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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Affidavit of Edward Moseley concerning Edmund Porter's suspension from public office
Moseley, Edward, ca. 1682-1749
April 07, 1733
Volume 03, Pages 503-505

Depositions Recd with Mr Porter's Letter of 15 August 1733.

No Carolina—ss.

In obedience to the Directions given to the Right Honoble the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations in their Letter dated August 16. 1732. Edward Moseley of the Precinct of Chowan Gentleman was at the Instance of Edmund Porter Esqre summoned to appear before me Nathaniel Rice Esqre Secretary of North Carolina who on his Oath on the Holy Evangelists taken, saith

That he hath been for many years very well acquainted with the said Mr Porter, and his Estate in North Carolina, this Deponent living within six mile of him; That he knoweth but very few persons in this Province whose Estate and Fortune are superior to Mr Porter.

Imediately after Mr Porter came into this Province from the West Indies (which was about April 1725) during the time Mr Burrington was Governour for the Lords Proprietors there appeared to this Deponent (who was very conversant with them both) a very Familiar and Friendly acquaintance and good understanding; They were frequently in each others company and this Deponent hath heard that after Governor Burrington was removed from the administration of the Government he hath been for divers week entertained at the said Mr Porters house.

This Deponent further said that sometime after Mr Burrington's arrival as his Majesties Governour of this Province, there appeared to be no good understanding between the said Governour and Mr Porter; and

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there being some Criminal Prosecutions raised against him (as was supposed chiefly by the Governours means) for some Riots supposed to be done or committed before the Governours arrival. All the Lawyers of the greatest skill being against Mr Porter he applyed himself to this Depont (who was licenced to practice the law in 1714 thō he has for some years past declined it) to assist him in his defence. The Depont assisted Mr Porter at March General Court 1732. and the Jury brought in their Verdict, Not Guilty. But while the Jury were going out, the Governour left the Gallery where he had been during the Trial, came within the Bar and in great heat and passion commanded the Marshall attending the Court to take this Deponent and bring him before him (althō he had his hand on the Bible ready to take the Oaths) This Deponent moved the Court for their Protection and that they would take notice of the Governour's usuage but this Deponents motion was not regarded the Court being seemingly astonished. This Deponent was taken from the Court Table carried before the Governour, afterwards held in Custody some time, and not permitted to go home til late that Night. And this deponent further saith that by the Governours behaviours towards him, and other circumstances he hath great reason to believe the Governour intended to murder him or to do him some very great personal injury.

This Deponent further saith That he was afterwards at July Genll Court 1732—, by the Governour's express commands by word of mouth only (as the Marshal declared) taken just after his coming out of Court, and carried to the common Goal, and there detained some time, for speaking to the Court (in a cause between the Governour, Plaintiff and Mr Porter defendant) his knowledge of the practice used in this Province in case of Oyer pleaded by the Defendant and &c: And with what this Deponent said the Court declared they were not displeased or offended. Afterwards on a Habeas Corpus brought and return thereof made to the Marshal to the Court, this Deponent was discharged from that Imprisonment by the unanimous Opinion of the Court.

This Deponent further saith, that he was at the Council Chamber when the Governour was hearing some complaints against Mr Porter. Mr Porter offered divers times to speak, but was not allowed. He delivered to the Governour at the Council Table a paper, the Governour reaching out his hand, took the paper off the Table and by his action shewed he was going to throw it behind him into the fire, Mr Porter spoke to the Governor and told him it related to his Defence, but the Governour threw it into the fire, this Deponent was very near the Governour, so as he

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very well observed the Paper was not out of the Governour's hands when Mr Porter spoke to him


Jurat coram me septimo die Aprilis 1733.
Nath: Rice Secry