Notwithstanding what passed, relative to the Attorney General's opinion on the seizure of the Sloops, by Captain Lobb, for want of stamped Clearances, as mentioned in our last; the inhabitants remain greatly dissatisfied, more particularly at Mr Attorney's answer to the 3rd Quere, where he says, “If Prosecutions are intended against these Vessells, they must be sent to Halifax, &c.” And concluding in these words vizt “Upon the whole, it is my opinion, that it is the duty of the Collector to prosecute on the information he has received.”
In consequence of which opinion, the People from several of the Counties round, assembled at Wilmington, on Tuesday the 18th of this instant, appointed Officers to take the Command, compelled them to act, and entered into the following Association, which was signed by all the principal Gentlemen, Freeholders and other inhabitants of several Counties; viz.
We the subscribers, free and natural born subjects of George the third, true and lawful King of Great Britain and all its Dependencies (whom God preserve) whose sacred person, crown and dignity, we are ready and willing, at the expense of our lives and fortunes to defend, being fully convinced of the oppressive and arbitrary tendency of a late Act of Parliament, imposing Stamp duties on the inhabitants of this Province, and fundamentally subversive of the liberties and Charters of North America; truly sensible of the inestimable blessings of a free Constitution, gloriously handed down to us by our brave Forefathers, detesting Rebellion, yet preferring death to slavery, Do, with all loyalty to our most gracious Sovereign, with all deference to the just Laws of our Country, and with a
Witness our hands this 18th day of February 1766.
On Wednesday the 19th they proceeded to Brunswick where their numbers were soon increased to upwards of a thousand, and had intelligence of several hundreds more on their march to join them. On their arrival at Brunswick in order to remove all apprehensions on the part of His Excellcy the Governor, the following letter was delivered him, by two Gentlemen sent for that purpose, viz.
The inhabitants dissatisfied with the particular restrictions laid on the Trade of this River, only, have determined to march to Brunswick, in hopes of obtaining in a peaceable manner, a redress of their grievances from the commanding Officer of His Majesty's ships, and have compelled us to conduct them. We therefore think it our duty to acquaint your Excellency, that we are fully determined to protect from insult your person and property; and that if it will be agreeable to your Excellency, a guard of gentlemen shall be immediately detached for that purpose.We have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient humble servants
February 19th 1766.To his Excellency Col: William Tryon, Governor and Commander in Chief of North Carolina.
On Thursday the 20th a Conference was held with the Commanding Officer of His Majesty's ships, and the Collector, and in the afternoon matters were happily accommodated, and a promise obtained, that the Port should for the future be freed from the particular restrictions heretofore laid on it, at least until the arrival of the Surveyor General of the Customs, and that Vessels should be entered and cleared as usual.
On Friday the 21st, a Party of men was sent for the Collector, Naval Officer, and Comptroller of the Customs; the Collector and
A Party was then immediately dispatched to fetch him, and marched directly to the Governor's; They halted near the house, by order, and a gentleman was once more sent to the Comptroller, to desire he would not put the People to the disagreeable necessity of entering his Excellency's House, with a promise, that if he would come out, no injury should be offered his person, which he at last complied with. The Party then joined the main Body, and marched immediately into the Town, drew up in a large circle, placing the Custom-House Officers in the Center, where they all made oath, that they would not, directly or indirectly, by themselves, or any other person employed under them, sign or execute in their several and respective Offices, any stamped Papers, until the Stamp Act should be accepted by the Province. All the Clerks of the Courts, Lawyers &c present, were sworne to the same effect. The People then immediately dispersed in order to repair to their several places of abode.
It is well worthy of observation that few instances can be produced, of such a number of men being together so long and behaving so well; not the least noise or disturbance, nor any person seen disguised with liquor, during the whole time of their stay at Brunswick, neither was there an injury offered to any person, but the whole affair conducted with decency and spirit, worthy the imitation of all the sons of Liberty throughout the Continent.
In consequence of matters being accommodated, with regard to opening the Port, the Sloops, Dobbs, Ruby and Patience, under seizure for want of stamped Papers, were delivered up to the Masters, and Owners and arrived at this Town on Friday the 21st instant.
By a Vessel commanded by Captain Luin, arriving at Point LookOut, in this Province, in nine days from New York, we have the following agreable account, which we hope will soon be confirmed;
The following paragraph is from a Newbern Paper of the 14th of January.
“Several gentlemen have arrived in Town this week from the northward, but bring no material advices: Nothing transpired from home with regard to the Stamp Act: Business goes on with them as usual; and their fear of seizures by men of war is so small, that they under write the risque at Philadelphia for two and a half per cent. on any voyage, except to Cape Fear, that being the only spot on the Continent where seizures of that sort happen.”
The Wilmington Express sets off Thursday morning early; and will continue to set off every other Thursday, for Charlestown in South-Carolina—Letters, Messages &c. must be left at the printing Office before 8 o'clock Wednesday evening.