Mr Ayliffe Williams produced a Dedimus from his Excellency the Governour to qualify the Members of this House and the following Members qualified accordingly vizt
For Chowan—Colo Edwd Moseley Colo Henry Bonner Mr Collen Pollock Edmd Porter Esqr Capt Wm Downing For Edenton—Mr Chs Westbeer For Pequimons—Mr Richd Skinner Mr Saml Swann Mr Zebulun Clayton Mr Charles Denman For Pasquotank—Mr Chs Sawyer Mr Gabriel Burnham Mr Jno Sawyer For Beaufort—Doctr Patrick Maul Majr Robt Turner For Craven—Mr Wm Handcock Mr Evan Jones For Curratuck—Mr Francis Morse For Bertie—Mr Arthur Williams Mr Isaac Hill Mr William Kinchen Capt. George Winn For New Hanover—Mr John Swann.
The aforementioned Members being qualified several Gent. that were elected for the New precincts of Onslow Edgecombe and Bladen appeared and the House of Opinion that they ought not to qualify as Members the House intending to take the same into Consideration to Morrow.
Sent the following Message to the Upper House.
The House being qualified are ready to wait on your Excellency.A. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
Sent by Edmd Porter Esqr & Mr Coln Pollock
The Messenger of the Upper House came to acquaint this House, His Excellency the Govr was ready to receive them.
Whereupon the House attended.
The Members waited upon the Governour who directed them to choose their Speaker and he would be ready to receive him this Evening.
The House thereupon returned and Unanimously chose Colo Edward Moseley Speaker.
Sent the following Message.
To his Excelly the Govr in Council.
This House have chose their Speaker and are ready to present him to your Excellency.By OrderA. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assemby.
Sent by Mr Westbeer & Mr Denman
The Messenger of the Upper House came to this House and informed the House that his Excelly the Govr was ready to receive their Speaker.
The House thereupon attended with their Speaker and there not being Members of the Council sufficient to make an House His Excelly was pleased thereupon to prorogue the Assembly untill to Morrow, which is accordingly prorogued.
The House met pursuant to Yesterday's Prorogation and there appeared Mr Thos Smith Member for Hide precinct who took the Oath by law appointed and subscribed the Declaration.
Received a Message from the Govr That he was ready to receive the Speaker. Whereupon the House waited upon his Excelly who approved of the Speaker and made a Speech, which the House obtained a copy off and returned. Where the same was read again Vizt.
Gentl. of Both Houses.
Upon my first Arrival after I had taken Charge of this Government for the King I called an Assembly and as directed by his Majesty's Instructions, I propos'd 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 too, 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 favor about the Rents, which People are so desirous should be made easy to them.
That Assembly proposed to pay the King's Rents in Rice and Tobacco at a rated Price in Lieu of proclamation Money which his Majesty offered to receive them at instead of Sterling As I did not think myself impowered to make any further Concessions, without Knowing histh day of March last, when I issued Writs for this Assembly.
I must now acquaint you, that by a fresh Direction, I am restrained from passing an Act for the payment of Quitt Rents in any other Specie but in Proclamation 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 Kings 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 laid before you) that there should an Act be passed, to oblige all Possessors of Land, in this Government to register the same in the Auditors Office, which is the more reasonable since his Majesty is not only graciously pleased to permitt me to pass an Act for remitting all Arrears of Rents due when the King compleated the Purchase of Carolina, but also to quiett People in the Possession of their Lands, a Favour that I hope this Assembly will endeavour to Merrit.
I am commanded by the 75th and following Instruction to take especial care that the Publick Service of the Church of England be duly maintained and that a competent Provision be made for the Ministry, Lands assigned them for Gleebs, and convenient Houses built thereon, the little Provision hitherto made for supporting the Publick Worship, seems to be a Reproach to the Country 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 inlarged and better Provision made for Juries, which One of my Instructions directs Me to recommend.
I will not burthen you at this Season with too many things for your Consideration but I cannot help recommending to you to do something 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,
I conclude with Hearty 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 Interest and Views, no Heat, no Divisions may hinder your joining with Me in promoting the Wellfare of this Country, which I assure you I have equally at Heart with the Best Men herein, I sincerely promise you my Concurrence in Everything that shall be for his Majesty's Service and the Good of this Province.GEO. BURRINGTON.
Ordered. That Mr Edmond Porter Mr Collen Pollock Mr John Swann Mr Charles Denman Mr Gabriel Burnham Capt William Downing Mr Charles Westbeer Doctr Patrick Maul and Mr Arthur Williams be a Committee to consider his Excellency's Speech and draw up an Answer thereto.
And whereas we perceive by his Excellency's Speech that he has received fresh Directions and Orders concerning the Quitt Rents and ffees. The House thereupon sent the following Message to his Excellency.
To His Excellency the Governour.
Your Excellency in your Speech having been pleased to mention your Receit of fresh Instructions concerning the Quitt Rents and ffees this House desires your Excellency would be pleased to communicate to this House Copies of those Instructions relating to the Quitt Rents and ffees, that the Committee appointed to consider the Speech and make answer thereto may be the better enabled to make their Report to the House.A. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
And thereupon his Excellency caused to be delivered to this House the two following Paragraphs. Vizt.
My Lords having referred several Questions upon the Acts of this Province to his Majesty's Council for their Opinion in Point of Law, An answer to that part of your Letter, must yet be deferred for some time. But I am now to acquaint you with Respect to that part of your Letter, where you ask the opinion of the Board whether the Receivers
I am likewise to inform you that the grand Deed of 1668 from the Lords Proprietors, which you mention as pleaded by the people against paying any higher Quitt Rents than are paid in Virginia, can only be understood as a Temporary Letter of Attorney from the Lords Proprietors revocable at Pleasure, as in effect it was many years ago, when they directed their Govr Mr Eden to grant no Land without reserving One peny per Acre, however as the paying 4 Shills. Proclamation Money pr Hundred Acres, as well as paying all officers Fees in the said Currency and registring all Grants of Land, are by your Instructions made the Terms upon which his Majesty has been graciously pleased to declare he will remitt the paymt of the Arrears of Quitt Rents. His Majesty's Officers may soon have Directions to collect the said Arrears unless the people do speedily think fitt to comply with his Majesty's Terms, which are calculated for their Advantage and for quieting them in their Possessions.
Two Paragraphs of a Letter from the Board of Trade dated Augt. 16th 1732.
Ordered. The several Returns for the Members of this Assembly be laid before this House.
Which was done accordingly, excepting for the Precinct of Curratuck and the New precinct of Onslow.
Mr Charles Cogdal Mr Joseph Wickers being returned Members for Cartaret precinct took the Oaths and subscribed the Declaration according to Law for their Qualification.
The House taking into Consideration the Affair of the New precincts.
Ordered. The same be referred to the Committee appointed to consider the Governour's Speech; that they examine presidents and report to the House their Opinion concerning the same.
Mr Ayliffe Williams produced his Excellency's Commission for being Clark of the Lower House of Assembly Also Mr John Richards produced his Excellys Commission for being Sargeant of the Lower House of Assembly.
This House conceiving that the appointing the aforementioned Officers has always appertained to this House.
Ordered. That the Consideration thereof be referred to the Com̄itte aforesaid to examine Preceedents and report to the House their Opinion concerning the same.
A. WILLIAMS Clk Gen1 Assembly
Adjourned to 9 a Clock to Morrow Morning
The House mett pursuant to Adjournment.
Ordered. That the Committee appointed to make Answer to the Governour's Speech be a Committee of Propositions and Grievance and that any of the Members of this House may join the said Committe.
Ordered. That Capt Wm Downing Mr Collen Pollock Coll Henry Bonner Mr Arthur Williams Majr Robert Turner and Mr Thomas Smith be a Committe to join such Members as shall be appointed by the Upper House as a Comitte of Claims.
Sent by Mr Swann & Mr Burnham
Voted. That the several Powder Receivers do lay their Accounts before this Assembly by Wednesday next.
Adjourned to 9 a clock to Morrow Morning
The House met pursuant to Adjournment. And there appeared Mr James Castelaw Member for Bertie precinct who took the Oaths and Subscribed the Declaration by Law appointed for his Qualification.
Mr Edmond Porter from the Committe appointed to answer his Excelly the Governour's Speech made Report that the Committe had sundry Times considered the same & agreed to a Draught of a Report, which was read and laid on the Table.
The said Report was read again and being fully debated and considered.
Voted. Nemine contradicente that the said Answer be accepted which is as follows. Vizt.
To His Excelly George Burrington Esqre His Majesty's Capt Gen1 and Govr 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
We take Notice that Your Excellency is pleased to say that that Assembly propos'd to pay his Majesty's Rent in Rice and Tobacco at a rated price in Lieu of Proclamation Money, which his Majesty offered to receive instead of Sterling. We find by a due Enquiry 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 Excelly 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 Lands 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 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 Specially named and expressed.
