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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Declarations by George Burrington and Robert Johnson concerning the North Carolina/South Carolina boundary
Burrington, George, 1680-1759; Johnson, Robert, 1677-1735
September 11, 1732 - November 01, 1732
Volume 05, Pages 372-374

[Reprinted from S. C. Statutes at Large. Vol. 1. P. 406.]

“Timothy's Southern Gazette, Oct. 21, 1732.

“Notification of George Burrington, Governor of North Carolina.

“I am informed that several persons in South Carolina, have taken out warrants there, to survey lands on the North side of Wackamaw river, and on the lands formerly possessed by the Congerree Indians, which are within this government. Therefore to prevent unadvised people from parting with their money to no purpose, and to give satisfaction to all persons whom it may concern, I have transcribed his Majesty's instruction for ascertaining the bounds of the two governments of North and South Carolina.

“The King's instructions, 104.

“And in order to prevent any disputes that may arise about the Southern boundaries of our Province under your government, we are graciously pleased to signify our pleasure that a line shall be run by Commissioners appointed by each Province, beginning at the Sea, thirty miles distant from the mouth of Cape Fear River, on the South-west thereof, keeping at the same distance from the said river, as the course thereof runs to the main source or head thereof, and from thence the said boundary line shall be continued due West as far as the South Seas.

“But if Wackamaw lies within thirty miles of Cape Fear River, then that river to be the boundary from the Sea to the head thereof, and from thence a due West course to the South Seas.

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“For the satisfaction of all men that bought land of the late Proprietors (before the King's purchase was compleated) scituated on the North side of Wackamaw River in any other part between Cape Fear River and the line given by his majesty to this government, I give notice their rights and titles to all lands so purchased as aforesaid, are deemed and allowed to be good and lawful by this government.

“N. B. The above recited instruction, is the same in his Excellency Governor Johnson's and mine, except the word “Southern” before boundaries, which is altered to Northern in his. The head of Wackamaw river is within ten miles of Cape Fear River, and is not distant so much as thirty miles in any place, but a few miles before it runs into Winyaw Bay.


“North Carolina, Sept. 11, 1732.

“The above is transcribed verbatim from the Gazette of the day.

“To this, Robert Johnson, Governor of South Carolina, issued a counter-proclamation, which follows, copied from Timothy's Southern Gazette, Nov. 4, 1732.

“Governor Johnson of South Carolina. I being very much surprized at his Excellency Governor Burrington's advertisement in this paper of the 21st instant, relating to the boundaries of the two Colonies of North and South Carolina, and his manner of interpreting his Majesty's instructions relating thereunto, think proper for the better information of those concerned, to publish what I know concerning the intention of his Majesty's said instruction, which is as follows:

“Governor Burrington and myself, were summoned to attend the board of Trade, in order to settle the boundary of the two Provinces. Governor Burrington laid before their Lordships Col. Moseley's Map, describing the Rivers Cape Fear and Wackamaw, and insisted upon Wackamaw river being the boundary from the mouth to the head thereof, &c.

“We of South Carolina, desired their Lordships would not alter their first resolution, which was thirty miles distant from the mouth of Cape Fear River on the South-west side thereof, &c. as the first instruction published by Governor Burrington sets forth; and their Lordships concluded that that should be the boundary, unless the Mouth of Wackamaw River was within thirty miles of Cape Fear River; in which case, both Governor Burrington and myself agreed Wackamaw River should be the boundary. And I do apprehend the word Mouth being left out of the last part of the instruction, was only a mistake in the wording of it.

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“And I think proper farther to inform those it may concern, that I have acquainted the Right Honorable the Lords of Trade, of the different interpretations Governor Burrington and myself, have put on his Majesty's aforesaid instruction, and have desired his Majesty's further order.


“November 1, 1732.