The Honble Alexr McCulloh, took the Oaths appointed by Law for the Qualification of Councellors subscribed The Test, and took his seat at the Board.
The memorial of the Honble Henry Eustace McCulloh together with the Deposition of John Frohock, Michl Holt, Mr Giles, ColocCulloh by Mr Edward Fanning, were received and not being able to proceed thereon for want of John Polks' Petition of Complaint left in the Secretarys Office at Wilmington it is Ordered,
That the said Memorials and Depositions lay by and the hearing Adjourned till the said Complaint appears and also Ordered, the said papers be immediately sent for.
Ordered a Proclamation, issue requiring all persons holding Lands by Virtue of Patents Granted in South Carolina, be brought in to be recorded in the Secretarys Office, by the 25th day of April next (which was Viz)
By the Honorable William Tryon Esq Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said Province,
Whereas, it hath been represented to me in Council That several Persons hold Lands in this Province by Virtue of Patents Granted in South Carolina, before the running the temporary Boundary Line between the Two Provinces in September Last—In Order therefore to discover what Lands are truly and bona fide, so held; to prevent disputes, and future Grants of such Lands; and for Quieting People in their Possessions; I have thought fit, by and with the Advice and consent of his Majestys Council, to issue this Proclamation, hereby enjoining and requiring all Persons, who in virtue of a Patent or Patents issued by the Governor or Commander in Chief of South Carolina, before the 24th of September last, are possessed of any Lands within the Present Bounds of this Province, according to the Line run by the Commissioners of the said Province, to produce such Patent or Patents before me in Council, at Wilmington, on or before the 25th day of April next, that proper Orders may be given for recording thereof in the Secretarys Office, as a failure herein may operate to the Damages of the Party neglecting.
Given under my hand and seal of the Province at Newbern the 9th day of May Anno Domini 1765SignedWm TRYONBy his Honours CommandBen. Heron—Secry.God save the King.
To the Honble Col William Tryon Lieutenant Governor of His Majesty's Province of North Carolina &c &c and the Honble Members of His Majestys Council for the same.
The Memorial of Henry Eustace McCulloh.
That on the 17th day of this Instant April, Your Memorialist receivd a Letter addressed to him by His Honour the Lieutenant Governor in the following Words—
“Upon a Complaint being exhibited to me in Council on Oath by John Polk, on behalf of himself and others settled on the Lands of George Selvin Esqr in the Tract No 3, I do by the Advice of His Majesty's Council desire you will desist from any Steps in Law to dispossess these People, 'till we meet at the General Assembly to be held at Newbern the 2d day of May next where I expect to see you; at which time I hope such Measures may be mediated, as will tend to the quieting the Minds of the Inhabitants, and securing the Peace of His Majesty's Province, without injury to the Proprietor of the said Land.”
That on the perusal thereof, Your Memorialist could not help observing with the utmost surprise and concern, that there had been Attempts made to prejudice him in the Opinion of this Honourable Board, in relation to his Conduct in the Management of the Trust repos'd in him by Mr Selwin; and that too perhaps not altogether without effect, as Your Memorialist can hardly conceive, that this Honourable Board would have thought proper to have taken this, (as he most humbly submits it) extraordinary step, unless they had it in their Opinion, that he was intending to exercise whatsoever Power might be in his hands, in a manner repugnant to natural Equity, and to the Peace and Prosperity of the Province. But altho upon this occasion Your Memorialist finds himself under an absolute necessity of Insisting as well on behalf of himself, as of every other of his Majesty's subjects in this Province, (but at the same time with all due submission to Your Honours Superior Wisdom and Judgment) That this Honourable Board cannot have any Right, consistent with Law, to interfere in a summary manner in the decision or direction of disputes concerning private Property; Yet Your Memorialist is, and at all times will be ready to pay a cheerful obedience to Your Honours desires (as far forth, as he can
That from His Honor the Lieutt Govrs Letter before set forth, Your Memorialist is given to understand that there is a Complaint lodged by one Polk, whether against him or not, does not appear, but that he is the subject of it—remains no doubt; but Your Memorialist having never seen any Copy of the Complaint, and not having been able to learn the particulars thereof, (notwithstanding he has heard it is very Voluminous, and has made every enquiry in his power for that purpose) it cannot be expected that he should make answer thereto particularly; neither indeed does Your Memorst apprehend himself under any legal necessity of answering anything of this Nature before this Honble Board, further than with a submissive View of Manifesting his respect, and the desire he has to meet with Your Honrs entire Approbation—Unconscious to himself from what part of His Conduct it is, that Your Memost is to have Accusations or reflections formed against him, he most humbly begs Your Honrs Indulgence to lay the whole before you; and if from the Nature of the subject, he should be drawn in to make this Memorial of any considerable length, he flatters himself from the importance of the subject (it being in the defence of the dearest Good which any Man can possess,—his Character) will with Your Honours most sufficiently plead his excuse, and engage your impartial attention.
