Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from Francis Corbin and Isaac Arthand concerning Gabriel Johnston's government
Corbin, Francis, d. 1767; Arthand, Isaac
December 14, 1748
Volume 04, Pages 925-926

[B. P. R. O. Am: & W. Ind: No. 592. N. C. B. T. Vols. 11 and 21.]

To the most noble John Duke of Bedford, His Majesties Principal Secretary of State for the Southern Provinces.

The Memorial of the underwritten Proprietors and Persons interested in the Province of North Carolina, on behalf of themselves, and the Inhabitants of the said Province, Most humbly Sheweth,

That Gabriel Johnston Esqre the present Governor of the said Province, hath held no Correspondence with the Secretary of States Office for several years past, and very little with the Board of Trade, whereby he hath broken his Instructions, and disowned in effect all Subordination to the Crown, and as far as hath laid in his power, hath Excluded the Province from its connection with its Mother Country, and the favour of the Government.

-------------------- page 926 --------------------

That the said Governor hath lately Emitted and forced upon the said Province Paper Bills to the amount of Twenty One Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Pounds in notorious Breach of his Instructions; whereby Creditors and Merchants trading with the Province are deprived of their just Dues by petitions Payments made in these Bills; and the Credit and Honour of the Country entirely destroyed.

That the said Governor hath continually granted Injunctions, or Noli Prosequis, upon frivolous Pretences, and after Verdicts given, and judgment obtained, at Common Law hath continually granted Appeals to Chancery, and yet seldom or never held any Courts of Chancery; whereby vast numbers of Causes lye suspended, and the whole Course of Publick Justice interrupted. That the said Governor hath granted Letters of Administration to Persons not being the nearest Relations, nor having any Legal Pretentions to be so appointed; And upon other occasions hath arbitrarily revoked Letters of Administration at pleasure, whereby the greatest injustice to many Families and their utter ruin hath been perpetrated.

That the said Governor during the time of the late Rebellion notoriously countenanced and favoured Scots Jacobites, by placing them in Chief Offices of Trust and Power, particularly one Mac Gregor, who had been an attainted Rebel in the year 1715, and who was appointed a Justice of Peace, and Colonel of Militia, during the late Rebellion in Scotland, to the great scandal and Consternation of the loyal Inhabitants of the said Province.

From all which and other illegal Measures of the said Govr the Colony is now thrown into the utmost Confusion, its Credit utterly destroyed, and the whole Province is become little better, than a Resceptacle and Asylum for Fugitives, and Persons of desperate Fortunes & Characters.

Your Memorialists therefore humbly hope that Your Grace will take the Premises into your Consideration, and represent the deplorable state of the Province to His most gracious Majesty, so that it may obtain relief from the present Governor, in such manner as to Your Grace's wisdom, shall seem meet.


From the Accounts we have had from Persons who have come over & from Letters which we have seen, we have reason to believe the facts mentioned in the above memorial to be true, & that the Province is in a state of confusion.


Decr 14th 1748.