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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Memorial from the North Carolina Governor's Council and General Assembly concerning the state of the government, including acts of the North Carolina General Assembly
North Carolina. Council; North Carolina. General Assembly
Volume 01, Pages 784-794

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[B. P. R. O. B. T. Virginia. Vol: 13. O. 97.]

To his Excellency the Palatin and Lords Proprietors of Carolina

The humble address of the Present General Assembly of North Carolina.

We being at this time by God's gratious assistance met to perfect so far as in us lyes, the recovery of this your Lordships poor Country out of a most wretched confusion. Do beg leave with all humility to lay before your Lordships the present state thereof, and the steps that have been taken towards the resetling of the Government, and restoring the necessary Course of Justice together with what opposition our endeavours have met with: And tho we are under a necessity of mentioning the troubles we have laboured under and the causes of them, yet we are very unwilling to enlarge upon that ungrateful subject which out of charity to many of our fellow subjects, who have been unhappily mislead and imposed upon, we had rather should be forever buried in oblivion: we therefore think it at this time sufficient to inform your Lordships that some restless and giddy heads among the people called Quakers persuing their wonted practice and indefatigable endeavours to oppose (we may rather say) to extirpate the Church, after they had procured several changes in the Government being perhaps encouraged by their former success did in the year 1708 joyne with Coll: Cary, Mr Porter and Mr Moseley and other malecontents and some persons of desperate fortune at Pamplico raised an Insurrection against the Government then duely established by a Commission from your Lordships and to which they themselves had submitted, and having by force and other sinister means got the records and offices into their hands, they set up an arbitrary Government which by discords amongst themselves soon fell piecemeal to the ground; till that nothing remained but confusion, disorder and oppression, these matters may it please your Lordships are notorious and need no proof, the disorders being increased to that degree, that the continual clamour amongst our selves, and the reproach we lay under in the neighbouring Colonies, as also the grievous complaints made on behalf of the Poor Palatins, put all who had any sense of duty either to God or man under a necessity of seeking some remedy for these detest

