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Letter from Gabriel Johnston to Thomas Hill
Johnston, Gabriel, ca. 1698-1752
September 16, 1751
Volume 04, Pages 1075-1076

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 12. C. 12.]

Edenton 16th Septr 1751.

Sir, [Secretary of the Board of Trade]

Yesterday I received yours of the 12th of April in which by directions from the Right Honble the Lords Commrs for Trade and Plantations, you inform me that no minutes of Council or Assembly from this Province have been sent since December 1746, which I am really surprised to hear, for I myself have regularly transmitted under the Colony Seal the minutes of His Majestie's Council of State, that of the last Council, which was held in April last I sent by a very safe road, but a fortnight ago. As for the Minutes of Council considered as an Upper House the Clerks assure me they have been transmitted regularly, But I shall make a strict enquiry into that very soon, I am entirely a stranger to the Naval Office ever since it was taken out of my hands and bestowed on Mr. Wheatley, that gentleman never has taken any notice of me since he was invested in his Office, and it is by mere chance that I hear of any vessells going out or coming into this Country. As to the Treasurers accounts I believe there never was any sent home from this Country either before my coming to the Government or since, but I shall take care they shall be sent for the future; and endeavour to recover what is past as far as is possible in a Province where there is not one Publick Office, nor one place to keep any record or Publick Papers, they all lye disperst in private Houses and we must often send a hundred miles for a Paper that is wanted, as long as these points are unknown at home it is a wonder to me we have been able to observe any regularity at all or indeed to keep up the face of Government, we shall not be

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able to do so long, but must disband of course, five years is a long time for such a wild uncivilized Country as this to be kept in suspense on matters so essential to the very being of Government.

I am sure I and the rest of His Majesty's Officers have had a very severe time of it to be kept out of our Salarys so long is a great hardship. But to be deprived of the Countenance & protection of the Offices at home is really unsupportable, and we dont want here malicious people who make a proper use of it to bring His Majesty's Government into contempt.

I have materials by me for answering the anuual queries, and shall take care to do it, as soon as I recover a little health, having been but in a lingering way for a good while past.

I am Sir, &c.,