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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from inhabitants of Anson County concerning taxes and fees for public officials
Snor, John; Et Al.
October 09, 1769
Volume 08, Pages 75-80

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Mr Speaker and Gent of the Assembly.

The Petition of the Inhabitants of Anson County, being part of the Remonstrance of the Province of North Carolina,

Humbly Sheweth

That the Province in general labour under general grievances, and the Western part thereof under particular ones; which we not only see, but very sensibly feel, being crouch'd beneath our sufferings: and notwithstanding our sacred priviledges, have too long yielded ourselves slaves to remorseless oppression.—Permit us to conceive it to be our inviolable right to make known our grievances,

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and to petition for redress; as appears in the Bill of Rights pass'd in the reign of King Charles the first, as well as the act of Settlement of the Crown of the Revolution. We therefore beg leave to lay before you a specimen thereof that your compassionate endeavours may tend to the relief of your injured Constituents, whose distressed condition calls aloud for aid. The alarming cries of the oppressed possibly may reach your Ears; but without your zeal how shall they ascend the throne—how relentless is the breast without sympathy, the heart that cannot bleed on a View of our calamity; to see tenderness removed, cruelty stepping in; and all our liberties and priviledges invaded and abridg'd (by as it were) domesticks: who are conscious of their guilt and void of remorse.—O how daring! how relentless! whilst impending Judgments loudly threaten and gaze upon them, with every emblem of merited destruction.

A few of the many grievances are as follows, (Vizt)

1. That the poor Inhabitants in general are much oppress'd by reason of disproportionate Taxes, and those of the western Counties in particular; as they are generally in mean circumstances.

2. That no method is prescribed by Law for the payment of the Taxes of the Western Counties in produce (in lieu of a Currency) as is in other Counties within this Province; to the Peoples great oppression.

3. That Lawyers, Clerks, and other pentioners; in place of being obsequious Servants for the Country's use, are become a nuisance, as the business of the people is often transacted without the least degree of fairness, the intention of the law evaded, exorbitant fees extorted, and the sufferers left to mourn under their oppressions.

4. That an Attorney should have it in his power, either for the sake of ease or interest, or to gratify their malevolence and spite, to commence suits to what Courts he pleases, however inconvenient it may be to the Defendant: is a very great oppression.

5. That all unlawful fees taken on Indictment, where the Defendant is acquitted by his Country (however customary it may be) is an oppression.

6. That Lawyers, Clerks, and others, extorting more fees than is intended by law; is also an oppression.

7. That the violation of the King's Instructions to his delegates, their artfulness in concealing the same from him; and the great Injury the People thereby sustains: is a manifest oppression.

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And for remedy whereof, we take the freedom to recommend the following mode of redress, not doubting audience and acceptance; which will not only tend to our relief, but command prayers as a duty from your humble Petitioners.

1. That at all elections each suffrage be given by Ticket & Ballot.

2. That the mode of Taxation be altered, and each person to pay in proportion to the proffits arising from his Estate.

3. That no future tax be laid in Money, untill a currency is made.

4. That there may be established a Western as well as a Northern and Southern District, and a Treasurer for the same.

5. That when a currency is made it may be let out by a Loan office (on Land security) and not to be call'd in by a Tax.

6. That all debts above 40s. and under £10 be tried and determined without Lawyers, by a jury of six freeholders, impanneled by a Justice, and that their verdict be enter'd by the said Justice, and be a final judgment.

7. That the Chief Justice have no perquisites, but a Sallary only.

8. That Clerks be restricted in respect to fees, costs, and other things within the course of their office.

9. That Lawyers be effectually Barr'd from exacting and extorting fees.

10. That all doubts may be removed in respect to the payment of fees and costs on Indictments where the Defendant is not found guilty by the jury, and therefore acquitted.

11. That the Assembly make known by Remonstrance to the King, the conduct of the cruel and oppressive Receiver of the Quit Rents, for omitting the customary easie and effectual method of collecting by distress, and pursuing the expensive mode of commencing suits in the most distant Courts.

12. That the Assembly in like manner make known that the governor and Council do frequently grant Lands to as many as they think proper without regard to Head Rights, notwithstanding the contrariety of His Majesties Instructions; by which means immense sums has been collected, and numerous Patents granted, for much of the most fertile lands in this Province, that is yet uninhabited and uncultivated, environed by great numbers of poor people who are necessitated to toil in the cultivation of bad Lands whereon they hardly can subsist, who are thereby deprived of His Majesties liberality and Bounty: nor is there the least regard paid to the cultivation clause in said Patent mentioned, as many of the

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said Council as well as their friends and favorites enjoy large Quantities of Lands under the above-mentioned circumstances.

13. That the Assembly communicates in like manner the Violation of His Majesties Instructions respecting the Land Office by the Governor and Council, and of their own rules, customs and orders, if it be sufficiently proved, that after they had granted Warrants for many Tracts of Land, and that the same was in due time survey'd and return'd, and the Patent fees timely paid into the said office; and that if a private Council was called on purpose to avoid spectators, and peremptory orders made that Patents should not be granted; and Warrants by their orders arbitrarily to have Issued in the names of other Persons for the same Lands, and if when intreated by a solicitor they refus'd to render so much as a reason for their so doing, or to refund any part of the money by them extorted.

14. That some method may be pointed out that every improvement on Lands in any of the Proprietors part be proved when begun, by whom, and every sale made, that the eldest may have the preference of at least 300 Acres

15. That all Taxes in the following Counties be paid as in other Counties in the Province (i e) in the produce of the Country and that ware Houses be erected as follows (Vizt)

In Anson County at Isom Haleys Ferry Landing on PeDee River,

Rowan and Orange at Cambleton in Cumberland County,

Mecklenburg at —— on the Catawba River, and in

Tryon County at —— on —— River.

