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Letter from Josiah Martin to Wills Hill, Marquis of Downshire
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
November 10, 1771
Volume 09, Pages 48-50

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. Vol. 219.]
Govr Martin to Earl of Hillsborough.

North Carolina New Bern
November 10th 1771.

I have the honor to acquaint your Lordship, that a rumour of a Boundary line being determined by His Majesty between North, and South Carolina on the representation of Lord Charles Montague, gives great alarm to the people of this Province, which they conceive much injured by such a partition, and it seems the more to

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hurt them, as they had formed sanguine expectations of defeating Lord Charles's plan of division, by the intervention of Governor Tryon in consequence of the remonstrance of the Assembly at the last session, when his Lordships proposals to that Gentleman, were communicated; this My Lord is a subject matter of dispute between the two provinces, that I conceive it impossible to settle to their mutual satisfaction; it is certain that by such a division as is talked of this province will be dismembered of a large tract of well peopled, flourishing Country, that has been long deemed to belong to it, but if his Majesty hath been pleased to determine it otherwise, it cannot be doubted, that his Royal decision is made upon the justest principles, my present meaning therefore, My Lord is only to inform your Lordship, of the manner in which the report of this matter has been received here, the Governor of this province, will I believe be the greatest sufferer by such an arrangement, which will very much diminish the little emoluments that arise to him from granting the King's Lands, that portion of Country taken off by it, being what is most in request with new settlers, and almost the whole field of his profit.

The proprietary right of the Earl Granville in the heart of this Province I learn from all hands My Lord, to be a very principal cause of the discontents that have so long prevailed in this Country; the superior excellence of the soil in his District which includes by far the greater share of the fair and fertile part of this province invites emigrants from all the northern Colonies, who many of them bring money to take up Lands but Lord Granville having impowered no person here to give them titles they set themselves down where they please and because they cannot establish freeholds under these circumstances, they refuse to pay Taxes which has been and still is a source of perpetual discord and uneasiness. I am informed My Lord that this proprietary may be purchased upon very easy terms. I submit to your Lordship's consideration whether it is not an object that deserves the Royal attention. It seems here an universally acknowledged principle that this Country will never enjoy perfect peace until that proprietary which erects a kind of seperate interest in its bowels is vested in the Crown. The Quit Rents of that district, which would be immediately settled would produce a Revenue that would very soon reimburse the Purchaser who should pay much more for it than sixty thousand pounds sterling, the price at which I hear it is valued.

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I have from time to time forgot to mention to your Lordship, that the Province Seal was broke, when it was put into my hands, and that I was obliged to have it repaired before it could be used without doing it further injury, it is awkwardly mended but in such manner as to answer all purposes.

A Report obtaining here that Mr Mercer Lieutenant Governor of this Province is promoted to a new Government erected on the Ohio I most humbly beg leave to remind your Lordship of the long and faithful services of Mr Hasell president of the Council of this province, his merits have been often represented to your Lordship by Governor Tryon and were particularly conspicuous during the operation of the Stamp Act.

I have the honor to be &c