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able evils which we saw were very likely to continue another year The good method which your Lordships had taken being frustrated by the death of Colonel Tynte, and the Honoble Edward Hyde Esqre being arrived here, and it appearing by Letters from Collo Tynt and other testimonys that he was appointed by your Lordships to be our Govr we could not but look upon him to be the most proper person to retrieve us out of this distress. And therefore many endeavours were made to put the Government into his hands which were opposed and frustrated by Collo Cary, but in a little time Mr Hyde's great candour and gracefull behaviour so far prevail'd with the best, and the awefull respect to his family and interest overawed others that Collo Cary found himself under a necessity of complying or being deserted by all those that yet adher'd to him, whereupon Mr Hyde was unanimously chosen by all who could pretend to have a Suffrage in the election, upon which a Council was called to appoint Courts of Judicature, and necessary ministers and to call an Assembly, to which Council Collonel Cary and Mr Porter were both called but without any reason refused to give their attendance, on the contrary they have used all possible and most malitious and odious endeavours, having caused the records and Seal to be detained to obstruct it and all regullar proceedings and to overturn the Government and introduce the former confusion and miserys, for which their seditious practices we were under a necessity to bring them to a Tryal (the account of which being herewith sent) your Lordships will be thereby further informed. And now the Government to the general satisfaction of all men being thus put into some order, we ernestly pray your Lordsps favourable construction of what has been done and that your Lordships would assent to these Acts we have herewith sent: And whereas in the first there is a provision for continuing the Government, we do not therein presume to give Rules to your Lorships but out of a deep sense of the miserys we have already felt to prevent the like untill your Lordships shall according to your great wisdoms appoint a better method being verrily persuaded that your Lordships have not been informed of the want of such a necessary provision, And whereas in the second Act all proceedings during these two years last past are made void, which however it may seem severe, yet we found it necessary because of the unheard of iregularities and unlawful judgments therein past, as appear by the copys which have been given out of their Courts, which could not be anywise provided for, whilst they conceal all their Journals and Records. That an inspection cannot be made: we thought it better that a few should be compelled to bring their suits over, than many be
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concluded under unjust judgment and yet the severity is not so great as their declaring by proclamation all proceedings null and void, that had been done by the space of nine months before they usurped the Government without any exception, tho in those proceedings they could not challenge one Article; and having laid before your Lordships this short but true account of our present condition: we in most humble manner beseech your Lordships to take this poor Country into your consideration, without any dependance on the other part of your Lordships province, by which the influence of your Lordships good government towards us have been very much clouded. And that you would continue to us this worty Gentleman who has been so happy an Instrument of peace and Reconciliation amongst us; and that you would remove these three restless Incendiaries Colo Cary, Mr Porter, and Mr Moseley from having any share in the Government, which is all the punishment we pray may be inflicted for many crimes and misdemeanours they are justly chargeable with, we have but one thing more to lay before your Lordsps which is the sale and surveys of your Lordships Lands concerning which the complaints are so numerous and grevious, and all the accounts we have yet had from either Mr Moseley or the secretarys Office so short and unsatisfactory; that no certain account can be had till a careful review be made; thus much only is certain that many surveys have been returned for Tracts of land, whereon the Surveyor has never sett his foot, we hope this matter will be reduced into some better order by Mr Lawson who as he has been a very zealous promoter of the settlement of this Country so we doubt not but he will be serviceable to your Lordships in this office, which at this time needs a skillfull and faithful manager, we pray leave further to supplicate your Lordships on behalf of several of the new Inhabitants who have imported themselves and familys at a great charge into this Government during these Troubles, upon the encouragement given of having Land by purchase, and there being no settled Government, was under a necessity of settling themselves upon any Land they found vacant, or else to have removed themselves into some other Country to their great disappointment or utter ruine, we hope your Lordships will consider their case and give order that they may have their lands granted on the same terms, that other your Lordships grants have, who had the fortune to import themselves at a happier juncture.

We lastly beg your Lordships that if any person shall malitiously make any other representac̄on of the state of the Country and Proceedings that we have here done, that your Lordships would be pleased to suspend your belief till we can make reply assuring your Lordships that

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we have had no other end than the doing justice to all men and settling such a peace as we and our posterity may reap the benefit of: in granting us these requests we shall ever be in duty bound to acknowledge your Lordships justice and favour towards us, and we the subscriber are and shall remain,

Your Lordships
Most humble and obedient Tenants and Servants
Wm SWAN speaker


An Act for the better and more effectual preserving the Queen's peace, and the establishing a good and lasting foundation of Government in North Carolina.

Whereas several revolutions have heretofore happened in this Colony which were fomented and carried on by factious and seditious persons to the great loss and Damage of the Inhabitants thereof, and to the repeated breaches of her Majesty's peace and violation of the Loyalty and Obedience due from Subjects to their lawfull Sovereigns and Superiors;