But to shew that the Rents and ffees are payable only in the Currant Money of the Province We desire it may be remembred, 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 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 Excelly should pass a Law to remitt 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 Auditors Office, that the Quitt Rents payable for the future should be in Proclamation Money & the ffees of the Officers should be settled in Proclamation Money. We give his Majesty our
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 revocable at pleasure which they say the Lords Proprietors seem to have done by their Instructions to Governour 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 Counties, called that Eighth 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 upon no harder Terms than the King's Subjects held theirs in Virginia, the Inhabitants of Albemarle County by their humble Applications to the Lords Proprietors obtain'd the Deed
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 revocable, as we trust such Construction will not be made, Yet that his Royall 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 agreeable to the Deed of Grant. Althō this is the case of his Majesty's Subjects, and Tenants of this Province, and that so such like encouragement as a Remission of 15 or 16 Years Rent were offered us, the Assembly readily came into his Majesty's proposals, and by a Bill for an Act consented that the Officers ffees should be settled in Proclamation Money or a just Equivalent thereto; and even to comply with the payment of Proclamation Money for Rents, or for want thereof, a just Equivalent, as also to register the Grants in the Auditors Office. Wherefore we humbly hope your Excellency and the Council will join 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 foresee no possibility of complying with.
We are sorry to find that Your Excellency should have any Reasons for so long a disuse of Assemblies, it being now above two Years since any sate to do Business, and althō with Respect to the affair of the Quitt Rents Your Excellency might not think fit to treat with an Assembly on that Head, untill you had the Royall 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 an Application to his Majesty toward the Good and happy Settlement of this province, but also for the suppressing the many Oppressions, which so loudly have been complained of thrō 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 general, and as the Powder Money laid on Vessels was found to be the only expedient for raising a Magazine in the time of the Indian War, as that Occasion ceased some time past, We propose to ease the Trade of that Burthen, which has been so loudly complained of by the Traders of this Province, and as a further Encouragement We propose that a Sum be paid out of the publick Treasury to the Commissioners for the several Inletts towards Bouying and Beaconing the Channels.
We propose to take into our Consideration 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 pass'd in 1729 which we understand are under his Majesty's Consideration, We think a very good Provision was made for establishing the several Vesteries, 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 Juries; we shall therefore forbear to do any thing 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 Concurrance in everything that shall be for his Majesty's Service and the Good of the province gives Us the Uttmost Satisfaction; when We reflect on the heavy Grievances this poor Country hath long Laboured under, not only by the exorbitant ffees, 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 Evill and wicked Officers (We are sorry We are forced to say, of Your Excellency's appointment and Approbation) especially by Williamr 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 Interrest or Views among us, So We shall studiously avoid anything that may look like Heat or Division
Ordered The same to be fairly transcribed for this House to wait on his Excellency therewith.
The Committe of Propositions and Grievances laid before the House the following three papers which are as followeth Vizt
This House being made sensible that divers of the Members of the Assembly held in April 1731 had requested Mr Chief Justice Smith, when he proposed to go for England to do the Country what Service he could touching certain Grievances and this House being Satisfied that the said Mr Chief Justice Smith has been very Serviceable to this province in setting forth their Grievances.
Voted Unanimously that Mr Porter and Mr Castelaw do wait on the said Mr Chief Justice Smith and give him the thanks of this House for such his Service done to the Country and that they assure him that this House will take those his Services into their further Consideration.
George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain &c. King &c.
To the provost Marshal or Deputy Greeting.
Whereas by the Consideration of our Chief Justice and his Assistants of our General Court began and held at Edenton on the last Tuesday of October last it was ordered in the Suit brought by John Bryant against William Whitehead, that the Plaintiff having discontinued his Suit should pay Cost, which Cost has been taxed, in the whole including this Writt besides Marshall's ffees the sum of two Pounds Eight shillings and ten pence proclamation Money or Equivalent as rated, whereof Execution remains to be done. We command you therefore to take the
Witness William Little Esqr Chief Justice at Edenton this 20th day of Novbr 1732.
Test Alexander Weight D. M.Wm LITTLE Clk.
Received of John Bryant ten pounds Bills of this Province of North Carolina for an Execution against him dated the 20th of November 1732 as Witness my Hand this 25th of December 1732
Remains 4shll: 7dALEXANDER WEIGHT D. M.
Received the following Message from the Upper House.
Mr Speaker and Gent. of the House of Burgesses.
Resolved That John Baptista Ash Edmond Gale and William Owen Esqr be and are hereby appointed a Committe to join with the Members of the Lower House as are appointed to make a Committe of Claims.By OrderROBt FORSTER Clk of ye Upper House.
Adjourned to 9 a Clock to morrow morning.
The House met pursuant to adjournment.
The Council House and the House the Assembly Sitts in wanting Repairs.
Voted That Colo Edward Moseley Colo Henry Bonner and Mr Charles Westbeer be Commissioners 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 Beckett have twelve pounds paper Money as Now currant per Annum for his Care in keeping the Doors and Windows of the Council House and Assembly House when those Houses are not used.
Sent to his Excelly the Govr and Council for Concurrance.
By Mr Chs Sawer & Mr Jno Sawyer
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 hath constantly kept: And very lately by the said precinct Court hath appointed another Ferry above the said Murphy's much out of the Way, and much to the said Murphy'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 and remain at the said Murphy's.
Read the petition of the Inhabitants in the District between Terrapine Hill and Arkill's Bridge in Chowan precinct concerning an Order obtained in the precinct Court of Chowan Relating to a Road from Terrapine Hill to Mr Edmond Gale's
Ordered That this House will take the same into Consideration on Monday next and that in the Mean Time Mr Edmond Gale and the parties interrested have Notice thereof.
Read the Petition of the Commissioners for Bouying and Beaconing of Ocacock Inlett and Channel.
Ordered. That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred untill the Powder Receivers Accounts of Port Bath are laid before the House.
Capt. William Downing from the Committe appointed to consider the case of the New Precincts made Report that the Committe hath sundry Times considered the same and agreed to a Report which was read and laid on the Table.
The said Report was read again.
Voted. That the same be accepted which is as followeth. Vizt
That when the province of Carolina was at first divided into Eight Counties, each County was to have been a Government, and for some Years that Eighth Part of the province, lying next to Virginia was known and distinguished by the Stile and Title of the Government of the County of Albemarle, and by those Constitutions bearing date 1698 agreed to by the Lords Proprietors and the Representatives of the People it was provided, that as the Country shall increase the Representatives shall also be proportionally increased if the Commons do so desire.
The Scheme of each County, being a Government not taking effect by Reason of the Small progress made in settling the Country the province became divided into two Governments Vizt North and South Carolina.
For the Government of North Carolina there was no Representatives of the People, but such as represented the County of Albemarle untill the Year 1697 when the County of Bath being the County adjourning to Albemarle had two Representatives allowed to sitt in the Biennial Assembly.
As the Settlements encreased to the Southward the Governour and Council took on them at sundry times to divide the same into four precincts Vizt Beaufort Hide Craven and Carteret and each of those precincts had two Representatives to sitt in the Assembly.
In the Year 1722 the precinct of Chowan one of the precincts in Albemarle County having extended itself very far, it was thought advisable to erect a New Precinct to the Westward of Chowan River by the Name of Bertie, which was done by Act of Assembly in the Year 1722 and five Representatives allowed to that Precinct by that Assembly.
In July 1729 the Governour and Council assumed a Power by Order of Council to erect a New Precinct to the Southward by the name of New Hanover adjoining to Carteret Precinct, and that Precinct sending Representatives to the Biennial Assembly in Novbr 1729 those Representatives were not admitted by the Assembly to sitt and Vote untill an Act passed that Session for erecting that precinct.
At the same Assembly in the Year 1729 the Governour Councill and Assembly erected another Precinct in Albemarle by the Name of Tyrril.
Thus the Way and Manner of Enlarging the Number of the Representatives is brought down to the Case of the New Precincts now under Consideration.
Whereon We observe.
1st That Onslow Precinct is entirely taken out of Carteret and New Hanover Edgecombe Chiefly out of Bertie and Bladen out of New Hanover.
2ly We are of Opinion that a Method of enlarging the Number of Assembly Men by Order of Governour and Council is not agreeable to the Constitution, that the Representatives of the People are the proper Judges what Encrease is necessary, nor ought any Encrease to be made without their Assent.
3ly Should any Encrease be made without their Assent, it would alter the Form of Representation and make the Lower House to depend on the Governour and Council and be subject to what alterations they pleased to make, by dividing old precincts or erecting New lines from which many Absurdities would follow, as We conceive.
4ly We find this power assumed by the Governour and Council is no ways agreeable to the practice of our Neighbouring Government of Virginia, for there, as it appears by their printed Acts, the same is done by Governour, Council and Assembly.
5ly Nor do we find that any power is given to the Governour and Council of this Province by the Royal Commission to Act in such Affairs without the Assembly.
Upon the whole We humbly propose it to the House as our Opinion that the Members returned for the New precincts be not admitted, the Assembly not having been consulted in or agreed to such an Increase.
The Committe are also of Opinion that it may be proper for the House to have a Conferrence with the Governour and Council concerning the subject Matter of the New Precincts.
