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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Rutherford to John Carteret, Earl Granville
Rutherford, John, 1724-1782
May 22, 1758
Volume 05, Pages 958-959

London 22d May, 1758.

My Lord, [Earl of Granville]

The Secretary of the Board of Trade acquaints me that the Governor of North Carolina's letter advising that he had suspended me from being one of the Council, has been read and considered by the Lords of Trade and that they have reported the same to His Majesty in Council, without ever hearing me, or allowing me to give reasons in my own defence, notwithstanding I applied to their Lordships for that purpose.

I am certain, and conscious, that in truth, no charge can be laid against me to impeach my conduct as a dutiful and loyal subject, a sincere promoter of the good of the Province and deserving of the real character of an honest man.

Yet the Governor has made his charge so strong against me, that the Lords of Trade are guided by only his private reasons, and from motives not to be known to others, hath enjoined an entire secrecy both as to the charge and their reasons for believing it.

It is well known that the understanding & Judgement of the Governor is wasted, & greatly impaired and also how much he is guided by his Countrymen residing in the Province and determined to elbow out anybody in Places of Trust to make room for them.

I am persuaded that the whole cause of my suspension has proceeded from only these Motives.

My Lord I have been seven years one of His Majesty's Council of this Province which is an Office of great honour, and no profit, but attended with considerable expense, yet it gives me the utmost concern that I should be condemned without permission to be heard in my defence.

I therefore most humbly pray your Lordship to particularly consider my case, and before His Majesty in Council give their determination, I beg the matter may be further enquired into, which I apprehend might be done easily & impartially by the Lords of Trade directing some of His Majesty's Council of the neighbouring Province to examine into the grounds of the charge and report their opinion.

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For I humbly apprehend if some method is not followed to stop such extension of the Governor's power upon every frivolous occasion of suspending those of the Council, he may at any time suspend all but those he can influence, and before the Government from home can remedy the evil, the Province may run into the utmost confusion.

For my own part I desire to resign my seat in Council, because my hearing is so bad, that I can't discharge my duty as I could wish and desire, but I hope in your Lordships favour, that without good reasons appear you will not allow me to be dismissed with a contemptible charge, from an Office, the duty of which I have discharged with the strictest truth, integrity and judgment to the utmost of my power.

My Lord, Your Lordships most, &c.,