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Minutes of the Upper House of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina. General Assembly
September 21, 1736 - October 12, 1736
Volume 04, Pages 225-241

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: Vol. 23.]
LEGISLATIVE JOURNALS.

North Carolina—ss.

At a General Assembly begun and held at Edenton on Tuesday the 21st day of September 1736.

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Present the honble William Smith Esqre President
The honble Nath. Rice Esqr Member of the Upper House of Assembly.
The honble Robt Halton Esqr Member of the Upper House of Assembly.
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr Member of the Upper House of Assembly.
The honble Edw: Moseley Esqr Member of the Upper House of Assembly.
The honble Cullen Pollock Esqr Member of the Upper House of Assembly.

Received a message from the Lower House, that several of the Members of that House being mett waited for their qualification.

Whereupon his Excellency the Governour was pleased to appoint Robert Halton and Cullen Pollock Esqrs Members of this Board, to administer the oaths by law appointed to be taken for the qualification of Publick Officers, to the several Members of the Lower House of Assembly.

A Message came from the Lower House to acquaint his Excellency that a majority of their House was qualified and waited his Directions.

Whereupon his Excellency sent a message to the Lower House requiring their immediate attendance; who accordingly came in a full Body, and his Excellency was pleased to direct them to choose their speaker & present him to-morrow morning at nine of the clock for his approbation.

Then the House adjourned till to-morrow morning at nine of the Clock.

Wednesday Septr 22d The House met according to adjournment Present as before.

His Excellency came to the Upper House and by a Messenger required the attendance of the House of Burgesses, who came in a full body, and presented William Downing Esqre their Speaker, whom his Excellency was pleased to approve of; and then delivered his speech to both Houses in the following words, vizt

Gentlemen of the Upper House, Mr Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses.

It is not with an intention of making any Demands for my own personal advantage, that I have now summoned you to meet in Assembly, I should look on such views as very mean and unworthy, while the publick Affairs are in such Disorder, and the little money you can at present afford to raise, may be more usefully employed in making Provision for establishing order, Peace and quiet in the Province, for promoting its trade and incouraging its navigation.

These I assure you Gentlemen are the designs which I have principally at heart, and I hope you are mett together with the most sincere resolutions of enabling me to put them in execution. I shall with great truth and plainness lay the state of the Country before you, and if its grievances are not redressed, and its abuses not reformed, and defects supplied, the blame must lye entirely at your doors.

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I shall begin with observing the deplorable & almost totall want of divine worship throughout the Province, I believe it is impossible to instance in any Country, I am sure it is in any Collony belonging to a Christian nation, where some effectuall provision has not been made for paying in Publick, and at stated times that adoration, and Homage to Almighty God, so highly becoming all rational creatures; and for instructing the People in their duty to the supream Author of their being to one another and to themselves: After observing this, nobody will be surprized at the many disorders, which have always prevailed among us; especially when it is considered how little care is taken of the education of youth.

In all civilized Societys of men, it has always been looked upon as a matter of the greatest consequence to their Peace and happiness, to pollish the minds of young Persons with some degree of learning, and early to instill into them the Principles of virtue and religion, and that the Legislature has never yet taken the least care to erect one school, which deserves the name in this wide extended country, must in the judgement of all thinking men, be reckoned one of our greatest misfortunes. To what purpose Gentlemen is all your toil and labour, all your pains and endeavours for the advantage and enriching your families and Posterity, if within ourselves you cannot afford them such an education as may qualify them to be usefull to their Country and to enjoy what you leave them with decency.

If you turn your eyes upon the laws (I mean such as regard private property) which ought to be the Guardians of your lives and fortunes, I'm afraid you will find them in a very bad scituation; upon the strictest enquiry I can't find that there is one compleat Copy of them in any one place, neither have I yet seen two copies of them which perfectly agree, some of them seem plainly calculated to promote fraudulent practices, and I dare say have prevented many honest fair dealing People from settling in the Province; most of them either appear under ridiculous Titles, are full of contradictions, or their language and stile is childish ridiculous and against the common rules of Grammar. As the happiness of every private man depends upon the laws, I think that this is a Grievance which can never too soon be redressed.

