a petition to the Governor for settinge up Martiall Law some (as the French in Towne ware tould it was onely to cause a guard to be kept in Towne) Others ware perswaded by the Governor himselfe to petition without their knowledge or consent and then on the 18th day of March last the Pallatines Court without adviseinge with ye Comonrs of the Grand Councill published certaine articles of war still permittinge preposterously the Courts of Common Law to be kept open, against this ye Comoners of the Grand Councill earnestly with all due reverence desired to be heard speake and shew how little necessitye or Law there was for such unusuall methods of Goverment in a Country where all people were soe obedient and peaceable but were denyed absolutely by the Pallatines Court which caused the Commoners to draw one protest against the said Martiall Law but least they should put in the said protest at the Councill board the Councill was shifted and Orders

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given yt noe notice should be given them whereupon thay offered to file the said protest in the secretarys Office but the secretary would not receive it thereupon the whole Cuntrey imediately was exceedingly disturbed those few that had signed the Petition cryed out thay were betrayed many prepared to leave the Cuntry but most people were soe weary of the discontents that attended their thoughts upon this illegall tirannicall and apprehensive way of Goverment that they were more concerned to be provided against their friends and fellow subjects here then the publick Enemy abroad and the ferment grew soe high that nothing but desperation was generally observed among the people the miserable consequence of which was blessedly evaded by your Honrs arrivall but to abate these discontents an imprudent and dishonorable discorse was spread abroad that the Martiall Law was put up the better to come up with some persons yt had disobeidged the Pallatines Court and as such illegall and arbitrary proceedings are commonly maintained by falsehoods and the meanest and basest meanes the late Governor and Deputies did in all their private discourses affirme that there was noe other way left but to governe by martiall Law because the Com̄ons of the late Parliment had absolutely denyed to make Laws for the Goverment of the Millitia and to provide for the defence of the Country whereas the said Comons did then and 13. of them have since sworne that they the whole Commons did propose to pass an act for the Establishment of the Militia and further as in the Coppy of the said Oath herewith sent is fully declared but these low falsities beinge soone discovered the articles of war were for sometime not severely put in practice but in this case as in all other publick actions an Endeavor was made upon pretence of this Law to stopp all persons from goeing abroad to trade with the Indians while the late Governr was providinge to send himselfe and did alsoe after a little time, goe in his owne person out of the Settlement and com̄anded agen as formerly noe Yamasee Indians to goe and assist any man in trading but himselfe and then sent people to trade &c But we shall not further observe upon this tirannicall martiall Law but leave it in the grave yr Honr hath thrown it into renderinge our most humble thanks to you for yr justice therein.

That the methods which those principally entrusted by the Lords Proprs have for many yeares used for the imposition of the severall Fundamentall Constitutions aforementioned have caused much uneasinesse and trouble to the good Inhabitants of this Country in generall and many persons in particular have felt upon the least surmised occasion the indignation rather then ye Justice of those that Governe here and many

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thousands of people have been detered from cominge hither to the disconsolation of those yt are here and the disprofitt of the Lords Proprs and many alsoe left the Cuntrey being not willinge to live constantly after soe uncertaine and unquiett a rate.

That there is frequent mention of Indian Deallers in the Lords Proprs letters to the Goverment here with sevare reflections upon them but both before and since those Letters great endeavors have bin used to monopolize the whole Indian trade but wee forbare to mention here the whole matter because we cannot doe it without Reflection upon some of the Lords Proprs and soe wee onely instance that the late Governor, Landgrave Colleton (who is believed upon rational grounds to have a partner in England) did with ye Councill make an order that to prevent quarrells and bludshed noe persons should goe into ye inlands to trade with the Indians and some persons were troubled for their disobedience but the said late Governor sent out English men and Indians contrary to the said order & under a frivolous pretence did command and enjoyne the Yamasees Indians (the onely People fitt to assist the English in away of trade to the Inlands not to goe with any person whatsoever without his order and though wee have never wanted Corage to regulate by Laws the Indian Trade soe as that the Colony should not be in any danger from thence yett wee have been alwayes interrupted and obstructed by such Private doings as these.

