Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council
North Carolina. Council
June 20, 1768
Volume 07, Pages 792-794

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]

At a Council held at Brunswick 20th June 1768
His Excellency the Governor
The Honble James Hasell Esquire
The Honble William Dry Esquire
The Honble John Rutherford Esquire
The Honble Benjamin Heron Esquire
The Honble Lewis DeRosset Esquire
The Honble Samuel Strudwick Esquire

His Excellency was pleased to lay before the Board a petition and sundry other papers relative to the late Disturbances in Orange County in Answer to which it is the unanimous opinion of the Board that his Excellency send the following Letter Vizt


I have received by the hands of Messrs Hunter and Howell a Petition and other papers subscribed by several of the Inhabitants lying on the South side of Haw River in the County of Orange under the borrowed Title of Regulators assuming to themselves Powers and Authorities unknown to the Constitution of calling Publick Officers to a settlement, together with a narative of their conduct and detail of the grievances and complaints against the Clerk of the Court, Register and other Publick Officers, whose exactions and oppressions it's pretended has been the cause of the late Insurrections which have disturbed the peace of that part of the Country: These papers I have agreeable to your desire communicated to the Members of His Majestys Council, who having taken the same into their deliberate consideration, unanimously concur with me in Opinion

-------------------- page 793 --------------------
that the Grievances complained of by no means Warrant the extraordinary steps you have taken in assembling yourselves together in Arms, to the Obstruction of the Course of Justice, to the insult of Publick Officers of the Government in the Execution of their Offices and to the injury of private property: Measures as they manifestly tend to the subversion of the Constitution of this Government would inevitably if carried but a little further have been denominated and must have been treated as high treason, and consequently have involved the Abettors most of whom I am satisfied were actuated by honest Motives though incautiously drawn in to concur in Acts that might have terminated in the ruin and destruction of their Families while by illegal means they were intent on exempting themselves from Evils within the Remedy of the Laws of this Country; These calamities I trust are now removed by the timely proclamation I sent up to you by my Secretary and your own prudent determination to petition me in Council for the redress of the Grievances complained of—The discreet and steady behaviour of Colo Fanning and the Officers and Men under his Command meet not only with the entire Approbation of myself and His Majestys Council, but will ever be acknowledged with gratitude by every unprejudiced well wisher of this Province. I take this opportunity to acquaint all those whose understandings have been run away with and whose passions have been led in Captivity by some evil designing men who actuated by cowardice and a sense of that Publick Justice which is due to their Crimes have obscured themselves from Publick view that in consideration of a determination to abide by my decision in Council it is my direction by the unanimous Advice of that Board that you do from hence forward desist from any further Meetings either by Verbal appointment or advertisement, That all Titles of Regulators or Associators cease among you, That the Sheriffs and other Officers of the Government are permitted without molestation to execute the duties of their respective Offices and that all Breaches of the peace against His Majestys Government may be examined and determined in a due course of Law. It is by your strict and punctual adherence to these directions that any further clemency on my part may be looked for. This was the extent of what I authorized Mr Edwards to declare on my behalf. And now that I have signified to you the sense of His Majestys Council entertains of the nature of your proceedings and the Requisitions I point out by their advice for your future conduct, I am to assure you willing as I am to listen to the
-------------------- page 794 --------------------
voice of distress and the just complaints of His Majestys Subjects and the hardships they may groan under, that I shall give His Majestys Attorney General Orders to prosecute every Officer who has been guilty of Extortion or illegal Practices in his Office upon any Application or information lodged with him by the Parties injured or any others who shall be authorized to prosecute on their behalf as also sit upon a proclamation on my arrival at Hillsborough forbidding all such dishonorable and illegal proceedings. You may further depend upon it I shall at all times endeavour to redress every other Grievance in my power that His Majestys Loyal Subjects may labor under.

As you want to be satisfied what is the amount of the Tax for the Publick Service for 1767 I am to inform you it is seven shillings a Taxable besides the County and Parish Taxes, the particulars of which I will give to Mr Hunter. I have only to add I shall be up at Hillsborough the beginning of next Month in the mean time I rest in full confidence I shall be again made happy by seeing industry prevailing over Faction, and Peace and Harmony triumphing over jealousy and murmuring in a Soil and climate the most fertile in the World and among a people who by a well directed industry may draw down blessings and prosperity to their Families, and greatly contribute to the Honour of His Majestys Government and the Happiness of my Administration.

At the Council Chamber Brunswick the 21st June 1768.

His Excellency acquainted this Board that he thought Col: Edmund Fanning of the Orange Regiment of Militia, together with the Officers and Men which were present under his command during the late disturbances at Hillsborough merited some publick testimony for their prudent and spirited behavior upon that occasion which being the unanimous opinion of His Majestys Council then present Col. Fanning was desired to appear and received the thanks of His Excellency and this Board accordingly and was requested to deliver the same to the officers and men who acted under his command.