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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council
North Carolina. Council
March 09, 1773
Volume 09, Pages 594-596

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

At a Council held at New Berne 9th March 1773.
His Excellency the Governor
The Honble James Hasell Esquire
The Honble John Rutherford Esquire
The Honble Lewis DeRossett Esquire
The Honble John Sampson Esquire
The Honble William Dry Esquire
The Honble Samuel Strudwick Esquire
Martin Howard Esquire

His Excellency acquainted the Council that having on Saturday prorogued the Assembly to this present Tuesday in order to give them a farther opportunity to reconsider the state of the Colony, and to proceed to the dispatch of public business, He was this morning informed by their Clerk that there was not members enough in Town to make a House. His Excellency communicated to the Board the Royal Instruction which constitutes fifteen a Quorum and advised with them whether he should send a message to the Speaker to acquaint the House therewith and that he was ready to

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proceed to business with that number. To this they unanimously agreed and the following Message was sent Vizt.

Mr. Speaker of the House of Assembly,

Having received information this morning by the Clerk of the Assembly that there was not Members in Town sufficient to make a House, I am to inform you that by his Majestys Royal Instructions to me fifteen members of the House of Assembly make a Quorum and that I am ready to proceed upon the business with such Quorum.


To which Message His Excellency, receiving an immediate answer, was pleased to communicate the same to the Council Viz,

To His Excellency Josiah Martin, Esquire, Captain General., Governor &ca.


In answer to your Excellencys Message I am to inform you that it is the opinion of the Members of Assembly now in Town that it is not consistent with the duty they owe their constituents to proceed to make a House unless there be a majority of the Representatives of the people to constitute the same.

I am &c

New Bern March 9th 1773.

His Excellency then proposed to send another Message to the Speaker to know if he had any expectation of more members arriving to day, which being approved by the Council It was thus expressed.

Mr Speaker of the House of Assembly,

I desire to know whether you have, or have not expectation or assurance that more members of the House of Assembly than are now in Town will appear this day to carry on the public business of this Country.


Soon after His Excellency imparted to the Council the Speaker's Answer to the above Message, Vizt

To his Excellency Josiah Martin Esquire Captain General., Governor, &ca,


I am to inform you that I have not the least expectation of the

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arrival of any more Members; and that most of those who are now in Town are preparing to return Home.

I am &c

The Governor hereupon desired the advice of the Council concerning the Measures most proper to be taken in this emergency. When the Council considering that the Assembly had deserted the business and Interest of their Constituents, and flagrantly insulted the dignity and Authority of Government after the Governor had by all proper means invited them to their duty, was of Opinion that he had no alternative left but to dissolve them, And that he should issue a proclamation for that purpose.

His Excellency then consulted with the Council at what time it might be proper to call a new Assembly of the Representatives of the people, and they recommended to him to order writs to be issued for the calling it on the 1st May next. A proclamation issued in the usual form.