As it has been always the Care of the Commons of England, to Defend the English Subjects from all manner of Invasions of their Liberty; the Authors of this, thought it a Duty, and it seems to be the Duty of every part aggriev'd, to apply to their Common Remedy in all their Oppressions; where they have reason to expect Relief in all Cases that merit their Cognizance, and who are indeed proper Judges, whether the Cases of which they Complain, merit their Cognizance, or no.
The Doors of the House of Commons are ever Open to receive the just Complaints of the People, and no Man however Mean or Despicable he be, but has a full Liberty to bring his Grievances to their Feet, and has Reason to expect suitable Redress.
If it be the proper Business of the House of Commons, to Redress the Subject's Grievances, it must be the proper Duty of the Subjects, to lay that Grievance they Expect Redress in, before them; The House of Commons are but Men; they are a Select Number chosen from the General Body, to represent the whole, and due Deference ought to be paid both to their Dignity and Capacity; but still they are but Men, and cannot be supposed to know the Grievances of the Subject they should relieve, till they are laid before them, and till they are fairly and properly represented.
And this is both the Reason, and we hope the sufficient Justification of this Book; It contains a short, but true Abridgement of High-Church-Tyranny, it is an Occasional Bill in Miniature; 'tis a Compendium of Various Kinds of Oppressions practised on the English Subjects, by Fellow-Subjects in the Face of the Government, which being Establish't on the Neck of Tyranny, has Openly Declar'd against all sorts of Invasion of English Liberty.
If any Man shall say this Matter is not Cognizable in Parliament, and that the People of Carolina are not represented here, having a Parliament of their own, by whom they are to be Determin'd, that they are therein Entirely under the Government of themselves, and that these
'Tis true, by the Constitution of Carolina, they are under the Government of themselves, and perhaps if their Constitution were rightly Adminstred, it may be allow'd the best Settlement in America. But as the Wisdom of their Constitution is known, and unquestion'd, without doubt those able Heads that settl'd their Government, did not forget, that even those Representative Assemblies, especially in the Infancy of the Government, might be corrupt, or might by Bribery or other ill Practices, be Modell'd and Influenc'd in Matters of Parties, to Oppress and Injure the People they acted for. That especially in their infancy and the Paucity of Electors, they might be Obtruded upon the People by Clandestine Methods, the Management and Artifices of Governors, and Men of Design, might have great Opportunities from the Power and Purse of the People to byass and awe the Elections; and having fill'd their Assembly with Men of their own Principles, all manner of Mischiefs might ensue to the Destruction of the Colony, Overthrow of the Settlement and Ruin of the Inhabitants.
And if any Man ask me, why then they did not make Laws, to direct the People in such Cases what to do, I cannot, but Answer for them, as I verily believe they would have Answered for themselves had they been alive.
That when any Body of Men Representative, or other Acting by, or for a Constitution, from whom they receive their Power shall Act, or do, or make Laws and Statutes, to do any thing destructive of the Constitution they Sct from, that Power is Ipso facto dissolv'd, and revolves of Course into the Original Power, from whence it was deriv'd.
From hence it must follow, that upon known Depredations of Common Liberty, Breach of the Capitulations of Government, between the Governors and the People of Carolina; the People without doubt, by Right of Nature as well as by the Constitution, revolves under the immediate Direction and Government of the English Empire, whose Subjects they were before and from whom their Government was deriv'd.
It remains here, to lay down what these Capitulations I speak of are, by which the people of Carolina ought to be Govern'd, and in the Breach whereof they are Oppress't; and then to descend to the black Relation, how these Postulata are broken and unregarded, how these people are Injur'd and Tyranniz'd over, what Redress ought to be given them by their Governours the Proprietors How that Redress has been legally sought for, and humbly petitioned for but in vain.
I shall then Examine, not only, how far the People have a Right to dispence the Engins of this Sub-Tyranny; but how far the Constitution itself is dissolved, and the People have a Right to Establish their being there so far as their Freehold extends; Upon such Foundations of Justice and Liberty, as that it may no more be in the Power of Usurping Thieves and Oppressors, to injure and disturb them.
In Order to the first, the Reader may please to take the following Abridgement of the Constitution of the Collony, as the Ground Plot by which, tho' it be short, he will plainly Discover, upon what Exact Basis of Right and Property this Government was Erected, and how, plainly, by the Encroachments of the present Gentlemen, the People are Injur'd, the Constitution in itself Destroy'd and Inverted, and the People left,Free . . . . To Choose for their Own share,
To Understand the true Foundation and Establishment of the present Plantation of Carolina, it is necessary to Observe.
That this Colony, tho' discovered, and in part possesst, even before that part of America, call'd Virginia to which it is contiguous; yet lay for several Ages of Time unimprov'd and neglected, till about the year,
When a particular account of its Fertility, the wonderful agreeableness of the Climate, the Pleasantness and Health of its Scituation, Advantages of Produce, Fitness for Trade, and all Manner of Improvement, being brought to some Gentlemen of Quality and Estates in England, they resolv'd to encourage the planting this Country, and in particular, resolv'd to settle it upon some better Foundations of Government, than the rest of the English Colonies seem'd to stand upon; as the Only Thing, which added to the rest of its Advantages, wou'd best encourage the speedy Planting it, and draw Inhabitants in Great Numbers from other Plantations to this New Settlement; These Gentlemen being truly sensible of that known and undisputed Maxim of Government,
In order to this, they first obtain a Grant of the Province from King Charles the Second, to them and their Heirs, as Absolute Lords and Proprietors of the Country.
But the Reader is desir'd not to forget, that this Grant, or Charter of King Charles the Second, had two Restrictions or Saving Articles in it, which, indeed, were not Provifo's of Capitulation, but Proviso's of Necessity. I'll explain myself presently, the Salvo's were these,
1, Saving always the Faith, Allegiance, and Soveraign, Dominion due to us, our Heirs, and Successors for the same. And
2, Saving also the Right, Title and Interest, of all, and every our Subjects of the English Nation, which are now planted within the Limits and Bounds aforesaid. See the Printed Charter, p. 3.
These I call Provifo's of Necessity, because nothing can depute more Power, than it possesses.
I. The King could not part with the Allegiance and Dominion due to the English Crown, without Consent of Parliament. For, 1. That had been, to have alienated Part of the English Government from the Crown.
2, It had been, to consign some of his Subjects over to the Government of another Prince without their Consent.
II. The King could not grann the Right, Title and Interest of those of his Subjects already planted there, for that was none of his own; and he could no more transfer their property, than their Allegiance.
I bespeak the Reader, bearing with this Digression, as what he will fee just Reason for, and a good use made of by and by: But for the present he may Observe,
1, That the Government of Carolina is dependant upon England, and subject to the Laws, Government and Direction of the English Crown; and consequently their Grievances are cognizable in the Parliament of England.
2, There were Inhabitants in Carolina before the Grant made to the present Proprietors, which Inhabitants had a Right both to the Government as well as Possession; which King Charles the Second, neither did, nor cou'd grant by Charter, or otherwise to any Body.
3, As their Allegiance to the English Crown cou'd not be transfer'd by Gift or Charter, so neither could the Protection of the English Government be deny'd them; and therefore, the Parliament of England has an undoubted Right to redress their Grievances, and to relieve them against all the Oppressions of their pretended Governours of what kind soever. And this is my Reason for the Argument.
This Charter is a Creation of the Proprietors, both Temporal and Spiritual Lords of the Country, and gives them full Spiritual Dominion, as to Building and Forming Churches, with the Patronage, and Advowsion of them, the Dedication, Consecration, but limited to the Rites of the Church of England; a Continued Badge of their Dependance on this Kingdom, both in Spiritual Matters, as well as Temporal. The Tenure of this Regality is also held of the Mannor of Greenwich in the County of Kent, in Free and Common Soccage, paying to the Crown, as of the said Mannor twenty Marks Yearly as a Quit-Rent, and a Fourth part of all Gold and Silver Oar, which shall be found.
