The Case of Mr Moseley Concerning Warrants for Land in North Carolina.
[Recd with Mr Rice & Mr Ashe's letter of 20 Apl. 1733]
To the Right Honorable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
The Petition or Memorial of Edward Moseley of North Carolina Gent. Humbly sheweth.
That your Petitioner having very often made application that he might have Warrants for Land agreable to His Majesty's Royal Instructions, and the same being denyed him, tho' granted to multitudes of other Persons at the Governr's will and Pleasure; For relief under such a hardship he Petitioned the Governour and Council July 31, 1732, which
Your Petitioner thereupon requested Mr Forster the Deputy Secretary to make out a Warrant for Three Thousand one hundred Acres pursuant to the Order of Council, who did so, but told your Petitioner the Governor would not sign it until seven Pounds fifteen shillings Proclamation Money was paid for it; This your Petitioner looked on as a Hardship, there being no Law of this Province, or Royal Instruction requiring such a Payment to the Governour. Nevertheless being in want of Land for his slaves to work on, he consented, and told Mr Williams the Governour's Secretary, that he would endorse so much as paid to your Petitioner on the back of an obligation the Governour passed for Fourty six Pounds sterling he owed your Petitioner; but this would not be allowed of as Mr Williams told your Petitioner.
Thereupon he did again Petition the Governor and Council, the thirtieth day of March last past, setting forth the hard & severe usuage he met with from the Governour and pray'd Relief; which Petition he has been informed was that day read in Council and Debated, but the Governour would not suffer any Entry to be made thereof.
Your Petitioner being afterwards given to understand that he might have Land on the aforesaid Order of Council if he would pay the sum before demanded, and being much in want of Land for his Slaves at Cape Fear to work on he concluded to take it on those Terms, rather than suffer, altho' no Resolution was past by the Council that such sum ought to be paid; Thereupon your Petitioner gave Directions to the Deputy secretary to make out five Warrants for five hundred Acres each and one for six hundred, making in the whole Three Thousand one hundred, and paid unto him half a pistole being so much the Governor instructed him to receive as the Ballance the rest of the Money, as he understands, the Governour allow'd for Interest on his Obligation aforementioned past to your Petitioner; Interest being mentioned therein.
But so it is, the Governour refused to sign those Warrants, and your Petitioner was again put off; and being given to understand that it was thought the Governour would alter his mind, and sign them, if that matter was again moved; Your Petitioner did write unto the Governour's Secretary the fifth of this present April, to which he received from Mr Williams An Answer the same day; together with a Warrant in the Governour's own hand writing for 3100 Acres all in one Tract, mentioned to be at a place exceeding far from the Place Your Petitioner designed or desired.
Your Petitioner being informed that the Governour had been at an Entertainment, and imagining that this proceeded only from a gaiety of temper, and a willingness of the Governour to show his wit at your Petitioner's Expense, He wrote to Mr Williams the sixth of Aprill, and desired to have in lieu of the Warrant for 3100 those six warrants before mentioned, In Answer whereto Mr Williams wrote the same day a Letter to your Petitioner, wherein he return'd the Warrant for 3100 and informed your Petitioner that the Governor would not sign those Warrants, which he called in fact Blank Warrants, Whereas in truth those Warrts contained the Number of Acres, and the Precinct where to be taken up with other Discriptions of Place than what the Governor has been pleased to insert in that Warrant he sent your Petitioner. Nor did yr Petitioner ever desire to have those Warrts other than to have the number of Acres, & in what Precinct to be survey'd Exprest therein, as in fact those Warrants were so shown to yr Petitioner by Mr Forster, but yr Petitioner hoped & expected that he should have the liberty of laying out those Warrts on such vacant Lands in those Precincts as he pleased, & not where the Governor pleased; The Law of this Province, Entituled an Act to regulate divers Abuses in the taking up Lands etc, passed in the year 1715, directing that the Survr should Endorse on the back of the Warrt the place where the taker up intends to have his Land survey'd by that Warrt Your Petitioner humbly lays the hardship of this his Case before your Ldps, the truth of which will appear from the several attested Copies hereto annexed; And he humbly prays that your Lordships will duely consider thereof, so as he may be Relieved