That Your Memots Father and several others in the Year 1737, Obtained an Order in Council from His late Majesty King George the second, for a large Grant of Lands in the frontier, and then unsettled parts of this Province; and in consequence thereof, sundry Grants were issued under the Seal of this Province to him and to his associates, (of whom the present Mr Selwyns Father was one)d day of March 1745 (O S) and are now on record in the Secretarys Office. That on or about the Year 1747 when Your Memots Father was about to leave this Province, Your Memost has been informed that he published advertisements, declaring that any Person who should settle on any part of his Lands within two Years from that time, and take up their places contiguous, should have the Land at 5£ Sterling the hundred acres ready Money. That Your Memost mentions this fact from memory of a Conversation passing between his said Father and himself on the subject; as he never saw the said Advertisement, or could ever meet with any Person who could give the least certain or intelligible account thereof; and therefore insists that such was the Tenor of the said advertisement.—Your Memost Father soon after going to England and being engaged in sundry disputes with the late Right Honble John Earl Granville concerning the said Lands, they in a manner lay dormant for many Years, that is to say from the Year 1745 to the Year 1755, when the said Earl and Your Memost said Father coming to an agreement, Your Memost Father constituted the Honble Alexander McCulloch Esqr and John Campbell Esq: together with some Gentlemen in Charles Town, his Attorneys to manage his Concerns in this Country. That Matters continuing in much confusion, occasioned by the Misrepresentations of the Title which were continually instilled into the Minds of the People seated on the Lands, by designing persons who might, propose to themselves some view of sharing in the Spoils of Your Memots Father's said Property, could they by spreading disgust between him and the People, finally oppress him out of his Right,—Your Memots Father's said Attorneys (notwithstanding their most friendly and Zealous exertions) found themselves unable to advantage his Concerns in the manner they could have wished, and gave him notice thereof; Upon which he in the Year 1761 thought proper to send over Your Memost with full Powers to Act for him.
That upon Your Memots arrival in a strange Country, Young in Life, Knowledge, and Experience, and totally unacquainted with the real circumstances of his Fathers affairs (having everything to apprehend from the Underhand designs of his Fathers Enemies; having scenes of Business to enter upon, which had been ever perplexed and confused, and a multitude of People to deal with of different dispositions tempers, and capacities for in an open Property free for every one, such as your Memost Fathers, he submitsst concluded within himself to lay down a few settled Rules for his conduct and after he had squared those Rules according to the best light of his reason and Conscience, most steadily and invariably to pursue them.
That accordingly in a few Months after his arrival, Your Memost went up to his Fathers Lands in Rowan County, the settlers of which had not long before that, been instigated to some very illegal acts of opposition; That Your Memost calling them together laid his Terms before them, the general substance of which were as follows;—That his Price was from £12 to £5 sterling a hundred acres, according to the Quality of the Land; and that every Man should have the refusal of his place without the least Charge or advance for situation or Improvement. And upon this head your Memorialist most humbly begs Your Honorable Indulgence to make an observation, that could Your Memost or His Father have reconciled it to their way of thinking, they might have made many Thousands more out of their Property than they have done, as the Law gave them as indefeasible and undoubted a right to the Improvement as it did to the soil; and further that the Value of the Improvements on their Lands much exceeded the Value of the soil.) To go on,—Upon hearing these Terms, some of the settlers observed to Your Memost upon such his Fathers Advertisement, upon which Your Memorialist made answer, that altho he was a stranger to the existence of any such advertisement, yet he would readily agree to let them have the Lands upon the Terms thereof; which Your Memorialist might well have done, as it would have amounted to much more than the Price he demanded: For as Your Memorialist then observed to those settlers, and now begs leave to submit to Your Honours cool reflection,—Supposing the advertisement to direct the Terms of the sale, the Party settling and purchasing could not have expected otherwise than to have paid the Quit Rents from the time of such settlement and Purchase; and the Party selling and receiving the Money would certainly from that time to this, have enjoyed at least the Legal benefit of its use: That interest is what the Laws of all well regulated societies allow in lieu of the use or advantage of a ready receipt of Money, and is consistent with the more tender Principles of Natural Equity; and that if your Memost Father was to Abide by such his agreement, it must be taken in toto as well forts Fathers Lands.