Nor was the Proviso for the Right of the People already planted, or to be planted, at all forgot in this Charter by the King; for in the first Empowering Clause of the Charter, it is expressly said,
“To ordain, make, enact, and under their Seals to publish any Laws whatsoever . . . . But how,
By and with the Advice, and Assent, and Approbation of the Freemen of the said Province, or the greater Part of them.
Vide the printed Charter, p. 4.
This is incerted to remind those Gentlemen, that Assembling the Freemen of Carolina to make Laws &c. was not a Voluntary Act of their own Clemency, but what they were oblig'd to, by the very Charter from whence they derive their Authority.
Nor was it a Restriction of the meer Grace of the King, but according to the Native Right of the Freemen, Inhabitants of Carolina settled there before, provided for in the Clause before-mentioned, whose Right, even the King himself, had no Power to Dissolve or Transfer:
In making the Laws these Assemblies are empower'd to Enact and Execute, It is further Remarkable, and of which, I hope, good Use will be made, His Late Majesty Charles the Second, lays another Double Restriction.
1, “Provided such Laws be consonant to Reason.
2, “As near as may be conveniently, agreeable to the Laws of England.
His Majesty knew, that Law is the Result of Reason, and that the Sovereignty of Reason over all the Actions of Men, cannot be invaded, but that Laws offer'd by whatever Society of Men against Reason, are void of course, and therefore expressly prepar'd them to expect it.
In the next place, His Majesty plainly signifies, that all their Laws ought to be corresponding with the English Constitution, Convenience of the People, Anglico, The Publick Good only excepted; by which is
Upon these and sundry other Conditions was the first Charter or Grant made to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, dated the 24th of March, 15 Car. II. A second Grant or Charter verbatim by the first, only Enlarging the Bounds, was granted to the same Lords Proprietors, dated the 30th of June 17 Car. II. and the Proprietors by these Two Charters are, Edward, Earl of Clarendon; George, Duke of Albemarl; William, Earl of Craven; John, Lord Berkeley; Anthony, Lord Ashley, afterwards Earl of Shaftsbury; Sir George Carteret, Sir John Colleton and Sir William Berkeley.
Pursuant to these Charters, The Proprietors went on with the Settlement of this Colony, and knowing that on the good Government of the Province, and the large Priviledges granted to the Inhabitants, depended very much the Encouragement to Strangers of all Nations, and Estates thither, and consequently the Prosperity of the Colony.
They formed the Government of the said Province into a Publick Instrument, which they call the Fundamental Constitution of Carolina, consisting of 120 Articles, which in the last Article are declar'd, shall be and remain, the Sacred and Unalterable Form and Rule of Government of Carolina for ever.
These Articles are afterwards abridg'd into One and Forty, containing the full Substance, Intent and Meaning of the aforesaid One hundred and Twenty, and being first sign'd and seled to by the Lords Proprietors, as the Pacta Conventa of Government; are presented to, and accepted by the Freemen, Freeholders and Inhabitants, and agreed to be past, in a Full and Free Parliament or Assembly, as the Sacred and Unalterable Conditions, on which they Consent to be Governed and Directed, and to which they submit.
The Preamble sets forth, That K. Cha. the IId, having Granted to the Proprietors the Province of Carolina, with all the Royalties Privileges &c.
For the better Settlement of the Government of the said Province, the said Lords Proprietors agree to the following Form of Government to be perpetually Establish't, and which they oblige themselves to in the most binding Ways that can be Devis'd.
The First five Articles contain the Regulation of Authority and Division of the Government into, 1, The Proprietors Court to Consist of the Palatine, and seven Proprietors, and in the Absence of the Governor, and such Deputies as they Assign: This Court to have all the Supream Power Granted to the Proprietors in the Charter, as Calling and Disolving Parliaments, Pardoning Offences, &c.
The 6th to the 19th Article regulates the Parliament, to Confist of the Proprietors or their Deputies by themselves; The Landgraves and Casticks in the Upper-House, and Freeholders in the Lower-House; this is their King, Lords, and Commons, and the Manner Exactly Regulated to the Simily, with Limitations and Qualifications for Electing, and being Elected, and the Privileges and Office of each House settled.
To the 22d Article Exclusive is settled the Division of the Province into Counties, the Limitation of Every ones Quantity in Possession, the Tryal of Causes and Crimes per Pares, the Choosing and Deputing the Governour, the Admitting Freemen, Establishing Religion, Churches, &c.
To the 38th Article they determine what Society of Men, and on what Terms shall be Esteemed a Church, and the Regulating Religious Matters, wherein the only Religious Quallifications, by which any Man is admitted a Member of any Church, and of the Government are these two.
1,That he believes there is a God,
2, That God is Publickly to be Worshiped.
A Third Article Obliging all People to bear Witness in Cases Required to Truth, either by Oath or some Equivalent, is added.
The 39th Article is positive,
“No Person whatsoever shall Disturb, Molest, or Persecute, another for his Opinion in Religion, or Way of Worship.
The two last Articles settle the Freemens Power over their Slaves, and the Form of Signing the Constitutions by all Persons admitted into Office of Trust.
And the Conclusion of these Articles are thus,
Those Fundamental Constitutions in Number Forty One, and every Part thereof shall be and remain the inviolable Form and Rule of Government of Carolina for ever. Witness our Hands and Seals 11 April, 1698.
These Constitutions I know have obtain'd upon the World, to be the Contrivance of the Old Earl of S . . bury; but I think, I have very good Authority, to assure the World Mr. Lock had the Right of Parentage to the former; whether I ought to contend for either the Policy or Humane Understanding in Right of either of these Great Men in the Contrivance or no; I shall not debate. I am certain of this, they handed the Infant Government into the World without Leading-strings, and turn'd it loose before it cou'd stand alone; by which means, like young Romulus, it has got a Wolf to its Nurse, and is like to be bred up a Monster.
'Tis true, these Constitutions were not actually past in any Assembly, and so may be objected against, as not so binding as in other Cases they would be.
But they were signed by the Proprietors, and in the Infancy of this Settlement by the Inhabitants, as they came there to Settle; and were only referr'd to a Parliament or Assembly when the Colony was considerable enongh to require it.
In these Parliaments, these People have always opposed passing the Constitutions, fearing without doubt, to come under the Fetters of the Law, and a just Government; and knowing the Measures they design'd to take, were destructive of the very Being and Nature of the Government; and therefore being unwilling to have the Obstruction of any Settled Constitution, they always rendered the Proposal contemptible, and banter'd the Colony with the frequent Attempts to pass them, laying them by, as useless Trifles not worth Notice, tho' they were indeed the Fundamentals of their Government.
It remains now to examine, how the Gentlemen now concern'd have acted in Correspondence to
1, The Powers granted to the Proprietors,
2, The Pacta Conventa with the People, and in this Enquiry, it will come to be examin'd.
1, Whether the Powers assembled there, have been summon'd according to the Constitution.
2, Whether the Freeholders, and none but such have elected the Persons, who have imposed these Laws, and have had a Free Choice.
3, Whether these Laws have the due Qualification requir'd by the Charter, viz:
1, To be consonant to Reason,
2, To the Utility of the Subject,
3, To the Preservation of Right and Property: The Words expressly set down in the Charter.
4, Whether if not, they are not void in their own Nature.
5, Whether the Lords Proprietors not redressing these Abuses when humbly addrest to by the Inhabitants, have not broken the sacred, unalterable Conditions of the Government.
6, Whether this Fracture of the Constitution, does not empower the Inhabitants of Carolina who purchas'd Estates, and settl'd there on these Conditions, and of whose Right his Late Majesty made such Provision in his Charter, have not a full Power to settle such other Government and Constitutions, as shall correspond with the Freedom and just Rights of the Province, tho' without the Consent of the said Lords.
