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Letter from Josiah Martin to Samuel Johnston
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
February 06, 1772
Volume 09, Pages 236-237

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary oe State.]
Governor Martin to Samuel Johnston Esq,

New Bern Feby 6th 1772.

I am favored with your letter of the 25th of last month by Sir N. Dukenfield, & would have acknowledged its receipt by the same hand if ye time of his stay here had afforded me opportunity to consider of the offences committed by the Collector & Comptroller of the Port of Currituck, & to examine my Documents with respect to Officers of the Customs.

As Mr Pierce informed my Secretary that he was authorized by the Commissrs of His Majesty's Customs at Boston, to remove the Custom House of Currituck, I am desirous to know the latitude of their instructions to him, as well as of the Powers delegated to this hair brained Comptroller, before I proceed to extremities with them. I cannot help being of opinion that if the former has committed violence or been guilty of irregularity it has been owing to pusillanimous submission to the influence & intimidations of the Bully Drawcansir Comptroller whose powers derived from the Commissrs of Customs I understand to be of very extraordinary nature &

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extent. I am persuaded however at ye same time that they will not justify the extortions & depredations & violence he exercises over His Majestys subjects under colour of performing his duty, as I am that the Collectors confederacy, & participation of his inequity is equally indefensible, from whatsoever motive proceeding. That I may be fully informed of their power & authority & get to the perfect knowledge of their malpractices I have written to Mr Pierce a letter, wch I take ye liberty to transmit now through your hands, directing him forthwith to repair hither & to lay before me his Instructions & those of his Comptroller, and to answer for their conduct in the cases of wch you make complaint, that seems well supported by the Affidavits you have sent me.

Mr Biggleston whom I have appointed Judge of the Admiralty will immediately appoint Mr Charlton his Surrogate of whom, or for any person, or thing, your word, or recommendation, will be my sufficient warrant.

In the present case it is my indispensible duty to pay the utmost attention to the subject of your letter, wherefore it required no apology, in every other I wish to preclude ceremony between us, by assurance of you that I wish to live & to communicate with you upon terms of freedom being with real esteem and regard for your person & character Sir

Your most obedient &c

P. S. I shall be glad to be furnished as soon as may be convenient wh the further proofs you mention of the misconduct of Pierce & Malcom.

P. S. I take the liberty to address to your care a packet for Sir N. Dukenfield of which I wish him to acknowledge the receipt, or that you will be so good as to do me that favor.

J. M.