That in Consequence of this happy situation of affairs between Your Memorialist and his Fathers Tenants. he proceeded to lay off their several Plantations, in doing of which Your Memost even suffered them to direct the Compass, and hardly ever interfered, except to determine such disputes as might arise between Neighbors concerning their Lines when they could not be prevailed upon by his pressing Recommendations to settle the Matter (as he always wished they would do) between themselves. That it is now going on four Years since Your Memorialist has been most Assiduously employed in those Affairs, during which time Your Memorialist has laid off and disposed of the whole of his Fathers Tract to the Westward, to the Persons Seated thereon and others and given Titles for the same. And Your Memorialist here most humbly begs leave to observe to this Honoble Board, that it has ever been the boast of his own Mind, that in the Management of a Concern, so extensive in itself, so various in its Circumstances, and depending upon so many different Parties, he never had the least dispute or difference with any one, or occasion to Commence any but one single suit against one Sheppard, who had put his Fathers Title to defiance, and whom nevertheless Your Memorialist afterwards upon his submission forgave, and let him have his place without any advance. That Your Memorialist humbly insists the means he made use of to accomplish his Business in this much to be desired way, was to endeavour to do equal Justice to all; to grant every indulgence of time which honest poverty could ask, and never to add to the distresses of the unfortunate by a rigorous demand of the performance of their Contracts. That in the whole of your Memots proceedings he ever gave the refusal of the place to the Party seated on it, without any Charge for the improvement (except in a Manner which by Your Memots Fathers expressst must submit is a strong proof of their having been reasonable and agreeable to the settlers, and happily calculated for the Ease and Advantage of the poorer sort of his Tenants; which Your Memost flatters himself he has great reason to insist they were, as he never made the least difference between those who had Money to pay for their Places, and those who had none. And Your Memost begs leave to observe, that this is the course of such a Concern it may necessarily be imagined that he must have received Bonds from the People, to the amount of several Thousand Pounds, and that many of them must have much overrun the time of payment, Yet he submits it to Your Honour, that he never suffered his necessities to influence him to bring so much as a single suit upon them.
Such may it please Your Honour, Your Memorialist insists has been his Conduct in the Management of his Fathers Property. He will not now subjoin those Observations which he submits naturally arise from the facts but defer them to the close of this Memorial, and shall now proceed to the Occasion thereof, his Behaviour as it relates to the discharge of the trust imposed in him by Mr Selwyn
As your Memorialist before observed Mr Selwyn's Father was one of the Original Associates; that part of the Lands which fell to his share lay under much the same circumstances as Your Memost Fathers, 'till sometime in or about the Year 1757 when the present Mr Selwyn impowered the Honble Richard Speight Esqr deceased, & the Honble Alexander McCulloh to act for him, who on account of the disturbance occasioned by the Indian war, found themselves unable to render him any service. That soon after the Death of Mr Speight it was mentioned to Your Memost to accept of a power to act for Mr Selwyn which he then declined, being well acquainted with the many disagreeable scenes, and heavy exertions both of Mind and Body that would attend the just discharge of a Trust of that Nature; But Your Memorialist's Father afterwards observing that there was some Intercourse of Business depending between Mr Selwynr Selwyn to have his affairs in your Memorialists Hands, unknown to your Memost undertook for him (Your Memost) to Mr Selwyn who thereupon appointed Your Memost Father and Your Memost his joint and separate Attorneys for the Managemnt of His Interest in this Country; which Power of Attorney he received in May last and had immediately recorded in the Secretary's Office.
That upon Your Memost receiving the said power and agreeing to Act under it, he took upon himself as bound in Honour and Conscience to act for Mr Selwyn's Interest, in the same manner and with the same Zeal he had done for His Fathers, and being well acquainted with the unsettled and Arbitrary Notions of the Persons who had seated themselves down upon Mr Selwyn's Lands, he expected to meet with much Trouble in the Discharge of the said Trust; which he might reasonably imagine might be the Case when he reflected upon the injurious & contumelious Treatment His late Excellency had met with in the same Parts, and upon a similar occasion.—That Your Memost therefore in order to prepare matters for an amicable Settlement of Affairs in the Months of June, July & August last, undertook a Journey to those Lands which lie in Mecklenburgh County, for the purposes aforesaid, and for the purpose of running the Outlines of the Tract No 4 adjoining to Mr Selwyns wherein Your Memost holds a considerable quantity of Land in his own Right.
That upon Your Memost arrival, he was given to understand that many of the Settlers upon Mr Selwyns Lands and the late Governors intended to hold to the South (as they termed it) and oppose their running any Lines; giving out at the same time the greatest threats against his Life and Person;—That Your Memost nevertheless proceeded to run the said Boundary Lines, accompanied with a number of his Friends Armed, which he did unmolested, altho he had been well informed and believes that the said persons had a meeting that day to execute their designs, but upon further consideration thought proper to drop them.
That a very large number of these South Men residing on Mr Selwyn's Lands, Your Memost dread arose altogether from them, as the other Settlers seemed very well disposed—That Your Memorialist considering it would be extremely burdensome to him to make his Terms known to every individual in the Tract, recommended it to the Settlers to have a meeting and to choose and Authorize 4st met those Persons, whose Names were, James Norris, Thomas Polk, James Flannigin, & George Allen, with whom Your Memost had a long Conference, the result of which was, that they thought his Terms just and reasonable, and that the People might be well satisfied therewith: and upon their desire, that he would give the substance of them in Writing, Your Memost drew up and signed a Paper containing his said Terms Copies of which he delivered to each of them & which is in the following words
“Terms Offered to the Settlers on Mr Selwyn's Lands by Henry Eustace McCulloh as Attorney for the said Selwyn.
