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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from George Burrington to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Burrington, George, 1680-1759
March 11, 1736
Volume 04, Pages 157-159

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 9. A. 78.]

My Lords, [of the Board of Trade]

Haveing done myself the honour frequently to attend your Board, with Mr Jenner Agent for the Switzers who propose to settle in North Carolina I beg leave to make a few observations on the answer returned by Mr Popple to the said Agent's Petition.

I am humbly of opinion that your Lordships recommending and adviseing the Government of North Carolina to pass an Act in the Assembly of that Province for naturalizeing the Switzers and other Foreign Protestants who go there to live will be sufficient. As it cannot be imagined that the Switzers will be possessed of any goods to vend in America except a little course linen manufactured by themselves the Custom House Officers att Cowes may be directed to give the vessells that carry them all possible dispatch.

I believe there is no place in his Majesties American Dominions where these people could be placed so much for the Kings benefit as on the very land petitioned for the same being remote from the sea or any navigable water, on the uppermost part of North Carolina adjoining on Virginia and South Carolina; by this scituation the Inhabitants of three Provinces may advantage themselves by learning from the Swiss to raise Hemp and Flax, make Silk and Pot Ash; plant vineyards, and in time produce good wine. The Switzers that went into South Carolina think they were imposed upon and ill used, many of them are dead those yet alive are very much dissatisfyed with their condition and have or do design to quit that Province as I have been lately informed. Nova Scotia is a Country improper for Switzers to live in being neither

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seamen, nor Fishermen; there hunger and cold would soon destroy them, the winters being very severe eight months in a year.

I cannot help thinking the Switzers in the wrong in demanding or desiring to have lands appropriated to their use exclusive of the English, but as it is a possitive Instruction from the principals in the Cantons hope your Lordships will discover an Expedient to their satisfaction.

The Answers to the 5th and 6th Articles are so full and excellently expressed that nothing need be added. I am certain it would be an advantage to the Crown and prejudice no man if every Switzer that went into North Carolina would take up a thousand acres provided he was able to pay the Quit Rents. That Province is computed to contain thirty millions of acres of which att most there are not above three millions taken up, the sooner the remainder is taken the faster the Rents will encrease and promote Trade and cause a greater consumption of the British Commoditys in that Province when all the Lands in North Carolina are patented the Crown will have a vast extent of Country to people from the Borders of that Province to Mississipi River, in the which there are an infinite quantity of very rich and healthy places. I think Mr Jenner has been very modest in desiring but one thousand acres for each Gentleman: by that appellation Officers Civil and Military and such as have fortunes to maintain themselves without working, or exerciseing Trades, are generally called and distinguished. The Kings Surveyor General in N. Carolina doth not make the surveys of lands himself he keeps one or more Deputies in Each precinct to do that work for which he gives them a part of his Fees there can be no objection reasonably made against a Switzers acting as Deputy Surveyor: Patents are signed and pass the seal before they are recorded in the Secretary Office the Fees for taking up four hundred acres of land come so near four pounds which the officers may well remit on this extraordinary occasion because their Perquisites will be much augmented by the comeing of a number of Switzers. There is no likelihood that any other people would live on the Lands the Swiss desire to possess in a long time. it must prove very difficult for the Switzers to raise money sufficient for the intended voyage to America from their own present habitation they must travel to the City Basil by land, from thence down the River to Rotterdam which the passage boats are more than a month performing, the passengers lyeing on shoare every night five pounds each person is the least they can be carried for into America, on ship provisions; if they take any strong liquors or fresh meat with them they must pay for them besides, when they arrive in Virginia or N. Carolina they must travel at least one hundred and twenty miles on land; by this your Lordships

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may perceive what fatigues and charges these Switzers will sustain before they enter the desired Land when they get there it will be three years before they can produce anything to sell. The Kings service has been the only motive that induced me to concern myself in this affair therefore hope your Lordships will excuse the liberty I have taken in presenting my sentiments to the Lords of Trade, on this uncommon and important affair

I am, My Lords &c.

March 11th 1735. [1736]