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Minutes of the Upper House of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina. General Assembly
July 03, 1733 - July 18, 1733
Volume 03, Pages 540-561

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[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol. 22. P. 199.]
LEGISLATIVE JOURNALS.

North Carolina—ss.

At a Council held at the Council Chamber in Edenton the 3d day of July 1733.

Present
His Excelly George Burrington Esqre Governor &c.
The honble Nath. Rice Esqre Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble John Lovick Esqre Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble Jno. Bapta Ashe Esqre Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble Edmd Gale Esqre Member of His Majesty's Council.

This being the day the General Assembly was to have met at Edenton and there being but four Members of the Upper House present who were unwilling to do business without a greater Number, the Council thereon advised the Governour to prorogue the Assembly to the next day Whereupon his Excelly the Governor by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty's Council doth prorogue the General Assembly of this Province till to morrow being the fourth instant And they are hereby prorogued accordingly.


At a General Assembly begun and held for His Majesty's Province of North Carolina at Edenton the 4th day of July 1733.

Present
His Excelly George Burrington Esqre Governor &c.
The honble Nath. Rice Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble John Lovick Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble Jno Bapta Ashe Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble Edmd Gale Member of His Majesty's Council.
The honble William Owen Esqre Member of His Majesty's Council.

His Excellency the Governor commanded the attendance of the Lower House, who came in a full Body and presented Colo Edward Moseley their speaker, who his Excellency approved of and then delivered his Speech which is in these following words vizt

Gentlemen of Both Houses,

Upon my first arrival after I had taken the charge of this Government for the King: I called an Assembly; and as directed by His Majesty's Instructions I proposed to them several things to be enacted for the regulation of the Province; but was not so happy as to obtain their Complyance with them; which if then agreed to and settled; I am satisfied would have been much better for the Country and might have been a means of gaining His Majesty's further favour about the Rents, which People are so desirous should be made easy to them.

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That Assembly proposed to pay the King's rates in Rice & Tobacco at a rated price, in lieu of Proclamation money which His Majty offered to receive them at instead of sterling. As I did not think myself impowered to make any further concessions, without knowing His Majesty's Pleasure, for that reason and some others thought it not necessary to call another Assembly before I had made a report of the state of this Country to the Lords Commrs for Trade and Plantations, and was honoured with an Answer from them. Which I very early did, with great care and faithfullness, but their Answer came not to my hands till the 26th day of March last, when I issued writts for this Assembly.

I must now acquaint you, that by a fresh direction I am restrained from passing an Act for the payment of Quit Rents in any other specie, but in Proclamac̄on money; and I am ordered to take care that the Officers Fees be paid in Proclamation Money also, how far the obedience of this Assembly to the King's Instructions may induce His Majesty to grant further Ease or Indulgence to the People in their rents, I leave you to consider.

It is expected as may be seen in the 19th Instruction (which I shall cause to be layd before you) that there should an Act be passed to oblige all possessors of Lands in this Government to register the same in the Auditor's Office, which is the more reasonable since His Majesty is not only graciously pleased to permit me to pass an Act for remitting all arrears of rents due when the King compleated the purchase of Carolina, but also to quiet People in the possession of their Lands, a favour that I hope this Assembly will endeavour to merit.

I am commanded by the 75th and following Instruction to take especial care that the Publick Service of the Church of England be duely maintained and that a competent Provision be made for the Ministry, Lands assigned them for Glebes, and convenient houses built thereon; The little Provision hitherto made for supporting the publick worship seems to be a reproach to the County; and prevents many good People from coming here to settle. It certainly becomes you to provide some more decent means to maintain the Clergy; and to appropriate money for the Building a church, or Chappel in every parish, which in most places are now wanting.

I think it would prove for the ease and benefit of the People if the Power of the Precinct Courts was enlarged, and better provision made for Jurys which one of my Instructions directs me to recommend.

I will not burthen you at this season with to many things for your consideration but I cannot help recommending to you to do something

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for the encreasing the Products of this Country which will gradually beget more industry among the People and will best promote a British Trade that is so much wanted here, and which we ought always to encourage, and for this end I think it would be well to exempt all Vessells that come from Great Britain from the payment of Powder money, and that your own Commodities for that Trade were under better Inspection and Regulation.

Gentlemen

I conclude with heartily wishing there may be that harmony and good agreement between you, that the Country at this time has occasion for, I hope you meet together with such good dispositions, that no particular interests and Views, no Heats, no Divisions may hinder your joyning with me in promoting the Wellfare of this Country which I assure you I have equally at heart with the best men herein; and sincerely promise you my concurrence in everything that shall be for His Majesty's Service & the good of this Province.

GEO. BURRINGTON.

The House adjourned till to morrow morning.


Thursday July 5th

The House met again.

Present as before

Received the following Message from the Lower House vizt

To the Honōble the Council

Ordered That Capt. William Downing, Mr Cullen Pollock, Colo Henry Bonner, Mr Arthur Williams, Major Robt Turner, and Mr Thomas Smith be a Committee to joyn such Members as shall be appointed by the Upper House as a Committee of Claims.

