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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Gabriel Johnston to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Johnston, Gabriel, ca. 1698-1752
March 03, 1740
Volume 04, Pages 417-418

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina B. T. Vol. 10. B. 47.]

My Lords [of the Board of Trade]

I had the misfortune not to receive your Lordships Commands of the 12th of Septr last untill the beginning of Febry. I immediately appointed

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three gentlemen whom I judged the best qualified for such an undertaking to draw up a state of the small currency we have and of the value of gold during the times mentioned in the addresses of Both Houses and hope in a few days to transmit the same to your Lordships.

Our Assembly which met here on the fifth of Febry is just. now prorogued. They behaved with decency and parted in very good humour (a thing not very common here) after passing some Laws. At present I shall only take notice of one which is an Act to erect a Village called Newtown on Cape Fear River into a township by the name of Wilmington The situation of this town is mighty convenient being at the meeting of the two great Branches of Cape Fear River, its Road capable of receiving Vessels of great burthen and extremely safe in the most violent storms and there is a most easy access to it from the remotest heads of the River by the smallest Vessels. I always looked upon the want of a Town with a Convenient Port as one of the greatest Obstacles to the Improvement of the Trade of this Country and the polishing its Inhabitants. I hope this impediment is now removed, and don't despair in a few years to prevail on the Assembly to build offices and other places fitt for the dispatch of Publick business, the want of which has been a great clog to all affairs ever since I came here.

I return your Lordships thanks for recommending Mr Murray there remains two in this Province still who were some years ago recommended by your Lordships. James Innes & Samuel Woodward. If they with Robert Walker (whom I now mention as a proper person) were included in one Mandamus, it would complete the number of His Majesties Council and be a great ease to the Administration.

I am, Your Lordships, &c.,

Newbern the 3rd March 1739/40.