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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from George Burrington to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina
Burrington, George, 1680-1759
August 1729
Volume 03, Pages 27-30

[B. P. R. O. Proprieties. B. T. Vol. 12. R. 102.]

To the Right Honble John Lord Carteret Palatin & the rest of the true & absolute Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

I did my Self the Honour about a Year & half since to send your Lordships a representation of the State & Condition of this your Province (then under my Government) containing an Exact Account of ye Scituation of all affairs relating to your Lordships Interest in particular and the Country in general, with every thing done in the Administration from my Arrival to that time, this I sent by One Mr Durley from Carolina, he also carried an Address from the Assembly to your Lordships, & some Letters I had received from the Govr of Virginia concerning the Boundarys of the Two Governments, & aboundance of Letters from other persons this Mr Durley received many other favors & Civilitys from me, therefore concluded he would faithfully perform his Promise in delivering the Letters I entrusted him with, but to my great Suprise am lately informed by some Gentlemen here (who have received Letters from London of a fresh date) that he either gave the said Writings to Lovicks Brother in London or destroyed them.

At my return to this place after my first Jorney to Cape Fair River in a long Letter I sent your Lordships a Description of that part of

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Carolina with my Advice & Opinion concerning the settleing thereof and Granting the Lands Also my resolution of going there when October Court was over, & staying till March Court came to induce & Encourage People to settle on that River Your Lordships had in this Letter a large relation of the Conduct & Behaviour of Chief Justice Gale, Secretary Lovick, & some others in the Council, of Mr Edens Will, & the Law Suite thereupon between Mr Roderick Lloyd & Lovick Executor in Trust of the said Will, Lovicks injustice in not paying the debts & Legacies of Mr Eden, & detaining the residuum from the Heir at Law; I omitted nothing worth your Lordships Notice that had passed here after the date of my first writing, this Pacquet was recommended to the care of a Merchant in New England named Armory I am yet ignorant, whither it had better success then the first. I must acquaint Your Lordships that dureing the two years I have been here I have received but one Letter in Answer to some Hundreds sent to England, that Letter came into the hands of a gentleman in Virginia who detained the same till a Messinger from me went on purpose for it.

When I came first into Carolina there was a great Mortallity among the Cattle most Plantors lost above half their Stocks which raised the price of Oxen & Cows double to what they had been before, a mighty Storm in the preceeding Autumn destroyed their Corn insomuch that there was almost a famine in the land the Year following on the 19th of August we had another which had the same effect these mischievous winds raised the price of Corn to five times the usual rate, Port from 45s per Barrlb was sold for Five & Six pounds. Never the less a Thousand ffamilys came to live in Carolina in the time of my Administration, a far greater number would have done the same had they not heard of the Scarcety of provisions we laboured under. The Militia was in strange disorder, in most places no Officers, in other very unfit persons, this I regulated to the satisfaction of all People. The Justices of the precinct Courts were mostly illeterate persons, & of no Authority for which reason I prevailed on Coll Mosely, Coll Harvey, Coll Swan, Coll Maule, & other Gentlemen to preside in the Courts of the precincts where they lived, by this means Justice was duely administred, & all disorders in those Courts (very frequent before) immediately ceased, no complaint was made to me & the Council, nor Suit brought against any Officer Civil or Military, after the new Commissions were given out in March & April the preceeding Year.

