My Lords of Trade and Plantation,
The 26th day of March past, I received a letter from your Secretary Mr Popple, dated August the 16th 1732 by the way of South Carolina, which obliges me to send your Lordships the following Answer.
I had much occasion to complain of Messrs Ashe Smith and Porter, for obstructing His Majesty's Service in this Province and had sufficient reason to Judge, they would endeavour to misrepresent my conduct as the sequel has demonstrated.
All that I have wrote to your Lordships concerning Mr Porter shall be proved by Witnesses of undoubted credit, and I will proceed, in the exact manner prescribed, in your Secretary's letter thō Mr Porter has once refused to do the Same (Publickly in the Council Chamber) he may perhaps alter his opinion in July at the Sitting of the General Court; I am necessitated to stay till that time because it is not possible to get my Witnesses together before.
I know not what Mr Popple intends, by inserting the following words, And as you renounced any Favour from their Lordships. I have made no
Mr Popple in the next Paragraph writes that your Lordships cannot help observing that Mr Porter stood acquitted by the Old Councellours, and only condemned, by those I had nominated for New ones. This Observation (that your Lordships could not help makeing) surely is not well grounded, for that Colo: Jenoure, and Coll: Halton who were the foremost in rank of Councellours when Mr Porter was suspended did both vote his Suspension those members of Council (vizt) Mr Ashe, Mr Rowan and Mr Harnet that voted against Porters being Suspended did not acquit Mr Porter of any one Article alleadged by me against him, but it may be worth observing that on the day before Porters Suspention (the 20th of January 173½) the Council unanimously gave their opinion that Porter was not fit to Sitt at the Council board and notwithstanding that Declaration Mr Ashe, Mr Rowan and Mr Harnet the next day voted against his being Suspended I pray your Lordships to let me know your thoughts of their behaviour on that occasion.
I gave your Lordships so full and so true an account of the reasons that induced me to introduce Mr Lovick and Mr Gale into his Majesty's Council of this Province in a letter bearing date the 4th of September 1731 as I thought would have given your Lordships full satisfaction of my Proceedings in that Matter but as it is your Lordships pleasure to expect an exact Account, I now send the best I am able.
It was publickly reported in this part of the Province and credited that Mr Ashe was gone for England when Mr Lovick and Mr Gale were Sworne Members of the Council and that Mr Rice the Secretary was at the same time in South Carolina but it appeared that Mr Ashe did not go for England and it Might be that Mr Rice was returned from South Carolina about the said time. there were besides these two Councellours, Coll: Jenoure, Coll: Halton Mr Porter and Mr Harnett within the Province and no more. Mr Allen appointed one of the Council in the Instructions, was not then in this Country neither has he yet been Sworn. If Mr Rice was returned from South Carolina when Mr Lovick and Mr Gale were admitted it must be allowed that I exceeded my Instructions thō unknowingly and I can only aver, as I now do that I did then believe Mr Ashe was gone for England and that Mr Rice was not come back from South Carolina. Mr Rice is now far distant from me, therefore I am not able at this Instant to write possitively where he was when the aforesaid Gentlemen were made Councellours
I did never believe I had a liberty of altering the Rank in which His Majesty has been pleased to place the several Councellours, in the first Article of my Instructions, or at any time, acquainted your Lordships I had so done. It may be possible your Lordships are led into this mistake, by a list inserted in my Letter of the 4th of September 1731 which was sent for your Lordships consideration and could be of no effect without being approved, and confirmed in England, in due form. Your Lordships may see by looking over the Council Journals that the Members are always placed according to their several Ranks except the times when Governour Phenney Surveyor General of His Majesty's Customs for the South District of America assisted in the Councils held dureing a Short Stay he made in this province the other Members then Present desired his name might be placed first, the Same compliment had been payed in former times to Mr Fitswilliam in this Country when that Gentleman enjoyed the Same post. Your Secretary writes in the close of the Paragraph I am in this place answering. You will therefore do well to restore every Gentleman to the Rank His Majesty has been pleased to place them in of which I send you the enclosed list. As the same list is in my first Instruction, Mr Popple might have