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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Minutes of the North Carolina Provincial Council
North Carolina. Provincial Council
February 28, 1776 - March 05, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 469-477

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
THE JOURNAL OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL OF NORTH CAROLINA HELD AT NEW BERN ON THE TWENTY EIGHTH DAY OF FEBRUARY ANNO DOM. 1776.

North Carolina.

Pursuant to a Resolve of the last Provincial Council held at the Courthouse in the County of Johnston, the said Council was to have

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been held the seventeenth day of March next, at the place aforesaid; but Mr President finding it necessary, required a meeting sooner than that period, and summoned the members thereof to meet at the Town of New Berne on the twenty seventh day of this instant, February 1776 and a sufficient number of Members not appearing untill the twenty eighth following when

Mr President, Abner Nash, James Coor, Willie Jones, Waightstill Avery, John Kinchen, Thomas Person, Esquires appeared and took their seats in Council.

The Council adjourned until Tomorrow Morning 9 oClock.


March 1st 1776.

The Council met according to Adjournment.

Whitmill Hill Esquire one of the Members of Council appeared and took his seat in Council.

The Continental Congress having recommended that the President of the Provincial Council of North Carolina and Georgia, be requested to procure Committees of their several Bodies to repair immediately to Charles Town and there to confer with a Committee of the Council of Safety of South Carolina upon weighty and important matters relative to the defence and security of these Colonies,

The Council taking the same into Consideration,

Resolved, That Abner Nash and John Kinchen Esquires be appointed on the part of this Province; and that they repair to Charles Town South Carolina as soon as may be convenient to them.

Resolved, That Robert Aitchison Midshipman and Richard Dunniver, lately belonging to the Syren Man of War, now prisoners here on parole be sent to Halifax Town, and delivered into the care of the Committee of that Town.

Ordered, That Colo John Bryan attend to the Execution of this Order, and direct an Officer with four men to execute the same.

Whereas the province of South Carolina hath on Application and at the request of this Board supplied this province with one thousand weight of Gunpowder for the defence thereof, in order to pay for the same,

Resolved, That the Treasurers or either of them be impowered and directed to draw a Bill on the Continental Treasury for the sum of Eleven hundred and fifty-eight dollars and one quarter of a dollar, payable to the order of the Council of Safety of South Carolina

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for the time being, and that the said Treasurers be further directed to remit the said Bill to the Treasury in Philadelphia, subject to the Order of the said Council of Safety or Provincial Congress of South Carolina for one thousand weight of Gunpowder for the use of the Continental Troops in the Service of this Colony.

The Council Adjourned till Tomorrow morning 9 oClock.


March 2d, 1776.

The Council met according to Adjournment.

William Bourk being charged with being inimical to the Liberties of America, was brought before this Council, when Mr John Strange appeared as a witness, who first being sworn, deposeth and saith, that last night he heard the said William Bourk express himself in the following manner vizt., “That we should all be subdued by the month of May by the King's Troops. That General Gage deserved to be damned; he had not let the Guards out to Bunker's Hill, and it would have settled the dispute at that time. That there was Forty-seven thousand Troops expected soon to America, and it would be in vain to pretend to defend ourselves against them,” all which the said William Bourk acknowledged, and further said “he wished the time would happen this Instant, but was sure the Americans would be subdued by the month of August.”

Resolved, That the said William Bourk be sent to the Town of Halifax and committed to close Gaol there to remain till further Orders.

Ordered, That Colonel John Bryan attend to the Execution of the above Resolve.

Resolved, That no Pork, Beef, Flour, Bacon, Rice or Peas be exported from any part of this province after this day without first obtaining leave from the Provincial Congress, excepting for returns for Salt, Arms or Ammunition actually imported into this Colony.

Resolved, That all good and Merchantable Flour and Pork now for sale in this province be immediately purchased for the use of the Public, and that the following persons be appointed to perform this Service: Mr James Coor for the district of New Bern, Mr John Webb for the district of Halifax, Mr Francis Brice for the district of Wilmington, Mr Memucan Hunt for the district of Hillsborough, Mr Adam Alexander for the district of Salisbury and Mr Robert Smith for the district of Edenton.

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Samuel Spencer Esquire, one of the Members of Council appeared and took his Seat.

Resolved, That either of the Treasurers draw on the Continental Treasury for three hundred dollars in favour of Abner Nash and John Kinchen Esquires for their Expences to Charles Town on the public service and be allowed in their Accounts with the public.

Resolved, That Thomas Wade Esquire be appointed Colonel of the Regiment of Anson Militia in the room of Samuel Spencer resigned and that Thomas Harris be appointed first Major of the same Regiment, in the room of James Auld resigned and that Commissions issue accordingly.

The Continental Congress having recommended to the Committee of Safety of Virginia and the Provincial Council of North Carolina to meet together and confer and conclude upon such operations as they may think most for their Mutual Interest,

The Council taking the same into Consideration, Resolved, That Samuel Johnston, Thomas Jones and Thomas Person Esquires be appointed on the part of this province accordingly.