But if the laws were never so good and well contrived the want of sufficient jayls would still be a great obstruction to the execution of justice. Experience shews you that there is no securing off the worst of Criminals and bringing them to condign Punishment, without putting the Country to a vast Charge, by Keeping a perpetual watch round the Prisons, and even in spight of that Precaution, you have lately seen a

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most inhuman, barbarous Murderer, escape the hands of Justice, to the great scandal and reproach of the Province.

And now Gentlemen represent all this to yourselves at one view; consider a Country where there has never yet any Provision been made for Keeping up the sense and awe of a Deity on the minds of People; where no care has been taken to inspire the youth with generous sentiments, worthy Principles, or the least tincture of literature; where the Laws are dispersed up and down in different Places on loose Papers, some of them contradictory, others unintelligible, and even from the plainest and best of them, the vilest and most notorious Malefactors not only may, but actually have escaped with impunity, by reason of the insufficiency of the Publick Prisons; Then consider yourselves as the Representatives of this Country, who have not only the Power and means, but are earnestly pressed and desired to remedy these calamities, to supply these defects; and when you have done all this, lay your hands upon your hearts and consider how you can answer it to God and your own consciences, how you can answer it to your Country or your Posterity, if you either neglect this opportunity of pursuing such valuable ends, or are diverted from it by the trifling arts of designing men.

There are other matters which tho' not of equal moment with what I have now been mentioning, yet very well deserve your attention. The Penalties in the Militia Law are so slight and so inconsiderable, that it is impossible to bring them to a muster so frequently as is necessary, and without your assistance, there is no avoiding this inconvenience.

I recommended to the last Assembly to use their endeavours for obtaining a direct Trade to Great Britain, it is in vain for you to complain of the excessive prices of European commodities or of the scarcity of Gold and Silver, while affairs remain in the present posture. If you do not fall on some effectuall methods of buying your goods at the first market, your Neighbours will never fail to make an advantage of your necessityes. I am the more convinced that it is very possible to do this, because upon examination I perceive the Navigation even of the northern parts of this Province, is not near so bad as a great many persons have industriously given out; And if in imitation of all the other Colonys on the Continent you would give sufficient encouragement for raising and exporting such products as can be raised in this Country, and bear a good price at home, I am satisfied you would soon see an alteration for the better in our Trade For the better preserving your Cattle, Corn and other grains, I believe you will find it highly necessary to provide a sufficient reward for the Killing of Vermin which as I am informed have done great Mischief in most parts of the Province.

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I heartily wish you would make some proper regulations of Officers' Fees. I am told there have been great complaints and murmurs on this subject, but sure they have been very unjust. If any Person injured had applyed for redress & been denyed there might be some foundation for clamour; but as this has not been the case, I cannot see what Grounds there are for Complaints of this nature; but that for the future the Publick may know where the blame lyes, I desire you may search this evil to the bottom, and whoever the guilty Person is, let him be punished with the utmost severity.

I doe further assure you that as I have already sent home a list of all the Fees to the proper Officers, if you think fit to prepare a reasonable Bill for settling all the Fees in the Province, it shall not want my assent. And now I mention murmurs and clamours, I cant forbear taking some notice of the many impudent falsehoods & notorious untruths, which with a design to keep the Country in Confusion, have been so industriously propagated by a Party remarkable for nothing so much as being indefatigable in spreading the basest Calumnies, and never ashamed when detected in it.

I flatter myself I have no occasion to say much on this head, because it is pretty well known, that if they had been permitted, as in former times, to injure his Majesty's revenue, and oppress their fellow subjects, we should have been troubled with no complaints from that Quarter. I should be glad if every Planter would bring this matter home to himself, and make the case his own. Suppose in the late times, when no legall titles could be gott, He had satt down with his family on a vacant Tract of Land; had with great expence and labour built upon and cultivated it for severall years, and after all this, a Person shall come, (who perhaps does not so much as know the boundaries of it but by the Survey the other Person has paid for;) and with an insolent air, by virtue of a pretended title which perhaps a few hours before was a meer blank piece of paper, shall at once rob him of his Plantation and so many years labour; would there not be real and just ground to complain of a Government which would connive at such cruel proceedings as these? This Gentlemen is no bare supposition; it is a matter of fact which has actually happened more than once or twice, and nobody can tell how often it might have happened, if a seasonable stop had not been put to such infamous Practices. For my own part I think I may say without any vanity or ostentation, that I have put myself to great expence and even risqued my health to do justice to the People, by going on the spott to hear their different pretensions, and on all occasions relieving the poor industrious Planter from the oppressions and frauds of their more powerful

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and crafty neighbours And as I heartily despise the poor trifling efforts of that sett of men to my prejudice, as well as the scandalous methods they take to make them effectual; so if any of their Artifices should so far prevail with you, as to lose this favourable opportunity of settling the Country; I shall still have the satisfaction of reflecting that I have performed my duty, and that nothing is left undone on my part.

