Answers of Arthur Dobbs Esqre Governor of North Carolina to certain resolutions made in a Committee of the Assembly of North Carolina to consider of the distressed state of the Province met under a vote of secresy upon pain of expulsion.
1st Resolution. resolved that the large sums which have been chearfully granted for His Majesty's service, amounting to upwards of £74000 and chiefly intrusted to the application of His Excellency the Governor have been injudiciously applied and several military commissions have been granted to persons of little weight and interest
Answer. In Answer to this resolve I must beg leave to observe that the charge contained in it is twofold first the misapplication of the Public money I was chiefly intrusted with, and secondly my having granted military Commissions to persons of no interest which thereby render the aids that were granted ineffectual; It is true as the accusations are general, it might be thought sufficient for me in general to deny them, but as my conduct ever since I have been honored with the Administration will bear the strictest scrutiny, both before God and man, I shall so far presume upon your Lordship's patience as to faithfully lay open my behaviour to you in respect of every particular I am charged with, as I am induced to hope when it comes to be inquired into, it will meet with your Lordship's Approbation.
In regard to the first accusation to wit, the Misapplication of the public money, I do affirm that there was not a single sum granted & paid by my warrants but what has been scrutinized and passed before the Committee of Accounts, and afterwards approved of by the House, except the account of the New York Expedition, which could not be liquidated before the returns made to me from thence, and which I did not receive till last February, owing to the several remittances not having been sooner settled. Upon the opening of the Session I laid a fair Account of them before the Assembly, who by a multiplicity of business were not able or perhaps unwilling to pass them; and as to the late supplies granted, the Officers who had received the money attended to pass their accounts but were prevented by the like reason, so that no injudicious application can yet be made appear in any warrants I ever signed upon the Treasurer, otherwise being so much my enemies they would not have failed to have produced them, and I can further most solemnly affirm, that I never fingered one single shilling of the public money, tho' I have paid money out of my Pocket to contingencies for the good of the service, which the Committee of Accounts by the instigation of one of the Treasurers refused to repay me. And I further expended upon my expedition to the Congress at Philadelphia to which I was summoned considerably above £100 sterling for which the Assembly never made me any allowance, nor even for House rent, tho' always allowed in other Provinces. Hence my Lords it clearly appears that the misapplication of the Public money, if any such there be, can in no wise be laid at my door. . . In respect to
The Company to defend our western Frontier was given to Captain Waddell who had been appointed a Lieutenant in Colonel Innes' Regiment sent to join the Virginia Troops before my arrival in 1754, and was there made a Captain, and finding him in his person and character every way qualified for such a Command, as he was young, active and resolute, I thought it for His Majesty's Service to continue him in that station and in the late Expedition under General Forbes upon sending out 3. Companies to the Ohio gave him a Commission of Major to command those Provincials, where he had great honour done him being employed in all reconnoitring parties, and dressed and acted as an Indian; and his Sergeant Rogers took the only Indian prisoner who gave Mr. Forbes certain intelligence of the Forces in Fort Du Quesne upon which they resolved to proceed. He has since with great gallantry acted against the Cherokees, having given him a Colonel's Commission also to command the Frontier militia to act along with the Provincials and has fully accounted for all the money he had received until December 1759, as entered in their Journals so that as to two of the Companies I hope I am not to blame.
Upon the expedition to New York I sent over 4 Companies under the Command of my son, and General Shirley then having the Command desired that I might appoint a Field Officer to command thosecManus who had been formerly a Lieut. in Innis' Regiment before my arrival, and had been so diligent in recruiting as to raise the men in the Company he served in with great dispatch, and as his Father had been an Officer in the Regulars, I had upon Braddocks expedition made him Lieutenant to my son's Company, and upon the New York Expedition gave him a Company where he behaved so well, and was so beloved of his men, as to merit preferment, and is now a Lieutenant in the Regulars.
Colonel Grainger upon the breaking of the Carolina Regiment accepted of a Commission of Captain upon the New York Expedition: He was a Gentleman of good fortune in the Province, the others I had appointed had all come lately from Ireland, and therefore the Country born as they are called here were displeased that any Europeans should be employed I therefore to please them appointed Grainger Captain but found him after his return no way proper for an Officer, for all he proposed was making the most of his Company, and having quartered his Company at Fort Johnston about 24 miles from his place of residence, he neglected it, and when it was reduced from 100 to 50 he discharged all the best men for money, and kept in all the worst and unfit for service, and upon my changing his Company to go to Fort Granville 100 miles from his residence he threw up his Commission rather than leave his House, and left a very bad Company to his successor Captain Paine; this therefore was no encouragement for me to employ the Country born of interest in the Province to make fortunes at the Publick expense.
Captain Arbuthnot nephew to Treasurer Barker made upon his recommendation, having given him a Lieutenancy before, he was originally from New England, but then resident in this Province he in a great measure recruited by his Subalterns who were obliged to advance their pay for that purpose which he never repaid them, the Companies being broke in New York, and the men turned over to recruit the American Regiment, he never returned to this Province, nor accounted for the money advanced to him, sending home a lame excuse that in passing a river he had lost all his papers and therefore could not account; the other Captains returned and each of them made up their accounts before the Assembly and were paid the balances due to them, but on the petition of his Subaltern against him, Mr. Barker his Uncle by his interest as Treasurer got the Assemblyps must judge.