Samuel Johnston and Thomas Jones Esquires two of the Members of Council appeared and took their Seats.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the Town and County Committees in this province immediately to disarm all suspected Persons within their several jurisdictions.

Whereas David Love second Major of the Anson Militia, now in the Actual service of this province hath been accused on the Oath of Richard Farr and William Coventon Junr with having refused to obey the Orders of a Superior Officer and otherways misbehaved, therefore,

Resolved, That the said David Love be suspended and immediately put under an Arrest and that Colo James Moore be directed to order a General Court Martial to try him for said Offence.

Resolved, That David Baron be allowed the sum of Twenty pounds proclamation money for so much advanced by him to pay for work done on the Guns, Carriages and for horse hire and other Services to further the Expedition against the Insurgents as appears by New Bern District Committee; that either of the Treasurers pay him the same and be allowed in their Accounts with the Public.

Resolved, That Colonel William Williams with the Martin and Bertie Troops under Command do return to their respective Counties with the same first sending off to Colo James under a sufficient

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Guard such Ammunition as he now has in his possession. This Council in the warmest Terms returns the Gentlemen Officers and Soldiers from the County of Martin and Bertie their thanks for their readiness and spirited Conduct in marching against the enemies of their Country.

The Council adjourned 'till Tomorrow Morning 9 oClock.


March 3rd 1776.

The Council met according to Adjournment.

Resolved, That the public Treasurers or either of them be impowered to draw on the Continental Treasury for any sum not exceeding twenty five thousand dollars towards defraying the expence of the Troops on the Continental establishment in this Province.

Resolved, That all the public Records of what nature soever in the Custody of the Secretary be immediately removed from the Secretarys Office and that all the papers appertaining to the Court of Chancery or any other person be immediately removed and kept in some secure place by Mr Christopher Neale who is hereby required to see this necessary order carried into Execution and in case of necessity to call on the Colonel of the Militia for sufficient force for that purpose.

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Committees in this Province to remove the Public Records of their respective Counties and secure the same in the hands of some trusty Person; wherever the same are now in the hands of Persons suspected to be inimical to the American rights.

Resolved, That the next Congress shall be held at the Town of Halifax in the County of Halifax the second day of April next, and that the printer to this province give notice of the same by printing and dispersing a number of hand Bills and inserting this resolution in his public Gazette.

The Council adjourned till Tomorow Morning 9 oClock.


Monday 4th March 1776.

The Council met according to Adjournment.

Whereas by sundry Resolutions of the Continental Congress, the Provincial Council is Authorized to permit exportation from this province under certain restrictions, in order to procure in return Salt, Arms and Ammunition, And whereas persons willing to

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Adventure may from the difficulty of making application loose the opportunity of so doing.

Resolved, That Archibald Maclaine, Richard Quince, Senr and Henry Toomer for the district of Wilmington, James Davis, Alexander Gaston and Christopher Neale for the district of New Bern, John Smith, Andrew Lytle and Samuel Dickinson for the district of Edenton be appointed Commissioners to carry the said Resolution into Execution in their respective districs under the rules, regulations and Instructions formed and laid down by this Council.

Instructions for the Commissioners vizt:

That no pork, beef, flour, bacon, rice or peas be exported except in return for salt, arms or Ammunition actually imported into this province.

That before any person be permitted to export any Commodity whatever, he shall enter into Bond with good and sufficient Security in the sum of twenty-five hundred Dollars, that he will comply with the Resolutions of the Continental Congress respecting the importation of Salt, Arms or Ammunition,

And also take the following Oath:

You swear that you will not Land the Cargo Shipt in the —— in any part of the World prohibited by the General Congress and that you will not export in said Vessel more Staves and Naval Stores than is contained in the Manifest exhibited and that you will to the utmost of your power invest the proceeds of said Cargo in Salt, Arms and Ammunition or either of them.

Resolved, That the Freeholders of Currituck County may choose one delegate in the room and stead of Mr. Joshua Campbell deceased.

Resolved, That it be recommended to Colonel Thomas Polk and Major John Pfifer to recruit seven hundred and fifty men to be formed into a Regiment upon the Continental establishment at the next Provincial Congress.

Resolved, That Colonel John Bryan of Craven County take into his possession of the effects of Capt. James Green and John Owens his security, sufficient to satisfy a Bond entered into with the Committee of New Bern and retain the same in his Hands subject to the control of the Congress.

Resolved, That Colonel Isaac Gregory Messrs. Abner Harrison and Peter Dauge or any two of them do immediately take into their possession all the estate of Robert Gilmour of what nature or kind soever now in the hands of Thomas Humphries and others in the

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Counties of Currituck Pasquotank and Perquimans and secure the same in the best manner they can until further Orders.