7,Whether all this Matter is Congnizable in the Parliament of England, and the Proprietors of Carolina subject to such Determination as shall be made there.
It lies before us now, to Examine, How these Gentlemen have acted, in Correspondence to the Powers granted by the Charters to the Proprietors, and the Constitutions or Pacta Conventa made with the People.
Before this is enter'd into, I must determine, who I mean by those Gentlemen; for this Paper as 'tis a Complaint of Fact may be also expected to be a Charge against particular Persons also.
To this it is answer'd, The Proprietors in one Sence may be the Persons charg'd here, as being answerable for all the irregular Practices of those that act under them; since every Man is really the Actor of what is done by his Authority, and every Man is tacitely the Author of what is in his Power to hinder, and which he ought to hinder.
But as here is no Need to fly to a speculative Charge, when the Agents and Instruments of these Mischiefs are known and plain, and to be found upon the Spot; so let the Charge lye in its constructive part where it will, 'tis plain, where it more immediately lies by the following Instances to which I refer, and the Persons will be but too easily known there.
But yet this Account cannot pretend to clear the Proprietors, from being both Agents and Principals, at least some of them, in that they have constantly had the particulars of these Things, laid before them in the humble Petitions of the Inhabitants; which they to their great Charge and Trouble, have sent over to England by Members of their own Body, purposely Deputed as Embassadors to the Proprietors; viz, John Ash, Esq; who died here in the Negotiation of those Affairs, and is now succeeded by Mr. Jos. Boon, as will appear in the Prosecution of this Paper.
The submissive Letters, the humble Applications, the Petitions and Remonstrances of the People of all perswasions, and of the Conforming Minister of the place, demonstrate, that the Oppression is universal, the Grievance Extraordinary, and that the Proprietors have been duely inform'd of it all.
I think, it will most naturally occur, that if these Gentlemen, who, God knows, are ill qualified for Government, do not redress the Grievances of the people, some Body else must; and for that purpose, the present Application is made to the Commons of England assembled in Parliament; where publick Grievances never fail of Redress, and where all sorts of Tyranny has been the Sacrifice to Justice.
The Government of this Province has had the usual Misfortune of those People, who are left to the Conduct of Mercenaries; the Gentlemen-Proprietors, or Lords (call them what you will) are very honest Gentlemen; but are here plac'd above their Sphere; they are Gentlemen of Birth and Fortunes, and well enough instructed in Things within their Quality, but they never learne to be Kings; they have not taken in the Hint of Pater Patria, they don't know, that a King must be the Father of his People; and that there is a sort of Patriarcal Affection, as well as Obligation, between a King on the Throne and the People He Governs, which obliges them to treat them with Gentleness, listen to their Complaints, and redress their Grievance; they need have gone no father, than to their own Sovereign, to have seen a Pattern of this Pious Care, and have reflected, how Sollicitous Her Majesty appears for the General Good; how pleas'd and thankful, when Prosperity Crowns their Affairs; how affectionately Concerned, when any Calamity attends Her People, either publick as in the Great Storm, or private in the Case of Trade; as in the Disaster of Mr. Pitkin's ill treating them: How concern'd did Her Majesty appear for the Widows and distress'd Families of the Seamen that perisht in the Storm! how bountifully relieve them! and the like. Whence does this proceed? God Almighty, for the Good of Nations, furnishes Princes, born to Crowns and Kingdoms, with the suited Affections for these Circumstances of Government, and thereby fullfils the promise of making them Nursing Fathers, and Nursing Mothers.
These Propriety-Monarchs are born without these Affections, like a Landlord to his Tenant, they have their Eyes upon the Rent; their Concern, if any, is not of Affection, but of Interest; they are Step-fathers and Strangers in the Government, and they have shown it; for their Ears have been stopt, and shut to the Complaints of their Oppress'd People;
That this is no Scandal, and I hope, no needless Digression, I shall refer to the Judgment of the Impartial Part of Mankind, after Reading the true State of the Colony, as now suppress'd and under the Government of a Party, and of the Tyranny practis'd there, and this will be best represented by themselves.
I shall then describe the true Posture of it, as it would reasonably be allow'd to be, under a State of Liberty and Encouragement; in the Result of which, the Imprudence and ill Policy, as well as Injustice of the Proprietors, will appear in fuffering a flourishing Colony, thus to languish under their Hands.
The first thing I shall refer to for a Prospect of the Grievance before us, is the Representation of the Inhabitants, directed to the Proprietors, sign'd by above 100 of the principal Merchants, Freeholders and Planters, with several Members of the Assembly; and sent over by John Ash, Esq; who, with great Difficulty and Hazzard, got away to Virginia, where his Powers and Instructions were Convey'd after him; the Government there using all possible Endeavours to prevent him. The Address is as follows:
To the Right Honourable John Granvill, Esq: Palatine, and to the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of the Province of Carolina.
The Representation and Address of several of the Members of this present Assembly return'd for Colleton County, and other Inhabitants of this Province, whose Names are hereunto Subscribed.
May it please your Lordships,
Altho' the miserable Estate of this Colony will be sufficiently known to your Lordships, from the Relation of John Ash, Esq: who is fully intrusted by us to remonstrate our grievances to your Lordships; yet we think our selves exceedingly bound and obliged to lay before you, what we think does concern your Lordships Honours, and the Peoples Rights and Priviledges; For if the Question were about matters of small moment, we should be asham'd to be importunate and unwilling to give the least trouble to your Lordships; but considering that the very Foundation of our lawful Rights, hath of late been struck at by Persons, who have more regard to their private Interest than the Publick good, we humbly conceive, that it cannot stand with the Duty we owe
We shall go no further back, but date the unhappy Causes and Grounds of our Complaints from, and immediately after the Death of the late Governor Blake; for the Choice and Election of a Governor to succeed him being intrusted with your Lordships Deputies here, that Person amongst your said Deputies who made the strongest party in the Councel, did carry the Government, by perverting the Design, and breaking through the Rules and Instructions agreed to by your Lordships for such Election. And this manifestly appear'd in the unjust Election of the late Governor Moore, in prejudice of Landgrave Morton's Title, who (after he was Elected by a Majority of the Council then present) was Objected against by the said Moore, and excluded, only because he had accepted of a Commission from the King; And as the said Moore acquir'd and obtain'd the Government of this Province by Fraud, Flattery and trifling Exceptions, as aforesaid, so has he endeavour'd, ever since to manage all things by base and indirect Methods, and crafty Projects, which made his Government miserably unfortunate to us all. The great and personal Debts and Necessities which the said late Governour Moore had to struggle with, may well be thought to have put him upon, and prompted him to Designs, to enrich himself at the hazard of publick Peace and Welfare; And because these his designs could not possibly be effected by himself alone, he knew very well, that to engage the Council to his Interest, and to have an Assembly chosen to his liking, would be the way effectually to compleat and accomplish his Ends and Purposes; Thereupon 'tis manifest, there being Vacancies in the Council, for Persons fit and worthy to represent your Lordships Pleasure not being then signifi'd and known therein, those very Vacancies were supply'd by such Persons whom he beforehand knew, and was well satisfi'd and assur'd, would be for his Use and Purpose; and it's as well known, that the Debates and Consultations of the Council have all along been carry'd on, and manag'd to the ends aforesaid.