That we have often received Letters from the Spanish Governor at St Augusteene which wee use to answer with Courage and wee hope with prudence but the Spaniards did invade us in the yeare 1686 destroyd seaverall plantacons and mutch stock and most barberously burned alive one of our people and carryed others away into Captivity and ye whole Cuntrey did resolve by fresh pursuite to be revenged upon them but the late Governor ariveing here forbid it at that time and afterwards when a new Governor at St Augustine did send a Fryar and a Lieutenant to treate with ye Goverment here about all differences &c. The Governor here (Landgrave Colleton) did not advise with the Comoners of the Councill about the matter (unless once when he desired the Spanish messengar should by their consent be maintained out of the Publick Treasury) but did contrary to the Honuor of the English nation pass by all the bloody insolencys the Spaniards had com̄itted against this Collony and did with others enter into a contract of Trade with the Fryar and sent goods with him wee are of Oppinain wee ought not to be angry at a trade with the Spaniards but as Englishmen who wanted not corage to doe themselves honuorable sattisfaction we could not but admire yt soe

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execrable a barbarity comitted upon the person of an Englishman and the great desolation that was made in the south part of this settlement should be buryed in silence for the hopes of a little filthy lucre which however was missed of because the Fryar neaver sent the returnes promised but the Spanish Governor sent in money what he thought was the prime cost but would never send back the negroes yt have run away from hence theither sendinge onely complimentinge and faire promiseinge Letters while the negroes are actually imployed in buildinge a fort on this side St Augustine and demandinge the Christian Spanish Indians the Scotts formerly settled at Port Royal did cause to be brought to them & which (most of them) were sent off to the other Countreys and sould as slaves and about wch action the Governor and Councill here writt at large to all the Lords Proprs in a letter sent in the yeare 1686 to one of their Lordships by Capt. Ralph Crow but of which wee have never heard since nor can understand that all the Lords have seene it.

That the deputies and other Magistrates and Officers Civill & Military have been every day put out and others put in without any respect to there qualityes parts, honesty or other abilitys and the Comoners of the Grand Councill turned out under pretence of misdemeanour for any unwary action or word comitted or said out of Councill or over a bottle of wine in a taverne and this hath been and still may be done with ease for there is but eight Comoners when all the places are full (which seldome happens of late yeares) and if one of the deputies charge one of them with any action or word misdone or said the person accused must stand by and then there is eaight deputies to vote against seaven Comoners which not onely in this Case but in all others makes the grand Councill (wch is alsoe all Courts of Justice except the County Court and receives allsoe appeales from that) be wholly in all its Judgements, acts, orders and ordinances as the Governor & Deputies please and then not onely have a negative but an affirmative upon all occations and to justifeye all this doe record ye matters as they please and have entred men present when absent &c. as we are ready to prove.

That several Gentlemen wholely unknown to ye Lords in generall have been turned out of all places of Honor or profitt and forbid to be admitted to any by Letters from the Lords Proprs and the said Gentlemen never soe mutch as spake to or called to answere for any misdemeanour thay had comitted contrary to all Justice and Equity and when some fault hath evidently (and not to themselves) been imputed as pehaps sending off of Indian Slaves &c. ye persons accused have been ready to clear themselves and to declare and prove other reasons for such their useage

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and in particular that the crimes they were charged with were in the badest sense imputable to those that informed against them.

That a Comission was sent to examine some witnesses about some Gentlemen dealeing with and this Comission was directed to those yt were generally most guilty and the Comission beinge lost the Commissionars signed and sealed another new Comission for themselves to examine the matter and then did proceede to examine witnesses after such a partiall manner as never was heard of in particular askinge the witnesses whether thay did not meane soe and soe contrary to the words of the witnesses and another said to an ignorant man a Wittness come friend tell me in short the heads and we will have it put into forme &c. and at last the Gentlemen were cleared and considering ye dealing some of these Comissioners had then had (as well as since) with those Piratts it was easily conjectured that these Gentlemen were intended to be exposed upon the accompt of particular dissatisfaction conserneinge other matters taken against them by particular persons but since we have said the Lords Proprs did send the said Comission and Letter we do herewith all sincerity declare that we utterly abhor and detest the thoughts of imputinge the least fault unto their Lordships in Generall in this or in an other case beinge well assured yt their Lordships have not leisure to mind the minute transactions and afaires yt arise from hence and yt in particular we are well informed that their Lordships doe not know the names or persons of people here (generally speakinge) till they heare of them from those of their owne honourable number wch keepe correspondence with some here and we hope to be the rather believed in this when wee have further informed your Honor and their Lordships.