First “Every Person settled shall have the first Refusal of his place without being liable to any Charge for Situation or Improvement; or the risk of losing the same by reason of any greater Offers, provided he is willing to satisfy the Proprietor the same is Wood Land, according to the Valuation to be fixed thereon.
Such as may not be able to pay down the Purchase Money, shall have every reasonable indulgence of Time granted for that purpose: So that poor and Rich shall stand one equal Chance to secure their Labour and their Hopes.
Such as may repent of any Agreements which they may enter into with me, within 3 Years shall have an absolute Right to demand from me, a Cancelling of the same and a return not only of the Principal, but of the Use or Interest of their Money in full; which may convince any Man of the least Reason, that he cannot with me possibly make a bad Bargain as he may at any time within 3 Years take which end of it he pleases.—This I flatter myself must Absolutely stop the Mouth of Objection.
To do equal Justice to all, the Lands shall be sold Ad Valorem, that is according to Value, the price of the best £12 Sterling per hundred, the meanest £8 (N B Your Memost afterwards offered to reduce the last to £5 and so in proportion according to Quality. Circumstances of Time, Expenses, and the real Value of equal Lands considered, I must insist that the Regard which the Proprietor shews to the supreme Law of Natural Conscience and Equity, has induced him to part with his Lands for one third the real, Intrinsic and inherent Value thereof, for this I appeal to facts and the reflection and recollectionn whom the People Elected to meet and settle the Terms with me.
Provided no Injury is thereby offered to any Neighbouring Lands or Plantations, the places shall be run to the greatest advantage as to Wood, Water, and Soil without regard to Courses or Corners.
I do not propose to sell less than 200 Acres and no Man I think would wish it otherwise; but where the particular situation of the Places make it reasonable that I should do so, I have it in my will as well as in my Power to do otherwise.
Such as stand Ejectments, have no favour to expect. Quit Rents shall only be demanded from the time they were actually paid out of Pocket by the Proprietor; that is from the 25th of March 1760—And where the Party has not been so long in Possession from the Time of such Possession only.
The Title Deeds may be agreed upon by the People and shall meet my Acceptance.
I shall not look upon myself as absolutely bound to anything in this Paper, so as to prevent my being grateful to my Friends and just to my Enemies.
No Persons are to settle upon any part of the Lands from this Day.
These are in general the substance of what passed in Conversation, and seemed reasonable and Equitable to Messrs Polk, Norris, Flannagin, & George Allen, the Gentlemen whom the Settlers chose to meet and consult me on this head—Such as they are, the people may depend upon my Resolution to support them, and to vindicate the Rights of my Employer. Conscious as I am of their extream Lennity and that sacrifice of Interest which is offered to insure a favourable acceptance of them from the People, I must, and do hope, and insist, that I shall meet with that return from them which I may deserve: and they may depend upon finding me in every Instance, the thing I profess—Compassionate to the Poor, fond of my Friends—and not willing to remain indebted to my Enemies.
In January I shall return to lay off the Lands.
These May it please Your Honrs are the Terms at large, which Your Memost as Attorney for Mr Selwyn offered to the Persons seated on his Lands: And altho Your Memost intends to defer his observation to the close of his Memorial, yet he cannot here refrain from humbly demanding the opinion of this Honble Board and ofr Selwyns Property of equal Value with Your Memost Father's Property, for a lesser Price.