spared himself the trouble of writeing or sending the same to me. Mr Popple does not intimate by any word in the whole Paragraph that your Lordships are of Opinion I shall do well to restore every Gentleman in the said list to his former Rank therefore I must suppose this Judgement proceeds from him only. I informed your Lordships that William Smith had resigned his place in Council that Cornelius Harnett had done the same thing (the Council Journals prove it) that John Porter was dead, that Eliezer Allen had never appeared at the Council, and does not reside in this Province; that James Stallard and Richard Evans (being disappointed in the Expectation) did not come to North Carolina Edmund Porter is the only person, that has been suspended I think he will be proved to be an unfitt Man to be a Member of the Council by the next Papers I have the honour to transmitt to your Lordships if any doubt remains with you about him. Upon due reflection your Lordships will discern that I have taken no Man's Rank from him (Porter excepted) when James Stallard Eliezer Allen or Richard Eyans come to the Council Chamber, I will admit them Members and Give them their due Rank at the Council Board, but I begg to be excused from restoreing John Porter not thinking myself sufficiently authorized to raise the dead the only meaning I can perceive to be contained in Mr Popple's opinion is, to induce me to readmit Edmund Porter to the Council Table but I assure your Lordships I should act
From the time I came into this Government to the sitting of the Assembly there appeared no likelihood that any disputes or differences would happen between myself and the Assembly therefore I was in hopes the Assembly would have gone through what I proposed in my Speech to them and as I have already given your Lordships Just and full accounts of those matters, I think it unnecessary to trouble you with repetitions.
The Liberty I offered the Assembly to send some of their Members to me dureing their sitting, if they saw cause, had no other meaning than that mentioned in the same part of the Speech, but the like shall be avoided hereafter.
1. It must be allowed, that Governours in some sort represent the King Yet the Plenary power of ratifying or nulling Acts, being still in the King, Governours do not stand in the legislature, alltogether as the King do's; and may and do interfere where his Majesty do's not. His Majesty's Council here sitt in a double capacity and represent the Privey Council as well as the House of Lords, without being ever yet distinguished into two Bodys; and it has been the constant practice in all Debates at the Council Board for the Governour to be present and assist therein, whenever he thought proper and is agreeable enough to the people, nor do they complain of any Illconveniency's in it. The Governour is looked upon as part of the Assembly and assists in the debates which is of Service on both sides for matters to be discussed before they come to the Governours hands to be passed, for the Royall Approbation or Repeal, the Governour's right of being Present at all debates at the Council Board whether about things Legislative or Executive I believe is allowed everywhere. I have heard that about 12 or 14 years ago, it was objected and by some men made a complaint against Governour Shute in New England but it was strenously maintained on behalf of the Crown as the Governours Right for my own part its a matter I am indifferent in I think it is my Duty to support the Rights of Government and faithfully state the Matter to your Lordships in order to be further instructed therein.
Your Lordships cannot avoid observing (Mr Popple writes) the great irregularitys I committed in my commerce with the Lower House, but as he has mentioned only one I have not an opportunity of answering the rest, this one is that I compared one of their Members to a Thiefe &c: Moseley in confederacy with some Members of the Council and others in the Lower House had formed designes to distract the Administration and prevent the Assembly from doing business (as I was informed and the
I answer the two following Paragraphs together and begin with the second.
2. The Grand Deed from the Lords Proprietors to the County of Albemarle in 1668 your Lordships Secretary says Can only be understood as a temporary Letter of Attorney revokeable at pleasure and that in effect it was revoked in an Order to Mr Eden to grant no lands under one Penny per Acre Quit Rent. I cannot tell whether your Lordships considered, the Copy of the Grand Deed, incerted in the Journals of the House of Burgesses, nor what information has been given you of the Supposed order to Governor Eden. As it is an incumbent duty on me truely to represent things I am under a necessity of stateing that affair in another light than your Lordships seem to apprehend it.
