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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Report concerning currency in North Carolina
No Author
1736
Volume 04, Pages 178-180

State of the present Currency in North Carolina.

In the year 1722 an Act passed the General Assembly for maturing the sum of £12000 paper bills of Credit which was then the only Currency or portable Medium of Trade subsisting in the Province. Although no Provision was made by the Act for sinking them nor were they of any other value than what com̄on consent and the quick circulation stampt upon them.

But as in time these Bills being written became obliterated and defact and the General Assembly (not deeming this to be a sufficient Currency to carry on the trade of the Province) did in November 1729 pass another Act for making and emitting the sum of forty thousand pounds Publick Bills of Credit Ten Thousand Pounds of which was by this Act appropriated to Exchange as much of the old Currency £2000 being then supposed to be lost Torn or defact which was accordingly done. The other £30000 was let out to interest on land security for the space of fifteen Years at the rate 674 per Cent interest, and one fifteenth part of

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the Principal to be annually paid in to the Treasurers for that purpose appointed which interest and principal was to be sunk as the Paymt should be made.

By this calculation the £30000 so let out would in fifteen years amount to £45000 which is £5000 [more] than the whole of this Emission & consequently the Province would gain so much at the Expiration of the said Term which sum of five Thousand Pounds was by this Act directed to be taken out of the first money that should arise and applyed to the Payment of the Comrs & Treasurers appointed to Execute it and other Charges of the Government.

In February 1730 [1731] Governor Burrington arrived in this Province, and soon after declared the Law before mentioned to be invalid as having been past since the Act for vesting the Province in His Majesty and forbade any of the Precinct Treasurers receiving the interest and principal of the money so let out as being illegal which they readily complied with so that the whole sum circulated during the time of his Government without any annual deduction, as the Law intended by which and some other means the Currency became greatly depreciated.

On the arrival of His Excellency Governor Johnston he immediately issued a Proclamation, commanding all the Precinct Treasurers to be ready to lay out their Accounts before the Generall Assembly then called to meet at Edenton the 15th of January 1734, and to pay in their several sums received by virtue of the aforesaid Act, most of which Accounts were accordingly product but not one tenth part of the money then due the particulars of which are here annexed.

There being at this time a large Arrear of Quit rents due to His Majesty, and an Act then depending in both Houses, for the settling and paying the same for the future it was apprehended that the annual sinking of the Currency as before mentioned would greatly distress the Inhabitants in such payments for want of a sufficient paper Currency (silver and Gold being not to be had) a Bill was therefore brought in which on the 1st of March past into an Act for stamping and exchanging the present Bills of Currency etc. whereby it was enacted that from the 30th day of Aprill 1734. All the money then due by virtue of the Act in 1729 as well as what should become annually so should again be let out at Interest of 6 per cent: per annu: (the Principal to be kept entire) for the space of Ten years at which time the £40000 Act Expired and this was intended purely for the benefit of the Inhabitants of the Province that they might be certain of at least a Currency of £40000 for Ten years to come. By this Act also the Commissioners appointed to stamp the Paper Bills were impowered to stamp the sum of £2500 over and

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above the £40000 to defray the Charges of it, which sum was included in an estimate of the Debts of the Province which amounted to the sum of £14150.3d And on the first of March an Act passed for granting to His Majesty the sum of £14150.3.2 etca to be raised by a Poll Tax of 5s per head paya in five years but because it was absolutely necessary these Debts should be paid off as soon as possible His Excellency consented to a Clause in the same law for stamping £10000 more to be sunk by this Tax and a Law for laying a Duty on liquors imported past at the same time so that there is now circulating in the province the sum of £52500 except what of the old Bills as may be lost or destroy'd Vizt

By an Act for stamping the Currency past the first of March 1734
£42500
By the Tax Law
10000
£52500

Received with Mr Johnston's Letter of 15th of October 1736.