Captain Pane whom I appointed to succeed Mr. Grainger commanded with Major Waddell on the Ohio Expedition, as also in the party who took the Indian and Squaw that gave us the intelligence and was also out upon all reconnoitring parties, as General Forbes' whole dependence for intelligence was upon the Carolina & Maryland Provincials, all others having failed in taking a Prisoner.
Captain Bayley who had been Major Waddell's Lieut: and a good Officer, I promoted upon a vacancy to a Company, who always has behaved well. These are all I gave Companies to except Captain James Moore who was a young gentleman of one of the best Families of the Province and who for one year commanded in Fort Johnston, who was expert in military discipline and well beloved in the Province; these were all who had the command of Companies since my arrival As to subalterns I was obliged to delay giving Commissions for 6 weeks to get recommendations from Gentlemen, many offered to take Companies, but few or none to take Subaltern Commissions, and even when some were recommended and the Commissions made out, they would not serve, upon which I gave several Commissions to young Gentlemen who came from Europe against whom I never had the least complaint, I therefore submit i to your Lordships whether there has been the least foundation for this inquisitive resolve.
2nd Resolution. That His Excellency without any colour of Law having appointed his nephew Mr. Spaight Paymaster to the Forces raised in this Province by means whereof he has drawn Commissions on several Aids granted to His Majesty for raising and paying the said Forces, the same has been a cause of rendering the said Aids insufficient for the intended Purposes, and an obstruction to His Majesty's service.
Answer. In respect to this Charge it will be necessary to observe that before my arrival in this Province £12,000 Currency had been
3rd Resolution. Resolved that His Excellency out of the Proportion of the money coming to this Province by the Grant made by His Majesty and the Parliament of Great Britain towards reimbursing this & the neighbouring Provinces the expenses they have incurred during the present war, in promoting the common cause, having procured a payment of £1000 sterling, which has never been accounted for, or any intimation given to the Assembly that it has been applied for His Majesty's service or the benefit of this Country, or to whom the said money was paid, the same has a manifest tendency to frustrate the gracious and benevolent intentions of His Majesty and Parliament towards this Province.
Answer. In Order, my Lords, to answer this resolution fully and to clear myself from the unmerited reproach thereby cast on me I
The next year 1756 when we sent 4 Companies to New York, and the supplies to be remitted from hence were put under my directions, I signed Warrants to Mr. John Campbell, the most eminent Trader in this Province (of unblemished character and who has been chosen speaker of the last Assembly) to buy up Provisions & Commodities upon the best footing and send either to New York, if there saleable or to the West Indies, where there was a better market.
This being the only method, tho attended with great delay, that could be taken to pay the Troops, it was consequently necessary to employ a Merchant of good credit at New York to whom the Commodities might be consigned or Bills sent to upon the Cargos sold in the Islands, accordingly Mr. Hugh Wallace a merchant of an undoubted character and Mr. Campbell's Correspondent there was fixed upon to pay the Troops.
After this when I found the difficulty and delays which attended these remittances, as well as the necessity of having the Troops soon there, and the men punctually paid I wrote to Genl Shirley acquainting him with their distressed situation on account of our irregular remittances and desired he would advance £500 sterling to pay them, which should be paid out of the effects remitted to Mr. Wallace; he accordingly upon my letter paid £500 into the hands of Mr. Wallace, and took his bond for the money.
Upon my Lord Loudouns taking the command, and our remittances still falling short, some of our Sloops, having been taken, and the insurance not immediately paid, I was again obliged to apply in like manner to his Lordship, who advanced the like sum of £500 and took the like security (Mr. Wallace's bond) for the repayment of it.
Mr. Campbell punctually accounted with the Assembly for all the warrants I signed in his favour upon that fund, but by the great delay in the manner of remitting and settling the accounts between
By this time the £50,000 was voted for the Southern Provinces, upon which I wrote to Lord Loudoun who was then appointed to settle the dividend between the Provinces to stop £1000. out of our share of the dividend and clear Mr. Wallace from these bonds, but as we have not yet received our Quota of that grant, these bonds are still lying over him, and as he advanced more money than the remittances came to, he charged (in settling his accounts which never could be done till last February) interest for those sums and gave in a fair account vouched by Mr. Campbell, and by this account which I delivered into the Assembly there appears due to Mr. Wallace about £2000 York Currency, for he cannot give this Province credit for the £1000 till the bonds (into which he entered as a security for it) are discharged and which will amount if paid to about £1700 York Currency exclusive of the other monie which he advanced. This my Lords is a true state of the case, and your Lordships may judge whether I have been in any fault, as I have been no way concerned in it but by signing the Warrants which have all been accounted for and passed before the Assembly by Mr. Campbell, can I then become accountable for the £1000 sterling, which still remains unpaid, and the Bonds not cancelled, nay further every Officer concerned upon that expedition accounted upon oath before the Committee of Accounts, except Captain Arbuthnot Mr. Barker's nephew, who pretended to lose his papers in passing a river, and never returned into this Province tho' his uncle by his interest as Treasurer passed his accounts in the best manner he could without Vouchers.
4th Resolution. Resolved that although the Governor has been frequently addressed to cause an account of the monies that have been paid to his Orders to be laid before the Assembly, the same has not been done, and the account he has sent to the House this present Session from Mr. Wallace a gentleman unknown to the Assembly and in whom they never reposed any trust does not in any wise tend to shew the application of the sums he has drawn out of the Treasury.