The Great Deed of Grant from the Lords Proprietors to the County of Albemarle still carefully preserved was dated May 1st 1668 and entered in the Publick Records of the Government, being a Grant of so much land, to any person settling therein according to the conditions and Tennure of the Grant, this hath from time to time been allways held as firm a Grant as the Proprietors own Charter from the Crown and the people have allways claimed it, as an undoubted Right by virtue of that Grant from the Proprietors to the People of any part of the Country; is as valid as their Grant or deed to any particular person would be and no more revokeable and thō the Grand Deed is general, without nameing any particular person yet every particular person, fullfilling the Condition entitles himself then to a part of the Grant and it becomes a particular Right and Title to him, and thō the ProprietorsHis Excellency &c—Know ye that we &c—According to our great Deed bearing Date the 1st day of May 1668 do give and grant —— Acres &c—and after the land is described and bounded it's added Which is due for the Importation of one person for every fifty acres &c: which importation was made a Right and being proved entituled People to so much land, under the General Grant of the Grand Deed, and upon it, a warrant from the Governour issued to the Surveyor General to measure out so much land where the claimant lay'd his Rights (that is) wherever he chose to have it layed out to him and on the Return of the Survey a Patent was made out—still referring to the Grand Deed (as I just now mentioned) so that the Patent is but a confirmation of their previous conditional Right by the Grand Deed and a concession of it, and the people further plead, that this Grand Deed is confirmed by a Law of the Country still unrepealed among the Body of their Laws that Establishes the forms of particular Grants or Patents under the Grand Deed and what Rent is to be reserved on it. So that by the Charter from the Crown to the Proprietors and their Heirs and assignes and by the Grant from the Proprietors to the County of Albemarle, by their Grand Deed on such conditions and Rents (vizt:) the same as in Virginia which is two shillings for every hundred acres) and this confirmed and established by a Law still in force, which provides that Patents should issue under the Grand Deed to Albemarle County upon those Conditions and on that Rent reserved The people still claim it as their undoubted Right in Albemarle County to take up Lands on those conditions and at that Rent. Upon the whole they conclude that although the Grand Deed from the Proprietors to Albemarle County was a Grant on condition to be fullfilled, yet it is an absolute Grant, and what was never in the power of the Lords Proprietors to revoke if they had been desirous so to do, but they never did attempt to revoke the said Grand Deed. And as to the supposed order to Governour Eden mentioned by your Lordships Secretary I am pursuaded your Lordships have been misinformed in that particular for I can find no such order, nor can I learn that ever any such order came here but am in the most possitive manner assured there rs it was a firm Grant & they let the dispute drop & the Assembly have since chosen a person to keep it. Before I left London I informed your Lordships of this Grand Deed & carefully inspected the books belonging to the affairs of this Province delivered up by the Lords Proprietors but could find no Copy of this Deed.
3d. As the People claim it as their Right to have lands surveyed and Patents made them on the Conditions of seating and planting and two shillings per hundred Quit Rent I have granted Warrants after the usuall manner and some surveys have been made, yet I have not ventured to make out any Patents nor indeed will people take them at the Rent prescribed of 4 shillings per hundred which has discouraged abundance of people and is not only a Detriment to the offices but a great hindrance to the settling and growth of the Country and here I must begg leave to observe that what is mentioned in my Instructions and now repeated in your Secretary's letter, as a great reason and inducement for the people to pass an Act for such a Rent and for Registring their Lands &c: is upon a very different foot in this Government from what it is in South Carolina, there the Quit Rents were due, and in arrear allmost 20 years before the Kings purchase which His Majesty graciously offers to remitt on passing such an Act, but here the Quit Rents were annually collected and applyed towards supporting the Government, in paying the Governour's and other Salarys and charges so that what would be really a great Favour to the People of South Carolina from His Majesty would not be so here where the case is very different nor will the people ever be easily brought to register over their lands again indeed if that was done it would be a certain means to make a Rent Role by, that is so much wanted and which for that very reason the People will endeavour to avoid, I mean a register of every man's land that he now holds (whether by Patent
As to what is mentioned in the Same Paragraph of your Secretarys letter that Officers Fees should be paid in Proclamation money I must acquaint your Lordships that even the Permitting them to be received in Bills at four for one, as an equivalent (which is much less than Proclamation money) has been made the greatest handle to raise Clamours against me among the people and has been artfully and maliciously, underhand heightned even by those that at the same time receive the Benefit of it. I early foresaw those difficultys and fully stated them in my Report and Representation of the State of the Country and desired a full and speedy answer to them as allso about the Laws particularly those passed in the name and Authority of the Proprietors in 1729 after the Surrender to the Crown especially as to the Act for the Bills now current (that the Fees are so strenously endeavoured to be paid in at Parr) which was not only passed after the surrender, but contrary to the Powers, the Proprietors had given on their behalf to ratify Laws and perhaps beyond any power they possessed themselves had I been so happy as to have obtained proper answers to those points I could have made every thing very easy here as in other things I have the pleasure to say I have done particularly in Settling an Orderly and peaceable behaviour so much wanted among this distracted and disorderly people but for want of full Instructions in those matters of such importance to them, the people have been kept in suspence, waiting the event impatiently, and thus fluctuating they have been the more susceptible of Discontent and Ill impressions against me, and are informed that such means are used that no settlement should be made while I was Governour; and Rumours artfully spread through the whole Country that I shall soon be removed whither I have done anything amiss or not which is highly reflecting upon the honour and Justice of his Majesty's Government, and a great prejudice to me giveing encouragement to invertors of lyes framed to hurt me, by the sett of vile and base men I have to deal with lyes have been industriously propogated by wretches who stick at nothing and affect to have it believed that the heaping complaints thō false and pretending grievances thō without cause will work a change and I shall be removed but as I have acted with sufficient caution and given no real grounds of complaint I hope nothing will be received so much to my prejudice, as to be condemned unheard.
