Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Petition from some inhabitants of Orange County concerning complaints against public officials
No Author
May 1768
Volume 07, Pages 770-771

To His Excellency William Tryon Esqre Capt. General Governor & Commander in Chief in and over the Province of No. Carolina

The Petition of We the Subscribers Inhabitants of Orange County True & Faithfull Subjects to His most sacred Majesty King George the Third Humbly sheweth

That Whereas We your Petitioners have for a long time imagined that We have been imposed and exacted upon by Sheriffs and other Persons not only in taxing their Fees or Suits receiving Sums on Executions but also in collecting the Public Levys and have seen many enormities (as We apprehended them) committed under colour of their Offices some few specimens of such grievances We herewith send to be laid at your Excellcys feet for your inspection and this we are emboldened to do from the Assurances given us by your private Secretary Mr Edwards that you would graciously hear our Complaints that you would redress as far as in your Power our grievances, where found real and where only imaginary kindly excuse the Trouble in compassion to our ignorance—This goodness Sir, we acknowledge We have not only forfeited all title to, but also rendered ourselves liable to severe and heavy punishment

-------------------- page 771 --------------------
by our late illegal & unwarrantable conduct in holding unlawful Assemblys to consult means of redress within ourselves in taking away goods distrained by the Sheriffs, to satisfy the Public demands, and in attempting by forcible means the release of certain Prisoners, taken by virtue of the Chief Justices Warrant—

For which offences (infinitely more criminal than we apprehended or imagined and which we now see would certainly be productive of the most dangerous consequences) We your Excellys Petitioners thoroughly convinced of our Errors and heartily sorry for our past conduct yet conscious to ourselves, of our loyalty to our most gracious Sovereign, of our firm attachmt to the Blessings of the British Constitution Our readiness to submit to the Laws of our Country, in paying the public dues for the support of Government when known, and our most cordial and warmest wishes for the Ease, Peace, Quiet and happiness of your Excellency's Administration throw ourselves on your Excellency's clemency having nothing to offer in excuse for our errors or in mitigation of our past offences but only that the partys aggrieved were generally ignorant men, and at the same time in such necessitous Circumstances that their utmost industry could scarce afford a wretched subsistance to their Families, much less enable them to engage in uncertain Law Suits, with the rich and powerful, (tho' injured) for we have often seen with Astonishment and concern, the cause of Justice unsuccessful in Courts of Law, this we then interpreted as some great defect in Justice, which we now understand was owing to errors in proceedings Thus Sir, has want of knowledge and misapprehension been the cause of all our late unwarrantable behaviour and in many instances the cause and foundation of our Complaints. We therefore your humble Petitioners in the most suppliant manner submit ourselves to your Excellency's mercy and forgiveness and our grievances to such your compassionate consideration as to you in your great wisdom and goodness shall seem meet. And your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray &c. &c. &c.