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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Josiah Martin to William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth
Martin, Josiah, 1737-1786
December 16, 1773
Volume 09, Pages 698-699

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind. : No. Carolina. Vol. 221.]
Letter from Governor Martin to Earl Dartmouth.

No. Carolina, New Bern,
Decr 16th 1773.

My Lord,

I have the honor to transmit to your Lordship herewith, a Copy of my Speech to the Council, and Assembly of this Province, at the opening of their Session, on the 4th instant, and of their Addresses, and my Answers.

The Address of the Assembly contains expressions so unfit, and breathes a spirit so unbecoming a people living under the mild and just Government of His Majesty, that it gives me pain to lay it before your Lordship, and I transmit, with no less concern, a Copy of certain resolves, entered upon the Journals of that House, which

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display like discontent and disrespect to Government, these will no no doubt appear to your Lordship very inauspicious presages; and the Proceedings of that Branch of the Legislature since, afford me no hopes that any advantage will result to the Public from its present measures. This Body, my Lord, unfortunately consists, for the most part, of men in the lowest state of ignorance, that are gulled into any absurdities by a few artfull and designing men, influenced by selfish and interested motives, who lead them implicitly into their views by representing every salutary proposition of Government as injurious and oppressive, and thus make them instruments to their own little purposes, and their Country's ruin; the poor misguided herd renounce out of the House the sentiments they have but the moment before blindly concurred in, and execrate their own conduct, as soon as they are made to discern its obvious consequences.

The few mischievous, but too successful, Demagogues who have hitherto governed the Assembly, at the present Session, seem by their conduct in the House, as well as out of doors, from its beginning, to have challenged a Dissolution, but as I have a sincere feeling for the Country, and a just contempt for their provocations and sinister designs, I shall I trust be superior to resentment, while it is consistent with the dignity of Government to overlook their rash and hasty proceedings; they are acting My Lord, if I may believe report, contrary to the sense and wishes of the People at large, and I hope if they leave me opportunity to prorogue the Assembly, that after consulting its constituents, I shall soon meet that House, in more corresponding temper and dispositions, and in all events, I will pursue, with my best discernment, my duty to His Majesty, and promote, to the utmost of my power, the good of this Country.

I have the honor to be, &c.,