Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Minutes of the North Carolina Governor's Council
North Carolina. Council
March 28, 1774
Volume 09, Pages 954-955

-------------------- page 954 --------------------
[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]

At a Council held at New Bern 28th March 1774
His Excellency the Governor.
The Honble James Hasell Esquire
The Honble John Rutherford Esquire
The Honble Samuel Strudwick Esquire
The Honble Martin Howard Esquire
The Honble Samuel Cornell Esquire

The Governor having taken into consideration the Resolve entered upon the Journals of the House of Assembly on the 24th March declaring that the tax of one shilling per poll and duty of 4 d. per gallon on wines and spiritous liquors imposed by an Act of the General Assembly now in full force had its effect, and should be no longer collected, and directing the collectors of the same, on pain of the censures of that House, to forbear receiving the same, and engaging to indemnify them in such conduct. And it appearing to him a measure not only grounded on wrong principles, as the notorious fact is that a vast sum of money is yet in circulation which this Tax and duty were intended to redeem and sink, but that it is assuming to that Branch of the Legislature a power of dispensing with the positive Laws of this Country, as well as contrary to the public faith, repugnant to the Spirit of the Act of Parliament of the Year of his present Majesty's Reign, and a flagrant violation of the Constitution, He submitted it to the Consideration of this Board how far it was consistent with the dignity of Government to continue an Assembly that had taken steps so inconsistent with Public Justice, and in their tendency so subversive of the Constitution of this Province.

The Board taking into consideration his Excellency's representation of the Assembly's Conduct in the foregoing resolves, are unanimously of opinion that the House of Assembly have without any authority derived to them from the Constitution of this Province set up a most dangerous precedent, and by directing the Treasurers to issue orders to the Collectors not to receive the said Tax and duty, (which the said Collectors are obliged to do by a Law of the province) have assumed a power of dispensing with the Laws of this Country which His Majesty's Governor cannot consistent with his

-------------------- page 955 --------------------
duty pass over without some mark of his censure and disapprobation. And therefore this Board advise his Excellency to dissolve the said Assembly: And it is further their advice and opinion that hie Excellency insert in his proclamation for dissolving the said Assembly the Reasons which influence the opinion of this Board to recommend the above measure.

North Carolina—

By His Excellency Josiah Martin Esquire, Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the said Province.

A .

Whereas the Assembly of this Province having by their resolves of the 24th of this Instant March assumed to themselves a power unconstitutional, repugnant to the Laws, and derogatory to the honour and good faith of this Province, by attempting to abrogate an Act of the General Assembly upon which the public credit essentially depends, It becomes necessary for His Majesty's service to dissolve the said Assembly of this Province. I do therefore with the advice and consent of His Majesty's Council and by virtue of the powers and Authorities in me vested by His Majesty, dissolve the said Assembly—And it is hereby dissolved accordingly.

Given under my hand &c., dated 30th March 1774.

God save the King.

His Excellency then desired the advice of the Board at what time he should call the new Assembly.

The Board were of Opinion that Thursday the 26th day of May would be a proper time for calling the new Assembly.