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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Spotswood to the Board of Trade of Great Britain [Extract]
Spotswood, Alexander, 1676-1740
February 16, 1716
Volume 02, Pages 221-222

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[Spotswood Letters. Vol. 2. P. 141.]

Virginia, Feb'y 16th, 1715 [1716.]

To the L'ds Comm'rs of Trade:

My Lords:

* * * * *

After so many years spent in fruitless Endeav'rs to ascertain ye Boundarys between this Colony and No. Carolina, and the frequent trouble w'ch that dispute has occasion'd to y'r Lo'ps' board, I hope ye pro'sal w'ch I here enclose will be the more acceptable, as it is the only Overture which has been made from ye beginning, wherein both Governm'ts could be brought to acquiesce; And indeed is the only Expedient I can think of to put a speedy end to this Controversy, for while both sides insisted on the boundary which each claimed and brought positive Evidences to support their pretensions, while the Observations of the Lattitudes were disputed, and the Instruments by w'ch they were taken Questioned, and that, notwithstanding the repeated orders of her late Maj'tie for ye proprietors to appoint new Commiss'rs, four years have pass'd without any Step made on that part towards complying with those Orders. It was not easy to foresee an end to this Contest, tho' the Inconveniencys to both Governm'ts by the continuance of this dispute is very obvious, and likely still to increase—many people settling themselves in those contraverted Lands who own obedience to ye Laws of neither Province. If the Observations of ye Comm'rs and Survey'rs of this Governm't are just, his Majesty can be no great loser by runing the boundary as propos'd in ye enclos'd Paper, viz., a due West Course from Corrotuck's Inlett; but if these observations should prove erroneous, whatever shall be lost thereby will be made up by saving a great expence in runing this Course rather than the transverse line from Curratuck to Wicconi, through one of the most unhabitable and impracticable wilderness that is known in these parts, where the best Artists we have must have been at a loss to Steer to the point designed, and consequently must make divers Experiments which would increase the Charge. But without arguing any more upon the Advantages of this Proposal, I shall only add that I have acted herein what I think most for his Maj't's Service, according to ye present Light I have of that affair, and shall submit to y'r Lo'ps to lay it before his Maj'tie with such Recommendation as you judge it deserves; And if his Maj'tie shall approve thereof, and that the Lords Proprietors will readily come into it, I shall then hope for the Satisfaction of seeing a speedy determination to a very intricate and perplex'd business.

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To prevent any Cavils w'ch may arise in laying out the Boundarys, I humbly propose that y'r Lo'ps would be pleas'd to obtain such Instruments to be Sent in hither as shall be approv'd on by his Maj'tie and the Lords Proprietors, and that directions may be also sent in what manner the charge shall be defrayed, since there will be occasion to employ several people for marking out the Line, and in some places to make use of boats, of which it is reasonable the Proprietors should bear their proportion.

I shall observe y'r Lo'ps' directions as to ye other particulars mention'd in y'r Letter, of w'ch y'r Lo'ps shall have an Acc't as occasion offers, being desirous of nothing more than to give y'r Lo'ps proofs of the Respect w'th w'ch I am, &c.