Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Letter from Arthur Dobbs to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Dobbs, Arthur, 1689-1765
May 17, 1762
Volume 06, Pages 718-720

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 14. E. 55.]
Letter from Governor Dobbs to the Board of Trade

Brunswick 17th May 1762.

My Lords,

Since I got my Instructions I have given Notice to the Associates of Murray Crymble and Huey to give me in upon oath a Return of the number of Persons who are seated upon their Lands in order to know how to proceed according to my Instructions that such Lands as the Associates have not seated and don't choose to pay the Quit Rents for may be surrendered to the Crown which when I get properly returned I shall transmit to your Lordships and receive your further Instructions how to proceed for as they are all patented by several Baronies or 12,500 Acre Tracts and are now the property of many different people and all the Choice Lands are settled if the Crown should take possession of all the worth of the Lands the Refuse wou'd yield but a Trifle and great part wo'd not sell and then the Quit Rents wo'd be lost Wou'd it not then be better for the Crown if we sho'd oblige the Occupants to pay the Quit Rents for the refuse Lands adjoining their own and not resume them for no other person will settle them and then the adjoining Planters wo'd have them as a Common without any Quit Rent or Acknowledgement and when His Majesty will consider what Difficulties the Associates have lain under who have had all the Planters forced off their Lands by the Indians in the Cherokee war and dispersed through the inner parts of the Province and that they are but this moment returning to resettle their Lands and the great confusion occasioned in those Tracts adjoining to the Boundary Line upon account of the Limits not being fixed who submit to no Law nor pay any Taxes to either Colony & threaten even the Sheriffs to carry them

-------------------- page 719 --------------------
down prisoners to Charles Town if they destrain them Alleging that they belong to that province and to create Confusion go down and take out Warrants of Survey and procure patents upon the Lands granted to the Associates that it has put the Associates and Settlers to great Difficulties, and has prevented them from settling great part of their Lands, or in this time of War and Confusion we can't get the Laws executed and when it is considered that until this day the patentee Associates have not received one farthing from the settlers who were indulged in not having taken out Titles for the Lands they have occupied upon account of the Confusion of the Times from the Cherokee War and not having had the Boundary Line ascertained together with the Taxes they were charged with at the South Government informs them that all the Lands South of Lord Granvilles Line is within their Bounds by the former Instructions.

It was therefore upon these Accounts that I apprehend that His Majesty graciously condescended to relax the Associates from paying the Quit Rents until Lady day 1760, as it wod have been of the utmost ill consequence to have attempted to oblige them to pay Quit Rents when they co'd not improve or till their Land being always under Arms to prevent being scalped and had all their Horses and Cattle drove off or destroyed. I submit it therefore to your Lordships whether you will have me immediately inforce the Instructions before the Planters are again settled on their farms or indulge them for a little time for if they sho'd be pushed now during the war all the Lands except the choice parts wo'd be thrown up by the Associates and those to whom they have been sold and the Quit Rents wo'd be lost, and the Refuse Lands wo'd not be taken up nor be sold at any price while any other Lands can be taken in the Colony for only paying the Quit Rents I am therefore humbly of Opinion that His Majesty wo'd obtain more Quit Rents and have more Land taken up by not charging the Associates with the Quit Rents but as they desposed or settled the Lands for then they wo'd oblige the occupants to take the bad with the good for their own sakes and pay Quit Rent for the whole but if His Majesty shou'd re-enter upon the Refuse Lands by Escheit or forfeiture or by surrender no Offer wod be made or Warrants be taken out for such Lands for ages to come and thus fewer Quit Rents be paid After your Lordships have considered these things I shall obey whatever orders you shall send me.

I have transmitted to our Agent Mr. Jouvencal a Petition to His

-------------------- page 720 --------------------
Majesty in Council from the members of the Council here for an Allowance out of His Majestys Quit Rents for their attendance at the Court of Chancery & Claims & extraordinary attendance at Councils as well as at the several Sessions of Assembly which as His Majestys Quit rents are greatly increased since I came over to above £3000 Sterl I think is very reasonable, as they are so dispersed in the province and have from 50 to near 200 miles to travel to do their duty without any allowance and when your Lordships will consider that it was in great measure thrown aside before by false Facts and sophistical reasoning alledged by Mr. Child then attorney General by infering that it wo'd be precedent for other Provincial Councillors to desire the same since no other Province in the Kings Government has the like cause and Mr. Child has since boasted that he appeared against it because the Council refused making him the Provincial Agent and did not employ him to solicit it otherwise he would have had the Petition approved of. I think it therefore for His Majesties and the Public service if you think proper to recommend it to his Majesty as Gentlemen of small fortune can't attend at their own expense & fatigue and neglect their private business for an empty title and when they attend at assemblies for the scanty allowance of 3.9 English p diem This occasions many to refuse being of the Council having wrote fully to you lately via New York I have nothing to add but am with due respect

My Lords, &c.,