AYLIFFE WILLIAMS Clk. Gen: Ass:

By Mr Swann & Mr Burnham.

Resolved That John Bapta Ashe, Edmond Gale, and William Owen Esqrs be and they are hereby appointed a Committee to joyn with such Members of the Lower House as are appointed to make a Committee of Claims.

By Order.
ROBERT FORSTER, per Clk Upper House

Adjourned till to morrow morning Ten of the Clock.

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Friday July 6th

The House met again

Present as before

Adjourned till Monday morning Ten of the Clock.


Monday July 9th

The House met again.

Present
The honble Nath. Rice Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The honble John Lovick Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The honble Jno Bapta Ashe Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The honble Edmd Gale Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The honble Wm Owen Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council

Received the following Message from the General Assembly vizt

Read the Petition of Thomas Murphy setting forth that a Ferry by order of Craven Court was established at or near the said Murphy's which he has constantly kept and very lately the Precinct Court hath appointed another Ferry above said Murphey much out of the way and much to the said Murphey's prejudice. And the subject matter of the said Petition appearing to be true by the Testimony of some of the Members of this House.

Ordered That the Ferry be & remain at said Murpheys.

Sent to the Governor and Council for concurrance.

By order.
A. WILLIAMS. Clk. Gen: Ass:

By Mr Chas Sawyer & Mr John Sawyer.

This House thereon sent the following Answer thereto

Mr Speaker & Gent: of the General Assembly

It is the opinion of this House that the subject matter of the said Petition (if not to be provided for by a special Law for that purpose) may more properly be recommended to the Precinct Court to be regulated as the opinion of the Gen: Assembly, with which this House is ready to concurr.

By order.
ROBt FORSTER per Clk. of the Upper House.

Received the following Message from the General Assembly vizt

To His Excelly the Governor & Council

It being represented to this House by the Members from divers parts of the Province that the Publick Roads and Bridges in general are much

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out of repair whereby the travelling to the General Court and Assembly is rendered very difficult

This House humbly request His Excellency that he will be pleased to direct the Magistrates in the several Precincts to take effectual care that the Roads and Bridges be forthwith repaired and Ferrys duly kept and that the same be constantly kept so that upon any failure of the Overseers or People who are to labour on the said Roads the Justices do see that the Laws relating to Roads, Bridges and Ferrys be put in force and all delinquents duly fined.

By order.
A. WILLIAMS Clk. Gen: Ass:

By Mr Jno Sawyer & Mr Chas Sawyer.

Which being read the same was concurr'd with and sent down to the General Assembly.

Received the following Vote from the General Assembly vizt

To His Excelly the Governor & Council

The Council House and the House the Assembly sits in wanting repair.

Voted That Col: Edward Moseley, Col. Henry Bonner and Mr Charles Westbeere be Commrs to agree with workmen for the repairing those Buildings, and that when the same repairs are perfected the said Commissioners or any two of them have Power to draw on the Publick Treasurer for payment of the Workmen.

Voted That Mr Christopher Becket have £12. Paper money as now current per annum for his care in keeping the Doors & Windows of the Council House and Assembly House when those Houses are not used.

Sent to His Excelly the Governor and Council for concurrence

By order.
A. WILLIAMS Clk. Gen: Ass.

By Mr Chas Sawyer & Mr Jno Sawyer.

To which Vote this House made the following Endorsement thereon

Mr Speaker & Gent: of the Gen: Assembly

This House are ready to concurr with the within Vote Provided a certain sum be set or mentioned to limit the Commissioners in their Draught and that they render Account to the Gen: Assembly of the expences. This House likewise recommends to the considerac̄on of the

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General Assembly that they would include the Repair and care of the Goal in the same Vote.

By order.
ROBt FORSTER per Clk Upper House.

Received the following Vote from the General Assembly vizt

To His Excelly the Governor & Council


Thursday July 5th

Voted That the several Powder Recrs do lay their Accounts before this Assembly by Wednesday next.

A. WILLIAMS. Clk. Gen: Assembly.

Sent by Mr Jno Sawyer & Mr Chas Sawyer.

Which being read the same was concurr'd with.

Received the following Message from the General Assembly vizt

To His Excelly the Governor & Council

This House taking into consideration the Affair of the New Precincts lately erected. This House desires to have a Conference with His Excellency and the Council concerning the same.

By order
A. WILLIAMS Clk. Gen: Assembly.

Sent by Mr Winn & Mr Kenchen

Which was read and concurr'd with, and agreed that a Conference be held thereon to morrow morning.

Resolved That His Excellency have notice of this Conference.

Received the following Vote from the General Assembly vizt

To His Excelly the Governor & Council

The old Paper Money which was brought in and accounted for at the Assembly held in April 1731. being carefully sealed up and lodged in the hands of the Publick Treasurer.

Voted That the same be brought and layd before the Assembly to morrow in order that the same may be destroyed.