There is great plenty of provisions & Grain this year in Carolina everything is at a low rate Yet I have not heard of One man come to live in this Country since the change of Government, We did expect five or six

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hundred familys in the New Country, but I fear we shall not now be above a tenth part of that Number Sr Richard Everard your present Governr came into Carolina in last July he took the Government upon him without acquainting me of his Commission, or Arrival altho' I was in the Town when he Landed, I had made preperation to haven given him an Entertainment but his incivility saved me that trouble, his behaviour to me has been very unmannerly & base ever since, yet the respect I still preserve for your Interest & the good of the Country was the cause that I gave my Self the trouble to talk with him upon the posture of Affairs in this province, I took an Occasion to tell him that if he persever'd in following the Advice of Gale, Lovick & their Gang, he would never prosper, I also assured him in the approaching bennial Assembly I would use my Utmost to procure what Advantages I could for him so took my Leave & went to Cape Fair, when I returned to this Town the last of October, I was informed he had made a redicule of my Advice therefore I have not taken the least notice of him since I shall not trouble your Lordships with any more about Sr Richard in this paper (the Country haveing appointed Agents to inform you at large of his proceedings) but that he is over throwing all Order & good Government, many Gentlemen, have given up their Commissions publickly declareing their Contempt of him & his Actions.

Great Improvements have been made since I knew the Country in husbandry, the unsettledness of Trade has been the Subject of my discourse many days among the most Substantial Men, the conclusion ended in a resolution to buy Vessels & carry on a sufficient Trade to Jamaica to Supply the Country with Rum, Molossus Salt &c. My removal has put an end to this, & many other designs, several Masters who sailed their own Vessels had bought land with design to bring their ffamilys here have now changed their minds. I must inform Your Lordships that there is in the hands of the Publick Treasurer & Receivers above Two thousand Pounds althō there has been no Tax besides the common Levy of five Shillings per head, which before my time did not defray the publick Charges.

I always made it my Study (while Governr) to serve Your Lordships & this Country to the Utmost of my ability the hardships I have gone thrō by Land & Water have been very severe, I have sometimes narrowly Escaped starving many times drowning, all my Expeditions were at my own proper Cost and Charges, I should give your Lordships too much trouble if I Enumerated the Losses I have sustained since I left London for which reason shall say nothing on that head, I brought a large ffamily of Servants which I maintained out of my own Stock, the Salary,

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ffees & Perquisites of this Governmt were not more worth me in Eighteen Months then I could make of One hundred Pounds well laid out in England would produce here, this was Occasioned by some Acts of Assembly passed the November before my Evil Destiny brought me into Carolina.

I know but one thing Your Lordships can take amiss from me, which was my appointing Naval Officers, Dunstans ill behaviour Obliged me to do so, besides you well know it was my Right, I have heard of many Men who have tryed matters of Property with Kings and Queens of England without being thought Ill Subjects if any Proprietor had spoken a word to me in this man's favor in respect to the Naval Officer of any Port in Carolina I should most willingly have given it him, but how he can be Naval Officer to four Ports (there being so many here) passes the understanding of all People in these parts.

I stay in this Country in Expectac̄on the Complaints of Gale & Lovick against me will be sent to Carolina, which I shall be able to prove false and Scandalous; I give your Lordships my word the Law Suit between Mr Lloyd and Lovick has been the chief occasion of difference here, (if not the only one) a large part of Governr Edens Estate is reported to be gone into the hands of Affidavit Men and others as bad, it is my Opinion Mr Lloyd will never get a Shilling thereof, if your Lordships make another Secretary, I think Lovick will Lovick will leave the King's Dominions; I shall tarry in these parts untill next April, have nothing to do here, its only to wait for an Oppertunity of clearing my Character if sullied by any one.

Had Your Lordships been pleased to let me know the reason why you removed me, it would have been a great satisfaction, for my own part as I know not any cause you had for it, am at a loss what induced you to take so hasty a resolution of appointing a New Governr, Lovick & Gale with their Crew are Capable of acting or saying any thing, if they have accused me I think I ought to know what they have laid to my Charge if these Men Tax me with any thing unjust, or dishonourable and I am not able to justify myself I will patiently submit to be a Sacrafice to my own folly & Ignorance, but on the contrary of your Lordships find that I have behaved uprightly and in all things as becometh a Man of honour I shall receive reparation & satisfaction from Your Lordships.

I am Your Most humble and Most Obedient Servant

[Aug., 1729.]