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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Letter from Gabriel Johnston to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Johnston, Gabriel, ca. 1698-1752
June 06, 1746
Volume 04, Pages 792-793

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina B. T. Vol. 11. B. 70.]

Edenton. June 6th 1746.

My Lords, [of the Board of Trade]

It is with very great surprize and concern that I read in your Lordships of the 27th of June last, which I received but lately, that you have received none from me these three years past. I rather expected to have met with a reproof for troubling you too much especially as I had almost nothing to inform your Lordships of except the miseries and hardships I and all His Majesty's Officers labour under, since the Repeal of the Quit rent law, and my Lord Granville having one and much the better half of this Province laid of to him for his share of both the Carolinas.

If I could at all times when I have the honour to receive your Lordships commands, meet with His Majesty's Council & Secretary as is done in all other Colonys, I should in many cases be able to return more satisfactory answers, But that in our circumstances is absolutely impossible, It is with great difficulty we make a shift to meet twice in a year all the rest of our time is spent at our own little plantations which are some fifty some one hundred and some two hundred miles distance from one another & this will always be our case until our salaries are regular paid, mine is now eight years in arrears, and those of the other Officers in proportion and our fees but very trifling which makes it impossible for us to remain long in any of the Towns of this Province where small and despicable as they are, living is dearer than at London.

By the unexpected repeal of the Quit rent law there are arrears of many years standing, in that part of this Province lately given to Lord Granville And as the Governor & Officers have a regular Grant from the Crown upon the Quit rents in general dated in 1733. we never doubted as his Lordships eighth part has been duly paid him that we had a right to all the arrears before his contract with the Crown but there is a clause inserted in that contract which notwithstanding our prior grant gives his Lordship all these arrears amounting to four, as others compute, five

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thousand pounds sterling, his Lordship indeed has given up all his Arrears in South Carolina to His Majesty as an equivalent, but upon inquiry I am informed his Lordship is not only paid up to the 17th September 1744. the date of the Grant and release, but to the 25th of March 1745. In the meantime the Governor and Officers are a starving and at a loss to apply for a remedy.

It would be a great charity in your Lordships if you would honor us with your advice how to proceed in this matter, Mr. Halton one of the Council, and Captain Tunis can inform your Lordships further in this affair, they are at this time both in London,

I am now about preparing an exact state of this Country in every particular required by my Instructions, which I hope will give your Board entire satisfaction.

I am with great respect your Lordships most, &c.,