Sir, [Governor Dobbs]
In our Letter to you of the 1st June 1759, We desired a full and explicit Account of any new Regulations or Arrangements which might have been made with respect to the Representatives to be elected to the several Counties and Districts in the Province under your Government to the end that We might be enabled to form a judgment of the difficulties which in a former Letter you stated in general to have arisen in respect to this matter Since this we have received your Letter of the 28th of February containing further complaints of the embarrassment arising from those difficulties, but they are still stated in so general a light that We find our selves unable to form a proper or precise judgment upon the case.
It seems to Us in general that the difficulties in which you are involved arise principally from a want of a due Attention on your part to the Spirit and Letter of your Instructions and we are the more surprised that you should have erred in this Case as you was present when these Instructions were framed and fully apprized of the various considerations which this Matter underwent and the Pains that were taken to ascertain and settle with precision the Claim of the Northern Counties and other districts in the Province From these transactions you could not be ignorant that the Claims of the Counties of Chowan, Perquimons, Currituck, Pasquotank and Tyrrell to send five Members each and of Berty to send three were adjudged by the Attorney and Solicitor General to be well founded and that it was upon this Judgment that their Right was confirmed by the Royal Instructions and the number of Representatives to be sent by each County and district finally fixed and established, so that with respect to the Number of Representatives for the Northern Towns and Counties, no alteration could be made and the single
As to the granting Charters of Incorporation to those Towns, the Acts for establishing of which had been repealed, it was meant only as a more regular mode of re-establishing in them those Powers and Offices of Corporation which had been taken away by the Repeal of the Laws and had no reference whatever to the Case of sending Representatives to the Assembly which is a Privilege derived solely from the Crown's Instructions and the Writs issued in Consequence thereof, it ceased therefore to be in any light either a proper or a necessary Regulation when the Crown had, upon the Request of the People consented to a Re-establishment of those Rights of Corporation by a revival of the Laws, it is true indeed that this determination was confined to the particular Cases of the Towns, the Laws for the establishment of which had been repealed. But common sense shews that the grounds and reasons upon which it was made extend to every future case of the same kind that shall occur. If therefore any Alteration has been made in the Number of Representatives for the several Towns and Counties in the Northern Districts or any Charters of Incorporation have been granted We can only say that such Measures do not appear to Us to be warranted by His Majesty's Instructions, but are expressly contrary both to the Letter and Spirit of them.