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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the Lower House of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina. General Assembly
September 29, 1747 - October 09, 1747
Volume 04, Pages 863-868

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North Carolina—ss.

At an Assembly Begun & Held at New Bern the Twenty fifth day of February the Twentieth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the second by the Grace of God of Great Britain France & Ireland King (& so forth) And in the Year of our Lord One Thousand seven Hundred & forty six [1747] & then Continued by Prorogation to the Twenty ninth day of September in the Twenty first Year of the Reign of our said Lord the King & in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred & forty Seven to be then Held at New Bern And then further Prorogued to the second day of October in the year Aforesaid to New Bern being the Second Sessions of this Present Assembly.

The Assembly met according to Prorogation.

Mr. Joseph Bell one of the Members of Carteret County and Mr. Clark One of the Members for Bladen County took the Oaths by Law Appointed for their Qualification Subscribed the Test & took their Seats in the House accordingly

Ordered that Mr. John Swann and Mr. Joseph Howell Acquaint His Excellency the Governor that the House is met who accordingly went

His Excellency the Governor by the above Gentlemen sent to this House Commanding their Immediate attendance in the Council Chamber

Mr. Speaker with the Members waited on His Excellency the Governor in the Council Chamber where His Excellency was pleased to make the following Speech which was Ordered to be read

Read the abovesaid speech (to wit) as follows

Gentlemen of His Majesties Council Mr. Speaker & Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses

It is with a Particular satisfaction that I Embrace this opportunity of meeting you in Assembly At a time when our trade is so distressed, Our Ships Plundered in our Harbours & our Coasts Insulted by a Cruel & Vigilent Enemy, It will be a mighty Pleasure to me to Regulate all my Proceedings by your Advice & with your Concurrence.

I don't at all Doubt but you are now met fully determined to use your Utmost Endeavours for the reliefe of your Country in its present unhappy Circumstances And you will Convince all Mankind that if we have had formerly so many fruitless Assemblys if so few good Laws have been passed (tho' they were earnestly pressed & called upon by me to do it) None of these misfortunes can be fairly Ascribed to you but were entirely oweing to that overgrown representation claimed by six Counties who being always United & under the direction of some sorry Pettifogger made themselves tools to their Leaders who found their

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account in keeping publick affairs in Confusion and distraction & who because they cant now Domineer over the whole Legislature are Resolved as farr as lies in their Power there shall be no Legislature at all.

The Conduct [of] these Gentlemen is Certainly most Unaccountable as all the Points in dispute are now before his Majestie for his Royal determination if they had with Patience & decency waited for this Decession as became good & Loyal Subjects it could never been of the least Prejudice to their Cause & might Possibly been of some service to it

But instead of this to insult his Majesties Prerogative to treat his writts with contempt & to debauch his Officers to make improper Returns Contrary to their oaths and Disert the service of their Country in these times of Peril and danger Appear to me the Oddest methods that could be taken by men to Recommend themselves to his Majesties favour.

I hope Gentlemen you will proceed with unanimity & dispatch & you may Depend upon my hearty concurrence in every measure for the Publick benefit

GAB JOHNSTON

Mr. John Swann & Mr. John Starkey are Appointed a Committee to draw an Address to his Excellencys speech

The House adjourned till 3 oclock.

P. M. The House met according to adjournment

Read the Petition of William Sims setting forth his infirmity & praying to be Exempt from Publick service & paying Taxes & Produceing a Certificate from the County Court of Edgecomb of his incapacity of Publick Service and paying taxes.

Ordered to be Exempt Accordingly

The House adjourned till tomorrow 9 oClock.


Saturday the third of October 1747. The House met according to adjournment.

Mr. John Swann moved that a Committee be Appointed to Examine State and settle the Publick accounts of this Province And the following persons were accordingly appointed (Vizt)

Mr. John Swann Mr. Francis Stringer Mr. Rufus Marsden & Mr. John Carruthers to Joyn those of the Council.

Mr. Hayward moved that a Committee be appointed to settle & allow the Publick Claims of this Province And the following persons were accordingly appointed. Vizt

Mr. Thomas Lovick Mr. Benjamin Payton Mr. John Heywood Mr. John Dawson & Mr. John Sampson To Join those of the Council

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Mr. John Swann moved that A Bill be brought in for an Act for granting to his Majestie the sum of Proclamation money for & toward building fortifications in this Province and so forth.

Ordered that a committee be appointed to bring in a Bill for the Purposes aforesaid and Mr. John Swann Mr. Starkey and Mr. Thomas Lovick were accordingly appointed.

The House adjourned till Monday morning 10 oClock


Monday the fifth of October 1747. The House met according to adjournment.

Mr. John Swann from the Committee to prepare an address to his Excellency the Governor in Answer to his Excellency's Speech Reported that the Committee had prepared an address. Which he read in his place

Ordered the same be Engrossed which was accordingly done & is as follows.

