Deposition of Mr Montgomery, Attorney General of North Carolina, Relating to several abuses he has suffered from Capt Burrington Governour of that Province.
[Recd with Mr Rice & Mr Ashe's letter of 20 Apl. 1733.]
John Montgomery Esqr Attorney General of the said Province came before us Nathaniel Rice and John Baptista Ashe Esqrs Members of His Majesty's Councill, and upon the Holy Evangelists deposeth That the greatest part of the time he has executed the said office Mr Burrington Governour of the said Province, has been so far from treating him with that Respect due to his Post or supporting him in the Execution of his office, that on the contrary he has even in Publick Courts of Justice treated him with Indignity and Contemptuous and abusive Language, and not content to use him in that manner, has taken great pains to deprive him of his said office and has carried his hatred and animosity to him to so great a height (as he verily thinks and has reason to believe) as to Design to take away his life or to do him some great Injury, and once did Endeavour to execute that Design in the manner herein sett forth. This Depont says that some time ago he had notice given him that the Governor's hatred to him was so great, that it was apprehended he would proceed to use violence against him, and that it would be prudent to avoid meeting him as much as possible. Whereupon this Depont did decline as much as his business would permit to meet him, but notwithstanding his Caution, the Governor one morning in Januaryt then was, and immediately without any sort of Provocation given by him this Deponent took up a Chair and Damned this Deponent, then with all his force (as he believes) attempted to strike him on the head therewith (this Deponent being then unarmed) but this Deponent having raised his arm, saved his head from the Stroak, and received it on his arm, which was thereby bruised and wounded and so disabled that for some time after this Deponent was deprived of the use thereof. Immediately after the said assault the Governor attempting to strike him a second time, this Deponent opposed another Chair, and thereby prevented him, and then the Governor closed with this Deponent and after some struggle got him down and with his knee several times violently punched him on his Belly, and verily believes if some persons had not interposed he the Governour would have used his utmost Endeavour to deprive him of life or to do him some great Injury. Immediately after the said assault and violence this Deponent did (in regard he could not have liberty to execute his office in peace) require his Excellency to grant him a Licence to depart out of the Province. Whereupon His Excellency desired him to stay till the next Council, and then he would grant him or he should have a Licence to go to the Devill, and at the same time challenged this Deponent to meet and fight him in Virginia. This Deponent further says that his Friends have advised him to forbear appearing in the Town of Edenton (where His Excellency resides and where the Council and General Courts are held) as dangerous for this Deponent, and this Deponent says he has accordingly declined (as much as conviently he can) going into, or appearing in the said Town, for that he verily believes it to be dangerous for him to be often there.