That most of the Gentlemen of this Countrey are soe unhappy as not to know the Lords Proprs or to have correspondence with any except one or two of them and thay are discouraged from writeinge to those too because thay have not agreed in opinion with them concerninge Fundamentall Constitutions Indentures for lands and in matters of orderinge then Indian trade but when thay have writt freely their minds they have been chekt and some dealt hardly with therefore and the Letters sent to the Lords Proprs from the Councill sealed & signed by the Comoners have not been believed and others not delivered but misrepresented by constrution made according to the Lettor of those four or five persons here who must and we had almost said dare not write but as shall plese those who direct them for though most of them be Lords Deputys yett thay are put in by the Governor here and there persons & dangerous insufficiencies wholely unknowne to the Loards who they represent And this it is

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yt these men which most of them here are knowne to be extremely perverse or ignorant men are the onely Informers of matters here which however would not be of soe bad a consequence if other persons could have the opportunity to speake for themselves or when they have found other Judges then those who have informed against them and are thereby become Partyes.

That the Lords Proprs forbiddinge Pattens to be passed as at first for Lands and enjoyneinge all persons yt will have lands to take them by Indentures in which the words or the value thereof are left out and a reservation expressed of reentry whereas in the Pattents and in all the Fundamentall Constitutions it was expressed a penny an acre or the vallew thereof without any mention of reentry hath been the occation yt many hundreds of People have deserted this Colony and that many thousands have forbore cominge hither. The Lords Proprs have been pleased in their first consesions Agrarian Laws and Fundamentall Constitutions to publish to the world yt men here should have Lands by Pattents for a penny an acre or the vallew thereof and people upon that Encoragement came hither not doubtinge but yt thousands would soon follow them but thay are to their great misfortune deceived and unless the Lords Proprs will be pleased to convey their Land by some easier way are like to be left alone here and in particular many People did not at first take up all their Lands due to them because of the poverty and other Incumbrances that did attend the new settlement and those think themselves extremely hardly dealt with all that they cannot have Pattents as those had that came here at the same time with them, We doe not presume to prescribe methods to the Lords Proprs of disposing their own Lands but wee humbly propose it as rationall yt men that cannot gett money in this Country where there is noe mint may pay their rents in the most valluable and marchantable produce of their Lands it was soe in England till tenents by the increase of a forraigne trade found it best for themselves and Land Lords to pay in money it is now soe in most of the East Cuntreys and particularly in most part of Scotland where the great mens estates in their publick acts of Parliment are vallewed by the number of chaldrons of corne thay receive for rent we shall not adde upon this matter but yt we in the behalfe of the whole Countrey most humbly and heartily begg and beseech the Lords Proprs out of their favourable beneficence to be pleased to grant yt whatever ye consequence be yt ye Lands shall therein be granted for a penny an acre or the vallew thereof without any expressed reservation of reentry and the people will allways in Parliment or otherwise be ready to adjust the price of comoditys soe as that

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ye Lords Proprs shall be gainers and then we doubt not but in a very few yeares to see such multitudes of Tennants here as yt their Lordships shall quickly be reimbursed their great charge and this we are the more confident of because we are encoraged with severall new rich Comodityes as silk, cotton, rice and indigo which are naturally produced here.

