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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Memorandum by Thomas Lowndes concerning the Crown's purchase of Carolina
Lowndes, Thomas, 1692-1748
Volume 03, Pages 10-12

[B. P. R. O. B. T. South Carolina. Vol. 4. C. 50.]

[Inclosed in Mr Lowndes 16 Feby 1728/9.]

South Carolina is situate between the French on the River Messissippi and the Spaniards in Florida and in the Neighbourhood of Cuba, a very strong Spanish settlement and in case of a Rupture with France or Spain and an Invasion from either must in the Condition it was in by the Disunion of the Proprietors and the Animosities between the Proprietors and Inhabitants have inevitably faln a prey, unless the British Nation had at a very great Expence rescued the Colony, which under the īmediate Protection of the Crown may in a great measure be made able to defend itself upon all Occasions and of eminent use not only to all the British settlements in America, but to the Mother-Country.

That South Carolina has for its contingent Charges many years last past raised about 7000lb per Annum which with the Quitt Rents (which may be estimated at 1000 per annum) will under a proper Regulation and Economy go near to defray the Expence of the Government.

That had South Carolina continued a provisional Government the British Establishment could never have been freed from the Expence of the Governors Salary and the independent Company, unless the Crown

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had either infringed the Rights of the Proprietor or invaded the Property of the Inhabitants

That the Crown having purchased the arrears of the Quit Rents which are estimated very low in the Proprietors Account will be a means to make the Inhabitants to come into proper measures to lay upon themselves some Duty which they are well able to bear in order to defend the Province.

That had South Carolina faln into the hands of either the French or Spaniards (besides the loss of a Branch of the Revenue from enumerated Rice) the consequence would have been very fatal not only to all the settlements in North America, but also to the British Navigation to the Sugar Islands. For we should have been absolutely excluded the Navigation of the Gulf of Florida, and a communication would have lain open from all the Spanish settlements to the French Colony on the Messissippi.

That by a good settlement being made at Port Royal in South Carolina where (by all accounts there is a noble harbour) the Conjunction of the Power of France and Spain will not only be prevented but as long as we are Masters of the Sea we can lay a very great restraint upon the Spanish Navigation in America. For the Spanish Plate Fleet from Mexico must of necessity pass very near our Coast and that from Peru cannot without the greatest difficulty avoid it.

That by keeping a competent number of Men of War at Port Royal (which can at a much easier Rate be accommodated with all necessaries now the whole Property is in the Crown) the British Commerce will be entirely protected from the Spanish Privateers which were always fitted out at Fort Augustine a place in the Neighbourhood of South Carolina and notorious for the mischief our Trade has even of late received.

That a station for Men of War can be at a much less Expence supported in South Carolina than at Jamaica. For South Carolina is not only productive of all sorts of Naval Stores but the provisions are better and much cheaper there than in Jamaica, and the Temperature of the Place as well as the advantagiousness of the Situation will always render it preferable to Jamaica where the Climate is so unhealthy to English Constitutions

That if North Carolina be made a district of Virginia besides the Tenths reserved upon the Whale Fishery, the Revenue of Quit Rents of that place which always bore the charge of the establishment, will bring in an immediate Profit to the Crown of about 6001 sterling yearly.

That it is acknowledged by all Persons that the most fertile and

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healthy Part of all America is the Tract of Land lying between Port Royal in South Carolina and Florida and well watered by Navigable Rivers and if it be lett out at a proper Quit Rent as in Maryland and Pensilvania (the Crown not being under any Obligation as to the Quit Rents for Lands not yet set out in South Carolina as it is in Virginia) t'will in a very few years not only ease the British Establishment, but bring in a competent Annual Sum of Money to be remitted to Great Britain or to be disbursed for setting on Foot in America the silk or any other Manufacture that shall be thought proper.

If it is asked by way of Objection why the Proprietors surrender their Charter for so small a sum as 25,0001 (50001 of which is for the arrears) if the Country be so valuable as is represented. The Consideration of the number of the Proprietors, their Disunion, the Frequency of. Minorities amongst them. Their Inability to procure to themselves Justice from South Carolina with respect to their Quit Rents and their Want of Power to correct the great Abuses committed by the settlement about the Paper Money and other publick acts to the Prejudice of the British Commerce and an apprehension that in Case of an Invasion the Colony would be lost to the great Detriment of the Publick as well as to themselves tis humbly presumed will afford a full and satisfactory answer.