Answer. The charge of this Resolve your Lordships will find I hope satisfactorily answered by referring to my answer of the third, though I can't help observing the flagrant absurdity contained in it, that when the Troops were destined for New York I must havety should presume without the approbation & previous consent of the Assembly to empower a person to pay the Troops that money which was alone granted to him and for his service, for it has been their sole aim to encroach upon the Prerogative inch by inch as their phrase is, and substitute in the room a kind of republican Government so prejudicial to the just rights of the Crown the liberties and true interest of the People.
5th Resolution Resolved that His Excellencys practise in disposing of Royal Charters to several Counties to empower them to send representatives at different but exorbitant prices under the denomination of fees to the Governor & Secretary is illegal & oppressive.
Answer. In respect of this charge as it doth not particularize the different and exorbitant prices which were charged by the Governor & Secretary, it is sufficient for me to reply that the fees were neither different nor exorbitant, and I call upon the Junto and their adherents to name any particular fact in support of their charge, but that I may avoid the imputation of intended delays and at the same time submit the most minute circumstance of my conduct to your Lordships scrutiny I must descend to particulars.
I presume that I am entitled by my Commission to all the usual fees and perquisites due to other Governors; that I have no Provincial appointment as other Governors have, mine being from His Majesty's particular grace & favour no charge upon the Province, that I receive nothing from it but the usual fees due by licences; and though by His Majesty's Instructions and Command I had applied for a perpetual appointment to be settled upon me and my Successors by the Assembly, as complied with in other Colonies, yet no such appointment hath been made, and therefore it is but reasonable that proper fees & perquisites should be paid. It is evident also that in a Fee Bill passed by the late Governor, the Fees in most cases particularly in Chancery were so diminished and limited that a good clerk cou'd not nor even now cannot be procured, the Governor's & Secretarys Fees also are reduced, and no Fees allowed for the Great Seal, or other services not specified in the Act, and in a subsequent clause a penalty is inflicted upon any person who shall take a fee not specified therein, though this cannot affect the present charge, for as no charters were then granted by the Crown, consequently no fee was appointed for that service.
As therefore I must have done injustice to my Successor as well as to my own right, if I had not demanded a fee upon each Charter, the only thing to be considered was what would be a quantum meruit for so great a privilege from the Crown. I considered that in Europe & particularly in Ireland, that the Fees paid by a single Justice whose place was only during pleasure, amounted to at least 5. guineas besides Sollicitor's fees, I therefore upon this service consulted with the then Attorney General Mr. Robert Jones (who with Mr. Barker moved this resolution against me) and told him I knew not what fee to take upon granting a Charter to a County, and asked him whether five pounds were sufficient. He said he thought it was too little, and that I could not demand less than £10. this Currency, (which is in value 5. guineas, a guinea passing here for 40s) which would be a mere trifle to a County for such a Grant it not amounting to a penny each taxable, and as he was then taking out a Charter for Orange County, he raised that fee from the people and afterwards paid me; since which time I have without any variation charged the same upon every charter, of which I acquainted your Lordships that I might readily acquiesce with your opinion concerning it. He then paid me nothing for my secretary, nor did I make any demand, whatever he has since taken for his service in writing or sealing the Charter I can't be chargeable with, as no complaint ever came to me against him, and he himself must answer it. I am also informed by my nephew the Provincial Secretary that he has cautiously avoided receiving any fee upon the Charters tho' countersigned by him until your Lordships pleasure be known, from whence I hope your Lordships will infer, where the Assemblies endeavour to force Governors into a compliance of their measures by limiting their Privileges that there is no just ground for this resolution.
6th Resolution. That the granting Licenses to persons to practise the Law who are ignorant even of the rudiments of that science is a reproach to Government, Disgrace to the Profession, and greatly injurious to suitors.
Answer. The insinuated censure intended by this Resolve will I hope appear to be undeserved when I acquaint your Lordships that to prevent my being teazed to license persons unknown to me, and least such as were unqualified might be thereby admitted, I laid it down as a rule that I never departed from but in two instances, that I would never grant a license to plead either in the Supreme or
But this charge to come against me, & that too from Mr. Jones and Mr. Barker doth not a little surprise me, as the one was bred a Weaver, the other a skipper of a new England Bark, and afterwards a hackney clerk in this Province; I mean not this by way of reflexion, my Lords, but I think their mean education, and meaner original would be motives, if duly reflected on that would induce them to assist rather than discourage others of equal parts tho under similar disadvantages in the obtaining of Licenses, were they even like them to aim at being Associate Justices.
I must further inform your Lordships that I never yet exerted the power which my Predecessor Johnston did in withdrawing his license & silencing the Lawyers at his pleasure among whom was Mr. Hodgson the then speaker and Mr. Saml Swann the present one a candidate also for the Assistant Judges place, and who as the vaunted opponent of every administration was suspended from practising several years; had I exerted this Power the Junto would have impeached me and at least made it a premunire if not a misprision of Treason against the Triumvirate.
7th Resolution. Resolved that the taking 4 pistoles for the Governor's and his Secretary's fees on such Licenses is expressly contrary to an Act of Assembly.
