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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from Edward Moseley concerning a land grant, including related correspondence between Moseley and Ayliffe Williams and certification from Nathaniel Rice and John Baptista Ashe
Moseley, Edward, ca. 1682-1749
Volume 03, Pages 468-472

No Carolina—ss.

On this seventh day of Aprill 1733. Before Us Nathaniel Rice & John Baptista Ashe Esqrs Members of His Majesty's Council of North Carolina, Personally appeared Moseley Vail of Chowan Precinct, who on his oath on the Holy Evangelists taken saith, That the Petition to the Governr and Council hereto annexed he verily believes to be a true Copy, he having examined it by one his Depont Copied from the Original before it was delivered the said Depont further saith that the several Letters between Mr Moseley and Mr Williams hereto annexed, to the best of his Judgement are true Copies, this Depont having carried and brought the originals to and from each other, that he hath Examined those from Mr Moseley to Mr Williams by the Copies of the Originals,

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which Copies he signed for his greater Certainty, and he hath now compared in presence of Us the Subscribers the Copies of Mr Williams's Letters by the Originals he brought. And we do hereby Certify, that the Original Warrant, now produced to be Examined, we do verily believe to be the Governor's own hand writing And that the Letters from Mr Williams now produced and examined were wrote by Mr Williams, we being well acquainted with the Governours handwriting and his Secretary's. And we do further Certify that we were present in Council when Mr Moseley's Petition was read the thirtieth of March last past, (which the annexed we think is a true Copy of) that Debates arose in Council thereon; One of us moved that the same might be Entred, But the Governour absolutely refused.

Sworn before Us & certifyed the Day & Year first above written

No Carolina—ss.

To His Excellency George Burrington Esqr Govr & Commr in Chief of His Majesty's Province of North Carolina, & to the Honoble the Members of his Majesty's Council for the said Province.

The Petition of Edward Moseley Gent, Humbly sheweth

That yor Petitioner having a considerable number of Slaves, and no Lightwood land for his Slaves to make Tar, he applyed himself to the Secretary's office, & to the Governour's Secretary, sometime after His Excellency's arrival in order to obtain a Warrant for Six Hundred Acres of Land, but was told, (after repeated application) by Mr Forster the Deputy Secretary of this Province, and by Mr Williams his Excellency's Secretary; that the Governour would not on any Terms let your Petitioner have any Warrants for Land, altho' your Petitioner represented his great want of Lightwood Land, and was ready, & offered to pay what should be required for the same. Your Petitionr conceiving that he had a Right to take up lands according to the number of his family pursuant to His Majesty's Royal Instructions, and that he was very much injured by His Excellency's not granting him a Warrant, when he had issued divers hundreds Warrants to Persons who had not as he conceives such just a claim to take up Land as your Petitioner had; Thereupon he filed a Petition the 31. of July 1732 To His Excellency the Governor and Council (being the first of that kind since his Excellency's arrival) Praying that a Warrant might issue for your Petitioner to take up Lands pursuant to His Majesty's Royal Instructions; Which Petition was read

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in Council the day of following, being the first Council held after filing his Petition, and an order of Governor and Council passed, that your Petitioner should have a Warrt for 3100 Acres on your Petitioners proving his Rights; Accordingly your Petitioner pursuant thereto proved Rights for 3100. acres and lodged the same proof in the Secretary's office pursuant to order of Council past for that purpose. But from that time your Petitioner cannot obtain Warrts for Lands, altho' ready to pay the Fees justly due for the same, a Demand being made that your Petitioner should pay 2s 6d silver money to His Excellency the Governours Use, as due to him for Rights, altho' your Petitioner hath proved his Rights as aforesaid.

Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays, that the hardship of his Case may be considered by this Board, inasmuch as he Conceives there is not the least pretence, either by the Laws of this Province or by His Majesty's Royal Instructions for such a Damand; And that your Petitioner may be heard by himself and Council Learned in the Law touching the premises; And that Warrants may issue pursuant to the Royal Instructions for your Petitioner to have so much Land as he hath proved Rights; Your Petitioner being ready to pay such Demands as this Board shall declare he ought to pay agreable to the Laws of the Province or His Majesty's Royal Instructions.

And your Petitioner as in Duty bound shall ever pray etc.

Chowan. April 5. 1733.


As I have now a passage to Cape Fear, I desire to have the Warrants sent me, which yesterday you said would be ready for me. Mr Forster told me he delivered the Gold, I now send by Moseley Vail Paper money to pay the Secretary's Fees and the Surveyor General's.

I am Sir Your most humble servant

To Mr. Ayliffe Williams at Edenton

N. B. Moseley Vail carryed 14lb paper money, Mr Williams took five pounds for Surveyor Generals Fee for Entry of the Warrant.


Upon your Letter the Governour imediately signed the enclosed Warrant for 3100 acres, and says, that if any of your Friends are inclined

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to settle that part of the Province, He will always be as ready as now to show how much he has at heart the settling the said part of this Colony, And upon the whole he concluded that you (Sir) think a Governour nothing, But that in the end you will find him the first man in the Province

I am Sir Your most humble servant

Edenton, April 5. 1733

I pray'd this Instant the half pistole to the Governors Account which with the Interest money on the note of hand and the Governor and Mr Littles pays his Fees.

A. W.

For Colo Edwd Moseley, then

To the Surveyor General Greeting.

You are forthwith to lay out and admeasure unto Edwd Moseley of Chowan a Plantation containing Three thousand and one hundred acres of Land lying in Bladen Precinct on the North East side of the North West River beginning on the line of Sr Richd Everard Bart. above the Haw old Fields. Observing His Majesty's Instructions for running out of Lands and a Platt and Certificate thereof to return into the Secretary's Office, and for so doing this shall be your Warrant.


Given at Edenton under my hand the 6th day of April Anno Dom. 1733. Rights proved.

Rd Forster Dep: Secry:

Entered a Certificate in the office the 6th day of Aprill 1733.

A. WILLIAMS Dep. Survr

N. B. The Warrants, E. M. desired were four for New Hanover, and but two for Bladen and were so filled up by Mr Forster, to complete the 3100. Acres. as I have set forth in my Petition to the Board of Trade.

Chowan. April 6th 1733.


My desire was not to have the Warrants for 3100. acres of Land so far up the Country, Nor did I expect His Excellency would have given himself the trouble to write the Warrant himself, the Warrants for the Land I desired being prepared by the Deputy Secretary; I therefore put under this cover the Warrant sent me yesterday, desiring to have in Exchange thereof those Warrants that were prepared by Mr Forster which he showed me.

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His Excellency makes a wrong Conclusion for me, if he imagines I think a Governour Nothing; I always thought and still do, with His Excellency, that every Governour of a Province, representing his Majesty, is the first Man in it.

I am sir Your most humble servant

To Mr Ayliffe Williams at Edenton.

Edenton, April 6th 1733.


I communicated yours to the Governour, who says them warrants you mention to be prepared by the Deputy Secretary, were in fact Blank Warrants, and such as he will not —— sign. I am order'd to let you know the Enclosed Warrant is entered in the Books, which cannot be altered

I am sir Yr most humble servt

To Colo Edwd Moseley, this