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Memorandum from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to George II, King of Great Britain concerning the proposed settlement in North Carolina by inhabitants of Switzerland
Great Britain. Board of Trade
May 07, 1736
Volume 04, Pages 166-168

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 21. P. 233.]

May it please Your Majesty

A Memorial was lately presented to us by Mr Samuel Jenner Agent for a great number of Swiss Protestants who are desirous to transport themselves and familys at their own expense to North Carolina provided they might obtain the following conditions

That an Act of Parliament should be passed by which all Switzers who should transport themselves to North Carolina should be naturalized & entitled to all the rights and privileges of Your Majesty's British Subjects.

That they might embark in Holland and be permitted to carry their goods and effects with them without being subject to seizures or confiscation when landed in America

That as they intend to plant Vines raise silk hemp and flax and make Pot Ash they desired to be placed in a proper situation for those purposes and would be contented with an upland part of North Carolina bounded by the Apalachian Mountains on the West and by the Southern Boundary of Virginia on the North about three score miles from any settlement already made in that Province

That notwithstanding the inland parts of this Province were yet uncultivated no roads made and the rivers which water that part of the country too shallow for navigation they would nevertheless endeavour to surmount these difficulties if a sufficient district of land might be laid out and appropriated for them and such as should come after them from the Cantons of Switzerland and the adjoining Countrys that so they and their posterity might inhabit together and not be dispersed by having people mixed with them who should not understand their language.

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That all Officers Civil & Military to be appointed in the district they should inhabit might be of their own people and that they might provide for the subsistence and maintenance of their own clergy and poor without being chargeable in those respects to the other inhabitants of North Carolina or being burdened by them on account of payments to any Clergy or Poor besides their own.

That they might enjoy an exemption from quit rents and all taxes and impositions for the space of ten years and that after this term their quit rents should not exceed two shillings for every hundred acres for ever.

That in laying out the land allotted them every Gentleman should have one thousand acres and every other man four hundred acres and that they might be permitted to make their own surveys and have patents delivered to them for their lands without payment of fees.

Altho' in these Proposals they have not mentioned any particular number to be settled in the Province yet in the several conferences we have had with them on this subject we find that they propose to transport thither to the number of six thousand Swiss Protestants within the space of ten years.

As the settlement of so many industrious Protestants may be highly beneficial to Your Maj. Province of North Carolina We took these proposals into our consideration and have treated with Mr Jenner & his Associates upon the subject matter thereof who after several conferences with us have at last consented and agreed to undertake the proposed Settlement upon the following conditions Viz:

That the said Swiss be naturalized by an Act of Assembly to be passed in North Carolina for that purpose

That they be recommended to the Officers of Your Majesty's Customs to be treated in the most tender manner the law will admit of at those ports in Great Britain where they shall from time to time touch at & clear from.

That none of Your Maj. subjects or any Foreign Protestants be excluded from settling within the said Tracts provided the Swiss may have distinct Parishes allotted to them of ten miles square.

That the Swiss may enjoy the privileges common to Your Maj. British Subjects there.

And lastly that every gentleman (who as described by them is a person who does not work himself) having three men servants shall have a claim to a Grant of Land not exceeding one thousand acres and every common man having a family to have a claim to a grant of land not exceeding four hundred acres to be held free from quit rents for ten years

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from the date of their grants But from that time to be subject to the established quit rents of the Province which is four shillings per annum Proclamation Money for every hundred acres.

Upon these conditions we are humbly of opinion that Your Majesty may be graciously pleased to permit the said six thousand Swiss to settle in the Province of North Carolina which will thereby receive a considerable augmentation of useful inhabitants by whose means Your Maj. Quit rents will hereafter be increased and a foundation laid for enlarging the trade & navigation of this Kingdom And if it should be Your Maj. Royal pleasure to comply with these Proposals we would further humbly offer that the Governor of North Carolina may receive Your Maj. orders to recommend it to the Assembly of that Province to defray the charge of surveying the lands to be set out and of issuing the grants which shall be made to the said Switzers or that they may be eased of the expense attending the said Surveys and Grants in such other manner as to Your Maj. in your great wisdom shall seem proper.

All which is humbly submitted [From the Board of Trade]


Whitehall May 7th 1736.