Sent to the Governor & Council for Concurrence

By order
A. WILLIAMS. Clk. Gen: As:

By Mr Jno Sawyer & >Mr Chas Sawyer.

Which was read and Concurr'd with.

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Read the following Message from the General Assembly vizt

To His Excelly the Governor and Council.

Col. Thomas Swann Treasurer of Pasquotank and Col. Thomas Pollock Treasurer of Bertie being dead this House recommends unto his Excellency the Governour and Council Mr James Lockhart to be Treasurer of Bertie and Mr John Solly to be Treasurer of Pasquotank.

Sent to His Excelly the Gov: & Council for concurrence.

By order
AY. WILLIAMS. Clk. of ye General Assembly.

By Mr John Sawyer & Mr Chas Sawyer.

Which being read this House sent the following Answer thereto vizt

Mr Speaker & Gent: of the Gen: Assembly.

This House proposes Mr John Palin in the room of Mr John Solley named by your House, for Treasurer of Pasquotank which if agreed to this House will concurr with the Vote.

By order.
ROBt FORSTER per Clk of ye Upper House

Adjourned till to morrow morning


Tuesday July 10th

The House met again

Read a Bill for an Act entituled an Act to repeal the Act of Assembly entituled an Act for raising a Publick Magazine of Ammunition upon the Tonnage of all Vessells trading to this Government past at the Biennial Assembly in the year 1715 the first time and past.

His Excellency the Governour returned an Endorsement on the Vote of both Houses for destroying the old Paper money accounted for in the Assembly held in April 1731. vizt

I concurr provided two (or more) Members of the Council be present to take an account of Bills and see them destroyed

GEO. BURRINGTON.

Resolved That the same be sent down to the General Assembly And that John Bapta Ashe and John Lovick Esqrs Members of this House be present to see the said Bills destroyed.

His Excellency the Governour returned an Endorsement on the Message of the General Assembly relating to Murphey's Ferry vizt

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I am of opinion Mr Murphey's Ferry and Martin Frank his Ferry are both very usefull and therefore neither ought to be suppress'd.

GEO. BURRINGTON

Ordered that the same be sent down to the Gen: Assembly.

His Excellency the Governour was pleased to send the following Endorsement on the Vote of the General Assembly for repairing the Council House, Assembly House and Goal and was concurr'd with by this House vizt

I consent to sign a Warrant for the sum mentioned to be layd out in repairing the Council House, Court House and Goal, and if you think proper to allow a salary for taking care of those Edifices, I concurr there-with and will appoint a proper person for that Service.

Ordered that the same be sent down to the Gen: Assembly.

His Excellency the Governour was pleased to send the following Endorsement on the Message from the General Assembly for appointing Treasurers in the room of Col. Swann and Colo Pollock deceased, vizt

I am of opinion New Precinct Treasurers ought not to be appointed in the place of those lately deceased before the King's pleasure is known in respect to the Bills issued in the year 1729.

GEO. BURRINGTON.

Ordered that the same be sent down to the Gen: Assembly.

Adjourned till to morrow morning.


Wednesday July 11th

The House met again.

His Excellency the Governour was pleased to send the following Endorsement on the Vote of the General Assembly for the Powder Receivers to lay their Accounts before the Assembly vizt

The Council or General Assembly ought to address me to give Orders to the several Receivers of the Powder Money (if they desire to inspect their Accounts) to attend at the time appointed for that purpose & not to vote it should be done.

GEO. BURRINGTON.

Ordered That the same be sent down to the General Assembly.

His Excellency the Governour was pleased to return the following Endorsement on the Message of the General Assembly for a Conference on the affair of the New Precincts vizt

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The Members of His Majesty's Council I deem to be sufficient to hold the intended Conference concerning the New Precincts therefore have no intention to be present.

GEO. BURRINGTON

Ordered that the same be sent down to the General Assembly.

Read a Bill for an Act Entituled an Act to repeal the Act of Assembly Entituled an Act for raising a Publick Magazine of Amunition upon the Tonnage of all Vessells trading to this Government past at the Biennial Assembly in the year 1715. a second time & past without amendments.

Mr Speaker & the Gent: of the General Assembly waited on his Excellency the Governour in Council and returned an Answer to his Excellency's Speech in the following words vizt

To His Excelly George Burrington Esqre His Maj: Cap: General & Governor in Chief of North Carolina.

May it please your Excelly,

This House having taken your Excellency's Speech into our most serious consideration and having duly examined the conduct of the Assembly in April 1731, We cannot but be of opinion that the Assembly went as far as it was possible towards a complyance with the Royal Instruction concerning the Quitt Rents and Fees in as much as the want of Gold and Silver Currency is so well Known in this Province, and now at this last Election, Our Principals throughout the Province having recomended nothing more earnestly to us, than that we should not consent to burthen them with such payments as it is impossible for them to make.