Answer. In regard of this charge which insinuates that the fee I received on licenses was the sole view of my granting them, I must refer your Lordships to my answer of the former Resolution as to my right. Moreover I must observe that it was the constant usage before my time even since the passing of the Fee Bill to take a guinea for each license for which I only took a pistole, an exorbitant charge upon the lawyers whose usual retaining fee in Chancery is £10. sterling instead of £3. Currency given them by the Act of Assembly. I must further observe to your Lordships that since my entrance into this Government I never received a payment in gold or silver except those pistoles for the law licenses & four pistoles for granting a Commission to a Privateer from this Province, all other payments being made me in paper Bills at near 50 p. cent discount & further that this exorbitant fee in the whole six years of my residence here has not amounted in the whole to fifty pistoles, as will appear by a paper herewith sent by my Secretary of all the money received by him for me from June 1757, the time when he came into my service till this date, the amount about 33 pistoles, and before that time there were not admitted above 8. or 9. as few demanded licenses for some time after my arrival. As my nephew when Secretary to me never exceeded half a pistole for a single license and frequently not above 6 shillings 8 pence I never enquired into, knew, nor expected to hear that my present Secretary ever took more until I was informed of it, sitting the last Assembly, upon which I severely reprehended him and ordered him to receive no more than the accustomed fee and to repay the overplus he had taken. You will find my Lords, by the inclosed paper the excuse he would make me for his conduct, as well as an endeavour to show that it was not the intention of the law to deprive people of fees for services that were done though not specified in the Act, and that such was the opinion of Samuel Swann the Speaker one of the Junto who agreed to this resolution, but this is digressing from the present purpose which is to justify my own conduct. I therefore hope my Lords from what has appeared that you will not think me avaritious or exorbitant in taking a pistole for each Attorneys license, and that I shall stand acquitted of blame for that which my Secretary hath done unknown to me, as no complaint ever came to me against him, besides if he is faulty he is subject to the penalty of the act, and I
8th Resolution. That tho' the Governor was addressed by the Assembly in June last to take necessary measures to suppress the several Mobbs & insurrections which for many months in open violation of all law have with impunity assembled in great numbers in different Counties, erected sham Jurisdictions and restrained men of their liberty, broke open Goals, released malefactors, dug up the dead from the Grave, and committed other Acts of Rapine and violence, no effectual steps have been taken to check the torrent of their licentious extravagancies notwithstanding their having repeated those outrages, but on the contrary some of their principal leaders & known Conductors have been preferred to the Magistracy, and honoured with Commissions in the Militia, whilst on the other hand Gentlemen of unexceptionable characters and distinguished worth, who had filled those offices with credit, and whose conduct in the discharge of their respective functions had been justly rewarded by the approbation and applause of all who were witnesses of their publick deportment have from groundless prejudice and unreasonable caprice without Complaint or accusation against them been abruptly displaced, whereby magistracy is fallen into disgrace, Courts have lost their influence & Government its dignity, and life, liberty & property is rendered precarious and without a speedy establishment of Courts of Justice on a respectable foundation, and appointment of Justices of the principal Courts on such terms as Gentlemen of suitable abilities may accept such appointments, without apprehension of being misplaced but for misconduct the Government will be in no less peril from its internal enemies, than from the depredation of savages on the Frontier settlements.
Answer. In respect of this pompous Resolve so replete [with] oppression and mal administration, I must beg leave to enter into a short detail of the rise and cause of the riots complained of, in order to prove that the Governor and Council have neither been the cause of those northern disturbances so mightily magnified, nor have been negligent when applied to in the suppression of them, and shall afterwards answer the conclusive part of the charge of turning out and putting in of Magistrates and militia Officers so greatly complained of.
I must first observe that these Mobbs, Riots and Insurrections terrible as they are described were all confined to Lord Granville's northern district, and that all the outrages complained of were limited to the Counties of Granville & Edgcomb from which Halifax
But to lay open the cause and spring of that Mob I am under a necessity of hinting at part of the management of Lord Granville's Agents as well in England as in this Province. Mr. Child and Mr. Corbyn were joint agents to His Lordship in this Province when he was formerly Attorney General and acted in concert to make the most they could of the Fees and Perquisites in His Lordships Office for their own emolument at the expense of the people by which means they procured great sums to themselves but little for his Lordship. Upon his return to England he fixed the plan of operation with Mr. Corbin, & deputed his place to Colonel Innes who lived at a distance at Cape Fear, and upon his giving him an annual allowance he was to go to Edenton at appointed times to sign the deeds and receive the fines, and was no further let into the private agreement between Child and Corbyn, upon Child's return to England he was to represent all things to Lord Granville, and Corbyn was to act by his directions. He then to acquire a greater share of his Lordship's favour acquainted him with the great sums the Agents got for granting of lands, upon which his Lordship took all the fees into his own hands, and fixed annual salaries upon his Agent, which lessened the Agents profits, upon which Innes would not pay Child the stipulated allowance, this occasioned small returns to his Lordship, as Child stopped the money he remitted to his Ldp to pay himself what Innes was to allow him. He then by his Lordship's allowance turned out Innes and got Mr. Wheatley the naval officer appointed in his place for which he got bonds from him for £1,000 at least and he was instructed to oblige Corbyn to sign bonds to his Lordship to execute his trust and account and pay for the money received, he also sent over a Table of Fees to be put up in the Office to let the Tenants Know what they were to pay, as several Fees were taken unknown to his Lordship, & some of the Tenants paid more than usual which had caused great complaints amongst them. However Child managed so with Corbyn that he got up the bond from Mr. Wheatley and kept it without perfecting it, and the table of Fees was not set up in the Office, nor any remittances of consequence sent to his Lordship, upon this Child got Wheatley turned out, and transferred his Mortgage to Mr. Bodeley from whom he got about £2,000, and other presents of great value, and got him appointed joint agent with Corbyn, with instructions to call Corbyn totys Attorney General to know how to be relieved; he advised them to petition either the Earl or the Assembly to take their case into consideration but as he was Attorney General he could not appear publicly for them, but he would prepare or alter any petition they should get drawn, for which it is probable he was well paid, as they entrusted him with their whole Grievances, hitherto there were no riots.