That we cannot but with abhorrence and detestacion thinke of the base and vile usage yor Honor received after your arrivall here from ye Lords Deputies and the late Governor and as a marke of our Duty be pleased to admitt of our sence of the matter as followeth

Wee thinke them to have been extreeme rude and unmannerly in not wayteinge upon your Honor at any time after your comeinge a shore while all the Gentlemen and considerable persons in the Countrey did as soone as thay heard of yor arrivall imediately attend yor Honor and paid their respects to yor person and made their due acknowledgments of those illustrious qualityes yt attend it Wee thinke alsoe yt their actions and words towards yor Honor in the first meetinge you had with them which was at a Pallatines Court was very rude and unjust in endeavoringe first to enter a false record conserninge you and then in threatninge to doe yt which afterwards thay endeavored but failed to doe because your Honor not at their request subscribe the Coppy of Fundamentall Constitutions the Orriginall whereof you had before signed and sealed in England and yett at the same time suffer a record to be made that you did approve of certaine Instructions as a rule of Goverment in this Colony which were in some articles contrary and in some prefered even before these Fundamentall Constitutions yor Honor best knowes how they dealt with you that day while we were absent but we earnestly begg that your Honor will yourselfe write to the Lords Proprs an exact accompt of that days transaction in the Pallatines Court (for we yt are well experienct in the untoward shifts they have now a long while used to Governe by here) are afraid yt thay will not write to ye Lds. Proprs wch thay correspond with what Is and was really done and said but what shall be most necessary to justifye their after seditious & wicked practices against your person and this we rather believe because they have reported strange various Tales conserninge yor Honor which sometimes contradicts themselves and are allwayes very undecent and unlikely but wee cannot with patience endure the thoughts of nor find fitt words to express their undutifull and rebellious actions few days after when they caused the drums to beate at Charles Towne and Souldiars to take armes without your Knowledge and order (though you were then in Towne alsoe) and did cause to be fixed up in a publicke place in the said Towne as alsoe to be filed

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in the Secretarys Office a most pernitious and seditious libel against you chargeinge you with Treason and other Crimes to be comitted by you and declaringe that the people need not obey yor Honor as Governor till thay under their hands & seales did please to admitt of it which had certainely put the whole Country into blood and distraction had not the justice of your cause been soe plaine and obvious to every man and their malice been soe extravigant and ill guided by the meanness and weekness that attended them but we doubt not but in due corse of Law your Honor will lett them know that the Lawes will be exerted against those that dare soe publickely offer such abominable insolencyes against the person and rights of one of the Lords and absolute Proprs of this Province and wee give our most hearty acknowledgments for yt your Honor hath been pleased to lay aside soe many of the deputyes as by Law and the Lords Proprietors Instructions you might the whole Country being apparently thereby preserved from confusion and disolution and we alsoe render our particular thankes that you have already issued out your writts to call a Parliament as by a Petition voluntarily signed by power or five hundred of the best people in this County you ware humbly requested to doe and wee doubt not but in the next parliment Laws will be made to preserve the whole Collony in peace and prosperity and from all enemies abroad and Martiall Law without legall occation at home, as to the signeinge agen of the Fundamentall Constitutions we will not trouble your Honor with any discorse or arguments this Paper beinge intended generally as a bare narrative of former Transactions here without the adition of our one particular oppinions in a matter of yt Moment as to the Instructions wee owne that the Lords Proprs have the power of sending and such as thay please but cannot believe that their Ldships did ever intend yt Prima facia and without the assent and approbation of the people thay are to be received and put in practice as Statute Lawes except in such Matters as wholly belong to their Lordhips order and direction accordinge to the Royal Charter and we humbly observe that the late Instructions to which the Deputies would have had your Honour made a record of your approbation of them as absolute rule of Goverment are in some articles contrary to the Lords Proprietors Fundamentall Constitutions in matters practicable at this time and in two articles are positively prefered before all Fundamentall Constitutions wee have noe more to trouble your Honor with at the present and the rest of the Lords Proprs but humbly to informe that we are resolved in the next Parliment to promote the sending home to England of two persons sufficiently comissionated to treate with the Lords Proprs
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about all the affaires of this part of their Province and that we hope such agreement will thereby be made as that wee shall hereafter florish and prosper in meanetime we shall endevor as mutch as in us lyes to assist your Honor according to our dutys to keepe peace and tranquility here and to cause justice to be distributed accordinge to Law.



Additional Notes for Electronic Version: The date attributed to the document is based on information found in M. Eugene Sirmans "Colonial South Carolina: A Political History, 1663-1763" pp. 47-48.