To go on with the narrative of Your Memost Behaviour, he is to observe to your Honrs that after having laid these Terms before the People he proceeded down the Country, with an assurance of having removed every dread of opposition, and with an intention of returning to lay off the Lands at the time appointed; and that accordingly in February last he came up into these parts with that design, not at all imagining he should meet with the least opposition from the Settlers. And altho Your Memost was given to understand on his coming up, that several of them had combined together to oppose him yet he did not pay the least regard to any such Informations, till upon his coming upon the 4th day of last March to his Lands in Rocky River, he was informed that there had been that day between 30 & 40 of the Settlers on Mr Selwyn's Lands there, with a design to oppose his coming upon the Tract. That your Memost unknowing how he could have given them cause for offence, and steadily determined not to give up the Cause of his Employer, on the next day proceeded to the house of Captain Abraham Alexander on Shugar Creek (one of the Settlers on Mr Selwyn's Lands) where he found 150 Persons assembled as near as he could judge: That some little time after his arrival, Your Memost called in the People and produced to them Copies of Mr Selwyn's Patents taken from the Records in the Secretarys Office, and duly Certified:—That warm & Labouring under a sense of their ill return to his kind intentions to them being then well acquainted with their having joined themselves together in an illegal Bond, under the forfeiture of all they possessed in the World, to oppose Mr Selwyn's Right, and provoked at their then manifest designs of endeavouring terrify Your Memost into dishonourable Concessions, he readily owns he did without much ceremony lay the folly and consequences of such their intentions before them, and that he did declare in the solemn Name of God, that in case they persisted in them they should from him never meet with forgiveness. That they thereupon told him they would take some time to consider of what had been said; and in about an hours time upon Your Memots going out among them, they came up and surroundedst rejected with becoming Warmth, as such their Offer was made with the utmost insolence, and the most manifest designs of terrifying his Resolutions and was accompanied with the most contemptuous expressions of defiance;—that they continuing to press upon, Your Memorialist alone among them, he solemnly declared it was his then opinion they had a design upon his Person; that these people at the same time gave Your Memost a Paper for his Perusal, which he then thought it prudent to return them and never afterwards could get a Copy of it, tho he well recollects that the substance thereof, was as follows—That the People to the number of 143 had joined together not to suffer him to act for Mr Selwyn unless he agree to let them have the Land from £10 to £12 Proc: per hundred—that if Your Memost would not agree to those Terms they would not permit him to survey or suffer any Sheriff or other Officer to serve any process on them on behalf of Mr Selwyn. Your Memost justly irritated, at this Treatment and declaration, and the insolent Language with which he was used (they continually gathering round him and talking to him in the most insulting manner) Your Memost does allow, that he did endeavour to manifest the steadiness of his purpose, by repeated and proper declarations of his Resolutions to survey the next day; on which declaration some of them had the insolence to defy Your Memost in the most affecting manner, and others to tell him by way of friendly advice (as they insultingly pretended) not to try, for that if he did, the best usage he should expect to meet with, would be to be tied Neck and heels and be carried over the Yadkin, and that he might think himself happy if he got off so. Your Memost continuing still firm in his Intentions, told them the Hour and Place he intended to survey at the next day, and they departed declaring they would keep a Guard over him to watch him all the while he stayed, and that he never should; and dropping Expressions which would have given the justest apprehensions to any Man to fear for the safety of his Life.—Distressfully situated as Your Memost was, he was yet firmly resolved to abide the Issue of the next day—as he was sensible to retreat was to sacrifice every hope of success, and perhaps for many Years to deprive Mr Selwyn of the benefit of his Property.
The next day being Wednesday the 6th of March on Your Memosts rising in the Morning the first sight he saw was two of the Persons who had been there the day before) sitting upon the Fence withoClock Your Memost apprehends there might be near a hundred of them gathered together.—At that time Your Memost declares that he little suspected that the present head and Chief of these People, (Thomas Polk) was one of their number, as he had ever endeavoured to distinguish him, and had no longer than the day before given him assurances that he should meet with every favour from him that he could reasonably ask, but that on a Conversation had between Your Memost and the said Polk on Wednesday Morning, Your Memost found out he had been deceived in him, and upon his declaring so, the said Polk answered that Your Memost might depend upon it neither he nor the People would ever suffer any Sheriff or other Officer, to serve any precepts upon them on Mr Selwyns behalf; or permit Your Memost to run out any of the Land, not even for persons who were desirous to agree to the Terms & purchase from Mr Selwyn.—Amazed at such a Conduct from a person Your Memost little expected it from, and fixed in his opinion that there was the greatest probability of their design to injure either his Life or Person, Your Memost does with concern acknowledge, that in a Moment when he was not himself, the said Polk by his taunting Language and insolent Behaviour, provoked Your Memost into a single expression concerning His late Excellency Governor Dobbs, which he is fully sensible nothing but a consideration of his then distressing situation, and feelings, and of his subsequent Behaviour, could possibly excuse, and which has ever given him a proper concern. At sundry times when Your Memost was surrounded by these People they put several questions to him about the surveying and other things, but Your Memost confesses that full of the sense of their injurious Treatment, and determined to the uttermost not to Yield to the meanest of all Motives (the Law of brutal force) Your Memost told them his body was in their power, his Will in his own, that they might tear him Limb from Limb but should not compel him to hold any Converse with persons who behaved to him more like Wolves than rational Beings; and Your Memost does not recollect that he made use of any other expression of aggravation to them, except the Above, & now and then telling them (what he thought) that they were a parcel of Blockheads; all which a Consideration of Your Memost most singular situation, he flatters himself will sufficiently excuse.