In December 1758. they preferred this petition to the Assembly, and his friend Mr. Barker another of the Junto was made chairman of the Committee, and they finding it more for their Interest to make up matters with Corbyn, against whom the greatest charge was laid, they changed sides for a valuable consideration, and by the report of the Committee they had no redress, Corbyn was then obliged to produce his Table of Fees, but as great abuses were charged against Hayward and his sons and other Understrappers and no redress received nor money returned the Ferment increased. During this Tryal Hayward returned home, and in two or three days sickness died unexpectedly, and was buried privately. The Petitioners thought this was a trick to avoid his being prosecuted, and therefore went in a body to open the Grave, and finding his body left it there satisfied. This is the whole riot of digging up graves.
Nothing more happened till after the Session when in January 1759 the Petitioners having had neither redress nor their money unjustly taken from them returned, a number of them I believe about 20 went from Edgcomb to Corbyn's House near Edenton, and
No complaint of this treatment was made or any examination taken, the application was made to Corbyn to give them and to prosecute, nor had the Governor or Council any account or letter about it, nor did the present accuser Robin Jones then Attorney General who lived in their neighbourhood take or order any examination to be taken, though it was his duty and every adjoining Magistrates to have ordered prosecution—but soon after the Petitioners who were advised by Robin Jones, & probably he had taken a fee from them to petition, apprehended, & most think with Justice that he had got a large fee from Corbyn as a lawyer against them and some of them vowed, as it was said, his destruction, and would not let him plead in the General or County Courts and frightened him so that he always carried pocket pistols about with him.
In May 1759. Mr. Jones attended the Sessions at Newbern, and appeared before me in Council and made oath of these proceedings, & said that unless a Proclamation was issued and a reward given to discover these rioters, there wou'd be no safety in those Counties. I then sent a message upon it to the Assembly to enable me to give a reward which they addressed me to do, upon which a Proclamation was issued and Mr. Jones carried it along with him to distribute in that neighbourhood, some persons were afterwards committed, and I heard afterwards the Jail was broke open and the prisoners set at large, and all these things happened before the laws were repealed, or promulged, and no Prosecution made against them; Corbyn indeed after this ordered a prosecution, but afterwards countermanded it, as Mr. Child had advised him to stop it saying if it came upon Tryal he (Corbyn) would be the sufferer, as he had done things he could not justify, and the fault would be laid to the charge of his Office.
This is the whole of these formidable riots and insurrections in the Province, and I cannot see how any fault can lay against the Governor & Council, when no complaint is made to them, so that if any neglect has been it must be imputed to Mr. Corbyn & Jones the Attorney General whose duty it was to prosecute, and not to the
As to the second or conclusive part of this Resolve to wit that some of their principal Leaders and Known Conductors have been preferred to the Magistracy & honored with Commissions, and that on the other hand Gentlemen of unexceptionable characters have from groundless prejudice without complaint or accusation been abruptly displaced, I deny the charge, & defy them to produce an instance to prove it, though I must observe what doubtless will readily occur to your Lordships that upon my arrival I was an utter stranger to the persons and characters as well of those that were in the Magistracy, as of those that were qualified to be admitted into it, & must therefore take & rely upon the recommendations and informations of others—Your Lordships will also allow that in infant colonies & new created counties where the first settlers chief concern is to procure food, clothing and decent lodging that very few have time to read and qualify themselves for being magistrates and that many Justices are wanted, & as ex quovis ligno non fit Mercurius thus situated I laid it down as a rule to obey my instructions in appointing no Justices but in Council, and by their consent, and when any were appointed always took the recommendation of some of the Council when they knew any qualfied or of the Members of the respective Counties, or of Gentlemen of the neighborhood of the best Fortunes & characters, I also laid it down as a rule I never swerved from, and defy them to produce an instance to the contrary, that I ever removed one Justice without the advice & consent of the Council and can't recollect any one instance of a Justice removed by the Council but one, unless it was upon account of their not qualifying, & taking the oath of Office and having their names in the Commission only to excuse themselves from other services, or upon their removal out of the Province or County where they resided, for the rule laid down in Council was when any Complaint or want of capacity appeared then to summon the accused party to attend the next Council, and to determine upon the hearing, and if the summons was served and they did not attend it was taken pro confesso, and he was dismissed; though I must also observe that as they are only made during pleasure the Governor in Council has a right to strike any out of the Magistracy without a hearing by virtue of his Prerogative, in case he be found acting contrary to the duty he owes his Majesty or counteracting his just measures.
