To his Excellency Josiah Martin Esquire Governor and Commander in Chief of the Province of North Carolina
The Petition of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of and near Campbelton in Cumberland County1 [This 13th March, 1772.]
That his Excellency Arthur Dobbs esquire former Governor of the said Province for good and sufficient Reasons, thought proper to grant his Majesty's Royal Charter to Campbelton aforesaid, in which, amongst other Privileges, was that of electing a Member to represent them in General Assembly.
That the said charter however well intended, and in the infancy of Campbelton, well adapted to the circumstances of the plan, and conditions of those who resided there at that Time, yet, from the alteration that Town has undergone by the increase of its Inhabitants, and the improvement of Commerce, the Charter in its present form, cannot answer the purposes for which it was intended. We therefore the subscribers beg leave humbly to represent to your Excellency, that the said Charter gives a power to all persons whom accident or design shall bring within two miles of the Court-house of Campbelton, on the day appointed for the election of a Member to give their suffrages; altho' their proper place of residence be far out of the limits of the said Town, and altho' they have no property in that or any other place to become the subject of representation.
That in a trading Town like Campbelton the Men of property are the fewest in Number which must ever throw the power of determining the Election in the Hands of transient persons, Boatmen Waggoners and other Laborers, and take it from their Employers, who are principally interested in securing or improving from their right of Representation, the property of the Town.
For this reason, we the Subscribers humbly request your Excellency to grant a new Charter impowering all persons, being Freeholders within two miles of the court-house of Campbelton or seized of an Estate for their own, or the life of any other person in any dwelling-house (such house having a stone or brick Chimney thereunto belonging and appendent) to elect a Member to represent
And your petitioners shall ever pray &c.
1 The petition and the charter following it should appear on page 274 post at the end of the Council Journals on that page.—Editor.