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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Robert Jones to Arthur Dobbs
Jones, Robert, 1718-1766
July 06, 1756
Volume 05, Pages 590-591

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[From MSS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]

Northampton Co July 6th 1756.


When I consider that you have a particular pleasure resulting from promoting the Happyness of the people over whom you presided; as well as from correcting abuses committed by those who are invested with the executive power of the Laws, I flatter myself you'll excuse my troubling you with the following Relation concerning the Gent. lately commissioned Justices of Granville County. Be pleased to know then that in June last, when there ought to have been a Court held for that County, several of the Justices having assembled themselves on the Bench, the Clk produced a new Commission of the Peace out of which Robert Harris's Name was left, upon which they unanimously refused to qualify; notwithstanding all the Remonstrances that the Clk and many others could make. In the afternoon I arrived, & endeavored to reason them into a better mind, but without Success. And at last the whole Secret was divulged i. e. Mr. Prior, with some warmth declared that they looked upon Harris's being turned out of the Com̄ as an Insult to every Man in it: And that no man of spirit ought or would qualify under it 'till it was regulated to the liking of the Court.

Mr. Hurst also inform'd me that they had entered into a Combination not to act under the said Commission 'till it was purged, as he called it, to their satisfaction. Upon hearing these Declarations I desired the Clk to go personally to every Gent present and take his Answer, which he did and which you will find noted on the inclosed List with some other Remarks.

I remember to have heard you say that your Instructions enjoined you to take the Advice of three of your Council at least in appointing or removing Justices of the Peace; but when I consider that the Consequences of this Contemptuous Behaviour of the Granville Justices, is a protecting of, and encouragement to, Offenders: as well as an entire interruption of public Justice. And that it is absolutely necessary for you to resent this Conduct. You will excuse me Sir when I say that it can never be thought a stretch of prerogative if you should Commissionate more worthy persons to execute the office of Justices of the Peace in the sd County of Granville, without such formality; provided that such advice can't be readily had on the Occasion. Under this Opinion I take the Freedom of recommending to your Consideration the issuing a new Commission of the Peace for the sd County appointing

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proper persons to distribute Justice therein. Those who have not refused to act nor otherwise rendered themselves unworthy to be continued in the said Office have no Observations made against their names in the aforementioned List. You have also on it some of my own recommending, which you'll observe are distinguished accordingly. In favor of the latter I can say that they are Men of as good Morals and better Capacities than any others in that County that have not yet been appointed Justices. The only Inducement which I have to this application is a desire that Justice should be duly administred. And the Satisfaction of seeing a set of refractory Men actuated by the vigilancy of a malicious Temper treated with a Suitable Resentment If you incline to grant a new Commission the Bearer will convey it safely.

I suppose you have not forgot the Sollicitation I formerly made in favor of my kinsman John Jones for the Office of Sher. of Northampton. Herewith you have a Copy of the last Recommendation of persons fitly qualified to execute the sd Office, in which you'll find him included. If you'll be so kind as to grant him a Commission for that purpose you'll do me an additional Favor in sending it by the Bearer.

We have no News in this part of the World worth communicating except what is contained in the inclosed Gazzet.

Wishing you Health & Happyness I ever am

Sir, &c.,
His Excellency Arthur Dobbs Esq

Additional Notes for Electronic Version: This letter enclosed a list of the justices for Granville County - See Related Documents.