The only instance which can be given of a Justice being agreed to be turned out by me in Council without any charge of injustice having been imputed to him was in agreeing upon my Application of turning out John Starkey Treasurer of the southern district from being a Justice of peace for Onslow. This old Gentlemen my Lords, not less in appearance than in principles, is a declared Republican, and by professing those principles had gained a great share of popular applause, and had upon all occasions endeavored to bring acts or clauses to restrain or lessen His Majesty's Prerogative, his constant schemes and declarations being to gain from the Prerogative by small and imperceptible degrees, and that by slipping in, if not closely attended to, occasional Clauses into useful Bills. Added to this was a constant opposition to everything that was asked or claimed as a right or Privilege in the Crown, an Instance of which as it is a very recent one I shall mention to your Lordships—His Majesty upon sending over a Train of artillery with all the Ordnance stores of above £3000 value had commanded me to appoint a storekeeper who was to correspond with the Board of Ordnance, & who gave £3000, security for his place; His Majesty in Council also commanded me to apply to the Assembly for a suitable appointment for him, which I accordingly did for £40. p. annum the usual salaries allowed in Europe, this recommendation John Starkey His Majesty's Treasurer opposed in the Committee and the House and said he could get it taken care of for £12. p. ann: which was with great difficulty allowed to the Gentleman (who was well qualified for such a trust) he was obliged to lodge the Stores at Fort Johnston which was not quite finished, nor had it at that time a Garrison to defend it, and with this salary it hath continued for some years, upon which in last December Session I applied again to Starkey and charged him as His Majesty's Treasurer and as he had opposed it before, in case he did not use his influence to comply with His Majesty's recommendation, that I would resent it and use him as he deserved; this he neglected and said as they had refused it before they would not agree to it, upon this I stated the whole case in Council & they unanimously concurred that he was unfit to enjoy any favour from the Crown, and left it to me to dismiss him or not as I thought proper, upon which when I saw him I told him he was no longer a Justice of the Peace for Onslow County, though I did not issue another Commission; I also my Lords, dismissed him from being Colonel of a Militia Regiment which was entirely in my own power without the Councils Concurrence, & I thought the reason for
The other instance they hint at in dismissing Magistrates and Colonels of Militia is I suppose Mr. Corbyn, whom I turned out from being one of the Assistant Judges & Colonel of the Chowan regiment—The case, my Lords, was this. Mr. Corbyn had soon after my arrival in the Province wrote a letter against me to Lord Granville, complaining that I had granted Patents upon Lord Granville's lands, though he himself had always attended the Court of Claims where all Patents were granted, and therefore knew the accusation was false, Lord Granville upon his letter acquainted me with his Complaints, and desired me to recall such Grants if perfected; this accusation surprized me, and the first time I met him in his Council I charged him with it, he denied the charge & said he had never made such a complaint. upon which I had his Lordship's letter read in Council, he still persisted in the denial & said he had the Copy of the letter at home which he wrote to my Lord to show that what my Lord had wrote was false, I then charged him in Council to produce that Copy, upon which I sent an attestation under the hands of the Council to His Lordship that I had never granted such patents, and that Corbyn owned I had never made any such to his knowledge. This affair lay open to the December Session 1758. which was held at Edenton within 2. or 3. miles of Corbyns residence, and Mr. Bodeley one of his Lordship's Agents
Upon this I again told Corbyn he had frequently engaged in the Council to produce the Copy of his letter to Lord Granville against me to show that what his Lordship wrote was false, he again affirmed that he had it and would produce it as soon as he went to his house I told him I insisted upon it and if he did not produce it to make his veracity appear, he ought to be suspended from the Council for his Prevarication. He went home & returned once or twice without it, and said he had forgot it, but engaged again to bring it; thus he delayed to the end of the Session, upon which as he was to carry home some Company with him I told him if he did not send it to me or bring it the next day he had no veracity & was not to be trusted, and he must take the consequence upon himself—It not being thereupon produced, for I dismissed him from being Col: of the regiment and from being one of the Associate Justices, and to shew that it was not disrespect to Lord Granville, I appointed his other Agent Bodeley Associate Judge, and gave his Commission in the Militia to the Lieutenant Colonel of which I acquainted Lord Granville, and told him if he had not been his Lordship's Agent I shou'd have also by the consent of the Council have suspended him from the Council upon account of this and other Misdemeanors as a Member of the Council.
As to that part in which I am charged with preferring the principal Leaders of those terrible riots to the Magistracy, I can only say it is one amongst the many falsehoods that compose this Resolve. I am at a loss to suggest whom they even hint at, unless it is Mr. Alexander McCulloh the late Deputy Auditor who was a Justice of the peace long before my arrival, and whom I appointed Colonel of the Edgcomb Militia; this Gentleman indeed happened to be surrounded
10th Resolution. That the Books, Records and Papers of the Secretary's Office being lately by the Governor's Orders removed to Cape Fear near the southern extremity of this Province renders it extremely expensive & difficult for the generality of the People to have the necessary recourse to that Office.
Answer. As the removal of this Office is one of those few Truths contained in these inquisitorial Resolves I must in some measure observe upon the Inconveniencies & Conveniencies of such a proceeding whereby it will appear how far I may be justified in the opinion of your Lordships. In respect of the inconveniency it is necessary to premise that the Act for fixing the seat of Government was repealed by his Majesty, and that no edifice or building hath been yet erected for keeping the Public Records. It is also notoriously evident that the unhealthy situation of the Town of Newbern deprives it of the least claim to such an advantage, as appears by the unanimous vote of the Assembly now upon their Journals, to wit, that the Town of Newbern upon account of its being an unhealthy situation was improper for the seat of Government. Besides this unanswerable objection I myself was under a necessity of leaving it, for exclusive of the want of every necessary convenience, I was apprehended to be dying upon account of the unhealthiness of the place and as the shell of a very good house situate on a healthy soil near Brunswick on Cape Fear River was offered me I removed thither where under God my health is re-established. Besides when the emergency of affairs requires the speedy calling of the Council, I was under the necessity of sending Expresses 100 miles north and south which took up three weeks before I could assemble them, and too frequently rendered the result of their meeting useless & ineffectual. In respect to the convenience I must observe that Wilmington to which the Records are removed is the most opulent town
These were the reasons that induced me to remove this Office, and if it be admitted (what cannot in truth be denied) that the Secretary's Office together with the Records ought to be as near the seat of Government as possible, & that there is no seat of Government yet fixed, where then cou'd I fix the keeping of the Records and Papers but at Wilmington, a place in every respect so advantageously circumstanced, I therefore hope in doing it to be justified by your Lordships.
