I was yesterday presented (by James Giekie, Esqr.) with a Summons under your Hand, “to appear before the Committee of Privileges and Elections, to Answer to such Matters & Things as should be alledged against my having a Right to a Seat in the Hnble. the Commons House of Assembly of this State, on a Complaint of an illegal Election.
With all possible deference to your respectable Committee, I beg leave just to say that if there were any illegal Steps taken in the Election I am utterly ignorant of them. The Choice was made without my Privity or Consent, & I knew not that any Person had set me up as a Candidate till near the close of the Poll; however, when I was told that a Majority of Votes were found for me, I determined to attend the House in Order to take my Seat, unconscious & not dreaming of any impropriety or illegally in the Mode of Election. But afterwards Mr. Walker, one of the other Candidates, told me (upon application to him) that he intended to controvert the Matter. And subsequent to this both he and I Qualified as Commissioners of Forfeitures, which by the 25 section of the Constitution disqualifies us both for a Seat in either House of Assembly; at least a Gentleman learned in the Law & a worthy Member of the Senate tells me so. Had this circumstance been officially announced to the Committee, I take it for granted they would not have required my personal attendance, which would put me to the Expense of a Journey to New Bern and back, when no public Benefit could arise from such an attendance. I therefore inclose to you the Clerk's Certificates of my appointment to Office above mentioned, & hope the General Assembly will be of Opinion that a new writ should issue for