Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Description by Peter Colleton of rebellion in Albemarle County
Colleton, Peter, Sir
February 09, 1680
Volume 01, Pages 286-289

[B. P. R. O. Colonial Papers.]

Mr Cartwright (who was related to Mr Vice Chamberlaine one of ye Proprietors) being Governr of ye Northern part of Carolina & being returnd for England & having left ye Governmt there in ill order & worse hands the Proprietrs resolved to send another Governr & such a one if they could be fortunate in their choyce as would put in execution their Instructions ordrs & designes The formr Governr having very much failed them especially in 2 poynts—The first was the incouraging of the New England Trade there—The 2d was their discouraging the planting on the south side of the river Albemarle. The latter was extreamely the interest of the Proprietors but crost allwayes by ye Governrs & some of ye

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cheife of ye Country who had ingrosit ye Indian trade to themselves & feared that it would be intercepted by those that should plant farther amongst them. The illness of ye harbours was the cause that this Northern prt of Carolina had no other vent for their Comodityes but either by Virginia where they paid dutyes to ye Governmt or to New England who were the onely imediate Traders wth them; And ventur'd in, in small Vessells & had soe manadg'd their affayres that they brought their goods att very lowe rates, eate out & ruin'd ye place, defrauded ye King of his Customes & yet governd the people agt their owne Interest. to cure those evills the Proprs made choyce of one Mr Eastchurch to be their Governr a Gentn of a good fame & related to the Lord Trear Clifford who had recommended him to ye Proprs formerly for that place & had ye promise of severall of us. In Summer 1677 we dispatched away the sd Mr Eastchurch together with Mr Miller who was ye Kgs officer and made by us one of our Deputyes It happen'd soe yt they went not directly for Virginia but took their passage in a ship bound for Nevis where Mr Eastchurch lighting upon a woman yt was a considerable fortune took hold of the oppertunity marryed her and dispatched away Mr Miller for Carolina to settle affayres against his comeing who carryed with him ye Com̄ission of ye Lds Proprs to their Deputyes and Com̄ission from Mr Eastchurch himself that made Miller Presidt of ye Councill untill his arrival and gave him very full and ample powers. Miller arriveing in Carolina with these Com̄issions is quyetly received into ye Governmt & submitted to not onely as Govr but ye Kg's Collector in ye discharg of wch duty as Collector he made a very considerable progress. But as Governr he did many extravagant things, making strange limitations for ye choyce of ye Parliamt gitting powr in his hands of laying fynes, wch tis to be feared he neither did nor meant to use moderately sending out strange warrants to bring some of ye most considerable men of ye Country alive or dead before him, setting a sum̄e of money upon their heads: these proceedings having startled and disaffected the people towards him there arrives Capt. Zachariah Gilham with a very pretty vessell of some force and together with him Durant and about the same time Culpeper they brought with them severall Armes wch were for Trade in ye Country and findeing that Miller had lost his reputation & interest amongst ye people stirr'd up a Com̄otion seized him and all the writings belonging to ye Proprs and all the Tobacco & writings belonging to ye Kings Customes, imploying ye Kgs Tobacco towards ye charge of maintaining & supporting their unlawful actions And wch aggravated the matter very much Durant had in England sometyme before this Voyage declared to some
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of ye Proprs that Eastchurch should not be Governor & threatened to revolt. Capt. Gilham was a fitt man for his turn having been turn'd out by some of ye Proprs of a considerable imploymt in Hudson's Bay wherein he had very much abused them.

Culpeper was a very ill man having some tyme before fled from South Carolina where he was in danger of hangg for laying the designe & indeavouring to sett the poore people to plunder the rich. These with Crafurd & some othr New England men had a designe (as we conceive) to gitt ye trade of this part of ye Country into their hands for some years att least And not onely defraud the King of all his Customes but buy the goods of ye Inhabitants att their owne rates for they gave not to them above halfe the vallue for their goods of wch the Virginians sold theirs for.

Not long after this imprisonment of Miller & that these generall men had formed themselves into wt Mr Culpeper calls ye Governt of ye Country by their owne authority & according to their owne modell, Mr Eastchurch arrives in Virginia whose authority & Com̄ission they had not ye least colour to dispute & yet they kept him out by force of armes soe that he was forced to apply to the then Governr of Virginia for aid and assistance from him to reduce them wch had been accordingly donne but yt Eastchurch unfortunately dyes of a feavour Presently after this these Gentlemen that had usurped ye Governt & cast of and imprisoned our Deputyes that would not comply wth them sends over 2 Com̄issrs in their names to promise all obedience to ye Lds Proprs but insisting very highly for right against Miller. The Proprs perswaded one of their owne Membrs Mr Southwell to goe over & be Governr himselfe to whome they promised the utmost submission (he being a very sober discreet gentleman) & was allsoe authorized from ye Com̄issrs of ye Customes to take care of ye Kings concerns there which wee conceive he would have settled in very good order but that he was unfortunately taken by ye Turks in his passage thither, And upon whome the settlemt of the place very much depends it being a very difficult matter to gitt a man of worth and trust to go thither. His redemption is every day expected and in ye meanewhile we have dispatched one Mr Holden with Comissions & Deputations for the Governr to those that we did imadgine would manage it with most moderation who sends us word that all is now quyett & peaceable But his Majty ought to have an exact acct and reparation for the damadges donne in his Customes and his officers repayed the charge of wch ought

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in reason to fall principally upon those that have been the cheife Actors in it.


The Case of T. Miller, Z. Gilham &c concerng The Rebellion of Carolina

Recd from Sr P. Colleton
the 9th of Febry