And pursuant to his said Design, he did by indirect Practices endeavour, that such an Assembly might be chosen, as would be agreeable in their Temper and Disposition with his designs and Resolutions; This was to
I. We therefore, in the first place, humbly represent to your Lordships, and we do Assert and Maintain, That it is one of the fundamental Rights and unquestionable Priviledges belonging to Englishmen, That all Elections of their Representatives to serve in Parliament, ought to be free and indifferent, without any Prayer of Commandment to the contrary, and that no Alien born out of the Allegiance to the Crown of England, unless he be otherwise especially qualify'd, ought to Elect for, or be Elected to serve as a Member of Assembly; all which, notwithstanding, at the Election of Members of Assembly to serve for Berkly County made in the Month of November, 1701. There were several great Abuses made and committed, against the ancient Usages and Customs of this Province, and contrary to Law, particularly an Act Intituled, An Act for Regulating Elections, &c. and to the great dissatisfaction, and manifest Prejudice of the several Inhabitants of this Province, Candidates and others. For so it was, may it please your Lordships, that at the said Election, much Threatnings, many Intreaties, and other unjustifiable Actions were made use of, and illegal and unqualify'd votes given in to the Sheriff; and by him Receiv'd and Return'd, particularly the votes of very many unqualify'd Aliens were taken and enter'd, the votes of several Members of the Council were filed and Received, a great number of Servants, and Poor and indigent Persons, voted promiscuously with their Masters and Creditors, as also several free Negroes were Receiv'd, and taken for as good Electors as the best Freeholders in the Province. So that we leave it with your Lordships to Judge, whether admitting Aliens, Strangers, Servants, Negroes, &c. as good and qualify'd voters, can be thought any ways agreeable to King Charle's Patent to your Lordship's, or the English Constitution or Government.
II. We Represent to your Lordships, that when at the Meeting of the Assembly, divers Candidates, by Petition by them Exhibited, pray'd to be heard against the Return of the Sheriff for Berkly County of the Election aforesaid, and insisted upon their Right, and that the Sheriff's Return was false and illega; and the said Assembly the better and more impartially, to inquire into the ill Practices at the said Election, did first of all resolve to begin upon Priviledges and Elections, that the late Governour Moore, to prevent such Inquiry, did several times Prorogue the said Assembly,
III. That when the said Assembly were at last suffer'd to sit, the Inquiry and Examination into the Sheriff's Return of the last Election
IV. That notwithstanding your Lordships repeated Commands to your Deputies, to procure a good regulation of the Indian Trade, on which our friendly Correspondence with all our neighbouring Indians, and the Peace and Safety of this Colony chiefly depends, yet the said late Governor Moore has been by his Artifices, the Chief (if not the Only) Occasion of obstructing the same, designing nothing less than ingrossing the fame for himself and Accomplices; having already almost utterly ruin'd the Trade for Skins and Furs (whereby we held our Chief Correspondence with England) and turn'd it into a Trade of Indians or Slave-making, whereby the Indians to the South and West of us are already involv'd in Blood and Confusion, a Trade so odious and abominable, that every other Colony in America (altho' they have equal temptation) abhor to follow.
V. That the said late Governor Moore did grant Commissions to Anthony Dodsworth, Robert Mackoone, and others, to set upon, assault, kill, destroy, and take Captive as many Indians as they possible could, the Profit and Prodvce of which Indian Slaves were tvrn'd to his private use; whereas such undertakings, unjust and barbarous in themselves, will in all Probability draw upon us an Indian War, with all the dreadful Consequences of it.
VI. We represent to your Lordships, that the late unfortunate, ill contriv'd and worse Manag'd expedition against St. Augustine was principally set on Foot by the said late Governor and his Adherents; and that if any Person in the said late Assembly undertook to speak against it, and to shew how unfit and unable we were at that time for such an Attempt, he was presently look'd upon, by them, as an Enemy and Traytor to his Country, and revil'd and affronted in the said Assembly, altho' the true Design of the Expedition, was no other then catching and making Slaves of Indians for private advantage, and Impoverishing the Country; And this will plainly appear, when your Lordships know that your Country is brought more in Debt at this time, and upon this occasion, than ever since its first Settlement, if we put all the Debts we have ow'd together; and that the Expedition was to enrich themselves will appear particularly, because whatsoever Booty, as rish Silks, great Quantity of Church-Plate, with a great many other costly Church Ornaments and utensils taken by our Souldiers as St. Augustine, are now detain'd in the Possession of the said late Governor and his Officers, contrary to an Act of Assembly made, for an equal Division of the same among the Souldiers.
VII. That the said Governor would have had the said Expedition against St. Augustine, begun and undertaken before the War with Spain, was Proclaim'd here; and this was vehemently urg'd by his Interest in the said Assembly, but with much ado, being put to the Vote, was carried in the Negative. And when at last the Expedition was Order'd, the Management of the said late Governor was such, in all its Steps, particularly in relation to his shameful retreat, and burning the Country's Vessels, that we are asham'd to mention the same till we have a Free Assembly, before which the matter may be fairly try'd, which is the only thing the said late Governor and his Adherents are most afraid of.
VIII. That in the said late Assembly, the Constitutions sent by Major Daniel were offer'd for their passing, Urg'd with great strength of Reason for to have them pass'd by Mr. Ash, but they were opposed by Mr. Trott, Mr. Howes, and others, the said Governor's Creatures, and several reflecting words used by the said Tritt and Howes concerning them, exposing the Constitutions as Ridiculous and void in themselves, (thereby endeavouring, notwithstanding your Lordships care of us) to keep the People in an unsettl'd Condition, that from time to time, they might the more easily be imposed on by them.
IX. That after the People Return'd from St. Augustine, the time for the said Assembly to meet, according to the last Prorogation was just at hand; when they met, they went upon the Inquiry of the Charges the Country had been at in the said Expedition, and were upon Debate for the finding out Ways and Means for the Payment of the Countries Debts, for securing the Colony, for the settling of Elections for the future, and for granting as much Freedom to the French, and other Aliens, as could be granted by the Assembly, or the French reasonably expect. A Bill for the better Regulating Elections, pass'd the lower House twice, and was sent up to the said Governor and Council, where it was rejected without so much as a Conference; upon which several of the Members, jealous of their Priviledges, and being so order'd by those that sent them, left the House, first entring their Protestation, a Copy of which Mr. Ash has to show your Lordships, and to which we refer You.
X. But what we have yet to represent to your Lordships, makes very deep Impressions on us, and is not to be thought on by us, but with the greatest Regret and Concern. But altho' the Members of the late Assembly, who Protested, and did leave the House as aforesaid (hoping that the next day they might find things in better order, and some temperating Means found out, which might have given some tolerable Assurance of
XI. That the said late Governor had the same day (immediately before the Riot began) treated a great many of the Persons concern'd therein, and used such Expressions to them as give them, next their drink, the greatest Encouragements for what they acted, by telling them, that the protesting Members would bring the People on their Heads for neglecting to pay the Country's Debts, which if it should happen, he knew not who could blame them; in the meantime he thank'd them for their close adherence to him in all his Concerns. And after the Riot began (of part of which he was an Eye-witness) having first drank with some of them, he withdrew himself out of the way, thereby giving them greater Incouragement to proceed in their Tumultuous Practises, ans by his Example and Absence, discouraging the inferior Officers from executing their Duty.
XII. That whilst the said Riot continu'd, which was four or five Days, Landgrave Edmond Bellinger, who was a Justice of the Peace, there being no other to be seen that understood his Office, went out to Suppress and Record the aforesaid Riot, but the Rioters no sooner saw him, than they call'd him all the opprobrious Names they could think of, and the said Rbett came up to him, and struck him over the Head with his Cane, and continu'd beating and striking of him for a considerable time, as by the said Record herewith sent your Lordships will more fully appear.
XIII. That the said Rioters beat and abused Mr. Joseph Boone, and put him in danger and fear of his Life, without any Provocation by him given or offer'd; and that for four or five days successively, and at other times after, the said Rioters unusually Arm'd and Weapon'd, to the great Terror of the People, and frightned and terrify'd Persons, that they were forc'd to leave the Town, their Affairs and Interests exposed to the Mercy of a licentious Rabble.
XIV. That some of the said Rioters, whilst the Riot was at the Church, went one Night to the House of John Smith, a Butcher in Charles Town; and there being a Woman big with Child in the said House, they with Force open'd the door, threw her down, and otherwise misused her, that she brought forth a dead Child, with the Back and Skull broken.