We take notice that your Excellency is pleased to say that that Assembly proposed to pay His Majesty's Rent in Rice and Tobacco at a rated price in lieu of Proclamation money wch His Majesty offered to receive instead of sterling; We find by a due inquiry into the matter that the Assembly did endeavour to comply with the Royal Instruction as near as possible and therefore as there seemed to be no probability of such payments to be made in Gold and Silver they offered a just equivalent. But that the rents are due in Sterling as your Excellency seems to intimate or even in Proclamation money, We humbly beg leave to differ in Opinion and we hope to be able to support this our Opinion.

The Rents reserved in the Grants of Land are not said in the Grants to be payable in sterling money or any other, and in all equitable construction we think the money reserved must be understood the money of

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the Country and so the Law hath always been taken nor has Sterling money or Proclamation money been ever recovered on any specialty but where those have been specifically named & expressed.

But to shew that the Rents and Fees are payable only in the current money of the Province we desire it may be remembered, That before any Paper money was currant in this Province there was always acts of Assembly declaring the Prices of the products of the Country to pass as money in all respects as well for Quitt rents as any other Payments and when the paper money was established, it was provided that the same should be currant in all payments, excepting for purchase of Lands. So that we think it is very plain that the rents are not payable either in sterling or Proclamation Nor doth it seem to us by anything yet laid before the House that His Majesty offered to receive Proclamation money for rents in lieu of Sterling. It doth indeed appear that His Majesty proposes that your Excellency should pass a Law to remit the Arrears of Rents due from this Province to the time of perfecting His Purchase (which he was given to understand was very large) in case the Assembly would by the same Law provide that all Possessors of Land should register their Grants in the Auditor's Office, that the Quitt rents payable for the future should be in Proclamation money, and the Fees of the Officers should be settled in Proclamation money; We give His Majesty our hearty thanks for such a mark of his paternal Care shewn to us in the Offer of remitting so large an Arrear as was thought to be due from the Province but at the same time we humbly beg leave to represent that by a diligent inquiry of the Members of this House who came from the several parts of the Province we cant learn that the Arrears (if any due) are worth collecting because we all very well remember that the Collections have been very constantly made and some have even now produced to the House receipts for the year 1730 Since His Majesty purchased the Province, Indeed we think His Majesty's offer to the Province of So Carolina in the like case was very wisely accepted as we are told it has been in regard they owed 15. or 16. years Arrears for altho' Gold and Silver might be something scarce there yet by their large and extensive Trade they might be able to procure it tho' at some difficulty when they had so great an indulgence as the remittance of 15. or 16. years. But in this Province we have no prospect of gaining Silver or Gold sufficient for such purposes Our Trade very much cramped by the bad Navigation and the excessive Fees taken by Naval Officers and Collectors the like not heard of in any of the British Dominions as far as we can learn. And at the same time such Fees taken without any colour of Law.

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Concerning the Tenure of the Lands in the County of Albemarle in particular, We humbly conceive the Right honble the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, have not a true account of the state and condition of the Lands in that County by what they are pleased to say of the Deed of Grant being in the nature of a temporary Power of Attorney revokeable at pleasure which they say the Lords Proprietors seem to have done by their Instructions to Govr Eden. We therefore beg leave to represent the Case of the Tenants of Albemarle County as it appears to us. When His Majesty King Charles the Second granted the Province of Carolina to the Lords Proprietors there were divers persons in possession of Lands within the bounds of the Charter who held their Lands by Grants from the Government of Virginia and therefore in the Royal Charter there was a saving of those persons Rights; The Lords Proprietors in laying out the Province into eight Countys called that eigth part of the Province lying next to Virginia by the name of Albemarle County within which County it was that those persons dwelt who held Lands by Virginia Grants and as the Lords Proprietors proposed to grant the Lands of their Province on harder terms than the King's Subjects held theirs in Virginia the Inhabitants of Albemarle County by their humble Applications to the Lords Proprietors obtained the Deed of Grant dated May 1st 1668 whereby the Lands of that County were to be granted to all new-comers for the future (who had right to take up fifty acres for each person in their family) on the same Terms and Tenures as the People of Virginia held their Lands, As by the same Deed will more at large appear. But all the other Lands in the Province were to be granted at their Lordships and their Successors Discretion and therefore they sometimes gave directions to grant their other Lands at a high Quitt rent, and at other times on payment of purchase money, with reservation of small Quitt Rents payable yearly. But their Lordships never attempted to infringe the Deed of Grant; what was intended to be done by the directions to Governour Eden respected only the other Lands and not those of Albemarle County, As appears both by their Lordships directions which mention only the Sale of Lands, and not the granting of Quitt Rents which Distinction was always made between Albemarle County Lands and the other Lands of the Province, This also appears from the constant practice of their Lordships Officers, who notwithstanding the aforesaid Order or any other, granted the Lands in Albemarle County agreable to the Deed of Grant aforementioned without the least Checque from the Proprietors.

