Letter from the Board of Trade of Great Britain to the Privy Council of Great Britain
Great Britain. Board of Trade
Volume 04, Pages 873-875
[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 21. P. 318.]
To the Right Honble the Lords of the Committee of His Majesty's most Honble Privy Council.
Pursuant to Your Lordships Order of the 13th of July 1747 We have taken into our consideration the humble petition of the Palatines in North Carolina complaining of their having been dispossessed of lands granted to them in that Province by her late Maj. Queen Anne by Col. Thomas Pollock and that the heirs of the said Pollock have turned them off their possessions and humbly praying that His Majesty will be graciously pleased to restore them to the possession of their said Lands at any term of rents under His Majesty as shall be thought meet, Whereupon we take leave to acquaint your Lordships
That we were attended upon this occasion by Morris Walker one of the said Palatines in the behalf of the said petitioners who represented to us that they were a laborious people who had for many years been employed in manufacturing Pitch and Tar during which time they had struggled with great hardships as alleged in the said petition and amongst other things informed us that there had been several years ago proceedings at law in that Province between the said Col. Thomas Pollock and the Petitioners in consequence of which the Petitioners had been dispossessed of the lands upon which they were first settled but the information of the said Morris Walker with respect to those transactions being very imperfect We thought it advisable to transmit a copy of the said petition to Gabriel Johnston Esq. His Majesty's Governor of the Province of North Carolina and to direct him to send us a particular account of this affair in answer to which in his letter to us dated the 17th of May 1748 he informs us that the Palatines are a very sober industrious people and had a great many of their near relations murdered in the Indian war and yet are in a worse position than any of His Maj subjects in that Province for besides the common Quit Rents they want to oblige them to pay two pence Proclamation for every Acre which amounts to sixteen shillings and eight pence Proclamation money or twelve shillings and
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six pence sterling Money for one hundred Acres which was a most intollerable load especially if they insisted upon the arrears. That he had the heirs of Thos. Pollock and these people before him several years ago and made a particular enquiry into the circumstances of this affair and found by papers and other proofs brought before him the allegations which they have now laid before His Majesty to be true That the only Answer he could get from the heirs of the said Pollock was that they allowed that the Baron de Graffenreidt settled some of the Palatines upon the lands they now live upon but had no patent for it, that the said Baron was at a considerable more charge in furnishing the Palatines with provisions and necessarys than the amount of what moneys he had in his hands on their account which run the Baron in debt to their Father between six and seven hundred pounds sterling for which sum the Baron gave Bills of Exchange which Bills were returned protested That upon this the Baron mortgaged all his estate in that Province both real and personal for the payment of the said debt and promised to give some other Bills endorsed by some able men in Virginia but returned into Germany without doing it That their Father after that obtained a decree in chancery for said Estate giving the Baron two years from that time to redeem it which he failing to do these lands were surveyed and patented in Pollock's name that as they (Pollock's Heirs) apprehended they had a legal right to the lands they would not depart from any of their pretensions unless compelled by law and as the Palatines had lived on their lands for so many years they should pay to them the same rent as they had agreed to do to the Baron That at that time he advised the Palatines to apply to Chancery for relief but as they were not well acquainted with the language & ignorant of the Laws they were afraid to commence a suit and he never heard more of it since.
Therefore as it appears that the said Col. Thomas Pollock did obtain a Decree in the Court of Chancery in that Province from which there has been no appeal and that the lands were afterwards surveyed & patented in his name We are of opinion that His Majesty cannot comply with the prayer of the said Petition, but in consideration of the repeated hardships which these people who have been so many years settled in North Carolina have suffered by being dispossessed of their Lands and the advantages which will arise to the said Province by the continuance there of a number of useful & industrious inhabitants We would submit to Your Lordships whether it may not be advisable that His Maj. Governor of the said Province be directed to make a Grant or Grants to the said Petitioners of so much Land in the said Province hitherto ungranted as shall be equivalent to the Lands they have been
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dispossessed of to be free from Quit rents for the first ten years & afterwards to pay the accustomed quit rents of four shillings Proclamation money for every hundred acres agreeable to the tenor of his Maj. Instructions to the said Governor And provided that he take care in the making of such Grant or Grants that the said shall become void as to so much of the said land as shall not be cultivated within ten years of the date of each respective Grant And if it shall be His Maj. pleasure to comply with these proposals We would further submit whether it may not likewise be advisable that the said Governor should receive his Maj. directions to recommend to the Assembly of that Province to make provision for defraying the charge of surveying the Lands so to be granted and of issuing the Grants for the same or that the said Petitioners may be eased of the expense attending the said survey and grants in such other manner as your Lordships shall think proper.
We are My Lords, &c.,
J. PITT J. GRENVILLE DUPPLIN.
Whitehall August 30th 1748.