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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from James Iredell to John Harvey
Iredell, James, 1751-1799
December 21, 1770
Volume 08, Pages 270-271

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from James Iredell to John Harvey Esq.

Edenton, 21st Decr 1770.


It gives me very great pleasure to hear that you are so much better & I most heartily wish you may soon have a perfect recovery—I only left Newbern last Saturday, & brought with me letter from your son, which I have given to Mr Skinner, to be forwarded to you—I believe he has inclosed you the speech & address, or I would have sent them to you—Before I left Newbern, the Assembly had done nothing—but since there have been appearances very alarming.—The day I left Town (Newbern) Mr Johnston presented a spirited Bill to the House upon the subject of punishing the Regulators—The substance (as nearly as I can recollect from what he told me of it) was this—to enforce in effect, tho' not in express words, the Riot Act as it is in England—to empower the King's Attorney or any of his Deputies to prosecute in any part of the province—& if any Person so prosecuted did not surrender in a limited time, that they should stand convicted and outlawed—impowering likewise the Governor to take such draughts from the Militia as he should think necessary to inforce the execution of the civil Power. This Bill, I believe, Sir, you would have thought expedient, tho' severe—but desperate diseases must have desperate Remedies—the bill, however, was ordered to lie upon the Table & immediatety a Committee was appointed (among whom were M. Moore, A. Nash, H. Edwards, Thos Parsons &c) to prepare a Bill for regulating Officers fees, & for other purposes—A favorite scheme in agitation is, for allowing all Clerks, Salaries—C. C.—from £50 to 70 p ann. S. C.—from £70 to 100—No Fees whatever are to be allowed—the Lawyers are to be scourged too—In short, it seems that a majority of the house are of regulating Principles—& not only determined upon a levelling plan, but will be very reluctant (if at all to be persuaded) in passing any Law for a spirited vindication of the honor of Government—Your absence, Sir, at so critical a period is much to be

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lamented,—but yourself is equally to be pitied for the unhappy occasion, as your Country for the unhappy Effects of it.

I wish time would permit me to pay you a visit, but tho' I am prevented that pleasure, I beg leave to assure you no person is with greater Truth & Respect, Sir,

Your most humble & obedt servt

I beg leave to desire my best Compliments to Mrs Harvey & the rest of your very agreeable Family.