I intended long before this to have Communicated my thoughts to you in retlation to the Act that was pass'd in 1743 in South Carolina, entitled an Act to remedy some defects in His Majesty's Rent roll etc. But I have not been able to procure a Copy of said Act 'till very lately. The reasons assigned for the passing of this Act are very specious, but when the Act is duly considered I apprehend it will appear that instead of improving the Revenue of the Quit rent it will in many respects be of great dis-service and open a door for new frauds to be practised on the Crown. The Planters in South Carolina have been for a considerable time pass'd very desirous of finding out a Method to dispose of such part of their lands as are of bad quality and after such sale to be discharged from the payment of Quit rents. Before my arrival in that Province they had an Opinion that by disposing of such Lands to Transient persons they would thereby be discharged from the Quit rents, But they have been lately better informed and want now to ease themselves by the sanction of Law. When the above mentioned law was brought into the House of Assembly the 6th Paragraph after the recital of His Majesty's 43d instruction run thus, viz; that there was not any effectual or proper conditions inserted in such grants to oblige the grantee to cultivate and improve the same. Contrary to His Majesty's most gracious Intentions and design in giving encouragement for increasing the settlement and strength of this Part of His Dominions and to the great disappointment and discouragement of such Poor Protestants and others who were willing to transport themselves and become inhabitants of this Province, And the Commons House of Assembly further proposed that all those persons who had procured grants of the Township Lands contrary to the intention of His Majesty's Instructions should be obliged under the penalty of a considerable fine, to Settleth, 7th, 8th, and 9th paragraphs by which from the loose manner of wording the Bill, they have vested a power in the govr and Council to discharge all such as are inclinable to deliver up the Township grants from the Arrear of Quit rent and as several of the Members of the Council and their friends are the principal parties concerned in the Township lands they may have it in their power to continue the grants as long as they please in their possession and if they find the settlement does not take place so as to improve the value of their lands, they may surrender their grants at discretion. The abuses that have been heretofore committed in the Township Lands has been the ruin of the Province, And those concerned in them ought to meet with the most exemplary punishment. And I beg leave further to observe that the little regard that is paid to His Majesty's Instructions in most of His Majesty's Colony's on the continent of America renders them of little or no service to the Crown or to the Publick, And it is a reflexion of a meloncholy nature that all those wholesome guards and Provisions which the Crown has wisely Constituted are so evaded that the Governors and Councils may often commit acts of the greatest cruelty and oppression with impunity
Revd Sept 2nd 1745
Read Sept 19th 1745.