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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Spotswood to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
July 28, 1711
Volume 01, Pages 794-796

[From Spotswood Letters. Vol. 1. P. 100.]

Virginia, July 28th 1711.

To the Lords Proprietors of Carolina:

My Lords:

Your Lord'ps will no doubt receive from divers hands an account of the distractions in your province of North Carolina, and therefore I shall not enter into the detail of that Affair any further than what concerns the part I have had in Endeavouring to obtain a passification of their Troubles and to restore to that Country that Union amongst its inhabitants which is so necessary for the public good.

After I had received from Mr. Hyde and his Council repeated advices of the preparations Mr. Cary was making to attack them with an armed Force, and the powerful interest he had made by the means and Artifices of the Quakers to poison the minds of all those who had any remains of a peacable disposition and to debauch them from their Obedience to a Government to which he himself had consented, and that your President and Council were unable to defend themselves without assistance from this Colony, I did upon mature deliberation with the Council here, judge it most expedient to offer my mediation to accommodate their differences, at least to persuade Mr. Cary to suspend all Acts of Violence untill your Lord'ps should signify your pleasure upon the Laws with which he pretended to be aggrieved. I must do justice to Mr. Hyde and the Gentlemen who act as his Council to represent to Yor Lord'ps their readiness to submit all matters in dispute to an impartial examination and to yield

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to any terms that were just and honourable, but I found a quite different Spirit in Mr. Cary and his Associates, who would not so much as agree to a place of Conference where Mr. Hyde could repair with safety to his person, and at last rejected all offers of Mediation, tho' the Gent. I sent to propose it, signifyed to him by Mr. Mosely, one of his greatest Confidants, that Mr. Hyde was willing to yield to as many of his demands as he had then thought fit to communicate. The Confidence he placed in his superior Force (having then a Brigantine and Barco longo mounted with canon and filled with armed men riding in Chowan Sound, wearing his Flag at the top-mast head, within gun shott of the places where Mr. Hyde and his Council lay) made him fancy he should soon be able to reduce Mr. Hyde and the Council under his power, and he had the madness to insinuate to the Gentleman I sent to him that Mr. Hyde might expect the same fate Collo Park had in Antegoa, but his success has not hitherto proved answerable to his expectations, having met with Repulse in the attempt that he made to Land and seize Mr. Hyde. However, those who have the direction of him will not suffer him to be discouraged by that disappointment. For Mr. Hyde informs me he is now drawing together a greater Force at Pamlico, and fortifying the house of one Roach, where is the Rendevouze of his Quaker Crew. I think it necessary to acquaint Your Lord'ps that no man has appeared more active in these Commotions than this Roach, a wretched fellow, who being sent in lately with a Cargo of goods belonging to some Merchants in London, no sooner came into the Country but he declared himself against the Government, without examining which side was in the wrong, and has been all [the while] a principal Incendiary, and had it not been for his furnishing the Mobb with trading guns out of his store, and ammunition belonging to his Imployers, these Commotions would never have got to the head they are now arrived at. I must not Omitt to inform Your Lord'ps how far the true Spirit of Quakerism has appeared on this Occasion, for besides the insinuations they have made to inflame the Mob, and their Supplying them with arms, rather than baulk their design, several of the Chief of them have accompanied Mr. Cary as his Council, and some even taken upon them military titles. Upon the repeated applications of Mr. Hyde for assistance from hence, I had the unanimous opinion of her Majesty's Council here to send an armed Force for the protection of that Government against this Insurrection, there being now no other way but Force left to restore the peace of Your Lord'ps' Country. I have sent to Mr. Hyde a party of Marines from our Guardships, in hopes that will fright the people from joining in the mad designs of
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Cary and his party, when they see their Governor will be supported from hence. The satisfaction Mr. Hyde gave me of your Lord'ps' intention for his being the Governor of that Province, tho' he had met with such disappointment in obtaining his Commission, and the evident proofs that all this Faction against him, is purely occasioned on the account of his acting for the interest of Your Lord'ps, in endeavouring to obtain justice from Mr. Cary in relation to your dues, were very great inducements to engage in this Undertaking. Your Lordships' prudence will easily suggest to you the proper measures to put an end to these Confusions and to establish a more lasting foundation of peace and Tranquility to her Majesty's Subjects under your Government, wherein I shall think myself happy if I can be serviceable, having no private passion or Affection to any person there, nor any other design than to testify the Respect with which I am,

My Lords, &c.