Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council
North Carolina. Council
Volume 09, Pages 1144-1146
[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
At a Council held at New Bern 6th March 1775.
His Excellency the Governor.
The Honble James Hasell Esquire
The Honble John Rutherford Esquire
The Honble Samuel Strudwick Esquire
The Honble Martin Howard Esquire
The Honble Samuel Cornell Esquire
-------------------- page 1145
On reading the petition of Richard Willson setting forth that he hath been for many years in His Majestys Service and last belonged to His Majestys 22d Regiment of Foot at the reduction of the Havanah where he served in Quality of a Sergeant and was there discharged by Arthur Loftus Esquire Major and Commanding Officer of the said Regiment, as by his Certificate thereof would fully appear, and conceiving himself entitled to 200 Acres of Land, under the virtue of His Majestys Royal Proclamation bearing date the 7th day of October 1763, prays to have a Warrant for 100 Acres of Land in Craven County in part of the said 200 Acres. It is ordered that the same be granted.
His Excellency informed the Board that he had observed an advertisement published in the newspapers, and circulated through this Colony by hand Bills, dated Perquimans County 11th of February 1775 requesting the Counties and Towns thereof to elect Delegates to represent them in Convention at the Town of New Bern on Monday the third day of April next, and signed John Harvey Moderator. And considering such proceedings to be highly derogatory to the dignity of the Legislature appointed to meet at the same time and in every light illegal and inconsistent with good order and Government, recommend the matter to the consideration of the Board, and desired their advice of the measures to be taken to contravene the design of the said advertisement.
The Board conceiving the highest detestation of such proceedings were unanimous in advising His Excellency to issue a proclamation to inhibit and forbid such illegal meeting in the following words:
By His Excellency Josiah Martin Esquire, Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said Province,
Whereas an Advertisement is printed in the public newspapers and also industriously circulated about this Colony in Hand Bills dated from Perquimons County the Eleventh day of February 1775, requesting the Counties and Towns thereof to elect Delegates to represent them in Convention at the Town of New Bern on Monday the third day of April next, and signed John Harvey Moderator; And Whereas the Name and Authority of such an Officer and such meeting is unknown to the Laws and Constitution of this Country, and such an invitation to the People may tend to ensnare the unwary
and ignorant among His Majesty's loyal and faithful subjects in this Province to partake in the guilt of such unlawful proceeding; And Whereas the Assembly of this Province duly elected is the only true and lawful Representation of the People and is competent to every legal Act that Representatives of the people can do, and as an attempt to excite the people to choose another body of Representatives to meet at the time and place appointed for the meeting of the Assembly is to betray them into a violation of the Constitution in a point wherein they are most materially concerned, to support it, a contempt of that Branch of the Legislature which represents the People and highly derogatory to its power, rights and priviledges, I have thought proper by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty's Council of this Province to issue this Proclamation, and I do hereby earnestly exhort the many good people of this Province who have to their honour hitherto prudently withstood the insidious Attempts of evil minded and designing men, that they do on this occasion steadfastly persevere in such loyal and dutiful conduct, and continue to resist and treat with just indignation all measures so subversive of Order and Government, and so inconsistent with the Allegiance they owe to his Majesty, and that they do not subject themselves to the restraint of Tyrannical and arbitrary Committees, which have already in many instances proceeded to the Extravagance of forcing his Majesty's subjects contrary to their consciences to submit to their unreasonable, seditious and chimerical Resolves, doing thereby the most cruel and unparalleled violence to their Liberties under the pretence of relieving them from imaginary grievances. And I do further exhort all his Majesty's subjects in this Province as they value their dearest rights under the present happy Constitution, and as they would testify their duty and allegiance to the best of Kings, that they forbear to meet to choose persons to represent them in convention pursuant to the advertisement hereinbefore recited; and I also do most earnestly recommend to them to renounce, disclaim and discourage all such meetings cabals and illegal proceedings which artful and designing men shall attempt to engage them in, and which can only tend to introduce disorder and anarchy to the destruction of the real interest and happiness of the people, and to involve this province in confusion, disgrace and ruin.
-------------------- page 1146
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the said Province at New Bern the first day of March Anno Dom. 1775, and in the 15th year of His Majesty's Reign.
God save the King.