North Carolina—ss.

To His Excellency Gabriel Johnston Esqre Capt General Governor & Commander in Chief in & over the said Province.

The Humble Address of the General Assembly of the said Province

May it please your Excellency,

We return your Excellency our sincere thanks for your kind speech at the Opening of this Sessions and the Confidence your Excellency is pleased to Express you have of our being met fully Determined to use our best Endeavours for the reliefe of our Country in its present unhappy Circumstances which are rather more distressfull than your Excellency hath painted them

Many of us having served in former Assemblys for several years past have with Concern been witnesses (more than once) of that unequal Representation of those six Counties your Excellency is pleased to mention having been an Obstruction to Publick business & Particularly to many good Laws being passed which have been repeatedly recommended by you and the present Conduct of some persons in those Counties but too plainly prove the truth of your Excellencys Observation on them

We are well assured of your Excellencys hearty concurrence with all such measures as may be proposed for the reliefe of this Province in its present distress And we shall on our parts Endeavour by our Conduct to convince mankind we have nothing so much at heart as his Majesties Interest & the Good and Prosperity of the People of this Province

SAMUEL SWANN Speaker

The House adjourned till 3 oClock.

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P. M. The House met according to adjournment

Sent a Message to his Excellency the Governor to Acquaint him that this House was ready to present him with their Address To which his Excellency was pleased to Answer that he would receive them to morrow morning.

The House adjourned till tomorrow 9 oClock.


Tuesday the 6th of October 1747 The House met according to adjournment

The House in a full body waited on his Excellency the Governor & presented to him their Address Then his Excellency was pleased to direct the House to return & proceed to business

The House adjourned till tomorrow 8 oClock.


Wednesday the 7th of October 1747. The House met according to adjournment

The House adjourned till 3 oClock.

P. M. The House met according to adjournment

The House adjourned till 8 oClock tomorrow morning


Thursday the 8th October 1747 The House met according to adjournment

Mr. John Swann brought in a Bill for granting to his Majestie the sume of Proclamation money for & towards building Fortifications in this Province and for stamping and emiting the sume of Twenty one Thousand Two Hundred & fifty Pounds Publick Bills of Credit of North Carolina at the rate of Proclamation money for payment thereof And for Exchanging the present Bills of Credit & for the payment of Publick Debts of this Province & for making proper Provision for Defraying the Contingent Charges of the Government. Which he read in his place

Ordered the same to be sent to the Council

Mr. John Starkey moved for leave to bring in A Bill for an Act to provide Indifferent Jurymen in all Causes Civil & Criminal And also A Bill for an Act for regulating the several Officers fees within this Province And Ascertaining the method of paying the same Which he read in his Place

Ordered the same be sent to the Council

The House adjourned till 3 oClock

P M. The House met according to adjournment

The House adjourned till tomorrow morning 9 oClock.

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Fryday the 9th of October 1747 The House met according to adjournment

Mr. John Swann Reported from the Committee of Accounts as per book (     ) which was read & agreed to by the House Nemine Contra

Mr. Thomas Lovick from the Committee of Claims as Report (     ) which was read & agreed to by the House.

Mr. John Starkey moved for Leave to bring in a Bill for an Act to Impower Commissioners to settle & Adjust & Receive the several Debts due from Sundry persons in this Government to the Publick Which he read in his Place

Ordered the same pass

The House adjourned for an hour

His Excellency the Governor was pleased to command the immediate attendance of the House

The House in a full body waited on His Excellency the Governor in the Council Chamber. When his Excellency was pleased to make the following speech (Vizt)


New Bern October 10th 1747

Mr. Speaker & Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses

I am heartily sorry that after your patient and Expensive Attendance here for almost a fortnight it has not been in our power to bring any Business to perfection

You Gentlemen have done your parts you have even done more than could reasonably been Expected of you

The sincere Inclination the zeal the unanimity with which you entered into matters the most Essential to the Happyness of this Province & Carryed them on as far as was in your Powers must raise your Character with Honest men, & well wishers to the prosperity of this Colony, at the same times that it reflects shame on those persons who upon slight surmises & weak pretences have denied their Assistance to their Country in the present deplorable situation of Publick Affairs

This much Gentlemen you have at least done you have prepared and put in order Bills of the greatest Importance for the next meeting of Assembly which I hope will save you a great deal of time next spring

It would be Cruelty in me Gentlemen to detain you any longer from your own Homes and Private affairs, and therefore after returning you my most sincere thanks for your Prudent and Dutifull Behaviour I Prorogue this Assembly to the third Tuesday of next March to be then held in this place and this Assembly is accordingly Prorogued

GAB JOHNSTON
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The House returned and Mr. Speaker pronounced the Prorogation accordingly

Test
WILLm HERRITAGE
Clerk of the General Assembly.