—At the hour appointed Your Memost proceeded to the Plantation of Mr James Norris (who came st in a most ignominious and taunting manner; and among other pieces of Insolence some of them asked Your Memost whether he had not great honour done him, and whether he thought he would have as many Men attend him to his Grave or not? and whether that day was to have been the last of his Life or not, Your Memost most solemnly declares before God he was for many hours uncertain.—Please Your Honrs but for a moment suppose Yourselves in Your Memost then situation, and judge for him of the Treatment he has receiv'd from these People who represented themselves as fit objects of Your Honrs Compassion & interposition!—When all came to the Place where Mr Norris chose to make his beginning, Your Memost asked him whether he was willing to have his place surveyed for him by Your Memost as Attorney for Mr Selwyn? to which he replied in the Affirmative, and told the people that he wanted none of their interposition: Upon this Your Memost turned to them, and asked by what Authority they pretended to hinder him? they replied they would not then tell him:—Your Memost then demanded whether it arose from any doubts of Mr Selwyns Rights, or his Power to Act for him? to this Sundrys answered, without any Contradiction from the rest, that they did not deny either Mr Selwyn's Right, or Your Memost Power to Act for him: Your Memost Surveyor then proceeding to fix his Compass and the Chain Carriers having the Chain in their hands,—Mr Polk's People—gathered tumultuously round them, and notwithstanding Your Memost made a solemn and a legal Proclamation in the Majesty's sacred Name to disperse the Riot, they paid no regard thereto, but contemptuously seized and broke the Surveying Chain in several pieces;—And Tom Polk (as Your Memost is well informed and believes, for tho Your Memost was within 4 foot, the Press was so great he could not plainly distinguish) with his own hands took the Compass off the Staff. After this was done, and Your Memost found that to persist would be to no other purpose than to incur the greatest risk of losing his Life—the said Polk in the Name of the whole made Your Memost a proposal of £15 Proc a Hundred, in a general manner, and whether in earnest or with a View to try Your Memost he cannot say. In Answer thereto Your Memost gave them no ill Language at all, but only told them, the day might come when they should st agreed to give them in Writings: and accordingly the next day when his Recollection had in some measure got the better of his just resentment he wrote to the said Polk as follows
In Compliance to the Word I gave Yesterday to you as Leader and Spokesman of that unthinking Multitude who have by the most daring opposition to the Laws of this Country, subjected themselves to certain ruin, I am to inform You, and thro' you them, that I shall not comply with the Terms you dictated.”
[The next eight MS. pages of this document are missing.—Editor.] daring breach of the Peace of His Majesty's Government, endeavored to awe and terrify one of his subjects, at the dread of his Life, to dispose of his property at such a rate as they thought proper to dictate. Sure, may it please this Honorable Board, such Proceedings cannot justly demand the powerful Interposition of the Chief supporters of His Majestys Peace and Government in this Province. What hardships what Injuries have offered them? What toils do they dread that they have most deliberately brought upon themselves by their unlawful Conduct?
There are some particular Circumstances in the Conduct of the said Mr. Polk, which your Memost apprehends are worthy of being observed upon; being the only Man who has any pretence to sense or weight among these deluded People, Your Memost has been creditably informed, that if he had not declared himself for them the second day they would have submitted; and Your Memost asserts that he is the sole apparent Cause of the Opposition Mr Selwyn meets with in his just Rights. Another Circumstance of his private Behaviour justly indicates his Principals of Action.—Sometime ago under the most solemn assurances of returning it, he obtained from a Friend of Your Memost the liberty of Perusing Mr Selwyn's Original Power to Your Memost and having in that manner got it into his hands refuses now, in Breach of every sacred Right of Trust and Honour, to deliver up Altho Your Memosts Right thereto is undoubted; But Your Memost makes no doubt he will receive it inst submits this fact to Your Honours reflection as a proof of the unjust and abhorent means which are made use of against him.
Another fact which marks the Spirit with which these People are Actuated is, that on Your Memost having subpœned some indifferent persons to attend and give Evidence on His Majestys Behalf before the Grand Jury, they publicly declared that if they offered to pay Obedience thereto, they would tie them; and further that if any of their Associates should be put in Salisbury Jail, they would come with an Armed force and tear the Prison down, and loose them; and tho' Occasion was not given them to execute such their avowed purpose, they thought proper to serve the several Persons Subpœned as above with a Written Paper, discharging them from giving their Attendance in Obedience to such His Majestys Precept, and containing several implied Threats against them if they did not pay a due regard to such their superior Authority.
Your Memost having thus gone thro' the Chief facts of his Conduct, shall beg Your Honours further Indulgence to add a few general Reflections which seem to arrise from the Nature of the Subject; tho he most humbly insists that nothing more is requisite to Vindicate his Behaviour from every aspersion of Injustice, or want of Consideration, than a Naked View of facts and things. He flatters himself that it will appear to this Honble Board and the Public, that he has ever endeavored to act upon the strictest Rules of Honour and Conscience; that he has made a sacrifice to his own feelings, of many Thousand Pounds worth of a Property, which the Law absolutely vested in him; that he has ever acted so as to put in the Power of the poorest Man upon his Lands, to secure his place as well as the richest, Never paying any regard to Offers of ready Money; that he has never suffered his own pressing calls for Money to urge him to demand a rigorous performance of the peoples Contracts; that the Price fixed upon his Lands was far under the real and Intrinsic Value thereof, as is evident from a Comparison of it with the Price which Property of equal Quality and situation is selling at now; that he ever declared and hereby declares, that if any Person whomsoever, with whom he ever had any Dealings or agreements, conceived or conceives himself aggrieved or dissatisfied, he was, is and ever will be ready to return the Money and take back the Land. That proceeding upon these principals Your Memost has ever conceived himself happy in the Universallyr Selwyn he hopes it is such, that upon the strictest examination will do him honour with every thinking Man: For his own part Your Memost is at a Loss to Judge what other Conduct was left him to pursue; unless he had tamely given up and betrayed the just and Conscientious Interests of a person who had put a Trust in his hands; and unless he had meanly submitted himself to be terrified into Concessions by the Brutal Law of force: which alternatives he flatters himself no Man will hesitate to pronounce him right in despising.