Mr Porter from the Committe appointed to consider the case of the Officers appointed for this House by the Governour made Report that the Committe hath several times considered the same and agreed to a Report which was read and laid on the Table.
The said Report was read again
Voted The same be accepted which is as followeth: Vizt
This Committe has with great Dilligence Examined the Books of the Assembly and do find that it has been the constant practice of the House to name and appoint all their Officers Such as Clerk, Sargeant, Messenger and Door Keeper, Nor can we find that the Lords proprietors or their Governours ever attempted to Name or appoint those Officers or any of them. We are indeed informed, but not so fully as to give satisfaction in that case, that the Clerk of the House of Commons in England (by Custom) is appointed by the Crown. Therefore as we find the practice here, has ever been for the Assembly to choose those Officers, 'tis our Opinion that it will be most prudent for this House humbly to address to his Majesty that he will be graciously pleased to continue to the Assembly such priviledges, as they have hitherto enjoy'd and which has never been disputed. But if his Excellency will not permitt the Ancient Liberty and Priviledges of this Assembly that in Such case this Committe is of Opinion rather than to prejudice or retard the Business of this Session (untill his Majesty's pleasure be known) to admitt of the said Officers appointed by the Governour, saving to this House their Ancient Rights and Priviledges.
The Answer to the Governour's Speech being fairly transcribed was read and examined.
Resolved This House wait on his Excellency the Governour therewith on Monday next.
Adjourned to 9 a Clock on Monday morning
The House met pursuant to Adjournment.
And there appeared Mr John Mann Member for Curratuck, who took the Oath and Subscribed the Declaration by Law appointed for his Qualification.
To His Excelly the Govr and 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 out of Repair, whereby the travelling to the General Court and Assembly is rendered very difficult.
This House humbly requests his Excellency that he will be pleased to direct the Magistrates in the Several precincts to take effectual care that the Roads & Bridges be forthwith repaired, and Ferrys duly kept, and that the same be constantly Kept So, and that upon any failure of the Overseer 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 OrderA. WILLIAMS Clk. Genl. Assembly.
Sent by Mr Jno. Sawyer and Mr Chs Denman
Which was returned with the following Endorsemts Vizt Read and Concurr'd with in the Upper House.
In the Months of November January and February last I travelled thrō most of the precincts in this Government and to my great satisfaction found much labour had been bestowed the last Year in making New Roads and repairing the old and that the roads were in very good Condition, abundance of Bridges having been newly made therefore I desire to be informed in what part of the province the bad Roads mentioned in Your Message are, that I may know what Magistrates, I shall have Occasion to write to for performing what you desire On this subject.GEO: BURRINGTON.
To his Excelly the Govr and Council
The old paper Currancy 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 layed before the Assembly tomorrow in order that the same may be destroyed.
Sent to the Govr and Council for Concurrance.By OrderA WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
By Mr Jno Sawyer & Mr Chs Sawyer
To his Excelly the Govr and Council.
Colo Thomas Swann Treasurer of Pasquotank and Colo Thomas Pollock Treasurer of Bertie being dedd this House recommends unto his Excellency the Governour and Council Mr James Lockheart to be Treasurer of Bertie and Mr John Solley to be Treasurer of Pasquotank.
Sent to the Govr and Council for Concurrence.By OrderA WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly
By Mr Jno Sawyer & Mr Chs Sawyer
Sent to the Govr and Council the Vote of this House of July the 5th concerning the Powder Receivers.
By Mr Jno Sawyer & Mr Chs Sawyer
The House taking into Consideration the great Increase of Vermin.
Ordered that Doct Patrick Maul Mr Zebulun Clayton and Mr Gabriel Burnham be a Committe to prepare a Bill for the Destruction of Vermin and that the same be laid before the House on Wednesday next.
To his Excelly the Govr and 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 OrderA. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly
Sent by Mr Geo. Winn
Mr Wm Kinchen
Read the petition of the Inhabitants of Bear River and the lower parts of Neuse River praying to be Erected into a New precinct.
Ordered. The same to lye on the Table for the Consideration of the House
Received the following Message from the Upper House concerning the petition of Thomas Murphy.
Mr Speaker and Gentl of the Genl 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 General Assembly with which this House is ready to concurr.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk of ye upr House.
To the Honoble the Council.
This House concurs with Your Message concerning the Ferry at Murphy's.
Voted That the same be referred to the precinct Court of Craven and that the said Court do regulate the same agreeable to the Vote of this Assembly.
Sent to the Upper House for ConcurranceBy Order>A. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
By Mr Artr Williams & Mr Isac Hill
Mr John Etheridge & Mr Stephen Williams Members for Curratuck appeared who took the Oaths and Subscribed the Declaration by Law appointed for their Qualification.
Received from the Upper House the Vote of this House concerning the Repairs of the publick Buildings &c. together with the following Message (Vizt)
Mr Speaker and Gentl. of the Genl Assembly.
This House is ready to concur with the within Vote provided a certain Sum be Sett or mentioned to limitt the Commissioners in their Draft, and that they render Accounts to the General Assembly of the Expences. This House likewise recommends to the Consideration of the General Assembly that they would include the Repairs and Care of the Goal in the same Vote.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk of ye Upper House.
This House agrees with the Upper House that the Commissioners be limitted to the Sum of Two hundred pounds for repairing and fitting the Council House the Assembly House and for repairing fitting and enlarging the Goal, and that the Commissioners do render an account of the expences to the General Assembly.By OrderA. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
Sent by Mr Handcock & Mr Jones.
Received from the Upper House the Message of this House concerning the Recommendation of the two persons to be Treasurers in the Room of the deceased which was endorsed as followeth Vizt
Mr Speaker and Gentl. of the Genl 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 OrderR. FORSTER Clk upr House.
Which was sent back to the Upper House thus Endorsed (Vizt)
This House concurrs therewith.By OrderA. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
Sent by Mr Mann, & Mr Etheridge
The House this day according to Order took into Consideration the petition of the Inhabitants of the district between Terrapine Hill and Arkills Bridge. And the House having heard Mr Edmond Gale thereon, who had Notice to attend. It is the opinion of the House that the prcinct Court of Chowan had no power to excuse the said Mr Gale and others from Working on the Road from Terrapine Hill to Arkills Bridge.
Voted. The same be referred to the precinct Court of Chowan who are hereby directed to see that the said Mr Edmond Gale and others do work on the Road aforesaid.
Sent to the Upper House for Concurrance
By Mr Williams & Mr Morse
This House understanding that the Council is adjourned.
Resolved. That this House will wait on his Excellency the Govr with the Answer to his Speech to Morrow Morning.
Adjourned to 9 a Clock to Morrow Morning.
Met according to Adjournment.
A Bill for an Act intituled 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, passed at the Biennial Assembly in the Year 1715. Read in the House the first time and pass'd.A. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assembly.
Sent to the Upper House by Mr Porter & Mr Westbeer
Colo Henry Bonner and Capt William Downing were sent by this House to his Excellency the Governour to lett him know the House was ready to wait on him with an Address in answer to his Speech. They reported to the House that his Excellency said he would receive the House in the Council Chamber to Morrow at 12 a Clock.
The Vote of this House concerning the Destroying of the old paper Currency was returned from the Upper House with the following Entrys and Resolves thereon.
Read and Concurred with in the Upper House.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk of the Upper House.
I concurr provided two (or more) Members of the Council be present to take an account of the Bills and see them destroyed.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Resolved. That the same be sent down to the General Assembly and that John Baptisti Ash and John Lovick Esqrs Members of this House be present to see the said Bills destroy'd.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk of ye upr House.
Received the Vote of this House in Concurrance with the upper House respecting the Ferry at Murphy's with the Following Entry from the Governour.
I am of Opinion Mr Muphy's Ferry and Martin Franks Ferry are both very usefull and therefore neither ought to be supprest.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Adjourned to 9 a Clock to morrow Morning.
Met pursuant to Adjournment
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 Vessels trading to this Government past at the Biennial Assembly in the Year 1715. Read the second time and past.
Sent to the Upper House by Colo Bonner & Capt Downing
The House appointed Mr Speaker Mr Porter Mr Downing Mr Castelaw Doctr Maul to speak on the Conference with the Upper House of the Subject Matter of the New precincts and that any other Member may
Received the following Message from the Governour.
I am of opinion that New precinct Treasurers ought not to be appointed in the places of those lately deceased before the King's pleasure is known in Respect to the Bills issued in the Year 1729.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Received from the Upper House the Votes &c of this House concerning the publick Buildings with the following Entries thereon. Vizt.
Read in the Upper House and Concurred with.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk of ye upr House.
I consent to sign a Warrant for the Sum mentioned to be laid out in Repairing the Council House Court House and Goal and if you think proper to allow a Sallary for taking care of those Edifices I concurr therewith and will appoint a proper Person for that Service.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Received from the Upper House the 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.
July ye 11th
Read in the Upper House a Second time and pass'd.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk upr House.