But I can't persuade myself it will be in the power of such men as they any longer to divert you from serving your country in such material Points as are those I have recommended to you; and as I have been obliged by my instructions rigorously to maintain the Rights and just Revenues of the Crown, I shall be glad of all occasions to shew a tender regard for the Priviledges, happiness and liberties of the People, not being apprehensive that they are in the least inconsistent with one another.

Which being read at this Board resolved that Mr Secretary Rice, Mathew Rowan and Cullen Pollock Esqrs be, and they are hereby appointed a Committee to draw up an Address in answer to His Excellency's speech, and lay the same before this Board.

Adjourned to Saturday.


Saturday Septr 25th The House met according to adjournment Present as before

Mr Secretary Rice, Mathew Rowan, & Cullen Pollock Esqrs the Committee appointed to draw up an Address in answer to His Excellency's Speech, now laid the same before this Board, which was read, and by the majority of the House approved of, which is in the following words (vizt)

To His Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqre Captain General Governor & Commander in Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of North Carolina and Vice Admiral of the same.

The Humble Address of His Majestie's Council of the said Province now met in General Assembly.

May it please your Excellency,

We His Majestie's most Dutyfull and loyall subjects, Members of the Council of this Province do return your Excellency our sincere thanks for your seasonable and pathetick Speech, wherein you have pointed out the evils we labour under in order to their redress and the happy settlement of the Province, which you have recommended in such Terms, as can't but inspire all true lovers of their Country with sentiments of the warmest gratitude: as doubtless proper regulations, Provisions and Constitutions

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in the Subjects proposed to our Consideration in your Excellency's Speech, would greatly conduce to, and promote, or rather effectually procure and attain those good ends which your Excellency has always appeared to pursue, with so much wisdom, zeal & steadiness (vizt) the Establishing peace and order amongst us, and making us a flourishing Colony.

We beg leave to assure your Excellency we are extreamly pleased with this Opportunity and occasion of Acknowledging your Excellency's goodness, care and vigilance, so conspicuous in every part of your Administration; But which shines forth with a more peculiar and distinguished lustre in the quick detection and unbiased prosecution of frauds and abuses, which had been formerly committed in the disposition of lands (but shamelessly connived at and even palliated, nay even espoused by your Predecessor;) and the indefatigable pains, you have taken, to render justice to His Majestie's Subjects in this Particular, and to make them easy and safe in their possessions.

What less can your Excellency expect from us than a ready, chearfull and hearty concurrence (on which your Excellency may depend,) in redressing the Grievances, reforming the abuses, and supplying the defects of the Government, so as to render your administration easie, successfull and honourable, and ourselves and fellow subjects of this Province happy, in the full, secure & undisturbed enjoyment of our liberties and properties of which God's gracious high Providence and His Majtie's fatherly goodness, has made you the welcome restorer, and watchfull Guardian.

We lament very much the want of Divine Publick worship (a crying scandal in any, but more especially in a Christian Community;) as well as the general neglect in point of education, the main sources of all disorders and Corruptions, which we should rejoice to see removed and remedeyed, and are ready to do our parts, towards the reformation of such flagrant and prolifick Evils. The revisal too of our Laws (as your Excellency observes,) is a matter of the greatest importance, and we shall be glad to see it well executed and new Laws framed, more for the Honour and advantage of the Province; and sufficient Prisons erected in proper places; without which (as your Excellency also well observes) the best laws will be ineffectuall and far from answering the ends of Government: we likewise hope this Sessions to see the militia put upon a good footing.

We are very sensible of the impositions and other Inconveniencies, the want of a foreign commerce exposes us to, and are ready to concur in any proper expedients for facilitating a Trade with Europe, and the

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West India Islands as well as in a Law for regulating the fees, so as neither injustice be done to the people, nor hardships to the Officers; and in passing all such other Laws as may be proposed to us for the good of our Country, and particularly for all the purposes before mentioned.