Your Memost submits that it must strike Your Honours, that the Terms proposed to Mr Selwyn's Tenants were most Conscientiously just; and far more favorable than those which had been received with the utmost Chearfulness by the settlers on his Fathers several large Tracts. That he cannot conceive the particular Circumstances that make them Injustice to the People alone—That as to their being obliged to leave the Province, in case they find they cannot succeed in their designs to force the Proprietor to submit to their determinations, Your Memost conceives it mere matter of Exaggeration; as he asserts that it would not (most probably) have been the Case, as his intention was to have contented himself with making Examples of some of the Ringleaders. But granting for argument sake, that their illegal and insolent Behaviour should produce that Effect, Your Memorialist own he is at a loss to conceive, how the prosperity of the Province would be affected by the removal of a few Men, who have by their actions plainly declared themselves above the Power of the Laws of their Country, further than as it might suit their Conveniency, and who for many Years past, taking advantage of the disputes subsisting between this Province and South Carolina, have refused paying obedience to the Laws, or contributing to the support of the Government of either. Your Memost rather insists it would be an advantage to this part of the Province, as thereby that Leaven of Riot and opposition to Law which has so long subsisted here, would be removed; and the places of these factious persons supplied by honest quiet and industrious Families from the Northward. And should the Effect of a few of them removing take place, Your Memost engages there will not be one Vacancy the more in eighteen months time; and this every Man who knows the state of this part of the Country, and is acquainted with the presentst Insists that this Evil so dreadful in its appearances (a Consideration of which he apprehends has been the Cause which chiefly moved Your Honours to interpose in these matters) on examination appears to be matter of Declaration and no more.
Your Memost humbly begs Your Honours seriously to reflect upon the Behaviour of these People, and to Contrast it with his Conduct on this occasion—Will it not thereupon appear manifest to this Honorable Board, That these people without having received the possibility of umbrage from Your Memost (as will appear from his never having had any Connections in Business with them) without having the least just Objection to the Terms offered them, associated themselves together under heavy Penalties to trample upon the Laws of their Country, and to oppose Your Memost in the just prosecution of an acknowledged Right? That by every appearance of force and terrifying measures in Contempt of the Peace of the Country, and in Total subversion of that quiet Enjoyment and use of Property, which the Wisdom of our Laws has provided for such Persons as appear justly entitled to that Property, they actually endeavoured to force Your Memost to dispose of such his Property against his Will, and at the risk of the forfeiture of his Life if he refused a compliance with their Terms? Has not Your Memost by this their Conduct been deprived of that freedom of action in the disposal of his property, which the meanest of His Majesty's subjects under our thrice happy Constitution has an undoubted Right to? Was not Your Memost at the same time engaged in the Lawful and Conscientious prosecution of a just Right? Were not his Terms such as might have reasonably given him Cause to expect a very contrary Behaviour from those People? Has he not been insulted, surrounded threatened and put in Manifest fear of his Life by those very Persons who have represented themselves to Your Honours as subjects of his oppression?—And injured as he was, has not Your Memost throughout the whole transaction, manifested the most Compassionate sense of their Errors, the most forgiving frame of Mind—Though Your Memost declares, if there is anything he never can forgive, it is the unmerited attack which may have been made upon his character.
And here Your Memost begs leave to submit it to Your Honours as a Matter worthy of Your serious consideration, to reflect upon the ungenerous construction which these Deluded People put upon his Letter before set forth, wherein he offered to forget all that hadst) would never have made them that offer; if he had not been Conscious to himself that the Title was not good. With Men thus acting, thus viewing every thing thro the false medium of their own deluded Opinions, How is your Memost to act? It plainly appears that to offer Terms to them, is only to provoke Insolence and Contempt, and strengthen the hands of infatuated Opposition.
Your Memost is sensible he has great reason to ask the Indulgence of this Honorable Board for the Length of this Memorial; and he flatters himself he shall the readier meet with it, as the pains he has taken to set matters in a fair and full light before Your Honours and the Public, cannot but arise from the most submissive and warm desire of Obviating every Prejudice which may have taken place from the Misrepresentations of his Enemies, and to secure to himself the favourable Opinion of this Honble Board, and of the public.