XV. That the said John Ash, Thomas Smith, James Byres, Joseph Boon, and others, complain'd to the said late Governor and his Council, setting forth the Abuses and Barbarous Usages they had met withal from the aforesaid Rioters, and the Danger they were yet in, for that the said Rioters were still in Arms &c. but they met with no other Satisfaction from them, then that the said late Governor shifted off the Matter; by saying, it was a Business fit for a Justice of Peace; and being ask'd by James Byres, whether or not he look'd on himself, as Governor, oblig'd to keep the Peace of the Province? He reply'd, that was a Question he was not oblig'd to Answer.
XVI. That before the next Sessions of the Peace, holden for the said Province, Sir Nathaniel Johnson was proclaim'd, and took upon him the Government; and then Mr. Trott had a Commission to be Judge, and the said late Governor was made Attorney General; so that it was in vain to expect any Relief or Remedy here: However, the said Edmond Bellinger, did what in him lay, to have the said Riot inquir'd into, gave in the Record thereof to the Bench, and some of the Grand Jury urg'd to have it presented, but to no purpose; for some of the Abettors of the
XVII. We further represent to your Lordships, that contrary to the Rights and Privileges which we ought to Enjoy, the last Election of Members to serve for Berkly County, was manag'd with greater Injustice to the Freemen of this Province than the former; For at this last Election, Jews, Strangers, Sailors, Servants, Negroes, and almost every Frenchman in Craven and Berkly County, came down to Elect, and their votes were taken, and the Persons by them voted for, were Return'd by the Sheriff, to the manifest wrong and Prejudice of other Candidates.
Things standing with us, as is before faithfully represented to your Lordships, we thought it our Duty, since we can have no Remedy or Relief in Carolina, to apply our selves to your Lordships, whose Paternal care and Concern for us, we Question not, will be signally evidenc'd and extended unto us upon such occasions, and in such extremities; For when once our Lawful Rights and Priviledges are deny'd us, when Forreigners and Strangers shall make our Laws, when we can have no Protection from those who ought, and are Intrusted by your Lordships, to fee the Laws executed, when, in a word, force is made the Arbiter of all differences, and all things reduc'd to a State of Confusion, it is surely a time, if ever there be one, for a People to Complain, and miserable are those Subjects, who must be Hector'd and Domineer'd over by their fellow Subjects, even by those who have hardly any other way to support their decay'd Fortunes, but at the Expence of the Publick. It may be worth your Lordships while, to Reflect what might have been the occasion, that so few Persons of Intrest, Honor, and Education come amongst us, and that good People go, and are going from us, when the Colony is in a Thriving Condition; certainly it is because the English Liberties, that all Her Majesty's Subjects in all other Places in Her Dominions Justly claim, are notoriously trampl'd on, to the great discouragement of Settlers. As to the French, they have hitherto liv'd peaceably, and with due encouragement amongst us; but when we see and consider, that they are often made Tools of, and imposed upon, and perswaded by ill designing Persons here, to carry on sinster designs to the General disadvantage of the Country, and how easily they are drawn into Errors, by reason they have not a right understanding of our Language, and are ignorant of our Laws, we can't imagine that we do them any hurt, by making good and wholesome Laws for us and them, since we Oblige them by no other Laws whatsoever, or upon any Account, than what we our selves are Obliged by, and live under. What then have we to entreat for andSIGN'D BY 150 OF THE INHABITANTS.
Caroline, 26 June, 1705.
The Gentleman, who brought this, a Member of their Parliament and Considerable Freeholder, faithfully deliver'd it to His Excellence the Prince Palatine, for such, I suppose, he would be called, from whom how little Encouragement he receiv'd, to hope for a Redress of the Grievances of the Countrey, he would have told the World if he had liv'd to finish a Tract, which 'tis a great loss to the World he did not: Entituled The present State of Affairs in Carolina; Two Sheets whereof were printed before he died; but his Death has prevented what is but too imperfectly supplied by these Sheets, for which the Author asks the Readers Charity; it being impossible he should be equally touch'd with a Sence of the Miseries of the Colony, with One who had so great a share as Mr. Ash; both of the Property and the Suffering.
The loss this Gentleman's Death was to the Collony, was as to this Negotiation, as well as possible, supplyed by their sending a second Agent to the Proprietors, viz: Mr. Joseph Boon, by whom the following Petition was with like ill Siccess brought to the Proprietors; the failing in which frequent Application, causes this publick Appeal to the World for the Justice of their Application to the Parliament of England; where it is not doubted, they will meet with a suitable Assistance.
I think, I need add nothing to this melancholly Description of the barbarous Treatment of this Innocent People, tho' I could furnish the World with innumerable Particulars. Nor cou'd I make a greater Satyr upon the Conduct and Character of the Gentlemen Proprietors than to say, that all those Humble Representations met with no Redress from
The Petition of the Inhabitants brought over by Mr. Boon is as follows; and is Sign'd by above 180 Persons of the principal Freeholder of the Countrey.
To His Excellency, John Lord Granville Palatine, and to the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of the Province of Carolina.
May it Please Your Lordships,
By an Address sent Your Lordships by John Ash, Esq: bearing Date the 26th of June, 1703, Several of the Inhabitants of this part of Your Province, set forth to Your Lordships the Undue Election of the Present Assembly; and besides, the Heavy Taxes they have laid on us, and the severe Impositions on Trade (the Consequences of the vain Attempt on St. Augustine). We are more particularly to make our Complaints to Your Lordships, of the Great and Unparallel'd Breach they have made in the Charter, granted Your Lordships by K. Charles the II. and of our Priviledges therein contained. The Assembly having been prorogued to the 10th of May; it was however called together by Proclamation, to Sit the 6th of April; And having continued together seven or eight Days, with little or no Business before them (to the great Surprize of the generality of the people), on a suddain, without any previous Notice, on the 4th of May a Bill was brought into the House (the Copy whereof We have herewith sent Your Lordships) to Exclude by a Sacramental Test, all Dissenters from Sitting in the Commons House of Assembly. This Bill was hurried on so, that on the 6th it Past the House; there being, after all their Endeavours, but Twelve for it, and Eleven against it; whereof several were Members of the Church of England. In the Upper House, tho' it Past with less Opposition, yet the Landgrave Joseph Morton was deny'd the Liberty of Entering his Reasons for his Dissent.
We are unable (Ly Lords) to describe, the Consternation of the Generality of the People at these Violent Proceedings: All moderate Persons are extreamly dissatify'd, and the Dissenters themselves under the last degree of Confusion and Discontent; desiring, with Grief of Heart, that Your Lordships, in Your Great Wisdom and Goodness, will take Their present Condition into Your Serious Considerations, and Order a
1. K. Charles the IId, having by His Charter to Your Lordships, given His Subjects, the Freemen and Freeholders of this Province by Themselves, or their Delegates. the Priviledge of Advising and Consenting with your Lordships, to all such Laws as shall be Made here; and the Dissenters being a very Large Part of the Freemen, and Freeholders and incouraged to Transport Themselves, Families, and Estates, hither by the said Priviledges, are notwithstanding, Excluded from the Priviledge of being Delegates, or Representatives of the People in Their Assemblys by the said Act, to the Manifest Violation of the Charter.
2. The Dissenters, in all the rest of Her Majesty's Governments in America, being by no Laws Excluded from being Chosen into Assemblys in the respective Colonys. And the Dissenters here, having a Right thereunto in this Government, not only as Freemen, but by the Concessions in the Charter, have the greater Reason to complain of their present Sufferings.
3. We cannot too feelingly Assure Your Lordships, that the said Act, tends not only to the great Prejudice, and utter Discouragement of Her Majesty's good Subjects, the Dissenters here, in rending from them, that fundamental Priviledge, which They and Their Ancestors have peaceably Enjoy'd ever since the First Settlement of this Colony; but will also be a very great Discouragement to Them in Their several Trades, and Employments, and a fatal Discouragement of the further, and better Settlement of this Part of Your Lordships Province.