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And what most nearly has concerned us, are the late unhappy dissentions amongst ourselves in this Colony, whereby injustice and Oppression took place, and overspread our Colony, our Trade decreased and daily differences and animosities encreased to the ruin of Religion and our Liberties Since which time it hath pleased God in a great measure, to influence us with a deep Concern of our Calamitys, and put into our hands a power and resolution of removing those threatning Evils and Dangers, and for the future to procure a happy Restauration of peace and tranquility amongst us, by making such good and wholesome Laws, whereby religion and virtue may flourish, Our duty to our Prince and Governors be putt in practice and maintained, Our Laws Libertys and Estates preserved and Kept unviolated, and justice and Trade encouraged. Wee therefore the Commons assembled do pray that it may be enacted And be it Enacted by his Excellency the Palatin and Lords Proprietors, by and with the advice and consent of this present General Assembly and the authority thereof, and it is hereby Enacted, that any person or persons whatsoever who shall at any time (after the date hereof speak any seditious words or speeches or spread abroad false news, write or disperse scurrilous Libels against the present Governmt now lawfully established: disturb or obstruct any lawfull Officer in the executing his Office, or that shall instigate others to Sedition Caball or meet together to contrive invent suggest or incite rebellions, Conspiracys Riotts or any manner of unlawfull Feuds or differences thereby to stir up against or malitiously to contrive the Ruin and Disturbance of the Queen's peace, and of the safety and tranquility of this Government, the said person or persons so offending shall and are to be reputed as utter Enemys to the Queen's peace, and the Welfare and good of this Government, and shall be punished accordingly by fine, imprisonment, pillory or otherwise at the discretion of the Justices of the General Court, who are hereby impowered to heare and determine the same, and the said person or persons so offending, shall be compelled to give good and sufficient security for his or their good behaviour during the Courts pleasure, and be incapable of bearing any office or place of Trust within this Government for the space of three years or accordingly as the Demeritt of the Crime, shall appear before the Judges thereof and if any person or persons shall at any time hereafter, know of such evill practices as aforesaid, and shall conceal the same, that then they shall be punished in the same manner as if they themselves had committed such Crimes. And for the further prevention of traiterous Conspiracys and Rebellions against her sacred Majesty of Great Brittain her Crown
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and dignity and the better to distinguish and prevent any disaffected Ministers or Officers either Military or Civil from acting or being tolerated, commissionated or impowered to Act in, possess or hold or remain to Act by virtue of any Commission deputed Commission or any power whatsoever, until the said person whosoever he be, has first qualifyed himself according to the strictness of the Laws of great Brittain now in Force And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid what person soever shall act in any place of profitt or trust as aforesaid, without being so qualifyed shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds to be recovered by Action of Debt, bill plaint or information in any Court of Record within this Province, one half to the Governor or President for the time being for the support of the Government and the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same, and shall forfeit his Right to the same place or benefise Provided that all Military Officers may take the oaths in order to their qualification before any one member of the Council or of the General Court, who are hereby impowered to administer the same, and give them Certificates thereof, and moreover what person or persons who hereafter shall equivocate, alter, add to or diminish any word or Clause, of the Oaths appointed to be taken by Law, shall be deemed and held guilty of forgery and high Crimes, and shall be punished accordingly; And whereas this Province is annexed to and declared to be a Member of the Crown of England, yet notwithstanding disputes do often arise concerning the Laws of England, how far they are in force in this Government: and it appearing by the Charter that the power therein granted of making Laws are limited with this expression Viz. Provided such Laws be consonant to reason, and as near as may be agreeable to the Laws and Customs of Our Kingdom of England, from whence it is manifest that the Laws of England are the Laws of this Government, so far as they are compatible with our way of living and Trade, Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby Enacted and declared that the common Law is and shall be in force in this Government except such part of the practice in the issuing out and return of Writts, and proceedings in the Court of Westminster which for want of several Officers, cannot be put in execution, which ought to be supplyed by Rules of the General Court of this Government, being first approved of by the Governor in Council which shall be good in Law from time to time till it shall be altered by Act of Assembly. And be it further Enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid that all statute Laws of England made for maintaining the Queen's Royal Prerogative and the security of her royal person and succession of the Crown, and all such Laws made for the Establishment
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of the Church, and the Laws made for granting Indulgencies to protestant dissenters, and all Laws providing for the priviledge of the people and security of trade, as also statute Laws made for Limitation of Actions and for preventing of vexatious Law suites, and for preventing immorality and frauds, and confirming Inheritances and Titles of Land are and shall be in force here, altho this province or the plantations in general are not therein named. And because that it has always happened that upon vacancy of the Government seditious and evil minded persons have taken occasion to dispute the authority of the succeeding Governor or president howsoever elected or qualified for want of certain rules being laid down and approved of by the Lords Proprietors, Wee pray therefore that it may be enacted, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case of any such vacancy the eldest Lords Proprietors Deputy shall summon the rest of the Deputys with all convenient speed to meet at the usual place for the Councils meeting and there they or the major part of them that meet shall chuse a President And in case of an equality of votes the voice of the Elder Councilour shall have preference and if it shall happen that the Eldest Councillour shall refuse to summon the rest of the Deputys as aforesaid within ten days after notice of such vacancy, then the next eldest Councillour shall summon as aforesaid. And be it further enacted that in case of the vacancy of any Lords Proprietors deputy the Governor or President in time being with the consent of the major part of the deputys then being, shall chuse one to supply that vacancy till that Proprietor shall signify his pleasure to the contrary, and if any of the Lords Proprietors deputy shall at any time neglect to refuse to give their attendance being cited thereto, the act or acts of the remaining deputy shall be good and valid in the Law to all intents and purposes. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case of extraordinary occasion, if the Governor, deputy Governor or President for the time being shall depart the Government, and shall first declare the cause of his departure in Council, his absence not exceeding six months shall not be deemed a vacancy, but the eldest Councillor shall preside in Councill during his absence