We assure your Excellency that no insinuations, no artifices of any party or sett of men whatsoever, can alter our sentiments or change these our views, but that we shall ever look upon all such as join in an Opposition to measures so evidently calculated for the welfare and happiness of the Province, as the enemies of the Province, & wicked disturbers of the Publick Tranquility; which nevertheless, in spight of their impotent efforts, we hope and doubt not, but your Excellency will be able to establish upon a solid and lasting foundation.

Whereupon Edward Moseley and Cullen Pollock Esqrs who dissented, prayed their dissent, and reasons for the same, might be entered on the Journals of this House, which being read and the matters therein alledged not appearing,

Voted that the Motion be rejected

Resolved that Edmond Porter and Mathew Rowan Esqrs do attend His Excellency the Governor to acquaint him that this House are ready to wait on him with their Address, and then the House waited on His Excellency accordingly.

Adjourned till Monday Morning.


Monday Septr 27th The House met according to Adjournment

Present The Honble William Smith Esqre President

The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr

Read a Bill for an Act for destroying Vermin within this Province the first time and passed.

Read a Bill for an additional Act to ascertain the manner of a Poll Tax and the sum necessary for building a Court House in Hyde Precinct the first time and pass'd.

Resolved that the Bill for an Act to appoint that part of Bertie Precinct lying on the south side of Marratuck river to be a distinct precinct by the name of Edgcombe Precinct, lye on the Table for further consideration.

Adjourned till tomorrow morning at 9 of the Clock.


Tuesday Septr 28th The House mett according to Adjournment.

Present as before.

Received from the Lower House the following resolves, Vizt

Resolved that Mr Thomas Barker be appointed Clerk to attend and to do the business as such in two Committees (vizt) of Grievances and

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Propositions, and for inspecting the Publick Accounts, and that he be allowed thirty five shillings per diem for his attendance and Services; sent to the Upper House for concurrence.

Resolved that Mr Jeremiah Vail be appointed to attend as Clerk of the Committee of Claims; and for his attendance and service on the said Committee to be allowed thirty shillings per diem.

Sent to the Upper House for Concurrance. Which were read and refer'd for the consideration of this Board till the afternoon.

Received a message from the Lower House, vizt

To the Honble the Upper House

This House have appointed Mr Bonner, Mr Forbes, Mr Swan, Mr Bryant, Mr Baker, Mr Luten, Mr Jones, to be a Committee to joyn a Committee of the Upper House for Publick Claims and report the same to this House

To which this House sent the following answer vizt

Mr Speaker and Gentlemen

In answer to your Message this House have appointed Edmond Porter and Edward Moseley Esqrs a Committee to joyn that of yours for Publick Claims.

Received from the Lower House the following Message vizt

To the Honble the Upper House

As several Members of your House hold and enjoy Publick Offices we desire you will permit such Members of your House as are Publick Officers to lay before the Committee of Grievances and Propositions Lists of the several Fees they take and demand by virtue of their Offices.

To which this House sent the following Message vizt

Mr Speaker & Gentlemen,

In answer to your Message relating to the Officers: This House has directed that every Officer in it do lay before the Committee the List of the fees they take and demand.

Received the following Message from the Lower House vizt

To the Honble the Upper House

This House has appointed Mr Maurice Moore, Mr Smithwick, Sir Richard Everard, Baronet, Mr Peyton, Mr Hill, to be a Committee to joyn a Committee of the Upper House for examining Publick Accounts and report the same to [this] House.

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To which this House sent the following Message (vizt)

Mr Speaker & Gentlemen,

In answer to your Message this House have appointed Mathew Rowan & Cullen Pollock Esqrs a Committee to joyn those of yours for examining the Publick Accounts.

Adjourned till tomorrow morning at nine of the clock.


Wednesday Septr 29th The House met according to adjournment.
Present The Honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Nath. Rice Esqr
The honble Math. Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr
The honble Edmd Porter Esqr
The honble Cullen Pollock Esqr

Resolved, it is the opinion of this House that all Clerks of Committees, relating to matters ariseing in this House should be nominated by the House only.