Notwithstanding your Lordships observe some disputes I have had with the Assembly about the appointing a Clerke to that House yet therer Williams their Clerk and therefore wrote the following Remark which your Lordships will see upon the Margin of that Journal Mr Williams was appointed by a Commission from me which was produced to the House and he acted by virtue of it but the House pretending a Right to appoint their own Clerke omitted takeing notice of the Commission I had given.
The 14th Instruction I will observe and obey to the best of my knowledge and understanding and will insist on my Right to nominate and appoint the Clerke of the Lower House in the next Assembly and will not give up that point It is my Opinion the Burgesses which are to sett in July next will aim at much more power and Privileges then the Members of Parliament in Great Britain. Copys of the Commissions given to the Chief Justice and assistant Judges will accompany this Letter to your Lordships.
Your Lordships desire to know how the matter stands with respect to the Power claimed by the Assembly of chuseing the Publick Treasurer of the Province, what has been the constant practice and by what authority Mr Moseley was originally appointed.
I have formerly been very full in the Debates with the Assembly one that Head in the Journals and Representations I sent your Lordships which to avoid Repetition I referr too, but to obey your Lordships I shall again state the arguments about the Treasurer in the strongest lights.
The Assembly claim it as their Right to appoint the Province Treasurer who is the keeper of the Province Money, they say that the moneys ariseing out Rents and such His Majesty's dues which are an inherent and heriditary Right, and like the Domains of the Crown: His Majesty is to appoint his Collectors and Receivers or Treasurers for, but where the money is raised by the Assembly for particular Ends and Uses for the Defence and service of the Country, as the same is to be applyed to such uses, as the Assembly think proper to appropriate it, so they think they ought to appoint the manner and persons for the directing and manageing thereof, and insist that as they have the direction of the end they ought to have the appointment of the means or the End may be frustrated, and they further affirm that it has all along been the Practice of this Country to appoint the Treasurers for receiving the money they raise and add that it is so in other Colonys, On the other hand in the behalf of ther Moseley's appointment when I came first into this Country I found Mr Moseley called Publick Treasurer and had some Bills of the Publick Currency in his hands but by what Right he was made publick Treasurer of the Province I could not be satisfied and pursuant to my Commission and Instructions I nominated Mr Smith then Chief Justice to be Treasurer of the Province but he privately withdrawing before the Commission was made out the matter has rested waiting to be further instructed from home. Upon receiving your Lordships Letter I writt to Mr Moseley to know how he was appointed and received an invasive answer which I thought proper to send herewith to your Lordships.