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As the principal and most valuable Lands in the County of Albemarle are already granted, we humbly hope that if such a construction were to be put upon the Deed of Grant as that it were revokeable, as we trust such construction will not be made, yet that His Royal Majesty will be graciously pleased to confirm the same Grant unto His good Subjects of the said County of Albemarle and direct that all the vacant Land in the same may be granted as hath been heretofore accustomed agreable to the Deed of Grant; Altho' this is the case of His Majesty's Subjects and Tenants of this Province and that no such like encouragement as a remission of 15. or 16. years rent was offered us the Assembly readily came into His Majesty's Proposals and by a Bill for an Act consented that the Officers Fees should be settled in Proclamation money or just equivalent thereto. And even to comply with the Payment of Proclamation money for the rents, and for want thereof a just equivalent as also to register the Grants in the Auditor's Office. Wherefore we humbly hope your Excellency and the Council will joyn with us in making a true state of the Poverty of this Province and their inability to comply with a Proposal for payment to be made in Proclamation money and that His Majesty will be graciously pleased to direct an equivalent may be ascertained in the same Law for those we represent have given us in charge not to burthen them with such payments as they can forsee no possability of complying with.

We are sorry to find that your Excellency should have any reason for so long a disuse of Assemblys, it being now above two years since any sat to do business, and altho' with respect to the Affair of the Quitt rents your Excellency might not think fit to treat with an Assembly on that head until you had the royal Instructions, yet give us leave to observe that the Affairs of the Province in our humble opinion required the meeting of an Assembly before this time, not only for our Application to His Majesty towards the good & happy settlement of this Province but also for the suppressing the many Oppressions which have so loudly been complained of through the whole Province which could no other way so properly be represented as in an Assembly.

We are of opinion with your Excellency that a British Trade ought by all means to be encouraged; we will therefore do everything in our Power to promote that in particular as also all other Trade in Generall, and as the Powder money laid on Vessells was found to be the only expedient for raising a Magazine in the time of Indian War, as that occasion ceased some time past we propose to ease the Trade of that Burthen, which has so loudly been complained of by the Traders to this Province.

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And as a further encouragement we propose that a sum be paid out of the Publick Treasury to the Commissioners for the severall Inletts towards Bouying and Beaconing the Channels.

We propose to take into our considerac̄on the hardships of the People living in the remote parts of the Country and to give them such Ease with respect to the Courts as may be of use to them.

By the Laws passed in 1729 which we understand are under His Majesty's consideration we think a very good provision was made for establishing the several Vestrys to build churches, Purchase Gleebs and to make ample Provision for the Clergy, at the same time proper provision was made for the payment of Jurys. We shall therefore forbear to do anything relating to those matters untill we shall be informed of the Royal pleasure concerning those Laws.

Your Excellency's kind wishes that a good harmony may be between us, and your promise of a concurrence in everything that shall be for His Majesty's Service and the good of the Province gives us the utmost satisfaction when we reflect on the heavy grievances this poor Country hath long laboured under, not only by exorbitant Fees we have had so just reason to mention to your Excellency at this time, as well as it hath been heretofore, but likewise from the Pervertion of Justice by evil and wicked Officers (we are sorry we are forced to say of your Excellency's appointment and approbation) especially by William Little Chief Justice and his Assistants, which particular grievance we promise ourselves will now be remedied by the arrivall of Mr Chief Justice Smith who we have good reason to believe to be a Gentleman of great honour and integrity not only from his having His Majesty's approbation but from his behaviour ever since his first arrival in this Province.

We assure your Excellency we are met with the best Disposition to promote His Majesty's Service and the Wellfare of the Province which we think ought to be inseparable, and as there doth not seem to be the least appearance of any particular interest or view among us, so we shall studiously avoid anything that may look like Heat or Division.

By order of the House
EDWd MOSELEY, Speaker.

The House adjourned till to morrow morning.


Thursday July 12th

The House met again.

Present His Excelly in Council

Read the Petition of William Little Esqre Chief Justice in these words vizt:

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North Carolina—ss.

To His Excelly George Burrington Esqre Captain General & Governour in Chief. and the honble the Council now sitting in Assembly

The Petition of William Little Chief Justice.

May it please your Excelly & This Honōble Board

In the Address of the Lower House of Assembly to the Governour's Speech, I find myself named in a manner I think very unjust and injurious to my Character among their pretended grievances they have charged me in the Office of Chief Justice and the Assistant Justices with pervertion of Justice; such a charge I conceive ought not to have been made without giving some instance of it, but that they have not pretended to do, for reasons I submit. As the charge is great so in Justice ought the proof to be, instead of that there is none, only some persons undertook (as I am told) of their own knowledge to make it good, as tho' it was not necessary that something should be made appear to that House before they could justly pass such a grievous censure, This must be allowed a very falacious way to build so weighty a charge upon, had I ever took such a latitude in judging I might have justly been accused of Oppression and pervertion of Justice. There was an attempt something like this against me at a former Assembly when I was Attorney General (by the same men too that stirred up this) when an Artifice was used to prevent my then clearing it, in hopes something might stick by the bare charge, for some time at least; for the next Assembly I was acquitted by the Journal of the House, and made the falsehood of it apparent: and yet without taking notice of that, I am told that this accusation was the principal thing repeated and urged now against me, in the Debate of the House upon this present charge, and tho' this is a charge against me as Chief Justice.

