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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Articles from the North-Carolina Gazette
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February 12, 1766
Volume 07, Pages 168a-168b

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[Reprinted from North Carolina Gazette, 12 February, 1766.]
(February 12. 1766.)
Numb. 70.)
Wilmington; Printed by Andrew Steuart.

Wilmington February 12.

The Printer hereof cannot help observing to the Publick, that he is at present in a very disagreeable situation. At the earnest desire, or rather stern command of the people, he has endeavored with great difficulty, to carry on a News-Paper, well knowing, that that Province that is deprived of the liberty of the Press, is deprived of one of the darling Privileges, which they, as Englishmen, boast of. The Consequence has been, that, for publishing a letter from a gentleman at Tarborough, (who no doubt tho't that he was as much entitled to the liberty of the Press, and making his sentiments thereby known to the Public, as any other man) he has been threatened with a Horse whipping;—and doubtless he would have run some such hazard, had he refused inserting that very letter—What part is he now to act?—Continue to keep his Press open and free, and be in danger of corporal punishment, or bloque it up and run the risk of having his brains knocked out? Sad alternative.—One thing he has long ago resolved on, viz: That as he looks upon himself to be a free-born subject, no man shall ever horse whip him, if it is in his power to prevent it; and whenever any such threats are made towards him, he'll take care to be on his guard.

Cross Creek, January 30th 1766.

Mr Printer,

I am a Trader and Settler here, and have now by me several commodities, some of which I want to ship and some to dispose of. I sent some things lately down to Wilmington for both purposes, but could neither ship, or sell for money; and indeed I find Cape Fear the only Port in all America shut up; for I am informed, all the other Ports in this very Province are open, and Trade and Commerce carried on as usual; and what very greatly surprizes me is,

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that three Vessels are now seized on by the Men of War, and many others coming in have gone off again, for fear of sharing the same fate; the Courts of Justice shut up, and a total stagnation of business; and all this without the least notice being taken thereof, which surprizes me beyond measure.—Where now is your late boasted Courage and resolution? Have the Wilmingtonians, Brunswickers and New-Hanoverians lost their senses and their souls, and are they determined tamely to submit to slavery?—O! horrid dreadful thought!—But say some among you, we are waiting for the K__g's At__y's Fiat, whether we are to be free men or slaves; and whether the Port and Courts shall be open. Rouze for shame, act the man, open your Port and Courts, arrest the men who have made illegal seizures, and been the means of detaining those Vessels, and put them under pain of military discipline, if they dare to seize any more. Delays are dangerous; there is no time to lose; perhaps in a short time it will be too late, for your tamely submitting to what has past, appears to be a tacit submission in part, to the Act: Be not deceived with the laconic advice of some, who perhaps want popularity, Commissions, Custom, or have some other sinister views; tis Liberty calls you, dear Liberty! Be therefore unanimous and put on a firm resolution without loss of time, to protect and defend to the utmost of your power, your Liberties and Properties from all Invaders and Opposers; and at the same time preserve inviolably your Faith and Allegiance to the best of Kings.


Yesterday (the 11th of February) being the day appointed by His Majesty's Writs for the electing of Representatives to sit in the ensuing Assembly, John Ashe and James Moore, Esquires, were chosen unanimously for the County of New-Hanover, and Cornelius Harnett Esquire for the Borough of Wilmington. A list of the New Assembly shall be published as soon as the Writs are returned.

No Vessels have come into our River for these two weeks past, nor do we expect that any will venture in, except European Vessells, and those from such Islands as have taken the Stamps.

The Ports of Ocracock, Beaufort, Cape Look Out, &c are the only Asylum that the Vessells bound to this Port have.