For a further account of these Things, we refer Your Lordships to Mr. Joseph Boone, by whose Hands we send this to Your Lordships, desiring You to give Credit to what he shall further Offer to Your Lordships, on Our Behalf. Wishing Your Lordships good Health and Prosperity, We areYour Lordships
Most Humble, and most Obedient Servants.
The Lady Blake Widow of the late Governor, at the same time took the freedom to represent to the Proprietors, the matter of Fact of this Proceeding in a most pathetick and extraordinary manner, by Letter as follows:
May it please your Lordships.
The Share my Son has the Honour to have with your Lordships in the Propriety of this Province, together with the publick Concern I have for the Propriety thereof; oblige me at this time to give you this Trouble, and to lay before your Lordships a short Representation of the many Grievances the People are oppress'd with.
The precipitate and fatal Understanding against St. Augustine, and the Consequences thereof carried on by a Party, have involv'd the Countrey in a Debt of about Ten thousand Pounds, to the Ruin of our Trade, the Loss of our Credit abroad, and infinite Dissatisfactions at home.
Towards Satisfaction of which Debt, an Act was contriv'd for forcing the Currency of Bills of Credit to the value of Six thousand Pounds, these Bills were declared Current in all Payments, and the Refuser of them fineable in double the value of the Sum refus'd, whereby the boldest Stroke has been given to the Property of the Settlers in this Province, that ever was known in any Country, not govern'd by arbitrary Power; And the bad Consequences of this forc'd Currency in Relation to trade with Strangers are so great, that they can scarcely be express'd, without being more prolix than the Bounds of a Letter can allow. Your Lordships very well know, that if the Kingdom of England did not conceive such a Method destructive of the Peoples Property, and of the utmost Danger to Commerce, they cou'd not need any Projection of Ways and Means, for raising of what Money the Government's Affairs do require, But there has nothing of this been weigh'd by your Lordships Deputies here, or by the pack'd Members of our Commons House of Assembly; Besides all this, the People are not satisfy'd how many Bills are truly sent abroad; and the great Concern Mr. James Smith alias Serureir, (who cheated the Scot's Company of a Considerable Sum of Money, and with his Keeper made his Escape from London hither) had in this Contrivance, doth give a Jealousie of indirect Practices therein so prevalent among the People as must end in Confusion and Disorder.
Neither have they stops here, but to out present Amazement, and the Increase of our Fears of their evil Designs for the future, they have proceeded to pass an Act for the Exclusion of all Dissenters from their Right to sit in the Commons House of Assembly, and obliging them to take the Sacrament according to the Rites of the Church of England. In the same Act inserting a Clause, to qualifie the most profligate of themselves for Admission into Assemblies by a Declaratory Oath, altho' they never take the Sacrament: This Act (after much under-hand Dealing)
By the Artifices of these Men, the honest and well meaning People have been all along set against your Lordships, Constitutions, they therefore seeing that by passing of them, their indirect and arbitrary Proceedings would be in a great Measure prevented; But now the Eyes of the People are somewhat more open'd, and they begin to be sensible of the Delusions and Oppressions they have been involv'd in, Your Deputies decline offering the Constitutions to the People, altho' your Lordships (as I am well informed) have often of late Commanded it of them.
I know, there has already been made to your Lordships by Mr. John Ash, a Representation of the People's Sufferings here, and that there will be at this time, and upon this Occasion, a farther Account of these Affairs sent your Lordships by many of the good People in the Behalf of themselves and others, most sensibly affected with the Loss of these Priviledges, which by King Charles His Charter to your Lordships, has been the Right and Usage of their Ancestors and themselves, ever since the first Settlement of the province; And my earnest Request to your Lordships is, That in your great Wisdom, you would be pleas'd to give them such a Hearing and speedy Redress, as may conduce most to the Glory of God, your Lordships Honour, and the Welfare and Prosperity of your Colony, and you will highly obligeYour Lordships
Most Humble Servant:
It may be observ'd, That during the Negotiation of Mr. Ash, and the interval before the sending Mr. Boon, the Party carried on their Excesses, and added to the Grievances Complain'd of before; by setting on foot that most barbarous and unheard of Law against the Dissenters mention'd in the above Letter and Address; the Copy whereof is as follows:
An Act for the more effectual Preservation of the Government of this Province, by requiring all Persons that shall hereafter be chosen Members of the Common House of Assembly, and sit in the same, to take the Oaths and subscribe the Declaration appointed by this Act; and to conform to the Religious Worship in this Province, according to the Church of England; and to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the Rites and Usage of the said Church.
As nothing is more contrary to the Profession of the Christian Religion, and particularly to the Doctrine of the Church of England, than Persecution for Conscience only,
Whereas it hath been found by experience, that the admitting of Persons of different Perswasions, and Interest in Matters of Religion, to sit and vote in the Commons House of Assembly, hath often caused great Contentions and Animosities in this Province, and hath very much obstructed the publick Business; and whereas by the Laws and Usage of England, all Members of Parliament are obliged to conform to the Church of England, by receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the Rites of the said Church.
Be it therefore enacted, by His Excellency John, Lord Granville, Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of this Province, by and with the Advice and Consent of the rest of the Members of the General Assembly, now met at Charles-Town, for the South-West Part of this Province, and by the Authority of the same, That every Person that after the Ratification of this Act, shall be chosen a Member of the Commons House of Assembly that hath not, within the Space of Twelve Months before such his Election, receiv'd the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, according to the Rites and Usage of the Church of England, as establish'd by Law, such Person after his Election, and before he be permitted to sit and vote in the said House, shall receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according the Rites and Usage of the Church of England, in some publick Church, upon some Lord's Day, commonly called Sunday, immediately after divine Service and Sermon; and every of the said Persons, in open Assembly, in a full House duly sitting, with their Speaker in his Chair, shall deliver a Certificate of such his receiving of the said Sacrament as aforesaid, under the Hand of the respective Minister, or shall make proof of the Truth thereof by Two credible Witnesses at least upon Oath.
But whereas some Persons scruple the Receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, by reason they fear they are not rightly fitted and prepared to partake of that Ordinance, who do nevertheless, out of real Choice, conform to the Church of England, as Establish'd by Law, and do sincerely profess the Same, and do not abstain from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, out of any Dislike to the Manner and form of the Administration thereof, as used by the Church of England, and prescribed in the Communion-Office, in the Book of the Common-Prayer of the said Church.
Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Person that after the Ratification of this Act, shall be chosen a Member of the Commons House of Assembly in this Province, in case he hath not received the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, according to the Rites and Usage of the Church of England, as is before prescribed by this Act, then every such Person before he vote in the said Commons House of Assembly, or sit there during any Debate in the said House, after their Speaker is Chosen, shall upon his Oath taken on the Holy Evangelists, declare as follows.
I. “A. B. Do solemnly and sincerely, in the Presence of God, profess, testify and declare, That I am of the Profession of the Church of England, as Establish'd by Law; and that I do conform to the Same, and usually frequent the said Church for the publick Worship of God; and that I do not abstain from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, out of any Dislike to the Manner and Form of the Administration thereof, as used by the said Church of England, and as it is prescribed in the Communion-Office, in the Book of Common-Prayer of the said Church; and that I am not, nor for One Year past, have not been in Communion with any Church or Congregation, that doth not conform to the said Church of England, nor received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in such Congregation; and that as a Member of this House of Assembly, I will endeavour the Good and Welfare of the said Church of England, as established by Law; So help me God.