13th Resolution. Resolved that it is the opinion of this Committee that the not granting a writ of Election for Tyrrel an antient County till after the present Assembly had sat and passed several Bills, and the granting another to Bertie County for fewer Members than they usually have sent to the Assemby is a manifest infringement on the rights of the subject, and tenders to endanger the Constitution.
Answer. This old County of Tyrrel, my Lords, was a five Member County, not established as the four first Districts were under the Proprietors at the first settling the Colony to make up a sufficient number to form a house, but was erected by Act of Assembly to which five Members were granted and was one of the Counties in the Act repealed in 1754 and I was instructed after an Act had passed to re-enact and erect those Counties again reserving the power of sending Members to the Assembly until that right should be granted them by Charter from His Majesty—All the other counties took out Charters and therefore had writs sent to them to elect Members, but Tyrrel, I suppose by means of the Attorney General who told them they had a right to send Members without a Charter, refused
Your Lordships will therefore consider whether I am to blame in adhering to his Majesty's Instructions and supporting his Prerogative against his Attorney General Child and his Junto who wou'd have Counties send Members without either Charter or Writ; but by the almighty power of the Junto who ruled the Assembly.
14th Resolution. That the diversity of the Forms in writs of elections issued to different Counties, some of which direct the Freeholders and others the Inhabitants in General to choose, by which last
Answer. In answer to this I must observe that upon the repeal of these and several other Laws which depended upon them, I was at a great loss how to issue the writs as the Law for Freeholders to elect was then repealed, and therefore I thought myself obliged to follow the first and second Charters of the Colony, which power was lodged in the Freemen of the Colony or their delegates, and as I did not advert to the distinction made between Freeman and Inhabitants as my intention was that all free inhabitants should be Electors, until a proper law should again fix it to Freeholders, whether it was by Inadvertency that the word Free was not inserted I can't tell, but it is false so far as to say that some Counties had writs for Freeholders and some for the Inhabitants at large but one of the County elections (Granville) having broke up without making any return, it was inquired into by the Assembly, and I was addressed to issue another writ, and upon better information I ordered it to be directed to the Freeholders, so that they were all at first the same with only that single variation, and if this was a fault it proceeded only from inadvertency or omission of the Clerk not putting in the word Free before inhabitants; but I think the complainants Child, Barker and Johnston, three Lawyers, ought not to have complained, for they were chiefly elected by sailors or such Inhabitants who were not Freeholders, for had only Freeholders voted another sett of men had been elected, which surely was no sign that I wanted to new model the Assembly in my favour, which in other words was to serve the Government and to oppose Cabals and self interested Jobs.
My Lords having answered these inquisitorial Resolutions so far as they relate to myself I shall refer your Lordships to my nephew the Secretary for the other two Articles framed with a view to get him removed and one of the Triumvirate appointed in his room. I thank God there is not any colour of truth except in the whipping of Thomas Core which is greatly aggravated, and though in a passion he was undoubtedly wrong to whip a person, notwithstanding he had in writing abused his wife, yet he did it not under any authority derived from his station, and consequently can in no wise effect him as Secretary, for if he hath transgressed the law, he is still subject to the penalties of it.
But as the Resolution against our President the late Chief Justice Hasell appointed by me with the Concurrence of the Council after
Upon the whole I believe this great Fabrick they have erected to accuse my administration will appear to be but slenderly supported as it is carried on only by the intrigue, heat and passion of the Junto who were disappointed in the scheme of being Judges, and who in consequence joined with the Attorney Child I may say in a secret conspiracy right or wrong to raise a flame against me in order to have me recalled without a hearing, and their new patron placed at the head of affairs, from whom they expected great matters, as he had promised to obtain for them every lucrative post in the Government. To render this scheme further successful an address was framed by my designed Successor, who prudently kept out of the house whilst the Farce was transacting, in the most artful language in his power calculated rather to inflame the passions than affect the reason, as it consists of no more than a recital of those false accusations contained in the foregoing resolves, which renders it unnecessary for me to trouble your Lordships with my Animadversions on it except in one instance which carries with it an accusation I am not heretofore charged with, to wit—That it was notorious that the true reason of the Councils rejecting the Aid Bill in May 1759. and of the Governor's Displeasure with the Assembly, was because one Mr. Smith his own private Attorney in London had not been proposed by the Assembly for that Appointment.
As I cannot remain silent under so false an accusation, I must previously beg leave so far to intrude upon your Lordships patience as to recapitulate some things which I before mentioned to your Lordships in my letters in Spring 1759. after the December Session, when the old Junto had begun the grand scheme of dividing the Bear's skin, the dividend of our share of the £50,000 amongst them, and taking it out of the hands of the Governor and Council, and lodging it in their own without leaving it in the power of the General Assembly to distribute it in such a manner as His Majesty
In Spring 1759, Mr. Secretary Pitt having intimated his Majesty's commands to procure a further supply to assist in the attack of Canada &c In pursuance of His Majesty's command I held an Assembly in May 1759 and as Mr. Pitt had engaged to apply to Parliament by His Majty's Order to reimburse them for any future supply as they should hereafter appear to merit, and that upon their fixing an Agent in concurrence with the Governor & Council, he would order payment for the share of the dividend of £50,000 and their further expense against Fort Du Quesne, they thought they could then fix their Agent, & go on with their plan in spite of the Governor and Council, and for fear they should not carry the person they wanted in a separate Bill, they tacked it to the Aid, and so clog'd & brought it in so late as to be of no service to His Majesty, and therefore was thrown out by the Council, for the rejection of which I have your Lordships, approbation 1st August 1759, to which and my former letters I refer your Lordships, so that Mr. Smith's name was not then brought upon the Tapis.