Received from the upper House the Message of this House concerning a Conference about the New precincts with the following Entries thereon (Vizt.)
Read in the Upper House and concurr'd with and agreed that a Conference be held thereon to Morrow Morning. Resolved that his Excellency have Notice of this Conferrance.By Order.R. FORSTER Clk uppr House.
The Members of his Majesty's Council I deem to be sufficient to hold the intended Conferrance concerning the New prcincts therefore have no Intention to be present.GEO: BURRINGTON.
This House according to his Excellency's directions waited on him in the Council Chamber this day at noon, where the Address in Answer to his Excellency's Speech was read and delivered to him after which his Excellency retired.
And then this House proceeded to a Conferrence with the upper House concerning the New Precincts.
The House returned from the Conferrence with the Council and Mr Speaker reported to the House.
That on the said Conferrence it appeared to be the Sense and Opinion of the Council and this House that the Several precincts should be ascertained, in Order that at the next biennial Election they should return Members to serve in that Assembly.
This House concurrs with the Report.
Voted That the precinct of Edgecombe to be bounded by the Country Line and Roanoak or Morattock River to the Rainbow Bank from thence to Shall Send Members to Serve in the next biennial Assembly.
Received from the Upper House the Vote of this House concerning Powder Receivers with the following Entries thereon Vizt.
Read and Concurred with in the Upper House.By OrderR. FORSTER Clk upr House.
The Council and 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 a time appointed for that purpose, and not to Vote it should be done.GEO: BURRINGTON.
The Publick Treasurer according to Order lay'd on the Table the Box Containing £9555.2.6 old paper Currancy that was lodged with him at the Assembly in April 1731 Jno Baptisti Ash and John Lovick Esqrs Members of the Council who were present at the Sealing of the said Box at the Assembly in April 1731 came from the Upper House and they together with the Members of this House carefully examined the said which was found Corded and Sealed in the same Manner it was when lodged in the Treasurers Hands.
Thereupon according to the Directions of his Excellency the Governour, Council and Assembly the same Paper Currancy was publickly burnt and destroyed in the Street between the Court House and Council House Several Members of the Council Most of the Members of this House and divers other persons being present.
Mr John Lakey Member for Bath Town appeared who took the Oaths, Subscribed the Declaration by Law appointed for his Qualification.
A Bill for an Act entituled an Act to prevent the Annoying or stopping up of Harbours, Rivers or Navigable Creeks in this Province.
Read in the Lower House the first time and past with Amendments.A. WILLIAMS Clk Genl Assemly.
Sent to the upper House by Mr Etheridge & Mr Skinner.
Adjourned to 9 a Clock to Morrow Morning.
The House mett according to adjournment.
Ordered That the thanks of this House be given to the Reverend Mr Boyd for his Sermon preached before the House this Day.
Voted That the Sum of ten pounds be paid out of the publick Treasury to the Reverend Mr Boyd for his Sermon preached before the Assembly this Day. And that his Excellency the Governour be desired to issue his Warrant for Payment of the Same.
Ordered the Same be Sent to the Upper House for Concurrance.
Reported from the Committe of Propositions and Grievances.
That the Register of Writings for Beaufort and Hyde prcincts one Benjamin Peyton hath possessed himself of the Writings and books belonging to that Office pretending a Commission from the Governour for the same and hath carried them from Bath Town contrary to an Order 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 imbezelled by the said Peyton he being a Person of Ill Fame and Character.
It is the Opinion of this Committe that the Assembly do address his Excellency the Governour that if he has granted such a Commission 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 is provided they should be.
This House concurrs with the Report of the Committe. 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 Newburn Town and incerted or caused to be incerted another Person not duly chosen.
The House concurred therewith and Ordered to be sent to the upper House for Concurrence.
Reported from the Committe of Propositions and Grievances that the Committe have had several Complaints lay'd before them, and sundry Petitions from divers Inhabitants setting forth that divers free People Negros and Mullatos residing in this Province were taken up by the Directions of Thomas Bryant James Thomson Benjamin Hill John Edwards Thomas Kerney and William Lattimore of Bertie Precinct Benjamin Peyton and Robert Peyton of Bath County Justices of the Peace and others, and by those Justices of the Peace bound out untill they came to 31 years of Age contrary to the consent of the parties bound out.
The said Committe further Report that these practices are well known to divers of the said Committe 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 Committe 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 concurred and ordered the same to be sent to the Upper House for Concurrence.
The Bill for repealing the powder Act was read the 3rd time and pass'd.
Sent to the Upper House by Mr Smith & Mr Skinner
Received from the upper House the Bill for Repeal of the powder Act. Endorsed, Read the third time in the upper House and pass'd.
Ordered The same be Engrossed
A Petition of William Little Esqr Chief Justice directed to the Governour and Council was sent from the Council to this House.
Ordered that the same lye on the Table for the Consideration of the House.
The following Address was sent to his Excellency the Governour.
To his Excellency the Governour.
When this House pass'd a Vote July ye 5th 1733 that the Several powder Receivers should lay their Accounts before this Assembly by the 11th of the Month and sent the same to your Excellency and the Councilt.
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 a time appointed for that purpose and not to Vote it should be done.
We humbly beg leave to remind your Excellency at the same Session of Assembly in 1715 when the Act was pass'd for raising a Magazine of Ammunition on the Tonnage of Vessels, an Act also pass'd entituled Public Treasurers to give Account, wherein it is expressly provided that all persons whatsoever within this province (be they of what Quality or Condition Soever) that formerly have been now are or hereafter shall be Treasurers, Collectors or Receivers of Publick Moneys, now raised or hereafter to be raised by the Authority of the General Assembly, or who by any Ways or means have are or shall for the future be possessed of the same or any part thereof shall from time to time and at all times be hereafter accountable to the General Assembly or to such Commissioners as shall or may be appointed by the Authority of the Same and to no other person or persons whatsoever.
Wherefore we think this Assembly has not proceeded otherwise than agreeable to that law, but whether the Vote of the House concurred with by the Council is with a Design to inspect only, or for other purposes, We think the Assembly ought to have those Accounts laid before them, and that without Delay Because We have great Reason to believe that Money is in very unsafe Hands and may be lost.
And that We may discharge the Trust reposed in Us as Representatives of the People We desire Your Excellency to let Us Know who are the Receivers of the powder Money, by whom and when appointed, and what Security they have given for the faithfull Discharge of their Offices. For those formerly appointed by the Assembly (Some of whom We understand Your Excellency has been pleased to displace) gave very good and satisfactory Security, and duly accounted with the Assembly and paid to the Assembly the Moneys due or those Accounts agreeable to the Law before recited.By OrderJNo LEAHY D Clk.
Sent by Majr Turner & Mr Smith
Adjourned till to morrow Morning 9 of the Clock.
Met according to Adjournment.
Received a Message from the Clark in these Words.
Mr Speaker and Gentlemen,
My Health will not permitt Me to wait on the House, I should be very much obliged to any Member that would be so good to take the Minutes and am GentlYour most humble ServantA. WILLIAMS.
July ye 13th 1733.
Read the petition of William Little Chief Justice which was sent from the Upper House July ye 12th In these Words.
To his Excelly George Burrington Esqr Capt Generl and Govr in Chief.
And the Honoble the Council now Sitting in Assembly.
The Petition of William Little Chief Justice
May it please Yr Excelly & this honoble 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 thō it was not necessary that something should be made appear to that House before that could justly pass such a grievous Censure, this must be allowed a very fallacious way to build so weighty a Charge upon, had I ever took such a Latitude in judging I might justly have 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 sometime at least
Therefore I beg that this Accusation of the House may not be permitted now to pass over without being enquired into, that it may seen how utterly groundless the Complaint is.
I am sensible this Board as an Upper House will not erect and assume to themselves a Judicial power of trying Causes or Convicting Offenders, nor do I know any Instance of such Tryalls, 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 preceedent. 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 meritts it, as I hope they will take Occasion to shew.
For my part if this Charge against me be thought true I ffreely 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 be only in as General Terms be deny'd, which I do in the most Solemn Manner and with a Confidence usuall to Innocence.
To he arraign'd 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 my Self Sensible of having committed One material Fault in the Station much less am I conscious of anything in the least that can merritt the Name of perverting Justice, which my Soul abhorrs 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 this Charge, as I know assuredly they must, what Recompence, what Reparation can I have.
Bodies of Men have a priviledge, that when refuted, none takes it, nor can they be called to an 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 Spring these Reports rise from and
But perhaps the Gentl may intend by my perverting Justice only the Crime of taking ffees in Bills at four for One, if that be all that is meant, I shall have very little to say to it, I therefore entreat the House may be more particular in Stating Facts, and those that concern Me in particular, and as they have been pleased thus to single out my Name, that they will please to let me stand Single in my Defence.
As to the taking exorbitant Fees so much Complained off in the Address, for my part I most Solemnly aver that I never taxed nor took myself any other than by the Table of Fees the Law hath 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 say have been content to receive them even in Pitch & Tarr nor should have Ventured to refuse what the Law has provided.