Which said Oath or Declaration of Conformity shall be solemnly and publickly made, and subscribed by every Member of the said Commons House of Assembly (that doth not produce a Certificate, or other Proof of his having received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, as before prescribed by this Act,) between the Hours of Nine in the Morning and Four in the Afternoon, at the Table in the said House, and whilst a full House is sitting with their Speaker in his Chair: And every such Person that shall upon Oath make, and subscribe such Declaration of Conformity to the Church of England, is hereby declared to be sufficiently qualified to be a Member, of the Commons House of Assembly, as if he had receiv'd the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the Usage of the Church of England, as is above prescribed by this Act.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Persons that after the Ratification of this Act shall be chosen Members of the General Assembly before they vote in the Commons House of Assembly, or fit there during any Debate in the said House of Commons, after their Speaker is chosen, shall on the Holy Evangelists take the
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person, that shall hereafter be elected a Member of the Commons House of Assembly, shall presume to sit and vote in the said Commons House after their Speaker is chosen, before he hath received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the Rites and Usage of the said Church of England or upon Oath and subscribed such Declaration of Conformity to the Church of England as is prescribed by this Act, and hath also taken the Oaths, and made and subscribed the Declaration, as required by this Act; every Person so offending shall forfeit for the first time he shall so sit, the Sum of Fifty Pounds current Money of this Province; and for every Day after that he shall so sit, the Sum of Ten Pounds, the one half to the Palatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of this Province, to and for the Support of the Government of this Province, and the contingent Charges thereof, to be disposed of by Ordinance of the General Assembly; and the other half to him or tham that shall sue for the same within Six Months after the Offence committed, by Action of Debt, Suit, Bill, Plaint, or Information in any Court of Record in this Province, wherein no Essoign, Protection, Privilege,
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any Person shall be return'd a Member of the Commons House of Assembly, who shall refuse to qualifie himself as required by this Act, and so cannot be permitted to sit and vote in the said House, that then and in such Case it shall be lawful for those Members of Assembly, that are qualified to sit and vote in the said House of Assembly, or to order the Sheriff of the County to lay the Poll or List of the several Candidates, and the Numbers of them that voted for each of the Candidates, and admit that Person or Persons, that hath the greatest Number of Votes next to them, Members that were return'd to sit and vote as a Member or Members of the said Commons House of Assembly, provided they do qualifie themselves as is above directed by this Act; And in case there is not a sufficient Number of the other Candidates, that are qualified, as aforesaid, to fill up the Vacancies, that then a new Writ shall be issued out for such Number as is so wanting.
Read Three times, and ratified in open Assembly, the Sixth Day of May, Anno Domini, 1704.N. JOHNSON,THO. BROUGHTON,JA. MOORE,ROB. GIBBS,HENRY NOBLE,NICHOLAS TROTE.
This is the famous Exclusive Act: A Law in it self so ridiculous, so partial, so calculated for the Ruine of the Colony, that nothing but mad Men, that depended upon being Superior in Power to all humane Authority, the People should apply to, would have ever brought upon the Stage of the World: A Law that give such a Test of its Makers, that it fills Strangers with Amazement, at the Impudence of it, makes their own Friends abandon them; and that they that would advocate for the Thing in general, yet blush at the horrid particulars.
A Law, that contrary to all Laws universally made; which, however ill design'd, have pretence of publick Good, has thrown off the very Mask of Modesty; and openly declares, no Villany can unqualify for a part in the Government, but a Conscientious Scruple may.
A Law that has the Impudence to declare War against the Christian Religion and the Church of England, in the frontice Piece, and begins with a Non abstante to both of them.
That having first own'd what it Enacts, to be Unchristian and Hetrodox, has the face, to begin with a Nevertheless in Capital Letters, damning the Laws of God, and of the Church, as well as of the Country, to a positive Submission, to a Rabble of Sham-Representatives.
A Law that, turning the first Paragraph into the Genuine English, which the Words will, without any straining, or partial Construction, bear; begins in this Sense.
Whereas the Laws of God, the Laws of Nature and Reason, the Christian Religion, the Doctrine of the Church of England, and the Constitution of this Country, are directly against, and do clearly condemn the Law now making, yet in Defiance to them all, in order to carry on our own private Resolutions, for the Enriching our selves, and the Destruction of this Colony, we have resolved to Enact; and be it Enacted, &c.
Blush, Gentlemen-Proprietors, and be asham'd for your Petty Sub-Tyrants; that, like the Lord's Servants in the Gospel, beat and abuse their Fellow-Servants, and Eat and Drink with the Drunken, and with a Detestation suitable to your own Honour, and the Nature of the Crimes, publish your Dislike of these Things, and immediately apply your selves to reforming the Abuses of your Subjects, who, tho' in one Sense they are your Subjects, in another Sense, as Englishmen, are your Fellow-Subjects to the Crown and General Government of the English Empire, and that are under the Government of a Princess; Who, as She hates Tyranny in all its Parts, carefully avoids it in Her Own Administration, Vigorously struggles with it in Europe, and Fights to loose the World from General Bondage, will never suffer Her Own Subjects to Tyrannize over one another, nor any part of Her people to oppress the rest. In Her Majesty's Equal Administration, you may assure your selves, these injur'd People will have Redress; and the barefac'd Villany, with which they have been thus treated, will ripen Matters so, for the Royal Justice, that it cannot escape a Necessary Correction.
Prevent it, Gentlemen, by a timely Redress, and let Her Majesty see, that Her pious Examples of Peace will animate you, to extend it to all the parts of Her Subjects under your Direction; for certainly, when Her Majesty exhorts us all to Peace and Union, and promises Her Royal Favour to those that promote it, it cannot be understood, that all Her Majesty's Dominions should Enjoy it, but Carolina.
Hitherto you have seen the General Complaint of the Inhabitants of Carolina, and how they have been Tyranniz'd over, and barbarously Treated in the Country.
I conclude this Treatise, by giving Account of the Reception they met with here in, their peaceable Application to their Palatine, and Board of Proprietors for Redress.
Mr. Ash, as is related, being arriv'd here with the Remonstrance and humble Petition of the Inhabitants, apply'd himself in the Name of the People, by whom he was sent to their Excellencies the Proprietors; and delivering his Petition &c. found it was impossible to obtain any Redress, either for the publick, or his own private Abuses, which were intolerable; and therefore resolv'd to publish the Account, but dy'd before it was finished; and his Papers being sent over to his Relations there, were treacherously deliver'd to the Governor's Agents, whose Guilt Dictated to them; That they were exposed in them; and several private Letters of the Inhabitants to Mr. Ash, being among them; they are now prosecuting and insulting the said Inhabitants for those Letters, to terrify others from transmitting a true Account of the Oppressions practised upon them.
As in the Interval of Mr. Ash's Negotiation, the Exclusive Bill was passed, as I have noted, and Mr. Boon sent over with it as before; he applyed himself to my Lord G——ll Palatine (as he calls himself) for all Men know that by the Right of the Constitution, even that Mock Title is none of his Due. Having laid the Case before his Excellence (as he loves to be call'd) Mr. Boon desir'd a Board of the Proprietors might be call'd, which his Lordship promised, but never perform'd till after about 7 Weeks Attendance and Sollicitation.
At this Board, one Mr. Arsdale, now a Proprietor, and formerly the very well respected and upright Governor of Carolina, vigorously opposed the passing this Exclusive Bill; and gave such Reasons against it, as his Lordship, who all the World knows, does not always make use of his Profound Skill of Reasoning, not being able to Answer, had Recourse to the true Methods of all Tyrants positive Will, and answer'd in this Arbitrary and Imperious Manner:
“Sir, You are of one Opinion, and I am of another, and our Lives may not be long enough to End the Controversy. I am for this Bill, and this is the Party that I will Head and Countenance.
This is so much the Picture of the Answer of King James, to the Humble and Peaceable Address of the Bishops, when he sent them to the Tower; that a Body would wonder the Tale of one, should not warn his high Mightiness against the Practise of the other.
But let us go on, and see how the sweet and delicious Taste of Tyranny had swallow'd up all the Justice of this Mountebank Prince.