Sent the following message to the Lower House (vizt)

Mr Speaker & Gentlemen,

In answer to your message relating to the appointing of Clerks to the Committees you mentioned, we must inform you, that we look upon it as our undoubted right, that where both Houses are equally concerned, we have an equal right in the nomination of Clerks of Committees; therefore cannot concur with you in those resolutions, wherein you have assumed that power solely to yourselves

Adjourned till tomorrow morning at nine of the clock.


Thursday Septr 30th The House met according to adjournment.
Present The honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Cullen Pollock Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr

Read the Bill for an additional Act to ascertain the manner of a Poll tax and the sum necessary for building a Court House in Hyde Precinct, a second time and passed with amendments.

Received a message from the Lower House (vizt)

To the Honble the Upper House

This House is of opinion, that the sole right of appointing Clerks to attend the Committee of Grievances and Propositions is vested in us, and having accordingly appointed Mr Thomas Barker Clerk to the said Committee, as likewise of the Committee for the inspecting the Publick Accounts, in which your House have a joynt right; We therefore submit the appointment of a Clerk of the Committee of Publick Claims to your House.

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To which this House sent the following Answer (vizt)

Mr Speaker & Gentlemen,

This House agrees with you in the nomination of Mr Barker as Clerk to the Committee for inspecting the publick Accounts; And we nominate Henry Bonner Junr as Clerk to the Committee of Claims, to which we desire your concurrence.

Adjourned till tomorrow morning.


Fryday October 1st The House met according to Adjournment.
Present The honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr
The honble Edmd Porter Esqr
The honble Cullen Pollock Esqr

Read the Bill for an additional Act to ascertain the manner of a Poll tax, and the sum necessary for building a Court House in Hyde Precinct, the third time and pass'd. Ordered that it be engrossed.

Adjourned till to morrow morning


Saturday October 2d The House met according to Adjournment. Present as before

Read a Bill for an Act to appoint that part of Bertie Precinct lying on the south side of Marratuck river, to be a distinct Precinct and Parish by the name of Edgcombe Precinct the first time & pass'd.

Read a Bill for an Act for establishing and confirming a Town in New Hanover Precinct by the name of Wilmington at a place now called Newton; and for erecting a Court House and holding a Court there, the first time and passed.

Read a Bill for an Act to prevent killing of Deer at unseasonable times, the first time and pass'd.

Read a Bill for an Act to enable Samuel Williams to sell and convey in fee simple three hundred acres of Land in Bertie Precinct, the first time and pass'd.

The House adjourned till Tuesday morning.


Tuesday October 5th The House met according to Adjournment.
Present The honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr

Read the Bill for an Act to prevent killing of Deer at unseasonable times, the second time and pass'd.

Read the Bill for an Act for making, clearing and repairing roads, for making Bridges and settling ferrys, the first time and passed.

Adjourned till to morrow morning.

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Wednesday October 6th The House met according to Adjournment.
Present The honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr
The honble Edmd Porter Esqr
The honble Cullen Pollock Esqr

Read a Bill for an Act to establish and confirm that part which was formerly of Craven Precinct, and bay river, the first time and pass'd.

Read the Bill for an Act for destroying Vermine within this Province, the second time and pass'd.

Adjourned till to morrow morning.


Thursday October 7th The House met according to adjournment.
Present The Honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr
The honble Edmd Porter Esqr
The honble Cullen Pollock Esqr

His Excellency the Governor came to the Upper House and sent a message to the Lower House commanding their immediate attendance at the Council Chamber, whereupon they came in a full body and presented the following Address

North Carolina—ss.

To His Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqre Captain General, Governour and Commander in Chief in and over His Majesty's said Province.

The humble Address of the Members of the Lower House of Burgesses of said Province.

We the Members of the Lower House of Assembly humbly beg leave to lay before your Excellency the several grievances represented to us by the Committee appointed for that purpose which are in the words following (vizt)

On reading the Petition of Perquimons, Bertie and other Precincts and also several other informations complaining of the illegal Proceedings and methods of collecting & receiving the Quit rents, it appears to this Committee, that the Collectors or receivers, have compelled the Inhabitants of this Province, who hold their Land by Grants from the late Lords Proprietors, to carry their Quit rents to certain places appointed, tho' such rents were only demandable and payable on the Lands for which they were due, and had by custom time out of mind been received by the Collectors at the People's respective dwelling Houses; and that they then and there exacted and received, seven for one, contrary to the Laws of this Province, and by distress levyed on such as did not bring their rents to the Places so appointed eight for one, with extravagant Charges; It is

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therefore resolved, and it is the opinion of this Committee, that such Proceedings are illegal and oppressive.