Wm SWAN speaker.
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An Act entitled an Act for redressing several grievances, abuses and illegal proceedings whereby the poor Inhabitants have been wronged as well in their Titles of Land, as in the payments of certain sums of money extorted from them without sufficient acquittances.

Whereas many of the poor Inhabitants of this Government have greviously complained that Coll. Thomas Cary pretending a power to dispose of the Lords proprietors Lands and to receive the moneys for the consideration of the same, have upon that pretext received and taken securities for several sums of money of the Inhabitants of this Government as the consideration of several Tracts of land by them purchased according to the Instructions, Rules and Ordinances made by authority from the Lords Proprietors upon Record in this Government, and for several fees and charges thereon accruing; Yet many of them the said Inhabitants have not their Titles to their respective Tracts of Land made and executed according to the true intent and meaning of the said Instructions: And whereas his Excellency the Lord Palatin and Lords Proprietors have by their Instructions appropriated the money ariseing and becoming due to them for the relief of the poor Palatines lately transported into this Government by the Honoble Chrito Baron de Graffenreid, Wee therefore the Commons assembled do pray that it be enacted and be it enacted by his Excellency the Palatin and Lords proprietors by and with the advice and consent of this present General Assembly and the authority thereof And it is hereby enacted that the said Coll: Thomas Cary shall within two months next after the publication hereof appear before the President and Council or Commissioners by them thereunto appointed, and deliver up all such bills, obligations or other securitys by him taken as aforesaid And make payment of all such sum or sums of money which he hath received on behalf of the Lords Proprietors as aforesaid, that so the people may be saved harmless from any further claim to be made for the same And the Titles of their land may be secured, and that the said poor palatins may be supplyd therewith according to the said Instructions. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case the said Coll: Thomas Cary shall refuse or neglect to appear and deliver up the said Bills or other securitys and make payment as aforesaid, That then and in such cases the same shall be levy'd upon his good and chattells, Lands and Tenements, Rights and Credits