Your Lordships observe that thō he is stiled Publick Treasurer by several of the Laws yet it doth not appear how or when he was made so. I have taken the pains to search the Laws and Publick Acts of the Government but can no where find that he was expressly appointed Treasurer of the Province. In antient times the Quit Rents and other dues of the Proprietors were received by their Receiver General being applyed to the Support of the Government. I cannot learn there was then any other Treasurer and what Small levys were raised by the Assembly were collected by the Sheriffs or marshalls and accounted for to the Assembly who paid what Small claims there were on the Publick therewith but when the Indian War broke out in 1711 a great duty was layed on all goods exported or imported by land or water and several persons appointed to collect it that were called Treasurers who gave security for their Offices but because this could not be speedily raised they were obliged by the Emergency of the War to make a paper currency and enacted £4000 in Bills should be struck the Bills to be paid to the Possessors, at times limited in the Bills with Interest, and were appointed to be paid the possessors when due, by the Treasurers of the dutys; Mrr Moseley regularly concerned with the Publick Money indeed he in his letter Says it is from 1708 but from 1708 till near the time I mention was what they call to this day the troublesome times, or Cary's usurpation, when all things were in confusion. Afterwards more Bills were made much in the same manner, a Land Tax and a Pole Tax were lay'd to call in and sink the Bills and a Treasurer appointed in every Precinct who had collectors under them to gather in the Taxes, these Precinct Treasurers were sometimes called Publick Treasurers to distinguish them from their under Treasurers In 1715 £24000 in Bills were made without running on Interest or any determinate time of payment mentioned in them. Mr Moseley was of the Commissioners for makeing them and when compleated they were to be deposited in Mr Moseley's hands to exchange the old Bills that were called in and the rest were to be delivered by him to the Precinct Treasurers in order to be sunk. Afterwards Mr John Lovick and others were appointed Commissioners for takeing and stateing the Publick Accounts, they were to adjust the Several Treasurers Accounts and receive what Bills they had collected in and burn them, which was accordingly done Till 1723 but then on pretence of the old Bills being torn and defaced a new Emission was made of £12000 to exchange them it being computed there were about that sum outstanding Christopher Gale Mr Lovick and Edward Moseley Esqrs were appointed Commissioners for makeing them, and when made, they were ordered by the Act to be delivered to E. Moseley (Publick Treasurer) in order to exchange the old Bills (which were to be burnt) and to pay the Marshall any County charges due, and at that time the Act for the land Tax and Pole Tax was repealed and a new Levy made of 5 shillings Pole Tax to be levyed in these Bills by the High Sheriffs, or Provost Marshalls and their Deputys Annually and to be paid to the Publick Treasurer who was to have the Bills so brought in before the Assembly who usually ordered them to be pay'd by Mr Moseley out again, for paying the Assemblys and other contingent charges of the Government which kept up the Sum of Bills circulateing in the same Act it is provided, that Edward Moseley Publick Treasurer give bonds of £15000 to the Governour for his faithfull discharge in his said Office and disposeing the Publick Money as directed in this Act. This was the first time Mr Moseley was called r Moseley it may be argued that by the Act he is not even called Treasurer of the Province but only a Publick Treasurer and the business he is appointed to manage is only with respect to that sett of Bill money. For the disposal of the Publick Money as directed in the Act. As it is expressed in the last Clause of the Act and consequently when that sett of Bills should expire his Treasurership should end so that he was publick Treasurer only to a particular purpose and not Province Treasurer, nor by this Act could he be Treasurer of any other moneys, the Country should raise and therefore not province Treasurer. Thus the matter stood for some years the Bills as fast as they were drawn in by the Sheriffs, and paid Mr Moseley were by order of Assembly paid out again by him for contingent charges, and in their orders, on his makeing up the Accounts he was usually called Publick Treasurer till 1729. When a new sett of Bills were made and the old ones called in. That year an Act was made for Emitting £40.000 Mr Lovick Mr Moseley and others appointed Commissioners for makeing them done £10.000 Pounds were ordered to be delivered to Moseley to take in the Old Bills then to be exchanged and the rest to be delivered to Precinct Treasurers, appointed in each precinct to be delivered out on Interest or land security and thō the validity of this Act is questioned it being ratifyed by the old Government after the Purchase and surrender to the Crown, yet in fact it was done and the old Bills called in and the Bills now current are of that New Sett Mr Moseley is in this Act several times termed Publick Treasurer but then it is only in such places as mention the Exchangeing the Old Bills of which he was made Publick Treasurer by the Law in 1723 But he is nowhere in this Act called Publick Treasurer, in anything relateing to these Bills or Publick Money for the Future on the contrary the Act looks on the Publick Treasury to be devolved on the several Precinct Treasurers and provides that the Publick Treasury may have wherewith to answer contingent charges of the Government A Pole Tax of three Shillings is layd to be received by the Precinct Treasurers and not by Mr Moseley and the paying the Interest Money to the Precinct Treasurers is called paying into the Treasury and r Moseley was one (vizt) for the Precinct of Chowan So upon the whole whether Mr Moseley by the Law of 1723 was made Treasurer of the Province or only to be looked upon as Treasurer for that sett of Bills which are now Extinct and how far the new revival of Precinct Treasurers and Mr Moseley's being appointed one of them for this New sett of Bills determines His authority derived by the law of 1723 I shall leave your Lordships to determine: haveing done my duty in fairly stateing the Matter to your Lordships and shall be glad I may be favoured with full Instructions on an affair of so much consequence.
