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Letter from Josiah Martin to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
May 20, 1773
Volume 09, Pages 642-644

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. No. 220.]
Governor Martin to Earl Dartmouth.

No. Carolina, New Bern, May 20th 1773.

My Lord,

I have had the honor to receive your Lordship's Circular Letter signifying the Queen's safe delivery of a Prince on the 27th day of January last, and Her Majesty's and the Royal Infants Welfare, Upon which events so joyfull to all the King's Subjects, I beg leave with all possible Duty and reverence, to offer my most cordial felicitations to their Majesties, and I sincerely congratulate your Lordship on this increase of the Royal Family. I had the honor to receive at the same time your Lordship's Dispatch No. 3 by which I learn with great pleasure, that Lord Granville thinks of attending to his important Interests in this Country, the settlement and prosperity of which will I am persuaded, be much advanced thereby. I was lately advised by my Brother, (who I believe has the honor to be known to your Lordship) that Lord Granville had discovered such intentions, and that some of that nobleman's friends, had expressed to him wishes that I might take upon me, the superintendance of the Proprietary concerns here; on which subject, and the compatability of such an employment, with the duty I owe to His Majesty in my public character, (to which I am bound to pay the first regard) he desired my sentiments. It is my duty and it has been my design, before I had the honor to receive your Lordship's letter to submit to your Lordship the answer I had made to my brother on this head. I have told him, that having the honor to be a servant of His Majesty, I can never entertain a thought of

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accepting the Proposal made by Mr Thynne, notwithstanding I see it replete with advantage to His Majesty, and to my own Interests, until your Lordship shall be consulted, and the King's consent obtained; that on the condition it was His Majesty's pleasure and your Lordship's opinion, I might become the Agent of Earl Granville, I should readily embrace the offer of Mr Thynne, as it promised signal advantage to Government in this Country, as well as considerable emolument to myself.

I now beg leave my Lord, most humbly to submit this matter to your Lordship's consideration, without the most distant wish to avail myself of the proposal of Mr Thynne, if it does not appear to your Lordship as to me conducive to the interests of the Crown. If I may presume humbly to offer my opinion on the Case, it is that the King's Governor whosoever he may be, being possessed of the great addition of power, that the direction of the vast proprietary in this Province, will throw into his hands, will be able to extend to greater advantage, the influence of Government, and I am satisfied it will be the next happy circumstance to vesting the Proprietary in the Crown, and it will indeed have all the political good effects of that measure. I am sure it will be highly satisfactory, to the People of this Country in general, and in particular to Lord Granville's Tenants, who still remember with indignation, the rapacity of his Lordship's former Agents. This Country united as it will be in such case, under one head, will know but one Interest, whereas under a private Agent, the Proprietary will tend to the confirmation of those distinctions between the Inhabitants of the two districts of this Province that have heretofore so fatally embarrassed its Politics. I submit to your Lordship's consideration, the probability that any other Agent of the Proprietor, than the King's Governor, (supposing him not free from the common weaknesses of humanity) will rather employ the power and influence he will derive from that station, in promoting those divisions, which will illustrate his own consequence, than in support of Government which he will soon find it more popular to oppose than assist. The influence of the King's Governor, augmented by the power of the Proprietary Agent will be then sufficient to obtain an effectual Law for the collection of the King's and the Proprietor's Revenues of Quit Rents, and I have thought of a plan, that I shall very soon submit to your Lordship's consideration, that I conceive will put the Crown Revenues here, upon a certain and advantageous footing. In considering Mr

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Thynnes proposal, I do assure you My Lord, I have divested myself as much as possible of every influence of self interest, perhaps, it may nevertheless have biased me, your Lordship will judge of the matter better, and I shall be happy to be governed by your Lordship's opinion on this and all other occasions.

I am just returned from a tour I have made to the Southern part of this Province where I have been much pleased to see the Establishment of several Indigo Plantations, of the exact number of which, and of their product, I will not fail to advise your Lordship from time to time.

Being informed that Sir Nathaniel Dukenfield, has entered into the Army, and supposing he will be obliged to relinquish his Seat in the Council here, I most humbly beg leave to express my hopes, that your Lordship will think it a proper occasion, to place Mr Willie Jones at that Board, and I take this opportunity to make my acknowledgements to your Lordship, for the attention your Lordship has done me the honor to promise to my recommendation of that Gentleman, and Mr Thomas McGwire who will I am confident make very honorable and serviceable members of Council.

I have obtained to transmit herewith, a list of the Patents, Granted at the late Court of Claims, held in January last, at which thirteen hundred Warrants for Land were issued.

I have the honor to be &c