I therefore beg that this accusation of the House may not be permitted now to pass over without being inquired into; that it may be seen how utterly groundless the complaint is. I am sensible this Board as an Upper House will not erect & assume to themselves a judicial Power of trying Causes or convicting Offenders nor do I know any instance of such Tryals Once indeed the House here took upon them to impeach two great Peers of the Land, but that I believe will not be thought a precedent. But if the Board cannot proceed in it as a Court, yet as Governour and Council they have Power to examine into the conduct and behaviour of Officers and to remove, suspend, condemn or censure a Chief Justice or any other Officer that truly merits it, as I hope they will take occasion to shew.

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For my part if this charge against me be thought true, I freely own I ought to be removed, I therefore beg a day may be appointed for hearing it, and that I may have timely notice of the particular Facts if they have any to charge against me, and that the House may be directed to make good their Complaint: which now being only a charge in general can only in as general terms be denyed, which I do in the most solemn manner, and with a confidence usual to Innocence.

To be arraigned on the seat of Justice is what I thought even envy would not attempt against me, having acted with all good Conscience as my own heart assures me, and I am at a loss how such a charge could possibly be framed against me, I have been recollecting but cannot make myself sensible of having committed one material Fault in the station, much less am I conscious of anything in the least that can merit the name of pervertion of Justice which my soul abhors with the utmost disdain, and could anything like it be made appear I shall be content to stand condemned for ever. But if they fail in making good their charge, as I know assuredly they must, what recompence, what reparation can I have.

Bodys of men have a Priviledge that when refuted none takes it nor can they be called to account, but in all Justice the more tenderly then should they use their Power without partiality and without prejudging.

I am not insensible the secret springs their Reports rise from, and could easily retort so as might take off all edge from their charge but shall waive it, I will shun everything that may look like bringing a railing accusation or recriminating, since I know my own Innocence I shall the more easily keep temper and decency especially to the worshipfull the House that have now espoused the cause. But the Gentlemen that have been thus unhappily led to censure and condemn me unheard or without one proof or instance of any corrupt judgment or injustice I have done in the Office, must give me leave to think I have had exceeding hard measure, God send it may never be measured back to the contrivers of it, I thank God I have not done so by any man but in everything before me have at all times judged impartially so may God judge me and them at last. But perhaps the Gentlemen may intend by my perverting justice only the Crime of taking Fees in Bills at four for one, if that be all that is meant, I shall have very little to say to it, I therefore intreat the House may be more particular in stating Facts, and those that effect me particularly, and as they have been pleased thus to single out my name that they will please to let me stand single in my defence.

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As to the taking exorbitant Fees so much complained of in the Address, for my part I must solemnly aver, that I never taxed nor took myself any other than by the Table of Fees the Law has appointed, nor have I ever insisted that they should be paid in money but was always ready to receive them in any of the rated Commodities of the Country as they are rated by Law, of which there are one and twenty several species of the produce of the Country so the Oppression could not be so violent as is pretended; nay I should have been content to have received them even in Pitch and Tar, nor should have ventured to refuse what the Law has provided. When the Fees have been paid in Bills as the People chose to do at four for one as an equivalent rather than money, I have taken care they should be received at no higher advance than four for one, tho' I am told, others design to take six for one, and if four for one be thought too high, and I have committed an error in it, I am not alone (tho' only I am personally named) if it be a crime no doubt the Assembly will vote it illegal to receive them so, and that will affect all without condemning it in one and not in another. It is well known the Fees are taken so in the Precinct Courts as well as in the General Court, which the Country in all parts is sensible of and which their Principals I believe are most agrieved at tho' the House hath not mentioned them.

For my part it was not I that begun it, the Practice was established before my time, Mr Chief Justice Smith and the other Officers took them so, but if the House intend me the honour of setting me at the head of the charge I shall beg leave to decline it. I intended soon to have quitted the place, nor was I ever fond of the Office of Chief Justice it was not my seeking but it was the pleasure of the Governour & Council nay I may say by His Excellency's commands that I took it. And tho' they would now endeavour to wound the Governour (for it) thro' me I have the pleasure to think I have done no dishonour to the appointment, further, modesty forbids me to say.

I have been for some time determined to retire from all publick Business; that I may (if it shall please God) recover from my long illness I have undergone I shall not therefore undertake the defence of the cause; but I choose to leave the charge to my successors be it Mr Smith or any other, who no doubt will soon make the People easy in the matter.

I shall therefore conclude with importunately repeating my Prayer that if the House have anything to alledge, on any other head than that of four for one, they may assign the Particulars, and that a day may be appointed for hearing it before this Board.

