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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Deposition of Luke Sumner concerning the election of North Carolina General Assembly representatives
Sumner, Luke
April 15, 1749
Volume 04, Pages 1172-1173

The Deposition of Luke Sumner of Perquimons County in the Province of North Carolina, Merchant aged twenty six years, who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelist Deposeth and Saith.

That at a Session of Assembly held at Newbern in the month of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty six he this Deponent attended being one of the five Burgesses from the County of Perquimons and at that time a Bill passed the House of Burgesses three times for fixing a place for the seat of Government etc, and that the Place therein appointed was Bath Town in the County of Beaufort, and after the said Bill had had the third reading in the House of Burgesses, was sent up to the Council, the Members of Council sent a Message to the House of Burgesses insisting that they should strike out Bath Town and insert Newbern in the room thereof, which being put to the vote was carried in the Negative whereupon the Assembly was prorogued by his Excellency the Governor to Wilmington to meet the November following. And this Deponent also saith that the latter end of the said Session held at Newbern in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and forty six, Mathew Rowan Esqre one of the Members of Council addressing himself to this Deponent and several other Burgesses then and there present concerning the place proper to fix the Seat of Government said that if the Burgesses would not consent to fix it at Newbern they might assure themselves there would be no Business done for notwithstanding the Majority of Burgesses lived towards the North the Council lived at the South and they could put a Negative. And this Deponent further saith that Mr. Rowan also said the Assembly would be prorogued either to Wilmington or Brunswick but which of the two Places the Council

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had not then agreed on, and that if the Burgesses did not agree to fix the Seat of Government at Newbern they would have the pleasure of a journey to the South end of the Province, and that if the Council could not succeed in their proposed Measures there they would have it done in England in spight of the Burgesses. And this Deponent further saith that he never knew of any agreement among the Northern Burgesses not to meet at Wilmington in November one Thousand seven hundred and forty six, but hath often heard many of them complain of being greatly fatigued and tired out by frequent Prorogations to distant parts of the Province particularly to Wilmington the most inconvenient Place that any Assembly had theretofore been held at being not only the most Expensive Town in the Province. And that their Intentions and endeavours for the good of the Publick had been often frustrated by the Members of Council because they the Burgesses would not consent to fix the seat of Government at a place altogether incovenient to the greatest part of the Inhabitants of this Province, and further that it was a very unseasonable time of the year for travelling and that going thither would be greatly prejudicial to them being the time of killing their Beef, and the Pork season coming on. And further this Deponent saith not.

LUKE SUMNER.

Edenton 15th April 1749.