When the ffees have been paid in Bills, as people choose 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, thō 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 (thō I only 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 ffees are taken so in the precinct Courts as well as in the General Court which the Country in all parts is Sensible off, and which their principals are most agrieved at, thō the House hath not mentioned them, for my part it was not I that began it, the practice was established before my time,r Chief Justice Smith and the other Officers took them so, but if the House intends 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 Govr and Council, Nay I may say by his Excellency's Command that I took it, and thō they would now endeavour to wound the Governour for it through 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 undergon I shall not therefore Undertake the Defence of the Cause, but shall choose to leave the Charge to my Successor 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 has 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. This Honoble Board where thō 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 Honorable House, who are not to be led away with Heats and Clamour, Prejudice, Passion or private Pique.To Your Excelly therefore and your Honrs I most humbly but most chearfully Submit myself and my Cause.And shall ever remain in all Duty &c.W. LITTLE.
July 12th 1733.
Ordered. That Mr James Castelaw Mr William Downing Mr Isaac Hill Mr Arthur Williams Mr Charles Westbeer Doctr Patrick Maul and Mr John Swann be a Committee to consider the petition of Mr William Little and that they Report to the House their opinion concerning the same.
The vote of the House concerning the practices of the Justices and others in Bertie precinct and other places concerning the taking up and binding out Divers Free people contrary to their Will sent to the Upper House for Concurrance.
Also the Bill for Enlarging the Jurisdiction of the precinct Courts.
Also the Bill to prevent Damages done to the Harbours.
Sent to the Upper House by Mr Leahy & Mr Handcock
The Vote of the House concerning the Writings belonging to the Registers Office of Beaufort and Hyde precincts sent to the Upper House for Concurrance. Also the Vote for £10 to be paid to the Reverend Mr Boyd.
By Mr Wicker & Mr Cogdal.
The House being Sensible that Mr Mackey the Marshal has received four times more ffees than by Law appointed, It was moved and voted that Mr Mackey do attend and give Account by whose directions he received such ffees; He attended and answered that the ffees he takes on Executions Granted from the General Court, those Executions direct him to take Proclamation Money or an Equivalent in Bills at four for One That the others Fees he takes without Execution, he has taken the same by Mr Halton his Principal's Directions and that he constantly accounted with Mr Halton for one half thereof.
The House being made sensible that Edmond Gale Esqr who acted as Deputy Collector and for Naval Officer on his Excellency's Arrival in this Government did put in practice the taking four times the ffees by Law appointed for those Offices. Voted the said Mr Edmond Gale be desired to attend this House to declare by whose Advice and Directions he took and received those large ffees.
He attended and was asked the Question, who answered that it was by the Governour's Directions, He applyed to Mr Speaker who he said was by when he was directed, which Mr Speaker confirm'd.
Mr Forster Deputy Secretary and Clark to the Council was directed to attend and the like Question being put to him he declared he was so directed by the Governour.
Mr Little the Chief Justice was likewise directed to attend, and the like Question being put to him, he acknowledged he had directed the Officers by Executions to receive Proclamation Money or an Equivalent at four for One, the Question was repeated, in in particular whether he had not been advised and directed by the Governour to take such ffees, he gave in the following Answer in writing and declined to answer further.
This House having made a Charge against me, and I have petitioned a Day to be assigned to make Good the Charge, and I conceive this Question affects that Charge and may be leading before the Tryal, and besides I think it must be a great Reflection to think I have done things on the
Adjourned to 3 of the Clock afternoon.
Met according to adjournment.
Mr Church the Powder Receiver of Curratuck being removed out of the Province, his Accounts sworn to before Mr Etheridge was produced at the Table.
Ordered That they remain among the papers of this House to be further Considered when the other Powder Receivers Accounts are laid before the House.
Read the Petition of the Upper Inhabitants of the No side of Pamptico River praying to be exempt from the pamptico Road and that they be ordered to make a New Road from Tranters Creek toward Morattock.
Ordered That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the next Assembly and that in the Mean time Notice be given of this petition to the Lower Inhabitants of Pamptico River working on pamptico Road.
Sent the following Message to his Excelly the Govr
May it Please Your Excellency.
This House yesterday desired Your Excellency to let this Assembly know who are the Receivers of the Powder Money, by whom and when appointed, and what Security they have given; We Repeat our request to Your Excelly, and that the Bonds (if any) be forthwith lodged in the Secretary's Office, We are the more Importunate because if it shall appear that some of the Securities are Insufficient, as We have some Reason to suspect they are, this House in Conjunction with your Excellency and the Council may pass an Order for taking these Powder Receivers into Custody untill Satisfactory Security be given and accounts duly made up.By OrderMOSELEY VAIL pro Clk
Sent by Mr Porter & Colo Bonner.
Received the following Message from the Upper House
Mr Speaker and Gentl of the Genl Assembly.
As to the Message touching the Report of the Committe relating to the practice of binding out free Negroes and Molattos '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 the Peace that have so acted may be ordered to attend the Assembly this Session if time will admitt, 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 Assemby 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.R. FORSTER Clk uppr House.
This House concurrs therewith.
Ordered. That the Justices of those precincts do take Care that Relief be given the Parties injured, and that the Parties concerned do attend at the next Assembly, and that the Representatives of Bertie and Beaufort Precincts do cause Copies of those Votes to be delivered to the Justices at the next precinct Court that Justice may be done.
Received the following Message from his Excelly the Govr.
The time has not been sufficient for Me to do all that you desired in Your Message of Yesterday; the Respective Naval Officers are the Receivers of the Powder Money in all the Ports of this Government, their Securities are in the Secretary's Office, if they are not thought sufficient, or if any likelyhood appears of Loss to the publick, I am willing to use any means for Prevention.
The Dates of their Commissions I Know not.GEO: BURRINGTON.
The House sent to Mr Forster the Deputy Secretary to desire that those Bonds may be laid before the House for their Inspection.
Accordingly he produced Mr Halton's Bond for port Brunswick Mr Wm Little and Mr Robt Forster as Securities. Mr Ayliffe Williams Bond for Port Roanoak Mr Geo: Martin Security these two Bonds is £500 each Currant Money Mr James Winright's Bond for port Beaufort, Mr Richd Rustul and Mr William Badham as Securities in £500 Sterling, but for port Bath the Deputy Secretary said he had no Bond.
Ordered. That Copies of the above mentioned Bonds be taken and lodged among the papers of this House, and the Bonds be returned into the Secretary's Office.
Sent the following Message to his Excelly the Govr
May it please Your Excelly
By the Directions of this House Mr Forster the Deputy Secretary attended with the powder Receivers Bonds and on Examining him We
We think it was a great Omission that the Bonds for Port Roanoak and Port Brunswick were not for Sterling Money as well as Port Beaufort and We think there ought to be two Securities for Port Roanoak, both which Omissions We hope Your Excellency will cause to be rectifyed.
And as there appears no Bond for Port Bath We desire Your Excellency to Send Your Warrant to bring the Powder Receiver for Port Bath before You and that he be committed to Safe Custody untill he give Bond in £500 Sterling with two sufficient Securities for the faithfull Discharge of that Office and to render just and true Accounts thereof according to the Law of this Province.By OrderMOSELEY VAIL D Clk.
Received the following Message from the upper House.
Mr Speaker and Gentl of the Genl Assembly.
This House having yours relating to Mr Peyton and the Registry of Beaufort and Hyde under their Consideration are desirous you would lett them have Evidence which has been produced to you of the Fact.By Order.R. FORSTER Clk upr House
Received the following Message from his Excelly the Govr
The Vote of your House passed the 5th of this Month that the Receivers of the Powder Money should lay their Accounts before the Assembly on the Eleventh was irregular and impracticable Irregular because you ought first to have applyed to Me to give those Officers Orders to produce their Accounts to be laid before You for Inspection. Impracticable because some of the Receivers live at so great Distances from this Place, that it was not possible for me to give them so much as Notice of your Vote, which came not to my Hand before the 10th Day of this Month.
The Answer I returned to your Vote on this Occasion was such as I ought by my Instructions to give; Your House has no Power to call for any Accounts but by Application first made to Your Governour.
If the Kings Instructions are contrary to some Laws of this Province, the Governour must act in Obedience to the Kings Commands, therefore you must not be Surprized that whatever Your Law directs contrary to my Instructions is not taken Notice of Me.
I am very willing to have the Accounts lay'd before your House and will give Instant Orders that the Powder Receivers be forth coming on any Day you Desire, but when they were appointed I know not, their Commissions will shew the time, the Remainder I answered Yesterday in Return to Your last Message.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Ordered. That the Consideration thereof be referred until Tuesday Morning next and that in the meantime His Excellency be desired to let Us have an Inspection or a Copy of his Commission and those Instructions which are supposed to be contrary to the Law of this Province.
Sent the following Message to his Excellency the Govr
May it please your Excellency.
By your Excellency's last Message to this House in Relation to the Powder Receivers You are pleased to say. “If the Kings Instructions “are contrary to some Laws of this Province, the Governour must Act “in Obedience to the Kings Commands, therefore you must not be surprized, “that whatever your Law directs contrary to my Instructions “is not taken Notice of by Me.