Indeed before upon the Assembly voting Mr. Abercrombie to be Agent and appointing him a salary by their own power without consent of the Governor & Council, they on the other hand in opposition to their resolution appointed Mr. Smith to be Agent for the Governor & Council, and it is so rested until this last April Session, for there was no attempt to appoint an Agent in the last November one. And in this late Session Mr. Smith's name was not so much
However as an attempt in 1760 was again made by a separate Bill to appoint one Anthony Bacon upon the same plan as the former, the Council upon the same principles threw out the Bill, whereby the Bill as to that part remained unexecuted, yet the Junto by their influence in the Assembly obtained a resolve to make him Agent at a Salary of £200. p. annum without the consent of the Governor & Council subsequent to the address at the close of the second short Session, I cannot therefore conclude without making some brief observations on it.
This Mr. Bacon, My Lords, at the recommendation of Mr. Child the Attorney General and Agent to Lord Granville had made a very disadvantageous and I may say an iniquitous agreement with his Lordship to remit him his Quitrents & other fees at the rate of £170. this Currency for £90. sterling which is above 50. p. cent discount above the par of 133⅓. and had a year's time to remit it in after the paper money was paid to his order in this Province. This person who was so deeply concerned in this compact with my Lord, and in which Child was to have a share was also to be agent and to have the benefit of sending the money over here, upon which Child and the Junto were to have the further profit of above 56. p. cent as they would buy up the paper money at 190. and pay it off in Cash at 33⅓, this person was also chosen as being the most obnoxious to me, having had credible information that at your Lordships board he had falsely calumniated me, and assured without any foundation that in the seizure of a ship by Mr. Palmer collector of Bath for transgressing the Act of Navigation I had gone on board the Vessel with the Collector and forced him to make the seizure contrary to law, which was entirely false, I happened at that time to go to view the forts which were then erected at Portsmouth near Ocacock and old Topsail Inlet, in which excursion the Collector accompanied me; and at the same time informed me of the Ship's having broke the Act of Navigation, and produced the several Acts to me in which I found if I did not put those Laws in execution when come to my knowledge, I was to forfeit a large sum of money, and be rendered incapable of holding any employment under the Crown. He then asked my advice how he should act in it, upon which I told him I could no otherwise advise him than to obey the laws. Upon this I proceeded from viewing the Fort at old Topsail Inlet to Fort Granville on Core Banks near which the ship lay, when he went on
But to show how deeply Mr. Child was engaged with Bacon an eminent Member moved that the blank should be filled up with the name of Mr. Pownall, and appealed to Child for his character, he with a low bow answered he would not enter into private characters, but when Bacon was named he gave him the most exalted character, and after having largely expatiated upon his unbiased integ rity, the Junto got his name inserted, thinking by my speech at the opening of the first Session I must have passed the Bill, had it not been rejected in the Council, which baffled all their deep laid and selfish schemes.
To close therefore my defence against this formidable attack on Government through my administration, I appeal to your Lordships whether in these general accusations they have made anything appear that can impeach my integrity and honour or to prove that I have acted in any wise inconsistent with that trust His Majesty has thought fit to repose in me, nor can it be presumed that these charges are far from being a compleat catalogue of the sufferings of those placed under my administration, thereby insinuating that they only have remarked a few of the crimes (for as such they are painted) which I have committed, when it clearly appears that they have exhausted all their malice, as there is not one circumstance that could carry with it even the colour of exception since I came into this Province but what the Attorney and his Junto have falsely exaggerated. It is with pleasure therefore that I can beare the Consequence, as my conduct will admit of the strictest scrutiny.
I well know, my Lords, that as the liberties of the people when they degenerate into Republican principles are prejudicial to the just rights of the Crown, so is the Prerogative when raised beyond its due limits destructive and hurtful to the just liberties of the people I therefore made it my sole aim to preserve a due medium so that neither should preponderate, but that Republican spirit which this Province is so notorious for in some degree rendered my efforts ineffectual; indeed it was frequently hinted that if I would accede to certain measures my administration might be easy and happy, which measures were tamely to be silent and let the heads of a Republican party engross the executive power of the Crown, and propose
And whether your Lordships will think it advisable to continue a gentleman in the station of His Maj: Attorney General who is come over with a view to raise a flame against the Administration in this Province, a gentleman who is obligated by his oath to support not to encroach upon the Prerogative of the Crown, & who ought to advise me to adhere to rather than force me to break thro' my Instructions, for by these means, the executive power of the Crown will be lessened & at last extinguished, & it would be then too late to curb the spirit of Independency rising in this Colony.
And whether you will think it proper either to confer or continue favors on those who for private views obstruct the supplies & counteract those measures which are necessary & essential to the future peace and safety of this Province.
I therefore submit the whole to your Lordships wise and prudent consideration, & hope that every circumstance of my conduct when it comes to be scrutinously enquired into may be received by your Lordship as a faithful discharge of the duty I owe to His Majesty & the Country, the Government of which is intrusted to my care.