16. That every denomination of People may marry according to their respective Mode Ceremony and custom after due publication or Licence.—

17. That Doctr Benjamin Franklin or some other known patriot be appointed Agent, to represent the unhappy state of this Province to his Majesty, and to solicit the several Boards in England:—

Dated October ye 9th 1769

John Snor
John Ryle
Saml Gaylord
Isaac Armstrong
John Culpepper
Richard Sands
Wm Thomson
John Jones Sr
Jason Irol Hinsinbru
Authd Hutchins
Wm Grifen Hogon
Thoms Preslar
Seamor Almond
Richard Maner
Thompson Culpepper
Isaac Falconberg
John Watts
Daniel Culpepper
Francis Smith
John Davis
John Snider
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Jno Jeffery
Richd Leak
Wm. Mims
Neal French
Charles Hines
Robert Smith
Jero Miller
John McIlvailly
Zechariah Smith
Tirey Robinson
Van Swearingen
John Smith
Gabrill Davis
William Hore
John Thomas
Aquila Jones
Joseph Martin
Willm Burt
Thomas Tallant
Thomas Nelson
Edwd Smith
James Denson
William Burns
Elija Clark
Wm Raiford
John Leveritt
John Clark
John I. Merree
Theofilis Williams
James Adams
Geo Wilson
Wm Leveritt
Thos Mason Junr
Robert Webb
Jams Williams
John Bennet
Thomas Taylor
John Coleman
Jonathan Turner
David Smith
Meeager Edwards
Barnabee Skipper
James Barker
Antho Mathis
George Skipper
John Mims
Fagan Gring
John Jenkins
John Brooks junr
Samll Ratcliff
David Phelps
Wm C. B. Bond
John Long
John McNish
John Bond
Charles Smith
John Cockerham
Moses M. Tallant
James Bound
Jonathan Lewellyn
Benja Dumas
Abraham Pelyou
Leonard Franklyn
Joseph White
Jason Meadow Jr
Edward Almond
Wm Sidden
Jason Meadow
Thos. Mims
Silvanus Waker
Robert Broadaway
John Stinkberry
John Smith Sondhill
Saml Tonehberg
William Leaton
David Dumas
Samuel Flake
Luke Robinson
Benjamin Smith
Thos Balice
John Webb
William Benton
John Preslie
Andrew Griffin
Wm Coleman
John Cartright
George Estress
Alexr McPherson
Thos Lacy
James Griffin
E Pickett
John Jackson
Wm Estress
Thomas Gowers
Joseph French
Stephen Bush
Jonathan Gowers
William Newberry
Joseph Burcham
Stokey Yeamons
Lennard Webb
Stephen Piecock
Thos Harper
Julius Holley
David Jernigan
John Johnson
John James Jun
Robt Jarman
James Upton
John James Senr
William Thredgill
Jacob Watson
Jimmey James
Robt Lowery
Isaac Belvin
Jonathan Helms
Denes Norlen
Owen Slaughter
Tilmon Helms
Lewis Lowery
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Thos Wright
James Sanders
Edward Chambers
Patrick Sanders
John Bailey
Thos Pickett
William Ussery
David Cox
Jowl Jormal
William Jowers
John Horback
Yomond Lloyd
Shadrach Denson
Beaty Web
Thos Word
Joseph Harrison
Isaac Inceste
William Lucas
Joseph Howelt
William Weeb
Christopher Butler
Thomas Ussery
Walter Gibson
John Sowel
John Thomas
Silvester Gibson
Edward Morris
Benja Covington
Burlingham Rudd
William Treneen
Isam Haley
John Murphy
John Williams
Silas Haley
John Liles
John Burcham
George Belvin
James Liles
Wm Sowel
William Blewet
Thos Arrington
John Carpenter
Danl Laws
James Macknejh
Francis Jourden
Abraham Bellew
Thomas Fox
Henry Burcham
Thos Donnor
Henry Stokes
William Morris
Joseph Hindes
John Brooks Junr
John Morgan
Wm Haley
Thadwick Hogins
James Burcham
Thomas Moorman
Thos Barrotz
James Sanders
Frances Clark
Jas E Arnet
Joseph Morris
Jeremiah Terrell
Thos Trull
Samuel Sowel
Darass Burns
Wm Culpepper
Charles Sowell
Thos Baley
John Cooper
James Gibson
Stephen Bush
John Thos Suggs
William Gibson
Jacob Cockerham
John Hornbeck
Joseph Hunt
John Flowel
William Dinkins
Richd Braswell
Stephen Jackson
Thomas Dinkins
George Braswell
John Jones
Marverick Layn
Wm Lucas Junr
Archelam Moorman
Waterman Boatman
Joseph Allen
William Digge
John Simmons
Wm Morris Junr
Bennakia Moorman
Augustine Prestwood
Lewis Sowell
Wilm Haley Junr
Richard Downs
John Skinner
John Mathews
Samel Ratcliff Junr
Jesse Wallas
James Mathews
Elisha Ratcliff
Welcome Ussery
Joseph Web
John Poston
Matthew Raiford Junr
John Falconbery
John Poston Senr
Elisha Thomson
Andrew Falconbery
Ned Mathes
John Thompson
Isaac Falconbery Junr
Benjamin Bunt
Goin C Morgan
Henry Falconbery
Christopher Christian