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
January 14, 1764
Volume 06, Pages 1022-1025

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 14. E. 76.]
Letter of Governor Dobbs to the Board

Brunswick January 14th 1764.

My Lords,

Since my return from the Indian Congress at Augusta the first of last month, of which I sent to Mr. Pownal a short Account to mention to your Lordships I have had no Letters from you to acknowledge until yesterday when I had the honour of the duplicate of yours of the 7th 10th & 11th of October along with a Proclamation in relation to the Boundaries of the three new acquired Governments, and the western Boundaries of the other Colonies, these were sent to me by Charles Town the originals not yet having come to hand. The Proclamation I shall order to be printed & dispersed according to your directions. I am at a loss to know by this Proclamation whether the Lands to be granted to the disbanded Officers and Soldiers, is to be limited to the Regulars only; or whether the Provincial Troops which served and are now disbanded are included

-------------------- page 1023 --------------------
with the Regulars, that I may know how to Act in Case they should apply for any.

I shall oblige as far as in my Power the several Officers to make proper returns to your Lordships of the papers you require which have been hitherto done unless when intercepted or lost in their Passage.

In relation to your Lordships Letter of the 11th of October with directions from the Lords of the Treasury, about the illicite Trade and short receipt of the Revenue, I shall use my utmost endeavours to prevent it, and to assist the Revenue Office in their collection and detection of any Frauds by their neglect, however I must inform your Lordships that I believe there are fewer Frauds and less illicite Trade with Foreigners carried on in this Province, than in any other upon this Continent, having no Trade with any foreign Islands or European Countries, but with Britain there are many goods brought in here in small Sloops and Schooners from the Northern Colonies, but they are cleared out regularly from the several ports, and consequently if run in, there are not seizable here, At present there are no duties paid here, laid on in Britain, but upon foreign sugars, rum and molases, of which none is imported and no other duties laid on by this Province but upon wine and spirits being a Tax for the support of this Province, in which I believe many Frauds are committed by running and short entries, as we have no tide Officers or Searchers but the Collectors and Naval Officers, and when the great extent of the collections is considered, and the many inlets and Creeks besides the main Rivers upon which the Collectors reside, it is impossible to prevent a Clandestine entry of goods which ought to pay Duties. As for instance there are three Collectors upon three considerable rivers, viz. Roanoak, Bath or Pample and New Bern or nuse river, all which enter at Ocacoc Inlet, and many considerable navigable Creeks upon each of those, between that inlet and the residence of the several Collectors and Naval Officers from 60 to a 100 miles from that Bar, and no one Officer at that Inlet to search or inspect them, how then can any Frauds be detected, as they may run the greatest part of their cargos; as for this river at Cape Fear the Frauds may be more easily detected, as the Collector and Naval Officer reside at Brunswick near the entrance, and there are now two Sloops of War stationed here to cruize from hence to Cape Henry, one of which may be generally here, while the other is upon the cruize, and yet, as I suppose duties may be laid on in Britain upon the entry of goods here, towards maintaining the

-------------------- page 1024 --------------------
Troops upon this Continent, I think it would be of great use that tide Officers should be appointed to put on board all Vessells which are liable to pay duties or make short entries, this is what occurs to me at present upon your Lordships Letter.

Governor Boone and I have agreed to send Commissioners and Surveyors to run the temporary Line as far as the Eastern line of the Catawba's, on the first of March next, as we have now fixed the Catawba's Claim and a Surveyor is employed to survey and mark their Boundary Line.

Be pleased to let me know whether we shall continue the temporary Line at 35° beyond the Western Boundary of the Catawba's nation or shall delay it until His Majesty determines the permanent Line which shall fix the limits of the several provinces, which I hope your Lordships will think it reasonable, that the Pedee to the Winyaw should be the Boundary between these Provinces, as Georgia has been increased by the Lands between the Allatamaha and St Johns river, South Carolina may then be extended by a Western Line, beyond the Savannah river, which will give that Colony more than an Equivalent to what may be taken from their Northern Boundary, When I left this Province to go to the Augusta Congress I prorogued this Assembly to the 8th of December, and upon my return attended at Wilmington the place appointed, in order to hold the Assembly, but the northern five member Counties, being instructed to give no supply, and had prevailed with several of the other Counties not to act upon the Quorum appointed by His Majesty, unless the full half of the Members attended would not attend, except one from Chowan, upon which after proroguing them three or four times for eight days, and finding though Twenty six members were in Town, yet they would not meet to make a House, nor would adjourn,

I let them dissolve themselves for non attendance and immediately I issued out Writs to choose New Members who are to meet the thirty first instant, until they again meet and see how they will Act, I shall only observe that these five Member Counties think, that they shall rule the Province, and in order to preserve their power and obstruct Business, they have refused to divide the Counties in His Majesty's District, though petitioned for by the Inhabitants, lest they should loose their power, and seem to be a dead weight over the Province, in Case they should not attend, I believe the other Members will concurr in an Act, that every County shall pay their own Members, and not have their surplus members charged

-------------------- page 1025 --------------------
upon the other Counties, we shall never be properly settled unless His Majesty shall purchase out Lord Granville's proportion if he should not, I hope no order will be sent to me to continue the Line betwixt the two Districts. since His Lordships district, has encroached upon His Majesty's, above nine miles, as His Majesty's Line is laid out in thirty five degrees and twenty six minutes, instead of thirty five and thirty four, according to the Deed of Partition & Act of Parliament.

I am with due respect My Lords &c