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This honourable Board where tho' I have often appeared for favour to others (as my accusers may know) yet for myself I ask none only for justice to my injured Character and I do not in the least doubt it from this honourable Board who are not to be led away with Heat & Clamour, Prejudice, Passion or Private Pique.

To your Excelly therefore & your Honours I most humbly but most chearfully submit myself & my Cause and shall ever remain in all duty &c.
W. LITTLE

July 12th 1733.

Ordered That a Copy of the said Petition be sent down to the General Assembly. Absent the Governour.

Read a Bill for an Act entituled an Act to repeal the Act of Assembly entituled an Act for raising a Publick Magazine of Amunition upon the Tonnage of all Vessels trading to this Government past at the Biennial Assembly in the year 1715 the third time and past.

Ordered That the Bill be engrossed.

Adjourned till to morrow morning.


Friday July 13th.

The House met again.

Received the following Vote from the General Assembly vizt

To the Upper House

Voted that the sum of Ten pounds be paid out of the Publick Treasury to the Revd Mr Boyd for his sermon preached before the Assembly this day and that His Excelly the Governour be desired to issue his Warrant for payment of the same.

Sent to the Upper House for Concurrence

By order
MOSELEY VAIL per Clk.

Which was read and concurr'd with.

Received the following Message from the General Assembly vizt

To the Upper House

Reported from the Committee of Propositions & Grievances that the Committee have had several complaints laid before them and sundry Petitions from divers Inhabitants setting forth that divers free People, Negroes & Molattoes residing in this Province were taken up by the Directions of Thomas Bryant, James Thompson, Benjamin Hill, John Edwards, Thomas Kerney and William Lattimoor of Bertie Precinct

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Benjamin Peyton and Robert Peyton of Bath County Justices of the Peace and others and by these Justices bound out until they come to 31. years of age contrary to the consent of the Parties bound out.

The said Committee further report that these practices are well known to divers of the said Committee and that they fear that divers Persons will desert the settlement of those parts fearing to be used in like manner so unlawfully.

It is therefore humbly recommended by the said Committee that a vote pass this House declaring the illegality of such a practice and that all such Persons so taken from their Parents or Guardians be returned to their respective parents or to those under whose care they were, and that those Magistrates who have bound out such Persons and those to whom they have been bound do attend at the next Biennial Assembly to answer for such their doings. With which Report the House concurr'd and Ordered the same to be sent to the Upper House for concurrance.

By order
MOSELEY VAIL per Clk.

Which was read and the following Message returned in Answer vizt

Mr Speaker & Gent: of the Gen: Assembly

As to the Message touching the Report of the Committee relating to the practice of binding out Free Negroes and Molattoes till they come to 31. years of age contrary to the Assent of the Parties and to Law This House are of Opinion that the Justices of Peace who have so acted may be ordered to attend the Assembly this Session if time will admit if not that then it be recommended to the next Biennial in order that such an illegal practice may be exploded. In the mean time this House are ready to concurr with the General Assembly in earnestly recommending the matter to the Courts of Law, so that speedy Justice may be done and that the Parties injured may have relief.

By order.
ROBt FORSTER per Clk Upper House.

Received the following Message from the General Assembly vizt

To the Upper House

Reported from the Committee of Propositions & Grievances that the register of writings for Beaufort and Hide Precincts being dead, one Benjamin Peyton hath possessed himself of the writings and book belonging to that Office pretending a Commission from the Governour for the same and hath carryed them from Bath Town contrary to order

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of that Court which forbid the moving them from Town and that it is much to be feared by the Magistrates and Inhabitants of those Precincts that the same may be imbezled by the said Peyton he being a Person of very ill fame & character. It is the opinion of this Committee that the Assembly do address his Excellency the Governour that if he has granted such a Comission he would be pleased to recall it, and that he would direct the Books and Papers belonging to that Office may be kept at Bath Town as by Law it was provided they should be. This House concurrs with the Report of the Committee divers of the Members of this Assembly very well remembring that the said Peyton when he was formerly Marshal of Bath County attended this House at the Assembly begun in April 1731. when it appeared to the Members divers whereof are now present that he had erased or caused to be erased the name of a person duly chosen and returned for Newbern Town and inserted or caused to be inserted another person not duly chosen.

The House concurred therewith & ordered to be sent to the Upper House for Concurrance.

By Order
MOSELEY VAIL per Clk.

Which was read and the following Message in Answer thereto returned, Vizt

Mr Speaker & Gent: of the Gen: Assembly.

This House having your Message relating to Mr Peyton and the Registry of Beaufort and Hide under their consideration are desirous you would let them have the evidence which has been produced to you of the fact.

By order
Rt FORSTER per Clk. Upper House

Adjourned till to morrow morning.


Saturday July 14th

>The House met again.

Read a Bill for an Act entituled an Act for Enlarging and confirming the Jurisdiction of the Precinct Courts the first time and passed with Amendments.

Read a Bill for an Act entituled an Act to prevent the annoying or stopping up of Harbours or Navigable Creeks or Rivers in this Province the first time and past with Amendments.

