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Letter from Gabriel Johnston to John Russell, Duke of Bedford
Johnston, Gabriel, ca. 1698-1752
November 18, 1750
Volume 04, Page 1308

My Lord [the Duke of Bedford]

I take the Liberty to transmitt to your Grace a further account of my proceedings with regard to the Spanish Register Ship called Neustra Signiora de Guadalupe Lying at Ocacock, on the truth of which you may absolutely Depend

I Thought it safest on this occasion not to putt the Laws of Trade strictly in Execution against the Spaniards, tho they Had transgressed them all, Because I did not know how far it might Embroil matters Between his Majesty, and the Court of Madrid, Besides I thought it would be Cruel to take Advantage of the Ignorance and obstinacy of the Spanish officers and their Crew to the prejudice of His Majestys and several other princes subjects, to whom most of that Treasure and these effects I am sensible belonged.

Your Grace I hope will give me leave to observe, that my Conduct in this affair has been very prejudicial to the present Distressed condition of my private affairs, when there is at this time Twelve year of arrears of Sallary Due to me, when I could have justified by all the Laws of Trade, and the treaties between the two crowns to have Seized the whole Cargo and Ship and to have Converted it to my own use, I only studied How to act the just and Humane part as what I thought would be most acceptable to His Majesty.

In short I have taken care that none of the Spaniards Have received the Least Hurt or Injury from any of His Majesty's subjects under my Government, It was not in the power of man to prevent their plagueing and Injuring one another, and fooling away the largest part of a valuable Cargo; whatever Has been saved is owing to the Care and application of His Majesty's Officers Here, I Have by this Conveyance sent a Duplicate of the State of the Currency in this province and remain with Great Respect

Your Grace's Most, &c.,

Edenton Novr 18 1750