As all Publick Dues are paid in Bills only in North Carolina it is reasonable and just that they should be received for no more than they are rated att. Yet I am very certain when Warrants are signed for paying Judges and other attendants on the two Courts of Oyer and Terminer, I am commanded to call every year the whole Country will be in an uproar and I am in doubt whither the Council will consent to my issueing of them in that manner. There has not been anything paid for the three Courts allready held.
I did myself the honour some time past to acquaint your Lordships with the Motive that induced me to endeavour to perswade your Lordships to cause an Alteration in the Bounds sett down in the Instructions between the two Governments of Carolina (vizt) to save the Kings money, your Lordships well know how much was paid to the Commissioners and others imployed on the part of Virginia in running a line, and how much land was sold in this Province to defray the said charge. To mark out a divideing line between North and South Carolina will be a much greater Expence because that part of the Country, where the line will go is uninhabited. If a line is to be run, your Lordships will direct how mony sufficient to pay for it may be procured to enable me to Execute the Instruction to that end without money it cannot be performed.
Haveing before shown your Lordships what difficultys I labour under for want of directions about the Laws of this Country desire your Lordships after the Attorney and Soliciter General have given their opinions upon them you will be pleased to send your Instructions with the Dispatch necessary on this occasion.
4. The Direction your Lordships give in respect to the Inhabitants that were taken from Virginia by running the line I think it is very just,
5. In the year 1724 an order of Council (hereunto annexed) was made at the request of the Assembly to encourage the settling the Southern Parts of this Province aud many Warrants issued but no account was kept of the number it was the custom for the Governor (while the Proprietors held this Country) to Sign Warrants for land, these Warrants were not filled up when signed but a Blank remained to contain the names of the takers and the Warrants remained in the Secretary's hands who either filled them up himself or they were delivered by him to the Deputy Surveyors who did the Same for Such as imployed them, in Surveying but they have not made returns of those Surveys Therefore it is impossible to send your Lordships a distinct account either of the Number of those Warrants, their Dates or to whom given. This Province being divided into two Countys named Albemarle & Bath, the people who took up lands in Albemarle did it under the Grand Deed, in Bath County the Proprietors sold the land att a small price and reserved a less rent then in Albemarle, the consideration upon the Warrants I now write of was to be three shillings (in Bills) per hundred acres and seating and planting within two years I am informed a great deal of land taken under that order of Council was purchased and patented dureing the time Sir Richard Everard was Governour he superceded me in 1725 and I him in February 1730/1 not more than 640 acres were to be held by one of them Warrants, but people took that or any less Quantity as they judged proper att the signing the Warrants, there was no other Scituation specifyed then lying and being in Bath County.
Haveing given your Lordships in former Letters an Account of the frauds and roguerys practiced by Mr Moseley Mr Ashe and their confederates in surveying and selling lands I shall only add under this Head that my endeavouring to serve the King faithfully in this matter has made them and their friends and partakers my inveterate Enemys, a dangerous Crew they are, and unhappy must be, every honest man that has anything to do with them.
I beg leave to inform your Lordship that soon after the date of my last letter I sett out with Indian Guides and some white men to mark a
I have taken Great care to transmit to your Lordships from time to time the state of affairs in this Province and sett forth to your Lordships the methods by which this country may be rendered flourishing & usefull to Great Britain. As Mr Popple's letter touches but upon some few of the many particulars I have layd before your Lordships I hope speedily to be honored with your commands in relation to the Laws of this Country and other matters of great consequence to the Wellfare of the Province not taken notice of in your Secretary's letter