Resolved, That the Treasurers or either of them pay into the hands of Mr. President sixty pounds proclamation money, to pay expresses and be allowed in their Accounts with the Public.

Ordered, That Henry Young be appointed first Major of the Regiment of Militia for the County of New Hanover, and that John DuBois be appointed second Major and Adjutant in the same Regiment.

Resolved, That the Committee of the Town of Salisbury be allowed the sum of five pounds ten shillings for express and for conveying a Tory Captain to South Carolina, being for money advanced. That the Treasurers or either of them pay the same and be allowed in their accounts with the Public.

Resolved, That the thanks of this Council be given to Colo James Moore and all the Brave Officers and Soldiers of every denomination for their late very important services rendered their Country in effectually suppressing the late daring and dangerous insurrection of the Highlanders and Regulators, and that this Resolve be published in the North Carolina Gazette.

Resolved, That Colo Robert Howe is justly intituled to the most honourable Testimony of the Approbation of this Council for his important services while in the Colony of Virginia, rendered in the common cause of American Liberty, and that the President transmit the warmest thanks of this Board in the fullest and most honorable terms to Colonel Howe and all the Brave Officers and Soldiers under his command for their spirited conduct, having acquited themselves greatly to their honor and the good of their Country.

The Council Adjourned till To morrow Morning 9 oClock.


Tuesday, 5th March, 1776.

The Council met according to Adjournment.

Resolved, That Colonel John Bryan dismiss the Militia now in Arms in the Town of New Bern, as there appears to be no immediate occasion for their service; and that he assure them they will be paid for the time they have attended.

Resolved, That the Colonels of the several Regiments of Militia in this province do immediately call a general muster of their respective Regiments and cause every Officer and Soldier thereof to appear at such Muster compleat in Arms, Ammunition and Accoutrements,

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and certify the same to the next provincial Congress to be held at Halifax on the second of April next, the number of effective Men in their respective regiments that are able to turn out in the Service of their Country on any Emergency, the number of Arms fit for Service, and the Quantity of Ammunition in each Regiment.

Resolved, That all persons who shall be disarmed by the Town and County Committees and other suspected persons who have not taken up Arms against this Colony shall be required to take the following Oath on pain of imprisonment vizt:

I do solemnly and sincerely swear on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God that during the present unhappy contest between Great Britain and America, I will not under any pretence whatever oppose or take up Arms to oppose the Measures of the Continental or provincial Congresses or any Troops raised by or acting under the Authority of either, nor will I directly or indirectly, either personally or by letter, Counsel, advise or give Intelligence to any of his Majesty's Governors, General Officers, Soldiers, or others employed by Land or sea to carry into execution and enforce Obedience to the several Acts of British Legislature, deemed oppressive to these Colonies; I will not by example, opinion, advice or persuasion, endeavour to prejudice the people or any of them in favour of Parliamentary Measures or against those recommended by the General and provincial Congresses untill it shall please God to restore peace and good understanding to the contending powers.

Resolved, That either of the Public Treasurers draw on the Continental Treasury for two hundred and twenty-five dollars in favour of Samuel Johnston, Thomas Jones and Thomas Person Esquires for their Expences to Virginia on the public service, and be allowed in their Accounts with the public.

It appearing to this Council that Lot Strange Master and John Strange Owner of the Sloop King Fisher have been Guilty of importing certain British European Goods contrary to the Continental Association,

Resolved, That the said Lot Strange and John Strange enter into Bond in the sum of five hundred pounds to the Committee of Perquimans County for their future good behavior and that they depart the port with their said vessel in Ballast within one month from this day, and when the said Lot Strange and John Strange shall have given such Bond, then the said Committee is hereby directed to deliver up the said Sloop King Fisher with her Tackle,

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Apparell and Furniture and other property belonging to the said Lot and John Strange.

Resolved, That Colonel Richard Caswell, send under a sufficient Guard Brigadier General Donald McDonald, taken at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge to the Town of Halifax, and there to have him committed a close prisoner in the Gaol of the said Town until further Orders.

Farquard Campbell was brought before this Council by Lieutenant Colo Henry Rhodes under a warrant from Colo Moore, and no sufficient proof appearing against the said Farquard Campbell,

Resolved, That he be allowed to depart at this time and appear at the provincial Congress the second day of April next—the said Farquard Campbell then personally promised and undertook to appear at the time and place aforesaid to answer such matters and things as he should be then and there charged with.

Resolved, That Captain Robert Rowan be impowered to summon and force the attendance of such persons at the next provincial Congress to be held at Halifax on the second day of April next as he shall think to be Material Witnesses against Farquard Campbell of Cumberland County respecting a charge against the said Farquard Campbell of some conduct inimical to the Cause of America and this Province in the late Insurrection of the Highlanders and Regulators.

CORNs HARNETT, President.
By Order Jas Green, Junr, Clerk.