Characters may it please Your Honours are sacred things and it is with pain Your Memost is forced to observe, That it seems in the power of Persons appearing under the most suspicious circumstances of Malice and Interest, to bring them in Question. Your Memost had it once in his Intention to have enlarged much on this Reflection, but as he apprehends it is a consideration which every man may put home to his own Breast, he shall decline it, further than to observe, That if it is to be laid down as a Rule, that any Man may with Impunity make attacks upon Characters, in the Nature or by way of Complaint or Deposition before this Honorable Board and be allowed therein to rake out every irrelative Error of a Mans Life, he fears there is no Person whatsoever who can hope ever to escape safe and untouched by the Fangs of Malice; and further that every Man whose good Name is dear to him must with your Memost reflect with pain upon such a Prospect.
For his own part Your Memost humbly insists that it has ever been the first view of all his Actions, to merit and obtain the Good Opinion of the worthy and Judicious part of Mankind, and that too from the justest cause, a strict Regard and adherence to the Rules of Honour and Conscience in his Proceedings: That when Your Memost considers himself in that Light, and thinks that he may safely put the Malice of the World to Defiance to prove a deliberate Instance wherein he has acted contrary to the Principles he professes, he owns he cannot but most sensibly feel the most distant apprehension of any attack which may have been made upon him: Though he isst does not insist upon any circumstances of his situation in Life, as Aggravations of the fault of these People, Though when he reflects upon the Honour he enjoys of being a Member of this Board, he cannot but think himself in some measure more particularly entitled to Your Honours Vindication of his conduct, in case you shall see it in a favourable Light.
It will naturally suggest itself to Your Honours, that your Memost (being far from the place of his Residence and very much straitened in point of time) has not had the opportunities of making this Representation so perfect as he could have wished. The facts alone he all along submits, are sufficient to do him all the Justice as to the Opinion of the World, he deserves; and as to the Authenticity of those facts, Your Memost begs leave to assure this Honorable Board, that he has not advanced anything in this his Memorial, which according to the best of his present Knowledge and Remembrance he would not willingly give Testimony to in the most Solemn manner. And on this head Your Memost further Observes, that it is with the most heartfelt pleasure he is able to assure Your Honours, he makes no doubt he could procure almost every Man with whom he ever had dealings to testify the Uprightness of the Principles upon which he proceeded; the Lenity of his Behaviour, and the favourable character he bears among those who have had any connections in Business with him. Your Memost insists if necessary and time was afforded him he could procure the Depositions of large, of a Thousand Persons to this purpose: And altho Your Memost humbly apprehends there was not the least Necessity for such a step, he has nevertheless desired three or four persons of undoubted Probity and character in this part of the country to give a short Deposition on this head, which he has directed to be laid before Your Honrs; and these Persons having been the longest, best and most intimately acquainted with your Memost Conduct, he submits are certainly most properly Qualified to give an account thereof.
Your Memost shall now hasten to conclude, with observing to this Honorable Board, That strong in the assurances of his own Mind, that he has no occasion to be Ashamed of the Conduct he has pursued, he has chearfully embraced this opportunity of submitting
ON THE WHOLE Your Memost submits it to the Impartial consideration of this Honorable Board and of the Public, that it will appear evident, That he has throughout his whole conduct endeavoured to manifest not only the utmost Justice, but the utmost reasonable and compassionate Indulgence to the settlers in his Fathers Lands; and that he has been particularly happy in their favourable acceptance of his conduct; and as to his Behaviour in the Execution of the Trust reposed in him by Mr Selwyn, That those very Persons who have endeavoured to impose themselves upon Your Honours Compassion, as subjects of his Oppression, in truth and in fact are guilty of a Premeditated and unprovoked Association to oppose Your Memost in the legal Prosecution of his Business; and that in Consequence thereof they actually proceeded to the commission of the most illegal Acts of Force, Terror, Constraint, and Violence, in open contempt and defiance of the Laws of their country, and to the Evil Example of all other His Majestys Loyal and Peaceable subjects: That allowing for those Improprieties which Your Memost truly distressful and trying situation might naturally give occasion to (& he hopes in some measure excuse) he acted upon the whole with steady Integrity, for the just and conscientious Interests of his Employer and with a becoming Spirit of Resentment of the violent and ungenerous usage he met with:—And that notwithstanding he was thus Insulted, threatened and used by those deluded and Infatuated People, he has all along manifested the most considerate, and compassionate sense of their conduct, and a warm desire that they might see their Errors and not compell him into measures which were truly disagreeable to his Nature.
All Your Memost has to pray, is, that You will seriously consider the premises; and it appears that an unmerited Accusation has been attempted to be made against him that you will do him that Justice which to Your Honours in your Wisdom & Goodness shall seem meet and particularly that you will direct Mr Polk to return Your Memost Mr Selwyn's Power of Attorney which he obtained and detains in manner aforesaid.And Your Memorialist &c. &ca &ca
Mecklenburgh County 25th April 1765.HENRY E McCULLOHCopy