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by distress and sale, by warrant from the Honoble the President directed to the provost Marshal of the several Counties or their deputys. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid that no alienation assignment, bargain, or sale, made after the publication of this Act shall be of any effect or pleadable against the execution of this Act, and for the better discovery of what sum or sums of money are in the hands of the said Thomas Cary (the Land Office with all books, records and papers thereunto belonging being feloniously detained or otherwise imbeziled by Mr Emll Low) so that a true account thereof cannot be had. Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that all persons holding or claiming any Tracts of Land by purchase shall within two months after publication hereof give just account upon Oath what Land they hold or lay claim to, to the persons hereafter named that is to say in the precinct of Chowan to the Honoble Coll: Thomas Pollock in the precinct of Pequimons to the Honoble Wm Glover in the precinct of Pasquotank to the Honoble Nathaniel Chevin in the precinct of Curratuck to the Honoble Richd Sanderson Esqre in the precinct of Pamplico to Mr Joel Martin in the precinct of Wickham to Mr John Jordan in the precinct of Archdale to Capt: Lyonell Reading and Capt: William Brice upon penalty of being deprived of all benefit of this Act and forfeiting to the true and absolute Lords proprietors of this province the summ of ten pounds to be recovered by action of debt in the General Court wherein no Essoign protection or wager of Law shall be allowed And whereas grievous complaint have been made that Mr Edward Moseley hath taken upon him to set out and survey the Lords proprietors Lands without due Entry made or lawfull authority for the same, and therein have not proceeded according to the Rules and Instructions in that case provided, so that many illegal imperfect and irregular Surveys have been made and several sums of money have been unlawfully extorted, from several of the Inhabitants upon pretence of Fees and assignment of rights to the great wrong of the Lords proprietors and loss and damage of the people for remedy whereof Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that the said Edward Moseley shall within forty days after publication of this Act give Bond with good security in the sum of five hundred pounds to the Honoble Edward Hyde Esqre who is hereby appointed Trustee on behalf of the people with condition that the said Edward Moseley shall pay back and refund unto the respective persons all such sum or sums of mony and deliver up all such Bills or specialtys as he hath received for security upon pretence of fees, or composition for assignment of Rights
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where it shall appear that his survey or returne hath been imperfect, irregular, deficient or not warrantable by the rules in that case provided, or where rights had been assigned to him without due authority for the same which shall be adjudged of by the Governor or president and council, which money so received back on account of fees shall go to the surveyor General for the time being who shall hereby be obliged to make due and regular returns of the same, and all such mony so recovered as aforesaid upon the account of composition for rights shall go to the Governor deputy Governor or President for the time being And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that in case the said Edward Moseley shall neglect or refuse to appear to give security as aforesaid within the time aforesaid that then and in such case all such Bills or other specialtys by him taken as aforesaid shall be utterly null and void in the Law to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been made, and all such sum or sums of money as aforesaid by him received shall be recovered back by an action of debt at the suit of the party aggrieved in the general Court of this province wherein no essoign protection or wager of Law shall be allowed: and where any person or persons shall have the trouble of suing for mony already paid, the said persons shall have double costs and damages allowed by him the said Edward Moseley (Provided always that any irregularity deceit or unwarrantable action of the said Edward Moseley or any person by him employed, shall not in anywise prejudice the persons claiming the land, but the right and claim of every person upon due and regullar return, shall stand and be firm and good in law, as if the same had perfectly and warrantably been done and performed And whereas from and after the 24th day of July in the year 1708 the Government was unlawfully usurped, the course of Justice subverted, and an arbitrary power set up by which several sums of money have unlawfully been levyed upon the people her Majesties' subjects imprison'd and unjust judgements given and execution thereon had and obtained. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid that all suits, judgements proceedings and Levys made from and after the day aforesaid untill the two and twentieth day of January last past shall and are hereby declared to be null and void: and where executions have been had out of any pretended Court or Courts, a writt of restitution shall issue out at the suit of the party aggrieved which shall be signed by the Clerk of the Court wherein such judgement was obtained, whereof the pretended Court shall be evidence, Provided that restitution for any sum levyed upon pretence of publick charge, shall be made as hereafter shall be appointed by Act of Assembly,
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Provided also that this Act shall not barr any person that hath made suit within the time before mentioned but that his right of Action shall remain to him, as if such suit had not before been made, Provided also that this Act nor any part thereof shall extend to Marriages probats of Wills, Letters of Administration, Conveyances and sales of Land amongst ourselves, proving of Rights, Contracts and Bargains.

Wm SWAN speaker.