Adjourned till Monday morning.

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Monday July 16th

The House met again.

Read a Bill for an Act entituled an Act for Enlarging and Confirming the Jurisdiction of the Precinct Courts the second time and pass'd with Amendments.

Adjourned till to morrow morning.


Tuesday July 17th

The House met again

Adjourned till to morrow morning.


Wednesday July 18th

The House met again

Present
His Excelly George Burrington Esqre Governour &c.
The Honble John Bapta Ashe Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The Honble Edwd Gale. Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The Honble John Lovick Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council
The Honble William Owen. Esqre Member of His Majtie's Council

His Excellency the Governour commanded the attendance of the General Assembly who came in a full Body and His Excellency the Governour delivered the following Paper which he read and is as follows vizt

Gentlemen of Both Houses.

I opened this Assembly with a very kind Speech and sincerely recommended to you Unanimity and to proceed without heat or Passion, I proposed several things to you for the good of the Country which I always endeavoured to promote, but there having been so much time frivilously spent or worse, I find it to little purpose to keep you longer together.

Mr Speaker & Gent: of the Lower House

You from the beginning have discovered such a spirit that I early doubt whether any good might be expected from you, but have waited patiently to see what might be effected, but finding my good intentions to no purpose, I only tell you I am heartily sorry to see heat and Party prevail so much among you; I assure you that is not the way to serve your Country, tho' you have an opportunity thereby to serve yourselves and display piques & prejudices.

You have artfully and falsely endeavoured to represent the Government under me as grievous and oppressive, tho' every man in the Province knows the contrary, unless you will call His Majesty's Instructions grievous, which my steady adhering to, has been the occasion of raising all this Faction.

As to my disuse of Assemblys as you maliciously terme it, there past not two years between the last Assembly & the chooseing this tho'I

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think the frequency of their meeting unless they would proceed with more temper and justice, is of no other use than to promote party and faction, and to give some People an opportunity to pursue their own malice and envy under the Umbrage of an Assembly. Bodys of men cannot blush, and that's your advantage; One of the most furious among you (I am told) declared he should not have attended this Assembly but purely to oppose the Governour, and that he came on purpose to plague him. I wish there had been no more Incendiarys amongst you, and that all the others had the Country's good more in their thoughts. I condemn not all, for I believe there are some well meaning honest men amongst you, but even those bore down or carryed away by the false zeal & clamour of the rest, an instance of which sufficiently appeared in the management of your Answer to my Speech, it was drawn by the most inveterate Member, and no sooner brought into the House, but pushed on with a noise and violence that stifled all opposition and that was called, Nemine Contradicente.

If Assemblys in this Province proceed in the manner you have done with heat and partiallity, they themselves will grow the greatest grievance and oppression to the Country, Burgessing has been for some years a source of lyes and occasion of disturbances, which has deterred good men from being Candidates or entering the lists of noise and Faction wch every common observer knows. Neither doth the King's Instructions that only Freeholders should vote find any weight in your Elections tho' always inserted in the Writts.

As to the affair of the Chief Justice, I have already acquainted you I would appoint a day for hearing and making good the charge, but as you seem to waive it I appoint the 30th day of this month for the said hearing at the Council Chamber, where you or any other People may attend to make good the Charge. His Petition layd many days before you without any notice taken thereof, but yesterday on a sudden heat without regarding me or his station, you insolently presumed by your Surgeant to take him into custody for a pretended contempt found in the Petition by him delivered to the Upper House, tho' all unbiased Men do allow it was wrote with as much Decency and Temper as the Charge would admit of.

You have also presumed to take into Custody the Receiver of the Powder money for Port Roanoake, tho' under very sufficient security who had my orders agreable to His Majesty's Instructions not to make up any Publick Accounts but before me in Council.

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You have denyed to conform to His Majesty's Instructions concerning the payment of the Quitt rents, thō by calling you again together I give you another opportunity of accepting His Majesty's most gracious favour in allowing them to be passed in Proclamation money instead of Sterling, Nay, you have denyed they are due or ought to be paid in any money at all, but of your own making.

You have offered but three Bills all this time, one of which is so inconsiderable as not to be worth mentioning. One other for Enlargeing the Power of the Precinct Courts, which I recommended to you, you took care to clogg with such Clauses as you must know I could not possibly assent to.

I also proposed to you for the encouragement of the British Trade to relieve their ships from paying the duty of Powder money, and you have brought in a Bill which has past both Houses for taking the said Duty wholly of all Vessels.

I am informed you have refused to admit several Members of your House legally chosen and returned by the proper Officers, pursuant to the ancient and constant Practice of the Province and as you are but part of a House, my allowing your procedings, or orders would be giving up an undoubted right of His Majesty's which has never been contested before this time.

For the aforesaid reasons I dissolve this Assembly and it is hereby accordingly dissolved.

GEO. BURRINGTON

A true Copy. Examd by

Rt FORSTER per Clk. Upper House.