To the Kings most Excellt Majesty.
The humble Address of the Members of Councill for the Province of North Carolina.
As it is with the greatest Pleasure we Receive the Notice of Your Majestys having taken this Government under Your Immediate direction, Wee humbly begg leave in the Most Dutyfull manner to Address Your Majesty on this Happy and Joyfull occasion and thus early to assure You that we as well as the People in General are intirely Devoted to Your Royall Person and Most Illustrious Family Whom God Long Preserve.
And being indulged to have this access to Your Majesty we begg Leave in the humblest manner to lay before You the state of this Unhappy Province which thō of small Accompt in Respect of some others, Yet of late is very much Improved, And we have the pleasing Prospect from that Support of Authority and the Encouragement of our Trade and Commerce which we Promise ourselves now Your Majesty has taken us under Your Care that it will soon become a Flourishing Colony and Beneficial to the Crown.
This Change could not have been at a more happy Juncture for us then under the Reign of a Prince beloved as the Common Father of all his Subjects and at a time when the Government here was grown so weak & Feeble that without this alteration it could not have subsisted much longer, but must have Dwindled and sunk into the utmost Confusion and Disorder, and we cannot attribute the Cause of it to any thing but the great Incapacity and Weakness of our present Governor Sir Richard Everard whose Behaviour is so extraordinary that every Day Produces some Extravagant action. And it is with the greatest Sorrow we are obliged to tell Your Majesty that we Feel Oppression and Arbitrary Power, notwithstanding we have so Mild, so Gracious and so Just a Sovereign; but we assure Ourselves of Redress from Your Majesty's Known Clemency & Indulgence to all Your People; and that you will not suffer a Person to Preside over us, who has no other Notions of Government than as it gives him Power to Act as he Pleases, which bad Principles, producing as bad Actions, we must humbly Beseech Your Majesty to suffer us to Represent to You some few Instances of them.
The first thing we shall begg to mention is his manner of Treating the Councill whom he frequently takes the Liberty to Abuse while sitting,
He ventures to make for himself what Fees he thinks proper (thō there is a Table of Fees Established by Law) and Notwithstanding the Assembly as well as the people in General having complained of his Exacting Exorbitant Fees, Yet he still continues in Defiance of Our Laws & Declared not long since (in Open Court) that he did not regard the Laws of the Country at all. It is unexpressable the Daily Quarrels that happen about his Family which seems to make of more weight then the most Important Affairs of Government, and if he fancies any one is not affected to him or his Family (which is a pack of rude Children who give offence every Day) they are sure upon the least occasion to be severely prosecuted as very lately happened to a Young Gent here who having disgusted one of the young ones the Governor took out an Action of Scandall against him and laid the Damage for Five Thousand Pounds Sterling, and gave Strict Orders to the Officer to put him into the Common Goal unless Extraordinary good Security was found, and withall gave out menacing Speeches, That he would see who dare be the Gent's Bail which Frightened many but to Prevent the Committing of so harsh a thing, the Secretary & Attorney General at last after they had in Vain Remonstrated the matter to the Governor; became Bail for the Gent, and thereby drew the Governor's heaviest Resentment upon them; After this the Governor would have this very business Examined in Councill, and after wee had Examined very narrowly into it, we found it only a very Idle Story of one of the Children and begg'd the Governor to Drop it, but he held the poor Gent to Bail till our General Court sat and then had not one word to say to it; Beside this way of Oppressing People who are so unfortunate as to fall under any of his Family's displeasure, he has found a New Method of setting up a Sort of Inquisition and when any one is noted down for an Offender the Governor Issues his Orders or Warrant for the Servants of the Person to attend at his own house, where they are Interrogated upon Oath before him and his Lady,t, upon whose Tryall the Governor suffered his Son (as Profligate a Creature as the Criminal) to be of Councill for him, when just as the Judge was going to pronounce Sentance against the offender and was telling him the heinousness of his Crime the Governor Rush'd into Court and Pretending he had Business of His Own, Interrupted the Judge and menaced the Court for not breaking off the Business they were upon, to hear him; this instance we should not have been so particular in, if we had not the most convincing reasons before to believe he had not that Duty and Affection for Your Majesty and Your Most August House, that all Good Subjects ought to have for he has had the Weakness as well as the Wickedness to Boast of his being concerned (tho not Publickly Known) in the Preston Rebellion, and it has been with some Difficulty he has been prevented from signalizing the Tenth of June with us, and on the much Lamented News of the Death of Our most Gracious
We have many things more to Offer, but dare not presume to take up more of Your Majesty's time only to Beseech You, Great Sir, to consider our Miserable State, and to Relieve us from a Governor so incapable of doing Right and so altogether undeserving Your Royall Favour and Countenance.
Dated at the Secretary's office in No Carolina Decemr 12th 1728.