We desire your Excellency will be pleased to lett this House have a sight of your Commission or a Copy thereof, as also of such Instructions as Your Excellency thinks are contrary to our Laws, because this House has Voted to take your last Message before mentioned into their Consideration on Tuesday next.By Order.MOSELEY VAIL D Clk.
July ye 14th 1733.
Sent the following Message to the Upper House.
When this House sent the Bill relating to precinct Courts with the Clause relating to the Appointment of Justices for the precincts which We find you have left out. That Clause was proposed as the best Expediment to prevent so many Evil Magistrates from being appointed, as We find there hath been these few years past, Many are the Grievances complained of by Oppressive Magistrates in Bertie and Beaufort, divers whereof are persons of very ill Fame and Character an Instance whereofr Benjamin Peyton of Beaufort Precinct when We sent up the Vote concerning the Registry of Writings for that precinct, since that a Discovery has been made to this House that the said Peyton took Recognizance from One William Larner in a £1000 Sterling with Robert Peyton Senr and Edward Travis as Securities each in £500 Sterling for the said Larner's Appearance at the General Court to answer a Charge made against him for Counterfeiting the paper Currancy of this Province and since that in the Absence of the said Larner the said Peyton made no Return of that Recognizance to the General Court, but of One acknowledged by the said Larner without Sureties, When at the time of his causing that Recognizance to be wrote the said Larner was out of the province
Sent by Mr Burnham & Mr Sawyer
Received the following Message from his Excelly the Govr
I will send a Copy of Some Instructions that Laws of this Province are not agreeable to.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Adjourned 'till Monday Morning.
Met according to Adjournment.
A Province Bill of Forty Shillings belonging to Humphry Smith of Craven precinct was produced to this House defaced by falling into a pot of Soap So as not to be legible, of which proof has been made on Oath before a Magistrate.
Voted That the Treasurer of Craven precinct do Exchange the same.
Sent to the Upper House for Concurrance
By Mr Burnham & Mr Sawyer
Voted That Mr Speaker Collen Pollock Edmond Porter Esqrs Colo Henry Bonner and Mr Charles Westbeer be appointed Commissioners to be joined by Members of the Upper House for taking and stating the Accounts of the Powder Receivers and that they or any four of them make Report of and lay the same before the next Assembly.
The Bill concerning precinct Courts &c. Read a Second Time and past with Amendments.
Sent to the Upper House by Mr Burnham & Mr Sawyer.
Received the following Message from the Govr
If the Secretary or his Deputy did not take proper Security from the Receivers of the powder Money according to the Law of this Province made and provided on that Occasion, the Secretary is answerable for the Omission.
I am of the same Opinion with your House that the Securities ought to have been alike for every part, why it is otherwise the Secretary must account for, nothing shall be wanting on my part to rectify his Omissions.
How it came to pass that the Receiver of the Powder Money for Port Bath had the Commission delivered to him before he gave the proper Security I know not, but as Several Papers of very great Consequence have been mislaid, lost, or Stolen out of the Secretary's Office, I am at a Loss, what to say further, before the Receiver of port Bath is examined, for my own part I will take the utmost Care the Publick shall not suffer. My Warrant as you desire shall be issued to bring the said Receiver forthwith to this Town to be dealt with according to LawGEO: BURRINGTON.
This House having received the above Message from his Excellency, It is Ordered that the Secretary have a Copy thereof and that he be desired to give an Answer to so much thereof as concerns him or his Deputy.
Adjourned to to Morrow Morning 9 of the Clock.
Met according to Adjournment.
Sent the following Message to the Governr
>May it please Your Excellency,
Mr Ayliffe Williams being Commissioned by Your Excellency to administer the Oaths to the Members of this House, He was sent to Yesterday to Administer the Oaths to One of the Members that is not qualifyed to which he returned Answer that he was Sick and could not attend. The like Message was sent this Day to which he returned the like Answer.
Your Excellency is desired to appoint Some other Person to administer the Oaths, that can attend.By OrderMOSELEY VAIL D Clk.
The Bill concerning Harbours &c. Sent to the Upper House.
By Mr Etheridge & Mr Mann
Received the following Message from his Excellency the Governour.
Mr Speaker and Gentl of the Genl Assembly.
I wish it was possible for Me to return you thanks for your Answer to the Speech I made at the Opening this Assembly, but as you know it is not due, nor to be expected, I go on to answer Several Matters and positions lay'd down in Your Answer for Facts, or Colourable pretexts why will not pass Acts of Assembly in Obedience to his Majesty's Instructions.
You say in your Answer that the Assembly in 1731 went as far as it was possible towards a Compliance with the Royal Instructions concerning Quitt Rents and ffees, thō it is well known that if the Quitt Rents and ffees were to be paid in the Manner prescribed in the Bill framed for that purpose by that Assembly they would not amount to One third of Proclamation Money.
Notwithstanding in the next paragraph you write that upon a due Enquiry You find that the Assembly did endeavour as near as possible to comply with the Royal Instructions, and suppose an Impossibility of paying Rents and ffees in Gold or Silver. But this ought to be supposed or mentioned to Me because I well know that Six times Cash is every Year carried out of this Government into Virginia to purchase Negros and British Commodities.
The Rents reserved are in Sixpences and Shillings, what Money they are, and their Value is known even by Boys bred at the Blew-Coat Hospital and in all Equitable Construction ought and must be understood Sterling Money of Great Britain a rated Commodity or a Bill cannot be understood by the Laws of England a Lawfull Tender in Satisfaction for a Debt or Quitt Rent, albeit many knavish and Vile Frauds have been carryed on in Some Colonies in America under Colour of Law to enable the Inhabitants to pay their Just Debts at Home with small Expence.
In opposition to the Hope You have of being able to support your Opinion that his Majesty's Rents are not due in Sterling Money nor Even Proclamation, I offer my Self to maintain and prove that the King's Rents in this Province are due and ought to be paid in Sterling Money of Great Britain. But his Majesty having been pleased to offer an Acceptance in proclamation Money upon certain Conditions set down in the 19th Article of my Instructions and the Assembly having disregarded and slighted his Majesty's Favour in that Respect, I am in much doubt whether any Abatement may be obtained for the future and believe
I admire how it came into Your Thoughts to imagine the ffees paid to the Collectors and Naval Officers in this Government are larger than in the Neighbouring Governments when the Contrary is So well known for the largest Vessels that come into this province, the whole amount of the Collectors ffees do not exceed the Value of Sixteen Shillings Sterling the like Vessels pay a Moidore in Virginia. The Assembly in the Year 1722 a time when there was no Governour in the province altered by an Act of Assembly the ffees paid to the Govr and Naval Officers for Ships Entering and Clearing before that alteration Each Vessel not belonging to the Country paid to the Governour and Naval Officer £1.17.6 Sterling and You all know as well as my Self that less than the Value of twenty Shillings Worth of Goods (I mean Sterling) will now pay those ffees, and for that Reason the Assembly in 1731 would not put the ffees of the Naval Office on the old Establishment, thō it was proposed to them The Collectors and Naval Officers have a Right to demand and take their ffees in Bills at the Rate Set upon them.
What you have wrote in Your Asnwer to my Speech concerning the Grand Deed is confused and will be unintelligable to all people not well versed in the Affairs of this Country, althō you conceive the Lords of Trade have not a Right Information in that matter, I think you are mistaken, and to convince the Representatives, I shall cause to be read to them, what I wrote to the Board of Trade about the Grand Deed.
As the Assembly in 1731 would not pass One Bill in Obedience to his Majesty's Instructions, I saw no Necessity, or even Occasion to call another before I received Directions from the Lords of Trade to Several Matters of Great Consequence I laid before them in a letter dated the 1st of July 1731 their Lordships Answer came not to my Hands before the 26th of last March; I was in Expectation of receiving the said Answer a Year Sooner and therefore deferred calling an Assembly. I know not any Affairs of the Province so urgent to require the meeting of an Assembly Since the Sitting of the last, I have been in every Precinct of this Province and have not heard the Complaint of any Oppression Since I came into North Carolina I must own Abundance of Men made loud Complaints to Me of Grievous Frauds and Cheats put upon them by a former Surveyor General and his Deputies, therefore I Sincerely desired if I knew how, to Cause Restitution to be made to these deluded Sufferers.
If I understand the intended Law in 1729 for enabling Vestries to build Churches purchase Gleebs and make provision for the Clergy, the true Meaning of it is, that None of those Good things should be effected.
I cannot think Your House in Earnest in pretending this Country Suffers by the ffees now taken, because they are not half the Value of those paid in the Neighbouring Governments.
Your Charge against Mr Chief Justice Little and his Assistants for pervertion of Justice, I take to be a Calumny invented by some ill disposed persons, who have conceived a Dislike to him and them for their Great Abilities and faithfull Discharge of their Duties. But if your House has any Accusation to make against those Gentlemen or any other Officer in this Government I will assign You a day for hearing, and promise to do all that can be required of Me, that Justice may be done To this Article I require your immediate Answer.
