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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Arthur Dobbs to the Board of Trade of Great Britain
Dobbs, Arthur, 1689-1765
March 29, 1764
Volume 06, Pages 1035-1039

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 14. E. 78.]
Letter from Governor Dobbs to the Board, dated March 29th 1764.

My Lords,

Since my last to your Lordsps acquainting you with my having let the Assembly dissolve themselves after several short Prorogations, upon their not meeting and acting upon the Quorum appointed by His Majesty of 15 Members, although 26 were in Town I have a new Assembly called to meet the 31st of January and having got 18 Southern Members to meet and make an House, although several Northern Members were in Town and refused to be sworn, yet others dropping in they went upon Business, and soon increased to above 40 Members, but out of the five Counties that each send five Members not above four Members attended, they being formerly persuaded that by their non attendance with some other Northern Members, that they would prevent the Assembly acting, and therefore the Northern Treasurer would not attend to pay his Accounts, but kept all the Public money in his hands, as he had acted as a Deputy to the Treasurer who had left the Province, who had no power to make a Deputy, and consequently gave no Security

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However by the absence of these Northern Members we have passed several good Bills making Twenty in all of which 5 or 6 are of some consequence. A Vestry Bill wherein they have made the Incumbent a Member and have given the Vestry a power to levy ten shillings per Taxable towards building Churches, Glebe Houses, and purchasing Glebes, as well as building Schools in each Parish or County and an allowance to a school master in each. But it is our misfortune that we have not above six Orthodox Clergymen in the Colony to serve 29 Counties or Parishes, few Clergymen of character being willing to come from Europe, and those who are bred here have no Bishop or Parsons with Episcopal powers to ordain and afterwards to visit them, & are not in circumstances to go to England to be ordained; so that we abound with Sectaries, & many turn profligates & Deists.

We have also passed a good Militia Law, and a Law to give a premium to Export Hemp and Flax to Britain and Ireland. A good Road Bill and an Act for appointing Public Treasurers which I would only allow for 3 years and so to the end of the next Session of Assembly, until I should know His Majesty's pleasure, whether he will appoint them without an Act of Assembly, and as they insisted that the Treasurers still should Act, as no term was mentioned in the former Act though the aid granted by it was expired, I thought it prudent to pass the Bill for a short Term to put it out of doubt, lest some should refuse to pay the public Taxes to other Treasurers should they have been appointed by the Crown. I have passed also an Act to prevent excessive Gaming, and a Bill against notorious Felons, and Counterfeiters of the Paper Bills of Credit who abound here and in Virginia, and have also made two new Counties, divided from New Hanover and Granville which will take away perhaps the weight of the 5 Members Northern Counties, the rest passed were only Provincial and of no consequence, the most material as they can be copied shall be sent over with this, or as soon as possible after it, as also the other less material Bills by the next opportunity, some other Bills not fully digested were postponed till next Session.

I have also sent over the Speech and Addresses and shall send over the several Journals of the Assembly and Council as soon as they can be copied and attested, as also the Southern Treasurer's Accounts.

The Assembly have applied to me to recommend it to your Lordships to apply to His Majesty that the Notes formerly issued to erect

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public Buildings and Schools and purchase Glebes, the issuing of which had been suspended until His Majesty's pleasure was known and were afterwards borrowed and given in aid to raise and maintain the Troops sent to the Northward which were in great part paid back to the Treasurers by the aid granted for that purpose & now lie in the Treasurers hands, and probably have been lent out by them upon Interest for their own Benefit, that His Majesty would allow them to be issued again, and applied to the Public Buildings, Glebes and Schools, or if not that they should be burnt to lessen the present Paper Bills. Your Lordships will see by my Speech that I recommended to them that they would call in all the outstanding Bills which are now worn out and scarce passable, and great numbers of Counterfeit Bills and to issue an equal number of new Bills not so easily counterfeited and don't doubt but of £80,000 now computed to be standing out and currant there would not be found £50,000 & all the Counterfeit Bills would be detected, but this they did not at present think proper to comply with though it might have been done without any furthur Expence than the saving some Bills that are annually burnt by the Sinking Fund.

Our temporary Line has not yet been run as the Assembly of South Carolina won't act with Governor Boone, and consequently won't give money to defray the Expence until His Majesty allow it out of the Quit Rents. I having already an Order from the Lords of the Treasury to our Receiver General to advance money to survey & divide the Counties in His Majesty's district of which the dividing Line makes a part, can apply the Quit rents so far to that purpose, but I have reason to hope from your Lordships Letters to me that when the permanent Line is fixed by His Majesty that it will extend this Province further to the Southward, for by the several Accounts I have had, the Lands in Anson County on this side the Catawba Line extend further Southward than the Latd 35 degrees, many Persons having taken out Patents to the Southward of the Line proposed not Knowing the Latitude and that to the Westward of the Catawba Lands the Lands have been long taken up & patented for many miles to the Southward of that Latitude for as all the Settlers in the back Country came by Land from Pensylvania they knowing of no Boundary Line constantly took out their Claims from this Province scarce any of them having applied to the Governor of South Carolina, except when they wanted to turn out the first occupants who had taken out Titles from this Province, and their disputes won't easily be decided unless this Province extends further to

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the Southward than this temporary Line in 35° I find also that the several Planters to the northeast of Winyaw are very desirous of being appointed part of this Province where they can have County Courts to recover their small Debts, as no such Courts are allowed in South Carolina none being held out of Charles Town, so that People are obliged to travel and attend the Courts at Charles Town though living at 200 miles distance, and this they must do to recover a Debt of £5 value.

In order the more effectually to prevent the illicit Trade, I think the same checks should be inforced here in this Province as in all the other Colonies and Islands in America, upon enquiry into this I find that no Trading Ships or Vessels can depart from any Province or Island without leave or a pass from the Governor attested by the Secretary or Naval officer of having been legally cleared by the Naval officer and Collector. Upon looking into the early Laws of this Province yet in force, I find all masters of Vessels before they discharge any goods in four days after their arrival must give Bond with Security to the Naval officer not to carry any Person out of the Province under certain Regulations, until such Person shall receive a Ticket from the Naval officer signed by the Governor for the time being and that he himself shall not depart without leave. Upon observing this, and my orders being so strict to prevent illicit Trade I consulted the Council, and they were unanimously of Opinion that the Law should be particularly complied with as in other Provinces, and having produced several of these passes from the other Colonies and Islands who every one paid a fee for the same to the Governor none less than half a Pistole or two Dollars in some places a Pistole and no fee having been appointed in the fee Bill in which case Fees have always been taken for services done, it was their unanimous Opinion that half a Pistole or its value in Proclamation money being the least fee taken in other Colonies would be a reasonable Fee here the more effectually to prevent Vessels going out when not legally cleared or carrying out persons or runaway negros contrary to Law, which passes should be produced to the Commander of the several Forts situated at the entrance of the Rivers where erected.

This I thought proper to mention to your Lordships for your approbation, and don't doubt but that you'l think it reasonable, when the Assembly refuses to settle any Salary upon the Governor as directed by His Majestys Instructions nor even pay the rent of a House for the residence of the Governor, when either an House or

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the rent of one is allowed in all the other Colonies whether of the Kings or Proprietary Governments. This I humbly submit to your Lordps consideration for your approbation.

I shall not at present trouble your Lordships with a longer Letter, lest you should blame me as Lord Sandy's did for writing long Letters to the Board.

I am with great respect My Lords &c