Upon the complaint of Beaufort and Bertie Precincts setting forth that the Indians, contrary to the Treaty of Peace, burnt upon their lands, and kill and disturb their Cattle, and they pretend to hunt by virtue of a lycence from His Excellency the Governour.

Resolved by this Committee that the House be moved to address His Excellency to withdraw the said Lycence.

Upon complaint of a new and unusual Clause in the Commission to the Justices of the several Precinct Courts, upon reading of which it appears to this Committee that the said Clause is contrary to Law.

Resolved by the Committee that the House be moved to address His Excellency the Governour to expunge the said Clause, and that all Commissions be issued in the antient and usual manner.

Resolved by this Committee that as the Court of Chancery has not been held as usual to the great grievance and prejudice of the suitors therein, That the House be moved to address the Governour that the same may be held at the usual times and places according to the antient customs and Laws of this Province, to forward the respective suits commenced and to be commenced therein.

Resolved by the Committee that the House be moved to address His Excellency the Governour that no Magistrate in this Province be superseded in his Office, without complaint for malefeasance in his said Office, and he be convicted of the same upon hearing before the Govr and Council.

We therefore the Members of the Lower House of Assembly most humbly beseech your Excellency to take the said grievances under your consideration and to afford us such redress therein as to your consum̄ate wisdom shall seem meet.

By order.
Wm DOWNING. Speaker.

To the foregoing Address His Excellency was pleased to make the following Answer, (vizt)

Gentlemen,

To every Article of this your Representation of grievances I shall give you a particular answer. What you say about the quit rents being payable upon the Lands which were held under the late Lords Proprietors is certainly just, and the Officers who collected the rents had orders to go to their respective Houses, provided they paid in Gold or the finest silver as was demanded by the late Lords Proprietors, immediately after the Indian war, and sure His Majesty has good reason to

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insist on the same now, after so many years of Peace and Tranquility. But to such as brought their Quit rents to the Court Houses it was allowed to pay in the Bills of this Province at the rate of seven for one sterling money, which as you all know by your private dealings was making an abatement of thirty per cent for their trouble in coming to the Court House. I am very willing for the future that the rents be received as you desire, provided they are paid in Gold and Silver. It is a very strange assertion Gentlemen to say that taking seven for one is contrary to Law; I wish you would look over the Law which established the first Currency in this Province (and which you all know was more valuable by far than this is ever like to be) You will find in it as strong expressions if not stronger binding all persons to take Bills at the Exchange there mentioned, than there is in the Law passed last Assembly; and yet the late Lords Proprietors acquainted the Assembly at that time that they must not pretend to impose their Bills of Credit on them in payment of Quit rents, and the Assembly in answer assured their Lordships that they had no intention of that nature, and do you think gentlemen, that it is possible now to pass that upon the Crown, which you durst not offer to do to the late Lords Proprietors, It were very hard indeed, if when no private person will part with sterling money under ten for one, His Majesty only should be obliged to take it at five.

If this was to be the case, you might safely change the Title of your currency Act, and call it in plain English an Act for Depriving His Majesty of one half of His revenue. Such suggestions as these may occasion the currency Act to be repeal'd at home, but will never procure the least abatement of His Majesty's just revenue, and as my conduct in the last collection is highly approved of at home and I am sure of being supported in it for the time to come, I cannot avoid proceeding for the future in the same manner as I have begun, I could indeed wish that by some Law consistent with the dignity of the Crown, you would make the collection of Quit rents as easy as possible to His Majesty's Subjects; But that lyes entirely in your breasts.

If there is any clause either in the Commission of the Peace, or any other Commission contrary to Law, upon pointing out the particular clause, and the Law that is infringed by it, I shall immediately order it be struck out.

I am entirely of your opinion, Gentlemen, that removing of any Magestrate without good and sufficient grounds, is a dangerous practice, and may be attended with very bad consequences; and as I never have, so I resolve never to do it; But I must be excused from coming into your Proposal, because it appears to me to change the very nature of the

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Commission of the Peace, which always was a Com̄ission durante bene placito only, whereas by your Proposal, the Commission to the Justices would be quamdin se bene gesserint; an alteration I dare not make without His Majty's special direction.