I cannot pass by what You say in Relation to Mr Smith without observing the Contradiction and partiality of your House. Mr Little, is accused, as Chief Justice for pervertion of Justice, for no other Reason, that I can learn, but taking Proclamation Money or an Equivalent for his ffees; and Mr Smith hath the thanks of your House and is recommended for his former Integrity in that Office thō he Sat but one Court, and the principal Business he did was the Establishing those very ffees in that Court, which now causes so heavy a Charge against Mr Little. You gentlemen are strangers to Mr Smith and his Character, which I too well know, but as I shall be necessitated to be more particular about him in another place, I shall neither trouble you nor my Self further about him at present.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Ordered That Mr Smith have a Copy of so much thereof as Relates to him and he is desired to give an Answer thereto.
The following is the paper referred to in the Governour's Reply.
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 revocable at pleasure and that in Effect it was revoked in an Order to Mr Eden to grant no Lands under One penny per Acre Quitt Rents 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 Governour Eden, and as it is an Incumbent Duty on Me truely to represent things, I am under a Necessity of stating 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 ye 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 Condition and tenure of the Grant this hath from time to time been always held as firm a Grant as the proprietors own Charter from the Crown, and the people have always claimed it as an undoubted Right, by Virtue of that Grant upon their complying with the Conditions of it. They plead that a Charter or Grant from the proprietors to the people of any part of the Country is as valid as their Grant or Deed to any particular persons would be and no more revokable, and thō the general Deed is general without naming any particular persons, 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 proprietors Establishment in point of Government might be revocable, Yet Grants of Land cannot be revoked. And that the grand Deed has been always looked upon as a firm and absolute Grant of the Lands in Albemarle County (on Condition) they further Evidence by every patent made out since to each particular person in the County. For this Grant by the Grand Deed and peoples complying with it is made the Consideration expressed in each private Grant; the form of the Patents in Albemarle County running thus, His Excelly &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 entitled 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 and so much Land where the Claimant laid his Rights (that is where Ever he chose to have it laid out to him) and on the Return of the Survey a Patent was made out for it 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 the 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 in it. So that by the charter from the Crown to the Proprietors and their Heirs and Assigns 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 everyr Acre nor any patents ever issued at an higher Rent than two Shillings per Hundred Acres, which is the same as the Quitt Rents of Virginia which being made in Tobacco or Money at the Choice of the Tenants, the People here claim a Right of paying in the Same Manner, but this Affair is not Yet come in Debate because the King's Receiver has not been in this Government, nor any Quitt Rents collected Since my Arrival.
The Bill relating to precinct Courts came from the Upper House. Past with Amendments.
Received the following Message from the Governour.
If Mr William's Illness continues, another fit Person shall be appointed to Qualify Your Member.GEO: BURRINGTON.
Mr Secretary by his Deputy Mr Forster delivered in the following Answer to the Request of the House
Mr Speaker and Gentl of the Genl Assembly
In answer to Your Message of yesterday touching the Powder Money with his Excellency's Answer to your Message to him upon that subject I take leave to inform you that (the Govr now Keeping the Seal) Commissions do not pass thro' my Office as formerly, when the Seal was in the Secretary's Custody, and particularly the Commissions to the powder Receivers were not expedited by Me or my Deputy, who denies to have either Countersign'd or deliver'd them out to the parties appointed by his Excellency to that Office, or to have had any other concern therein, then writing out by his Excellency's Command the Form of such Commissions.
I do not find that the Law relating thereto directs Me to take Security on that occasion, thō, if it did, it must necessarily be Understood, that it were to be done upon Signification from the Governour of such Commission issuing, but having received no Notice or Direction from his Excellency in Relation thereto I apprehend I am in no wise Answerable for the Omission
His Excellency by Implication Taxes Me with want of Care in the Execution of my Office, for that Several Papers of Consequence have been lost, mislaid or stolen out of the Office, which I humbly conceive to be beside the Question, and not at all to the purpose, since his Excellency does not pretend to have lodg'd a Bond for Port Bath with Me, which therefore could not be lost or mislaid by Me, but as it is easy for Me to prove the Charge groundless and without foundation, No Material Papers having been lost out of the Office since I have been Secretary of the province, Notwithstanding the ill provision there is for the safe and well keeping thereof, So it is easy to discern with what View it was made and incerted (not very pertinently as I have shewn) in his Excellency's Answer.NATH: RICE.
Mr William Downing reported from the Committe that they had considered Mr Little's Petition and come to a Resolution thereon which Resolution was read in these Words.
Resolved. That it appears to the Committe that the said William Little hath treated the Lower House of Assembly not only with Ill Manners, but with Insolence and contempt in that Scandalous and invidious Libel which he calls a Petition in which he accuses the House of acting in a very unjust and injurious Manner, and affirms that, had he done as the House has done, he might have justly been accused of Oppression and pervertion of Justice; He insinuates as if there were a Secret Conspiracy in the House against Him.
Such Scandalous Expressions reflecting on the Dignity of this House highly deserves it's censure.
This House might now (as Mr Little Seems to request) proceed to a Charge in Relation to his many and great Crimes, but that we conceive that he has greater Trust on the Support of those who had commissioned him, than on his Own Innocence, for We cannot but observe that he seems to triumph on the Expectation of being acquitted by the Council, One of which he is nearly related to and another one of his Assistants mentioned to be guilty with him of pervertion of Justice.
Therefore We conceive this House will take a proper time (of which themselves are best Judges) to form their Charge and make it good against the said William Little for Pervertion of Justice, Oppression and Extortion notwithstanding all that the said William Little hath said in his Libel.
Which Resolution was read and unanimously approved.
Ordered. That the Sargeant attending this House do immediately take Mr William Little into his Custody and him safely keep untill to morrow Morning and that he then bring him before the House to Answer for his Affronting the House by sundery Reflections exprest in his petition now before the House.
By Order of the Genl Assembly.
This House having pass'd a Vote the 5th of this Month that the several Powder Receivers should lay their Accounts before this Assembly by the 11th of this Month of which Mr Ayliffe Williams Clerk of this House, who Acts as powder Receiver for Port Roanoak had sufficient Notice, the same Vote being entered by him in the Journal of this House and the said Mr Ayliffe Williams having hitherto failed to lay his Accounts before this House, and the House being informed that he is departing this province.
Ordered. That the Sargeant attending this House do immediately take the said Mr Ayliffe Williams into his Custody and him safely keep untill he shall be discharged by this House.
Mr William Barrow Member for Hyde precinct took the Oaths and subscribed the Declaration by Law appointed for his Qualification.
Adjourned till to Morrow Morning 9 of the Clock.
Met according to Adjournment.
Ordered. That Collen Pollock Edmond Porter Esqrs Capt William Downing Mr Arthur Williams Mr Isaac Hill and Mr John Leahy be a Committe to consider the Reply made by the Governour to the Answer this House made to his Speech and make an Answer thereto and Report the Same to the House.
Adjourned 'till the Afternoon.
Met according to Adjournment.
Mr Smith delivered in his Answer in the following words. which was read.
Mr. Speaker and Gentl of the Assembly.
I have the Favour of a Message from You containing a paragraph of a Paper sent to you by his Excellency the Governour in which he bears so hard on my Conduct that You very justly concluded, I ought to vindicate my Self of those Imputations; I thought I had so fully answered all his Excellency's Charges against Me that I expected no further Trouble from him on that Head, but finding that he still goes on to vilifie Me purely to create Jealousies between your House and the Officers in General and my Self in particular, I should be very much wanting to my Character did I not clear my Self from those Malitious Groundless Insinuations. The Governour Seems to insinuate that you gave me the Thanks of your House for the same thing that you censured Mr Little when it plainly appears by your Journal that you passed that Vote in my Favour purely for the Services I did you in Representing to His Majesty the many Grievances and Oppressions you laboured under from his Excellency's Administration; Whereas Your Charge against Mr Little is for Notorious pervertion of Justice, things entirely different in my Opinion, but I have had so many Instances of his Excellency's Regard to Truth that I am not at all surprized at it, he is further pleased to observe that I established those ffees you now complain off, which is so far from Truth, that Mr Speaker and Several Others can attest that most of the Officers had Orders from the Governour to take Proclamation Money or four for One Some Weeks before the General Court he mentions in his paper, and for Once I appeal to his Excellency himself if he did not insist upon the Officers paying one hundred and fifty Guineas to two Gentlemen at Home for Procuring that Instruction, which Orders ffees to be paid in Proclamation Money; declaring that he had given his Bond for it, which as I was Satisfyed to the Contrary from the known Honour and worth of those Gentlemen, So when I mentioned it to them in London, they declared it was utterly false: I think his Excellency has forgot himself, when he says I established those ffees at that Court in which I presided as Chief Justice, for I am sure no Order of that Sort was made as will appear by the Records, unless foisted in; His Excellency goes on to inform you, that he knows Me and my Character too well, as to my Character it is well known amongst Gentlemen of worth and Honour, and indeed I was in Hopes, that his Excellency would Scarcely
As You have a great Deal of Business upon Your Hands I must ask Pardon for taking up so much of Your time; but the Falsity and the Ungenerous View with which that Paper was contrived made it somewhat Necessary for Me to answer it fully, to conclude thō his Excellency upon all Occasions expresses his Contempt of the Assembly I shall always esteem it a particular Favour to have the approbation of the Representatives of the people of this province.Wm SMITH.
