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Letter from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to Gabriel Johnston
Great Britain. Board of Trade
September 12, 1735
Volume 04, Pages 16-17

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[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 21. P. 220.]

12 Sept 1735

Sir, [Governor Gab. Johnston]

We have received your letters of the 7th October and 12th December 1734 as also another of the 25th May last and We are very glad to find by them that the trade of your Province has so fair a prospect from the account you give us of the increase of its productions but when you mentioned this and the forty two sail of ships that went from Cape Fear River you ought to have sent us a more particular account thereof as likewise what the said ships were loaded with.

We have considered your observations with regard to the manner of making tar in your Province and as We are of opinion that they are right We think you ought to move the Assembly that some proper regulations might be enacted as rules for making of Tar throughout the Province and a proper person or persons appointed to inspect the several kilns that penalties might be inflicted on such of them who transgress the said rules For altho' at present endeavour at quantities on account of the Bounty yet if the Tar of your Province should be brought into disrepute by the burning quality of it none of it will be exported from thence and that Manufacture will be quite lost to those of your Province who now maintain themselves thereby.

It is with pleasure that we read the account you have given us of the industry of the people settled on Cape Fear River and of the attempts they are making towards the Manufactures of Wine Oyle and silk for which you have desired us to prevail with the Legislature to grant a Bounty. We are always ready to do whatever within us lies for the encouragement of industry in any of the Colonies but before we know what progress the people are able to make in these manufactures and have some specimens thereof it would have but little effect were we to propose what you have desired

Your letter of the 25th May 1735 relates chiefly to the Blank Patents and although we may be absolutely of your opinion with regard thereto Yet as they are deemed private property by such persons as are in possession of them We choose to have the Attorney General's opinion thereon before we send you any directions on that subject and we have accordingly referred to him the case you transmitted to us and an extract of what you have wrote in your abovesaid letter concerning them for his opinion in point of law so that we hope you may receive some directions upon this subject by November next as you have desired.

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We have received no Representation from the Proprietors of these Blank Patents as you mention and you may be assured that if we should we shall give no countenance to any thing that shall have the appearance of fraud.

We are sorry the Law you proposed for procuring a Rent Roll and regulating the Quit Rents did not pass the House but we hope you may have better success the next Session of Assembly as you seem to expect and that the King thereby may be assured of his Quit Rents without the payment of which and of a general Registry of all the Grants and Patents the People are to understand their Arrears of Quit Rents to the time His Majesty made the purchase are not to be remitted You have therefore done very right to erect a Court of Exchequer in which any disputes about Quit Rents or Titles to Land will properly be adjusted and we desire to have an account of the proceedings in that Court.

The Boundary Line between South Carolina and your Province we find has at last been adjusted by Commissrs on both sides and we shall always have a proper regard to so solemn a determination agreed to by persons properly empowered by each of the Provinces when you gave us this piece of intelligence you ought to have sent us a full description of the said line and a Draught thereof signed by the Commissrs or an authentic copy thereof under the seal which we desire you will do as soon as conveniently you can.

We shall immediately recommend to his Majesty the following Gentlemen viz: William Forbes, James Innes, and Thos. Wardroper Esqrs to supply the three Vacancies you mention in the Council occasioned by the death of Mr Ashe and the absence of Richard Eyans and James Stallard from the Province you tell us you cannot find the two last were ever in the Province which may be the case They were recommended to us by your Predecessor but we hope you will be more cautious in your recommendations.

We desire you will constantly give us accounts of all transactions in your Govt and that you will not omit to send us annual answers to our circular Queries of which we now send you a copy. So We bid you heartily farewell and are

Your very loving friends &c
FITZ. WALKER
M. BLADEN
THO. PELHAM
JA. BRUDENELL
RICH. PLUMER
To Gov. Gab. Johnston

Whitehall Sept. 12th 1735.