I shall take care to recall all the Licences given to the Indians, and strictly charge them not to presume to hunt within any plantation in this Government.

As to the Court of Chancery, I do assure you I have often lamented that it is not held more regularly, the holding of that Court as well as the supreame Court so near the Virginia Line when the Province begins to be so populous in the southern parts, is attended with so many inconveniencies that unless you find some speedy & effectual remedy for them, there will be an absolute necessity for fixing all the Courts in some more central part of the Province.

This is Gentlemen what I have to say to those grievances your Committee have been pleased to make a report of to you; I am sorry they have been so remiss in their duty as to present so few grievances and those so little material, In any other Country besides this I am satisfied they would have taken notice of the want of divine worship, the neglect of the education of youth, the bad state of your Laws and the impossibility to execute them, such as they are Grievances which will deserve redress, but these it seems are not reckoned grievances in this part of the world. The more unhappy for the People whom you represent; for all the world must now see who is to be blamed for neglecting matters so essential to the peace quiet and good government of the Province.

Adjourned till tomorrow morning.


Fryday October 8th The House met according to Adjournment. Present as before.

Read the Bill for an Act to appoint that part of Bertie Precinct lying on the south side of Marratuck river to be a district Precinct by the name of Edgcombe, a second time and rejected.

Read a Bill for an Act to establish and confirm that part which was formerly called Craven Precinct and Bay river, a second time and rejected.

Read a Bill for an Act for ascertaining & regulating Officers fees and Offices, the first time and pass'd.

Adjourned till to morrow morning


Saturday October 9th The House met according to Adjournment.
Present the honble Wm Smith Esqre President
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr
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Read the Bill for an Act to prevent Killing Deer at unseasonable times, third time and pass'd.

Ordered that it be engrossed.

Read a Bill for an Act for facilitating the navigation of several parts of this Province and buoying & beaconing the Channels leading from Ocacock Inlet to Edenton, Bath Town and Newbern, and for providing sufficient Pylots for the safe conduct of vessells, a first time and pass'd.

Adjourned till Monday morning.


Monday October 11th The House met according to Adjournment.
Present the honble Wm Smith Esqre President
The honble Nath: Rice Esqr
The honble Eleaz: Allen Esqr
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr

Upon reading the Bill for an Act for ascertaining and regulating Officers' fees and Offices, the second time, The question being put whether the Bill should be amended or not, the House was divided.

Read the Bill for an Act for making, clearing & repairing Roads, for making Bridges and settling ferrys, the second time. Ordered to lye on the table till to morrow for further consideration.

Read the Bill for providing His Majesty a Rent Roll for securing His Majestie's quit rents, for the remission of arrears and for quieting the Inhabitants in their possessions &c, the first and rejected, and thereupon sent the following message (vizt)

Mr Speaker & Gentlemen,

On reading the quit rent Bill the first time in our House, we find it clog'd with so many clauses to the apparent detriment of His Majestie's revenue that we have rejected it.

Received a message from the Lower House in these words (to wit)

To His Excellency the Governor & Councill.

Whereas Mr Thomas Smith Treasurer for Hyde Precinct, is dead, this House recommend to His Excellency the Govr and Councill, the following persons to be one of them, Treasurer of Hyde Precinct. vizt Mr Sam: Sinclair or Mr Jos: Tart.

Which was concurr'd with and sent to His Excellency for his assent and nomination.

Read the Bill for an Act for destroying Vermin within this Province, a third time and pass'd. Ordered that it be engross'd.

Adjourned till to morrow morning

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Tuesday October 12th. The House met according to Adjournment.
Present The honble Wm Smith Esqre President.
The honble Robt Halton Esqr
The honble Eleaz: Allen Esqr
The honble Edmd Porter Esqr
The honble Math: Rowan Esqr
The honble Edwd Moseley Esqr

His Excellency being come to the Upper House & having sent a message to command the immediate attendance of the House of Burgesses; they not paying obedience thereto His Excellency was pleased to send another Message to them; But they still neglecting to give their attendance, His Excellency then by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty's Council, prorogued the General Assembly to the first day of March next, then to meet at Newbern. By Order.

NATH: RICE, Clk. Upp: H: Assembly.