The Committe made Report in these Words following which was read and unanimously approved Vizt
The Committe are of opinion that nothing his Excellency has yet said is sufficient to alter the Opinion of the House concerning the Money the Quitt Rents are to be paid in, as the People of England well know what is meant there by shillings and pence, so it is as well known in this and other provinces that by shillings and pence is meant the Currancy of those provinces and not Sterling or proclamation Money unless such are expressly mentioned.
The Committe are of Opinion that the Bulk of Trade of this Province is carryed on by Vessels under 50 Ton, and the Instance his Excellency gave of the ffees in that province was not well chosen because by their printed Laws now before the Committe, it appears that the Naval Officers ffees for such Vessels is but 10 Shill and the Collectors 7s 6d and in the province of New England, where most of our Commodities are carried they are much less than in Virginia, nor can the Committe learn that the ffees are near so large in any province as are taken in this. What his Excellency says of 20 shill in Goods at first in London being sufficient to pay the Officers ffees, is what we can't admitt to be true, but were it So, we think it is not to the purpose in the present dispute, Fort) within a Day or two after his arrival as appears by the Declaration made by the Officer to the House.
The Committe are so far from agreeing with his Excellency when he asserts that the ffees offered to be paid by the Assembly in April 1731 would not amount to One third Proclamation Money, that it will be evident by the propositions of that Assembly to make the ffees on the like Establishment as they were before paper Money was Currant, that the same was in effect equal to Proclamation Money, for so the Council declared the ffees were before paper Money was made; The Committe think it very strange that after his Excellency has declared that what the House said in their Answer to his Speech of Mr Little Chief Justice and his Assistants pervertion of Justice, he takes to be a Calumny invented by some Ill disposed persons, he goes on to tell the House he will appoint a Day for hearing, and required an immediate Answer to that part.
The Committe can't be of opinion that it is proper for them, after so much said by the Governour in excuse for Mr Little to proceed to a hearing before him and the Council now present being but five Members, One of those he is nearly related to, another one of his Assistants equally charged with Mr Little, and a third a Party Complaining.
His Excellency Seems to be much concerned at what the House said concerning Mr Chief Justice Smith, the Committe do not conceive that Mr Smith had the thanks of the House for what Mr Little is accused, We think his Excellency has misrepresented that Matter, what the House had principally in View on that Occasion was the difference between Integrity in the One and pervertion of Justice &c. in the other Officers of the General Court. As to the Oppressive Article the Fees, We think it very apparent, that it was not Mr Smith that Establish'd them because his Excellency directed the taking such large Fees from the Vessels at least a Month before the General Court Sate. We are informed that when Mr Smith discerned how the Laws of the province ran concerning Fees, he directed the Clerk to take no other Difference, than such as had been proposed by the Assembly.
Whether Mr Smith is so well known to the House as to his Excellency We conceive is not material, for when the Country was found to labour under Such Oppression and pervertion of Justice, When the Governour of a province would be the Arbiter of his own Differences, and take the Goods he pretended a Right to out of the possession of another, ands 6d Silver Money for every 50 Acres, thō such demand was no ways warranted by the Laws of this province or the Royal Instructions, when free people were taken up by the Magistrates and placed in a state of Servitude little inferior to Bondage against their Wills.
In short when all the Laws of the province were in a Manner Disregarded, all the Courts of Justice in a Manner Stopt, when Injustice, Oppression and Arbitrary power had almost over run the whole province, It was surely high time (in the opinion of the Committe) to rejoice at any alteration that was likely to be made in the Courts of Justice or elsewhere.
The Committe have reason still to be of opinion that the Right Honble the Lords Commissioners of Trade had not a Right Information of the affair of the Lands In Albemarle County and the Deed of Grant, when they understood it in the nature of a temporary letter of Attorney revokable &c. and the Method his Excellency has taken to shew us, that the House was mistaken in that Opinion, rather confirms Us, because by that paper laid before the House with his Reply, it is apparent his Excellency thought as the House did, for that Paper wrote to the Board of Trade, since the Receit of that Instruction does not only say That he is persuaded their Lordships have been misinformed. But much pains is bestowed therein to shew, that his Excellency is much of the same Opinion with the House concerning the Deed of Grant.
The Committe is much surprized at what his Excellency says that he well knows that Six times more Cash is every year carried out of this Government to Virginia to purchase Negros and British Goods than is necessary to pay the Rents and ffees.
If this be true there must yearly go out of Virginia at least £9.000 if the ffees should be left out of the Computation. For the Rents alone We think will not be short of £1.500 per Annum if duly collected, for the Grants issued before the Kings purchase and for Lands his Excellency has granted Warrants for by taking the ffees into Computation, as they are now so extravagantly taken, the sum would be prodigiously Swoln. The Committe have made diligent Enquiry, and We can scarce find any other way that Cash is brought into the province but from Virginia, and that by the Borderers, who sometimes receive it for provision carried thither, the sum brought into the province or carried out We conceive to be very small, and not sufficient to pay half the Rents, of the province, and is not to be come at, by those who live at any Considerable Distance from the Line, for those who take such pains to carry Provisions to Virginia at the Charge of a great Land Carriage, do it Chiefly to lodge Money there to purchase Slaves, which are difficult to be bought any other way. The Trade being so much injured as We conceive by the Heavy Burthens on the Traders who come by Water and by the Bad Navigation. This Report of your Committe is humbly submitted to the House by.COLLEN POLLOCKE. PORTERW. DOWNINGARTHr WILLIAMSISAAC HILLJNO. LEAHY.
July ye 18th 1733.
In regard the Clerk has not attended the House by Illness and otherwise, It is the Direction of this House that the Speaker keep the papers to form the Journal by and that they be then delivered to the Clerk if he is able to receive them and is in the province.
Mr Speaker and Gntl of the House of Burgesses.
I require Your immediate Attendance in the Council Chamber.GEO. BURRINGTON.
The House accordingly attended his Excellency in the Council Chamber where the Governour made the following Speech.
Gentl 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 frivolously spent, or wore, I find it to little purpose to keep you longer together.
Mr Speaker & Gentl of the Lower House.
You from the Beginning have discovered such a Spirit that I early doubted whether any good might be expected from You, but have waited patiently to see what might be effected but finding any 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 thō you have an opportunity thereby to serve Your Selves and display Picques and prejudices.
You have artfully and falsely endeavoured to represent the Government under Me as grievous and Oppressive thō 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 Assemblies as you malitiously term it there past not two Years between the last Assembly and the chusing this, thō I 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. Bodies 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 Incendiaries amongst You and that all the others had their 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 carried away by the false Zeal and Clamour of the Rest; and Instance of which sufficiently appeared in the Management of your Answer to my Speech, it was drawn by the most inveterate Members, and no Sooner brought into the House, but push'd on with a Noise and Violence that Stifled all Opposition and that was called Nemine Contradicente.
If Assemblies in this province proceed in the Manner You have done with Heat and partiality, they themselves will grow the greatest Grievance and Oppression to the Country, Burgessing has been for some Years a source of Lies and Occasion of Disturbances, which has deterred good Men from being Candidates, or entring the Lists of Noise and Faction, which every common Observer Knows. Neither doth the Kings Instruction that only ffree-holders should Vote find any Weight in Your Elections, thō always incerted in the Writs.
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; Butth 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 laid 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 Sargeant to take him into Custody for a pretended Contempt found in the Petition by him delivered to the Upper House, Thō all unbiassed Men do allow it was wrote with as much Decency and Temper as the Charge would admitt off.
You have also presumed to take into Custody the Receiver of the Powder Money for port Roanoak, thō under very sufficient Security, who had my Orders agreeable to his Majesty's Instructions not to make up any publick Accounts but before Me in Council.
You have denyed to confirm to his Majesty's Instructions concerning the payment of the Quitt Rents, thō by Calling you again together, I gave You another Opportunity of accepting his Majesty's most Gracious Favour in allowing them to be paid in proclamation Money instead of Sterling, Nay you have denied 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 enlarging the power of precinct Courts, which I commended to You, you took care to clog with such clauses, as you must know I could not possibly assent to.
I also proposed to You for 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 passed both Houses for taking the said Duty wholly of all Vessels.
I am informed you have refused to admitt 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 an House, my allowing your Proceedings or Orders would be giving up an undoubted Right of his Majesty, which has never been contested before this Time.
For the aforesaid Reasons I dissolve this Assembly and it is hereby accordingly dissolved.GEO. BURRINGTON.
July ye 18th 1733.
True Copy Examined.
By me Williams Clk. Genl Assembly.