Mr. Boon, the present Agent for the Oppress'd People, humbly mov'd his Excellence to be Heard by Council against this Barbarous Act. Hark now, Gentlemen, to the haughty Answer of an insulting, podant Prince, to a Request so reasonable.
“What Business has Council here? it is a Prudential Act in me, and I'll do as I see fit; I see no Harm at all in the Bill, and am resolv'd to pass it.
Accordingly, Sic Volo, sic Jubeo, he Signed it that Day, the Board consisting but of three Persons, and he having Power by a Proxy for Two in himself; and tho' we must in Justice acknowledge, that some of the Gentlemen Proprietors were against it, yet by that Means they were over-rul'd and the Bill pas't.
By this Arbitrary Proceeding, the Liberties of Carolina are trampled under foot, and the People's Properties subjected to all manner of Insults and Oppression.
Mr. Boon had a Petition against this Bill to present him, signed by the principal Merchants of London, Trading to Carolina; but he saw himself foreclosed by absolute Power, and that he had to do with a Monarch, on whom the Cries and Prayers of his oppress'd Subjects made no Impression.
For this Cause, he now addresses himself to the Honourable the House of Commons, and hopes, that from the Premises, it will be allow'd of, in behalf of the oppress'd People of Carolina, that they have not taken this Course but as the last Resort; all manner of humble, dutiful, and peaceable Application to their Governors, having been first in vain attempted, to obtain a just Redress.
What have the peaceable Subjects of this Province done, that they alone must be oppress'd, when all the rest of Her Majesty's People enjoy the Blessing of a Government, the best constituted, and under the best, most moderate, and most equal Administration in the world?
This Law in its Nature appear'd so black, that even in this very Assembly afterwards, viz Some Members mov'd to have it Repealed, and the Act pass'd to Repeal it in the Lower House. which they call but in the Upper House, where the Engines of this Confusion Sat, and had a more particular Influence, and which they Call the Court of there it was rejected Nemine Contradicente.
It would swell this Book too much to give a particular Account of the flourishing Circumstances of this Colony before these things, and of the fatal Effects already felt on their Trade, especially on the Number of Inhabitants, which is allow'd by all, to be the Wealth, Strenght, and
There is yet another Scandal these Proceedings lye under, which carries in it some Reflection on the Great Persons concern'd; and that is, That these Proceedings, being Contemporary with Times of Occasional Bills, Tackings, dangerous Experiments, and the like in England, receiv'd their Life and Motion from the same Original, and prosecuted the same Design, being under the Power and Government of some of the same Persons. This Observation has several Aspects.
1. England may here see the Consequence of Tackings, Occasional Bills, &c. in Minature, and what the Designs of the Party are in general, viz: the absolute Suppression of Property, as well as Religion; or in short, both Civil and Ecclesiastical Tyranny.
2. Carolina may have reason to think their Oppressions were at least encourag'd from the same Expectation they had of Success in the like Design here; and not expecting a Disappointment here, no wonder, if they acted as People that thought they should never give any Account, either to God or Man.
3. Her Majesty has here an Exceeding Testimony, to the Necessity of Party-Peace, which her Royal Wisdom Dictated before, was the only Happiness of Her People; and which the same Party of Men, were carefully destroying here, as these did there.
4. Here may be seen, the Great Assurance this Party acted with, that depending they should succeed here, durst attempt the persecuting their Fellow-Subjects there.
5. 'Tis plain, what is the Design of Occasional Bills in general; which, where they durst appear to show themselves, Demonstrate 'tis not to prevent Hypocrisy, but to plunder and destroy their Neighbours; and that any Man may come in to the Administration, let his Manners be never so Corrupt, and that provided he be not tainted with the Sin of defending his Liberty, nor with the Scandal of being a Man of Conscience, he is own'd fit to be a Member of this Society.
I believe, I may freely challenge all Mankind, ever since there were Governments in the World, to show a like Test of Qualification, where Men Conscious to themselves, that if they lock't the Door against
But while we are hinting here at the People that Push on these Extravagancies, we ought to clear the Church of England, as a Church, as far as possible, from the Guilt of Action so Horrid.
For tho' here is a seeming Appearance for the Church of England, and some shew of Regard to her, yet as the Doctrine of the Church abhors such Practises, so the worthy and reverend Minister of the Church of England there, has shared with the deepest, in the Suffering Part, from the Violences and Furry of those People, because he would not joyn with them in the same Excesses, against the Laws of the Place, the Liberty, and Religion of the Inhabitants, and the known Capitulations of the Government.
Nor can they Charge this Gentleman with Phanticism, or Partiality, who 'tis known, was so far from that, that it was some time here before he could satisfy his Conscience to take the Oaths, and lost several Advantages because of it.
Yet this Gentleman abhorring such Unchristian Violances, and not being to be prevail'd upon to joyn with them, has been insulted by them in the most barbarous and villanous manner, even in the Streets, his Gown torn off from his Back, whipt with a Horse-whip, and in a most unseemingly manner beaten and abused, as by his many and frequent Complaints made to the Proprietors (tho' never regarded) will appear.
Nor does their Rage end here; but the Party now are resolv'd to have him turn'd out, tho' he is marry'd, settled, and has a Family of Children upon the Place, depending upon his being fix'd there for his Life, knowing that his blameless Conversation would be uncapable of forfeiting that Settlement.
It would require a History as large as the Rest of this Book, to set down the Barbarities this Gentleman has met with, and which he has fully represented to some Reverend Divines here; and perhaps Dr. S . . . . hope may better know, why no Redress is obtain'd for him, while an Ignorant, Illiterate, and Untaught Person, to say no worse for him, is encouraged and supported by this Party, to Insult and Depress the other;
Nor are their Proceedings altogether unlike what in former Times was practised here, since they are now Erecting a little High Commission Court to Govern the Clergy, and to whom they shall be always subject;
This Gentleman was so far from obtaining any Redress in the Case we hint here, that to requite him, we are inform'd they resolve to have him out.
Nor is he the first, but two several Clergy-men before him have been so treated, turn'd out, and reduc'd, that both of them went distracted, and dyed in Misery and Distress.
'Twould fully this Paper, and turn the sad Account to a History of Immoralities, to bring upon the Stage the Characters of the People: Men are best known by their Actions; and we leave this unparallel'd Act of Parliament as a Standard for them to be match'd by, if ever Providence should suffer a Society of such Men, to get Legislative Power into their Hands, in any part of the World.
If this be the Effect of Occasional Bills, and English Persecution; no wonder it was declar'd contrary to the Christian Religion; but sure these are the first Men that ever made a Law, tho' it has been elsewhere push't at, with a Nevertheless upon its Title, to its being contrary to the Christian Religion.
It can therefore no longer be doubted, but when these Things come to be consider'd in an English Parliament, such Redress will there be obtain'd, as may secure English Liberty, wherever it pleases God to establish English Government.
That no part of the Subjects of this Nation be oppress'd by others; and that while Great Men obtain the Liberty of their Estates, and the Property and Security of their Inheritances; they may not Erect Petty-Tyrannies under them, and skreen Men of profligate Principles from the Resentment of the Government.
That Men may not be wheedled in by the Pretence of a free Possession of Estate and Liberty, and on Conditions of a just Government; first, to wander into remote wildernesses with their estates and Families, then industriously Plant, Cure, Manage and Improve their Estates, and at last, have their Labours discourag'd by Tyrannick and Barbarous Insults; their Estates sunk and lessen'd, by being subjected to Arbitrary Taxations, for the Executing improbable and preposterous Projects, and their Persons unqualify'd without a Crime, to appear in the Assemblys of their Country, where all these Injuries might, in a legal manner, be redress'd and repair'd.
1 Party-Tyranny; or, An Occasional Bill in Miniature; As now Practiced in Carolina. De Foe. Humbly offered to the Consideration of both Houses of Parliament. London: Printed in the Year, 1705.