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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Petition from inhabitants of Rowan County concerning North Carolina marriage laws
Osborne, Alexander, 1709-1776; Et Al.
Volume 09, Pages 623-625

The Petition of His Majesty's Dutiful and loyal Subjects, Inhabitants of Rowan County.

To His Excellency Josiah Martin Esquire Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the Province of No Carolina.

Most humbly Sheweth,

That amidst many of the blessings of Heaven and advantage which we enjoy under a mild, and in many things equitable Government for all which we desire to make the most grateful acknowledgements.

Yet we still look upon ourselves unhappy in some things which we flatter ourselves, were your Excellency and the other Branches of the Legislature of this Province made sensible of in a much inferior degree to what we feel, it would excite you all, to redress as far as in your power, and if in any particular our necessity constrains us to ask relief, in a way or method beyond your power to grant, which is not our intention, we pray that you would beseech our most gracious Sovereign to commiserate our Case and grant us the relief we so much need.

In the first place, we look upon ourselves peculiarly unhappy in having our worthy and pious Pastors viz. Presbyterian Ministers pointed out in the Preamble of an Act of Assembly concerning Marriage passed at New Bern in December 1766, as persons regardless of Law, and acting contrary to good Order, in joining many Persons

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together in Holy Matrimony without either licence or publication, which we do not know to be true of any one of them in one single instance and yet they still ly under the Charge and are moreover deprived of the privilege of marrying their own people according to the Directory of the Presbyterian Church, which has so discouraged them, that those that are not already placed are unwilling to settle in the Province, and even some who were placed after waiting several years for a redress of said grievances without obtaining it, have actually removed out of it to the great grief and discouragement of many loyal Subjects who for the same reason seem resolved to leave the Province likewise.

Your Excellency's readiness to hear, and likewise to redress grievances of every kind, give us flattering hopes that your Excellency will endeavor to have an amendment of the act of Assembly above mentioned so far as to tolerate the Presbyterian Ministers to marry those of their own Congregation by Publication.

And your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray. Signed:

Alexr Osborn
James Harris
Robt Carruth
Zachariah Sallyer
James Hay
Jno Brandon Junr
Jno McConce
William Lock
Moses Thompson
John Tod
James McKoun
John Bates
Thomas Thomson
John Dickey
Samuel Geingles
Jas. Huggins
Robt Huggins
John Huggins
Arthur Irwin
Richard Brandon
John Bates
Walter Bellah
James Reede
Robert Allison
William Hide
Thomas Caradine
W. Bellah
John McConal
James Grant
James Graham Senr
James Graham Junr
John Phifer
John Gostman
David Fifir
Mark Brison
Geo. Fredk Barger
Mich Birringer
Joseph Hays
John Lock
Isaiah Sallyer
Matthew Brandon
John Brandon Senr
Robt Campbell
John Beaty
James Brandon
Wm Armstrong
John Graham
Jas Carruth
David Kerr
James McKnight
Wm McKnight
Jos Dickson
Hugh McQuown
Thos McQuon
Hugh Park
Thomas Cook
John Welbert
James Mardun
Francis Galdose
Ant. Bridgewater
John Littringer
Hugh McKnight
Jacob Birringer
Philip Barger
Lindway Teldred
William Piers
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John Brandon
George Howard
Samuel Smith
Francis Lock
Christopher Welbert
George Lock
James Kerr
William Steel
Danl Little
Max. Chambers
John Lewis Beard
John Kerr
Nicholas Shippny
Michael Holshouser
Andrew Soln Sanders
John Saml Randalman
Peter Codolman
Thos Gillaspie
Humphrey Milner.